Setting Sail As A Family Of Five


Setting Sail As A Family Of FiveSomething that became slightly more difficult for our family, when we grew from four to five people, is travel. It wasn’t too bad when our now five- and three-year-olds were tiny because I could figure out workarounds to the four-person limit at our favorite hotels. One of my favorite forms of travel is cruising, but with small cabins and little kids, I figured it may be a while until we could take a cruise since it appeared that our only option would be to stay in a suite. But, as our annual travel time approached, I found a cruise that would fit all five of us in a regular cabin…so, I booked it, and our adventure began!

Below is information on our cruise experience, along with some tips and tricks that made everything easier:

Our Stateroom

To say that we were in tight quarters is an understatement. I have been on three other cruises and remember having larger staterooms, but perhaps that was because there were fewer people in those rooms. Nonetheless, we had enough room to sleep. In addition to the main bed, which we asked be made into a king size bed, there were two pull down bunks and a floor trundle bed. At bedtime, this was a great space for us, but it was tight at other times like when we were getting ready for the day or in-between activities. In summary, having five people in a room is doable, but snug.

A Great Family Vacation

On a cruise video I saw on Facebook, someone was bashing cruises saying they are only for people that are too lazy to plan their own trips. I completely disagree. In addition to loving ships and the ocean, I also find it extremely convenient (and less of a hassle) to have all of my stuff unpacked in one place while being able to visit different ports of call. This is even more true when traveling with little kids. To not have to pack and unpack repeatedly, while making sure you aren’t leaving anything behind, is truly a blessing.

In addition to being able to enjoy the beautiful, warm tropical destinations when it was about 40 degrees in Tennessee, there are a ton of activities for all ages to enjoy on the ship. Some of the activities that we enjoyed were the pool and water slides, miniature golf, the arcade, and live music. We also spent time walking around and relaxing on the deck while overlooking the ocean. Our ship also had a kids’ club for children of all ages to enjoy.  Of course, the food selection is another great reason that a cruise is a perfect family vacation. There are options for everyone and it is all included in the total price.

A Few Tips

We went on a Carnival Cruise which offers an add-on called “Faster to the Fun.” With this package, we were able to board slightly faster, got priority dining reservations, a special guest services number, and priority disembarkation. This add-on made everything less chaotic for us, especially with little kids who don’t like to have to wait for things. I 100% recommend this for everyone cruising with kids!

Here are a few Amazon buys that made things a little easier this trip:

  • Cruise Luggage Tags & ID Badge Holder: These luggage tag holders were great to keep our bags secure throughout all of the baggage handling. We used the ID badge holders the first day, but they were a little long for my little ones to wear (plus, I couldn’t guarantee that my three-year-old wouldn’t try to throw his in the ocean), so I ended up just using my phone case (linked below) to hold our cards for the duration of the trip (though I saw many other people using similar card holders to these during the voyage).
  • Wallet Phone Case with Wrist Strap: This is the type of phone case I use normally. I found it especially helpful on the cruise, not only because it easily held all of our cruise cards, but because the wrist strap made me feel like I would not accidentally drop my phone into the ocean while taking pictures.
  • Foldable Lightweight Backpack: This was a great buy as it took up virtually no space in our suitcase, but could be easily used to carry towels at our beach destinations. It also provided the extra space needed for the souvenirs we purchased on our journey.

A cruise can be a great all-inclusive option for your next family vacation! Be on the lookout for deals where kids sail for free for your next family getaway!


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