travel

From kids club to private pool cabanas: 3 reasons why cruises are actually the most underrated family holiday.

Carnival Cruises
Thanks to our brand partner, Carnival Cruises

As a mum of two toddlers, when I hear the words “private pool cabana” I am instantly transported to a warm sunny destination that is peaceful and child-free (for the most part).    

When I stop to think about that destination, I then remember I have to lug my two young boys to an airport, wait for a few hours before enduring hours of cramped, noisy and generally chaotic conditions and suddenly I’m not so keen. 

This was the case until I discovered cruising with the kids. That’s right, parents: it really is possible to take the kids on a peaceful, relaxing holiday to a warm and sunny destination without the hassle of airports, long wait times, the struggle of wishing you had more limbs to carry 17 bags and children, and the potential jet lag. 

The mental load is real, and that’s just before the holiday has even started. My wife and I don’t even want to think about the organisation and juggling required once we’re actually on vacay with little ones in tow. 

Where’s the nearest bathroom in case said toddlers have to go? Have we packed enough nappies for the day? Do I really have to lug around multiple soggy wet swimmers, heavy soaking towels and everyone’s toys for the rest of the day?!

Turns out, cruising is the answer. 

I wouldn’t have known it pre-parenthood, but here we are. There are seemingly endless activities, housed in the one place – and ones that actually appeal to all age groups (I’m talking from toddlers and teens to parents and grandparents). 

And while the kids can be having the time of their life in the free Kids Club, us parents can be in the adults-only retreat having a facial, thanking our lucky stars we chose the holiday of least resistance (minimum planning on our side, and huge pay-offs in relaxation and enjoyment). 

Image: Supplied.

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We’ve been on a Carnival Cruise as a family of 4, and loved every minute – and feel like any and all parents need to be getting on this bandwagon. 

So, here’s exactly 3 of my best reasons as to why cruising is the most underrated family holiday.

1. Cruising is so much more than a floating hotel.

Cruising is a lifestyle. It’s a place designed to meet your every need before you even know what you need. It is an opportunity to see the world or simply stay in your own backyard but above all cruising has your family front of mind.

Cruising basically takes the reins of holiday planning and entertainment, and metaphorically pats you on the back and says, “Heck, let me take care of that for you.” Surely, every parents’ dream, right?

Image: Supplied.

2. You’re a few feet away from a whole selection of activities and entertainment.

If you’ve got a whole family keep busy and entertained on holiday, and there’s quite a variety of ages and interests to try and satisfy… well, that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of relaxing and unwinding for you as the parent come holiday-tour-guide-and-chief-is-everybody-having-fun? 

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Hear me when I say Carnival Cruise Line have over 45 daily activities onboard. SO GOOD. So, you’re never really that far from entertainment to keep everyone occupied and living their best lives.

That includes Dive-In Movies (in an actual pool!), live music, video arcade, Mini Golf, the Green Lightning Water Slide (suitable for the adults... trust me I’ve been on it!), free Kids Club (our saviour), Lip Sync battles, Broadway-style performances, and comedy shows at The Punchliner Comedy Club plus so much more. 

This is also a very important PSA that Carnival Cruise Line has free 24/7 pizza, fresh burgers, tacos and ice cream. No word of a lie. Could we just stay onboard… all year ‘round?

3. Convenience for parents is music to our ears.

Managing a busy family of my own, the convenience of a cruise is perfect. 

We only have to unpack once, we are able enjoy the myriad of destinations whilst waking up to a new location and adventure every day. 

Image: Supplied.

New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, Moreton Island. No airports, no luggage limits, and it can’t be mentioned enough: did I mention onboard babysitting options and free Kids Club?

Cruising is honestly all about dialling up the fun with your loved ones without the hassle of organising, which is the dream after a busy few years we’ve all had. That’s what sets cruising apart from other forms of travel for me. 

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Whether that’s enjoying a round of family trivia, relaxing by the pool with a cocktail, feeling zen in the adults-only Serenity Retreat or dancing the night away on 80s theme night in full Lycra. 

You can go as all-in as you want to, or put your feet up and catch up on the R&R you’ve been hanging out for since… becoming a parent basically.

Carnival Cruise Line wants to ensure families are having fun, with plenty of memory-making opportunities. And that's where Kids Club allows us to achieve the ultimate balance between spending quality time as a family, and enabling us to have some “me time” or "us time" too.

Image: Supplied.

A favourite activity for us to do as a family on our last Carnival cruise was to get ice creams together from the soft serve machines. 

It may sound so simple, but when you tell your kids they can have ice cream at any time of the day... their minds are blown, their smiles are huge and it gives you some time out while they devour them (before asking on an ETA when the next one’s coming) – all the wins!

If you are looking for the ultimate experience for the whole family which is genuinely affordable, I would definitely recommend considering cruising.

Carnival Cruise Line is the World's Most Popular cruise line, with around five million guests travelling every year, and whose global fleet will total 25 ships, when the highly anticipated Carnival Celebration sets sail in 2022. Carnival sails to a variety of destinations around the world including the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and more.

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Image: Supplied.

From our first encounter with the team aboard our own Carnival cruise, we knew we were in good hands. 

Whether you book online or over the phone the process was easy, even for big families. The staff who are recruited from all around the world bring a sense of fun, joy, safety and reassurance that is world class. 

By the end of your cruise I can honestly say the staff feel like an extension of your family, with so many wonderful conversations and laughs had during our stay.

Nothing brings us greater joy than sharing in adventures with our children and creating memories that we will all get the warm and fuzzies remembering for years to come.

After what can only be described as a huge couple of years had by most families around the world, I personally cannot wait to pack my bags, and to set sail again with my beautiful family.

Carnival is the world's most popular cruise line, thanks to the 5 million people who choose fun onboard every year! See what all the fun is about by checking out the Carnival cruise itineraries for 2022 and beyond.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Carnival Cruises
Carnival Cruise Line is the World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®. Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit are both scheduled to return to Australia when cruise operations resume from their scheduled home ports of Sydney and Brisbane. Designed with fun in mind and featuring over 45 activities to enjoy each day, Carnival offers families and couples fun, memorable holidays at great value. The health and safety of Carnival’s guests is the utmost priority. As such, the actual cruise offerings may vary from the descriptions and images displayed, while Carnival assesses the enhancements of its onboard health and safety protocols in light of COVID-19.