An ode to cruises, the most underrated family holiday.

P&O Cruises
Thanks to our brand partner, P&O Cruises

Oh cruising, how I’ve missed you.

Your smooth, sea-faring sides and the silver shine of your rails. The golden glow of your timber decks, the saltwater mist lightly coating my sun-drenched (slightly burnt) face, and the sound of my kids in the background laughing.

Wait... what?

Yep, you heard that right. I'm here to tell you that two things can be true at the same time – cruising provides all the relaxation vibes us adults desperately seek, all while making the kids unwaveringly happy. 

You see, cruising doesn’t just delight those empty-nesters who are looking for that all-inclusive, someone-else-do-it vacay away from the sanctuary of retired life. Cruising is the one holiday that we have taken time and time again that is sure to meet the holiday needs of my husband and I whilst also providing heaps of fun (and less whinging) for our kids.

Family is at the very heart of P&O Cruises and when designing your perfect family getaway, they pack in absolutely everything you could ever need or want. 

I'm talking incredible food, mind-blowing live entertainment and stage shows, shore tours, Kid’s Club, ALL of the onboard activities, awesome parties, friendly staff and P&O Edge, Australia’s largest adventure park at sea.

I have been on five cruises in my lifetime (which in my opinion is nowhere near enough for my 39 years of age) – both with my parents as a kid and now as a parent with a kid. That means it's pretty safe to say my experiences have been varied and I have firmly sat on both sides of the family fence. 


So know that when I say this, I do not say it lightly: cruises are most definitely the most underrated family holiday. Here's why.

Zero-stress planning.

When we went to Hawaii five years ago, we researched and booked everything ourselves. We had an awesome time, however, the shine had worn off before we had even arrived. Why? We spent so much time stressing over whether we had booked the right resort, or secured the best flights, or, most importantly of all, whether we were going to be able to watch the State of Origin there.

With a cruise, all of this stress simply doesn’t exist because it is all done for you. Everything you need for a comfortable, exciting and fun family holiday is all packaged up and ready for you to set sail.

There’s no cooking, no cleaning, no stressing about how to keep the kids entertained, beautiful destinations and over 60 onboard activities to enjoy – this is the cruising way of life and I’ve been married to the sea since my first P&O cruise at 9 years old. 

And just for the record, the cruises we have been on did live-stream the football.

Party like it's 1999.

(Or the year you left school or like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby or Jack Sparrow hanging from the wheel at the captain’s helm.)

The themed parties are an absolute blast, and since you know they're happening well before you board, everyone really gets into the spirit. But if dressing up isn’t your thing, it doesn’t matter; the crew get everyone into the party spirit with dancing on tables in the dining room, desserts on fire and discos on the deck. 


And when those special events roll around like New Year's Eve or the Australian Open, P&O Cruises celebrates these tenfold.

Meal times are like a Lazy Susan.

I often mum-dream about what it would be like to have a personal chef – someone who takes care of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, making whatever I feel like on any given day. When they can’t offer what I want, I bring in the next chef to see what they have to offer, and then another, and then another. It’s like a life-sized Lazy Susan of endless meal options.

There are up to 21 dining experiences available across the fleet, with approximately 12 included in your fare, depending on what ship you are cruising on. The food is incredible and features speciality restaurants from celebrity chef Luke Mangan and award-winning Melbourne pizza chef, Johnny di Francesco, for those that want to treat themselves. I can honestly say that P&O Cruises has brought my selfish mum-dreams to life.

You will never be hard-pressed finding something that you and the whole family can’t wait to eat on a cruise.

The entertainment is always next level. 

I'm talking dances, cabaret, adults-only comedy shows, musicals – even the odd acornhole tournament in the Atrium.

The excitement that is created for all the onboard entertainment, as well as the incredible staff that encourage your participation, makes you want to take part in every single experience.


Do a lot, or nothing at all.

I’m the type of holidayer who likes to be up and at it first thing in the morning, packing as much into the day as possible. My husband, however... is not. (Imagine the newly wedded bliss the first day on our honeymoon!)

But that’s the beauty of cruising. You can do a lot or next to nothing.

When we were last onboard with P&O Cruises, a newsletter was placed under our cabin door every morning, offering an outline of the day’s plans on board and off (when arriving at a destination). We would each choose what we wanted to do by placing a texta dot next to it on the sheet, each colour representing who it was that was dotting it. 

So basically, when my husband was playing bingo with our daughter, I knew to stay far away and not hound them to team up with me for the ping-pong battles.

Is there something in my eye?

Those wipe-your-tears moments? Well, you'll experience them often on a cruise.

For me, this was when my daughter went snorkelling for the first time around an island in the South Pacific. Growing up loving the ocean and everything in it, this was literally her dream come true. 

Image: Supplied.


The next was when we were playing trivia and the question asked was about Little Mix, her favourite girl band at the time. Her hand flew into the air confidently as she stood up and yelled out the answer. Although she was correct, she clearly didn’t know the rules of trivia and I couldn’t stop laughing.

It's safe to say that our cruise holidays have seen her confidence grow and experience things she could have never imagined. 

Experience the joy of P&O Cruises by booking your holidayExplore their range of destinations now.

Feature Image: Supplied.

P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises is Australia’s homegrown cruise line and have been delivering unforgettable cruise holidays to Aussies & Kiwis for 90 years.
With P&O Cruises you can discover idyllic locations in the South Pacific, or experience the best kept secrets locally.
You can swim in the sparkling waters of the Whitsundays, catch glimpses of native wildlife on Kangaroo Island, learn about a different culture in Papua New Guinea or slip into island time in Vanuatu, Fiji or the magnificent Conflict Islands.
Whether you’re looking for an island getaway, a foodie adventure or just a chance to sunbake on a fuss free holiday, P&O has the cruise for you.
Visit and book today.