The Mediterranean may well be a holiday destination that you’ve always wanted to visit – after all, its charm is timeless. When you’re travelling with a family, however, there are other considerations to be made.
Selecting the right itinerary is important, but the simple reality is that very few children are going to be kept amused by long car journeys or frequent flights through the region.
One possible, and practical, resolution is to consider a cruise through the Mediterranean.
Mediterranean cruises with the Co-operative offer the perfect solution to your travelling woes, ensuring that the kids are fully entertained, while giving you the opportunity to take the trip that you’ve always dreamed of.
If you’re going to take a cruise with the family through the Mediterranean this summer, here are a few handy tips on how to get the most out of your holiday.
Select the right itinerary
The hardest part of planning a family cruise through the Mediterranean is, unquestionably, selecting the right itinerary. While vibrant cities such as Barcelona have something to keep children of all ages entertained, they may be less than attentive when forced to endure long, guided tours around Carthaginian castles.
It’s important to sit down as a family and discuss possible itineraries before you depart. Having an open, frank and honest discussion will make your children feel included in the decision-making process, while you may be able to ‘sell’ them on some of the locations that you’ve always wanted to see, but don’t immediately appear child-friendly.
Keep the kids entertained on-board
Cruises are no longer the high-toned affairs that they once were. A majority of cruise liners are now family-friendly to some degree, but that degree can vary dramatically.
Talk to your travel agent, or search the online forums for reviews of your shortlist of possible cruise providers, in order to get a genuine feel for how well children will be catered for.
Some of the industry’s most family-focused cruise liners have swimming pools, rock climbing walls, circus schools, music lessons, supervised games, craft activities, discos and even teen-only excursion programmes.
Not only is selecting a family-friendly cruise liner a great way of keeping your kids entertained, it also gives you time alone with your other half – an experience you may not have had in a good while, so make the most of it.
Make sure that excursions are child-friendly
Taking a family cruise through the Mediterranean should be a voyage of discovery, while also being an opportunity to spend some quality time together as a family, away from the distractions of everyday life.
Excursions ashore are all part of the fun; however, it’s imperative to ensure that organised excursions are suited to your family’s tastes. You and your other half may be more interested in sampling the Art Nouveau architecture of Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, or visiting the Coliseum and Vatican City as part of your trip ashore in Rome, but it’s imperative to mix a little adventure in there too.
At many port locations, you will be offered a number of different excursion options. Don’t always pick the ones that interest you alone – it may be necessary to go on the occasional bike ride, too.
If you’re away for a few weeks, many cruise liners operate a system where they will take teenagers ashore to undertake a separate excursion programme; programmes like this could be the perfect compromise, and help your trip run that little bit smoother.