Are cruise holidays safe for families? It’s a question I’ve seen voiced several times over the past few months. I’ve been on quite a few cruises now, including the Disney Cruise with No 1 Son. So, these are my observations as a VERY safety-conscious mum:
*All cruises have a compulsory ‘muster’ drill before the ship departs (and every time new passengers join a cruise itinerary that’s already under way) which tells you very clearly what to do in the event of an emergency, how to put on your life jacket, etc. It’s similar to an airplane safety demonstration – but more detailed, and because the layout of your ship will probably be unfamiliar to you, it’s really important to attend and pay close attention to what you’re being told.
*The kids’ clubs have very strict signing in/out policies, parents will always be contacted in the event of an emergency (or if a child isn’t settling in, or wants their mum or dad). Just as with a land-based kids’ club, you have to fill in all medical details and information before your child can join the club. There is a high ratio of staff to children and the staff are all fully trained, but just as with any other kind of childcare, make sure you’ve checked it out properly and you’re really happy. And of course pop back frequently. This vlog will give you an idea of what to expect from a cruise ship kid’s club.
*Stateroom (cabin) balconies do vary tremendously from ship to ship, and I think it’s worth checking these out before making a decision about what kind of stateroom will suit your family best. These videos of my staterooms on Liberty of the Seas and MSC Preziosa will give you an idea of layouts and balconies – if you’re travelling with toddlers you may want to consider booking a stateroom without a balcony, just so you can relax. But all balcony doors are lockable.
*If you’re on a big ship, it can be confusing, so do take time to familiarise yourselves with the layout and look at your maps.
In my opinion and experience, cruise holidays ARE perfectly safe for families – but just as with any other kind of holiday, it’s important not to take silly risks. It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you’re away from home but leaving a young child unattended in a swimming pool, for example, isn’t something you’d do at a hotel, so why would you do it on a ship? And there’s lots of freedom for older kids and teenagers – but they still need to understand that the same rules apply at sea as they do anywhere else.
Just bear the above tips in mind, and I guarantee your cruise will be one of the best family holidays of your lives 🙂