They say there’s no such thing as a holiday when you have kids.

I beg to differ. There is such a thing as a holiday when you have kids: it’s either a good one or a bad one. It all depends on the type of holiday you go for.

5 reasons to take kids on a cruise

Pre-kids my perfect holiday involved a beach and/or a swimming pool, a sunbed, a good book and lots of wine.

Post-kids my idea of the perfect holiday involves anything that requires the least amount of effort. And lots of wine.

But like many things that change when you become a parent, holidays are another thing requiring you to dramatically lower your expectations and do something you’d never dreamed of doing pre-kids.

Last summer is a prime example: we spent an all-inclusive week at Hoburne’s Devon Bay holiday park – think wrist bands, on-site evening entertainment and karaoke. It was the kind of holiday I would never have considered before kids, and it was without doubt the best family holiday we’ve ever had.

I’m told the same is true of cruises.

5 reasons to take kids on a cruise

1.  Value for money. Family-friendly cruises aren’t as expensive as you might think. There are some great package deals around from companies like Planet Cruise where you’ll find P&O Cruises offering a Family Saver rate with children under 16 going free on some sailings, and others with everything from complimentary kids’ clubs to free drinks included.

2. Hassle free travel. If driving to the airport, parking the car, unloading all your stuff, piling it onto an airport transfer bus, unloading it all again, finding check in, flying with the kids and doing it all again at the other end is enough to bring you out in a cold sweat, think cruise. You can get to destinations including the Mediterranean, the fjords, the Canaries and the Baltic from UK ports, and thanks to valet parking in some cases you can drive right up to the boat.

3. Onboard entertainment. From child-friendly swimming pools with 100ft waterslides to surf simulators, puppet shows, music lessons, movie nights and Jedi Training sessions, few hotel resorts offer the variety of entertainment you’ll find on a cruise ship. So no toddlers climbing the walls because they haven’t got CBeebies or moody teenagers dragging their heels 10 feet behind you because they’re bored.

4. The excursions. From swimming with dolphins in Bermuda to hiking in Iceland, the variety of excursions on offer from cruise ships are not only educational, they’ll create memories that last a lifetime.

5. Night nurseries. Forget camping out in a hotel room with the lights turned down, the TV on low and trying not to wake the kids by opening the mini bar – many cruise lines offer night nurseries for babies from six months old and up. And they’re open until the small hours. So you can dine ‘out’, go to a deck party or just enjoy some me-time safe in the knowledge they’re tucked up and being looked after.

Have you ever been on a family cruise? Is a cruise the type of holiday you wouldn’t have considered before but would now you’re a parent?

This post was written in collaboration with Planet Cruise. As always all opinions are my own and I would never recommend a product or service I don’t truly believe in.

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