Club Traveler

Prepare for Your Next Family Cruise With These Member Tips

A cruise with your family is an ideal time to bond and share memories with each other. Make sure your trip is all fun and no frustration by preparing for the journey ahead. From packing kid-friendly items to choosing the right room, there are several tips and tricks to help you and your family sail smoothly through vacation.

Don’t just take our word for it: Check out these tips straight from your fellow Club Members who recently cruised with their families through CruisesOnly.

Club Member Jonathan L. and his family went on a 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Breeze in March. Sailing round trip from Port Canaveral, the tropical tour included stops in the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos.

Ready to embark on your own voyage? Jonathan suggests Members do the following:

1. Stay hydrated. Keep yourself and your kids hydrated, especially in warm climates. “Pack refillable water bottles to use throughout the day for the included water, lemonade and tea,” Jonathan says.

2. Seek budget-friendly entertainment options. Find new and creative ways to entertain the whole family while staying within budget. To do so, Jonathan says, “pay attention to the daily newsletters and onboard apps to find out discounted activities, such as half-price arcade games and set activity reminders.”

3. Allow for free time. Although a family cruise is a great time to come together, it’s always exciting to let everyone find their own adventures. Jonathan says to “make use of the kids club to allow for adults and kids to have their own time.” Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all!

Stefanie W. took a 4-Night Catalina & Baja Mexico cruise round trip from Long Beach, California, aboard the Carnival Imagination, stopping in Catalina Island, California, and Ensenada, Mexico. Stefanie reminds Members to:

1. Choose your room wisely, keeping in mind your family’s preferences. “If you’re prone to motion sickness like I am, make sure you request a room that’s as close to the middle of the ship as possible. I normally book an inside cabin because I don’t spend that much time in my room, other than to sleep. My kids, however, LOVE having a window or balcony to see the ocean and scenery outside. So, if I can afford it, I’ll splurge for them. YOLO!”

2. Plan ahead for the day. “We love excursions, so we always research what activities are available and pick one or two or three (depending on how many days we port) if we haven’t done it before. If that’s out of your budget, there are always tons of activities to do on the ship! Enjoy every moment of it!”

3. Bring formal attire. “Depending on how many days your cruise is, there may be more than one formal night. Make sure you find out so you know how many beautiful gowns and ensembles to pack. Most folks, especially first-timers, don’t know about these special nights, but make sure you come prepared and partake! It’s so wonderful to see so many beautiful people and their families all dressed to the nines enjoying themselves. There’s no such thing as being overdressed, so don’t worry about overdoing it!”

Want to book your next cruise now? Head to to choose from more than 150 vessels visiting nearly 2,000 ports.

*Top photo by Steve Mason/Getty Images