When you think of taking the family on a cruise, the kids clubs will undoubtedly be discussed. Every family cruise line has some type of kids club but that doesn’t mean your children will want to go. It is okay to enjoy the cruise without sending the kids to the kids club. There’s no shortage of things to do together on a family cruising vacation.

Live Shows

Every cruise ship has some form of live entertainment, and often it is appropriate for the entire family. Check the show listings to see what is available and then expand the kids’ horizons at a show.


Much like live shows, there are often movie screenings on the ship. While they may not all be new releases, there’s usually a movie. There’s also popcorn and other concession items available for purchase. It’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours.


My kids could spend the better part of every day at the pool, and most ships have several pools to choose from. You can also find an ice cream machine at the pool deck of at least one of the family pools, which is another fun way to pass some time.


Spend some time showing the kids your skills in the arcade. Nearly every ship has one, but they come at a cost. Make sure you don’t let the kids go too crazy, or you’ll end up with a huge bill on disembarkment day. I speak from experience!

Take Classes

Many ships offer classes that families can take together, such as cake decorating, art classes or even astronomy. On one cruise, my daughter was able to design a Barbie dress. That was followed by a tea party with other moms and daughters.


Your time onboard can be busy, so there’s nothing wrong with scheduling in a little downtime. Bring a Sudoku book and deck of cards on your cruise and appreciate some quiet time together. Grab a book and read on your balcony or the pool deck. Watch some television in your cabin or take a nap. You’re on vacation, enjoy it!

Walks around deck

Cruise ships are huge, so taking a walk around the ship can be time consuming and a great form of exercise. Many ships have a walking/running track on their top deck too.


Each ship is different, but whichever one you are on, there will be a slew of fun activities onboard. I have seen surf lessons, skating, rock climbing and mini golf on some ships. I’ve also noticed waterslides, bowling and even a full size race car simulation on other ships.


Seek out the shops on the ship and do a little shopping. There’s bound to be some fun items that you will enjoy looking at. Of course, there’s bound to be some things that kids will want to take home.

Deck parties

Every cruise has deck parties at some point through the sailing. The first is usually on disembarkment day. Theses parties are a great way to spend some quality time together.


Depending on the ages of your kids, you may be able to take them to the spa, the salon or the gym. Many ships offer spa services for teens or children. Teenagers will be welcome to work out with mom or dad at the gym.

Grab a snack

Food is one of the highlights of cruising, so let the kids indulge a little. Grab an ice cream cone or enjoy some pastries. Dig into a pizza by the pool or call for room service. How often can the kids grab a snack whenever they want?

Go to the Kids Club with them

Kids clubs usually have a day or two where everyone is welcome to visit. This is a great time to go in with the kids and take advantage of some of the activities. Maybe the kids will like it so much that they’ll try it on their own.

Family cruising is a wonderful way to spend time together and see new places. Whether your kids go to the kids club or stay with you, there’s always something to do.

Want to book a cruise with the family? Let me get you a quote! I am a home-based travel agent with Stonetown Travel and I can find the right cruise for you.

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