New Ship on the Dock
10 January 2010
Cruise ships have always been seen as a retirement holiday, but they can also offer affordable and hassle-free overseas holidays for families with the added benefit of just unpacking once, while seeing lots of new places.
When you wish upon a star
Cruise ships have become so popular with families that Disney has its very own fleet of cruise ships complete with Broadway-style live shows and Disney movies playing while you swim in a Disney-themed swimming pool.
It’s latest ship, the Disney Dream
, features an AquaDuck Water Coaster, an animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean and a Royal Palace dining room inspired by the classic Disney films Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty.
While that all sounds like the trip of a lifetime for the kids, I’m left wondering how I would ever get over it after finding it hard to get the Disney PlayHouse music out of my head after only half an hour of television watching…
Rival Dreamworks has its own beautiful machine taking the big screen to the high seas. And it’s big. The world’s largest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas
, has 21 swimming pools and is even divided into neighbourhoods. The cruise ship signed a deal with Dreamworks to bring its movie characters to life on board.
Hop onto a full-size carousel in the boardwalk neighbourhood or stroll in Central Park – a meandering garden and lush public space lined with foliage and fine restaurants. It also boasts the largest dedicated youth area at sea for a reasonable cost considering all food and activities are included or come at a minimal surcharge. This monster of the sea must be seen to be believed!
Closer to home, Auckland now has its very own superliner, the Pacific Pearl
. With three on-board kids’ centres featuring arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, disco and talent show nights, as well as hip-hop classes and mocktail parties for the older kids, there will never be an ‘are we there yet,’ but rather a ‘do we really have to get off this amazing boat?’
Pacific Pearl sails from Auckland to the tropical Pacific Islands and along Australia’s far north coast, as well as on food and wine themed short trips and was launched with a spectacular Pacific Island Christmas Festival in honour of the first-ever superliner to call Auckland its home port.
Cruise Ship Tips:
The longer the trip, the older the passengers and the less likely you are to find many children so check that kid’s programmes are running on the dates you’re sailing.
It’s unlikely there will be a bath in your cabin, so if you’re travelling with a baby, think about taking an inflatable baby bath in your suitcase.
Bring your baby monitor, because even sitting on the deck outside your cabin the sound of the sea may prevent you from hearing a crying baby.
Many cruise ships don’t allow passengers in their third trimester so if you’re pregnant make sure you take a note from your midwife or doctor to verify your due date and pick a cruise in gentle waters because you might not be able to safely take seasickness medication.