3 Reasons to Cruise with Kids

image of a cruise ship sailing through crystal blue waters

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So you’re considering going on a cruise with kids and you’re looking for tips? I can help! There are so many reasons to cruise with kids! I’m happy to share 3 (of the many) reasons my husband and I enjoy going on cruises with our kids.

Being able to travel throughout the year is one of our favorite perks of homeschooling. For a number of reasons, going on a cruise with kids has recently become one of my favorite ways to travel. I’m going to be sharing 3 (of many) reasons to cruise with kids today, so read on and definitely look around the blog for even more homeschool travel tips!

Planning Homeschool Travel with Kids

Ok so…first things first. When it comes to actually planning the cruise, or any sort of travel, I 100% recommend utilizing the skills of a travel agent. There are tons of travel agents out there, each with their own special areas of expertise. As a client, it doesn’t cost anything extra when booking homeschool travel through a travel agent. It’s really a no-brainer to me because I’m happy to help support a local business and I’m open to any an all travel tips available!

In addition to utilizing the amazing skills of a travel agent (double bonus if they’re a homeschooling travel agent!), you should totally check out these tips for traveling on a budget from my friend Genni over at Traveling Franklins. Saving a few bucks on travel is always helpful, especially when Genni makes it so easy to save!

Elizabeth Dukart and son onboard Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas ship on the North Star attraction during a homeschool cruise with kids.
While on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas ship, we got to take a ride in the North Star to view the ship and sea from above!

Deciding which Cruise to Take

When you’re ready to actually plan your homeschool cruise, there are many different ports and cruise lines to choose from. There’s everything from simple, basic cruise ships to ships that could be described as floating cities complete with amusement parks! Do you want a laid back trip or do you want plenty of entertainment for the kids?

The cruise port you select will also often determine the ports your ship can visit during your homeschool travel adventure. For example, on ships departing from the east coast, you’ll find that most itineraries will include stops such as the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Canada, and New England. On ships departing from the west coast, you’ll find that most itineraries will include stops such as Alaska, Mexico, British Columbia, and the Panama Canal.

Two boys with a towel animal made by a Royal Caribbean house keeper.
ALL the towel animals, please! The kids loved going into the cruise stateroom to see towel animals on the bed!

In addition, you’ll also need to decide how long you’d like your cruise to last. Maybe you want a quick 2-night getaway? Maybe you’re open to spending 11 nights at sea? Maybe…just maybe…you’re able to cruise for an entire year?! (Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate World Cruise looks like an absolute dream come true!)

Whichever you decide, there are plenty of opportunities for learning and hands-on experiences that are sure to enhance the life of your homeschooling family!

Why Cruise with Kids?

Before our first homeschool cruise, I was totally nervous. I had never gone on a cruise before and I had booked a 7-night cruise for our first cruise with the kids. What had I gotten myself into?!

As overwhelming as it may have been while packing for the cruise and figuring out educational activities for the kids during our trip, I’m now completely hooked on cruising with kids.

Why do I think it’s such a great idea to cruise with kids? Why do I think other homeschooling families should take advantage of the educational opportunities cruising allows for? Let’s get to it!

Young child with a thumbs up sitting in front of The Abyss slide on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas ship.
The boys and I all went down this massive multi-story slide called The Abyss on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas ship. It was SO much fun!

Packing for a Cruise

I hate packing for a trip. I’ll procrastinate by waiting until the very last minute because figuring out clothing, toiletries, etc. for a trip all seems super boring and overwhelming to me. Don’t even get me started on unpacking a suitcase after a trip.

One of my favorite things about going on a cruise with kids is that we get to visit multiple places, but I only have to pack once. There’s no having to schlep suitcases to and from various hotel rooms. No having to unpack my toothbrush from the toiletry bag at every.single.stop. No putting our clothes into a hotel dresser only to pack them all up in a day or two to head to the next stop.

Am I the only one that uses hotel dressers and closets anymore? My husband would much rather live out of a suitcase. I don’t get it.

Anyways, I love going on a cruise because we get to visit multiple places, but only have to pack our suitcases once!

printable cruise journal encourage making memories and learning while cruising

Off-Season Pricing

Just like our other homeschool travel adventures, being able to cruise with kids during the off-season can often result in some pretty substantial monetary savings. This is one of my top reasons that, as a homeschooling family, I love to cruise with kids.

Think about it. Families with kids that attend traditional schools have to wait until school holidays or the summer to travel. Being that less than 7% of school-age kids in the United States are homeschooled, this means that traditionally-schooled families are often limited to traveling at the same time as 93% of families with school-age kids.

Um. Been there, done that, not going back.

That Homeschool Family in front of a Welcome to St. Kitts sign
We got to Visit St. Kitts & Nevis on one of our cruises!

Travel expenses are substantially higher when there’s a high demand, so it just makes sense to cruise with kids during the off-season.

Don’t believe me? Go ahead and see for yourself. Choose from one of the cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Disney are some of the most popular) and go through the process of pricing out 2 similar cruises, but make one cruise for, say, January, and one during Spring Break or the Summer.

I’m willing to bet you’ll see an incredible pricing difference.

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The Educational Opportunities

Listen, I’m all for road tripping and visiting various states throughout the United States with my kids, but cruising with kids is at the top of my mental list of homeschool travel options.

As a homeschooling parent, I’m all about taking advantage of as many quality hands-on and immersive educational experiences as possible. Why “just” read about a book on El Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico when there’s a (reasonably priced) way to visit?! Why “only” watch a video on Maho Beach in Saint Maarten when we could actually visit, meet the locals, and experience laying on a beach while planes fly over?!

Chris and Elizabeth Dukart on board Oasis of the Seas in 2022
My husband and I even get to have dates while on a cruise with kids! They go to the kids section, we go to a show!

There are even opportunities for learning while ON a cruise ship! Many ships offer kids programming featuring science experiments and there might even be opportunities to see Broadway shows or listen to various types of live music.

(sidenote: Before we leave on a cruise, I make sure to print out this cruising journal so my kids can record their experiences. It makes for a great travel momento!)

Who knows – your kids might even form friendships with kids from other countries while cruising. They could end up being pen pals!

Taking the kids on a cruise can be super educational!

Ready to Cruise with Kids?

I don’t know about you, but just writing this article has me itching to plan another cruise for my family. I’m hooked!

If you have any questions about cruising with kids, planning educational travel, or really…anything homeschool related, definitely send an email or comment below. I’m super passionate about creating awesome homeschooling experiences for families and would be happy to help however I can.

In the meantime, keep an eye on my social media accounts for even more homeschooling tips, humor, and info on homeschool travel!

Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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