We have sailed on the Cunard back in 2014 and I spent hours searching the internet, posing one question to google. Are Cunard cruises family friendly? Read on to find out what I thought after spending a week onboard one of the most sophisticated cruise liners in the world. Apologies for the photography standard, I was unaware of how to operate the settings on my Olympus pen camera back then!
Google never really did answer that burning question so we took the plunge and booked Three generations of our family on to Queen Victoria for a Baltic discovery cruise. Her Daddy has a love of fine food so experiencing our cruise as Grill guests was a fantastic treat for him, Grandaddy loves cake so having a cream tea on board every afternoon was a real treat for him also. Mummy had a two-year-old that was into everything! Were the guests to be accepting of children on such a luxurious cruise? Was there going to be an area of entertainment for a feisty toddler? Would I spend the entire cruise feeling uncomfortable as a first time Mum, cruising into the unknown?
We have been on many cruises with our Daughter since she was 8 months old. I can absolutely confirm that the family activities onboard Queen Victoria are the best programmes and facilities that we have ever experienced. I feel it is my duties to go into detail and explain to other parents, my thoughts on this subject. I spoke to many Grand parents when on board Queen Victoria with my Daughter and they had no idea that Cunard offered an amazing family programme. Cunard has a reputation for the more aristocratic cruiser but in this day and age, generations of families prefer to holiday together and I agree that Cunard should be promoting these perks to their committed sailers.
Immediately after boarding, we headed to the kids club. The club was spacious with plenty of activities and tons of experienced Nanny’s on hand. I have complained before that my child has never really settled into a kids club as the staff seem so young and only qualified for the older age range. Onboard the Cunard, Nannies are of a more mature standard, some with Grandchildren themselves and this put me at ease almost instantly. Our Daughter Olivia was happy to join in with activities, participated in Arts and crafts, story times and felt very relaxed inside the kids club. My Daughter is not one to be left and has suffered from separation anxiety from a very young age. There were probably only around ten other children onboard during the month of October. After many years of experiencing kids clubs, there are some key points that set Cunard apart from other fleets we have sailed with….
The staff were genuinely aware that we were on holiday as a family and my Father in Law wanted to spend time baby sitting his Grand Daughter and carrying out Grand Daddy duties. After signing agreement /permission forms, they were both free to play with the selection of toys. I could not take photos inside the kids club (for obvious reasons) but I can tell you the toys were clean, new and there are comfortable seating areas for grand parents. Cunard offers a toy lending library which means you can borrow toys, books and even DVDs for the children to take back to your cabin if you wish. As seen in the pictures above, Cunard host a selection of ride on toys from Little Tikes. The kids club also have a very secure outdoor play area which was amazing! There were a plastic little tikes playhouse and a plastic little tikes castle with a slide which was very unique. My Daughter loved the outside play area and we were free to use it within nursery hours. Please be aware that the nursery/kids club is continually supervised and children must be accompanied when they use the outside are. The kids club policies are very strict to ensure the safety of all children on board. But it just gets better….
Cunard also has it’s very own soft play area. Again, a unique climbing area built by Tiger play and displaying pristine condition. Olivia was a little too young to use it a few years ago when we sailed but today she would be in her element climbing and conquering the seas at just Five years old.
Cunard welcomed us aboard with our toddler and we experienced luxury cruising at it’s best. We were made to feel comfortable and had access to all areas. Dining as grill guests with a child did not affect our experience at all. My Daughter has a choice of her favourite foods every evening, exclusively prepared just for her. Of course, we were respectful of fellow cruisers and made sure she behaved appropriately at dinner.
From the honest opinion of a Mother, I can highly recommend cruising on the Cunard with a young family.
If you enjoyed this post and are interested in family travel or booking your first cruise then please do click here to read another post from my series on cruising with kids.