We've got ALL the ideas to keep the kids busy and amused over the summer holidays.
Question: How can parents keep kids busy over the upcoming summer break?
Jennifer Vandekreeke: Get outside in nature! We live in the most beautiful country and there are beaches, bush trails, lakes and ponds waiting to be explored. Nothing engages a curious mind like Mother Nature. And, when everyone has had enough sun, it's time to get creative. Why not create your own scavenger hunt, build a spaceship out of spaghetti and marshmallows or bake a rainbow cake? Who knows, you might even have more fun than the kids…
Question: What can families do if it's really hot?
Jen Baxter: When those scorching summer temperatures arise, so long as you've got your sun cream and sun hats handy, hopping in the water is the best option to keep the kids cool. The kids we see on our cruises rave about Carnival WaterWorks™ - a kid's haven thanks to our waterslides! So, why not take the kids to the local pool for an afternoon swim or to the beach?
Question: Do you have inside-friendly activities for when it's raining?
Carolina Castillo: We have heaps of indoor activities to keep kids engaged and entertained. Our youth programs are split into five age-specific groups with activities designed to engage each age group.
For the older kids, there's T-shirt decorating, scavenger hunts and inner tube relays and picture bingo, make your own Playdoh and sing-alongs for the littlies.
Question: What are the best options for families on a budget?
Jennifer Vandekreeke: Holidays can become expensive when you factor in not just meals and accommodation, but all the snacks and activities that come with family holidays. That's why cruising is such a great value for families. With 24 hour free pizza and ice cream and youth programs included in the price of your Carnival cruise, sticking to your budget is easy peasy and the family has a blast.
To get the best price, look out for deals throughout the year for a cruise holiday for example, Carnival Cruise Line have just launched their gigantic Escape With Carnival Sale for selected sailings between 28 Jan 2018 and 30 December 2019 so get in early and save money by booking your next summer holiday!
If you're staying home, keep your eyes peeled for local events and activities that are on during the summer break such as sporting days and family meet-ups where the kids can have fun and the adults can catch-up. Family excursions always make for a great day out too, such as bushwalks where you can pack a picnic for a day-out. Just make sure you create a checklist and are prepared for the whole day.
Question: What advice do you have for a stress-free holiday?
Carolina Castillo: Allow time. Carting children anywhere always takes time but when you're loaded with luggage bags and beach gear in tow it's often a good idea to amend travel time and allow for urgent pleas. Don't forget also, extra time will likely be needed for toilet breaks, pit stops and tantrums!
Jen Baxter: It's okay to say no. While there are many fun parties and activities happening during the festive summer season especially while holidaying with others, you don't have to say yes to everything! It's important to prioritise family time and some downtime for you and the kids.
Jennifer Vandekreeke: Find your balance. The key to a great family holiday is finding the right balance between family together time and every-do-their-own-thing time. That's why a Carnival Cruise is a great option. With Youth Programs for kids from 2 to 17 that are free until 10pm, parents can relax and recharge knowing their kids are having a blast. Best of all, while the kids stay entertained, parents can chill out and reconnect in the child-free Serenity™ Retreat, featuring a pool, bar, chilled live music and sun loungers.
Question: How does Carnival Cruise Line keep kids entertained?
Carolina Castillo: Carnival Cruise Line has over 45-daily activities onboard that kids and families can enjoy. These include things like Carnival WaterWorks featuring the Green Thunder water slide, Seuss at Sea™ Entertainment, pools, mini golf, and much more!
In partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, Seuss at Sea brings to life the magic of Dr. Seuss' timeless books in a variety of ways, including a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends; a special Dr. Seuss book reading, and the Seuss-a-Palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade onboard.
Best of all, Carnival Cruise Line offers a Kids Clubs for all ages so your young ones can take part in tons of activities, make new friends and hang with people their own age. The Kids Clubs are designed for children from 2 to 11 years and there are also two teens groups for those aged between 12-14 years and 15-17 years.
Interview by Brooke Hunter