Travel SOS: Best cruise for non-cruisers

Anna wants to take her family on a cruise and wants to know which one is best.

Woman standing in front of a cruise ship in port

Anna wants to take her family on a cruise and wants to know which one is best.


Q. Anna
My husband and I are avid cruisers and we would like to take our daughter and her family on a cruise with us, but they are not enthusiastic about the idea. They see it as boring and are worried about their kids getting seasick or claustrophobic. I think I have finally convinced them to give it a go, but I was wondering what cruises might best suit first-time cruisers.

woman standing in front of a cruise ship in port

A. Many non-cruisers are worried about seasickness and it is a lot of money to spend on a holiday if you are going to feel unwell the first time, or, worse still, spend time looking after kids who are going to be unwell. The solution to this is to consider a river cruise instead of an ocean cruise.

River cruises are also much more destination-focused, meaning that you spend far more time onshore, which removes a lot of the questions about being claustrophobic or boring, which they have also raised as concerns.

While river cruises sometimes don’t have the luxury and onboard amenities of bigger ocean liners, some are catching up in this regard.

If you do end up opting for an ocean cruise, remember most modern ships have stabilisers to limit passenger seasickness.

While ocean ships are less destination-focused, it is still an odd argument to suggest your daughter and her family will be bored. Look for an activity that the family already likes and then look for a cruise ship that offers suitable experiences.

Modern ocean liners offer all sorts of experiences from rock climbing to surfing, flying foxes, ice-skating, circuses and even skydiving.

Read here for some of the activities on offer on some of the world’s best cruise ships.

Have you ever had to convince friends or family about the benefits of cruising? How did you do it?

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    9th Nov 2019
    Would suggest an Australian P&O 7-day cruise from Sydney or Brisbane up the coast to Hamilton Island, Cairns and back via Airlie Beach. No passports required. Interesting river cruises are mostly in Asia and Europe; they are more port intensive but do cost a lot of dough. If money is no object, go for them.
    9th Nov 2019
    I forgot to mention select your state room mid ship on the lower decks, should seasickness is your concern, much less rolling in heavy seas. All these ships have stabilisers these days. Went to sea 50 years ago and it was a different experience then.
    9th Nov 2019
    Don't forget that river cruises don't take kids under something like 10 or 12 and there is nothing for them to do on those cruises, not made for kids thank goodness
    10th Nov 2019
    Depends on the ages of the kids and what activities they actually like to do. You need to ask them and their answers might all be different which poses an issue. Rightly stated most river cruises don't allow kids and on the whole attract a much older age group which would bore the kids to death even if they were allowed go. Why cruise? It's not just seasickness it's also the confined space and the danger of needing to keep track of kids at sea so they don't do stupid things and fall overboard. There are a lot of other holidays and places to take kids.
    10th Nov 2019
    Most Aussie cruise ships have "Adult free" kids clubs, supervised by trained staff providing activities for younger children. Mostly I have just seen happy kids on local cruises - just make sure the cruise you chose is not too long in duration. Pool area though you have to watch out for them.
    10th Nov 2019
    If you are already enthusiastic cruisers then you already know that cruise ships are like floating towns these days with so many amenities it would be hard to participate in all of them. Just pick a cruise line that specifically caters for the age of the kids.

    Or don't force the rest of the family to do what you want. That can cause resentment no matter how good the cruise company.

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