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7 reasons a cruise is the perfect family getaway

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Planning a family vacation? Put ‘cruise’ at the top of your list

Trying to plan the perfect family getaway can prove overwhelming. Not only are the options endless, but everyone has an opinion and those opinions don't always sync up. But if you're looking for a real crowd-pleaser your whole family can get on board with, consider a cruise.

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Whether you're a veteran cruiser or a cruising newbie, this idea should appeal to you for no shortage of reasons.

1. The value can't be beat

When you go on a cruise, nearly everything you'll need is tied up in a neat little bow: the actual travel, the lodging, the food and most of the entertainment too. And since cruise lines practically always have some special running on discounted rates, you'll be amazed at how affordable it is per night for your entire family — you'd be hard-pressed to find the same value if you booked a hotel, made reservations at a restaurant, and went to a show somewhere on land.

2. It's the ultimate in convenience

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everything you need is right on board with you. Everyone only needs to worry about unpacking their suitcase once for the duration of the trip because their room won't change. You can visit multiple destinations without ever having to repack and unpack and repack and... well, you get the picture.

More: How to have an awesome family vacation

3. There's something for everyone

It is practically impossible to get bored when you're on a cruise. Onboard amenities can include spas, casinos, water parks, movie theaters and even ropes courses! You can pick the ship with the amenities that appeal to your family the most, ensuring everyone has their own version of a dream vacation. When you add in the wide variety of onshore excursions available, the world really will feel like your oyster.

4. No one has to navigate

Unlike the classic family road trips where someone is too stubborn to ask for directions and you wind up stranded in a comically bad hotel somewhere, transportation is all taken care of when you're on a cruise. No one in the family has to guzzle coffee in an attempt to stay awake while driving late at night. No one has to be cramped up in the backseat with all the luggage. It's all taken care of so you can just focus on enjoying the experience. The cruise ship even covers ground (er, sea) while you sleep, so you can rest assured there's no stagnant downtime getting from point A to point B.

5. Two words: Separate togetherness

As a parent, you probably don't get as many opportunities to travel as you did before you expanded your family. On a cruise, you can still get the sense of having a grown-up getaway — even if you're traveling with little ones in tow. Cruise ships have fantastic programs to keep children entertained during the day so Mom and Dad can kick back and relax. Everyone wins.

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6. The culture of travel, only less complicated

Introducing children to travel and to different people and cultures early will put them well on the way to becoming citizens of the world, so to speak. But trying to travel traditionally with small children can be daunting — the language barriers and safety considerations alone may make you second-guess any such travel until your children are older. On a cruise, though, your children can still meet people from all over the world and be exposed to different cultures... often without ever leaving the ship.

7. The food, y'all

Come on — you had to know this one was coming, right? When you travel, the cost of food can quickly add up. Before you know it, your family will have racked up a tab that rivals your total travel expenses. However, a cruise includes just about every kind of food imaginable — and it's essentially always available. The scents of cuisines from all over the world waft through the air, beckoning you to try them all. There are both sit-down and casual options, and everything is high-quality and prepared by chefs that really know their stuff. Got a picky eater? They'll be no match for the inexhaustible culinary options that are available on a cruise.

Planning a family vacation? Put ‘cruise’ at the top of your list
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

This post was sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line. To enter to win a seven day Carnival cruise, click here.

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