Multi-generation vacations are on the rise as families look to spend quality time together and create lasting memories in an increasingly busy world. Vision Travel’s VP of Marketing, Stephen Smith, is a veteran of six (yes six!) multi-generational vacations, here is his account of his family’s latest adventure on board Norweigan Cruise Line.
5 Reasons Why NCL is a Great Option for a Multi-Generation Vacation
When considering a family vacation that includes multiple generations people often conjure images of Home Alone or Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Vacation movies.
Chaos; impending turmoil; some sort of argument that lasts a lifetime.
That was then. This is now.
Multi-generational family vacations are top of the list for many parents and grandparents these days.
This past March, my family went on our 6th annual family March break vacation. We had been to Florida a few times, to Bermuda once and to Barbados two years in a row. All were good vacations but we were looking for something with more variety.
This year we set our sights on a cruise and the NCL Getaway out of Miami was our itinerary of choice. We sailed to Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.
Here are my 5 Reasons why this was a great way to spend a vacation with your parents, your siblings and their children.
1. Freestyle Dining
Grandparents want the family to eat together. Meal time is family time and there is no two ways about it.
However, trying to get 7 adults and 6 kids ranging from the age of 7 to 14 all ready and in one place for a specific time is like herding cats.
Freestyle dining meant that we could aim for a time and if we were a bit late, it was no problem.
If we changed our minds about where we wanted to eat, it was no problem.
We might have to wait 15 minutes once we get to the restaurant but a few smoothies and a few cocktails made that a thoroughly enjoyable wait.
2. Activities on the Ship
The NCL Getaway has something for everyone.
Our kids really enjoyed the ropes course, rock climbing and sports court and the kids camp at night.
My sister had a great time at the spa, her husband rode the water slides a family record 83 times and my brother got through 3 books on some lazy afternoons at sea on the upper deck.
My dad was a close second on the water slides and always seemed to be first in line on the ropes course. He still got in his afternoon nap so he was primed for happy hour and my mom found some peace and quiet on her balcony to read a book after having lunch with her family.
There was never a dull moment unless you searched one out. Something for everyone.
After dinner we would check out the shows – the entire family went to see Million Dollar Quartet and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it (remember, age 7 to 76). The adults also got to enjoy a few shows while the kids were at the kids at camp for a Hollywood or Spy themed evening.
My brother and his niece went to Illusionarium, an interactive magic show that they raved about and my parents went to the Dueling Pianos late night (twice!)
On the pool deck the kids loved the ice carving and the dance parties.
There are so many entertainment options for all different ages; everyone is happy and fulfilled in their own way.
4. Zip-lining in Roatan
As much as the onboard experience is fantastic, one thing I like about cruising is the ability to visit different countries in the span of a week. What I have learned is that if you don’t plan a tour in port, you are missing out on seeing the town/city/port. Walking around once you got off the ship just doesn’t cut it.
Our entire family, ranging in age from my 7-year-old niece to my 76-year-old mother went zip-lining. 11 zip-lines through the Honduras jungle. Serious, unadulterated fun. I highly recommend this tour.
Whatever the port, and whatever the activity, if it can include an age range of 69 years it will create a lifetime of memories.
5. Escaping to your balcony
While the kids (young ones and old ones) were up on the ropes course and riding the slides, my mom would escape to her balcony for some peace and quiet to read her book.
My parents also roamed the ship a few times and took in some afternoon activities in the atrium when life on the top deck tired them out.
It created a great balance for them; they could have some high-energy family time but then easily find some quieter activities when they wanted to relax.
Stephen Smith, Vision Travel