How to Prepare for Your Gay Family Cruise

Going on a gay family cruise requires about the same amount of preparation as a family with heterosexual parents. Traveling with children, especially if they are of varying ages, calls for taking into account their individual needs and making sure that these are timely met. To ensure that they enjoy every moment of their vacation, take the time to plan for the cruise so you will only have fond memories of your getaway.

Do Your Homework

Compared to years past, gay parents today have their pick of cruises to bring their family to and enjoy a few days out at sea. Still, you may prefer to search for those trips that are specifically marketed to gay families. Scour cruise forums and reviews for you to have a general idea of what to expect and for what to prepare. Once you have narrowed down your options, engage your partner and children on the decision-making process. Part of the fun is being involved in the planning stage and setting everyone's mood for the oncoming adventure. Keep in mind, however, that you and your significant other have the last word on the choices. Just like any other vacation, cruises require a certain budget that you have to consider before booking. Factor in the extras like tips, cost of additional beverages, souvenirs and shore excursions so you will not be caught by surprise.

Lay Down Rules

If it will be the first time you travel as a family, you may need to sit down and discuss with the children possible scenarios when encountering other guests on the ship. Even with the cruise being targeted to gay families, you can rest easy if you anticipate situations that could make you or the children uncomfortable, and give them tricks to store up their sleeves to diffuse the awkwardness. You can also decide which house rules should apply during the cruise, such as keeping regular meal and bed times. Orient the whole troop on the deck plans and give each a copy of the brochure. Most important, let them be aware of the safety precautions on the ship and while on shore. Create an emergency plan and agree on a meeting place that should be easy enough for even the little ones to remember.

Make Arrangements

When you are ready to book your cruise, jot down all questions and special requests you may have so you will remember to ask your travel agent. If you wish to book online, you can have these questions answered by calling the ship's customer service number. Many cruises now offer traditional and flexible dining options so you can set up your choice when you book. Make sure that your family is healthy and fit for travel. Visit your doctor for clearance or advice if anyone has allergies or other illness that requires medication. If your children are old enough to pack, inspect their things to make sure no prohibited items on board are brought. Last, cruises out of the country need everyone, no matter the age, to have passports so allow enough time for the processing of these.

Find a Cruise

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,