Back in 2007, Ironman and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon and really enjoyed it.  Then last year, my parents decided to take our family on one over the Christmas holiday.  Although I loved going on a cruise for my honeymoon, I quickly decided that cruising is the way to go for families.  Here are 7 reasons why...

ALL INCLUSIVE - Usually when Ironman and I go on a trip, we have to book our flights, book our hotel, book a rental car (depending on the destination) and then pay for visas, food and entertainment once we arrive.  So, it makes it hard to plan and budget since we end up with more expenses that we originally thought.  The cruises are so nice because you pay one time for all your cabins, food, entertainment, etc.  Of course, it costs more for alcoholic drinks, excursions and spa treatments, but those are extra luxuries that you don't actually have to have in order to have a great time on the cruise.  Cruises are great when you are on a tight budget because you can really control your spending, while having a great vacation!

PRIVATE CABINS - When traveling with such a large family, it can be hard to make sure that everyone is comfortable.  Couples want their own private room and many people even feel better when they have a more private bathroom.  This is another reason why I love cruises.  Last year, my mom and dad had a cabin, Ironman and I had a cabin, my sister and her husband had a cabin and then our two youngest sisters had a cabin.  Everyone had plenty of space and we were all able to sleep and rest comfortably!

FOOD AND DRINKS - Meals can be another difficult part of traveling with so many people.  One person wants to get a great salad, but another hates vegetables.  That's ok!  On cruises, everyone can eat whatever they want every meal since there are so many options between room service, buffets, restaurants, pool side bars and more!

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT - Entertainment can be pretty expensive these days.  For example, if my parents took all of us to see a movie, it would easily be over $100 and that's without snacks and drinks.  I love how the cruise has live shows by the pool each day and broadway shows at the theatre at night.  It's no extra charge and most are shows that the whole family can enjoy.

Here are a few things that cost extra, but may be what you'd enjoy...

SHOPPING - Although the prices were too high for me onboard, it was fun to walk around with my mom and sisters and look in the clothing and jewelry shops!

EXCURSIONS - In each port, you can get off the ship and walk around for free, but many people like to sign up for onshore excursions for site seeing and adventure sports!

SPA - The cruise itself is super relaxing and I was content with a book by the pool, but if you want to get a massage or facial, the spa is a great option!

Has your family taken a cruise together?  If so, what was your favorite part?

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