What to Teach Your Kids Before Going on a Cruise

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Cruises are fun for the entire family but it's important for kids to know certain things when on them. Here are some helpful reminders.

During Spring Break, my family and I went on an amazing Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise. We had such a fantastic time and enjoyed every second of it.

During the cruise, I learned a lot that will prepare me for my cruise on the Liberty of the Seas, such as Helpful Tips Before BoardingIn addition, while I was traveling with my girls, I realized that there was a lot that I was having to teach and remind my girls during the cruise.

In an effort to help other parents, I thought that it might be helpful to gather up everything that I learned so you know what to teach your kids before going on a cruise. 

My girls are 11, 10 and 5 years old. For the most part, they are really good kids, in addition, they are polite and respectful to others. We have taken them on different vacations, such as Disney, skiing, and camping retreats but this was our first cruise experience.

Soon after arriving on the ship, I realized that this was a different kind of vacation that my girls would be experiencing so I found myself having to remind them about certain practices and then teaching them new things. Here are a few things that are important to teach your kids before going on a cruise:

  1. Wash Hands: With so many people on our cruise ship, I made sure to teach my girls to become overly obsessive with washing their hands during our cruise, in addition to using the hand sanitizer that the ship provided. I also taught them how to flush the toilet with their foot and how to open the door without touching it. I did not want my girls to get sick and by the middle of the trip, they became really good at this.
  2. Buffet: We ate the Windjammer, the cruise ship’s buffet, every day, so it was important for me to teach my girls how to act when there is unlimited food available to them. The biggest lesson I had to teach them was that ‘if you pick it up, you own it’. I saw so many kids that would pick up a cupcake with a pair of tongs, place it on their plate and then put it back. I made sure that they did not touch any food items with their hands and that they coughed and sneezed away from the food area and into their arm.
  3. Walk, Don’t Run: Throughout the day and night, cruisers like to nap, so it’s important for kids to be respectful and not run down the hallways. It’s also a good reminder for kids not to run on the pool deck, especially since it gets very slippery.
  4. How to Order: During this cruise, there were a few times a week that we ate in the Main Dining Hall or at one of the fine dining restaurants. Since our party was so big, oftentimes, our kids would have to sit at the very end of the table away from mom and dad. This was a great way for them to practice ordering for themselves and not relying on their mom, me, to order for them. I loved watching them from afar as they told the waiter their appetizer, meal, drink and dessert. It really made me a proud mom.
  5. Manners: When you are on a cruise, you get spoiled. The entire staff is there to make you happy, entertain you, and take care of everything that you need. Since my kids were very young, I have instilled in them the importance of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, in addition to cleaning up after themselves.
  6. Conversational Skills: For younger kids, conversational skills can be tough, especially when they are shy like my kids, but it’s important that you encourage and try to teach your kids how to talk to kids and adults properly. The staff on the ship, especially those that work at the Windjammer, love kids. Sadly, many of them have kids of their own but do not get to see them very often, so they love to give kids extra attention. There was one employee that had small kids of his own, that fell in love with my sweet 5-year-old. Every day when he saw my sweet Bella he would come up to the table and talk to her by name and ask her how she was. She responded like a normal 5-year-old would, quiet and shy, but I always encouraged her to tell our new friend what her plans were for the day.
  7. Stay Close: When the boat stops at one of its destinations, it’s important that your kids know to stay close to mom and dad or whoever is in charge of them. Since they are in a different country, they need to stay extra safe and not wander off.
  8. Be Respectful: This falls into #5 Manners. I added ‘Be Respectful’ because kids need to understand that when they are off of the boat in a different country that many vendors in the marketplace will try and sell them their products. If your child, mainly the older kids, are not interested, it is important for them to be polite and say ‘no thank you’.
  9. Different Cultures: If you plan on leaving the boat during the stops in the different countries, it is important to take the time to talk to your kids about the different sights that they might see and the different cultures that are practiced in each country. Many countries that we visited are poor, so I made sure to educate my girls the best that I could so that they would have a better understanding and appreciation.
  10. Make Friends: Being lucky enough to be stuck on a boat for 7 days, I told my girls that they may consider making friends. I told them that it was important that they try and not be shy and to also be friendly so that they could have someone to play with at the pool and in the kid’s club.

When you are on a ship for 7 days, you become very familiar with the people that are traveling with you. It’s important that kids act like kids but it’s also important that they are respectful and courteous. In addition, as I stated above, it’s important that kids are safe and try their best to be germ-free. Do you have anything that is important to teach kids before going on a cruise?

If you loved this post, you may also love these posts:

What to Pack in Your Shore Excursion Bag

What You Need to Know Before Boarding the Liberty of the Seas

How to Have the Best Experience at the Magic Kingdom at WDW 

Why I Keep Taking My Kids to Walt Disney World

Bibbidi Bobbidi Tips You Will Want to Know

Make sure to pin this post for later and others to enjoy:

Before going on a cruise, it's important to teach your kids certain things.

In an effort to help other parents, I thought that it might be helpful to gather up everything that I learned so you know what to teach your kids before going on a cruise. 

Before going on a cruise, it's important to teach your kids certain things.


  1. I just got off a 12 day European Cruise. We don’t have children but travel with family including my 7 year old niece. I have to say that I wish more parents would teach their children not to run & scream down the hallways where there are cabins. The itinerary we did was filled with early mornings so we wanted to get to bed early to be fresh for a new adventure in the AM and there were children (mostly teenagers) running the halls & screaming until 11pm or later. I’m of the theory that kids should be kids so I didn’t make a big deal about it with the crew, but it was quite disrespectful.

    • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

      Oh I agree, kids should be kids BUT… parents need to parent and running the halls is not acceptable.

  2. Denise Corey says

    I totally agree with not using your foot to flush… someone else will be touching it soon… as someone else said, you’ll be washing your hands in a minute any way…
    And you don’t want to lose a flip flop in the toilet!

  3. I would also add formal table manners for the dining room. We watched a few you tube videos about which forks to use, how to show you’re done eating, how to use your napkin, etc . It was fun and helpful.

  4. Great suggestions! It didn’t occur to me that I’d need to remind them of the everyday things but they are so excited they’re bound to forget the daily routine. Thanks! I agree with not flushing the toilet with your foot…working in hotels has opened my eyes.

  5. Please do not use your foot on the flush handle! it is a issue for people who physically can not, and a maintenance issue, it damages the internal workings and causes leaks. Also you are washing your hands in 5 more seconds. Be kind to the little old people of the world and maintenance personal.

  6. Great tips and wonderfully written. Thank you. 😊

  7. Michelle McKissack says

    What a wonderful post! I’m going to take a cruise with my kids next Spring break. I especially loved the tip about educating them on different cultures. Poor does not equal bad and something can be learned from all people and cultures.

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