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Tsh Oxenreider

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Tsh Oxenreider is the full-time blogger behind Simple Mom and the founder and creative director of Simple Living Media, a blog network dedicated to helping people live intentionally (while throwing perfection out the window). She thinks a library card, a Netflix subscription, and a passport are some of the greatest parenting tools in the universe.

She’s a wife to Kyle, mama to Tate, Reed, and Finn, and is the author of Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time: 52 Bites for Making Life Simpler. She is currently working on her next book. Tsh and her nomadic family currently live in Bend, Oregon, but several dots around the globe have also been called home (her 7-year-old has been on 53 airplanes and counting). Together, they love to travel, read books, go camping, and make homemade pizza for Friday Family Movie Night.

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7 Common Family Vacation Dilemmas (and How a Cruise Can Solve Them)

By Tsh Oxenreider |

So I started by telling you how much we needed a family vacation, and how we discovered that a cruise is possibly the ideal family vacation. I listed a few reasons why cruises are so kid-friendly these days, and then I shared my ideas on how to pack for one.

As I wrap up my series about the things I learned from our recent Norwegian Cruise Line vacation, I thought I’d share some of the more common “situations” families face as they plan their vacation, and how a cruise could possibly solve them.

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7 Ways a Cruise Can Solve Family Vacation Dilemmas

1. Your family: Has a tight schedule and not a lot of vacation time

Solution: Norwegian Cruise Line has cruises from 1 to 28 days, so you can choose from a wide variety of itineraries. Yep—one-day cruises! You can enjoy the boat for an overnight romantic date to celebrate an anniversary, or gather friends and family to celebrate a big milestone. There's also quite a few 3 and 4-day itineraries that sound like lots of fun.

If you’ve been on a cruise before, what piece of advice can you share with a first-timer? Or if you’ve never been, is there anything in particular holding you back?

A big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read more from Tsh at Simple Mom, or follow her on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest.

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About Tsh Oxenreider


Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh Oxenreider is the founder and creative director of Simple Living Media, the editor of Simple Mom, the voice behind The Simple Mom Podcast, and the author of several books. While she's working on her next book, Tsh lives in Oregon with her husband and three kids and enjoys sunshine, running, and good coffee. Read bio and latest posts → Read Tsh's latest posts →

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21 thoughts on “7 Common Family Vacation Dilemmas (and How a Cruise Can Solve Them)

  1. Penelope says:

    That is the one thing I LOVE about cruises. You pay for it. and that’s it. (aside from drinks and tipping). There really aren’t any hidden fees that trap you when you go on stationary vacations. Love me a good cruise :]

  2. Renee says:

    Great advice. I have a family that likes to do different things, and a cruise was great for us. I was lucky to get the grandparents to come along, too, so my husband and I had plenty of grown-up time and the kids got to bond/get spoiled by Nana and Pop-pop.

  3. Heather says:

    These are such good points! I definitely want to check out a 3 or 4 day cruise – maybe my husband and I can actually get enough vacation days!

  4. Amy says:

    That Splash Academy looks perfect for my daughter! I can just picture her running around while we relax on the deck….

  5. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the tips! My family is looking for a long-weekend kind of vacation to take this summer and I had ruled out cruises because I had no idea there were so many 3- and 4-day options. I’m definitely reconsidering now.

  6. Sandy says:

    You’re so right about cruises being the best for families on a budget. My husband and I realized this long ago and took a cruise for our honeymoon and have been taking cruise vacations ever since! This year my whole side of the family is trying to plan a joint cruise to somewhere tropical… it’s just been hectic trying to work it out with everyone’s schedules.

  7. Harmony says:

    Cruises work best for my family because i have 4 kids and they all have such different personalities. the great thing though is that when we’re on a cruise, they can all do what they like, and then we all meet up again for dinner! LOVE cruises!

  8. Bridget says:

    Sea Bands are amazing! I swear by them even on short boat rides or long car trips, like on a ferry. Being seasick is no reason to miss out on a cruise.

  9. Alix says:

    My family is all into such different things that I do think cruises are the perfect solution. No other vacation could satisfy everyone the way my last cruise did!

  10. Janey says:

    The problem that I have with going on cruises is that I don’t live close to a port and so it’s always a matter of having to drive there/fly there and then taking off for the cruise, otherwise I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise because it’s a perfect vacation package. Hm, but I need to keep a look out for cheap flights because I like the fact that there is such a good range of times!

  11. Cynthia says:

    Wow a cruise really is a great idea for a vacation with the whole extended family! My young sons would love the kids’ club and my sisters’ teenagers would go crazy for the teen club and the freedom they would have to roam the ship on their own. My sisters and I could hit the spa while our husbands hit the casino. Can’t wait to run this one by at the next family meeting!

  12. Diana Stone says:

    I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise. I had no idea there were 1 day cruises until I read this, but quite honestly the 28 day one is what I’d pick. ;)

  13. Tsh Oxenreider says:

    @Heather and @Wendy, I know, I thought 3-4 day cruises sounded perfect for a little romantic getaway with my hubby. That’s just the right amount of time, and no need to mess with travel and food. Just laying around. ;)

    @Janey, I understand what you mean. But if you are able to get to a port, they’re pretty affordable vacation options, so even with a flight, it might not be unreasonable. Just give it a shot and see what you think!

    @Diana Stone, TOTALLY with you! I was drooling over Norwegian’s 28-day cruise through Scandinavia down to Spain. Yes, please.

  14. designhermomma says:

    I would LOVE to take my family on a cruise, I adore how there is a little bit of everything, for everybody. And I also love the idea that the food is already included. Makes budgeting easy.

  15. Marie says:

    I always forget that you can cruise for a short time, 3-4 days. I always think it takes a good 10 days to make it happen. So this was great to remember you can have a great time in 4 days on a cruise!

  16. Kyle says:

    We had a number of people who were in wheelchairs on the boat as well. Even on the island, Norwegian had special chairs available for wheeling around on the sand! Talking to one of these families, their biggest complaint was that the hallways where narrow, but only when maneuvering around housekeeping carts.

  17. DadCAMP says:

    Thanks for the tip on the ages of kids. As we consider cruising (with a 5 and 2yr old), I often wonder what it’s like when the kids crash at 8. How big are the rooms? Are you stuck there?

    I like the idea of cruising with another family and getting cabins close together so you can swap babysitting.

  18. laurenjimeson says:

    Great advice! Especially about the kids under two. I had no idea childcare wasn’t available for children under 2, so that might hold off our plans to take a cruise for a little bit. Or that might entice us to take a cruise without the kids. ;)

  19. leigh says:

    I never thought I would like cruises, but I tried one (then three) and I have to say that they are also the ideal vacation for single parents. I love to travel with my kids on any and every type of trip, but I was amazed at how I also got to relax when we cruised. Many times I would go to get them from the clubs and they weren’t ready to leave yet! I recommend a cruise for a single parent who would like to also vacation with the kids.

  20. Beth Anne says:

    I love how the lengths of time can be so different – right now, we just don’t have the time to take a week long vacation. But we could spring for a very nice 3 day cruise :)

  21. Meghan says:

    We’ve been talking about taking a family vacation, but when we really think about it, nothing sounds fun with a 2 year old. I’d be spending my entire time chasing him around and neither of us would have very much fun. The splash academy sounds like it might be the answer to our problems, though!

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