5 once-in-a-lifetime family experiences you can share on a cruise holiday

How to create holiday memories your whole family will treasure forever

Princess cruise liner

Your fondest family memories probably involve holidays – days spent playing on the beach, splashing in a pool or exploring new destinations, and balmy evenings filled with plenty of food, drink and laughter. After all, family breaks give you a unique opportunity to share quality time with your loved ones without all the day-to-day stuff getting in the way. With no schedule to stick to, laundry to deal with and drudge stuff to get through, holidays are the perfect time to relax, have fun and create long-lasting memories that will bring your family together.

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A cruise holiday makes it especially easy to focus on family fun as every aspect of your trip is taken care of, from meals to activities, allowing you and your loved ones precious time to reconnect and share unforgettable experiences.

Experiences such as visiting new places and trying new activities, both of which are within easy reach with the Mediterranean Adventurer cruise offered by Princess Cruises. This roundtrip takes in 7 ports in Gibraltar, Spain, France and Italy and offers the perfect balance of time at sea to enjoy cruise comforts and excursions on land to discover new locations. Princess cruise ships also offer incredible entertainment for little ones and adults alike, including magicians, dancing and music shows, plus pools, spa tubs and sports facilities.

A cruise is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons – and widen your social circle. At sea, it’s easy to make new forever friends with crew and fellow guests thanks to all the opportunities eat, drink and relax.

Set sail on Sky Princess from Southampton and, over the following 14 days, explore Barcelona, Gibraltar, Marseille, Florence, Rome, Sardinia and Seville, as well as the delights of the ship itself. It’s just one of the many family-friendly itineraries offered by cruise expert Princess, an award-winning cruise line that sails to more than 380 destinations on 7 continents. The company has been bringing people closer together on voyages for over 55 years, so it really is expert at helping families to bond over incredible experiences, onboard and ashore.

Here’s how to make such a cruise holiday even more memorable for your family…

1. Take the Family Foodie Challenge

One of the big draws of a cruise holiday is undoubtedly the fabulous food and, as you’d expect from one of the most well-known cruise lines in the world, Princess takes huge pride in serving amazing fare in every on-board restaurant, café and bar. The emphasis is on fresh food – think breads baked throughout the day, pastries made from scratch and homemade ice cream. Little wonder Princess has been voted Best Cruises for Food Lovers and Best Onboard Dining.

Onboard Sky Princess, the choice of food is truly mind-blowing; you can dine on perfectly cooked steak at the Crown Grill, a slice of pizza at Alfredo’s Pizzeria, a dish designed by Michelin-starred chef Curtis Stone in the main dining room or a 4-course treat at Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria.

Whatever you choose, your daily family feasts will be delicious – and even more of a delight as you can sit down and enjoy every meal without having to do the cooking and clearing up. So why not turn your cruise family meals into truly memorable moments by setting your family the challenge of trying something new to eat every day – and filming a video clip of each adult and child’s face as they try new tastes? Just make sure you have your camera or smartphone at the ready to record their reactions. Then compile the clips into a video diary to watch and giggle over once you’re back home.

2. Create your own Sculpture Hunt in Barcelona

On day 6 of your cruise, Sky Princess docks at Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city and the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. It’s a beautiful city that dates back to Roman times and the centre is just a few miles from the harbour. Barcelona is renowned for its art and architecture from artists including Gaudi, Picasso, Dali and Miro and famous examples of their work can be found all over the city. The main examples, such as the Sagrada Familia, can get very crowded so one of the best things for families to do here is visit an area where there’s plenty to see but also lots of space to run around. And ideal spot is The Miro Foundation and surrounding parks in the neighbourhood of Montjuic Hilll. The museum is an avant-garde architectural gem and houses an impressive collection of Miro’s contemporary artwork, much of it is on display outside in the central courtyard and on the terrace, which is a great spot to stop, rest and gaze at the sweeping view of the city below. If your family are keen to go inside, the great news is that entry is free to children under the age of 15 and there’s a family space for visitors of all ages to create their own masterpieces.

But you don’t have to go into the museum to see some fantastic artworks as there are dozens of great pieces in the spaces and gardens around the museum and finding them with your family is great fun. Starting by the museum’s front door, split your family group into two teams and head in opposite directions around the museum and then into the adjoining one-acre Jardin d’Escultures. While you walk around, keep an eye out for sculptures including a 500-metre red steel structure called 4 wings; a cute alien-like bronze being named Personage and a pointy blue needle called Agulla.

The aim of the game is to photograph your team next to each sculpture you find, striking the silliest pose you can think of. Meet up back at the entrance to compare pictures and decide on the winning team.

3. Watch an Outdoor Cinema Screening In Character

Snuggling up with your loved ones to watch a film has got to be one of the best ways to spend an evening at home, but watching a movie with your family onboard Sky Princess is something altogether more special thanks to the ship’s giant Movies Under The Stars poolside theatre, complete with a huge screen and mega-watt sound system. As night falls, the screen lights up the top deck with Hollywood blockbusters, music concerts and major sporting events.

While you’re waiting for the entertainment to begin, lay back in your lounger and gaze out at the sea and sky, taking in the spectacular surroundings. There’s no scrabbling about for snacks in the kitchen – if you’re feeling peckish, Princess staff will bring you complimentary popcorn and warm cookies and milk. There are even cosy blankets to curl up under if the breeze picks up.

Watching a film in this totally unique setting is bound to leave an impression, but to make the memory truly unforgettable, put some planning into your night at the theatre by getting everyone in your family group to dress up as one of the film’s stars – and spend the evening ‘in character’, from pre-film dinner to post-movie drinks. You could go all out in fancy dress or be more subtle and rely on your acting skills to reveal your role to the rest of your family. However you decide to play it, make sure you take plenty of pictures to commemorate the occasion – with the stars in the sky as your backdrop, of course.

4. Make magic happen at the Vatican / Get bird’s eye view of the Vatican

Sky Princess docks in Rome on the ninth day of the 14-Day Mediterranean Adventurer cruise and you’ll want to make the most of this stop, where you’ll find ancient buildings such as the Colosseum, Pantheon and Teatro Marcello. It’s also home to the Vatican City, the world’s smallest state which contains the wonders of the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. As with all tourist attractions, queues can get incredibly long but as your ship arrives in port at 7am, you’ll be at the very front.

There’s no better way to get a bird’s eye view of the Vatican than to go up inside the Basilica’s dome or cupola, which was designed by Michelangelo. There are 551 stairs to climb to reach the very top, though you can get a lift halfway up and continue on foot. It’s a steep climb up a narrow staircase so not suitable for everyone but if you can encourage each other to the top, the views are worth the effort. Below is St Peter’s Square and the whole of the Vatican City, while beyond the city of Rome reaches in every direction. Spend some time with your loved ones taking in the breathtaking sights of Italy’s capital city and marvelling at Rome’s architecture.

Even if you don’t make it all the way to the top, the view from the midpoint of the cupula is special: you’ll be up close and personal with the mosaics that make up the dome’s design and, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the sound of singing from the congregation below, which is simply magical.

Speaking of magic, when you’re back on the ground, hunt out the two floor discs near the central obelisk in the piazza and look at the colonnade lining the street. From certain angles, many of the columns seem to disappear – a clever design trick that leaves an impression on visitors of all ages.

5. Make a Mediterranean family treasure box

The best holidays aren’t just about relaxing – they’re also about learning and discovering. And there’s no better time or place to learn a new skill or finding a new passion than onboard a Princess cruise, with friendly and encouraging staff and experts to help show you the ropes.

Onboard Sky Princess, you can immerse yourself in the region you’re visiting during the Festival of the Med, an onboard celebration of the diverse cultures of the Mediterranean that includes music, food, dance and art. There will be something to appeal to every member of your family, from the youngest to the oldest, whether they love getting crafty or adore moving to the beat. Try your hand at making a Venetian fan or pit your knowledge of the region against other families in a trivia game.

Think you’ve got two left feet? Learn a few steps of local dances such as Spanish flamenco, French cancan and Italian tarantella – then show off your moves at the ultimate top deck party later in the week. Tongue-tied? Master some simple phrases in Greek, French, Italian and Spanish. The aim is for everyone in your family to try something new and then keep a memento from their experiences to fill a little box of treasures once you get home – whether it’s photos, something you’ve made or drawn, or a little holiday diary made by your child of all their Mediterranean experiences. It’s something to bring out over the years, opening up all those glorious family memories.

If you’re tempted to book, it’s good to know you can cruise with confidence knowing that Princess Cruises works hard to make every journey as safe and sanitary as possible and offers a flexible cancellation policy. To find out more, visit princess.com/confidence.

Ready to explore? For more information and to book your cruise, visit princess.com or call 0344 338 8671

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