There’s something for everyone on a cruise ship, which makes cruising the perfect choice for a family holiday. But, as with any occasion when you all get together in a confined space for an extended period of time, goodwill can be stretched beyond breaking point. Here are a few top tips to ensure that everyone’s happy (and survives) your next family cruise holiday.

Pick your Ship Carefully

By which we mean choose a ship your kids will like, too. This is not about personal preferences, it’s about survival – and taking children on a ship that isn’t geared up for them is a recipe for all-round misery. A shortage of fellow parents is also bad news. Disney Cruise Line, NCL, Royal Caribbean and P&O cruises offer some of the best family-friendly cruises with plenty of activities to suit all age groups. For the best family-friendly cruises, see Danielle Fear’s guide.

Parents and daughter and sun smiling on ship deck on a family cruise

Form Alliances

Scope out your fellow mums and dads. Form alliances – but choose wisely. Don’t pick a family with four kids, because those parents have their hands full already. Find a nice one-child family and strike up a friendship. From there it’s simply a case of ‘pooling your resources’ so that your brood and their singleton become a shared responsibility. Fifty-fifty. Can’t say fairer than that, can we?

Invest in a WiFi Package

Experts will tell you that a family cruise is the perfect time to reconnect with your kids, away from the distractions of modern life. Those experts never had to deal with a Candy Crush-addicted child. In fact, buying a wi-fi package may be the best investment you’ll ever make. Flash a little cash and let your offspring tweet, gram and WhatsApp to their heart’s content, while you get on with enjoying your cruise.

Compromise is Key

That enrichment lecture about your next port of call is always going to be a hard sell to a 10-year-old. Instead, stock up on a few books, park yourself by the pool and read to your heart’s content while they splash about with new their friends. Shore excursions are enough great to keep both parties happy, ensuring kids don’t get cabin fever and you can get some culture during your trip.

Utilise the Kids’ Club

OK, so it’s not going well. But rather than trying to deny that the Holiday from Hell is taking shape right in front of you, give in and march your little darlings to the nearest kids’ club. Their demeanour will change instantly, and sulks will be forgotten as they try to impress their peers. All you need to do is remember to pick them up later.