Tips for Cruising with a Baby

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to put your travels on hold until they are older. This past week we decided to cruise with our 3 year old as well as our 6 month old. For this post we’ll stick to tips about traveling with a baby and then we’ll cover tips on cruising with a toddler in the future.

Tip #1: Packing
This might be the part that stresses you out the most about going on a trip, but it doesn’t have to. The week before your trip sit down, preferably with a glass of wine, and make a list of everything you think you’ll need for your baby. It’s always best to give yourself a week to add and subtract from your list rather than rushing at the last minute, where you’re more likely to forget something or over pack. An example for us would be when we were playing with Mya (our 6 month old) a few days before and it dawned on us that we didn’t have toys on our list to bring for her…yikes!

Bonus tip: If you plan on utilizing a Pack ‘n Play/crib that cruise lines provide be sure to pack a crib sheet.

Tip #2: Arrive a day before your cruise
Travelling can be stressful on everyone, including your little one. It’s best to give him or her a chance to acclimate to a new environment and a lot of times a time change. This will also make it easier on the parents as dealing with the airport, security, flights, etc…is stressful enough, now imagine getting through that and then having to go to the cruise port and go through security, checking in, etc….again.   This allow you to get to your hotel the day before, put your little one down for a nap and get a full night sleep before getting on the ship around noon the next day.

Tip #3:  Picking out the Perfect Cabin
When booking your cruise, look at the room layout.  Depending on the room category you pick depends on the amount of room you have and where your “free/living room” space is.  This is key, because if you bring a stroller (you will WANT to bring a stroller), then you want to be able to pull it all the way into the room.  Some rooms have the bed placement towards the back of the room vs the front of the room when you walk in.  If the bed placement is at the front, you won’t be able to pull your stroller in… sounds like a silly tip but as we learned first hand, this is a nightmare when you are trying to get ready and your stroller is permanently sitting in front of your closet & bathroom door.  If you have multiple kids, it’s a great idea to go for 2 connecting inner rooms instead of trying to cram everyone into 1 balcony room.  Believe me, you’ll want extra space for kids to play on the floor, your pack n play and your stroller(s) 🙂 .

Tip #4: Check out the Kids Club Details before hand
Most kids clubs start taking kids at age 3 (who are potty trained), so if you are bringing a baby on board that obviously won’t work.  Some Royal Caribbean ships (Royal Baby & Tots) & Disney Ships (It’s a Small World Nursery) will take babies starting at 6 months old.  There is a small charge per hour but is less than the babysitting service.  These nurseries are only allowed to take a limited number of kids (which is a good thing) so signing up your child in advance for the times you want to utilize the service is key.   We used the nursery in the evening when our baby was ready to go to sleep and we were headed to dinner.  She slept in a safe & secure environment while we got to have dinner with the adults.

Tip #5: Most ships won’t have pools that accommodate babies
Due to health regulations, children who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pools, not even with swim diapers. We like to let everyone know this as many people believe that they’ll bring their 6 month – 3 year old and be able to spend a bunch of time in the pool. Some ships do have “baby splash areas,” where children with swim diapers can play. Keep in mind that it is a little area with about 4-6″ of water, which is enough for your 6 month old, but probably won’t appease your 2 year old.  If spending time in the water is important to you, make sure your ship has been updated with one of these kiddo splash parks.

Bonus Tip – Bring grandparents along.  We had an amazing trip with our extended family.  Both sets of grandparents were able to come on vacation as well which was a huge help.  We loved being able to make memories with everyone as well as to have extra hands in case we needed some help.

Bringing kids can seem like an overwhelming task but once you know some of the tricks to make things easier, it’s a blast.  At Love to Travel, we equip you to be ready for an amazing trip with your whole family!  Don’t waste your time searching the internet, reading reviews or stressing out over all the options.  Contact us at becah@lovetotravel.com to get a quote on your next family vacation.  Believe me, been there done that might be an understatement when it comes to our experience in baby & toddler travel.

Cheers!

Becah
Travel Planner with Love to Travel
www.lovetotravel.com
becah@lovetotravel.com
605-380-1711

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By Becah
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