Tips for a Fun, Stress-Free Cruise with a Toddler

Traveling with a toddler can often seem overwhelming. When you add cruising into the mix you might have even more questions, from “what will my toddler eat” to “what will we do in port” and more.

The good news is that cruising with a toddler doesn’t have to be overwhelming and your toddler can happily join you in some of the best cruise destinations around the world. In fact, cruising may even become your preferred method of travel with little ones. To help prepare you for your blue water cruise with a toddler here are some answers to common traveler questions.

What is the Best Stateroom When Cruising with a Toddler?

This really comes down to personal preference, what your child is like, and what you’ll be most comfortable in, but don’t discount a higher category stateroom just because you’re traveling with children.

Some families traveling with toddlers might think it makes most sense to get an interior stateroom because, they figure, there’s no point in a veranda or other stateroom luxuries when traveling with young children since they’ll spend most of the time in the room sleeping. However, parents of babies and toddlers may find they’re even a better candidate than other people for appreciating a veranda stateroom because of the very reason that kids generally go to bed earlier and you’re more limited on what you can do on a cruise and when.

This is because a veranda stateroom gives you your own private area while still being able to keep an eye on your children after they fall asleep in the evening.

For many parents of toddlers, the time after their child is in bed is a time to relax together with some adult quiet time before the start of a whirlwind new day. This is hard to do when you’re all just sharing one stateroom.

That’s why many parents like to get a veranda stateroom on board. They can put the toddler to bed and not be relegated to reading a kindle in bed and trying not to make any noise. Instead you and your partner can go out onto the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine and some conversation with a view before joining your little mini-me in some sweet slumber inside.

Another tip for sleeping with a toddler on a cruise is to bring a white noise machine to mask the sound of the door opening or closing — this is beneficial for the veranda as well as the bathroom door and any sounds you may make while getting ready for bed. You want to make sure your little sweetie sleeps well so he or she is all well rested for the adventures you’ll have the following morning.

As for where your toddler will sleep, you can request a portable crib for the room if your toddler still sleeps in one. Most rooms are also equipped with a pullout bed where your toddler can sleep. Be sure when reserving that you book a stateroom that can accommodate more than two people if you’re traveling with two adults and a toddler. Unlike a hotel, coast guard regulations won’t just let you add a little kid to a double occupancy room.

What Activities Can My Toddler Do on a Cruise?

Think your toddler will be bored on a cruise ship? Think again!

There are so many activities for toddlers to do on a cruise, even beyond the kids club.

But first — that kids club.

On Celebrity Cruises, children who are three or older and potty-trained can be checked into the kids club. If your child is under two you can take advantage of toddler time, which is typically offered multiple times a day.

Toddler time gives you and your little one access to a fun playroom with lots of toys and books and crayons for coloring. The biggest difference between toddler time and the kids club is that a parent or guardian must stay with the child during toddler time.

You can also rent toys and books from the toddler time room to bring back to your stateroom.

If you would like some away time from your precious offspring for a date night on the ship or a relaxing massage in the spa, you can arrange for an in-room babysitter who can sit with your children while they sleep or keep them entertained if they’re awake.

Beyond the kid zone on the ship, you’ll find Celebrity Cruises has lots of entertainment for toddlers.

The Lawn Club on Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships is a perfect area for toddlers. Young toddlers still mastering the art of walking can waddle around on the grass and have a soft place to land if they tip over. Older toddlers will also love the fun of having a picnic on the grass.

Toddlers will also enjoy the live music and dancing on board. They can shake their body to the music and watch in wonderment at the instruments being played.

What Will My Toddler Eat on a Cruise?

Eating on the cruise ship can be worrisome for parents of picky eaters. Luckily, cruises make it easy. You can ask for a kids menu in the dining room that has favorites like burgers, fish and chips, and macaroni and cheese on it.

There’s also free room service if you feel your toddler is too overtired one day to make it through a sit-down meal.

The buffet is also a good option if you want more choices than room service provides. You setting is more casual and you can quickly leave if your toddler isn’t behaving quite how you were hoping they would during dinner. Plus, the buffet has a pretty awesome ice cream and dessert station that’s sure to appease any toddler.

Getting Around the Cruise Ship with a Toddler in Tow

Cruise ships can require lots of walking to get from one area to the next. This isn’t always such a big deal for adults, but for little feet and legs it can seem like a much longer journey. Make it easier on your little one (and your back when you inevitably end up having to carry your toddler) by bringing a stroller on board with you.

Leave the big bulky jogging stroller at home and bring a lightweight umbrella stroller that is easy to use and will fold up compactly so you can store it under your bed or in the closet of your stateroom.

If you don’t want to deal with a stroller then bring a wrap or baby carrier that will comfortably hold your toddler.

Strollers and carriers will come in handy while in port, too, particularly if you’re planning on doing some shopping or walking to and from the cruise ship and town.

What Type of Cruise Shore Excursions Can Toddlers Do?

When planning your day in port, a shore excursion booked through the cruise line is convenient when cruising with a toddler since you’ll be escorted to your excursion right from the ship. It makes for a fun, hassle-free day.

When choosing a shore excursion during your cruise with a toddler it’s important to make sure you pick one that doesn’t have an age restriction and that isn’t too much sitting.

A seven or eight hour shore excursion that requires a lot of time on a bus isn’t going to fly with most toddlers. Instead, look for one that involves a short and easy hike, or an activity toddlers will get a kick out of, like panning for gold during Alaska cruises or a beach and water park excursion in the Caribbean.

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