We recently just returned from sailing away to Cozumel, Mexico on my husband and I’s third cruise and my 15 month old son’s first cruise.
We honestly have tried to have the mentality since Tucker was born that we would try to go and explore even when we could easily use the excuse that we can’t because we have a baby.
Going into this cruise, we didn’t know what to expect with a toddler.We knew it wouldn’t be like a super relaxing vacation, but we also forgot to lower our expectations so I am doing that for you now!
I’m going to lend a list of tips and advice that we learned quickly on the cruise if you are traveling with a baby or toddler. These tips go for those who have never cruised before & those that have but never with kids.
(We cruised with Carnival Cruise line- everything I mention below applies to all ships with just this cruise line. These rules could vary with other companies.)
Let’s get into it.
- Debated starting out with this one, It’s not easy have a baby or toddler on a cruise. Is it doable? Absolutely. Is it hard ? Yes. Will you still have a blast? YES! My first tip of advice- wipe away any expectations you had going into the cruise. You want a clean slate so you can prepare for the ups and downs of life with a toddler.
- If your child is under the age of 2 or is still in a diaper, no beuno on any pool time. This was a huge shocker to us. Thankfully, our cruise line had a sprinkler area that Tucker was able to play in and stay cool in the water.
- The Cruise line will provide a crib for you if you request it so you do not have to worry about dragging one along with you on the boat. Bring your own sheets!
- Tagging on to this tip, if you have never cruised at all, be aware of how tiny these rooms are. If you are not used to co-sleeping in the same room at all with your little one, there may be a couple rough nights until your baby gets use to it. Tucker was literally at the foot of our bed. It’s a tiny space.
- Bring a sound machine! Tucker sleeps with a sound machine every night, but if your little one does not normally sleep with one. I highly recommend it . This will allow you to still move around the small room to go to the restroom, etc. without waking your baby and drown out the noise of the foot traffic outside the door.
- Bring other people- I’m not kidding. You will want family to be there to help you on babysitting duties because there are many amenities where babies and toddlers are just not welcome to on the cruise. For example, the late night shows, deck parties, karaoke hours, etc. Clayton and I got to go to a few shows on our cruise thanks to having more family members there with us to help!
- Take advantage of the crew- they love when babies are onboard and were so quick to help with any questions or assistance that we needed .
- They do have childcare that you can register your toddler for, however it only applies if they are 2 years old or older. Take advantage of this program if your child meets the age requirements !
In Summary, my opinion- My husband and I walked away from the vacation knowing we had a TON of fun and we were so glad of the time we had with our family, but now if we do it again will have a very different expectation set on the trip itself. It is just a different type of vacation with a toddler. Not necessarily bad, just different.
If you have already booked your vacation, it’s totally doable and we did it, survived and had a blast. I just wanted to write this article to let you know what to expect and to keep it real.
I hope this was helpful as you plan your next cruise vacation!