Travelling with a baby can be really intimidating, especially if it is your first time. Cruise vacations are becoming increasingly popular, and bringing your baby into such an unfamiliar territory for a significant stretch of time (at least several weeks) can be nerve-wracking. However, cruises are actually a perfect type of vacation you can take with your toddler. These metal behemoths may appear overwhelming, but once you set out onto the ocean, you will realize you’re on a hub of interesting activities with helpful staff all around you; and that you’re never more than ten minutes away from your room. If this does not persuade you to take a chance, read on for the complete guide to enjoying a cruising vacation with your baby.
What kind of a cruise?
Ultimately, the question arises what kind of a cruise is best suited for your toddler. Years ago, cruise ships weren’t really suitable for children younger than three. You only need to glance at the old cabin layout and see there’s no room for cribs. Thankfully, the times have changed and cruises offer perfect accommodation for people with children, as well as appropriate play areas, baby-friendly options on the restaurant menu and onboard stores. Picking a cruise liner with toddler-friendly amenities, such as something from vibrant Carnival cruises, is a great way to both make sure your child is safe and treat yourself to an enjoyable holiday.
However, you should know there are certain age restrictions for babies on cruise liners. The kids need to be at least six months old on the exact day the ship embarks and you need to have some sort of proof along with you (the birth certificate will do the trick). The restrictions do not end there. If you decide to go sailing on transoceanic cruises or go on a Hawaii cruise, your baby needs to be at least 12 months old on the day the ship embarks. Also, be prepared to pay an extra fare for bringing the baby along.
These restrictions have not been arbitrarily put in place by the agencies – there’s a genuine medical concern. Given the fact infants are very delicate and that their metabolism is still developing, they can easily get sick. Not to mention that a child can get injured very easily, which presents a serious problem on a cruise liner that is away from the land and better-equipped hospitals most of the time.
Supplies and amenities
If you’re bringing a baby along on a cruise, your luggage will double in size. Thankfully, Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines will provide a crib for your child at no extra charge. High chairs are also available in dining areas and restaurants. Strollers are bulky things, so make sure the cruise you’re going on will supply you with an on-board one. As far as snacks, formula, diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, ointments and medical supplies go, you should bring it from home. There are specialized baby stores on cruises, but it would be the best if your baby didn’t change products.
As far as food goes, restaurants will have appropriate things on the menu, but the best course of action is to order it “to go”. Dinners on cruises can be formal and drawn out, and usually aren’t a suitable environment for the baby. As mentioned before, there are a lot of informal dining areas around with high chairs as an option.
It’s important to start creating memories with your child as early as possible. While you are on a cruise, take as much photos with your baby as you possibly can and enjoy your time off to the fullest. The friendly and attentive staff will help you every step of the way and fresh ocean air is good for your baby’s health. Cruising is probably the best type of vacation you can take with your baby, and once you take a chance and try it, you will almost certainly be ready to come back next season.