Tips for Cruising with Children
Going on vacation can feel daunting if you have young children, particularly if you’re a single parent. You may wonder if you will have to defer foreign holidays or your dream cruise until the children are older, but it is possible to enjoy both parenthood and travel if you plan in advance.
If you have always wanted to go on a cruise but you will have a ‘mini-me’ in tow, there are several things you can do to ‘baby-proof’ your trip.
Choose a Child-Friendly Cruise
Some cruises are more child-friendly than others and are themed around children’s entertainment. Some include children’s clubs to keep them busy and character meet and greets.
Choose your cruise liner carefully. Royal Caribbean has won awards for being the number one cruise liner company for little ones. Disney Cruise Line is also a popular choice for families with their Disney Shows. They bring all the magic of Disneyland off-land to give your children an experience they won’t forget.
Shop around to find a cruise that provides the entertainment you want.
Check Your Cruise Liner for Age Restrictions
Every cruise liner has different age restrictions and some don’t allow babies or toddlers or they have rules regarding pregnant travellers. Make sure you check these restrictions before you book your break.
Choose a Family Stateroom
Modern cruises have accommodation centred around the family. Travelling with tots means you can’t travel light and with a family stateroom you are sure to have plenty of space for all your things, cots, separate children’s beds and dividing curtains for your privacy.
Choosing a room with a balcony can be helpful if you have young children because you can sit outside and soak up the sea air instead of being confined to your cabin while they nap.
Choose a Ship with a Self-Service Launderette
Everyone knows how many onesies a baby gets through. A crew service wash can be very pricey and if you don’t want to bring a dozen suitcases or hand wash, an on board launderette can be a life saver.
Check the Liner’s Safety Procedures
Check your cruise liners safety procedures so you can be reassured that your baby will be safe and sound during your time aboard. Your liner should give every child an ID wrist band and should not allow any child to disembark without a parent present.
Sign up for Babysitting Early On
Many cruise liners offer a babysitting service so you can have some ‘down time’, a must for single parents or couples wanting to bring the romance back into their lives. If your cruise liner has a babysitting service, make sure you sign up for it as soon as you board as spaces become full quickly.
A Guide to Cruising as a Single Parent, Iglu Cruise, accessed April 30, 2015, http://www.iglucruise.
Can I bring a Small Child on a Cruise? Babycenter, accessed May 1, 2015, http://www.babycenter.