Packing for a toddler

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#1
69 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We're cruising with our 18 month old next week. We've cruised before but not with her. We'll be on a RCCL ship with a nursery so we can borrow toys and make use of the Royal Tots program.

Does anyone have any special items to recommend to pack beyond the usual clothes, diapers, sunscreen/toiletries, sippy cups etc. or any tricks or tips that you found helpful when cruising with a toddler.

We will be bringing an umbrella stroller and car seat as well.
#2
RI
987 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Bring any medications that you may need. Stomach, feaver, teething, ets. Bring extra wipe. Bring swim diapers if you plan on going to any beaches. We also brought 2 sets of forks and spoons with the travel cases. You may want to bring a set of pack and play sheets if your daughter has sensative skin. Also bring any blankets or stuffed animals that the child neds to go to sleep.
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Jeff

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#3
2,777 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Disposable bibs - especially the ones with the little catch pocket if you can find them. Small new toys for the dinner table. In addition to the meds, a thermometer, scented bags for diapers, anti-virus wipes for hands, I brought a bunch of $1 bills for room service to order milk first thing in the morning and at bedtime.

Have a great time!

Best,
Mia
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#4
Kansas City, MO
20 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
If you are using the pack and play provided by Royal, bring some sheets for it. The swim diapers are a must for using the small pool designated for diapered babies. Plenty of sanitizing wipes for your room, high chairs and diaper changing stations. The toy lending program is great but you will want to wipe down the toys before letting you little one play with them.
#6
69 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thanks for the ideas. We're flying down the day before so I'm thinking we'll hit Target for most of the supplies rather than dragging them along with us on the plane.
#7
UK
112 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
We took a plastic mat with suckers underneath to put on the table when eating. We took cups, cutlery etc ... and asked the staff to wash them. The staff were brilliant in the Windjammer and took them away and they came back washed and cleaned 20 mins later.

We would hand the items over and then I would take Charlie exploring around the ship so my partner could have 20 mins on her own (tea and cake time) waiting for the items to come back.

As a previous poster mentioned the toy lending scheme on RCI is really good and we changed toys most days.

We have a bedtime routine at home so as well as taking familiar toys we downloaded a couple of TV programmes to our iPad and some music.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things my partner planned and took which simply passed me by ....
#8
Queens, NY
1,484 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Just want to add powdered Pedialyte It is easy to pack and oh so valuable should the dreaded noro strike.
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#9
1,189 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
We are taking 2 year old DD in May. So many great ideas have already been mentioned. We plan to take most of those items, especially her favorite "friends" from her bed & favorite blankets. We will take a smaller stroller than we normally use. We also plan to take some packaged snack items in case she gets hungry when we aren't near food locations (applesauce squeeze pouches, goldfish, etc).
#10
Kansas
165 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Great suggestions! We'll be on the Navigator with our 22 month old in 2 weeks!

What ships participate in the toy lending program? Is it only the ships with a nursery?
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#11
Bakersfield, CA
1,317 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Also bring a bunch of gallon size Glad bags. They're great for disposing of diapers, staying organized, keeping things sand-free at the beach, and having a place to put any wet or soiled clothes. Water toys are also fun. They're like nerf toys, and easy to pack. Our LO also enjoyed a canopied floaty in the ocean.

On a side note....one thing that helped in the MDR was to have the dining staff bring ice and bread immediately, so that our LO had something to do right away.
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Maria
Bakersfield

Past Cruises

5/15 Carnival Miracle- Mexican Riviera (Gabby's First Cruise)
1/15 Carnival Inspiration- Ensenada (Gia's Cruise with Mommy Take 2)
5/14 Carnival Imagination - Ensenada (Gia's Cruise with Mommy)
12/13 Carnival Inspiration - Catalina/Ensenada (Our Last Just Gia Family Cruise)
10/13 Carnival Miracle - Catalina/Ensenada
4/13 Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean (Cruise out of PR after Gia got to meet her Abuelo for the first time)
5/12, 9/12 Carnivial Inspiration - Ensenada (Cathy's First Cruise), Ensenada (Mom's Much Needed Getaway)
4/12 Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean (Baby Belle's First Cruise!)
8/09, 11/09, 11/10, 11/10 Carnival Paradise - (My Bday Cruise), Ensenada (Our Honeymoon on Paradise!), Ensenada (Mom's First Cruise
6/09, 7/09, 7/10 Carnival Splendor - Pacific Northwest reroute (PLATINUM!), Mexican Riviera (Wrap-Around Aft Balcony!), Mexican Riviera (Spa Cabin---soooo worth it!) and Rob was Garth Brooks!
9/06, 4/07 Carnival Paradise - Ensenada
1/07 RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
5/06 RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - Jamaica/Grand Caymen (Konica Minolta COE/President's Club Trip)
8/05, 1/06 Carnival Paradise - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
8/03, 10/03 Carnival Ecstasy - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
8/96, 8/97, 8/98 Carnival Holiday - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
#12
Philadelphia
32 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
We just got back from Exp of the Seas. These are the things we found most helpful!

1 - Blow Up Tub - for easy bathing & splashing around on deck. Must Have!

2 - Clothes pins & travel laundry soap - I had them 'just in case' and THANK GOODNESS I did! Had to spot clean a couple times. I hung stuff from our balcony seats & everything was dry the next day. (why my son decides to have a blow out every time we dress him in nice clothes, I will never know... )

3 - Plastic disposable place mats. Made for easier clean up in the Windjammer.

4 - We brought a case of water for formula. It was delivered without a problem to our room. I think that technically the policy is that you can't do that, but they didn't seem to care & it was really for my son so I think if we were questioned, it would have been fine.

No need to bring any toyrs really. The Fisher Price toy lending was perfect.

Have a great trip!
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#13
Philadelphia
32 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I think all the ships have toy lending. Exp doesn't have a nursery yet, but they still had it.
They also had a designated play area 2 times a day with larger toys & mats what was great. I actually think it was better then a nursery since it was in one of the lounges with a bar.... much nicer for us anyway ; )
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Jenn

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#14
Minneapolis, MN
635 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
We took our then 21 month old on a New Years cruise and had a great time. All of the suggestions so far are great.

I wanted to mention one "toy" that turned out to be more valuable than I expected. We bought one of the little tins with magnets inside, mostly to use on the plane. One night our dd was playing with them on the bed. Because we were wall to wall beds in an inside room she was playing up against a wall. She accidentally touch one of the magnets to the wall and it stuck. Then we found out that the walls hold magnets! It was like a huge display board and much better than the tiny tin they came in. I think most of the newer ships build rooms as pods and slip then in finished so it makes sense that they have metal walls. I've never seen anyone post about it and it was a surprise to us.

We also went to Target in FL before getting on the ship. I don't think I saw anyone mention beach toys. Our little bucket and shovel was invaluable at the beaches. We bought in in FL and just left it with the desk of the beach in Mexico. Hopefully someone else is playing with it now.
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Teri

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#15
Bakersfield, CA
1,317 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by travelhound
We took our then 21 month old on a New Years cruise and had a great time. All of the suggestions so far are great.

I wanted to mention one "toy" that turned out to be more valuable than I expected. We bought one of the little tins with magnets inside, mostly to use on the plane. One night our dd was playing with them on the bed. Because we were wall to wall beds in an inside room she was playing up against a wall. She accidentally touch one of the magnets to the wall and it stuck. Then we found out that the walls hold magnets! It was like a huge display board and much better than the tiny tin they came in. I think most of the newer ships build rooms as pods and slip then in finished so it makes sense that they have metal walls. I've never seen anyone post about it and it was a surprise to us.

We also went to Target in FL before getting on the ship. I don't think I saw anyone mention beach toys. Our little bucket and shovel was invaluable at the beaches. We bought in in FL and just left it with the desk of the beach in Mexico. Hopefully someone else is playing with it now.
I love, love, love the magnet idea! Our LO is having fun with her rubber ABC's in the bath. I wonder if I can find magnetic ones? She'd love it!
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Maria
Bakersfield

Past Cruises

5/15 Carnival Miracle- Mexican Riviera (Gabby's First Cruise)
1/15 Carnival Inspiration- Ensenada (Gia's Cruise with Mommy Take 2)
5/14 Carnival Imagination - Ensenada (Gia's Cruise with Mommy)
12/13 Carnival Inspiration - Catalina/Ensenada (Our Last Just Gia Family Cruise)
10/13 Carnival Miracle - Catalina/Ensenada
4/13 Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean (Cruise out of PR after Gia got to meet her Abuelo for the first time)
5/12, 9/12 Carnivial Inspiration - Ensenada (Cathy's First Cruise), Ensenada (Mom's Much Needed Getaway)
4/12 Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean (Baby Belle's First Cruise!)
8/09, 11/09, 11/10, 11/10 Carnival Paradise - (My Bday Cruise), Ensenada (Our Honeymoon on Paradise!), Ensenada (Mom's First Cruise
6/09, 7/09, 7/10 Carnival Splendor - Pacific Northwest reroute (PLATINUM!), Mexican Riviera (Wrap-Around Aft Balcony!), Mexican Riviera (Spa Cabin---soooo worth it!) and Rob was Garth Brooks!
9/06, 4/07 Carnival Paradise - Ensenada
1/07 RCCL Monarch of the Seas - Ensenada
5/06 RCCL Enchantment of the Seas - Jamaica/Grand Caymen (Konica Minolta COE/President's Club Trip)
8/05, 1/06 Carnival Paradise - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
8/03, 10/03 Carnival Ecstasy - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
8/96, 8/97, 8/98 Carnival Holiday - Ensenada (My Bday Cruise)
#16
So. Fla by way of NYC
874 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
This thread was hugely helpful. I've added a bunch to my packing list!
Thanks all. Please keep the good ideas coming.
I'll be cruising with an 11 month old.
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Dani www.okdani.com

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#17
Nashville, TN
128 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I'll be cruising with a 14 month old. Have tons of magnet letters. Thanks! Instead of packing a blow up tub I like the idea of just putting a towel down and sitting him on it in the shower. One less thing I would have to pack. So glad you mentioned washing sippy cups because I would have completely forgot that! The only food I am packing for him would be his gerber puff snacks other than that he can eat what they have. My question is : Is it easy to find high chairs? I don't wanna spend 10 minutes searching for one so I was thinking about buying one that attaches to the table. Any suggestions??
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#18
White Plains, NY
2,660 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I wouldn't pack one. High chairs are easy to find in both lido and MDR. In the MDR the hostess will automatically get you one as you're seated. In the lido they're either left at tables or stacked agains the windows/walls. I usually just ask one of the lido staffers for one and they bring them over so I don't have to walk around looking. We cruised with our son at 14 months and we brought lots of Gerber snacks too. You know your child best, but ours really didn't eat much on the cruise, even if we found foods he had regularly eaten at home. Most of what he ate was snacks that I brought. Also, pack way more diapers than you think you'll need or normally go through at home. I was down to 1 diaper at disembarkation morning and couldn't believe I cut it that close. You never know if the food or anything else will upset tummy and create need for more diapers than usual. We really enjoyed our cruise with him at 14 months (way easier than the one at 2 years) so hope you do too!
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Carnival Legend 9/06(The Honeymoon Cruise that started it all)
Carnival Victory 9/07
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Carnival Valor 9/09
Carnival Imagination 1/10
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Carnival Glory 7/11 (Our Son's First!!!)
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Carnival Miracle 10/12 (GT,HMC,Nassau)
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#19
Nashville, TN
128 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by 092306
I wouldn't pack one. High chairs are easy to find in both lido and MDR. In the MDR the hostess will automatically get you one as you're seated. In the lido they're either left at tables or stacked agains the windows/walls. I usually just ask one of the lido staffers for one and they bring them over so I don't have to walk around looking. We cruised with our son at 14 months and we brought lots of Gerber snacks too. You know your child best, but ours really didn't eat much on the cruise, even if we found foods he had regularly eaten at home. Most of what he ate was snacks that I brought. Also, pack way more diapers than you think you'll need or normally go through at home. I was down to 1 diaper at disembarkation morning and couldn't believe I cut it that close. You never know if the food or anything else will upset tummy and create need for more diapers than usual. We really enjoyed our cruise with him at 14 months (way easier than the one at 2 years) so hope you do too!

Thanks! My son is a pig and will eat anything lol I'm figuring maybe 5 diapers a day. He wears Luvs so I bought one of the small packs of 31 just so it was already wrapped in something to put in his suitcase. I have the little swimmers to that I will bring and a few extra diapers.
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Next Cruise:



CARNIVAL Fascination 5-7-09
RCCL Sovereign Of The Seas 4-30-07
RCCL Explorer Of The Seas 4-30-06
RCCL Sovereign Of The Seas 5-9-05
RCCL Sovereign Of The Seas 5-24-04
#20
Baltimore, MD
103 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I would bring some activities for dinner. We usually bring sticker books, a favorite color book, iPhones, etc. Dinners can be long an you need a lot of distractions to make it through the entire evening every night.