cruising with a baby

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Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
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Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,752 Posts
Joined May 2001
Bring any and all "baby stuff" you'll need....start counting diapers and such a couple weeks before you leave, to get an idea of how much you'll need to bring! Bring any and all medications for baby you think you MIGHT need...the ship has nothing for babies for sale!!! If you need baby Tylenol for teething or something, you'll be out of luck. You'll need a mini-pharmacy!

The ship has plenty of "mashable" foods, so if baby is tasting table foods, you'll be good to go.

Most cabins have only a shower, so bring an inflatable tubs (the "duck" tub seems to be the favorite!)...and it's handy for splashing on deck, as most ships don't allowed diapered people in the pools at all.

Aside from the additional stuff you'll need for baby, this is a family vacation! Play it by ear, and have fun!

Oh...I would suggest a balcony cabin, so while baby is napping or down early for the night, you'll have someplace "to be", without sitting in a darkened cabin!
White Plains, NY
2,661 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We cruised with our son at 11 months and 14 months and had a great time with him. After you count out how many diapers you think you go through each day, bring 10 more just in case. On the 2nd cruise w/him I was down to my last diaper the morning we were leaving and I don't know how that happened! The biggest thing I would say is get a lightweight stroller that is easy to maneuver and narrow enough to fit through the cabin doorway. You don't want to have to wake your baby and get him/her out of the stroller to bring in the cabin. Also the cabins are small to store a large, bulky stroller like a travel system. We have a light weight maclaren which is great. The dining room does offer to puree food for baby, but we opted to bring most food because I was paranoid about how the food might be prepared and didn't want to chance while on a cruise any allergic reaction with something he hadn't had yet. Bread, yogurt, fruits were things I gave him from the ship for the 1st cruise. On the 2nd one he was eating table food and I was able to get extra steamed vegetables for him and an entree from the kids menu waiting for us when we came to dinner. The waitstaff was great w/him. For breakfast they were able to give 1 pancake, 1 egg, etc., boxed cheerios, things like that which worked. We had a hard time getting whole milk though. They have 2% in the containers and whole really only in the carafes for coffee. We were able to get some at the coffee bar, but it was like a top secret operation with the staff making like they were sneaking milk for us which seemed crazy. We used the ship crib and it worked fine.
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480 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We are sailing next month with a 13 month old and i have been doing mad research. Here are some gems I have come across:

- blow up mini splash pool (>$5 at target) is great for a private pool for them on the lido and/or use as a bathtub in the shower.

- blue painters tape - to keep the fridge and cabinets baby proofed.

- powdered pedialyte - in case of sickness.

- tiny diner tray - we never go to any restaurant without this.

- lots of ziploc bags. You can make up day bags of a couple diapers and wipes to quickly grab when you leave the room.. also for dirty diapers, sand, seashells, etc.

- lovey. everytime you leave the room, put the lovey away so it doesn't accidentally get grabbed as part of the wash.

- any favorite snacks (prepackaged, sealed) for ports.

-disposable bibs & disposable changing pads

- travel lysol spray and clorox wipes to sanitize the room

- binder clips - these will work as towel chair clips, to keep the curtains closed or even to clip a blanket to the stroller.

- Noise machine, if your baby is used to it as home.

- Inflatable life vest (takes up 0 room in luggage)

- twice as many diapers and wipes you think you'll need. I suggest keeping track the week or two before so you know your baby's needs.

- bottles, sippys, spoons, dish soap and bottle brush - to wash the bottles in your sink every night.

- individual laundry soap packet and sink stopper - in case of emergency clothes washing that might need to be done.

- new toys to keep them interested. don't bring them all out at once.

- travel dvd player (kindle, ipad, etc) to put movies on when waiting for things.

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!
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Carnival Triumph - April 2005
Carnival Victory - July 2006
Oasis of the Seas - October 2010
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480 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Also, if you baby wear.. bring the baby carrier + an umbrella stroller that reclines. A regular stroller is too wide to fit through the door to your room and takes up precious space.
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Carnival Triumph - April 2005
Carnival Victory - July 2006
Oasis of the Seas - October 2010
Carnival Valor- September 2012
282 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
I have a sunguard thing that looks kind of like a fitted sheet with mesh sides that I put over the stroller. My kids are so pale they are almost blueish so sun protection is a must! This works great as it can completely cover a sleeping child in a stroller and I don't have to worry about sun exposure. Plus it gives them a little shade and quiet which is nice for a nap on an excursion or on deck. I got mine at Babies-R-Us two years ago. I also have a little clip-on fan that operates on batteries that I clip to the stroller. It gets kind of hot strapped into one of those.

I would buy a couple of packages of take-and-toss spoons rather then trying to find/wash. You can always wash these out and keep but aren't sad if you loose them. Same thing for cups.

The pouch baby food works great for travel. Even if your child is eating some table foods, these are nice to have as kind of a smoothie type thing they suck through a straw.

Baby powder works great for removing sand.

Bring TWICE as many wipes as you think you will need. Even DH and I used wipes when we were covered in baby food, etc.

Don't forget the meds. We had baby tylenol on my last cruise when my youngest was 6 months, but we didn't bring motrin. He caught a horrible sinus infection and we had a tough time getting infant motrin to use with the tylenol to control a fever. We were on Disney so they did have a lot of infant meds, but it did cost us a trip to the ship's doctor to get it!!

And don't hesitate to use the ships doctor. We suffered through a couple of days not knowing why my infant was sick before we finally went. He was given anti-biotics and felt better within about 12 hours. So the LAST day of our cruise we were finally able to enjoy. (I do have three kids so am a little slower to bring a kid to the doctor then when I just had one) A visit to the doctor was about $100 maybe and about $12 for the meds. My insurance reimbursed us for everything except our normal co-pay. After paying thousands for a cruise, you don't want to not enjoy because you are afraid of the "cost" of bringing a sick kid to the doctor!