Advice for cruising with babies and small children
You don’t need the deductive powers of a Clouseau to be aware that mainstream cruising is becoming much more multi generational these days. Bigger, more elaborate ships are selling themselves as family friendly products, on a scale that was unthinkable even a decade ago. The choice now seems to stretch way beyond the horizon.
But what should a family cruising with a baby- or twins- be looking for on a first time cruise? Here’s some tips for cruising with infants you’re going to want to think through before making your choice.
Cribs and bed sizes
Check the size of the cribs on board before you book; some ships and lines have a more extensive range than others. A good night’s sleep for everyone is not too much to ask for.
Make sure that whoever you travel with is capable of meeting your baby’s dietary needs. Can- and indeed will- they puree food as needed for the little ones?
In room- is there a bath, or just a shower only? Make sure you know in advance.
What about a baby sitting service? Find out if one is available and, if it is, learn exactly how it works. Is there a dedicated child sitter on hand, or do cruise lines simply provide baby alarms? Your night is going to be a lot more stress free if you know you’ve covered all the bases in advance.
Strollers and pushchairs
Check if there any rules and handicaps regarding strollers. For instance, in a tender port, is it going to be practicable to get a stroller safely in and out of a moving tender? Don’t miss out on somewhere you have maybe always wanted to see because of problems getting ashore.
Balcony cabin? You would do well to ensure that the railing is of the solid, plexi glass type, rather than the old style metal bars. Again, it’s pre-emptive. Remove the worry and cruise stress free.
Home from home
Obviously, bring some of the little one’s favourite toys and books for that feeling of familiarity. And it might also be worth bringing a small, portable DVD player with some of their television favourites. Because while some ships do have in-house DVD players, they are set at a height designed to be viewed by adults, not toddlers.
You’ll also want to check on the availability of high chairs. Are they of adequate size, and freely available in all the main dining venues? If junior is comfy, the chances are that mum and dad will be as well.
Have you cruised with an an infant or small children? If you’ve got any tips you’d like to pass on, leave a comment below!
Words by Anthony Nicholas for The Cruise Line. Copyright 2013.