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Tips For Cruising With Toddlers

Traveling with a toddler can be daunting at first. But if you plan and prepare well, there is no reason why you should give up traveling with your child. In fact, cruising is a great vacation option for parents with toddlers. Read on for some tips on cruising with toddlers.

Choose The Right Cruise Line

You are cruising with a toddler so you need to pick a cruise that can accommodate children. Ask about kids’ dining options, play area, cabin sizes, bathtubs, kids’ programs, toddler supply service and other facilities such as 24-hour room service, laundry services, feeding, babysitting and diapering. Some of the best family-friendly cruise lines are – Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Cunard Line.

Study The Kids’ Program Thoroughly

It is very important that you read the fine print on the cruise line’s website or talk to your travel agent about kids’ programming. Make sure you inquire about the minimum age for kids’ programming (since it can be as high as three while some require an extra fee), the program’s hours, if the kids’ program is open year round or only during peak season, what kind of qualifications and training the childcare providers have, if they change diapers for non-potty trained toddlers or you have to carry a beeper in case a diaper change is necessary and if toddlers are given their own space or do they need to share with children of different ages.

Request A Balcony or A Family Room

If you have the budget, consider springing for a room with a balcony or a family room. That way, you can unwind on your balcony or in the adjacent room while your little one dozes securely just a few steps away. Plus, having a room with a terrace is good for soothing your toddler’s meltdowns since the wind in his face and the water will provide distraction.

Request A Crib

Make sure you reserve a crib ahead of time since most ships have a limited supply. But if you are planning to let your toddler sleep in a bed, ask if the ship can provide bed rails so you can have them reserved, otherwise, just bring your own. Also, ask for a mini fridge to store milk and snacks.

Time It Right

Longer cruises (10 days or more) are not good for toddlers as the time on board will just bore your little one. Short cruises that last for 3 to 4 days are more ideal. In addition, opt for a cruise with plenty of stopovers so you can take your toddler exploring on dry land.

Provide Entertainment

Entertainment is very crucial for successfully cruising with toddlers. You need to provide your little one plenty of distraction to keep him entertained during the trip from the airport to the ship as well as on board. Be sure to stock up on small toys, board books, board games, papers, crayons, a DVD player, CD’s, some of your toddler’s favorite movies and snacks. Giving your toddler a disposable camera is also a nice way to keep your toddler busy. He will truly have so much fun snapping photos.

Play With Your Toddler

Sure, you can just bring your toddler to the play area or ask the babysitter to look after your toddler while you have that romantic dinner with your spouse. But, do not forget that this is a time to maximize bonding time with the family. During the day, act like a child and play with your toddler, do a cannonball in the pool and join as many shipboard activities as you can with your family.

Stick To Your Routine

As much as possible, plan your day on the cruise around your toddler’s usual schedule. Do not change your toddler’s mealtime, naptime, bath time and bedtime as this will only confuse your toddler and put him in a bad mood.

Lastly, enjoy the cruise with your toddler no matter what happens. You can never expect your toddler to always be on his best behaviour or do what you want. Change your expectations. Accept the mishaps and laugh it off. This is a wonderful time to bond with your toddler so do not let anything ruin this trip.

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