Cruising With Young Children


It's a well-known fact that a cruise makes a great family holiday but many focus on the activities and facilities for older children, so what about younger children? The majority of family-friendly cruise ships will accept infants and toddlers from 6 months to 36 months, with a children's club and/or nursery during the day and evening to keep them entertained.

Daytime Activities

During the day parents are usually required to stay with their infant or toddler whilst they are in the children's club, and activities include drawing, painting, storytelling, musical games and learning games. Some ships also have outdoor areas with climbing frames, ball ponds and water parks with jets and fountains, but note that children who are not toilet-trained will usually not be allowed in any paddling or swimming pools.

Babysitting and Nurseries

Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Lines are particularly good for young children as they have nurseries with fully-trained staff where you can drop your child off for a few hours during the day or in the evening. There is a small charge for this and it does vary between the ships, but it can be invaluable if you want a couple of hours to yourself.

On many ships it is also possible for infants and toddlers to participate in group babysitting in the children's club or individual babysitting in your cabin, which is particularly useful during the evening time. Costs for this can start from as little as $5 per child, per hour, and if you have more than one child who requires babysitting there is often a discount.

What Do You Need To Bring With You?

Cots, jars of baby food, powdered milk, bottle warmers, sterilisers, bed rails and balcony nets can usually be requested from the cruise line but this must be done before or at the time of booking as numbers will be limited. If you would prefer to take your own baby food or milk then that's fine as long as you can store it in your cabin. Nappies and baby wipes can often be bought in the onboard shops but they can be a little pricey so it is probably best to take your own supply with you.

Top Tips

The cruise ship will only be able to accept a certain number of children in each age group for safety reasons, so book early for peak times such as Christmas and summer holidays so that you don't miss out.

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