• Jill Loveland

Travelling with Children Under Two Part 2:Cruising


Cruising can be a fantastic family vacation even with very small children! If you never considered this option, you should! The amount of services available vary among cruise lines so it's a good idea to look at what's available. Here's a quick look at some of the most popular cruises.

Pools

There are federal guidelines which apply to cruises concerning small children in pools for everyone's health and safety. U.S. Public Health Service requires that only children who are toilet trained are permitted to enter swimming pools and spas. This includes hot tubs and water slides and applies to all ships. Children in swim diapers are allowed in some water play areas designed for them.


Photo credit Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line

Disney certainly caters to the needs to families and that includes infants and toddler. They welcomes children 6 months old and above on their ships. On Transatlantic and Panama Canal itineraries, children must be 1 year old. Disney provides some of the best amenities to families travelling with young children. You can request diaper disposals, bottle warmers and sterilizers, and portable cribs (pack-n-play) for your stateroom. Restaurants have high chairs and they can prepare fresh pureed vegetables for your little one (also can be ordered from room service). Need a stroller? They have those too for free. While on Castaway Cay, Disney’s amazing private island, they have complimentary wagons you can take to the beach. If you would like child care, they have extended hours in the “it’s a small world” nursery. Space is limited so they suggest that you reserve your spot online once you know when you will need it. Spots are on a first-come, first-served basis and are $9.00 an hour for the first child and $8.00 an hour for additional children. They do not offer in room babysitting. Children in diapers are allowed in splash zones only, like the amazing Nemo's Reef.



Photo credits Disney Cruise Line


Photo credit MSC Cruises

MSC

MSC does not have any minimum age for infants on their Caribbean sailings. They offer babysitting for 1-3 year olds during special hours at their “Mini Club” for a fee and has special times set aside for parent/child play also. Children travel for free when in a room with two adults on many cruises. MSC also offers services like the baby laundry service which is for 0-6 year olds where they will wash their clothing in a specialized machines to sanitize them and return them to your cabin the next day.


Photo credit MSC Cruises


Photo credit NCL

NCL

Children must be a minimum of 6 months old to cruise. Norweigan has a “Guppies” play area for children from 6 months to 3 years to have a safe are to play with their parents. Only the Norweigan Escape has a Guppies Nursery where children can be dropped off for babysitting for a fee. On all other ships, children must be 3 or older to participate in child care. The Norwegian Getaway and Breakaway have splash areas for water play for children in diapers.


Photo credit RCL

Royal Caribbean

The Royal Babies and Tots nursery programs provide interactive classes and activities (when children are accompanied by a parent) for children from 6 months to 36 months old, as well as drop-off babysitting service available for a fee ($6 during the day, $8 evening). This is not available on every ship but on many of them including the newer ships Oasis, Allure and Freedom of the Seas. In-cabin babysitting is available for children who are at least 1 year old called “Sitters at Sea” which costs $20 per hour. Both these options incur an hourly fee. Some programs are not available on all ships so check when making your reservation. Baby supplies like, food, diapers and wipes can be ordered thought their service Babies 2 Go and you can have it delivered to your room at the time of your choosing. RCL will provide a Pack and Play for your stateroom upon request.


Photo credit RCL Blog


Photo credit Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival

For children under the age of 2, parents have the ability to drop off their children during specific times, for a $6.75 an hour plus a 15% gratuity. Camp Night Owls offers babysitting for children 6 months to 11 years from 10pm to 1 am for $6.75 per hour. Strollers are available for rent both onboard and in port. Children must be a minimum of 6 months old for most cruises (a year old for Transatlantic, Transpacific and Hawaii, check for details). Carnival does not sell diapers on board. Cribs are available for your stateroom, just request it when reserving your room. High chairs are available at all dining venues.


Photo credit Carnival Cruise Line

#Cruise #Disney #NorwegianCruiseLine #CarnivalCruiseLine #Disneyinfantstoddlers #Toddlers

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