Just as you load up with gear each and every time you leave the house with a toddler, you must do the same times a thousand when preparing to go on a cruise with a toddler.
Because just as you’d be royally screwed if, say, you forgot your kid’s lovie and/or juice when headed out for errands, you’d be screwed times a thousand if you forget or aren’t aware of certain items that can make your life a whole lot easier while cruising with a todder.
According to Fodors Traveling Intelligence, there are quite a few things you definitely need to know before you go:
The Most Important Things To Bring On Board:
Formula or Bottles and Sippy Cups: (depending on your toddler’s age, of course) and make sure you bring a travel size of your own dish soap so you can clean these items in your own room.
Diapers and Wipes: According to Fodors, most cruises have a limited amount of diapers and other baby supplies for sale in their shops. You should bring a supply of diapers and wipes to last your child the entire cruise. Before your cruise, count how many diapers your youngster uses on a daily basis and multiply this by the number of days you’ll be on the road.
Inflatable Toys: When deflated these toys take up almost no space. Also, make sure you bring an inflatable pool so that you can bathe your child in case your room only has a shower. Also, if your toddler isn’t potty-trained he likely won’t be allowed in the swimming pool, even with a swim diaper. You can relax on your balcony while your toddler splashes around in his inflatable pool instead. Also, bubbles! They are fun to play with and can be used the entire trip and then thrown away.
iPad: Obviously this is a luxury item but from what I’m told, it’s a game-changer when it comes to entertaining a kid while waiting, as one tends to do a lot of when going on vacations. Waiting at airports, waiting in lines, waiting for dinner etc. According to Suite101.com, “If you have an iPod Touch or iPad, load coloring applications, children’s movies, and age appropriate games for a quick and easy solution to entertaining a small child.”
Power Strip: to give you extra plugs–This is great to plug in your portable DVD player, iPad, cell phone charger etc. There are not many plugs in the rooms so this is essential.
Investigate what activities will take place on board the ship. For example, if the cruise has a princess theme night you may want to pack items so that your child can participate. Also, if you are beach bound remember that sand gets hot. You don’t want your toddler walking barefoot on the beach so be sure and pack aqua socks or sandals.
Pay close attention to the ports of call. Some cities may differ drastically in temperature and may require more clothing options than you might anticipate. Another great tip I read on Suite101.com: “No matter where you land, your toddler should carry their own backpack. Try to keep this fairly light, but it is important for their sense of independence to have their own bag. Pack their water bottle, a coin purse with the correct currency in it, and smaller spare items. Have them carry their own spare socks or tee shirt. Remember to include a card in the bag with your child’s name, cruise line name and cruise number, and the ships departure time. If you have global cellular roaming, include your own contact details. In busy venues, consider a strap to connect you to your child, so they can still walk by themselves but you can keep them nearby.”
Bring laundry detergent as many cruises have coin-operated laundry machines on board. Or bring soap and a camping clothesline that would allow you to wash dirty toddler clothes in the sink and hang them out to dry in your room.
According to Fodors, the best way to get all these supplies on board the ship is to “fill a big box with these supplies and check it in as luggage if you are flying to the embarkation port. Then, once upon the ship, empty the supplies into your cabin and then ask your room steward to throw away the box for you since your supplies will be used up in time for the trip home.”