cruising with a toddler

Lately I've been reliving the glory days of cruising the Caribbean sans children. Ah.. Memories. But that is no longer our life (thank God). We have cruised just once with children and it was only one child and she had just turned one. You have to be at least one year of age to cruise. At least that's what we encountered. Here are my tips should you decide to cruise with a baby/toddler/child. And good luck. Some of these photos were taken by my sister-in-law. Just fyi.

- Get them a passport. Current immigration standards dictate that if you are a minor and you are on a cruise and leaving from the same port that you are to arrive at you simply need your birth certificate. I suppose this would suffice but I am a worrier and the thought occurred to me, what if I need to fly home? Letty can't fly with me? So a passport it was.

- On Celebrity Cruises children are not allowed in the pools unless they are potty-trained. Even if they have a swim diaper on. So we borrowed a friend's blow up small Winnie-the-Pooh pool and filled it up with water for her to play in. 
- There are no bathtubs. If your child is as afraid of showers as mine was at the time this could be a conundrum. We used the before mentioned mini pool as a mini tubby. I just put it in the shower. Filled it up. And tub away!

- Utilize the on board activities for toddlers. This ship had a separate room just for toddlers chock full of fun toys. 

- Letty was still getting a bottle before bed every night, but I had already weaned her off of formula. Each night at dinner I would just ask the waiter to bring me a glass of milk please. Who am I kidding I asked once and he brought it each and every night.

- I would not attempt formal dining with a toddler. It takes too long for you to expect them to sit patiently and it quite frankly stressed me out. The food in the buffet is just as tasty. Plus no one needs to dress up.

- Bring only the umbrella stroller. There is zero room inside those staterooms for anything larger.

- Bring some toys for the stateroom. How else can you occupy said baby while you are attempting to get dressed.

- With any vacation I pack my own dish detergent to wash out bottles and sippy cups and the like.

- Prepare yourself for moments such as these:

Cruises really are fantastic vacations for children of any age. There was all that room to run around and all that fun stuff to explore. Swimming would have been preferable but maybe next time. The staff loves children so much your child will never want for attention. They will dote on them left and right. 


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