Cruising today has improved in many ways over the way it was years ago. One improvement is the concessions that have been made for families who want to bring their babies and toddlers.

In the past, the design of the cabins was not conducive to a baby or a small child and the little ones were not allowed in the pool and play areas. Today cruise lines make it easy to bring along baby.

The more people that enjoy cruising as their family vacation, the more accommodating the big cruise lines are becoming. Bringing your infant along is easy to do if you use good planning and find out what each ship has aboard for your baby before you book.

Planning a Cruise with your Toddler

1. Check the cruise lines policies for those that are baby-friendly. Some do not want babies at all but most are happy for you to bring the little one. There may be age limits of three months, six months, or one year. Whatever the cruise line, often the newer ships are the ones with more facilities for children and babies.

2. When it comes to cabins, Carnival and Disney probably have the largest, more family-friendly cabins that are more likely to have room for a crib. A stateroom rather than a regular cabin is more spacious and having a crib inside shouldn’t make things too cramped.

3. You should also check with each cruise line you are considering about babysitting services. After all, most parents would like to get away and relax for a while and some shore excursions are not appropriate for children of that age. Some have in-cabin sitters available and others have group baby-sitting. Be sure that there service covers infants and find out the price.

4. Once you have picked your cruise and ship, check on the availability of cribs. Not all ships can provide cribs, but many do. Be sure to request it well ahead of time. Many ships also offer strollers, but they are usually meant for use on the sand and not for narrow ship hallways. So bringing a small, collapsible stroller is a good idea.

5. While some cruise lines will make baby food, you would be smart to bring a supply of your baby’s food as well as diapers, which cannot always be found on board.

Yes, it may take a little extra planning when cruising with babies, but it’s worth it to forego the worry of leaving him behind and knowing that he will be well taken care of while on the cruise. Some cruise lines besides Carnival and Disney that cater to younger children include, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

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