We wondered about cruising with our Little Man…but we waited to worry about it after we booked our cruise! If I over think something I will end up not doing it so we just went for it.
I’m very glad we took him though. It turned out to be a great vacation for all of us! He was a great little traveler. He’s a very laid back baby anyway so I’m sure that helps. We have always taken him wherever we go so he is used to being out and about.
The staff on the Carnival Ecstasy attended to our specific needs very well! I can’t say enough good things!
Tips to have a great cruise with your baby!
1. Adjust your expectations of “vacation”. By this I mean, if you’re used to getting into port and doing 3 adventure excursions you may want to rethink that. We knew with Rylan we wouldn’t be doing in major hiking, no scooters, no scuba/snorkel or anything like that. We looked ahead at our ports and decided on what as a family we could do there. We had been to both ports on previous cruises and chose this particular ship because of that. Our thinking was that since we had been to both we knew what to expect from the locals, how to get around and things we might want to do again.
2. Don’t over pack. I know babies need a lot but you will probably not need everything you pack. I put everything I thought we needed on the nursery floor then worked on whittling it down to a manageable mess.
3. Bring a compact, light weight stroller. Babies that don’t walk get very heavy after a while. Also, a stroller helps tote other essentials. We have two strollers, both by Baby Trend. I love them both! Our Baby Trend Euroride was perfect for the cruise though! It folds up very small (and easily!), has a decent but not huge cargo area, is very light and very maneuverable (one hand driving if need be!).
4. Get an ocean view or better room if you can. You may be spending a little more time in the room than normal because of naps &/or feeding not to mention your baby will probably love looking out at the ocean!
5. Bring easy to clean bottles. I took 4 Playtex nursers. I use Dr. Brown’s and absolutely love them but for travel and ease of cleaning the nursers were the best bet. I packed liners in a zip loc bag and I brought 2 extra nipples. It made things a lot easier on me.
6. Pack formula and cereals in a zip loc bag. It’s much more secure than the containers and will take up less space in your luggage. Don’t forget the measuring spoon!
7. Bring infant pain reliever/fever reducer and any other OTC or prescription medications you may need. I didn’t look to see if the shops on board had infant medications but I wouldn’t take the chance that they didn’t since they usually don’t carry a huge selection.
8. If you really want to pack light you can always use the laundry facilities on board. I don’t always but just in case I need something I’m prepared to use them. Before Rylan came along the type of detergent we used didn’t matter in a pinch. With a baby though, generally speaking you want to use detergent that is free of dyes and fragrance and that may not be available on board. My solution was to pack some All Free and Clear “pods” in a snack size zip loc. They aren’t heavy, don’t take up much space but are worth having to keep my baby from having an allergic reaction to some detergent.
9. Request a crib when booking. The crib they provide will be a portable crib that’s about the size of a Play Yard. It was so nice to have!
10. Bring a Baby Carrier for the life boat drill. If you are like us and you get to your muster station a smidge later than everyone you may have to stand for the ridiculously long safety briefing that you have to listen to twice (once in English & once in Spanish). You will then march up some steps to the side of the ship that your lifeboats are on where you will once again have to stand for a ridiculous amount of time. Anyway, a squirming 7 month old in your arms will wear you out, however, a squirming 7 month old with be but a mild annoyance if glued to you in baby carrier.