If you are taking a cruise soon and bringing along your baby and/or toddler you will want to download my free printable Baby and Toddler Cruise Packing List. I have cruised with babies and toddlers over a handful of times and have a pretty well rounded list of what you will want to bring on your next cruise!
We love to travel in my home and going on a cruise is our top family vacation. Since we live in Florida, it is very easy for us and also sometimes we score amazing last minute deals. The minute my babies turned 6 months old we were on a cruise ship. 6 months is the earliest most cruise lines will allow a baby to cruise at. Whatever cruise line you decide to go on always make sure you check with them prior to booking a cruise.
I compiled a Baby and Toddler Cruise Packing List of all the things you will want to think about packing when you go on a cruise. I always end up over packing purely because it’s different then a vacation where we fly and stay. When you are out to sea you have little no access to stores that would sell the essentials.
Below you are going to find my frequently asked questions as well as various tips and tricks I’ve found helpful when cruising with a baby or toddler. I tried including as much as I could think of and what I’ve used on the past 6 cruises I’ve sailed on with 6 month olds, 1 year olds, and 2 year olds. Of course you may need more or less.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions when crusing with a baby or toddler.
Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, most cruise lines want infants to be at least 6 months of age or older.
Yes, you can; however, be mindful that most cruise ship rooms are 150 square feet give or take. So that means that if you are going to being a stroller you need to bring an umbrella stroller or one that is compact and can be store either under the bed or in the closet. Plus you won’t be able to maneuver around the cruise ship well with a big bulky stroller. I have brought an umbrella stroller multiple times and it worked great.
Most cruise ships will have very limited amount of baby supplies on board. I always encourage anyone who is going on a cruise to pack more than enough diapers. To be honest we packed 10 diapers per day and most cruises we maybe used half of them… but it’s nice to have them just in case. Most cruise lines have diapers for purchase on the ship but they are insanely expensive. What’s another few items to pack to save you big bucks? Depending on your ports of call you may be able to purchase diapers once on land in a foreign country.
Baby Wearing on a Cruise Ship
If you like to wear your baby you will definitely want it for the cruise ship. I loved to wear my babies and it made life much easier and ensured they would get in a little nap without having to drag the stroller around.
Strollers on Cruise Ships
I am not against having a stroller on a cruise ship. Most cruise lines permit small umbrella like strollers (always double check with the cruise line to ensure size and if it’s permitted). That is what we always took as a backup for our babies and toddlers when we cruised. Here are just a few photos of how life has looked like when we had the umbrella stroller with us.
- When my babies were in the moving stage. I would strap them to the stroller as I got ready so I didn’t have to chase them around the room.
- I also would keep them in the stroller to take photos.
- Transport them from the kids club to the room.
- Walk them around the ship until they would fall asleep, etc.
As you can see here… We brought the stroller with us and parked it under the shade while we were in port in Mexico. Baby took a nap and mom and dad got a little R&R.
Pack and Plays on a Cruise
We live in Florida and because of that we always brought our own pack and play. Especially when our kids were teething and wanted to put their mouth on the cloth rail. I couldn’t deal with the germs. Just know– you don’t need to bring your own as cruise lines will have some pack and plays available. But know, they are first come first serve and not guaranteed! Also know that most will not have a fitted pack and play sheet and their is no mattress of any kind. It’s a hard stiff board.
With that being said, once our kids were a little older and we felt comfortable using other pack and plays we only brought a 2″ thick piece of foam. I bought this foam at the craft store and cut it to fit the pack and play. My kids were never able to sleep on the hard particle board, so we bought the foam (roughly $30-40 with a 50% off coupon) and used it for years.
- Pack and Play Fitted Sheets (I always packed 2 in case we had an accident on one I could change it with a fresh one).
- Foam for mattress
- Any blankets that your child may sleep with (this is more for toddlers)
- Sleep sack – My daughter could only ever sleep in her Merlin Magic Sleepsuit, so I packed that thing EVERYWHERE we went so sleep would not be disturbed.
At the end of the day you want to make their bed on the ship as close to the bed that they sleep in at home so you don’t disrupt their schedule.
PRO TIP – I always called ahead of time to let them make notes that we would need a pack and play. The minute we stepped foot on the ship I would head to our room and see if one was setup. If not, I would find the cabin steward and make sure we had a pack and play secured immediately. One time I wanted to put the baby down to nap once we got on board and couldn’t so we had to get creative… this is where the stroller and baby carrier can come in handy!
Privacy in a Small Cruise Ship Room
One of my biggest complaints about cruise ship rooms is the lack of privacy or separation between the two areas of the tiny room. In standard rooms on most cruise ships (think interior, window, and balcony) most cruise ships do not have a full curtain separator only a half as pictured in the pack and play section above. We found that using magnetic hooks and an inexpensive cloth shower curtain (I think I paid $10 at Walmart) worked best for us. Now, on Disney, the standard balcony rooms came with a nice thick curtain separator between the main bed and the area the kids will sleep in.
We started doing this method after my realizing our kids could never go to sleep with us in the room. So we came up with a very inexpensive solution… Other friends of ours have done the same thing and it has worked great.
Also, you might notice the night light. We like to pack a battery operated candle as plug outlets can be hard to come by in a stateroom. This way we aren’t taking up a precious outlet and we can move the light around where we need it.
Download the Baby and Toddler Cruise Packing List
Baby & Toddler Cruise Packing Checklist
Taking a cruise soon and bringing along your baby and/or toddler? I have cruised with small children over a handful of times and have a pretty well rounded list of what you might need to bring on your next cruise!
I don’t know about you but I always need a list of what to pack when I travel. Especially once I added babies and kids into the mix. Double packing and sometimes it feels like I truly am packing everything but the kitchen sink!
If you want this printable checklist please make sure you fill out the form on a DESKTOP computer. The printable will not download to a mobile phone or tablet. You must do this on a desktop. This printable is for personal use only and is not permitted to be used for commercial use.
Baby / Toddler Cruise Reviews
If you are looking to cruise with your little one I documented all about cruising with a 6 month old, 1 year old, and 2 year old! You can read my perspective and see what worked and what didn’t work for us.
If you use this cruise checklist, I would be honored and love for you to take the time to leave a star rating and comment! I spend hours writing, researching, and pouring my heart into this information post to help ease travel for others. I also love to hear feedback and user experience!