Sailing over the bounding main with baby can be sensational sea cruise or a shipwreck–depending on how you plan. Many cruise lines, including Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and of course, Disney, offer baby- and children-friendly packages. The ships have either group or individual baby sitting available so you can enjoy some time alone. But before you cast off, consider these seven smart suggestions:
- Pick a destination you’ll all enjoy. Instead of Alaska in the winter, head for a warm-weather location like Hawaii or the Caribbean.
- Ask about room amenities when you book. You’ll need a mini-fridge for baby’s food and milk, not to mention a portable crib.
- Consider a suite instead of a stateroom. It will add to the cost, but it will give baby a better sleep environment and the adults a space more conducive to enjoyable down time. If you can’t afford a suite, opt for a larger cabin. Don’t forget–you’ll need room for the portable crib.
- Take advantage of the baby sitting services. You’ll treasure the freedom to participate in on-board activities and shore excursions.
- Bring a stroller. Baby needs fresh air, too. Take walks around the deck and treat baby to some shore trips in a couple of ports-of-call.
- Stay flexible. Balance shore excursions with the needs of the younger members of your family. You’ll have plenty to enjoy on the trip without having to sign on for every, single shore excursion.
- Pack wisely for baby. Make sure you have enough of the essentials: baby food, formula, disposable bibs, disposable diapers, baby wipes and rash creams and favorite toys. And one more thing–bring plenty of plastic garbage bags to make disposing of the aforementioned diapers quick and easy.
If you know a baby with a cruise in his future, Corner Stork Baby Gifts has the perfect “bon voyage” presents. The “Bucket Full of Baby Stuff” gift set features a sweet, little sailboat on a bodysuit, two burp cloths and a darling denim hat. Or you can commemorate her first ocean voyage with a Personalized Keepsake Plate highlighted by a colorful sailboat. At the end of the day, when all’s said and done, with the proper planning, your little sailor will have oceans of fun!