• Lissette Fernandez

Cruising with a Toddler: 8 Tips to make it easier

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ custom_padding=”0|0px|73.6719px|0px|false|false”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”3px|0px|36.8281px|0px|false|false” _builder_version=”3.0.48″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″ z_index_tablet=”500″]Last week we went on a 7-day cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. My husband works for Royal Caribbean and he has the ability to submit for a cruise (to sail standby). We had been discussing different vacation options before giving birth and we felt this would be perfect!

The reason we decided to do it now is that you cannot be more than 23-weeks pregnant. At the time of departure, I was 19 so this was something that if we were considering, we had to do it NOW.

We didn’t find out that we were going to sail until the day before when bookings had closed for this ship, so I had to pack for all 3 of us in a hurry the day before.

Packing for a 7-day cruise is not the easiest thing to do under normal circumstances, let alone in a rush because you have to think of all scenarios. I still feel like I over packed the baby and under packed for myself. We made it work though.

When we decided to submit for certain cruises, we had looked at a few different ships. We felt that Oasis would meet our needs the best. We were looking for kid-friendly cruises because if the baby isn’t happy, mom and dad aren’t either. This ship has a ton of kids activities and kid-friendly places. Here’s a rundown of all the things we found on this ship.

Pools

They have an amazing kids pool area called the H2O Zone. It’s a pool, a splash pad, and a lazy river pool. Actually, we don’t know what the “lazy river pool” is called, but it’s a round pool with a current. It takes you around kind of like a lazy river.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src=”https://youtu.be/IGpqd05i7gM” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]The pool itself (which is only 3.5 feet) also has a hot tub next to it that the kids can use. Actually, the kids can use all the pools on board, except at the Solarium area, but this is a nice zone carved out specifically for kids.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]Adventure Ocean

In the kid’s area (Adventure Ocean) they have a playroom that is full of toys and all kinds of fun things for them to do. It is only for kids 5 and under, so the toys inside are geared towards that age group. It is not monitored so parents must watch your kids while they’re in this room having fun. If your kid plays well, like mine does, this is a nice time to hang out and read a little while your kid plays and has fun with other kids.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler1.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″ z_index_tablet=”500″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″ z_index_tablet=”500″]Adventure Ocean also offers camp-style play where they break out the kids into 3 different age groups. This starts at 3-years old so Sebastian was not old enough to take part. We were able to look into the rooms and see the different activities they were doing and all the kids looked like they were having a great time.

I wish I could write more about this from my experience, but I can’t. The groups are broken out into the Aquanauts group (ages 3-5), Explorers (ages 6-8), and Voyagers (9-11). They also have a separate tween and teen club and areas they can hang out at. This ship also had the Dreamworks experience. There was a character breakfast with the Dreamworks characters, 3D movies at the main theater, and on the big screens at the back of the ship. They had photos with the characters and dance parties at certain times. For the little guys under 3, they offered a music class during certain days. Unfortunately, the timing of this class was right in the middle of Sebastian’s nap time so we were never able to take part. If there is one thing I would complain about is this because this was scheduled at 1 pm when most kids are napping. It should have been offered earlier or at least at different times on the 3 days they offered it.

Adventure Ocean also offers babysitting services for a fee ($6 per hour before 8 pm, and $8 after 8 pm) so that if you need a date night, you can have one. We used their services 3 of the nights we were on board so that we could dine at different specialty restaurants. We didn’t want to worry about Sebastian getting antsy to leave or misbehaving in the middle of our dinner. If you have your kid at one of the Adventure Ocean groups, they also pick the kids up outside of the main dining hall at certain intervals. This way you can finish your long meal without worrying about having to keep your kids entertained. So if you’re at a 2 hour sit down meal, they’ll pick the kids up after 45 minutes when they’re usually done eating so you can enjoy the rest of your dinner. Again, I didn’t take part in this because Sebastian was not old enough yet. We heard a lot of parents talking about what a great thing it was for them though. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″ text_font=”||||||||”]The Boardwalk

They have an area known as the boardwalk where they have a hand-carved carousel the kids can ride for free. It was one of Sebastian’s favorite things to do. The whole boardwalk area was pretty neat and interactive.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src=”https://youtu.be/xcyZDG-BH1U” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_video][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler18.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″ custom_padding=”28px||”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler2.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]There is a Johnny Rockets on board, and next to the restaurant, there is a play area for the kids. There is a car and a double-decker bus that the kids could jump in and out of and pretend to drive. Its windshield points towards the two big screens that would play movies. this way the kids could sit in there and watch a movie if they wanted.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler23.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.21.1″ max_width=”80%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″] We spent the bulk of our time either in the playroom or in this area because those were the areas a lot of kids are. And Sebastian enjoyed the time he spent here. We went to the pools 3 times, but with the ports and other activities, we couldn’t visit more often. Plus, at certain times of the day, the pools were too cold. We went one morning after breakfast and were only able to stay there for about an hour before Sebastian even suggested we go, and that doesn’t happen! The next time we went, we made sure to go later in the day when the sun was higher up so it would be a little warmer. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler17.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler16.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″ custom_padding=”22px||”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]They also had a mini-golf course on board where Sebastian was introduced to the sport. It didn’t go so well, because a 2-year-old with a club and a ball and other people trying to play doesn’t mix well. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler11.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]The one thing I loved about the ship is that the crew encouraged him to be a kid. It wasn’t an uptight sailing where if he misbehaved a little, people were looking down their noses at us. It was very relaxed and laid back and there was no shame in a 2-year-old acting like a 2-year-old, even in the main dining hall. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler9.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]Ports


There were 3 ports of call for this sailing: Labadee, Haiti,  Falmouth, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico. We got off at Haiti and Jamaica and skipped Cozumel. We’ve been to Cozumel before and we really weren’t impressed, so we opted to just stay on board this day. We decided not to do any excursions since we were a bit hesitant about the logistics of the bringing the baby with us. And with the pregnancy, we were also afraid of the mosquito situation. I did take a lot of mosquito repellent and sprayed myself before leaving the room on port days, but we felt it was better not to venture too far. So this time around we didn’t do any excursions.



At Haiti we decided to get off and enjoy the beach. Labadee is a part of Haiti that only for Royal Caribbean guests. We had access to the beaches and the crew brought in an awesome barbecue lunch out for us to enjoy.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler4.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler8.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler7.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″ custom_padding=”30px|0px|0|0px|false|false”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.21.1″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]The port at Jamaica is more of a shopping port. We got off the ship and looked around at the stores and ventured a bit into Falmouth itself, but never too far away from the ship. Sebastian actually fell asleep in the stroller before his naptime. We decided to keep walking around while he napped because the alternative was to carry him out of the stroller to get through customs. That would have caused him to wake up before he was well rested and we didn’t feel it was worth the risk. So we let him sleep while we window shopped.

While on the ship, Sebastian shopped a little… [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2016-02-01-17.45.21-1-768×1024.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]And relaxed a little…[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler21.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]But, all in all, we had a great time and are already looking forward to our next cruise after the baby is born.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising_with_toddler6.jpg” align=”center” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_divider _builder_version=”3.21.1″ max_width=”80%” module_alignment=”center”][/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.21.1″]There were a few lessons we learned on this trip and a few things we would do a little different the next time we sailed.

Research the ship. Make sure you are sailing on a kid-friendly ship or make sure you bring plenty of things to entertain your child with. We went for the family friendly ship so we didn’t have to pack an extra bag for toys. We still brought some to keep Sebastian entertained during meal times and time in the cabin.

Take a small stroller. We took our umbrella stroller and that was the limit as far as stroller size. Even this small stroller was a bit tricky to maneuver in hallways and elevators.

Plan for sleep. Our Jamaica day got a little tricky at night. Since he napped in the stroller, he didn’t get a good nap in because he only napped for about an hour, which means Sebastian was in a mood later in the day. Unfortunately, this day we also had reservations for one of the specialty restaurants. We ended up having to cut dinner short because he had a meltdown at babysitting. On the plus side, he slept well that night.

Consider your child’s age. If we could have, we would have been better off waiting until he was 3 to sail. It would have opened it up for a lot more activities that he could do without us around. He could have had his time and we could have had our time. Because he was a few months shy of being 3 so we had to take turns taking care of him if we needed our own individual time to decompress. So we also never got time to do things together unless we paid for babysitting.

Take kid-friendly snacks to stock the mini fridge or grab stuff from the buffet. There are a few things you can get on board and keep in the room for your child. We decided to pack Gerber Grabber pouches of snacks because that seems to be Sebastian’s go-to item when he wants a quick snack. During breakfast, stock up on milk and Cheerios or any other cereal your child likes to keep on hand. Also, things like bananas and apples or other fruits are good items to take back to your room for those moments when they have to have a snack. It is better to grab it when it’s there because it might not be available in the dining halls later.

Find the kid-friendly restaurants as soon as you can. We found that the buffet was not very kid friendly and didn’t have things like mac & cheese or chicken nuggets. We found one restaurant that only served pizza and the main dining hall had things like mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. A lot of times we had to take Sebastian to eat at one place wait for him to eat, and then we ate somewhere else. This is because he is a picky eater and he didn’t like what they had. It also wasn’t until the end of the cruise that we figured out room service would bring us kid-friendly food. So if you’re in a bind, room service is another option.

Plan for a slow pace. Don’t expect to fit a bunch of things in on the same day because your child will not be able to keep up. This goes for any vacation with a toddler. The atmosphere of a cruise is set for a slower pace anyway (as opposed to Disney), so that’s not so hard to do, but keep this in mind on port days.

Become very familiar with your cabin’s sleeper sofa. Sebastian decided to sleep in our bed day one and the sleeper sofa day 2. We never knew where he would want to sleep on which day. Instead of having our cabin steward make the sleeper sofa every day, we learned how to open and close it and set it up whenever he wanted. This was for space saving because it does take up a lot of room in your cabin.

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This post was shared at the following blog hops:

This Is How We RollLadies Collective LinkupMad Mid Week Blog HopFriday FrivolityFreedom FridaysFriday Flash BlogFriday FeaturesThat Friday Blog HopToddler Fun Friday[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/pin_this.png” _builder_version=”3.21.1″ animation_style=”bounce”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.21.1″ custom_padding=”0|0px|30px|0px|false|false”][et_pb_column type=”1_5″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_image src=”https://sillybabiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Cruising-with-a-Toddler.jpg” _builder_version=”3.21.1″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_5″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

#FamilyTravel #CruisewithKids #RoyalCaribbean #TravelTips #TravelingwithKids #Cruise

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