Travelling with a toddler comes with a whole new set of joys as well as headaches. Doing anything with a tiny human who can not only run faster than you, but who also refuses to be reasoned with is a challenge. Most people avoid a whole lot of activities when they have one of these in tow, and travelling is definitely one of those things.
We have travelled with Jacob during his toddling stage, and actually, it’s not really that difficult. But we have been lucky and have a pretty easy going kid. But if your spawn is not as well behaved, or if you are thinking of going on your first trip with a toddler and you are a bit apprehensive, then maybe a cruise will be right for you.
5 Reasons Why Cruises Are Great for Toddlers
No need for long drives or plane rides
One of the hardest things about travelling with a toddler, and the one thing that turns most people off the idea, is the thought of being confined in a small space for several hours with a bunch of strangers and trying to reason with a toddler about why they can’t run around, or why they shouldn’t kick the seat in front of them. It’s hard work for a parent on a plane. The great thing about cruises is that if you live in a port city, well all you need to do is jump in a taxi.
You Have a Home Base
Some children need more structure and routine than others. We are lucky that Jacob doesn’t need routine at all and can fall asleep in a new bed every night, but not all kids are like that. When you are on a cruise, you will have the same cabin for your entire journey, allowing little ones to become more settled. You also are allowed to bring lots and lots of luggage, so you can bring along that favourite blanket or whatever else your little one needs to feel comfortable and settled.
Kids Club and Babysitting Options
Most (if not all) have kids club options for their younger passengers. Check each cruise line, as some cruises require kids to be potty trained, or a minimum age for them to use the kids club without parents in attendance. P&O’s Pacific Dawn requires kids to be potty trained, and luckily Jacob had just mastered this very important skill prior to our cruise. The kid club on Pacific Dawn operates until 10:30, and after that point you can pay a small fee per hour for a babysitting service. We only left Jacob in the kids club on a couple occasions since we had such a large group of family with us that baby sitters were never too far away. Having easy access to day care and babysitters is definitely not a regular feature of conventional holidays.
Family Friendly Shore Tour Options
Even though it is good to have a fairly consistent environment to help alleviate the stress of our littlest travellers, sometimes we need something novel to distract them as well. Our recent cruise had three shore days. On two of the days we opted to do our own thing, but on the third we decided to join one of the shore tours. The large variety of shore tours available on most cruise lines makes it easy for parents with toddlers to find a safe and well organized activity to keep the little one busy and tire them out for the day.
Peace of Mind
Traveling with kids can be stressful. What do you do if they get sick or hurt themselves? Even if you have a good travel insurance, it can be hard to find a good doctor or hospital in some places. On a cruise ship you have a clinic staffed with high quality health professionals. Peace of mind goes a long way to enjoying your holiday, and making new memories with your little one.