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Tips/Tricks/Recommendations for cruising with a 16 month old

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hey all , my wife, my 16 month old son ( at the time of the cruise ), my In-laws, and I will be cruising on Harmony of the seas in April of 2020.

I'm just looking for any recommendations, tips or tricks to make this the best vacation possible.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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1) Ask ahead of time for a pack n' play for the baby to sleep in.

2) Go to the nursery first thing on the ship and get registered and make reservations. When we went on Liberty, we were able to make 3 reservations to begin with, and then on day 3 could make more. Don't count on drop-in - it was rarely available to us.

3) Check and see if your ship has restrictions on the pool (likely) - but for us, Liberty allowed our 15 month old on the splash pad. I "think* (but double check me!!) - they had swim diapers available at the pool station. I brought some, but it was nice to know if I needed another one, I didn't have to run back to the room.

4) They also had an area during the day (usually the teen area) - where they put out toddler toys for the babies to play with. It was noted in the Cruise Compass - so look for that.

5) We arranged with our dining servers to  have fruit and crackers on the table when we arrived so baby didn't have to wait to eat something. That was really, really nice.

6) Our daughter didn't respect "ship time" and we spent a LOT of very early mornings wandering the ship. We knew ALL the cleaning staff on the 4am shift! LOL. She also enjoyed entertaining all the early risers in the coffee shop - where we'd go to get snacks that early in the morning.

7) If you are traveling with family, see about recruiting for the nap times. I spent A LOT of isolated time in the cabin with my daughter who was still napping twice a day. While it was quiet, and nice, it was very isolating when everyone else was off having fun. See if you can trade off with the others. 

8 ) pack twice as many diapers and wipes as you think you'll need. Trust me on this. (Also - take the stinky diapers to the hallway trash - which gets emptied more frequently than your stateroom trash. It also doesn't hurt to pack a little air freshener!)

9) You can take cartons of milk from the Windjammer to keep in the room. Also, utilize the complimentary continental breakfast room service for milk delivery in the morning if your baby is a big milk drinker. We also had them bring bananas and pastries. 

10) I didn't use a stroller much on the ship - just used the baby carrier. This made it very flexible for us to take the stairs - AND - I may be the first person to ever lose weight on cruise carrying a 22lb toddler around and up and down stairs! If you do take a stroller - get a cheap umbrella or one of the ones that folds up the size of a carry-on suitcase. The big strollers take up too much space and are hard to maneuver. 

Good luck, and have fun!

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  • Matt changed the title to Tips/Tricks/Recommendations for cruising with a 16 month old

We did cruises with both of our kids at the 16 - 18 month mark. We did love the stroller around the ship. Often they fell asleep in the stroller, and off we went to Trivia or something else. Be prepared for afternoon naps. (Twist my arm!! 😉 During down times, sometimes we watched movies, sometimes we slept. 

Grab cereal boxes at breakfast buffet for easy snacks. Ice cream breaks is a good way to break up the day and influence behavior (if we're not good, we can't have!).

Bring easy, small toys. Both loved having their own mini backpack that they put special toys into. We often found quiet-ish places for our young one to run around and then play with play-dough. Lots of coloring. Our son at that age loved cars, and I always had a few in my pocket. During dinner, between courses we often took turns taking a walk outside of the dining room. Also used play station with headphones to watch a favorite movie. 

Lots of wipes, lots of baggies to help keep snacks handy (and for yucky clothes), take LOTS of pics, and bring lots of flexibility and patience. But I can tell you we had a BLAST! So much so with our daughter at 17 mos, that we did it again when she was about 4 and our son was about 16 months. ENJOY! 😃

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/26/2019 at 9:21 PM, Marlena said:

Oh good. It wasnt on a cruise but when I've travelled down south with my daughter we would sit on the balcony while our daughter napped. ( door dead bolted with a baby minitor)

 This way mommy and daddy dont have to sit in a dark room for 2 hours. 

Did you put the baby monitor in your carry on or your checked/cargo bag when you went on the ship? 

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