When it comes to vacations with kids cruising is one of the best options. Food is included, you have free childcare for potty trained kids 3 and up and you can have a drink poolside while the kids enjoy the splash pad. What’s not to love? However, many people shy away from cruising because they don’t know what to expect. Well, look no further. I am here to ease your mind and give you some tips that have helped me when cruising with little ones.

Tip #1 Check out Kids and Family program day 1

I will be using the name of the program that is used for Royal Caribbean cruises however, many cruise lines have a child program.

When you get on the boat for the first-day head over to the nursery and adventure ocean to register your children. Adventure Ocean is a free program for potty-trained children ages 3 and up. They will have different activities every day for your children and you can drop them off or pick them up anytime. They also will feed them dinner so if you want to have a date night you can.

The Nursery is a little different. Register the first day and then you will have to schedule time for your baby to be dropped off. They will then give you a phone so they can contact you if they need you. I did about 2 hours at a time so we could see a show or do dinner. This cost $6 an hour before 10 pm and after 10 pm its $7 an hour. The staff is AMAZING and really set my mind at ease. Even my 1 yr old would wave at the workers when we would see them on the boat. The first day is a great chance to get to see the facility and meet the workers.



Tip #2 Bring family or friends with you

If you have family willing to go on the trip with you DO IT!!! They can be a big help. Sometimes the kids don’t want to go to the adventure room but you still want some alone time. Having family there to take the kids is ideal. We don’t have family that can come with us so we opted for going with friends. Our friends gave us a kid-free night while on the boat and that was so great. Also during the sit-down dinner, it was nice to have some help with the kids.

Tip # 3 Bring some special things from home

You will be gone for a week and in a new environment. For our 1 and 4-year-old, we took some books from home so we could have bedtime stories like we always do. I also brought two baby dolls for our 1 yr old because she loves to cuddle with them. We also brought light blankets for them so they could have a piece of home.

You can also bring some fun things. We decided to bring some glow bracelets which were a HIT. When the sun set we would go out on the balcony and let the kids wear them and they had a blast. We also let them play with them in the cabin and it was the best $9 we spent. You can purchase them here.

Tip #4 Arrive one day before you set sail

This takes away a lot of the stress of travel. If you stay the night near the port you can get on the boat early. Boarding usually starts around noon. So the sooner you get there the sooner your vacation starts. It also helps the kids get a good nights sleep and ready for the adventure. We live in FL so we are within driving distance to four ports and we still chose to stay the night. It cuts down on so much stress. LESS stress is the best way to vacation with kids.

Tip #5 Embrace Formal night


If you go on a seven-day cruise you will have two formal nights. Pack clothing for everyone for at least one night.  The pictures that you get with the family is priceless, the kids had a blast dressing up.


Tip #6 Be flexible

There may be a shore excursion or activity on the boat you want to do but something comes up and you can’t. Just roll with it, there is always fun stuff to do. Our son was fine with the kid’s program for the first 4 days and then day 5 he didn’t want us to leave. My husband and I had already planned a date night so our son just came with us. We gave him his iPad with his educational games and some downloaded movies (we do not buy the internet package because we want to be disconnected as much as possible) he was content and we had a fun on our date-night. Just don’t stress and go with the flow.

Tip # 7 Skip the stroller and Baby-wear


I saw a lot of strollers on the cruise and they can be helpful but when you are out and about at the ports you may not have an area that is stroller friendly. Baby-wearing is very helpful and helps you stay hands-free.


Tip #8 Bring a way to communicate on the boat

Chances are you will get separated at some point on the boat with kids. Especially if you have more than one. Two-way radios are the BEST way to communicate when on a cruise ship. You’ll be able to keep in touch with your party and not have to pay high cellular fees. Get some with a long range. We were able to speak with our friends from all over the boat without issues. You can purchase the ones we used here.

Tip #9 Pack Smart

It’s very easy to overpack when you are going anywhere with kids. You don’t have to bring the whole house and kitchen sink. Most boats have laundry service for a fee so you can pack light. If you are traveling with a baby who needs formula, diapers and baby food (most cruises let kids travel as young as 6 months) then make sure to bring plenty of that for your trip, but a lot of clothing is not needed. Check out my video below to see what I packed for my kids four our cruise

Tip #10 Get to know the Waitstaff

One thing I like about having the same time to eat every day for dinner is that you truly get to know the waitstaff and they get to know you. Our waiter was AMAZING with our kids. He had their dinner down, since they’re kids and usually order the same thing. They made animals out of napkins for them to keep them busy during the courses. They even made a sofa for our son to sleep on when he fell asleep one of the nights. I love that they made the kids feel included.



Kids are unpredictable and may have moments where they get upset but at the end of the day you’re together as a family making memories and that is worth more than gold.

cruise cruise cruise

These are just a few tips that have helped us greatly when cruising with kids. I hope they help you on you and your family on your cruise. For more information about the new technology, Royal Caribbean is developing on click here.

Have you ever taken a family cruise before? If so, do you have any tips that have worked for your family? Share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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Amber strives to be an open book and share her love of family, fashion, and beauty. She loves to share her experiences as a mother, wife and plus size woman in her lifestyle blog and YouTube channel. No topic is off limits. Fashion and being plus sized, Surviving PPD, being married for over a decade, dealing with infertility and PCOS and using humor and love as a means to encourage those who are going through the same thing. You can catch her on YouTube (FloridaNatural83) and Instagram @Theambernycole.
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