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Cruise with 18 month old

5 replies

Sleepdeprived921 · 15/05/2022 20:07

Hi all,

i was looking for some top tips and recommendations please! We are taking our DD on a cruise in August with P&O, she will be 18 months and we’re really looking forward to it. She is already walking so I know Reins will be needed! But I was wondering if anyone had any top tips for going on a cruise with a toddler? For instance, did you take a car seat on board with you for when you have to go on a coach for trip excursions or were they provided? How did you find your child’s routine in terms of meals etc - is there anything you’d recommend, I.e. packing own finger food bits etc? How did you manage potentially having a later night with DC - did you add an extra cat nap in later in the day to keep them going? I’m just looking for any ideas and tips that may take any potential stress out of the holiday! This will also be our first holiday abroad with DD where her normal routine may be altered slightly. Any advice is really appreciated, thank you x

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Fivemoreminutes1 · 16/05/2022 08:02

Often on a coach toddler sit on their parents’ lap, especially if it’s not a long journey. However, we have done excursions where instead of a bus they put us in local taxis, etc. You need to find out what the transportation is for your excursion.
It’s also worth considering private excursions. You will have an easier time controlling the itinerary on a private excursion, and it could be less expensive. I usually started by researching where the cruise line excursions travel to, and then looking on tripadisor or going to the destination forums of cruise critic to find independent tour operators.  

Unless you book a suite or family cabin, your cabin probably won’t have a bath. The showers in ship cabins are extremely tight so you will want to think in advance how you plan on bathing your 18mo. I used to take an inflatable bath.
One area not to go crazy on is clothing as most P&O ships have free laundry facilities on board.
There are loads of dining options on board so you can work meal times around your toddler’s schedule, not the other way around. It might be tempting to throw the sleep schedule out the window to take advantage of all the activities, but the last thing you want it a grumpy toddler!

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pumpkinmash · 16/05/2022 08:06

We put ours in night nursery - under 2s can go sleep while you're at dinner with your other half. You have to collect them by 11pm I think it was then you can resettle them in your cabin for the night.

We never did any coach trips but the transfers to the pedestrian part of the port we just held them (while babies), or put them in a seat with an arm round them - it's only a couple of minutes at 10mph.

They do a kids buffet tea at 5 on P&O and with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, mid afternoon ice creams etc we didn't need food in our cabin - although the fruit bowl meant we could delay going to breakfast til we were dressed and showered.

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Sleepdeprived921 · 16/05/2022 19:52

Thank you both so much for your replies! That’s a really good point about the excursions, I think I’ll maybe do a bit of research around the ones we want to do and then either ring P&O for our options on transport or take a car seat just incase.

thank you for the tip on the inflatable bath!! That is so helpful! I definitely don’t think she would have the patience to stand and shower and she loves bath time so that’s definitely worth doing.

yes that is very true, I think we’ll just stick to her routine like you say as she knows where she’s at then and less likely to get overtired and grumpy on holiday! Especially when it’s all more about the days for us all together than the night time!

yes we had seen about the night nursery but we recently had an email from P&O to say that they aren’t currently reopening the night nursery even post covid? Which I thought was strange! We have booked a balcony cabin so at least me & hubby can sit on the balcony and relax when DD goes to bed!

The kids tea at 5 is perfect and fits right in with her usual tea time! Can adults eat too then or I’m guessing we could just book in a restaurant on board at that time for our dinner as a family? DD does love her breakfast usually within half hour of waking - she’s an early bird averaging any time between 05:30 - 06:30 starts, obviously that may be different by the time we go, but is it worth taking some breakfast type snacks/fruit/yoghurt to keep her going in the morning until we go for breakfast or will P&O be able to provide that if I ask for it in the room?

thank you xx

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TizerorFizz · 16/05/2022 20:19

Cruise ships have food available nearly 24/7. Are you flying to join the ship or is it leaving from the UK? If from abroad you should not import food. I have found plenty of food readily available. Where are you going regarding ports?

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Fivemoreminutes1 · 17/05/2022 07:30

There’s always food available 24/7 on a cruise ship. On P&O, up by the pool deck they have a couple of ‘grab and go’ fridges with a variety of sandwiches/wraps and puddings/fruits available for take away. Like a boots meal deal, but free! There are also snacks or ‘light bites’ available at the buffet out of meal times. On top of that, there’ll probably be a poolside snack bar and a handful of coffee shops serving muffins, pastries etc… Also, it’s not uncommon to see people making a packed lunch from the rolls, cheese, meat and salad from the breakfast buffet along with a piece of fruit or two.
Most cruise lines include room service free of charge. You can get breakfast delivered to your stateroom at a time you want (earliest is usually 7am). I’d recommend ordering room service breakfast early on a port day if you are planning to get off the ship shortly after docking.

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