toddlers on boat travel cruise with a toddler

Discover the Top 15 Reasons to Cruise with a Toddler

Uncover the top reasons for going on a cruise with a toddler and create unforgettable family memories. Find out why it’s the perfect vacation choice!

toddlers on boat travel cruise with a toddler

Let’s talk about cruising with a toddler! And why! People thought we were crazy for taking our 13-month-old on his first cruise. Do we regret it? NOT ONE BIT! Let me tell you why! In this blog post, I’ve included all of the reasons why going on a cruise with a toddler is an absolute game-changer for your family vacation! Picture this: stress-free travel, endless entertainment, and a whole lot of memories waiting to be made. Trust me, cruising with a toddler can be a breeze, and I’m here to spill all the details. So sit back, get comfy, and let’s dive in!

This post is all about the top reasons to cruise with a toddler.


Top Reasons to Cruise with a Toddler

Not many people think about a cruise with a toddler, and I don’t blame them! The idea of cruises that we have does not typically look very toddler-friendly. However, if you just look at a cruise from the perspective of family vacation planning, a cruise is probably one of the most toddler-friendly vacations out there! Let’s talk about why going on a cruise with a toddler might be the best vacation for you!

All-in-One Vacation

When it comes to vacationing with a toddler, convenience is everything! That’s where the beauty of an all-in-one vacation on a cruise comes in! Imagine having everything you need right at your fingertips! No more worrying about finding restaurants, entertainment, or activities suitable for your kids. On a cruise, it’s all there for you, right on the ship. From family-friendly dining options to dedicated play areas and entertainment tailored for toddlers, you can relax and enjoy your vacation without the stress of planning every single detail. It’s like a mini city on the sea, designed to cater to your family’s needs and ensure a hassle-free, fun-filled adventure.

Cruises are Easy to Plan

Ok, this is more of a plug for cruising in general, but picture this: you book the cruise, your transportation to the cruise, and what looks fun at each port, and you are done planning your trip. How amazing does that sound! 

  • No worrying about hotels and car rentals. 
  • No worrying about restaurants to eat 
  • No worrying about all of the activities to keep your family happy throughout your trip. 

A cruise is literally one of the easiest trips to plan!

So what does this have to do with cruising with a toddler? Well the less you have to worry about on your vacation, the more you can enjoy it! And as I’ve learned when traveling with a toddler, the less you have to worry about outside of keeping that little child alive, the better!

beach cruise with a toddler
Photo by Vira Dykun:

Kid-Friendly Activities

More cruises now are providing kid-friendly activities to make a cruise with a toddler or older kids so much easier! Of course, some cruise lines are going to be better than others. The cruise lines that we have seen have the best kid-friendly activities are Disney Cruise Lines (of course!), Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. Whether it’s character breakfasts or dinners, kid-themed dance parties, or pirate nights, there are plenty of kid-friendly, and toddler-friendly activities available on cruises.

Childcare is Available

If you want to have some time for yourself when you go on a cruise with a toddler, let me introduce you to childcare! We had no idea that this was an option before our first cruise, but we are so grateful that it is! Being able to explore with our son is so amazing, but there are times when we would like to sneak off to get massages or go see a show. We used child care with Royal Caribbean and although we did have to pay extra for it, we were able to leave our son and good hands (and a pretty fun playroom) for a few hours so that we could spend some time together.

Entertainment for All Ages

Many cruise lines are really good at providing entertainment for the whole family. We love this about a cruise with a toddler! It’s no surprise that Disney Cruise Line is the best at this! Their shows are so fun for toddlers but are also really entertaining for us to watch as well. We’ve also seen some really fun and family-friendly entertainment on Royal Caribbean!

Kids Are Cheaper to Sail With

Let’s talk a little about budgeting! Cruises are typically cheaper for kids! Who knew, right? When you are traveling with the toddler as a third or fourth guest in your room, those guests are typically given discounted fares, which makes it really budget-friendly to take a cruise. Some cruise lines will also run deals where kids can sail for free! So definitely keep an eye out for those.

Cribs Are Free

You read that right! You do not have to pack a pack-and-play if you don’t want to! When you are booking your cruise, you can request a crib to be added to your room. If you aren’t given the option to add it when you book your cruise, you can always call afterward and request it. The cribs are complimentary and are usually just pack-and-plays. I don’t know about you guys, but not having to haul a pack-and-play just makes packing and traveling so much easier! 

baby on a cruise with parents and grandparents on a family vacation.

Flexible Meal Times

On cruise ships, the food is always flowing! Although you may have a specific meal time that you select for dinner, the buffets are always open around meal times! So if when you are on a cruise with a toddler and they are too hungry and you can’t last until your meal time, then you can always get food from the buffet. If the buffet is closed, there are little snack shacks throughout the boat where you can get food. If those are closed, you can order room service! Room service is 24/7, so you don’t ever have to worry about you or your toddler going hungry!

Mealtimes Can Be Easier

Aside from the fact that you don’t have to cook (can I get a Hallelujah!) meal times on a cruise ship with a toddler can be marvelous! If your toddler is feeling extra cranky, you don’t have to sit in a restaurant and try to manage all the energy. You can go to the buffet and let your toddler choose the food they want! But wait, they have too much energy for the buffet too? No sweat! One of the beauties of a cruise is that you can always take your food from the buffet back to your room! Or, if you don’t want to lug your food that far, you can always just order room service! Flexibility in mealtime is one of my favorite things about going on a cruise with a toddler. 

You Can Unpack!

Once you step on board the cruise ship, you can say goodbye to hauling your suitcases everywhere. Our favorite thing to do when we get on a cruise ship is to unpack! We will literally stow our suitcases away because we don’t need them during our cruise! Not just that, but we also LOVE not living out of our suitcase. We have the luxury of having everything within reach! How convenient is that?

Medical Facilities Easily Available 

Hopefully, you never have to use these, but the cruise ships have medical facilities ready and willing to help if there is anything you need! This has always been huge to me when we have gone on a cruise with a toddler. Knowing that if something happens, he can get the help he needs is such a relief!

Safety Protocols

Cruises are incredibly safe! To get onto the boat, you have to go through security screening. Your bags also go through security screening to make sure no one is bringing anything onto the boat that they shouldn’t. You actually don’t see your bags for several hours when you first get on the ship while they screen them! In addition, there are lifeguards everywhere around the swimming pools, you attend a mandatory safety presentation when you get on a boat, and they screen you when you get back on the boat at each port. 

toddler on a cruise port travel with toddler excursions

Cultural Experiences

If you’re taking your toddler on a cruise that goes out of the country, it can be a great way to introduce them to different cultures. We personally love to go on a cruise to a new place first before we decide to commit more time to it later. Just like it’s a little sampler for us as adults, these stops on the cruise are little samplers for toddlers to get to experience new things that you may not be able to experience otherwise!

Ports of Call Are Easy to Navigate

If you’ve never been on a cruise, a Port of Call is the stop that you make while on your cruise. What’s so nice about cruising, is that these ports of call are pretty easy to navigate. Most of them have little shops right when you get off. So if you are worried about what to do at a port of call when you go on a cruise with a toddler, and you don’t want to plan something grand, you can still get off the ship and explore the area around the port and get a feel for the city that you’re in! 


Quality Family Time

In most families, there is a “Vacation Planning Master”. This person has put together the itinerary. They are responsible for getting the family from point A to point B in one piece. And on time! 

I am that person. 

I can honestly say that vacations, as much fun as they are, aren’t always vacations for me! So I ask, what other vacations are there where everything is planned for you? Where everyone in the family can be fully present? Where that “Vacation Planning Master” position isn’t needed? 

A cruise! 

Everyone in the family being fully present, and spending time with each other is so clutch. A cruise is a great vacation for that to happen! 

woman and toddler on beach travel cruise with a toddler and young kids

Make Great Memories

Most people have told me that going on a cruise with a toddler was a waste of money. They always told me that he wouldn’t remember it. Thank goodness for technology! We’ve got so many pictures and videos that we have shown him of our cruises and he LOVES them. Whether he remembers the excursions we took, the beaches we played at, or the late-night movie nights in our room with room service, we don’t know. What we do know is that those are some of OUR favorite memories with him and ones that we will remember for a long time.

Well, there you have it—the top reasons why going on a cruise with a toddler is an absolute must for your next family vacation. Stress-free travel, endless entertainment, family-friendly amenities, thrilling adventures, and the peace of mind that comes with a secure environment—it’s all waiting for you. So, what are you waiting for? Set sail on an unforgettable journey with your toddler and create memories that will last a lifetime!

cruise on ocean family travel

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