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The Ultimate Toddler Cruise Packing List: Pack With Confidence!

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You’ve bought your cruise now it’s time to pack! Here is a must-have toddler cruise packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything for your little people!

toddler-cruise-packing-list

I can’t tell you how excited it makes me that you are here and prepping for your first cruise with a toddler! We have loved taking Ollie on cruises for so many reasons that I wrote a whole post about it! Some of our favorite things about a cruise are the experiences we are able to have as a family and the fun shore excursions we are able to take him on. Packing for a family vacation with a toddler can feel a little overwhelming. It can feel like there is so much to bring! Don’t worry though because although the toddler cruise packing list may be long, I promise it won’t take up much space.

Why?

Clothes for young kids are so tiny! For a week-long vacation with Ollie, I can share a suitcase with him and have room for all of my stuff. No joke! His clothes are so small that most of his clothes can fit in one packing cube and the extra stuff can just be split between mine and Josh’s suitcases. Easy peasy! So easy in fact that sometimes I pack with one eye closed just to make it more challenging 😉 

The challenge definitely does come in the non-clothes-related items for sure. Let me guide you through that! I will help you be prepared but not over-pack for your cruise. This post is all about the must-have toddler cruise packing list.

If you are looking for more help on going on a cruise with a toddler, you don’t want to miss this blog post.


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Toddler Cruise Packing List

(Based on a five-day cruise to a warm location, like a Caribbean cruise)

Just click on each item on the table of contents below if you want some more information on it!


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Deep Dive into the Toddler Cruise Essentials

I’m not going to lie, that list probably seems overwhelming, huh? Well, let’s break it down!

Clothes

Depending on the cruise you are going on will depend on the clothes you bring for your little toddlers. The length of the cruise will also play a part in this. Here is a toddler cruise packing list that I recommend for a five-day cruise with a toddler to a warm location.

7-9 Shirts

7-9 shorts

2 pairs of pants

2 pairs of sandals

1 pair of tennis shoes

1 pair of water shoes

25-30 diapers

7-10 swim diapers

1 pack of wipes

5-7 socks

3-4 jammies

1 jacket

1 pair of sunglasses

2-3 swimsuits

1 nice outfit for formal night

1-2 hats/sun hats

cruise toddler essentials

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Sleeping

Crib/Pack-and-play

All right, first on our toddler cruise packing list is sleeping arrangements. Most cruise lines will provide a crib (pack-and-play) for your little toddler. You just need to be sure to request it when you book your cruise or at least 2 weeks before your cruise. You don’t need to bring a pack-and-play unless you want to which makes one less thing you need to worry about! But if you do and are looking for a good one, we love this pack-and-play! It’s perfect for travel.

SlumberPod

If you were going to be using the crib that the cruise provides or bringing your own and it is a standard size, I really recommend SlumberPod! The SlumberPod is like a little tent that goes over the crib and creates a dark environment for your toddler to sleep in.

It might feel a little unnecessary to bring this and add it to your toddler cruise packing list, but trust me it’s not. It’s great in general, but is even better on cruise lines! It makes it so you don’t have to go to bed when your young kids are going to bed. It also makes it easier for them to sleep in the same cruise cabin as you. I’ve even seen people use their SlumberPod at the airport, so their little toddler can get a nap in during a layover before a flight.

Inflatable Travel Bed

If your little toddler is no longer sleeping in a crib, then you can utilize the sofabed. You usually don’t need to worry about making the bed either! Your stateroom attendant will make the bed for you on the first night and keep it as a bed unless you ask them otherwise.

If your little toddler or young kid is going to be sleeping on the sofabed, and you are worried about them falling off, I recommend bringing some travel bumpers that you can put on each side of the bed underneath the fitted sheets. There are little bumpers for your little toddler to make sure that they won’t roll off. If you don’t mind inflatable bumpers, this is a great set of inflatable bumpers that are very travel-friendly. If you prefer a pillow-like bed bumpers, then this set is very good

Sheets

This varies between cruise lines, but I would recommend that you bring your own fitted sheets for sure if you are going to be using the crib/pack-and-play sleeping option. I’ve seen some cruise lines provide just a twin fitted sheet and others do not have any so it’s best to be on the safe side!

Comfort blanket or stuffed animal

Because your little toddler is going to be experiencing a lot of new things, it’s always helpful to add one of their comfort stuffed animals or blanket to your toddler cruise packing list. This helps them have a little bit of home and something they know with them to help them feel secure despite the changing scenery around them. Especially bring their comfort item if they sleep with it!

Sound machine

Cruises, like most hotels, can have a lot of noise that can come in through your door from people walking by. Adding a sound machine to your toddler cruise packing list is so helpful in making sure that these little noises don’t wake your toddler in the middle of the night when they (and you) are trying to sleep.

Night light

Some little kids still need a night light, so don’t forget to add one to your toddler cruise packing list! Some sound machines come with a nightlight, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone!

Travel Power Strip

Cruise cabins on a lot of the older ships do not have a lot of plugs so I would highly recommend adding a travel outlet extender to your toddler cruise packing list. You will be plugging in a lot of things and you don’t want to have to unplug a nightlight or a sound machine because you need it for something else! This travel power strip is great for cruising because it doesn’t have a surge protector, which most cruise ships do not recommend bringing.


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Travel Items

Birth Certificate/Passport

I’m adding your toddler’s birth certificate and passport in the travel section because you can’t travel if you don’t have those! If you are staying within the country, you may not need a passport, but you always want to have a copy of your toddler’s birth certificate with you when you travel.

JetKids

Chances are that if you are going on a cruise, you will most likely need to fly there. For the airport and longer flights, I recommend the JetKids Bedbox. It’s great for airports that require a long walk to or from your gate, like the Salt Lake Airport. The JetKids Bedbox allows your toddler to ride on it while you pull them along or they can pull it along themselves. It’s also perfect for on the airplane so they can put their feet up and maybe even take a nap!

Car Seat (or Travel Car Seat)

I would also recommend adding a car seat to your packing list whether it’s your car seat or a travel car seat. I know, the groans. I get it. Traveling with a bulky car seat is not always fun. Let’s talk about why it may be a good idea to bring it though.

If you are flying, you will most likely be getting an Uber or taking a shuttle to the cruise ship and we want to make sure that your little toddlers are safe! Some Ubers and shuttles will have car seats available, you just need to plan ahead and request them. If there are none available though, bringing your own car seat or a travel car seat will keep your little toddler safe on the way to and from the airport. 

Baby carrier

If your little toddler is still small and not super comfy in their little walking feet, adding a baby carrier to your toddler cruise packing list is a good idea. Especially when you are going on excursions where a stroller isn’t very well suited, or if you are just going around exploring and don’t want to worry about a stroller.

Comfortable Stroller or Umbrella Stroller

Your little one may be napping on the go in the stroller, so having a comfortable one that will recline so that they can get a good nap is going to do wonders for you. Oliver didn’t do so hot on the flight over for our first cruise, so he ended up sleeping in the stroller at the airport while we waited for our shuttle for several hours! He also slept while we were out and about on our sea days which made bringing our stroller so worth it.


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Eating

Bibs

Bibs will be really helpful to keep with you to keep your little toddler clean! The cleaner you keep your toddler, the fewer clothes you have to go through! Especially if you are eating in the main dining room for your meals, it will help contain the mess so your toddler doesn’t walk out looking like they had a food fight with themselves!

Travel Utensils

Most cruises won’t have toddler-sized utensils, so adding kid-friendly utensils to your toddler cruise packing list is so helpful. I can’t tell you the stress that it reduced when I was able to give our toddler utensils that were his size rather than trying to manage with the metal utensils during meal times.

Bottles/Sippy Cups/Water Bottles

For sure you will want to bring your own bottles and sippy cups. Preferably some that don’t leak! You don’t want to be worrying about leaking sippies when you are out and about on your sea days or exploring a new city. If your toddler can drink from a water bottle, don’t forget that either!

Formula and Baby Food

If your little toddler is still drinking formula, don’t forget to add extra formula to your toddler cruise packing list! It can be so stressful to run out and then have to find a store at a port city that has formula for your toddler. If your toddler still eats baby food, pack it up! The cruise lines will not mind if you bring that onboard.

Snacks

Even though cruises have plenty of food, I would still recommend adding packaged snacks to your toddler cruise packing list. We have found that the best types of snacks are your child’s favorite snacks. Don’t try to get too fancy on your toddler because it’s possible they won’t eat it if they don’t recognize it. I’m sure you know, but a fed toddler is a happy toddler.

Dish Soap

This isn’t food, of course, but it will come in handy! You will want to clean your bottles/sippies and utensils (if you bring some), so having dish soap on hand will help make sure your items stay clean. Adding dish soap to your toddler cruise packing list will be really helpful!

Travel-Sized Laundry Detergent / Stain Remover

Here’s another item for your cruise packing list that you may not have thought of: laundry detergent and stain remover. Kids are messy. Young kids are messier. Toddlers are the messiest of all. Having some stain remover or travel-sized laundry detergent handy will help avoid stains and even clean some clothes in the laundromat if you need to.

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Extras

Travel Tub

Adding a travel bathtub to your toddler cruise packing list might seem like a funny thing to add. Let’s talk about it! Most cruise cabins that you will be staying in do not have a bathtub, so if your little toddler is used to taking baths and not super sure about showers, bringing a travel bathtub will make keeping your little toddler clean so much more enjoyable!

Ziploc Bags

Bringing Ziploc bags on a cruise may sound funny, but they come in so handy! Whether you have snacks that you want to store from the dining rooms or you need to keep some toddler beach keepsakes safe, bringing Ziplocs will be worth it.

Temporary tattoos or Safety Wristbands

OK, these aren’t real tattoos, they’re just temporary tattoos that you can put on your little toddler with your name and phone number so that if they get lost, your little toddler will be able to find a way back to you! We love these for travel, especially for trips like cruises and Disneyland! We also found some safety wristbands that are just as effective too!

Swim diapers

Most swimming pools on cruise ships do not allow little toddlers and swim diapers to swim in there. However, there are usually little splash pads or toddler pools that your little toddler will be able to play in on the cruise. So don’t forget to pack swim diapers! You can also buy reusable swim diapers as well if you want to save yourself some money!

Beach bag

For cruise ships going into tropical places, having a beach bag for beach days is super helpful! I love this type of beach bag because it folds up pretty small so that it can just fit in your suitcase when you’re not using it.

Magnetic Hooks

I’m sure you’ve heard that there is not much room in cruise cabins. Like, they can be really small. So if you want to maximize your space, bringing magnetic hooks can be really helpful for hanging stuff! Some of the walls and the ceiling is metal, so the magnetic hooks will stick really well and keep stuff better organized.


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Safety

Floatie

Even though they may not be able to swim in the pool, it’s still always good to be safe and have them in a floatie when they are in the kittie pool or even on the beach near the ocean. The cruise ships will have some life jackets available, so if you don’t want to add a floatie to your toddler cruise packing list, then you should be fine. If you have a very particular toddler though, bringing the one they are used to may be a good idea.

Sunscreen

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Your little toddler’s skin will need all of the protection from the sun, especially if you’re going somewhere warm and sunny. For little faces, we love using sunscreen sticks. They are amazing!

Medicine

You never know what could happen so adding some basic medicine to your toddler cruise packing list with you can be really helpful and prevent any unnecessary stress if your little toddler starts to not feel well.

First aid

Cruise ships will have first aid if you need it. However, I like to bring a little first aid kit so that if we are ever on an excursion or need something really fast, we can access it.

Lotion

A lot of time in the sun and the water can dry out your toddler’s skin! Don’t forget to add lotion to your toddler cruise packing list.


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Fun

Sand toys

Don’t forget the sand toys! These silicone toys are super easy to clean and really great to have on beach days!

Small Travel Toys

Even though you are on vacation, your little toddler will still want to play! Don’t forget to add some small toys to your toddler cruise packing list that they can play with on the go or in your cruise cabin. It’s helpful to keep some with you as you walk around the boat or on your excursions so that you can keep them entertained.

Books

Especially if your little toddler has a night routine that includes a book, don’t forget to add a few to your toddler cruise packing list to try to keep some of the routines alive!

Toddler Camera

How cute would it be to see the world through your toddler’s eyes?? You can with a little toddler camera! We got Ollie one and it was so fun to see the things he took pictures of and how different everything looked from his perspective! This is something that isn’t necessary to add to your toddler cruise packing list, but it could be a fun one to add.

iPad

We like to bring an iPad or an Amazon kids tablet and download some movies and shows so that we can have some things accessible if we want to give some screen time. It’s also good to put some non-wifi-friendly educational games for Ollie to play every now and then.


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Best Cruise Lines with Toddlers

I would be remiss if I didn’t offer some advice! I have a full guide on taking toddlers on a cruise that you can look at, but the most common question I get that I want to mention here is what the best cruise line is for toddlers.

My answer, hands down is going to be the Disney Cruise Line. They just add the Disney magic to their cruises and it is nonstop entertainment. I’m pretty sure you could just be going locally and it would still be the most fun cruise. Disney Cruises has a kids club too that is unlike any other. The downside is the price.

My second recommendation is Royal Caribbean. They have amazing entertainment and great activities for small children and kids. We have taken more Royal Caribbean cruises and would go back again in a heartbeat. They also have some pretty good deals where kids sail free which is hard to beat.


There you have it! That is the ultimate must-have toddler cruise packing list! Although you may not need everything that we listed here, I really hope that this helps you with your next cruise packing list to make sure you don’t miss anything and have a great cruise!

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