7 Great Ways to Entertain a Baby on a Cruise
My husband and I took a 7-day Alaskan Cruise on the Holland America Eurodam in May. We took our 7 month old son with us…..GASP!!! Overall, it was an amazing trip, one that I will always look back and cherish. I did learn A LOT about bringing a baby on a cruise: what to do, what not to do, what to bring, what not to bring, etc.
The first day on our cruise was a day at sea….before we left Arkansas, I kept thinking to myself, “What will we do to entertain James on the Day at Sea?” At home, I rely on a door jumper, a play mat, a swing, a walker, etc, all to keep the baby entertained. And, well, we would have none of those things with us on board (new mom probs). Turns out, you really don’t need any of that when you are out exploring a new place with a baby. Any place works, it doesn’t even have to be a cruise ship.
But, here are 7 simple ways to entertain a baby on a cruise (luckily, it’s all stuff YOU will WANT to do! )
1. Explore the ship.
Like I said, turns out baby’s are easily entertained simply by walking around a new place. Cruise ships are HUGE. We strapped James into the ERGO baby carrier and this was the best way to pass time on days AT SEA. We got lots of exercise exploring the whole ship (much needed after all the amazing food you eat on board). Even after 7 days on board, I know there were still parts of the ship we didn’t see. Bonus: You get to meet lots of people because they’ll stop and chat and ooh and awe over the baby-cuteness.
2. Sip a Drink by the Pool (and take turns swimming)
The Lido pool deck is a great way to entertain a baby on a cruise. Age two and under are not allowed to swim (due to non-potty trained situations which i totally get). But James was happy to sit and watch the other kids play in the pool while we drank a beer. Will and I would take turns hopping in and out of the pool or hot tub.
Ok, so taking a nap may not be entertainment for the baby, but it IS entertainment for you. Will and I looked forward to his nap times because while James napped in the room, we would sit on our balcony to take in the amazing Alaskan views. Our “day at sea” was spent cruising Glacier Bay! I only wished James napped longer that 2 1/2 hours!
4. Dining with a Baby on a Cruise
We were never brave enough to go sit in the main dining area because they are usually several courses and we didn’t want to leave the waiter hanging if we had to up and bail because of a fussy baby. Although I did read some blogs where the dining room was the best setup for their family, so I just think it’s what works for you. No matter what though, the food all over the ship (Eurodam) was amazing. The Lido deck was 1 level above our room and convenient for quick runs to get coffee, a quick snack, or hot water for formula for baby, etc). The Lido Market (opened for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is all buffet style. Most ships have a New York style pizza venue-pizza made to order and it’s delicious! Wherever we dined, there was always a highchair for James and we brought his jarred baby food or squeeze pouches.
5. Play time in the room
We brought a few of his favorite toys (small ones) that I threw into one of their baskets provided in the room (the basket was for a shoe-shining service but we just threw all of his toys in the basket. While we were showering or changing and getting ready, James played happily on the floor with his basket full of toys and sometimes just the basket itself.
On one of the decks of the boat there was a shopping market with a variety of womens and mens clothing and jewelry and Alaskan souveniers. There was also a kids section with toys and books. While roaming the boat with James in the carrier, I would sometimes stop in this section to read some of the books to him….He particularly loved the Alaska Animals book…so I ended up buying that one.
7. Club HAL
While the age limit to club Hal is 3 and up for scheduled daycare, if there aren’t many kids on board, they will allow babies to come play with the toys while supervised by the parents. We didn’t actually utilize this, but it’s something to consider.
So there you have it! While some might scowl at the idea of bringing a baby on a cruise, I found it exhilarating. I love traveling with my little one. And a cruise, I found, was a fun way to explore Alaska with the luxury of not having to pack and unpack.
Have you ever taken your little one on a cruise? What was your experience like?