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ULTIMATE toddler cruise packing list

ULTIMATE toddler cruise packing list

Going on a cruise with a toddler and wondering what the ultimate toddler cruise packing list looks like? In this guide we will tell you all of the toddler cruise packing list essentials from clothing, shoes to other toddler travel essentials. 

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Things to know when packing for a cruise with a toddler

Cruising with toddlers / toddler cruise packing list

Cruising with toddlers. toddler cruise packing list

Before we get into our toddler cruise packing list checklist I thought it would be worth mentioning some things you should consider. 

Firstly when you are considering how much toddler paraphernalia you are packing, I would say take more than you think you are going to need. 

If you toddler is not potty trained for instance or still drinks some formula you will need to pack more than you will need for your cruise. While there is a shop on board the ship you aren’t guaranteed that they will have toddler supplies, or that if they do that they will have the right brand and size. 

Also if you are buying supplies on board the cruise ship you will also be paying a premium for this. 

However if you are doing a fly cruise then you may be worried about taking up too much room in your case. Therefore we recommend using the day before embarkation to stock up on supplies locally. 

The other thing to consider, especially in relation to clothing is whether or not you are sailing on a cruise ship with a laundry. If you have a cruise ship with a laundry you won’t need to pack as many spare clothes. 

However if your ship doesn’t have a laundry I would advise packing ample spare changes of clothes so you don’t have to pay for costly dry cleaning and ship done laundry while on board.

If I can I try to book on a  ship with a laundry room whenever I am a cruising with a baby. That way I only need to take enough clothes for half the week and I will do laundry mid trip. 

Also remember when you pack for a cruise be sure to leave spare clothes and any of your toddler essentials i.e. diapers, swimwear and medications etc that you will need that day. 

On embarkation day you leave your main baggage in the cruise terminal which will be delivered to your stateroom later in the day. If you are lucky it will arrive quickly. If you are unlucky it might not arrive until after you have had dinner. So be sure to have anything you will need in the next 24 hours in your carry on embarkation day luggage. 

What to Pack for a toddler on a cruise (clothing wise)

Holland America Cruise while Pregnant

While below we have made the assumption that you are going on a 7 day cruise, you will need to add and subtract the amounts of each thing if you are a longer or shorter cruise. 

Note: remember if your cruise ship does not have a guest laundry room you may want to pack more spare clothes. 

7 outfits (i.e. tops and bottoms) + spare

If you are traveling on a 7 day cruise with a toddler then I recommend packing 7 outfits plus a couple of spares to ensure they last your entire trip.

If your ship has a laundry and you are happy to do laundry on your vacation you could halve this amount. 

Note: For more information on what to pack for toddlers on an Alaskan cruise check out this post. 

A Formal Outfit

Most cruises regardless of length will have a formal night. And longer length cruises may have 2 formal nights. 

If you plan on attending the formal night, which I admit is one of my favourite nights on  a cruise ship, then be sure to take a more formal outfit for them as well as yourself. 

And if you do get some cute photographs be sure to check out our favorite cruise ship instagram captions

Layers

Cruises, even hot weather cruises can get chilly when you are out on the deck and in the dining rooms where the air conditioning is fierce. 

I recommend having some casual top layers and a formal cardigan or jumper for the dining room. 

PJs

Staterooms can be chilly so you will want a medium weight pair of PJs for your toddler.

If your toddler isn’t fully potty trained and sometimes has nighttime accidents then I would recommend taking a spare pair of PJs with you.

UV Protection Swimwear

You may find some cruise ships have pools and splash pads (depending on the ship). And if you are traveling to the Caribbean many of the ports will have beaches that you will want to take advantage of with your toddler. 

While you can take any swimwear for your little one, I recommend taking swimwear with UV protection where possible. We usually use Splashabout swimwear for this reason. 

Alongside the swimwear we recommend taking some swim aids and water toys. Swim aids are a great way to make your toddler safe on a cruise with proper supervision and the toys will add to their enjoyment at the pool or beach. 

Click here to shop UV Protection Swimwear

Sun Hat and Sunglasses 

If you are travelling to a warm weather destination then be sure to take a sun hat and sun glasses with you for your toddler. 

And if your toddler is like mine you may want a spare set for when you inevitable lose one. 

Other Toddler Cruise Packing List Essentials 

Taking a toddler on a cruise - tips for cruising with a toddler

Taking a toddler on a cruise – tips for cruising with a toddler

Diapers

If your toddler is not potty trained then be sure to take plenty of diapers with you. We recommend packing enough for the length of the cruise and enough for a day either side. 

If you are flying to meet your cruise and are worried about packing constraints then you can buy them at your embarkation port. Either way just make sure that you have them when you embark on your cruise.

SudaCreme

I also recommend taking anything that you use to combat nappy rash such as Sudacrem or Metanium. 

Swim Diapers 

 

Even if you are on a ship that doesn’t have a splash pool for an unpotty trained toddler to use be sure to pack swim diapers for use on shore excursions where you will be on the beach or using a pool in port. 

Wet Wipes and Bags 

This is pretty self explanatory – no parent wherever they are doesn’t want to be caught without wet wipes. 

Formula Milk If required 

how to fly with formula fed baby / how to travel with baby formula on plane

If you are traveling with a toddler who is still formula fed I would advise taking a supply of milk with you. There is nothing worse than changing formula and baby getting an upset tummy. I always bring a supply with me wherever we travel.

Sun Screen

Normally sun screen can be bought on ship but it is expensive. You will likely want a high factor and kids version so be sure to bring this with you. 

Also if you plan on doing any snorkelling with your toddler or sea activities, be sure to pack reef safe sun screen. 

Click here to buy sunscreen

Blanket or Toy

If your toddler has a blanket or toy that they can’t sleep without be sure to pack this and take with you. 

However just be sure you don’t lose it. 

Stroller

Stoller on cruise ship

Stoller on cruise ship

There is not much space in any cruise cabin whatever the cabin and cruise line. For this reason packing light is always a priority.

Now I have seen people online say to leave a stroller at home when you cruise with a toddler in favour of a carrier however I really don’t advocate this.

Strollers are useful when in port and also for going around the ship. We would also use in the evenings on the ship as toddler could nap in the stroller while we could have a late dinner or drink and meant we weren’t confined in our cabin. 

However I would recommend choosing your stroller wisely as you will need a compact one to make sure it doesn’t take up too much space in your stateroom. 

For more information on the best stroller for cruise ship travel check out this post. 

Pacifiers

If you use pacifiers at home be sure to take these with you. 

Bottles

I usually take around three bottle and teats etc with me as this allows for fresh bottles on shore excursions without worrying about cleaning. 

Sterilising Equipment

One of the biggest questions we had when cruising abut a baby was about how we were going to sterilise her bottles. We opted to use a sterilising bag and steriliser tablets on our cruise like this. 

Sippy Cup

If your child has migrated to a sippy cup be sure to have one with you. 

Children’s Shampoo and Wash

While cruise cabins will provide you with an all in one shampoo and body wash I wouldn’t recommend using on your toddler. I find the toiletries on a cruise ship to be a little abrasive therefore I always take some for my little one especially. 

My favorite brand is Child’s Farm but I recommend using whatever you use at home to prevent any reaction. 

Inflatable Baby Bath

 

My number one tip for if you are traveling to a warm weather destination and your baby can’t use a pool is to take an inflatable baby bath with you. It is a great substitute paddling pool. 

Even If you don’t plan on using the bath as a paddling pool I would recommend taking the inflatable baby bath with you anyway as most staterooms don’t have baths only showers. 

Both of my kids as toddlers hated taking showers so having an inflatable baby bath takes the stress out of washing them on a cruise ship. 

First Aid Kit

We take one with us wherever we go! 

Medication

Although there is a doctor on board cruise ships, there are not many medications available to purchase in the shop especially for toddlers. 

Therefore we recommend taking medications that you use with your toddler when they feel unwell as well as things to combat things such as teething. 

Toys  

 

Especially if you have some sea days in your itinerary I would recommend having a few (not lots) of toys with you and maybe a play mat if you have space in your case.

Some of my toddlers favorite toys for travel include top and tails jigsaws, some magnetic toys and water wow coloring pads which don’t cause a mess on cruise ships and are a great travel toy. 

For more information on the best toddler toys for travel click here. 

Car Seat 

Possibly the most contentious item on this list but we always travel with a car seat.
 
Even if you are thinking about only walking on shore excursions with no car or coach transfers I would strongly think about whether you will be needing the car seat because you need to consider about how you will get to and from the ship.
 
If you have a private car transfer you will definitely need the car seat or if you are traveling to the embarkation port via Uber or Lyft etc. 
 
Do you have any questions about packing for a toddler for a cruise? Then drop us a comment and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.