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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I also recommend taking anything that you use to combat nappy rash such as Sudacrem or Metanium.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you use pacifiers at home be sure to take these with you.
I usually take around three bottle and teats etc with me as this allows for fresh bottles on shore excursions without worrying about cleaning.
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.