Toddler Travels Part 3 – So how do you keep a little one entertained and happy on board a cruise ship?

So how do you keep a little one entertained and happy on board a cruise ship? Firstly we should explain that we are lucky to have a very confident and social 2 1/2 year old. So on embarkation day, we headed up to the children’s club, initially out of curiosity having previously never ventured to these areas and also to see what was on offer. Being organised I had pre-downloaded the registration form prior to boarding and completed it at home, this was not necessary though as the staff had plenty available and were more than happy to sit with you to help complete. We found the staff to be very friendly and happy to explain all the facilities all whilst our daughter was having the time of her life in the soft play. They also provided a free gift for signing up – a reef lunchbox which we thought was a nice touch.   What did surprise me however was that for our cruise they had decided to merge the 2 age groups so 2-4 and 5-8 year olds combined! I was reassured by the robust process in place for signing children in/out and the necessary security. We were able to have up to 4 people signed up as responsible adults so it meant we were able to sign up Aunty and Grandad who were travelling in our party. Why might this be necessary – we’ll both myself and husband are prone to seasickness so in that circumstance, it would be good to have others. The children’s club is open on sea days for morning session starting at 10 am, afternoon at 2pm and evening at 6pm. On port days they start from 2pm. On our first morning, we ventured up at 09.45 ahead of the morning session. Earlier than scheduled start time but we had been strongly advised places available on a 1st come 1st served basis and sea days tend to be the busiest. Our little one was always happy to go in – she enjoyed soft play, colouring, and singing. On observation, they had stations planned out each time with puzzles, games, art and play-doh. A reassurance to us was the fact the staff were willing to support our little one with toileting. With her being newly potty trained we took up with us her usual change bag with wipes, spare underwear and change of clothes. The strangest thing for us was having a couple of hours as adult time – what do we do? what are we going to talk about? We took full advantage and headed to the Glasshouse on 1 occasion and had a gin flight in the Planet bar. Neither places being ideal with a noisy toddler in tow. Does it work for everyone – perhaps not but is it worth a try – absolutely. The children do not need to stay for the whole session, you can sign your child out whenever you like so if half an hours is what works then that is fine. If you are worried you can call the children’s club at any time to check in and in some instances they can provide you with a pager to alert you if you are needed back. The activities are tailored to the different age groups and we observed lots of staff on hand. In addition to the children’s club, there are family activities highlighted in the cruise planner. These include the live lounge early evening for a children’s disco or family bingo if the sea air hasn’t tired them out enough …. Thank you for reading my sister’s blogs and hope if you are travelling with a little one you have picked up some tips that might help you. I have just come off 2 nights the brand new Saga Spirit of Discovery so will tell you all about that next time. I will be out of the office from the 13th July for a week as its time for my own holiday to the Norwegian Fjords on Azura with the husband. Have a great couple of weeks Kerry xx
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Toddler travels part 2

So from following us you know we have made it safely on board, where we are travelling to and that we have found ourselves in very comfortable accommodation. It’s now time to explore all that P and O Azura has to offer us.

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Toddler Travels – Part 1

This blog is going to be slightly different and this time not written by me – my sister has taken over and written about her experiences of travelling with a very active toddler on our family Azura cruise.

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Royal Caribbean bring out the dancing celebs for 2019 Southampton sailings

After the shock news that tore through the cruise industry and left many customers disappointed to hear their cruises for next year onboard the Independence of the Seas had been cancelled and redeployed to be sailing to the Caribbean and in particular Royal Caribbean’s own private island  – Perfect day at Coco Cay in the Bahamas,  it was nice to hear a couple of positive pieces of news surrounding this year’s sailings from Southampton on Royal Caribbean.

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Azura like a comfy pair of slippers

I can’t believe I have been home a week already from my family cruise on Azura – which saw me and Nick, my  mum and dad, and my sister, brother-in-law and my 2 and a half year old niece all off for the week – and for a P&O embarkation, it was one of the smoothest I have ever encountered upon arrival at 12:45pm we were told to head straight to check-in despite our check-in time being a later time and once clearing security we were onboard within 15 minutes of arrival. I have been on Azura many times and nothing had changed so was like returning home. or putting on a comfy pair of slippers. Our departure was delayed until 21:30 so the winds from storm Hannah could die down but muster drill was still at the same time.

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Azura here I come

Whilst you are reading this I will be on my own cruise onboard the Azura for 7 nights and we set sail on Saturday 27th April. What started off as a cheap quiet getaway for me and my husband has now resulted in the trip actually being a family cruise with my mum, dad, sister, and her husband and their 2 and a half-year-old daughter (and it will be her first cruise).

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Sky Pad accident

This week making the headlines on Royal Caribbean was the sad news of a 25 year old man from Florida who has broken his pelvis and dislocated his shoulder after the bungee cords on the Sky Pad he was bouncing on snapped and he dropped 20 feet back to the ground. He has now launched a $10 million lawsuit – this happened back in February on a short cruise on the Mariner of the Seas to the Bahamas.

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Ducks are taking over the ships

This week I found out there was a cruising craze I had never heard of which now happens on most cruises and involves rubber ducks – yep those little things you buy to bob up and down in the bath,  well it appears they are now taking over by hiding around the cruise ships and its something that’s great fun with lots of people now joining in. So what is this craze all about – its simply people are hiding rubber ducks over cruise ships and are either rehiding them or keeping them – you choose.

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Launch Week has arrived

This week at Cruise.co.uk will be a busy one due to P&O Launching their winter 2020/2021 programme – yes that’s right you did read up to March 2021 is going to be on sale. Do you even know what you are doing in March 2020 let alone March 2021 because I certainly don’t, let alone whether I want to be away on holiday? Its always a frantic first hour trying to make sure we get the cabins and make the bookings for those people who have pre-registered.

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My whirlwind 22 hours on MSC Bellissima

I was lucky to have just spent the last 22 hours onboard the brand new MSC Bellissima, and I was excited to have been chosen to see one of the newer ships as I had only ever been on the MSC Preziosa. As time was limited and living fairly locally to the port of Southampton I made sure I was there for when check-in opened and was onboard by 11:15am.   Here is how I spent my 22 hours onboard.

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