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.
27th April saw us willingly take on a new challenge in our crazy family life – Cruising with a toddler in tow!
Myself and my husband love the ease of holidaying on a cruise ship, travelling directly from Southampton (less than 1 hour from home for us) and waking up in a new country to explore. How different could it be with a 2 year old ………. We did a lot of planning!
Firstly we gave a lot of consideration to the type of cabin we required. We got expert advice through consultation with our Cruise.co.uk Agent. Naturally the larger the cabin the more space you are going to get but this will come at a cost. We were fortunate to secure a great deal on a 7 night cruise meaning that we were able to opt for a Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin. This meant that our little one had a fold out sofa bed. At 2 ½ years she is too big/ old for a travel cot but too small to sleep in a Pullmans bed. Our Cabin Steward appeared to perform magic for us – Sofa by day, Childs bed at night. He also sourced for us an additional bed guard to the one we had requested through our Cruise.co.uk agent so we had x2 bed guards ensuring our child’s safety, allowing us to relax.
With this cabin we had the added luxury of a full-size bath, ideal for young passengers. Can you imagine trying to wrestle with wriggly toddler in a small shower tray with a wet shower curtain. We had an ample size balcony to enjoy with seating and were reassured that the lock from the door was positioned high so out of reach from inquisitive young hands. The Balcony provided bonus during the day when our little one took her nap as we were able to people watch from the balcony with a drink in hand taking in the sights of the port. At night if we retired to bed early, we could enjoy a cheeky G&T watching the world pass us by at sea with little one sleeping safely not too far from us.
This Cabin Grade also comes with additional luxuries which were very welcome – Champagne and chocolates on arrival, fluffy gowns and slippers, canapes on formal night and 2 TVs allowing for the cabin to have separate zones. We took toys and books on board with us and we took a pop-up laundry hamper to act as storage for this. This helped us keep all little one’s bits in one place to minimise the risk of losing any items but also helped to keep the cabin clean and tidy.
Another factor we gave some thought to when planning our travels with a young one is where should we cruise to. As this was our 1st cruise with our toddler we opted for a 7-night Port Intensive Western Europe Cruise – only 2 days at sea. We wanted to make sure that boredom would not creep in and as had no idea how many of the facilities on board we would/ could make use of. Previously we may have looked at excursions and places to explore. The thought of doing this with a toddler in tow, climbing on/off coaches, negotiating a pushchair and trying to keep them amused whilst not spoiling enjoyment for other passengers did not appeal greatly to us. We decided that at each port we visited we would take a slower pace, focusing on just 1 key point of interest. We tried to plan around our usual routing so looked to disembark early and be back on board for the afternoon. This worked for us as it often meant you missed the crowds on disembarkation and boarding, we could be out not in the strongest heat from the sunshine and then enjoy the facilities on board being a bit quieter.
In Cherbourg we visited Citi La Mer the aquarium which was entertaining for all and directly opposite where the ship was docked, In Guernsey we headed to the high street of St Peters Port, roaming the cobbled streets.
Watch out for part 2 that covers dining on board, childrens clubs and life on board …..
Have a great couple of weeks
Kerry and her little Sister Fiona