Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tips for Disney Cruising with a Toddler

It has been almost two months since we got off our Disney Cruise and I can't wait to go back. We learned a lot on this cruise...and yeah, cruising with kids is way different that cruising as a couple. Here are my tips. I hope they help you plan your cruise adventure.

Wait Until They are 3

I am not a big wait until they are old enough to remember kind of person. If I think E will enjoy something and it won't make me crazy, I will do it. That said, with only one child and unless it is a big family trip, I would wait to go on a Disney Cruise until they are 3 and potty trained. There is a lot to do for those under 3 and E had a great time, but there is a whole lot more for kids over 3.

Enjoying some toddler time
That said, I can't imagine a better ship to sail on with one under 3. You didn't have to search for changing stations. Diaper genies and cribs were brought to the room. There were a decent amount of activities for the little ones. As a whole, they were super accommodating to both E and her 7 month old cousin. If you have one over 3 and one under, this is the vacation to take. 

Check In Online and Get on Board Early

Complete your online check in as soon as you can and pick an early arrival time. This allowed for us to get through check in at the port quickly and we were one of the first few groups to get on the ship.

Once on board, we got activity tickets before the lines got to long. Had lunch and wandered the ship for a bit all before the rooms opened at 1:30. This meant that as soon as our room was open, we could go in and get E down for a nap.

Excited to get on board.

Ask About Other Times

When we got to the activity desk to get tickets for the Princess Meet and Greet, the Disney Jr breakfast and the Frozen Experience we took the first times they gave us. Unfortunately, this meant that the Frozen Experience and Princess Meet and Greet were right during nap time. This lead to a very grumpy princess who did not want to leave her Daddy's arms. If I had to do it again, I would ask for a different time.

Grumpy Princess

Don't Book Shore Excursions

As anyone with a toddler knows, they are unpredictable on a good day. We held off on booking shore excursions because of this and I think it was a good thing. We still managed to go to the beach in Grand Cayman and enjoy Cozumel, but we did it on our own terms. It also meant that we were not trapped for hours on a beach in the rain with a little one.

Coffee in Mexico and beach time in Grand Cayman

Leverage Adult Time

We took in a dinner at one of the adults only restaurants on board. This was really nice for us, because we don't get much adult time together. Between this and previous cruises we have been to both Remy and Palo and either one is a great option. Book early if you want and leverage onboard child care options.

Getting fancy on date night
We are in the process of booking our next Disney Cruise, because E keeps asking when we are going back on the big boat.