Monday, January 12, 2015

Disney Cruise With a Toddler (Tips & Tricks)

Last month, we went as a family on a 7-night Caribbean Disney Cruise!
Matt and I had been on an Alaskan Disney Cruise a few years ago and we weren't so sure how Lilly Belle was going to do. We were nervous about the sleeping arrangement, formal dinners and wondering if the two of us would really be able to enjoy it as much as we had last time with all of our "freedom". All of our nerves were quickly put away as we learned that no one is lying when they say Disney Cruise Line is the best for families!

TIP #1
If you can, we definitely recommend staying in a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom. They are a bit more pricey, but definitely worth every penny. There was so much space in our room! We walked in and were completely amazed. There was a curtain that divided the room and that was perfect for both naps and bedtime. We also learned that because the tv is on a swivel mount, you can bring it over to the other side of the curtain to be able to watch tv while your child/children are sleeping. 

TIP #2
That brings us to the 2nd tip. On each Disney Cruise Line ship, there are channels available on the TVs in each stateroom that will air the live shows just 15 minutes after they begin live in the theaters on board. This is great for parents who may have a child old enough to see the shows and one too little. We would take turns staying in the room with Lilly Belle while she slept while the other went to the shows live. Neither of us had to miss them then!

TIP #3
Bring activities to dinner to keep your child busy. The dinners are long. They start with bread and then an appetizer, then your meal followed by dessert. You will be there for a long time each evening.  Lilly Belle always started to get antsy as we would be waiting for our entree. 

TIP #4
Ask your servers if they can bring your child's entree out with everyone else's appetizers. This way, your child will have their dinner sooner and will have something to focus on and keep them busy so you have more of a chance of actually getting to eat your dinner!

TIP #5
Use the It's A Small World Nursery! We only used it for a few hours of our trip, but we were very happy with it. You have your Wave Phones which are like walkie talkies, so they are definitely able to get ahold of you if needed. We were really happy with each of Lilly Belle's stays. On one occasion, Matt went to pick Lilly Belle up and was greeted by Peter Pan! Peter Pan was actually just in the nursery playing with all the babies and toddlers! Lilly Belle was so excited. I only wish we had pictures or a spy cam to see how she responded! 

TIP #6
Pack swim diapers! Although children who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pools, they can still play in the splash areas. On the Fantasy, Lilly Belle loved Nemo's Reef! There were little waterfalls, water sprays, and even a little slide for the kids to play on. The water was a bit cold in there because it's covered and shaded, but it was a blast! We played in there often! There were a couple times that the stores were closed while we were on board and we were unable to buy diapers. So, lesson learned...pack a bunch!

TIP #7
Grab some toddler friendly food during the breakfast buffets that you can keep with you throughout the day. There is a break in the buffets between breakfast and lunch and then lunch and dinner and sometimes, Lilly Belle would get super hungry and just wanted something simple like a banana. My sister in law had a great idea too of filling baggies with trail mix type food by the oatmeal bar. She made little trail mixes for the kids that they could munch on all day. Wish I would have known to do that before we were at the airport on the way home ;) 

TIP #8
The sports deck is a great area for your child to get their wiggles out! If you can find a time when there aren't many people playing basketball up there, it is a large open space for your child to run!

TIP #9
Use your Personal Navigator! This one seems simple and like a total "duh" but really, you could fill your entire day with things to do for your whole family in that thing! Between little shows and character meet and greets, there is alway something going on, even for toddlers. We loved the Wake Up With Disney Junior shows in the mornings and also the Character Dance Parties where the kids got a chance to dance and play with some characters! 

TIP #10
Remind yourself that one day, you may get the chance to lounge in the adults only area where it is so calm and peaceful...but for now, soak it all up with your sweet kids! We loved to see it all through Lilly Belle's eyes. She was so in awe with everything. That was probably the best part of the whole cruise...

(Feel free to Pin this post and if you have any more tips to add, we would love to hear them in the comments section!)

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