7 toddler-friendly cruise lines for the best family adventures at sea
These cruise lines will make your little one smile.
From toddler-friendly activities and playgroups to nappy deliveries and child-minding services, these days, cruising with a toddler could not be easier.
So if you’re planning to bring your little wonder onboard, check out these cruise lines that go the extra mile to treat your child as the “very important toddler” that they are.
1. Disney Cruise Line
Booking a Disney Cruise with your toddler is a no-brainer.
The ships have nurseries for kids younger than three, practically everything is Disney-themed and there are character meet-and-greets too. Disney Cruise Line provides diaper disposal units, cribs and playpens upon request.
- Toddler club: The “It’s A Small World” nursery is available on the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic and caters for six-month-olds to three-year-olds. It features games, crafts, movies and nap time. Rates are $9 per hour.
- Discounts for toddlers: Disney Cruise Line offers discounts for children who share their room with two full-fare paying guests. Shore excursions are available for those up to two years old for free.
- Sleeping arrangements: Cribs and playpens are available upon request.
Go to Disney Cruise Line website
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2. P&O Cruises
Older toddlers can break out of the nursery and benefit from P&O Cruises’ toddler/preschool-friendly youth clubs.
The Turtle Cove children’s playground is geared at two- to six-year-olds and features a range of age-appropriate fun and educational activities. Toddlers two years or older are welcome on shore excursions and will be charged children’s prices.
- Toddler club: Ideal for toddlers two and over, Turtle Cove is the place for young kids. Pacific Dawn, Jewel and Pearl feature DUPLO and LEGO activity centres. Access to the youth clubs is free.
- Discounts for toddlers: Shore excursions are free for children two and under who sit on their parents’ laps. Children 2-12 years old are charged a discounted rate. Room discounts are available when the child is the third or fourth guest in a room.
- Sleeping arrangements: Cots are provided for children who are one to three years old, but haven’t turned three yet.
Go to P&O Cruises website
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3. MSC Cruises
Free travel for children younger than 12 is not the only perk of travelling with MSC Cruises, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
MSC Cruises offers an extensive range of services for babies and toddlers including baby care services and a baby laundry service.
- Toddler club: The Mini Club caters for one- to three-year-olds and allows your tyke to interact with other toddlers onboard. It’s available for select hours on both port and sea days. The Mini Club is free for passengers, but places must be reserved.
- Discounts for toddlers: Children under 12 travel free with MSC Cruises.
- Sleeping arrangements: Cots are available upon request
Go to MSC Cruises website
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4. Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Escape features the Guppies Nursery. It’s the cruise line’s first ever nursery for babies and toddlers aged six months to three years.
Toddler facilities within the Escape’s nursery include a room with sensory based toys, an open playroom and a quiet room for sleeping.
- Toddler club: The Guppies Nursery is available on the Norwegian Escape only. The nursery costs USD$20 per time block. Reservations required.
- Discounts for toddlers: Discounts rates are available for the third to the eighth guest.
- Sleeping arrangements: Cots are available upon request.
Go to Norwegian Cruise Line website
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5. Carnival Cruise Line
With a Doctor Seuss theme running across its fleet, Carnival Cruise Line knows how to take care of its littlest guests.
Dubbed the “fun” cruise ship, there is something for everyone onboard a Carnival Cruise. Tots aged two to five will be entertained with an extensive lineup of games, arts and crafts and parties.
- Toddler club: Kids aged two to five can join the Penguin colony which has activities such as musical icebergs and ocean bingo.
- Discounts for toddlers: Children younger than three can join shore excursions for free when travelling on a parent’s lap, with discounts for 3- to 12-year-olds. Discounted fare rates apply for additional guests sharing astateroom with adul
- Sleeping arrangements: Cots available upon request.
Go to Carnival Cruise Line website
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6. Royal Caribbean International
Tots receive the royal treatment on a Royal Caribbean cruise, each and every time.
And so do parents, who can rest easy knowing that Royal Caribbean has it all sorted for them. Nappies and baby food can all be pre-ordered and delivered to your stateroom the for the ultimate peace of mind.
- Toddler club: Royal Tots interactive playgroups are held onboard and the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery is available for 6- to 36-month-olds on select ships. Nursery costs start from USD$6 per hour.
- Discounts for toddlers: There are no discounted rates for children, however discounted fare rates apply for additional guests sharing the same with two adults.
- Sleeping arrangements: Play yards are provided. Royal Caribbean does not supply cots.
Go to Royal Caribbean International website
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7. Celebrity Cruises
Have an award-winning cruise experience for the whole family, including toddlers, with Celebrity Cruises.
Join your little one at Celebrity Cruises’ dedicated playgroup Toddler Time and meet other parents as your little one plays with their newfound friends. Celebrity Cruises offers changing tables and baby wipes in bathrooms for added convenience.
- Toddler club: Toddler Time is geared towards tots aged three years and under and features toys like LeapFrog. Toddler Time is free for guests. Babysitting services are available from USD$6 per hour.
- Discounts for toddlers: There are no discounted rates for children, however select sailings offer discounts for additional guests sharing the same room as two full-fare paying guests.
- Sleeping arrangements: Cots are available upon request.
Go to Celebrity Cruises website
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Are there discounts for toddlers onboard?
Most cruises do not offer discounted rates for toddlers, however many do offer discounted rates for third and fourth guests sharing the same stateroom as two fare-paying guests. Some port excursions will allow toddlers aged two or younger to travel free when on a parent’s lap. Discounted shore excursions may be available for children aged 2-12 years old.
Family-friendly cruises often have child menus that cater to its younger guests. In certain dining areas these meals are included in the fare price.
Cruises for toddlers compared
|Toddler club||Nursery/babysitting service||Discounted room rate|
|Disney Cruise Line||Yes, for kids aged 6 months to 3 years old||USD$9 per hour||Yes, when sharing the room with two full-fare paying guests|
|P&O Cruises||Yes, for kids aged 2+||Group childminding is available, but no one-on-one or in-stateroom minding||Yes, when the child is the 3rd or 4th guest in a room and the child is under 13|
|MSC Cruises||Yes, for kids aged 1-3||Childminding is available at the Mini Club, but no one-on-one or in-stateroom minding||Children under 12 travel free|
|Norwegian Cruise LIne||Yes, for kids aged 6 months to 3 years old||Guppies Nursery is US$20 per time block||Yes, when the child is the 3rd to the 8th guest|
|Carnival Cruise Line||Yes, for kids aged 2-5||Childminding is available for kids aged 12 months to 11 years old for a fee||Yes, when the child is the 3rd or 4th guest in a room|
|Royal Caribbean International||Yes, for kids aged 5-35 months old||Available for kids aged 6-36 months old from USD$6 per hour||Yes, when the child is the 3rd or 4th guest in a room|
|Celebrity Cruises||Yes, for kids aged 6 months to 3 years old||Available for kids aged 6-36 months old from USD$6 per hour||Yes, when the child is the 3rd or 4th guest in a room (select sailings only)|
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