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7 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Going on a Cruise with Kids

Are you going on a cruise with kids? Traveling with kids is always challenging, whether you are going on a land vacation or going on a cruise with kids, it is no different. It will not be your easiest and most relaxing vacation. Here are the worst cruise mistakes you can make when going on a cruise with kids.

Worst Cruise Mistakes for Families Cruising with Kids

1. Not Bringing Kids OTC Medication

Many new cruisers often forget to pack over-the-counter medicine for their kids when going on a cruise. They assume they can easily buy it at the cruise gift shop if necessary. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The cruise gift shop often stocks only adult doses, and it might not carry the liquid or chewable versions, which is important if your child cannot swallow a pill yet.

This is why you need to bring kids’ fever reducers like Tylenol or Motrin and kids’ antihistamines like Benadryl. It’s also wise to pack kids’ anti-sickness medicine since the cruise ship might only have the adult version available. Also, the kids’ anti-sickness meds are chewable. Personally, I always bring chewable anti-seasickness meds for my kids.

Mistakes to avoid on a cruise with kids

2. Not Bringing Your Kids Passports

Don’t forget to pack your children’s passports when traveling. Many countries require passports for children, even infants. If you don’t have your child’s passport, bringing their birth certificate is a good idea, especially if you have a different last name. This can help prove your relationship as a parent.

3. Not Bringing Enough Toys

When going on a cruise, make sure you bring enough toys to entertain your kids. You can’t rely on the limited selection at the onboard gift shop or borrowing toys from the kids club (I don’t think that’s even a thing).

Trust me, there will be plenty of downtime on the cruise where you won’t be at the pool, or your child will not be at the kids’ club. You don’t want to get stuck entertaining your kids in your small cruise cabin where the kid’s TV channel is inadequate! It’s not going to be fun.

Do yourself a favor and bring enough toys. The cabin walls are magnetic, so bring along some magnets if your child enjoys playing with them. And remember to pack some sand toys for the beach!

4. Not Downloading Games and Movies in Advance

One mistake families with kids make is mistakenly relying on cruise TV for kids shows. Unfortunately, kids’ shows on the cruise could be hit or miss. To be safe, it’s a good idea to pre-download movies and TV shows that your child enjoys onto your devices at home before boarding the ship. This way, your kids can watch their favorite shows and movies in the comfort of your cabin.

It’s best not to wait until you’re on the cruise ship to download it since you might face limitations with the cruise ship’s WiFi plan. And don’t plan to stream using the cruise ship WiFi, it might be painstakingly slow. 

5. Not Making Dinner Reservations

Don’t make the mistake of not booking dinner reservations ahead of time. If you turn up at the Main Dining Room without a reservation, you’ll most likely have to wait for a table. Sometimes, the wait could be long, depending on the time you go. 

To avoid the frustration of a long wait, be smart and make your reservations for each night of your cruise right from the start. This way, you can avoid the hassle of dealing with cranky kids while waiting for a table! 

Trust me, you’ll want to book your tables in advance so you can walk straight into the main dining room without any wait time!

Mistakes to avoid on a cruise with kids

6. Booking Back to Back Shore Excursions

A big mistake that families make is to overschedule their cruise vacation with back to back shore excursions. It’s easy to fill every day with tours, but this can wear everyone out, especially the kids.

To avoid crankiness and complaints, space out your shore excursions and leave some downtime. Your family will appreciate the chance to take it easy and explore ports at a more relaxed pace.

7. Not Being Flexible

It is important to set realistic expectations and stay flexible when cruising with kids. You might envision a cruise vacation where your kids are happily playing in the kids’ club, and you’re at the spa getting a massage. If everything lines up, yes, that is possible, but more often than not, when cruising with kids, things will crop up, and your perfect cruise vacation will not go according to plan.

During my cruise with my 4-year-old son, I imagined myself relaxing while he was safely playing in the kids’ club. The truth is, some days, he refused to go to the kids’ club. He wanted to stay with me. As a result, I didn’t really have a relaxing cruise. 

Even when your child is in the kids’ club, you might receive a call asking you to pick them up, disrupting your plans. Many kid’s clubs even provide pagers to reach you if needed! So, when cruising with kids, be prepared for the unexpected and understand that it might not be the relaxing vacation you envisioned. Check out: 15 Random but Useful Things to Pack to Survive Cruising with Kids

Check out these free cruise printables

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