Taking a Disney Cruise with an Infant

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As I mentioned last week, we recently sailed on the Disney Magic and had the BEST family vacation yet. My husband and I took our 3 children ages 5, 2 1/2, and infant. We love Disney and cruising – in fact in our first year of marriage we earned our Equity cards performing in Walt Disney World, and then traveled the world performing on the Celebrity Galaxy. We expected to enjoy a Disney Cruise vacation, but had no idea just how amazing it would be!

The Disney Cruise is fantastic for all ages, (adults included!), but I will be focusing on sailing with an infant. Also, if you are pregnant you may not sail past 26 weeks, so keep that in mind!

Checking in:

I was very impressed by the convenience of the check in process to board the vessel. You may pull your car right up to drop off your luggage, which is tagged to be delivered to your stateroom by evening. Make sure to keep a bag or small suitcase with you containing diapers, change of clothes, etc. in case you don’t have your luggage for a few hours. I also kept swimsuits, toiletries, and a change of clothes for dinner just in case.

If you are parking your car, of course you can leave your car seat in it. However, we flew in and rented a car, so we had to take ours on board. With the infant seat, we found it convenient to just pop it in our Snap-N-Go so that we did not need an extra stroller on board and at port. Then you can just store the base under the bed for the duration of the cruise. (The beds are raised for lots of storage!).

If you are leaving your car seat in your car, I recommend bringing on a small, lightweight stroller. We used it walking around the ship some times and also at Castaway Cay. When not in use, it folded and went under the bed. If you have a baby carrier, bring that along, too. The elevators get busy on the ship, so it was nice to take the stairs when not using the stroller.

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When you check in inside the cruise terminal, you will need your infant’s birth certificate. Don’t forget it and don’t misplace it, as you will need it to debark, too. When you pack your carry-on bag, be sure to have all documentation with you.

Childcare:

Children under the age of 3 may stay in the “It’s A Small World Nursery” for $9 per hour. 75 days prior to your cruise, you will be able to reserve 10 hours of nursery time. Definitely do this if you plan to use the childcare! Cruises with lots of little ones book up quickly. As soon as you board the ship, you may tour the nursery and also reserve more hours. Throughout the cruise, you are always welcome to call or drop by to see if space is available. We had a very easy time in doing this, though every cruise differs.

I could not have been happier with the nursery and Bonus Baby loved it! The childcare workers were so kind and capable. They greeted us by name after the first day and it was obvious that they loved being  with the children.

Security is top-notch! Bonus Baby was given a bracelet that stayed on the diaper bag when he was checked in that had to be scanned in and out. My husband’s picture and mine came up on the screen when we scanned our “Key to the World” cards, we had to sign in and out, AND we had to give a secret word each time we picked him up.

Each cabin has two Wave Phones that are free to use. They are just like cell phones where you can call and text others on board! Therefore, the nursery staff can contact you any time. One afternoon, I went to pick up and he was asleep, so they texted me on the Wave Phone when he awoke and I returned to get him.

The nursery has a play area, t.v. area, and then a quiet zone with cribs and gliders. Have a diaper bag with you to leave each time you drop off your baby. You may bring baby food and formula on the ship and the nursery workers will feed on the schedule you give them. If your little one eats solids, you can request that they nursery workers feed your baby lunch or dinner, (that will be delivered from the kitchen), for no additional charge.

The $9 per hour fees will be added to your stateroom bill and charged on the last day of the cruise to your credit card on file.

One night, Stitch paid a visit to see the babies! Apparently my little guy was so happy. I asked if they took any pictures, and was told that photos may not be taken of groups of children for security purposes- another plus for safety!

Bonus Baby was happy to go to the nursery to nap, and I was glad to be able to sit by the pool while he rested instead of in a dark room on vacation.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section for me to answer. I will post more soon!

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