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Taking the Kids on a Cruise

Taking a family cruise can be a wonderful, enjoyable experience for family members of all ages.  If youíre planning on taking the little ones out to sea with you, there are a few things you should make sure to bring along to make the trip much less stressful for you and more fun for them.  A little preplanning can avoid any problems along the way and ensure everyone stays safe and comfortable.
First of all, itís a good idea to bring a selection of over the counter medication for your child.  Smaller kids can develop a cough overnight, and it will save a lot of sleep and discomfort if you have medication to give them.  Childrenís aspirin, chewable vitamins, and perhaps a heating pad can also help along the way.  Cruise ships will have a selection of baby supplies, like diapers and baby food, available on board, but donít count on a wide selection or cheap pricing.  Try to bring a small selection of various things so youíll be prepared for whatever crops up.
Most cruise lines will supply cribs if they are needed for very small children; however, it is an excellent idea to bring your own stroller.  For walks up and down the deck and from the shore onto the boat, a stroller can be invaluable.  A folded stroller is also fairly easy to transport and will be well worth the effort.  Again, some cruise ships will have strollers available for rent, but this is not a sure bet, and the convenience will cost you.
Some cruise lines offer babysitting services for children of certain ages.  This can be great when the parents wish to have a fancy dinner or a night together.  But in general, a family vacation equals family togetherness, and this includes the kids.  So plan ahead and think of activities for your child.  Family-friendly cruises will offer various activities geared towards children, but there will be quiet times in the cabin when itís best for your child to have a coloring book or other game to keep them occupied.  Remember that for the little ones, vacations are huge and exciting events, but they can seem tiring and long, too.  Bring a favorite stuffed animal or pillow for naptimes, and a few little comforts and toys from home to remind your child that the vacation is a fun and relaxing time.  With a little effort, your family cruise will be a great experience for everyone.


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