7 Best Cruise Lines for Babies and Toddlers

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Planning a cruise with your precious munchkins? No need to fret about the logistics—this guide will be your go-to resource for discovering the best cruise lines for babies and toddlers! 

While certain kid-friendly cruise lines cater primarily to families with kids three and older, others pamper their tiniest guests with a wealth of programs and amenities. Some of these include nurseries, complimentary cribs and strollers, baby-friendly Splash Zone areas, and more.

1. Carnival Cruise Line

carnival cruise line kids camp ocean
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Minimum Sailing Age

For the majority of Carnival Cruise Line voyages, children need to be a minimum of six months old upon embarkation. However, for transoceanic crossings and remote itineraries involving more than two consecutive sea days, children must be at least one year old.

Amenities Available

Cribs are offered and should be reserved when booking. High chairs and booster seats are available in shipboard dining rooms and restaurants. Single strollers can be rented on Carnival ships, subject to availability. 

Sadly, diapers, baby supplies, baby food, and formula aren’t available on board, so parents should make sure to bring these items with them.

On a related note, it’s worth mentioning that some Carnival ships feature non-stocked mini bar units. Parents can ask the ship staff to refrigerate medicine and formula upon request if needed.

Tots and Family Programs

Carnival’s Camp Ocean features a free Penguins children’s program with a full schedule of daily fun activities for kids ages two to five. 

Children don’t need to be potty-trained to participate, but parents must supply diapers and toiletries. 

Camp Ocean also offers special play times for “Under 2’s.” Parents/guardians can leave their child in the care of the Camp Ocean Youth Staff for a fee during these play times, or stay and play with their little ones free of charge.

Carnival provides various family programs for guests with young children on every cruise, including the widely enjoyed Seuss at Sea activities across its fleet. 

Some ships, like the Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, also include Dr. Seuss Bookville, a dedicated family reading venue.

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

Since in-stateroom babysitting isn’t an option on Carnival ships, parents may want to explore the ship’s designated kids’ activities. 

One of these activities is the Camp Ocean’s Night Owls program, available for children aged six months to 11 years. This program takes place inside the Camp Ocean facility and includes a variety of activities such as movie time, arts and crafts, toys, video games, snacks, and more.

Participating children don’t need to be potty-trained, but parents need to supply diapers and toiletries.

2. Celebrity Cruises

celebrity cruises kids club
(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

Minimum Sailing Age

To embark on Celebrity Cruises, children must meet the age requirement of at least six months at the time of embarkation. 

For transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, certain South American cruises, and other selected cruises and cruise tours with voyages featuring three or more consecutive days at sea, the minimum age requirement is one year old. 

Amenities Available

For families traveling with infants, certain accommodations are made available on request. Playpens can be secured by making advanced reservations, and high chairs can be provided upon request. Guests have the option to request baby food up to 30 days before embarkation.

Like the Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises doesn’t offer strollers, formula, diapers, and other baby supplies. Families can use the in-room mini-bar for storage, but parents should check to ensure that it reaches a safe temperature for formula, food, and other perishable items.

Tots and Family Programs

Children under three can participate in Celebrity’s free daily Toddler Time activities accompanied by a parent or guardian. Activities include interactive play sessions, age-appropriate games, and creative activities designed to engage and entertain toddlers. 

Kids don’t need to be potty-trained to participate in Toddler Time, and lavatory-based changing tables and baby wipes are provided. 

Celebrity Cruises also offers a Fat Brain Toy Lending Program, which allows families to borrow a variety of engaging and educational toys during their cruise. If a particular toy captures the child’s interest, families can check it out from Camp at Sea.

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

Private, in-suite babysitting services are offered for Celebrity’s suite guests only, subject to availability. Fees apply and requests must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Up to three children who are at least one year old may participate per family. 

On port days, at least one parent/legal guardian must accompany their child while they’re under supervision. No other in-stateroom or group babysitting services are offered for children under three years of age.

READ MORE: The 7 Best Lines For a Family Reunion Cruise

3. Cunard Line

cunard night nursery
Night Nursery (Photo courtesy of Christopher Ison/Cunard)

Minimum Sailing Age

The Cunard Line allows parents to bring infants as young as six months on board their ships. For Full World Cruises, Exotic Cruises, or Transatlantic Crossings, the minimum sailing age is one year old. 

Amenities Available

Cribs, cots, and high chairs are available. Loaner baby baths can also be provided upon request, along with other essential amenities such as baby food, bottle warmers, and sterilizers. All Cunard staterooms feature small refrigerators to store perishable items. 

Strollers, diapers, and baby supplies aren’t available onboard.

Tots and Family Programs

Cunard provides a complimentary Night Nursery service for children aged six months up to two years, operating from 6 to 11 p.m. For added convenience and reassurance, parents receive a pager to keep them connected in case their child needs their attention. 

As for children ages two to seven years, they can enjoy Cunard’s complimentary Play Zone supervised by Youth Staff. The Play Zone area offers books, toys, and a variety of activities—everything a curious child needs to keep them entertained. 

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

Cunard’s Night Nursery group sitting is available. No in-stateroom babysitting is offered.

4. Disney Cruise Line

disney cruise line minnie
Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane/Disney Cruise Line)

Minimum Sailing Age

For the majority of Disney Cruise Line sailings, children must be a minimum of six months old upon embarkation. However, for transatlantic and Panama Canal itineraries, the minimum age requirement is one year old at the time of embarkation.

Amenities Available

Disney Cruise Line ships provide complimentary cribs and playpens upon request, subject to availability. High chairs and a limited number of complimentary strollers are also available. 

The cruise line offers bathtubs and in-room refrigerators, and it can supply bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers if desired. Diapers, ready-to-feed infant formula, bottles, baby food, and baby supplies can be purchased onboard all ships.

Staff in the main dining rooms can prepare fresh pureed vegetables and these can also be ordered through room service.

Tots and Family Programs

In addition to the nursery childcare center (which we’ll discuss in the next section), Disney Cruise Line presents “Toddler Time” sessions for parents and their little ones.

Children under three years old also have the opportunity to explore Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab alongside their parents during designated Open House hours. 

Families with tots can enjoy many fun family-focused activities, as well. All Disney Cruise Line ships feature water play areas for little ones under three, where swim diapers are allowed.

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

Disney Cruise Line features the “It’s a Small World” nursery childcare center, catering to children between the ages of six months and three years on most itineraries. On transatlantic and Panama Canal sailings, this facility is available for children aged one to three years. 

The nursery provides a safe and engaging environment for children, with dozens of toys, books, and activities. Counselors will feed and change little ones, but parents must provide supplies. 

To secure a spot, parents can make reservations online. Fees apply. 

In-stateroom babysitting services aren’t available.

READ MORE: Which Cruise Lines Let Kids Sail Free?

5. MSC Cruises

msc cruises kids junior club
(Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises)

Minimum Sailing Age

There is no minimum age to sail with MSC Cruises.

Amenities Available

High chairs and strollers are available on ships, and cribs are provided upon request. 

MSC Cruises guests have access to free bottle warmers, baby carriers, backpacks, and bouncy chairs through MSC’s partnership with Chicco, a global baby brand. 

Baby food and formula aren’t offered onboard, but in-room refrigerators are available.

Tots and Family Programs

Kids under three can get together and play with the latest Chicco toys during MSC Baby Time sessions when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

MSC Seaside’s Baby Club for tots under three years of age is the largest on any MSC cruise ship. MSC provides fun programs with Chicco toys for babies and toddlers including Rhythm and Music, Mini Olympic Games, Let’s Speak English, and more. 

MSC Cruises also offers dozens of family activities for guests sailing with little ones to participate in together.

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

MSC Babycare Service provides free babysitting by dedicated staff for kids from 12 months to under three years old. This drop-off service is offered during limited hours while ships are sailing and when parents disembark for a shore excursion. 

To use this service, parents must book at least one day in advance. Availability is limited, so advanced reservations are a must. 

MSC Cruises doesn’t have in-stateroom babysitting.

6. Norwegian Cruise Line

norwegian cruise line guppies nursery babies kids
(Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Minimum Sailing Age

Children must be a minimum of six months old at the time of embarkation to sail with the Norwegian Cruise Line. For voyages with three or more consecutive days at sea, the minimum age requirement is at least one year old at the time of sailing.

Amenities Available

Portable playpens/foldable sleepers are supplied on request. High chairs are provided and booster seats are also offered on some ships. 

Diapers and wipes can be pre-purchased. 

Strollers, baby food, and formula aren’t available. In-room refrigerators are provided in staterooms accommodating two or more guests.

Tots and Family Programs

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Splash Academy youth program features a Guppies area for kids from six months up to age three, providing sensory play activities and games for parents and kids to enjoy together. 

A parent or guardian must remain with their child during these hosted activity sessions. Open play times in the Guppies room are offered, as well. 

Tots in swim diapers can enjoy special Splash Zone areas featured on some Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

Babysitting for Babies and Toddlers

Norwegian Escape’s fee-based Guppies Nursery provides care for kids from six months to under three years. Parents are given a handy phone to stay in touch onboard the ship.

Advanced reservations must be made with the Nursery Attendant. The Guppies Nursery staff will change children’s diapers, but parents must provide all supplies. 

No other Norwegian Cruise Line ships offer private or group babysitting services for children under three years of age.

7. Royal Caribbean International

royal caribbean sugar beach kids baby toddler
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Minimum Sailing Age

Children must be a minimum of six months old at the time of embarkation to sail with Royal Caribbean. 

For specific voyages, such as transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, and certain South American itineraries, among others, the minimum age is at least one year old at the time of embarkation.

Amenities Available

Royal Caribbean provides baby cribs upon request and a limited number of high chairs and booster seats are available on each ship. 

Baby diapers and some baby supplies can be purchased and delivered to guests’ staterooms. 

Strollers aren’t available on Royal Caribbean ships. There are a limited number of in-room refrigerators available, so make reservations in advance.

Tots and Family Programs

Babies and toddlers can enjoy educational, fun activities on Royal Caribbean ships at Adventure Ocean’s complimentary Royal Babies (ages six to 18 months) and Royal Tots (ages 18 to 36 months) interactive playgroups hosted by trained youth staff. 

A parent or guardian must be present during these free activity sessions.

Program hours vary by ship and itinerary. Some open play sessions may be available as well. Family activities are also offered onboard. 

Little tots in swim diapers can play in specially designed Royal Caribbean Baby Splash Zone areas available on some ships.

Babysitting for Babies & Toddlers

Royal Caribbean’s fee-based Royal Babies and Tots Nursery provides babysitting for children in two age groups: babies from six months to under 18 months and toddlers from 18 to 36 months.

Reservations are required and the number of available time slots varies, so make sure to reserve these in advance.

The ratio of nursery staff to children is 1:4 and staff will change diapers as needed, but parents must provide supplies. Day and evening drop-off times are available.

All Royal Caribbean ships feature a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery except for Adventure of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas. 

No in-stateroom babysitting services are currently being offered on Royal Caribbean ships.

Families interested in taking a European river cruise or canal barge sailing with babies and toddlers should check out CroisiEurope Cruises.

There’s no minimum age to sail with CroisiEurope, but certain departures or rivers may be more family-friendly. Cribs can be provided on most ships when reserved at the time of booking to ensure availability.

MORE: Which River Cruise Lines Are Best for Kids?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do cruise lines accommodate families with infants under 6 months old?

Cruise lines accommodate families with infants under six months through various services and amenities. 
For example, Disney Cruise Line offers the “It’s a Small World” nursery childcare center, which provides specialized care for infants aged six months to three years. 
MSC Babycare Service features a complimentary Night Nursery service for children aged 6 months up to 2 years, while Cunard Line provides essentials such as baby food, bottle warmers, and sterilizers. 
All cruises mentioned on this list offer amenities specifically designed for infants, such as cribs, baby bathtubs, and high chairs.

Are cruises good for toddlers?

Absolutely! Many cruise lines have dedicated kids’ clubs and age-appropriate activities, so they’ll be sufficiently entertained even when their parents aren’t with them. 
Plus, it gives them the opportunity to bond with other kids their age—not to mention all the new sights and experiences they’ll encounter during the cruise!

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the best cruise lines for babies and toddlers

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