Skip to main content

Let's Go Sailing: Cruising With a Toddler


Cruising with Carnival has become a yearly thing for my mom and I, and this year we extended the tradition a generation by bringing my 1-year-old with us. We went for a 4 day, Halloween cruise from Long Beach with 2 stops - Catalina Island and Ensenada, Baja California. Here's a rundown on going on a cruise with a toddler!

First off, we drove from Las Vegas all the way to the Long Beach Terminal so the first leg of our trip was a 4+ hour car ride. I made sure we were fully stocked for the ride over so we wouldn't have to make too many stops and make the ride any longer. Turns out we didn't need anything I packed for the ride because he slept for about 3 1/2 hours and was completely content with his tablet, a juice box, and some cheez-its when he woke up. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️

We decided to check our bags instead of dragging them through the ship because we just knew we wanted to grab some food and explore before going back to the room. That means we had to have everything we could need on us.  Here's what I packed into our carry on/diaper bag:

Checking in with Carnival is super easy. They make dropping your checked bags off a breeze, they give you a specific time to show up so there is virtually no wait, you walk in, get scanned through security and start your vacation. It's amazing! We just went through a 4 1/2 hour car ride so I was NOT feeling like I looked my best, but I still opted for every single photo op. They give you every opportunity to take photos to remember your vacation, and since this was baby's first cruise we took every pic (but we didn't buy all of them). But you DO NOT have to stop at all if you don't want to.

I've never had photos taken with my tiny before so he didn't really understand the concept of "look at the camera" while there was a giant character next to him...or at all ever! So maybe do some practicing with your toddlers if you are looking to get those perfect staged photo opportunities they will have all over the ship. We managed to make out pretty well on Elegant wear night...but that's about it!


Food was the scariest part when planning for this cruise, as my kid is a picky eater. He eats what he wants when he wants and that's that on that! Luckily, we were able to bring some snacks onboard that we know he likes and will eat like cheez-its, fruit cups, crackers, rice cereal, and we bought the bottled water pack to be delivered to our stateroom. The first day was a little difficult to figure out what my 1-year-old would eat from the buffet, but found that the 24-hour pizza was an easy favorite for him. We finally made it to our "reserved" dinner the 2nd or 3rd night and learned they have a whole menu for kids! They had nuggets, hot dogs, burgers, cookies, ice cream EVERYTHING he could want. We were set from there. On our excursion days, I would order a box of cereal to be delivered to our stateroom to take with us, or just fill our to-go bowl with dry cereal from the morning buffet for a snack while we were out. They really have everything you could need though as far as food goes, the buffet had a full spread of fruits and veggies if you're health-conscious and all the burgers, burritos and pizza you could want if you're not. They also did a Dr. Seuss breakfast one day where the staff dressed up as characters and they had Cat in the Hat there too! This was $5 a person and we didn't make that. For me, the only thing I need to make me a happy camper is a good cup of coffee...which I did NOT find on the ship. 😭 They have coffee for free all day long in the buffet and a cute coffee shop near the casino and clubs on our ship but they all had the same coffee.

Our sleeping arrangements were not at all what we expected. The 2 twin beds that were usually in the room were pushed together to make one bed, then a small cot type bed was underneath that we could pull out and put together or leave under there for space. We were all so tired when we got back to our room every night it didn't even matter what we slept on as long as there were blankets! But we ASKED for a pack-and-play and were told there would be a 3rd bed in the room the same size as the other 2. It definitely wasn't, but we made it work. Our housekeeping was AMAZING and managed to put the mess we made trying to figure it all out back together every single day. He even gave us his number so we could call him if we needed anything through our trip (I'm sure EVERY housekeeper makes their info available, but he made us feel super special).

Their kid section that's called CAMP OCEAN was only for kids 2 and over and my young man was only 21 months at the time of the cruise so he didn't get to experience all of the fun of being in there with a bunch of kids his age, but they did give him time almost every day for an hour or 2 to come in and play with the toys and run around in the space. We were still able to attend all of the family activities like arts and crafts, trick or treating, and the Halloween party we just couldn't leave him to hang out with everyone without us whenever we wanted. You can still leave your child with them for the "Night Owls" program for a fee.

The excursions were amazing! I thought it was going to be hard bringing him with me out and about somewhere unfamiliar but it was SO easy. Our first day off the ship was on Catalina Island. I looked up the weather ahead of time and it said it was going to be in the low 60's so I thought it was going to be cold...but it was actually perfect weather to jump in and feel the ocean if you wanted! We brought his umbrella stroller, diaper bag and were good to go. We walked up and down the shopping strip right next to the dock, took lots of pics, had a coffee and eventually had my tiny knock all the way out. All in all, it was a beautiful success.

The next excursion day was in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. I absolutely love this place. We took the trip that took us down to the bufadora (blowhole) and then to the cultural center. The road on the way to the Bufadora is full of small shops that are selling absolutely EVERYTHING! I've made it a tradition to pick up a skull/skeleton made out of some kind of bone...the first time I got one they said it was cow bone and this time they said it was fishbone and they both look and feel exactly the same,  so I have absolutely NO idea. My favorite thing here is the churros, tequila tasting in Habana Banana, and the young wild animals they have. I couldn't remember if the bus had enough room to bring the stroller or if it would be easy to push down the road so I opted to babywear instead and it was another all-around success. The Bufadora was super far from where the ship was maybe about an hour, so our Amazon Fire with pre-downloaded apps and movies kept my tiny fully entertained along the way.


Our day at sea was on Halloween. We happily slept in as long as we could, grabbed some brunch (pizza) and watched Hotel Transylvania 3 before getting dressed up and ready for trick-or-treating and a kid-friendly Halloween party!  My young Jack Skellington ended up winning the best-dressed baby boy! With an award fitting the Pumpkin King himself, they gave him a super cute pumpkin trophy...that he broke 12 seconds later.


All in all, I 100% recommend cruising with your toddlers, especially on Carnival Cruise. They are very very accommodating to the needs of their guests, they will keep you well-fed and properly entertained your entire trip. I recommend getting the soda package because they only offer coffee (NOT DELICIOUS), lemonade and water. I got bored of that by the first day and was BEGGING for something different. I think with the soda package you get soda and juice with it. I opted to pack a piece of regular medium size luggage for him instead of trying to share one large one since they have weight requirements per person for luggage. I stuck everything from a pack of diapers, an extra pack of wipes, bath towels, blankets and his whole wardrobe in there. We didn't end up needing the bath towels or extra blankets because he had no skin issues with the ones provided by the ship.

Are you planning a trip with your little and have questions that I didn't cover here? Send me an email to Contact@NikkiOnVegas.com or leave me a comment down below!

Comment - Share - Subscribe
🖤Nikki

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Throw Back: That one time I competed in a pageant

Once upon a time, what seems like a long time ago I decided I wanted to be a beauty queen. It was definitely an experience I will never forget and I finally have the chance to tell you all about it!

I've always known that I wanted to help people in some way, and one day it dawned on me if I had a crown that would definitely give me a much louder voice to speak on issues I thought were important. So, I went searching for what I thought was the best pageant for me and I landed on Miss Nevada USA 2016. The only thing I knew about pageants at this point was from the Miss Congeniality movie and what I heard about from my cousin's social media pages. So from that, I thought it was going to be a breeze...PSYCH! It was probably the most grueling process of self-discovery I've ever put myself through.

My first step was figuring out how much all of this was going to cost. For me, it was a ridiculous amount that I just wasn't going to be able to make at my day job in time for th…

Road Trippin & Travel Tips

On The Road Again... Today we just had to take a minute and get the hell outta Dodge(Vegas) and see some nature! We decided to head over to our neighbor state, Arizona, and take a gander at the Colorado River from far...far away. 

I used to HATE road trips when I was younger. I think it started with a bus ride from New Mexico, up to Washington state and I was officially over road travel. But, now that I spend so much time at home with my little, it's SO nice to get out of the house and go ANYWHERE, even if that means us in the back seat for a while. 

Vegas through to Boulder City to Willow Beach was not a long drive at all and scenic AF. If you are heading this way (for lottery tickets for example) you gotta stop at Chilly Jilly's in Boulder City. They have THE BEST chicken!! The steak fries are bomb, the dole whip was bomb...they just rock as a whole and I fully recommend checking them out on the way there or back to town. Look for the super dope vintage Red Truck and a cute…

Labor Day Weekend 2018

Labor Day is officially Monday, September 3rd, 2018 but in true Vegas style, we celebrate starting on Thursday. Here's a list of all the events that I know of going on Labor Day Weekend. These are mostly nightclub events. We still have our weekly shows like Absinth, all the Cirques, Carrot Top etc. These are just the super special goodies. Since this post is coming with my re-launch, I am offering Travel Planning services for Labor Day weekend to EVERYONE who's read this post! Send Me an email if you are ready to get started.  


August 30 - Sept 3Thursday, Aug 30Exodus Fest - Aug 30 - Sept 4Lil Jon @ HakkasanFriday, Aug 31 Playboi Carti @ JewelHardwell @ HakkasanCalvin Harris @ OmniaDesigner @ 1OAKTiesto @ Wet RepublicMetro Boomin @ LIGHTJeremih @ Drai'sChain Smokers @ XSSaturday, Sept 1
Collective Zoo Block Party @ Down Town Las Vegas Events CenterShakira @ MGM GrandGucci @ TAOTravis Scott @ Marquee2Chains @ Drai'sTyga @ JewelDJ Mustard @ TAO BeachTiesto @ HakkasanZedd …

Vegas Bound: 4th of July 2019

It's almost time to celebrate our Independence! Whether you were born and raised with Red, White and Blue in your blood or you are here visiting from the land we gained independence from, this is a day we cherish here in America. And you are more than welcome to come and celebrate with us in the city of Las Vegas. The 4th of July is a really fun patriotic day here in Vegas, and we love to let freedom ring with a full fireworks spectacular! We will be setting off at Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay on the Strip, the Plaza downtown, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway event will end in fireworks and a few station casinos will be getting in on the act. Our locals love our liberty too, so no matter where you are in the city you are SURE to catch a show!

If you are heading to Las Vegas to celebrate the 4th Of July, check out the hotel rooms available from my team. We can get rates up to 30% lower than nationally advertised rates all year round, even our national holidays. And when you book wi…

Nikki On Vegas: The New Launch

Welcome to the new Nikki On Vegas Blog. I've had some huge changes in my life in the past year and a half that I needed to reflect into my online presence. The New New
Get a similar sweater dress here. Size up for maternity.


About a year and a half ago, I was blogging regularly, all over social media and completely content to keep blogging specifically about Vegas and helping people have their best vacations ever. Then I got pregnant! I had a super difficult pregnancy and couldn't keep up with the lifestyle I had before at all.


Since having my beautiful, amazing, miracle baby I realized that I have SO MUCH MORE that I want to talk about, share, and learn. It took me WAY too long to figure out how to do that and still provide the Vegas info, reviews, tips and tricks that I love so much. But! I'm back, the Vegas is still here, I've just expanded to much much more. 


All of my social media will remain @NikkiOnVegas, so keep following. Those won't change as long as I…

Room Service Radio: Official Website Launch

No matter where you are in the world, we should all be tuning into Room Service Radio every Thursday live from 8 - 10 PM on Hot7025fm.com. Hosted by the beautiful Chardai Love and K Flyy.  Every week they are live and uncut from Las Vegas, spinning the hits, keeping me up to date on what's going on in the city this week and the best entertainment and culture news.


Coming April 18th, Room Service Radio is launching their official website roomserviceradio.com! Get together with the hosts of Room Service Radio and some of our favorite DJs DJ King Smash, DJ Mizzy Matt and DJ ToneArmz! We will also get live performances by Mac Nealy and Chels Fuego, and be a part of several giveaways they are holding all through the event!


This special evening has NO parking fee, NO cover, drink specials and hookah available so make sure you get to Casa Grill and Bar at 9PM Thursday, April 18th! This is going to be a night you can not miss! The launch of the official website of Room Service radio is t…

The Suite Life - Top Las Vegas Strip Suites

Las Vegas is NOT short on luxury suites and places to pamper yourself. Today, we are talking SUPER LUX! Here’s my list of top 4 suites on the Las Vegas Strip!
4.) Planet Hollywood Panorama Suite                 Planet Hollywood has amazing suites PERIOD. If you reserve a penthouse, it’s like having your own luxury apartment. This is a step below their Pent House suites, but is my absolute favorite! 180-degree view of the strip with EXACTLY what I look for when thinking about Planet Hollywood: Movie style décor!!! You could get James Bond style, Marilyn Monroe style, Batman or the Wizard of Oz to name a FEW! This is a one King Suite, so no more than 4 people in the suite, but for extreme comfort keep it to 2.  This suite can cost you anywhere from $230 a night to $1350. That is a crazy price for an amazing quality suite.

Moming In Vegas: Container Park

Kid Friendly Life In Vegas
We had our FIRST EVER play date! One of the dopest things about Las Vegas is that there are SO many family-friendly activities. I didn't even know about most of them until I became a mom. Our first date was at the Container Park, a place I thought was only for 21+. Turns out, 21+ is only at night from 9PM to close! 

First things first, PARKING. It's downtown so you can get "free" parking at places like Main Street Station if you plan on spending some money at their casino and validate your parking. For me, I don't have a problem dropping some change in the machine right next to where I'm going. DON'T FORGET to leave the ticket in your window, and how long you paid for! They are QUICK AF to give tickets down here. Prices range from $1-$3 in the lots.

I am just in love with this place. They have super comfy seating where there is a turf area for kids to play, or a picnic or whatever else you can imagine doing here. They have gian…

Why I Meditate

I love meditation. My life has totally turned around since I started taking time to be still and turn inward instead of always focusing so hard outward. There's no pressure to meditation, you can meditate for as long or as quickly as you'd like. You have no one to be accountable to, no one to impress, nothing to do but focus on yourself and take a moment for self-care.


I started meditating probably about 9 years ago (don't do that math), but I didn't start doing it regularly until the last 3 years. It gives me the time to STOP reflecting on the day, stop thinking back on things I could have done differently, stop planning for the future and just be present.


I practice some different energy healing modalities such as Reiki & the Seraphim Blueprint and use crystals and anything else that vibes with me to get in the zone. When I first started, I loved using guided meditations to "clear my chakras" or just talk me through relaxation and give my mind somethin…

Vegas Bound: Halloween Week 2019

I love every reason to let my inner spook out, so the ENTIRE month of October is an all-out celebration for me! If you're here, you must be getting ready to spend your Halloween in Las Vegas and I could NOT be more excited for you. Whether you are a Las Vegas Local, or here for the weekend, Las Vegas is one of the most amazing places in the world for entertainment, and to take a nice relaxing (or turnt) vacation. As much as Vegas has the reputation to be an Adults only trip, we have tons of spooktacular events for the whole family to enjoy.

If you are heading to Las Vegas to celebrate Halloween, check out the hotel rooms available from my team. We can get rates up to 30% lower than nationally advertised rates all year round, even on national holidays. And when you book with me, you get the option of having me personally help you plan out your vacation specifics and help to manage any last-minute emergencies.

A few tips if you are coming through for the costume contests. Vegas doe…