Cruising with Adeline
I have had a few messaged on Instagram and various people who are interested and asking what it is like cruising with Adeline. I’ve often had funny looks from people when I’ve said that I’m a regular cruiser. I think it’s one of those things people either always do or never do! So here I am here to tell you all about cruising with and without Adeline.
We started cruising with Thom’s parents about 4 years ago. I have seen parts of the world that I never thought I would; Alaska, Norway, the Med, Bahamas, Orlando. If I’m honest, I always thought cruising was for old people and I guess that is still the stigma. I was just never interested or thought it was an option to go on a cruise really, I guess you are used to what you’re used to growing up (getting on a plane to go on holiday as opposed to a ship.) Thom has cruised as a kid but whenever he mentioned it I always turned my nose up at it. How very wrong I was.
Cruising is awesome. The excitement of getting on a floating hotel with bars, shops, cafes, gym, spa’s, night clubs, swimming pools, you name it , it’s incredible! I have even met two very close friends on a cruise at the White Hot party (yes there are also themed nights). We have stayed up until 5am partying under the stars- yes on a cruise! It’s an adventure and a half- plus the stopping off in a different place pretty much every day is spectacular to say the least. The view out to the ocean never gets boring and neither does the dolphin watching and whale watching (which by the way I’m pretty good at!) It takes skill, a keen eye and determination! Put it this way, you’ll never get bored on a cruise.
The food is always amazing on the ships Something I’m always excited about. There’s lots of different restaurants, there’s the buffet which is actually really good and it’s available 24hr, I don’t really like buffet type food but it never lets you down and the brekkie is to die for.
There are different cruise lines and each one has something different to offer and something special and unique about it.
We have been on a ship with a Tapanyaki restaurant, a Costa coffee, American diner, afternoon tea, ice cream parlour! I always enjoy getting on a new ship to see what their speciality and uniqueness is. One NCL ship had a outside inside feel to it, basically it was felt to feel like you were on a street with rows bars & restaurants and my favourite one the piano bar- a proper New York piano bar, where the pianist plays all the songs picked by you that you’ve pre written in a lucky dip jar. There is always a theatre onboard but one ship I’ll never forget they had this circus style dining room where the circus performers acted whilst you ate. One cruise had about 3 different water slides and a climbing wall! Each ship is carefully crafted and I guess it’s up to you which appeals to you! If you’re wondering the cruise lines we have used are NCL- by far my personal fav, Celebrity and P&O, which is who we went with this time.
Cruising as a family
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we decided to go on a cruise with Adeline. Thoms parents kept saying how good cruises are for kids so why not try! It was different to our usual cruising experience- obviously, I didn’t expect to be chilling on a lounger with my kindle and cocktail enjoying the ocean breeze. I think all holidays are different with children. We found ourselves needing another holiday after the holiday! We both said “WOW, it’s so much harder holidaying with a toddler”. But then again it was really fun and exciting as well. It’s different but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as good!
P&O- our choice this year
This cruise line was a new one for us, we decided seeing as we had Adeline it might be a good idea to go with a more family friendly cruise line, so we went with P&O. P&O was definitely family friendly. They have 4/5 rooms/clubs for the different age groups. The one we used was a huge nursery with toys (see photo).
It was honestly amazing to be able to take her there and play, I just never expected the cruise to have something like that! I didn’t even need to pack toys. We found the ship itself was like one big play area for Adeline to explore. She loved it, so much space, so many friendly faces and always so much attention. Adeline 100% loved the cruise life. It was always easy to feed her because there was so much variety. There was a pool bar grill, pool side pizza, the buffet or the restaurants- choices choices choices!
We always get a room with a balcony, this year we were lucky enough to get a mini suite, so this meant it was slightly bigger, more storage and a bath. You can imagine how much stuff you need when travelling with a toddler, so we were very sceptical as to how we could cope as the cabins are pretty compact. There’s no baggage limit when you cruise, you can take as many 23kg cases on board as you like, baring in mind you have to store it. It was fine in the end they do have huge storage under the bed for the cases. We stored the pram in the wardrobe as it has was a walk in one. They had more clothing storage than we have at home. In the end we figured you don’t exactly spend much time in your room anyway. There’s too much to do! Everyday there is an itinerary with so much to do besides going off the ship and exploring the destinations. I took toys from home and she loved playing on the balcony which is all glassed off… so no she can’t throw herself over board before you think it.
One of my favourite things to do on board is waking up in the morning, opening the curtains and looking out to sea- or which ever city/country awaits! We loved waking up and showing Adeline the sea, she would be so excited and almost gasp! I would of loved to know what was going through her head. She also enjoyed having her morning bottle with Daddy looking out to sea.
You do get used to cabin life and they’re always the same on the ships ultra modern and compact but have everything you need including coffee and tea-making facilities, tv and hairdryer.
The evenings always make me nervous on any holiday because you just don’t know how your baby is going to adapt. Adeline is a real routine baby, always fast asleep by 6. Cruise life before Adeline was a nice meal, drinks and usually myself and Thom ended up in one of the bars and clubs with our new friends!
We went away in March to Cyprus and Adeline slept bang on 6 in her pram until we went to bed. I couldn’t believe it. Baring in mind she wasn’t a toddler and she couldn’t even crawl at that point so I wasn’t convinced it was going to be the same.
It was a completely different ball game, i was kind of expecting it though and she wasn’t that bad. If she went to bed later then she always slept in so it wasn’t so bad.
They have lots of options for your children on an evening. I mentioned on my Instagram post about the night nursery the cruise offer. Basically it’s up to you to get your child to sleep either in the cots provided or your pram and then you wheel them in their push chair into the ‘nursery’. It’s a quiet, dark room with twinkly lights on the ceiling: there’s two qualified members of staff there to basically watch over your children whilst you go and have a meal or drinks or whatever you fancy doing with your child free time. They give you a pager and if they wake they’ll buzz you. They also check your child every 10 mins. We used the night nursery twice. The first time Adeline slept through and the second time she woke up so we had to go get her. Then after that I couldn’t relax, I didn’t like the idea of her waking up and us not being there and I kept expecting her to wake up so couldn’t fully enjoy my time. So for my own peace of mind i just decided to have her next to me in the pram. Her routine was pretty all over the place by day 3, she refused to sleep until 9-10 pm which made our days very long and tiring!
After cruising with Adeline I did say to Thom it felt like it was harder on holiday because she is so much more active, running around or should I say escaping at every opportunity, and also when you’re on a cruise you’re kind of on and off everyday with a set time scheduled to get back, it felt as if you were rushed and when you’re holidaying with someone else (Thoms parents), you have to set a time to meet and where to eat because your phones don’t work at sea. You can buy WiFi by the way but is super expensive and I kind of like the idea of being off grid whilst away. I think looking back I would of just liked it to be a little more chilled out with less of a routine, but I guess you’re going I have that anywhere if you holiday with other couples/groups. I think automatically on a holiday where you stay in one place it just seems more relaxed. We still love cruise life but I think perhaps when Adeline is a little older it would be easier or am I completely wrong?
I’ll attach some photos for you to nosey over to give you an insight into our adventures with cruising with Adeline for the first time!