Royal Caribbean Cruise ships in the distance docked at Coco Cay. Stress-free cruising with kids

Stress-Free Cruising with Kids: Experience the BEST of Cruising

Are you up for the ultimate stress-free family adventure? Consider sailing on crystal blue seas, relaxing in the warm sun, and making amazing memories with your kids. It may sound like a dream, but with the right secrets and strategies, a smooth and enjoyable cruise vacation with your little ones is completely within reach. Keep reading to discover the ultimate guide to stress-free cruising with kids.

Get ready to confidently navigate the world of family cruising and ensure a truly memorable and stress-free adventure for everyone in the family!

Stress-Free Cruising with Kids--embarkation photo on Allure of the Seas Royal Caribbean, Naylor Family

Plan Ahead to Maximize Fun & Relaxation

For stress-free cruising with kids, it’s essential to plan ahead and prepare for a vacation that maximizes fun and relaxation. By preparing in advance, you can ensure that you have everything you need while avoiding unnecessary stress and chaos.

Consider starting your packing process early to ensure you have everything you need for everyone in the family. This includes gathering important documents such as passports/birth certificate, travel insurance details, and any necessary medical records. Packing these items in a safe and easily accessible location will help you breeze through check-in and embarkation.

When it comes to clothing, think about the weather and activities you’ll be engaging in during your cruise. Pack a variety of comfortable and versatile outfits that can be easily mixed and matched. Don’t forget to include swimwear, sunscreen, and hats to protect your family from the sun.

Lastly, don’t forget to pack a few entertainment options for your kids. While there will be plenty of activities and programs available onboard, having familiar toys or books can help keep them entertained during downtime. I chose to bring some coloring books that our daughter could use during formal dinners and that made such a difference. Additionally, packing small snacks can be a lifesaver when hunger strikes and you’re not near a dining venue.

Pack Smart for a Stress-Free Cruise

Packing smart is key to stress-free cruising with kids. As you prepare for your adventure on the high seas, it’s important to consider the specific needs of your children and pack accordingly.

To stay organized while packing, consider using different colored packing cubes for each family member. Or if you have a little one, I love using a shoe organizer to store their clothes and shoes. Once you’ve checked into your cruise cabin, all you need to do is hang it up!

When it comes to toiletries, it’s always a good idea to bring travel-sized items such as shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste. Many cruise ships provide basic toiletries, but having your own preferred brands on hand can make your kids more comfortable. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, and any medications your children may need.

In addition, I love bringing magnetic hooks to help hang items such as hats, small purses, lanyards, etc to keep the cabin floor clean and tidy.

Example of using shoe organizer

Take Advantage of Onboard Programs and Facilities

Modern cruise ships are like floating cities, offering an array of activities and amenities for passengers of all ages.

For your little ones, most cruise lines provide age-appropriate programs that cater to different interests and developmental stages. From supervised playrooms filled with toys and games to engaging arts and crafts sessions, your kids will have plenty of opportunities to make new friends and participate in fun activities while you enjoy some downtime.

Many cruise ships also feature dedicated pool areas for children, complete with water slides, splash pads, and shallow pools. These water-centric zones are perfect for keeping your kids cool and entertained under the watchful eye of trained lifeguards. You can relax poolside while your children have a blast, ensuring everyone in the family gets to enjoy their time on board.

Aside from the supervised programs and pool areas, cruise ships often offer additional facilities designed specifically for kids. From mini-golf courses and sports courts to rock climbing walls and video game arcades, there’s something to suit every interest and energy level.

In addition, in recent years cruisers have begun hiding rubber ducks throughout the cruise ship. This is a fun activity for the entire family as you search the ship for ducks. It’s also a great way to prepare for the cruise as you can prep ducks of your own to hide as many ducks include a little note about the cruise date and who hid the duck. We were able to find 5 days on three day cruise and it was one of our daughter’s favorite activities.

Eleanor playing in the water park area on board the Allure of Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise. Cruising with Kids.

Manage Potential Challenges with Ease

As you navigate through your stress-free cruise with kids, it’s important to be prepared for potential challenges that may arise along the way. From seasickness to meltdowns, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place to manage these situations with ease.

One of the most common challenges families face on a cruise is seasickness. The gentle rocking motion of the ship can sometimes affect both children and adults. To minimize the chances of anyone getting seasick, it’s recommended to choose a stateroom located in the middle of the ship, where the movement is less noticeable.

Additionally, you can bring over-the-counter motion sickness medication or try natural remedies like ginger candies or wristbands with acupressure points. Ensuring everyone stays well-hydrated and eats light, non-greasy meals can also help prevent seasickness.

Another challenge that may arise is a tantrum or meltdown from your child. Being in a new environment and having their routines disrupted can sometimes lead to frustration and emotional outbursts. To manage these situations with ease, it’s important to stay calm and patient. Offering them a quiet space to calm down or distracting them with a favorite toy or activity can often help defuse the situation. Remember that it’s normal for kids to have occasional meltdowns, and it’s essential to provide them with comfort and reassurance during these moments.


In the plethora of family vacation options, cruising with kids can be a memorable experience for both parents and kids. As we conclude this ultimate guide to stress-free cruising with kids, it becomes clear that careful planning, smart packing, and taking advantage of onboard programs are the secrets to a successful journey. By managing potential challenges with ease, families can enjoy a smooth sailing adventure filled with unforgettable memories.

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