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What to Pack for a Cruise with a Baby – Important Essentials to Bring On Board

Wondering what to pack for a cruise with a baby or toddler? Rompers and onesies are great, a reclining travel stroller for deckside napping is wise, but be sure to also bring these important items on board, too!

Important Baby Essentials to Pack for a Cruise with a Baby

If you’ll be cruising for a week or more with an infant or toddler, it is not unreasonable to expect you will need an entire suitcase devoted to baby essentials. Really. As a general rule, cruise lines do not stock baby food, formula, diapers, or wipes on board, except in very rare cases. Here are two exceptions:

For a fee, Holland America Line will arrange for you to have commercial baby food, diapers, and a mini refrigerator in your cabin by advance request through the ship’s services department—you can preview the Holland America Line Infant Request Form here.

Disney Cruise Line sells some baby essentials, including baby food, diapers, and wipes, on board all of its ships. However, they are only for sale “subject to availability.” As you can imagine, if every parent on the ship planned to buy diapers on board it could be quite a mess.

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list of what to pack for a cruise with a baby

In addition to the most basic supplies, you’ll want to bring along any baby bottles or sippy cups, toddler utensils, bibs, and related paraphernalia you may need to help make it a comfortable voyage. Just remember, as your supply of diapers and baby food diminishes you’ll be freeing up lots of room for souvenirs—which are much more fun to hunt for in port cities than diapers for your child.


inflatable bathtub to pack for a cruise with a baby

An inflatable baby bathtub can be very helpful in shower-only cabins.

In addition to all the usual travel togs and sun hat you’ll be packing for your wee cruiser, don’t forget to pack these essentials for your cruise vacation with a baby or young toddler:

Packing List for Baby or Toddler: You’d better bring it onboard (click here for printable):
  • Diapers
  • Swim diapers (if needed)
  • Wipes
  • Baby food
  • Formula
  • Bottles, nipples (or disposables)
  • Sippy cups
  • Toddler silverware, etc.
  • Travel bottle of dishwashing soap, bottle brush
  • Baby sun block
  • Baby shampoo
  • Preferred lotion
  • Baby bathtub inflatable insert (most cabins do not have tubs)
  • Antibacterial hand wipes


For more help planning your family’s cruise vacation:

See Part VII: Travels by Cruise Ship in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler.

Five Things You Should Know Before Planning a Cruise with a Baby or Toddler

Ten Things You Should Know Before Planning a Cruise with Kids

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More tips and advice are on the way! For help for planning travel of every kind–with babies and children of every temperament–in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler.

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Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby guidebooks

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