You will most likely need a stroller if you have one or more children ages 4 and under. There are some key features to look for to decide which stroller to bring on a cruise. Ships are tight and often crowded in most places, especially at peak times. The hallways are narrow, the elevator doors are fairly small, the cabin doors are narrow, and the space is just very tight on a ship. You should think carefully about what stroller you will bring on the cruise ship.
For the last cruise we were on in January 2011 on the Norwegian Spirit, we saw a family with twins pushing a double jogging stroller! It looked like a nightmare. I can not imagine that they were even able to push it across the pool deck with the narrow path between the lounge chairs. In their situation I would have opted for two umbrella strollers OR a double tandem umbrella folding stroller. The blue stroller below is the Safety First (or Eddie Bauer) Transit Tandem umbrella folding stroller. We actually have it, but it is no longer available for purchase. Maybe you can find it used or a similar one if you need a double. If you bring two single umbrella strollers, you can buy a connector for when you are not on the ship and have a wider path.
Why you need a stroller:
- Getting through the airport (if flying of course)
- Waiting in line to check-in for the cruise
- Having a place for sleeping children to not be disturbed while you eat at the buffet or dining room
- A place for your child to rest during the long walks on the piers in port or while in the port town
- A safe place for your child to sit strapped in while on a tender (be careful getting on the boat with a stroller – it might be best to remove your child first and then buckle them in the stroller on the tender boat)
- A place to store cups, bottles, snacks, diapers etc. while out and about on the ship or shore
- Keeping your child safe while leaving the ship at disembarkation, getting your luggage, and going through customs
Key Features to look for:
- Umbrella folding (ideal) – to fit under your bed or in the closet
- Reclining Seat – for sleeping children
- Cup holder(s) – for cups, water bottles, etc especially in port
- Pouch or basket for storage – for diapers, wipes, souvenirs
- Sunshade – protect your child from the sun
- Dark in color (and probably gender neutral if you plan to have more kids) – to not show dirt easily
- High weight limit to hold older children
I am always looking for kid items that are well designed, with all or most of the features I want, and at a great price. The black stroller in the picture at the top really fits this. It is the First Years Jet Lightweight Stroller in City Chic. It sells for just under $40 at Walmart.com with free shipping Site to Store. It has all the features listed above and is designed for children 6 months (can sit fairly well) to 50lbs.
Did I miss anything? Comment and let me know!