Cruising, First time Mum, Parent, Travel

Why Cruising is the perfect baby friendly holiday!

Lee and I went on our first cruise at the tender age of 22 and since then we were hooked. So we just knew that we had to take Samuel on one and we had been desperate to do the Norwegian Fjords for years. 

Lee and I on our first cruise

I know a lot of people wouldn’t consider taking a baby on a cruise and you know what they really should! Here are 10 reasons why cruising is the perfect baby friendly holiday:

  1. You can take as much luggage as you like. There is no limit to the number of cases or bags. Plenty of room for all that baby paraffernalia (we even took our perfect prep machine). 
  2. Check in literally takes 20 minutes! You arrive at the port, hand over your bags (see reason 3), go through security and passport control and then on to the ship to start your holiday. There is no waiting around so babies don’t get chance to get bored. 
    Samuel with all our luggage
  3. Your bags are delivered to your cabin and at the end of your holiday you place them outside your door so they can be taken off the ship. No need to worry about carrying all those bags and carrying a baby. 
  4. You are in a different place everyday so there is always something new to see and do. You will have a very well travelled baby with all the different ports of call. And just think of all the lovely memories you are creating together.
  5. The ship is so big with shops, swimming pools, bars, cinema and theatre. Lots to keep you and your little ones entertained. 
  6. There is a kids club with a play area suitable for babies and toddlers. The equipment is sterilised twice a day and the toys can be loaned out so you can use them in your cabin. No need to bring any with you. 
  7. The ship is so clean. There are constantly people cleaning and hand gel pumps everywhere to encourage good hygiene. Samuel loved crawling around on the floor and I never once felt worried about him picking anything up or getting dirty. 
  8. Travel cots are provided along with towels and beach towels. Again more luggage you don’t have to worry about taking.
    Samuel preferred playing in the cot rather than sleeping in it!
  9. Every cabin has a fridge. Perfect for storing milk and baby food. 
  10. At the end of the holiday you are given a time to depart the ship (which you request) so you can go and enjoy breakfast before heading home. 

So there you go! We travelled with Celebrity Cruises this time and as you can probably tell from previous posts we had a fantastic time. The only thing that went against them in terms of being baby friendly were the lack of baby change facilities on board the ship. There was only one baby change unit and that was near the kids club on deck 15. So if you were no where near that you had to go back to your cabin or make do with the toilet floor (it was very clean). A small thing but annoying if there was a poosplosion incident for example. Despite that I would definitely recommend cruising with babies. It was so easy and a lot of fun!

    Cruising, First time Mum, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Geiranger

    On our third day we arrived in Geiranger which lies at the head of the Geirangerforden. Named as the best travel destination in Scandinavia by Lonely Planet, the Geirangerfjord area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

    We exited the ship and into Geiranger via the long gangway which zigzagged from the Eclipse to the port side. The little ones quickly fell asleep for their naps as we took a wonder through the small village of only a few shops, cafes and a supermarket. 

    We were heading for the waterfall walk; 327 steps going close to the Storfossen (waterfall). The waterfall walk runs from Geiranger Centre up to the Norwegian Fjord Centre and hotel Union with fantastic views along the whole route. 
    We took it in turns to go up so there was someone to stay with the babies (definitely not a walk for small children). 

    We then went back into the village and found a local cafe/bar to enjoy a drink. Lee had a beer and I had a delicious hot chocolate. As it was another nice day it was then back on to the ship to enjoy the sunshine. 

    Cruising, First time Mum, Parent, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Bergen

    What a fantastic cruise we have had on board the Celebrity Eclipse. Over the next week or so I will be posting about our adventures around the Norwegian Fjords and on board the ship. 

    Our first port of call was Bergen, a city on Norway’s southwestern coast. Here we had an excursion booked to take us to a waterfall and a local fruit farm. We took the  1 and half hour journey by coach (car seats were provided for Samuel and his 21 month old cousin Henry), along the Hardanger Fjord and through the snow covered mountains. It was such a lovely day in Bergen we were not expecting to drive through snow and see frozen lakes. 

    We arrived at the Steinsdalsfossen waterfall. A stunning waterfall that you can walk under without getting wet. Samuel loved this and was mesmerised by the falling water. 

    There was a little gift shop and cafe here with spectacular views of the waterfall. 

    A short drive back on the bus took us to Steinstรธ Fruit Farm where we were greeted by the owners. A family run business for 8 generations. We sampled their delicious apple pie, served in the restaurant, and tasted the sweet apple juice whilst the owner told us all about her life growing up and working on the farm. 

    Afterwards her husband (who is also a local policeman) took us on a short tour of the orchard. The views were amazing and we could really see the appeal of living and working in such a beautiful place. 

    A quick look in the shop before heading back on the bus for the journey back to the ship. Our tour guide was fantastic and shared her knowledge of the local area as well as folk tales about trolls as we drove through the mountain tunnels. We were so glad that we had took the trip as we got to see things we wouldn’t have otherwise. 

    Travel

    Lovely Lisbon

    Lisbon was truly a plesent surprise! One of those places you hear about but not give too much thought about visiting. 

    The Britannia docked between the city centre and the Vasco da gama bridge (a stunning piece of engineering that the ship actually passed under).  

     
    A short walk to the city centre and we joined the short queue for the Santa Justa lift. Unfortunately at this time it decided to have technical difficulties. However is was a perfect time for a break and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity of sampling Lisbons local specialty of a egg custard tart. A local cafe where we sat outside offered us the perfect people watching spot to do just that.  

     
    They are delicious and I would definitely recommend.

    Now refuelled we wondered around the lovely squares and streets and took in what we could on our one day stop. We passed the now working Santa Justa lift and decided to go ahead with our original plan and head up. Stunning views across the city awaited us and we were so glad we decided to give it another try.  

       
    We enjoyed a nice cool beer in the bar at the top and had some lunch on our walk back down to the centre. A leisurely walk back to the ship was a lovely end to a lovely day. I fully enjoyed Lisbon and look forward to visiting again for maybe a long weekend this time. 

    Travel

    Visiting Vigo!

    Over the next few posts I will be sharing details of our fabulous holiday on board the P&O Cruise Ship Britannia and talking about all the wonderful places we visited, starting with Vigo.

    The city of Vigo is said to be Spain’s busiest fishing port, sitting on the west coast of the province of Galicia. The Britannia docked at the Muelle de Transatlanticos, which is right in front of the city.  

     
    The cruise terminal boasted a few little stores and a WiFi cafe on the first floor. However we quickly bypassed this and made our way down the palm tree lined Avenida Castillo waterfront promenade and into the Old Town, which slopes down towards the port. 

     
    We wondered along the Rua Real, which runs eastwards to St Maria’s Church. Below St Maria’s Church we found the Plaza de Pedra.  

     
    Although we did not sample any, there is a local seafood market here which offers the regions speciality, oysters. However we did stop off at one of the many cafe/bars for a nice cool beer.  

     
    With plenty of shops, tapas bars, cafes and street entertainers we quickly wild away a few hours in this charming city.  

       

    El Sireno (The Merman) Porta do Sol just a stones throw away from the old town.