Monday, September 29, 2014

Travel | Prep for Cruising with a Baby

Yup, call us crazy, we took 6-month-old little en to a 7-day Alaska Cruise! People would think Alaska Cruise is for seniors but we found that it was not a bad idea to bring a baby on board because 1) the cruise ship cabin is like a mobile hotel which does not involve a lot of packing or unpacking. 2) he is too young to explore by himself so relatively speaking, he’s safe with the parents. 3) his main source of food is still breast milk, which is 24hrs available at anytime and anywhere. Anyhow, I think it depends on each baby’s unique personality as well. Little en is a pretty mellow baby and he is a solid night sleeper, which made cruising with him not only tolerable but also delightful.    

We booked our cruise line, Holland America - Zuiderdam, through Vacation To Go, who matches any deals that you could find over the Internet. Holland America let the third person who shares the same cabin cruise for free but we still need to pay additional government and port of call taxes.

In general, booking a cruise trip at last minute may give you the best deal. I’ve seen some too-good-to-be-true deals that offered $349 per person for a 7-day Alaska Cruise with undesirable interior stateroom. However, we chose a balcony cabin where little en took his long nap during the sea day while we were in the balcony enjoying the scenery. In addition, Zuiderdam has a bathtub in every balcony cabin, which makes bathing little en so much easier.

Two adults and a 6-month-old baby for a 7-day cruise, NO CHECKED BAGGAGE. With two 20" carry-on, one backpack, and one stroller, we are on the go! 

I followed Team Wiking's Travel Light suggestion closely for my attire:
** Waterproof outerwear/ ** Insulated Down Jacket/ ** Scarf/ ** Gray Sweater/ ** Navy Knit Top/ ** Two Long Sleeve Tees/ ** Button Down/ ** Long Dress/ ** Gray Denim/ ** Jeans/ ** Hiking Boots/ ** On Board Sandal/ ** Swimsuit/ ** Warm Hat and Gloves/ ** Sunglasses/ ** Comfortable PJs/ ** Umbrella/ ** Daypack
The key to pack for Alaska Cruise is layer layer and layer. There is always air-conditioning on the ship but it can be very windy and cold on the deck. As for inland, it rains quite often in Alaska so the rain gear, like poncho or umbrella, is nice to have.

Team Wiking's Travel Light

Except for the essentials, such as disposable diapers, wipes, baby food, layers of baby clothes for all seasons, hat and socks, we brought the following baby gears and found them quite useful:

1. Quinny Zapp Xtra: This trip finally made this stroller worth its price. It’s super compact like an umbrella stroller. It can be folded into the closet so that it doesn’t take up any precious space in the cabin.

2. Patagonia 28L Daypack: We used it as an on-the-go diaper bag. A lot of compartments. Charles even stuffed his laptop in it.

3. ERGObaby 360: Here comes the winner of the baby carrier! We picked Ergobaby for its ergonomic bucket seat. Little en slept in there so well while we hiked several trails in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. The sleeping hood design is top notch.

4. MAM Bite and Brush Teether: Little en is not fond of pacifier. This teether kept him busy when we were in the restaurant. Charles added a strap to tie the teether on the stroller so that it doesn’t drop on the floor all the time.
5. Skip Hop Bib: Any water resistant bibs will do, make washing and drying quick and easy.  
6. Sophie the Giraffe: something to accompany with little en when we left him in the crib.
7. NUK Learner Cup: No leaking at all!
8. Nursing Cover: There was an awkward moment yet memorable to be surrounded by nature while nursing my baby...

Check the Itinerary here

Day 1  Vancouver, BC, Canada           
Day 2  Inside Passage (Cruising)
Day 3  Tracy Arm, AK (Cruising)                      
         Juneau, AK                             
Day 4  Skagway, AK                            
Day 5  Glacier Bay National Park, AK (Cruising)
Day 6  Ketchikan, AK                         
Day 7  Inside Passage (Cruising)
Day 8 Vancouver, BC, Canada

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