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7 best cruise lines for toddlers

Smile along with your little one on whimsical adventures above the waves.

From toddler-friendly activities and playgroups to diaper deliveries and babysitting services, cruising with a toddler on the right line can be easy breezy.

So if you’re planning to bring your little one onboard, check out these cruise lines that go the extra mile to treat your child like seafaring royalty.

Best cruise lines for toddlers


The ships have nurseries for kids younger than three, practically everything is Disney-themed and there are character meet-and-greets too. Disney Cruise Line provides diaper disposal units, cribs and playpens upon request.
  • Highlight: A fantasy trip into your toddlers favorite bedtime stories.
  • Toddler club: The -It's A Small World- nursery is available on Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Wonder and Disney Magic and caters to children ages 6 months to 3 years old. It features games, crafts, movies and nap time. Rates are $9 an hour.
  • Discounts for toddlers: Discounts for children staying in the same room with two adult guests. Shore excursions are free for tots 2 and younger.
  • Sleeping arrangements: Request cribs and playpens.
Price ($-$$$):
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Cunard's trained youth team will keep your little one busy with puzzles, books, toys, crafts and more at its age-appropriate activity centers. The complimentary night nursery is open from 6 to 11 p.m. each night and staffed with professional child-minders for kids younger than 2. You'll get a pager so even if you indulge in a few drinks or an evening show, you'll know if your little one needs you.
  • Highlight: Its kids clubs and eventing nursery are completely free.
  • Toddler club: Drop your kiddo off at the Play Zone or Baby Zone during the day, included in your fare.
  • Discounts for toddlers: Babies younger than 2 sail free. Kiddos 2 and older sail at half-price with two adults paying full fare.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Complimentary cribs, cots and baby baths available upon request.
Price ($-$$$):
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MSC Cruises offers services like babysitting and specialized laundry care, where your kiddo's clothes will be washed and sanitized separately before being hand-delivered to your room.
  • Highlight: Free travel for children younger than 12 is a nice perk.
  • Toddler club: The Mini Club is free and caters to 1- to 3-year-olds. Your tyke can play and interact with other toddlers onboard. You need reservations and it's available for select hours on both port and sea days.
  • Discounts for toddlers: Children younger than 12 travel free with MSC Cruises.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Cots are available by request.
Price ($-$$$):
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Toddler facilities within the Escape's nursery include a room with sensory-based toys, an open playroom and a quiet room for sleeping. It has extended hours available on certain dates throughout each cruise so you can revel in a late-night escape.
  • Highlight: The Norwegian Escape features Guppies Nursery for babies and toddlers 6 months to 3 years.
  • Toddler club: The Guppies Nursery is available only on the Norwegian Escape. It costs $20 for each time block. Reservations are required.
  • Discounts for toddlers:Discounts rates are available for the third to the eighth guest.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Cots are available by request.
Price ($-$$$):
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Dubbed the -fun- cruise line, there is something for everyone onboard a Carnival Cruise. Tots ages 2 to 5 are entertained by games, arts, crafts, singing, dancing and more.

  • Highlight: With Doctor Seuss programming running across its fleet, this pupular cruise line takes care of its littlest guests.
  • Toddler club: Its Camp Ocean Penguins program is included in the fare, and welcomes youngsters ages 2 to 5 for fun and games during the day. The Night Owl service is available from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily and costs $6.75 an hour, plus 18% gratuity.
  • Discounts for toddlers:Children younger than three can join shore excursions for free when traveling on a parent's lap, with discounts for 3- to 12-year-olds. Discounted fare rates apply for additional guests sharing a stateroom with two full-fare guests.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Cots available by request.
Price ($-$$$):
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Royal Caribbean

And so do parents, who can rest easy knowing that Royal Caribbean has it all sorted for them. Diapers and baby food can all be preordered and delivered to your stateroom for peace of mind.

Its free Ocean Adventure programming is open all day, every day — even at port. After-hours care is available from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. for a fee.

  • Highlight: Tots receive star treatment on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
  • Toddler club: Royal Tots interactive playgroups are held on board and the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery is available for 6- to 36-month-olds on select ships. Its Aquanauts programming during the day is complimentary for kids 3 to 5 years old.
  • Discounts for toddlers:There are no discounted rates for children. But discounted fare rates apply for additional guests sharing the same room with two adults.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Play yards are provided, though Royal Caribbean doesn't supply cots.
Price ($-$$$):
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Join your little one at Celebrity Cruises' dedicated playgroup, Toddler Time, and meet other parents as your little one plays with new friends. Celebrity Cruises also offers changing tables and baby wipes in bathrooms.

  • Highlight: Have an award-winning five-star experience with the whole family — including toddlers.
  • Toddler club: Toddler Time is free for tots ages 3 and younger. Babysitting services are available for a fee.
  • Discounts for toddlers:There are no discounted rates for children. But select sailings offer discounts for additional guests sharing the same room as two full-fare paying guests.
  • Sleeping arrangements:Cots are available by request.
Price ($-$$$):
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Do cruise lines offer discounts for toddlers on board?

Sometimes. For example, kids younger than 12 sail free on MSC Cruises, and many lines offer similar kids-sail-free promotions throughout the year.

While most cruises don’t offer discounted rates specifically for toddlers, they do offer discounted rates for third and fourth guests sharing the same stateroom as two fare-paying guests. Some port excursions allow toddlers 2 and younger to travel free when on a parent’s lap. Discounted shore excursions may be available for older children.

Family-friendly cruises often have children’s menus that cater to budding palates. In most dining areas, kids’ meals are included in fare.

Compare cruises for toddlers

Toddler club detailsNursery / babysitting serviceDiscounted room rate
Disney Cruise LineFor kids ages 6 months to 3 years$9 an hourWhen sharing the room with two full-fare paying guests
CunardFor kids of all agesGroup babysitting is available for free from 6 to 11 p.m.Babies younger than 2 sail for free. Toddlers 2+ sail at half price with 2 full-fare paying guests.
MSC CruisesFor kids ages 1 to 3Childcare is available at the Mini Club, but no one-on-one or in-stateroom babysittingChildren 12 and under travel free.
Norwegian Cruise LineFor kids ages 6 months to 3 yearsGuppies Nursery is $20 a time block.Discounts for the 3rd to 8th guest
Carnival Cruise LineFor kids ages 2 to 5Childcare is available for kids ages 1 to 11 for a fee.Discount for 3rd and 4th guests
Royal Caribbean internationalFor kids ages 5 to 35 monthsAvailable for kids ages 6 months to 3 years oldDiscounts for the 3rd and 4th guest
Celebrity CruisesFor kids ages 6 months to 3 yearsAvailable for kids ages 6 months to 3 years oldDiscounts for 3rd and 4th guests on select sailings

How we chose these cruises

When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the range and quality of toddler-friendly activities available off and on board, prioritizing cruise lines with a reputation for fun, engaging toddler programming. We paid special attention to cruise lines that offer perks like babysitting, kids’ menus and changing tables.

We also weighed stateroom amenities and dining options against the price, favoring companies known for delivering the best value. Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

Bottom line

Cruises can be wondrous experiences for toddlers, full of whimsy, activity and adventure — plus lots of together time to snuggle up. Before booking your fare, check for discounts and deals that can help you save.

Frequently asked questions

Current cruise deals

Disney cruises from $705 per person to the Caribbean

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Save up to 25% on select Bahamian, Caribbean and Baja cruises with Disney

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Carnival cruises starting from just $55/night to the Bahamas and other destinations

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Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

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Save up to 83% off Carnival cruises to the Caribbean

Caribbean cruises from 4-7 nights from $179 per person. T&Cs apply.

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Up to $1,000 to spend on board with Norwegian Cruise Line

Just book your next cruise vacation with Priceline Cruises and get up to $1,000 to use as a liquor, dining, and spa credit, along with other purchases made on the ship! T&Cs apply.

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Last minute cruise deals from $33/night

Cruises from 3 to 15+ nights available from multiple lines. Get great deals on prime ships, routes, and rooms for bookings from a week or more out.

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Mississippi River cruises starting from $1,395 per person

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