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Taking Baby on Cruise Ship

The first thing we looked into was a vacation that combined multiple options for fun, with a relative ease of travel. In our case, we chose a cruise on a ship from Montreal, Canada to Boston, MA. This close in hugging the shore method of cruising allowed us the option to drive both ways. We had to rent two cars, complete with GPS, and car seats, but we were no longer bound by airline baggage rules, and that was important. We could now travel with enough baby clothes, toys, and feeding related gear to summit Everest if we wanted to.

The drive rather than fly also relieved us of the pitfalls of being the parent of the kid who screamed during an entire flight. We chose to avoid the potential hurdle of trying to sooth an unreasoning being, while fending off the evil stares of the poor people who might try to sleep near us.

We still had one more detail to work out; the boy needed a passport to travel to Canada. Amazingly the U.S. Post office made this task very easy. All we had to do was to make an appointment at our local Post Office and they did everything else. They took the pictures, helped us fill out the form, and even mailed the package off for us. A note of caution here, it takes about four weeks to get a passport, so give yourself enough time to accomplish this mission.

Our next concern was accommodations, and I have to give Holland America a lot of credit here. There are a limited amount of rooms on every ship that can be converted into baby rooms. Basically they move the couch and replace it with a bolt down crib. That meant that we didn’t have to carry a pack-and-play with us.

With travel, and accommodations locked down, our next concern was food for the little guy. What we learned is that the ship is equipped to handle this problem also. Upon request, they will supply a high-chair and baby food. We still chose to bring our own food, but that is because we are nervous overbearing parents and we have the ability to carry food with us.

Our next worry zone was the life rafts. I know it is unlikely that we would hit an iceberg or anything else that would sink the ship, but I am a new father and it is my job to worry. Again the cruise line came through with a baby sized life vest and an identification tag to make sure that we didn’t misplace our little bundle of joy.