Monday, June 6, 2011

Baltic Cruise with a Toddler

We just got back from a wonderful vacation.  My family took a 7-night Baltic Cruise on Holland America Cruise Line.  We sailed on the Ryndam.  I have been wanting to take a Baltic Cruise since we moved to Germany.  I am glad we finally were able to go.  This was our second Holland America cruise and mine and my husband's 4th cruise, and my son's 2nd cruise.  We sailed from Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Before our cruise we spent one night in Delft, Netherlands, which is about 20 minutes from Rotterdam.  Delft is known for their pottery and we actually were given four Delft pottery coasters for free as a gift from Holland America since we were past guests.

It is a lot different taking a cruise with a toddler than traveling with just my husband and I.  Last year when we took my son on his first cruise he was only crawling.  Now that he is older he enjoys running rather than walking most places.  We were disappointed that Holland America did not allow our child in the kids' club.  I had read somewhere that children under 3 could play in the kids' club if a parent accompanied them.  Even when no other children where in there we were told we couldn't stay there and he was not welcome. Thankfully, we were able to pay extra for a babysitter and my husband and I went to dinner alone twice.  We love our son and are always happy for him to come along but sometimes it's nice to have adult time.  Our Norwegian Cruise Lines ship had a special area for children 2 and under, including their own swimming pool.  Not having a place for our child to play besides our room was a little disappointing.  However, having a suite made up for the inconvenience as we had extra space for him to play.

We were blessed with a deluxe suite on this cruise.  We really lucked out as we were upgraded about a week before our cruise.  We are past guests and did pay for a balcony suite (which on this ship was just a balcony).  So when we were upgraded to a deluxe suite we felt very blessed.  Our room was beautiful and spacious.  If you ever get a chance to stay in a suite on a cruise ship, I highly recommend it.  Not only was our room twice the size of the balcony cabins but we had special privileges such as free laundry and dry cleaning throughout our cruise - which I highly recommend, especially if you are traveling with your child(ren).  We were also able to have special breakfast in the specialty restaurant, priority boarding on and off the ship, a nice lounge just for suite guests, and more.  Last year we stayed in a penthouse suite on Norwegian Cruise Lines which was very nice as well.

Holland America, the Ryndam
You can read about each country we visited in a separate post.  As an overview we visited Rotterdam,  Netherlands (which is a beautiful city); Helsingborg, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark (where we spent the night); Skagen, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway.  Before our cruise we stopped in Dordrecht, Netherlands, and visited the Noah's Ark Replica.  My almost two year old son has now been to 17 countries. He is becoming a world traveler and picking up new words from different languages all the time.



  2. You were in a suite!! Wow- that is sooo awesome!!


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