10 tips for the perfect family cruise vacation with children
If you love boating, then you probably love getting the chance to experience it with the people closest to you. Boating with a child comes with its challenges, but the rewards are well worth it; just look at all those smiles. To help you experience this for yourself, here are our top ten tips for safe, stress-free boating with your baby:
1. Make sure your child has a proper lifejacket
Like every other person on the boat, your child must have their own personal lifejacket (sometimes referred to as personal flotation device, or PFD). The AJAO has plenty of them!
2. Designate a secure, protected area on your boat
Designate a safe area on the boat where you can seat the child without the risk of them falling or moving around, you’ll reduce your own stress and have a solution in place before this type of situation arises. Safe places are in no short supply on the AJAO!
3. Get ready for naptime
Find a great place to put down your child. As soon as naptime rolls around, you’ll be very happy that you have it ready. We have real comfy places available for you on the AJAO!
4. Find some shade
The last thing you want is for your little one to feel overheated or sick when you’re miles away from the dock. And of course, don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen. We not only have shade, but all air conditioned areas on the AJAO!
5. Choose your boating hours accordingly (and be cautious of bad weather)
Early mornings and evenings tend to provide cooler temperatures and smoother waters—both of which are ideal conditions when boating with a child. If it looks excessively windy or there’s a chance of thunderstorms, consider shortening your trip or rescheduling for another day. We will always ensure your safety and comfort on the AJAO!
6. Pack plenty of supplies
Please bring the essentials: Pacifiers, waterproof diapers (also known as swimmers), sunscreen and whatever else you think you might need for the day. It’s a good rule of thumb to pack more than you think you’ll need—it’s better to be safe than sorry. If anything else is needed, we can provide it on the AJAO!
7. Remember that the safest seat for your baby is in your arms
Keeping the child in your arms when cruising (depending on the size of the child), assures that they will not fall or injure themselves on any part of the boat. We will let you know in advance which areas are child suitable on the yacht. There are many child safe spots on the AJAO!
8. Plan for fun in the water
When it’s time to drop anchor or pull up on a sandbar, that’s when the fun really starts. You’ll love seeing your child’s eyes light up as they splash around in the water or crawl around in the sand. Don’t forget to bring along a small float that you can tie to the boat to keep it in place. We also have kayaks and a stand up paddle board on the AJAO!
9. Plan for fun on the boat
To keep your little one happy and occupied while on board, bring along plenty of their favourite toys from home. Just one suggestion: even though they’ll be playing with these toys while on board the boat, it’s a good idea to stick to the waterproof toys. Nobody likes a soggy teddy bear. If anything gets wet, we have a tumbler too on the AJAO!
10. Recruit an army of ready and willing babysitters
Every parent needs some backup every once in a while, so be sure to invite plenty of friends and family members out with you. These volunteer babysitters will usually be more than willing to take the little cutie off your hands with little to no persuasion. Our crew on the AJAO, is also more than happy to lend a hand if needed!