10 essential tips for cruising with a baby or toddler on P&O Cruises

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Many people ask, “Can babies go on P&O Cruises?” and the answer is yes! Not only can babies sail on board P&O Cruises’ family-friendly ships, but this is a great cruise line to choose for babies and toddlers for so many reasons…

P&O Cruises baby policy

Babies must be at least six months to sail with P&O Cruises and at least 12 months for exotic fly-cruises. If you want to cruise with a baby who is younger than six months old, you should look into other cruise lines such as MSC Cruises.

P&O Cruises infant pricing

Infants under two years old sail at a ‘reduced rate’ with P&O Cruises. Exactly how much you’ll pay for your baby varies depending on the cruise. According to online forums, people have paid between £50 and £300 to bring a baby on their cruise.

From time to time, P&O Cruises have promotions where the third or fourth passenger in a cabin can sail for as little as £1. So booking your cruise whilst one of these promotions is live can be a great way to save you money on your cruise.

Click to see P&O Cruises baby prices compare to other cruise lines.

Accommodation for babies

P&O Cruises provide travel cots free of charge. There is space in even the smallest of inside cabins for a travel cot but if you do require a bit of extra space in your cabin, your cabin steward will be happy to take down the travel cot in the morning and put it back up for you in the evening.

Baby in cot

The travel cots come with a thin mattress and a sheet. Guests are requested to bring their own cot bedding such as duvets, pillows or sleeping bags as required. It might be a good idea to bring a thick blanket or small quilt to create some extra padding if your little one is used to a softer bed. If you forget to bring your own bedding, you may request a thin blanket from your cabin steward.

If you’d prefer for your toddler to sleep in a bed, you can request a bed guard to make sure that they can’t fall out. Some cabins have sofa beds and others have Pullman beds which come down from the ceiling like bunk beds. When you book, you can request a cabin with a sofa bed if you prefer this option.

Read more: What is a Pullman bed on a cruise ship?

A variety of cabin types are available. Budget-conscious travellers might be best to opt for an inside cabin. But if your baby will only sleep in a cot and you’re likely to be confined to the cabin at nap times or in the evening, then it’s probably worth considering upgrading to a balcony cabin so that you can relax on the balcony while your child sleeps.

nap time on a cruise

On-board activities for babies and toddlers

You’ll find lots to keep tots entertained on board P&O Cruises’ family-friendly ships. One of the best things about P&O Cruises is that children wearing swimming nappies are allowed in designated pools. On many other cruise ships swimming nappies are completely banned from all pools.

We sailed on P&O Britannia and our two-year-old loved splashing in the shallow paddling pool in between the two main pools. He also loved the splash area which has a fountain and flowing water which can be stopped with various levers and wheels.

This area is a little bit hidden on the ship between the shuffleboard court and The Reef kids’ club, so make sure you don’t miss it if you sail on Britannia.

P&O Cruises splash area

P&O Cruises ships are very spacious and your little ones will love crawling around the open decks. Railings are either high with a double hand-rail or made of glass walls, which makes the decks a very safe environment for little ones to roam as long as you keep an eye on them.

Although under-twos aren’t permitted to be left in the kids’ club, they can attend with parents for supervised play sessions. You’ll also find a variety of family events on board such as discos and magic shows.

Babysitting

Although there is no in-cabin babysitting, P&O Cruises offers a Night Nursery for free-of-charge group babysitting.

The Night Nursery is a dark, quiet room with beds and cots where under-fives can sleep under the supervision of two qualified members of staff. This is open from 6 pm until midnight and extended until 2 am on request.

Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents are given a pager so that they can be contacted should their children wake up.

Baby food

P&O Cruises provide baby food free of charge. Hipp Organic baby food jars are available in an assortment of savoury and dessert flavours in stage 1 (4 months +) and stage 2 (7 months+).

Alternatively, you can request that any food from the main restaurant menu is pureed or mashed. There are also always plenty of foods on offer which are suitable for baby-led weaning such as bread, fruit and vegetable sticks.

Read more: How to feed your baby on a cruise

baby with pizza on deck

Children and babies can dine in any of the dining areas on board. In addition, there is a special children’s tea at around 5pm each evening (the exact time varies by ship).

Here, you’ll find a variety of kids’ favourites on offer in a relaxed atmosphere – perfect for parents who’d like to eat a little later in the evening than the children.

Toddlers can choose from the extensive children’s menu or try a small portion of any dish on the main menu. You’ll also find plenty of high chairs available in the restaurants.

Baby milk

P&O Cruises can provide baby milk powder free of charge on request. The brand offered is SMA progress. If you prefer an alternative brand, you should bring your own baby milk.

Whole cows’ milk or plant-based milks can also be provided. Just call your cabin steward to place your request for warm or cold milk to be delivered to your cabin.

If you ask for a large jug or carton of milk, this can be kept in the fridge in your cabin. Alternatively, you can help yourself to milk from the buffet restaurant.

Breast feeding is also welcome in all areas of the ship.

Read more: How to feed your baby on a cruise

Pushchairs

You are welcome to bring a pram or pushchair on board. The only restriction on this is that they are not allowed to be left in the corridor outside your room as they are with some other cruise lines.

If your pushchair is collapsible, you’ll find plenty of storage space under the beds, should you wish to keep it out of the way.

For those travelling with two children, side by side pushchairs are not recommended as they can be too wide for some of the corridors. Instead, opt for a narrower style or take two pushchairs or a buggy board.

Baby paraphernalia

Babies come with a lot of equipment, but luckily, much of what you need is available to borrow free of charge, which means you can cut down on your packing list substantially.

Items available on request include:

  • Travel cot
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle/food warmers
  • Sterilisers
  • Nappy disposal units (although normal bins are emptied twice daily too)
  • Bed guards

Just mention if you would like any of when you book and you’ll find them waiting in the cabin for you.

For a full list of baby items to pack on a cruise, download my free printable checklist. Just enter your email address below and it will be sent to your inbox.

Laundry

On board P&O Cruises you’ll find self-service launderettes with washing machines, tumble driers and irons which are free of charge.

You needn’t worry about packing lots of clothes for your children, as you’ll be able to do washing during your cruise should you need to. I’d recommend bringing your own washing tablets, as they cost £1 each to buy in the on-board shop.

If you prefer someone else to do the washing for you, there is also a laundry service available for a fee.

baby on a cruise

Summary

Whilst many cruise lines cater very well for babies and children, you can’t go wrong with choosing P&O Cruises. The staff are all very friendly and on-hand to help wherever they can to make your family holiday as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

Do you have any more tips for cruising with young children on board P&O Cruises? Please share them in the comments below. Or if you have any questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

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14 thoughts on “10 essential tips for cruising with a baby or toddler on P&O Cruises”

  1. wow such good information!!! Me and my partner have booked a cruise for November flying from Birmingham to Barbados and then traveling around the Caribbean on board the Britannia. we have just had a little boy and he will be turning one after a few days on the ship firstly have you got any tips for flying with a baby? I’m dreading it as its and 8 hour flight (hide my face) lol. And I’ve been told that little ones aren’t aloud in some restaurants like the glass house and aren’t aloud in the brodies bar is this correct? Are little ones aloud in the main pools? we are also taking my partners nephew who is 13 and my mum (to help with the kids) hahaha. Is there any excursions you can recommend that are good for kids as well as the adults.
    thank you
    leanne x

    • Hi Leanne. Flying with a one year old can certainly be tricky. Lots of snacks will definitely be needed and be sure to load up a device with Peppa Pig videos! You’ll be able to take your son in all of the restaurants, the only places kids can’t go are the adults only pool, nightclub, spa and casino. One of the main pools on Britannia allows babies and there’s also a fantastic splash area that he will love. It’s a little hidden, so make sure you don’t miss it. The easiest excursions are the official P&O Cruises ones, as you just get straight on a coach when you get off the ship so it’s really easy. You can see what’s available here: https://www.ncl.com/termsandconditions/promotions. Jenni

  2. We have already booked for Christmas 2021 p&o Azura for 2 adults inside cabin. We have just recently found out that we are expecting a baby may 2021, and wanted to add the baby on to the cruise who will then be 6/7 mths. I contacted p&o who said that I could not do this as their were no spaces for babies left on this cruise. This puzzled me as the baby would be in our cabin. The p&o customer service said my only option was to cancel and loose £500. I don’t want to cancel, and not sure why its not possible? When I look on the Internet there is a lot of information on how p&o are great for babies and how its possible to have a baby in a cot in an inside cabin which we have booked. This is our first cruise, we were really looking forward to it, its already been a stressful time as originally this cruise was booked for Christmas 2020, which we had to reschedule in March to christmas 2021 due to covid 19. I am looking for some helpful information regarding this query – can anyone help ?

    • Hi Teresa, thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, there will be a set number of spaces for children of each age on the ship. This is to make sure that they have enough cots, high chairs etc and can accommodate everyone in the nursery. As that cruise is full for babies, I would expect that P&O Cruises would allow you to change it to another cruise or give you a future cruise credit. THat’s what they do if you can’t go on the cruise because you are too far along in pregnancy or your baby would be too young. I definitely think that’s worth asking them again, or get your travel agent to help, if you have one. Good luck, I hope you get it sorted. Jenni

  3. Going on a cruise with P&O first one with my baby who will be 1 when we go. Looking forward to the swimming and shows and time to hopefully practise walking on reins!
    Thanks for the info on travel cots etc

    • Have a great cruise, Emily!

  4. Too many moms come back from their first cruise and report they did not know when they booked, that their ship did not have childcare services or water features for their diapered child to play in.

  5. Thanks this is very useful, do the sell/stock nappies if so are they expensive please?

    • Hi Lorraine. Yes, nappies were available in the shop but not in all sizes and they were very expensive. Much better to bring your own or if you run out you can stock up in port. We brought a whole box just wrapped it in a bin bag and stuck a label on, they don’t need a suitcase. Jenni

  6. Thank you I am currently pregnant and going on a p&o Ventura with my husband and 22 month old daughter this is the most helpful site I have found

  7. Whilst this is a quite informative post I personally find it unbelievable that following the recent tragic death of a child who fell to their death on another cruise line ship that you have not included any sort of safety advice

  8. Such a comprehensive post! Great advice for anyone considering a cruise with a little one. Many thanks!

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