Our first serious trip with Brandon was a Baltic cruise when he was 6-months old. Rich isn’t very good at sitting on a beach for a week so we knew we didn’t want to do a resort. We always enjoyed visiting a variety of places within a region when we traveled before kids, and we thought that cruising might be the easiest way to accomplish this type of travelling with a baby.
We also figured being able to unpack in one room, and have that room move from place to place, would make things a lot more enjoyable, and we were right. It was also nice having food options available 24 hours a day since we were working around Brandon’s naps and between 6 and 9 hour time difference from home.
One drawback was the rule that no one still in diapers was allowed in the swimming pools, but we spent most of our days off the boat so there wasn’t that much time for swimming any way. The babysitting service was only available for older children (and to be honest I don’t think we would have felt comfortable leaving him with a stranger) so we didn’t see any of the shows on the ship. Luckily, that hadn’t really been something we were interested in.
We forgot our camera, so all our pictures on the trip were taken on Rich’s Blackberry. We got to see 6 cities over 13 days and had an awesome time on our first big trip with a baby.
CRUISING THE BALTIC:
The cruise started in Copenhagen and we decided to fly in the day before the cruise left so that we could see the city before we set sail. We were fascinated by the bike culture – during the afternoon rush hour we saw parents riding bikes with these trailers with two or three kids in them. It was so different from Toronto.
The first stop was a small German town called Wernemunde. There were excursions to Berlin, but we decided to stay in the cute little seaside resort town. Next we went to Tallinn, Estonia and had a nice day walking around.
The next stop was two incredible days in St. Petersburg. We didn’t feel like dealing with the crazy process of getting Visas for Russia so we stuck with the excursions organized by the cruise. One day on a river cruise, which was a great way to see the city, and visiting the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, and the second day visiting the Hermitage museum (the inlaid floors, sparkly chandeliers, and gold wall sconces were very entertaining for Brandon).
After St. Petersburg we visited Helsinki for a day, then onto Stockholm. Stockholm was one of our favourite places, and somewhere that we would love to visit.
I’d never been on a cruise before, but I would definitely recommend it for people travelling with little ones. – Anne
Anne and Rich are the proud parents of Brandon and Zachary. They live in Toronto, Canada.