Sydney to Melbourne
Earlier this year I took the girls and myself for a journey down to Melbourne Via overnight Train and Than spent a 4 night Carnival Cruise sailing back to Sydney.
We decided to take the train for something different and also Riley my eldest was getting anxiety about taking her first cruise. As she also gets a lot of anxiety about flying, I thought it only fair to push her so far. So it was the overnight 11hr XPT Sydney to Melbourne for us.
We called to make our reservation for the train as they can then book you a family pass. I paid almost near to the adult fare and kids were all $1 each to add. How good is that, we also upgraded to first-class for a little more comfort and chair recline for me to attempt sleep. They also have 4 berth sleepers available which were approx $600 and although I’d have been a lot more comfortable in that. I wanted to save some money and the kids would sleep ok in first and myself the ever suck it up traveler would deal with what sleep I got.
Tips for Overnight Train Travel with kids
- Do have dinner before getting onboard save on the train meals. Take a water bottle each to save on up and down trips.
- I have 3 children under 10yrs so I also ask to be somewhat close to a toilet so it’s less drama organizing 3 kids every toilet break.
- Take some entertainment for kids and yourself, ie, Ipads (with downloaded content), books, coloring pencils.
- Take a travel pillow and blanket each, everyone will be that little comfier and the Aircon can get cold. Earplugs if you want to block out some noise.
Although I find Melbourne a lovely city to stay in, I chose to stay in St Kilda with my kids as its a quick and easy Tram ride from Melbourne. Its located by a calm bay which is great for kids and Luna Park is also right off the water. So it ticks a lot of boxes. You’ll need to grab a Travelcard (MyKi) to use the Trams and public transport around Melbourne which was easy to grab at the train station and top up online too.
After checking in to our hotel we headed back to Victorias National Library to check out the Ned Kelly and WWI memorabilia. It’s a great free place to visit, as it was heatwave we opted to hang here have some lunch and head back to the hotel for a nap.
In the late arvo, we walked down to the bay to cool off, grab some hot chips and watch the sun go down over the bay, before heading into Luna Park for a couple of hours of rides.
More Free things to do with kids in Melbourne
- Take a ride on the 35 City Circle (Free Tourist
- See St Kildas Little Penguins there is a donation for this one and worth it.
- Learn to sail with Discover sailing selected time of year and days
- Story time at the library *set days
- RAAF Museum and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, an interactive flying display
- Fitzroy Gardens be sure to check out the Fairy tree
- Queen Victoria Market check the website for what’s happening when your there
- For your skaters Riverslide Skate park
- NGV Free exhibitions
- The Royal Botanic Gardens Spend some time strolling around or have a picnic
Cruise Day! back to Sydney we go.
Excitement day! Well for Riley she was a little anxious about cruising, being stuck out at sea and everything that could possibly go wrong. As we drive up the harbor and she can see the ship getting closer and closer. Her nerves start to calm and change into intrigue and excitement.
Carnival so kindly arranged a personal check-in when I called to advise my daughter has ASD and anxiety around crowds. We got an early boarding, walked through check-in and a private on-boarding so she didn’t have to sit in the packed hall while they talk about all the scary things that could go wrong.
We did a walk around our floor on how to find the main deck in case we got lost from each other and what to do. I allowed both my 5 and 8 year old to wear their room cards around their neck so they could be identified and have access to the room if we got lost and they managed to find it.
We sailed on the Carnival Legend. She was fancy and plenty of entertainment for us all. My kids enjoyed Kids clubs and made friends. Emma was just under 2 so too little for kids club. She really wanted to stay and play there, although there were plenty of fun games and interaction around the pool decks as well. The water play area was ok on not as windy days.
I got a lot of reading in when Emma slept and in the evening enjoyed a show after dinner with the kids as Emma could go into babysitting with her sisters after 9.30 pm. It was $8 per child per hour until midnight, for me it was some well earned and nice alone time.
It was a short 4-day cruise, endless self serve ice cream and 24/7 pizza the kids couldn’t be happier. Riley got so confident that she asked if she could venture to the main food hall to collect some Pizza for us to have an in-room movie night on her own. As it was only the next floor I allowed her to, as to get this kid to be independent like that is so rare.
They can’t wait for their next cruise and I hope to include something with port stops next time. The shorter ones are a lovely little all-inclusive break.
We love cruising and they are very entertaining for kids. If you have a cruise lien you love. Tell us why in the comments below.
Fun for kids on board
- Pools, hot tub spas and waterslides
- 24-hour Pizzeria
- 24-hour soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt
- Kids club from 2- 17yrs
- Games Room
- Putt putt golf
- Poolside games and entertainment
- Family shows
- Theme nights
- Characters walking around
- Other kids woot woot!