Did I make a mistake???
Date: 09-17-04 00:07
Perhaps someone has cruised with Celebrity (Summit in particular) can make me feel better. Tonight, our family found the 11-night Western Caribbean cruise on-line. The dates are perfect, the ports exciting, the ship's rating top-notch, we were able to enjoy a slight discount and the agent was able to provide us with connecting rooms. After agreeing to the terms and price, I pulled the trigger and booked the cruise.
Dilemma: Did some more research on the ship Summit (rated #2 in the world by Conde Nast Traveler). Rumor has it that the "award-winning" youth program offered by Celebrity does not operate year-round (like those of other cruise lines). They operate the programs in the summer and during school holiday periods. They do have a "youth area".
As I did further research on this website (Cruisemates), I discovered that yes, in fact I had locked myself in to cruise that appears to be more geared to cigar smoking, martini-todeling, upper-crusts who are eager to distance themselves from children and those with children. Hope I didn't offend anyone in that demographic. We're not slobs. We enjoy fine food and classical music, but we have two young daughters!
This sounds like it may not be as much fun for the diverse ages in our group. Since our trip is within 70 days from now, I would take a 50% penalty for cancelling! New to cruising. Please - someone offer some reassuring words!!!
My four year-old needs some entertainment or we're all going to be sorry.
My wife and I sailed on the summit last march and we are booked on the Summit for the 11 day western caribbean this december. Last year our dinner companions brought along their two teenage daughters. They said there were only 12 other teens on the ship. On cruises that go longer than 7 days the number of kids seems to go down. However the important thing to note is that their kids were having a great time. I remember they had a staff just for kids. Dont sweat things will be fine.
not to worry. Any cruise is what you make of it. You said yourself " the dates are perfect, ports exciting, ship is top-notch" you have the totally right attitude to sail, go for it.
Celebity is not a snooty, snobby cruise line, your fellow cruisers who choose Celebrity appreciate the fine cruise ship experience that is Celebrity. You will find folks of all ages aboard.
Will there be tons of kids running around on board? Probably not.
Most of your days at sea will be spent by the pool, i don't know of many kids who don't like to spend all the day in the pool do you??
I would bring some small toys, books, coloring books & crayons for your daughter to play with.
Whi8le the number of kids will certainly not be as high as some of the other mainstream lines like Carnival, RCI, or Disney there will be some kids onboard. I am not very familiar with Celebrity's kids program to be honest with you. Celebrity does target the slightly older more affluant people and the longer the cruise the older and usually wealthier they get. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to keep in mind. The shorter the cruise, the younger the overall passengers, the more kids, and the more party type they will be. Celebrity is pretty 'white-glove' in service and even though it was great it was a bit too much for us. Many folks love this though so it is up to you. I am sure you will have a great time no matter what you do and frankly if the ports, timing, price, etc are all right, I'd say go for it. You can always take another cruise geared more towards the kids next time. <VBG>
Just an entertainment suggestion:
1.) Can you splurge on a cheap portable DVD player? Perhaps one with two headphone jacks? You don't necessarily need a long life battery, perhaps one with an wall adapter and play some DVD's at night or afternoon quiet time.
I am not positive on this ship, but the television may have input RCA jacks that may be able to with bringing the proper cables (assuming DVD player has output) play the DVD player and have the DVD thus play on the tv screen in cabin.
2.) Not sure if the girls are into simple Atari type video games but Target and Best Buy type stores now offer some of the old games on just a joystick size self contained box with RCA cable inputs for $15-30 each with many games on them. Again this is relying on the tv having inputs. Maybe someone who has sailed this ship may know.
3.) Bring along portable kids type cassette players/walkmans and check out books at library a bunch of books on tape for them. Or painstakingly narrate some of the books they love onto cassette tape like you are reading them a nightime story.
4.)Get some disposable cameras and assign a camera to each girl. "Allowing them one or two cameras for the trip"
5.)When our son was 5 in Disney and wanted soveniers he was allowed ONE selection per day that kept his selection rate very special and quite thoughtful. That may come in handy when port shopping.
6.)Go to a store like the Dollar store bring pails, shovels basic beach toys. Less expensive that way for play and seashell collecting. Plus not a requirement to pack for return trip. Don't forget ziplocs for their collectibles.
7.)Not sure of their swimming abilities: arm floaties have always made me very nervous, perhaps bring the zip up swimming vest or now the swimsuits with vests or tubes built in. That way you are at ease near pools, and beaches. Don't forget swimsockls for the feet as sand can be very hot and some shores rough. Plus ship frowns on bare feet so they will at least need sandals.
8.)Don't forget simple snack items they really like: roll ups, cracker paks etc. for those outtings away from the ship.
9.)Bring some 16 oz. bottled water and refill on ship as needed for off the boat shore trips.
10.) Ocean and pools are saltwater perhaps goggles for the girls.
Hope these are helpful ideas.
Adventure of the Seas RC April 2008
Carnival Liberty April 2007
Carnival Miracle April 2005
Carnival Destiny June 2001, July 2005
NCL Southward June 1985 Honeymoon!
I have sailed on the Summit and while there were not alot of kids on board (did a long cruise), the ones that were on it, had a blast.
It is not stuffy, just a little on the elegant side. I have cruised on quite a few lines and Celebrity is at the top of the list. The service is great and the food is very good.
You will have an awsome time, Relax.
This may sound really dumb and I apologize in advance.. but did you call Celebrity to confirm that they will not have the youth program on your cruise? Maybe there is no reason to worry! Even if the youth program is closed, the customer service folks might be able to fill you in on what IS available so you won't have to pack so much entertainment.
I checked - And yes they do have the kids program all year long. Some of the year they do not offer all the activities as they have a smaller staff during off season. They DO offer the youth programs all year long.