Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Deals. Cruise Questions and Answers! > Ask CruiseMates Staff
Register Forgot Password?

Ask CruiseMates Staff Got a question? Our staff will do its best to help.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4
Default infant babysitting impossible to find?

I need some professional advice.

My wife and I want to take a cruise with a 4 month old. Our goal is to spend some quality time with our new baby, and to also get a short break each day to spend dinner together. From everything I see, it appears this is impossible.

After much review of your site, it seems that the only real options for cruising w. a 4 month old would be HAL, since the "Children's services listed by Line" on your site indicates you can book a sitter. It also indicates in-room sitting is available on HAL's own site.

HOWEVER, when I called HAL to inquire about the training of their sitters, the helpful attendant told me her information stated that "babysitting is by staff willing to volunteer while off-duty, and that it is often difficult to find volunteers." She advised that it was unlikely we'd be able to get a sitter at all, much less each night for two hours so we could enjoy dinner. (who wants to eat dinner every night with a 4 month old on their lap?)

Any advice, or other suggestions???
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 05:17 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Clark, NJ
Posts: 231
Default

Sorry to say, I would wait until the baby is at least a year old to consider cruising - and this is for a number of reasons. The first would be that there is NO pediatrician trained to deal with problems if your infant should become ill. You will be traveling to a foreign country (island) and may not be able to find adequate medical care. Second, you will be tied to your infant 24 hrs. a day - if the child is cranky (think colic), you may be having all of your meals at the buffet or in your cabin (and think about the people on either side of you if the baby does not sleep through the night). Most port excursions will not be suitable for an infant - even beaches may be way too hot or sunny to go to. Nightlife is pretty much out of the question unless you can be sure your baby will remain quiet through shows - but no lounges or casino for you.

Have you checked carefully with your cruiseline? Many will not even allow infants under 6 months of age to sail. Some limit in-room sitting to children over one year - and, at that, it is done by an employee with spare time, not a trained sitter. You might check Disney who has a nursery (but you'll pay big time for the trip).
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,381
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default

This is quoted for an article by our Family Cruising Editor, Louise FayGaynor.

Quote:
Private Babysitting

Not many cruise lines offer private, in-room babysitting these days for liability reasons. However, those that do include Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International.

Celebrity offers in-cabin babysitting for children six months and older for $8 per hour. Guests are asked to make requests at least 24 hours in advance through the guest relations desk.

Crystal Cruises also has in-room babysitting for children over six months. Hourly fees are $7.50 for one child; $10 for two children; and $12.50 for three. Guests should contact the concierge on board at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Holland America Line offers babysitting. Sitters are not restricted to keeping the children in the cabin as some other lines are. Hourly fees are $8 for the first child and $5 for the second.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises provides babysitting only when a female crew member is available to perform babysitting outside of her regular ship duties. There is a $25 per hour fee.

Royal Caribbean offers in-cabin babysitting for those over six months old. Reserve a babysitter with guest relations as soon as you know your needs in order to secure a sitter. Fees are $8 per hour for up to two children in the same family, $10 for a maximum of three children in the same family
I believe ALL the cruise lines use off duty staff who volunteer for the extra duty, and don't think any can guarantee you a sitter every evening of the cruise. Also, from this article, it appears that for some the minimum age is 6 months.
__________________
C U @ C,
Kuki
CruiseMates' Staff Writer
- The Kuki Side of Cruising-
A new Blog post every Wednesday
http://www.cruisemates.com/blog/author/kuki/
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 05:35 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4
Default thanks

Thanks for responding.

While I appreciate gerif's information, it doesn't much help with the question. Our child (now 2.5 months old) has already been to Belize, London, and Colombia. My wife and I travel a great deal for work.

While I know it well-intended, I'm not looking for backseat parenting advice here (re pediatricians, baking my child on a beach, etc.), which comes off in the email as a bit patronizing. A modern cruise ship has fine medical services, a doctor and nurse(s) onboard, and given the low chances of a life-threatening emergency for an infant, that isn't really a concern. I don't see many older cruisers deciding not to go b/c they aren't near a first-rate cardiac unit while onboard, to flip that argument on its head.

Several lines allow infants of all ages, but none of them provide any kind of care/amenities for parents. It would seem to me, given that families are the fastest growing segment of travelers, that this is a market waiting to be tapped. New parents already are strapped to their children 24/7--- but we'd be willing to pay quite a bit for reliable, trained, and guaranteed babysitting onboard.

If anything, the cruiselines seem to be in a position to provide much more reliable services than your typical neighborhood babysitter (or even many daycare centers). Most working parents these days have to check their child into full-time daycare from 3 months on... cruiselines seem a bit behind the curve here. A revenue stream waiting a good business plan!

Guess we'll do a beach resort instead and save a cruise for another day.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 09:19 PM
beenie weenie's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,430
Default

Just a thought...(just trying to be resourceful and creative to try and help you) since you would be willing to pay quite a bit to acheive your goal. What if you brought your own cruise nanny with you. Someone you know and trust already who also might enjoy a getaway, with the understanding of your needs. Also, if you're considering a land based vacation, I have heard great things about FDR Pebbles and Round Hill Resort in Jamaica. They provide nanny service when you stay at their resort.
I think that no one deserves or needs a vacation break as much as new parents. I hope you have a great time no matter what you decide to do.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 09:25 PM
beenie weenie's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,430
Default

Oh yes I nearly forgot... Carnival offers group babysitting for a fee for morning hours on port days and also from 10:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. for infants 4 months - 24 months. This an excerpt from the Carnival website,
"Program for infants, ages 4 months-23 months Hours on Sea Days. Infants under 24 months (2 years) may not participate in any scheduled activities taking place in Camp Carnival. THERE ARE NO AGE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY.

Babysitting is provided for infants, nightly, from 10:00pm to 3:00am. There is a charge for this service (see "Babysitting").

Hours on Port Days: Care for infants is considered "Babysitting". There is a charge for this service (see "Babysitting"). On port day mornings, infant care begins 15 minutes prior to the first scheduled ship tour to 12:00 noon, or port day afternoons until 6:00pm (for ships arriving in port after noon time). "
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old December 8th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,373
Default

Understand that medical care is very limited onboard ships and especially pediatrics! Infants can become very, very sick very, very quickly. There is no way I would take an infant on a cruise simply for that reason alone. Just too scary for me. It is your choice of course but I highly recommend against it.
Jim
__________________
24 cruises and counting!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
Posts: 12,716
Default

i would also check into Disney Cruise lines, not sure if they offer in-cabin babysitting, but i think they do have group babysitting. I would be a bit hesitant to turn my infant over to an off-duty crewmember who is just looking to pick-up a few bucks. The kids club and camp counselors have some sort of training at least. The idea of bringing along a family member, personal babysitter, nanny is a really good idea.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old December 9th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Clark, NJ
Posts: 231
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bragg
Understand that medical care is very limited onboard ships and especially pediatrics! Infants can become very, very sick very, very quickly. There is no way I would take an infant on a cruise simply for that reason alone. Just too scary for me. It is your choice of course but I highly recommend against it.
Jim
Precisely why I mentioned that in the first place. I was on a Celebrity cruise several years ago and became ill about four days out with fever and sore throat. The wonderful onboard doctor (and I use that term loosely) decided to treat me with nebulizer treatments and Allegra (I don't have allergies). Each day I would go for my "treatment" and tell them I felt no better. His response was if I wasn't better in five days, he would do bloodwork (well - in five days, we would be home!) Went to a "real" doctor as soon as we got home - I had strep and probably infected half the ship by then. Fortunately, I was otherwise healthy, but an infant . . . .
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old December 10th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Denver, Colorado area
Posts: 16
Default

I wonder if dkois (original poster) has ever had to use the "fine medical services" he refers to. Having been on 5 cruises, and observed some of this "fine care" I would NEVER trust a sick infant to them.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2005, 03:00 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4
Default follow up...

Thanks to all for the suggestions and advice. I was gone for a bit, so just reading the replies now.

A couple thoughts...

First, since the "baby health" question seems to have pushed some alarm bells for some posters, I should clarify that my infant has travelled internationally so much b/c my wife and I are both with Doctors Without Borders. So while we are not pediatricians, we are doctors and I am not therefore in the same position as someone traveling with a young baby with no medical experience.

That said, my understanding is that the doctors on cruise ships stopping at US ports are board certified just as any US general practicioner would be, with similar training. Now we all know training does not equate to someone being a "good" doctor-- but cruise lines have a healthy avoidance instinct for lawsuits and aren't about to cruise around with a bunch of hacks onboard. It might not be stellar medical service, but it is certainly "fine" (eg, adequate).

So to make a long story short, we have decided to take a cruise, on Holland America. I seriously doubt we'll use the "off duty" staff babysitters at all (as someone said above, who in their right mind would leave an infant with a stranger with no training, only looking to make some extra money!)

But we are going to try and make the most of our cruise experience and see how much we can see/do/experience with infant in tow... while still respecting our fellow passengers, of course. I doubt some honeymooners or a couple on a romantic getaway will want our screaming child at their table for dinner! So we'll make the most of it and see what happens, and I'll post back to the site afterwards. There doesn't seem to be much info for people in this situation, so I'm eager to add to the general knowledge base.

Wish us luck!
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2005, 08:30 AM
2Littletime's Avatar
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 584
Default

Good Luck and have a wonderful trip. Only you can weigh all the pro's and con's of a situation. Remember the trip is what you make it!
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2005, 10:07 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
Posts: 12,716
Default

Make the best of it. Since you and your infant are well-traveled, you know what works and what doesn't when it comes to traveling with an infant.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 7,373
Default

Best of luck then and I hope that you two have a wonderful cruise with lots of relaxation and time together as a family.
Jim
__________________
24 cruises and counting!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
24, baby, babysitting, board, caribbean, celebrity, cruise, dinner, infant, infants, line, months, offers, royal, ships, sitting, time

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
October 5th?? Impossible! rollerdonna Chit - Chat for Cruisers 6 October 6th, 2007 02:01 PM
Babysitting... UConn1 Carnival Cruise Lines 2 June 28th, 2006 07:47 AM
Parody is Impossible AR Chit - Chat for Cruisers 6 October 1st, 2005 12:17 AM
Table For 2 - (Next to) Impossible? jeana Celebrity 10 March 10th, 2004 02:44 PM
EOS Group Babysitting vs. In Cabin Babysitting Maraki Royal Caribbean International 1 August 4th, 2002 08:01 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:14 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1