My husband and I are taking our first cruise this August with our three kids (7, 2, and 8 mos) and grandma (it's her 60th birthday). We booked a Cat 12 suite and an outside view cabin. Can anyone offer any advice about traveling on the Elation with kids? Or any tips they learned from their first cruise with children? I would like to know what options there are for childcare for our 8 month old when in port. I am not sure we want to take her and our two year old into the ports of call.
My family(wife + 2 girls 13/16) are going on this exact cruise ie 26 Aug. We have made this run 5 times before 3 on the Elation 2 on the Jubilee. Your 7 year old will have a great time guarenteed. For your 2 year old and 8 month old you will have to be more creative. Carnival allows for paid baby sitting but they may have to be potty trained, I am really not completetly sure of this. Your 7 year old can be with a similar age group am--pm so babysitting is not needed. To be honest if you were to leave your little one on the boat I would leave him/her with g/ma only. But thats just me. Any specific Q's you may have I can probably answer except Carnival policy re your 8 month old.
Since my wife is a TA I would be able to answer this for you. Carnival has a Camp Carnival program available to ages 2 to 15 years old. They also have some family activities as well. Your 2 yr old would be in the Toddlers program and your 7 year old would be in the Juniors program. I've heard that as soon as you board, your kids will find a special welcome from the Camp Carnival counselros in the program designed just for their age group (dont hold me to that as this is the first time we will taking our 5 yr old on a cruise) and this is not from experience. The program is not available for children under two. When the ship is in port, babysitting is available from port arrival to 2:00pm and again from 10:00pm to 3:00am. Cost is $5.00 per child per hour ($3.00 per hour for each addt'l sibling and prices are subject to change). In either program the children must be potty trained. It seems that I've read something some where (it may have been on another cruise line all together) that if the child isnt potty trained that you have to come and change the diapers (the counselors arent allowed to do it). So ask.
Just for the sake of others reading this post, there is limited activities for 16 to 18 years old. If there are any activities, you'd find them posted in the daily Capers (adult version) which is distributed on board. My guess is they will schedule activities based on how may 16 to 18 year olds there are scheduled on the ship
I agree w/John, I would not leave the ship w/my child still on it. I'd see if grandma would watch the children if you are going to take a tour. We plan to take our daughter everywhere we go (at ports) so we can keep a watchful eye on her. Anything can go wrong.
Thanks so much for the information. I was hoping there would be private baby sitters available who could watch the baby and two year old while we do a shore excursion. I am aprehensive about taking them into the ports and on any optional bus or boat tours. Especially since the recent drowning of three Elation passengers in Cabo. They were on a glass bottom boat which capsized. We had considered the glass bottom boat tour a good tour option for the whole family to enjoy. Not sure now what to do.
We are sailing on the Elation, Sept 16-23 with 4 children. I would be very happy to hear about your experience. My children are 12, 11, 10, and 8. Let me know what kinds of activities there were for the kids. We are very excited, as this is our first cruise and trip to Mexico. Hope you have a wonderful time and I will look for your post.