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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 15th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Andy Gildehaus
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Default Newborns

Has anyone traveled with newborns? I'm thinking about booking a trip on the Carnival Liberty in March. My mother-law is going with us to watch him. I just want some advice.
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Old June 15th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

From the carnival website------

Can I sail with my infant?

Infants must be at least four (4) months old to be eligible to travel, due to their vulnerable health. This is a company policy which takes into consideration the safety and comfort of the infant as well as the other guests. Carnival has fully researched the legality of the policy and it is not discriminatory and does not violate any applicable law. Carnival will not make exceptions and do not allow for the signing of waivers or releases to make an exception to the policy.

Fly-Aweigh infants (4 to 23 months of age) will be charged the "Cruise-Only" rate as long as the infant sits on a parent's lap on the airplane. If an airline seat is requested by the parent, then the infant will be charged the standard Fly-Aweigh rate. When an infant reaches 24 months of age, an airline ticket is required by the airlines.

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Old June 15th, 2005, 01:02 PM
Happy Camper
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Default Re: Newborns

No offense at all - but are you sure you want to travel with a newborn? I've been sick with the flu and norwalk is rampit on these cruises. I would not subject a small infant that has not built up an immune system on a ship. It is not safe at all. Also - no offense intended at all as you may not been on cruises before - but the cabins are small and the walls thin. If the baby cries all night long it is not just you who will be kept up all night. I once followed a baby in diapers (old enough to waddle walk) around the concrete edge of the pool for half way around the pool before a dad came and grabbed the child and looked at me like I was trying to steal it. Excuse me - where was he to let a baby walk around the concrete edge of a pool???? It is so much responsibility to watch them in a normal environment but very difficult on a cruise where they really shouldnt' be out of arms reach at all... I dont' have children so take this with a grain of salt please - it is just coming from someone that ends up watching other peoples kids on cruises...... Debbie
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Old June 15th, 2005, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

Our friends traveled last year with a 11 month old. Both mom and dad had little fun. Baby signs on door baby sleeping do not knock. If i'm paying for a cruise I would want to enjoy it.They had some fun but would have liked a little more.

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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:31 AM
steve wisnoski
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Default Re: Newborns

Leave the kid at home, give everyone a break.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

Being a mother of 4, I know how hard it is to take a vacation with or without kids!
Babies are not something that you can turn on or off. As our children came into our lives, we learned how to travel with them. Mostly by car or by plane, back then we could have not afforded such a nice cruise. Nor had we ANYONE whom would take them for us to go on a vacation! It's just too big of a responsiblity that many do not want!

Traveling by boat is no different than traveling by airplane. ActualIy I think its safer (healthwise for him). There is plenty of fresh air at sea, no recirculated air such as an airplane. I am also sure that due to his age (newborn - 1 yr) he will not be eating the same foods as we all do, more likely he is still on the bottle or just hitting the gerbers!
The little guy also probably is not walking/crawling yet, so therefore, he won't be touching all of his surroundings. No chance to come in contact with germs.

You are lucky that at least grandma is there to help out some of the time.
I think he (the baby) will be just fine! Assuming you have checked with your Pediatrician,
I see know cause for alram not to bring him. Ask the pedi if you can use the wrist braclets on him, just incase the seas are rough. They have no meds in them and might aid him if needed. Good Luck, and remeber, they do grow up quicker than you know it.
My first born just graduated for high school and the baby of the bunch is hitting middle school......
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

Just another note.........If you are taking an airplane ride there to the boat, buy the baby a seat on the plane! We did not do this once and hit bad weather. Nasty ride. I would never advise someone not to strap the baby in securly as you can. You just can't imagine how fast they can shoot out of your arms.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

go to the articles section of this board and look for Luisa's article about cruising with infants. I think you will find a lot of good information.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

I have cruised with my twins when they were 9-months old and then again when they were 18-months old. Here's my advice:

1) Keep her as close to her regular eating/sleeping schedule as possible. My twins would nap in their stroller or on a lounge chair in the afternoons and this helped to ensure we avoided the "crankies" later on.

2) Vary your activity during the day so that she doesn't get bored just doing one thing.
I found simple walks around the ship to be a great diversion. The kids really seemed to enjoy just going to different places and watching all the people. The glass elevator was one of their favorite places and the gift shop was also always a big hit (especially since they usually came out with a new stuffed animal or toy). I would also often take them up to the tennis court so that they could run (or crawl) off some energy without disturbing anyone.

3) Bring a bag of small toys that can easily be carried around the ship with you. I packed a small duffel bag with a combination of my sons' favorites and new things they had never seen before. This proved to be a godsend during long dinners in the main dining room, as well as long afternoons on deck or other times when I just needed to relax and have some "quiet time".

4) You don't mention how old your baby is, but if old enough, you might want to bring some crackers or other small snack to keep her happy while waiting for the food to arrive at dinner.

5) If your baby is old enough, bring snacks from the ship when you go into port, especially if you're sailing to someplace where you're not comfortable allowing her to eat the local food. This will hold her over until you can get back to the ship to eat. Bringing food off the ship is prohibited in many ports, however I found them to be extremely lenient and understanding when it comes to a small child.

6) Don't be afraid to get her involved in the "nightlife" aboard ship. My babies really enjoyed the colorful costumes and singing/dancing of the production shows. Afterwards I would take them "bar hopping" to the various lounges They enjoyed the bright lights and the music. They loved to just sway to the music and clap from their chairs in their own version of "dancing". Some of my best memories (and best photos) are of the twins enjoying the nighttime activities that the ship offers.

7) Bring any prescription or over-the-counter medications that you think your baby might possibly need. Children's medications are hard to get on the ship unless you go to the infirmary, which is very expensive. By the way, my pediatrician told me that babies don't get seasick, so you don't have to worry about that.

8) Don't forget to pack any of your babies nighttime comfort items. I made it into the car and down the street before realizing that I had forgotten to pack my son's "binkie bear". What a nightmare that would have been!

I found cruising to be the perfect family vacation and can't wait to do it again. Just go in knowing that it will be different from your child-free cruises. With the right mindset and expectations, I think you will have a great time!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Bridget
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Default Re: Re: Newborns

You were allowed to bring infants into the bar area? I would think that would at least be frowned upon. No offense, but I don't think a bar atmosphere is where a child of any age should be.

B.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

Hope you don't take offense to this either, but leave the babies at home. Mother of 3 and we didn't take our kids cruising till the youngest was 9. Glad we waited! Everyone (Including the neighboring cabins) had a great time!! Walls are definitely too thin for a crying baby. It is aggravating to pay money for a trip and have to listen to children/babies crying in dinner etc. It is hard for them too, especially since certain vacations are geared for adults and older children who can enjoy the camps, etc. Babies don't understand long wait at dinners, etc. You would have a much better time also.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

I agree that a bar is generally not appropriate for children, but the lounges onboard ship are pretty tame and family friendly. Mostly just normal people enjoying some music, dancing and silly trivia games while having a few cocktails. The kids (I was also traveling with my 8 and 9 year old nieces) really enjoyed the dancing and were even invited up to dance with the cruisestaff during the 50's dance party theme night. Definitely not the wild drunken pick-up joint type bars that usually comes to mind. The only place I didn't feel comfortable taking them was the disco, which I felt was too loud and wild.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Newborns

No offense to any of the parents who have posted on here about their little darlings and how they enjoyed the cruise. I am a parent, but I would never have taken my newborns on a cruise.

As cute as we parents think they are, the fact is, a newborn can be loud and cranky - and can easily impact on the other people around. Don't misunderstand me - I love my kids and spend as much time with them as possible, as all parents should do.

But, there are times and situations when the presence of a newborn infant is simply not appropriate. A lounge (read - bar) on a cruise ship is one of those places. The same goes for the dining room - a fidgety infant, maybe crying, maybe just tossing stuff to the floor every minute - that is not fair to the other guests. Likewise the infant on your hip in the casino. Just not appropriate.

At the shows, how much attention is the little on paying to the stage versus the number of times they make noise so the people at the next table cannot hear the show? Or how many drinks does the tot knock over?

And I know, your child never behaves like that. Well, my kids are great (one on the way to the US Naval Academy) and trust me - they could be really annoying as infants. All kids are that way. Don't let your love for your child blind you to that.

Overall, I think a cruise with infants is a mistake. If you can't arrange a week for them with grandma and grandpa, then maybe it would be best to hold off a bit on the cruise until the are more age-ready.

Just my opinion.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

Andy.........after seeing all of these responses, do yourself a favor.
Don't listen to anyone else, but your pediatrician, your husband and yourself.
That's all that really matters here anyway. If the doctor and you feel comfortable for the baby to travel, then so be it. No matter what you do, someone will have an opinion on it, so damm us all for giving any advice. Do what you feel is best and all will be fine.
Hope you and the family have a great cruise. Cruising with your children can be a really fun experience. Good luck!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

You're right, Diverb. Infants can be a distraction to those around, but with a little careful planning and consideration by their parents they don't have to be. There were many nights when we ate at the buffet because I didn't feel my babies were up to a long dinner. When we did use the dining room, I made sure to bring plenty of things to occupy the babies and I was prepared to take them out if they started to cry (they never did). I was traveling with extended family so we had a large table to ourselves and didn't have to worry about disturbing other guests at the table.

In the showroom, I would sit in the back where we could exit quickly if there were any trouble. I never had to, though, as the babies were absolutely mesmerized by the singing and dancing and colorful costumes. I think they enjoyed the shows more than I did! And the only drink that was spilled was by their 62 year old grandmother!

We would also choose seating in the back when we visited the lounges. My large family easily takes up an entire circular booth by ourselves, so they were well separated from other guests. I doubt anybody even knew they were there unless they happened to see them as they walked by.

It does take effort to make sure that the presence of an infant (or two) doesn't impede on the enjoyment of other guests, but it can be done.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

My only problem is that most parents I have met - I'm sure those here are an exception - on a cruise tend to think only of themselves. It sounds like Luv2cruise you were wonderful in thinking about them and others and being close to an exit and prepared to leave dinner if had too. But many don't. Although I have to admit I don't see very many newborn to age 3 even on board. My only nightmare would be if the child screamed all night - that could really irritate me if I had the cabin next door. And really what can any parent do about that - it is natural. What if they do get sick - what can you do but nurse them. I'm just paranoid but I just don't know if I would bring a newborn on board. But untill such time as I am in their shoes I really am no one to judge. I wish them the best in whatever decision they make.. Most time it is not the kids but the parents and it seems you are a very good parent Luv2cruise. Debbie
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Bridget
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Default Re: Newborns

I will admit I am biased as I do not have children. My mother had 5 and she wouldn't take us to the grocery store with her if she could avoid it, let alone a cruise. I guess I just don't understand the reasoning for taking a baby on the cruise with you. How can that be a vacation for the parents? At least with older children they can go to camp carnival. Again, take what I say with a grain of salt, as I would be thrilled with an adult only cruise. I love my neices and nephews, but I love saying goodbye to them at the end of the visit too.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

Bridget - wait until you have children. Then you'll see why you would want to take them with you. Especially a newborn. Being without them is very difficult. I try to take two vacations each year. One with my daughter (7) and one without her. Have been doing this since she was born, and it works well for me. The only problem is... when she's not with me.... I miss her like crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old June 17th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

children are made from love and give back lots of love, even though you can drop kick them out the door sometimes! ........
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Happy Camper
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Default Re: Newborns

I don't have kids either as you can tell from my posts... I know I would not want to be without them but I really wouldn't want them on a cruise until thet are at least 3 years old - probably more like 5... Just me without kids but 18 cruises - I just know after all the cruises I wouldn't want to do it. But then again I might not want to but might have too - who knows - hopefully I will NOT find out!! No kids for me... Debbie
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Diverb
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Default Re: Re: Newborns

I agree that being separated from your newborn is very hard. I love my sons and cherish the time with them.

When they were infants, I would adjust my own life to what was appropriate for their ages. Sometimes, being a parent requires that we sacrifice something that we want to do because it would not be right for the kids.

I simply do not think that a newborn baby belongs on a cruise ship. And to avoid the separation anxiety, hold off on your cruise until the child is older. There are plenty of alternatives to a cruise vacation, all of which are better suited to the presence of a newborn.

I know that parents will rationalize it to suit their own needs. That's fine. But on a message board, if the question is asked, I am going to voice my opinion that it is not a good idea to bring the baby along on the cruise.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

I personally would not bring a child on a cruise until they were 5 or 6 at the very earliest where they will remember some of it. Even then I would not really think the child gets anything out of cruising until they are 9 or 10 where they actually learn things and are better able to appreciate what they are seeing and doing. A child under the age of 4 is not a very good idea and a chilt under the age of 2 is asking for big trouble because of limited health care facilities. I would not take a child but that is just my opinion.
Jim

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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

We started bringing our son (now 8 ) on cruises when he was 3. He loves it. Taking a child younger than that is no fun for anyone..IMHO.
Happy sailing,
sea angel
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Old June 17th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

I agree that a very young child on a cruise is probably not the best plan. I can't imagine having too much fun with all the work that goes into carring for a young child.....not to mention the junk you have to drag along!!!!!!!!!

Mine was 6 when I took her on a cruise last year and she loved camp carnival and is begging to go again.

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Old June 17th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

How old would your newborn be at the time the cruise started? Many cruise lines prohibit infants younger than 4 -6 months of age on board. Also, please consider that if your infant did get sick, the medical facilities onboard are NOT set up for pediatric emergencies. Being a nurse, I would never cruise with an infant younger than 1 year old. Period. Infants, especially newborns have no immune system protection - what would not affect you, could really make them ill. You would not be able to use any of the children's facilities. And yes, what if your baby cries all night - not only are you affected, but all those in the cabins close to you.

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Old June 18th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

As a mother of 3 and soon to be grandmother, that is what being a parent is all about-- sometimes we have to make sacrifices when you choose to have children and one might be waiting to take a cruise if you cannot stand to be a part from your child/children. I will be on the cruise on the Liberty and like I said earlier, we have saved, and looked forward to celebrating my husband's 50th B.D. If and we probably would get the cabin next to a crying infant all night. Totally agree ages 5 and up are great for cruises. Took our children cruising and someday hope to take my grandchild/children, but when they and us can enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Lisa I see you are going on the Liberty, you'll have to let us know how it is!!

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Old June 18th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: Newborns

We are cruising in August and I am leaving my soon to be 1 year old with Grandma. We are taking the two 14 1/2 yr. olds, 9 yr old and 8 year old. I love my kids but my time will be consumed with taking care of the 1 year old and I want to enjoy my first cruise. He will never know that he missed anything and my parents can not wait to get their hands on him. You base your decision on your families needs and wants.

Good Luck
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Old June 19th, 2005, 11:28 PM
rsham
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Default Re: Newborns

What about taking a Disney Cruise with the baby? When ours were younger we did that and had a great time. It was the most expensive vacation we have taken to date but I would never change a thing.
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Old June 19th, 2005, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Newborns

carnival has CAMP CARNIVAL they also will watch your baby for you kinda like daycare and you get it in the evening so if you go to a bar at 3:00 in the afternoon the baby can be at camp carnival will you drink and let loose a little
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Old June 20th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Newborns

I can think of nothing worse than a newborn on a cruise...unless it's a toddler or older child on a cruise.

Leave the little buggers at home.
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