My hubby and I were invited by his frat alumni assoc. on a cruise with all the frat brothers' families. Our child will be 13 months old and we are considering going. We know we won't be doing excursions. But has anyone else done this with a baby?
As you probably already know, Carnival does not have child care for children under the age of 2....except from 10pm to 3AM for $6 an hour
"and I have read" ~no personal experience~ (on some ships) from noon -2pm on the days that Camp Carnival is closed for lunch on Sea Days (but not on Port days) again for a charge of $6 an hour.
I would check with the particular ship. If you are using a TA, have them check for you. If you are using a PVP, ask them.
Cruising with an infant is doable. However, you must remember two things. That infant will be with you at all times and you must bring everything you need with you.
You will pay the price of a 3rd person regardless of age.
Personally (and this is just personal opinion) the only way I would attempt this is IF I booked a balcony. That way, I would have an area to escape and relax while the little one napped....and I would not feel like I was missing out on everything.
Another option would be to bring a neice or grandparent and have them and the infant in the cabin next door (or across the hall). Two inside cabins at full price "may" be cheaper (or the same price) than a balcony...I don't know the ship you are looking at. I have never priced it out...but just something to think about.
Other helpful items would be an umbrella stroller. They are compact and don't take up much room and can easily be transferred to a tender in case you have a tender port. An small inflatable baby pool. These are great for the balcony and for the baby's bath, since these cabins only have showers and not tubs. Babies still in diapers are not allowed in any of the pools or hot tubs for obvious health reasons.
Again, you will need to bring all diapers, wipes and care items with you and baby food and/or formula.
But most importantly, you need to have the proper mindset that while hubby is out partying with his frat buddies, you will be caring for the baby. There are no age restrictions (except for the disco and casino) however, places like the Piano Bar or Sports Bar can be a smoky environment that you don't want to expose your child to.
Talking about health, you need to remember that you can be "days" from a medical facility. There is a doctor onboard, but he/she will not be a pediatrician. Things like the Noro Virus that can hit ships can dehydrate a baby quickly.
We did not start cruising with our boys until they were 5 and 8, but we certainly traveled with them. We took my Mother (their grandmother) with us to Disney World and numerous theme parks, snow skiiing etc. But they were all land vacations where medical facilities were readily available.
Lots of things to consider.... but each individual is the only person who can decide what is right for them and their family.
COMPLETES THE FLEET
If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!
Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND