My husband and I have cruised three times before (2 on Carnival, 1 on Royal), but have never taken our children. We're trying it in 11 days on RCCL's Brilliance of the Seas. Our children are 9, 7, and 8 months. I am not worried about the older two, I know they will have a blast. The baby, however, is another matter. I use powdered formula and I asked RCCL if it is safe to use their water onboard to mix the formula and they assured me that it was, but I am worried that she gets sick. Also, I have no idea what to pack for her. Babies get dirty pretty quickly, is there any laundry services besides dry cleaning and if so, is detergent provided/available to buy. I bought her a kwik cabana and a shaded float for the beach and a 24" baby pool for the shower/pool/beach. Any other suggestions would be very appreciated. We are going on an 11 night cruise and read on your site that it is usually 55 and older on these sailings (something I didn't think about at the time), does that mean there will be no other kids and is the Adventure Ocean staffed properly for these cruises. We are in a family oceanview stateroom, so we have a little more room to maneuver. I wanted to bring her car seat/stroller system, but am not sure if it will fit. I really don't feel comfortable bringing her without a car seat (it's FAA approved so if she gets a seat, I can put her in it) and in a taxi/bus, at least she would be protected. Also, what do you suggest we do ( we figured mostly beaches) in St Lucia, the Virgin Islands, and San Juan with an infant.
We took a cruise with our two year old. So this is my two cents. As far as the water, if you are drinking it I am sure your baby will be fine. If you are concerned bottled water is always avalible for a fee from your cabin steward and any bar. Definately do not use any water from any port of call though. Definately bring your car seat, there are horror stories about babies in planes getting hurt with because they were being held. As far as your stroller, you may be happier to bring a smaller umbrella type stroller as that will fit under your beds along with the car seat. Most buses do not have seat belts though. Another thing that you may like is to bring a carrier, like a snugli. We have the ultimate baby wrap. I used it with my 28lb 2 year old in ports like nassua that I really did not want him to walk around. It is avalible at BRU and it is wonderful. It can be used as a front carrier, back carrier, sling, as well as a hip carrier. If you don't have a small carriage just check and see how tall your travel system is folded down. make sure it will fit under the bed so that you are not tripping over it. The little pool is a great idea. grab some sunblock packets or sunblock towels they are easier and neater than bottles when you go on shore so that you can re-apply. Get the palmolive wipes, they are dish wipes with soap in them and use them to clean your bottles, its much easeir than the liquid.
As far as your older kids, I cruised a lot as a kid and teen and some of my best cruises were when there was only a few kids in adventure ocean. You get to do more, the prizes are better and you get to know all the kids in the group. I am still 16 years later e-mailing someone I met on a cruise as a teen.
Magelan's catalog has a cream type laundry soap. It comes in a very small tube the size of hand cream. It was only a few dollars and you could use your pool to wash clothes and then hang them around the cabin as needed. That would save you if you go through a ton of outfits. Take a few extra onesies, who cares what the baby wears in ports. I was worried too about my son getting sick. Just for good measure take infant tylenol, childrens benadryl and a bottle of pedialyte. There is a doctor on board if you need it. Just call your doctor and check the doses before you go. And above all have a great time!
Enchantment of the seas 2001
Gradeur of the Seas 1998
Soverign of the Seas 1997, 1996
Viking Serendade 1994