For those parents looking to cruise with a child under three years old your choices are limited. But here's some advise to help you book a cruise for you and your little one in which there will be a nursery or youth program that will accommodate your child.
If you have an infant or toddler, Disney Cruise Line and Cunard Line's QE2 are the only lines offering a dedicated nursery where babies can take a nap, play or be fed a bottle by qualified staff -- while mom and dad get a chance to relax aboard ship or on land. For those with youngsters between the age of two and three years old (most other youth programs start for those three years and older; on some others the minimum age is five years) Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises are the only lines accommodating this age group. Note, however, that children must be potty trained if they are to participate in the youth activities on Princess. Carnival youth counselors, however, do change diapers.
If you are traveling with a child under one year old, check the cruise line's policy before you book a cruise. Many lines have minimum age requirements to sail (ranging from 12 weeks to 1-1/2 years).
If you start your child cruising so young, they'll be an "old salt" before you know it!
We just returned from Celebrity's Century with our 16 month old. We hired a sitter nightly for $8 an hour....it got costly. In any case I am so grateful I brought walkie talkies. Our daughter became ill on our very first night (a horrid virus that lasted 3 days-ships doctor tried to tell me it was seasickness but i knew it wasn't- $130 later, $30 of it being for 3 eight ounce bottles of PEDIALYTE!!-I could have saved myself the money and treated her myself)We gave our sitter one of the walkie talkies and she immediately got a hold of me when my daughter started vomiting. I was back in the cabin 2 minutes later. Thank goodness for the walkie talkies!!
Sorry to hear your daughter was ill on your cruise, but I was glad to get your feedback about walkie talkies. I'll definitely add them to my advice list for parents cruising with little ones.
Hopefully the next cruise will be a healthier one!