This will be our first trip out of town with flights with our two-year-old. We will be arriving at Miami a day early. What should we do about car seats? We will be taking taxi to the hotel and to the Miami port. I assume we will be taking taxi at ports of calls as well. Just what should we do? I guess it will be an issue until at least the little turns six or start using a booster seat. Thanks for all your advice.
I'm the family cruise editor here at CruiseMates.com. Yes, I know that the car seat situation is a real "issue" until kids are at least out of the toddler stage. I wouldn't check the car seat but instead seat your child in it aboard the flight. Call the airline before you leave to make sure your car seat will fit the airplane's seats -- they can give you measurements.
Once in Florida, if taxis have seat belts, then you can use the car seat. However, I have found that once you are in the Caribbean, many taxis don't have seat belts so you may have to hold your child on your lap. This obviously is not a great or the safest option; otherwise you'll need to walk everywhere with your stroller. This may mean that you'd miss some great beaches and attractions on the island, etc. Obviously you have to do what you feel comfortable with. I have an eight year old and we lugged the car seat for many years. Now we have an infant who'll be going on his first cruise in April...back to the car seat routine! Better safe than sorry though!
Enjoy the cruise,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Car seats are difficult with taxis. Use a seatbelt. I made the mistake of letting my girls ride unbuckled (maybe there weren't any?). My youngest, age 18 months at the time almost opened the door handle in moving traffic. Be safe. It's hard I know.
Maybe consider getting a towncar instead of a taxi - they are bigger, have seatbelts and the drivers are usually more considerate to help you. I think Florida has a carseat law - so the kids have to be in the carseats. As for the ports - you're LUCKY if you can find a seatbelt, and they drive like maniacs!! My 8 yo was unhappy that he couldn't find a functioning seatbelt.
We have a car seat that is FAA certified - just life up the arm rest and it fits in the plane seat (our daughter is two and has been on three flights in it). And it converts to a very comfortable stroller! We bought it at the Right Start website - I think the manufacturer name is Safeline. In fact, we saw it on a cruise when our daughter was 8 weeks and ordered one when we got home (of course she wasn't out of the "infant seat" for several more months) - we think it is great. My teenage nieces tell me this stroller/car seat is used by all the movie stars - don't know where they got that information.