We're going on our first cruise with children in April, on Carnival's Elation to the Mexican Riviera. Our boys are 2 and 4 yrs old. I'm curious what your experiences have been cruising with young children. How much time did your kids spend happily in the kid's program? Did you use it much in the evening? Did they sleep there? Were your young children able to make it through dinner in the dining room? Does the dining room have booster seats?
well, we are also doing our first cruise with our 4 year old and I would love to know suggestions as well, my big concern is she is clingy lately so will she go willingly to the kids program when we want some time for romantic dinner/shows. Love to hear how you do! We go to ALaska in Sept on RCCL and hope there will be other kids for her to play with!
I'm the family cruise editor here.We've been on nine family cruises. Our daughter was 2-1/2 when we took her on her first family cruise. Actually, she only spent short periods of time in the youth program when she was younger but it was enough for us to have some time relaxing in a lounge chair or to linger over coffee once she went up to the youth program after dinner. Most of the youth programs start around 7 p.m. for the evening session so we'd ask the waiter for her dinner as soon as it was ready. We then would take her up to the youth room in between our many courses so that we could have part of our meal alone. (Yes, there should not be a problem getting a booster seat in the restaurants aboard ship.) When Alexandra was younger, she almost liked the novelty of the ship better than the youth programs -- she loved riding the glass elevators, playing in the pools, and all the attention the waiters give the little ones!
Although my daughter was older than your children when we sailed aboard Carnival Cruises, she really enjoyed the youth counselors and all the family activities they have. Although many cruise lines only offer group babysitting in the evenings, we never take advantage of it since it doesn't start until 10 p.m. and my daughter is an early to rise, early to bed type. Instead, my husband and I would take turns getting her to bed while the other went out and enjoyed the evening's entertainment. Some lines, like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer private babysitting which we have taken advantage of and were pleased with.
I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask me any other questions.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Re: Re: Re: Your experiences with toddlers on cruises
Our son will be 2yrs and 10 mos at the time of our sailing on Voyager of the Seas. In the RCCL brochure it states that children must be at least 3yrs and potty trained. We are pretty sure the potty trained part won't be an issue by then, but he'll still be 2 months shy of 3 years old. My question is how lenient are the ships were age is concerned? I called RCCL and they said there are no exceptions. But, I would like to know if you are required to show a birth certificate to the counselors or how they would know the difference?