Hi, I am flying to Miami, to set sail on the Imagination. I am wondering if it will be possible or practical to bring my son's full size stroller. I know the cabins are small, but it is so much easier to put him in his full size stroller. Am I just asking for a hassle? Will the Airlines check it or will they let me fold it up and carry it on board to use at the airport? Any advice is helpful. Thanks, Donalee
I flew with my daughter last year (alone) and brough her full size stroller. They checked it at the gate - as I wheeled her right up to the plane door. When I got off, it was right there at the door for me. (This was september 19th last year - so the security rules might be stricter now - but I do know they put the stoller through the x-ray machine,and took my daughter to carry her through security herself).
I had booked her a seat herself so she could be in her car seat for the flight, and I bungee corded the car seat to the back of the stoller when we were in the airports (had long layovers). It looked really funny (like we lived in the airport) but it worked since it was just her and I (she was 9 months old).
We are cruising in December and trying to decide on the stroller thing ourselves, as her umbrella stroller is just not worth the agrivation when trying to turn it, so we are thinking of bringing the full size one for this vacation. If i remember correctly, there might be some room, at the end of the bed under the TV where a folded stroller would fit, about a 1 1/2 foot of space.
Hi Mel, thanks for your reply. I don't have a paid seat for my son, I wonder if that makes a difference. I'll just call the airlines and check. I just can't imagine the umbrella stroller thru the airports, we have to change planes once. It would be so much easier as far as helping carry stuff. My son is 23 months old and into everything. Donalee
I don't think the seat makes a difference. I know with my daughter - she would not sit still for me by myself, so the stroller was a good thing in the airports as well. If you are traveling with someone else - you should be alright, but me by myself could not have held her for those hours on the plane and the airport (she would have been very angry - and made everyone else miserable).
BTW - do you know that under age 2, childrens seats on planes are 1/2 price?
I'm the family cruise editor here. We've cruised twice with my one year old son and both times we brought his umbrella stroller. (They make pretty sturdy, nicer umbrella strollers now compared to years ago.) We found it just fit by the door in the cabin. Another advantage is that elevators on cruise ships can get pretty crowded and it's thus easier to squeeze in a smaller stroller than a full sized one.
No matter what you do, have a great time on your cruise! Even though you do have to plan and pack a lot when cruising with an infant, it's a great way to travel with kids. (I assume you've read my articles on cruising with babies on this web site.)
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Luisa, thanks for the insight on the umbrella stroller. I have another question for you if you don't mind. My son will be exactly 23 months old, do you think Camp Carnival will let him in. He is a very big boy, he looks like he's 3. And also pretty mature. I am wondering how strict they will be with their policy on 2 and up.
Also I have read your articles and found them very helpful.
Donalee - we have a "stroller/car seat" by safeline (look at the rightstart.com website)- the wheels pop out and in like landing gear - the seat is FAA certified so it just sits in the plane seat (put the armrest up) and our toddler stays right there - and then she is in the stroller when we "lower the gear" - it doesn't have much storage space - but then, if you gate check your stroller you'll have to empty it out anyway. We love it.
We've cruised Carnival and Disney with one and two children. RE the stroller: the big one is definately not worth the hassle and may do in your back, your patience, and take up a significant percentage of your stateroom not to mention the corridors, the elevators, the public restrooms, up and down the gangplank, in the dining room, on the deck among the crowded and disarrayed deck chairs, on and off the tenders.... unless you are very patient with manuvering in crowds and among obstacles with it, and strong enough to lift it a lot, and can fold and unfold it quickly and easily, leave it home.
Quite honestly I got exasperated with the big bulky strollers on the Disney cruise as they took up a lot of space on the deck and invariably someone would park one between my chair and the pool so I lost my line of sight to my kids. Not to mention block an entire aisle at dinner. And you're probably not getting it up and down the stairs in the show lounge or the theatre (so have to hope that there is wheelchair space available)
Remember that every time you board the ship in port it will be like clearing security in the airport and you will have to empty the stroller and have everything scanned. So you have to manage the occupant, your stuff, and a big stroller. Much easier to kick the umbrella stroller closed and toss it on the belt.
-- I flew over 100 segments, usually alone, occasionally 3+ hour flights with a plane change, with one or two kids(three years apart) , an umbrella stroller, and a backpack. I consigned our big double stroller within two months of buying it. It got damaged on the very first plane ride I took it on because of the weight and bulk -- The second and last trip it was set down on the tarmac, folded, in a puddle of de-icing liquid. Since they're heavy they get heaved around mercilessly (one suggestion to help prevent damage is to buy the stroller bag through The Right Start) but a folded umbrella stroller is very easy for the crew to handle. The umbrella strollers (we went from single to double- kids are 3 years apart) came through over 100 trips with minor wear and tear. The single was the $16 Toys R Us promo stroller. If nothing else get one of those and if it gets damaged, oh well.
No matter what you decide we think cruising is a great way to travel with infants and little kids.