Myself & hubby will be cruising with our 15 month old baby to Baja Mexico on Jan 19th from Los Angeles on Carnival Ecstasy for 4 days. This is our very first cruise & i'm all excited abt it, but full of questions. Any help is appreciated.
1... does the ship menu usually has child specific food.
2...I read somewhere in this messahe board about "parmalat-style milk ". I haven't heard of it till now. Is there any brand names or something I can look out for?
3... About baby sitting, is there any maximum or minimum hrs, do we have to do advance booking, do they change diapers
4....I have asked for late dinner (8 pm)... since we both are late diners.. 6 pm is too early for us... will it be inconvient for other adults with a baby around, i don't know how she will behave any given day.
5...what about swimming pool/ splash pools ? i read here that they don't allow non potty trained babies even in splash pools... is it so?
6.... what about sea sickness? what should i take with me for us & more importantly baby? i don't know what a sea band is, but is it good for baby too?
7..... what all medicines should i carry with for baby especially?
8... we have got an ocean view, so i presume there is no tub, so any ideas to bath a barely standing baby?
9...any body has any idea about the climate we should expect in mexico in January? What about in the sea... should i pack all pants, ull sleeves, fleece etc or summer wears? will we need a jackets for nights?
10... we will have i formal night? on short cruise formal nights, what outfit do people wear... i have a unworn gorgoeus dress.. will it be inappropriate to wear it... what about hubby.. what should i pack
11.... about shore excursions - carnival haven't told us the price? any idea how much will it be? do we have to pay for baby too? is there any must see tours in Baja Mexico? How does pick up & drop, lunch etc work for shore excursions?
12... how long will it take for dembarkation in LA port?
I'm the family cruise editor here and have written an article on this section titled "Bringing the Baby" which answers many of your questions. Here are answers to some that were not addressed in the article:
*Babysitting: Carnival does not accept those under two years in the free youth program. However, they do have limited group babysitting for infants and toddlers usually in the morning on days in port and also after 10 p.m. most nights. There is a fee for this and the counselors will change diapers. Check in with the youth counselors in the kids' room early on during your cruise for specific details.
* Parmalat milk: Although you can get milk at the buffets and restaurants, you may want some milk to have in the room if it's needed during the night, early morning, etc. I live in NJ and we can get "parmalat milk" which comes in cardboard containers and doesn't have to be refrigerated. We can get it at our grocery store and also at health food supermarkets (Whole Foods). If you bring a few cartons, pack them in your carry on -- once they burst in our suitcases we checked in.
* Climate: It should be pretty warm in Mexico -- pack summer type clothes but also windbreakers for evenings.
* Medicine: Bring any typical over the counter pediatric medicine you may use such as tylenol, teething gel, etc. It's extremely difficult to find pediatric medicines once you're under way.
If the above and the article hasn't addressed your questions, feel free to get back in touch with me.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
You might want to reconsider the 8:00pm seating for dinner. As most dinners last 1 1/2 to 2 hours long your baby would be up till almost 10::00pm. Some people who choose the late seating do so because they want a more adult dinner. You would be unlikely to find many young kids in the dining room for the late seating. In my experience cruising with kids they tend to get pretty worn out by the end of the day. Of course you could always use the babysitting service and enjoy your late night dinner.
We cruised Mexico in Jan. and it was not warm for the first two days until we got farther south. On a four day cruise you may not hit any hot weather. It wasn't freezing, just not swimming weather, take a sweater.
I'd also consider taking the six pm seating for dinner. Aslo consider requesting a table for the three of you. Some people will not want a baby at their table.
We cruised carnival and I just ordered normal food ( no sauses) and cut it up for my 2 year old and I brought a food grinder( they are great).
Talk to your doctor about the medicines for babies. I brought baby tylenol, and baby gravel.
Some people have brought small inflatable baby baths or pools and put them on the floor in the shower to bath the baby. We just held the baby in our arms when one of us showered and the other one helped wash him. It's only four days. You could sit him in the sink and do a spot wash also.
I wish you luck, but don't expect it to be exactly easy with a baby, at least you won't have to cook or clean though!
We were on the Carnival Conquest in November when our daughter was 13 months old. Some tips I can add are: milk was sitting out on the breakfast buffet, so we would take a few for our room. (We had a fridge, but you could put them in the ice bucket.) We usually ate lunch at the buffet, and they didn't have milk then. If you ate in the dining room though, I bet you could order it. We took the early dinner seating. It worked well for us. Some nights we asked for our dessert to go so she wouldn't have to sit as long. For formal night, I say wear the fancy stuff! Get your picture taken as many times as you want by their photographers ( you're not obligated to buy.) We ended up with a really beautiful picture and people were asking to get their picture taken with our daughter in her sailor dress. On shore excursions you're on your own for lunch. Sometimes we just wait till we're back on the boat to have a late lunch. You can also book your own shore tours yourself before you go. It saves money. I would take a pair of pants and long sleeves for everyone. It's windy at sea, cool at night, sometimes cool inside the ship, and you never know if it might rain.