I will be taking a family vacation with my 2-1/2 year old son on the RC Mariner on April 25. My son still sleeps in his crib at home and I am wondering if the cribs on the boat will be big enough for him or if I should just bring my own pack and play, or make the jump to bed rails. We have a balcony room (with my husband) and I don't know how much room there is for the pack and play anyway. Any suggestions?
Also, how is it getting around the islands (Nassau, St Thomas, St Martin) with a small child? My husband has been there about 10 years ago and thought the cabbies drove like maniacs and the roads were in terrible condition. Is it safe to get around with our little guy - especially since he won't be in a car seat?
I'm in the same boat (no pun intended)! I have a 2-1/2 year old and we'll be cruising with him on Caribbean Princess next month too. I ordered a crib but I think he'll be too big for it -- some lines have small, metal cribs and others give you a pack 'n play. I might bring a collapsible bed rail in case he doesn't fit comfortably in the crib.
AS for the ports, read my article on this seciton "Port Guide for Kids" which gives ideas on what to do with children in the ports you're going to. It's a tough decision about driving in cabs with little ones and no car seat -- we've done it and I always say my prayers ahead of time! Obviously, you have to do what you feel most comfortable with.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
The first "big girl" bed my daughter slept in (at 2 years 4 mos) was on a cruise ship. We were on the Carnival Pride and our room had a small fold out sofa. It folded out lengthwise, meaning that she slept with head near one sofa arm and her feet near the other. The sofa back was to one side. Thus, she only one side without any protection (railing or otherwise). I originally thought we'd put pillows around her on that side, but it wasn't a problem. She never rolled off. Prior to that we had ordered cribs for her while cruising but had only ever received port a cribs (too small at 2 years). If you have a sleeper sofa in your room I'd try it. If not, are there any rooms with this feature available? It might be worth it.
My 2 yr old son still sleeps in his crib and has outgrown his pack and play. I got him a toddler aero bed for travel and he loves it (once he learned that he has to stay in it). When we sailed the last time (New Years '04) on RCCL Navigator, space was an issue (even though we had a balcony cabin). I found a Bob the Builder (others available) inflatable sleeping bag that worked great. We didnt have to pull the sofa bed out and saved room. It took a lot awhile to pump it up with the flimsy pump, but I didnt have to do it again. We layed it on the floor next to the sofa. When he wasnt using it, we just stood it up out of the way. It deflates easily and comes with a little carry bag. Toys r Us carries them, as well as Target. You may want to "practice" using them before your trip and bring some familiar blanket/stuffed animals to make it more comfy.
Thanks for your tips. My son loves Bob the Builder, so he may enjoy that. I guess part of me is concerned about whether he will stay in something other than a crib. I know I will move him to a bed soon, but his crib at home is big and he never tries to climb out. I just don't want to spend my whole vacation exhausted because he keeps getting up. hmmm.... I will just have to figure it out.
how tiny our those cribs. I have a very little guy who will be two. Most poeple think he is just over a year.
I think about putting him in a bed at home soon, but I like him in the crib since he gets up alot at night.
Your son should fit fine in the on board cribs. I have a 2-1/2 year old who people think is four years old so he's a tight fit. Make sure you order one prior to your departure date.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
i am going on the NCL Dawn at the end of july w/my son who will be 16 mos old at that time. he has been sleeping in our bed since he moved out of the bassinet. so i just assumed he will sleep w/us. i have been on three cruises, but i am wondering on the bed size. hopefully we will all fit or my husband may wind up on the floor!!! i know that i will not be able to get my son to stay in any sort of crib.
We were on the Imagination with my 2.5yo in January (back to back) and we just asked for a cot for her. It was a little bit bigger than a crib mattress but smaller than a twin and the room steward just kept it collapsed on the floor w/o it being set up. It worked out PERFECTLY. Dd LOVED her "bed" and actually slept more in it than she did her own at home. It was very low to the floor (like a total of about 8" or so) and comfy. Dd also liked sitting on it and playing with magnets on the walls. We had a small magnet set with us (like magnetic paper dolls) and she adored being able to play with it on the walls...sort of like a really huge refridgerator!
FWIW, we used dd's car seat on the airplane, in the hired "limo" from FLL airport to the hotel in Port of Miami and again in the taxi the next morning to the ship. We didn't use it in any of the ports which I was VERY nervous about.
In Grand Cayman we took one of the "buses" that dropped us at 7Mile Beach so we couldn't have used it, but coming back we were in a taxi that we could have. Weighing it all, I couldn't have seen me dragging my dd's huge Britax seat across the beach all day!
We took taxi's both ways in Cozumel, again, could have used the seat but dragging it on and off the beach would have been challenging. In Jamaica, my sister took dd to Dolphin Cove on one of the ship's excursions so they were on one of those mini buses which wouldn't have permitted a car seat.
We used Carnival's transport back to FLL airport, so we couldn't use the seat on the bus.
It was WELL worth taking the seat though, dd slept like a ROCK both ways on the plane and I'm glad we had it for the "limo" ride from FLL to Miami on the highways.