we are going on our cruise on Oct. 2nd with our 2.5 year old son.
I am debating if we should go and buy our son a lifevest of his own and bring it with, also my son is lactose intolerant and i was curious if they have soy milk on board for my son to drink or if we should just bring our own.
any other tips on bringing a toddler would be greatly apprecated
big thanks before hand=)
p.s. i think i posted this on the wrong site earlier
We bring our own lifejacket for our now 2.5 yr old son to use in the ocean. I read on here that you cannot take the ones off the ship. Our first cruise when our son was 11 mos the lifejacket was a normal one that has the head rest. Our last trip the life jacket was one of the offshore types (orange and very bulky) and there was no way our son could move in it at the beach anyways. We are boaters and have life jackets anyways. If you dont have one, you can try Walmart (though they may be out of season where you are) or Target. Any boat store would have them as well (Boaters World, Boat US, West Marine) and they usually have a better selection anyways. They also have online stores and sometimes shipping is free (and tax). You would probably need a child size which is 30-50 lbs. Someone mentioned a snorkeling vest since its easier to pack, but I would be wary of that as it doesnt provide as much floatation as a life jacket would. As for the milk situation, I cant answer that one. Can you call the cruise line and ask? Also maybe bring along a powder form just to be safe. As for other tips-avoid shore excursions, especailly all day ones as your little one will become bored and you wont be able to get out of it easily. Our son loves the beach so we head there. We bring along a few small beach toys as well, and the lifejacket. We are going to try snorkeling this next trip as he loves to look at stuff underwater in the pool (our son can swim on his own-no floaties or anything, but I still stay right by him and dont trust the ocean)! We bring an umbrella stroller for shopping in the ports, though hed rather walk now. Bring lots of sunscreen and a hat, and cover ups for the beach. Sandals/water shoes as well. Also, plenty of diapers, wipes, child medicines (Tylenol, prescriptions, etc), first aid stuff is always good, swim diapers (though most ships youre not allowed in the pool if not potty trained and it is enforced), favorite blankie/animal for bedtime, small toys for dinners (new ones daily will hold interest a lot longer too), snacks if a picky eater, sippy cups, child utensils if uses them, dish soap to wash stuff, etc. We have a portable dvd player and bring it for him to watch while we get ready for dinner, down time, etc. Im not sure which ship youre on, but our son loves to explore and learns his way around quickly, He loves riding in the glass elevators, the flashy upbeat shows, the sights and sounds of the casino (though we got dirty looks walking through there from the manager). We get a baclony cabin and he likes watching the docking procedures in port and the loading of materials with construction trucks at the main port. Dinners were tricky as he couldnt sit long. Thankfully we had our own table last time and the waiters were awesome (they entertained our son with oragami, etc, brought his meals out with our first course, dessert with our main course). We would take him out to walk around if we got a break. Naps were a must (though he doesnt nap much now) as the fresh sea air, strong sun, and activity wore us all out quickly. I port hed sleep in his stroller and on board we went back to the room. We would sit on the balcony while our son napped. What else-last time we brought an inflateable sleeping bag for him to sleep on as he was too big for the crib, and I was afraid hed roll off the sofa bed. This time, he can use the sofa bed, but for space, I might just bring the sleeping bag again. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. Take your camera and lots of pics as our son loves to look at his. Hes already getting excited about our next trip!
THANKS=) that helps alot...
we decided to go out and get one, they werent that bad priced..
our son swims pretty good took swim classes this summer... loves the water...
dinner is what we will be debating if we use the dinning room or not... maybe a few times just to see how he will do...
alison... have you used the carnival kids camp yet?? my son started preshool three days a week from 9-12 and loves it.. i wonder if it would be simliar to that... i dont want to leave him long at the camp just a couple hrs to let mom & dad rest a bit=)
Sorry-havent been on Carnival with the little guy (only once with that line). All I know is that RCI's programs the child has to be 3 and potty trained before they take them. I believe Carnival will take children younger, but not sure about the potty trained part. Did you look at the Carnival message board under cruise lines? Try the dining room on the first night as its a little more chaotic if you can call it that. People will be coming in a little late so they can see the send off, its very casual since luggage often doesnt make it to the cabins by then, and people will be trying to find their tables, etc. Its the formal and semi formal nights you have to watch out for. In my experience, our wait staff has usually been great with our son. Like I said, they brought his meal out with our first course, entertained him when they could (like play peek a boo, make faces at him, etc). A new small toy at dinner each night might help get you through it. My son loves trains and construction stuff so I got him some little Tonka trucks at Walmart (like a pack of 4). We put stuff in the dump truck bed, etc and he thinks its the greatest thing. Theres a neat little green carry case that opens up to a Thomas the Train playset. A few pieces need to be put in place, and the train is a wind up (sort of a pain), but my son likes it. Got that at Toys R Us. Crayons dont do it for my son, but might for yours. They make little clip on coloring books and crayon set now too. What are really nice if you havent seen them yet are the Crayola markers that only write on a certain paper. Dont have to worry about getting it on the walls, etc. Hope this helps!
My daughter and I drink rice and soy milk, respectively, and I bring the small lunch-sized individual boxes w/us in our carry on. I like the small boxes so you can get them cold in your ice bucket if there isn't a mini frig in your room. Also, make sure you carry them in your carry on bag -- once we packed them in our big suitcase and they exploded all over our clothes from all the weight on them.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
another tip for dinner, if your little one starts to get a bit antsy during dinner, have a plan that on one night, you will take him outside for a little fresh air and exercise on another night Dad will take him , etc. This seems to work really well. Bring little things to dinner to keep him occupied. Play it by ear, see how he does, only you can determine that.