I have a dilemna. After voicing our concern about going on a cruise, my mother-in-law booked us on a week long Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Sea cruise. We told her to cancel the trip because there will not be anything for my 2 and almost 3 year old to do. I have been told they can't go in the pool, they can't go in the children's activities, and I can't find anything else to do... Am I missing something? The stops are Montego Bay- Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel-Mexico. Is there something to do at these places with such small children besides the beach?
HELP! I would like to please her but will not put my family through a miserable vacation. Suggestions?
Would your mother-in-law rebook you on a Carnival cruise, they have a childrens program for kids over two. Kiddie pool, play room, etc.
As for the ports, we only take our kids to the beach, they just want to swim and play in the sand when they are so young. we did a tiny amount of shopping may be one hour.
Our kids never got a sun burn either , tons of sunscreen prevented that.
As for your 3 yr old they are allowed in the pool if they are toilet trained , and not wearing a diaper.
You are right about lack of activities for a 2 year old. We went on a cruise with our son when he was 2. I ended up blowing a lot of bubbles with him on the deck and at the beach. It really was okay, but not a great vacation.
Nicole, you might want to e-mail Luisa- who hosts this board directly. She has some great suggestions on which lines are best for toddlers- she has also written some really great articles on the subject, you can find them on the home page.
My now 2.5 yr old has been cruising since he was 11 mos (1 at 11 mos, 2 at 23 mos, and 3 will be at 35 mos) on RCI (Enchantment, Navigator and soon Mariner). He and we always have a great time on the ship! He loves to swim and yes he wasnt allowed in the pools, but the water was so cold we didnt even get wet! He loves walking around, people watching and exploring the ship. He watched his uncle climb the rock wall (and is going to try it this next trip since hes climbed one before). He loves the flashy lights of the casino, riding in the glass elevator, strolling through the promenade, ice skating, watching the upbeat flahsy shows, and flirting (hes such a flirt). We couldnt pry him away from the balcony while in port because he wanted to watch them loading and unloading stuff, and the docking procedures. In port, we head to a beach and spend most of the time there. Nowadays, he loves to watch people underwater, so this next trip we're going to try snorkeling. My husband will take him back to the ship while I shop, since he hates shopping. By the time I get back, my son is usually alseep on the bed and my husband is out on the balcony. I couldnt imagine sticking him in a kids club at this age anyways because I love watching him discover new things. His reactions are priceless! When hes older, yes I will let him go to the kids club because he will have more fun with kids vs mom and dad. The only problem we ran into was dinner time. Our son did not want to sit through dinner, even if it only took an hour. He wanted to get up and go! Last trip we had our own table and our waiters were great with our son. During a break in courses, I would take him out to ride the elevator or "drive" the vintage car in the promenade. We always had a backup and didnt mind eating in the cafe if he was really off the wall, but we never needed to do it. You wont be stuck on the ship all the time, and even when you are, just go exploring. Our son is very independant and can play happily by himself. I dont need to entertain him very much, but I do. Bring along some new toys for mealtime, and maybe a few of his favorites. We have a portable dvd player for him to watch while traveling and while we get ready to go out. Hes more interested in looking out the balcony door which at home is unheard of! I would look into booking a more family friendly ship that has a lot of activities. There are babysitting services, but we never use them (my dad and brother come along and we sometimes use them). Go and have fun Take lots of pictures too as our son loves to look back on his trip!
First off, thanks Lisa for the compliments!
I agree w/ Alison -- my just three year old has been on 5 cruises, has loved them all, and has yet to be involved in a youth program. He loves wandering around the public rooms, etc while on board and we explore the ports w/him too. Check out the article I wrote (on the family cruise home page of this web site) called "Back to the Beach" which lists family friendly beaches for cruisers. Also, in Grand Cayman there's the Atlantis semi-submarine that my daughter liked when she was a pre-schooler. In Cozumel, there's Chankunaab Park which has some live bird exhibits, nature trails, and snorkeling area. Since we've had only good experiences, I'm thinking positively that your family will have a great cruise. Royal Caribbean has a great youth program -- will your oldest be three and potty trained by the time of the cruise? If so, then he/she will have a great time in the program too.
Feel free to ask add'l questions.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor