We are currently planning a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Radiance in December; our first cruise! At the time of the cruise, my youngest will be 3, just barely. I think there is a good chance he will still be taking an afternoon nap. I had planned on spending nap time with him in the cabin, but after looking at various Compases I am somewhat motivated to seek other options on 1 or 2 days. Does anyone know if it is possibe for a kid to nap at adventure ocean?
Any other suggestions?
During the evening do they encourage the younger ones to go to sleep, slumber party style? Or do they try to keep them up and running?
And off topic... how long is a typical dinner in the dining room? Any tricks on surviving this with small kids? We do go out to restaurants fairly often and the kids (usually) do fine. Is this comparable? Aside for clothing, is formal night any different?
I got my now 3 yr old son some new toys and since our trip was right after Christmas, he thought it was a second holiday. Each night, he was given a wrapped gift (mainly books, small cars, etc and they seemed to hold his attention a little longer. We too take our son out to eat frequently, but it seems on a ship he wants to roam more than usual during dinner. Its not as easy since tables are put close together and waiters are all over the place carrying huge trays. Instead, we will sometimes take him outside to walk around for a few minutes and that helps. We bring a portable dvd player, but my husband refuese to allow him to bring it to dinner. I tend to agree with him, but the thought of having it there is really nice! DInner for us usually runs around an hour, formals maybe a bit longer. There are 3 of us, plus my dad and brother, so we usually end up with our own table, making meal time a bit easier since we dont have to wait on others.
As for the kids club, I cant help there since our son was a month shy of 3 when we went. I dont think they encourage the kids to sleep though. Honestly, between the sun, sea air, and activities we were all tired and often headed back to the cabin for a nap/down time. Our son had no problems crashing for an hour or two, and by dinner time, we were very thankful that he had!
The kids' clubs are very active so there won't be nap opportunities there. In the evening, they do play games and eventually put on a video and pull out sleeping bags. However, that isn't until group babysitting which starts at 10 p.m. I know that my 3 year old wouldn't last that long! Hopefully you have a balcony cabin so that at least you can sit out on deck and admire and scenery and read a book if your little one naps. That's what I do and I don't mind the down time that way.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
Just my opinion, but you should relax on your vacation. We used to take a family nap every day while cruising when our boys were younger (now they're 5 and almost 7). It was a great opportunity for my husband and I to get some extra sleep which was sorely needed, we both work full time and our kids get up every day (including weekends) about 5:30 am. So consider sleeping or relaxing while your little one naps in the cabin, or take turns with your spouse so you can each do a shipboard activity that most appeals to you.
Dinner in the dining room is always 2 + hours, but if you have early seating, you can get your child fed and then take him/her to Adv. Ocean at 7 when they open, then return and have your dessert and coffee. When mine were 2 and 3 they would not do the dining room, it was more trouble than it was worth. Problem was that was one of my husband and my favorite things to do. We used to do a combination of things, some casual dining, sometimes room service, and a few dinners in the dining room, with walks between courses. On our last cruise my then 4YO son was misbehaving, so I walked him out to the atrium where a sole guitar player was performing, we sat on the step and listened (my little one loves all types of music, and live music is such a treat). We had our own little concert, he calmed down, and then we returned.
The little ones do tend to fall asleep in the evening sessions at Adv. Ocean and yours won't be the only one. I and my kids never minded their being transferred at 10 pm to the cabin. Both of mine are excellent sleepers though, never any trouble going to sleep or back to sleep. So you have to figure out if that works for your child.
Don't worry, you won't miss the things you don't get to do and you will be building great family memories on your cruise.
I love the idea of napping on deck. However, I am so tired these days that I am afraid I might fall asleep, too, and not wake up until after the kids did. At 3 and 5 I shudder to think what kind of trouble they would get into! Then I would be one of those talked about parents on some thread who let their kids "run wild". Ha! !
Really, though, I could see us crawl into a hammock on Labadee (assuming such a thing actually exists), and all fall asleep together................ I think I need a nap now!
Thank you everyone for the great advice. It sounds like we can all count on being perhaps more tired than normal, and that even the 5 yr old may need some naps. I tend to be protective of the little one's naps, sounds like I should continue to be.
2 hours in the dining room is a long time for anyone, especially little ones. I like the idea of taking the kids to adventure ocean then returning to the dining room for coffee and desert. Does it take long to make the trek from the dining room to adventure ocean and back again? I can just imagine my husband sitting there staring at his hands for 30 minutes....lol.
Thanks again for the guidance. Great to hear from people who have "been there, done that".