This is our first cruise. My husband and I are going on the Fantasy on 10/13/05. We are taking our 13 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
I am worried about the life vest drill with my 3 year old. I am worried he will be scared. Can anyone with a young child tell what it will be like? He is very active and is all boy but i don't know how he will handle this.
I've seen lots of families with small children at the life boat drill. It really isn't scary. They sound the alarm and you just go to the designated area with your life jacket. It's more so you know where to go in the event of an emergency. Kind of like a fire drill at school.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Our daughter had just turned 5 when we went to the drill. We had told her that it was just like a fire drill and she was okay right up until the vest was on and she was surrounded by people. We just held her and reassured her that it would be quick. This year I plan to take a special treat along with me just for her getting through the drill without tears. She hadn't thought of the boat sinking until she was standing on the deck in a lifejacket. We have discussed it now and she knows that although the Titanic sunk modern day ships very, very, rarely do. I think it would have been easier if we had explained it more before hand.
Many people "get ready" for the life boat drill and end up in their vests, at their muster station for a lot longer than they need to be.........Just wait until the announcement is made, and slowly make your way to your cabin, get your vests and go to your assigned station.
Check, when you get to your room. that you have been given a small vest for your son. Then, if you haven't, call your room steward right away. It may take some time for him to get it to you before the drill. Our ship set sail late with my two year old but he did fine even with the late hour.
You will hear a signal that sounds like the boat horn honking (I think). When you hear it, everyone will be walking to their cabins and getting their life jackets(or heading out of rooms already with jackets). Most people use the hallways (no elevators) to walk to their designated area. There are lots of crew members posted around the ship to point you in the right direction and everyone is calm. If I were you, I would look around to get an idea of which way to go before the drill. Everyone is calm and in good spirits so your son should feel okay. The waiting is a drag but its over quickly and necessary. The hallways get crowded but people are patient.
K made a great point about checking to make sure that you have an infant life jacket in your cabin. Our situation was just reversed, we had an infant life jacket for our 17 yr old son who is 6'1" tall, needless to say it didn't fit, we were instructed by the crew members at our muster station to call our room steward right away to get the proper life jacket for our son. It didn't hold up our drill any, but they did check with us after to make sure that we had gotten the correct life jacket.
We have taken our 4 year old on several cruises and she has never gotten scared. We just tell her it is for our safety. All the lines we have been on have children in the front so they won't be smooshed. The worst thing is just waiting for it to be over with. She just gets whiney and bored. It was harder when she was an infant- do you know how long your arms have to be to reach around your life jacket, the baby and her life jacket? . My husband just let her sit on the front of his jacket. Anyway, have fun on your cruise!
In regards to your question about the "safety drill" and your 3 year old son:
We took our boys on their 1st cruise @ ages 4 and 6. My little guy is very bright but even he did not "connect the dots" to the drill and any potential sea emergency. (This is a boy who already has figured out Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy at age 5). Just play it up as "the captains rules" that we have to go do this "silly" exercise with lifevests. I am pretty sure if you seem carefree and unconcerned he will feed off those positive vibes.
Have a GREAT time, use the kids club for a little parent down time!!