Hi, I'm Dee and as you can guess from my name we have four children, currently 8,6,2 and 9 months and want to take a cruise in 2007 when our girls will be 10, 8, 4 and 2. I have narrowed it down to a Carnival cruise, because of the age group for kids club. But have not decided on actual destination as yet however that is narrowed down to western Caribean and Hawai'i. This will be our first overseas trip with the girls and our first cruise ever. I am very excited even though it is still a good 18 months away, lol. As you may know, or could imagine, having four children of varying age groups, you need to be very organised and flexible at the same time, lol. So I want a structured Holiday that will be fun for everyone ( Mostly myself, lol, I need a break) My question is for anyone who has travelled with four or more children. Sorry I have a few questons:
What kind of accommodation did you book,? (connecting, across the hall?)
How did you go onshore?, did you do the booked tours or go off by yourselves?
What was babysitting , if any, like?
Did you have to pre book the kids club days?, especially for the little ones.
Were the entertainment nights family friendly?
Was there a good variety of nice, yummy yet nutritious food at all meals?
We are coming from Australia and want to travel in April/May or Sept/Oct, do you think there will be many kids on board at these times? and finally for now, which destination do you recommend.
We travel with our four children and have for years. They're all a lot older than yours are now, but I know what you mean about planning with a large family! Here's what we have done:
1. Booked two cabins, either next to each other or across the hall. You'll find the two bathrooms invaluable. You can also book a connecting cabin which I would look into given the ages of your children. You need to book early to get those as there aren't a lot of them.
2. I've booked excursions both on my own and through the ship. If time is tight or if we're in a really undeveloped country I book through the ship. If I have a lot of time and am in a real tourist destination I book on my own.
3. I didn't use the babysitting.
4. I haven't used the kids club in a long time, but when I did you just dropped them off.
5. Most of the entertainment is family friendly. There is a late night comedian that is adult entertainment and the Newlywed, not so Newlywed game can get a little risque, but other than that it is family oriented.
6. I've found the food to be very good, well prepared and a variety is offered every night. They also offer a spa menu.
7. There will be more kids in April/May than Sept/Oct. Most of the children in the US go back to school in September. We cruise the last week of April as that is my children's school vacation week and there have always been other children on board.
8. We love the Western Carribean. There is a lot to do and see. I haven't been to Hawaii so I can't comment there.
If you have any questions feel free to email me.
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
Given the ages of your children, have you considered the Disney Western Caribbean cruise? We have done the eastern twice, and our girls just loved it. The do have a good babysitting service and they also have a program to watch the children if you want to go into port and leave them.