First time cruise with 4-year-old - general advice needed
Hi, We have just booked our first cruise with RCI 'Navigator of Seas' Eastern Carribean. Anyone been on the ship and have any top tips. In particular we will be travelling with soon to be 4-year-old so need advice re shore trips. Also we are after clothing advice - is a DJ compulsory? Can you take little ones into all entertainment - do you have to book shows?
Plus what are drinks prices like - heard lots about having alcohol taken off people when they embark - is it that strict?
Sorry so many questions - would love advice from seasoned cruisers.
Weve taken our now 3.5 yr old on cruises at 11, 23, & 35 mos (soon to be another at 47 mos). We did Navigator at 23 mos and loved it. At 4 you will have so many more options too as your child will be old enough to use the kids clubs, is potty trained so he can use the pools etc. As for excursions, we havent dont any with our son as they usually have a minimum age or are too long for him to endure (us too when it comes to a bored kid). if we did do any, it would be a short snorkel trip. normally we wander/shop around port, have lunch on the ship, then head to a beach so he can have some fun. we bring along some cheap and small trucks, toys for him to play with, and his lifejacket so he can play in the waves. as for shows, we only took him to the flashy musical productions, and the ice shows (dont miss the ice shows). we would sit upstairs and off to the side in case we had to make a quick escape, but we never did. he often fell asleep. at 4, your child will be old enough to be in the kids clubs if they operate during the shows at that age. the only show you have to "book" is the ice shows. watch your compass and i believe on the first or second sea day, they will hand out tickets (free). send one person to collect tickets for any of the shows (go early to get the time you want). its open seating at the show, so go early to get good seats, though there really arent any bad ones unless youre stuck behind a pole. sometimes they pull kids out ahead of the show to particpate. dress wise we are pretty casual and i think this time we might skip the dining room most of the time, definitely on formal nights. i normally wear a knit outfit (st john) on formal nights while the men and my son wore slacks jacket and tie. you will see people dress down, and ones that go all out glitz (beyond tuxes). there are other dining options like windjammer (casual), chops, and portofinos (the latter is excellent, but both will cost an extra $20 pp and i think they have an age limit). as for the booze-cant help as we are not big drinkers.
Nicky - enroll your little one into the kids programs, he will have a blast.
Eastern Caribbean has some of the best beaches, hitting the beach is best for little ones, back a backpack with sand toys and trucks
Dress Code applies to everyone regardless of age. Love seeing the little ones in little suits, soo cute.
All shows unless specified as "Adult" are open to all age groups.
Drink prices are about the same on the ship as to what you would pay back home at a nice restaurant.
If you try to bring aboard liquor in your carry-on you risk it being taken. It will be returned to you at the end of your cruise.
Thanks for your replies. Any tips on where to stay in Miami before the cruise. We fly in on Wednesday so have three night there before the cruise. We want to be pretty central to beach and restaurants and of course child friendly.
Also heard lots about people having problems finding a public beach in Nassau, Bahamas is this true and what would you recommend there for shore visit.
(never been on cruise so feel slightly inadequate with my poor sign off - but Feb isn't far away)
Cant help with hotels as we usually fly in the day we sail thanks to work. As for Nassau, the last time we were there stores were closed for a holiday and it was cold (over the holidays). We have stayed at Atlantis twice and your four year old might enjoy the aquariums. Only thing is that if you want to use the beach, pools and waterslides you have to be staying there or Comfort Suites. You can tour the casino and the inside (not the Dig) for free, but will need to do a tour to see the aquariums. Sometimes day rooms are available (max 4 people). If you decide to do this, be aware that if going in the cool season, the pools are not heated. We were there over Valentines weekend and hardly anyone was in the pools and ocean because it was chilly.