Hi - just wanted to ask those with experience travelling with an infant (1yr old) if a Royal Caribbean cruise is safe? Are there issues with the rails on ship? Has anyone's child gotten sick? This will be our first time on a cruise and not sure if we should go with such a young child. Any thoughts greatly appreciated!
For me, since you are going on your first cruise, I'd leave the baby at home with grandparents and see what cruising is like, then if you do deciede to cruise again in the future, bring the child along. Once kids are I believe 3 years old and potty trained, they can join the youth center and be entertained with trained councelors and mom and dad can do their thing for a couple hours.
I heartily disagree. My son went on his first cruise at age 7 months and had cruised three times by his birthday! RCI is one of the few lines that has private, in room babysitting so it's a good choice. They also have Fisher Price Aqua Babys (45 minute daily play sessions w/parents involved) program. It's a great way to travel w/baby -- if they need to nap, you can hang out on your balcony or you and your spouse can trade off enjoying the ship solo while the other stays w/baby.
See the article on the main family page, "Bringing the Baby" and let me know if you have any other q's.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
The ship would be the Explorer of the Seas and while leaving the infant with the grandparents is a great idea, the trip is a family reunion of sorts for my parents 50th anniversary.
Since I've never been on a cruise before (and this is a naive question, I know), is there plexiglass on the rails for safety issues? Also, can you buy bottled water for formula on the boats for making formula?
Yes, there is plexi glass everywhere. I never had a safety issue w/my kids as infants/toddlers on ships. However, you obviously have to watch them as I'm sure you do.
We buy big bottles of water at each port call and bring them on. They're much cheaper than buying them aboard ship. Sometimes the bars on the ships sell big bottles of water (vs. the small ones in the mini frig) -- while these are cheaper than the small bottles, they are still more expensive than buying in port at a store.
I'm glad to hear that you are going with your one year old. We haven't met a family cruise that we and our kids haven't liked even as infants and toddlers! RCI is an excellent choice for you. Make sure you read "bringing the baby" article that I wrote on this section.
My daughter is 2 years and 3 months old and will be going on her 3rd cruise in Jan. Her first was at 8 months, the second at 22 months. She has had a great time each time and we never had a problem with anyone getting sick. I wouldn't have been able to enjoy myself with her at home, I'd be to worried if she was okay. Take the baby, have a good time! If you can, invite the grandparents along to be cabin babysiters when you and hubby want some time alone out and about. We just bought bottle water on the bot for formula and our own baby food snacks, each time we bring lots of her little foods for when we're in port and juice so she'll have her foods and juice for snack in case I don't feel comfortable with the local stuff.
We took our son on his first cruise when he was 9 months old and we did it on Royal Caribbean. We had a wonderful time! We took along a small, hand-operated baby food mill, chose suitable items from the regular menu and then put them in the baby mill. He ate the same foods we were eating.
We took along a stroller that reclined so that he could sleep in his stroller and we took along a back-pack that we used when we were ashore (we never took the stroller ashore).
We chose to eat at the late-seating so that our son would sometimes sleep in his stroller while we ate dinner (we would feed him from the buffet) but, if you know that your little one will not sleep at that time, you might want to choose the early-seating so that you can enjoy your meal instead of calming a tired and possibly cranky baby. We knew that our son would either be awake and happy to eat, or sound asleep.
I loved cruising with our son and have taken him and his younger brother on several more cruises since. In fact, we have not hit on an age yet where we did not love having them onboard with us.