We are looking at taking a 3-5 day cruise in the Carribean/Bahamas in late April or early May. We have 2 daughters, 2 years old and 4 years old. We don't plan to use childcare much, if at all, but we want to be sure there will be enough to do as a family. I have found a few that sound like good choices, but which will have the most for us to do as a family? I am considering 4 days on the Carnival Fascination to the Western Caribbean (Playa del Carmen), Same ship 3 days to the Bahamas or Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas or Sovereign of the Seas 4 days to Bahamas. Any tips? Any others that I should consider? We have to be in Fort Lauderdale on May 5 for a wedding, so we are planning around that.
Both Carnival and RCI have good youth programs. It starts at age 2 at Carnival and age 3 at RCI. CCL has group babysitting in the late evening/early a.m. only while RCI has private, in cabin sitting at all times. RCI also has an Aqua Tots program every day for those under 3. It's for toddlers and their caregivers and features Fisher Price toys. The ships you mentioned are older ships but I think you'll still like them since it's your first cruise and it's a short cruise.
Let me know what you decide and if you have more q's.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
You can drop your two year old off at Carnival's youth program and they'll change diapers. At RCI, they ahve to be 3 and potty trained. But, RCI has a 45 min. daily Aqua Tots program for toddlers and their caregivers daily.
The older ships tend to sail the shorter itineraries, but not always. The newer ships -- such as RCI's Voyager class ships or Freedom of the Seas -- are huge and amazing. So much to do! Freedom has a fun outdoor small waterpark that kids love.
My then 2 and 4 year olds loved Carnival. Now they are 4 and nearly 7 and getting ready to leave on their 5th cruise and they still love Carnival. However they also love NCL which is tied for first place and RCCL is probably 2nd or 3rd. But RCCL has great family pools. However the Fascination which I am 99% sure is pretty identical to the Sensation has a great kids pool/play area/sundeck on the back of the ship, which we loved because it was very quiet and never crowded plus in most cases it had an overhang which kept the kiddos out of the sun and in the shade.
I would probably opt for the carnival cruise because of the age of your children. We took our daughter at age 2yr on the carnival glory and she had a blast! Loved the fact they changed diapers. They give you a pager also if they need to contact you for any reason. When ever we dropped her off at camp carnival, she never looked back, she loved it!
DOLPHIN OCEAN BREEZE 1993
CARNIVAL CELEBRATION 1999
CARNIVAL GLORY 2004
NCL JEWEL 4/9/2006
DISNEY WONDER 6/15/06
NCL SUN 1/23/07 (girls trip!)
NCL PEARL 3/30/07
RCCI MAJESTY OF THE SEAS 8/27/07
NCL Sky 8/31/09 (Mom's Bday Cruise)
Disney Magic 10/17/09 with the baby!!
Next Cruise...NCL Dawn 6/6/10 NYC to Bermuda ;-)