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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

View Poll Results: Your experience with a shore excursion w/ your toddler can be described as...
memorable 7 87.50%
wouldn't recommend it 1 12.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 14th, 2007, 02:35 AM
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Default First time cruising w/ 1 year old ... need help!!!

I'm sooo excited and nervous at the same time. I

I read that half/full day excursions aren't recommended for infants/toddlers. But what about 1.5-2.5 hour excursions?

My daughter loves loves love going places. I can take her to run errands 3-4 hours at a time. So I'm thinking she might be o.k.

We're contemplating the Stingray City excursion + another snorkeling stop and a 1.5 hr rafting excursion + Dunn's.

Any advice, suggestions, comments would REALLY be appreciated
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 14th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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I think short shore excursions are a great idea. It's just the 1/2 and full day ones might be too long for your little one and you're pretty much stuck then. Dunn's River Falls is not for little ones -- my daughter was in grade school before she could attempt to climb the falls -- they're slippery and steep. With Sting Ray City, one of you will have to stay on the boat while the other jumps into the water to touch the sting rays. I found hopping a cab to a beach the best option when my kids were infants/toddlers. Then you can leave when you need to.

Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old March 16th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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I will be crusing with our 1 year old for the first time in 2 weeks! We are very excited to bring her along with us and share our love of cruising with her......BUT I realize that this will be quite different from the adults only cruises of years past. I have really tried to think through everything before sailing so that we can enjoy this cruise to the fullest with her and not be frustrated or unprepared. As far as excursions go, I have not booked any and rather plan to do our own thing. As Lisa said in the above post, beaches are probably the best bet at this age. I suggest researching the ports you will sail to (beaches, transportation, sightseeing) and I bet you will find fun activities that will best fit your needs. I found great options that we all will enjoy!
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Old March 17th, 2007, 01:26 AM
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Thanks so much for your thoughts!!! If you don't mind sharing your experiences after cruising...I'd really appreciate it.

Happy cruising
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Old March 17th, 2007, 08:00 PM
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Hello Lee Family! I absolutely will let you know how it goes. We are very excited. What line are you cruising with? What are your ports of call?
My travel agent was helpful with arranging for a crib in our room and a highchair in the dining room, just something to think about if you have not already done so. Happy anticipation and planning!
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Old March 18th, 2007, 03:11 AM
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Hi Cruze Lover!

We're sailing on Princess to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel at the end of April. My husband and I have been to Cozumel so we're planning on renting a car since we know where to hang out and relax. But we both love to snorkel so we didn't want to miss that at Grand Cayman...that's why exploring the option of a boat excursion (more like finding any way to go). We also have grandma coming along, so we thought it would be easier trading off.

You must be so excited your cruise is almost here !!!
Happy Cruising and thanks for the tip w/ the crib and highchair
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Old March 19th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Maybe grandma and the little one would like to go on a short, glass bottom boat or a semi-sub to see the wonderful fish life in GC. (There may be a minimum age, though, on the semi-subs. My son loved the semi-sub last year when he was 3 years old.)
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:54 AM
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IM IN THE SAME SITUATION. I HAVE A 1 YR OLD ALSO AND ITS OUR FIRST CRUISE. IM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO PACK FOR MY SON BUT I DONT WANT TO OVERPACK EITHER.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 12:32 PM
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There's a couple of great resources on what to pack. Try the article on "Bringing Baby" on the cruisemates page. And depending on where you're cruising to, there are articles that give specific suggestions on beaches/activities.

I totally understand if you're feeling overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I'm having a hard time finding a swimsuit w/ built-in diapers...sounds so miniscule when you're looking in the big scheme of things. Someone suggested mailing a box full of stuff (diapers, wipes, formula,...) ahead of time since you don't need a bag to bring it back...sounds like a lot of work if you ask me.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 04:44 PM
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THANKS FOR YOUR INFO. ABOUT THE SUIT WITH A BUILT IN DIAPER I DONT KNOW IF YOU HAVE TARGET WHERE YOU LIVE BUT I FOUND A SWIM DIAPER THAT LOOKS LIKE UNDERWEAR. IF YOUR CHILD IS A BOY HE COULD WEAR IT AS A SUIT. IT LOOKS LIKE A BATHING SUIT. IF YOU HAVE A GIRL YOU CAN PUT IT UNDER HER SUIT BEING THAT ITS JUST A BOTTOM. HOPE THIS HELPS. WHEN R U GOING ON YOUR CRUISE?
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Old March 25th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Hi- We are also traveling on Princess but in October - Our daughter will be 19 months old by then. Last year she was 7 months old when we traveled on RCCL - Explorer of the Seas. I have to say I was nervous but everything was fine and the rocking of the ship helped our daughter sleep all night- which she didn't do at home. We brought so much stuff it was unreal but I feel well worth it. As far as trips -- well we stuck to beach days - she was in the water and she took long naps in her coach on the beach so it worked out for all of us. The Crew was super helpful and they love babies! And if anything it helped us by having the coach when we were exiting the ship for excursions people actually give you a break and they do not try to tramble you getting out onto the ramp of the ship. Try not to worry. You gals and your families will be fine.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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Yukongrl
Thanks for your help. We leave in 5 weeks for our first cruise. Anytips on overpacking for the 1 yr old. What don't I need?

Keri
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Old March 26th, 2007, 12:56 AM
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We are thinking about getting a backpack carrier for our trip. I read somewhere about a mom loving how it freed up her hands at the airport, docking, excursions, etc. Does anyone think this is necessary?

Yukongrl, what do you mean by a 'coach'?
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Old March 27th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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We had a memoriable time with our daughter on her first cruise. She was 2 1/2. She was use to being in the car for long car rides to visit family. So when we did do shore excursions and had to take a bus to our destination she was as quiet as a mouse. We recieved alot of compliments from the "Older folks" saying they couldn't believe how quiet she was. On another tour, there was a little girl around 2 that screamed the entire time! (and mom was by herself, no help in site!)

Our daughter is now 5 and she still remembers her first cruise. We sail in just a couple of days and she is soooo excited. And so are we!

I'm sure you will have a great time!
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Old April 18th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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Hello Lee Family, Here is my post-cruise report as promised. It was wonderful! I said this before I left and it definately is true......don't expect the same cruise experience as you did prekids/without kids. We has a great time but it was different. Here are some things I found helpful.
We brought a DVD player along for the plane and I ended up bringing it to the dining room every night. My daughter is mesmerized by Baby Einstein and it really helped her get through dinner, she was an angel. A highchair was waiting for us everynight at the table. It was always clean and the straps/belt worked, unlike some restaurants.
I brought an umbrella stroller and size wise, it worked out well for around the ship and excursions. I had to fly with out car seat and it fit in the closet of our cabin for storage during the cruise.
The crib (on RC) was just like a pack and play. We had an oceanview room and I had the cabin steward push the bed against the wall and the crib fit against the other far wall. It makes for a tight cabin with a crib but it works.
My daughter is a good eater so the dining rooms and buffet were not a problem finding something for her, actually easier than home because I didn't have to cook. Sometimes I would bring a bannana or yogurt (kept in ice bucket) from the buffet and keep it in our cabin for a snack if needed or for first thing in the morning as we were getting ready. Lots of juice around to fill her cup up with. The dining room staff frequently offered to bring her cup into the kitchen to wash it for me and it would come back filled with fresh juice.
RC had a 45 min daily program for 6mo-18mo put on by the youth staff that we attended twice and that was very good. Just being on a ship was a thrill for my daughter and walking around the ship provided much entertainment in itself. I did not bring any toys for her.
SOme people have asked questions about packing. Don't go crazy. Just bring shorts and bathingsuits for daytime and then sundresses (or nice pants and shirts for boys) for evening. Stick diapers throughout your suitcase. I saw a family bring an exersaucer on board, they must have driven righ to the pier from home.
Usually I put my daughter to bed after dinner, early seating, so I missed not having the evening to enjoy the ship and activities/entertainment.
I kept her up the nights of the productions shows in the theatre and got there early to get a seat close to the stage and she loved the singing and dancing.

Hopefully this helps. HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!!!!!!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: First time cruising w/ 1 year old ... need help!!!

My experience bringing a 1 year old aboard was that an umbrella stroller is best, a hat is needed, excursions should be 1-2 hours at most and aboard vehicles for shade, ease of transportation, and for the kiddo to be up high enough to see stuff. Play pens can be arranged aboard or a light nylon one can be brought for the cabin. Aquariums, butterfly and turtle farms, and glass bottom boats are a hit and ridge tours (think higher elevation = cooler, more breezes) and tours under the shade (tree canopy) are good.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLeeFamilee
I'm sooo excited and nervous at the same time. I

I read that half/full day excursions aren't recommended for infants/toddlers. But what about 1.5-2.5 hour excursions?

My daughter loves loves love going places. I can take her to run errands 3-4 hours at a time. So I'm thinking she might be o.k.

We're contemplating the Stingray City excursion + another snorkeling stop and a 1.5 hr rafting excursion + Dunn's.

Any advice, suggestions, comments would REALLY be appreciated
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Old April 21st, 2007, 02:07 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience Cruze Lover...lots of great, useful info!
Do you suggest bringing a small cooler, do you think it'd be helpful or just more baggage during excursions, etc.?
Also, can you tell me more about your experience at the theater with your daughter?
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