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

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Old April 4th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Default Cruising with my special needs child

My husband and I have a little girl that just turned 3. Anna has a genetic disorder which has caused her developmental delays. She still cannot walk independently (does crawl), can't talk (babble only, needs help with feeding and isn't potty trained. We brought her on a cruise with us when she was 2 and that was OK because we had the grandparents' help. But, if it's just the 3 of us that go this time, is there a cruiseline that has a kids' program that will accommodate her? She doesn't have behavior issues, plays well by herself and is a very happy little girl. On our last cruise we were on Carnival and she wasn't old enough yet to use their kids program except for staying there a couple of hours on a shore day.

Any advice? We'd like to take a vacation where we could get a little bit of a break but we don't want to leave her at home.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 516

I'd try Disney Cruise Line. I've interviewed their personnel and they said they try to work with special needs children. While they can't give any child one-on-one attention, they said they try to accommodate special needs when possible.

Only thing, though, is that kids have to be 3 yrs. old and potty trained to be in their youth program. However, since she's still crawling, I'd suggest you still try Disney but use their Flounders' Reef nursery. (The nursery is for those 6 weeks to 3 yrs. old, as well as 3 yr. olds who aren't yet potty trained.) You have to pay an hourly fee for this and it isn't open all day and night (but it is open daily -- you have to reserve your days/hours whenyou get on the ship). The personnel are wonderful -- I used it when my son was 7 months old. They will be able to give your child more personal attention and have plenty of toys, Disney videos, bouncy seats, cribs for naps ,etc. Really well equipped.

Let me know what you decide.

Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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