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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 1st, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Default Suggestions, tips cruising w/little ones

I'm going on a cruise with my whole family in October. We will be going to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Beliz and Grand Caymen. I've been on a cruise once before without my children. This time we are taking our children, at the time of the cruise my son will be almost 5 and my daughter will be 2. Does anyone have any tips for ensuring an enjoyable time. Anything I should know about Camp Carnival? I'm a little anxious about the logistics of everything, flying, car seats, strollers, how many diapers do I bring for a 7 day cruise. I'm freaking out a little. Any tips are greatly appreciated.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:05 PM
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Hi Sis!!
Guess we are both full of questions! Hopefully you'll get some good info here
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:24 AM
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My number one tip: don't expect it to be anything like your pre-kids cruise(s). We just got back from a Mexican Cruise with our 18month old. Though we had never cruised before, we had hoped to get some alone time by pawning her off on relatives traveling with us. However, said relatives got sick as we hardly got any "couples" time, or even individual time since we wanted to be together. And, I talked to other couples with children under the 3 yr age limit for Princess' daycare. They had cruised before and said that while they were having a good time, it was not quite as fun a relaxing as their other cruises.

That said, I would never dream of not taking our children with us. Just be prepared to work around their schedule and go with the flow. And hopefully Camp Carnival accepts two year olds
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:29 AM
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Default diapers

Oh, and in response to the diaper question, we took 60 diapers for our 11 day cruise and it was the perfect amount (we came home with about 10 diapers). When traveling, I usually pack 5 diapers a day, plus I have a full day's worth in the diaper bag at all times. Hope that helps.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 12:15 PM
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I suggest you read the article I wrote "bringing the baby" on the main family page of CruiseMates. It'll give you some helpful hints. Don't skimp on diapers -- they're lightweight and often hard to find depending on where your ship docks.

You may also want to browse through past message board q's. There's been plenty of dialogue over the past few months about which stroller type to bring, etc. Let me know if you have any add'l questions.

Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Carnival accepts children two and older into the camp, my DD will turn 2 in August and our cruise is in October. As far as enjoyinh myself, my only other cruise I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with my first child and so my expectations for "fun" were pretty low. I'm sure my husband and I will be able to steal away for a few hours of relaxing adult time but it isn't my main concern, it's a family vacation, so I fully expect so spend lots of time with my kids.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Suggestions, tips cruising w/little ones

Lenna:

Here's a few tips. Curb check your luggage. Break the diaper packs and kids clothes across multiple suitcases as a hedge against lost luggage. Bring small sized water bottles with you on the plane for the kiddos (swallowing can help open the ear passage for pressure equalization). Turtle farm a must do on Grand Cayman. Check listed shore excursions for glass bottom boat tours. Write things down on check lists to prevent forgetting when distracted. Leave small kiddos in Camp Carnival if headed out on Mayan ruin tours - mosquitos can still carry things in Mexico and Central America.

BTW, Grand Cayman should have stuffed turtles and stingrays for the kiddos and the farm is on the Internet at www.turtle.ky.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenna
I'm going on a cruise with my whole family in October. We will be going to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Beliz and Grand Caymen. I've been on a cruise once before without my children. This time we are taking our children, at the time of the cruise my son will be almost 5 and my daughter will be 2. Does anyone have any tips for ensuring an enjoyable time. Anything I should know about Camp Carnival? I'm a little anxious about the logistics of everything, flying, car seats, strollers, how many diapers do I bring for a 7 day cruise. I'm freaking out a little. Any tips are greatly appreciated.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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Hello! We cruiised with out 15 mo old on RCL in March and will be again in Sept when she is 19 mo ! We had a great time, just need to plan ahead and not expect a pre-children cruise experience.

Carseats......leave it at home if possible. We had to bring ours due to a pre/post cruise car rental. We stored it in the closet of our stateroom, not a problem for a convertible toddler seat. I have also heard that you can ask your stateroom attendant to store it for you. You won't need the seat in the ports. If you are flying with your seat, I highly recommend buying a carseat bag to protect it from the evils of flying. See amazon.com.

Strollers......It was recommended that I leave my fullsize stroller at home and just bring an umbrella stroller. It worked just fine and was easier to navigate around the ship and store in the cabin.

Highchairs and cribs(pack and plays) are provided on board. YOu can reserve ethem ahead of time through your TA.

Our waiters in the dining room were always helpful with menu requests and providing juice/milk, washing out sippy cups in the kitchen.

We went to Cozumel and COsta Maya. In COzumel we took a taxi to Chankenab Ntl Park, just a few minutes ride. It was a great place to play on the beach, a small kids play area, a kids beach, snorkeling for the adults, a fountain to play in, and gardens to walk around. In Costa Maya we rented a golf cart, absolutely do this!!!! There is a pool area right off the ships for all passengers, this was fun. Then we rented a golf cart to drive into Mahajual, the small village. It would have been too far to walk with a little one and she loved the ride. YOu can really experience the whole village in the cart, cute shops and restaurants and beaches. If you drive past the village the beaches are pretty empty, just park your cart on the beach. I think it was about $15 hour and we bargined them down. They are located to the right of the pool, just outside the main complex with the other tour/excursion stands. We loved COsta Maya, one of my favorite ports ever.

If you have more questions, ask. You will have a memorable and wonderful time with you family and kids. Just being together and experiencing new things is thrilling for toddlers, let alone having a big, beautiful ship to explore!
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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:43 PM
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A DVD player at dinner is a must! It really helped entertain our daughter and enabled us to enjoy our dinners.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:43 PM
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Since we've had our daughter...starting at the age of 2, we have taken her on all our cruises.

We had taken our then 2yr old daughter on the carnival glory and she LOVED IT! Camp carnival kept her entertained! She cried when we picked her up! Just be sure to note they do close dduring certain hours during the day. It usually works out to where you can take them back to the cabin and put them down for a nap (like around 2p?)

Be prepared to be patient. Your 2 year old may be overwhelmed with all the activities and tire easily.

The DVD is a great option if you plan to take your children to dinner. But it will occupy them for only so long. What we have learned from cruising with our daughter...Take them to the buffet for thier evening meal, then drop them off at camp carnival...then you and your hubby go have a nice peaceful dinner together in the dinning room without the kids!

Here is another good idea we did while our little one was still in diapers...
she was 2yrs old like i said...we got her her own little disney princess roller bag. (a backpack on wheels with a handle she could pull/roll herself) Everywhere on the ship we went...instead of us lugging a bigol diaperbag with us...we would stock her princess bag with diapers, wipes, sippycup, snacks, diaper/change of shirt....SHE LOVED TOWING THAT BAG WITH HER! She still to this day loves to take her disney princess bag with her when we go on the boat! (she's 5 now).
HAVE FUN!
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