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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:21 PM
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Default Cruising with a 14 month old

Hello all... I am trying to talk my hubby into taking our 14 month old (at the time of vacation) on a cruise... he thinks that the beach would be better suited for us this year...

Could you all help me with the pitfalls of taking a 14 month old on a cruise? (I know that you are all cruise addicts but I really do need help in seeing the downside to this plan... so be honest please!)
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Let me start by saying that despite any of the following inconveniences, we still cruise with our kids even when they are itty bitty.

However, it is inconvenient to:
-not have a bathtub and have to improvise.
- have to navigate around portable cribs in a small cabin.
- have to find baby friendly food on board or lug large quantities with you.
-pay stupidly inflated prices for baby necessities such as diapers when you underestimate the number you'll need.
-try to manage a muster drill with small children.
-have limited free time depending on the cruiseline, where many resorts have better babysitting for smaller tots.

Not inconvenient but frustrating is the number of people who will have immediate disdain for you and your child because you dared to bring an infant into a dining room to join you on a family dinner. Also, frustrating are the snide remarks of some adults should a child have the audacity to cry in their presence.

All that being said, we still take ours. Sharing a cruise with them and making these memories far outweighs any of the inconveniences that we have ever experienced. Suprisingly enough, I could write a lot longer list of inconveniences for a disney family vacation with a small tot. Whatever your decision, enjoy your vacation.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:45 PM
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Thanks... we aren't the babysitter type family... so I am not all that concerned about those services. Good point about the small room and a crib... I think that we would go on and pay for the larger balcony room. Also you are the first I've seen mention the other people on board and their intolerance for young children on board.

I really appreciate all the help... keep it coming... it is easy to see the upside to cruising v. beach/Disney. Help me out on the downside to other locations... I know with cruising there are the food, great location, enterainment, soothing rocking of the boat, and miles of hallway for a little cruiser to travel. So what are the downsides to the beach for a 14 month old? Any ideas?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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We just came back from RCCL EoS. We went with the junior suite because it has a bath tub. Wife did an incredible job getting everything together, formula, diapers etc.

Our son is about to turn three and his sister will be one at the end of July.

It wasnt much of a vacation for me but I guess everyone else had a good time We had the luxory of have the inlaws in the next door cabin where we could send the boy or hang out while one was taking a nap.

Some people are really into their kids and/or cant go without them so they make it work.

I think I'll wait until they are big enough for their own cabin before they come along on the next one.

If you have the means do the inlaw and adjoing cabin thing Id say that would be the absolute best case scenario.

R
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Old May 24th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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Lucky for me, the inlaws will most likely be going with us. Why was it not a good vacation for you?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Geeze where to start.

The girl was up every day at 6 am so everyone else in the cabin had to get up.

Since everyone had to get up so early we couldnt really stay out and do stuff.

If your going it alone plan on going to bed when the kids do or having one person relagated to reading a book in the cabin while the kids are asleep.

Couldnt really do much in the islands as either the excursion wasnt kid freindly or conflicted with nap time.

It was a real giant production to get geared up to go ashore.

There were times where the girl didnt have enough patience to last through dinner.

Had to take the elevators all the time with the strollers which was a pain because lots of time the elevator was too full to accomidate someone with a stroller. Sometimes multiple elevators would come and go before we could get one.

For me a time share with seperate rooms to put the kids to sleep in would be way more practical until they get bigger.

For some people these are trivial things and the enjoyment of taking their child on a cruise outway the issues. We knew we had a tough row to ho taking a 2.5 year old and a 8 month old but the cruise was booked and planned when we were a family of three.

Just my $0.02 and YMMV.

Oh...also we done this driving to the port. I wouldn't want to even think about flying on each end of the trip.

R
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Old May 25th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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So with all that said... I see you have another cruise planned... is this with the kids?

As to my family... I think that the inlaws are going wherever we decide to go... cruise or beach. So I am thinking that we will be okay with childcare. I would love for it to be like the other poster who took their child to the late show and they just fell asleep while watching the show. And as far as sleeping late... we didn't really sleep late when we were only two on the cruise... got up to go ashore and all or just didn't want to waste time sleeping... so that could be the upside to that issue. Also it would be a pain to have to get back on schedule when we got home.

You sound like my hubby... he has this grand vision that if we go to the beach he will be able to lay under a palm tree and veg... while I chase after our son. His biggest complaint about the last cruise we took was that there were no shady spots to just enjoy being outside. But our ship was ALOT smaller then any of the ones we would consider taking this time around. Do you know if any ship has shady spots by the pool?

I really appreciate the info. I now see some more downsides to a cruise, so I can be prepared with the counterpoints!
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Old May 25th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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No kids next time. Every once in a while I get the crazy idea to take the boy and leave the little one home but then I snap back to reality.

....One little one with inlaws would be managable. Just dont expect it be like a cruise by yourselves.

Id try to get adjoining cabins that have the common door between them. That way when the little one is napping someone can be next door hanging out on the balcony or whatever with a monitor and not be stuck sitting in the cabin being a quiet church mouse. Thats basically what we done.

RCCL provided a pack-n-play for the babyto sleep in. We turned the couch against the walll and the boy slept there. One small beef also and this really isnt about taking the kids but we specifically asked for the pack-n-play. Embarkation day it took a while to get to the cabin and by then it was afternoon nap time and there wasnt a pack-n-play in the cabin. Had to hound the cabin steward to get one up while dealing with a couple very tired and cranky kids right out of the gate.

One other downside that I see, and this is just me being a cheap skate, the little one costs as much as an adult. For a little baby that doesnt really eat anything or take part in any type of program I feel thats excessive but thats just the way it is.

R
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RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern 09
CCL Miracle Southern '08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Western '07
PCL Caribbean Princess Eastern '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Western '05
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern '04
CCL Destiny Southern '01
CCL Sensation Eastern '94
CCL Ecstacy Western '92
CCL Jubilee Eastern '90
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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I agree with the price for a small child. They told me it is because they take up space on a lifeboat. If we are at sea in a lifeboat, my son will be in my lap. I don't care to pay for a child because of the programs they have. If I don't have to bring toys with me, then I will pay for him. Also he will be eating some of their food, so again, I don't care to pay for him.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 10:10 PM
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I've always been a fan of "start them young" and they'll get used to it. That said, it is wise indeed to adjust your expectations of cruising -- or any travel for that matter -- while your children are infants and toddlers.

The good news? They grow up so quickly that before you know it, they'll be wanting to spend every waking minute at the youth program once they're big boys and girls!

Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey
Family Cruise Editor
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