We are leaving on the Norway for the western caribbean in June. I'm concerned about the stroller needed for the 2 year old for the shore excursions. How can I find out if the side trip will "work out" with the little one accompanying us? How difficult will it be to use a stroller? One of the things my other 2 boys want to see is the Mayan ruins. I know that a lengthy bus trip is involved with that one. Do other families bring such young children ?
Also, we are driving to the boat, so can we just handle the luggage ourselves - or do we have to give it to the crew to handle with all the other thousands of suitcases?
I don't know about "have to" but there is almost no way you would want to lug your own stuff from the parking lot thru embarkation, up (across) the gangway and then either up or down to your cabin.
Tag your bags, give them over! On rare occasions a bag gets misplaced but they are going from pier side to cabin versus airline check-in, connection, pick up, transfer, etc.
Keep asking on the Message Board, it is a looooong bus ride to and from the ruins. We have done it but not with a little one.
Yes, they ask you to set them outside your cabin door. I have seen and heard that the ship (every ship I have been on) keep roaming security to avoid anyone touring your luggage while it awaits pickup.
What is the old expression, "Never say Never" but we have been crusing since 1973 and have got run into any luggage problems yet.
But..NEVER pack medicines, jewelry, cameras or any other valuables and leave them outside..that stuff is definately carry-on.
Would love to hear about your experience..next year we are taking a family cruise, including our grandson...(3)
We have been on a short cruise with our 2 yr old daughter and are going on a 1 week cruise here in about 4 weeks on the Norway. I have no intention of bringing a stroller. For whatever excursions we go on, we will carry her when necessary. The last thing I want to lug around is a stroller. It could be a little cumbersome if you have to tender to shore. It could also be very rough terrain to the ruins, not suitable for a stroller. When she was younger, I used to carry my daughter in a sling (baby carrier), I plan on bringing that just in case. It's made of soft material that can be easily packed in a suitcase. If you do need a stroller, get one of those umbrella ones. That might be a little easier.
As far as the long bus ride excursions, I would try to avoid that. I don't even know if they require car seats for little ones (probably not). I would check into how long the bus ride was and see if your 2 yr old could tolerate sitting on a bus for that long. Most cruise lines give you a shore excursion planning guide with details of each excursion.
Luggage...we've driven to the port, dropped off the luggage and did valet parking or my husband would go park the car. We always brought a carry-on bag and checked the rest of the luggage right at the door. On the last night, you should keep a carry-on bag for all your essentials and your night clothes. Everybody has to put their luggage out and I've never heard of any problems. We're all in the same boat so to speak!