I'm a first time cruiser taking my 9 month old on an RCI Alaskan cruise this summer. Any tips / suggestions / etc for cruising, ports, what to take (and not to take!) would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
go to the home page, click on articles scroll back to find Luisa Frey Gaynors article- i think its called "Bringing Aboard Baby" or something like that. It will answer a lot of your questions.
Post your question over on the "Family Cruising" thread
As the parent of 18 month twins, I have to suggest leaving the 9 month-old at home. Many others will say that I am nuts, but I bet that at the end of your "vacation" you will remember back to what I typed and wished that you had chosen to relax instead of tote around your baby and miss the evening events, and be on a schedule of feedings every 3 hours. Then again, maybe you thrive on this kind of stuff and are unable to be parted from your baby. To each their own.
We took our then 8mo old daughter with us to Alaska on Princess two summers ago and even though it wasn't the most relaxing trip ever, it was a really good experience. All the staff on board totally doted on her, they found special treats for her, brought us lots of baby food, played with her every chance they got, etc.... A lot of the crew is away from their families for long periods of time and really missing their kids..so they were great! We took care to try and not disturb other cruisers too much by avoiding the dining room and eating mostly at the buffets or pizzeria or outside grills. We also found room service to be helpful. A really good, small and lightweight stroller is important....you need to be able to get it on and off the ship and thru the xray machines. I also brought a backpack to wander around the ship. The baby loved looking at the people and the water! Be sure to bring lots of diapers, wipes, and formula....that's not easy to find on the trip and it is very expensive as I found out when I ran out and frantically searched one of the ports for it!
Enjoy the trip! It is so beautiful!!!
*p.s. don't forget sunscreen for the baby ---it can be surprisingly sunny & you can get a good burn watching those glaciers calve!
Having recently cruised with my then 10 month old son, I would absolutely NOT be concerned about cruising with your 9 month old child. Your experience will be much different then if you'd have cruised without the child, but for us, the experience was great. An earlier poster responded selfishly that you should leave the child at home. That is not necessarily true. We had a great time with our son, and he had the best time on the cruise. He loved it. Seeing his face light up at new sights and experiences was priceless...and we were able to spend quality time as a family for an entire week...something that is impossible at home. What a great thing to do for your child, taking him/her along with you. Will they remember the trip? No, I'm sure not. However, every thing they exeperience as a small child helps to shape who they become as an adult. Good for you for taking your child. And don't worry. I am sure things will go fine.
By the way, you will receive an enormous amount of attention from crew members and fellow pasengers alike. Everyone seams to love to see small children on a cruise. Our son (and we too) recieved lots of special attention.
One last thing, I highly recomend taking your own pack-and-play for your child to sleep in. The ship does provide them on request, but fortunatley we took ours along with us "just in case." Thankfully we did, becasue the pack-and-play they provided (apparently they no longer provide actual cribs) was broken and grimy (dirty and stained).
P.S. You may wish to talk to your pediatrician about using Benadryl to treat motion sickness in the event your child experiences it (most likely they will not--most babies don't.) On our trip we had 30 foot seas and high winds for more than a day. With 80 percent of the ship sick in their cabins, our son didn't even notice it. He just wanted to play the whole time.
What a cool idea. I think you are brave and noble to bring your nine-month old on your cruise. Please come back and let us know how it went.
We are booked on a cruise in early 2008 with our daughter...she just announced that she is expecting her first child in February 2007. That means if they don't cancel, our newest grandchild will be 11 months old for the cruise...