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Old September 10th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Default Cruising with one year old.

Taking a cruise on Voyager in Feb. 08' and we'll be taking our one year old son on his first vacation. I am looking for any advice people might have regarding everything from sleeping arrangements to dinner (main dining room) to shows to excersions. Please help. Thanks.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Here's about the best advice I can give for a guy with no kids (yet) lol.

A good cabin steward will help alot. I think if I had a small child, I might think about slipping him/her a twenty dollar bill with a nice note on the first day of the cruise thanking them ahead of time for the extra attention regarding your child. Most of them actually love kids and miss their families back home and will relate well to your situation. Also, if they take good care of you, make sure to tip well on the last day too.

The dining room is used to having kids. They will accomodate them nicely. If your child becomes fussy during dinner, just excuse yourself and take them out for a few minutes (I'm sure you would even without this suggestion). If you don't make it back, your waiter will box up your food for you or whoever has left with the child.

It sounds like your child might be a bit too young for the children's programs (which is just glorified day care but it seems to be some sort of big "no no" to call it that for some reason on the ships). Even if your child was old enough for it, the only time I think a couple would need it is possibly for a few hours in the evening. During the day, everything is family oriented and I'm not sure why people dump their kids off in the day care...err, I mean "kids programs" all day...Well, I guess I do know but that's another debate. In the evenings, the shows are more geared for adults so I guess I could see it for a couple hours or so. Those with kids can give you alot better advice I'm sure. I'm sure I'll be getting some "you don't know what it's like to have kids" flames for some of my comments above lol.

I'm sure you will have a great time...Just think, no cookin', no cleanin' lots of cool stuff to do and alot of great family time. Enjoy!
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Old September 14th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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The staff will really go out of your way to help you out with your son. But I do have to stress a point the last poster made. If your child becomes fussy during dinner, please remove them from the dining room. We nearly had a cruise ruined because of a screaming child. Something really must have been bothering this 18 month old because a child just wouldn't scream like if they were just cranky. Mom got up and picked him up and proceeded to bounce him. For a HALF HOUR. He screamed the entire time. Dad acted like he didn't hear a thing. She finally removed him from the dining area. For the rest of the cruise every table in the immediate area was on edge waiting for another episode. I never saw so many dirty looks given at one person.

As far as excursions. I've gone on nice beach excursions. Pretty tame and a toddler could handle that. Bus ride out to the beach and you get two hours to enjoy and do what you want.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Our son is a very mild mannered child. However, we used to be the people that would give dirty looks to those oblivious parents so, I would give him a few minutes to calm down and if he didn't daddy (me) would take him away and let mommy enjoy the rest of her dinner and I would get something in the Wingjammer later.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 02:22 PM
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I was trying to remember until what age they can fit in an infant car seat carrier, because depending on your child's sleep schedule and how big he/she is, I might try feeding him/her before dinner seating (like room service or somewhere else), seeing if he/she will nap, and then carrying him/her in the carrier with you to dinner. I remember that it seemed easier to go out with my kids before they were one yr old (as they would sleep through the meal) and after turning three. As between one and three, its hard to "reason" with them and even the mild mannered kids have their moments. If your child would defn tend to be asleep by second sitting, that might be an option.. but maybe one is too old to sleep thru a meal. Now, my kids are old enough that I just have to resort to giving THEM dirty looks, though in general they are pretty well behaved. I certainly have a lot more sympathy being a parent myself.

I don't know if they have pack n plays to borrow on board, but I would of used one of them to avoid worrying about rolling off the bed as I would of worried about that even if not much chance of actually happening.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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My advice......See if Grandma can watch him at home and you and your hubby have a nice relaxing vacation alone. Just a thought,,,,
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Old September 25th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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The ship will provide a pack-n-play if you reserve one in advance, but bring your own sheets as they will just fold up a regular sheet to fit - not very safe! Bring all the diapers you think you will need and then pack some more - even if you can find the ones you use in any of the ports, they will be way expensive. Bring all the infant meds you might possibly imagine needing as well and lots of sunscreen. Your baby will not be allowed into any of the pools (unless you are on a Freedom class ship), so be prepared for that.

The staff will bend over backwards to ensure your baby has a good time - there were several infants on our last cruise, and often we would see various staff members just carrying them around the dining room - they do miss their own children at home.

If you want a nice adult dinner in one of the specialty restaurants or want to see a late show or use the casino, RCI does have in-room baby sitting available for $8 per hour plus tip.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 10:29 PM
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I can't for the life of me see why you would subject yourself, your child, not to mention the other cruisers to a 1 year old to a cruise. Don't get me wrong I love my children but I agree, let grandma watch them until you can enjoy a disney cruise with them, maybe a little later in their life so that they will remember the great time they had.
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Old October 1st, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Why shouldn't they take their one yr old on a cruise any less than they would take them on any other vacation/trip? On our recent Sovereign of the Seas cruise, there were very few school age kids but several small children/babies. Almost all of the parents seemed to have a very good system worked out where, at times, one parent would go enjoy some kind of activity while the other watched the child. However, most of the time, the parents seemed to be having a great time together with the child. Sure, they aren't "partying" as much as some people on board. But I have a feeling they are enjoying like crazy not cooking, being waited on hand and foot as well as the family time together more than you can imagine. If the child became fussy, then one would just leave with the child for a bit. Also, they do have babysitting available on board from what I understand.

At times, I think people have some underlying resentment that kids are even allowed on board. There are plenty of cruise lines that you can take that will be almost all adults only. You might have to save your pennies for them a bit more, but they are there. I can't understand why everyone thinks there is automatically a grandparent who can watch a child for a week either...Many grandparents are deceased, too elderly to care for a child, live out of state etc. This is especially true for people having kids later in life which seems to be the current trend.

Most cruise lines advertise themselves as family friendly...So, I would say either get over families with kids of all ages being on board or find yourself another type of vacation for those that have a huge beef about kids of any age being on board.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 12:33 PM
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I've cruised several times with my grandchildren around 1 year of age, and had a wonderful time.

Here's my tips:
* Put a request in now for a pack n play. Your son will most likely sleep better in his own space. You could also have the beds pushed against the wall, and have him sleep between the wall and one adult. Bring a favorite cuddly/blanket along with some toys.
* Bring a smaller umbrella type stroller. One with a sunshade and a basket underneath would be nice. You will use this not only off the ship, but all over the ship as well.
* In the dining room, ask your waiter right away to bring a fruit plate, etc. so your child can begin eating. Bring some of your own food that he is used to eating, especially if he is not eating mostly table food. Some one year olds may sit through a dinner, some not. If not, then the adults take turns.
* Choose a show with lights, sounds, and action and the one year old might surprise you by watching the entire thing. If not, make a quiet retreat from your aisle seat in the back of the theater.
* Check out the children's area and ask if there are times that you can bring your child to the play area. Some cruise lines let you do this, as long as the parent is present. This will give your child some play time in a safe, kid-friendly environment.
* Read CruiseMates Family message board and the articles written for family cruising.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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I have a 7 year old son....it's not even a consideration to take a vacation without him. His mother and I are divorced so my time with him is limited. I figure after he turns 18 I will have plenty of time to vacation. Until then, he goes where I go.

We did take him on a cruise when he just turned 4 and he loved every minute of it.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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We had our 1yr old Grandaughter with us on the Majesty (14 family memebers in all, not just us and the little one) we got a place in the balcany of the theater. She loved the lights and the music. There was a glass wall that she could play beside.
Have a great cruise!

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Old October 16th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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What cruise line are you with? If if it Royal Carribean - they really don't have alot for the kids to do...I would bring lots of toys. I just got back from a RC cruise with a 2 year old and was very disappointed in the expereince. If it is Carinval - they are great and have lots to do.

For dinner, we used a DVD player for the formal dinning room, but you may find it easier on you (and your child) to just do the buffett.

We didn't book any excursion, instead we just got off and walked around or took taxis to local beaches...

Good luck!
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Old October 21st, 2007, 12:48 PM
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We took my, at the time, 1 year old, on the Jewel last New Years. It worked out fine. We had a baby sitter every night. They also have a play session for parents and the child once a day, and my daughte loved it. She has just started to crawl, so she was still fairly contained. It worked out fine. We also brought out own tiny blow up pool, and set it up near the kids pool. Babies in diapers are not allowed in the pools. Everyone was wonderful to our baby. We were booked on the Jewel again this NEw YEars, but we decided that our 2 year old is all over the place now, there is no true kids program wutil she turns 3, and the cruise this year would be difficult. We will do i next New Years and my wife and I are trying to do a shorter cruise on the Navigator or Century or Enchantment in Feb or March and drop our daughter off with th grandparents who winter in FLorida.

I would not hesitate to do the cruise again with one year old.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:19 PM
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This is something that no one has mentioned. We are the primary caregiver of our 2 year old granddaughter. We took a much needed cruise/respite on 10/13 and checked out Camp Carnival for the next cruise. Besides the fact that we were very pleased with what we saw as far as CC, the following are some things my husband and me discussed:

1) We will try our granddaughter out on a short cruise to make sure she has her sea legs...

2) Invest in a very sturdy umbrella stroller - McLaren has a wonderful one that I saw someone using. I couldn't believe the number of parents who decided to carry their toddlers around the ship. The only place I wouldn't take a stroller is the casino area (a little smoky), photo gallery or jewelry store unless no one was there. There is enough room to maneuver strollers through the aisles and rows in the lower level of the theatres.

3) Call your cruise line and find out if there's an address you can overnight a package to for delivery to your ship the day of the cruise. This way your diapers, wipes and food will be waiting for you instead of having to pack them in your suitcase. I think since 9/11 this is doable and it might also be doable because of people who have had to deal with airline lost luggage.

4) SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK!!!! I saw babies with sunburn and couldn't believe it. If possible, go online and order some of that sunproof clothing for babies/toddlers, a hat that has the tail down the back, etc., maybe even a little toddler burn outfit.

5) This is another big point for maybe reconsidering a cruise until age 2, Camp Carnival will not take your child if they are NOT pottytrained. Also, I don't think they're allowed in the pools either. You might want to take one of those small inflatable pools and fill it with some water.

6) If you're just going to be walking around and beaching it, be sure you go to a beach with some real tree shade or cabanas and don't forget that you can get burned very badly just from walking around. Also, some of the port shops cannot handle strollers. You might want to consider one of those Gerry backpacks or something similar.

These were just some things and/or observations that I thought were important...
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Old October 28th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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oops - to the guy who couldn't understand why parents would put kids in Camp Carnival or have a babysitter. If you had kids, you would know why. It keeps the parents sane and the kids happy. Not to mention the fact that happy little cruisers will have very good memories for when they become adult cruisers. My gf from IL has been cruising with her daughter since she was 5 and her daughter is now 23. I wish I had been that lucky. I always thought cruising was for the rich and famous until my gf suggested a cruise in 06. Totally hooked now.
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Old November 4th, 2007, 01:35 AM
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Mermaid and Cruisecouple gave you some excellent tips and I agree with them. We cruised on Carnival when our daughter was 1, and we had a wonderful time. We had the mindset before the cruise that this one would not be like the others (pre-kids). It was early to bed and we had to skip some of the shows, etc., but we wouldn't have traded any of that for not having our daughter with us. It sounds like you're a considerate parent, and that's important. Our wait staff adored our daughter and once we told them the first night the types of things she liked to eat, they immediately brought them to her each night thereafter without even asking. I think it's true that many of the staff miss their own children. Our daughter got so much special treatment, we couldn't believe it! We brought only the necessities we'd need for the plane ride, then found a Target near the port to buy diapers, wipes, special snacks, etc. for the cruise. At one year old, it seems they're pretty easily entertained just by watching everything going on around them. The whole experience, for us, was way easier and more enjoyable than we expected. We're planning another cruise when our daughter will be 3.

Have a great time!
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