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Travel Gripes! Gripe about cruises or getting to one.(airlines, taxis)

View Poll Results: Should infants (under 2 years old) be taken on cruises?
Yes, they are part of the family! 60 32.61%
No, they won't even know they went! 110 59.78%
Don't know/don't care. 14 7.61%
We take a "nanny" with us on vacation. 0 0%
Voters: 184. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 28th, 2005, 09:20 PM
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Default Infants On Cruises

Preparing to be "flamed"!

Recently I've seen posts here and other places from parents who are upset that their infants (under 2 years old) are not allowed in the children's programs, can't go in the pools, have to pay full fare, have to tip the full amount, etc., depending on the cruise line.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't have any memories of anything before the age of 4.

Why don't parents leave their infants at home with grandparents, aunts or uncles, or babysitters?

While I don't dislike children at all, I find a sleepy, wet, crying baby very irritating no matter where I am, and especially on vacation.

I think that the parents would enjoy themselves more if the infant was left at home, IMO.

What do you think?
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Old November 28th, 2005, 09:59 PM
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I had to vote "Yes" that infants should go on cruises with their parents but with a big IF.

IF: The parents are responsible for the child and don't burden others with the child's crying, or other associated problems. I personally feel that an infant is less of a problem for others than a toddler. It really comes down to how well the parent behaves and handles the situations and not the infant.

Having a baby does not neccassarily make it a reason to deny a family a cruise. The cruise is for the parents and the other members of the family and not for the infant.

Take care,
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Old November 28th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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I would not attempt to tell a parent whether or not they should take their children who are under 2 years of age on a cruise with them. However, I will say that there is no way that I would go on a lengthy vacation (more than two days) without my kids. When d/s was about a year old, d/h and I took him with us on a vacation to Cancun for about a week and while we enjoyed it and had a great time splashing in the pools and such with our little traveler. We found that with all the extra gear we had to pack (we even brought canned 2% milk) it was very tiring, plus he still slept alot and it was too hot outside for him to rest comfortably. So we ended up spending a considerable amount of time in our room while he slept. So it wasn't until about 4 years later, when dd was over 2 years old and nearly potty trained that we took our first cruise with the kids and we've been hooked ever since.
I guess I am the exception in that I have memories back to when I was 2 years old. It always blows my parent's mind when I recall the details of a house that we moved from before I turned 3. I can tell you that my kids both love Camp Carnival and the Adventure Ocean programs and get a lot out of them. It was really cool too that d/s remembered one of the Camp Carnival conselors on the Liberty who was on our first cruise on the Sensation.
Now one thing to keep in mind though is that Camp Carnival does offer babysitting for babies until noon on port days and from 10 p.m.-3a.m. for a fee if I recall correctly.
I think one of the reason I have a very live and let live approach on this subject is that I cannot leave my kids with someone else for very long without sufferring major anxiety. Secondly, there isn't anyone I could or would leave my kids with for that period of time. My father is 80, and my mother though only 67 is beginning to show some signs of what may be dementia or Alheimers (either way she'd forget her head if it wasn't attached) My Husband's parents live in Canada and it just isn't practical to take them all the way up there then head down south to cruise. My sister lives an hour or so away and she works full time and so she would not be able to get the kids to school, babysitter or whatever, plus get herself to work. So we just do the best we can.
Some people treat us folks with kids like 2nd class citizens, like they have more rights than the rest of us. For example, last week on the flight home from Ft. Lauderdale my son met this very sweet little boy named Grant in the airport. Grant asked if he could sit with d/s on the flight home, I said it would be fine. These very well behaved 5 year olds were sitting together next to my d/h putting together a puzzle. just chatting to one another, and this woman who was sitting behind d/h and was just seething with anger... she finally turned to me and said, do you think you could get those kids to be quiet for 5 minutes? I was stunned! I nearly said sure, as long as you can stop breathing for 5 minutes. But I resisted. I simply turned to her and said well you know I could ask them to be quiet, but the odds of it happening are slim to none. We were preboarded, and this woman chose to sit behind these kids. Since it was Southwest she could have chosen any other spot on the plane, but no we got stuck with her lol! Too bad she didn't get next to the screaming infant whose ears wouldn't pop when we took off. Well I simply turned my back on her and it wasn't too long she moved to another seat. Not to mention all of the wonderful grandparently types surrounding us were staring her down with daggers for picking on these good boys. The nicest feeling in the world was after we landed and all the people sitting around us patted me on the back and told me they appreciated the way I handled the nasty lady. It made me feel good.
So basically a little compassion and understanding goes a long way on both sides of this debate. But I think any vacation with a baby is gonna be tiring (however, I think its great when mom and dad bring a sitter (friend, Grandma or Grandpa) too lighten the load, but there are few people who need vacations as much as new parents, its the hardest job a person will ever have. I remember that bone weary, sleep deprived stupor like it was yesterday lol! Oh that was yesterday!
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Old November 29th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
I think that the parents would enjoy themselves more if the infant was left at home, IMO.
I have a split view for this one. I went with my DH and I liked it better leaving the little guy at home. He wass 1 then. DH talked the whole time about how he missed our son. That was a drag. I just thought shut up and let me enjoy myself. I stay home most days with DS and need a break.

Then we took him when he was 2(almost three). Lugging an extra suitcase with just diapers/wipes is a drag. It is definitaly different from going it without them. I was left in the room every night while DH went to casino and then I found out he was hanging out at the piano bar talking with the singer. Innocent enough but still annoying. I wanted one evening out on my own but only lasted half an hour. There is a big difference for me as a woman hanging in the bar for a drink compared to DH.
Seeing other babies does not bother me. I just think that it must be hard on the parents.

Karen
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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I agree with Beenie if the family will pay full fare for the baby knowing that the child basically will be with them 24/7 it isn't for me to tell them not to do it.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 01:21 PM
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I believe cruising can be a drag for parents who have to watch their infants or very young children on the ship most of the time. If they don't properly
supervise their young children, it can be a drag for other cruisers on the ship. Screaming children aren't much fun for anyone!

If people wish to take their young children on a cruise that is their business. It becomes my business when the children are running wild and annoying me. When our children were young, we never took them to places where they might bother other people. We did take camping trips all over the country and visited Disney land, Disney World and most of the National Parks. That was probably a lot more fun than a cruise would have been.

Live and let live, but don't let your kids annoy other people.





I
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Old November 29th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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I think parents should only take children on any type of vacation it they are willing to be completely responsible for them.

In the case of a cruise, because of the restricted area you're in, it's more difficult than say a land based resort.

It's a full time job being a parent, and getting on a ship with them doesn't change that. If the infant does well with a baby sitter, one can get occassional breaks in "the job". If not, the parents have to be willing to skip activities and sometimes even meals if the needs of the infant call for it.

On one cruise there was a couple with a small child (under 2) who each evening at dinner would cry and scream... for whatever reason. Each night one of the parents would take the child out of the dining room.... but would simple move to the hallway at entrance to the dining room, and "walk" the child in an attempt to calm them down.
It never seemed to be effective, and the entire dining room within ear shot had to listen to the "baby".

There's no way the parents could have enjoyed this part of their "vacation" with their "angel". And it negatively impacted the dining experience of alot of people on the ship.

Though parenting of children any age is challenge, I personally don't think a cruise is a great family vaction until the children are old enough to be able communicate with and to. They need to be of an age where they can tell you what is bothering them, and for them to understand and listen to rules of appropriate behavior.

Unfortunately age isn't always a guarantee of parents understanding what is appropriate behavior for themselves. But that's another topic
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Old November 29th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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Hey Fern, I hate to admit this, but when I saw this post for the first time. I said to myself, gee I sure hope Fern has her fire-proof long johns on. I have to applaud all of the posters thus far for being so civilized and actually engaging in positive and meaningful dialogue... I like it!!! Very cool, no flames!
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Old November 29th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Although I voted no, they won't even know, I feel that this is really an extremely personal choice.

I personally think that a child this age would be best left back home with loving family, but totally understand those parents who cannot/will not explore this choice. I have seen mothers (and fathers, too) who suffer from "separation anxiety" after only a few hours away from their offspring.

I also personally have wondered how people could truly enjoy the "cruise experience" while having to minister to the childs needs 24/7, but have seen people who did this and did it well.

I have seen unhappy infants such as Kuki mentioned and I have seen infants who seemed to relish in the "cruise experience" (if that is possible). What I have never seen on a cruise is an inattentive parent with an infant. I have seen inattentive parents of children from 3 - 17, but never an infant.

So I guess I would say if it were absolutely positively impossible to leave the infant home, go ahead, just be prepared for the experience. But if there is anyway one can cruise comfortably and leave his/her child . . . do so. As Kuki said parenting is a full time "job", but everybody needs a "job" vacation.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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I voted "yes" - to mean I would. It's the parents choice. If they want to put up with all the "crap" (pun) then that's the responsibility they take on. I would like to think that if they choose to take the infant, pay full fare etc, then they are of the sort that will be mindful of other peoples vacation and make sure no one is inconvenienced.

banker
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Old November 29th, 2005, 10:46 PM
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I think Paul B said it all, at least for me.

We had an experience similar to Kuki's. In the cabin next to ours we could hear the baby crying at odd hours. The parents put up a good effort but most of the time it did no good and we ALL were up most the night!

Same for dining. At the talent next to ours was a young couple with several children under the age of 5years. Again, the parents put up a good effort but there was some sort of battle every night. "Sit, don't run, don't throw food, don't play with your food, STAY...STAY...etc." There were times when we could hardly carry on a conversation because of being so distracted by what was being thrown, the crying, etc.

It is a brave set of parents who attempt a cruise with young children.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 12:13 AM
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I would think that people with infants would be at an early seating on ships with fixed schedules.

I thought to myself if I've ever encountered that in a restaurant at home, and the answer is no. People don't bring kids to fine restaurants (we rarely do). When eat out a couple of times a week and it's at the outback or kelsey's or someplace that is loud with lots of kids.

Maybe a segregated dining area for people with infants ?? - just thinking out loud

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Old November 30th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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I really don't care if others bring infants on cruises (even if I'm on the same cruise). But if I were the parent, I would not do it. As I recall from when my daughters were infants (and from my grandson recently), having an infant around and "vacation" are two very opposite concepts. For example, my daughter who has the grandson likes to cruise, but has decided to "take a break" from cruising until grandson is 5 or so. Then he can enjoy the childrens' activities, along with activities in ports --- especially tropical ones involving water activities. And, by then, he won't be requiring the constant care an infant does, so "Mommy and Daddy" can enjoy their cruise too!

Thanks,
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Old November 30th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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While I feel that this choice is best left to the parents I do have to question the sanity and parenting skills of those who take babies under the age of two on a cruise. We just got back from the Zenith over the Thanksgiving holiday and noticed quite a few traveling with infants and while there were no incidents of extreme annoyance it should be noted that:

-When using the buffet it is probably a good idea for one of the parents to go through the line while the other sits with the child and then the other can get served. Baby strollers and buffet lines are a combination fraught with danger, and not just for the baby.

-Babies do not care for stage shows and do not hesitate to express that opinion.

-Bingo sessions are not high on their list of things to do either.

-Babies do not bring good luck in the casino either.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Maybe a segregated dining area for people with infants ?? - just thinking out loud
Hi Banker,
When I took Ryan, we sat in a back corner around other people with children/ infants. I see your comment and makes me wonder if they planned it out that way.

Quote:
It is a brave set of parents who attempt a cruise with young children.
Yes! Stressed out too if the child is crying and fussing. I was afraid Ryan would not sleep on th cruise, get homesick etc Thank goodness he didn't but I wouldn't recommend it after bringing him. But I have to say, he did love it! I would suggest wait until they are out of diapers. Seems like a lot to pay to be not fully enjoying. That is when a week at the shore is good.

Karen
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Old November 30th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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You want to hear the worst place that I took Ryan? To the opera.
Worse than going to a fine restaurant or a cruise. You know who got yelled at for talking? No, not three year old Ryan, 60 year old Pop Pop!!!
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Old November 30th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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Well thought about it, nearly said yes, but actually went with no in the end. But that was because I dont see cruising as one big industry or "pants that fit all"

Its down to the lines, ships and the people who sail them. On some you expect it, on others you dont. Taking a child under two on an adult orientated ship I feel is wrong, so no for me.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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I don't think they should be on the cruise ships but not for the reasons that many think. Infants are subject to medical emergencies that just cannot be handled onboard a ship and as it is pointed out, the baby could care less. As for the stench of dirty diapers, I have had the unfortunate experiance of noticing adults that shall we say are not very hygenic. Loud crying at all hours, not sure what is worse, a drunk of a baby. Sloppy eating, have you ever notices some of your fellow passengers! Rest my case. Aside from the health issues, which are enough to say no, I have no problems with them, unless you are pushing around a stroller and ramming into folks. <G>
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Old November 30th, 2005, 08:08 PM
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I agree with all of you, and especially about the lack of medical care, but i would also be worried about the not so normal conditions on a ship. Sudden waves, bad stormy weather. Remember a couple of years ago, the cruise ship that lost power. No food no water, very angry people.

But what I don't agree with is those who would rather be buried with ants than to cruise with kids. Any age kids. I loved having kids on the Ecstasy. I loved the joy through their eyes.

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Old December 1st, 2005, 04:44 AM
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I voted no because I think it adds to the pressure for parents who then have to take account of the additional hazards of a ship. Also, cabin walls are very thin and even the briefest period of crying at night could affect a lot of people!

Luanne, you made a good point about rough seas, etc - do babies get seasick because, if they do, it must be very frightening for them not being able to understand what is happening.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana F
Luanne, you made a good point about rough seas, etc - do babies get seasick because, if they do, it must be very frightening for them not being able to understand what is happening.
Babies probably do not get sea sick. I found the following in an article published in Postgraduate Medicine online:

Quote:
Not everyone is susceptible to motion sickness. Children younger than 2 years of age are rarely affected, but susceptibility rapidly increases with age, peaking between 4 and 10 years, then gradually declining (7). Females tend to be more susceptible than males, regardless of age.
The whole article is here:

http://www.postgradmed.com/issues/19.../gahlinger.htm

The author also gave the following stats - I highlighted the one the is a bit scary for me.

Quote:
Surveys have found that car sickness occurs in 58% of children, space-motion sickness occurs in 50% of shuttle astronauts, and incapacitating airsickness occurs in 29% of airline pilots. Up to 100% of ship passengers become seasick under rough conditions.
Hopefully 2 of the airline pilots flying my plane don't get it at the same time.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Default Aaahhh...this is such a nice thread!

I'm toying with a crossing with our 5 kids, age 11- 18mos. For us, it's a way to move from Europe back to America.

I never vote for parents leaving a wee'un for an extended period. For a child less than a year, a day is extended. Older than that, it really depends on the kid, but most kids aren't ready to be left with friends or relatives as young as many parents leave them. If the parents are experiencing separation anxiety, imagine what the attached baby is going through!

A baby's temperament has to be considered before cruising. It's silly to attempt it with a high strung baby. Sometimes an illness or teething can interfere wtih a normally happy baby. This makes it really tough for Mom and Dad, who have paid a ton of money and then can't enjoy it. They try to do some activities, hoping the baby will get better. But it only gets worse. Oh, what a downward spiral!

It is definitely a case-by-case decision and I think threads like this give parents a good look-see into all of the different issues.

Well done for keeping this thread on topic and not turning it into one of those ugly "breeders vs. childfree" brawls. How I hate those! Keep the opinions coming, folks...I haven't made my decision yet.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 05:34 PM
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Quote: Doc
Surveys have found that car sickness occurs in 58% of children, space-motion sickness occurs in 50% of shuttle astronauts, and incapacitating airsickness occurs in 29% of airline pilots. Up to 100% of ship passengers become seasick under rough conditions.

So, I might actually agree on the children stat
Space-motion sickness occurs in 50% of shuttle astronauts - does it?
Incapacitating airsickness occurs in 29% of airline pilots - is that right? If nearly a third of pilots who fly planes 24x7 suffered at that level, ie being incapacitated. Hmm would expect more crashes, emergency landings, infact it would affect one in nearly three flights per day all over the world.

Nonsense, just shows what happens when you rely on the internet as a basis for opinion. Plus one of the most stringent tests any commercial airline pilot takes is a reaction to motion sickness. Cant pass, dont get the licence.

"Up to 100% of ship passengers become seasick under rough conditions".

Up to 100% is a great disclaimer in any poorly written paper, as potentially one person could react, but potentially everyone could.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Thanks Doc for the article, it is something I didn't know, but what about the parents who are sick, and can't take care of the baby?

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Old December 1st, 2005, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB
Quote:
Space-motion sickness occurs in 50% of shuttle astronauts - does it?
Incapacitating airsickness occurs in 29% of airline pilots - is that right? If nearly a third of pilots who fly planes 24x7 suffered at that level, ie being incapacitated. Hmm would expect more crashes, emergency landings, infact it would affect one in nearly three flights per day all over the world.

Quote:
Nonsense, just shows what happens when you rely on the internet as a basis for opinion. Plus one of the most stringent tests any commercial airline pilot takes is a reaction to motion sickness. Cant pass, dont get the licence.
"Up to 100% of ship passengers become seasick under rough conditions".

Up to 100% is a great disclaimer in any poorly written paper, as potentially one person could react, but potentially everyone could.
David,

Not quite sure what your area of expertise is, but I would suggest you do an internet search on the author of the article and compare his c.v. with yours. He is a well published author, a respected physician and an aviation medical examiner. The journal he published this paper in (Postgraduate Medicine) is a well known and respected, peer reviewed medical journal of over 58 years standing.

My own area of expertise for 30 years was Navy medicine (as a technician). For 10 years I was an aviation medicine technician (with one of those years in an aviation physiology, i.e. centrifuge, billet). I also spent 2 years as an independent duty Hospital Corpsman (a billet at sea with no direct link to a physician). So I do know whereof I speak.

One study conducted while in the physiology billet was the effects of visual movement occuring at increasing g-levels. Every test subject (pilots, crew and technicians) suffered some effects of motion sickness sometime during the trials.

Quote:
Nonsense, just shows what happens when you rely on the internet as a basis for opinion. Plus one of the most stringent tests any commercial airline pilot takes is a reaction to motion sickness. Cant pass, dont get the licence.
Would you like to cite your reference on that one. I have been away from the aviation examinations for many years, but never heard of it back then . How would it be conducted?

Quote:
Up to 100% is a great disclaimer in any poorly written paper, as potentially one person could react, but potentially everyone could.
How so? The key would be the words up to. The destroyer I was on got caught up in some real nasty weather. This was a small (3500 ton) ship. The ship rode out the weather for 3 days. I believe the crew numbered 248. Over the space of those three days I treated over 200 sailors for seasickness of varying degrees, from minor to debilitating cases. I ran through everybit of medical supplies (that could be used). When we were done the skipper wanted to know how many of the crew did not get seasick and put out a questionairre. All but 3 crewmembers admitted to some degree of seasickness - many did not feel the need to seek treatment. Now while in theory it wasn't 100%, as I saw some of these guy up to 4 times a day during that period, it sure was close enough in my book to say it was. Just for info purposes, some of those treated by me had sailed up to 18 years at sea. Although I was lucky enough not to be physically ill, I did suffer some effects. Not a pleasant experience.

If you want to share your expertise in this area, David, I would be more than happy to hear what you have to say and compare notes.[/quote]
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Old December 1st, 2005, 09:06 PM
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Nice post, John.

Imagine a really rough cruise where most of the passengers get seasick and quite a few of them have infants along who don't get sick but do get very unhappy!

What a mess.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 09:32 PM
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so i am a little late on this, and I would have to say they should be able to tag along on the cruise. They have no choice. Parents want to take a cruise, or vacation of any sort, often don't have anyone to babysit the itty-bitty's. so they have to take them. At least on a ship if the child gets cranky, the parent can go to their stateroom. It's better then being stuck on an airplane with a baby for 12 hours and listening to it scream. That one is where I would have to think about.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Thanks for the info, DocJohn. Interesting debate and I suppose seasickness is similar to other "awareness" traits that develop gradually in very young children.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 07:36 AM
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I voted "no."

I think a parent should wait until the child is old enough to dress themselves and take care of themselves before taking a child on a cruise. How much of a vacation is it for parents who have to tend to a baby for 24/7?

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Old December 2nd, 2005, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas
I voted "no."

I think a parent should wait until the child is old enough to dress themselves and take care of themselves before taking a child on a cruise. How much of a vacation is it for parents who have to tend to a baby for 24/7?
True Thomas, but my argument would be "how much of a life do these parents have" Whatever it is, it's their choice because they chose to have children. Similarly, it's their choice if they want to deal with kids 24/7 on a vacation.

FOR THE RECORD, we did not take our children until last year, when they were 5 and 6. We still did a couple of vacations to Europe, England and wales, the meditteranean, and half a dozen cruises in the first 5 years without them. Since last year, the kids have been on 2 cruises and their 3rd will be next month, so we waited until we felt they were old enough.

Having said that, I still think it's the parents choice.

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