May 18, 2008,
T.A. asks from Piedmont, OK on May 14, 2008
I Am Planning a CRUISE W/my 3 &1 Year Old - AM I CRAZY? Has Anyone Done This ?
Ok - I have never cruised before -and we are planning a family cruise for August - I have a 3 1/2 year old and will be 15 month old (both boys)...just trying to get advice from those that have done this...Is it any fun w/a 15 month old - I feel like I would have to pack my entire house :) ANY advice/suggestions? thx
C.S. answers from Biloxi on May 16, 2008
I did not take my kids on the cruise when my husband and I went because it was for our anniversary. However, I have several friends who always take their children. I guess my question would be if you are wanting to take it as a family vacation or are you wanting it for more as a time to spend with your husband? My husband and I had the time of our lives but we always try to do something like that if we can just because we feel it is good for our marriage and relationship. On the other hand we love to spend time with our girls and love to take them places too! I would not say you are crazy! By the way since you will be on a different schedule and routine,do your children adjust well to that. Some do not and therefore it would make for a miserable trip!
I hope you have a wonderful time! I do know that the Camp Carnival is a great thing to take advantage of if you are on a Carnival Cruise ship.
1 mom found this helpful
N.W. answers from New Orleans on May 15, 2008
We too our son on an Alaskan Cruise when he was 15 months. He actually did better than we did. We took a DVD player with us for the plane ride, and also used a small stroller. We packed all of the diapers (10 days worth since we were visiting Canada for a few days as well) in one suitcase, and then we had room for the things we bought by putting it in that suitcase. Good Luck!
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J.D. answers from Biloxi on May 14, 2008
We went last October with our two 3 yr olds and we had a blast!!! We are planning going again this October.
The cruise ships usually have "kid" friendly onship groups that are age appropriate. It was neat for them to be able to play with others and learn different things. They gave us a pager and if we needed to be there, we got a page. We used it during the afternoon & evening and it was great. I will probably take advantage of it again and they can stay earlier if they want to. We still have them lay down for a rest, so that is why we didn't get them their until the afternoon, but they have things for the children all day long. They also have "after hours" for extra $ but it is well worth it if you hit a late night with DH!!!
I packed enough clothes for 5 days on the cruise, which included an extra outfit a day and we had plenty left over. They have limited space in the rooms, unless you get a BIG one, but it was our Christmas present from my parents, so I wasn't complaining.
They have the twin beds that pull down and they do have side rails, just make sure you tell your Room person...they will take care of you!!! They will give you and your children wrist bands for the "life boat" purposes, and the perk with having little ones, you get to sit in front of others! It was great being first to get in line for it and the first to leave. :)
You can always talk to your travel agent or call the cruise line if you have any other questions about things you need...espically if you have special needs.
Packing a backpack is a great idea, so you have things handy when going on shore, or just around the ship. The umbrella stroller is also a good idea, but remember you have to lug it on & off the ship, on land it is fine, but if you have to go ashore, you will have to take it on and off the little boat that gets you there.
Bring lots of sunscreen, since it is hotter & sunnier than you think. You don't want burnt children. They do have a sick bay on board, but you don't want to ruin your cruise by spending the day there with a sick child or yourself from sun poisioning. YUCK!!!!
Hope that helps! ENJOY your family cruise and have a blast...you will want to go back again and again!!! :)
Blessed Momma to Ash & AJ ~ 4 yrs old
G.M. answers from Fort Smith on May 14, 2008
T. I have never been in that situation so I'm sorry but I can't help but in my opinion if you have someone that can look after them for you I think you will have more relaxation with just you and your hubby. But only if you have someone you can trust to keep your boys.
S.I. answers from Oklahoma City on May 14, 2008
I won't call you crazy because I LOVED every minute of it. I took my then, 3 year old girl and my 8 year old son. I didn't use the "Camp Carnival" and we still loved it. I am planning another cruise in two years. She is four and remembers it just like it was last night. We didn't do any excursions because she was so young. A little tip is you don't have to pack the house. 90 percent of the time will be spent in swimsuits and coverups. Also, there is a washer and dryer aboard, so take some change for it (it seems like it was 2.00 to wash and 2.00 to dry -steep but worth it). I was actually over packed. I just did my laundry before we left for home. We went to the Western Carribean. The hardest thing is, we didn't have a bathtub, only a shower which made it hard on the kids. My oldest didn't have much of a problem, but my youngest we had to hold up in the shower and then put her down and lather her all up and then hold her up again. We spent alot of our time shopping and at the beaches. We took Sand toys and they loved it. As far as the times that they need to dress up, they don't have to wear ties and all of that. Just some khakis and a collared shirt works too. Any questions you might have or feel you need help in any one area, just email me and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. You are stressing out for one of the most amazing times in your life. Make sure you bring them some stuff to do in your room because you will have some down time while everyone is getting ready or before going to bed. Also, make sure you have a night light. It gets pitch black in there at night and I like to check on my babies. There are two bunks that come out of the ceiling and then two twins they push together to make a king. It isn't bad and it was very comfy beds. If you are going to go to bed early or get up late, just let the person who takes care of your room know. They will make accomadations for your children. Also, the conquest gave the kids cookies on their capers a couple of nights a week. They look like smiley faces. My kids tipped him and he loved them. He knew them by name and when he had extra cookies, he left them in the room for them. It was a blast. Make sure you take floaties and things like that if you want your kids to use them. The pools are on the cold side. Tolerable, but cold. There are shows to go to at night and those are alot of fun. Singing and dancing with feathers and all and a little magic show. As far as eating goes, they accomadate the kids too. My kids loved the chicken nuggets, lots of fruit, french fries, etc.. If they don't like something or want to try something and don't like it, don't hesitate to ask for something you know they like. They are geared for the kids too. If you are going to get a balcony room, make sure you get those bungee cords. You can bungee your doors open so the kids don't get their fingers smashed. My Mom got a balcony and my kids went over there alot. It made me nervous :0)They have ice carvings during the day, game shows going on during the day, and alot of little things that will be in your caper that you might want to see. Also, you can take an umbrella stroller on with you. I would say do it. lol. There is alot of walking on the ship and on the islands, so that may help your backs a ton. Also, for diaper bags and just a bag, I suggest a back pack. My husband wasn't embarrassed to throw it on his back and help out, and then it made it convenient when we bought stuff and sometimes we didn't "wear" our swimsuits and we put them in the bags along with a couple of towels and when we finished shopping they have little bathrooms on the beaches that you can change in and shower in. We were prepared and able to pack our wet ones in the bag. I took some little plastic shopping bags so wet clothes, any soiled clothes and all didn't make everything else wet. In was just in all easier that way.I know this is long, but I hope something I wrote helps you out!~S.
A.T. answers from Oklahoma City on May 18, 2008
My husband and I have been on 6 cruises and have never taken our 8 year old son. We are considering taking him for the first time this year. Only now because he would be old enough to keep up and have the stamina/endurance for many of the day-long excursions offered. Most excursions in the ports-of-call last several hours to a full day and aren't geared toward families with children and in some cases once on an excursion there is not a way to get back to ship if your children need naps, etc. Some do offer kid camps (not sure if they are available for a 3 1/2 year old, I know they aren't for a 15 month old) and some offer babysitters for hire. Cruise lines have "vegas style" shows each evening and some lines do not allow children in the theaters. You would be missing out on a fun part of the cruise experience by missing the excusions and shows. I would say leave the kids home until they are older!
C.T. answers from Little Rock on May 14, 2008
I would be crazy to do it but you might have what it takes to handle it. I personally couldn't handle it and would think I was missing out on a lot because I was so focussed on my kids.