View Full Version : NCL Dream Baltic Cruise with 18 month old - are we crazy?

May 12th, 2007, 03:40 PM
We are doing the NCL Baltic Capital cruise on 8/9 (12 nights - quite long). It will be DH, DS (18 months) and me, mom and dad, 2 sisters (in their 20s). This is a surprise trip for my dad's 60th and we decided to do this because a cruise allows everyone some space and freedom while still allowing us to come back together when we want. However, I am somewhat anxious about many aspects of this trip due to my son's age. We have taken some precautions, but I have some questions.

We have a balcony cabin adjoining mom and dad's room. That way, someone (with 6 adults, we can rotate who does that) can sit in their room or on balcony at night when baby is sleeping and still be able to relax rather than sit in the dark. These cabin does have a curtain separating the sitting area from sleeping area so hopefully our moving around while he is sleeping won't disturb him. My son is an amazing sleeper and has traveled a ton, so I am not worried about him sleeping in a strange place.

1. How do we get him adjusted to European time. We live in Central time zone and will be flying to London (6 hour difference) two days before cruise departs.

2. Should we bring our big stroller (bugaboo) that reclines but is bulky and doesn't pack well or our umbrella stroller that doesn't recline? Some days will be chock full of touring and we won't be able to get back to the ship for a nap.

3. This itinerary is mostly older people. Will NCL let him go in Kid's Club even though he is under 2?

4. I know that NCL says that they don't offer babysitting for under 2, but is there some way to arrange for in cabin babysitting (besides using the family)?

5. Do we need pony up the extra $2500 for a suite that offers butler service so that we can get in room dining?

6. Not sure what else I am not considering. Any pointers?

Thanks in advance.

May 13th, 2007, 04:25 PM
From experience I would try and leave for the UK 4 days earlier, we made this mistake going the otherway last year and another two days would have seen out little man better settled.

If you have already booked your flight I would imagine that it is a night flight, leaving the US in the evening, arriving first thing in the UK. Use this to your advantage! Try and get your little one to sleep on the flight. I know this might be difficult as your son will most probably be too big for the bassinet. Do try and get a bulkhead though and an extra seat if you can manage it. All the books will tell you to try and keep your son in his routine. Do NOT stress yourself over this. It is not as easy as you would imagine, take it slowly and be prepared for late nights and late mornings for a couple of days. Do not try and do any sightseeing for the first couple of days. (Again, we made this mistake!) Slob out in your room and let your little man run mad in the hotel room, after a very long flight he is going to need that "breather". Hit room service or the local take out, rest, rest, rest in London.

Oh yes, another thing. Bring your carseat to use on the aircraft if you have an extra seat booked. This is going to make your life about a million times easier. Actually, just book the extra seat!:D We found on our 8 hour flight that having a proper seat and car seat was a blessing, we could strap our son in properly and safely for take off and landing and in flight. It was a life saver! Having just flown with my son on a 1/2 hour flight, trying to hold an 18 month old in your lap is a nightmare!

If you don't want to pay for an extra seat then contact your airline and see can they hold another seat anyway for you? Who are you flying with? I may be able to get proper contact numbers for you.

Do not bring your Bugaboo, it will most likely take some knocks and bangs regardless of how much care the airline take over it and as they aren't cheap you don't want it damaged. Get yourselves a cheapy stroller that reclines and you don't care (too much) if it gets damaged. (I work for an airline and never, ever advise bringing an expensive stroller.) Have you thought about hiring one when you get here? There are companies that offer these things now.

May 13th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Thanks so much for your response. We did already book an extra seat (Continental nonstop Houston-London) for our son. There is no way we would take the risk of not having one. He is about 25 lbs. Is this too big for the bassinet? I am pretty sure that our seats are the ones where the bassinet is located because I requested this. Unfortunately, we could not take two extra days to go early, and could only arrive two days before the cruise departs. Luckily we have friends in London who will have a new baby so a lot of our time will be at their place cooing at the little one and then we could go to some of my favorite parks.

Any other advice is very welcome!

May 13th, 2007, 10:16 PM
No, you are not nuts. Bring kids on vacation is a natural thing. :)

You should bring a sturdy stroller that reclines, has sunshade and offers bigger wheels than an umbrella stroller to be prepared for all kinds of terrain. Even cities have uneven walkways. If you don't want your expensive one damaged, then look at some second-hand shops or WalMart for a cheaper version that has all of what I described.

If NCL states that they have no kid's program for under 2, then they will not allow your little one in. There is probably a kid's play area that you can play with him with parental or guardian supervision. You should double check with NCL if they have in-room babysitting. Most cruise lines do not.

Room service/food comes to every room for free. You do not need a suite for that.

Go with a sense of adventure, sense of humor and expected the unexpected with your child. You will have fun and even if he does not remember it, your father will be thrilled that his whole family was together for his birthday.

May 14th, 2007, 09:16 AM
Hi again,

your son will most likely be too long for the bassinett, it's not a weight thing. They are quite small and tight. Our son only just fit in when he was 13months. If you are on the bulkhead and have an extra seat that is great!

You are going to take your carseat aren't you? Trust me it will be so much easier once you are onboard. You can get a carseat bag to tote it in. We have one and it makes it much easier to carry, then you can stash it away once onboard.