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View Full Version : Best cruiseline for travel with a 4 and 1 year old??


Aunty KK
May 22nd, 2007, 01:41 PM
We would like to take our son, daughter in law, and their 2 children on a cruise next March or April. At that time, the children will be 4 and 1. In the past, we have sailed primarily HAL but sense from the HAL board that a casual couple with 2 small children may not be a welcome addition. For those of you with young children, which cruiselines would you recommend and why? Any information or suggestions would be most appreciated. Many thanks.

bewitchedwitch
May 22nd, 2007, 01:51 PM
We have two children who will also be 4 and 1 at the time of our cruise in November. For our November cruise we decided on cruising with Carnival. Regardless of which cruiseline you decide on, the 1 year old will not be able to use the kids club, but the 4 year old will be able to. Carnival's camp carnival sounds perfect for our 4 year old. Truthfully, we did also look into Royal Caribbean cruise line, but it would have cost far more to cruise with them. Remember that both children will be charged as 3rd and 4th passengers, no matter what their age is.

We also have an Alaska cruise booked for next year. For this cruise we decided on trying Norwegian Cruise lines since they had awesome prices and a great itiniary. NCL has any time dining, which is great with young children. They also have a much more relaxed dress code, also great when travelling with young children. NCL also charges very little (if nothing at all) besides port charges for children under the age of 2. For our Alaska cruise they only charged us half of what we are paying for the first two passengers, for our 4 year old and only $150 for our 1 year old. Even the port charges were less for the kids.

So, my advice would be to research all you can about NCL and Carnival and see which one fits you and your family and lifestyle best.

Good luck!!!

Cruisen Mama
May 22nd, 2007, 02:00 PM
I'll try to make this short... I have been on both RCI & CC. My daughter was 8 months when we went on RCI. We hada great time and they have incabin babysitting. BEing a first time mom and a first time cruiser, I was hesitant on leaving her alone in our cabin with a stranger but I did. The first night my sister-in-law (6) & brother-in-law's (8,10) were in there too. We had an awesome baby sitter & she agreed to watch my baby every night even though they aren't suppose to watch children under 1 (you said your grandchild would be 1 so it's not a problem). She was very nice and a blessing to us. She watched her from about 7 p.m. (we had late seating) until whenever we got back. I went & checked on them once in a while, and baby was sleeping every night when we got back to the cabin. We then took her on a 3 night cruise on carnival. We had a good time but the babysitting is very limited (from 10 pm to 3 am and a few hours while you are in port, Camp Carnival is only for 2 and up). The choice is yours but I liked RCI, it worked better for us but I will definately be taking baby on Carnival when she turns 2 and trying out Camp Carnival! Hope this helps, sorry so long.

PattyW
May 22nd, 2007, 03:08 PM
I just came back from a RCCL cruise with a 4 year old and a one year old and we had a great time. The one thing RCCL has that others don't is they have partnered with Fisher Price and there are mommy-and-me type classes daily (one session 45 minutes per day) for children under the age of 3. There is one class for 6-18 months called Aquababies and another class for 19-36 months called Aquatots. My almost 2 year old really enjoyed Aquatots.

alcheme
May 22nd, 2007, 03:39 PM
I also think Royal Carib. would be a good choice. bewitched seemed against them, but sounds like that was mainly on cost. I generally find that Carnival and RCI have very similar pricing, so it may have just been a matter of what cruise fares were available at the time. Our first cruise with kid was when my son had just turned 3, and he loved it.

crusinmama06
May 22nd, 2007, 04:25 PM
I think Carnival or RCCL are your best bets and you can't go wrong with either one.

They both have their strong points (at least in my eyes). The Voyager and Freedom class ships on RCCL have more bells and whistles...but that may not matter to you.

My youngest (age 3) had a better time on Carnival. But the oldest liked RCCL more (age 7). So it's a tie in our house. ;)

If you want, I can show you pictures of all the kid friendly areas on both RCCL and Carnival ships. Just let me know and I'll post them here.

bewitchedwitch
May 22nd, 2007, 07:36 PM
I also think Royal Carib. would be a good choice. bewitched seemed against them, but sounds like that was mainly on cost. I generally find that Carnival and RCI have very similar pricing, so it may have just been a matter of what cruise fares were available at the time. Our first cruise with kid was when my son had just turned 3, and he loved it.

Oh no, I really didn't want to sound like I am against RCCL at all. I have actually cruised with them (before the kids came along) and enjoyed every minute of my cruise. I have also read so many great things about their kids programs. Believe me, I seriously considered cruising with them, but the price difference for the time/type of cruise we were looking for was pretty big.

rebeccalouise
May 22nd, 2007, 08:58 PM
My kids have always enjoyed NCL. So if you can find a good itinerary- give it a try. They have freestyle dining and usually interesting restaurants to choose from.

I know it isn't the top of the line cruise but my friends and family have always enjoyed NCL and they are a pretty picky bunch.

TropicalSnowflake
May 22nd, 2007, 10:28 PM
For our family, it's always a cost issue. We sailed NCL with my son because he was a minimal cost (just port charges and taxes, I think). Then, our next cruise with him, we found a great itinerary on RCCL for good price, even though we were charged for a regular third person price. Now, we're booked on Princess with two kids, again, the price of this cruise was right for the time we wanted and itinerary.

As for how our son was treated NCL versus RCCL...there is nothing that stands out. Both ships were great and we had a good time in everything we did. In the future, though, we'll probably stick with NCL because they have the best credit card rewards program.

timnsherry
May 23rd, 2007, 07:47 AM
My husband wants to take a cruise in january with all three of our kids, they will be 4, 6 and 10 at that time and im not sure which cruise and/or which ports would be appropriate for them (6 and 10 are boys and 4 is a girl). Also which ship would be appropriate for them?

Thanks
Timnsherry

rebeccalouise
May 23rd, 2007, 08:02 AM
Some people will argue but all the Caribbean ports are about the same to me. My son is happy to stay onboard. If you haven't done a cruise before, then the world is your oyster.

I would always choose to sail out of Ft. Lauderdale versus Miami or Tampa. Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale is a five minute, 15 dollar taxi ride away and the airport is far superior to Miami. Usually flights are cheaper also.

For kids, the bigger is probably the better. The ships that are newer will have the most interesting kids clubs. In fact, the Norwegian Jewel is supposed to have one of the best at sea. So, go with one of the newer ones.

I have personally sailed on NCL Majesty, NCL Wind, NCL Sky and NCL Spirit. All were great cruises but the newer ships are even better. As for Royal Caribbean, have sailed it twice and wasn't that impressed. My son, however, loves all the kids programs on every cruise line. We have been on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and Costa also. Disney is his favorite- shocker.

timnsherry
May 23rd, 2007, 11:22 AM
[quote=rebeccalouise;10238451]Some people will argue but all the Caribbean ports are about the same to me. My son is happy to stay onboard. If you haven't done a cruise before, then the world is your oyster.

I would always choose to sail out of Ft. Lauderdale versus Miami or Tampa. Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale is a five minute, 15 dollar taxi ride away and the airport is far superior to Miami. Usually flights are cheaper also.

For kids, the bigger is probably the better.

My husband and I just got back from a 7-day cruise to the western caribbean (cozumel, grand caymans, and ocho rios, jamaica) and i wanted the disney cruise, but it is more expensive than the rest. Still doing our research though.

Sherry

lexxity
May 23rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
Cunard, Cunard, Cunard. The kids program is fantastic and the group babysitting means you can have alone time too. Plus they take little ones from 12months in the nursery, they also change nappies (diapers) too!

Cuizer2
May 23rd, 2007, 04:47 PM
We would like to take our son, daughter in law, and their 2 children on a cruise next March or April. At that time, the children will be 4 and 1. In the past, we have sailed primarily HAL but sense from the HAL board that a casual couple with 2 small children may not be a welcome addition. For those of you with young children, which cruiselines would you recommend and why? Any information or suggestions would be most appreciated. Many thanks.

The best cruise lines for young families are Carnival, Disney, NCL & Royal Caribbean. Of those, Disney and Carnival stand out if the child is between the age of two and three. However, Disney is a lot more expensive than Carnival. Once the children are over three AND potty trained, any of the four would be a good choice.