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jmpnbnp
August 9th, 2004, 01:18 AM
Hi. I am considering booking a cruise in January when my dd will be 10 months old. I have cruised before but never with an infant. We will be cruising with another family member (built in baby sitter, my 18 year old sister) so we didnt plan on bringing the baby into the dining room. However are babies are allowed in dining room? On my previous cruises we sat at tables with other couples. If the crusie line sees you are traveling with children do they tend to seat you at tables alone? I would hate to intrude on anyones cruise experience, kwim? Any tips on traveling with a baby?? TIA I know that the price is same as a 3rd person...

jplain
August 9th, 2004, 09:50 AM
Yes, babies are allowed in dining rooms. After the first night, there should be a highchair waiting for you. Can't answer most of your other questions, because we've yet to cruise with our daughter (she's currently 10 months), but there are some great posts in this forum, so be sure to look through them all!

By the way, Norwegian allows infants (under 24 months) to cruise for port fees and taxes as long as two paying adults are booked in the same cabin. We'll be cruising Norwegian in December, and we're paying only $200 for our daughter. We chose Norwegian not only for the great rate, but because we think Freestyle Dining will work well for us. It'll give us flexibility with both dining location and dining time, and sometimes with a baby you need all the flexibility you can get!

Good luck finding a cruise that meets your needs!
:) Carolyn

CabinForFour
August 9th, 2004, 10:44 AM
We have cruised with DS at 9 months and DD at 14 months. Both were wonderful experiences. We always travel with family, so the dining room seating isn't an issue. If you wish, most cruise lines will allow you to request a small table alone. Carnival tends to seat most of the small children in a single area, I've noticed. Both of my kids did well during dinner almost every night. I would suggest just bringing along some small toys or books if you decide to try dining with baby.

My strongest caution for traveling with a small one is to be certain that you don't miss nap time--no matter what. I have a packing list with other tips for cruising with an infant/toddler, if you haven't seen it already. Just e-mail me at TravelingTot@aol.com if you're interested.

merela
August 10th, 2004, 12:46 AM
The OP of that thread asked whether it was necessary to do anything (other than requesting on the Cruise Personalizer) to request baby food on board:

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It's better to have your TA fax Princess these requests. If you know what flavors of baby food the baby likes to eat, put it in your request. But I would write in all fruits (apples, pears, peaches, apricot, bananas) and all vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, peas, beans) just in case. I don't know whether they will have baby cereal (or the brand your baby likes), so tell your friend to bring a box of their baby's favorite cereal with them. Princess will likely have jar Gerber baby foods on board. I think 9M olds eat Stage 2 and Princess usually have Stage 2 Gerber's baby food. If your baby is still on Stage 1, just dilute Stage 2 baby food with some water.

I think they have enough highchairs on board so you don't have to request one. Remember to bring some hand sanitizers or sanitizing wipes with you, so you can always wipe down the highchair (tray and the area where the baby will touch) every time he uses it. It's a hassle, but it'll prevent spreading of germs. We take these anti-bacterial wipes with us everywhere when we eat out in public.

I have never requested baby cribs, we brought our own Pack 'n Play with us. I suppose there is no harm requesting a crib at the same time you request the baby food.

If you have a Target store nearby, they are having a clearance (not a sale) of their Evenflo Pack 'n Play (techmo blue pattern) the sticker on the box said $59.99 or $85, but the clearanced price is $19.98. You just have to scan the item to make sure that's the price.

The pack 'n play is easy to fold up, but we left it in the room. We had an inside cabin. We put the 2 twin beds together and the pack 'n play is wedged between the small table and the bed. I'm fine with it. I don't find it too crowded.

If your friends do not have a lot of luggage, maybe they can lug the pack 'n play with them, but if Princess offer cribs on board, go for it, request it.

Oh, tell your friend to bring their baby's own plastic bowls/plates and feeding spoons. I would also suggest that they take a small bottle of dish-washing detergent and a sponge (all in ziploc bags) so they can wash the baby's sippy cups and baby's feeding utensils after each feeding.

If your friends want to do excursions with their baby, remember to tell them to bring the utensils (they can buy disposable ones now) with them. But if they dont' want to buy the disposable ones, just put in soiled spoons and utensils into ziploc bags and they can wash them when they get back to their cabin. I usually put in a box of ziploc sandwich bags in my suitcases. I put baby's wet face wash cloth in a ziploc with me so I can wipe the baby's face anytime. You can use baby wipes, but nothing cleans the baby's face better with water and a clean cloth. Bring a small bottle of water with on on board, so you can put it in the diaper bag for emergency use (cleaning, drinking, mixing formula/cereals). You can always refill the water bottle in the morning at the buffet. Remember to bring plastic bibs (not cloth bibs) for easy wipedown.

Stick extra plastic bags from grocery stores into your suitcases so you can dump stinky diapers in them (then tie it up) if the cabin steward can't dispose of them in time.

Also put some laundry detergent in ziploc bags (one load worth in each ziploc bag). I suspect they'll probably do at least 2 loads. So tell them not to over pack. Bring a Spray 'n Wash stick for spit up stains.

BTW, if you can do your friends a big favor by babysitting their baby for one night so they can either go to one dinner alone (without the baby) or go to a show alone, I'm sure they'll thank you forever. It's likely that they haven't been able to eat a proper dinner without the baby for at least 9M.

Hope you and your friends (and the baby) enjoy your cruise.
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I think it is really up to you whether you take your baby into the dining room. My oldest was able to sit through a 3 hour meal as long as she had something on her highchair tray. My youngest couldn't sit on a highchair for more than 20 minutes.

You know your baby best. You know when your DD starts to get antsy. As long as the baby is not crying and bothering other dinner guests, you can stay in the dining room as long as you want. I take my baby out of the dining room as soon as he/she starts to cry and I can't make him/her stop. So just keep this in mind--you may not be able to finish a 2-hour meal from appetizer to dessert. I often had to leave my DH alone to finish up his meal (with my oldest). But he would always bring the dishes I wasn't able to finish back to our cabin, so I can finish my dinner.

Bring a toy that the baby would like to play once she is finished eating.

DH and I do not like to eat at the buffet. We think that since we paid for the services already, we should utilize the dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If your baby eats yogurt and/or fruits like apples/bananas, remember to get them at the breakfast buffet and keep them in your room/fridge. Usually, these items may not be available throughout the day.

BTW, we do not share our table with other cruisers. I usually pick a table in the back/corner so my kids can play on the floor and it won't bother the servers.

HTH.


Jennifer

Lib0007
August 10th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Hi - we cruised with our son when he was 11 months old (he is now 5). It was a bit "hectic" but we had a nice time. Once we got him used to the routine & the new surroundings, after a couple of days, things were much easier.

We took him into the dining room every night and the highchair was waiting for us. At first, we were seated with three other couples with no children and I don't think they liked having a baby at the table, so we requested another table alone and it worked much better for us. We brought along his stroller and after he finished eating, he went into the stroller with his bottle and fell asleep. We ended up wheeling him into a few shows (back row) and that worked out well as he slept right thru them.

Getting him to lay down for nap was really hard, so we started taking him for a long walk up on the top deck which conked him out - once he was asleep in the stroller, we moved him into the playpen in the cabin.

We were sailing on Celebrity and they allowed us in the kids play area where they had lots of toys for him to play with, and a kids pool but it was in the shade and always too cool to get in. You are lucky that you will have a babysitter with you. Have a wonderful trip!!!

RDH370
August 16th, 2004, 01:04 AM
We just cruised in July with our 1 yo. Although I agree that it was a bit hectic we did have a great time. My son did very well, in fact strangers were approaching me to tell me what a great baby I have. I was proud!!!

We did eat in the dining room every night and after the first night they had a high chair ready for him as well as some saltine crackers and milk. We were travelling with a group of 35 so we didn't have to worry about being seated with others. Because we were in such a large group, we ended up at the late seating for dinner because majority ruled and that had me worried but like I said he tollerated everything so well.

The hardest part for us was hubby and I not being able to stay out together at night. Once we put the baby to bed, he and I would take turns staying in with him. One night my parents did stay with him so we did get to enjoy some night life together. Keep in mind that I am not complaining as we knew this when we decided to book the cruise.

Beleive it or not getting him to sleep was easy. He was so worn out from being on the go all week that he would just fall asleep wherever he was in his stroller. I know not all babies are the same but hopefully your baby might be the same way. Technically I couldve stayed out later at night with him alseep in his stroller but I didn't think it was fair to him seeing as though those strollers don't always llok too comfortable.

Hope you have a great trip and feel free to email with any other questions that may arise.