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  #21  
Old January 12th, 2013, 09:07 PM
waldocruiser1 waldocruiser1 is offline
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Thank you, for all the responses,

I agree with most if not all of the responses,

Bring the kids, so you have family time, doings together.

I just always wonder about the people that pay to bring kids (small) are brought, but left with camp 90 percent of the time, so the parents don't have to do things with them, or so they don't get in the way.

Every cruise we have been on with our kids, (3) we always had dinner together, went to port together, and yes they did do things with friends they had met, but for the most part we did things together, because we wanted to make memories for a lifetime.
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  #22  
Old January 12th, 2013, 10:00 PM
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Our family chose to cruise for the first time at our daughter's graduation from high school. Although she was still an ungrateful teen at the time, she now tells us that was her most memorable trip (Alaska and land portion)- well, that's quite a testimonial as we have trekked to Machu Picchu and Europe now together. Anyway- we would take grandkids on a cruise, but suspect they would not appreciate the whole experience as much as an older child/quasi-adult might. There are so many places on land where camp counselors dance around a room with kids... it seems that a cruise is best suited to a particular kind of child's personality which makes the expenditure worthwhile. JMO.
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  #23  
Old January 12th, 2013, 11:21 PM
alj1208 alj1208 is offline
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I have to say that the tone of your questions implies that you are judging parents who bring their young children on cruises. My question to you is, why do you ask? Seriously. My feeling is, do what works for you and your family. If you want to bring the kids, go for it. If you want to leave them at home, go for it. Keep in mind that not every parent has grandparents or other reliable help with whom to leave children while on vacation. Also, many parents enjoy bringing the kids and don't feel guilty about enjoying some adult time in the process. Why should they have to explain?
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  #24  
Old January 13th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waldocruiser1 View Post
I have read a lot of threads about kids, and families cruising, so I have a question;

Why do you bring your kids with on the cruise?
Because we enjoy cruising so much, we want to share the sea, the ports, the whole adventure with our daughter. Besides, when I was child, I never went farther than 200 miles away from home.
On the other hand, my hubby's family went to Europe (his father was born in Romania, which was one area they visited) and Israel.
So even though we haven't taken her all over the world, at least we have taken her to the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii. It's a start. Maybe while she's a teen, we might actually take her to South America.


If you don't want to do things with them most of the time on the vacation why did you bring them with?
When we are in port (since the time, she was 8), she goes with us in port. She even helps with the planning and suggests some sites she wants to see.

If you have a small child that needs "baby sitting" when leaving the ship in port, and during the day so you can go swimming, or to the shows, why did you bring them with instead of leaving them home?
Actually our girl has been in the pool on the ship ever since she completed swimming classes -- and my hubby is often in the pool with her, or else near he pool supervising. She also comes with us to many of the shows, and has since she was 23 months of age (and yes, we sat near the back, just in case we had to make a quick exit -- but it wasn't necessary as she loved the music and dancing.). In fact on the cruise we just finished, she came with us to one show and she behaved better (at age 15) than the adults who were rudely talking. But then, she's performed in music recitals and in many stage productions.
She did stay in the kids' programs when she was much younger as she didn't have an interest in seeing some of those ports. So why not let her enjoy hanging out with kids her age?


Do you plan your activities around the kids, that you enjoy, or what you enjoy, and they just have to do it, or stay on the ship?
We will do things together, but we also feel it's important than kids have fun with their own age. Why else does summer camp exist? And why force any one in the family to do something they don't want to. And that includes my hubby and myself, as well as our teen.

I am not judging, just wondering,

I see a lot of kids on the ships and most are having "cruise" related fun, playing games, swimming, which is great.

I guess the real question is why do you bring "little" kids and babies on the cruise?
I wonder more about parents who post that their kids will be always with them on the ship and don't intend to use the kids' programs. It's their choice, and hopefully they do know what their kids want to do. But to make a blanket statement that their kids are going to enjoy hanging out with their parents, but not with other kids...maybe they should at least check out the program and let the kids decide for themselves.

Plus, despite what many people who are judgmental say (they won't remember, etc.), kids do have memories going back. Often we'll ask our girl if she remembers x, and she often does have some memory, even if it happened years ago. You'll be surprised. I'm in my 50s, and there's some things I remember going back to when I was before six years of age.

Besides, the more experiences (hopefully good ones) that a young child, even a baby has, the more brain growth (synapses) he or she will develop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
I bring my kids with me on a cruise because they are my kids and they come with us on all vacations as well as everywhere else. Personally, I can't understand people who leave their kids at home.

We live far away from family, only have one set of grandparents who we would trust to watch them and they work full time and use their vacation time for their own vacations. Also, I'm not comfortable being separated from my young children for such a long period of time.

Will I use the kids clubs? You bet. As mentioned before we live far from family and due to the expense we very rarely get a paid babysitter so we very rarely get a break from taking care of our kids 24/7.

We will plan activities based on what the whole family wants to do. Sometimes we will do things together and some times we will do things apart. I don't see the need to cater completely to my kids wants on the cruise when the cruise ship offers kid's clubs so they can go and have fun doing age appropriate activities while DH and I get a chance to read or sit in a hot tub alone. We will also spend plenty of time together swimming, eating and exploring the ports.
The above post explains our situation so well. My hubby's and mine parents lived not too far away, but we didn't feel comfortable with leaving an active child with any of them. When my daughter was an infant, and the day center we used would close at the end of the year for their vacation, and it was not a good time to take off from work myself as it was typically a busy time, I left my daughter with some specific instructions about her care, which my MIL seemed to ignore (not intentionally, but...). And my mother, the one grandparent still alive, definitely wasn't capable of taking care of her for even a few hours.

So bringing our daughter along on our first vacation since her birth -- 23 months later, it was a joy to watch her explore the ship. Even though she was a month too young for Camp Carnival, it wasn't a problem. Once she was old enough, she would say upon awakening, "Is ship school open yet?" She has fun and we get plenty of "alone time" without worrying about what's going on back in Los Angeles if she was there.

It wasn't til her teenaged years that she would spend more time out of the kids' area...she would make friends with kids her age, and they would arrange their own activities. And just last month, she and kids her age were exploring the art gallery (we were nearby and heard her voice -- she was leading a discussion of the artwork! It's nice to know those field trips to the Getty and LACMA came in handy.

And if you have looked at how much school work kids have nowadays, even in first grade, you wouldn't begrudge them a nice vacation.

So for the OP, a better question would be, why would parents NOT take their kids on their cruises?
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  #25  
Old January 18th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waldocruiser1 View Post
Why do you bring your kids with on the cruise?

If you don't want to do things with them most of the time on the vacation why did you bring them with?

If you have a small child that needs "baby sitting" when leaving the ship in port, and during the day so you can go swimming, or to the shows, why did you bring them with instead of leaving them home?

Do you plan your activities around the kids, that you enjoy, or what you enjoy, and they just have to do it, or stay on the ship?

DD has sailed with us at 15 months and is about to do her second cruise with us at 23 months. We live in FL, so cruising is the natural easy choice in getting away. A toddler on a plane is not the funnest of activities, i know because we just flew across the country for Christmas. I like that we can drive to a port, park, and hop on a ship and start vacationing.

We bring DD because, strangely enough, we enjoy being with her! Rates for young ones are very reasonable. It is a well valued vacation for the services and experiences you receive in return, not to mention the places you get to go are great. Even though she is not quite 2, you can tell she is enjoys her self. We have only sailed DCL with her and she loves meeting the characters.

We don't put her in the nursery for any more than 2 hours at a time per sea day. It gives her a chance to play with other kids in a controlled setting and have access to toys. On port days, I do A LOT of research and find the best choices of things we can do as a family. If that means I don't get to do the BEST snorkel spot on a particular island, oh well. That is part of being a family. You have to compromise. When DD is older we can return and snorkel together. As for dinner and shows, she handled both very well. Because of the activity during the day her nap schedule was shifted to a bit later. This allowed her to eat dinner in the dining rooms with us and attend the shows. She fell asleep each night during the show, and we took turns night to night holding her until the show ended and we could put her in bed.

The activities I choose are ones that I think everyone will enjoy and feel it was worth their money/time. I do all the research, and love to do so. My DH barely puts his 2 cents in, not because I don't ask, but because he knows that I spend a lot of time selecting the things we do, and I don't make my decisions lightly. Though, we are normally quite adventurous when we travel, even on cruises, it has been nice taking her along with us. It allows us to slow down and enjoy the relaxation part of a vacation as well. If she wants to nap on the beach, then so do we, and it's not all that bad.

We could be the type to do more activities without her, but then, as you said, why did we bring her anyway?


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  #26  
Old January 18th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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For me, there is nothing better than the look on my child's face when they experience or are exposed to something new. Seeing the ship for the first time...flying on an airplane, etc. Even at 9 months, our daughter had great reactions to new people, lights in a bar (empty...we didn't take her in during prime time ).

Now that they are older (4 and 6), there are more choices for them - the kid's club will be one of them. Our daughter (6) is VERY excited at the prospect of playing with new friends, trying activities, and eating dinner with her kid's camp friends like a big person (i.e., without Mom or Dad there). But she will determine when she wants to go, and for how long she will stay. She regularly asks to see the list of activities that might be available to her, so we go through it together. Our 4 year old is different - he says he doesn't want to go. We told him that we would let him know what activities were offered and it is completely his choice. It's not about warehousing them somewhere - it is about them having fun. If they both choose to stay with Mom and Dad and play in the pool all day, that's a bonus.

I couldn't imagine taking a holiday and leaving my kids behind. I want to expose them to everything I can, and a lot of my enjoyment comes from seeing people, places and things through their eyes.
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  #27  
Old January 18th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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We also live very far away from our family. So for us cruising is a way to get the family TOGETHER. Our first cruise with a child was when my oldest was 18 months old. We went with my parents, grandparents and an aunt. It was a great way for my child to spend an entire week with her family. My husband and I even got to take a "date night", dinner for the two of us, while my DD stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.

Now we have 2 children (9 & 5) and we are cruising again in June. Again, a family trip. This time it is my parents, my husband, myself and our 2 daughters, my single brother and my other brother, his wife and their son who will be 22 months. Again, FAMILY TIME! I am so excited to spend a whole week with them and for my children to get time with their family. They probably will spend a little time at the kids club on days at sea, but they will be in the same group and my husband and I very rarely get alone time.

We are THRILLED that my brother and his wife are bringing their young son because I only get to see him a few times a year and I would love to completely take over and love on him the whole week.

Our excursions will be with our children except for one. My sister in law has never ridden a horse and I am very involved with horses (own, show, etc), so I want to go on a trail ride with her while in Bermuda. My husband wants to go too (we went on our honeymoon and had a blast!). My girls both ride very well but they are not old enough to do the trail ride yet (although they could probably ride circles around most of the people who do the ride) so they will stay with Grandma and Grandpa at the beach! If I had to have them stay at the ship in order to do an excursion I would choose to do another excursion that they could do with us. That's just not something I would choose to do. I am most excited about the excursions that they can do with us (aquarium, zoo, beach, etc.).
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  #28  
Old January 19th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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Our first cruise was in 2003, just the wife and I. We saved up 4 years and had a blast. Then the wife got pregnant. We could not fathom taking a baby on a cruise. Just the idea of spending money for the baby to cruise was crazy? Save for a year or two and she would never remember it anyway?

So, come 2011 child is 7, she now understands a bit more, likely was ready at 6 years of age. Cruise 2 and the last cruise (3) was desinged by educational ports. Worksheets were made at home discussing island locations/langauge, local foods. We tour museums, rarer hiking spots, always visit a school or orhanage and avoid tourist shops, atvs, ziplines, beaches etc. We want the cruise to be educational.

At night, one of us turns in with her, as we keep her bedtime regime the same as home (8:00, at times 8:30 PM) ( meal time as well). This way one of us can wander a bit at night or catch a show.

This is how we do it. We are currently saving up for a cruise in 2015, then again the wife may want another child. If so, we already agreed waiting 6 years is a smart call financially (atleast for us)
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  #29  
Old January 19th, 2013, 10:14 AM
Leezer Leezer is offline
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We're bringing them bc it will be a family vacation (grandparents, cousins, etc) I know we'll be doing family activities and I'm excited to do that. We'll split up (kids with moms, dads, grandparents) if someone wants to do an adult activity.
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  #30  
Old January 19th, 2013, 12:14 PM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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I've learned everything the hard way. LOL.

I have taken my youngest on cruises since he was 3 months old. I did a three night cruise with my extended family that I initiated and it was seamless. The teens that came were happy to babysit so that the adults could go to dinner. No problem whatsoever

When my son was a toddler- I took him on a cruise and spent every waking moment with him (other than two dinners when we used the ship sitter). It was a lot of work and I don't recommend sailing with kids between the ages of say 8 months and 2 years. This is a difficult stage. They are either crawling or walking, teething, etc. etc.

Once my son turned 3 I did a 4-night cruise with him and he enjoyed the youth program and it gave me a couple hours here and there to do adult things. I did not leave him there for hours on end.

I am a very hands-on parent and I am presently home schooling for 7th grade. So we spent LOTS of time together year round. On vacation we enjoy cruising because he can do his thing and I can do mine. He spends about 6 hours per day (by choice) with the kids in the youth program- unless we are doing an excursion together. My son wants to be with kids on vacation not the adults. On our most recent cruise to Europe- he met tweens and teens from Brazil, Quebec, France, Spain and an American boy living in Afghanistan (his father is a pilot). It was a little United Nations in there. What a great experience for him.

To the OP- as kids get into the teen years- they honestly don't want to be with the adults. They prefer to be with other kids their own age. So this isn't about parents ignoring the kids. It's about recognizing their need to spend time with people their own age.

I have done land trips where my son was completely bored with just me. So for us cruising is a great option. As you can see we do it often.
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Last edited by rebeccalouiseagain; January 19th, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
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  #31  
Old January 19th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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Mimajo Mimajo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
For me, there is nothing better than the look on my child's face when they experience or are exposed to something new. Seeing the ship for the first time...flying on an airplane, etc. Even at 9 months, our daughter had great reactions to new people, lights in a bar (empty...we didn't take her in during prime time ).

Now that they are older (4 and 6), there are more choices for them - the kid's club will be one of them. Our daughter (6) is VERY excited at the prospect of playing with new friends, trying activities, and eating dinner with her kid's camp friends like a big person (i.e., without Mom or Dad there). But she will determine when she wants to go, and for how long she will stay. She regularly asks to see the list of activities that might be available to her, so we go through it together. Our 4 year old is different - he says he doesn't want to go. We told him that we would let him know what activities were offered and it is completely his choice. It's not about warehousing them somewhere - it is about them having fun. If they both choose to stay with Mom and Dad and play in the pool all day, that's a bonus.

I couldn't imagine taking a holiday and leaving my kids behind. I want to expose them to everything I can, and a lot of my enjoyment comes from seeing people, places and things through their eyes.

We almost always took family vacations (there were the few times when Mom and Dad went alone). We took our 3 kids on their first cruise at 7, 11 and 13. There were not a lot of kids programs then (1990). Two years later to Hawaii. They are adults now with kids of their own and they still have strong memories of all our trips.

This year we will be cruising with our younger daughter and her family including two granddaughters 21 months and 11 yrs at the time. We plan things around them mostly......early dining seating, a cabana at Labadee. But we plan on letting the parents have a night alone, as well as doing things on our own. we enjoy our grandkids immensely.

I can't wait to see their faces with each new experience. Hopefully the 11 yr old will enjoy the kids club, buy if not, she can hang with us. The little one? We chose a ship the enables her to enjoy the water (splash zone) and other activities...can you believe Allure has a toddler mini golf?

As another oster said, to each his own.
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  #32  
Old January 21st, 2013, 03:52 PM
kelbre kelbre is offline
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We started cruising back in 2005 and have done 4 cruises, doing our 5th in March. We have taken our kids who are now 11 & 14, on all of them as well as this upcoming one.
Due to hubby's self employment, he does not get a lot of time away from his logging business so we make the most of it with our kids) our kids have always LOVED the kids programs, in fact, sometimes a little too much, lol!!! But we always set boundaries ahead of time. They knew when they were expected to be with us and when they could have time with their friends. For us it really is the best of both worlds!!!
I don't know that I would have brought the kids when they were younger, our son Brendan was 3 & 1/2 & our daughter Kelsey was 6 when we took our first cruise but we kept a close eye on them. Apparently while we were gone during our first cruise my mom was worried the whole time about Brendan falling overboard, lol!!
This cruise coming up, we are travelling with Kelsey's best friend & her parents should be fun!! We know we probably won't see a lot of the kids, Brendan tells me he's going to live at kids camp, lol!! But I know that we will still make amazing memories and hopefully get Kelsey's friend's family just as hooked as we are)
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  #33  
Old January 21st, 2013, 06:45 PM
ginger123snaps ginger123snaps is offline
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My boys are 4, 4, 3...they took their first cruise..ages 3, 3, and 2. We don't have family around to leave them with...but honestly even if we did have family around I would not want to be on a boat in the middle of the ocean...what if there is an emergency with one of my kids? Can you imagine?

I love the idea of cruising because the kids can have fun in camp...be near us..and we can have fun as a family also. We don't drop them off from open to close...we pick and choose activities that they may like. Of course in the evenings...we make them go (usually they want to) just so my husband and I can have some alone time. Having said that we eat all meals together as a family! It's wonderful!

I have never left my kids on a boat to go on a excursion. Again...I'm just paranoid and would be worried of something happening..you never know.
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  #34  
Old January 21st, 2013, 11:45 PM
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luvsviola luvsviola is online now
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My kids are coming because I don't have anyone willing to keep them for a week. They are almost 2, almost 4, and almost 6. My mom is their daycare full time, so when I am off work, she wants to be off as well. She is not willing to keep them overnight for a week on top of what she already does for us. My husband's mother passed away a year ago. Everyone else works full time. My son has medical special needs and ODD/RAD, so I can't just leave him with most people overnight.

They are excited to be coming! They love to travel, and will enjoy exploring the ship and playing on the beach.
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