Posted January 18th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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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