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  #1  
Old January 1st, 2013, 06:30 PM
MikeysMom619 MikeysMom619 is offline
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Default RCL Fisher Price & Carseat Question

Hi Everyone!

I am going on a 7nt RCL to the Bahamas on 2/10 with my family and best friends. This will be our first time cruising with children. The babies will be 9 & 11 months old when we cruise.

2 questions:

1 - What are peoples thoughts on the Fisher Price Toy bag exchange offered? We are trying to keep luggage to a minimum but want to make sure we have plenty to occupy the babies. Are the toys good enough for a weeks entertainment?

2 - We are planning to leave our carseats behind for space reasons. If we do an excursion, can we take the babies on our laps in the bus? in a taxi in Nassau?

Thanks!
Jenn
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  #2  
Old January 1st, 2013, 06:43 PM
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cello56 cello56 is offline
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CAN you take your baby on your lap in a moving vehicle? Yes you can.

SHOULD you take your baby on your lap in a moving vehicle? NOT in my opinion. The laws of physics apply 24/7 in all locations. Do you really want to risk finding out what the medical care is like in a place like Nassau? The car seats will fit on the floor of your closet just fine. You will need to tell the taxi drivers that you need a cab with working seat-belts. It can be done.
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  #3  
Old January 1st, 2013, 08:25 PM
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laurasue laurasue is offline
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I'm interested to hear about thoughts on the toy lending program as well.
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  #4  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:11 PM
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B_Mc B_Mc is offline
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The toy lending is FANTASTIC!

We've done it on the Navigator and the Jewel - the toys were good quality Fisher Price all with working batteries. Some showed a little wear and tear but overall it was what I would expect from a lending program. The bags usually had 2-3 different activities, there were some repeats between bags but you can exchange at the kid's club as often as you like. The only downside we experienced was the kid's club hours....we didn't have a kid in the program so we didn't really keep track of the hours and twice we went to exchange a bag when they were closed. So avoidable if we had paid attention!!! We learned for the second time around...

As for the car seats that's a really personal choice and I'll stay out of that debate!
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  #5  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 01:52 PM
MikeysMom619 MikeysMom619 is offline
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Thanks B Mc that is exactly what I was looking for!
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  #6  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:59 PM
chandon chandon is offline
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Hi Jenn,

We took our 18 month old (at the time) on a Caribbean Queen Mary 2 cruise two years ago and we didn't bring car seats and visited many islands. Although it isn't ideal for safety reasons, as mentioned above, it would have been very difficult to both handle and use the car seats.

We are leaving in two weeks with a 3.5 year old and 17 month old and will not be traveling with our seats.

Have a great trip!

Jane
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  #7  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:00 PM
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Fantastic! Thanks for the toy lending info.
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  #8  
Old January 8th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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wyaracing wyaracing is offline
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Curious how this toy lending program works? Anyone have any more details on it? Basically we just sign up for it and get a bag of toys to use for the week?

Also, Does anyone know if the pack n play they provide (Royal Caribbean) is a standard size that we can bring our own sheets? Is it a decent pack n play or should we just bring our own with us? We live only an hour from Bayonne, so I'm not too concerned with packing more stuff then we normally would with a flight.

We'll be on the same cruise Jenn, with family in a group of 11 including our 11 month old boy and my 8 year old neice, and 10 year old nephew. Look for us and introduce yourself!
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  #9  
Old January 8th, 2013, 07:26 PM
cruisenguy2 cruisenguy2 is offline
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wyaracing, we are also going to be on the same cruise with our 3yo and 6m old.

I read somewhere on here that they use standard pnp's and best to bring your own sheets.
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  #10  
Old January 8th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Curious how this toy lending program works? Anyone have any more details on it? Basically we just sign up for it and get a bag of toys to use for the week?

They have several bags of toys in the kid's club. Go there with your seapass during regular hours and they copy down your name and room number. They have different bags for different ages. Take it to you room, play, return and trade when you're ready!



Also, Does anyone know if the pack n play they provide (Royal Caribbean) is a standard size that we can bring our own sheets? Is it a decent pack n play or should we just bring our own with us?

On 2 different ships it was a very nice, standard pack n play. Definitely bring your own sheet and bedding, they don't have proper bedding. Call RCI to have one reserved for your cabin.



Hope that helps!
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  #11  
Old January 9th, 2013, 09:59 AM
MikeysMom619 MikeysMom619 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyaracing View Post
Curious how this toy lending program works? Anyone have any more details on it? Basically we just sign up for it and get a bag of toys to use for the week?

Also, Does anyone know if the pack n play they provide (Royal Caribbean) is a standard size that we can bring our own sheets? Is it a decent pack n play or should we just bring our own with us? We live only an hour from Bayonne, so I'm not too concerned with packing more stuff then we normally would with a flight.

We'll be on the same cruise Jenn, with family in a group of 11 including our 11 month old boy and my 8 year old neice, and 10 year old nephew. Look for us and introduce yourself!
This is our first time sailing with our son so we will be figuring it out as we go as well! We have heard that it's best to bring your own sheets though since the cabin crew will otherwise just fold up a regular sized sheet. Also - make sure you call & request a Pack N Play now.
I have heard lots of good things about the toy lending so we are definitely going to be utilizing it!

Sounds like there will be a nice group of kids sailing with all of us ( & cruisenguy2) We will definitely have to get the kids together to play. And if the Royal Babies Nursery is up & running we can all grab a cocktail while the babies play!)
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  #12  
Old January 12th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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SMASHROX SMASHROX is offline
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We used the toy lending program on Oasis for our then 6 month old at the time. We signed her up at the nursery open house on day 1 and requested the bag of toys at that time. They also have open playtime certain mornings where there are tons of other toys your LO can play with.
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  #13  
Old January 19th, 2013, 03:17 PM
adidas66502 adidas66502 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMASHROX View Post
We used the toy lending program on Oasis for our then 6 month old at the time. We signed her up at the nursery open house on day 1 and requested the bag of toys at that time. They also have open playtime certain mornings where there are tons of other toys your LO can play with.

I agree! The toy lending is great! We took the toys and exchanged for new ones a few times too. The open play area with all the toys was the wonderful too and had padded mats. Our 11 month old loved it!
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  #14  
Old January 19th, 2013, 10:31 PM
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rm1247 rm1247 is offline
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Default LOVE the toy lending program!

We were on the Explorer ots last March with our 18 month old.

The toy lending program was easy and great. I had older kids in AO, so when I brought them up I just filled out a form and they gave me a bag of toys. Anytime I wanted a new bag, I just brought up the one I had and traded it. One bag she loved and we kept for several days. Another one she got bored with right away and I traded it in the same day.

They clearly had the carts marked for cleaned toys and used toys, so I felt pretty good about their cleanliness, until...several days into the trip when I handed the bag of toys back I saw them putting it right on the "clean" toy cart. So my advice is to pack lots of lysol wipes and clean the toys yourself. My dd caught the norovirus that trip, although I wouldn't blame it on the toys. A good portion of our ship had it.

Definitely bring your own sheets for the pack n play. The first pnp they brought me was disgusting and dirty. When I asked for a different one, my cabin steward just didn't understand my request. After trying all day and getting no where with her, I went down to customer service and a new pnp was in my cabin within an hour (my steward still seemed a bit perturbed). It was a little cleaner, but I wished I had packed more lysol wipes. We drove to the port and in hindsight I wish I had just packed my own pnp.

I'm not saying that to scare you, just be prepared to clean the toys and pnp yourself.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm1247 View Post
We were on the Explorer ots last March with our 18 month old.

The toy lending program was easy and great. I had older kids in AO, so when I brought them up I just filled out a form and they gave me a bag of toys. Anytime I wanted a new bag, I just brought up the one I had and traded it. One bag she loved and we kept for several days. Another one she got bored with right away and I traded it in the same day.

They clearly had the carts marked for cleaned toys and used toys, so I felt pretty good about their cleanliness, until...several days into the trip when I handed the bag of toys back I saw them putting it right on the "clean" toy cart. So my advice is to pack lots of lysol wipes and clean the toys yourself. My dd caught the norovirus that trip, although I wouldn't blame it on the toys. A good portion of our ship had it.

Definitely bring your own sheets for the pack n play. The first pnp they brought me was disgusting and dirty. When I asked for a different one, my cabin steward just didn't understand my request. After trying all day and getting no where with her, I went down to customer service and a new pnp was in my cabin within an hour (my steward still seemed a bit perturbed). It was a little cleaner, but I wished I had packed more lysol wipes. We drove to the port and in hindsight I wish I had just packed my own pnp.

I'm not saying that to scare you, just be prepared to clean the toys and pnp yourself.
So in conclusion, you're saying it might be better to bring our own pack n play? I am driving up to the port, I'm less then an hour away, so that's a non issue. My only concern is actually lugging all this stuff around. Is it simple to drop off luggage at this port? We're bringing quite a bit of 'crap' with us now with the baby, I'm sure he'll have his own luggage with clothes, toys, medicines and plenty of baby food, juice and water. I'm guessing I should put the pack n play in with my checked luggage then and not worry about the possibility of getting a dirty pack n play on the ship?
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  #16  
Old January 20th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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That's what I would do. It's hit or miss. Most of our stewards have been wonderful and would have immediately gotten me a clean pnp. I think this lady was new and truly didn't see the dirt the way I did (or the strong foul odor).

We went on an Alaskan cruise when my dd was 8mo and I used the ship's pnp, which was immaculate. We were already flying way too much baby stuff for that trip, so taking the pnp wasn't possible. Since that was a good experience, I didn't consider bringing it on our last cruise, when we drove to port. If I had to do it over, I would bring my own if I was driving to port. Luggage when you drive to port is VERY easy. You just pull up, hand your stuff over, and then get in line to check in.

Fwiw, I would definitely do the toy swap again, even knowing you can't trust them to clean the toys. It was a great program and my dd loved the new toys. We loved having her play happily in our room and even brought some of the toys with us to meals to keep her occupied. Our next cruise she'll turn 3 the second day of the cruise, and I need to find out if we can still do the toy swap. We're flying again to that port.
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  #17  
Old January 21st, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Toy bags were decent, and on Freedom OTS, few people seemed to be aware/using this service, so always lots of options to exchange the toys.

Have you considered co-sleeping for the cruise? When we travel, we often find it easier and giving greater peace of mind to just chuck DS between us so we know he has a clean bed and just where he is. Stops the "where am I?" freakouts, too.
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  #18  
Old January 29th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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Jenn,

Just something to consider for the car seats. If your little ones use the car seats that can transfer between the base in your car and a stroller, that may be an option. While the strollers are larger and a bit more cumbersome, it was nice being able to take our DD's carrier and belt her right into the back seat of a taxi. We either left the carrier in the taxi during quick stops or just put it back in the stroller.
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  #19  
Old January 30th, 2013, 01:29 PM
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We were just on the Brillance last week. Our 2 year old loved the FP toys in the toy bag. Some of them are fairly large and some were small enough for him to carry around.

However, there was some confusion at first about how to get the toys. The kids club staff on duty the first night told us to talk to our room steward and they would bring one to us. The room stewead had no idea what we were talking about. It was a couple of days into the week before we ran into someone in the kids club that had enough knowledge about the program to give us a bag.

Also, on the pack-n-play. We had one reserved that never showed up. Don't let them leave the port without one in your room if you need one.
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  #20  
Old January 31st, 2013, 01:02 PM
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We ahve had a great pnp and a foul pnp experience. When we asked to have the one exchanges (1st time in cabin) we were told that there wre no others to swap it out with. We just but baby in our bed between us that trip. Qhen we fly we use the ship pnp and when we drive we use the ships'.
Car seats are really a matter of individual choice. Here at home I would not consider going anywhere without a carseat, safe and secure in the car but when out of the country many, MANY times over the years (things have not gotten much better), there are no seat belts to strap the carrier into the taxi or van or bus. Either there never were seat belts or they were cut off. I have even heard drivers say they cut them off because people don't like to sit on them! We lugged the carriers on several trips (cruise and other types of travel) with various family children since 2002 (10 mo old was youngest child) only to once have 6 taxis all say no seat belts and have to carry it back to ship and another time to have a bus driver tell us no we could not bring that on the bus(ship excursion). Now, our choice is to not bring it. We also use an umbrella stroller that has dual wheels as it fits better on ship and in port narror streets. Again, our choice.
The toy program is wonderful as you don't need to pack a ton of toys, just the favorites that they can't live without. I always bring wipes to clean them before play even when they are from the clean cart...just me.
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