What is your best advice for cruising with babies?

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Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
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#21
50 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
We traveled with my son when he was 13 months and will be traveling with our son and daughter this fall when they will be 3 and 18 months. We will have no "help" or family coming with us, which is just fine. On a normal day, we don't have help.....and I consider the hundreds of crew members to be a HUGE help! First, they do all of the food shopping, cooking, and cleaning up Now that is a vacation if you ask me!! All I have to do is hang with my kids! Granted, there is nothing relaxing about that, but you already know that! haha. The quality time you will have as a family and the memories you will make will far surpasss any challenges you will face while cruising with the kiddos. and yes, it will be difficult at times, just like home. but it will also be awesome! we loved it and cannot wait to go again this fall.

I have pasted below a link to the quick summary/review I did when we returned from our cruise with our son. We were on Carnival and we only had one child, so some does not apply to you, but you may find a few tips! also, there are TONS of other reviews and threads on this board that will help you with packing lists and such. Tons of great tips that will make your cruise much easier. Good luck! and have a great time!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1520991
#22
104 Posts
Joined May 2006
I think you are very BRAVE, taking three under two (but then, I find that in general, parents of twins are often above average in bravery)!! I hope you have a great vacation. There seem to be some really helpful tips here. We are taking our 2.5-year-old twins on their first cruise on the Carnival Glory mid-August... don't know if we'll be back in time to be helpful for you for your late-August cruise, but I'll try to report back on our experience and if we have any tips to share. (I admit, I am a little nervous as it will be our first cruise with the children and know it will be so different from past 'couple' cruises -- but I am also excited and hoping for the best!) I hope you will also report back on your experience when you are home!

Thanks, everyone, for the helpful tips!

Jenn
#23
2,749 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by ebradley23

Make sure to pack medicine approved by your ped. They will not have the infant/children version of Tylenol, ibuprofen or Benadryl in the ship. I also brought a thermometer.
Excellent advice and sorry I didn't remember to mention it. The thermometer saved me the cost of an after-hours doctor visit on board once because I was able to tell the nurse on the phone what my child's temp/symptoms were and she assured me as long as it didn't get higher, we could see the doc in the morning. ebradley is correct that the shop on board will not have kids' medicines so you want to bring anything you might need - but rest assured the medical facility is equipped to handle little ones. We saw ships doctors a few times in the early years and they were without exception a) wonderful with kids and b) had the necessary medicine for ear infection, fever, etc. for about the cost of an urgent care visit at home.

Best,
Mia
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#24
Chicago
9 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Thanks so much for such great advice. We are bringing two porta cribs because I think they will be smaller than the large pack n plays that NCL will provide. Additionally, my kids will be used to them and we need them for other parts of our trip. They may or may not fit in our cabin- if they do not, we will figure something out.

We cannot get adjoining rooms. We tried when we booked, but NCL does not accomodate adjoining room requests if you get on the boat at Marseille. My parents will be in the room directly next door, so we will probably be able to keep a couple things in their room for storage (i.e., carseats.)
#25
Philadelphia
516 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I would see if they could remove the sofa and maybe the little table in your room then. With the 2 portacribs and a pack n play, you won't have any room to even walk in your room.

I would call NCL to see if the room you have can accommodate what you are trying to do. I just don't want you to get there and find you have no room at all. Maybe one of the kids can sleep in your parent's room?

Originally posted by jpage07
Thanks so much for such great advice. We are bringing two porta cribs because I think they will be smaller than the large pack n plays that NCL will provide. Additionally, my kids will be used to them and we need them for other parts of our trip. They may or may not fit in our cabin- if they do not, we will figure something out.

We cannot get adjoining rooms. We tried when we booked, but NCL does not accomodate adjoining room requests if you get on the boat at Marseille. My parents will be in the room directly next door, so we will probably be able to keep a couple things in their room for storage (i.e., carseats.)
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#26
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Looking at videos of the Epic's minisuites, I don't see how one portacrib would fit, never mind more.
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#27
563 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Totally disagree withe the poster who says to cancel your trip! What are you supposed to do? Sit at home until your kids turn 18 and move out?
It will be fun, what a wonderful family experience.

Though we haven't traveled with 3 we have gone with babies and toddlers, it was great. Not the same as travelling without, but great nonetheless.
The one and only thing we found difficult was getting through dinners in the main dining room. We ended up taking turns, some of us would eat in the main dining room, while the others would go to the buffet with our child. If that ship has any time dining, you could go at different times a few nights so that everyone gets a chance to have a full (uninterrupted) meal.

Some suggestions(some have been mentioned):
-box up diapers, wipes, baby foods, etc...
-I second the idea to get cheap umbrella strollers in France, since you have help can you do with 3 strollers?
- I haven't been on that ship, but many have a couch that can be turned facing the wall for a young child to sleep. If that doesn't work a lot of people will put pillows on the floor or do the pool-noodle trick. This way you aren't stepping over 3 cribs which probably won't even fit.

Have a great time, let us know how it goes!
#28
1,141 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Another thing that helped was disposable or inexpensive (so, no worries about losing it) toddler utensils. There are also disposable sippy cups that work well. While they say disposable, these items could be washed and re-used throughout your trip.

Just go with the flow and enjoy. We had a great time with DD and would not hesitate to travel with her again.
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#29
Houston, TX
153 Posts
Joined May 2008
We travel with our kids a lot...can't imagine not taking them on vacation, but that's us. It's been awhile since we've been on a cruise, but I think this applies. In addition to putting supplies in a box and slapping a room tag on it, since we fly in the day before we leave, we wait to buy supplies like diapers, wipes, snacks, etc. until we get there. It saves us from carrying a suitcase just for supplies. I've also packed a box and shipped it to the hotel we're staying at but timing can be tricky.
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#30
Charlotte, NC
82 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
We just found this crib and are ordering it both for a flight trip we have soon and for our cruise. Might be a good option since you need to travel around with it.

http://www.guavafamily.com/products/...re-travel-crib
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#31
London UK
263 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hi, I respect your decision to go on a cruise with 3 very young children, and truly hope that you and your family have a great holiday. At the risk of getting 'flamed', though, may I respectfully say that whilst you have made the choice to do this, other people on the ship may not necessarily agree with you.

Speaking from experience, it is not great to be in the cabin next door to a crying child, (I know you said there will be grandparents on one side), or at a nearby table in the dining room! If your kids are restless, bored, noisy or upset, please be prepared to take them somewhere where they will not disturb others.

Also, again from experience, please make sure you don't let them get in the way of staff or passengers in crowded areas, particularly where there is hot food or drinks. (I once tripped over a toddler running around a buffet whilst I was carrying a tray, so didn't see him!) Luckily, other than the resulting mess, no harm was done, and I managed not to damage either of us!

Other than that, I wish you well, and hope you all have a great time!
#32
12,054 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by higgib
Hi, I respect your decision to go on a cruise with 3 very young children, and truly hope that you and your family have a great holiday. At the risk of getting 'flamed', though, may I respectfully say that whilst you have made the choice to do this, other people on the ship may not necessarily agree with you.

Speaking from experience, it is not great to be in the cabin next door to a crying child, (I know you said there will be grandparents on one side), or at a nearby table in the dining room! If your kids are restless, bored, noisy or upset, please be prepared to take them somewhere where they will not disturb others.

Also, again from experience, please make sure you don't let them get in the way of staff or passengers in crowded areas, particularly where there is hot food or drinks. (I once tripped over a toddler running around a buffet whilst I was carrying a tray, so didn't see him!) Luckily, other than the resulting mess, no harm was done, and I managed not to damage either of us!

Other than that, I wish you well, and hope you all have a great time!
The same thing can be said about teens, tweens and just about every other age group on a cruise ship.

Patience goes a long way.

To the OP, cruising with your young children is a great choice. The sleeping arrangements are the only thing that I would be concerned about because trying to fit 3 cribs or PNP in that size cabin might not be possible. Having any extra furniture removed (coffee table, night stands) should help or even having one child sleep in the grandparents cabin.

I hope you get it all worked out and have a wonderful cruise.
#33
Toronto
673 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by higgib
Hi, I respect your decision to go on a cruise with 3 very young children, and truly hope that you and your family have a great holiday. At the risk of getting 'flamed', though, may I respectfully say that whilst you have made the choice to do this, other people on the ship may not necessarily agree with you.

Speaking from experience, it is not great to be in the cabin next door to a crying child, (I know you said there will be grandparents on one side), or at a nearby table in the dining room! If your kids are restless, bored, noisy or upset, please be prepared to take them somewhere where they will not disturb others.

Also, again from experience, please make sure you don't let them get in the way of staff or passengers in crowded areas, particularly where there is hot food or drinks. (I once tripped over a toddler running around a buffet whilst I was carrying a tray, so didn't see him!) Luckily, other than the resulting mess, no harm was done, and I managed not to damage either of us!

Other than that, I wish you well, and hope you all have a great time!
I don't even know where to start with this. The only way you can guarantee that you are not next to a crying child in a cabin, in a hallway, or in a restaurant - is to take a cruise line that does not allow kids. There are a few of them, check them out. Other than that, thanks for your really great parenting advice. We should make it a sticky so everyone can marvel at the wisdom!
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#34
Chicago
9 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Originally posted by KJENN
We just found this crib and are ordering it both for a flight trip we have soon and for our cruise. Might be a good option since you need to travel around with it.

http://www.guavafamily.com/products/...re-travel-crib
thanks! The Phil and Ted's crib is just like this. We have used it a couple times for travelling and love how easy it is to carry. I think you will be really happy with it.
#35
Rockwall TX
5,069 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I honestly don't think this is out of line at all, and I don't think the individual was implying they didn't like children. I mean really, we have all been out when a kid is crazy and the parent is not paying any attention to them...correct? The last bank I worked at I can't tell you how many folks came in with toddlers and just let them run like banshees while they did their banking business.

I am very considerate of others and will always remove my child if they are out of line as I do not wish to disrupt anyone. My husband and I really don't take our 3 year old out to dinner at the moment because he still doesn't do that great sitting for long periods of time. It really isn't fair to ruin someone's experience just because I insist on being somewhere.


Originally posted by OzCanuck
I don't even know where to start with this. The only way you can guarantee that you are not next to a crying child in a cabin, in a hallway, or in a restaurant - is to take a cruise line that does not allow kids. There are a few of them, check them out. Other than that, thanks for your really great parenting advice. We should make it a sticky so everyone can marvel at the wisdom!
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Happy Cruising, Kerry






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#36
563 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by tkportersat
I honestly don't think this is out of line at all, and I don't think the individual was implying they didn't like children. I mean really, we have all been out when a kid is crazy and the parent is not paying any attention to them...correct? The last bank I worked at I can't tell you how many folks came in with toddlers and just let them run like banshees while they did their banking business.

I am very considerate of others and will always remove my child if they are out of line as I do not wish to disrupt anyone. My husband and I really don't take our 3 year old out to dinner at the moment because he still doesn't do that great sitting for long periods of time. It really isn't fair to ruin someone's experience just because I insist on being somewhere.
Disagree, that posters comment was out of line.
This is the family board; for parents to get help from other parents. Not a board for random people to tell us how to raise our kids. While they may have meant well and have had a bad vacation due to children, the same can be said for big drinkers, rude people, dirty people, elderly, disabled... Your vacation is what you make of it. If you can't handle certain members of society then you should go live in a cave away from everyone.

We all have our likes and dislikes and it's unfair for someone to chastise someone because what they are doing isn't to their liking.
I personally would much rather be in a room next to a crying baby than a newlywed couple "enjoying themselves" or a smoker. However I'm not going to another board to write a list of rules for all the newlyweds and smokers who potentially may be on the cruise with me.
"Hey newlyweds! Please refrain from adult activity between 10pm and 8am, and if you're going to cry out, please cover your face with a pillow first." /sarcasm
#37
Rockwall TX
5,069 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
We will have to agree to disagree on this one, I didn't think there anything wrong with the post. Some folks could use the reminder. I for one, will do the best to be considerate of others when it comes to my son.

PS- My parents are smokers and I will happily be in the balcony cabin next to them on our next cruise. They too realize that everyone doesn't like their habit (me included) and are very considerate when others are around.

Originally posted by lrowe70
Disagree, that posters comment was out of line.
This is the family board; for parents to get help from other parents. Not a board for random people to tell us how to raise our kids. While they may have meant well and have had a bad vacation due to children, the same can be said for big drinkers, rude people, dirty people, elderly, disabled... Your vacation is what you make of it. If you can't handle certain members of society then you should go live in a cave away from everyone.

We all have our likes and dislikes and it's unfair for someone to chastise someone because what they are doing isn't to their liking.
I personally would much rather be in a room next to a crying baby than a newlywed couple "enjoying themselves" or a smoker. However I'm not going to another board to write a list of rules for all the newlyweds and smokers who potentially may be on the cruise with me.
"Hey newlyweds! Please refrain from adult activity between 10pm and 8am, and if you're going to cry out, please cover your face with a pillow first." /sarcasm
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Happy Cruising, Kerry






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NCL Spirit 3/13/11
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Carnival Conquest 5/28/06 and 3/8/09
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#38
North West, England
345 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by higgib
Hi, I respect your decision to go on a cruise with 3 very young children, and truly hope that you and your family have a great holiday. At the risk of getting 'flamed', though, may I respectfully say that whilst you have made the choice to do this, other people on the ship may not necessarily agree with you.

Speaking from experience, it is not great to be in the cabin next door to a crying child, (I know you said there will be grandparents on one side), or at a nearby table in the dining room! If your kids are restless, bored, noisy or upset, please be prepared to take them somewhere where they will not disturb others.

Also, again from experience, please make sure you don't let them get in the way of staff or passengers in crowded areas, particularly where there is hot food or drinks. (I once tripped over a toddler running around a buffet whilst I was carrying a tray, so didn't see him!) Luckily, other than the resulting mess, no harm was done, and I managed not to damage either of us!

Other than that, I wish you well, and hope you all have a great time!
I advise avoiding the child haters... But as a cruise ship is a public area it's open to all that can pay.

Interestingly there are adult only ships but no 'family only ships... Just a thought
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#39
Washington
50 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I have a question about how a few people said to box up supplies like diapers. Are you just taking a cardboard box and then checking it on the plane? I have a two week cruise and will need to bring a lot of diapers and wipes. Thanks for your help!

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Forums mobile app
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#40
Ontario, Canada
2,241 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Nessie07
I have a question about how a few people said to box up supplies like diapers. Are you just taking a cardboard box and then checking it on the plane? I have a two week cruise and will need to bring a lot of diapers and wipes. Thanks for your help!

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Forums mobile app
If we are travelling by plane, I bring what need to get to the port, then buy what I need before boarding the ship. That way we minimize baggage brought on the plane, but also minimize the cost of supplies needed on board ship. If you are sailing from a US port it is much easier, but if you're sailing from Europe it's a bit harder and you'll need to do some research on the ports of call forums.
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