RCCL- Great Toddler Facilities (Helpful Advice)

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#1
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
We just returned from a 7 day cruise abroad the Freedom of the Seas with our twin 16 months toddlers. In total, there were 20 kids on board under the age of 3. I hope this post will help other families with young children who are considering a RCCL cruise.

General Background
We are experienced cruisers, having been on Carnival, NCL, Princess, Regent, Oceania, Azamara, Costa, etc. We are also Diamond status on Royal Caribbean. This was the kids second cruise, having been on a New England cruise with Carnival when they were 8 months old.

Baby Splash Pool
This pool is dedicated to children who are not yet toilet trained. The pool is only 1.5 inches deep but it is plenty of water for little ones to have fun in. We spent hours there splashing in the water.

H2O Zone
As long as we were holding the toddlers or they were walking through the splash zone, the toddlers were allowed to use this area. They ship did not want children who are not yet toilet trained to sit in the water for fear of contamination. While my little ones preferred the baby pool, it was great to have another water area on board that they could use.

Toy Borrowing Program
In the nursery, there was a book that showed pictures of the toys. You simply signed out what you wanted to borrow. It was a nice treat to have some new toys to play with during the week and even nicer that we didn't have to worry about getting the toys to and from the ship. There is no cost to borrow the toys.

Nursery
As we had family on this trip, we only used the nursery once. However, it was nice to have a place where the kids could go if the adults needed a break. In our case, we all went to the ice show and left the kids in the nursery. The nursery can accommodate 8 kids at a time (with two staff). The staff we meet were warm, outgoing and clearly loved kids. While you pay for use of the nursery, we thought the freedom it provides parents to be 100% worth it. As a side note, the staff told us most families use the nursery at night so that the parents can have dinner, grab a drink, etc. The nursery was open each day from 9:00 am to midnight.

Dream Works
Although not specifically a toddler issue, my kids enjoyed the character breakfasts on the mornings of the two at sea days and the character parade the last night. It was fun getting to take pictures with the characters.

Dinner
Each night the kids went to dinner in the main dining room at 5:30 pm. The waiters did a great time making sure that they had all their favorites- mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc.- and that the high chairs were waiting for us.

Overall Comments
RCCL offers the nursery and swim facilities on the Freedom and Oasis class ships. We really feel that RCCL has made it easy for parents with little ones to enjoy their vacation and has provided facilities that also ensure that little ones have a great time. Other than Disney, to my knowledge other lines simply do not have such facilities for toddlers. If I am wrong, I would love to know. My family is already planning our summer cruise and will be going with RCCL again based on the toddler facilities.
#2
IL
204 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Thank you for this! We're taking our 3 children (ages 4, 2, and 10 months at the time of sailing) on the Freedom in October. We are not taking family, so we plan to use the nursery at least one night to have some alone time. Is the max 8 infants at night as well?

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Carnival Sensation ~ 7/2005
Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas ~ 7/ 2008 (Honeymoon cruise! )
Carnival Glory ~ 7/2009
Carnival Valor ~ 10/2011 (Baby's first cruise and found out we were expecting number 2 in St. Thomas! )
Carnival Dream ~ 2/2012
Norwegian Pearl ~ 1/2013 (Surprise anniversary cruise from my husband!)
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas ~ 10/2014 (Took all 3 kids on a cruise!)

#3
8 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Thanks for all the great info!! One question:

What did y'all do for sleeping arrangements for the kids?
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RCCL Voyager of the Seas December 2005
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#4
Westbrook, ME
710 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by hacejm
We just returned from a 7 day cruise abroad the Freedom of the Seas with our twin 16 months toddlers. In total, there were 20 kids on board under the age of 3. I hope this post will help other families with young children who are considering a RCCL cruise.

General Background
We are experienced cruisers, having been on Carnival, NCL, Princess, Regent, Oceania, Azamara, Costa, etc. We are also Diamond status on Royal Caribbean. This was the kids second cruise, having been on a New England cruise with Carnival when they were 8 months old.

Baby Splash Pool
This pool is dedicated to children who are not yet toilet trained. The pool is only 1.5 inches deep but it is plenty of water for little ones to have fun in. We spent hours there splashing in the water.

H2O Zone
As long as we were holding the toddlers or they were walking through the splash zone, the toddlers were allowed to use this area. They ship did not want children who are not yet toilet trained to sit in the water for fear of contamination. While my little ones preferred the baby pool, it was great to have another water area on board that they could use.

Toy Borrowing Program
In the nursery, there was a book that showed pictures of the toys. You simply signed out what you wanted to borrow. It was a nice treat to have some new toys to play with during the week and even nicer that we didn't have to worry about getting the toys to and from the ship. There is no cost to borrow the toys.

Nursery
As we had family on this trip, we only used the nursery once. However, it was nice to have a place where the kids could go if the adults needed a break. In our case, we all went to the ice show and left the kids in the nursery. The nursery can accommodate 8 kids at a time (with two staff). The staff we meet were warm, outgoing and clearly loved kids. While you pay for use of the nursery, we thought the freedom it provides parents to be 100% worth it. As a side note, the staff told us most families use the nursery at night so that the parents can have dinner, grab a drink, etc. The nursery was open each day from 9:00 am to midnight.

Dream Works
Although not specifically a toddler issue, my kids enjoyed the character breakfasts on the mornings of the two at sea days and the character parade the last night. It was fun getting to take pictures with the characters.

Dinner
Each night the kids went to dinner in the main dining room at 5:30 pm. The waiters did a great time making sure that they had all their favorites- mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc.- and that the high chairs were waiting for us.

Overall Comments
RCCL offers the nursery and swim facilities on the Freedom and Oasis class ships. We really feel that RCCL has made it easy for parents with little ones to enjoy their vacation and has provided facilities that also ensure that little ones have a great time. Other than Disney, to my knowledge other lines simply do not have such facilities for toddlers. If I am wrong, I would love to know. My family is already planning our summer cruise and will be going with RCCL again based on the toddler facilities.




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#5
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Yes, we were told that the max number of toddlers at anytime is 8 so the rule would apply at night as well.

We had three rooms. My husband and I were in a balcony. The nanny and twins were across the hall in an inside with a connecting room to grandma and grandpa (also an inside). The twins each slept in a pac and play provided by the ship. We pushed the queen bed against the wall and the two pac and plays fits between the bed and the other wall. A family of four could share a room this way (it's tight but doable). The family would use our room a lot since there was more room for the kids to play and it was nice to sit out on the balcony. We just booked another cruise with RCCL for the summer- same room set up.