Am I crazy for wanting to cruise with a baby on one of the "luxury" lines???

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#1
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
DH and I have been contemplating booking a cruise on one of the "luxury" lines such as Regent. We just had a baby who is now 4+ months old, by the time we get our vacation times she would probably be 12 months or so old. We work hard and would like a vacation that is luxurious in terms of accomodations and food. We really like what we've read about the amenities of the smaller ships. Or are some of the other lines comparable in terms of food and services?

There is no way we would leave our LO and we do not mind if there's no babysitting or kids clubs.

One of my questions is, on regent, for example, will they purée food for the baby and have a High chair and pack n play or crib available for use? Please don't suggest posting on the regent board as they can be very negative about even the idea of a baby on board...I was basically told that a luxury line is no place for a baby.

Thanks for the help! Glad I found this board!
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#2
Fredericksburg, va. USA
82,067 Posts
Joined May 2001
I can't help with the puree thing...I would imagine they will do it....and at 1 year, a fork will work just fine...you can mash food as you see fit!

Don't listen to the "no babies" thing....plenty of folks travel with their kids....and it's fine!

I don't think you can truly compare the luxury lines to the mass-market lines...totally different things!

You really should get the cruise brochure from Regent...lots of info in those brochures, and either call them, or talk to a travel agent...they can give you the scoop on what amenities can be had!

Good luck and have a great time!
#3
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by cb at sea
I can't help with the puree thing...I would imagine they will do it....and at 1 year, a fork will work just fine...you can mash food as you see fit!

Don't listen to the "no babies" thing....plenty of folks travel with their kids....and it's fine!

I don't think you can truly compare the luxury lines to the mass-market lines...totally different things!

You really should get the cruise brochure from Regent...lots of info in those brochures, and either call them, or talk to a travel agent...they can give you the scoop on what amenities can be had!

Good luck and have a great time!
Thank you for the encouragement! Good point about the fork mashing of food-- as u can tell, I am a first time mom :-) . I think I will talk to a travel agent-- the brochure wasn't that helpful.
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#4
Missouri
1,970 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
If the baby is 12 months you probably will not need pureed foods. My DD is almost 13 months and literally just got her first tooth a week or so ago. I fed her mostly smooth purees until about a year and the doctor told me that I should start giving her finger foods, so she eats green beans, small shredded bits of meat or ground beef, eggs, pancakes, cheese, noodles. I would imagine you can find something. Even if you are not at finger foods, if you can get a baked potato or sweet potato, noodles, carrots, or a banana you can fork mash it and pretty much have most of your meals covered.
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#5
Ontario, Canada
2,321 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by goose&mav
DH and I have been contemplating booking a cruise on one of the "luxury" lines such as Regent. We just had a baby who is now 4+ months old, by the time we get our vacation times she would probably be 12 months or so old. We work hard and would like a vacation that is luxurious in terms of accomodations and food. We really like what we've read about the amenities of the smaller ships. Or are some of the other lines comparable in terms of food and services?

There is no way we would leave our LO and we do not mind if there's no babysitting or kids clubs.

One of my questions is, on regent, for example, will they purée food for the baby and have a High chair and pack n play or crib available for use? Please don't suggest posting on the regent board as they can be very negative about even the idea of a baby on board...I was basically told that a luxury line is no place for a baby.

Thanks for the help! Glad I found this board!
While I've never cruised a luxury line with an infant, we have spent time in luxury hotels with babies and toddlers and learned a few things . One is to ask ahead of time for things you may need, like a high chair, play pen etc. I prefer to bring my own play pen, but that's me. I also had a small high chair that strapped onto a regular chair, as I found the luxury hotels often didn't have high chairs. However, the staff were always very helpful in accommodating our needs. ITA that a 12 month old is likely not eating puréed foods, small soft chunks will likely be the texture you're working with, which is much easier to work with when ordering in a restaurant.
Go, enjoy the trip and as long as you're considerate of the other cruisers in public areas you should be fine.
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#6
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
We are the types that are constantly apologizing to others around us if we go to a public place and she starts crying!

Thanks for all the great advice! now, we're comparing just going to Hawaii at the ritz Carlton with club level rooms vs. cruising on regent. Or renting a house on the beach where we can drive to the destination. So many logistics to think about when you have a baby to consider--but it's all worth it!!
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#7
Hyattsville, MD
107 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I think you are brave.

I decided early on that we would not extensively travel with the kids until they were at least five years old. We went tons of places when they were young, but they were the sort that catered to families with babies and toddlers--where we would not feel stressed out or trapped if they had an incident, got sick, etc. We drove to Sesame Place, Dutch Wonderland, beaches, parks, all those "kid" oriented things that were within a day's driving range of our DC Metro home.

That being said, I've always admired the parents who seem to so easily circumvent the globe with baby (or babies) in tow. You sound like the sort who can handle it. I knew I was not. Hubby and I have vacationed without the kids, several times a year from the time our kids were tiny. We're lucky that my parents and my in-laws are within an hour's drive and have always been so willing to take the kids for days or a even a week at a time.

If you plan carefully and set your expectations accordingly, I'm sure you can have a wonderful experience with the baby on a luxury vacation like a Regent Cruise. Have you considered some possible alternatives, though?

1) Bring a nanny or caregiver along with you on the trip, so that you have someone to give dedicated attention to the baby, stay in the room during naptime, etc

2) Leave baby at home with Grandma or trusted family. Having a romantic vacation sans baby could be wonderful for your marriage.

Anyhow, I wish you luck. There's really no wrong way to handle this. It's up to you and what you can handle and what you want.
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#8
14,219 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by goose&mav
now, we're comparing just going to Hawaii at the ritz Carlton with club level rooms vs. cruising on regent. Or renting a house on the beach where we can drive to the destination. So many logistics to think about when you have a baby to consider--but it's all worth it!!
We always found it easier to just rent a house/condo where we wanted to go using VRBO.com or homeaway.com to find rental properties. You aren't constantly stressed out when the baby is crying, and you can easily take them back for a nap. You have your own kitchen, more room, etc. It just worked better for us. We have had some great condos on Hawaii, right on the water, and it was less expensive and less of a hassle than a cruise.
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#9
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by 6rugrats
We always found it easier to just rent a house/condo where we wanted to go using VRBO.com or homeaway.com to find rental properties. You aren't constantly stressed out when the baby is crying, and you can easily take them back for a nap. You have your own kitchen, more room, etc. It just worked better for us. We have had some great condos on Hawaii, right on the water, and it was less expensive and less of a hassle than a cruise.
Thanks for those sites, I will look into them!
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#10
boston
308 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I, too, am a fan of renting a house/condo for a land-based vacation. I was always a hotel person before my DS. My question was simply, is it four stars or five? Now, I am a convert to renting a house/condo. It's not that we couldn't stay in a four or five star hotel with DS, 5. We have stayed in luxury hotels with him, and it was fun-- for a few days. But for a longer vacation, a house/condo makes it all so much easier. There's room for everyone to spread out, and you don't have to drag a child to a restaurant for every meal. You also get a bit of the local flavor and living experience. We did a vacation rental in the Florida Keys this year with much success. My next step is trying to convince DH that we should rent an apartment in Paris for a week!
#11
14,219 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by alj1208
My next step is trying to convince DH that we should rent an apartment in Paris for a week!
We are doing exactly that this summer. Way less expensive and more interesting than a hotel.
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#12
Brooklyn, NYC
96 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
I love to cruise and always travel with the kiddo. I will say, though, that from the beginning of mobility until the beginning of reason (the ability to understand rules and/or accept a bribe!), I avoided big time travel and I was glad. They want and need to move all the time when they are learning to walk, which is right around that time. The cabin is small for activities like that (was even small when he was 6 months and wanted to scoot about!) and trying to find a good place to let him roll around was challenging even on Norwegian. I can't imagine trying to find a place to let him/her just be a kid with the disapproving Regent travelers eyeing you, and I am usually not one to care what others think!

He also didn't sleep well in unfamiliar surroundings and wasn't big enough to understand that this was a fun adventure, so he woke each night and took hours to fall asleep again - we roamed the halls with him in the Moby to keep him from waking our neighbors. At 12 months, I think much of that could be even worse.

I honestly didn't even want to take him on any long flights between 9-30 months! He just couldn't sit still!

We started big flights again at 3 (2.5 would probably be fine, too) and did his first cruise at nearly 4. We had a blast! Another one booked for next month and he's feeling like a pro now.
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#13
Brooklyn, NY
405 Posts
Joined May 2009
Besides trips where we can drive to (sesame place, beach etc.) our almost 3 year old son has been on a cruise, to bermuda on a land based trip and to disney. He's had a blast every single time and I have no regrets taking him with us. We are planning our first family of four trip for November when my second son will be 17 months. When we planned our Bermuda trip we didn't know if our DS would be walking (we booked at 9 months and he was 13 months when we went). He had just started to walk and it was fabulous. I think it would have been a lot harder if he wasn't walking but it was just so great to see him explore. We were staying at an upscale hotel but they catered to kids. I am not familiar with the Regent cruise line but I do know that the Ritz totally caters to kids. What ever you do, you'll be creating great memories! Enjoy!!!
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#14
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Hmmm, Paris sounds great .

What we want is to create great memories with our baby girl while going to places we enjoy. Time enough for Disney when she's older...
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#15
274 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
I don't know if you are 100% sold on Regent. I will say that I LOVE NCL. We get a suite with a butler. I love not having a set time to do anything. My DD is 3 she would swim while we ate breakfast or dinner by the courtyard pool. My room was a nice size, so plenty of room for my 11 mo to crawl. It was an amazing trip, both times we have been on NCL.

I looked at the regent site, and what I like about NCL, if you stay in suite class, is you have all the benefits of a LARGE cruise line, and all the benefits of suite service. Its like a luxury ship inside a mass line ship.
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#16
468 Posts
Joined May 2005
I love NCL and the suite life is the BEST!!! I would probably stay in a courtyard villa, enjoy the private pool and hottubs, and save the more upscale line for a later date.
#17
Northern CA
140 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Hmmm, I guess I didn't consider NCL after our last cruise with them-- so many lines, rude cranky people pushing on excursions. Maybe it would be better in a suite with butler or courtyard villa (we stayed in a mini-suite before). Thanks for the advice.
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#18
249 Posts
Joined May 2010
We have a two-year-old son and he's been on one short cruise with us - and we are taking him on a longer one soon.

The good thing about cruises is that everything is in one place: food, entertainment - you might be able to avoid airports and long-haul flights which are never fun with young children.

However, you will miss out on a lot of the good things on offer because of the baby. You will be sharing a small cabin with them and will need to be quiet when they are asleep. It will be difficult to go to shows and enjoy music in the evening because you cannot leave the baby alone in the cabin. Even mealtimes are stressful, because most small children find it very difficult to be on their best behaviour for one and a half hours while three courses are served. We often missed desert on our last cruise.

If you are happy to sacrifice quite a few things, go for the cruise. You just have to be quite realistic about how much you can do. I would look for a ship which focusses on families so you feel more at home - I would not like to deal with a rowdy baby in a dining room full of judgemental older people who want a quiet dinner!

Renting a vacation house with a few friends might be a lot more fun and value for money at the moment!
#19
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
As a parent, I define luxury a little differently than I would if I didn't have kids. "Luxury" would be having someone else take the little one off my hands for a while. That way, I could have a nap, go to the spa, have lunch or dinner with my dh. On a cruise, this would be a ship with a nursery. Royal Caribbean and DCL both have nurseries for the 1 year old to 3 year old set.
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#20
468 Posts
Joined May 2005
When traveling with kids, the lines to get off the ship at a port were nuts. This was the reason we opted for our first suite. They take you down a locked elevator, and you are one the first off the ship. Its a great perk when traveling with kids and strollers.