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  #1  
Old February 24th, 2013, 04:45 PM
MrsElizabeth MrsElizabeth is offline
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Question Cruising with a 4, 5, and 6 year old

We're talking about doing a family cruise this coming December. Our son will be 18 months, and our nephews will be 4, 5, and 6. It will be a first cruise for everyone except my husband and myself. We're looking at the Carnival Conquest for a Western Caribbean cruise.

Can you share your experiences on cruising with children at that age? I'm trying to sell the idea to my family as well as know what to expect for myself. What is there to do for my nephews besides be dropped off at Camp Carnival? What activities were you able to do as a family while in port? Did you feel like your children enjoyed themselves on the trip?
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2013, 12:47 PM
2CuteKiddies 2CuteKiddies is offline
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Our daughter is 5 and was recently on her 4th cruise and our 10 month old son has been on 2 cruises. Our daughter's first was on the Conquest 3 years ago, although it's been upgraded since we were on it.
We've loved cruising with them and it's a great way to vacation with younger kids. It's great having activities and your room near each other when you need to get something or one of the kids needs a nap (such as the 18 mo). When our son needed a nap, one would stay with him and the other would take our daughter out.
They don't always have to be in the kid's club, but Carnival's is good and they may want to be there a lot of the time! In addition to scheduled activities and ship amenities, kids will find their own things they like. Our daughter wasn't in the kid's club much on our last cruise (RCCL Mariner of the Seas), but after our son went to bed and one of us stayed there, she liked to go out to have a cup of milk and talk.
We've done a lot of beach days in port, which the kids have enjoyed, but also found time for a little shopping. On the last cruise, our daughter did a dolphin encounter in Cozumel (Dolphinaris) which was great!
Our daughter has definitely enjoyed cruising. She's always wanted to stay on the boat longer and is already planning our next one! Our son had fun, too, but his reactions are a little harder to read!
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Old February 25th, 2013, 03:38 PM
snoopy5386 snoopy5386 is offline
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We just did our 2nd cruise with kids, first was Disney when my oldest was 3.5 and this latest one was with my 6.5 and 2.5 year olds. Both times the kids club was a bust. When my oldest was 3.5 she was terrified of it, this time she got seasick in the kids club since it was all the way in the front of the ship. 2.5 year old hated being separated from her sister in the kids club and cried a lot. It was a winter cruise out of Baltimore so not as much opportunities for swimming as we would have liked. We had fun on the port days - Kennedy Space Center, the beach and an island tour, but sea days the only options besides the kid's club was swimming or tv. They watched a lot of tv over the course of the cruise. I would definitely get a look at the daily newspapers for the ship you are interested in going on so you can get an idea of what activities to expect.

We won't be cruising again until my youngest is 5 or 6.
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Old February 25th, 2013, 04:17 PM
A&Jfamily A&Jfamily is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsElizabeth View Post
We're talking about doing a family cruise this coming December. Our son will be 18 months, and our nephews will be 4, 5, and 6. It will be a first cruise for everyone except my husband and myself. We're looking at the Carnival Conquest for a Western Caribbean cruise.

Can you share your experiences on cruising with children at that age? I'm trying to sell the idea to my family as well as know what to expect for myself. What is there to do for my nephews besides be dropped off at Camp Carnival? What activities were you able to do as a family while in port? Did you feel like your children enjoyed themselves on the trip?
Its a wonderful age to start cruising as a family; my sons were 2 and 8 on their first cruise. Because your sone is 18 months, however, there won't be any programs for him...so for that reason I might wait 6 more month. The reason is that I think crusing offers the perfect balance between family and adult time...due to the availability of camp.

My sons both loved camp and were wanting to do everything, including pass on family dinner to have dinner with camp carnival....that was reserved as a treat though, and mostly mom made them eat with the family!

If they are potty trained, there is the pool. Plus putt putt, basketball and just general wandering the ship. There are games to be found in the library.

We found that on port days, we generally kept them with us. Grand Caymen has island tours, sting ray encounters etc that are all appropriate for kids. Cozumel has a wonderful park (Chankanaab) that not only has a beach, a pool, a play ground, a lagoon surrounded by iguanas, but also a dolphin experience for kids of all ages. They have been snorkeling and kayaking in Belize, as well as on a tour of the ruins followed by an amazing river boat ride with tons of animals. There is also the zoo. In Roatan - that is their FAVORTIE port - Victor Boden tours - wonderful! Played with all kinds of animals, and went zip lining.

You will never lack for anything to do on a port day. And since we are together all day ashore, we don't mind sending them to camp for a few hours in the evenings while we catch a show or go to the casino. And when they do have a couple of sea days at the front and back of the cruise, they are more than happy to spend big chunks of time in camp.

All in all a perfect balance IMHO. Far more relaxing for all than say Disney. And much more to do that being on a land based resort at one location.
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