Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Special Interest Cruising > Family Cruises
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Family Cruises Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
Cruise Critic's Family Cruising Resources
Traveling with kids? Best Family Travel Advice
Family Vacation Critic's Family Travel Site

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 11th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default Just Off Celebrity 12 night Med Cruise with Toddler. Any Questions?

Hello. We just got back from the Celebrity Millennium Mediterranean 12 night cruise with our 19 month old toddler. Overall, we had a great experience. Our ports were Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Athens, Florence, Rome, Naples and Villefranche.

Thanks to everyone who provided tips ahead of our cruise, it was a huge help! If anyone has any questions about cruising with a toddler (especially to the Mediterranean), i would be glad to try to answer them.

Larry
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old June 11th, 2007, 11:19 AM
mpb43 mpb43 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 254
Default

Bababooey Land,
I'm glad you had a great trip! We are going to the Med next month with our three kids. The youngest is 3 and will turn 4 while we are on vacation.
What did you do in Santorini and Dubrovnik? We are really interested in walking the wall in Dubrovnik, but aren't sure is this will work with our youngest guy.
Thanks for any input.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old June 11th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

Hi Mpb,

I am not sure if you are taking a stroller for your 4 year old, but we had one for our toddler and it worked out great. he was able to nap in the stroller during the afternoon and we didn’t have to chase after him!

In santorini we took a bus tour with Celebrity to a wine tasting “store”, Oia and dropped us off at the top of Fira. From there, we walked around and took the cable car down back to the tender. Santorini is relatively easy. You can easily just take the cable car up to Fira and back down. In Fira there are great views, shopping and restaurants. Its very easy to do.

Dubrovnik – our ship docked, so we had to take a 10 min bus ride to the city walls. From there, you can easily walk around the city. Like Santorini, plenty of shopping, restaurants, etc. We also walked to Banje beach which is about a 5 min walk from the city.

Walking the walls – we did that first thing in the morning before they got crowded and it got too hot. We walked the walls with the stroller. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it. walking the walls is great. We had to lift the stroller up plenty of steps and it was hard work. It is really up to the individual whether or not to bring a youngster but it is possible to do. When we purchased the audio guide (which I don’t recommend) ( the lady in the booth offered to hold the stroller for us, which we opted not to do since we planned on descending on the other end). There are a couple spots where you can descend from the steps. So we started from one end of the city and descended on the other end. We probably walked a little more than 50% of the wall. That probably took us about an hour to do, keep in mind we had the stroller..so we were moving slower than the average person.

Its probably too many steps and walking for a 4 year old manage alone. I would think you would either need a stroller and/or carry him/her up the steps.


In both Dubrovnik and Santorini we got lucky, our son fell asleep in his stroller so we were able to hit a restaurant with views, drink some wine and have a snack. It was actually very relaxing.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Have fun on your cruise!

Larry
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old June 11th, 2007, 01:12 PM
mpb43 mpb43 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 254
Default

Thanks for the great information. We were planning to bring a light stroller with us, eventhough our son rarely uses one here at home. Walking the walls of Dubrovnik sounds great. We are planning to do Dubrovnik and Santorini on our own. We have have some more intensive sightseeing days in Olympia and Rhodes on our particular cruise (as well as a post cruise stay in Venice).
Sitting at a cafe for lunch sounds delightful. In that sense we are fortunate that even my youngest actually enjoys that as much as we do. While in Italy last year, people watching was one of his favorite pastimes!
We can't wait for our trip and I'm glad yours was so successful.
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old June 12th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

sounds like you are well prepared!

Have a great time!

Larry
__________________

Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old June 13th, 2007, 10:47 AM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

Hi. I have been looking for recent reviews of the Millenium and haven't found any.

I am sailing on Millenium in July with my father, stepmother and 6 year old son. I am really excited about it and have been on this ship two years ago. I know that it was in drydock in May. Was it in good condition?
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old June 13th, 2007, 12:10 PM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

Hi Rebecca,

my wife is writing a review of the ship and should post it shortly. overall the condition of the ship was good to very good. but it does show some wear in areas. i think the biggest concern of ours and many other people were the staterooms. they definitely need a little refurb which Celebrity opted not to do this time around. if you look under Celebrity and "Millennium Refurbished?", youll find a little more info on the ship.

thanks for your tips in the past by the way.

have a great cruise!

Larry
__________________

Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old June 13th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Luxuriate Luxuriate is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Washington State, USA
Posts: 417
Question How many kids were on the ship?

I am planning a 14 night cruise on Millennium in January 2009 through Austrailia. My son will be four years-old by then. I kind of worry that with the longer cruise there might not be any other kids for him to play with.

Thanks,

Cheryl
__________________
Royal Caribbean: Splendor of the Seas 1997
Celebrity: Horizon 1998
Celebrity: Galaxy 2000
Celebrity: Millennium 2000
Holland America: Statendam 2002
Celebrity: Infinity 2003
Carnival: Conquest 2006
Celebrity: Mercury 2007
Princess: Emerald 2008
Celebrity: Mercury: 2009
Celebrity: Infinity 2010
Carnival: Inspiration 2012
Carnival: Inspiration 2013
American: Queen of the Mississippi 2014
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old June 13th, 2007, 10:34 PM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

Fear not! I did the TA cruise on Millie in 2005. I had called Celebrity and they would not give me any info on the number of children. In fact, the sales rep. tried to convince me NOT to go.

There were 30 kids total. 9 were in his age group ( 3-5). It was a great trip!

In Australia you will be visiting ports- so kids aren't going to be that important but I assure you there will be kids.

Have a great time! If nothing else, your son will have great free babysitting with the youth staff. They will take great care of him.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old June 14th, 2007, 07:40 AM
2Hoyas 2Hoyas is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 39
Default

Hi Larry,
Thanks for offering to help! We are planning to do the same cruise next summer with a (then) 4 year old and 6 year old and had a couple of questions I was hoping you could help with.

Did you do any full day excursions with your toddler or did you leave him on the ship? Either way, how did your child do during those long days? If you traveled in cars, did you bring car seats?

Also, did you feel that your child was welcomed on the ship by the crew and other passengers? I've read mixed reviews on taking kids on Celebrity and was curious what your experience was...

Thanks for your insights,
Carolyn
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old June 14th, 2007, 09:28 AM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luxuriate View Post
I am planning a 14 night cruise on Millennium in January 2009 through Austrailia. My son will be four years-old by then. I kind of worry that with the longer cruise there might not be any other kids for him to play with.

Thanks,

Cheryl
Hi Cheryl,

There were not alot of kids on this sailing. There were about 3-4 toddlers, about 5, 3-6 year olds and about 5 older kids.

We also sailed before school got out..so maybe later in the summer there will be more children on the cruise. + disney had a Med cruise as well..so maybe some parents switched to the disney line over Celebrity?

i think a 2 week Australia cruise in Jan, i wouldnt expect alot of children. thats just my opinion. will there be at least a couple other kids on the cruise your son's age..probably yes. But dont expect alot. the staff in the Fun Factory seemed excellent and there are plenty of activites planned everyday for them. having said that, it sounds like a tremendous cruise and if you have the opportunity to go, i wouldnt pass it up!

have a great time!

Larry
__________________

Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old June 14th, 2007, 09:50 AM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Hoyas View Post
Hi Larry,
Thanks for offering to help! We are planning to do the same cruise next summer with a (then) 4 year old and 6 year old and had a couple of questions I was hoping you could help with.

Did you do any full day excursions with your toddler or did you leave him on the ship? Either way, how did your child do during those long days? If you traveled in cars, did you bring car seats?

Also, did you feel that your child was welcomed on the ship by the crew and other passengers? I've read mixed reviews on taking kids on Celebrity and was curious what your experience was...

Thanks for your insights,
Carolyn
Hi Carolyn,

great choice for a cruise..its a great itinerary!

every port day, we did a full day excursion with our son, usually about 8-10 hour days. We also didnt have a choice to leave him on board, since you have to be at least 3 years old and potty trained to leave your child in the fun factory by them self.

our son was fine almost the entire time. a few nights at dinnertime he got cranky (which is normal at home alot! he napped in his stroller almost everyday we had excursions (which he doesnt do at home). overall, i couldnt have asked for anything more out of him, truthfully.

yes we brought a car seat along for him. We hired a driver at 5 different ports. Dub, Santorini and Venice we did by ourself. i didnt think he would last on a long bus ride plus i didnt think it was safe to have him not in a car seat on a bus for that length of time.

I like like your last question. because sometimes reading this message board can be detrimental. There are alot of people on here that push parents with kids not to take Celebrity. They expect Celebrity to be a kids free ship, which is just plain wrong. I want to dispell a couple myths.

1) The staff on board was EXTREMELY friendly towards my son and us and went out of their way to help us.
2) The passengers on board were extremely friendly towards us as well. We did not incur any rude people on board. (a couple rude ones off the ship though)
3) If Celebrity didnt want kids on board, they wouldnt have the fun factory (which was great), they have a full children's menu at dinner that changes everyday. We asked our waiter to expedite our meals and he did with a smile on his face every night. We also ordered items off the childrens menu like Pizza..and it was not a problem.

bottom line is..dont listen to posters on the Celebrity board that try to persuade parents not the sail Celebrity. If you are looking for a ship that wont have alot of kids on board but is still very kid friendly, then you found the right cruise line.

hope this helps!

Larry
__________________

Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old June 17th, 2007, 03:24 AM
Eclipsepearl Eclipsepearl is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: France
Posts: 273
Default

Larry,

Thanks for posting. We're on the Aug 3rd Med cruise on the Galaxy. It's 11 nights and has a slightly different itinerary.

Glad to hear that Celebrity's good for kids. You're saying exactly what I want to hear!

I've made it very clear on the Celebrity boards that if they don't like kids, stay away from all of Southern Europe in August! At least with a peak-season date like this, any complainers wont be able to justify themselves. They claim that we "should be on RCCI, Disney or Carnival" but we are "older" parents who don't do well on kid-oriented vacations. The older age bracket on Celebrity was actually a plus for us. We are also hoping that there will perhaps fewer kids, since it is Celebrity, and perhaps a bit less zoo-like. The other couple have a 12 year old girl who doesn't speak much English and perhaps smaller numbers will mean that she'll be looked after better.

How did you organize it for the meals? Which seating and what did you do with him? We're waitlisted for the second seating. I'm hoping to feed mine first and either send them to the Fun Factory or a babysitter afterwards. Two of them are very active and don't do well with long dining. This is how we usually manage it on vacation.

I think I would have preferred your ship but this was the only cruise we could get in August. My dh can't take any other time off and my kids don't get out of school until July 2nd. France only has 2 months' vacation.
__________________
Sharon
Marine Expeditions, Anarctica, Jan. 1997
Celebrity Galaxy, Eastern Med, Aug. 2007
Celebrity Century, Western Med, Aug 2010
http://medcruise07.blogspot.com/
http://flyingwithchildren1.blogspot.com

Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old June 18th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Bababooey Land's Avatar
Bababooey Land Bababooey Land is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 455
Default

hi Eclipse,

glad to hear you didnt listen to the negative posters on here! You will have a great time on your cruise. we were on the Mercury a few years ago (similar to Galaxy) and thought the ship was great.

In terms of dining, we didnt really have an option, since our Son is under 3. So we had to choose the early seating. We were worried heading into the cruise that he wouldnt last the long dinners. our trick was..show up 20 mins late to dinner. ask the waiter to rush everything (which he did) and i would say half the time we had dessert back in our room. the dinner lasted about 60-75 mins.

I would recommend doing the late dining if you can. The excursions are long and you get back to the ship in alot of ports around 6ish. so to make it to dinner for the early seating is difficult. If you can use the Fun Factory + babysitting, i think you will be in great shape. I also noticed that the fun factory had lunches and sometimes dinners planned as well. so i think you can leave the kids at the fun factory during dinnertime as well.

my opinion, either use the fun factory for dinner or take them to the pasta/pizza station. its very casual and not alot of people there. so if they are loud, make a mess, etc..noone is going to care. it will be alot more relaxing for you. then try to enjoy dinner yourself for the late seating. there is a good chance a table will open up for late seating. If you are in a suite, you get priority on the waitlist. if that doesnt work, you can always talk (and/or tip) the matri'd when you board the ship.

sounds like you are going to have a great cruise!

Larry
__________________

Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old June 18th, 2007, 05:17 PM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

How did you organize it for the meals? Which seating and what did you do with him? We're waitlisted for the second seating. I'm hoping to feed mine first and either send them to the Fun Factory or a babysitter afterwards. Two of them are very active and don't do well with long dining. This is how we usually manage it on vacation.


The Fun Factory offers dinner to the children at 6PM in the buffet. There is a $ 6 charge and the kids are taken to the Fun Factory after dinner. So, don't worry- you can go to the early seat with or without the kids. My son sometimes went to dinner and would stay until he finished his meal and then I took him to the Fun Factory and returned to the main diningroom for dessert. Other times, he ate with the children and counselors.

Celebrity is superior to the other lines for kids. It is highly under-rated. Frankly, most families aren't prepared to pay Celebrity prices for kids and that's why NCL, Carnival and Royal Caribbean attract more kids. I have don't all the lines and favor Celebrity. My son (age 6) was on Galaxy in 2003 (when he was 3) and just thought he died and went to heaven. It is so nice because it is not a zoo. On each subsequent cruise, Millenium 2005 and Constellation 2006- he has made great friends with the other children.
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old June 18th, 2007, 09:05 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Moon Township, Pa
Posts: 22,038
Default

Cheryl, unlike RebeccaLouise's experience, I've done several longer cruises on Celebrity, many of them in January, and I've never seen more than a couple of kids on board. Since your cruise is considered a more exotic cruise, because it's during school time and because it's so far from the US, you really cannot count on many kids on board. As a matter of fact, the past three cruises we did on Celebrity in January had less than five kids total, not counting the few infants. They didn't have a kids program on two of those cruises because there were only 2 kids who were of age for a kids program.
__________________
Darcie
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old June 18th, 2007, 09:27 PM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

kitty9-

I am not sure what sailings or ships you were on in January but I was told by the counselors on Constellation last year that they always have a skelaton staff of five counselors on "M" class ships and then hire extra help during holidays and sailings with many kids.

On Galaxy in October of 2003, my then 3 year old had about a dozen kids his age to play with in the Fun Factory. This was an 8-night

On the Millenium Transatlantic in May of 2005 there were 30 kids from infants- 17 year olds. There were 9 kids my sons age (he was 4) and there were only about 5 kids between the ages of 5-10- so they grouped the kids together. This was great because all the siblings were together.
This was a 14 night.

On Constellation in 2006, we sailed over Easter and there were 300 kids.
This was a 10 night.

If the ship is carrying close to 2000 passengers- you can bet there are going to be some kids on board. I will say that there won't be many school age kids off-season. It will mostly be pre-schoolers.
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old June 18th, 2007, 09:30 PM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

P.S: On the Millenium in 2005- people were surprized when they would see my son walk by. They'd say "That's the first child I've seen on board". There were 30 kids- It's a big ship with a great children's program. The kids even dine with the youth staff. As a consequence you won't even see many kids by the pool.
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old June 18th, 2007, 09:44 PM
rebeccalouise rebeccalouise is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bababooey Land View Post
Hi Cheryl,

There were not alot of kids on this sailing. There were about 3-4 toddlers, about 5, 3-6 year olds and about 5 older kids.

We also sailed before school got out..so maybe later in the summer there will be more children on the cruise. + disney had a Med cruise as well..so maybe some parents switched to the disney line over Celebrity?

i think a 2 week Australia cruise in Jan, i wouldnt expect alot of children. thats just my opinion. will there be at least a couple other kids on the cruise your son's age..probably yes. But dont expect alot. the staff in the Fun Factory seemed excellent and there are plenty of activites planned everyday for them. having said that, it sounds like a tremendous cruise and if you have the opportunity to go, i wouldnt pass it up!

have a great time!

Larry
There aren't ever going to be many school age children off season on Celebrity. If there are children they will be pre-schoolers and maybe one or two school age kids.

We are doing Barcelona- Venice on July 24th. I am sure that there will be kids for my 6 year old to play with. Extended families cruise on Celebrity. Many Grandparents pay for these cruises and want the little ones to come. That is my case. There is no way I could afford a trip to Europe and 13 day cruise for me and my son. Thanks Dad!
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:19 PM
2Hoyas 2Hoyas is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 39
Default Ports in Italy

Hi Larry,
Thanks for all of the great info and tips! We're working on our plans for the Italy ports - Naples, Civitavecchia and Livorno. Obviously there are a lot of options at each port and I'm curious as to how you handled them with your toddler. Seems to me that a full day tour in each port is going to be a lot to ask of my sons (age 4 & 6) but a lot of the sites are a fair distance from the port and I'm not sure a half day excursion would be worthwhile. Do you have any suggestions on what do in these ports? Did you have 3 long tour days or did you do some / all half days tours? Based on some other Cruise Critic research, I think we've decided not to leave our kids on board...just very (over?) cautious about leaving our kids for too long...

Thanks again for your help!
Carolyn
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:34 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.