Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
We're cruising in June on Royal Carribbean with my seven-month old grandson. What equipment will we need for the dining room? deck? ports, etc.? We're thinking a folding umbrella stroller might serve triple duty. I'm told highchairs are available, but I can't remember. Can an average 7-month old sit up in a high chair?
What tips do you have for baby, parents and grandparents?
I just got off a week long cruise with my 6 1/2 month old. I brought a high chair cover (one that is like a shower cap for both high chairs and shopping carts) for comfort in the high chairs. After the first night, the dining room staff always had a high chair sitting there waiting for her. I also brought an umbrella stroller, and she could sit in that in the buffet areas and such. As far as supplies, it was pretty easy. I brought a few toys, and enough diapers and wipes. I also brought a backpack carrier (an ergo) that is small but made life a lot easier. I would recommend buying the blow up duck bath for baths since most rooms dont' have tubs. You can also bring it up by the pool and you can use it for a pool (since the baby isn't potty trained, no pool time).
My best advice is to get a balcony for nap time and in the evening. I spent a lot of time in my room while the baby napped or after she was in bed. Sitting on the balcony was a life saver. Also, just set your expectations low. Out of 7 dinners, we only made it through 4 because she got tired even with an early dinner.
We actually live in Florida, so we drove to Miami and left the car seat in the car. Though there's enough room in the Carnival cabins to store a bucket car seat. We did excursions that were bussed so that we didn't need to install car seats (we also had a 2 year old).
As far as bottles, you can bring a bottle brush and a small thing of dish soap and clean them in the cabin's bathroom.
I just got back from a cruise with 7.5 month old twins. We brought a small container of dish soap, a small bin for bottle parts and a brush. I also brought a small drying rack. I washed them in the bathroom every night. I also brought puffs for them to play with while in the high chair. They didn't seem to enjoy the high chairs, so we just started feeding them in their stroller. We brought their infant car seats, but didn't end up using them. We used carriers for the one taxi trip in St. Thomas. I brought Lysol wipes to use to clean the high chairs when we did use them. They had fun just sitting on the bed or in their pack n' plays with their toys. I practiced sitting up with them a lot before we left. I'm glad I did, because it made my life so much easier not having to entertain them. We had a balcony, so we used a small blow-up pool out there for them to play/bathe in. We had my parents with us, so we were able to eat dinner by ourselves each night. My advice is to go with the flow. Don't have any set plans. We spent a lot of time in the cabin, while they played or napped. They actually went to a couple of shows with us in their stroller sound asleep. Let me know if you have any questions.
We will be flying to Miami so will need the infant seat for the cab to the hotel and then port. I just am not looking forward to bringing the BIG (travel system) stroller but feel it is the best option for having the infant seat. What about baths, did you have a bath tub? I will be in the NCL Dawn in a balcony but know that there is just a shower. I was thinking about a blow up pool for baths out on the balcony....??? I was thinking about investing in one of those hook on high chair things for the table in the room for feeding.. any thoughts? What kind of excursions did you do?
We brought our Graco Duoglider and were happy we did. If we can get around with that thing, you can get around with a single stroller easily. We used the infant seats attached to the stroller when we checked in and that was it. The rest of the time, we just put them in the stroller without the seats. We used the infant seats to feed them in or a high chair in the buffet. I wouldn't invest in a clip-on high chair. One less thing to bring.
I loved doing baths out on the balcony in their pool and so did the girls. This is the one we got. http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Smart-Baby...pr_product_top
I loved having the shade, since our balcony was in the sun a lot. I got it on ebay pretty cheap and it came in girly colors, which I liked, since I have 2 girls. You can also get the blow-up duck tub that can fit in the shower too or on the balcony. That might work better for you, since you just have one baby. I figure I'd used the pool again this summer and I needed room for 2 babies.
We just went to the beach with the girls. In St. Thomas we took one of those open air safari taxis and put them in carriers. In St. Maarten, we just took the water taxi over to the beach there, so we didn't need a taxi. We didn't take the girls off the ship in other ports. My parents stayed with them.
On the NCL Dawn, we took a hand towel and covered the drain in the shower, put a folded towel on the floor and let it fill up a few inches. We then washed them with the hand shower (it comes off the wall - see my website for pics). It worked for us.
In terms of bottles, we used the Playtex "Drop In's" b/c they have a throw away liner. We just had to wash the nipples (bring small dish soap) and rinse the plastic bottle (where the liner sits). We then dried them on a dry washcloth.
The stroller system, even though bulky, is best for the little ones. It does take up room in your cabin but if the baby is very comfortable, so are you! Remember they are in it all day, we fed the baby in it and had all his toys hanging off it for him to play, extra underneath. He could even sleep comfortably in it and you can go see a show or restaurant.
Norwegian Pearl June 2013 (Alaska)
Disney Wonder Sept 2012 (Pacific Coastal)
Ruby Princess Mar 2012 (Eastern Caribbean)
Sapphire Princess Nov 2011 (Mexican Riviera)
Celebrity Silhouette Nov 2011 (Inaugural NYC)
Norwegian EPIC Nov 2010 (Western Caribbean)
Norwegian Dawn May 2010 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Jewel October 2009 (Around the Caribbean Repo)
Norwegian Dawn October 2008 (Bermuda)
Norwegian Gem February 2008 (Florida and Bahamas)
Norwegian Wind January 1999 (Western Caribbean)
RCCL - Song of America July 1998 (Bermuda)
Majesty - Royal Majesty March 1996 (Florida and Bahamas)
A 7-month-old will be able to sit up in a high chair. Six months is the big month where they perfect their sitting skills. My son sat in his first restaurant high chair at 6-1/2 months old and could have done it a couple of weeks earlier.
If you want to make sure the bottles are very clean, you can sterilize them in a microwave using the Medela bags made for breast pump parts. We were in a hotel with our son when he was a newborn and those bags were fabulous for making sure the sink cleaning got everything very clean. I didn't want to risk any germs, etc, since using the bathroom sink didn't seem as sanitary as my dishwasher at home. I know that sterilizing is only required for newborns, but I still use those when we're at a hotel with our son at his current age of 14 months. It just makes them feel safer to use.
The only pre made bottles i have seen are 2 oz.....do they make larger ones?
Yes, Similac has 8 ouncers and Enfamil has 6 ouncers. The nipples you can buy cheap on Ebay or from the manufacture website. I prefer Ebay because you can buy them 50 -100 at a time. Honestly who has time to clean bottles when you are on vacation.
USN 1980-1985 63 Cruises Completed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Disney, Carnival, Princess, Discovery, MSC, Celebration
Our baby will be 6 months when we go on our cruise. I'm thinking of buying the 6-oz Enfamil disposable bottles to avoid bottle washing. However, I'm not sure what to do about the nipples. Are all the disposable nipples the slow flow ones? I have him on medium flow ones now, and feeding time is a lot faster!
Celebrity provided us with a pack 'n' play and the cabin attendant washed and sterilized her sippy cups for us every day. They provided a bin of age appropriate toys for the week (each bin was sterilized before being distributed - I think we even had to break the seal when we got it) and even arranged several toddler playgroups during the week. I'm not sure if other lines do any of this - maybe others can tell you.
We brought a Kelty backpack stroller which was great for ports with a lot of walking, stairs, etc. We could also prop it up and use it as a highchair at restaurants that didn't have them. Since the baby is in a sort of standing position it should be fine for 7 month olds even if they can't sit in a regular highchair.
We also brought a sit 'n stroll for the plane. This worked great for shore excurions by van or bus.