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Everything posted by kitkat343

  1. I would agree that the scenic beauty of the Norwegian fjords outshined the beauty of Alaska for us. I also loved our Baltic cruise, but that was all about museums and exploring cities.
  2. I'm happy with the policy of RC and Celebrity, which requires all passengers over the ages of 18 to be fully vaccinated and passengers under the age of 18 need a negative test. I also think its perfectly reasonable for lines like Silversea to require all passengers to be vaccinated, since they are not primarily family lines. I'm not happy with Norwegian because they require all passengers to be vaccinated and I think only adults should be required to be vaccinated, and that's a family line. On the other hand, my family isn't going on a cruise until it is safer for my kids so I guess it does
  3. We didn't sail to Alesund, but Flam and Geiranger were both amazing. Olden was an unexpected highlight, because the expensive but outstanding Loen Skylift was there. The Briksdal Glacier was a nice drive and lovely hike to a glacier hit hard by global warming. As long as you know not to expect an impressive glacier, an excursion to the Briksdal glacier is quite enjoyable. Don't worry - many of the ports are used to cruisers with limited mobility, and there are lots of ways for people who don't want a great deal of physical excursion to enjoy the views. We saw lots o
  4. It won't always be helpful, but there are child size toilets in the kids club if you are near there (and they are open)
  5. This is true for the mainstream Tauck cruises, which probably attract very few children if they are even allowed to sail. What the OP is looking at are the Tauck family cruises, which are specifically geared towards families and intergenerational groups of travelers. There is some children's programing on the ship - language classes and cooking classes (but probably nowhere near the amount of time and activities available on a mainstream cruise line) and there will also be other families and children on the boat so the kids can run around in groups and make friends and take excursions geare
  6. thanks for the great photo!
  7. The cruise lines with paid nurseries were Disney, Norwegian Escape and newer/refurbished Royal Caribbean ships. Cunard and Carnival let children go for free in the kids club starting at the age of 2. Princess let children under the age of 3 attend the kids club with a parent or adult supervising (they did a great job helping young children when the ships aren't full). That may have changed with covid, so it would be best to confirm with the line prior to booking. It's a personal decision, but we didn't sail until the kids were old enough to go to the kids clubs unsupervised e
  8. This isn't terribly useful, but my mother has taken a lot of land trips with Tauck and really loves them. When I do land tours, I plan the trips independently, and use Tauck as a starting point. I usually base my itinerary off theirs, and use whatever hotels or restaurants they use that are within our price range (not all of them are). Everything I've copied from them has been wonderful. Hope the people in the river cruise line forum can be more helpful.
  9. My kids were 2 and 5 when we went to Norway and it was amazing! The only thing I'd note (which won't affect you since yours are bigger) is that Norway doesn't allow young children in cabs without car seats. There isn't much public transportation because the ports are so small. Since we usually explore independently we were stuck more than in other places with kids when it would rain and they didn't want to walk. That trip started in London, and in London when we got caught in the rain and the kids got tired of walking, we'd hop in a cab, go get the kids food and wait out the rain and then
  10. We went to Costa Maya with a 3 year old and really loved our tour with Native choice. I'm including our review below, but please note that with covid I honestly have no idea how much things have changed for vendors who depended upon tourism. Our three year old son greatly enjoyed this excursion. The Native Choice literature correctly states that this tour would be better appreciated by children above the age of six, but toddlers would greatly enjoy exploring the interesting Chacchoben ruins. The grounds of the ruins are generally flat, which makes it fairly easy for parents with s
  11. As we are (hopefully) on the road to recovery, I was wondering if people wanted to post links to their reviews of cruises with children or say which cruises or ships they've sailed with young children and would recommend to others. My dream is to visit Cuba, but I'm not sure if that will be an option when cruising returns and am hoping to find some alternatives. My kids have loved the cruises they've been on and the reviews of my cruises with my kids are in my signature line if anyone else is interested in ideas. Please note that the cruises my family did to the Panama Canal a
  12. A child moving age groups is entirely at the discretion of the kid's club staff. If this is a dealbreaker for your family (and I can understand that depending upon your children's personalities in some rare instances it can be since you might have a child who would refuse to go to the kids club if a sibling can't help them) then you need to cancel your cruise. For others reading this forum, Disney has the widest age grouping, as they will group children ages 3-10 together. The downside to having that large an age gap is that some younger children are scared by the unstructured
  13. My children are freakishly strong, and my 2 year old ( a few days past his second birthday) was able to open our balcony door on the Coral Princess. The rule was that he could not go on the balcony alone, and that he could not climb balcony furniture ever. A balcony is a really good thing to have with kids for you to have a place to relax while your child naps, but you do want to ensure you have kids you can trust to follow those rules.
  14. 2 years for our kids. I'm not sure how much my kids remember versus how much they remember the pictures (they went to Norway and Cartagena so there are lots of amazing photos of them when they were little). It depends on your kids - mine liked to explore so it was easier at a younger age. If your kid prefers a routine, you might want to wait longer.
  15. Cunard's kids club program starts at 2, but their counselors were the least impressive of the lines I'd sailed with kids (HAL, Princess, NCL). RC and Disney have fee based nurseries for children under 2. The staff on Princess were really good with 2 year olds, but you do have to stay with them. Carnival kid club starts at 2, but I haven't sailed with them.
  16. In my signature line, there are reviews for a bunch of cruises I took toddlers on. We found that private tours were the most important thing that made sailing with your children manageable - we could stay longer when the kids were happy and leave sooner if they were unhappy. We stopped to feed them when they got tired or cranky (the cereal in sealed individual boxes on the ship were perfect snacks but they might not be available anymore). If you have any questions after reading my reviews please let me know. I was pregnant with my first in Alaska (although that really is an ama
  17. Unless you are on Cunard, I don't think the cruise lines will object as long as she looks nice. Even cunard was remarkably patient with me wearing an ordinary day dress on formal night, despite the fact that many other cruisers were in actual formal wear, even in the buffett. But I had to shlep so much stuff across the atlantic to take a 2 and 6 year old on a cruise to Norway that I couldn't pack more than one dress and it needed to be easy to clean since I would wind up wearing food eventually.
  18. The cruise line doesn't matter as much as the itinerary. The more time you can spend in St. Petersburg the better. The other thing to aim for with small children is a ship that docks directly in Stockholm (these tend to be the smaller ones). If you can afford it, a private tour just for your family in St. Petersburg can help families or people with disabilities get the most out of their limited time in St. Petersburg. We had a 3.5 year old, and were able to skip through the lesser rooms in Catherine's Palace, stop whenever he was fascinated, and stop to feed him whenever he got whiny. Also
  19. It's probably a very low risk that your ship would be caught in a quarantine. But those are really tough ages if if happens.
  20. We've done both the Baltics and Norway with small children. All the ports, with the exception of St. Petersburg and possibly Germany if you want to go all the way to Berlin can easily be toured by yourself, thanks to the excellent local public transport system (there is excellent public transport to Berlin, but it's far from the port and there's a lot of travel within Berlin so you'd need to decide yourself if it would be easier with a tour). The cruise line you chose doesn't matter nearly as much as the itinerary. Both are stunning in different ways - Norway has an enormous am
  21. We did the baltics with a 3 year old in tow. You can absolutely do Tallin and Helsinki on your own (I haven't been to Visby). I'm not sure about your itinerary, but on a traditional Baltic cruise Tallin is usually the day before St. Petersburg. If this is the case, I'd recommend taking a very brief cab ride from the port to the top of Toompea hill and walking down. The beauty in Tallinn is wandering around which you can do going downhill, but just save your energy for St. Petersburg if it is the next day.
  22. I don't think this is what you are looking for now, but when your kids are older (we had car seats): - in Aruba, you can grab a taxi in the port, and go on a tour of the island. Philips animal garden is an amazing rescue center for animals who needed a home (they rescued a bunch from the Venezuela zoos, and you can feed them). Then you can go to a beautiful cave, and then visit a beach. - in Roatan, Bodden adventures can take you all over the island, and you can play with monkeys at Victor Bidden's house. The iguana zoo is excellent, as was the eco walk at south sh
  23. If you are traveling on a closed loop cruise and the child is an American citizen and nothing goes wrong, you will be fine with just a birth certificate. If anything happens and you need to fly home, well, that's potentially a very difficulty problem as this family learned: https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/regional/florida/nicole-roman-mejias-florida-cruise-ship-passport/67-5bbe7d14-829e-4b84-8208-90053161bd20 . However, there was nothing preventing them from getting off the ship, getting their child medical attention and then applying for emergency passports so they could fly
  24. We were able to easily DIY copenhagen on our own, even with a 3 year old in tow. Public transport is wonderful there. You might want to take a canal cruise, as this is a very pleasant way to see the city. Try to find a warm, dry patch for that if possible.
  25. At 2.5, how well this will go really depends upon your kid. Some kids love to explore, and are really flexible about nap times and bedtimes, and separate easily from their parents. That's going to be a completely different experience than taking a 2.5 year old whose sleep routine gets disrupted if they are late for a nap and they become really cranky, or a child who can't be dropped off at the kids club. It might be too late for this, but if possible, please try to sail during the school year. The emptier the kids clubs are, the less overwhelming they will be and the more time
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