One Year Old Cruiser...

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#1
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I'm having some difficulty in deciding which cruise ship (and cruise line) to book for our vacation with our new baby girl. I want it to leave from New York and be as baby-friendly as possible. I'm disappointed that all the research I'm doing tells me babies in diapers aren't allowed in the pools, even the kiddie pools. We live in New York and I didn't want to take my baby on a plane to get on a ship. I'm a new mom and have no idea what it will be like to vacation with my baby girl but I am so looking forward to this.

Any advice from parents that sail from New York with a one year old would be greatly appreciated. FYI, I'm taking my mother and other family members may go as well so I think babysitting won't be a problem at all.

Thanks in advance!
#2
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,238 Posts
Joined May 2001
It's true...very few ships allowed anyone in diapers in the pool...they don't have the sanitary means on a ship's pool to allow it. You wouldn't want your child in a pool with fecal material in it, would you? (And yes, even "swimmies" allow the pool water to flow through the diaper and it's contents.....totally icky)

Most folks with babies who want their child to be put in a pool will simply bring a blow-up tub....at 1, all a child will do is splash, anyway. You can use an ice bucket to put water in it, and pour the water into a floor drain or shower drain....not into the pool. It's also handy for bathing, since most cabin have only showers.

Since your child is so young, the ship and amenities won't really matter, unless you are going to need to hire babysitters...and it sounds like you have that covered! So do NOT pick a ship for the child...pick it for you! All of the lines welcome children.

As far as vacationing as a family...that's what families do! Whatever you do at home, you'll be doing on the ship, or hotel, or however you vacation!
#3
Ontario
703 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Pick a short cruise! Flying with a 1 year old isn't that bad....much worse when they are 2!
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#4
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
My Boyfriend suggested the same thing, the blow-up pool idea. I realize its for health reasons and I'm glad for it, I guess what she'd want is sprinklers and a few inches of water to run around in. Thanks for the advice! I'm still learning to think like a mom.

Now to decide on a ship...
#5
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
I'm definitely not up to taking my little girl on a plane even though she is the sweetest thing and is never misbehaved when out in public. Of course she is only 4 months now and who knows what she'll be like when she turns 1.

I've been thinking of a 7-day cruise on Norwegian. There is one that leaves from New York and stays in the Bahamas for 3 days then comes back. I don't think that's what you meant by a short cruise... Why a short cruise? Other than the obvious packing and supplies issue.
#6
Minneapolis, MN
657 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
What type of year are you thinking? If it's summer, Bermuda would be great. If it's winter, then the one you mentioned would be good - just know that the first and last days will be chilly until you make it to the Bahamas.

Being from MN, every cruise we do involves a flight, so for us a short cruise is not worth the packing and flying hassle. I think some people like the short cruises to see if they like it and how the baby does, but you kind of hit a routine and grove on the third or fourth day and then it's more fun, IMHO.

As a disclaimer - we've been on 28 cruises but this New Years will be the first with a child. Maybe I'll change my mind after we get back. I know it won't be the same as any cruise we've ever been on and that's ok. We're excited for this new adventure.

You won't know what you baby is like at that age since they change so fast, but if you are able to go with the flow and enjoy the moment, I think any cruise you choose will be fun.

Good luck!
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Teri

Dolphin, Chandis, Regency, Renaissance, Celebrity, Oceania, MSC, Royal Caribbean (3), Holland America (2), Princess (4), Carnival (5), NCL (14)
#7
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
It's during the summer, July 2013 on the Norwegian Breakaway. I think you're right it is Bermuda not the Bahamas. I've sailed Norwegian and Royal Caribbean before but this will be the first time with baby. That new ship is definitely calling me. I wonder what baby amenities are available?
#8
Dallas, TX USA
200 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Don't let a flight scare you off. We have traveled with our now 26 month old and she does great on planes. So many people to look at and we pack for her really well. I know it's not affordable for many, but if you can get her own seat and bring her car seat on board, it is MUCH MUCH easier for all involved. They are used to their car seat, even if they hate it in the car. It seems to not be so bad in the plane

We are cruising with her for the first time next month and taking our longest flight yet - 5 hours. Should be an interesting week........

Not the point of your overall question, but I didn't know what it was like to vacation with a baby/toddler either. Honestly, it's much different than before - obviously. But if you go with the expectation of enjoying your time as a family, knowing nothing is going to be perfect, and just being happy you are away from work/home/daily life, it is fun. They will cry, throw tantrums, sleep terribly, but being able to run around outside and get tons of fresh air and see new sights seems to make their entire day and trip worthwhile
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#9
phila, pa
51,872 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
consider ships in nearby ports too-- and not center the search on new york directly.

There is bayonne, and their is Baltimore.


We sailed with an 18 month old for an august sailing. As hot as it was she never missed swimming. (heck we never even saw the pools onboard.)

sailing with a baby is not the same as when you sailed as a couple. You will have to pack everything she needs. (we took sheets for the pack and play-- but didnt use it as it took up too much room. (we did use the drawer from under the sofa-- padded it with the blankets etc. it served our purpose.

we took most everything disposables-- bibs, cups, utensils.
high chairs are not the kind with the tray. they pull up to the table- which everything was in her reach. (the table cloth even--lol)

after dinner we took her outside to the public deck and let her run off all that energy she stored while eating. she did good with sitting there for the 2 hours we took.

I do not know about NCL- carnival does not take kids into the camps until they have turned 2-- no exceptions. so if looking for some quality spouse time on carnival-- you cant do that
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#10
Alexandria, VA
12 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We are sailing with our duaghter in december and she'll be 19 months. we were concerend last year when she was 7 months so held off. we are leaving form baltimore and we can drive there. it is a 7 day to bahamas with stop in FL. in FL we'll take her to disney and bahamas we are not sure yet but most likely blue lagoon. we did book past guest rate through carnival so ew got a wonderful deal on an upgraded suite balcony on the back of the ship.w e will bring our own baby pool for her to splash and play in. we figured during naps and evening we'll be inthe room more so we wanted to have a nicer room to enjoy and a separation for her. we will also utlize the camp carnival during certain hours when we are allowed in with her. we don't plan to use a babysitter while we are onboard. hope this helps a little! we have flown with her since she was 3 months and defintely easier when they are a bit smaller and espeically if you fly around sleep times or nap times. we thought given a cruise and this length though much easier to just drive since we'll have a bit more to bring. we will have our smaller stroller with us and use their crib onboard. there is a great packing list of supplies that someone posted to the forums if you search and most likely under family cruises area!
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#11
Minneapolis, MN
657 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
We are probably doing the Breakaway to Bermuda in June of 2014 for our anniversary. We will bring our then 3+ yr old with us then too. I think that would be a fantastic trip because the ship looks awesome and so much to explore for all of you and Bermuda is nice. When a ship stays in port for three days it's more like being in a hotel since you can come off and on at will. You will have sea days, but you would going south out of any NY ship too. I think it's a great idea!

As far as baby amenities there aren't many for that age. NCL doesn't have in room babysitting and you have to be 2 (soon 3) to be in the kids club. From what I've read there will be times that you can go in the playroom with your child and play with toys but you can't leave them there. We're planning on doing that on our cruise. I'm sure our dd will love seeing a lot of new toys in a new room she's never explored. If you are going without other family members or friends it will just be you guys together 24/7. Actually I'm kind of excited about that. Our dd goes to daycare, so this trip will be the most uninterrupted time we've spent with her since the few weeks after she was born.
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Teri

Dolphin, Chandis, Regency, Renaissance, Celebrity, Oceania, MSC, Royal Caribbean (3), Holland America (2), Princess (4), Carnival (5), NCL (14)
#12
Buffalo, NY
1,200 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We sailed norwegian jewel out of NY when DD was 10 months. It was nice. Yes, you can bring the blow up duck tub. We brought one on our cruise 2 weeks ago for our 18 month old and advice from here. Unfortunately it was a waste, as we only tried it once and he wasnt a fan. Wasnt enough room for him in there. And let me ask, does anyone listen to the no diapers allowed rule?! Every single baby i saw in the kids pool on our ship had a swim diaper on. And then in the big pool there was a kid who was probably about 5-6 yrs old who had a swim diaper on too! My poor boy seemed to be the only one not in the pool because i follow the rules
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Norwegian Jewel- 10/2010 *dd first cruise*
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Carnival Pride- 5/2013
Norwegian Breakaway- 4/2014
Norwegian Breakaway- 10/2016 *dd2 first cruise*
#13
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Thank you all for the tips. I'll definitely need a packing list since there are things I won't remember or know I'll need until I'm there.

I'm really considering NCL for July 2013 on the Breakaway. It leaves out of New York and is a brand new ship. Any tips on cruising with Norwegian and babies?
#14
phila, pa
51,872 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Prinycesa07
. And let me ask, does anyone listen to the no diapers allowed rule?! Every single baby i saw in the kids pool on our ship had a swim diaper on. And then in the big pool there was a kid who was probably about 5-6 yrs old who had a swim diaper on too! My poor boy seemed to be the only one not in the pool because i follow the rules

I would hope that someone let security know that that was happening. Like posted it IS A health issue onboard. Ship personal like to stay spot on to avoid any compliance issues. Security probably was not aware of that issue.

On carnival people point fingers
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#15
Connecticut
1,217 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Livemad
Thank you all for the tips. I'll definitely need a packing list since there are things I won't remember or know I'll need until I'm there.

I'm really considering NCL for July 2013 on the Breakaway. It leaves out of New York and is a brand new ship. Any tips on cruising with Norwegian and babies?
We were in the same boat as you, but we took our DD on Explorer the day she turned 6 months and had a blast! Not having to fly was much easier, and we were able to pack everything and extras just-in-case.

We're doing the 9 night in June 2013 when shes around 19 months. The staff on Ex are outstanding, and it was never awkward having her with us. The newer ships are always nice, but you can sometimes get better deals on older (but not run down) ships.

Ex doesn't have the Royal Tots program, but does offer in room babysitting for kids over 1.

Consider Ex. We'd love to cruise with another family!
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-Justin, Lindsay, & Alexandra-


1996 - Carnival Destiny - Justin's First Cruise
June 1, 2008 - Freedom Of The Seas 7 NT - Our Honeymoon Cruise - May 30, 2009 - Liberty Of The Seas 7 NT- Our 1st Anniversary Cruise - September 5, 2010 - Liberty Of The Seas - 7 NT- Our Delayed 2nd Anniversary Cruise! - June 2, 2012 - Explorer Of The Seas 5 NT- 4th Anniversary Cruise with 1 extra in tow! - June 13, 2013 - Explorer Of The Seas 9 NT - 5th Anniversary Cruise - April 26, 2014 - Oasis Of The Seas 7 NT Western - September 12, 2015 - Oasis Of The Seas 7NT Western - September 18, 2016 - Allure of the Seas - 7 NT Eastern President's Cruise & FB Group Cruise - UPCOMING August 10, 2017 - Grandeur of the Seas 9 Night
#16
18,838 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
To the OP - the Breakaway is going to be incredible. And the Explorer is starting to show wear. Until RCI transfers a new ship to Bayonne - I am refusing to do THAT ship. At this point it's a matter of principal

NCL has no problem moving a new ship to NYC - while we have been begging RCI to do the same for years. So RCI keeps charging obscene prices for Explorer - higher than Oasis/Allure - because people don't "want to fly"

I would happily choose Breakaway over anything else
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Michele
NCL Breakaway 11/26/17
RCI Enchantment of the Seas 05/20/16
RCI Anthem of the Seas 11/8/2015
RCI Allure of the Seas 5/4/14
Norwegian Getaway PreInaugural 1/27/14
NCL Breakaway PreInaugural 5/8/13
NCL EPIC 11/24/12 - Ewes Baby!
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Kids club schedules and children's menus
http://photobucket.com/cruisekidpages
#17
In the Valley, CA
23,023 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by Livemad
It's during the summer, July 2013 on the Norwegian Breakaway. I think you're right it is Bermuda not the Bahamas. I've sailed Norwegian and Royal Caribbean before but this will be the first time with baby. That new ship is definitely calling me. I wonder what baby amenities are available?
Are you sure you'll be three days there? Most likely the ship will be going to different ports -- traveling during the night.

Since you'll have family members to help, I don't see any problem as long as your kid stays healthy. We took our girl on her first cruise at age 23 months, so one month too young for Camp Carnival. It was just the three of us but it was fun to see her run around, checking out the ship.

It does take some planning. We were driving to the port as it was an hour's drive away, but with a sedan, we had to make the space count. A pack n' play, a supply of diapers/pullups (don't count on the ship having a supply in your child's size, if they have any at all), sippy cups/bottles/dish detergent/scrub brush/eating implements, medications (again, don't count on the ship's store or infirmary having infant/child formulas).

We didn't bother with her and the pools. But the small inflatable pool would have been good for bathing her.


Originally posted by serene56
I would hope that someone let security know that that was happening. Like posted it IS A health issue onboard. Ship personal like to stay spot on to avoid any compliance issues. Security probably was not aware of that issue.

On carnival people point fingers
I don't think some people understand (or maybe, don't care) that one little "accident" would require the crew members to drain the pool, clean up the mess, refill the pool and "shock" the water.

When my girl was taking swimming lessons at the local community college, parents were given instructions about taking one's kids to the restroom before every lesson. One day, we showed up for her lesson and was told we must had missed their call: a kid had an accident and classes had to be cancelled for the rest of the day while the matter was being taken care of. It's not as simple as getting the mess out of the pool.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

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#18
Connecticut
1,217 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by crusinmama06
To the OP - the Breakaway is going to be incredible. And the Explorer is starting to show wear. Until RCI transfers a new ship to Bayonne - I am refusing to do THAT ship. At this point it's a matter of principal
She was beautiful on our trip this past June. In comparison to Freedom & Liberty, shes clean and very well maintained. Don't believe all the CC hype.
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-Justin, Lindsay, & Alexandra-


1996 - Carnival Destiny - Justin's First Cruise
June 1, 2008 - Freedom Of The Seas 7 NT - Our Honeymoon Cruise - May 30, 2009 - Liberty Of The Seas 7 NT- Our 1st Anniversary Cruise - September 5, 2010 - Liberty Of The Seas - 7 NT- Our Delayed 2nd Anniversary Cruise! - June 2, 2012 - Explorer Of The Seas 5 NT- 4th Anniversary Cruise with 1 extra in tow! - June 13, 2013 - Explorer Of The Seas 9 NT - 5th Anniversary Cruise - April 26, 2014 - Oasis Of The Seas 7 NT Western - September 12, 2015 - Oasis Of The Seas 7NT Western - September 18, 2016 - Allure of the Seas - 7 NT Eastern President's Cruise & FB Group Cruise - UPCOMING August 10, 2017 - Grandeur of the Seas 9 Night
#19
5,126 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We like NCL because we can get to the port in 20 minutes. Personally, I'd never cruise with a toddler (and I have 5 kids). They're still napping twice a day, they can't go in the pools, they can't go into the kids clubs, once they learn to walk, they want to walk! Some are still eating baby food, you have to pack so much...

But, if you decide to do it, I'd suggest a cruise to Bermuda, where you can get on and off the ship as much as you'd like for 3 days. However, not all toddlers like the beach. I remember bringing a 2 year old to a one week beach vacation, and he hated sand!
#20
New York
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Again, thank you to everyone for their tips. We considered all the options and decided to cruise Norwegian Breakaway. It makes the most sense for us. Now seeing what has happened after Sandy... well, I think leaving from NYC and avoiding flights is the right choice.

We live in Brooklyn and thank God my family is alright. My thoughts and prayers go to everyone affected by the disaster. I have family still without power and they are coming to stay with us until it comes back.
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2013 Norwegian - Breakaway
2011 Royal Caribbean - Adventure of the Seas
2006 Norwegian - Dawn