Which cruise with a 14 month old, Celebrity Summit or NCL Breakaway?

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Long Island, NY
163 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
My mother wants to take the whole family on a cruise leaving from the NY/NJ area this coming August. My DD will be 14 months old at that time. I have been reading a lot about all of the ships leaving from NY, and it seems that, for a variety of reasons, the Celebrity Summit or Norwegian Breakaway will be the best cruises for our family (which includes my 10 and 14 year old nephews). Which one do you think will be better for my 14 month old? I know she cannot go in any of the pools, but do you think she can go into the kids splash park on the Breakaway? Norwegian has no in room babysitting, but I don't know if I would be comfortable using that much anyhow. Any thoughts? Thanks so much!
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Celebrity Summit (Bayonne, NJ to Kings Wharf, Bermuda) - 8/13
Carnival Glory (Pt. Canaveral to Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya, Nassau) - 8/09
RCI Nordic Empress (NYC to Bermuda) - 6/02
Carnival Fascination (New Years Cruise! San Juan to St. Thomas, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados)- 12/98-1/99
Royal Majesty (Key West, Nassau) - 11/96

6,253 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I don't think the newest of NCL's ships has a splash zone for the diapered set, so I wouldn't count on the Breakaway. We have a large family, and love NCL, especially because of the freestyle dining. Basically, you eat when you what, with who you want. This works well for our family of 7, and when we cruised with the grandparents, we were able to make reservations in the MDR ahead of time, since we were a large party (at certain times).

With a toddler, you can bail during dinner if you need to, and even try again later!
Timonium, Maryland
3,943 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I say go with the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda. You'll have a wonderful family vacation. The boys will have plenty to do. My son loved the Summit and Bermuda (he is 12).

There is in cabin sitting- go the first day to make arrangements in advance. You can always cancel but you might like it for at least 3 nights of the cruise. I used it when my son was 13 months and the crew LOVED him. They use the front desk and cabin attendants for this. They always use female staff members. On one cruise the sitter took my son all around the ship to show him off in his little outfit for formal night and had him photographed with her in the atrium. The next sitter read him stories and if he was bored walked him around. He was happy as a clam. He didn't sleep for them but I didn't care. We used the sitting from 8-10. They usually aren't available until after 8.

We LOVED Bermuda. From the ship you can walk to the Dolphin Encounter. I had mixed emotions because the dolphin enclosure is small but my son thoroughly enjoyed our encounter with the dolphins. Those that don't want to pay the hefty fee for the encounter can go as spectators for a minor fee (I think it is $10 pp). So I recommend it at least for the 10 and 14 year old.

We did the ship tour to the Aquarium/Zoo and Crystal Caves. My son has been to Caverns before that were more spectacular- so he wasn't impressed with the Crystal Cave. It is small. I enjoyed that. He absolutely LOVED the Aquarium and Zoo portion though and I think that would be fantastic for the 14 month old, 10 year old and 14 year old. Your family can taxi there for less than the ship excursion or ferry over to Hamilton, which is fun, and then taxi to the Aquarium.

The 10 and 14 year old will love snorkeling if they are anything like my son. There are various snorkling charters right there where the ship is docked. Really easy. I do not recommend it for the baby. It was VERY choppy and I'm sure it always is. There will be nothing of interest for the baby and it won't be safe for them on the boat IMO. In fact, unless you plan to snorkel- don't go. I can't see without my glasses at all and didn't bring contacts and they don't provide perscription masks. But I was happy for my son because he was in the water for almost 2 hours totally fascinated with the fish.

The Summit has Bistro on Five($5pp) and Qsine($40pp), which we both loved.

We love trivia which is offered twice daily. There was a great illusionist and comedian onboard and acrobatic shows.

I traveled with a 13 month old on Celebrity Zenith to Bermuda in 2001 (same child) and I was really happy to be on land for three days because your are confined on the ship with a toddler. They can't use the pool or hot tubs. So you are always running around with them. And when they are napping- you need a nap too!
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Norwegian Breakaway Bermuda 5/14/17 Regal Princess, 3/19/17 Holland America Veendam Canada/New England 4/28/16-5/7/16, Regal Princess 3/27/16 Eastern Caribbean, Holland America Maasdam Canada New England 8/15/15, Celebrity Summit Bermuda 7/26/15 Star Princess Alaska 7/13/15 Norwegian Pearl Pacific Coast 5/3/2014 My Birthday! Celebrity Solstice Alaska 5/8/2014Enchantment of the Seas 12/6/13 Bahamas, Grand Princess Alaska 7/19/13, Celebrity Solstice California Coast 5/13, Serenade of the Seas Western Med (1/4/13)Celebrity Summit Bermuda(8/12/12),Celebrity Infinity Alaska 7/6/12
Caribbean Princess New England (8/11), Holland America Maasdam New England (6/11)Celebrity Equinox Norway (7/09), Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (4/09) Grand Princess British Isles (08) Holland America Zuiderdam Greece/ Turkey (08) Oceania Regatta Caribbean Southern Caribbean (08) QM2 Transatlantic (07) Celebrity Millenium Western Med (7/07), Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Eastern Caribbean(4/06), Disney Wonder Bahamas (8/05), Celebrity Constellation (4/06), Sapphire Princess Alaska (5/24/05) Celebrity Millenium Transatlantic (5/1/05), NCL Spirit Eastern Caribbean (3/05), Celebrity Galaxy (10/04), Carnival Victory (6/04), Celebrity Zenith Bermuda (10/01), Celebrity Zenith Eastern Caribbean (4/01),NCL Dynasty (12/00) NCL Sky Alaska (7/00), NCL Wind Alaska (5/98), Crown Princess Pacific repo (5/98), Royal Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas (10/97), Costa Victoria Western Caribbean (3/97), Crown Princess Alaska (6/96), Vera Cruz Christmas (1981), Holland America Volendam Christmas (1980), Holland America Veendam Christmas (1975).

Upcoming cruises: Celebrity Summit New England//Canada 6/27/17, QM2 Cunard 7/28/17, Explorer of the Seas Seattle to Sydney 10/06/17
586 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
We sailed on the Summit to Bermuda with our DD, DSIL, his parents, and DGS (who was 14 months old at the time) two years ago and it went so well we repeated it last year. If we were not going to have a new 3-month-old grandchild this summer, we'd do it again.

I'd echo everything Rebecca said. DGS loved the Zoo and Aquarium; we spent the better part of a day there. We ferried to Hamilton, which DGS loved, and took a taxi to the Zoo. It was easy to do; the taxi driver gave us a phone number, and when we were getting ready to return, the people at the zoo called for our return trip.

We enjoyed Bistro on Five very much, but DGS is very used to eating out, so the MDR was not a challenge. There were four willing volunteers to take him exploring if dinner lasted a little longer than he felt necessary, but that only happened once or twice (darn it!).

The nice thing about this cruise is that you are in port a full three days, so you can schedule your outings around the baby's schedule and are not limited to the few hours that the ship is in port. So you can get an early start on the day and get back in time for an afternoon nap or have a quiet morning on the ship, morning nap, and then spend the rest of the day exploring Bermuda.

We had connecting balcony rooms, which worked very, very well. DD and DSIL could sit out on the balcony and have a glass of wine and read while DGS napped, and if they wanted to go out at night, they would put him to sleep and we'd stay in our room with the connecting door ajar. He also loved "visiting" our room, and learned to knock on the connecting door whenever he felt sociable.

We brought an inflatable pool, which they used to bathe him and also put between their two lounge chairs at the pool or on their balcony.

We spent one day at Horseshoe Bay, which went very well. DD has a little beach tent, and after playing in the sand and the gentle cove, DGS had a nice nap on the beach. We took a van back and forth, which worked better with our schedule than an outing from the ship.

I had no idea how great a vacation a cruise would be with a baby and toddler, but am completely sold on it. And the Summit crew was very accommodating to everything we needed to make the trip go smoothly.
Long Island, NY
163 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Thanks so much for your responses. In the end, my mother decided that the Celebrity Summit was the best choice for us. I am a little apprehensive about how I am going to keep my 14 month old occupied, but I am getting some ideas from reading the boards.

NewSalt, you say that you had connecting balcony rooms. Are you saying that the balconies were connected, or just the staterooms? I read that you cannot have the balcony dividers removed on the Summit. Right now, we have three rooms for our family. My mom's room adjoins with my sister and family, and we are next door, but without an adjoining door. I was hoping the balconies would connect, but it doesn't seem like it, from what I've read.
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Celebrity Summit (Bayonne, NJ to Kings Wharf, Bermuda) - 8/13
Carnival Glory (Pt. Canaveral to Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya, Nassau) - 8/09
RCI Nordic Empress (NYC to Bermuda) - 6/02
Carnival Fascination (New Years Cruise! San Juan to St. Thomas, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados)- 12/98-1/99
Royal Majesty (Key West, Nassau) - 11/96

10,576 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Balconies do not connect. But, you and your family will love Summit and the crew! I was going to post much like NewSalt and Rebecca, they covered my thoughts completely! lol

Definitely bring a small blow up pool.

We are on Summit this coming May, again! Cant wait!

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8/2017 Celebrity Summit
11/2017 Equinox Southern Caribbean
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