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How to have Relaxing Adult time with kids? Tips?


JupiterChris

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Please share your best Tips and Ideas on how to have some relaxing adult time during a family cruise. Don't get me wrong, We like spending time as a family but my wife and I both work from home so family time is not an issue. Our need is to have some personal one on one time, date nights or just sitting by the pool reading a book. We will be on the Carnival Dream and our kids are 8,6, and 3. Creative ideas welcome!

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we have offered my husband's cousin (age 25) an all expenses paid trip to Alaska with us this summer to ensure just that.... some alone time! She is our frequent babysitter, and loves our kids, so I know it will only enhance their trip.... and we booked a family suite on NCL that sleeps up to six with two bedrooms/two bathrooms so there will be enough space. NCL was doing 3, 4, 5 passengers for only $99 so it really didn't add that much to include her, but we are hoping to have some evenings by ourselves (someone to be in the cabin after the kids go to sleep at least), and dinner for two a couple of times!

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It depends on your kids. If yours like Camp Carnival (most do), you're set. The 6 and 8 year old will be in the same age group (if still those ages at sailing). The 3 year old won't have a sibling in camp and so it will depend on his/her personality and willingness to separate from you for a time. You mention you both work from home; does that mean the 3 year old's not in daycare/preschool/etc? That could make heading to camp carnival more difficult, but some kids will do just fine. It's really just idiosyncratic to the kid.

 

Bringing along your own nanny is a great idea if you have a relative/friend/sitter who could come - that would ensure you get the kid-free time you want.

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Take advantage of Camp Carnival. It's the easiest way to go! :) Your kids are old enough. Make it sound super fun and talk it up the entire time before your trip so they want to go. (I don't have to because DD loves it!) This way you can get some peace and quiet to sit by the pool. We usually get one "date" dinner while on the ship too!

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Like others have pointed out, kids club is great! It is the kids vacation too, if they want to spend the bulk of the day in the club, I say all the power to them. We have lots of family time during meals and shore trips, so (at least in my case) the boys liked to have a break from Mom and Dad.

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We actually found family cruising to be a great balance of adult time and family time. Our kids BEGGED to go to Camp at every available opportunity (sea days and each night after dinner for a few hours). We also had two connecting cabins, so that gave everyone a chance to spread out and have their own space (and the extra TV and bathroom MORE than came in handy).

 

Someone on here told me just to expect it to be "equally enjoyable, just different" than cruising as a couple, and that was spot on.

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Thanks for the responses! Our Kids actually do like summer camps and the 3YO handles mothers morning out quite well so CC should be perfect. I'm probably over thinking it, you're right "the kids are going to want a break from M&D too"

 

Next time, definitely joining cabins and the baby sitter or grandparents along. Just tough to swing this year.

 

So, what was best adult time? Obviously $pa and $teakhouse. Other cool thing to do on the ship. I imagine sunsets, room service, any unique things that ships offer? HaHa; Not sure we know what to do w/o kids.;)

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Steakhouse was great. My biggest problem with the spa is the "hard sell" on products and such after your service, it drives me bonkers and usually makes me avoid the spa, in general. I LOVE quiet time just reading or laying in the sun on deck during sea days. Honestly, you're all going to be so darn busy, it'll be over in a blur and you'll wonder what you had to worry about. ;)

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Take turns being responsible for the kids. For instance one parent gets up with the kids and takes them to early breakfast this morning allowing one to sleep in then the other parent next morning. Have alone time during the day too. Use the kids club. Enjoy a nice mix of family time, adult time and alone time. It makes for a great cruise!

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I"m looking for simular advice. We have a 10 and 8 year old who are very "routine" in their bed times of around 8pm....and if the 8 yr old gets off that schedule, she's a BEAR the next day - but yet all the excitement of it all will totally throw her (ADHD). We have early dinner booked - but for shows...I"m thinking it's just not going to happen for the 8 year old...so do DH, 10 yr old go to show while daughter and I "go to sleep" - then when DH and 10 yr old come to room after show, I go see it?? What if I send her to camp for the babysitting for the evening...will she wind down and sleep there? I've never cruised with the kids before so probably need an education on Camp. (ps going on Carnival over New Years!)

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You can send her to camp to wind down, but things there usually don't wind down until 10pm or later. Up to 10pm they still have organized activities. On a couple nights they have late night parties with organized activities until midnight. After the activities are over they will put on a movie, give the kids blankets and pillows and have them lie down. The late night party for the 9-11 age group is alot of fun too. They go until 3am.

 

Our 3 year old doesn't go to daycare, but he can never get enough of Camp. He loves it!

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We took our first family cruise on NCL in Nov with DD6 and DS8. It was great. We spent all the port days together doing excursions and every night we feed the kids at the buffet and put them in the kids club while DH and I went to dinner and the show alone - it was wonderful! We had some time alone and the kids had a blast in the kids club. On sea days DS would spend the whole time in the kids club (we couldnt drag him out of there) and DD would hang out with us by the pool. She found some other little girls to swim with so we were able to have some adult conversation while we kept an eye on her. We all loved the cruise so much we have another one planned for next Nov (on Carnival this time). I think cruises are a great way to have a family vacation where everyone gets a break.

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I"m looking for simular advice. We have a 10 and 8 year old who are very "routine" in their bed times of around 8pm....and if the 8 yr old gets off that schedule, she's a BEAR the next day - but yet all the excitement of it all will totally throw her (ADHD). We have early dinner booked - but for shows...I"m thinking it's just not going to happen for the 8 year old...so do DH, 10 yr old go to show while daughter and I "go to sleep" - then when DH and 10 yr old come to room after show, I go see it?? What if I send her to camp for the babysitting for the evening...will she wind down and sleep there? I've never cruised with the kids before so probably need an education on Camp. (ps going on Carnival over New Years!)

We too, have very routine kids and if they get off their routines we are in for a nasty next day! But what we do when we travel, especially when traveling west, is to arrive a day early and gradually get them on the time where we are. So if it is 8pm at home that they go to bed, by the 3rd night on vacation they are eased into going to bed at 10pm (which is actually 8pm at home). see what I mean? The clock looks right, and they are happy, but never really know that it is actually 2 hours off. We also let them sleep in a bit, especially on sea days.

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Our kids are 4 and 6 and we too were looking for some adult time on our cruise. At first I sort of felt guilty about putting the kids in camp, especially when one of them said he didn't want to go. We however read the capers together and I convinced him that he'd have a good time. I also explained that there would be some "down time" on the cruise where mom and dad would just be reading adult books and it would be much more fun for the kids to do kids' activities. The kids agreed to try it out and they both liked it. I still felt a bit guilty until my husband reminded me that the kids would be bored hanging out with us 24/7 and that it was actually best for them and us to have some time apart. The kids made friends and really enjoyed the activities.

 

Here's a balance that we found good:

 

Day 1 - kids explored the ship with us, checked out the camp while we signed them up, ate dinner with us in the dining room, then went to camp for an hour for the evening activities.

 

Day 2 - Went into Port with the family for the morning, then did some camp for a few hours in the afternoon. Formal dinner with us in the dining room and quiet night in the cabin before bed (kids were zonked!)

 

Day 3 - Camp for 2 hours in the morning, then lunch with us. Port all afternoon, then dinner with us in the dining room, an hour or so at camp before bed.

 

Day 4 - Day at Sea - camp from 9am - 11:45am, lunch with us then family activities with us for a few hours. Camp again in the afternoon for a few hours then we went to the kids' talent show as a family. The kids were given a choice of dinner with us in the dining room or dinner at camp then the camp farewell party. They chose the camp dinner and party - they loved it and we loved having an adult dinner for one night!

 

Whenever the kids were in camp during the day we went to the adults only serenity lounge where we relaxed, talked, had a cup of tea (am) or a beer in the pm and we read our books - it was heaven.

 

The kids had so much to tell us when we picked them up about their day, their crafts, their friends, etc. I'm so glad we used the camp as much as we did, we felt it was perfect for our family!

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Thanks for the responses! Our Kids actually do like summer camps and the 3YO handles mothers morning out quite well so CC should be perfect. I'm probably over thinking it, you're right "the kids are going to want a break from M&D too"

 

Next time, definitely joining cabins and the baby sitter or grandparents along. Just tough to swing this year.

 

So, what was best adult time? Obviously $pa and $teakhouse. Other cool thing to do on the ship. I imagine sunsets, room service, any unique things that ships offer? HaHa; Not sure we know what to do w/o kids.;)

 

When we cruised and our kids were 3, 5, & 10. All 3 kiddos were in camp for a few hours during the day. DH & I enjoyed having cocktails on the balcony and afternoon delight KWIM. ;) You will find that cruises are sexy. Trust me, you will know what to do w/o kids! Our 3 year old was okay in camp during the day, but evening was difficult. It really depends on your child. So, we had fun as a couple during the day and at night we had dinner with the kids, went to shows, etc. It was awesome.

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Thanks for the responses! Our Kids actually do like summer camps and the 3YO handles mothers morning out quite well so CC should be perfect. I'm probably over thinking it, you're right "the kids are going to want a break from M&D too"

 

Next time, definitely joining cabins and the baby sitter or grandparents along. Just tough to swing this year.

 

So, what was best adult time? Obviously $pa and $teakhouse. Other cool thing to do on the ship. I imagine sunsets, room service, any unique things that ships offer? HaHa; Not sure we know what to do w/o kids.;)

 

How about taking advantage of the babysitting (extra fee after 10) one night - they offer several late night parties for the kids. Then, the parents have time for the comedy club (if your ship offers it) , piano bar, dancing, casino etc. We have also enjoyed the hot tubs in the evening after dinner - very few people there. The other thing I would suggest is tea time- about 3 on sea days.

 

I also second the bacony - IMHO it is the MOST romantic place on any ship.;)

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