Amy G Posted August 10, 2013 #1 Share Posted August 10, 2013 A little background: DH and I have been on 8 cruises (mostly Princess) before having a child. This was our first cruise with our daughter, who is 20 months old. We were on the Grand Princess, 10 days Alaska. Dining: Meal time was our biggest challenge on this cruise, and is also a challenge at home (she likes to throw things!). We were very worried about the dining room experience. We lucked out and got a corner table. This was awesome because we put her in the corner and would let her sit on the ground and play, without anyone even knowing! We would put her in her high chair (with a tray and without) as needed. Some evenings we just fed her down there because it was just easier! Someone on here mentioned bringing a can of colored cotton balls, and this seriously was the best suggestion ever! She played with those at dinner and just loved them. They make no noise and don’t hurt or harm anyone. Bring a mall bag to carry to breakfast and lunch. (We brought a larger bag for dinner since it carried the toys and treats.) At breakfast and lunch it was nice have the small bag to carry a cup, wipes and a bib. She enjoyed carrying it herself. Treats- We were told that getting Cheerios at the buffet was a great way to not bring as many snacks. However, our Princess ship did not have these. They did have Fruit Loops and we stocked up on crackers. Toys- See my note under dining. Other tips we read here were to bring a magnadoodle and magnets. She did not care much for the magnadoodle, but absolutely loved the magnets on the room wall. I ended up buying her two more magnets onboard (a small snowglobe and a state of Alaska magnet). Sleep/Room/Bed- We were going to bring our own pack-n-play so she would feel more at home, but we opted to reserve one with the ship. It was a Graco PNP and she was completely fine with it and slept great. We had an inside, and we had to sleep in twin beds, apart, with her PNP between the beds. On our last night we put her at the foot of the beds, but she could reach the desk and would take everything off and either throw it or play with it in her bed. We had read about putting the crib in the closet area, but that would not have worked in our room, and would have blocked our bathroom completely. We walked by a room that had bunks, and the parents had simply taken the mattress and bedding off the bunk and placed it on the floor for their child. She slept great on the ship, especially with the complete darkness, but she went to bed later than normal since mom and dad were in “her room”. If you can swing it, a balcony or mini-suite/suite would have made life a little easier on us but for our cruise a balcony would have cost us an additional $2000, so we opted to stick to an inside room. Naps- She still takes two naps a day, about 1.5-2 hours in length, so we took turns staying with her. First nap was my duty, second nap was DH’s duty. This was great because on our off time one of us could be on deck watching the water, having a drink/snack, on the internet or shopping. Obviously we missed doing things together, but this was a great compromise. During my nap time I read 3 books over the 10 days! Stroller- I read that the City Mini would fit through the cabin door, but it did not. This was a real pain. Hip carry- Before I left I bought a hip carry on Amazon. DD is about 28 pounds and she gets really heavy to carry, and she does not always want to walk or be in the stroller. This was a great alternative. I saw another woman with a 20 month old boy and she used a back carrier. Diaper Bag- We did not carry a diaper bag with us. We kept wipes in the stroller, but those were for cleaning her hands or spills. Since there are no changing tables on board, it was just as easy to go back to the room to change her. Private tours- If you can, private tours are the way to go. We did our own thing at one port (Juneau- Mt. Robert’s Tramway), one private bus tour (Skagway) and one private mini-van taxi tour. On the bus ride it was hard because there were no seatbelts for a car seat, she was just sitting on our laps. A squirmy child is hard to contain, and would get fussy. She wanted down or to climb on everything. I finally put her in the hip carrier to contain her! This trip was less fun because we were trying to keep her safe and quiet so she would not disturb others on the bus. We opted to rent a private taxi tour company in Ketchikan because you paid by the hour and not by the number of people. It was something like $70 an hour, and we could have found others to join us, but in reality, this was easier on us to not have strangers with us and it cost probably less than what the cruise ship would have charged for a similar tour with lots of people. The company provided a car seat, and overall, that was our best tour. She did awesome, never once fussing. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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