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Suggestion for group of 13 including 4 toddlers


RUFUS234i0
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Hello fellow cruisers,

I've only been on a cruise once before, 13 years ago on a carnival ship to Nova Scotia from New York with my family which I remember was a success.

For our mother's 60th birthday, we're hoping to go the entire family again, though this time we will have 4 toddlers (all between 15 and 30 months old) and an additional 9 adults.

The departure and return ports must be in europe/mediteranean.

My mother's birthday is in late September so we're hoping to be sailing during her Bday, but not a must. Dates should be around Sept/Oct and cruise length should be about a week, no more than 9 days. Other than that we're quite open to all desinations/routes/ameneties...not too picky in that regard.

 

What should I be looking out for? Do you more veteran cruisers have any tips/warnings/advice for these aforementioned parameters? MSC advertise that all children under 18 are free, are there other companies that have such a policy, since we have 4 toddlers?

 

 

As for cost, our parents are covering the whole thing so it can get quite expensive including flights from the US/Italy for everyone (half live in NY, half in Rome), so we're hoping to find tickets in the 800-1000$ per head base range, though would be delighted to find cheaper for good quality.

 

I appreciate the help!:)

Thanks!!

Edited by RUFUS234i0
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I do not believe any of the lines leaving from Med. ports have programs for children under 3 yrs. Try looking up cruises on http://www.cruisetimetables.com. From the top list of departure ports, check out cruises leaving from any European port that you see, and then the months you can cruise. It will show you who is sailing from there, and their itineraries. I see a repositioning cruise on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas from Southampton to Barcelona on Oct. 2. Some of the Royal ships have a nursery, but you would need to check on the Royal board here at CC to see if she does. Southampton would be a shorter flight for those from NYC, and Barcelona not a bad flight home. In any event, have fun looking! EM

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Hello fellow cruisers,

 

What should I be looking out for? Do you more veteran cruisers have any tips/warnings/advice for these aforementioned parameters? MSC advertise that all children under 18 are free, are there other companies that have such a policy, since we have 4 toddlers? not really.. once in a blue moon Disney or Royal will offer a KSF or 3rd/4th in the cabin free or greatly reduced but as general rule the less likely a demographic is to spend money on board( where most income is generated) the less likely they will offer any discount on the cruise fare. and since EVERYONE regardless of size or age takes up a life boat berth, they are not going to do so often

 

 

As for cost, our parents are covering the whole thing so it can get quite expensive including flights from the US/Italy for everyone (half live in NY, half in Rome), so we're hoping to find tickets in the 800-1000$ per head base range, though would be delighted to find cheaper for good quality. cruise fares can be found for as little at $100 per person per day. these will tend to be smaller inside cabins. furthermore the number of people per cabin can greatly impact your experience( I would NEVER put more than 2 adults in a standard cabin, let alone cram children in as well.)

 

I appreciate the help!:)

Thanks!!

 

your best bet is to get a good travel agent who can handle boat sides of the Atlantic booking. you can give them a budget and they can see what is out there.

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RCI has Allure sailing 7 day round trip med cruises next year in Sept and Oct. She would provide nursery and awesome kids club for the toddlers and children, but not sure if she will meet you budget. Rhapsody is also sailing in med during those months - I thin longer itineraries (9 days), and I believe she has a nursery now but you would have to check. RCI was putting nurseries on all the Vision class ships when they went in for their lest dry docks. Explorer does not have a nursery.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Cruise Critic Forums mobile app

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P&O have 4 ships which have great kids programmes (Ventura, Azura, Aurora, Oceana) & accept children in their kids clubs from 24 months, for those younger than 24 months they have a free night nursery! Just to give you the heads up, it is nearly all Brit's on board. We sailed with our DD at 9 months around the canaries and the night nursery was great and the staff fantastic.

 

Pre 24 months it only cost £100 for a 12 night cruise for DD. It goes up quite a bit once they can go in the kids club from age 2.

 

The other great thing about p&O was they give you a baby bath, steriliser, kettle, fridge etc. The nursery room is opening during the day as a giant playroom, albeit you have to supervise them playing. Super child friendly ship.

 

We also sailed around the Med with Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas in June when DD was 17 months. They also had a good nursery on board, and on sea days and evenings you can arrange babysitting in there with lovely staff. It cost $8 an hour per child but well worth it - DD loved it. 30 months and under won't be allowed in actual kids clubs though.

 

ETA - also check out Cunard! They run a similar programme to P&O, with kids clubs starting at age 2, and a free night nursery for those aged 12 - 24 months. Never sailed with them though so can't personally recommend them.

Edited by icklemonster
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There are 368 cruises that meet your defined parameters: European port, 7-9 days , departing between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15. You could narrow that down considerably by limiting the dates to the week before and after Mom's birthday. You could save a lot of expenses by departing from the Civitavecchia port, since half the group lives near Rome.

 

Taking those two additional parameters into account, there are a dozen or so cruises per week leaving from Civitavecchia. Most do a western Med loop over to Barcelona and back, some do a Greek Isles. Do you have a preference?

 

If no preference, the least costly pp price is probably the Rhapsody.

 

With a group as large as yours it would make a lot of sense to use a travel agent. There are different pricing structures in the US and out of the U.S., a travel agent can help you navigate that. A TA can also help with finding any reduced fares for children and sort through the flight options, and help round up everyone's desires as far as cabin type, dining options and any other expectations.

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Rome would be a great port to use. We've left for a cruise twice going to Rome and leaving from Civitevecchia with a different itinerary both times. Try Aer Lingus out of NY for flights. We loved them. We got flights for $801 RT from NY to FCO, although it's not a direct flight. It has one stop in Dublin. You should check out private transfers to the hotel in Rome and from Rome to Civitevecchia. We did this and even though our group wasn't as large as yours, for 5 to a car (with luggage), it came out cheaper and the convenience cannot be compared with other transportation. I wouldn't want to try using the trains for strollers and toddlers, while keeping an eye on luggage. They can probably arrange some sort of bus/van to carry all of you together. DO GO A DAY EARLY. There can be a delay with flights for any number of reasons. If you use Aer Lingus, you'll have to change planes in Dublin but the savings made it worth it or us and Dublin is an easy airport to get through.

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