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jcyan13

Cruising with 3 under 3

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Hello,

Looking for advice about booking a cruise on the Carnival Freedom next June and we will have 3 kiddos at that point- 3.5 yo, 2 yo and what will be a 7 month old. DHs family and siblings all just booked and we really want to go on this family trip, but the logistics may not be workable.

 

I called Carnival and the Freedom does not accommodate families of 5 in one room. We would technically need to book me and DH with two kids and then ask one of the grandparents to book the third kid. Realistically though, all 3 kids will want to sleep in our room most likely. We would need two cribs- one for the 7 mo old and one for the 2 year old. And the 3.5 year old is a roller so I’m not 100% in what we would do with him as he would roll out of the pullman. DH thinks this whole idea is a logistical challenge between sleeping arrangements and the amount of diapers and bottles and gear. I’m included to agree but wanted to hear from those who have traveled with infants and toddlers on Carnival.

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I cannot imagine that is would be a fun, relaxing cruise for you--maybe wait a couple of years.

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Hello,

Looking for advice about booking a cruise on the Carnival Freedom next June and we will have 3 kiddos at that point- 3.5 yo, 2 yo and what will be a 7 month old. DHs family and siblings all just booked and we really want to go on this family trip, but the logistics may not be workable.

 

I called Carnival and the Freedom does not accommodate families of 5 in one room. We would technically need to book me and DH with two kids and then ask one of the grandparents to book the third kid. Realistically though, all 3 kids will want to sleep in our room most likely. We would need two cribs- one for the 7 mo old and one for the 2 year old. And the 3.5 year old is a roller so I’m not 100% in what we would do with him as he would roll out of the pullman. DH thinks this whole idea is a logistical challenge between sleeping arrangements and the amount of diapers and bottles and gear. I’m included to agree but wanted to hear from those who have traveled with infants and toddlers on Carnival.

One crib will barely fit in a regular room.

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These rooms are very small, maybe if you could get adjoining rooms and open the door between rooms will give you more space. Most 2nd & 3rd berths sleep in top beds, not good for toddlers :( You will be exhausted by the end of the cruise if you don't have help, so I hope you have plenty of help :)

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Mine weren't 3 under three on our first cruise, but not too much older than that. My recommendation would be to get adjoining rooms between your husband and yourself for the extra space for everyone, it's not much more $ if you get rooms meant for 2 and 3 than one room meant for 5. We are doing our first adjoining cruise later this month and very excited about the extra space.

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This is one time when i would recommend that you dig a bit deeper in your pocket and get two connecting rooms. Parents and one crib in one room and the other child and second crib in the other. Or you can place all 3 kids in the other room, one in a crib and the other 2 in lower beds.

 

Will it cost you more than one cabin for 4 and placing the other child with other relatives? Most likely. But you will be beyond grateful to have the proper accommodations for your family of 5. You’ll have plenty of space (specially for all the baby and toddler equipment), 2 bathrooms, your family can remain together, and when the kids want to sleep either for a nap or the night, you can place them in one room while the adults relax in the other room.

 

We are a family of 4 (kids currently 6 and 8), and even though we can accommodate all of us in one stateroom, ever since we discovered the enormous benefits of booking 2 staterooms we haven’t looked back. We now book 2 cabins (or look for larger premium staterooms or suites). It has made the difference between a somewhat stressful and tolerable cruise and an absolutely wonderful and relaxing one.

 

I highly recommend that you do the same, even if it will be more expensive. You can thank me for the suggestion when you return!

 

 

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Hopefully someone will respond who has been here, done that.

You know what your daily life is like with these wee ones.

Also hoping some of your cruise group would be willing & able to help out.

The 3.5 and 2 yr old can attend the Camp Carnival sometimes too.

If you could swing it try and get a suite for the room. That will help too.

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I would never put kids that young in a separate room even if it was connecting .Wait until they are older .

 

 

What’s your reasoning?

 

The connecting door remains open the entire time. And as an added precaution, you can barricade their door leading to the hallway. Unless the family normally sleeps in one room no matter where they are, I don’t think that it’s any different than sleeping in separate rooms back home, or in a multi bedroom suite or vacation condo.

 

I’ve been booking connecting cabins since my kids were 2 and 4. Truly not an issue. The only reason why I would cram into one room now is to save money.

 

 

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Edited by Tapi

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We've cruised in a situation similar to what you are describing and it was fine. Luckily you have almost a year, so there will be many changes by the time you go. Like your concerns about your kids rolling out of bed, lots of bottles or your 2 year old needing a crib.

Also you have time to potty train at least 1, if not 2 of them which will make things simpler.

 

What we did when we traveled with 3 kiddos was to get 2 connecting cabins.

If you don't wish to purchase 2 cabins for the 5 of you then have grandma and a kid or 2 be in 1 and the rest of you in another.

If grandma isn't wanting to sleep with any kids, then you could list one of the kids in her cabin, and get a suite for the remaining four of you. The suite will have space for the 5 of you even though it isn't specifically designed for that many.

 

You'll have a great time, enjoy.

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Remember to ,that the walls are thin ,no insulation between cabins ,Kids get loud ,crying ect , The passengers on either side of you will be disturbed to ,,

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Remember to ,that the walls are thin ,no insulation between cabins ,Kids get loud ,crying ect , The passengers on either side of you will be disturbed to ,,

 

Definitely. My suggestion would be try to book the babies in a room at the end of the hall and the parents next door. If it’s inside cabins I think the rooms behind it on the other side of the ship will still hear everything. Ocean view or porthole might be best. When in an inside I think I can hear every noise in 5 different rooms. Worst cruise was next door to a baby who cried and a toddler who liked to jump up and down. I could tell when the family went to eat by the quiet.

Edited by Saint Greg

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Hello,

Looking for advice about booking a cruise on the Carnival Freedom next June and we will have 3 kiddos at that point- 3.5 yo, 2 yo and what will be a 7 month old. DHs family and siblings all just booked and we really want to go on this family trip, but the logistics may not be workable.

 

I called Carnival and the Freedom does not accommodate families of 5 in one room. We would technically need to book me and DH with two kids and then ask one of the grandparents to book the third kid. Realistically though, all 3 kids will want to sleep in our room most likely. We would need two cribs- one for the 7 mo old and one for the 2 year old. And the 3.5 year old is a roller so I’m not 100% in what we would do with him as he would roll out of the pullman. DH thinks this whole idea is a logistical challenge between sleeping arrangements and the amount of diapers and bottles and gear. I’m included to agree but wanted to hear from those who have traveled with infants and toddlers on Carnival.

 

I have a 5 year old, and I am NOT of not one of these anti-kid people who will just tell you not to cruise because you have kids that are loud and messy. However I truly believe you will not enjoy yourself one bit. We are going for the first time with my 5 year old son, 5 year old neice, and 7 year old nephew, and this is the first time we have dared cruise with the kids.

 

The room is cramped. I can't imagine what room situation would accomodate you and that kind of gear. So the room situation would be enough to put me off altogether. On top of that unless you wanted to get rid of the children in the kids club the entire time, there is not a lot for little kids to do on a cruise that young. So you are basically paying to take a trip to babysit somewhere else, in a cramped tight space that you have to pack for, with little enjoyment for you or the kids. Lugging tons of baby gear off the ship into a port, with no hotel room to easily go back to would have been a nightmare for us. Going to beaches/etc for an ENTIRE day with children that young with no hotel room is very off putting to me.

 

We have taken successful disney/beach vacations and are just now ready for a cruise with our group, I just personally don't think a cruise vacation would be enjoyable for our family with children that young. More of a hassel than anything.

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We always cruise with our kids. We have 4 but they are a more spread out than yours. Our first cruise they were 8, 6, almost 4 and almost 1. The 7 month old will be easy but the others will be a challenge. I am not sure that you will be able to fit two cribs in one room. We always do two connecting rooms and prop the door open. There is also a fair bit of walking just on the cruise ship. And with 3 littles, that will be a challenge. I LOVE cruising and we just had our 5th baby and are booked for a cruise when she is 1, BUT our next youngest will be 4 and the others will be 7+. Honestly, with your ages I think I would skip. They can't even swim unless they are potty trained and the ropes course etc wont apply to them. But if you decide to go, you will be fine too, especially if the over 2 bunch will go to Camp Carnival.

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Now I only have one. We took her when she was about 9 months and just now this past weekend and she is now 2 y/o. We had a blast. We always do a balcony because of the more room and we can be out there when she naps. The trick I think is to bring them toys to be entertained and know you will not be out dancing all the time. Most nights we are back in the room by 9pm. It’s ok it’s just a different type of cruising then when there are no kids. Your still not cooking, cleaning or working so I encourage for the entire family to go it’s better then not taking a vacation. And if your kids cry at night do your best to comfort them. If the neighbors don’t like it they can put the tv on or put on some ear plugs. Get some at the pursers desk for free. I have been on both sides of the table and have enjoyed myself either way. Also tip extra on the first day your room steward as he will be working extra for you.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

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I truly believe you will not enjoy yourself one bit. We are going for the first time with my 5 year old son, 5 year old neice, and 7 year old nephew, and this is the first time we have dared cruise with the kids.

 

 

I won’t pretend for a second that cruising with kids doesn’t pose its challenges. It can be a hassle, and there are times when I’ve questioned my decision to cruise with them. But I can’t agree when you say that the OP won’t enjoy it one bit.

 

I started my kids cruising at 13 months old, and now at 6-8 years of age, we are gearing for their 10th cruise. They’ve visited 10 countries and we’ve taken them from the Caribbean to Alaska, and The Mediterranean is next on the list.

 

In my humble opinion, Cruising is without a doubt one of the best family vacations someone can take, even when kids are too little for the pools and the kids club. I’ll choose a cruise over any land vacation.

 

I believe that ANY vacation with small children will have its challenges, but choosing the right ship, type of accommodations and activities, as well as going with the correct expectations will play a big role in how enjoyable the vacation is. These factors will determine whether the OP enjoys it one bit or not.

 

 

 

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OP- I had to respond. We have cruised with our kids since they were babies and now our grandchildren. We have 4 aged 11mos, 2yr, 3yr and 7yr. and go every year. We get 2 cabins that join, each has a crib and a sofa (converts to a bed). Our family cruises are memorable, no stress, no one is exhausted (as some have commented). We go and have a ball. Sure we have extra stuff to bring because the children are young but we are prepared. No problems at all. Sounds like you'll be travelling with family too so even better!! As for noise.....no worries some adults make more noise complaining lol.

Have a great family vacation!! Do it!!!

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We have a 2 year old daughter and she's been on 2 cruises: her first was right at 6 months (5 days on Triumph) and her second was this past June (8 days on Vista). We had a blast on both cruises. She couldn't do Camp Ocean on the Triumph so she was with us the whole time. Definitely a different cruise experience than any of our other past cruises. The Vista cruise she spent lots of time in Camp Ocean and she loved it. She spent several hours a day there and several hours with us. We also had excursions to the beach and she loved the ocean.

 

Since you have 3 under 3, they should do really well in Camp Ocean together...the Camp Ocean staff is amazing! And they loved seeing our daughter (I think she was the staff's favorite since she was so young and is easy going). As far as staterooms, I'd get connecting rooms and go from there. But the best advice I can offer is to have a great cruise together and make lots of memories. Have a great time!

 

We are taking our daughter on her 3rd cruise in 2 weeks (5 days on Elation) and her 4th next May (7 days on Miracle).

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We have 6 kids and it was a logistical nightmare as we only had 2 adults but needed bigger rooms. I would suggest calling Carnival and getting them to help with your booking. They were able to get us 3 OV rooms side by side, one adjoining and we were able to spread out between the three rooms. They have ways to link bookings together and there are some "secret" rooms that are shaped like a "L" or have a bit of extra room because it goes into a corner or has a bump out. They know about those rooms and can help. I would get adjoining rooms, mini-suite and above or get a suite. The steward made the couch in the room into a toddler bed by turning it around and then we brought an inflatable toddler bed and used it. The inflatable bed came with it's own inflator and carry bag and we just slapped a tag on it like a piece of luggage. When not in use, we left it inflated and just slid it under the bed.

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I would never put kids that young in a separate room even if it was connecting .Wait until they are older .

 

 

 

Do your kids sleep in your room at home too?

 

 

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We took our twin 7 month old daughters on a 7 day cruise which required us to fly from NY to FL (round trip of course). We had booked the cruise while DW was still pregnant. Our biggest scare for this cruise was the months leading up to the birth. We took a chance and booked a fare that didn't allow free name changes ($100 each if I remember) so we booked with the names we picked out for them going with the information that they were girls. Had they had been boys (or 1 and 1) we would have had to pay more.

 

We had been told by others not to do it, it would be too hard, and we should wait until they were older. My wife and I have always been the spontaneous type so we figured why not, we can do this. We did have some help, my mother and sister also were joining us for this cruise (shared a cabin next to us).

 

We had a brought our baby monitor and set it up so grandma was able to keep an ear out at night while we were out and about. Grandma is not into all the night life on the ship so relaxing in the cabin with a book is just her speed. We didn't have connecting rooms on this sailing so we left one of our S&S cards so grandma had room access.

 

We had two cribs in the cabin, it was tight but it worked. Bathing the kids was a team effort as we had no tub. We did a combination of towel wipedowns and showers with mommy when we came back from an afternoon of playing in the sand.

 

We had purchased (not sure if they still have them or not) pre packaged formula powder packets. Each packet was one serving and you just had to have a bottle of water, add packet and your set. This of course was more costly then the can of powder we would normally use however the convenience made it well worth it.

 

We had one suitcase that had there formula and diapers in it. As we emptied it over the week we used that space to pack all our souvenirs to bring home. If your not planning on many souvenirs, (assuming your flying) you could always purchase diapers and or formula once your closer to the port to avoid some of the baggage fees from the airline.

 

We also packed a couple of rolls of paper towels and a small bottle of dish soap for cleaning. Came in handy when washing and drying all the bottles. Speaking of bottles, my suggestion would be, if you don't already, plan to use plastic bottles on the cruise. They are lighter and less of a chance of breakage.

 

We would feed the kids their breakfast food and bottles in the cabin before we would go get food our ourselves. Dinner food and bottles were also in the cabin while we showered and changed. All other feedings were done wherever we happened to be.

 

We brought lightweight umbrella strollers that folded up small and used them everywhere we went.

 

 

 

We had a great time!!! The only thing we might have done differently was get connecting cabins (which we have done on other cruises since this one).

 

Plan ahead and you'll be just fine. Don't stress the small stuff, it will all work out in the end.

 

What we did learn from this adventure is, YES 7 month old kids do LOVE the chocolate melting cake!

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Wait until

 

they are older so you can enjoy, to much hassle with diapers etc

 

 

 

I agree. I’m sure I’ll be attacked by those who say how wonderful it is to cruise with children, and it is, but NOT with 3 that young. And as a grandparent also cruising for my vacation, I would NOT want a grandchild in my room. I am a grandmother of 14, but when I’m paying for a cruise to vacation, the grandkids are THEIR PARENTS responsibility. There is no way you will fit 2 cribs in a basic cabin, and even in a suite, it would be crowded. So, my suggestion is to wait until they are older, or book yourself a family suite. But trying to vacation with 3 children that young, is no vacation. My hubby and I vacationed for years with our children camping, but as for cruising, that was just us until the youngest of our 5 were young adults, and I booked them a cabin across the hall.

 

 

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