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jcyan13

Cruising with 3 under 3

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We cruised with our 2.5yo last year and I wasn't prepared for how exhausting that vacay would be.. Wished we would have waited another year..There's just no that much activity for that age group..yes the have the camps but mine wouldn't stay at them..the pool was too overcrowded for him to enjoy and they are too small for water slides..theres a Dr Deus breakfast and parade but that's about it..we are cruising again next month and he will be turning 4 on the cruise so it will be a much better experience for us all this time.

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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 .

 

 

 

Why not? If connecting, with door open, it’s no different than kids in a different room at home. I wish I suggested the adjoining room idea when I commented previously, but this is a MUCH better choice than crowding people into one cabin. And I will once again state, that if you want all that extra work on a vacation with children that young, do not impose on any other relatives to take a child that young into their cabin, unless you are paying totally for them to come and act as babysitter. If they paid for their vacation because it was THEIR VACATION that is a tremendous imposition of you.

 

 

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My hubby and I vacationed for years with our children camping

 

 

And that comment shows how different people can be. Camping with kids sounds like the definition of hell. But cruising? Yes please! We’ve happily taken our small children on 9 cruises (#10 coming up) starting when they were only 13 months old.

 

 

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Edited by Tapi

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Speaking from someone who has cruised with grandkids since youngest was 22 months old. The parents was on the first one so we had 4 adults , 22 month old, 4 year old. No way in hell would we cruise wth 3 under 3, even with 4 adults.

The 22 month old took a tumble and take my word the floors are HARD>

You can not eat in dining room 100% of the time so trying to fix all hose plates while one person stays at the table to watch the kids, OMG that alone is a mess.

No way will you enjoy yourself in my opinion.

Try keeping them clean with no bath tubs.

Good luck if you go.

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Can't imagine what a nightmare this would be and how you could enjoy yourselves, A cruise is supposed to be a vacation and the logistics of making this be fun for all of you are overwhelming. The connecting cabins idea seems reasonable. Why not hire a nanny to come along to help and this would give you and your spouse some time alone to enjoy yourselves when you dock at the various islands? Maybe leave the kids home with a nanny? Thinking grandparents should help out is selfish and it's their vacation, too. But, they would probably do it feeling guilty if they didn't. Better yet, stay home and wait until the kids are much older and can enjoy the experience themselves.

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As other posters have written, connecting rooms is really the only option besides a larger room like a suite. I don’t see how on earth one would would possibly fit two cribs.

 

Keep in mind with relatives joining you, you need to go on this cruise with no expectations of help. I have seen so many times where people write about how relatives were eager/willing to help out but once the cruise got into action they were m.i.a. So if you actually get help then great, but have the mind set that the relatives may decide differently how they want to enjoy their cruise later on.

 

Also keep in mind the logistics of cleaning young children that take baths still. I would recommend taking an inflatable tub that you can blow up.

 

Since you are are wanting to cruise with young children I’m assuming they are easy going. All the people who say how easy/fun their cruise cruise was with young children, must have chill children. If that’s the case go for it. Only you can judge if you or your children will enjoy their vacation. I would not subject neighbors in paper thin walls next to us to a child that regularly has meltdowns/wakes up crying during the night. Not all children are the same.

 

Me on the other hand.... you would have to pay me to take my 2.5 year old. She is the very opposite of chilled. Since being born into this world she’s been a high demand child. She’s like a velociraptor testing the electric fence for weakness. No way I would want to be confined to such tight corners/on a boat with the possibility of her turning into something from the movie the exorcist. The ironic thing whenever we take her to out/meetup with people they can’t get over how cute and good she seems. I have to tell everyone it’s the “behind the scenes” tour.

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OP- It sounds like you have lots of help onboard. We have done something quite similar, only ours were 12, 10, 1, and 2 at the time. 2 cabins, unless it is a financial impossibility. We are planning to be on a cruise this time next week. With 4 children, 12, 11, 3, and 2. 2 cabins booked. Yes, you will be taking strollers, diapers, wipes, bottles, extra clothes, etc. It is still worth it. Look up the Under 2 playtime at Camp Carnival. Also, consider paying the extra fee for the Under 2 babysitting, if your DH family isn't willing to watch babies for you. If they are, my favorite is to book the thermal spa week long pass. You could even sneak your shower in, after your spa visit. Alone, with no little hands under the door. Well, at least that is how it can be at my house. Hope you take the vacation, plan for the adventure, and enjoy every minute.

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Kudos to all who can cruise with infants and toddlers..

 

Simply put, I couldn't. :)

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I can't comment on logistics of five in a room etc, but as far as "enjoying" your vacation with that many youngsters, if you can drop the 3.5 and 2 off at the kids club, I think you'll be able to enjoy yourselves. Having cruised with my now 2 y/o at ages 10 mos and 20 mos, I'd have to say that cruising with the 10 m/o was surprisingly easy as compared to the more defiant 20 m/o. So I'd imagine that at 7 mos. is even better. Sure there are a lot of extras you need to take with you for the baby, but it's definitely doable. I still don't know if you'll find the overall trip "relaxing". Even if it's not relaxing, though, I think you'll find it enjoyable. On our past two cruises, I was amazed at how much everyone, crew and passengers alike, loved our little one. So accommodating too.

 

 

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We love to cruise. Are seniors and never brought kids as they were adults when we started.

 

Questions: will family members "assist" with kids?

 

Are you willing to put older ones in Camp?

 

Would stay at home grandparents/family members help to step in and babysit while you and hubby go it alone?

(this is what I did when my brother flew me to his house to take care of the kids).

 

Can you take the 2 older so they go to Camp and leave the baby at home or take the baby and leave the older 2 with family/friend?

 

Can you afford to get 2 rooms and bring along a babysitter whose job would be to relieve some of your stress and let you have a little fun? Multiple details about this -- cruise for free but almost no pay, pay a set fee plus fare, how much time off, etc,

 

To me, at home I'm sure you have things organized the way you want them and probably a schedule of sorts as much as you can with those kiddos. On a cruise, even in 2 rooms, room is tight, things are unorganized, etc. Frankly I don't see you having that much fun. Family members are paying for a cruise to enjoy themselves and unless you are absolutely sure you will get some help, if they cruise often, I would plan on going the next time.

 

Diapers etc: don't lug them on board, buy in ports if possible.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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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!

THIS ^^^

You sound as though you truly want to go. So go. Worry not about the naysayers on here, especially the ones that will go on about noise. They're kids. Kids make noise. Oftentimes much less noise than drunk adults... Y'all are paying the same as anyone else. Lol, it IS par for Cruise Critics to Critique:) . Your added bonus is that with all the extended family also coming along, you'll have plenty of help/babysitters for some alone time. Although mostly grown now, ours are all 2-3yrs apart. ALL 6 girls at that! Our son is much younger than the girls so he's naturally spoiled rotten...

Anyway, if y'all really want to go, go. It'll be great. Worry not AND go with the flow.

 

D

 

 

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We took our daughter when she was 1 and a half on a couple years ago without any issue. Will be leaving on the Triumph Saturday with her age 3 now and my son who's 13 months. We went with a set of parents the first time and will this time as well. Having a balcony is a must I think to hang out while the kids sleep. We had a pack and play in one room and a crib in another and will do the same this time as well. When I see all of the negative comments on how miserable you'd be on a cruise with kids, I always wonder how do these people survive at home with kids...

Edited by thatsmrjptou

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When I see all of the negative comments on how miserable you'd be on a cruise with kids, I always wonder how do these people survive at home with kids...

 

 

I think that many of the negative comments come from people who’ve never done it. If I didn’t have kids and/or cruised extensively with them, I’d probably have similar opinions.

 

 

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We took our daughter when she was 1 and a half on a couple years ago without any issue. Will be leaving on the Triumph Saturday with her age 3 now and my son who's 13 months. We went with a set of parents the first time and will this time as well. Having a balcony is a must I think to hang out while the kids sleep. We had a pack and play in one room and a crib in another and will do the same this time as well. When I see all of the negative comments on how miserable you'd be on a cruise with kids, I always wonder how do these people survive at home with kids...

 

 

 

Balcony is a great point. I will add to my earlier post that both cruises we have done so far were on Norwegian in a two-bedroom Family Suite. We set the pack-n-play up in the smaller bedroom and let him sleep in there. Unfortunately, Carnival doesn't have any rooms that big. That being said, having a balcony is a definite must with any number of kids. Just a little more "breathing room."

You will love seeing your kids get excited and enjoy seeing and experiencing new things, Foods and places.

 

 

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Another thing we did as well was bring a small inflatable kids pool and put it on the balcony. Its against the rules so you have to be smart about it and not leave it out when your not in the room. We only filled it up a little bit with an ice bucket and dumped it in the shower when we were done. My daughter had a blast in it.

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You will not get two cribs/ pack n play in one cabin. There is no room. Even with one it takes up all your floor space

 

Your kids are too young for camp- Camp starts at age and MUST be two by the day of sailing

 

You take everything you need for each kid - diapers are super expensive on the ship and they do not carry all size.

 

Cant swim if not potty trained. We took an 18 month old. Had a grand time- but it was only one kid- I would wait til your littles are a bit older as this does not sound like fun.

 

Are you aware too that all kids will be paying the full 3rd and 4th fare? (some people think babies are free

 

 

dinner in the main dining room is about 90 minutes. We really rushed through the meal with ONE 18 month old-- can not imagine with three kids

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Doesn't sound like fun at all to me. But I've never done it with babies/toddlers. But I also wouldn't have been able to afford it when my kids were that young. I have to say though, I am a horrible sleeper and if my neighbor had kids crying at all hours of the night I would be beyond pissed. I would be pounding on your door. I can not put anything in my ears so no earplugs for me. It is too painful. I am paying a lot for my cruise too, so as an adult I deserve to enjoy my vacation that I earned. No kid has earned a cruise, and they may have fun but they will not remember a second of the cruise a few years later.

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5 with 2 pack n plays will not fit in a single room. I don't think it will even fit in a suite (having never sailed in a carnival suite)but that would be your best chance. If you are going to do this do it with 2 connecting rooms so you have 2 bathrooms.

 

Vacations with little ones is home on the road with a better view. IMO it would depend on how do you kids do in chaotic busy environments. Some kids are take it in stride. Some kids don't bat a eye at lots of strangers and new things to see and do. Other kids are overwhelmed. Only you know your children.

 

Personally I would not/did not cruise with a child who was not potty trained because I am selfish and I want a vacation. I wanted the kids to be able to enjoy the pools and kids club I could imagine the melt down my 18 month would have had seeing the pool and water area and not being able to get in but that was my kids. Maybe yours could care less. That's a decision you have to make.

 

I would not worry about the noise a baby makes its a family cruise line and your kids will NOT be the only ones.

 

My kids started traveling at 6MO and 4MO old but didn't cruise until 5 and 3. It was perfect for my kids but yours could be different. The most important thing when traveling with little kids is a exit plan. Don't book excursions you can not easily get back to the ship on. Know ahead of time that its likely 1 of you will have to take a baby back to the room during a meal. Traveling with family gives you some extra hands but you need to be flexible with limited expectations.

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1. If I were you, I would wait a few years (we cruised with ours when my youngest was 8)

2. If you want to travel, go land vacation that has bigger rooms and a pool that kids can actually swim in

3. If you do decide to cruise, I’ll say a prayer for you every day

 

 

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I've done it with 1 under 2 and pregnant, with 2 under 3, all the way to 2 under 6 now. I say only YOU know what you're capable of. If you have family going, are they willing to help out? Excursions will be super low key, look for things you can walk to, so ports are important here. Pack all your diapers in a duffel bag, that way when they are gone you can stuff the bag in something else. GET A BALCONY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. We take turns 'going out' while the kids nap and go to bed at night, it works for us. My kids can do dinners, we take small toys, games, tablets and they are great but if something happens, we aren't afraid to step out with one. Carnival lets you rent strollers from them, good option as it's one less thing to lug around, but we found baby wearing was a lifesaver. Camp Carnival is great and they do a kid's dinner at the buffet that could work for you if they are 2 by the day of sailing. They also have open play where those under 2 and siblings can come to Camp and play with the parents, aka use the toys and let loose a bit. We love open lounges for dancing and playing.

 

It is definitely a different cruise, but don't let others put you down. I get ran over by rude people on scooters who think they own the ship more than I hear crying babies...

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I am one of those who made comments without actually traveling with kids. So my suggestion: think of a schedule for a day.

 

Everybody wakes up, what happens next, change diapers, give bottles, which one first, who dresses who? So when kids are dressed, you and hubby figure out how to complete your toilette and dress and hope kids behave and don't make too much noise while you are getting ready. OK, off to breakfast or could room service be easier? If a port day, all of you go/older kids in Camp, probably change another diaper or 2 and you take baby and stuff and head for the excursion Does stuff stay in the bus on the excursion or will you need to bring it with you? Suppose one or other of the Campers does not want to go to camp, do you have snacks for bringing them on the excursion. We won't get into cranky and tired kiddos on the excursion itself. At least due to their age, hopefully no extra fee.

 

So we're back on board, maybe a little hot and grimy and at least 1 if not 2 kiddos who probably need a nap, like you. With no tubs, you might try practicing at home in the tiniest shower in the house how you will go about giving the kids a "bath". You might after head to the pool for the afternoon, maybe after picking up the Camper but now you will have all 3 at the pool and baby in diapers are not allowed in although I may be wrong about that. So one of you has the baby and the other one the other 2 kids. So then maybe you and some of the kids head back to the room to dress for dinner, again rinsing off chlorine from the pool in the tiniest shower ever. Door to shower would need to be propped open no matter which kids you have with you. Certainly not even a minute to yourself moment. Then hubby arrives with the 3rd kiddo, he gets ready after you take care of that one so you might want to delay getting dressed until after this happens. Does everybody nap at the same time like perfect sublime little angels or are we juggling that too?

 

OK, so all dressed, ready to go to dinner. Who's helping who eat and how are you eating?

 

I don't think I need to go on. This has worn me out and you would be paying for the pleasure of all the above!!!

 

Just think it though.

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I am one of those who made comments without actually traveling with kids. So my suggestion: think of a schedule for a day...

 

...I don't think I need to go on. This has worn me out and you would be paying for the pleasure of all the above!!!

 

Just think it though.

 

 

Ok, I’ll chime in again. It does sound exhausting, but many of the things that you mention are everyday things that parents of small children deal with on a daily basis at home and are used to. Yes, it’s not easy but it’s part of this stage in life. Does that mean that someone should not take a cruise vacation (or any type of vacation) because it won’t be as easy? I humbly don’t believe so.

 

Think of it. If you had a family member who has a permanent disability, or an elderly parent who requires special assistance, would you choose to leave them in someone else’s care or not go on vacation so that you don’t have to deal with the added challenges associated with their care? I’m sure some will say yes, but I’d say no.

 

At the end of the day, it truly boils down to what the OP feels that they can handle. Going with realistic expectations will truly determine whether this is an enjoyable vacation or not.

 

Our first cruise with a small child was a true eye opener and we learned a lot from that experience. There were moments when we cursed our decision (at one point in time we even considered cutting our cruise short and flying home from one of the ports of call), but on the same token, there were many more moments which we enjoyed tremendously and when we were very grateful about our decision.

 

By the time we took our son on his second cruise when he was 17 months old, we had figured out a lot of things and learned from our rookie mistakes. Now, every time we cruise, things get better and better and we push the envelope a bit more each time. And when we welcomed child #2 the following year, we felt like pros. Her first cruise at 15 months old was to Alaska and we had an absolutely fantastic time.

 

 

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Edited by Tapi

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I’ve never been on Carnival Freedom, but we were on the Breeze last January with our 3yr old GS and the deluxe OV room we had, had a small tub. It was perfect for bathing a toddler. Also, he slept on the couch that makes into a bed. We pulled the coffee table right up beside it in case he would roll. With small ones you could put 2 on a bed like that end to end, so long as they aren’t kickers....

 

 

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I’ve never been on Carnival Freedom, but we were on the Breeze last January with our 3yr old GS and the deluxe OV room we had, had a small tub. It was perfect for bathing a toddler. Also, he slept on the couch that makes into a bed. We pulled the coffee table right up beside it in case he would roll. With small ones you could put 2 on a bed like that

end to end, so long as they aren’t kickers....

 

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Exactly!! That is what we did with our 3 when they were small, the boys slept end to end on a sofa and the baby on the floor in a collapsible small baby travel bed. It is a different vacation with kids, you are doing all the same things for/with the kids that you do at home except for the cooking and cleaning, and the scenery changes every day! If you are adaptable, you will be fine.

Now we cruise with our 7 grandkids, two or three at a time and they have cruised with their parents since they were babies.

Oh and bath the kids in the shower when you bath. I either used the sink or the shower method even at home as bending over the tub was a pain.

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