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ti4m4t

Pride of America with Toddlers?

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Hello, Everyone! My husband's family is planning a family reunion vacation on the Pride of America in the fall of 2019. It's a medium sized group of about 20 people including some young kids. I haven't found very many posts about travelers with toddlers on this particular ship, so does anyone have some reviews of Guppies or port activities that would be good for toddlers? The youngest little cousins will be, at the time of travel: a 15 month old, then a 2.5 year old, and an almost 3 year old. There are some kindergartners and older kids as well.

 

Also, we recently sailed on Carnival and they had a messaging system inside their app that used ships WiFi and it was fantastic for communicating with everybody in our travel group. Is there anything like that for NCL or will be soon? If not, what has worked best for communicating with a large group?

 

The last time I sailed on NCL we didn't have kids, so anything at all would be super helpful while I'm in these early planning stages. Thanks in advance!

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POA is really port intensive.  with that large of a group you could arrange a small bus tour for all of you in each port including beach stops.  Onboard it will be hard to get group to agree on dining times and events (having done this a couple times before).

 

We took our 3 yo on POA many years ago and IMO wouldn't want to go any younger than that but you know your kids and how well they'll handle the flight and overall travel.

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My family can’t handle traveling without a kids club ( age 2 on Cunard and carnival)   Nurseries for a fee are available on disney and updated rc ships and the ncl escape.but your family might be better able to handle travel with small children than mine.  On the first day go to the buffet and get a bunch of individual cereal boxes, fruit and yoghurt.  That way you’ll always have something on hand in the room when you’re kids are hungry. Also bring the cereal on excursions since that can distract a whiny or bored toddler and you don’t want a hungry one either.  Have a great trip.  We’ve found that private excursions work well, as you need to be able to control the itinerary and stop and feed your kids when they’ve hit their limit. 

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To be honest it doesn't seem like a very kid-friendly ship.When we went a few weeks ago, I think I saw maybe 10 kids on the whole cruise, with only a few being babies or toddlers. But maybe it was our timing, since we sailed in Nov and not during a school break. I noticed the lack of kids cuz we have 2 kids who we didn't bring with us, but I do want to bring them on a cruise in the near future, and I think I'd choose a different ship. But I guess if you don't have a choice, there are ways to make the best of it. There are some kid things there, like an arcade for the older kids, some sports areas (like a basketball court and a big chess board/pieces to play with outside) and a small indoor pool/hot tub area for families,. I think there's also a kid club with limited hours, but as someone else said, I think it's for 3 and up. Of course, you'll be in Hawaii more than you'll be on the ship, so you can pretty easily tire the kids out at the beach! 

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How will the little ones do on long flights in order to reach the cruise?  Diapered babies can't go into the ship's pools but they can enjoy the many beaches on the islands that you will visit.

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Thanks for all the info so far. I have cruised before with my two kids before they were kids club ages, just not on NCL and we go on multiple flights every year, so they are seasoned travelers for their age. Some of their cousins, not so much. At least the little ones will have cousins to play with.

I read that the kids clubs charge money for little and older kids when in port? Is that true? If so, that sucks since the whole trip is basically parked at ports.

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This from a website about the POA:

 

"Splash Academy is divided into four different age groups:

Guppies: 6 months - 2 yrs (at least one parent must remain with children in this age group) 
Turtles: 3 - 5 yrs. 
Seals: 6 - 9 yrs. 
Dolphins: 10 - 12 yrs.

Norwegian Youth Staff are not permitted to change nappies/diapers or pull-ups and so if guest’s children are not toilet trained parents are given beepers or handy phone to alert them should their child need changing. Beepers and handy phones do not work ashore, so at least one parent will have to stay on board when their children are in the Youth Program."

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The under 3’s won’t be able to be left in the club, no matter how much you are willing to pay, in port or at sea. The clubs charge for late night for kids 3 -12, I believe after 10 pm.

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We sailed on the Pride of America with our 14 year old son in July, 2017.

We enjoyed it and Hawaii was awesome.  However, there weren't many young children on the ship

and it wasn't particularly kid-oriented ship from what I noticed.

 

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1 hour ago, Crazy planning mom said:

We sailed on the Pride of America with our 14 year old son in July, 2017.

We enjoyed it and Hawaii was awesome.  However, there weren't many young children on the ship

and it wasn't particularly kid-oriented ship from what I noticed.

 

 

What excursions did you do with your son?

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On 11/25/2018 at 1:06 PM, kitkat343 said:

My family can’t handle traveling without a kids club ( age 2 on Cunard and carnival)   Nurseries for a fee are available on disney and updated rc ships and the ncl escape.but your family might be better able to handle travel with small children than mine.  On the first day go to the buffet and get a bunch of individual cereal boxes, fruit and yoghurt.  That way you’ll always have something on hand in the room when you’re kids are hungry. Also bring the cereal on excursions since that can distract a whiny or bored toddler and you don’t want a hungry one either.  Have a great trip.  We’ve found that private excursions work well, as you need to be able to control the itinerary and stop and feed your kids when they’ve hit their limit. 

 

When we went on our cruise to Mexico, they made us empty our bag of all food we had brought off the ship for snacks. Do they not do that in Hawaii?

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On 11/25/2018 at 12:29 PM, dexddd said:

POA is really port intensive.  with that large of a group you could arrange a small bus tour for all of you in each port including beach stops.  Onboard it will be hard to get group to agree on dining times and events (having done this a couple times before).

 

We took our 3 yo on POA many years ago and IMO wouldn't want to go any younger than that but you know your kids and how well they'll handle the flight and overall travel.

 

What excursions did you do with your three year old?

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We did Haleakala at sunset, my husband and son did the Big Island Snorkel, and we all did Volcano National Park through NCL.

We all loved the Haleakala at Sunset and he loved the snorkeling.

The only one we wouldn't do again with  was the Volcano National Park excursion.    It was too short and we weren't impressed with the guide.

If I had to do that again, I would sign up for Mary Lou's Big Island Volcano National Park excursion.

The 2nd day in Maui, my husband and son rented a car and golf. 

In Kauai, we rented a car the first day, downloaded the Skaka app, and drove to the top of Waimea Canyon and Napali Coast.

That was amazing.   The second day in Kauai we took a free NCL shuttle to the beach.

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Another suggestion for Maui would be the Maui Tropical Plantation, a lovely farm full of native Hawaiian plants, there’s a tram ride through the park, a place to get ice cream, and ducks that the littles can feed. The park itself is free to enter, only the tram ride costs money and you don’t have to take it, you can walk the grounds for free. There’s a zip line too for older kids/adults. It’s not far from port and you could combine it with Iao Valley and/or Maui Ocean Center if you’re renting a car.

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Hello, we are also considering this cruise with our 2 toddlers. @ti4m4t did you find any other helpful information beyond what is in this post? 

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6 minutes ago, sassyblu said:

Hello, we are also considering this cruise with our 2 toddlers. @ti4m4t did you find any other helpful information beyond what is in this post? 

 

Not really. I spent a lot of time on NCLs website trying to find out more, and you can always try calling in to get answers about the kids clubs. 

We ended up cancelling the trip due to scheduling conflicts with other family members, but I have been cruising with my two toddlers before and it can be done, with everyone having a great time, as long you plan, plan and plan some more. Good luck!

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