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the_dylaness

Need better family cabin options on X

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Just venting, really.

We like cruising X with our kids. (They like NCL Haven as well but it's a little wild and crazy for our taste...)  

They are 7 and 4 years old.  We like to sail with either our babysitter-as-nanny, or with my mom.  

 

However, cabin configurations that work well for three adults and two kids do not abound.

 

The family verandah seems plausible, but honestly, 1 bathroom for 5 people, especially if one of them is a "third adult"?

(Plus the 2nd bedroom is a joke. This might work for 2 adults, 3 kids, better than 3 adults, 2 kids.)

 

Celebrity suites hold only 4.

Reflection suites et al are too pricey (don't know how many they hold anyway).

Connecting balconies are what we have done but it's still not optimal and there are so few.  

 

What we'd REALLY love is something similar to the family verandah but available with 2 or even 3 bedrooms (even if they are small) and 2 full baths.

We ended up having to cancel, but at one point, against our better judgment, we booked a RCCL cruise in some kind of suite that was laid out more like a small apartment, with rooms off of a hallway.  The master bedroom had its own ensuite bathroom, the second (reasonably sized and could hold four if I remember) bedroom had its own full ensuite bathroom, and the living area (which you could close off with a door, if you wanted to stay up late while kids were snoozing, or let the extra adult sleep on the pullout couch).  It wasn't exquisite, there was no piano or bar setup, but it was a decent amount of space for a family.

 

I am sure some of the very large and fancy suites on the edge will accommodate 5+ people, but probably not in our range.

What about a larger room with more "balcony level" furnishings and perks but with enough space for folks traveling in larger groups?

 

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Posted (edited)

Why not just get 2 connecting rooms?

To us, that is the ideal solution when traveling with young children.  You get a full 2nd bathroom, additional TV,  plenty of storage for all,  and can put the kids to sleep at night while the adults have the full use of the other room and the balconies.

  

Edited by fleckle

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I thought on Edge they were supposed to have some Family Suites available at certain times of the year like holiday sailings (or maybe if you just ask for it).  I think it was a Celebrity Suite with an adjoining veranda room.  On the "M" class ships they have 4 royal suites with connecting C1 rooms.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, wrk2cruise said:

I thought on Edge they were supposed to have some Family Suites available at certain times of the year like holiday sailings (or maybe if you just ask for it).  I think it was a Celebrity Suite with an adjoining veranda room.  On the "M" class ships they have 4 royal suites with connecting C1 rooms.

 

Those are fine solutions for passengers who are willing to pay extra for suite accommodations, with all their accompanying bells and whistles.

 

But many families, who just want the extra bedroom and bathroom,  are happy to book ordinary, plain vanilla connecting staterooms without needing to pay suite prices.

 

Fortunately, such arrangements are available at a variety of price points, to accommodate differing preferences and budgets.

 

Once the children get a little older, that second bedroom does not even need to be a connecting one.  Some families book their children into an inside cabin across the hall, a solution that provides an extra bedroom and bathroom at a much lower price.

 

Edited by fleckle

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I was making suggestions based on the OP's post talking about The Haven and the RF being too expensive.

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4 hours ago, fleckle said:

Why not just get 2 connecting rooms?

To us, that is the ideal solution when traveling with young children.  You get a full 2nd bathroom, additional TV,  plenty of storage for all,  and can put the kids to sleep at night while the adults have the full use of the other room and the balconies.

  

 

This.  But I do think that Celebrity doesn't especially cater to families, so building cabins to accommodate them isn't in their business plan.  That's the market RCCL targets - and does it well.  

 

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29 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

 

This.  But I do think that Celebrity doesn't especially cater to families, so building cabins to accommodate them isn't in their business plan.  That's the market RCCL targets - and does it well.  

 

Agree....

 

Now both children are old enough for the children’s club do you really need a third adult travelling with you? You could get some ‘down time’ while they enjoyed themselves and arrange for them to dine with the children’s club a few evenings (I think you can book a package, perhaps someone else can advise, a long time since we used children’s facilities). They are old enough now to enjoy a range of shore excursions with you too. You can also book sitters some evenings if you want to enjoy some couple time. If you did this then you may find the S class RS would be a good fit. This remains our cabin of choice when our now adult son cruises with us. With a bar set up, a good sized balcony and a butler who will leave you snacks on request as the children tire you can settle them in bed and then enjoy the balcony.

 

I agree that room choices on Celebrity are limited for the set up you describe. The PH on M class with two separate bathrooms, a decent sized sofa bed in the lounge and plenty of space for two rollaway beds could suite you. The bonus of this suite over the S class equivalent is you don’t need to walk through the lounge to access the main bedroom, butler’s pantry or the balcony. 

 

RC does have a wider range of room choices. The 2 bedroomed Grand Suite of the bigger Aqua theatre suites offer two bedrooms but someone is still on a sofa bed...

 

If I was in your situation I would want that third adult (nanny or grandmother) to have their own space and book either two adjoining balcony rooms or book a RS for the ‘family’ and the third adult in an inside with the knowledge that it is a sleeping and bathroom base only and that you hope they will enjoy the suite space with you. Obviously that third adult would not have the RS perks....

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Like the other poster said, why do you need to take a nanny with you? Who does this? Are you not capable of entertaining or attending to your own children without her? Taking a nanny is a bit over the top especially if it creates such issues when it comes to cabin availability and space. 

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If you will be traveling with a nanny, in-law, or any other third adult, get a stateroom that will accomodate your family of 4 (maybe a verandah or a smaller suite) and then get a separate, single stateroom for the extra person that’s coming with you. That’s what we’ve done in the past both on cruises and land vacations and it worked perfectly.

 

The third person that you’re bringing will most likely not be expected to be “on duty” 24 hours a day, so they will greatly appreciate having their own stateroom to go to where they can have some privacy. You will also appreciate not having this person in your stateroom (even if it’s a suite) when you want some privacy of your own. 

 

Booking a single stateroom may mean a single supplement, so you can always technically book one of your children in the third adult’s stateroom just for the purpose of avoiding that single supplement, but you may then miss out on a reduced 4th person rate in your own stateroom. Obviously your child can stay with you even if they are booked in another cabin. Price it out in different ways and see which one is more advantageous to your needs. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tallnthensome said:

why do you need to take a nanny with you? Who does this? Are you not capable of entertaining or attending to your own children without her?

We have! 😀

 

For many years, my wife and I had jobs that required a lot of travel and where we spent long hours away from home. These jobs were OK before we had kids, but once we decided to start a family, it was hard to balance things out. Even after trying to schedule our work hours so that there would always be a parent at home, there were several gaps where we needed assistance. We don’t have any relatives where we live so we resorted, first to babysitters, and eventually to a live-in nanny while we sorted out what we were going to do about our careers. 

 

For the year she lived with us, our nanny became a part of the family and we regarded her as a true family member. This was several years ago, and even though she has moved on, we still stay in touch and visit her. We consider and love her like an extended member of the family. 

 

When we went somewhere as a family, we’d ask her if she wanted to take a break from us and stay home or if she wanted to come along. She always wanted to come with us. We always made sure that she had her own room and privacy when we were away, even if it was for a quick weekend getaway. She wouldn’t come along “to work”, but to enjoy and relax as well. But she knew that the time my wife and I had was limited so she’d insist on watching the kids while we went out. We were very grateful for that since those breaks provided valuable husband and wife time during a stressful time in our lives. 

 

Thankfully, we are no longer in the same position we once were due to our jobs. My wife now has a job that doesn’t require travel or as many hours away from home, and I have gained enough seniority at my company to have much more control over my hours at work, which in turn has given us a much better family life. Either one or both of us are always home when the kids get home from school and on the weekends as well. The teachers actually joke if I have a job because I’m so present at most school activities when many dads are at work.  It’s wonderful to be this present in my family and to have reached the life-work balance that we always wanted, without needing extra assistance. 

 

But while our nanny lived with us, we needed her, and we wanted to have her with us. Unfortunately, our reality then is the reality for many working parents today.  

Edited by Tapi

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Please note....

 

My suggestion of not taking nanny or grandmother with them was not intended as any criticism/judgement, simply to point out that once children are past the baby stage there are good childcare options on board. 

 

For many guests ‘extending’ the family circle works for lots of reasons....

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Yes, we have done two connecting cabins and it works "OK" but remember too that 3rd/4th/5th people in a room sometimes a lot less expensive than pax 1 and 2, so a family suite could potentially end up being cheaper.

 

I appreciate the suggestion about the kids club.  Our kids tend to go to bed very early and get up equally early.  This would preclude any activity for us that takes place after 8pm or so and I don't want to go to bed at 8pm 🙂  I also don't want to be the one with the screaming, wailing, overtired children who were sent to the kids club until 10pm so mom and dad could go have cocktails and dancing... so that is why we like to go with a third adult.  But, for folks with children who like to stay up late your point is well taken.

 

We have taken a nanny (who is just one of our regular babysitters not an actual nanny) a couple of times.  It works well for everyone.  She stays in the room with the kids but we make sure she gets a lot of time away, some full port days off, evenings off, etc.  But when the little darlings rise at 0630 she is on toothbrush duty and usually by 730 we are all up together starting the day.

 

It's helpful on shore excursions where kids need lots of supervision (for instance a speedboat tour to the Pitons and Sugar Beach... third set of hands with kids in the ocean always a good idea at least with a 4 year old involved.)  It's helpful at mealtimes.  It's helpful in the airport.  Etc.  

 

Anyway, it is a solution that works well for everyone involved, so we are all pleased.  (And if you're wondering does it really work for the "nanny"- yes- she jumped at a chance to go again in Feb.  There's no other extraneous reason she would need to say yes to us except her own volition.)

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

 

This.  But I do think that Celebrity doesn't especially cater to families, so building cabins to accommodate them isn't in their business plan.  That's the market RCCL targets - and does it well.  

 

 

I don't disagree with you at all, but I do wish there were a few more options on X.  I don't want to go on RCCL.  

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6 hours ago, fleckle said:

 

Once the children get a little older, that second bedroom does not even need to be a connecting one.  Some families book their children into an inside cabin across the hall, a solution that provides an extra bedroom and bathroom at a much lower price.

 

 

Yes, this is very likely the solution we'll choose in a few years, but certainly not right now! 

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Not the primary demographic of Celebrity. The OP's request is such a minority position that would not be cost effective .

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, the_dylaness said:

 I don't want to go on RCCL.  

May I ask what your reasons are? I do agree that Celebrity is a notch up from Royal, but I do believe that, while raising a young family, sometimes it’s more advantageous to select a product better suited for families. 

 

My kids are 7 and 9 now. They just finished cruise #10 across 5 different cruise lines. If there’s something I’ve learned is that, at this point in our lives, it’s better to stick with cruise lines that are more family friendly. Having the right type of accommodations and kid activities can (and has) elevated the cruise experience more than a more upscale or polished experience ever could.

 

Royal caters to families very well, in my opinion, better than any other family friendly cruise line including Disney. Once again, I’m curious what your reasons are to be adamant about cruising on them. 

Edited by Tapi

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Ya know, sometimes cruising is not the best choice for a vacation.  VRBO sounds like a better solution (and probably cheaper).

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One thing you can consider is booking the oceanview room that is connected to the family veranda. That way, you will essentially have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms! I don't know how far in advance you would have to book to guarantee that you can get this arrangement though...

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I must say I think Tapi is right and that you should not just dismiss RC.

 

Whilst we now cruise  mainly Celebrity when our son was young (similar age to your older one) we did enjoy RC on many occasions. We would happily cruise RC again if cruising with family with young children. 

 

The benefits of RC don’t stop at more family friendly staterooms. We used to love the mini golf, the ice show, character events and seeing our son enjoy child friendly water areas. For 4 and 7 year olds on Celebrity the main pools and entertainment are not ideal. We did know of Celebrity then but dismissed them as we did feel there were less activities for our son to do and for us to enjoy as a full family. 

 

The negatives of RC in our opinion are the dining is less good (even the speciality restaurants and Coastal Kitchen). We did, however, find the MDR staff on RC great with children and some of the speciality restaurants like Izumi (Hibachi) are positively child friendly. The ships can also can feel quite ‘busy’ with more activities and announcements than Celebrity. However, the suite perks are good especially if you are in a Star Class suite which with 3 adults and 2 children you would be...They do also have adult areas like the Solarium where you or nanny or grandmother could be guaranteed some child free space.

 

As you can’t find the accommodation you want on Celebrity why not give RC a go? Worse case scenario, you don’t enjoy (but I think your children probably still would...) but then at least you would know it isn’t for you....

 

Just a thought....

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I understand the OP is venting. However, this is a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it too. You want to cruise Celebrity. You want to bring a caregiver and your children. You want extra space and bathroom. You don't want to spend the money on the accommodations that are available with the extra space and bathroom. 🤔

 

In this case, what you want does not exist. We can all pontificate on why it does not. However, it won't do the OP any good. OP has options, they just don't like them. Such is life. 

 

Sorry if this seems like a total downer or like I'm the b-word. I just prefer to consider how fortunate we are to be able to cruise at all and am thankful for the MANY options already available. My glasses are not so rose colored that I don't think there is anything to complain/vent about (there is plenty). I just believe this situation does not rise to that occasion.

Edited by JennyB1977

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10 hours ago, nhsails said:

Not the primary demographic of Celebrity. The OP's request is such a minority position that would not be cost effective .

 

 

I'm not suggesting dozens of rooms... but the popularity of booking the family verandah suites (in my experience has been impossible to do less than a year in advance and we don't usually travel at peak times) does indicate there might be others with similar interests.

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10 hours ago, Tapi said:

May I ask what your reasons are? I do agree that Celebrity is a notch up from Royal, but I do believe that, while raising a young family, sometimes it’s more advantageous to select a product better suited for families. 

 

My kids are 7 and 9 now. They just finished cruise #10 across 5 different cruise lines. If there’s something I’ve learned is that, at this point in our lives, it’s better to stick with cruise lines that are more family friendly. Having the right type of accommodations and kid activities can (and has) elevated the cruise experience more than a more upscale or polished experience ever could.

 

Royal caters to families very well, in my opinion, better than any other family friendly cruise line including Disney. Once again, I’m curious what your reasons are to be adamant about cruising on them. 

 

Perhaps we'll consider again in the future, but the very large ships and seemingly more.... "adventurous" (?) atmosphere don't entice us.  We have sailed Disney twice and not overly impressed.  Our kids are happy with the X kids club, the available pool, the food choices.  I'm not adamant about cruising on Celebrity, it's just the line we have found that so far works best for our family.  After using our outstanding FCC on Norwegian I'm not sure it's likely we'll travel on them again.  Haven is fun but it's just nuts everywhere else.  (We are a family of introverts!)

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Posted (edited)

I'm sorry for those who misread this to be a complaint.  Maybe vent was the wrong word.

More just an expression of what I wished they had.

Certainly some families choose to cruise on X- there just aren't great accommodations.  (In reality, can most of us afford to take 5 people in the Reflection Suite?  Not begrudging those who can, but at a total out of pocket cost of about 12k for our last 5 person cruise in two connecting concierge cabins, I'd have to sell both of my kidneys for the Reflection Suite.)

 

We actually had a Celebrity Suite booked for our November cruise, but as we decided to take the nanny and it only holds 4, that didn't work, so we moved to connecting CCs.

 

Celebrity provides an enjoyable overall experience for our family and our preferences.  We wouldn't continue to cruise with them if they didn't.  However, the room situation is not perfect, and I wish we had other choices.

Edited by the_dylaness

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I understand your dilemma.  When my son was younger, we always brought a babysitter or family member along on cruises and some other vacations to help out as my son has some developmental disabilities and, when he was younger, he really couldn't tolerate the kids clubs.  They were completely overwhelming to him  Bringing someone to help out was the only way my husband and I could get a few hours to ourselves.  When my mother-in-law would accompany us, we would typically get two cabins.  Sometimes the cabins didn't even connect, but would be across from or next to each other.  My son would sleep in grandma's room and we would just text in the morning and open cabin doors to let people back and forth.  It really wasn't that much of an inconvenience and my son loved his special time with his grandma.  We brought babysitters on three trips and would get them their own inside cabins on the ships or a standard room at a hotel.  We would then coordinate what hours they would work and when they would have some time off.  I'm just throwing out some ideas on how you might be able to make taking a group of 5 along without completely breaking the bank.  Even with separate rooms, our babysitter could tuck my son in to sleep at night, wait for us to return to the cabin and then return to her own cabin.  My son is older now and he really loved the Celebrity kids club as it's smaller and much more low-key than DCL, NCL, etc.  I wouldn't even attempt RCCL with him so I understand there are many families out there who do not want to sail on "family" cruise lines.  We are one of those families.  I hope you can find a way to make it work for your family!  

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