Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Despegue

Baby Onboard.

Recommended Posts

Anyone able to tell their experience in bringing a baby/infant onboard HAL?

 

We are finally expecting an addition to our family ( Miracles do happen) and would like to continue cruising preferably with HAL.

 

thanks!

 

Despegue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Anyone able to tell their experience in bringing a baby/infant onboard HAL?

 

We are finally expecting an addition to our family ( Miracles do happen) and would like to continue cruising preferably with HAL.

 

thanks!

 

Despegue

No experience here, but

 

Congratulations, Captain!🎉 

Edited by TiogaCruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, our daughter was 16 months on her first HAL cruise and we will have more experience in a little over 2 months when our then 27 month old daughter goes on her second cruise. I posted a mini baby centric review on the Family Cruise forum this year. A link is in my signature below. Travel gear, onboard baby gear. Also, the Family Cruise board is a treasure trove of good info.

 

Congratulations on the newest addition!!

 

Edit: To be honest, I thought cruising was a fantastic way to travel with a little one. If you plan and have the right gear, the whole unpack once and everything is within a short walk really makes it easy. Cruising was far far easier than say Disney, which we did when she was just over a year. It's a different kind of cruise but we loved it. 

Edited by fatcat04

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Anyone able to tell their experience in bringing a baby/infant onboard HAL?

 

We are finally expecting an addition to our family ( Miracles do happen) and would like to continue cruising preferably with HAL.

 

thanks!

 

Despegue

 

Congratulations!  

We've not done it yet, but are in the planning stages to travel with our daughter and her baby.  One thing I did not know is that Ship Services can provide you an order form to pre-order special baby supplies -- baby food and portable crib, etc.  All can be ready for you when you board.

 

I hope you and your growing family have many wonderful travel experiences together.  Just from personal observation, people love seeing a baby onboard.  They get a lot of attention!  Again, congratulations!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on a last cruise with a very cute little one ( my teen was very grateful they let her play with him a lot, they were in the cabana beside us, made her cruise way more enjoyable) they said they contacted HAL and were given lots of amazing advise, like if you can bring a collapsable wagon, they were able to use it during the day on board then at night it took up less space then a babybed they just added padding for sleeping in 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't on HAL, but it's probably quite similar...

A few years ago, we brought along the kids and an 18 month old grand.

 

Needless to say, at that age, he needed constant supervision, but he had a ball running around, and he was a huge hit with many of the other passengers.

We did request in advance a "crib" which turned out was a Pack N Play kind of thing.  We asked the steward to put a fresh sheet down each day, etc.  We had a suite and had one PNP there, and also an ocean view (for them) with another PNP, so there was a place for him to nap either way.
We got them an Ocean View because *I* was too nervous about a balcony, at that new climbing age.  But what happened was he LOVED sitting IN the window, on that wide bottom of the window surround.  Many cute photos of him there!

 

But what helped a LOT was how dining worked out.  For dinner, in the MDR, we lucked out the first night and had a terrific waitress who was incredibly attentive to the little guy.  She *quickly* asked if he would like some (offered some choices), and before anything else, he had a bowl of spaghetti and butter (among his then favorites).  We asked for a table in her area from then on, and when she saw us coming, she had his spaghetti in front of him in lightening speed.  Needless to say, this made dining much more pleasant for us, for her, and also for the other nearby passengers!

She also quickly learned what beverages and other foods were enjoyed by him and approved by the parents.

She was worth her weight in gold, and yes, we certainly did tip her 🙂

(Perhaps someone on the staff could recommend an especially suitable waitperson?)

 

Finally, something we didn't do, but have heard others found a great extra, was to bring along a tiny inflatable pool.  Two reasons:  IF you only have a shower, it can make a tiny/shallow bathtub.  Second, it can be used as a little private pool on a balcony if you have one.  The little ones typically cannot go into the regular pools until they are totally toilet trained, and for hot weather cruises, this makes something "special" for the wee one.  Just let them splash around out there; it doesn't matter if the balcony deck gets wet, obviously.

 

GC

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We traveled with my 6 month old niece in the carribean...we rented the family cabana and it worked great at this age.  We pushed the 2 big lounge chairs together and she rolled around and crawled in between us and played with her toys.  It provided the shade we needed.  We brought a tiny inflatable pool for her to play in.  

 

We did purchase the unlimited laundry so we could send dirty clothes and blankets out.  I would definitely get a room with a balcony.  We would put her to bed and then hang out on the balcony or take turns leaving the room...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations..........we have done this with family and friends on 3 of our cruises and it is not easy........do-able but not easy.   Based on our experience I would recommend you to think and discuss ahead a few things........time differences effect them with their naps and eating so there needs to be a prediscussed plan and back up plan about who stays with little one if the others are in main dining room or theater when baby gets fussy.......not nice for other passengers who have paid so much money to endure  an upset whiny baby......nor for 2 parents to argue or debate who is going to take the kid out.    The other thing is to not try to do real excursions, no matter how good it sounds it can be tricky.....just enjoy ports and be close enough you can return to ship if needed..     Also, depending on age of baby/child and the supplies you will need there are some ports that offer reasonable costs on things like disposable diapers without having to haul so many but check out ahead if they have name brand stores that might offer this.    Boutiques on ship do not have that much supplies for babies and it is more expensive to buy ship supplies.    So if you need to take baby/child (and we understand that youwould) then just discuss a reasonable plan with family members so it doesnt upset each other if you need to make some accommodations while on board and sometimes go to plan b or plan c while others enjoy their trip.  We actually had 3 of us rotating days of who was “on call” to take little back to cabin if needed.....LOL

Edited by creel5857

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a 20 day cruise with our 2 1/2 year grand daughter last year (and mum and dad). GD had an absolute ball and she was a huge hit with staff and passengers. Not sure our daughter would have enjoyed it anywhere near as much without our support (aka baby sitting) but they loved it and we are all cruising again next year when the GD will be 4.  I expect she will love HAL Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2019 at 9:00 AM, Despegue said:

Anyone able to tell their experience in bringing a baby/infant onboard HAL?

 

We are finally expecting an addition to our family ( Miracles do happen) and would like to continue cruising preferably with HAL.

 

thanks!

 

Despegue

I cannot help with your question BUT I AM SO HAPPY TO READ SUCH A GREAT POST.  many CONGRATULATIONS AND EvERY GOOD WISH UNDER the sun.    Very, very happy for  YOU.

 

 

CREW adore  the bab ies and  toddlers and will help you in any way psosible, if desired by you.

 

 

 

image.png.6eb06a36929412f23117dd6aa311829c.png

 

sail.noordam@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After many cruises with HAL my wife and I will be taking our son on his first cruise in December. Much like the OP we too had a miracle baby this year. He will be ~8.5 months when we sail. So far the HAL cruise consultants have been extremely helpful in making sure we had what we needed (crib, high chair, etc.). We opted to try one of the Family Oceanview cabins on the Koningsdam since they have a tub in the larger bathroom.

 

We have taken a family cruise in the past on Carnival with my sister and her kids and it is doable. We all took turns so she and her husband could have some time. Fortunately, my parents will be coming with us to help out and let us have at least one quiet dinner together. Additionally, we have taken enough Caribbean cruises to not care so much about the excursions. The ports are all walk off/on with the exception of HMC which should make it easier. Really this trip will be about spending time together on a boat vs. at the house.

 

As far as baby fussiness we will just have to see how that goes. I understand some fellow passengers may get annoyed but I feel as HAL grows and evolves this may become the norm. As a decent human being I will remove my child if he is a distraction but HAL won't survive as a company if folks like my family don't feel welcome. I've been cruising HAL for almost 10 years, 3-star Mariner now and I like the experience they offer and hope to share that with my son as he grows. Who knows, maybe he'll be a 4 or 5-star mariner by the time he's 30! Just wish we were 4-star for the laundry...if I could get that by age 40 I'd be happy.

 

Will definitely post about the trip afterwards as there is very little on taking trips with infants/toddlers on HAL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the Caribbean, it seems all the islands have a Walmart.  Most crew  (stewards) go often    and will tell you  location  and helpful hints.  .  if you need  more diapers or whatever  y ou can expect usual quality and selection of Walmart and like prices.

 

 

image.png.1d1b54bd21f7dea36820bdd2c4f2002a.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay!  How exciting!  I've been cruising extensively (on HAL and many other lines) with my son since he was 6 months old.  I have compiled my best tips here: https://profcruise.com/cruising-with-a-baby-or-toddler/

 

And here are my packing tips: https://profcruise.com/what-to-pack-and-not-pack-when-cruising-with-a-baby-or-toddler/

 

Approach cruising with a baby with lots of patience and a sense of humor (just like parenting in general...LOL) and you'll have a great time!  You'll have a seasoned little traveler in no time!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too will be bringing an 17 month year old on the Nieuw Statendam in December for a Caribbean sailing.

 

A few pointers:

 

1.  You can order room service from the MDR during dinner hours.  This could be a life saver.  Even outside of MDR hours there are LOTS of kid friendly options on the room service menu and it's FREE

2.  The TV has a plethora of movies that are free if you are stuck in your stateroom while baby sleeps -- Room Service + Free Movies = happy

3.  Invest in a GOOD Umbrella stroller if you are going to be flying.  Even if you are going to be driving to the port I'd say an Umbrella stroller is the way to go.  Do not go with a cheap one, you will be miserable especially if touring

4.  If going with a group, discuss ahead of time with other family members if they can help sit one night or what not -- you really do not want to be taking your baby into a specialty restaurant unless you know for sure they will be well behaved

 

We actually did get a balcony as we expect most nights we will have to retire early to take care of our child.  And that's fine, I'm looking forward to sitting out on the balcony reading and relaxing, or watching movies in the room while chowing down on great food via Room Service.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was quite a few years ago, but we took my daughter on a Norway fjords cruise when she was 16 months old.  HAL was fantastic.

 

The story that sticks out in my mind was that we had ordered many items in advance like diapers, formula, baby food, etc.  For whatever reason, they forgot to load the diapers when we embarked at Copenhagen.  Our first port was a couple of days later in Bergen; luckily we had enough diapers with us to last until then but we had certainly expressed our dissatisfaction with guest services.  Anyway, we found out that the Guest Services Manager himself went into town at Bergen and bought enough diapers to get us through the rest of the 2-week cruise.

 

In short, this is the kind of customer service that has kept me loyal to HAL over all these years.  Things that seem like good, old-fashioned customer service but that are far from the norm in today's day and age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the kind words and advice!

let’s hope to find ourselves together onboard a Dam ship soon 👍😀🥳

 

ps. Doesn’t HAL give the child free  life-long sailings if conceived onboard? 🤪🙃🤣

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have done it with great niece and it was a bit of an adjustment and challenge but it is doing with a plan and realistic expectations.  Our niece and her husband were smart to discuss a plan ahead that included who would be primary responsible parent which day so the other one had a period of relaxation and it was predetermined if little one was fretful at dinner who would take them out ......DONT LET A BABY OR TODDLER INTERRUPT OTHER DINERS WHO HAVE PAID ALOT FOR THEIR VACATON AS WELL.   Packing is a bit tricky if you are flying and cruise ships dont have many baby supplies but a lot of ports have some basics if you need them.  Infants and toddlers dont do that well on excursions and in fact some excursion dont allow under certain age so check on that ahead if applicable.   Family is important so enjoy being together, just plan realistically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...