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Cruising with a baby


Lauraa88
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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

 

We’re currently expecting and are considering booking a cruise with Princess for when our little one will be approx 1 year old. 
 

I was wondering if anyone can share any experiences of cruising with a baby? 
 

We’ve been on lots of cruises with Princess so aren’t new to cruising. I’m aware other cruise lines might be more ‘child friendly’. But like everyone we‘ve got a lot of cruise credit to use up 😂

 

Thanks in advance! 
 

Laura 

Edited by Lauraa88
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While you are waiting for responses from Princess cruisers, check out the Family Cruises forum for discussions about cruising with kids:  https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/28-family-cruises/

 

My daughter found it very helpful when she cruised with a 1 year old and then when they cruised again 2 1/2 years later. 

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We started cruising with our son when he was 5 months old. You need to pack double of everything you'll think you'll need. Double the diapers and wipes and baby food. We used to have a whole suitcase full of diapers. We did a family cruise when we were pregnant and my SIL didn't pack enough diapers for my nephew and we spent half the time in port trying to find diapers for him and they were super expensive. We had an awesome travel air bed from aerobed for a toddler that had a little lip on it to prevent them from rolling off of the mattress. We used it way past him being a toddler because it was pretty long but didn't take up too much room in luggage. It also doubled as a great slide if you flipped it up and leaned it against the bed in the cabin.

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Based on posts I have read in the past, you will have a happier cruise if you can also have an additional family member with you who can watch your child some of the time.

 

For example, if you and your spouse want to see a show in the Princess theater, you would not want your child with you unless he/she can be quiet during the entire show.

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38 minutes ago, caribill said:

Based on posts I have read in the past, you will have a happier cruise if you can also have an additional family member with you who can watch your child some of the time.

 

For example, if you and your spouse want to see a show in the Princess theater, you would not want your child with you unless he/she can be quiet during the entire show.

 

People in the dining room are also likely to be annoyed if your child behaves like a normal child and decides to cry all through dinner.  I know that I would not enjoy my dinner if there was a loud crying baby at the table next to me.

 

DON

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5 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

People in the dining room are also likely to be annoyed if your child behaves like a normal child and decides to cry all through dinner.  I know that I would not enjoy my dinner if there was a loud crying baby at the table next to me.

 

DON

I agree.. and deepening on how placid or otherwise the baby is, I would not want to be in a cabin next door to a baby that cried a lot.....I know that sounds awful but that would not be the relaxing cruise I would hope for. Sorry !!!

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We took our oldest on her first cruise at 10 months, with grandparents. Definitely if you can get help, that would be great.

 

Pack formula/milk/whatever you need for your little one in a carry on. We made the mistake of packing in our luggage and something got delayed getting to our room, so our girl was miserable and the first day was very stressful.

 

Pick a ship you will want to be on, one of our biggest things with our girl was that we were not comfortable doing shore excursions where we had to take a vehicle anywhere. We would walk off the ship, but mostly stayed onboard.

 

Spring for the balcony if you can, you'll spend more time in your room than previous cruises probably and it's nice to sit out there while your baby is napping or at night after you put them down for the night.

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3 hours ago, Reina del Mar said:

I agree.. and deepening on how placid or otherwise the baby is, I would not want to be in a cabin next door to a baby that cried a lot.....I know that sounds awful but that would not be the relaxing cruise I would hope for. Sorry !!!

 

I can attest to this.  The constant crying/screaming from the mini suite next door to us nearly ruined our Alaskan cruise.  We tried to tune it out but it definitely impacted our enjoyment of our balcony and negatively impacted our sleep.  I realize kids are kids....but when you've spent thousands of dollars on a special trip and spent years planning it.... it was a real bummer.  I also cannot imagine taking an infant into the MDR for a protracted dinner.  

 

It is for this reason we no longer seek mini suites (which have the larger capacity/higher prospect of families with small kids).  We spend the difference on a nice quiet deluxe aft balcony 🙂

 

And before you start flaming me, I'm a grandmother who doesn't hate kids.  Just want a nice peaceful vacation.

 

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Do some trial overnighters.  With my nieces and nephews I have seen it go well and seen it go badly.  My one grandnephew would not tolerate being out of his own bed until he was 3.   She found out by taking some overnighters to relatives' houses.  I was one of those relatives.  There was no respite.  But the others grandnieces and nephews were never a problem and were a joy to cruise with

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Try Disney for family cruise. My family loved it. Use FCC on Princess to upgrade to nice cabin for the two of you. Spoil yourselves. 

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16 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

People in the dining room are also likely to be annoyed if your child behaves like a normal child and decides to cry all through dinner.  I know that I would not enjoy my dinner if there was a loud crying baby at the table next to me.

 

DON

 

Love kids. Love my grandkids. Worked with kids - very young kids - for a number of years. My wife ran a home daycare for 20 years and I worked there full time for over 4 of those years. However, like you, I don't want my vacation dinner to be messed with by a crying infant. If that was the case, I would simply leave and eat in the buffet, IC, or on Lido deck. Not ideal but at least I could have a more peaceful dinner. (Of course, if we were the parents, we would just pack up the child and leave the dining room but I folks wouldn't do that.)

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3 hours ago, Thrak said:

 

Love kids. Love my grandkids. Worked with kids - very young kids - for a number of years. My wife ran a home daycare for 20 years and I worked there full time for over 4 of those years. However, like you, I don't want my vacation dinner to be messed with by a crying infant. If that was the case, I would simply leave and eat in the buffet, IC, or on Lido deck. Not ideal but at least I could have a more peaceful dinner. (Of course, if we were the parents, we would just pack up the child and leave the dining room but I folks wouldn't do that.)

 

And therein lies the problem.  Although most parents would pick up the child and leave the dining room, you are being forced to leave the dining room and go to the buffet because of the few parents who don't care that their child who is misbehaving as some children do at times.  I am paying for a decent meal in a decent surrounding and not a meal in Denny's.  The matre'd should go up to the parents of a crying child and ask them to leave.  Of course we all know that they will not.

 

DON

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Posted (edited)

It is difficult to travel with babies. The recommendation of double everything is accurate. You never know when things will run out or faster than you expected. We never cruised with our infant littles, it was too stressful for me, but it’s doable and people do it. The issue with infants is there is a minimum age to use the child care facilities. So you won’t have a break if you go at 6 months. We waited to cruise with our child when we was 5, and we left his brother with grandparents until he turned 5, and joined us on our cruises, but not everyone has grandparents, family or friends available to help for a week or more. 
We would share days on duty of  “if kid gets fussy two of us leave”-mom and kid or dad and kid, but almost never had to deal with leaving. It’s funny how quickly we forget that time, but it’s manageable.

Enjoy your cruise 

Edited by jennybenny
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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

 

And therein lies the problem.  Although most parents would pick up the child and leave the dining room, you are being forced to leave the dining room and go to the buffet because of the few parents who don't care that their child who is misbehaving as some children do at times.  I am paying for a decent meal in a decent surrounding and not a meal in Denny's.  The matre'd should go up to the parents of a crying child and ask them to leave.  Of course we all know that they will not.

 

DON

We’ve been lucky 

We have never seen screaming babies in the dining room in all of our cruises (maybe 50 ish on all lines at this point) and we only had to leave, maybe 3 times in our lives, 2 kids, from a restaurant on land, never a cruise,  when our kid got fussy. We were lucky. Our kids were fairly easy. 

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Our granddaughter was 11 months on the first cruise we took her on, we are raising her, it was just hubby, the little one and me.  We had a blast. The crew went above and beyond to entertain her. She was wide eyed and so taken with everything. She behaved well at meals, never cried once, she slept through the night, and we never would think of staying in a venue if she was being disruptive.  Princess treats kids wonderfully, if the parents do their part other cruisers will also be polite and some even indulgent.  Just be mindful of the fact that others are on vacation and be polite and you will find it a pleasant experience. 

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On 3/19/2021 at 12:28 AM, jennybenny said:

We’ve been lucky 

We have never seen screaming babies in the dining room in all of our cruises (maybe 50 ish on all lines at this point) and we only had to leave, maybe 3 times in our lives, 2 kids, from a restaurant on land, never a cruise,  when our kid got fussy. We were lucky. Our kids were fairly easy. 

 

We have heard crying babies is the Princess Theater more than in dining rooms.

 

Usually after a couple of minutes if the crying does not stop, a parent will take the child out of the theater.

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Posted (edited)

As someone above mentioned, check out the family message board. There are helpful tips and tricks mentioned by other parents/grandparents. One thing that is mentioned frequently is car seats and how to bring those on a ship. If you visit ports, how to transport kids with or w/o the seats. It seems to be an ongoing discussion. 

 

The buffet will be a good option because they usually have some kid friendly foods available. All 3 of their cruises have been on Caribbean princess, which has world market place. On either side, they have a smaller cooler with milks and box cereal, which always was nice as a snack. This ship also has a new kids' area, which we haven't gotten to experience yet but it looks nice. We choose the ship over the ports because I found it nice to be familiar with the ship when traveling with kids.

 

The two main Princess pools are not suppose to be for kids using swim diapers. I've never used those pools with my kids but have seen others take their babies in them. From what I can tell, Princess staff doesn't say anything to the parents.  

 

Bring more diapers and wipes than you think you'll need, just in case. You don't mention where you're cruising but in my experience, pharmacies are hard to find in Caribbean ports. Diapers and wipes are not sold in the gift shop.

 

Beach toys and other entrainment activities will need to be packed. You can't leave your child alone in the kids club until they are 3/potty trained. You can take them in and stay with them to play but it may only be certain hours. 

 

Princess ships don't have changing tables in their public bathrooms so to change diapers, etc you'll need to take your child back up to your room. That can be difficult, considering where you are on the ship.

 

If possible, bring a grandparent or two to help you enjoy some time by yourself. It's not easy with kids and I wouldn't consider Princess the most kid friendly cruise line. My kids have cruised 3 times and twice I booked a suite to have more room for them to play/walk around in. 

 

When you have the drill on the first day, my husband discovered that if you miss the first one, they have a second drill with less people and that was easier to attend with my son. I think he was napping during the first drill so we missed it.

 

Enjoy your cruise!!

 

 

Edited by akeasley
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1 hour ago, akeasley said:

When you have the drill on the first day, my husband discovered that if you miss the first one, they have a second drill with less people and that was easier to attend with my son. I think he was napping during the first drill so we missed it.

when cruising resumes ... looks like that will no longer be done the 'old' way, but you will just watch the video from your cabin - then report to your assigned station to 'check in' with your medallion

 

check out the muster thread ...

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1 hour ago, akeasley said:

 

 

The two main Princess pools are not suppose to be for kids using swim diapers. I've never used those pools with my kids but have seen others take their babies in them. From what I can tell, Princess staff doesn't say anything to the parents.  

 

 

 

 

 

Since the pool people will have to drain the pool when the swim diapers leak, someone should have reported them to staff.  Why should you have to have your use of the pool diminished because some people don't give a d***.

 

DON

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On 3/18/2021 at 3:50 AM, donaldsc said:

 

People in the dining room are also likely to be annoyed if your child behaves like a normal child and decides to cry all through dinner.  I know that I would not enjoy my dinner if there was a loud crying baby at the table next to me.

 

DON

Agree. I don't wish to see my dinner ruined by those who don't care what their child does. We were on an Oceania trip where there was an infant. This was surprising, as they do not permit infants on board normally. When the child acted (as most do when cranky) the mother rushed her right out of the diningroom. I feel this is the proper way to handle things.

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It is a hard call... say one with no children..... but children are ok... have had some at a very high end place.. they were wonderful......    But a baby......could be an issue.....

 

You will get two groups...... the yes    and please no..... I can see both sides.... but as you a parents, don't you want a relaxing holiday ???      Maybe a different type of holiday would be better.....

 

Have seen parents taking turn sitting at their table in MDR   taking turns to settle a small child outside....shocking evening for them....  I don't get it...    They don't enjoy it and either do the surrounding people....

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We have cruised with very young children several times.  To be blunt, it is harder than a land vacation with young kids.  Things to be mindful of:

 

1- Young kids need lots of naps.  This means someone needs to spend a portion of their cruise in the cabin with napping child, being perfectly quiet with the lights off.  Land trips are easier because you can often book multiple room hotel suites or AirBnBs, such that when the little one sleeps the adult can do things in the adjacent room.

 

2- The cabins are small, and there is limited places for kids to crawl or explore.  We occasionally would find an empty bar earlier in the day where they could explore, to let them crawl some, but it still is a challenge.  3+ year old kids there is plenty to do on board.  Less than two, and entertaining the child while onboard  is difficult. 

 

3-  You will encounter many other grandparents on the cruise who are a bit too overjoyed to see an adorable young child.  We couldn’t even go to the buffet without someone wanting to play peek-a-boo with the kid, grabbing their foot and saying how cute they were and that they have grandkids, etc.  You get lots of attention, and for us at least, it was fine at first but eventually it gets annoying.  It also may be more bothersome now, depending on how much personal space you want, in a post-Covid situation.

 

4- Kid cribs and other stuff takes up a lot of space, and cabins are small.  To say it was a tight fit to make the cabin work is an understatement.

Edited by kavok
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On 3/20/2021 at 12:15 AM, caribill said:

 

We have heard crying babies is the Princess Theater more than in dining rooms.

 

Usually after a couple of minutes if the crying does not stop, a parent will take the child out of the theater.

I never let it last that long. One peep and we were out

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will make this short

 

Not a cruise ship, but a really really nice restaurant  - my parent wanted to take us and our 1 year old son, my brother (RIP) and his wife out ... I was totally against it , but I got 'overruled' 

 

of course , after ordering, but before food brought , he started crying - "oh, he'll settle down"

 

uh no, I took him to the car and waited , waited - he did settle down, but I didn't want to go thru that again

 

Fast Forward 40 years or so to about a year ago - That son, had to take his son, out of a restaurant we were all eating at ... I felt really sorry for both, but, it was the right thing to do, of course

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Posted (edited)

Not on a ship, but at a wedding- no kids invited- in a castle. Cousin brought infant, who cried through VOWS. Did not leave. 
on ships I try to get table for 2 as it was very difficult when someone else’s toddler climbed on us under table.

Edited by dog
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