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Best cruise line to take 2 year on?


melnemac32
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Hi All,

 

My husband and I loved to cruise before having our baby.  Covid has obviously made us shy about cruising but we are tossing it around. 
 

Recommendations on which line to go on with a 2 year old?  We’d like an opportunity to drop her off on occasion/have some type of babysitting option. Looking for some inside information because I’m not sure how cruise lines have changed with these programs since Covid. 

Edited by melnemac32
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Carnival has kids programs for 2 and up, but currently they are not operating any kids programs for non-vaccinated children.  I believe Royal Caribbean has a Royal Tots program, but doubt that is currently operating.  You could ask on the Royal board.  In any event, you could only go ashore in a bubble tour.  On some linens the entire family is considered unvaxxed and restricted from some areas of the ship.  Would have to be potty trained to use pools, no swim diapers allowed.  You might go to the Disney board to see what they are doing.  EM

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Prior to covid, your options for a two year old free drop off care were Carnival and Cunard.  Just a warning, the kids club staff on Cunard were the weakest of all the lines I'd sailed with kids (Princess, HAL, NCL).  New/refurbished Royal Caribbean ships and Disney had nurseries you could utilize for a fee with limited capacity.      

 

With Covid, you'd need to contact all of those lines to see what - if anything - they are currently offering.  

 

Prior to covid, your options would expand significantly when children are 3  although some lines do not allow children in diapers to attend the kids club.  Cunard did, and would change diapers.  NCL allowed diapered children to attend if the parents remained on the ship and took a beeper so they could return for diaper changes.  If you don't show up, your kid is banned from the kids club for the rest of the cruise.  

Edited by kitkat343
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  • 3 weeks later...

We took our 2 and almost 3 year old on Royal Carib in November. The nursery was running, by reservation only, but we never had a problem just dropping him off. Though at that time, the ship was only at 30% capacity, and with it being the off season there were very few kids. You do get charged $10/hr. My older kid loves it, my younger one hated it. 

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  • 1 month later...

We sailed with our son before Covid, and were impressed with the children's programming, especially at night time.   Also, there was a designated area just for kids, away from the casino, bars, shopping, etc. It did cost extra, but we were glad to pay it.  We would have paid for a babysitter at home, so it was almost equivalent.

I have been on Carnival ships, and while I have heard nice things about their program, I did NOT like that most of the ships just use an empty conference room right next to casino and adult dance area.  I have no idea where they take care of infants and toddlers, but it's very hard to find a quiet place for napping on their ships, except for your cabin.

No one has mentioned Disney, and probably for the cost.  We never tried them because there is no casino, but their staff's attention revolves your children.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/3/2022 at 5:26 PM, melnemac32 said:

Hi All,

 

My husband and I loved to cruise before having our baby.  Covid has obviously made us shy about cruising but we are tossing it around. 
 

Recommendations on which line to go on with a 2 year old?  We’d like an opportunity to drop her off on occasion/have some type of babysitting option. Looking for some inside information because I’m not sure how cruise lines have changed with these programs since Covid. 

Hi!  Did you end up booking anything?

 

We just booked a Carnival cruise for Oct. 2022 on Legend out of Baltimore.  Our daughter will be 2 and a few months by then.  I did a lot of research when booking and landed on Carnival for a few reasons.

 

1.  Assuming it's opened by then, their complimentary Camp Ocean kid program starts at 2 whereas all the other lines I looked at start at 3.  They also don't have to be potty trained! A few have paid services, but none of the ships I was looking at did.  I'm REALLY hoping it's up and running for all kiddos by the time we sail (I think right now it's vaccinated kids 5+?  Don't quote me.)  They have day time drop off but also 7-10 pm which would be perfect for parent dinner.  You can pay for night owls 10-1 am if out later.

 

https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1074/~/camp-ocean-(2-5-years)-penguins%3A-things-to-know

 

2. Dr. Seuss on board (just Google Carnival cruise Dr. Seuss) - so cute!  We will definitely be hitting up the green eggs and ham breakfast!

3. Itinerary  - wanted shorter (less than 10 days) itinerary with sea days stacked in beginning to give her time to adjust before excursions.  Also wanted port that was easy for us to get to (1 hr drive for us).

4. Value of rooms - we really wanted a balcony so that we can relax out there while she's napping.  Carnival had more affordable rates for when we were looking to go.

5. Going in October and Carnival has some really cute Halloween theming and activities (kids costume contests and trick or treating)!

 

Of course we'd love to do Disney - but want to wait until she's old enough for their "daycare," and potty trained before forking out that $$ lol

Edited by Abr155
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