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Choose cruise for kids club, or ship/itinerary?


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Hello Everyone,


In reading some of these threads...I still find myself torn when deciding which ship to cruise on next year. We will be planning a family cruise which will include both sets of grandparents, some aunts/uncles, etc. So in saying that, we will have some "help" with our daughter who will be approximately 2.5 when we go (maybe a little younger if we shoot for April 2009). But I am still wondering if we should choose a cruise based on the fact that NCL will take little ones under the age of 3, or if we should just choose the "best" cruise that all family members agree on, even if that line does not accommodate children her age? I don't want to rely on family every day to help us if we need a little "alone time." I thought that the kids club would give all the adults in the family "alone time" to do what we/they please while our daughter is in a fun and supervised environment. Any advice you all may have in deciding would be greatly appreciated!


P.S. I know that Carnival also will take little ones her age, but family is in agreement that our last Carnival cruise was a disaster and they will not do another one any time soon! That is why I only mentioned NCL, and Disney is WAY out of our price range!

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What type of cruise are you leaning toward: Caribbean, Med, Alaska...? We choose ship based on location. For instance, for Alaska and our upcoming Med cruise, we booked NCL specifically because they have Freestyle dining (no set dining time, multiple restaurants to choose from). Med shore excursions tend to be very long (8+ hours), so we won't have to worry about rushing back in time for dinner. Also, with Freestyle Dining we are able to "opt out" of formal night--which means we won't have to worry about lugging around formal wear during our pre/post European stay. Same thing for Alaska, we didn't want to have to pack formal wear on top of all that other bulky clothes for Alaska.


When we head to the Caribbean, we choose our cruises by price and usually find a great deal. We leave on a cruise this weekend on the Costa Fortuna, and got a great kids-sail-free deal. The Fortuna is a new/big ship, and has a lot of great amenities. Fun kids Club too.


Not sure if that helps you...? Do you have some ships in mind that you might be choosing between?



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We honestly choose the ship that will make the adults happy, because for our kids, they are thrilled to go somewhere where they can eat pizza for lunch and dinner every night, have all the cereal they want that we don't allow at home, and get lots and lots of time with mom and dad.


We chose HAL which was best for us. The kids got loads of attention, the crew were great with them and they had a blast. We would never cruise Carnival, or NCL, but that's just our personal preference.


I can't speak for everyone, but if mom, dad and grandparents are happy, especially at your child's age, she will be too.

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Thank you all for taking the time to reply. CeleBrat, to answer your question - we want to do a Caribbean itinerary. We don't have specific ships in mind, I chose Norwegian because of their age criteria and the fact that they would take my 2 year old in to the kids club. But as crusinmama06 and 6rugrats said, we should probably choose the cruise that makes the adults happy, and work around the child. Isn't it funny when you become a parent, you tend to put your own happiness aside for the well being and happiness of your children??!! Personally, I would like to try Princess as that is a line I have never sailed. Or, do another Celebrity cruise and know that I'd be pampered and have excellent food...hmm, such choices to make!

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I probably should have also mentioned that I would prefer a ship that departs from somewhere like New Orleans or Texas...coming from CA, this will make for a shorter plane ride with a toddler. Another factor in our decision making...

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With my 5 yr old son, we chose the NCL Spirit 1st because of the itinerary. We aren't "go to the beach" types, but more adventurous & this itinerary surely did fit the bill. We ziplined, took a boat ride down the river to Lamanai ruins, swam at the waterfalls, & enjoyed the beach (after a tour of the island) in Cozumel.


We also chose the Spirit because of Bucaneer's Wet & Wild pool. Michael ADORED it. The pool wasn't crowded when we were there. The kid's program is THE BEST as are the Kid's Crew staff.

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