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newcruiser30

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Hi all,

My husband and I are 41, and will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year, hopefully on a Royal Caribbean ship!  :)  We have young kids though (Girls; 10 & 6) and no one to watch them, so we're thinking of bringing them along with us.  They are fairly timid, and have never had the opportunity to fly even.  So I was initially thinking just a quick  3-day to the Bahamas.  We'd much rather go to the Caribbean (we've only done the Western trip) though.   Do any of you have experience with kids on a 7 day cruise?  How did they do?  Was it too long for them, or did they enjoy themselves?  What do you recommend?  I'm sorry if I've posted this in the wrong spot...I haven't' cruised in 10 years!  :( 

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Our first cruise was when our daughter was 7 (21 now).  We've cruised at least once per year since:classic_smile:   They've almost all been 7 night cruises and she has never been bored, just the opposite she fell in love with cruising.

 

I would do 7 nights eastern Caribbean (or Southern, but that involves flying to Puerto Rico).

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Our granddaughter, now 11, has been on eight cruises.  The first was when she was 5 and it was a 9 day Caribbean.  She loved it and always looks forward to the next one.  Her longest trip was 12 days.  There are plenty of things for the kids to do, especially the bigger ships.  The kids club is a great option.

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32 minutes ago, newcruiser30 said:

What do you recommend?

Assuming you will go during the summer, also consider Adventure or Oasis out of NJ - the flights to Newark might be cheaper.

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My boys absolutely loved 7 days of cruising and island hopping.  So much so that we have planned a cruise every year for the past 5 years.  They will be 17 and 13 when we go on our 5th family cruise together to the Southern Caribbeans this coming April. 

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My boys (currently 9 and 6) are the same as the previous commenters.  They went on their third cruise in August.  They have all been 7-8 nights and they have loved all of them.  We are in the planning stage for booking another cruise.  Personally, I think 3 days would be too short.  I would feel like we are getting off just after getting on.  I would rather have more time. 

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My 7 (girl) and 11 (boy) loved their first cruise....and everyone after it.  Lotsa time in the pool, sampling all the good food, going to new and exciting places.  They loved it (as did we) so much that we spent quite a lot of time sailing between August 2018 and now....(4 trips) and they have shown no signs of not liking it....we have 2 more trips already planned for April and Aug 2020

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I would book the 7 day or longer one. the kids will love the experience and will enjoy the kids club, they are 8/5 (turning 6 during the cruise). 

Its funny, my girls were just asking my wife and I if we can go on a cruise for our next vacation. Little do they know, we have already booked one and will be going during spring break. What they want is to go to the kids club.

 

I am certain your kids will love the trip. 

 

 

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Go for a 7 nighter....it's a vacation!  A 3-nighter is almost more trouble than it's worth to take a flight to port.  Get a guidebook, read some to the kids....get them excited for the Caribbean!    Time to get them "untimid"!!!  Make it an adventure, because it IS!

 

The kids will have a blast, whether they spend all their time with you, or make use of the kid's clubs!  Kids LOVE the clubs...and both are well within the enjoyment age for the activities they provide.  Just make sure to take them on the 1st evening when they meet other kids.....everyone is new at that point, so there's no awkwardness.

 

1 week is NOT "too long".

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I'm sure they will be fine! My first cruise was a mistake. I went through all the planning and drove 10 hours for a three day cruise. You have too much planning to do not to mention the added airfare for only a three day cruise. Three days is too short! It would be fine if you lived in Florida for a quick getaway.

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Do a Disney Cruise if it fits your budget.  Disney is a perfect fit for kids (provided they are ok with costumed characters running around).  None of the other cruise lines can even come close to the kid friendly atmosphere of Disney.  

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Another vote for definitely cruising!!    I went on my first cruise when my sister and I were 8 and 11 I think ... I am now 44 (I think?)...we LOVED it even way back when on a tiny ship (look up the original Festival by Carnival!)  and went on 2 more cruises before I graduated high school.   

 

My own kids are totally amped (for those royal fans - see what I did there!) for our next cruise in April on Navigator..it will be my daughter (9) fourth cruise and my son (13) third cruise.   There first (NOS) was at ages 4 and 8, then LOS at 6 and 10, and SYMPHONY at 8, and then Amped Navigator when they will be 9 and 13.   The first 2 cruises were all about the kids club - they knew tons of parents and kids on board and never wanted to see us - they were amazing vacations!!    They spent all of their souvineer money on ‘Late Night’ at the kids club because they were having no so much fun they wanted to stay after 10pm! 

 

We are regular disney goers (AP, DVC, runDisney etc)  but we have not been interested in a Disney Cruise.   We enjoy the Royal product and believe we would enjoy Royal more than Disney - and the price point compared to Disney seals the deal.  My son is not yet willing to travel on anything but Royal because of the flowrider (though he might be convinced to someday do NCL with the cars) and my daughter enjoys the rest of the ship. 

 

They have always loved the ship features, the shows, and all of the food options.  My daughter just wrote a school essay about our amazing waiter Michael on our April cruise. 

 

As for where to go - I admit - We have done eAstern, western, southern and Bahamas - and we are the odd ducks that prefer western (southern too but it’s a hassle if doing an7 day because you have to fly out of San Juan).    I really enjoyed Roatan, Cozumel offers a bunch of stuff to do, and we have enjoyed grand cayman and Jamaica too (everyone should climb the falls once or visit the grotto caves!).  My experience is also that the Caribbean Sea is calmer than the Atlantic/Eastern.   The open waters east of Florida can be choppy.    BUT - no matter where you go - get the map out, engage the kids in discussion and learn about the culture a bit - everyone will have a really great time.  

 

If time and money isnt a concern - definitely jump in and do the 7 day.   If you are worried look at the 4 night Bahamas runs to coco cay - the Navigator and Mariner are great ships for kids that age. 

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16 hours ago, fscool said:

Do a Disney Cruise if it fits your budget.  Disney is a perfect fit for kids (provided they are ok with costumed characters running around).  None of the other cruise lines can even come close to the kid friendly atmosphere of Disney.  

 

Not true - and a very narrow view.  RCI is also a "perfect fit" as they have a terrific kids program on board and they are a family focused demographic cruise line that designs much of their cruise experience around families with children.  Also does so at a budget (as you indicated) far more attractive than DCL.  You don't need a bunch of Disney characters running around in costume to make the cruise line kid friendly. And their revitalized private island of CocoCay is now likely the most family and kid friendly destination in the Bahamas.

 

I would suggest the OP look at 7-night cruises v the shorter 3 day "booze cruises" and since they reference wanting to do so on RCI, I would suggest itineraries that include CocoCay in their consideration. Look at their website with the activities and venues on their ships in comparison to DCL as a starting point to see the differences. I would also suggest talking with at travel agent to discuss your plans and expectations to get their input as well.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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20 hours ago, newcruiser30 said:

Hi all,

My husband and I are 41, and will be celebrating our 20th anniversary next year, hopefully on a Royal Caribbean ship!  🙂 We have young kids though (Girls; 10 & 6) and no one to watch them, so we're thinking of bringing them along with us.  They are fairly timid, and have never had the opportunity to fly even.  So I was initially thinking just a quick  3-day to the Bahamas.  We'd much rather go to the Caribbean (we've only done the Western trip) though.   Do any of you have experience with kids on a 7 day cruise?  How did they do?  Was it too long for them, or did they enjoy themselves?  What do you recommend?  I'm sorry if I've posted this in the wrong spot...I haven't' cruised in 10 years!  😞


Three day cruises are typically party boats and not the relaxing family getaway I think you desire.  I"m sure that your daughters would be sufficiently entertained on a seven day cruise.

 

I"ll also comment on our personal experience with Royal Caribbean and Disney.  Royal Caribbean service and food ranged from poor to OK.  Disney ranged from good to exceptional.  The staterooms on Disney are MUCH nicer (and cleaner) than on Royal Caribbean.  (Our suite on Royal had numerous broken things from lights to a television and was not as clean as it should have been.)  Disney's Castaway Cay is a million times nicer than Labadee, which we found to be dirty, crowded, and inhabited by a huge number of flies.

Edited by ducklite

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7 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Not true - and a very narrow view.  RCI is also a "perfect fit" as they have a terrific kids program on board and they are a family focused demographic cruise line that designs much of their cruise experience around families with children.  Also does so at a budget (as you indicated) far more attractive than DCL.  You don't need a bunch of Disney characters running around in costume to make the cruise line kid friendly. And their revitalized private island of CocoCay is now likely the most family and kid friendly destination in the Bahamas.

 

I would suggest the OP look at 7-night cruises v the shorter 3 day "booze cruises" and since they reference wanting to do so on RCI, I would suggest itineraries that include CocoCay in their consideration. Look at their website with the activities and venues on their ships in comparison to DCL as a starting point to see the differences. I would also suggest talking with at travel agent to discuss your plans and expectations to get their input as well.

 

RCI does have a good kids program.  Mine certainly love it and I would recommend it.  I just find that DCL has a better family with younger kids experience than RCI.  I only mention the costumes thing because some younger kids get freaked out by them.  Obviously that is by no means what makes a DCL cruise lines more kid friendly.  For DCL, it is how the onboard staff interacts with the children, the activities that are available onboard for the kids and generally the vibe of the ship.  Nobody can match them in this demographic.

 

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We have taken three 10 year old granddaughters on cruises to Alaska w/o their parents and added a 5 or 6 day DIY land trip to the cruise.  They all loved their trips especially as they were w/o their parents.  Their grandparents let them get away with a lot of stuff that their parents would have frowned upon even including milkshakes for dinner at 10:00 PM one night.

 

DON

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I'd also mention that 3-Day Disney cruises are not "booze cruises" and have the same atmosphere as the seven day Disney cruises.  You still get to stop at Castaway Cay as well!

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The only flaw I found with the disney cruise we did, was there were too many kids.

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3 minutes ago, DarrenM said:

The only flaw I found with the disney cruise we did, was there were too many kids.


We've done two cruises on DCL and found that the children were seldom seen as they were mostly off doing their activities.  Unlike on Royal Caribbean where they were running like hooligans all over the ship. 

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Of Course I was joking above. (Just for those that have any doubt)

 

I agree ducklite. We had a brilliant time on the Disney Cruise. Couldnt complain about any of it.

 

And Castaway Cay is an amazing place.

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