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Cozzette3

To cruise with s toddler or not

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First let me say that I always thought people were crazy to cruise with toddlers. They wont remember the trip anyway,  they get cranky ( so do I )

We are cruising next Nov on the Allure 

My 70th birthday. husbands 60th. Middle daughters 50th

Now you are probably wondering who that toddler belongs to

She would be mine. She is our grandaughter that we are in the process of adopting 

I am concerned about leaving her for more than a week. Finding someone who she will be comfortable with and who can deal with a toddler 

 That job usually falls to the grandparents but that is us.

So, please,  the good the bad and the ugly of cruising with a toddler

I dont lay about the pool tanning so that is not an issue 

And we can both nap so that would be fine 

Any advice would be so appreciated 

 

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Take her. I took my 11 month old on allure a few years ago. The daycare on-board is 5 stars and so is the staff. I took my 2 year old on a different cruise last year, same thing. this year I will take my 3 year old. The kids programs are fantastic and we haven't regretted taking her once and the staff in all venues love the little ones and take better care of them than the adults. we all took turns going back to the room for nap time when needed or lounged on a deck chair in a quiet area.

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Does the toddler have dedicated nap and eating times? Try to keep the same schedule on the ship. 
 

Is she old enough for the kids program?

Is she out of diapers?

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9 minutes ago, Cozzette3 said:

First let me say that I always thought people were crazy to cruise with toddlers. They wont remember the trip anyway,  they get cranky ( so do I )

We are cruising next Nov on the Allure 

My 70th birthday. husbands 60th. Middle daughters 50th

Now you are probably wondering who that toddler belongs to

She would be mine. She is our grandaughter that we are in the process of adopting 

I am concerned about leaving her for more than a week. Finding someone who she will be comfortable with and who can deal with a toddler 

 That job usually falls to the grandparents but that is us.

So, please,  the good the bad and the ugly of cruising with a toddler

I dont lay about the pool tanning so that is not an issue 

And we can both nap so that would be fine 

Any advice would be so appreciated 

 

We too have a grandchild that we are raising - we too are in our middle to late 60's.  We started cruising with our grandson when he was 14 months old - it was a 17 day cruise.  We got a 2 bedroom suite and there was plenty of room for him to run around the cabin.  It was great - we could go back to the cabin and lay him down for a nap in the bedroom and my husband and I would take turns roaming around the ship while he was down.  Having a suite also allowed us to have all of our meals in our cabin.  He didn't sit very well in the dining room - we tried a few times, just didn't work at that age.  He loved being around all the people and sights on the ship and in each of the ports.  When we did the second cruise with him he was 26 months old and it was much easier.  He was able to go in the toddler pool (if the ship has one) and he sat in Coastal Kitchen much better and we had all our meals there.  This cruise was a 10 day and we had a Grand Suite and it gave us plenty of room.  

I know that people say that he won't remember it but I sure will and aren't my memories important too!!

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Thank you all so much.

I feel much more confident about taking her . I think she wll love all the things going on around her.

She will be 23 months so she should be potty trained by then, fingers crossed.

The Allure says that they have a kids club for as young as 6 months

Is there an amount of time that they can be there? Is 2 hours about right?

 

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they have blocks of time for the under 2 group. It costs about 6$ an hour, which is very reasonable. The staff in there are dedicated to the 6 month to 3 yr old age range and have special training. they will give you a deck phone free of charge so they can reach you if there is a problem. We did 1-3 hour visits, mostly at night so we could go have some drinks or have quiet dinner. Depending on the sailing they will have in room babysitting as well but that costs quite a bit more and it wasn't available on our trip. Allure has so many great things for kids that age, my daughter loved the stuffed animal workshop and the kid+parent playroom with toys. They also have a baby splash pad that can be used whether they are potty trained or not and has very shallow, couple inches, of warm water. Also, do miss the free soft serve on the pool deck. They always had a special menu in the MDR for her for dinner and she got better service than the captain!

 

Make sure you go to the baby room on day one for a tour and to sign up. Usually they ask for reservations ahead of time and they will limit your initial amount of time and allow more based on demand for that sailing.

Edited by researchfreak90

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One more vote for cruising with kids.  It's a very subjective topic.  We would miss our kids if we left them at grandparents.  Probably so much that we'd fly home at the first port of call.  On our first cruise after kids, our youngest was 21 months and fully into the terrible 2's.  Friends said we were crazy taking them.  Didn't regret it for a second. Of course there will be the same tantrums and sibling bickering that goes on at home.  But as everyone here always says, a day on a cruise is better than a day at home or work.  Our kids do a happy dance and a made up "we're on a ship" song on the balcony that is absolutely precious.  Our 2 year old asks to go back on the ship nearly everyday.   Even before he was talking good, he'd get the picture book out and find the picture of the cruise ship.  He'd point to it and make it known that's where he wants to go.  What has really made it worthwhile for us has been the shore excursions.  That takes more research and usually "on your own" type activities.  Many of the ship sponsored excursions will have age restrictions and for good reason.  But we've still been able to have some really great experiences that was fun for us as much as the kids. Another thing to consider is at 23 months, she will be in the nursery and not the kids club.  Not every Royal ship has a nursery, but I think it's a short list of those that don't.  The nurseries have always been great.  It's 6-8 bucks per hour.  And I don't think our nursery bill has ever been over $100.  We really just use it occasionally for a dinner and show. Reservations are a must.  Do that early in the cruise if you want to use the nursery.  

 

Many folks on here will recommend against taking kids that young on a cruise.  That's most likely because they don't like being around kids.  There are other cruise lines and other vacation options that specialize in adult only.  Royal Caribbean markets to families with kids of all ages.  And there is an argument or maybe more like parenting advise that I get told sometimes: that you need this vacation time away from kids to keep your sanity.  You need to take care of yourself so that you can be the best parent to your kids.  There's some truth to that, but that's also subjective.  A few hours or maybe even an overnight at the grandparents is plenty for us.  As I said earlier,  no way I'd leave kids back home and go on a cruise.  Way more fun to bring them along.   

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We cruised with our 9 month old (at the time) on Anthem in May of this year.

 

A few quick hitters from our trip:

 

- Absolutely take advantage of daycare if thats an option on your ship. Our little guy was a hand full much of the time so we looked forward to the few hours each night where we could drop him off an go see a show or have a few drinks by ourselves.  It saved the trip for us.

 

- Be very flexible.  If your little one is cranky be prepared to alter your plans.  My wife went in with higher expectations than I did so when something caused our "plans" to derail she took it hard...at first anyway.  

 

- The splash areas on these ships can be small and unexciting for a little guy. Sounds like yours may be potty trained by the time you sail. If so that opens up a new world of swim time for them!

 

- The crew adored our little guy.  They went out of their way to try to feed him foods he would enjoy and play peek a boo with him.  A couple waiters even made him napkin animals which he loved.  You could tell many of them had kids they left behind.

 

- I think most RCL ships have bags of toys you can check out of Adventure Ocean so you dont have to overpack toys.  We are actually cruising again in March and plan to take full advantage of this.

 

- Spoil them with ice cream! 🙂

 

- Order Inky the Octopus to the room prior to boarding, he will be on the bed when you get there. We plan to do this for our little guy on this next sailing. I have a feeling he will be carrying around with him the whole trip.

 

- If you see something you want in the gift shop, buy it right then and there, dont wait.  We wanted to buy a pull-back toy ship but decided to come back for it later in the trip and it was sold out.  

 

- Does your little one take baths or showers? Some folks recommend an inflatable tub for the shower if you don't have a tub in your cabin.

 

Our trip was challenging and stressful in many ways but we had enough fun where we decided to give it another try 10 month later 🙂 This time with a 19 month old who can walk and run.

 

Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask. I typed this up really quick but if you have something specific on your mind im sure i can remember. 

 

Edit: And we didn't cruise so much for him as we did for ourselves.  We knew going in he wouldnt remember it, but I guarantee we'll remember it!

Edited by dslucas

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While very early in our cruising days we had the option of leaving our then very young children with grandparents for a few cruises, even at a very young age we took all of them with us on most of our cruises as they were family and were were cruising as a family vacation.  There is no reason to leave them behind.  Most cruise lines are family oriented with well organized and run children's programs on board. And on the few that we did not take them the reasons were solely because we had the opportunity to have an adult vacation with time to ourselves thanks to willing grandparents.

 

It was never a matter of what their cost to include them was, or whether they would remember it (we certainly had those family memories), or what they would do on board, or any of the many other reasons people cite for questioning bringing children along on a cruise.  It always was because they were part of our family and that is how we traveled and vacationed.  Our now adult children have experiences of being well traveled through their lives.  We now have grandchildren and have taken them along as well on one so far for the same reasons.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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It doesn't matter if your toddler will remember the cruise....You will, and the pictures will let her know of the memories she was a part of.

 

We cruise often with our extended family that includes toddler grand babies....we love it !!!

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We have have done six cruises with our daughter, we will board her 7th later this month. Just before she turns two years old.

It's not the same as cruising without a toddler, her needs will always come first and we have left the MDR a couple of times when she was crying. The Windjammer often works a lot better.

 

We did her first cruise when she was 3.5 months old, Genua to Hamburg 11nts on MSC Meraviglia in April 2018.

We did her second cruise on Celebrity Equinox, 7nts in the Caribbean in August 2018.

3:rd on MSC Seaview 7nts, in the Med in September 2018.

4th on Harmony of the seas 7nts, in the Caribbean in January 2019.

5th on Independence of the seas 14nts, transatlantic in May 2019.

6th on Radiance of the seas 10nts, Vancouver to Hawaii, in September 2019.

The 7th will be from Dubai.

Edited by Extra Kim

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TL;DR answer: No.

 

Full answer: I don't recommend taking a toddler on a cruise.  She won't remember much, which means there's little net gain for her, and toddlers in general tend to be very fussy and disruptive.  She will require a lot of care and attention, which may detract from your enjoyment of the cruise.  Or not, but just saying.  That said, if she's at least 2, that's when most cruise lines' childcare programs let kids participate, and the programs are excellent.  She'll be kept busy with age-appropriate games and the company of her peers.

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Everyone has a different opinion and mine is that we did not ever cruise with a toddler and never will.😀

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Just a FYI, most 23 month olds are not potty trained, most closer to 3, if not later. I left mine at home with the grandparents, but 5bey were like second parents to my kids. Since you are also the grandparents, take her.

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I can see both sides of this argument. I think if you don't have anyone to watch her for a week (that everyone is comfortable with) and you want to go on a cruise that is your answer. That is our situation as well. It is definitely I different type of vacation. I think Allure is a good choice as it has a nursery and a baby splash pad. I think intermittent child care can make it a lot less stressful. 

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Why not?  If you can pay the ticket and the cruise line doesn't object there is no reason not to take a toddler.  Hopefully, you will understand the impact an unruly or cranky kidlet can have on those around you and respond accordingly should it happen.  I don't mind kids at all but do take issue with parents who blithely let their issue run roughshod through public spaces and common areas. 

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It all depends what type of experience you want. If you want to relax, have a few drinks, and unwind, probably not.

 

If you want a family trip, don't mind watching the child and/or would be stressed out without having the kid with you, then maybe it is a better idea.

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On 12/6/2019 at 3:16 PM, Cozzette3 said:

Thank you all so much.

I feel much more confident about taking her . I think she wll love all the things going on around her.

She will be 23 months so she should be potty trained by then, fingers crossed.

The Allure says that they have a kids club for as young as 6 months

Is there an amount of time that they can be there? Is 2 hours about right?

 

 

We didn't cruise when our children were younger so my opinion is generally speaking, not cruise specific.  Two hours seems like about the max time I would have your daughter separated in a group environment (it might be different if you were in a one-on-one care situation).  I help with the children's ministry at our church serving the two year olds.  We have two services, and some parents attend one service and then also have a "Sunday School" during the other service.  A service is around 90 minutes, and while the kiddos have a great time, they are ready to leave after one service.  There are a few who stay for both, but the transition between is always hard when they see all the other parents.

 

 

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On 12/6/2019 at 2:42 PM, researchfreak90 said:

Take her. I took my 11 month old on allure a few years ago.

were you also 70 years of age when you cruised with a toddler?

Chasing after a 2 yo at 30-40-45 is different from chasing after a toddler when you are 70.

 

P.S. We took our DS for the first time at 3. And he loves to run. I had my DH run after him a lot, because I can't run. DS is a neurotypical, very average child in terms of listening and minding. But he liked to run. My heart skipped a bit every time he'd take off on the pool deck. Oh, and he was potty trained (trained at 3y4m) and absolutely refused to go to the kid's club.

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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1 hour ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

were you also 70 years of age when you cruised with a toddler?

Chasing after a 2 yo at 30-40-45 is different from chasing after a toddler when you are 70.

If you are able to figure this out in everyday life, you will be able to figure it out on a cruise.

Edited by Extra Kim

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4 minutes ago, Extra Kim said:

If you are able to figure this out in everyday life, you will be able to figure it out on a cruise.

sadly, no. Chasing a toddler on a ship with all its wet and slippery surfaces is more difficult. Plus, it's a lot more crowded than my everyday life. And it's much easier for me at 40 than for my parents at 70. My dad can barely walk, let alone chase after a toddler.

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On 12/6/2019 at 2:37 PM, Cozzette3 said:

First let me say that I always thought people were crazy to cruise with toddlers. They wont remember the trip anyway,  they get cranky ( so do I )

We are cruising next Nov on the Allure 

My 70th birthday. husbands 60th. Middle daughters 50th

Now you are probably wondering who that toddler belongs to

She would be mine. She is our grandaughter that we are in the process of adopting 

I am concerned about leaving her for more than a week. Finding someone who she will be comfortable with and who can deal with a toddler 

 That job usually falls to the grandparents but that is us.

So, please,  the good the bad and the ugly of cruising with a toddler

I dont lay about the pool tanning so that is not an issue 

And we can both nap so that would be fine 

Any advice would be so appreciated 

 

As long as you are doing it for your sake, and not the toddler’s, go ahead.  She will put real limitations on your enjoyment, and will get very little out of it herself — so it should be seen (at least on the surface) as a lose-lose.

 

If you cannot comfortably leave her in someone else’s care, then bringing her with you might be the easiest over-all for you.  There will be care options on board for her, and cruise staff always seem genuinely interested in treating young children well.  In my experience, few 23 month olds are RELIABLY toilet trained - the change of environment can disrupt her routine.

 

I would not do it myself if there were any reasonable alternatives - but would if absolutely necessary.

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How many in this thread have cruised with a toddler?

The "You won't be able to enjoy the cruise" - statement is just stupid! 

Sure it's different compared to cruise with adults, but different doesn't have to mean that it's bad. We would never have done 6 cruises (and one 2nts ferry cruise between Sweden and Estonia) if it would have been bad. 

Between December 2019 and April 2021 we have five more cruises booked and my guess is that we will book at least one more in this time period.

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41 minutes ago, Extra Kim said:

How many in this thread have cruised with a toddler?

The "You won't be able to enjoy the cruise" - statement is just stupid! 

Sure it's different compared to cruise with adults, but different doesn't have to mean that it's bad. We would never have done 6 cruises (and one 2nts ferry cruise between Sweden and Estonia) if it would have been bad. 

Between December 2019 and April 2021 we have five more cruises booked and my guess is that we will book at least one more in this time period.

 

I tend to agree.  As a parent, the most enjoyable vacations (including cruises) I ever had was with our children.  First cruise they were above toddler age I guess, but not by much.  The argument that a toddler won't know the difference is also kind of odd to me.  If you enjoy your toddler and want to bring them on a cruise, then go for it.  You need no one's approval.  

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