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First time cruising with small kids

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We are normal all inclusive land holiday travellers. Thought we would branch out to cruising to expand our opportunities but have concerns as we are travelling with 2 kids (5 yrs and almost 3 yrs old) I have read things about under 3 yr olds not being allowed in main pools and although they have age group appropriate activities, I believe that most "kids club" type activities are catered towards older kids. Together my girls will go anywhere but if I have to spilt them in age groups they wont go by themselves. Do I need a stroller to get around the ship and is it easy to accommodate? I have heard the best place for new cruisers to stay is mid ship, the lower the better for sea sickness but with little kids and always needing something back in the room, I don't want a 20 min trip when we forget something. Is the cheaper inside stateroom better than a balcony? I am concerned about my 2 3/4 yr old rolling off a pull down bed.
We cant afford a Disney cruise and price is very important so currently we are looking at a 7 day Carribean crusie - likely Carnival.
Suggestions? Tips? Information please???

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