Babies on Cruises

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Apr 19th, 2009, 06:16 PM
  #1
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Babies on Cruises

My husband's family is planning on going on a South American cruise next year for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I'm doing some research on different cruise lines to determine who we should go with. There will be his parents, his three siblings, and all of our families, including children from 1 year to 19 years. We have the youngest, a baby who will be 18 months by then. I have never gone on a cruise, so I know nothing about them.

I have been looking at prices and am wondering how they charge for babies. I expect the charge for most children would be the same as adults. However, I am hoping there is a discount or possibly no charge for babies. I cannot find anything on the cruise company's websites, which is leading me to believe that the cost will be the same as an adult. Does anyone know if this is the case?

I appreciate your responses!
Katie
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Apr 19th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Commonly, the charge for the third and fourth person in a cabin is reduced, but the same regardless of age. I think I've heard that NCL has a very reduced rate for children, but I might be wrong. If you go to the Family message board at www.cruisecritic.com, you may get answers.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 03:06 AM
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It may be possible to find a ship that has a special of 'Kids sale free'. This is not done all the time and not on all ships. Do go to cruisecritic.com and ask your questions and if anyone knows of a 'kids sale free' promotion. cruisecritic.com is easy to join and very safe. (You have to join to post a question.) Go to 'Boards' on menu at top of page. From there you can go to 'Cruise topics'-Ask a cruise question- or to the family, ports, reviews, etc. boards all under the "Boards". You should get all the answers to all your questions on cruisecritic.com
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Apr 20th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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I just went to NCL and Celebrity website and typed "infants" in the search box and found out the info you are seeking. You will pay for your toddler - although at a reduced 3rd person in a cabin rate and a slight discount for a child under 2. So try that research method for whatever cruiseline you are considering.

My guess is that this seems unfair to you. My speculation is that cruiselines do it to discourage a lot of babies on the cruises. Also, while a child that young is not going to cost in the way of food, they really use the same amount of services as an adult or older child and bring no revenue to the company (like bar bill, gambling, etc.) - so I think that is why they do it.

Other things to be aware of. On many cruiselines, except for buffet you are going to pay extra at meals for milk, juice, etc. Kids club/group child care on most lines will not be available as they do not take kids that young and/or have a requirement that the child be toilet trained. Many lines have in-cabin childcare for a fee. Also, s/he will not be allowed in the pools or hot tubs as they restrict use by kids of diaper age. Excursions may also exclude a child that young.

You can still have a wonderful extended family experience - just know what you are getting into by way of costs and services.
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Apr 20th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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Thank you all for your help. I will do some more research.

I do think it is completely fair for cruises to charge for children, especially the ones over 2. There are usually activities for kids which probably cost as much if not more than the activities for adults. A discount for the third person in a cabin seems reasonable to me.

I thought maybe children under 2 would have more of a discount, since as has been pointed out they are generally excluded from most activities. I can't say that I know what she'll be eating then, so I don't know if i'll bring all of her food or if she'll eat meals at the restaurants. I'm guessing she'll be eating normal food by then.

Thanks again!
Katie
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Apr 20th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Katie, thanks for asking the very question I was going to ask. This is a hard one to get much good info on even on Cruisecritic.com. The answer is pretty much it depends--upon which line you decide to go with. And there isn't isn't much information available from the lines themselves--which seems to give credence to the idea that for the most part it's not a sought after market.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 07:53 AM
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I think one reason that cruise lines discourage babies and toddlers is that they are not much fun on a cruise. I know that many parents - Moms - in particular think that the world loves their kids and will do anything to accomodate them. Many writers to these pages try to avoid cruises with too many old folks. As a somewhat old folk, I try to avoid the little ones. I paid my dues, and, I think, kept my little ones out of people's hair. But consider also that you will be spending a fortune to babysit. I spent many hours at fun places watching kids. Leave the little ones at home if you can. You will have more fun. But a word of advice. Don't feel guilty if you do.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 09:54 AM
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Wise words, Aristotle.
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Apr 21st, 2009, 05:07 PM
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18 months is too young to enjoy a cruise. There relly isn't any activities suitable for young children at that age. I remember I was foolish enough to take my 2 year old to Disney World and to be honest, it wasn't fun for him, and it asn't fun for everyone else. Someone had to stay with him and the baby stroller at all times, can't get onto rides (not him anyway), have to worry about his ins and outs (feeding and potty). Good thing he wasn't a fussy baby and did not cry all that much, otherwise, it would be even more challenging. In retrospect, it was a mistake.

Before you go, find out if the ship has activities or even baby sitting service. I heard that some ships offer baby sitting service and they will give you a pager. When it is time to change diapers, you will be paged.

How the cruise line will charge is based on the number of person in a cabin. If it is the 3rd or 4th person, they may charge less. Take into consideration of the daily tip charges, the port fees, and the baby sitting service cost etc. I highly doubt that the baby would be free. At the end of the day, the baby may ended up costing you a lot more than an adult.
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:57 AM
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Thanks again for all of the input. The purpose of the trip isn't for the baby to have fun, or even for my husband and I to have a great vacation. We are celebrating my in-laws' 50th anniversary and they want to spend the time with their family. The other families have older children, so we will be the only ones affected by cruises not being the best place for babies.

Our baby is a good traveler, so I don't think it will be too bad. She's been to 8 states in 9 months due to my husband's job search and my having to take a few emergency trips to visit family members. I have been really surprised how well she has done on planes, in cars, in hotels, and just with varied routines in general.

For anyone else checking this post for information, I have found a ton of help on the boards at cruisecritic.com. There are a lot of specifics there about the various cruise companies, and about children of a variety of ages on cruises.

Thanks again!
Katie
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Always glad to see people travelling with their young children. Good for you!

I'll have to check-out cruisecritic.com...
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 09:40 AM
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Eschew--I'm a little surprised! We just took our two year old to Disney World, and she rode several rides: Winnie the Pooh, Small World, Peter Pan, etc. Everyone had a great time.
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Katie, you child may love the glass elevators in the middle of the ship, get ready for 20 rides a day
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Apr 24th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Sienan1, He didn't really care much for rides: didn't like the nosie, lights, motion, etc; He was too young to know what's going on and was more interested in pushing his stroller around and when he was tired, slept in it.

Tecnically, he was on some rides like the small world etc but he really didn't know what was going on and just clinging on to the nearest person. He had no memory of it. When he look at the pictures, all he said was "I was there?". Like I said, he had more fun at the beach.

Katie is right when she sad that it's not for the baby but for the in-laws 50th. She's the only one with the baby and she is willing to go through all these troubles for them. You gotta respect that. Good for her!

I have met young children on crusies and have taken time and out of my way to compliment the parents for a well behaved child. I think they appreciated that. Too many cruisers just thump ther noses and said I have paid my dues and don't want kids around when I'm on vacation .... boo hoo hoo ....
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Apr 24th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Eschew--Well, I do agree with you about the beach. That was a big hit with our little one too!

Not that you were doing this, but it makes me sad to see people discourage others from travelling (or cruising, in this case) with their young children. I realize that our daughter won't remember everything we do with her when she's still so young. But, she learned 5-6 new words in the 5 days we went to Florida. I'm no expert, but I think it might have been due to all of the new sights and sounds.

I know people who always talk about travelling "someday." But, as I've said before on this forum, we aren't guaranteed a "someday." Go. Travel now. Even if the conditions are less than ideal.
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Apr 27th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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Siena1, I am with you on that ... there is no guarantee that there is a "someday". If you have not seen it yet, you should catch "knowing". Very interesting movie.

Here is something that I have heard and borrowed ... Work hard, save your money so that you can afford to do things when you are old that only the young can enjoy.
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