Best configuration for young family of 5?

Nov 12th, 2009, 07:33 AM
  #1  
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Best configuration for young family of 5?

Apologies if this question has been asked before -- I've poked around and haven't seen an answer.

We have daughters ages 7, 5, and 1, and are considering doing a cruise for an upcoming vacation. While cabins seem obviously configured for 4 people (albeit crowded), I'm unsure of what options are to accomodate a family of 5. Will we need two (adjoining) rooms?

If it matters, we're primarily thinking about Disney or Carnival, which I understand to be the most kid-friendly.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
sg92 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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While there are some higher-end suites on various lines that can accomodate 5 people, I'd recommend that you get two adjoining cabins if for no other reason than you're not all going to be awake at the same time. Whether you want quiet for the 1-year old while the older kids play, or you and your husband want to watch TV or read while all the kids sleep, I think you're going to appreciate having 2 rooms.

One other thought. Consider getting a balcony across the hall from an inside cabin. That way you can all enjoy the balcony (at various times) and still be just a few steps away from the kids if/when they need you.

Good luck!
triathlete is offline  
Nov 12th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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I have never been on a ship where one could put 2 adults and 3 kids, even little ones, in a cabin - just the amount of stuff you will have would make that impossible. Not talking merely crowded, think sardines in a can. Not even sure if cruiseline would allow it. Deck plans of various ships will show you where there are adjoining cabins or cruiseline or travel agent could help.

Some things to consider - you will pay close to adult fare for the 2 older kids. The baby will not be allowed in most child care situations on the ship so s/he will be with you all the time unless you can arrange for private in-cabin childcare.

I would not be comfortable with my kids of that age across the hall from me on a cruiseship. I love balconies, and it would be relatively difficult for a kid to fall off - but they would make me nervous with my kids climbing around on one on a cruise - even supervised.
gail is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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There are suites on NCL that can easily accommodate a family of 5. They have a main cabin with living room plus an adjoining inside cabin with its own bath and bunk beds. It's a luxurious and very expensive option, but it works. And NCL is a very family-friendly cruise line. I suspect you're on more of a budget, so this might not appeal to you.

An alternative to two adjoining cabins is an outside cabin and the cheaper inside cabin directly across the hall. Two adjoining inside cabins might also be an option. Royal Caribbean also has "inside" cabins on its largest ships that overlook the inside atrium, giving them the feel of an outside cabin.

But some ships, including Disney, have family cabins that may accommodate 2 adults and 3 kids.
doug_stallings is online now  
Nov 13th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. With napping schedules and whatnot, two rooms of some sort does seem like very good advice.

I'm pretty sure we wouldn't want a second room to be across the hall. Two of you mentioned adjoining inside cabins, but not necessarily adjoining balcony or window cabins. Is that because adjoining rooms are typically only on the inside (or that you don't want kids in a balcony cabin unaccompanied)?
sg92 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 08:58 AM
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I have been on ships with adjoining outside (window) and balcony cabins - they are not all inside. I would not want kids to have free access to balcony. Never seen a set-up where one was balcony and the other window - we even looked for that on cruise last spring as adult traveling companions did not want to pay for balcony - but the two types are usually on different decks or at least different areas of ship.

I would shop around and get 2 adjoining window (outside) cabins. Cruiseline, even with adjoining, may require that you officially list one adult in each cabin - but they do not care who sleeps where once you are on board. We ran into a similar situation when cruising with 3 teenagers and 2 adults last spring.

Have a good trip - there are some great bargains out there on cruises, especially if you are flexible as to dates and itineraries. If you are locked into school vacation weeks, fewer bargains.
gail is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 09:19 AM
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You can get either inside or outside adjoining cabins. But actually, I don't know if you can get CONNECTING inside cabins. Most connecting cabins on cruise ships are balconies, and the connection is through the balcony.
doug_stallings is online now  
Nov 13th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Don't forget that 2 cabins will have 2 bathrooms - a big plus with kids

Doug, isn't connection through side doors like in hotels? This was my impression of the window cabins.
Dayenu is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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No, in almost all cases, connecting cabins on cruise ships connect through the balcony, so you have to walk outside and through the connecting door and back inside. But this is why almost all connecting cabins are the higher-priced veranda cabins on virtually all ships. There's just no room for a connecting door in most cases.

However, I'm sure there are some exceptions, though I can't think of any off the top of my head.
doug_stallings is online now  
Nov 13th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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We sailed on Vision of the seas, and here is deck 2 plan, cabins 2096 - 2098 are window cabins, marked "connected" on the plan

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/findac...ipProfile=1269

I wonder if connecting cabins through a balcony creates safety issues...
Dayenu is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 06:48 AM
  #11  
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v interesting. Thanks to all for your responses.
sg92 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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No, I don't think there's a safety hazard, but you have to pay a pretty penny (for one of those family suites) to get a second inside cabin to share, and that's more than the cost of 2 connecting veranda staterooms on most ships. However, if you can afford it, the NCL family suite with 2 cabins is quite worth the cost and allows you to avoid going outside.

Certainly ask a TA which lines and ships have "family cabins".
doug_stallings is online now  

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