Best cruise for 2 year old

Jul 19th, 2010, 12:29 PM
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Best cruise for 2 year old

My husband and I are considering a cruise in late 2010 or early 2011, with our 2 year old. We ourselves have never been on a cruise, and want to take one that is full of activities for our toddler and things for us to do as well. Our preferred destination would be the Caribbean. Can anyone recommend a few cruise lines or actual ships I should look at? What lines should I avoid?
Taia is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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The Family Cruising board at is an excellent resource.

I believe that some cruise lines require that toddlers be toilet trained to be allowed in the pool; some parents bring an inflatable kiddie pool.

I think that the minimum age to participate in the children's programs on some cruise lines is three years old.

Take into consideration what it will be like to share a very small room with your little one--what will you do between your child's bedtime and yours?
abram is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 04:52 AM
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Disney, for obvious reasons. They have child care available for all ages, though they may charge a fee for very young kids.

If your child is three when you go I believe they can go in the regular kids program where they have activities all day long.

We've been on two Disney Cruises and thought they were great. I think my daughter had just turned three when we went the first time.

For my kids it was great that we had the same waiter every evening as the waitstaff follows the guests to the dining room you're eating in that night. He knew what they liked and provided a distraction so that we could enjoy dinner.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 05:43 AM
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Just remember that if you go on a boat designed for little guys that you will be surrounded by OTHER little ones.

We took our two kids on a Carnival cruise many years ago and put them in the 'camp'. I was paranoid the entire time that they were not going to watched as well as they should be and would fall overboard. I know, I know.

Personally, I would skip the cruise idea until junior is old enough to enjoy the port of call and do a land vacation with a beach and a hotel that offers camp. I mean, really, what is more thrilling for a toddler than a bucket and shovel and lots of sand?

Just my thoughts.
anita63 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Disney crusie is your best choice. I wouldn't consider anything else.
Eschew is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Eschew: Would you answer be the same for a 4-year old? I've heard Carnival and RCL do well with little ones, but I don't have any first-hand experience.
triathlete is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Even at age 74, my memories of being locked up in a cottage with infants/toddlers elicit a great deal of pain. I know that parents of my generation didn't acheive the level of indulgence of children practised by today's parents, but there really are activities that are best enjoyed by adults alone. The kids really don't suffer. But they might if forced to participate in them. Leave the kid at home with a responsible grandparent and have some fun. you peobably need it.
Aristotle is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 05:39 AM
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I totally agree with Aristotle. The young one won't remember the trip and you will because it won't be a vacation for you.
southeastern is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 07:28 AM
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I would strongly disagree with that sentiment. Does a two year old remember going to the park? Probably not, but still fun for them anyway.

It doesn't make sense to take a child on a Cunard Line Transatlantic Cruise. But, on a Disney cruise where they cater to kids, why not?

The point is the time spent together.

Sorry, but my wife and I have been big believers that kids are adaptable. If you expose them to traveling and dining in restaurants then it shouldn't be a big deal when you do those things.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Triathlete, my answer would be the same all the way up to 10 years old, maybe even all the way to 13.

Once you are past that age, I will still suggest Disney, but I would also look at RCL, and Carnival very strongly.

There are so much more activities for the teens that they can do on their own on RCL. Both RCL and Carnival has great teens and kids programs. However, nothing beats Disney for the 10 and under.

I have the fortune (or misfortune according to Aristotle) to travel with my then 2 year old son and my then 80 year old mother to Disney. Trust me on this one, it was a challenege. But they both had a great time.

Did my son remember what he did when he was 2? No. Did the family enjoyed the time together? Absolutely.

My memory on that trip was my 2 year old learnt how to be responsible for his personally belongings. He had left his jacket at a restaurant and he took us back there to retrieve it. And, of course, my 80 year old mother riding on the run away train.

Was it cramped and crowded? You bet. But I don't belief anyone of us remembered that part. You have a choice to pick what stays in your memory.
Eschew is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:08 AM
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If you take your 2- year -old just remember not everyone thinks she's precious if she is not behaving. I personally would not want to subject my child on anyone else who is paying for quiet adult time. We waited until she was at an age that she understood others around her and that the world didn't revolve around her. No one like a child misbehaving at dinner. We rented a place on the beach until she reached a better age for our family time.
southeastern is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 10:56 AM
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"If you take your 2- year -old just remember not everyone thinks she's precious if she is not behaving."

Except of course if it's a cruise ship line that caters to kids.

BTw, not every parent with young kids finds grumpy adults endearing either.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 02:48 PM
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jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 03:36 PM
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We'll be taking our 21 month old on a Disney Cruise next summer (although it will be to the Mediterranean). DCL received rave reviews from multiple acquaintances who cruised with their young children on the DCL Caribbean itinerary. We also gave serious consideration to Royal Caribbean, which we've heard is a very family friendly line from many friends of ours.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion with respect to traveling with children, but we have been traveling with our baby since she was 3 months old and make sure that she does not disturb adults (or anyone else for that matter). There are bad apples anywhere you go- whether it's a parent who lets their out of control child have a temper tantrum in the middle of a restaurant or an obnoxious drunken adult who behaves inappropriately and ruins everyone else's meal at that very same restaurant. I've traveled all over the world and have had more than my share of encounters with rude, pushy, loud, etc. adult (child free!)fellow tourists.

We take our child places with us not to "indulge" her as Aristotle suggests, but because many people in MY generation work extremely long hours which makes family time a precious commodity. So when my husband and I want to take an extended vacation, you can bet that we'll be bringing our child along. Will she remember it? No. Will we remember it? Most certainly. We'll be making family memories and, at the same time, hopefully raising our adaptable child to grow into a curious, well mannered and socially conscious adult.

Also, just my opinion, but I really don't think anyone is "paying for quiet adult time" unless they are on an adults only cruise (or at some other adults only venue- be it a resort, club, etc.) Maybe wishing for it?
JMGJD is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 03:46 PM
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Ryan; I agree about kids being adaptable. That has been what we've seen traveling with our son since he was 13 mos. old and went to India of all places. We have had the good fortune to do some traveling and of course our son has always gone with us. He has learned that not everyone in this world has what we have and take for granted. It gives you a broad perspective if you let it.
Also if you want adult only then go to an adult only resort. There are no adult only cruises lines and with good reason I think. They would not be in business long. No adult on a cruise pays for "quiet adult time." There is no such deal out there. You can go to adult only areas on a ship but overall you will see kids at some point. Sometimes you find adults who don't do a good job of parenting their kids but also sometimes you see adults who don't do a good job of self control. Most of the time your cruise will be fine, or at least that is what we have found. Sometimes there are hiccups and these could be from misbehaving kids, other adult passengers or even crew members. Just deal with it as best you can and move on. Hey you are on a cruise ship afterall. have fun!!
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 07:34 PM
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We took our son to Italy and France when he was one. When we get back from our vacation in a few weeks he will have been to 17 foreign countries before his 9th birthday. Exposing kids to travel isn't a bad thing.
I do agree that bad parenting and a misbehaving child in an adult setting is a bad combination.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:59 PM
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My DH and I took our kids on a Carnival Cruise because it looked like fun for the kids and, really, how bad could it be for us? Well, when you're looking at the shore line from the ship and think to yourself, "I could swim that distance"...maybe it wasn't the best vacation idea.

On the second day DH and were walking the decks while the kids were in 'camp' and we saw a chained off area that said, "adults only". Turns out, the steps beyond the chain went up to the smoke stacks and was a topless sunbathing area. We went up to find about 8 other adults, fully clothed, trying to find some peace and quiet from those families who didn't put THEIR kids in camp.

Just another helpful hint in the 'who woulda thought' catagory
anita63 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts, Eschew (and all).
triathlete is offline  

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