Caribbean cruise with a 8 month old

Dec 2nd, 2009, 05:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 32
Caribbean cruise with a 8 month old

Hi everyone,

I had posted a similar question about going on a family reunion cruise with a baby to Alaska. I am appreciative of all the advice from everybody. It sounded like a large part of the Alaska cruise experience is the off shore excursions, which would be inappropriate for the baby. It also appeared that the 3 year old may not enjoy much of Alaska either. So, based on these, we are now considering a Caribbean cruise for our family reunion. (Just to recap: the family would be 2 grandparents, my spouse and I with our 8 month old daughter; my brother and sis in law with their 4y/o and 8y/o kids).

Here are my questions:
1. Would a caribbean cruise be more kid friendly than an Alaska cruise? (I do realize that on some excursions, someone from the family may have to stay back and baby-sit).
2. If we do go on a caribbean cruise, would you recommend the Eastern or Western? People in our group enjoy keeping busy - shopping, snorkeling, exploring town, casinos, swimming with dolphins etc.

Your advice, as before, is much appreciated! Thanks,
air1975 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 02:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
The Caribean is MUCH better for children than Alaska. And you don't have to bring jackets! I would consider Carnival or Royal Caribean for the kids. I was surprised to see a sign posted outside the Kid's Carnival area that was about the cost of babysitting - from 10PM to 3 AM. Most lines have slumber parties for older kids but your 8th month old is too young for that. Don't have kids anymore so don't remember the cost. Disney woukld also be good but they have NO casino on the ship and the price is much higher.
We're not shoppers but St. Thomas has tons of shopping and all the ports have shopping. In Cozumal you can go to Chankanaaub, the national park where they have snorkeling and swim with the dolphins. Look the park up on google. You should go to and go to their 'ports' board for all sorts of info on all the ports. And you can ask questions here and they also have a separtate board for cruise questions. They are the most comprehensive cruise site
bonniejns is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2009, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,087
Yes, I agree that a Caribbean cruise is much more friendly to small children and toddlers. Of the major cruise lines, only Disney and Carnival will change diapers, so if you want to put the 8 month old into day care, these are really your only options. Otherwise, you'll be tethered to a beeper.

You'll have plenty of options for activities whether you choose an eastern or western Caribbean cruise; everything you mention that you like is available in one or more ports in each region, so you really need to look at specific itineraries and read up on the islands to see which ones appeal to you most. But I would look specifically an itineraries that include ports where you will NOT have to tender ashore. That can be difficult with three kids.

Ironically, a gigantically huge ship like Oasis of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) can be an advantage to a family. There are myriad on-ship activities ... more than you could take part in during the entire cruise. Plus, the ship CANNOT call at a tender port because it has so many passengers. Of course, that means you'll end up on all the basic standard ports, and the kids area is more attractive to slightly older kids, but there's a lot for kids to do aboard the ship (the 8-year-old would be in heaven, the others not so much).

The Eastern Caribbean itinerary of Oasis appeals to me but might not be good for you. Labadee in Haiti, for example, has an excellent beach and good shopping but not many off-site activities that will interest younger kids. Falmouth in Jamaica is great but requires travel to get anywhere, so it's not so great for little ones. The western Caribbean itinerary hits the busy islands, so it's kind of boring if you've been to the Caribbean, but not if you aren't that familiar with it.

Disney has a lot to offer you, but they also have premium prices, so they may not appeal for that reason. Carnival has a wide variety of itineraries and sails from alternative ports like Galveston if you don't want to go to Florida.
doug_stallings is offline  

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