Cruise with infant?

Old May 11th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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Cruise with infant?

My husband and I have a two month old and we would like to plan a trip for sometime in the next year. Has anyone taken a baby with them on a cruise? Is this a good idea, or would it be better to leave baby with grandma and grandpa?
We would love to go on a Mediterrean cruise of some sort. I've heard that some of the cruise lines offer babysitting services, which would be nice if my husband and I want to have some time to ourselves.
Any advice from people who have travelled with young children would be much appreciated!
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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As a relatively new grandma, I'd be saying, "Give me the baby!" The only downside to that would be having to wean the baby from nursing to a bottle.

Remembering when I was a new mom, it would be hard to cruise with an infant--sharing one small room would make it tough to sleep--and obviously, there's no privacy.

European streets are often not very stroller friendly, so it would help if you're comfortable carrying the baby in a snugli type thing.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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My advice - plan a different type of trip with an infant. When traveling with kids that young, it is all about the logistics. Things to consider are travel means/time to destination (flying overseas with an infant is possible but can be difficult)

Accomodations once there - sleeping 2 feet away from baby can get to be a little much. And you also have to find something to do in cabin while baby naps.

Meals - eating out (which is essentially what one does on a cruise) in a restaurant with infant 3 meals/day gets old very quickly.

Activities while at destination. Babies do not care what they do, but they would either not be welcome or difficult to accomodate on shore excursions. On board, would not be allowed in pool and would have to be hauled everywhere you want to go.

Childcare. We have never used individual childcare when we traveled - many have without problems. We just felt we wanted to take same measures to check-out childcare provider on vacation as at home. Infants are rarely allowed in group ship childcare. Individual child care is often possible thru cruiseline - usually by off-duty ship employees.

Safety. At that age your baby will be crawling or perhaps walking and will want to explore. But you will not be able to allow him/her to do this in most areas since both baby and others will be in danger of tripping/getting stepped on. Balconies and spacing of deck ralings would also scare me.

If you are set on Europe, a land-based trip would be easier.

Don't want to be discouraging. We have traveled with our kids since they were born 20 years ago - and at each age travel requirements changed - and our trips were not confined to DisneyWorlds or cabins on a lake. Just try to be real practical about needs of baby.



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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Check out the "Family Cruising" forum at cruisecritic.com which is dedicated to the subject.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Leave the baby with grandma & gramps!!! On most ships they do not have regular babysitting. They have a slumber party for ages 3 and up,not every night, ending I think around 10 - but could be later. The babysitting is not in your cabin. 3 is the age a child must be before they accept them into their children's program. That means you will have the baby with you 100% of the time- dinner, shows other entertainment, excursions, etc., etc. Someone has to spend nap time in your cabin. You have to make sure you have enough diapers and baby toys and stuff on and off the ship in ports. To really enjoy a cruise, don't take even toddlrers on a cruise! And Gradma will LOVE having baby all to herself for a few days!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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You all bring up some very good things to think about...thank you for the advice! I prefer to go on land-based trips, but for some reason I thought a cruise might be easier with a young child. I hadn't thought about the cramped rooms...our baby snores, so my husband and I might go nuts!
Grandma LOVES spending time with Baby, so maybe we'll plan on leaving the little one at home if we go on a cruise.
Gail: you said you travelled a lot with your children. What kinds of trips did you go on? Any advice? My husband and I generally like going to large cities. I'm willing to leave the baby with Grandma for some of our trips, but I'd also like to bring her along from time to time...
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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I would strongly discourage it; partly for the annoyance and restriction that it will impose on you, and partly out of consideration for other guests. We were on a cruise two years ago, and a family had 18 month old twins that never stopped crying, and the parents and grandparents seems largely oblivious to it...we finally were moved to a different dining room. Very inconsiderate, in my opinion. Also, since there is so much media about the parents leaving their little girl alone in Portugal, you must know that unless you bring a trusted 'baby sitter' your freedom will be much constrained. Why not wait til he/she is older, and can be left at the 'child center' during specific hours...we have taken older grandkids and they have simply loved it.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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Hello again! My son and his wife took there just 1 year old to an all inclusive FAMILY resort in Jamacia last year. Baby sitting was included and they never actually left the resort. They said there were children of all ages and everyone seemed to have kids. They really enjoyed this with their baby. Maybe this is what you should consider for this yera and cruising when baby is at least 3 if he/she will join you.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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Keep in mind on that cruise, most lines will charge you full 3rd person fare regardless of age (except NCL and Disney), so it will also be very expensive when he/she won't remember any of it.
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