Galapagos with a baby

Old Jun 19th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Galapagos with a baby

Hi, I went to Galapagos when I was 8 years old and I loved it so much , I want to take my husband. We just had a baby so we would have to take him with us. I am planing to go either January or March of 2005 when the baby will be 10 months old. We'd bring my mom along so there would be 3 people who could take care of baby while we are there. Is this a bad idea? I would appreciate some input from someone who's been there recently. Thanks
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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Wow! You are so brave. 11 trips to Galapagos and I never saw one baby. I think you need to leave baby at home with your mom
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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There is a big difference between a child who is 8 year old and and is able to remember Galapagos and a baby who is 10 months old and is not capable to store in his/her memory anything including a trip to Galapagos. Why won't you wait? Before you know your baby is going to celebrate his/her 8th birthday.
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Old Jun 20th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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My Opinion !

Bad idea.

The temperature willbe about 86F +
There is a lot of walking to do on the island, this is not a walk in the park.

What if the baby gets sick or colicky or gets irritabel inthe hot sun as young babies do.

There are no bathrooms on any of the Islands and no diaper changing areas !!!

I agree with "z".

Leave your mother at home and you and your husband go and fully enjoy yourself

earlxx... I agree with you also.

The baby will remember nothing of the trip.
Better to have the parents come home with pleasant memories and encourage the baby to go when she/he is 18 !!

Percy
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Old Jun 22nd, 2004, 12:29 PM
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The Galapagos is no place for a baby. Not to mention, some boats might have an age limit, I know when I went I checked with my travel agent to make sure there would be no children. I wanted to enjoy my vacation and being stuck on a small boat with a baby crying would not be my idea of fun.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:42 AM
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I ditto everything that was said before - leave the baby home. You will have a much better time.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 12:50 AM
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I can't believe anyone would consider taking a baby to the Galapagos. At 10 months you will have a very active baby who will be crawling and/or walking and into everything - not good for small boat cruising. There are a lot of saftey issues that the other poster have mentioned. Many boats discourage kids let alone babies. You are extremely fortunate to have a mom who could stay home and take care of your baby. If you really want to show your husband the Galapagos then go and enjoy yourselves. If you can't stand to leave your baby behind then maybe you should wait. The Galapagos aren't going anywhere.

A & K has a great cruise program for families that includes a cruise director just for the kids. Maybe if you wait a few years the whole family can have an incredable experience.

Peg is also right about thinking of the other passengers. Many people will have paid a lot of money and traveled far to go to the Galapagos. To some it will be a trip of a lifetime. A 10 month old baby could easily be waking up many other passengers in the middle of the night -think how you would feel about this if the shoe was on the other foot.

We have done a lot of exotic traveling with our kids but have kept things age appropriate. The older they get the more enjoyable it is because you also get to feel their excitement. In some cases they have been the only children on some of our adventures. They know they have a certain code of conduct, especially out of respect for other travelers. You can't expect this out of a 10 month old baby.




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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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I also forgot to mention how kids are prone to motion sickness - car sick, air sick, sea sick. Ugh, you could end up with a real mess on your hands and a dehydrated baby.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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Thank you Mariann. I was going to mention the cost in my response, but I thought I would be ripped on based on what I wrote so I didn't get into that. My thing is most people, I am assuming, don't have to pay for babies or very small children to go places, well I have to pay, so listening to a crying baby after a year of saving my hard earned money is not my idea of a good vacaton. Not to mention I have run into the parents attitude that they are on vacation and don't care what their child does, so everyone else can be bothered as long as they are not.

Elaborating on the sickness thing, there is no hospital and no doctors (at least on the small ships). My mom was injured by a sea lion and should have required stitches, but where do you get medical care in the middle of the ocean.

Okay, I am done now, don't mean to be a royal #$@!* but I am not alone in how I feel about other people's children, unless they are like Mariann described well behaved and respectable.

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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 02:37 PM
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You know what is amazing to me!?

That someone would even consider this!?

I have a very good friend who was gaing to Hawaii and she wanted to take her 1 year old and 3 year old for two week.

Her mother was perfectly willing to look after the children while daugther and husband went to Hawaii..but oh no, the mother of the children insisted on taking her children.

When she got back ,she said to me " This was a vacation in hell", never again."

Apparently she spent her time changing diapers and warming baby bottles!

The kids were irritable in the hot Hawaiian sun , so mother and father started nit picking at each other, blaming the other for wanting to take the kids in the first place etc.

I guess sometimes learning the hard way is best.

Percy





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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Don't feel too bad pininas. Being a new mother is exciting and fun but at the same time it takes adjustments, sometimes it difficult. Your life changes pretty quick but once the kids are out of diapers (and naptime) they travel sometimes better then the adults (although I would hold off a little longer for the Galapagos).

When my daughter was 6 months old we went to Hawaii (I had to be down there anyway for a convention so we thought "what the heck&quot. All though it wasn't "the vacation from hell", it wasn't that great - everything revolved around naptime. At least we were in a condo on the water so I could look out at the view most the day since thats were I spent most my time - inside the condo. Two years and one more kid later my husband and I took a second honeymoon to Hawaii while a family member watched the kids. We both had a hard time being away from the kids so much that it was just an O.K. trip. It was kind of a "damn if you do and damn if you don't". It really is just a couple of years and then you can really do some awesome vactions as a family. My kids get so excited and have tremendously enjoyed some of the places that we've gone that they make me feel like a kid. I'm wondering if I am going to even enjoy traveling as much when it's just me and my husband again. It won't be long to your life will be back to normal again.

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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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Mariann I agree, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

But I am thinking about pininas and would like her to fully enjoy the Galapagos, she may be lonesome for the baby, who wouldn't be, but at the same time she is totally free to enjoy all the birds and animals.

Her little fellow will have lots of time to see the Galapagos ,when everything registers in his brain of the awesome place he is seeing.

Whew!!!! even I am exhausted from my own comments

Goodnight all
Percy



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Old Jun 27th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Bringing a child under 10 years old to the Galapagos is a VERY DANGEROUS idea.
This was confirmed by our guide, who has seen tragedy because folks chose to bring kids who were too young to fully understand the dangers. Also, health issues come to play as you will be in a VERY 3rd world country. Most ships will not accommodate a small child anyway.
There are many dangers on these islands for anyone who is not capable of taking and understanding the STRICT orders of the guides. This goes as well for seniors or anyone who is incapacitated in any way. To get around the islands you must be sure footed and capable of literally climbing extremely steep slopes and stairs and often very slick and wet surfaces. Folks in wheel chairs do not go to most of the landings.
Please do your research. The Galapagos is not a chain of luxury beach resorts!
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Old Jun 27th, 2004, 09:09 PM
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Abercrombie & Kent run family tours where children ages 7 & up are welcomed, they even have special activity counselors on board just for the kids. The tour itself is geared towards families with children, you probably wouldn't want to be on it otherwise. A & K is a little bit more pricey than other operators but for something like this I think it would be worth paying the extra money. They usually do everything first class. Otherwise, if not on a family tour their minimum age requirement is 12 years old which is probably the same for some of the many other operators.
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Old Jun 29th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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On my trip, there was a couple who brought their two young (under 5 years of age) boys. They were the only kids on our flight from Quito and my husband and I even joked around about them being on our boat. We couldn't believe it when it turned out that they WERE on our boat! On top of that the mom was very pregnant. I wouldn't travel to the Galapagos with young kids, let alone pregnant, and here she is doing both! It was actually pretty amazing (almost as amazing as watching the indigenous animals ) to watch her hike around the island with the younger one on her back in one of those backpack style carriers. They were the only kids we saw the entire trip. It turned out better than we had feared at first and everyone got used to them being on the boat (the toys on the stairs were a little annoying at times, not to mention an accident waiting to happen). Had I known in advance that there would be very young children on our boat, I would've tried everything possible to change our dates, vessel, etc. But the idea of someone doing that hadn't even occurred to me, so I didn't think to check with our agent. Looking back now it's just a funny story. I also thought the situation was rather dangerous as the parents weren't always watching them. Many times, they were at the back of the boat where they could have easily fallen overboard. There were areas with no railing or just a safety line which started above their heads! We were very surprised that they accepted children that young.
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Old Jun 29th, 2004, 10:43 PM
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What ship/tour operator did you use?
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 05:03 AM
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A&K allows children 5 and older on the family tour. I know because we are taking our 5 year old on Wednesday. He is very well travelled, active, a good listener and very well behaved. He also has read numerous books on Darwin and the animals and can't wait to ask a naturalist lots of questions. Any precautions you'd reccomend? We are bringing a DVD player and his gameboy for any down time on the boat. We all got Hep A shots and that was all the CDC said for where we are going.

Any things we should do or places to eat in Quito? We will be there a few days to adjust to the altitude and tour a little.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 06:46 AM
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Make sure, your tour operator informs other passangers there will be a small child on board. IMHO, 5 year old is too young to fully enjoy Galapagos. In such small place I don't think I would want to be on a tour where a small child is one of passangers
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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It is a family cruise with a naturalist just for the kids. I would expect that others know that family means kids and 5 is the required age - so I'm not violating any rules. The ship (eclipse) is one of the largest with 27 cabins and we have a suite - so I hope it won't be too crowded.

It's funny because we recently took my son on an all day tour in the everglades (2 boat trips, a hike, snorkeling and a long van ride) and he was the only child and 4 at the time. At the end - the other people on the tour said the were worried when they saw us but that they enjoyed having him along as he asked so many questions that they were wondering too.

I'm more worried about the danger mentioned previously...and would appreciate your thoughts on what you thought (if anything) would be dangerous for a young child. (He snorkels too and snorkeled recently in Belize at Shark Ray alley with no problem)
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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Mariann,
I was on the Archipel and I booked through Sangay touring in Quito.

Mama,
I think mnf's situation is very different as this is a trip that's marketed as a family cruise by A&K. Lindblad does the same with their Galapagos trips with several sailings a year designated as family cruises. One would expect lots of children aboard these sailings.

mnf,
There are a few things to watch out for in the water. One person on our boat accidently stepped on a sea urchin. There are also stonefish in the water but they're mostly under rocks/ledges so unless your son goes poking around and touching things underwater, he shouldn't have any problems. On a couple of beaches we were told to shuffle our feet when we entered the water as stingrays frequent the area. The dangers aren't really that much different than anywhere else you'd venture underwater. Your son will love snorkeling with the sea lions. The water will be much, much colder than Belize. On land, keep your distance from the male sea lions (larger and with more of a rounded bump on their head). I'm sure you'll be told all of this by the naturalists. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't think our boat was "childproof" (some of the railing was clearly meant for adult heights) but each vessel is different and since this is specifically marketed as a family cruise, they'll probably be more aware of safety issues for the kids on board. I have to say the crew on our vessel were very attentive with the kids. Have fun!
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