Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
laiki

Toddler UNDER 3 years old on a ship with no nursery?

Recommended Posts

My husband and I currently have a cruise booked for a Southern Caribbean itinerary for next February on Adventure of the Seas.  Our plan was to bring our then 17 month old son.  But, I'm noticing that there is no nursery on the Adventure of the Seas and it seems like no babysitting option.  Can anybody share any recent experiences?  We LOVE the itinerary but trying to decide if we should stick with this itinerary if there is really no services for our toddler, switch to a more family friendly ship, or see if we can leave him with a relative.  Any experiences?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I vote for leave him with grandma/grandpa or a relative. A 17 month old is not going to enjoy a cruise and you will enjoy your cruise more if you are not constantly worrying about him. Wait another couple of years for that great family cruise when he can have so much more fun and actually enjoy all the great stuff on a family cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, blueridgemama said:

I vote for leave him with grandma/grandpa or a relative. A 17 month old is not going to enjoy a cruise and you will enjoy your cruise more if you are not constantly worrying about him. Wait another couple of years for that great family cruise when he can have so much more fun and actually enjoy all the great stuff on a family cruise.

Amen! 👍

 

Strollers have no real place on cruise ships...between navigating them onboard and the ankles that ultimately get (innocently) banged up...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Amen! 👍

 

Strollers have no real place on cruise ships...between navigating them onboard and the ankles that ultimately get (innocently) banged up...

 

I’d much rather navigate around strollers than some of the motorized carts people race around the ship on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We took a 20 month old grandson but had ten family members to help out.  It worked out fine.  However, if you don't have family to help out then it won't be much different than at home.  

 

We have also done two other cruises on Oasis and Allure with grandkids that age with much different experience.  If you want some "adult" time then book something else.  Keep in mind in cabin babysitting is hit and miss.  Even our last cruise on Oasis with us staying in an OS (using the concierge) he couldn't even find us a babysitter.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, ATSEAMYLIFE said:

We took a 20 month old grandson but had ten family members to help out.  It worked out fine.  However, if you don't have family to help out then it won't be much different than at home.  

 

We have also done two other cruises on Oasis and Allure with grandkids that age with much different experience.  If you want some "adult" time then book something else.  Keep in mind in cabin babysitting is hit and miss.  Even our last cruise on Oasis with us staying in an OS (using the concierge) he couldn't even find us a babysitter.    

Royal discontinued in-room sitters the end of last September, not available on any of their ships now.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a choice, leave him with a relative, you'll enjoy your vacation more.   But if it's not possible, still bring him, just have your expectations be realistic.  Babies/toddlers will have good days, they will have bad days.  Can he sit through a 2 hour dinner service without a melt down?  Can he sit through a loud theater show?  Even on a Disney ship, there is a cap on the number of hours you can book the nursery before embarkation.  Think about the things you can, and cannot do if you decide to bring him.  No cocktail, wine or beer tasting classes.  No late night casino, dessert buffet or adult comedy shows.   Or be shameless like me, "invite" a relative (your mom, your inlaw) that can possibly help babysit to join the cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot will depend on your toddler. Some are great travelers, can sit quietly through a restaurant meal or show, sleep well and pretty much anywhere - others are just the opposite and make traveling miserable. I’m grandma to both types (thankfully now in college). Only you know your child. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the link in my bio to our blog for some toddler/baby tips and cruising.  It is non monetized and no advertisements.  Hasn’t been updated ina while as we are just too busy but many articles on cruising with kids and babies.  

 

Http://www.thesmallworldfanily.com

 

Thay being said,  we cancelled our ten year anniversary cruise which was to be our second time going to Alaska (first being our honeymoon) because we found out the explorer didnt have a nursery.  We love cruising with our kids. (Our 8 year old son has over 140 days at sea and our 4 year old daughter is just shy of 100) but without a nursery it can be difficult to keep a baby/toddler entertained.  We have aged out of the nursery (thank god, as we spent thousands on that nursery), but when our kids went they loved it.

 

Ignore the comments about the strollers from fellow posters above.  While we primarily used a baby carrier on a ship as it is much easier to use than a stroller on a cruise ship, we’d use a stroller on some occasions, and they are notably smaller and easier to manage than the electric wheelchairs people use.   95% of the fellow passengers love seeing babies/toddlers but there are a small percentage that feel the need to judge you or make comments on your parenting.  (My wife was once criticized for having our daughter in a baby carrier onboard by a fellow passenger at sorrentos).  The staff love seeing babies and they have a blast with them, especially if you are on a cruise with a low kid count.

 

feel free to ask any other questions regarding sailing with babies/toddlers and cruising.  We have that down pat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well be sailing in 2 weeks with my family. My husband and I have 2 kids (4 and 13 months) and my brother and his wife have 2 kids also (4 and 2). I like traveling with my kids and likely won’t even use the nursery even though they have it available. Yes, it’s different than a typical vacation but it’s a family trip and I know it’ll be a blast, even if our activities are more kid focused. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have taken our under 3s on several Disney vacations but never a cruise. I am all about family vacations and would never be happy leaving my kids with Grandma - fine if others want to do it but I really look forward to family time with my kids when I have those coveted days off of work,

That being said - we deliberately would not cruise until they were over 3. There were just too many amenities on board that I didn’t think we would get to take advantage of if we had the kids in tow...I wouldn’t want to take turns with hubby seeing the shows or playing some black jack etc. Sure - a little time alone would be fine - but Not all day every day! ...and what’s the point of paying for a cruise if we can’t enjoy so many of the benefits. I was also worried about what would be available to do in inclement weather?? (And does adventure have a toddler water area? Or are you stuck with the blow up pool? I can’t remember post refurb)

I expect that the room steward and waiter would fawn all over the children and make those experiences as easy for you as they could (keeping the place tidy, cutting up food at dinner etc).

I also have found that even with my 4 year old it was difficult to go on many excursions - many had height or age ranges that rules them out and traveling with a car seat for a toddler in these ports would be complicated (where would I put the seat at the beach???? Imagine all of the sand in it!!!).

Kids are free at Disney Parks under 3...it was a better choice for us at this age...If I was going on a cruise I would definitely pick one with a nursery.

One more thing - if I was on a cruise - I would totally bring a stroller with me! Certainly not to use all the time for everything - but there would definitely still be a few moments when having an umbrella stroller to strap in a toddler would be very helpful! Sometimes to just stop them from moving - other times because their legs are tired and it’s too hot for baby wearing...Ignore the haters - I have faith you will use good stroller etiquette!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We sailed Adventure with our 20 month old southern Caribbean, there were 5 days in port and 2 days at sea. We also had 30+ relatives with us, so that helped! Our daughter was really well behaved- could sit through a dinner (and the restaurant staff was great. After the first night they had fruit cocktail for her upon arrival each night!)

We did some of the theater shows- lights noise etc kept her engaged for the most part. We sat in the back and if she started losing interest we would leave. We danced to live music, enjoyed a few drinks while she sat in the big windows watching waves. We would sit and read on the balcony while she napped. (IMHO a balcony is a requirement) Was it ideal? No. Did we have fun- a ton. There was even this open hour with toys each day up in one of the lounges where we could go and play with other toddlers. Nothing really organized but fun none the less!

I’d vote to try grandparents first, if that doesn’t work I would still go, especially if I got the kids sail free promo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

It's even a pretty expensive baby-sitting solution. 

 

 

Not sure what the going rate for babysitting is in your city,  but we live in a small rural area with low wages and still pay 12-15 an hour depending on who is watching our kids.  With KSF all you pay is port taxes and fees which varies for cruises we go on (typically 9-14 night cruises to a variety of places) between 150-200 dollars.   The kids club is open a minimum of 9 free hours a day, as after 10 there is an hourly surcharge.  At 300-400 dollars/day for 9 hours of babysitting a day over the course of 9-14 days you are looking at between 1350-2800 dollars in babysitting on land.  So yes....  it is notably cheaper.  

 

Not only cheaper, but safer as these are trained staff rather an a 16 year old girl.  Not only cheaper, but funner.  Our kids beg us to go to the program, and we have to drag them to shows sometimes as we feel they may enjoy some of the shows.  We are also within a quick walk of our kids at a times and also don’t have to get an Uber which saves even more money.  Plus there is also the prepaid entertainment which is also than cheaper on land.  

 

A land date night, and this is in a rural area with lower than average prices runs about $40 for dinner and drinks, $25 for movie and popcorn, $60-70 for a babysitter.  So you are looking at $135-$145 at least. 

 

While our kids are not in there every hour of every day, they are in there quite a bit, and we easily get our money out of what we paid in port taxes and fees.

 

So no,  it is not an expensive solution.

Edited by rimmit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, jenafish said:

Obviously you need to be respectful and considerate of those around you - but that’s even an issue for some adults without children. 

Totally agree.

 

Unfortunately while you may be responsible in those matters, there are 10 others onboard who are not. It's more a case of a few spoiling it for the many. Glad to hear your children have the opportunity to travel and experience new things. Nothing but good things for them on that front.

 

We did the same thing, with the extreme sensitivity to the impact of their actions & behavior to everyone else around us. It didn't take long to realize that we were the exception and not the rule. That hasn't changed in decades. The difference in how cruise passengers now interact (good or bad) is that those who impose on the enjoyment on others simply appear to care less about it - everything they do is all about them. 

 

It's refreshing to hear a parent that actually cares about others in their "shared space".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Totally agree.

 

Unfortunately while you may be responsible in those matters, there are 10 others onboard who are not. It's more a case of a few spoiling it for the many. Glad to hear your children have the opportunity to travel and experience new things. Nothing but good things for them on that front.

 

We did the same thing, with the extreme sensitivity to the impact of their actions & behavior to everyone else around us. It didn't take long to realize that we were the exception and not the rule. That hasn't changed in decades. The difference in how cruise passengers now interact (good or bad) is that those who impose on the enjoyment on others simply appear to care less about it - everything they do is all about them. 

 

It's refreshing to hear a parent that actually cares about others in their "shared space".

 

Thanks for understanding my perspective. My children know how to sit quietly and calmly at dinner (with the help of coloring books of course!!) and if their behavior is disruptive to others we obviously would take them out. 

 

I want my kids to enjoy the trip but not at the expense of others!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, jenafish said:

Thanks for understanding my perspective. My children know how to sit quietly and calmly at dinner (with the help of coloring books of course!!) and if their behavior is disruptive to others we obviously would take them out. 

 

I want my kids to enjoy the trip but not at the expense of others!  

WOW - how refreshing!

 

If you could publish a "How to..." book for other parents on your approach...it could become a best seller. 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! There are some really rude and selfish people on this thread! We took our son and daughter-in-law and two granddaughters on Oasis last year. Older girl was 3.5, but not 100% potty trained so no kids club for her. Younger one was 18 months old. The older one is STILL talking about the cruise all the time. Neither one used any kind of babysitting, they spent all their time with the parents and us. Was it a 'different' kind of cruise? Absolutely. Was it a wonderful family memory? You bet! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

The price everyone else has to pay around toddlers isn't measured in dollars.

 

Some parents recognize that their own "whims and wishes" have to be sacrificed at times on behalf of their children, especially with infants and toddlers.

 

Cruise ships are not floating child care centers (except maybe Disney ships) regardless of the costs. 

 

I agree.   They are floating amusement parks these days with child care as part of the overall package.

 

Our kids are extremely well traveled, pretty well behaved, and even they have bad days.  In our days of cruising there are a many times we have just had to scrap our plans as they are getting a little rambunctious and just had to spend some down time in the room.  We have scrapped excursions, evening plans, dinner plans,  all the plans, at some point or another as babies and toddlers are unpredictable.  It’s all about flexibility.  We typically do private tours for the flexibility in scheduling and so if they do get antsy it doesn’t interfere with anyone.  It’s pricey but worth it.

 

I totally agree with you that a toddler interfering with everyone else’s enjoyment can’t be measured in money, but I have rarely ever found a toddler interfering with my enjoyment of an activity when they are there.  I more often find adults who are cheating at trivia, cutting in line, being a little boisterous, or hogging all the chairs to be more annoying than a toddler or infant who typically is just happily playing with some toys or an iPad.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, cello56 said:

WOW! There are some really rude and selfish people on this thread! We took our son and daughter-in-law and two granddaughters on Oasis last year. Older girl was 3.5, but not 100% potty trained so no kids club for her. Younger one was 18 months old. The older one is STILL talking about the cruise all the time. Neither one used any kind of babysitting, they spent all their time with the parents and us. Was it a 'different' kind of cruise? Absolutely. Was it a wonderful family memory? You bet! 

Funny how some people who don't agree with others are always name-shamed as "rude" or something similar.

 

We had our 5 1/2 year old grandson as part of our 5-person, 2-cabin entourage last year on Oasis as well. Agree that at that age...fond memories are possible. His actions and behaviors were carefully monitored and managed.  Like yours...he still talks about "his cruise" a lot. [Wait until he finds out he's going again at age 6 later this year (a surprise)].

 

The "issue" is with infants and younger toddlers. While some parents are very responsible as to how they handle things on a cruise ship (some have posted here) - for every 1 of them there are 10 or more that look at cruising as a place to dump off their kids in a child-care area and then lay and suck drinks at the pool all day. Add in the Stroller version of Nascar, and it gets to be a different "memory" for everyone else around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, rimmit said:

I totally agree with you that a toddler interfering with everyone else’s enjoyment can’t be measured in money, but I have rarely ever found a toddler interfering with my enjoyment of an activity when they are there.  I more often find adults who are cheating at trivia, cutting in line, being a little boisterous, or hogging all the chairs to be more annoying than a toddler or infant who typically is just happily playing with some toys or an iPad.

 

Oh heck yes - agree - there's always a few self-centered adults acting worse than any toddlers...since they know better but act terribly regardless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, CRUISEFAN0001 said:

Funny how some people who don't agree with others are always name-shamed as "rude" or something similar.

 

We had our 5 1/2 year old grandson as part of our 5-person, 2-cabin entourage last year on Oasis as well. Agree that at that age...fond memories are possible. His actions and behaviors were carefully monitored and managed.  Like yours...he still talks about "his cruise" a lot. [Wait until he finds out he's going again at age 6 later this year (a surprise)].

 

The "issue" is with infants and younger toddlers. While some parents are very responsible as to how they handle things on a cruise ship (some have posted here) - for every 1 of them there are 10 or more that look at cruising as a place to dump off their kids in a child-care area and then lay and suck drinks at the pool all day. Add in the Stroller version of Nascar, and it gets to be a different "memory" for everyone else around.

 

While the 18 month old might not remember much, WE certainly do! Family memories are not just for the those that remember! I can't imagine taking family photos and looking back and realizing one was missing because we were too lazy to make the effort to bring her along too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Memories like this one are worth every single bit of extra work! At least they were to us!

 

27024032_10212236684686975_8418031481726

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, cello56 said:

While the 18 month old might not remember much, WE certainly do! Family memories are not just for the those that remember! 

That applies to both good and bad memories for everyone else onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, cello56 said:

 

While the 18 month old might not remember much, WE certainly do! Family memories are not just for the those that remember! I can't imagine taking family photos and looking back and realizing one was missing because we were too lazy to make the effort to bring her along too. 

 

Agree!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't recall ever having an issue with strollers on a cruise.  Now in regards to teenagers, that is a different story.  When I go on a cruise or do other vacations, unless I am at Sandal's or something similar, I expect to run into families traveling with children of all ages, including ones in strollers.  If there is an "incident" so be it.  The same thing could happen in a shopping center. walking down the street etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...