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

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2 hours ago, mickey16 said:

This is my first post after lurking for a bit, but I actually have experience in this arena so I thought I'd jump in. And what interesting replies I've read on this thread!

 

At the end of the day, you really have to decide what kind of vacation are you going on, is it a family vacation, or is it a couples vacation. If it's a couple's thing, then you know what to do. If it's a family vacation, then you really have to think about your child and what they can and can't handle. Ignore the people saying you shouldn't take your child or a stroller. It's a family cruise line, period. I'm not saying to be disrespectful and ignore your child if they're screaming in MDR, but if someone wants to ensure they don't have children around, there are vacation tours that cater to that group of people.

 

My daughter is 2.5 now and we've taken her on my trips since she was very young. I wanted her to learn how to travel and behave in public. I just dragged her all over London last week and she was fine. At the same time though, she's 2, and as some might believe, they are not little adults. You have to know when to hold em and when to fold em. If she gets tired, hungry, has a meltdown, we act accordingly, we don't try to force her into adult schedules or situations. That's what you have to keep in mind when going on a family vacation.

 

We went on 2 cruises last year, Oasis and Enchantment. She would have been 20 months, and 2 yrs old for each of those. I was with her by myself for the 7 day Oasis, and her dad was with us on the 3 day Enchantment. Oasis was an Owners Suite, and Enchantment, Jr Suite. Did not use any child care on either of them. I packed little toys, coloring books, the tablet with pre-downloaded movies, and took lots of snacks that she likes. We went to MDR each evening and she glazed over as soon as we turned on Boss Baby, no sound necessary for her. It went smoothly, no tears. We scheduled early shows, and if she got antsy during, I would leave. I took a stroller, a smaller one, and I'm proud to say I didn't run anyone over. 🙂 For my trip last week out of the country I got a Pockit stroller which folds up super tiny, and I'm taking that on my next cruise for the instances where the elevators are too busy, we can just fold it and walk the stairs.

 

It's important to note that if a child is in diapers there's a ridiculously tiny area in which they can go in at the pool area. They cannot have access to the whole kids area or the main pool, and they're super strict about it. It was such a bummer that we only went once on each cruise because my daughter got upset that she couldn't do it all. The Oasis was great for her because there's a lot to do, the carousel, play areas, places to run around. Enchantment was kind of boring for all of us. Definitely more of a weekend party cruise, or couples cruise.

 

There are some downsides, like missing the evening entertainment, or the port shopping sessions during her nap time each day, but I still had a blast. It's more fun for me to have her and tone down my vacation than to not have her with me and worry about her the whole time, or miss her badly. We were about to head out on Oasis this Sunday, but that's now rescheduled to Harmony in June, which we're really excited about. This year we're definitely going to check out the child care for a few hours here and there to do a few adult things, so it's nice to have the option.

I just got the pockit plus for a trip to Maine this summer and I love how small it folds down!  Thanks for all of the information.  I think we will switch to a boat that has more services for his age.  I was a little disappointed about the pool situation since we already are doing swim classes but I understand that they can't really drain and fill the pool at sea like swim schools can if there is an accident.  Traveling has always been a big part of my life, I can't imagine not experiencing it with my son, he's already flown 3 separate roundtrip flights and been to 3 states.  It's been an adjustment but my hope is that he will grow up loving it and learning how to act in many different situations.

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