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Billoftt

First Time on Princess, First Time with Kids.

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I know this has been mentioned elsewhere but I’ll reiterate, I suggest traditional dining for two reasons.

 

First, this provides predictable timing which is a help planning other meals and snacks.

 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, your wait staff will quickly adapt to the needs of your family.  They can speed along meals for the little ones and even anticipate your needs after just a few meals.

 

The suggestion to preview the menu with the kids is also a good idea, things move more smoothly when you’re ready before the questions start (frankly this is good advice for young and old alike).

 

on the whole you’ll find Princess and your fellow passengers warm and welcoming.  Enjoy.

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40 minutes ago, jondfk said:

I know this has been mentioned elsewhere but I’ll reiterate, I suggest traditional dining for two reasons.

 

First, this provides predictable timing which is a help planning other meals and snacks.

I found the opposite to be true. We find ATM to be wonderful when getting ready for a meal with a kid (or 3+ in OP's case). If you are 15 minutes "early", nobody bats an eye. If you are 15-30 minutes "late" - nobody cares. That's what ANY time dining is great for. Flexibility is key.

We showed up at roughly around the same time every night (+/- 15 minutes) and got the same table on all but one nights. It was a group of 8.

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I would like to thank all of you for your responses and good information.

Alas, we ended up cancelling. My wife's parents decided to cancel on account of them expecting another grandchild the first week of April from my wife's brother.  My wife does not want to go without her parents along.

 

So, we booked a "Super Family+" suite (it appeares to be three connecting balcony rooms) on MSC Seaside in October.

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Welcome to Princess.  It will be a very different experience over Carnival.

 

Your children are all good cruising ages.  We first cruised with our daughter when she was 22 months.  It was a good cruise and we had my in-laws with us, so it gave us some breathing room as a couple to do some stuff on our own, but also gave the grandparents some really good quality time with a grandchild they don't see that often.

 

One of the first posters recommended a full suite.  I have to agree.  Between the space the full suite provides, along with some of the perks, extra dining options, and larger bathroom, this all works in your favor with an infant.  I expect that your three other children will be spread out between you and the grandparents for overnight accommodations.  The maximum occupancy of any cabin is going to be 4, so be prepared.  I don't think you mentioned how you booked your rooms or what rooms you have.  You may have already made your decisions on that, so don't mind my 2 cents.

 

Seven months is young to cruise but certainly realistic.  Be sure to provision appropriately.  Supplies for an infant will not be on board, so you will have to bring with you all the diapers, wipes and other baby service items you need.  Overpack, do not underpack, this stuff.  Last time I checked, Princess is happy to provide baby food, but you will need to get in touch with them weeks before the cruise to ensure that they have provisioned for you.  Feel free to bring with you pre-packaged snacks on board.  You will not be able to take food of the ship in most ports due to local customs regulations but pre-packaged snacks like Goldfish crackers, cereal bars, granola bars are not a problem.

 

Dinner will typically run a couple of hours, but you can speed it up by letting your waiter know that you are on a schedule or need faster pacing.  Dinner pace is a regular comment here on the boards and the pace of dinner has a lot to do with the kind of waiter you get at dinner along with how many tables they are attending to and how fast the galley is assembling food.  Of course, there are many other good dining options for families.  I don't want to default you to the buffet, but most evenings some selections from the MDR make it to the buffet, plus they have theme nights in the buffet and you are entirely in control of the speed of your meal that way.  Be sure to check out the other eateries on board.  Royal class ships like the Regal, have a lot of casual dining venues, some with a cover charge, some without.  Finding food on board is not going to be a problem.

 

Room service is complimentary, with the exception of whole pizzas, but you can get all the pizza you want at a couple of different places on board for no charge.  Room service is going to be one of your best friends.  I had mentioned the benefits of a full suite, well expanded room service is one of them.  If you have a suite you can get all the MDR menus each day and order from the MDR menus when the dining room is open.  So, if dinner in the MDR isn't realistic, you can get it from room service, but only in a suite.

 

I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with my kids having free reign of the ship.  You do see kids making their way places on their own, so it isn't unusual.  My experience is that kids on Princess seem pretty well behaved.  I think 13 is an appropriate age to give them some freedom, the 10 year old and 7 year old shouldn't be a problem if they are with the oldest, but that is really up to your comfort level.  I'd give it a couple of days on board keeping them close by and sensing the "temperament" of the ship before you let them have free reign.  Princess has high quality kids programs, so they might find the kids programs so exciting they will never want to leave.

 

Regal is a large ship.  Princess does a good job of organizing a ship in such a way that pinch points and places where crowds might gather are minimized.  I think you'll find that the she doesn't feel crowded even through there are well over 3000 passengers.

 

In all the cruises I've been on with Princess, rooms were ready when we embarked.  We are usually on board in the 11am, to noon time frame.  We have always had access to our cabin immediately, dropped our carry-ons, quick inspection of our cabin and wash up and then down to the MDR for lunch.  This isn't to say that on the larger ships there may be a delay, but if that is the case head to one of the main dining rooms and have a nice leisurely sit-down lunch.  Avoid the buffet on embarkation day, it is always a zoo.

 

Princess does not have a policy prohibiting bringing on board your own non-alcoholic beverages.  You'll need to carry them on.  Some folks advise to slap a luggage tag to a case of water or pop or whatever and it will get to your room, but others have indicated to not do that as it may get lost or "confiscated".  If you want to bring on board your own NA beverages, be prepared to have those things be carry on.

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On 5/19/2019 at 10:24 AM, Billoftt said:

Thank you for the thorough reply.

Just saw you Canceled .Hope you have a good time on MSC!

 

 

 

Edited by Reader0108598

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Just booked a cruise on the Regal for September.  Thank you jermop for the good info on Princess.

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