Crusing with Kids- Please post reviews
We are cruising wih our 20 month old on paradise next month- we have one more family friends come along who have a 16 month old. This is our first time on a cruise- please advice - tips- embarkation procedures- I know camp carnival is for 2 yrs n up, but do they have babysitting atleast-...dining options- how do we get dress codes n where...etc etc- we r going to catalina n ensenada- do we book shore excursions? r they kid friendly?
please advice....thanks in advance :)
Many of your questions can be found in our FAQ section. Please read there and if you don't find the answers you are looking for you can come back here and ask for further details.
I hope you have a great trip.
Dress code is lax for young children. The polo shirt and dress shorts or "good jeans" is fine for casual night. For formal nights a pair of pants and a collared shirt will do (polo shirt again would be acceptable here) Carnival relaxed their dress code for the dinning room so just about anything goes provided it is not t shirts or torn jeans/shorts.
The answer to the babysitting question is yes. They offer babysitting at Camp Carnival. I believe the hours are 10pm - 3am. They also offer services on port days with varying hours. The charge is $6 per hour.
Carnival is very careful with their policies (written and unwritten) as it pertains to children. I have a 20 mo. old myself and I can share what I know. First of all, a comfortable child is a more happy child. If a kid is dressed in stuffy attire, they are going to be less than happy by the end of a meal. Go with Jim's advice. For a child, a polo shirt and khakis would be sufficient on the dressiest of nights (This does not go for your husband, lol. He still has to practice his Windsor knot). An important note is to refrain from the temptation of putting your child in the swimming pool. Carnival frowns on un-potty trained children in the pools (nope... not even with swim diapers). I would also ask that you observe normal rules of common courtesy. My child is not perfect and will get "fussy" after prolonged periods in confined areas such as restaurants and shops. Some people have saved a very long time for the privilege of going on the cruise. My child's crying doesn't bother me in the least but it could grate on the nerves of my honeymooning neighbors. Keep the little ones entertained and know when to extricate yourself from a room to help maintain a modicum of peaceful ambiance. Children cry and that's a fact of life... it's just that some people are quickly annoyed by it and you have take their rights to peace and quiet into consideration. You are most correct that some shore excursions are not appropriate for the little ones. Most will tell you if they are kid friendly or not. For a rule of thumb, I typically stay away from anything that offers an open bar. If you intend to rent a vehicle in Mexico, be advised that car seats are not required down there. If you choose to bring a car seat, be also advised that Mexican vehicles are not necessarily equipped with the LATCH system required in all American cars since September of 2002. It may make installation not impossible but a little more difficult. Sunscreen... let me say that again... SUNSCREEN is an absolute necessity. Spf one gazillion if possible. The sun in that area is brutal (even if it's cloudy). Do not let the little ones eat any fruit or vegetables from Mexico. Do not let them drink any water or have any ice in drinks from Mexico. I don't care if they have reverse osmosis systems, Montezuma does not discriminate against kids. Let common sense be your guide. You will have a blast!!
Sea days there is no babysitting during the day...but you can go into Camp Carnival from noon -2pm and play with your child with the toys.
Port days seem to be inconsistant. I have read (not personally experience) that "SOME" ships offer babysitting for a few hours during the day when in port. Again the $6 per hour see would apply. Check with Guest Services when you board to see IF the Paradise does this.
You will need to make sure you take EVERYTHING you need while on this cruise for your child.
I would also suggest that you take a small inflatible baby pool to use as a bath tub for the little ones. Most don't seem to like showers.
As far as dress codes, Carnival is probaby one of the more casual cruise lines. On Elegant night, no jeans....but business casual will work.
Basically, you will arrive. (Make sure your luggage has your luggage tags on it that you printed off your computer) I always cover mine with CLEAR packaging tape to get it strength and protect it incase it is raining that day.
You will hand your luggage to the porters. Your luggage will be delivered usually by 6pm outside your cabin. Because of this, there is NO dress code on Embarkation Day in the Main Dining Room.
You can not access your cabin until 1:30pm...so with babies, I would keep the carry ons to a minimum.
We usually board and head up to Lido to have lunch. Afterwards, we will pick out a spot on the Promenade and sit there and relax until the cabins are ready.
Carnival does charge for the bottled water and soda in your cabin...but you are allowed to bring them on...as long as you carry them onboard. (don't put them in the checked luggage)
At 1:30pm, your cabins will be ready. Go get settled in. There is a safe in your cabin to put your cellphones in. MAKE SURE THEY ARE TURNED OFF.
All you will need is your Sail and Sign card. The ship does not except cash in the gift shops etc (even for the smallest purchase). Everything has to be run through that Sail and Sign card. You can secure your Sail and Sign card with a credit card or with cash. If you use a Credit Card, Carnival will put a "hold" on your credit card account. The amount varies with the length of the cruise.
Your gratuities will be charged automatically to your Sail and Sign account (unless you prepaid them...which is allowed as well). While these are called a "tip", they are really a service surcharge because this is how the Carnival wait staff and cabin stewards are paid.
This is their salary.
Room service is 24 hours and is free. So is the pizza and soft service ice cream on Lido.
A $1 tip is customary when ordering room service.
Babies who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pools or hot tubs. (even if they are wearing swimmies)
I would also recommend an umbrella stroller. They fold up and are convenient in that they don't take up to much room in the cabin.
If you like speciality coffees....Carnival charges for them on the Promenade...but you can get expressos and cappicinos in the Main Dining Room at any meal.
The Main Dining Room is open every morning for breakfast. There is no dress code. (except no men's sleeveless undershirts...that is the one thing I have seen them ask not to be worn at any time in the Main Dining Room)
The MDR is also open for lunch on SEA DAYS but not PORT DAYS. Again no dress code.
I have never been to these two ports...so I have no experience there....
Hope these tips help.
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