my first cruise was when my kids were 4, 11 and 14. They enjoyed the kids programs on RCCL better than carnival.
Dinner We love cruising just for this. It gives us an opportunity for them to practice their perfect table manners. they all enjoy getting dolled up and getting waited on hand and foot. the wait staff is always excellent at taking care of the kids- remembering which rolls and drinks they want.. calling the boys formal names and little daughter- princess. It made them feel very special.
You may know this hint but it was a lifesaver with the littlest ones. If you put their weekly outfits together by day and place in a ziplock bag and label it ..it will be a lifesaver when you have 6 people in one of those little rooms and everyone is trying to get ready at the same time.
Carnival Fantasy 6/05
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 4/07
RCCL Navigator 12/07
RCCL Navigator 11/08
RCCL Liberty 7/4/09
If I were bringing four children of that age on my cruise, I would make sure that I brought a good supply of booze for my nerves.
Just kidding about that. My wife and I took all three of our girls (11, 6 and 3 at that time) on a seven night western caribbean out of Galveston last December and they had the time of their lives. They nagged us constantly to go to the Adventure Ocean facility. THEY WILL LOVE IT!!!
I must say that I am envious, but my wife and I are leaving two weeks from tomorrow, so I have nothing to complain about.
My wife and I try to alternate taking our children on cruises with it just being her and I. I must say that those are two totally different trips. We are always excited to take the children (we have three girls 12, 7 and 4), but by the end of the week we are pretty worn out from lugging them all over the place. We are fortunate that her Mom is willing to come down and take care of them for us. That way they still have something (Grandma) to forward to just like us.
Attend formal night because it will be a time you will always remember. Even after 20 cruises, it is always great to see a family all dressed up on formal night.
On our last cruise, a B2B to Alaska, there was a family two cabins from ours. The family had twins who were about 11 or so, and on formal night they looked great in their blazers and red ties. Do not overspend though because the kids can wear things that they already have, on formal night.
And on a cruise ship the kids find things to do especially if there is a good kids program. Do not overpack as you can carry only so much.