Welcome to Cruise-Chat hjello! Have you spoken with a T/A about cruiseline choices, age requirements and other issues that will be important factors in choosing your cruise? That would be the first step in my opinion. HAL has a restriction of 12 months of age on transAtlantic and some other itins. Alaska and the carib age minimum is 6 months for them.
Have you ever cruised before and if so on HAL? There are some differences between the lines in terms of average age and the choices for entertainment and other things geared toward the target market of the lines. You'll find this site very useful in gathering info for cruising but, again in my opinion, you should not replace the guidance of a cruise professional. If you've sailed regularly you may not need such direction or information but if you're new to cruising get info here AND from someone who books and deals with the various cruiselines daily for good advice.
From what I've seen, none of the lines allow swim diapers because of the chance for a leak to happen.
And to back up what Neil said - I wouldn't consider HAL for a cruise with a baby. Actually I wouldn't consider any cruise line with a baby until he was closer to two years old. We did our son's first cruise when he was 20 months old and it was not as much fun as we anticipated.
Little ones have to be potty trained before they can enter a pool.....and if you do take your little one...make sure you get in some alone time, they do have babysitting on board.....kids on board can be a chore and in many cases, a huge detriment to the other passengers.....I would round up GRANDPARENTS:-)Happy cruising no matter what you decide....
I'm going a bit off-topic on the swimming pool question for a moment... Before taking baby on a cruise, be absolutely certain to get medical clearance fron his/her pediatrician. We've all heard the stories of norovirus, but while that is rare, it is far more common to pick up colds or sore throats, no matter where or how you travel. And, make sure that you get travel insurance that covers all of you if you have to cancel if you child does not get the medical OK to travel.
HAL has a wide variety of ships and itineraries. Which ones are you considering?
hjello, all the posts above have pretty much the same advice and all of it is very good advice. Your 8 month old will be too young to have any memories of cruising or appreciate the experience the way Mom & Dad will. Bob mentioned that Grandma would be a great choice to care for a baby while you enjoy each other and some alone time. Lugging a baby on the ship, to dinner, excursions, etc. can be a real challenge. Not to mention missing some of the entertainment and port things because of feeding times, nap times and general times of the child developing a less tollerable dispositon after all the loud noises, long days, hot sun and other factors that will be a drain on all involved.
Daves advice of 2 years and above lets them at least be old enough to know what all the stir is around them and enjoy the attention that will be lavished on them by other passengers.
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I agree completely with all of your points.
We were looking at the Alaskan Inside Passage.
I am not paying for this cruise. I live in Toronto and my mom lives in Vancouver, I was already planning on taking a trip out to see her with my new son and spend a couple weeks hanging out. My mom has offered to treat us along with my Grandmother and possibly my sister and her son (5 years old) may join aswell.
So, the cruise is really just something nice my mom wants to do for the family to spend time together since we are spread out across the country normally and don't all get together very often.
I am prepared that I won't be seeing much entertainment, nightlife and may be doing a bit more ordering in than I would normally, but I am just looking forward to checking out the scenery and relaxing (well as much as I can with my 8 month old!)
I will get is cleared with my family doctor, that hadn't occurred to me before.
We are also taking an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise on HAL. We'll be on RYNDAM in August, also an extended-family cruise.
As long as your expectations are in line -- and they seem to be to me -- you should be fine. You will also have plenty of family onboard, which is another big plus. Our son's first cruise was at age 11 months. His second was at age 20 months, and we had his grandparents (my in-laws) along for that one, which was nice as they didn't live close by, and it also gave my husband and I some time to enjoy by ourselves. I was just looking at photos of that cruise yesterday, and it was so sweet to see him interacting with his grandparents, and how happy they all were on this trip.
Enjoy your planning! That's so generous of your Mom to treat the whole family to a cruise!
Please make sure you take your child's vaccination record as well. My daughter was injured on Oosterdam last June and when we went to the infirmary, it was very helpful to have the updated vaccination information. You can get a copy from your pediatrician. I read this suggestion about a year ago and was very glad I followed the advice.
Holland America used to have kiddie pools on their ships, but removed them a couple of years ago and do NOT allow babies in any of the pools, no matter if they are wearing swim diapers or not. The swim diapers are not 100% "safe".
There were too any "accidents" in the kiddie pools and they were having to drain them practically every day, so they decided to close them.
Now, mind you recently I saw a gentleman changing his 10 month old son's diaper at the pool and putting on the swim diapers and then he took him in the pool and into the hot tub, which to me is a NO-NO!