My husband and 3 kids ages 13,8, and 5 will be going on the NCL Dream out of Houston in March. This will be our first cruise, and I'm a little nervous about what to expect traveling with the kids. Does anyone have any tips for me? Thanks!
Cruisinmama, your kids will have a great time. The Dream's Kid's Crew staff was the best. My 13 year old actually planned her day to make the activities which is something she didn't do on the Carnival Cruises. So, I think you will have nothing to worry about. Just check in with them on your first day and they will make sure you are set with kids activities. The ONLY drawback to NCL's program was for my 11 year old. She had to be signed in and out by a parent (the 13 year old could come and go as she pleased) So it was a bit of a hassle when the 11 year old didn't like an activity, we have to go sign her out. On Carnival the 9-11 group could sign themselves out if a parent signed a permission form to allow it.
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Hi there Cruisinmama.....we just got off the DREAM from Houston (to Progresso, Coumel and Belize) on Feb 10th with our two kids age 13 and 11.
While the kids had a great time, they did get bored at times. Because of the time of year, there were probably less than 10 other kids on the ship in the same age group (the ship was full too).
With March break you'll have tons of kids on board. While the kids clubs are O.K. the absolute best resource you'll have is the kids ability to make friends with the other kids quickly.
Nice cruise I would say. Our's was a little on the GERIATRIC side, but I think you'll have a little more BAM! in March. Have Fun!
OH one tip: when you get to Houston, stop at Walmart and pick up a case or two of soda drinks. On the ship there's ice in the hall...look for the door marked "PANTRY" as well as ice delivered to your room daily. It's OK with NCL (you can check them or carry them) and you'll be glad you did.
Thanks for the replies, and for the tip about bringing our own sodas. I had been thinking of bringing some bottled water to have when we go on shore, but I was afraid that they would not allow it. It's good to know that it's okay.
Any advice on which shore excursions, if any, are good for kids? I'm worried that my 5 year old will not be able to do much. Is there anything within walking distance of where we get off of the ship or tender? Can we go it alone, or is it not safe, especially since we have such young kids. It seems like we can find our own things in Cozumel, but how about Progreso and Belize? Any thoughts? We leave in two days, and I have not booked any shore excursions yet. Thanks!
Hi Cruisinmama. If you like to snorkel, you can check out eagle ray divers. They will take kids snorkeling down to the age of 4. From what I could tell, the ships won't book any excursions of that type at such a young age. Of course, that would depend on your kids as well, whether they like water, can swim etc. The website can also point you to other excursions like jeep or dune buggy, so it might be worth looking at. I listed the website below. Have a wonderful cruise!
Originally posted by raffles:
Leave the kids with friends back home to maximize fun.
HECK NO!! I'm a single parent who takes her 4 kids all over the country (and on several cruises) and we have made some of the BEST memories doing that! I wouldn't trade those times for anything. We drove from FL to CA, camped all over the country while we stopped in Baton Rouge, TX, Los Angeles/Hollywood, S Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater in my little Chevy Cavalier! Then last June drove to Niagara Falls and visited family in NJ, DE and MD. Of course those trips were great but we all enjoyed the cruise to Costa Maya/Grand Cayman/Jamaica the most. There are enough activities on cruise ships to give you downtime without the kids if you choose that, and the time you spend together making memories will stay with them forever!! Enjoy your cruise!!!
Sovereign of the Seas, Royal Caribbean 11-17-03
Fascination, CCL 2-14-05
Fantasy, CCL 2-05-06
Elation, CCL 9-24-06
Carnival Victory, CCL 1-28-07
Sovereign of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, 9-24-07