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Old 11-07-2007, 08:39 AM
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Hi there,
My husband and I will be traveling on the caribbean princess on dec. 23 with our then 16 month old. I am, of course, nervous about her being happy on the ship. We're hoping we will be able to find something she likes to eat on the ship. At this point though, we're looking into the different excursions we can do with her. Does ANYONE have any advice about the excursions that might be suitable for a toddler? Is there any advice about what to do with her on the ship? We do have a balcony room, which seemed like the only option for us (so we can stay close by when she takes her nap!). Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:27 AM
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Hi PamG, welcome to Cruise-Chat. A Christmas cruise is great. A lot will depend on what your child likes to do. There is a children's program on board, there is a children's pool area on board, and depending on the ports you are visiting there should be plenty to keep your child happy. They will have a children's menu, but she may enjoy a lot of the main entrees available from the regular menu. I know Princess Cay will be one of your ports. It's their private island with a fun children's area. If you could let us know her interests and what ports you will be visiting, we may be able to come up with some suggestions. Hope you have a wonderful cruise and once again, welcome aboard!
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:44 AM
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Hi there,
Thank you for responding. After I had posted, I read some of the other posts indicating a toddler on board is no fun, for the parents themselves and for other people. I got fairly disheartened!!

My little one, she's pretty active. She loves animals and such. She's always amazed by things that she doesn't normally see. So coming from Toronto, I can't wait for her to experience hot weather, to see the ocean, to be on the beach. I guess I'm excited to see how she will experience everything.

I was thinking of going on a bottomless boat with her, so she can see the fishes. But of course, her safety is my utmost concern. I don't know the sized of these boats, and how easy it may be to fall out!! We were also thinking of possibly taking a helicopter ride, as we both have always wanted to, but again, I'm not sure how feasible that will be with her as well. I guess we can always just go shopping at the different ports. We will be going to Princess Cay, so its good to know they have a children's area. What about St. Maarten and St. Thomas?

Our little one does walk, but still likes to be picked up. I hope this will change soon!!!

Thank you for responding. I look forward to hearing from you and others.

Pam
P.s. I read somewhere that children who are not potty trained cannot go in the pool. Not even with the swimmer diapers? I hope that will be allowed because I don't see her being potty trained until after 18 months.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:33 AM
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It is true they won't let her in the pools on board until she is potty trained, but she can still bop around in the children's section. There are some great beaches in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. The easiest to get to in St. Thomas will be Coki and Magen's Bay. The glass bottom boats are about 40' long, they are like a normal boat. The sides are about 3' high. She could stand up on the benches and lean over and fall out, but if you're holding on to her, she'll be ok. There is also an Atlantis submarine in St. Thomas, there is no way anyone can fall out of there. There is a tram ride that takes you to the top of the mountain in St. Thomas to look out over the area that might be fun, but she'd probably have more fun at the beach. There is plenty of shopping in both St. Thomas and St. Maarten, but the water and beaches are so beautiful. There's also Blackbeard's Castle, it's a tourist trap, but she might have fun there. In St. Maarten, the most famous beach is Orient Beach, it's on the other side of the island from where you dock. That way you can see some of the island. Orient is a clothing optional beach, and sometimes they stroll up and down, but at 16 months I doubt she'll even notice. Maho beach is where the planes almost land on the beach, it's pretty neat, but may be too noisey for your daughter. There's a beach near where you dock as well.

It's true that it won't be as relaxing for you and your hubby with a 16 month old, but y'all will still have a good time. It will all be a new experience for her. It will be hard on you though, especially the flight. If you have enough to keep her entertained on the flight, or can keep her up so she'll sleep, it might be a little easier. They have a cartoon channel on the tv in your room and there are movies too. On our Christmas cruise on the Dawn, they gave us a stocking with some candy in it. She'll think Santa found her even in the middle of the ocean. There's plenty for her to explore on the ship. I'm sure you'll receive other replies as well, best wishes!
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:20 PM
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You mentioned having a balcony cabin; be sure to ask your cabin steward for one the special barricakes they have to keep your little one from getting too close. The railing is high but an active toddler could move the table or chair, which are not very heavy, and climb up in short order.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:06 AM
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Thank you for that info. I definitely will request a barricade. I want to take no chances. Should I be getting as nervous as I am about this trip???
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:51 AM
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nah. no need to be nervous. You'll have fun. It'll just be a bit more work than those of us w/o kids. My wife and I took that cruise in April of this year...sans kids (don't have any)....and we had a great time!! BUT...I for one, will be interested to see how the trip turns out. So if you think about it after you return, let us know how you managed.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:45 PM
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Hi PamG, and welcome to cruise-chat.

We cruised with our son twice when he was a toddler. True, it's more work than traveling without a child, but it's actually less work than being home with her for a week. No cooking, not as much cleaning, for instance. I don't know if this is your first cruise, but if it isn't, you will notice a difference. Just go with the attitude that this is a family vacation rather than a romantic getaway, and you'll be fine. In reading your posts, I see you're there already.

We once went on one of the glass-bottomed tour boats with our son when he was little, and he was fine. It was a large boat--big enough to walk around, and had a roof for sun protection. But, as Penny cautioned, make sure she doesn't stand on the benches. You can inquire about that when you get onboard the cruise ship. We also purchased a coast-guard approved lifevest/swimvest for our son, which helped put our mind at ease during water-based excursions.

As far as eating, what does she enjoy at home?
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:36 PM
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Hi! We are cruising with our 5 yr old, 2 1/2 yr old, and I will be 5 mos pregnant... Fortunately for me, our youngest is doing pretty well with potty training (he's pretty much daytime trained) but he's still too young to go in the children's program. (But it never hurts to ask, right? )

I know some people don't like kids around, but I'm not going to let that ruin my trip. Hey, I need a vacation! It's hard work raising the next generation, lol... Anyway, we are big water enthusiasts, so I am bringing my kids' life jackets, and plan to let them tag along with us as much as possible. My 5 year old is so excited about snorkeling, he has been wearing the mask/snorkel/fins he got for his birthday around the house. I know the 2yo is too young to snorkel, but we'll put him in his jacket and let him bob alongside of us. He loves playing in the water, so I think he'll enjoy it, and probably be able to just look down and see the fish through the water. Planning to bring a few of his favorite water toys too (rubber ducks, boats, etc). That way we don't have to take turns staying with him on the beach. For your case, I think the ideas you mentioned all sound great.

I'm trying to plan our excursions around naps as much as possible, for example, an activity in the morning then spend the afternoon on a beach where they can rest if needed.

We're traveling with a big family group, and including mine, there are 7 children under 7 going, so I think the parents will take turns at night on childcare duty so the kids can crash early after a busy day while the parents enjoy the night activities.

One question about that for anyone... our rooms are all right together and we are bringing baby monitors, but after the story about that little girl Madeline, I am not sure if it is a good idea to let the kids sleep in the room even with a trusted adult right next door listening on the monitor. Hmm, I was thinking my only other option was to have someone sit in each room, but I just thought of a third choice, to put the kids to bed in the same room (sharing beds) and then when we get back from our show or whatever carry them back to our room. Mine are heavy enough sleepers for that to work... What do you think?

Sorry to go on so long, but I hope you enjoy your trip! I have never been one who thinks you can't travel until your kids are grown, I think there are few better learning experiences than travel. Just have realistic expectations, and keep in mind that not enough sleep will make anyone grumpy, and don't forget to take a lot of pictures!
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:08 AM
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I think having them all in one room would be a good idea. Although, the doors to the balcony are heavy enough that it would be hard for any child under 7 to open them. However, I know how inventive children are, so just to be sure if they're all together under a watchful eye, they should be ok. Princess offers babysitting service, but I'm not sure of the age requirements. I believe it's 18 months and up, but to be sure, you could ask before you leave. Their number is 1-800-Princess, or have your travel agent ask. Have a great time!
 
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