Lisa - I'm sure others will appreciate your real life experience traveling with a young child. Returning from our first vacation without our children, I think my post really reflected how much more relaxing a vacation is without children! It was our first vacation alone since having children 8 years ago... It was a long time since I felt that relaxed!
With that being said, your correct, the poster didn't ask if taking his 1 year old on a cruise would be relaxing... I guess I just assumed no one would book a vacation they knew would be stressful! (Note: my opinion) The focus here should be on planning family vacations.
So many factors come into play... the ages of our children, the temperments of the children (and parents!) and having realistic expectations. I always take other's opinions and advice with a grain of salt - simply because it is based on that person's experience and the personalities, temperments and expectations of that family. My experience could be totally different - and being that we are each the "expert" on our own family, we know what is the right fit for our family. I hope the original poster realizes this when making the decision to book his cruise.
Having children changes life as we know it... and our expectations shift as we include children in our lives. Do we stop doing the things we love once we have children? No. We adapt and make compromises. Your post gives a great example on how a couple can adjust their cruising experience to include their young child. I agree, a week without cooking, cleaning and everyday obligations sounds wonderful! It is great that you and your Husband have found a way to continue doing something that you love.
I hope that it was clear that I don't have any personal experience cruising with an infant... my comments were based on observations/ comments made from fellow passengers traveling with children. My opinion also factored in the temperments/ personalities of my own children. Cruising with my oldest child may have been possible when she was an infant. She was easy going, her schedule was some-what predictable and she was content staying in her stroller for any length of time. She would take naps in her stroller so it was easy to bring her along to many events. It was also easy to bring her out to dinner. She was a happy baby and rarely fussed. Then came along my Son. He is loud, intense and VERY active. I thought parenting was a breeze until he came along! He would only stay in a stroller for a few minutes at a time and was on the go from day one. He would only sleep in his bed (and therefore wouldn't fall asleep in a stroller.) Taking him to restaurants was a challenge. He was a screamer and always wanted to crawl under the table. I was always on edge because I was afraid we were disrupting other patrons. Thankfully, at age 5 he is not as intense and his behavior is a little more predictable (or have we adapted as parents and adjusted our expectations?
In a nut shell, these would be my concerns with traveling with a young infant: (and would love to hear from others why I shouldn't worry as I would like to book a family cruise soon!)
1) In my experience, many cruise activities are on a schedule such as the time you attend dinner. What if your child is having a melt down at that hour?
2) My son in particular was a very active infant and would have been miserable in a stroller for any length of time. We were on the Sea Princess and I can't identify any areas were infants could crawl around safely (I guess by the pool/ deck area maybe?)
3) The cabins are small. It is the reason why I prefer to stay in 2 room suites (ex; Embassy Suites)when traveling with our children. We can put them to bed in one room and stay up in the other room. Are we the only parents that have to turn off all of the lights in the room to get our kids to sleep in one room?)
4) I was a nursing mother when my children were young. Therefore, the responsibility of feeding was mine. I was the one they wanted at bedtime (and in general the first 2 years especially.) I guess this is where the "cooped up in the cabin" comment came in. Putting my children to bed in unfamiliar terratory was a challenge - and it usually fell on me. As the kids got older (and weaned), my Husband could help out more.
5) I go on vacation to reconnect with my family - especailly my spouse. It would bother me if the activities we could do together on vacation were limited... but now that I'm thinking back... that is the only way we could do it when our children were small! I think Princess Cruises realizes parents want (and need) time to themselves to relax. I can only hope my children love and participate in their children's programs.
Sorry for the long post!