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Tink113
12-28-2010, 09:28 AM
I am trying to plan for our upcoming cruise (7 night on the Magic) for our 8 month old. However, I'm not sure when I would want to book Flounders. I have already booked for the time that we will be at Palo for dinner, but other than that I'm just not sure.

We are interested in maybe checking out some of the late night activities, but I wont know which until I see the Navs.

So, my questions are:

- When did you book and why?
- Is it difficult to drop in and actually be able to leave your child without reserving time?

Any other advise would be great!

denas
12-28-2010, 10:50 AM
Hello from your fellow cruiser!!

When I cruised with DD who was 6 months old at the time, I found that she had a complete melt down at dinner. She was used to being in her house at 5 and liked to be in bed around 6:30. I had visions of family dinners but DD was just so miserable. I ended up putting her in Flounders every evening at around 7 so I could enjoy the shows with DH and DS. We then picked her up at 9:30. I had pre-booked a few evenings ahead of time, but after the first night, I went in and booked her for every evening with no probs. However, towards the middle/end of the cruise, I noticed lots of people at the Flounders desk trying to get time and it wasn't available. This was a January cruise about the same time as we are sailing this year.

My latest DS will be 10 months on the cruise. I booked him for every show night from 7:30 until 10 and on Pirate night until 11. He is much more of a night owl so I am taking him to the show the first night to see how he does. We may modify after we get on board - you can always cancel with 4 hours notice??? I know I do NOT want to carry him through the entire Pirate show so that is non-negotiable. I also scheduled an hour or so the first sea day in the afternoon so that he can get used to it. That way if he is asleep when I drop him off the first evening and wakes up, it won't be a completely strange environment

I would look at your child's routine/temperment. If he hates noise/chaos and is used to early bed time consider booking during the shows after dinner (if you are main seating) or during dinner if you are late seating. If you have lots of hands to help hold him, you might not mind keeping him during shows/pirate night (assuming he will sit quietly). If you have already lugged him around all day, or chased your crawler, you might want a break and Flounders will put him in his PJs, give him a bottle, and put him to sleep in the crib while you enjoy your evenings!!

I am using a vacation week at daycare so figured the money I would normally spend at his daycare I can use towards Flounders so I pre-booked just about every evening.

I don't think you can just show up and expect a spot!!! If they don't have enough kids booked, they probably give the staff time off or move to another location so they might not have the staff to accomodate and maintain ratios.

RC4
01-02-2011, 07:05 PM
Can I just say that I LOVED Flounders?! :love:

They made my 1.5yo DS and my 2yo DS feel so comfortable- and they had never had a babysitter before! I booked a few hours each day so that my hubby and I could have some time to go check out the ship etc. I also booked a little bit longer on one of the beach days, so that we could check out Castaway Cay, and see Serenity beach.

I picked either nap times (otherwise one of us would be sitting in our room anyway) or right after dinner so that we could see shows etc.

You are able to bring bottles/food etc, as well as any lovies, change of clothes etc.

I would certainly suggest booking time slots prior to sailing, because open time is pretty much few and far between or based on cancellations.

Jess Warren
01-02-2011, 08:00 PM
We have dd who will be 16 months on the ship booked while we are in St. Martin- from 8:30-3:30... will they feed her lunch? What is typical? I am sure other parents have done this and I was wondering how it was handled. I know that the official statement is that they don't feed them...

kcashner
01-02-2011, 08:09 PM
Actually, they try to be very flexible about booking time after you board the ship and "last minute" drop offs. Obviously, a last minute drop off is dependent on staffing and number of kids there, but if they can take your child, they will.

You can also add hours to what you have reserved or change your reservations after the first day of the cruise. You can book 18 hours in advance on a 7 night sailing, but this is just to allow everyone a fair chance at getting the times they want. This will continue for the first day. After that, they generally allow you to book as much as you want. (again, some cruises have more babies than others!)

Yes, they will feed your child if you are on an all day excursion--you must tell them what the child eats and supply the food if it is not regular ship food.

Jess Warren
01-04-2011, 10:12 PM
Yes, they will feed your child if you are on an all day excursion--you must tell them what the child eats and supply the food if it is not regular ship food.

Thank you- what a relief- she is actually a great eater- ship food will be fine. thanks again!