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Petals & Pixie Dust
02-07-2012, 04:53 PM
Howdy!
My husband and I have done 3 cruises with DCL...Well, now we have a little one to introduce to the Disney Legacy. DS is 2 months old and we are planning his first park trip...but am curious if cruising will get us a family vacation sooner...like 1 year old....So, here are my questions...

What is the youngest your child was when you cruised?

What did you like?

What did you dislike?

What did you need to bring?

What was the best way to pack diapers, wipes, etc?

How were the kids clubs?

Any other insight greatly appreciated!!!

TIA

sweetmonkey
02-07-2012, 05:09 PM
Howdy!
My husband and I have done 3 cruises with DCL...Well, now we have a little one to introduce to the Disney Legacy. DS is 2 months old and we are planning his first park trip...but am curious if cruising will get us a family vacation sooner...like 1 year old....So, here are my questions...

What is the youngest your child was when you cruised? We took our 2 yo to Hawaii and we cruised with my 9 month old niece.

What did you like? I would think it will be better on DCL (ours was on NCL) but it was not bad was we had a good size group and pass the kids around enjoying them as a large family.

What did you dislike? Logistics of traveling with GEAR. Not a light travel at all. My DH and I are usually carry on only people.

What did you need to bring? Everything. And more. We had inhalers, and allergy meds and clothes and swim gear and life jackets (highly recommend if you are bringing an infant) etc. It adds up pretty quickly.

What was the best way to pack diapers, wipes, etc? Disney has a service that will deliver them to the ship. DO THIS!!!! Especially if you are flying. I will see if I can find the info if someone else does not post it soon.


Any other insight greatly appreciated!!!
I did laundry on the ship. In retrospect, I might pay to have it done. Especially on a shorter cruise (anything less than 5 days) especially since DCL is so reasonable as to cost.

We asked for extra towels and an extra sheet. I brought a blanket. If your baby is prone to spitting, you might want several.


TIA
Overall, I think you can have a wonderful vacation, but your expectations need to be a realistic view of what your life is like at home. It is not drastically different EXCEPT there are others handling all the mundane things like cleaning, cooking, and entertaining you. :woohoo: However, if you are not able to take advantage of the amenities, :confused3 it is good to remind yourself that the next trip will be different and try to enjoy what time you have with your baby. Is it worth it? That is harder to say and often times the answer comes in clearer in hindsight. ;)

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 05:31 PM
Howdy!
My husband and I have done 3 cruises with DCL...Well, now we have a little one to introduce to the Disney Legacy. DS is 2 months old and we are planning his first park trip...but am curious if cruising will get us a family vacation sooner...like 1 year old....So, here are my questions...

What is the youngest your child was when you cruised? DS at 10 months old, then again at 18 months.

What did you like? The food, not having to clean up,, everything!

What did you dislike? We thought everything went pretty well.

What did you need to bring? Other than the obvious, a sippy cup, I brought a few of his favorite pre-packaged snacks, plenty of swim diapers, water shoes (the upper decks are slippery). The only "gear" I brought was an umbrella stroller and a sling. We used the ship's pack-n-play (I brought my own sheet) and since we drove our own car we didn't have to worry about carseats.

What was the best way to pack diapers, wipes, etc? It was only a 3-night, and we just have a 1.5 hour drive from home, so I just brought diapers and a travel pack of wipes in a regular suitcase. Kept enough diapers in our carry-on to get us through the night if needed.

How were the kids clubs? We loooove the clubs! DS is still in the nursery, and he enjoys it. The counselors are really good with him.

Any other insight greatly appreciated!!!

TIA

I'm afraid I can't think right now of anything more specific, but I can answer any questions!

kcashner
02-07-2012, 05:43 PM
The youngest child I'm aware of was 12 weeks and 2 days at embarkation.....the rule is 12 weeks.

There is a service called "Babies Travel Lite" that will ship diapers, formula, wipes, etc. to your cabin. If you book directly thru their web site rather than using the DCL link, it is cheaper! :goodvibes Of course if you have a car or are using a towncar/limo service, you can save serious money by making a Walmart stop on the way to the cruise terminal.

The Oceaneer's Club doesn't start till age 3. Before that, a child will be in the nursery which costs $6 per hour billed in 1/2 hour increments. You do pay a reduced cruse fare for children under 3.

What you will need will depend on the age of the child. Good--umbrella--stroller. Bad-big stroller. (hard to fit thru doors, store in room, etc) There are wagons on Castaway Cay, and Guest Services has big strollers to loan if you want one for an excursion.

thedonduck
02-07-2012, 06:45 PM
Howdy!
My husband and I have done 3 cruises with DCL...Well, now we have a little one to introduce to the Disney Legacy. DS is 2 months old and we are planning his first park trip...but am curious if cruising will get us a family vacation sooner...like 1 year old....So, here are my questions...

What is the youngest your child was when you cruised?
We cruised at 15 weeks (DS was the youngest on the boat) and again at 13 months

What did you like?
We enjoyed both trips. At 15 weeks, he mostly slept. So, we just parked him where we could and my DH and I enjoyed our first wedding anni. aboard the ship.

At 1 year, it was much more difficult as he had just learned to walk, but it was SOOOO much fun playing in the water with him and letting him explore.


What did you dislike?
When DS was 1, it was much harder to do the "late night" activities (enjoying the bar, shows, etc) simply because he needed to go down for bed. We knew that going into it though and agreed to try and do more early mornings. We really enjoyed it! We did utilize the nursery a lot during dinner time so we could have some adult time though and that worked out well!

What did you need to bring?
At 15 weeks, we brought my pump and some bottles (and the cleaning stuff that went with it!) And obviously diapers. I also brought a stroller and baby carrier (I had a sling and an Ergo at the time!)

At 1 year- sippy cups, diapers, swim diaper, stroller, baby carrier, baby shampoo, baby sunscreen, some toys, books,

What was the best way to pack diapers, wipes, etc?
Leave the diapers in the original packaging (they seem much more compact) I used one suitcase just for DS stuff. What I could fit went, the rest stayed (as far as toys!) It wasn't really that bad.

How were the kids clubs?
We have only utilized the nursery and he loved it. They were wonderful with him. At 15 wks they gave him a bottle when he needed it and got him to sleep. At 1 year, he went during dinner time (which was usually his bedtime) and they had him play for about 45 mins and then usually they got him to fall asleep. The CMs were awesome and amazing with him:worship:

Any other insight greatly appreciated!!!

TIA


You can ask your stateroom host for a pack n play, diaper genie, bottle warmer, etc. We have had so much fun with our DS one cruises and can't wait to get our DD on too. People may try and tell you that there isn't much for the under 3 group on the boat, but we just got creative for play spaces and everything was great. We have the cutest pics of our son playing with his truck laying in the middle of the deserted atrium. Have fun! :cool1:

thedonduck
02-07-2012, 06:49 PM
There are wagons on Castaway Cay, and Guest Services has big strollers to loan if you want one for an excursion.

I forgot about both of these. We got a stroller from GS when my DS was 1 (my DH forgot to put ours in the car when we left :lmao: whoops) and it worked great. We also took advantage of the wagons on CC. We used it to have our DS nap so we didn't have to go back to the ship.

Speaking of CC, there is a splash area on the island that has fresh water. Our DS enjoyed the ocean but the salt water irritated his skin, so we spent a lot of time playing in the splash area.

lilpooh108
02-07-2012, 08:58 PM
I will be a big downer on this thread and warn you about illness (which I understand, can happen anywhere).

On our 1st cruise, DD was 18 months. We sat behind a family on the airplane who (now in retrospect) obviously had RSV. We flew into the cruise the night before, boarded, and DD came down with a fever on night #2. We did not pack an ear thermometer, and her temperature was peaking at 103.9 or so every 3 hours. We had to be in the medical clinic every few hours to get her fever checked. The night nurse was NOT NICE about it at all. All they had for us were the paper thermometer strips. If we wanted her actual temperature taken, we had to go down to the clinic and wake someone up to get checked.

This made for a very stressful cruise since we had to:
1. Alternate Motrin & Tylenol every 4 hours to make sure her temperature did not go above 104 during the cruise. (DCL did not have the infant suspension, only the children's one so you have to be careful when you measure the dosage). Shower her constantly to keep her temp down.

2. Get her seen several times by the ship doc to assess whether she had meningitis or a secondary infection

3. Go to the Cocoa Beach ER immediately after the cruise, get a chest xray done to see if she came down with pneumonia.

The whole thing was a nightmare, we ended up at Celebration Hospital which ambulanced her later to DT Orlando's pediatric ward where she stayed overnight (deyhydration, breathing treatments, etc).

I completely understand that this was a freak thing that happened, but the problem is, this CAN HAPPEN.

You can imagine how we felt being "stuck" on the ship for 3 days wondering if she was coming down with something which needed immediate medical attention.

Just a thought.

We traveled (non cruise) with her at 4 months (Hawaii), 6 months (Mexico ~ what were we thinking), 1 year (Hawaii) and at 15 months (WDW). We just got real lucky (and took it for granted) during those trips that nothing like this happened.

I would consult your Ped and see what he/she thinks. At the very least, schedule your cruise for a month (at least) after your child's 1 year vaccinations (MMR, Varicella) to prevent additional problems.

I'm sharing my experience because we had considered ourselves to be pretty travel savvy (even with an infant) and we were COMPLETELY caught off-guard.

**Obviously, the biggest difference between cruise travel w/an infant versus non-cruise travel is that you are *stuck* if the infant gets sick (but not sick enough to turn the ship around). Being a parent, the waiting-to-get-off the ship part was really horrible. After our last experience, I would still cruise with a baby 1yr+, but with all vaccinations and with more preparedness (like medications, thermometers, nasal aspirator, saline solution, benadryl, notifying our Ped prior to leaving, etc).

joannalh
02-07-2012, 09:30 PM
Subscribing, because we'll be cruising with a four month old next month (and a five year old, and an eight year old; we wouldn't go if it was just the baby.) I definitely know we need to alter our expectations and I'm fully aware that my husband and I will end up trading off a lot of the time, with one of us in our stateroom with the baby and the other doing activities with the bigger kids.

lilpooh, I'm sorry to hear your DD got sick on the ship-that must have been very scary. I've thought about that and am just keeping my fingers crossed, but I'm also a pediatrician, so my comfort level may be different from most. (On another note; fevers themselves aren't actually dangerous. They can certainly make kids feel crappy and it's important to know what's causing them, but there's not actually a need to keep a fever below a certain temperature.)

lilpooh108
02-07-2012, 09:45 PM
lilpooh, I'm sorry to hear your DD got sick on the ship-that must have been very scary. I've thought about that and am just keeping my fingers crossed, but I'm also a pediatrician, so my comfort level may be different from most. (On another note; fevers themselves aren't actually dangerous. They can certainly make kids feel crappy and it's important to know what's causing them, but there's not actually a need to keep a fever below a certain temperature.)

What a great perk that you're a Pediatrician :rotfl: I'd wanna travel with you! :laughing: We also understood that the fever itself wasn't dangerous unless it was super high. The ship doc did mention that a fever above a certain number was indicative of a bacterial infection and we were just, in general, freaking out (hence, the stuck-on-a-ship issue). We didn't know what was wrong with her at the time we were on the ship. The medical clinic suprisingly did not have an RSV test and didn't do much for her. It would have helped us knowing what was wrong with her. That was the sickest we'd ever seen her aside from the pneumonia she got 3 months ago during Christmas (yay). According to the Ped doc at Downtown Orlando, her RSV was likely peaking at the time she was on the ship so she looked sicker than she was.

chllywlly911
02-07-2012, 10:12 PM
I was wondering the same things! Any insight on the nursery would also be greatly appreciated as we are traveling with our (then) 18 month old in June ... thedonduck ... you had mentioned that they put your child to sleep ... we have late dining and while I do not like this because our daughter does to bed at 7pm maybe 8 if we push it ...

If I feed her before our second seating, is there a place that they can put her down to sleep in the nursery while we are at dinner? (Sadly, I think we are going to be missing dinner in the MDRs)

What kind of activities are there in the nursery?

Where can I find out what time the other ship activities are before I reserve nursery time?

I'd only like to keep her in the nursery for (maximum) 3 hours a day - are there any key times or events we should be aware of?

Do we make reservations at Palo before the nursery reservations or after?

How and when do I reserve a pack and play?

Can we take her to a show if she is sleeping in her stroller? (she will sleep through anything)

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 10:27 PM
I was wondering the same things! Any insight on the nursery would also be greatly appreciated as we are traveling with our (then) 18 month old in June ... thedonduck ... you had mentioned that they put your child to sleep ... we have late dining and while I do not like this because our daughter does to bed at 7pm maybe 8 if we push it ...

If I feed her before our second seating, is there a place that they can put her down to sleep in the nursery while we are at dinner? (Sadly, I think we are going to be missing dinner in the MDRs) They do have a "quiet room" in the nursery with cribs. However, you will not be allowed past the gate, so you will have to hand over a sleeping child, or let the counselors put her to sleep.

What kind of activities are there in the nursery? There is a TV with cartoons, tons of toddler toys, tables for coloring, riding toys, and the wall...I don't know how to describe it, has all sorts of gears and things to push. And tumble mats!

Where can I find out what time the other ship activities are before I reserve nursery time? You'll get your Navigator the night before.

I'd only like to keep her in the nursery for (maximum) 3 hours a day - are there any key times or events we should be aware of? The only time we were turned down for a walk-in was in the afternoon on Nassau day.

Do we make reservations at Palo before the nursery reservations or after? Make your Palo reservation first. Those seem to be harder to come by than nursery time!

How and when do I reserve a pack and play? You can call Disney or your TA and note it on your reservation (or I think you can do it yourself as well. If you forget, just tell your stateroom host or call guest services on the first day.

Can we take her to a show if she is sleeping in her stroller? (she will sleep through anything) If it's a small stroller and you get an aisle seat, I don't see why not!


But please remember to bring small strollers, and keep them in your room regardless of the size! On this most recent cruise, a family kept their large side-by-side double stroller in the hallway the entire time! It's actually the same double I have, and after trying to squeeze by it the first few times, I was tempted to fold it up, it would have taken up a lot less space!

Also, here are some photos of the nursery on the Dream:

http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/249788_10150267695221411_509141410_9576514_6275846 _n.jpg

This was from May 2011. My son really loved Dipo, who was always there every time we dropped him off! However in January 2012 we never saw Dipo. I meant to ask about him, but forgot.

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s720x720/401164_10150624300061411_509141410_11694071_133105 7400_n.jpg

I just realized my son is wearing the same shorts in both photos, at 10 months and 18 months.

kcashner
02-07-2012, 10:27 PM
I was wondering the same things! Any insight on the nursery would also be greatly appreciated as we are traveling with our (then) 18 month old in June ... thedonduck ... you had mentioned that they put your child to sleep ... we have late dining and while I do not like this because our daughter does to bed at 7pm maybe 8 if we push it ...

If I feed her before our second seating, is there a place that they can put her down to sleep in the nursery while we are at dinner? (Sadly, I think we are going to be missing dinner in the MDRs)

What kind of activities are there in the nursery?

Where can I find out what time the other ship activities are before I reserve nursery time?

I'd only like to keep her in the nursery for (maximum) 3 hours a day - are there any key times or events we should be aware of?

Do we make reservations at Palo before the nursery reservations or after?

How and when do I reserve a pack and play?

Can we take her to a show if she is sleeping in her stroller? (she will sleep through anything)

You can take an infant to a show if she is sleeping in a stroller, but you'll be at the back of the theater--can't take the stroller down the stairsday as it would block the exit stairs.
The pack and play should be automatically put in your cabin before you board--no need to reserve, but a note on your reservation wouldn't hurt. Also note that you want a diaper genie.

Make Palo ressies first, then add nursery.

You are limited in the number of hours you can book for the nursery in advance. It is 18 hours on a 7 night cruise, 35 on a 14 night...I think it is 10 on 3 and 4 nights. You can get additional time on the second day if desired--the idea is to give everyone a chance to book some hours before anyone can get tons of time. The nursery staff are very flexible about changing times if desired. Within limits, they staff to the number of reservations. They also accept drop ins if they can (staff/space permitting). There are clean cribs in the nursery for sleepy little people.

thedonduck
02-07-2012, 10:31 PM
I was wondering the same things! Any insight on the nursery would also be greatly appreciated as we are traveling with our (then) 18 month old in June ... thedonduck ... you had mentioned that they put your child to sleep ... we have late dining and while I do not like this because our daughter does to bed at 7pm maybe 8 if we push it ...

If I feed her before our second seating, is there a place that they can put her down to sleep in the nursery while we are at dinner? (Sadly, I think we are going to be missing dinner in the MDRs)

they have cribs in the nursery as well as rocking chairs to rock them if needed. Only issue is they will not let you back there to pick up your sleeping child, so if you DC easily wakes during transfer be ready.

What kind of activities are there in the nursery?
they have all sorts of toys (different types for each age group), art time, lots of CMs to love on them, a tv playing cartoons, and characters are known to drop by!!

Where can I find out what time the other ship activities are before I reserve nursery time?
Check out old navigators for your cruise

I'd only like to keep her in the nursery for (maximum) 3 hours a day - are there any key times or events we should be aware of?
dinner times are usually the busiest, but I have never been told there wasn't room. If you can't book the times you want online before you get on the ship, make sure you stop in and see if there is space once you board. They only open a certain amount for online booking

Do we make reservations at Palo before the nursery reservations or after?
Whatever you feel comfortable with

How and when do I reserve a pack and play?
There is a place when you are doing your online booking to request one. You can also request a diaper genie, bottle warmer, etc from your room host. You can get a loaner stroller from guest services when you board as well

Can we take her to a show if she is sleeping in her stroller? (she will sleep through anything)
If I remember right you are not allowed to bring your stroller into the actual theater (there isn't much room) some of the bars, etc will allow it though


Hope that helps. And anyone else please correct or add if I missed anything.:thumbsup2

Conservative Hippie
02-07-2012, 10:34 PM
I forgot about the characters! I don't know of any that stopped by on this last one, but on our first cruise, I got an autographed photo of my son with Cinderella while he was in the nursery!

Also, if you really want early dining, keep checking and keep requesting. You can even check again on the first day.

kcashner
02-07-2012, 10:38 PM
They did allow strollers into the back row of the theater provided the space wasn't needed for wheelchairs on our recent cruise. Wheelchairs/scooters have priority.

Debebrolu
02-07-2012, 11:02 PM
A lot of posts have mentioned using a small, umbrella stroller so that is definitely what I am going to do. Are the strollers, available on Dream, small or should I bring my own?

kcashner
02-07-2012, 11:44 PM
A lot of posts have mentioned using a small, umbrella stroller so that is definitely what I am going to do. Are the strollers, available on Dream, small or should I bring my own?

The loaner strollers are large. A small one is much more sensible on the ship given that you have the option of borrowing a large one for excursions (first come, first served).

thedonduck
02-08-2012, 08:04 AM
A lot of posts have mentioned using a small, umbrella stroller so that is definitely what I am going to do. Are the strollers, available on Dream, small or should I bring my own?

I don't know how to post pics, but the loaners are Peg Perego strollers. (Kind of like a City Mini size if that helps) They aren't as small as an umbrella stroller, but not the size of a travel system either. I really liked the loaner stroller and glad that it had space below for storage. We had no issues folding it up and sliding it under the bed when it wasn't in use. No issues fitting through doors either.

(Just so you know you have to put a deposit down when you receive one, I believe $250. When you return it, they will credit your account.)

MagicFan75
02-08-2012, 09:26 AM
We sailed on a 14-night TransAtlantic cruise during the time our DS turned one year old. We packed 2.5 weeks worth of diapers, did laundry on the ship, and had THE.MOST.INCREDIBLE.VACATION.EVER. Our DD was three and we all had an amazing time. We didn't miss any dinners, as we were on the early seating, and our kids did great at meal times. We saw some shows with both of them - sometimes our DS would fall asleep in our lap. We had the pack-n-play and diaper genie in our stateroom. We fold up the pack-n-plan during the day to give more space in the room and our stateroom attendant would empty the diaper genie every day.

We did have a dinner at Palo, so we checked DS into the nursery and DD into the kids club. They were given dinner and played while we enjoyed ourselves. We've never had any problems with Flounders Reef nursery while cruising with our young children. We go on the first day to the open house so they can see the play space and toys while we are there and then they usually don't mind being left there later.

Vacations are different with little ones, but I love naps, so going on vacation with them gives me an excuse and opportunity to take naps while they are napping to get the extra rest I went on vacation to get.

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-08-2012, 03:36 PM
Thank you to everyone who posted!Lots of great information & things to think about! Love the drop off of wipes & diapers...having the pack n play and diaper genie...and better yet the stateroom host emptying it daily!!! That automatically increases their tip !:banana::banana::banana:

Keurigirl
02-08-2012, 04:49 PM
You mentioned that you were anxious to introduce your babe to Disney, and thought a cruise would get you there sooner... I wanted to tell you that actually the easiest trip to the park that we ever did with our kids were when they were babies! Disney Parks and babies are great together.

We took our son at 4.5 months, and it was the PERFECT time for it. He loved being outside all the time, was perfectly happy sitting in his stroller and taking it all in. We could bring him on rides in our arms or in his baby carrier. He napped in the stroller when we walked around the park, so that was perfect. It was literally so easy to take him then!

We did a cruise with my daughter when she was 8 months (not Disney) and it was ok. It is definitely true that there is a TON more stuff to take with you!!

Namsupak
02-08-2012, 05:56 PM
What is the youngest your child was when you cruised?
5 months

What did you like?
Not being far from the room. We actually did a cruise and the parks that trip and we enjoyed the cruise far more because we got to just run back to the room for things.

What did you dislike?
There's honestly nothing I can think of except maybe my overpacking craziness

What did you need to bring?
Stroller ( although at 5 months I ended up just using a carrier), diapers, wipes, bottles, sponge and dish soap, blanket for crib

What was the best way to pack diapers, wipes, etc?
We actually had them delivered by garden grocer to our hotel at WDW before getting on the ship so I didn't have to add the weight to our luggage for the plane. It was great.

How were the kids clubs?
Love love love the nursery. We had late dining and put her in the nursery. At that age she wanted me to hold her at every meal so it was a great rest for me. She was asleep every night we came to get her. Now that she's older she's still up at 11 when we come to get her. Now at 2.5 she does not want to nap with us because she's afraid she's going to miss something. We put her in there from 1-3 and she naps every time. Just some food for thought.


TIA

We have taken our 2.5 yo on 7 cruises. She went when she was 5 months, 16 months, 18 months, 26 months, and a 3 in the last 2 months. They have all been enjoyable and just get better as she learns the ships more and we have crew that remember us and are watching her grow. We actually had the same person in the nursery from when she was 16 months again when she was 26 months and he was so excited to see how she's grown. For us the worst part is always the plane ride because she doesn't want to keep her seat belt on, but that too is getting better. If you have any more specific questions then please don't hesitate to PM me. Cruising is our favorite way to travel with DD. In fact we love it so much that we've already booked our next one on the panama canal cruise and I'm only 8 weeks pregnant. good luck! :goodvibes

Namsupak
02-08-2012, 06:02 PM
Just thought of something I wanted to add. We actually cruise so much that we have a specific stroller for parks an cruising because it folds up so compact. You can even put it in the overhead compartment. Any way we love our Mia Moda Cielo and it's great for the stateroom because it gets so small and the fold is so simple!

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-08-2012, 08:07 PM
Cruising is our favorite way to travel with DD. In fact we love it so much that we've already booked our next one on the panama canal cruise and I'm only 8 weeks pregnant. good luck! :goodvibes

CONGRATULATIONS!!! :banana::banana::banana:

Just thought of something I wanted to add. We actually cruise so much that we have a specific stroller for parks an cruising because it folds up so compact. You can even put it in the overhead compartment. Any way we love our Mia Moda Cielo and it's great for the stateroom because it gets so small and the fold is so simple!

Will have to look into one of those!!!