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Old 09-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
tripletsmama
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Cruising with an infant?

We are able to get a really great rate on a cruise this November. We have triplet daughters who are 8 and have been on Disney cruises when they were 6, 4, and 3. We also have a DS who would be 14 weeks at the time of the cruise. DH is all for booking the cruise, but I'm just not sure with an infant. We could take turns taking the girls to the shows at night and when we eat I either feed DS or wear him in his carrier and he does great. Of course, this is for a 30 minute dinner at home, not a long dinner in a dining room.

I would also like to hear about the nursery if anyone has any experience with that. Does it book up very quickly? Obviously people cruising in November may have already booked it up if that's the case. Would we be allowed to get off the ship at Castaway to take the girls to the beach for a few hours if DS was in the nursery?

Any tips, input, or experiences on cruising with an infant would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
love280mickey
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Wow, congrats on your three dd's and also on your new ds! Being the mom/dad of triplets, I'm sure you have it all down to a science on getting things done, especially now with a little one around.

All I can say is, 10 years we took my dd when she was 18 months on a RCCL cruise. She was walking by then and getting around, etc, would sit in a high chair and feed herself, etc. Not many little ones on that particular cruise, and the staff truly treated her like a princess.

On the final night, the show included a video reel of all these fantastic things that happened during the cruise - we never saw so much of them because we were in early at night with the little one. I honestly never asked if they had a nursery for her back then, just didn't want to leave her. We're not huge night people anyway, but it was still shocking, how much stuff we missed!

JMO, but my biggest concerns would honestly be the germs onboard a vessel with so many people and such a new baby. It sounds like you've already done a lot of cruises with your girls, your ds certainly isn't going to remember this one, and you'll probably still have future opportunities when he's a little older with your brother as cast member. Personally, I would wait. Guess it also depends on how much help your dh is.

Wish you all the best.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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We had no problem adding time in the nursery on our recent (full) Dream cruise. We even called one evening with only 1 hr notice due to a change in other plans and it was no problem. (don't forget the nursery is $6/hr). There were still plenty of slots for prebooking as well- I was rearranging my nursery hours as late as 4 days before sailing.

You can absolutely put the baby in the nursery and go to CC. The wave phones work on CC so they will call or text you if they need you.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #4
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I didn't sail with one that young, but my best friend was on the inaugural sailing of the Dream with her then-12-week-old son. She's not even really a Disney person, but her DH's employer arranged it (I should be so lucky...); she didn't even know it was the inaugural sailing until I told her!

Anyway, she had a great time. He stayed in the nursery all but one night, I think, and when he did come to the MDR it was because she wanted to bring him, not that the nursery didn't work. She said the staff was great about it (obviously not getting him food, but making it easy on her). I think she said she had no problem going in and nursing him and then putting him down for the night in the nursery. No, her son won't remember it, but they had other reasons to go, like you do (for your other little ones). She didn't have priority booking and actually booked really late (once they knew their son would be old enough), but said she didn't have any problem getting the nursery whenever she wanted it.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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I would prebook nursery time if you can. On our 8 night we tried to book time on board (we were hesitant about leaving her since she was never in daycare) and we were only able to get 3 hours total! For an 8 night! We only put DD for an hour during dinner to play so we only had three peaceful dinners lol. We booked a last minute cruise leaving this Friday and when I did the check in a month out every slot was available for the nursery. Depending how full your cruise is the nursery can fill up. We were waitlisted on our June cruise and no one cancelled their precious nursery time!

As for tips just pace yourself and realize that you can't do everything. We cruised when DD was 16 months and she was so excited that she would skip naps, causing us to miss dinners and the shows, like PP said. We learned on our last cruise to slow down during the day because the night time entertainment is much more fun.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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We are traveling soon w/ our 8 month old baby, who doesn't eat solids yet. I went back and forth about booking w/ the baby being so young as opposed to being 1 or so. Not sure if you breastfeed or not, but BF babies are so portable! Just think, no baby food to bring or extra baby paraphernalia. We plan to bring our good stroller (City mini), our Ergo Baby Carrier, and a nursing cover. Voila! I think baby will be pretty set (besides diapers and clothes!).

I learned on here that in addition to a pac n play, DCL provides you w/ a diaper genie! We plan to try the nursery too!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
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Yes, you can leave an infant in the nursery and go to Castaway Cay. As to shows--try them. Chances are you'll be fine. Dinner--think umbrella stroller. The baby can fall asleep in the stroller, and it is small enough to get on the elevators and thru the stateroom doors. He might sleep better in a bigger stroller, but these can be a pain on the ship.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyMomto3Boys View Post
We are traveling soon w/ our 8 month old baby, who doesn't eat solids yet. I went back and forth about booking w/ the baby being so young as opposed to being 1 or so. Not sure if you breastfeed or not, but BF babies are so portable! Just think, no baby food to bring or extra baby paraphernalia. We plan to bring our good stroller (City mini), our Ergo Baby Carrier, and a nursing cover. Voila! I think baby will be pretty set (besides diapers and clothes!).

I learned on hear that in addition to a pac n play, DCL provides you w/ a diaper genie! We plan to try the nursery too!
I have an Ergo and a City Mini too...funny! DS goes in the Ergo while I'm cooking dinner, when we eat, and a few other times during the day when I need my hands free, so he's getting used to it. I am breastfeeding and will still be doing so on the cruise, so that definitely helps with not needing as many supplies.

Thanks everyone for the input. We definitely have a few things to think about before we make our decision! I hadn't thought about the germ aspect. I will talk to DS's pediatrician regarding her opinion on traveling at such a young age.

For those who put their little ones in the nursery, what was your comfort level with the whole experience? Did you feel the nursery was well-staffed? Caring counselors? I am a stay at home mom, so DS will have never been to daycare and his only "babysitter" is my mom. Leaving him in the nursery might be more difficult for me than him, but I would like to have some time with just my girls.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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We cruised with our DD when she was 9 months old. Our Pediatrician told us that there is a higher risk of measles & other diseases. We had them vaccinate her for measles early.

I am a SAHM too. She did OK in the nursery. They were really good with her, but she never really felt comfortable.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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We were very comfortable with the nursery but we have a toddler and not a newborn, so different needs. It might be easier for you since there won't be seperation anxiety from the baby's end, just yours. I went back to work at 12 weeks and would leave a sweater or other article of clothing that smelled like me and that helped when DD was home with Grandma. I would also be prepared to leave extra BM with the staff. I went to a wedding when DD was 8 weeks and I left 3 bottles of milk I pumped for the 2 hours I was gone and she went through them all and then wanted more so I had to rush back.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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My oldest son was 14-15wks when we took him on the magic for the first time back in 2009. It was actually way easier cruising with him back then then when we cruised in Alaska last year. He was 2 and it was rough. Doing the Caribbean at 14-15wks was pretty easy. We took his stroller and he slept through every dinner. I had a carrier that I put him in to walk around the ship. We took him off in CC and he slept in the stroller. We went in October and it was not that warm. Can't comment on the nursery bc we didn't use it. My pedi was fine with it and just told us to be careful with the sun.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:32 PM   #12
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As far as the germ aspect, yes baby will obviously be exposed to more germs, but that doesn't mean baby will be exposed to oodles of harmful germs. While it is possible, its also possible that baby could be exposed at church or daycare.

Our baby is not fully vaccinated. According to current research, there is no evidence that baby will be at an increased risk than traveling out and about in your city. Yes, measles is making a little bit of a come back right now (its cyclical, this phenomena has always happened), but it doesnt mean that an infected person is going to be on the ship. Likewise, and infected person could work in your church nursery, kwim?

Besides, breastfeeding SIGNIFICANTLY protects baby against harmful pathogens so long as you are exclusively breastfeeding. Start throwing some formula feeds in there and all bets are off.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #13
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Thanks again for the continued advice and experiences! I think we are going to go ahead and book!! Having been on Disney cruises before and knowing we'll be back, we know we don't need to see/do everything. I am going to book a few visits to the nursery and worst case scenario I'll cancel them after his first visit if it doesn't work out. Is there a limit to the number of hours he can be in the nursery per day or per cruise? Not planning on leaving him for hours on end, but I would like to know so I can pick the best days/times.

I am exclusively breastfeeding so I'll bring my pump, but does anyone know if I can bring the bottles of breastmilk to the nursery refrigerator in advance of DS's visit? I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it in the refrigerator in the room. I just don't feel they are cold enough for it to be safe.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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We took our sons who where preemies on the DCL when they where six months. We brought them to dinner and the shows in their stroller or we wore them. It worked out wonderful they slept through most of the meals and I usually nursed them during the show so they where quiet and we got to watch the show. We did sit in the back just in case we had to make a run for it. The dinning staff where very helpful and brought extra napkins to use as blankets noise guards a few times because we always seemed to under estimate the air conditioning. And they where very good about avoiding the stroller when they where sleeping.

I stay home with the boys and I loved the nursery. They where great about hand washing and washing all the toys. They took pictures if the boys while they where in the nursery and kept us very informed about what happened while we were gone. We used the nursery on the CC day they give you a pager and if they need you they buzz you. I arranges the hours so they wouldn't need to eat while they where in the nursery as the thought of pumping and cleaning carrying bottles in the ship stressed me out. It worked great. Once they did page me to come nurse but they let us add time in which was nice.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #15
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Our 15 month month old daughter has cruised twice so far and will be going on her third the end of this month. Her first cruise was at 5 months.

We pre-booked the nursery. There was actually one day that we were not able to get the actual times that we wanted. Otherwise, we have had no problems getting times. But, definitely book times ahead of time and then if you need to change them around once on board, you can do that.

Bring a small bag to put items in for your child in the nursery. She was on formula and we used premixed formula bottles for her in the nursery and they did have a refrigerator that they would put her bottles in. They were good about telling us what she had drank and how long ago, etc.

They do have a darker room in the very back that has cribs. She did nap a couple of times, which I thought was a miracle with all that was going on in there. They have rocking chairs, and I think the staff enjoys having the infants to rock!

In regards to the staff, I was very impressed. Sure there were a couple of younger adults that you could tell just were there... But, there were a few amazing cast members. There is a lady on the Dream that is AMAZING. I am forgetting her name. I wish we could have brought her home with us.

On our daughter's first cruise she was good about sleeping at dinner while we ate. Our servers just pulled away a chair and we rolled her right up to the table. On our second cruise, it was hit or miss, but I really think it had to do with her age and she was teething at the time.

We do take a smaller stroller on the cruise. My everyday stroller is a Britax which has a wide wheel base. Specifically for the cruise I bought a small chico that lays flat. I would lay a soft blanket down and she would go to sleep on the stroller. I do think a larger stroller would not fit in the cramped dining room. But that is just my experience.

In the stateroom our steward had the pack and play up and the diaper genie. We brought our own crib sheet from home and a soft cushy blanket that we put under the sheet for more padding in the pack and play. They do have a crib sheet that they give you, we were just hoping her sheet from home would help. Our daughter slept fine in there for both cruises, however; another child we sailed with refused to sleep in her pack and play. The other family had their steward take the pack and play and put it away every day but we left ours out for naps, etc. I think the family staterooms are better with a pack and play because there is extra room to put it so that it doesn't take up the walkway in a regular stateroom. We had one of each type of cabin with her. In the "regular" verandah room, we asked them to remove the trunk, just because there was not enough space. Also, the round bath tub is easier to give a bath in.

Anyway, this is just my .02. If I can be of any help, please let me know.
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