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Old 01-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #1
JSClemsonFan
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Taking a 2 year old/3 year old on the Dream

I've never taken a Disney cruise. And I've never cruised with my kids. I have a 5 year old that I want to take on the Dream in April. My husband says we HAVE to take our 2 year old (who will turn 3 right before the trip). I don't want to worry about...tight sleeping arrangement, naptime, falling off the ship, whining at night b/c he hasn't had enough sleep...I just can't think of anything worse. I mean, PLEASE someone rub your fingernails across a chalkboard just so I can be relieved of this thought of my 2 year old on a cruise with me. (Okay, maybe I'm being a slight bit dramatic...but I am serious in a lot of these things.) So who as cruised with a young child?? Would you do it again?? Why should I? Since he will be 3 when we go and my other child will be 5, I believe I can leave them at the childwatch together...which is a little appealing???

I'm sure some of you are rolling right now...you've probably cruised a ton with your kids and can't see my fear. But I want a vacation too. And leaving my younger son with my parents seems like a great option to me. But hubby wants us all to go together.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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IF your 3 year old is fully potty trained, the kids can be in the Oceaneer's Club together. It has been my experience that kids love the cruise. My biggest hint would be to get a cabin with a verandah which will give you a place to "hang out" while your little people take naps.

Falling off the ship--won't happen. If it does, yours will be the first kid who has managed it since DCL started in 1998. The ships are well "child proofed." Now there was a teen who JUMPED off intentionally when the ship was in port; that area has been permanently closed off!

Frankly, the cruise is the BEST vacation for the mom; I joke that on the ship, MOM gets a vacation too. At the parks, mom is "on duty." Your kids can spend as much or as little time in the programming as you choose. Your stateroom host will do EVERYTHING in your room, as will your servers in the dining rooms. Mom is on "chill out."

OK, traveling with kids has different challenges at different ages. Ummm...but so does traveling with husband, so you'd better deal with HIS whining now. Get really serious about the potty training so 3 year old will be in the CLUB!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kcashner View Post
...
Frankly, the cruise is the BEST vacation for the mom; I joke that on the ship, MOM gets a vacation too. At the parks, mom is "on duty." Your kids can spend as much or as little time in the programming as you choose. Your stateroom host will do EVERYTHING in your room, as will your servers in the dining rooms. Mom is on "chill out."
...
AGREED!!!

Your worry would be to make sure your kid gets his/her naptime/sleep in. That's it.
Almost everything else is done for you... cooking, cleaning (except for laundry), entertainment. You have to feed your kid of course but that's about it.

I swear that was the only reason we took our cruise when DD was 9mo old. Mama needed a BIG break!!!! And it was wonderful... all I had to worry about was, her sleep, her eating and clothing. Other than that, we were relaxed...

It was marvelous... and we didn't even use the nursery... she was with us the whole time.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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Our kids each cruised first when they were 23-24 months old, and have cruised several times since. They have had a blast on every cruise, and their enjoyment seems to grow with each one! But we did plan around their schedules, we did make time for them to nap, and we did pursue milder excursions that we could all participate on, since we were focused on it being a family vacation. Admitedly, my kids don't really remember their first cruises, when they were 2, but do have memories of the later cruises (so they say.)

We actually ended up cruising 3 times this year when my DD was 3 (at 3y0m, 3y1m and 3y9months). The first two cruises (which were 3 weeks apart) she was a reluctant kids club participant, but it was nice to have the kids club as an option for her. She'd go in there when the princesses were in there, but was already ready to leave when we stopped by. (Captain Hook was in there quite a bit and he was a bit much for her.)

Fast forward to our last cruise, when she was a little bit older, and she would have stayed in the club as much as we would have let her. With both kids happier to be in the clubs, DH and I actually got more "adult" time that last cruise than any of the other ones. Finally got to enjoy the adult pool, and spa villas, for example, without having to worry about being paged as soon as we were settled!

It will depend a bit on your child as to how much time they would spend in the kids program, and how much alone time you might get for yourself. Your son will have to be fully potty trained to go in the club, even if he's 3 by the time of the cruise.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #5
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We are taking our 3 year old and 1 year old in a month, and have taken our oldest when he was 14 months old. If I were you, I would do all or nothing...either take both the kids or leave them both at home because your will be 3 year old will be old enough to get it, and I wouldn't be able to feel good about it if it were me. I think you are doing it at the perfect time, with both kiddos being old enough for the clubs (as k said, as long as they are potty trained!)

Rotate nap duty with your DH. I am lucky on that one, because DH loves lounging in the stateroom....me, not so much! And yep, you do have to deal with whining, but, if you take the family on vacation, that will never end...even as teenagers I am told I really don't anticipate seeing much of my 3 year old throughout the day on our 4 night cruise, as I am pretty sure once he sees the club, he will quickly forget about his parents!

PLAN time out ahead of time for YOU time! Make sure you take it and it will make the family time much more enjoyable, because you will have your vacation too!
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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We will be cruising for the first time ever in October with an 8 year old, 5 year old and 22 month old. I am nervous but everything I've read has really put me at ease.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSClemsonFan View Post
I've never taken a Disney cruise. And I've never cruised with my kids. I have a 5 year old that I want to take on the Dream in April. My husband says we HAVE to take our 2 year old (who will turn 3 right before the trip). I don't want to worry about...tight sleeping arrangement, naptime, falling off the ship, whining at night b/c he hasn't had enough sleep...I just can't think of anything worse. I mean, PLEASE someone rub your fingernails across a chalkboard just so I can be relieved of this thought of my 2 year old on a cruise with me. (Okay, maybe I'm being a slight bit dramatic...but I am serious in a lot of these things.) So who as cruised with a young child?? Would you do it again?? Why should I? Since he will be 3 when we go and my other child will be 5, I believe I can leave them at the childwatch together...which is a little appealing???

I'm sure some of you are rolling right now...you've probably cruised a ton with your kids and can't see my fear. But I want a vacation too. And leaving my younger son with my parents seems like a great option to me. But hubby wants us all to go together.
My kids are 13, 12, just about 11, 3 and 3 (twins). We started cruising with the kids when the oldest 3 were 2, 3 and 4 yrs old. We took the twins on their first cruise at 8 months old and have been cruising with them ever since (the twins have been on at least 9 cruises). Honestly, I think cruising is the BEST vacation to take with young kids....esp DCL. On DCL the railings have plexiglass. I've never felt afraid of one of the young kids falling off (plexiglass on RCI too...but NOT Carnival where I was a wreck about the railings). The nursery and kid clubs are great. Food is easy to find and included...same with drinks, fruit and ice cream. You are never far from your room for naps/bed/diapers/etc...unlike going to a theme park where you have to take a car or bus back to your room. The older kids are not stuck arranging their fun time around the little ones (because they can still be in the clubs, or doing something with one parent, even if little sibling needs a nap). Inside rooms, in particular, are very dark when the lights are off...great for napping and/or sleeping in. All of my kids did very well staying up late, taking naps and sleeping in (better than on any other type of trip). Honestly, we were so busy having fun and thus tired, that most of the time DH and I did not mind taking a nap with the kids (or we split duty). Castaway Cay is the easiest, no-brainer, beach day....food/drinks/bathrooms and very kid-safe beach (no undertow, gradual drop off, big-fish netting). The dining room is filled with kids...no pressure for perfectly quiet and still preschoolers.

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Old 01-17-2011, 03:03 PM   #8
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I have a 5yr old DS and a DD that just turned 3yrs old last week. We sail next month and I have no reservations that the two together in the kid's area are going to love it! She is potty trained and goes to preschool so I know that she won't have a problem staying there, especially if her brother is w/her.

For me...it is a win/win situation! They have fun and Dh and I get to relax a bit when they are there.
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for the great feedback. We actually potty trained him this weekend...not b/c of the cruise but b/c he was ready. So I think by April we'll be accident free. (He hasn't had an accident the past two days.) I know he will love it. I am just crazy about his well-being and I feel like I will be exhausted chasing him around!! LOL! But you all make it sound wonderful!
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Old 01-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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I won't lie, I'm really nervous about this as well. My 2 year old isn't potty trained yet and we sail on the Dream in 2 weeks, so we know if we want to go see a movie it will be nursery time instead of hanging out with big sister. While THAT's okay, I am scared as all get out about sleeping. He usually goes without a nap, so no worries there. But he is a CRAP night sleeper. He still doesn't sleep through the night and I don't know if one of us will have to sit with him in the cabin at night alone to get him to fall asleep, or what.

Fingers crossed.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #11
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I had a lot of reservations last year about taking our just turned 2yo on our first cruise. The only real problem we had was keeping him out of the pool. He loves to swim, and he wasnt fully potty trained yet. Nap time was another problem, as I was only adult with 3 kids(hubby says there is nothing good in the ocean, and watches shark week like every day before I cruise, and had me a nervous wreck about railings and loosing kids) DS got more enjoyment than anyone on that cruise, and cant wait to go again this summer.(again no hubby)
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:36 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the great feedback. We actually potty trained him this weekend...not b/c of the cruise but b/c he was ready. So I think by April we'll be accident free. (He hasn't had an accident the past two days.) I know he will love it. I am just crazy about his well-being and I feel like I will be exhausted chasing him around!! LOL! But you all make it sound wonderful!
Not sure when in April you are looking to cruise, but I would check to make sure there is availability for when you want to cruise. Many of the April cruises are booked to capacity for some of the kids ages. DCL will only let so many kids in each age group to be booked during any cruise, so there is the potential that the age capacity has been reached.
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