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Old 10-25-2012, 12:45 AM   #1
Peaceforall
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Help! Twin 20 month toddlers, first time cruise

We are going on a 7 night cruise to Mexico from LA on the disney wonder. This is our first cruise. We have twin daughters 20 months old who are extremely active and loud. We would appreciate your suggestions to the following questions and any other advise is also welcome!

1. Early dinner or late dinner? what time does the late dinner end? Our kids usually go to bed by 8:30 pm and we have been assigned the late dinner. Is the sit down dinner even an option for us?

2. Will be there enough to do for two non-potty trained kids? How should we plan activities and what would you recommend?

Many thanks!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:58 AM   #2
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You will want early dining for sure then. Dinner is about 1 to 1 1/2 hours long depending on the kitchen and starts at about 6 ish. Explain to your head server that you need to get the children to bed soon after dinner. This could help speed things up a little, that way after dinner there is a little time where they can walk around. As far as activities, my son is 9, I'm afraid I won't be much help.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
Peaceforall
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Thank you

Thank you for the reply, I'm wait listed for the early dining option!
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:56 AM   #4
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Definitely early if you can swing it.

As for activities, we cruised on the Fantasy a few weeks ago when my daughter was 23 months (she'll be two tomorrow!) Anyway, she was kept pretty busy. Some of the stuff we did:

1. Play in the Nemo's Reef splash area by the pool
2. Go to Open House in the Kid's Club whenever possible
3. We did put her in the nursery a few times. She loved the toys there but did not like being left without us. Maybe yours will do better since they have each other
4. Running wild in the main atrium when it wasn't crowded
5. Viewing characters from afar (she did not like getting too close but loved seeing them)
6. Afternoon naps every day : )
7. We took her to the evening shows three of the nights and she enjoyed watching, but did get restless about 2/3 of the way through
8. Participate in the "Fish Extender" gift exchange if it's not too late. We had a lot of fun walking around and delivering our gifts. It takes awhile, so it occupies a nice chunk of time and the kids will like getting new presents every day.
9. Watch movies on Funnelvision by the pool
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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Hi,

We started traveling long-distance with the boys when they were 20-months old (from Hawaii to KY then FL). I don't mean this to be rude to anyone with singletons at all, but no one understands what it's like for you except someone else who has twins. It is just a very unique dynamic and presents unique challenges.

I definitely second all aaklang's suggestions, especially NAPS and FE.

My two cents as a MoM:

1) Definitely do main dining. I think another strategy is to go to GS when you embark to see if anyone else has changed after boarding? Try to keep the girls' bedtime as close to usual as possible, obviously (but not so obviously easy to do!)

2) I know this is one of the hardest things to do mentally, but split your kids up once in awhile. You take one, DH/DW takes the other. It makes life just so much easier sometimes. This is true back home, too.

3) If you are still nursing, make sure to bring the blow up twin feeding pillow! Such a lifesaver.

4) I preferred two single good umbrella strollers over one double (even our Bob duallie) in situations with lots of people. Better maneuverability and you can also store the strollers easier.

We got two of these for $75 each on sale on Amazon -- they go up to 70 lbs. so a good investment:
http://www.amazon.com/Aprica-Presto-...=aprica+presto

These are also great - we had them previously:
http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Year...gnite+stroller

Pool, pool, pool! I can't say much about toddler activities because we weren't cruising then. But have fun!
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:00 AM   #6
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We always did early dining but my twin boys didnt start cruising till about three years old. They are now five. Like previous poster stated if you don't have multiples you don't understand.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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Good luck with active kids that young. We did fantasy last month with an active 18 mth old and there wasn't much for her to do except memos reef which I don't believe your ship has and open houses at kids clubs and nursery. Unfortunately our daughter wouldn't stay in the nursery so she was with us the whole time. Finding room for toddlers is very difficult to find in any area of the ship. We also had a three year old with us that wanted to do thing that our youngest couldn't so that made it a little more difficult but the trip as a whole was fun but be ready for a lot of work. Hopefully yours won't mind being in the nursery it will give you a well needed break even if only for an hour here and there. Oh they also had waking up with disney junior which was good because she could run around freely with the rest of the kids and a character shows up to dance too.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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I have only one toddler, but we travel frequently so here are my strategies:

1. If you have an iPad, there are great aps that may keep one or both of them occupied on the plane, the bus, the stateroom etc. Mr Fox Music Box is a personal favorite.

2. I typically bring 3-5 of DS's favorite books. He likes reading together and I think having the book from home is soothing for him.

3. New toys! For our cruise I am planning on bringing some small new toys - zulilly had a recent sale on Thomas - and will give him one a day.

4. We are wait listed for late dining and have accepted the fact that we may not go to the dining room at all. If you still have late seating on your cruise, your other options for dinner will include room service, quick- service, and also Topsiders/BeachBB (can't remember which is on which ship). And you know what - it's OK!! You'll still have great meals and get plenty to eat. You can always make breakfast your big sit down family meal - our toddler is happier at breakfast anyways.

5. For things to do on the ship: splash/wading space by the pool, open house times at the kids clubs, time at the nursery (extra fee), movies in the movie theater (and who cares if the kids make noise or want to leave half way thru!), cartoons and movies in your stateroom, character meet and greets, theater live shows, NAPS (a personal favorite), wander the halls and look at decorated doors (because boring to us is fascinating to them)...really there is plenty to do if you keep your eyes open an just go with the flow.


Have fun!!
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twopeasonepod View Post
H
Pool, pool, pool! I can't say much about toddler activities because we weren't cruising then. But have fun!
Unless children are fully potty trained, they are not permitted in the pools (US Health Department regulations). There is a splash area where they can play wearing swim diapers. It isn't as big or nice on the Wonder as on the newer ships, but it does exist.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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Can I ask a question without getting totally flamed?

My daughter wants us to take her two sons, ages 2 & 3, on a cruise, and I keep telling her we need to wait until they are old enough to REALLY have fun, and be able to enjoy it. I was on a cruise with a large group, and one mom had a little girl, about 2 years old, and all I saw was the dad having a good time while the mom chased the little one all over the ship. By the time we flew home (chartered flight together) that poor mom was a frazzled mess, and she was going to need a vacation of her own to recover.
So anyway......that's why I have told my daughter to wait. Am I totally crazy for thinking it would be way too much work, and not much fun, to take them?
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #11
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for OP, we took our 22 mth old twins on Celebrity cruise years ago. We got harnesses and used them when on deck (the only other place we EVER used them was at the airport). We also had an "odd-man-out" rule that either of us would be the designated person each night to leave formal dining if the kids got too ansy--even if it menat the other ate alone--but in peace. If they will separate from you--definitely book the nursery. We had an umbrella double stroller--but 2 singles are good. Bring any OTC kids meds you might need.
For PP, younger kids can be fine on a trip--but there should be different expectations---one parent should be the designated babysitter for each day for naps, etc. so the other can enjoy the trip. Also, with a larage family group, have 1 person each night be prepared to take kids out of dining room, so others can linger--if you have 4 adults, that's only 1 night per person and maybe 2 nights for each parent--but then everyone lese gets to dine in peace--and for the parents of young kids, this might not have happened for a while.
For younger kids, I recommend a cruise with a lot of port stops and ones that go to beaches are always good. We did a week-long with 5 stops and many were beaches---I took sand buckets and my twins had a ball.
We travel all the time--cross country flights and 2 weeks trips with 3 mth old,15 mth old (this is the hardest age, IMHO), Hawaii (flying 12+ hours) with twin 3yr olds (easy). If I only had one big cruise planned, yes, then wait, but if you like to travel, then waiting means missing out--sort of like waiting until kids are at least 5 to go the WDW. have fun. Elaine
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #12
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My daughter was 20 months when we took her on the Dream last June. We put her in the nursery for 2 hour segments and she did fine there. She also liked exploring on Deck 4 and we took her into the Oceaneer Club once during open house.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldo View Post
for OP, we took our 22 mth old twins on Celebrity cruise years ago. We got harnesses and used them when on deck (the only other place we EVER used them was at the airport). We also had an "odd-man-out" rule that either of us would be the designated person each night to leave formal dining if the kids got too ansy--even if it menat the other ate alone--but in peace. If they will separate from you--definitely book the nursery. We had an umbrella double stroller--but 2 singles are good. Bring any OTC kids meds you might need.
For PP, younger kids can be fine on a trip--but there should be different expectations---one parent should be the designated babysitter for each day for naps, etc. so the other can enjoy the trip. Also, with a larage family group, have 1 person each night be prepared to take kids out of dining room, so others can linger--if you have 4 adults, that's only 1 night per person and maybe 2 nights for each parent--but then everyone lese gets to dine in peace--and for the parents of young kids, this might not have happened for a while.
For younger kids, I recommend a cruise with a lot of port stops and ones that go to beaches are always good. We did a week-long with 5 stops and many were beaches---I took sand buckets and my twins had a ball.
We travel all the time--cross country flights and 2 weeks trips with 3 mth old,15 mth old (this is the hardest age, IMHO), Hawaii (flying 12+ hours) with twin 3yr olds (easy). If I only had one big cruise planned, yes, then wait, but if you like to travel, then waiting means missing out--sort of like waiting until kids are at least 5 to go the WDW. have fun. Elaine

A cruise with my daughter, her husband and the two boys might only happen once or twice in my lifetime....I travel all the time, so I can wait.

My kids flew at early ages because my parents lived in another state, but I had a whole nursery set up at their house, too, and lots of extra hands, so it was pretty easy. I think a cruise would be different. Or the parks. We waited until mine were at least 3 for the parks, and 8 to cruise.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #14
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Unless children are fully potty trained, they are not permitted in the pools (US Health Department regulations). There is a splash area where they can play wearing swim diapers. It isn't as big or nice on the Wonder as on the newer ships, but it does exist.
Ah, I did not know that! Makes sense, though!
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by justmestace View Post
Can I ask a question without getting totally flamed?

My daughter wants us to take her two sons, ages 2 & 3, on a cruise, and I keep telling her we need to wait until they are old enough to REALLY have fun, and be able to enjoy it. I was on a cruise with a large group, and one mom had a little girl, about 2 years old, and all I saw was the dad having a good time while the mom chased the little one all over the ship. By the time we flew home (chartered flight together) that poor mom was a frazzled mess, and she was going to need a vacation of her own to recover.
So anyway......that's why I have told my daughter to wait. Am I totally crazy for thinking it would be way too much work, and not much fun, to take them?
I agree, but I have a lil age on me, and have learned from experience. My SIL who is considerably younger than me, does not take any of her 3 kids to WDW unless they are potty trained. I take it one step further and wait til they are past the stage of needing naps. By the time we go on the DCL cruise w/them next year, all will be potty trained. I just think the less restrictions for them, the easier it is. Plus, they really wont remember at 2 years old.

When DH & I years ago started taking kids to WDW, it was with the rule that they had to be completely self mobile--no strollers.

My nieces are now perfect age 6 & 4 and it was worth the wait. Now it's ME that needs that nap!!
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