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Old 01-15-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
joeyjampa
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Smile Cruising with 4 Month Old

My wife and I are looking at going on a cruise this summer (she is a teacher and that is the only time we can go), and she is due to give birth March 7th. That puts the baby at around 3-4 months old. I’ve noticed that Disney allows for this age of infant, and that they’re even quite hospitable to their infant guests, but they charge a good deal for them. As the child won’t be eating or even remembering anything offered on the cruise, are there any other benefits to paying this price? i.e. – is the price of a nursery included? Do they offer amenities such as crib and such for free (included in the price of the infant guest)? Any other benefits?

This may be more of an ethical debate, but how wise would it be to just not tell them about the infant when buying tickets? Would they ask for a ticket for the infant when boarding? Obviously, if I see any worthwhile benefits, this isn’t something I would consider, but $650 for a 4 month old to join us on a 7 night cruise is a bit much just to allow them on board. Any information on the subject would be very helpful!

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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That's exactly why we are taking advantage of Kids Sail Free. We'll be sailing with a 4 month old. And bringing grandparents.

And you will not be able to get them on the ship if you don't tell Disney. They still have to have a ticket and ID to get on board the ship. You'll risk forfeiting your reservation. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. We even had to get a cabin for 4, even though we obviously have an infant and I would have preferred a different stateroom that slept 3.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjampa View Post
My wife and I are looking at going on a cruise this summer (she is a teacher and that is the only time we can go), and she is due to give birth March 7th. That puts the baby at around 3-4 months old. Ive noticed that Disney allows for this age of infant, and that theyre even quite hospitable to their infant guests, but they charge a good deal for them. As the child wont be eating or even remembering anything offered on the cruise, are there any other benefits to paying this price? i.e.  is the price of a nursery included? Do they offer amenities such as crib and such for free (included in the price of the infant guest)? Any other benefits?

This may be more of an ethical debate, but how wise would it be to just not tell them about the infant when buying tickets? Would they ask for a ticket for the infant when boarding? Obviously, if I see any worthwhile benefits, this isnt something I would consider, but $650 for a 4 month old to join us on a 7 night cruise is a bit much just to allow them on board. Any information on the subject would be very helpful!

Thanks
Cruiselines must know about everyBODY that is onboard, regardless of age.

For an under 3 you are paying a minimum amount plus port fees, which are charged by person.

Yes, there will be a pack n play, as well as a diaper genie in your room. And the room host will set up, take down, and clean the room (including clean towels, etc) twice a day (at least). There is a nursery onboard, cost is $6.00 per hour.

If you just book a room for you and your wife, and then show up at the port with the baby, the baby will not be allowed to board. What will you do then? That's a lot of money to put on the line.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Unfortunately summer is a very expensive time to cruise for the very reason you are looking then - it's school vacation. Cruise fares in general are higher. A child under age 3 pays "minimum" fare - well...whether you consider $650 "minimum" is subjective, but it's not as much as a child 4-12 or older would be charged. They have to know the name and birthdate of every passenger onboard for safety reasons. That infant must be counted in headcount for lifeboats, etc. DCL will provide the basic necessities of an infant - pack-n-play crib, diaper genie, bottle warmer. There is a full service nursery available for $6 per hour if you wish to have adult time.

Whether those are "worthwhile benefits" for the price of the cruise is really only something you can decide. Some would say yes...I personally say no to the whole summer fares - too much for my pocket.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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I would hate to pay for an infant but pp is right, everyone is accounted for. As far as cribs, we did get a pack and play for out 2 yr old on our first cruise. They do have stroller rentals on the ship so you don't have to haul yours but we purchased a Macleran that has a shoulder strap and was extremely light plus it hung in closest out of the way. There is a fridge for food and milk/formula. And the sell limited baby care items in the shops. Now childcare is by reservation only, new cruisers can book 75 days out, its first come first serve and costs $6/hr. My 2 yr old cried until he fell asleep hanging over a bean bag chair. That was his only visit. We did not cruise again til he was 4 and completely potty trained. With that, infants and toddlers not potty trained or needing swimmie diapers are not allowed in pools, not even their little toes or to even sit on your lap while you hang legs in pools. The have splash areas especially for them. Every cruise I have been on parents are pulled from the pool with a little one or the pool is being shut down, drained, sanitized and refilled due to little accidents. This is a loooong hourly process. There are still many infants on board all the time, mostly hanging out in strollers in the shaded areas enjoying all the movement and music around them. And honestly, being completely in love with DCL, if we had another baby, that would be its first trip with us.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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We had the same scenerio! We booked a spring break cruise (because we don't like to pull our daughter out of school) for last March. We ended up finding out my wife was pregnant and since we already had 2 children the cost of our cruise went WAY up because we no longer fit in the room we had booked which only slept 4. We ended up having to switch cruises to a MR cruise with 2 inside staterooms instead of a balcony and it was more expensive. But with all that said it was SO worth it.

I tell everyone now that when you have little babies a cruise is the best vacation you can take. Here is why we thought it really made a difference:
1. All of your stuff is easily accessible. For example if you want to go to a show you don't have to pack up anything to go. It is all in your stateroom which is about 10 minutes away. In real life we had to pack up all this stuff to take the kids somewhere and I felt like a pack mule. This was the first vacation where after we were settled we didn't have to worry about what we needed to take. If we forgot something oh well.
2. Even though we had to pay for the baby and he didn't eat anything or go to the clubs or nursery the amount of service we received because of him was worth it. Not only did they keep the room clean, empty the diaper genie, etc... but our servers not only cut up our kids food but also my wife's so she could eat while feeding the baby etc... It was the first time and the last time we have gotten to eat our food while it was warm.
3. We got to do things on our own pace. If the baby was fussy it didn't matter too much. We loved the fact our older kids were entertained and we could just enjoy the new baby without having to worry about what we were going to eat, what we needed to do to entertain the older two kids, etc...
4. We got to see different cities without having to pack and travel. Talk about nice!

So even though it costs more to take an infant on a cruise I think it is well worth it. Instead of looking at the cost to add the baby as being a waste look at the total cost and figure out if that is what you are willing to pay to travel regardless of how much each individual person costs. We were so amazed by how much we got from our cruise even though we really didn't do any excursions or much extra stuff. We were truly happy just with the service and spending time doing things as a family without the extra stress of having to plan and execute the things ourselves.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
This may be more of an ethical debate, but how wise would it be to just not tell them about the infant when buying tickets? Would they ask for a ticket for the infant when boarding?
If the infant isn't registered, someone will have to stay behind with it, or you'll have to pay at the port to include the baby in the room, which may result in your being moved if your stateroom doesn't have capacity for the extra person or the muster station is full. If you then have to change room categories, you could end up paying more than you are trying to save. Nobody gets onboard without a key card assigned to them, not even infants.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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A child under 3 pays 1/2 of the 3-12 cruise fare + 1 set of port charges and government taxes. Summer is expensive. Depending on the ports involved, the taxes and port charges (which Disney will pay on your behalf and you will see as part of the cruise ticket) is the same for every person regardless of age. They can be several hundred dollars or a very small amount, depending on the ports.

No, you can't get the baby on board without a ticket. If you don't book for the infant and show up at the terminal with one, you can expect to be denied boarding. Of course your other option would be to leave the baby with the grandma (yeah, see how that goes over with your wife!)
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyjampa View Post
This may be more of an ethical debate, but how wise would it be to just not tell them about the infant when buying tickets?
I wasn't sure if this was a serious question.

Of course they'd have to know who will be on the boat....it's not like an airline where the baby sits on your lap. Your baby is a person, leaving the country.

And guess what, on top of the cruise fare your baby has to "tip" too. $84/week.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
manateesmom
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I totally agree that a cruise is, IMO, the best vacation with babies, because of easy access to the room from anything you might be doing. Also, we traveled when DS was a baby, and had a heck of a time getting housekeeping out of our room in a land-based resort when it was his nap time. I gave the housekeeper a $20, said no need for any further cleaning, thanks, we'd call if we needed towels, but she would not go away and DS was having that overdue nap meltdown that he did so well. On a ship, the stateroom attendants are so attuned to you, they learned about nap time right off the bat and were always happy to clear out or work around our schedule.

Now, keep in mind that, as far as I know, every cruise line charges for kids, even babies. Some have "kids sail free" promos, which you should look into. Disney actually has a kid's price based on age, IIRC, which is different from, say, Carnival, which just charges you a 3rd passenger in room charge regardless of whether it's a baby or adult.

Yes, I agree with you that it seems like a ripoff. DS was breastfeeding, so he didn't even eat anything, and he was too small to make a mess that required cleaning. But since the ship's capacity is controlled by coast guard regulations, having him on board meant one fewer paying guest in another room, so it kind of makes sense. At any rate, Disney isn't alone in charging for babies.

But given your situation, IMO I'd look at another cruise line. I just couldn't justify the Disney expense with an infant, personally.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
joeyjampa
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Thank you so much for all the great info. I definitely have a new attitude about paying for the baby to tag along, it certainly does sound worth it - not to mention necessary! My wife and I are going to try and make something work. We're very excited, we've only heard good things about taking a family Disney cruise!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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Is this your first child?

We took our first trip with my oldest when he was around 4 months old. Other than him not liking the long drives (this was not a cruise), it was quite simple. He was young enough that I didn't have to worry about solid foods, and old enough that he'd figured out sleeping for the most part and was awake enough to be mesmerized by things. It was a good age.

For a cruise with a baby, I would strongly consider a veranda room. You (or your wife) will be in the room a lot more while baby naps, so might as well have a nice place to hang out while doing so.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:26 PM   #13
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I know the cost is hard to swallow, but it is definitely worth it! Our first cruise last year was with our 7 month old. He is now 16 months and we are leaving Saturday on our second (longer!) cruise. We chose Disney specifically because they seemed to be the most accommodating to infants, and we were not disappointed. We are not even remotely into Disney, characters, etc., but I can see us being customers for life because of the great experience we had on our first cruise. ($$$$$$$$$!!!!)
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:54 PM   #14
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Thanks for posting this! We're cruising in Sept. w/ our 6 year old son and 5 month old baby. We've been a little nervous because of the cost but others are making some great points to reinforce that we've made the right choice!!

If anyone else has traveled with their babies and can share experiences I'd love to hear more!!
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:07 AM   #15
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Don't risk it at all too much money to loose

We are sailing I'm April for my dd 10 bday with a 10 month old and I'd hate the look on my dd face if we couldn't get on because of the baby.
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