Cruising With An Infant ????

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Petals & Pixie Dust, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Petals & Pixie Dust

    Petals & Pixie Dust DIS Veteran

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    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
     
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  3. sweetmonkey

    sweetmonkey Mouseketeer

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    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. ;)
     
  4. Conservative Hippie

    Conservative Hippie You seem somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you

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

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. thedonduck

    thedonduck DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
  7. thedonduck

    thedonduck DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  8. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    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).
     
  9. joannalh

    joannalh Mouseketeer

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    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.)
     
  10. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  11. chllywlly911

    chllywlly911 Earning My Ears

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    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)
     
  12. Conservative Hippie

    Conservative Hippie You seem somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  14. thedonduck

    thedonduck DIS Veteran

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

    Conservative Hippie You seem somewhat familiar. Have I threatened you

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    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.
     
  16. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  17. Debebrolu

    Debebrolu Earning My Ears

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    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?
     
  18. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    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).
     
  19. thedonduck

    thedonduck DIS Veteran

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    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.)
     
  20. MagicFan75

    MagicFan75 Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  21. Petals & Pixie Dust

    Petals & Pixie Dust DIS Veteran

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    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:
     

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