Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advice?

I am planning a getaway for our family of 4 to go on a 7 night cruise in January (it's the only glimmer of hope keeping me going right now!!!). I have never been on a cruise. Any advice with children? We want to go to the carribean... so excited! I have been searching online for hours but I would love some advice from people have recently been on cruises! Much appreciated!!

21 comments:

Lex said...

Hi Angie! I LOVE your work! Regarding a cruise, I can highly recommend Royal Caribbean. I've cruised with them at least 3 times. They have a GREAT kids program, and they are definitely family friendly.

In my opinion, Carnival is too 'party' oriented (and a slightly lower demographic), and some of the other cruise lines are less kid-friendly.

Of course, you can't go wrong with Disney (out of Port Canaveral only), but it's more pricey than the others. If you love the Disney experience, then you should check them out!

My biggest recommendation, regardless of which cruise line, is to splurge on a room with a balcony (assuming you feel your kids would be safe). To be able to open your stateroom doors and enjoy the breeze is the BEST!

Happy to answer any other questions!

Karen (Lex's Mom), Maitland, FL

Michelle said...

DISNEY DISNEY DISNEY! Royal Caribbean is also a good choice with kids. Don't do Holland American with kids...Holland is a great line, but a much older crowd. I'm a cruise junkie, can you tell?! We are doing Disney in the Eastern Caribbean in February and can't wait!

Shannon @ S and G Photography said...

We love Royal Caribbean!!!! Love them.
Figure out what shore excursions you want to do, but do not book them through the cruise line. You can do the same things once you get there for 1/2 the price every time {especially in the Caribbean}.
The twins will love it. There are so many great things to do on a ship & the more you guys participate the more you will have fun.
Some of our best buddies were met on a cruise. We still travel together a lot 6 years later!

onememoryatatimephoto said...

I TOTALLY agree! Go Royal Caribbean. We've done most of the ones offered down there with Royal and one with Disney. Western Caribbean was most family friendly. WARNING: once you cruise, it's hard to go back to a regular vacation! ;) You'll have a ball!

said...

If you want the best advice, contact Connie Van't Hof at TVAtravel@aol.com. She is a travel agent who is specializing in cruises and family trips! She is free of charge and will do everything for you as far as finding the best cruise for the best price and booking it for you etc. NO CHARGE TO YOU! (the cruise line pays her a commission) Hope this helps :) She will definitely be a help to you :)

A said...

Disney Cruise all the way. You will get to relax all day and have fun while the kids are busy and entertained ALL DAY. THen disney shows at night.

Erica Kree said...

I've done Royal Caribbean & Carnival and liked them both very much! The room with the balcony is worth the money! It's nice when you pull into port to be able to just look out of your french door in your state room i/o having to go out on deck!
I hope you have a good time :)

Katie Jane said...

Hi. I've never been on a cruise, but my Aunt. She went on the Disney Cruise , which goes to castaway key. she LOVED it. She said they had gone with a family with a bunch of kids and they thought it was amazing! She also said that on castaway key they split the island up where one side is only kids allowed and the other is only parents allowed. Fun right?!?! GOOD LUCK!

melissa hansma said...

i agree with Lex...i was going to recommend royal carribean also....we've been on 5 cruises, and royal was our fave....great kids programs. Carnival is terrible....and Disney for families is thee BEST....
Definately splurge on a balcony...our last cruise we did that and we will never go back...there's nothing like waking up in the morning and opening the sliding door to the warm air and ocean breezes and looking out at the island or ocean....sometimes we would leave the slide open and let the breeze blow the sheers all night, very worth splurging on:)
We've been to all caribbean islands and Aruba and St. Lucia are amazing...The bahamas are really nice....royal has a great private island that they go to sometimes...it's called Coco Cayes, it's soooo much fun....Have fun planning...we're addicted to cruising.

Anonymous said...

Royal Caribbean has a great kids program that will free you up to do adult things with abandon. My wife and I have been on 8 cruises and Royal Caribbean is by far the best.

Statemroom with a balcony is a must, they are very kid friendly. Try to get a room in the middle of the ship, less rolling.

All the islands are fun, just don't kill yourself trying to do everything there is to do.

Autumn Scisciani said...

With kids, Disney is by far the best. However, also the most expensive. And Holland America does have a MUCH older crowd. Not good for children. Royal Carribean is nice, depending on the ship. The newer the ship, the better the kids program will be also. Every one of the Cruise lines has a couple of ships that look like you just sailed into 1985. Carnival is definitely the party ship.

My favorite by far has been Norweigan's freestyle cruises. I've taken two in the last 2 years and it is SO easy with kids because you can eat anytime, and you don't have to sit with 6 people you don't know. And they have many different restaraunts that are quite delicious. The ships are beautiful and new and their kids club is really great with very friendly staff.

As far as itinerary goes, my favorite by far was Eastern Carribean to St. Thomas, St. Martin and we went to the Bahamas. I hope this helps! Have fun!!

Angela Tomczak said...

1. Disney (www.disboards.com) 2. Royal Caribbean.

Crave Photography said...

I have done the Disney Cruise and it was amazing! You can't go wrong with Disney evertything was top notch. I would say your next best bet is Royal Carbbean. My sister lives in Florida and has cruised a TON and she likes them or Disney the best. Clean family oriented fun!! Good luck you will have a blast and realize cruisin' is the only way to travel!!!

Heather said...

Disney!!!! :) We are going in Feb after hearing nothing but positive about them. But I can't really speak from personal experience since we've never cruised with our kids. You can't go wrong with the Disney magic!

Angie Monson said...

Oh My goodness! Thank you everyone. This really helps. I was so lost and surfing the internet for hours while my kids were jumping all over me. This will save me so much time!

Sacha Blackburne Photography Blog said...

Why don't you go on a cruise to Bermuda - it is dreamy here and we can have coffee and I can show you around the best spots in Bermuda if you like!

The Queen said...

My advice is to bring elastic-waist pants. haha, you will eat sooo much!! Haven't done a cruise with kids but my dh and i went a few years ago and had a good time.

Dawn said...

Disney all the way.... works great with kiddos!

mooreclick said...

My family went on two cruises when I was a kid, with Carnival. I think I was 8 and 10 when we went.

I LOVED it. We had the best time, and I actually went again with them for my honeymoon. It's such an easy vacation, since almost everything is handled ahead of time. You only have to unpack once, food and everything's already paid for.

We went to the... eastern Caribbean I think? It was Dominica, Barbados, Antigua. Absolutely loved it.

You'll totally love it.

Keary said...

My family and I went on a cruise to the bahamas on the DISNEY CRUISE LINE for my sister's Make-A-Wish trip. It was the most amazing thing ever and SO perfect for kids AND adults. I was in 8th grade at the time and there were 5 of us kids. We all LOVED it and would totally do it again! I'm going on a Carnival cruise for my honeymoon this Feb...but I don't think that's meant for kids.

KEARY DEE WARNER
www.kearydeephotography.com

Heather Ward said...

Holland America. I've done several other cruise lines, and in the evenings most of them (Royal Caribbean, Carnival) have games geared towards young adults that involve alcohol and wet t-shirt contests (with the exception of disney of course). Holland America is mostly older couples and younger families, so you get quiet evenings where the pools are not occupied. I will never use another cruise line again.