We have taken many cruises but this time we invited our DS, DIL and there 11 month old. Never been on a cruise with a baby and don't recall seeing many either.
1. Is it somewhat normal to bring babies on cruises?
2. does the line provide cribs? We are going on the NCL Jewel
3. is there baby sitting available if we want it?
4. can you take a baby into the shows?
5. any other information/suggestions would be appreciated...
Yes.. I have seen many people bring children/babies on cruises. It really depends on the cruise line. Some are more family friendly then others.
Your son and wife will have a very family oriented cruise. There is no babysitting for a child that young available on NCL. They do have sleeping set up for children but its not a full crib. I don't know what size cabin they will be having but that does take up space.
You can take the baby in the show.
Children who are not potty trained can not go into pools even with swim diapers. If there is a choice, it would be nice if son and wife have a balcony cabin so they can enjoy together time on the balcony while the little one is sleeping.
I hope you have a fantastic cruise.
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We took our 7 month old granddaughter with her parents and had a great time. We were on RCI and they provided both cabins with a PackNPlay, we had her stroller which she could take naps in while we were out of the cabin. She went to the shows at night with us and we sat in the back. Since they started at 9pm, she would have a bottle and fall asleep and we had no problems. They had highchairs in every dining room and buffet. We brought a $5 blow up pool from Target, found a corner and she loved it. Be sure to bring a bucket and some bath toys. We had a great trip with her.
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We travelled with our four month old in December and we are heading off with her again in April (she'll be 7.5 months) and we have no issues. We travel with our own portable playpen so that she has some consistency in hotels, etc as we go but I know that the cruiselines do provide them if you need them. The fact that the baby can't go in the pools is always a bit of a disappointment, especially if you have a baby that loves the water but as others have said just bring a small inflatable pool.
We do take our kids to shows, including the baby but we are always mindful of those around us, when baby starts to fuss, it's time to go for a walk on the promenade or somewhere that is loud enough that a baby crying doesn't really make a difference. There will always be some people on cruises that think that they should be for adults only but they are few and far between, for the most part people warmly welcome little kids, especially those kids with considerate parents.
If I had to offer a few hints I would suggest that you make sure that you bring any medications baby may need, ie infant pain relief/fever reducer, teething relief, bum cream, etc. If you do manage to find these items on board or at the ports you pay a pretty steep price for them, better to travel prepared for anything and with the brands that you know and trust. And for your comfort and the comfort of those around you please evaluate the type of stroller you are bringing. With our little stroller we were fine, friends of ours who took their cadillac got a lot of dirty looks from others trying to share the elevators and hallways with the huge stroller. If you can handle it, we found the baby backpack to be the best way to get baby around the ship and off the ship without irritating any fellow travellers. Have a blast, these moments of travel will bring decades of wonderful memories for your family.
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