Traveling Cleverly Since 2001

on Friday, March 8, 2013 | 2 comments

I love writing trip reports, but my schedule these days rarely leaves time for me to put the effort in that I would like to. Regardless, I know there are people out there who appreciate reviews because it (1) gives them information to assist in planning their vacation, and (2) gives them something to look forward to during that long span of time between vacations.

So, when we last left off, I'd shown the readers our awesome suite. Though we spent a decent amount of time in our room, most of the fun stuff occurred elsewhere on or off the ship. A few words about cruising with kids and Royal Caribbean's kids clubs:

Cruising with Young Children: Our kids are 16 months and 3 years. Deciding to cruise was a gamble. Would it go well or be a terrible mistake? In our case, it went well. Much better than I anticipated. Instead of the daily skirmishes over toys, our boys actually enjoyed one another for a change. They loved the close quarters of a cruise ship cabin and enjoyed rolling around on the floor and giggling. Since both Mr. Nomad and I work, we often find that our children end up competing for our attention, rather than playing with one another. Because they were with us nearly all the time on this vacation, they spent a lot of time playing and being "silly guys" (my 3 year old's words) together.

Our older son shared a bedroom with my mom. The noises the ship made did frighten him at times and I found myself either laying with him so he could sleep or welcoming him in to our bed in the wee morning hours. It was really no big deal, but something we haven't experienced before on vacation.

For those who are wondering, we brought a single umbrella stroller on the ship. We used a Royal Caribbean-provided pack n play for the baby. We brought our own diapers, wipes and sippy cups for the baby. Add to that a few toys from home and arm floaties for the kids and that concluded the amount of "stuff" we lugged from home. If I were to repeat, I'd do it no other way. Our 3 year old didn't need to be picked up enough to warrant a double stroller. It would have just been a hindrance.

Royal Caribbean Adventure Ocean: Honestly, we had a good experience. Our three year old just qualified for Aquanauts, having celebrated a birthday in December. After tears for the first two drop offs, he quickly began to look forward to going to the kids club and was begging us to go by the end of the trip. I felt the staff did a good job keeping them entertained and well-behaved. Honestly, after the first day, I didn't worry much about our 3 year old. I was initially a tad concerned about the potty part just because the staff aren't allowed in with the kids to the toilet (which I understand). I was worried our son would have an accident from missing the target, if you catch my drift. But, it really was no problem and nary an accident was had by our child.

Royal Babies: Our baby (16 months at the time) was able to attend the pay-by-the-hour Royal Babies nursery. I loved the women who worked in the nursery aboard Freedom OTS. They genuinely liked babies and all of the little ones seemed very happy whenever we stopped by. Anytime a baby was upset, a staff member was rocking and doing her best to calm the child down. Our little guy has never met a stranger and he LOVED it there. I know people have complained about no "organized" activities for kids in the 2-year age range, but honestly the 2 year olds I saw enjoyed playing with toys and watching some TV or napping on a cot. I thought it was a warm, friendly space with really nice caregivers who inspired confidence in nervous parents. We never had problems getting a spot during our cruise and we probably used about 28-30 hours over the course of the week (largely in the evenings).

Sea Days: This cruise has two sea days, the first full day and the last full day. Because it was February and we left from Port Canaveral, I knew the weather could be iffy. Indeed, the first and last days were a tad cold for my preference. The Canadians on board didn't seem to mind, but I'm from Georgia! We simply don't tolerate "chilly" well in bathing suits. On those days, the hot tubs were receiving good use, including from myself and my 3 year old, who fell in love with the warm, bubbly pools. Our sea days were of little note - some sleeping, some reading, some playing in the pools, some gambling, and eating.

Next up are our port days... Labadee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We planned something fun for each port - no easy feat with two toddlers in tow!


Daisy Isabella said...

wow so amazing story. Thanks for sharing this i really enjoyed going through it. Keep sharing some stuff on Cruises and Dhow Cruise Dubai. i will definitely visit your blog again because i love cruises and you really a great writer for it.

Michelle Anne Rufino said...

I always love Cruise trips because it is relaxing. There are lots of good cruise ships today that offer different prices and everyone can now afford it. I think this is a great way to spend your vacation and if you want an adventure, you should also try corryvreckan cruising because it is really amazing.

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