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Dan

First family Cruise Booked, ANY ADVICE :)

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Hello everyone,

We are new to cruising and have booked our first Cruise, its a transatlantic on Azura for 14nights heading to the Caribbean via Madeira. Me, my partner and our two little ones age 3 and 7 will be traveling.

We are looking forward to out first Cruising holiday and would appreciate some advice from people who have done this kind of cruise with children, for instance…

• Will we need sea sickness medication because its our first cruise ?
• What kind of food is there for kids, we all know they are picky when it comes to eating lol
• I have looked into doing a 5 hour tour of St Lucia, has anyone done this with kids? and how did it go?
• Can anyone recommend excursions for kids age 3 and 7 ?

   We are visiting: Madeira  -  Portugal  -  St. Maarten  -   Dominica  -  St. Lucia  -  Grenada  -  Barbados

Any advice would be welcomed, we are so excited but as you can imagine because its our first ever experience we would appreciate some advice from people with experience.

Even if its little things that makes life easier whilst on board :)


Thank you in advance x

 

Edited by Dan

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A children's tea is served around 5pm in the buffet with a child friendly menu.

https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/life-on-board/Children_fed?_ga=2.170217312.1344001215.1498042029-528053723.1454188514

There is a night nursery for under fives and the kids club is open in the evening for the older ones.

https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/life-on-board/childrens_club

Brian

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Hi Brian
Brilliant thank you x and thank you for the links they are really helpful.

The night nursery sounds fantastic, hopefully that will give us time to enjoy a drink in peace without the kids ahah, altho like other parents I will be nervous about leaving the youngest there. Hopefully she will like the idea but because we haven’t done anything like this before it might take her a while to get used to it.

It will probably only be for a couple of hours while we have some alone time :)

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Don't worry about the night nursery. They give you a pager so they can contact you if your child does not settle. Or you can pop your head round the door from time to time to see they are ok.

Brian

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Hi
A pager :lol: amazing, thank you for this, so reassuring, Im getting more and more excited.

Have you any experience with excursions taking kids similar age to mine? 3 and 7 visiting any of the following: Madeira  -  Portugal  -  St. Maarten  -   Dominica  -  St. Lucia  -  Grenada  -  Barbados

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I have no experience on Azura  but certainly they provide kids clubs with various hours as other have pointed out.

My daughter took her two on Disney around the Caribbean  about 3 & 5 at the time. What they found was kids love to be around the pool area where one can run and splash.

At meal time they took early  seating  and limited pop / juice . the servers were very gracious with spills and they asked drinks not be poured full in a glass. Maybe a zippy cup

They found it was better for one adult to stay in the cabin at night so other could get a drink or watch a show. Ordering room service or eating in the buffet helpd as more kid choices plus ice cream and deserts abound. Bring lots of colouring books and stories to read and see if you can rent a dvd to play some of their favourites

The Caribbean is warm of course so you want to have sunscreen and protection like DEET  or such for the kids and yourself.  https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/sunblock-or-insect-repellent-first

A long tour they will get bored unless you are doing  a water activity or cave outing ... Letting them run wild on a beach is a safe way to get off energy and for you all to relax with some rum and such ,, just remember to get back on the ship a few hours earlier.. Bring containers you can fill with water and dried snacks from home that they enjoy,

I am married to a Barbadian so here is  a link you can browse for kids http://www.barbados.org/childrens_activities.htm    Again the sun can do damage, be prepared

If on an open deck do not let them run as the bars around the sides can be squeezed through ,, kids are amazing , nor do you want them to fall.. If you have balcony ensure it is kid proof as in ability to climb or again squeeze through bottom of glass panel.

I am not trying to scare you , just warn as you do have two fireballs of energy, always know where they are

Have a great time 

Edited by RobBar

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Great advice Rob, thank you.

We have an inside cabin, so no change of them climbing over the Balcony :)

I will have a talk to my partner about the St Lucia tour, I think you might be right about them getting bored on this, insect repellent ordered B)

 

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Hi

I hope you have a great time.

You don't say what time of the year you are travelling, but just remember that it takes a good few sailing days from leaving Southampton to get into the much warmer weather, so if you are leaving in the Autumn/Winter do pack some warmer clothes for all of you.

RobBar made some useful suggestions, but Disney Cruise Line is geared completely for kids and there is so much more to keep them entertained than on P&O, so just bear that in mind particularly at the start of the trip with the long sea days before you get to St.Maarten.

Enjoy.

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Hi

 

Don't worry about the children, you have options to eat with them in the buffet, eat with them early dining in the main dining room or if they are happy to remain in the kids club early evening then you have an hour and a half etc to eat alone., the waiters do not turn a hair if they are under the tablecloth halfway through the meal, need taking to the toilet etc, ours were called "princess" and loved it. As long as they sit quietly I should not worry. They have a special menu for children if you ask for it and ask if you can be served promptly.

 

Yes, care on deck don't let them run ahead, steep stairs etc. There are sometimes children's programmes on tv but it depends on the signal etc. Ours loved the kid's clubs so much similar ages that they could not wait to get back in there and hardly had time to eat at all. In the evening the shows  in the theatre are probably too late for them, sometimes 8pm for 45 mins and apart from dancing and singing  with the Headliners probably not what they would like eg comedian or musician. There is the nightclub and the middle venue for entertainment and sometimes there is a singer or a band and if the children want to dance in front of them for a while before bed nobody minds the Azura is very family friendly.

 

The kids clubs are really good on Azura and the staff lovely to them. Don't talk about sea sickness and with luck little ears will not cotton on and won't be affected. However the time of year you are going can have rough seas. Take a bucket and spade in the cabin and you will be primed for any eventuality including the beaches. We went to several places where you could just walk off the ship or get a taxi (negotiate price) to a beach and many hang about near the beach they take you to so you can come back with another driver. Tortola had open sided buses and then you sit them in the middle of the seat, and the big old girl driving sang "we are coming round the mountain when she comes " etc good fun. Tortola the water comes up every so often under the sun beds so hang stuff on the backs of the chairs and shoes! The places on St Lucia are not really suitable for children and personally  if you can negotiate a quick drive around for say 2 hrs max just to see any of the islands it is probably best.  St Maarten you can get a water taxi from the ship across the bay to the few shops but 15 min walk back around the bay probably too much for the 3yr old . Don't be tempted to go on the small boat to the Grand Anse beach on one of the islands as you would not be able to manage the children, one boat you had to wade through water to the sands.

 

Some islands you would not want to walk about the town for safety reasons but a quick trip around the island on Antigua may be possible. Just tell the taxi driver re comfort stops for the children. You fly back about tea time and land 6 30am at Gatwick etc . There was not much in the airport in Barbados to buy so I suggest dry snacks in a plastic box, you probably will have to buy a drink for the long wait,

 

Just think of the holiday as a complete chill out and relax. To arrive at an island in the semi darkness and see the sun come up, and all the colours appear and the cockrels crowing and the pop pop bikes along the roads into town going to work is so cool. Don't worry about trips take each day as it comes, most places the taxi drivers hold up a plastic place mat with a map on it and a route and they are usually okay, we have never had problems.

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