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My family and I went on a vacation back around Christmas time. There were seven of us (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, husband, myself) including my one year-old nephew Tristan.  Let me just give this advice right away.  Don’t take a one year-old on a cruise!  This is what my sister learned from the experience.

  • The Carnival cruise ship line does not allow any baby still in diapers to get into ANY of the pools.  Yes that’s right, they are not supposed to even get in the “baby” pool.  If you try to get in when no one is watching, don’t worry they are always watching and they have no qualms about calling you out on it and forcing you to get out.
  • Babysitters are only available for a two hour period really late at night, like after 8pm.  This will be of course after your baby has already fallen asleep.  But they want you to bring them to the Kid’s Camp.  Something doesn’t add up here.
  • The Kid’s Camp (where all the toys are located) are only available to the extra young group for a two hour period in the morning.  Forget about play equipment anywhere else.  Your baby (and you) will be forced to climb the stairs for entertainment for hours on end.
  • Babies + formal dining = disaster.  Enough said.
  • Cruise ships also have very strict schedules, but guess what?! So does your baby.  These two schedules may not always run together.
(brother-in-law, Tristan and sister)

When you want to go on vacation with a baby please choose to go somewhere other than on a cruise ship.  It was like a nightmare vacation for my poor sister.  She said the perfect vacation with a one year-old would have the following qualities.

  • A rental house so that you have plenty of room for toys and games.
  • A pool that baby can play in for hours upon hours.
  • Restaurants near by that you could order in from at any time of the day.
  • Fun museums/parks/playgrounds for children within a 20-30 minute drive.
(“Is he wearing a diaper?? Get him out of there!!” -quote from a nice Carnival cruise line worker)

My sister and brother-in law certainly were troopers though.  They are great parents and were very prepared for the trip and flight. Here are some tips for flying with a baby.

  • Make sure that you time your flights around the baby’s nap times.  That way you know the little rascal will sleep at least part of the way.
  • Bring snacks and a drink.  This will keep them occupied for a couple of minutes and sucking on something when the plane is descending can help with the baby’s ears.
  • Bring some of the baby’s favorite candy (my nephew loves red hots)!  There is nothing wrong with a little bribery when you are flying.
  • Have a stash of kid friendly apps on your iphone.  My nephew enjoyed playing with mine a couple of times on the plane.
  • Don’t forget to bring your baby’s favorite sleep item.  My nephew has a blanket that he always sleeps with.  You give it to him and he practically falls asleep!
  • Try to avoid layovers.  These make baby more restless and cranky because there isn’t a whole lot to do in the airports and there are a lot of people!
Tristan only cried once during the whole flight and that is when he slipped out of my mom’s lap and into the aisle on his head.  Did I mention he has the beautiful grace that runs in my family??  He injures himself just about every day (okay that might be an exaggeration) but he is accident prone.  The only way to keep that boy from getting bruises is to wrap him in bubble wrap!
“Dad I’m bored, I hate waiting in line!  Give me those glasses”. -What I am sure T-man was thinking.
This excursion was the one highlight of the whole trip per my sister.

Hope this review helps you out when you are trying to decide where to go on your next vacation.  Make it a good one!

Chelsea

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