Originally posted by Norwegian Cruise Line
Written by Evelyn Frank
This January, I made the executive decision that my family and I were going to take a Caribbean cruise onboard the Norwegian Getaway! This was a major decision because we are the parents of a toddler and this was going to be our first family cruise. The Caribbean seemed like a safe and fun option, and the trip included family favorites such as beautiful Caribbean beaches, great food, and a kiddie splash pool area! Read on for my tips on how to make cruising with your toddler a breeze.
WHAT TO BRING WHEN CRUISING WITH TODDLERS
The success of this trip required a great deal of research and preparation. Those of you who have toddlers understand why. My son is three years old; he naps, wakes up around 7am, and has a tolerance right at sea level. Needless to say, packing well before hand is key. Here are some items that I brought on my 7-day cruise that were very helpful:
WHERE TODDLERS CAN PLAY
Norwegian Getaway, as with other ships in Norwegian’s fleet, offer a complimentary youth program for toddlers at Splash Academy. On the first day of your cruise, register your child in the “Guppies” group. Make the transition easier and accompany your child for small periods of time until they are used to it and enjoy going to Splash Academy.
Other toddler activities outside of Splash Academy are the Kid’s Aqua Park (which includes a slide if your child is over 40 inches tall), the toddler ropes course, the mini golf course, and the arcade. If you plan to partake in water activities with your toddler make sure they are potty trained, as swim diapers are not allowed in the Kid’s Aqua Park. Try your best to do this by the time you cruise. Make sure to check your Freestyle Daily for other great activities such as the Sail Away Party.
EVEN WHEN ON A CRUISE, STICK TO YOUR TODDLER'S SCHEDULE
I know you are on vacation, but if your child thrives on a schedule, keep it. This will help avoid tantrums and will keep everyone relaxed and rested. What really helped with our family cruise was pre-scheduling dinners. If your child is like mine and eats at a designated time, make sure you plan ahead. Early dinner times usually sell out first, so if you need to eat early, log into MyNCL and make your dinner reservations prior to sailing. If you can't keep the time, you can always call and reschedule once onboard or just head over to the grab and go cruise buffet, the Garden Cafe. This will help you work in a nice dinner around your toddler’s normal routine. I would also advise bringing a stroller. After a long day of activities our son fell asleep a few times at dinner and during our after dinner stroll on The Waterfront.
TIP: Avoid a cover charge at the specialty restaurants by ordering for your child from the complimentary kids menu (0-12 years old).
In summary, Norwegian Getaway and Caribbean Cruises are great choices for families cruising with a toddler. There is plenty for your child to do and great family friendly ports to go to. Remember that a little bit of planning will take you a long way! Bon Voyage!
Did you know that in addition to being an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, Brentwood Travel has three staff members who have gone through the Disney College Program? Meaning, we have firsthand, in-depth knowledge of how Disney works from the inside. Between Ashley, Ellen and Libby, we have had insiders working at three of the four parks, plus Disney Springs, plus Disney's California Adventure!
Where did you work?
In the fall of 2013, I worked at The Magic of Disney Animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was a building dedicated to hand drawn animation that used to be an actual working studio where classics like Lilo and Stitch, Mulan, and Brother Bear were created.
Describe a typical day at work:
My main responsibilities were greeting and directing guests, assisting with the drawing class taught by real Disney artists, and performing in a show called Drawn to Animation.
What “costume” did you wear?
Because my attraction was a celebration of hand drawn movies from the 1990’s and early 2000’s, I wore simple blue pants and a shirt with concept art of those iconic Disney characters. Every day I had at least one enthusiastic Disney fan offering to pay me money if I could get them one of our shirts!
What was your favorite part about your job?
I had the great opportunity to perform on a Disney stage while talking to Mushu from Mulan, and it was more fun than I ever could have imagined. It was amazing to combine my love of the stage with my love of Disney, and not very many people can say that they co-starred with an animated dragon!
Tell me one of your favorite memories from working there:
The wait for the drawing class experience could be as long as an hour and a half during peak times (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.) and on certain occasions I would have a very entertaining bunch to hang out with when I was in charge of the queue. I have great memories of singing along with school groups and doing trivia with Disney fanatics to help pass the time.
Recommend a favorite ride/experience at your park:
I make a point to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at least one time every time I visit Hollywood Studios – it’s the fastest ride in all of Disney, and the theming is incredible.
Recommend a favorite restaurant at/near your park:
For a touch of Hollywood glamour befitting the surroundings, be sure to eat at The Hollywood Brown Derby, a replica of the famous Brown Derby restaurant in California. If you’re not looking for a full-service dining experience, their patio lounge is a great alternative and the tapas/drink offerings are delicious!
Want to hear more stories from Ellen's time at Hollywood Studios? Email her or call (314) 439-5700 x 129
From Cello-Gram, Vol. XXIII Number 5
Written by Jayne H.
Thursday, June 30. Normandy Battle Sites
Maarten, a passionate guide from Belgium who was formerly an ancient
history teacher, shared the history of World War II of this area in a hushed, expressive voice, relating numbers and stories.
Our first stop was a museum in Arromanches. Saw a short film about building of artificial harbor there and looked at artifacts and historical models before lunch. Next to former German batteries at Longues-Su-Mer and then Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a
reverent spot. I placed a long-stem rose on the grave. I’d chosen the last name of a young Jewish soldier with Mom’s surname; Reilly put her rose on a wounded soldier from Colorado.
A Welsh guide showed us the graves of Teddy Roosevelt’s two sons. Final stop at Omaha Beach and its memorial. Long, memorable day.
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
Serving Greater St. Louis since 1957, we specialize in cruises, all-inclusive vacations, tour packages, honeymoons, and group travel.