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P&O Cruise with Kids - advice needed!

(26 Posts)
Mumleigh Sun 15-May-11 20:56:25


We are due to go on a 7 night cruise on Oceana with my husband's family in August. My in-laws have very kindly booked and paid for it as they wanted to have a nice holiday with all of their children and grandchildren ( our's are 5 and 2 and my husband's sister has two teenagers)

My first question is about dining with children.

We have been booked into the 6.30 dinner sitting as everyone else in our party wants to go on to see the shows after dinner. As it's an early dinner we have told our family that we will bring the children along and have bought them smart outfits so that they can feel part of the whole "posh" experience.

We have been getting some subtle hints from the family about taking the children to have an early tea and then putting them in the creche while we have the formal dinner.

I'm not sure about this as I'd like the children to join in and am not sure there will be much time for us to take the kids for tea and then get them settled in the creche before getting ourselves ready and dressed for dinner for 6.30.

The kids are well behaved as a rule and we eat out with them in nice restaurants quite often but I understand that some people prefer to dine without young children being around.

I have said that we will bring them to dinner on the first night and see how it goes.

Second question is about the quad cabins - what is the reality of sharing one of these with young children?

Third and final question is about what to do in the evenings with young children? Don't really want to have to go to bed at 8pm every night so will have to keep the kids up with us or put them in the night creche.

Does anyone have any experience they could share?


TheSkiingGardener Fri 10-Jun-11 20:36:46

We have cruised a lot and are about to go on out first cruise with DS, who is 1.

It would be very unusual to have young children in the formal dinner. I'm sure it's done, but you would probably be the only ones. However, if you have a table for just your party I can't see why anyone would object. You might have to get them to find space and chairs for them though. I have never seen anyone under teenage in the formal restaurants.

The children's teas are usually very good and the night nursery is set up for you to put your children in while you have dinner and a show. We are on the second sitting as they do the shows after both sittings, not sure why your family have said they only do one.

Can't speak for the quad cabins I'm afraid, sorry.

Khara Fri 10-Jun-11 21:48:18

We went on Oceana a few years ago with ds1 (then 8) ds2, (then 5), and dd who was 2. They ate with us at the 6.30 sitting every night, except for a couple of occasions when there was something on at the kids club that they wanted to do. It was great because, although there was a very limited kids menu, they could also choose off the main one and tried a whole range of food they normally wouldn't, including lobster! I have never seen them eat so well - they are normally quite picky. They loved the whole experience of dressing for dinner as well. And we were by no means the only ones with kids in the dining room.

We had a quad cabin (ds1 was in another with my mum and dad) which was fine, but although you could ask for a bed rail, there was still a gap at the end of the bunk, so I wasn't happy with 2 yo dd sleeping up there. Poor dh went up instead.

Hope you enjoy your cruise. We've booked to go again next summer on Ventura.

Mumleigh Wed 15-Jun-11 21:20:18

Thank you both so much for the advice! Am hoping that Khara's experience is the one we have on Oceana.
I had assumed that my husband and I would have the top bunks but from what you have said we may be able to put my 5 year old who is the size if an 8 year old in one of them .

TheSkiingGardener Sat 25-Jun-11 18:31:01

Hiya, I'm on Aurora right now and kids are very, very welcome in the restaurants. We are on second sitting and they still had a seat for our 1 year old and asked if he would be joining us. There are loads of kids in first sitting.

Kids tea runs from 5 to 5:45 so not a lot of time to get them into night nursery before the 6:30 sitting.

Hope that helps

Geordieminx Sat 25-Jun-11 18:41:40

Totally disagree that it's unusual to have kids at dinner. We took ds (3) on a royal carribean cruise last year and there were quite q few children his age. 4 nights out of the 7 we ate ib the formal dining room, the other 3 we ate in the buffet restuarant which was fab too. On RC you were assigned a table, and tbh I think they put the families together so there was no real worries about noise. They also brought their food with our starters. We took colouring books and such like for when he had finished, and as we were next to a huge window he was happy to sit on the floor and colour in.

I was worried that every thing would be really formal and stuffy but honestly it was the most relaxing and child friendly holiday I have ever been on. Without exception every member of staff was cheery, and went out of their way to help/talk to ds.

Ds usually had a nap during the day, so was able to stay up a bit later. Usually after dinner we had wander around the boat, a drink or 2 as there were usually lots of families about.

RC provided a bed guard so ds slept in the bunk. He was fine!

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 25-Jun-11 18:47:36

We do transatlantic every couple of years and do a mixture. Half of the time we take them to the children's tea and then put them in the kids' club. The other half they eat with us in the restaurant. Cunard ships have a reputation for being really stuffy and formal and, although they are formal, the staff were fantastic with the children and there was no problem bringing them to dinner. But actually, they were happier in the kids' club watching dvds and falling asleep on beanbags smile

We had a double sofa bed so one of us shared with dd and the other got a bed to themselves! Worked out fine. My brother and SIL had their three children in their cabin and it was no problem.

They'll have a great time. We take four children between us and they all still talk about it.

djinthailand Sun 26-Jun-11 18:28:44

I have done 2 cruises now with my 2 children (3 and 5). I gave them the option every night of coming to eat with us in the main dining room or to eat with the kids club. I dressed them up every night regardless of where they were eating. They ate with us a couple of times but usually didn't want to miss out on spending as much time as they could in the kids club. They loved it. On RC the kids club was free until 10pm then there was a small charge after that. A couple of nights we left them in there until quite late so that we could let our hair down a bit. They were fine about it. We had 4 of us in the cabin and that was fine too. The top bunk had rails and both children slept well up there. Our kids absolutely love cruising and keep asking to go on another one. Children are so well catered for. You'll have a great time.

Mumleigh Wed 06-Jul-11 11:19:05

Thanks again for all the advice - sorry I haven't checked in for a week or so. Not long till our cruise now!

poocatcherchampion Thu 26-Mar-15 15:59:28

Bumping an old thread I know - but can anyone tell me about the layout of the quad cabins? Are they two sets of 2 bunks?

iklboo Thu 26-Mar-15 16:04:19

It's usually 2 bunks like 'normal' beds then two pull down from the ceiling. One above each other bed. The stewards put the beds away each morning when you leave the cabin & get it ready again when you go to dinner in the evening. No end rails (DS kept knocking his pillow off onto my head!) but he loved it. He was nearly 8 at the time & can't wait to go again this year.

poocatcherchampion Thu 26-Mar-15 21:24:09

OK thanks! We have a 3 and 1 yo so I am trying to fathom who will sleep where.

I've looked at our plan and apparently we have a twin booked hmm

iklboo Thu 26-Mar-15 22:44:31

Yeah, they don't always double beds because of the space. They might do cots for your LOs instead. Always worth checking with the line.

Where are you off to? smile

WalterandWinifred Sun 29-Mar-15 08:42:42

We had a twin last year with DC of 3 and 1. The bunks are pretty difficult. Far too high/dodgy for those ages but too short in length for adults. The lack of end rail meant that our pillows were constantly falling down onto the children below. I'd consider taking a cot for the 1yo and a ready bed for the 3yo.

This year we've booked a cabin with sofa bed instead. That said, it didn't spoil our holiday last time. It's a fantastic holiday with young children and we all loved it.

poocatcherchampion Sun 29-Mar-15 09:40:41

Oh thank you! This is what we need to know. We've got a cot booked for the littley, and have considered the ready bed option for dd1.

Will we still be able to walk around?

iklboo Sun 29-Mar-15 13:01:09

The cabins aren't usually huge anyway - sideways shuffle past the beds etc. But hopefully you won't be in your cabin much anyway.

Where are you off to?

poocatcherchampion Sun 29-Mar-15 14:23:37

Norwegian fjords - ILs are taking us - we've never been on anything like it before and are looking forward to it immensely

iklboo Sun 29-Mar-15 14:46:23

Us too!! August. Can't wait. Never been to Fjords before. We went on first cruise in 2013 to France / Spain with Royal Caribbean. First time with P&O though this time.

iklboo Sun 29-Mar-15 14:46:55

We're on the Azura though.

Draughts Sun 29-Mar-15 14:53:15

My 4 year old was fine in the top bunk last year, I had telephoned and asked for the extra rail before we travelled & he just stayed at the very top of the bed.
We were on Azura for the Fjords too, it was our first ever cruise & we all loved it so much (3 children ) we booked for a med cruise for this year before we left the ship!

iklboo Sun 29-Mar-15 16:07:25

That's good to hear Draughts. Thinking of going on the kayaking trip down a fjord smile

poocatcherchampion Mon 30-Mar-15 22:48:09

We're on the azura as well.

Dancingdreamer Mon 30-Mar-15 23:01:15

Our problem was trying to get our little ones to go to dinner with us. They wanted to stay in the children's club! Often we would bring ours to dine for a quick main and take them back to kids club before we relaxed over dessert and coffee.

If you want children on top bunk don't forget to ask for the extra guards that the ship will provide for children.

A cruise is a fantastic option for families, particularly P&O as they will take care of kids from 9 til midnight giving you the flexibility to decide when to take them to eat, or what to do in the evening. Our DCs loved the dance shows, bingo and of course all the soecific kids stuff. Enjoy!

iklboo Mon 30-Mar-15 23:26:42

Ooh, poocatcher. Will we have to wear the MN scarf & mutter Pom Bears at every woman on board till we meet each other? grin

poocatcherchampion Tue 31-Mar-15 08:55:53

Sorry ikboo - we are may. But there must be some other mumsnetters on!

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