Monday, March 31, 2008

Best ships for NON-Potty Trained Tots

One thing that many parents of non-potty trained infants/toddlers are surprised to learn about cruising is that most cruise lines do not allow those children into the ship's pool. This is a law set by the CDC, it's not just a cruise line law.

Although on land, most of us throw a swim diaper on the baby and all is ships are different. It can come as quite a shock to most after alot of planning (not to mention money spent) for a cruise, only to find out that your child is not allowed in the pool. Most parents will see pictures of a "children's pool" on a ship and think "Hey that's for the baby."....sorry, those children's pools are for potty trained toddlers/children. We've been in a situation where the children's pool was shut down on a sea day due to being contaminated by feces. That doesn't make a good day for anyone.

So when you plan a cruise for a younger child, you have a few choices. The following cruise ships have water play areas for non-potty trained infants/toddlers....

  • RCCL Freedom of the Seas, RCCL Liberty of the Seas, RCCL Independence of the Seas and now coming soon RCCL Oasis of the Seas. On the Royal Caribbean Freedom Class ships, there is an area known as the "Baby Zone". It is part of the H2o zone seen here...

  • Disney Magic & Disney Wonder - Young children, who are not toilet trained, are welcome to enjoy the fountain play area near the Mickey Pool that has been designed exclusively for the enjoyment of children wearing swim diapers.

  • If you aren't booked on one of the above mentioned ships, then there is one more option...bring a small inflatable. Some parents bring an inflatable tub (works great for the little ones in a cabin with no tub too). Or you can bring a small inflatable pool. On most ships there is more than enough deck space to fit a small pool. All it takes is a couple of buckets of water from the main pool. And when you're finished, you can dump it down the shower drains (if there is a shower at the pool), the deck drain and some say they just dump it in the sink at the janitor's closet. It doesn't take much to take the buckets back out and dump them in an appropriate place.

Just a little planning can help guarantee a great family vacation, even for the little ones.


Jstchlin said...

WOW! No we were not aware of this rule. Thank you. We are boarding the Caribbean Princess for a Coastal Sampler in 1 week. It's a bit disappointing but we now will try and take along a small kiddie pool. It's our daughters 1st cruise. Well we will have a nice day in the water at Princess Cays. There is no rule there, is there?

Barnaby & Edgar said...

Cruise: Oasis of the Seas, 2 Jan 2010. We travelled with 2 children from the UK, aged 3 and 5. Both kids went to kids club, we were aware that 3 year old must be fully potty trained. However, this means that the 3 year old will receive NO ASSISTANCE whatsoever with the toilet. So, if the little one gets there a little too late and has an accident, or perhaps does not wipe themselves properly, then they will be issued with a "strike" (terminology that I do not care for personally). 3 strikes and they kick them out of Adventure Ocean. Imagine out horror when our 3 year old did have an accident and later did not wipe himself properly. We spent 3 days under the threat of expulsion. We did complain to the manager, who as a very young lady has little if any experience of 3 year olds, she embarassed us in a corridor (but did apologise for that) - she confirmed that they offer absolutely no assistance, 3 year olds are on their own.

This is the point - she accepted our child was fully potty trained, but claimed the 'no assistance' issue was a USA policy - that is not the case at all, it is a RCI policy. They are entitled to have whatever rules they want on their ships, and I respect that. But we paid nearly $22,000 with air fare, and had it said anywhere that young children are on their own with the risk of expulsion from the childcare then we would simply not have booked. I await RCI's response on their power to issue this rule for the first time when you are on board. I am not sure whether this perfect toilet etiquette exists with 3 year olds???