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    Default Going on a cruise with a family of 5??

    Morning all, I looking at booking a cruise from Sydney (about 7-9 nights) in June/ July this year. To all of those who have been on a cruise- is it possible to get a room for 5 people? 2 adults, a 7 year old, a 6 year old and a little one who turns 2 in July? Would we need to get 2 adjoining rooms or are there family suites? Also, I was thinking of which cruise line would be recommended- eg Karnivale cruises?? Did you have a good holiday, or is 2 years old a bit young?? Any info and insights would be great. Give me the good, the bad and the ugly about cruising. Thank you : )

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    I would suggest you might look into a shorter cruise first, to check it out with your family. sometimes the cruise ship might do a three night sail. I haven't done a cruise with small children so I cant comment on which line suits you best, but check out the services re kid clubs, and baby sitting at night, and make sure you know how much these things cost. Also we have found there is always a service charge for having your cabin tidied and the bed turned down at night, this can add to your costs by as much as $20 every night. Often the cruise line will waive the charge , but you have to ask for it to be removed from your bill. I think the kids clubs are a great option but if your children don't like that sort of thing it will not be any benefit for you. Marie.

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    Hi

    yes you can get family rooms - but they are pretty few on each cruise so they are snapped up quickly.

    Carnival are a good line, their kids club is great (though the youngest might be too young for kids club).

    Cruises in general are wonderful for families. the kids have so much fun, there is loads of activities to do, and an awesome way to have a holiday.

    we have been with a number of different cruise lines - though I have to say Royal Carribean has been our favourite. Their kids club is fabulous and our DD never wants to leave.

    just check the ages ... as I believe for most they have to be 3+ and toilet trained.

    they have babysitting services, but it can get expensive (as opposed to kids club which is free) ...

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    Thanks a lot for your replies, I appreciate it. I rang around a few places and quickly realised a family of 5 can be hard to book, and we need to rooms, so much more $$, and they sell out quickly. I have looked at Carnival Spirit 9 day cruise- interconnecting triple and double room with balcony to New Caledonia. Looks good, and we will go in August as Kids Club starts at 2 years and I know she'll enjoy it. The boys can be together in the 6-8 age group. This option would be about $5000 eek but includes $800 of onboard credit. I like the idea of trying a 3 night cruise first. I feel if we don't book anything in, we will never go! I also like the idea of not paying for airfares and the logistics of flights etc- we would literally be able to walk on the ship and start our holiday. Any other cruising tips would be great.

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    while it does seem expensive, remember that this includes
    - all of your meals
    - all of your entertainment
    - kids club ... so all of your kids entertainment and activities.

    the only things you pay for are
    - drinks
    - excursions at the destinations
    - arcade games for the kids
    - extras onboard (eg hairdressing, beauty, massages etc)

    Your on board credit will go a fair way, but drinks and especially tours can certainly be expensive when their is 5 of you.

    I was told by travel agents that sometimes smaller ships were better ... but I have actually found the opposite to be true. Bigger = better. More options, more activities, more variety.


    As far as the tipping/service fees go that SuperGranny mentions above - (remember many of these chains are American, so tipping is expected) - they work like this ;

    - for bar staff, a service charge is added to the price of drinks. You cannot have this removed.

    - for dining room staff and cabin staff, tipping is at your discretion, and is done at the end of the cruise. You do not tip during the cruise. The cruise will provide envelopes and suggested amounts (depending on the length of the cruise) for each staff member ... and you can leave them in your cabin or give them to the relevant staff member (waiters etc).

    You can (and many do) choose to include the tips in your fare when you purchase the tickets. If you do this, they will give you vouchers to put in the envelopes and give out.


    I have to say, I love cruising as a holiday ...

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    Thanks, KatiesMum, I am seriously thinking of the August cruise. Just have to decide what we would do on the land days- I am hoping it is possible to return to the ship during the day so DD can sleep, and I could take the boys snorkelling, for example. Is food served on the ship on land days eg: lunch?

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    food is served 24/7 ... and OMG its amazing


    to be honest, depending on the destinations, we didnt get off the ship at all ports.

    Port days are great to stay on board as allt he facilities are empty. Pools, etc are much more relaxed.

    They dont have much on board organised activities (games and stuff) on port days, but everything is still open and there for you. Kids club still open (you can in fact leave kids in the kids club and go off the boat yourself though I probably wouldnt go too far with a 2 yr old).

    The kids club will give you a beeper for the 2 yr old ... so that they can contact you / call you if you are needed.

    Food
    Main Dining Room - this is usually formal dining, with waiters and silver service. Is nice to dress up for dinner sometimes and they usually have a formal night or two (depending on length of the cruise) where everyone dresses up, they have photos etc) and an amazing dinner.

    If you dont like formal dining, or dont feel like it that night, there is a buffet restaurant for casual dining which has a good variety of food that is great. Each ship will then have a variety of other dining options (sometimes they involve an extra cost, but many dont). Cafe's, noodle bar, icecream shop, etc.

    Each boat also has numerous bars and cocktail lounges ..., spread throughout the ship for drinks. Mostly only the nightclub/casino are kid-free. All others kids are allowed.

    Activities - there are always lots of planned activities on board. Rock climbing, minigolf tournament, wii tournaments, pool games, trivia, karaoke, dancing, napkin folding, ice carving demonstrations, art shows, disco's, ... loads of stuff every day. You look at the program in the morning (delivered to your room) and decide what you might like to do.

    they have a show every night which ranges from singing and dancing to a magic show to a comedian. Some are better than others ...

    They will also give you a program for the kids club for each age group that your kids are in. They have sports stuff, crafts, movies, dancing, competitions, pyjama parties and all kinds of stuff. They are incredibly engaging with the kids ...

    Most ships also have photo people on board, so its a really nice thing to get some professional family photos done - as you can buy an individual photo for not very much. (they take loads of photos all the time, every time you get on and off, formal nights etc)


 

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