Planning Your Family Cruise

We’ve recently added new reviews of Disney Cruise Line, including the new Disney Dream, and a new video featuring Allure of the Seas (Video: A Teen’s View Of The Boardwalk On Allure of the Seas). With summer approaching, we thought it would also be useful to our readers to revive an old article, Planning Your Family Cruise.

My daughter was only six weeks old when she traveled with mom and dad on our first family vacation — to Walt Disney World in Orlando. Only a few months later, at the tender age of five months, she crossed the Atlantic with dad (a travel writer) and mom to cruise to the Canary Islands on Cunard Line’s – Queen Elizabeth 2. Lucky girl, right? Wrong. Both experiences were miserable.

Our six-week old was much too young to comprehend or appreciate Disney. Plus, she developed colic — a painful, but common, condition among infants that causes abdominal pain and uncontrollable crying (sometimes for the frustrated parents as well!).

My wife and I took turns dining at Restaurant Marrakesh, Epcot’s wonderful Moroccan restaurant. We were hoping for a romantic dinner while our sweet girl slept tableside. No such luck. Our baby girl began wailing before the appetizers appeared, and for the next hour, my wife and I swapped between bites to eat and trying to comfort our crying daughter. A romantic dinner? What were we thinking?

Months later, crossing the Atlantic, our baby slept for the entire flight. Unfortunately, we did not.
We arrived at London’s Gatwick Airport sleepy and tired. Dazed and confused from lack of sleep, we picked up our rental car and drove two hours to the New Forest, near Southampton, where we were to stay overnight in a hotel. We checked into our room and threw ourselves onto the bed. Baby, however, wanted to play. For the next week, our biological clock was out of sync with daughter’s and what could have been a wonderful trip went down in the books as “never again.”

There is a happy ending to these stories. Read more on Family Cruise Advisor.

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