One of the best features of the MSC cruise I took with my 17 year-old-daughter and 7-year-old son this summer from Venice to a Greece was the kid’s club. It wasn’t that I wanted a place to dump my son–we took him on every shore excursion, but when we were on the ship, it gave him a chance to play with other kids and use up energy. He has a lot of energy.
For anyone taking a cruise with a child–or a teen for that matter, look to see what the options are for his or her age group. Also, make sure that before you get your mind set on a particular cruise that your child is age appropriate for that cruise.
Look at the shore excursion options if you’re interested in those to see what age a child has to be in order to go. Some trips have age requirements due to safety factors. If excursions are mostly for adult passengers, maybe you ought to reconsider your choice.
There’s a handy press release guide at CruiseCompete.com that highlights cruise line offerings for the younger crowd–even infants. When planning a cruise vacation with a child this can be a handy place to start. As you read through each listing, you’ll notice specifics like what ages are programs geared towards and what services are offered for babies. Some cruises don’t have any specific programs for kids, while others are a kid’s paradise.
Checking out options is a great way to visualize a cruise in the first place. That’s what happened to me. I imagined my son on the cruise and then we had to go.
Here’s an idea for anyone who wants to travel alone, but hates to travel alone when it comes to meal time. These odd thoughts came cavorting through my mind after seeing this story on a Today Show segment. Imagine the scene:
There you are all by yourself while others are paired up or in groups. You are sitting waiting for dinner, maybe reading but feeling a bit dissatisfied. Perhaps you feel like a target to unwanted advances. You wish you had a detractor. Something that lets you know that you are not alone–or at least, if you are alone, you have a way to feel differently. Or perhaps you are a bit shy and wish you had a conversation starter, something that would break the ice when talking with strangers. And if a creepy guy is lurking about, something that would send a signal “hands off.”
A fake baby might be the answer.
According to the segment, the fake babies look and feel real. That downy soft hair. The weight of them. The way they appear in a baby carrier.
Here’s a YouTube video about these fake babies which, for some reason, have a big following in Britain.
One woman interviewed on the Today Show said that holding her fake baby helps her feel calmer. Think about how this might work on the travel scene. Holding a fake baby could give you something to do if a flight is delayed or canceled. Instead of feeling riled up, you can stay calm.
Here’s another way a fake baby might be the ticket to travel bliss. A fake baby in a car seat might help with long drives and cut down on the tendency to talk on a cell phone while driving. The women interviewed said they talk to their babies. You could tell your fake baby your travel plans and concerns which could help pass time as you’re driving down a highway. If you’re lost, telling your fake baby about your direction woes might help you feel better.
Babies can also be people magnets. People will stop to coo over a baby which opens up the channel for other conversations. They’ed certainly be curious about your fake baby.
Dogs can work this way as well, come to think about it, but never mind, this is about babies.
As a person who has traveled with a real baby, I can imagine what it might be to travel with a fake one.
Once I set my son on top of a blanket pallet on a table of a restaurant in Krabe, Thailand when he was three months. He slept while I wrote. I enjoyed having his company, but there was a predicament when, after drinking coffee, water and a smoothie over the period of a couple of hours, I had to get rid of some of the liquid. I wouldn’t have worried about waking a fake baby up–or dropping him on the bathroom floor when trying to rearrange my clothes.
Just like leaving my son sleeping on the table wasn’t an option, leaving a fake baby isn’t an option either. They can cost up to $4,000. A little over $1,000 is common. If someone stole your fake baby, you’d probably feel sad. Angry even.
Actually, a fake baby traveling companion seems a bit odd to think about it–harmless, but odd.
What about dressing up a dog like a person? Now, that’s another thought. Some celebrities do it. You’ve seen the pictures. Nah. That seems as weird to me as a fake baby.
As an aside, yesterday I was talking to a woman who was holding a six-week-old baby. The baby was sleeping soundly, not moving. Guess what I thought of? Fake baby. These days, double check.
Here’s a link to Reborn Babies, a company that makes the dolls. There are several examples of what they look like.