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 Kids in Europe

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Momma Mia
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PostSubject: Kids in Europe   Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:51 pm

We're thinking about Celebrity Equinox for the August 8th sailing and it will be our kids first time to Europe. I'm wondering how other parents have handled kids with the long plane ride and the unfamiliar surroundings and languages of other countries.
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HelenB
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PostSubject: Re: Kids in Europe   Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:18 pm

We will be on the Equinox 8/8/09 sailing! My children will be 6 and 8 at the time of the cruise.

We have not taken our kids to Europe before, but we have cruised to Mexico and Caribbean islands where the native language was Spanish. We explained to our kids that the language was different there, and tried to teach them a few words (Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You) so that they could be polite. Honestly, as long as they are open to the concept of another culture (which, IMHO, is the more important message) they should be reasonably accepting of another language, particularly if Mom and Dad are there to help guide them. FWIW, the cruise ship is fairly insulated, and they will be very comfortable with that, so their exposure while in port can be limited if you feel that they aren't adapting well.

We cruised Australia and New Zealand last January, and even coming from the West Coast of the US, that was a LONG flight. Fortunately we were able to get them to sleep for part of it, and they also played with handheld games (Nintendo DS for the 7 y.o., Leapster for the 5 y.o.). Each child also had new books, coloring pages, etc. for the journey, as well as special snacks (including chewy candy for takeoff and landing to help pop their ears). We took Air New Zealand, which had individualized tv screens/entertainment centers for each seat, and the kids were able to choose their own movies and play video games on them. This helped a lot: so much so that I'm wondering if I should pay more for an airline that has this feature when we fly to Europe. I know other people bring a portable DVD player that the kids can watch.

I would love to hear to hear people's suggestions on these issues!
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PostSubject: Re: Kids in Europe   Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:09 pm

We took our kids to Europe 3 summers ago. They were 7 and 8 at that time.
We flew British Airways to Italy. They offered the kids' special backpacks with games coloring books and toys which kept them very busy.
I was very concerned how they would handle the situation of a very different country, but they loved every second! We taught them a few phrases in Italian (basically, how to order gelatto) and they loved it when anyone would respond to them in Italian!
I was so worried before we left about how they would adapt, but they surprised me! My son even tried some squid!!! My daughter who is also very picky, ate everything put in front of her!
Now they are bugging us to get back to Europe again soon!!!
We are thinking about either doing a cruise in the summer of 2010, or going back to the Amalfi Coast for a couple of weeks.

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PostSubject: Re: Kids in Europe   Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:44 pm

Kids today are pretty sophisticated, depending on their ages, if you explain to them what is going to happen at each step, for example, what to expect in customs, most kids fair overseas traveling very well. They adapt much easier than their adult counter-parts, and, it's a lifetime memory maker. Thumbs up for even considering taking them along!
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