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 Taking a family cruise.

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:27 am

Me and my girls are just happy to be on a cruise and as long as the service and kids programs are good, the ship is clean and organized, we are happy. The talk about cruising all the time!!

My goal is to try every line over the next several years ... including Disney. I like the idea of a 3 or 4 day Disney cruise combined with 3 to 4 days doing the Disney parks.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:45 am

Livabeth wrote:
My goal is to try every line over the next several years ... including Disney. I like the idea of a 3 or 4 day Disney cruise combined with 3 to 4 days doing the Disney parks.

We have done that and it is great! I recommend doing it on your own instead of part of the package. It is much cheaper! We rented a car, drove to the port and parked there (cheaper to pay for a week long rental and parking than the hassle of 2 rentals or port transportation + rental) and then the day we disembarked we were first off the ship and drove straight to Epcot, in time for the 9 am opening. We spent a few days at WDW (with our rental car) and then flew home. I purchased a separate Disney hotel/Meals/Park Tickets package from Disney for this latter part, as they had a fabulous special going.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:00 am

Thanks for the advise Helen. When we are ready to start planning this I'll have to be sure to pick your brain further. I know how much work planning a Disney trip can be.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:31 am

I swear Royal Caribbean should start paying me Laughing but I still think the Royal Caribbean Freedom class ships are much better than Disney. I have some issues with the Disney ships that I hope they address on the next ships. The pools are way too small for the amount of kids in them (floating lobster tanks).

My kids are 4 and 9 (just turned). This was my 4 year old's 6th sailing. She says she likes the "Piarate Ship on the Mickey Ship" but she wants to go back to "Rewal Caribeean".

I just posted our latest experience on Royal Caribbean Independence here...
http://cruisefreekforums.forumfreek.com/royal-caribbean-cruise-reviews-f192/independence-of-the-seas-fort-laud-belize-costa-maya-coz-t2855.htm

So at this point, after doing both Disney Wonder and Magic, and Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas...I still like Royal better.

I'll have to see how our Princess cruise compares.

Children who aren't potty trained - here are the options

Disney - Flounders nursery. And they would have a water play area on the ship.

Carnival - Camp Carnival starts at age 2 and they change diapers. No water play on the ship. Some have reported that they can play in the one pipes area at the WaterWorks. Camp Carnival is a wonderful program.

NCL - Their kids crew starts at 2. They will page you when they need a diaper change.

Royal Caribbean - At this moment, Adevnture Ocean starts at 3 and they must be potty trained. However, they have in cabin sitting for those 1 and older. They have a water play area called the Baby Zone on their Freedom Class ships. And starting with Oasis of the Seas - they will have a nursery onboard. And they also have a Fisher Price play program for Royal Tots and Babies for moms and dads.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:10 am

Michelle, I think that RCI should at least provide you with OBC or something. You have been on many of the lines and therefore we all value your opinion!!

I have been on the Princess ships and the kids program was very good. We plan to go on a RCI ship next (possibly the Explorer our of NJ), and I look forward to comparing the two. Disney is on our wish list, but for only a short 3/4 day cruise ... combined with a trip to Disneyworld.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:13 am

they should give you a gift michele because i am booking with them after your review and i have left messages with a lot of my friends about it too.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:31 am

Livabeth wrote:
Disney is on our wish list, but for only a short 3/4 day cruise ... combined with a trip to Disneyworld.

Our Wonder cruise was 6 days at Wilderness Lodge Resort/WDW followed by 3 days on Wonder. I have to say that the 3 days on Wonder seemed unbelievably short. I wish we had done 4 days. It seemed that we just got unpacked when we had to start packing again. Wink So if you plan on doing that, do the 4 day one. People had warned me in advance, but I didn't listen. Laughing

I think you saw the Family review I did on the Wonder (on CruiseCritic). I'll post the link for anyone who wants to see the ship. cabin, kids menu, etc...

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=846086

When we do Port Canaveral, we stay onsite at WDW and use the Magic Express from airport to resort (free to those who stay at a Disney resort). Then for the week at WDW we use the Disney transportation (bus, boat, monorail). Then for the actual cruise transportation, we use Florida Towncar Service to pick us up at the hotel and then drop us off at the port, then pick us up at the port and drop us off at the airport.

For the Disney Kid Pages....I have them scanned at my site here...
http://s204.photobucket.com/albums/bb196/cruisinmama06/
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 am

oesnjstar wrote:
they should give you a gift michele because i am booking with them after your review and i have left messages with a lot of my friends about it too.

Hey I keep waiting. geek

Ya know, that was the part that really peeved me off about the whole "Royal Champions" selection over at CC. If you don't go to cruise critic then I'll explain, Royal Champions are posters that are generally loyal to Royal Carribean and are helpful on the boards, help people when deciding what cruise to do. Royal Champions attend the press functions and the pre-inaugurals.

So the first round of Royal Champion selections were obviously made by Royal Caribbean because they made sense. We have some of those Royal Champions here. They are people that are very helpful and they are very knowledgeable about Royal Caribbean.

THEN, the 2nd round of Royal Champion selections come out and they make NO SENSE. I have a feeling that Royal Caribbean had very little to do with those selections. Wink

So I am not holding my breath for any gifts from them. Laughing I talk about them because I believe in their product...especially for the Family cruisers. And I will continue to cruise them, even though I don't have a "Royal Champion" under my name. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:18 pm

I agree, Michelle is the RCCL expert around here! Thank you for your insights, Michelle!
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:20 pm

crusinmama06 wrote:
Livabeth wrote:
Disney is on our wish list, but for only a short 3/4 day cruise ... combined with a trip to Disneyworld.

Our Wonder cruise was 6 days at Wilderness Lodge Resort/WDW followed by 3 days on Wonder. I have to say that the 3 days on Wonder seemed unbelievably short. I wish we had done 4 days. It seemed that we just got unpacked when we had to start packing again. Wink So if you plan on doing that, do the 4 day one. People had warned me in advance, but I didn't listen. Laughing

I think you saw the Family review I did on the Wonder (on CruiseCritic). I'll post the link for anyone who wants to see the ship. cabin, kids menu, etc...

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=846086

When we do Port Canaveral, we stay onsite at WDW and use the Magic Express from airport to resort (free to those who stay at a Disney resort). Then for the week at WDW we use the Disney transportation (bus, boat, monorail). Then for the actual cruise transportation, we use Florida Towncar Service to pick us up at the hotel and then drop us off at the port, then pick us up at the port and drop us off at the airport.

For the Disney Kid Pages....I have them scanned at my site here...
[url=http://s204.photobucket.com/albums/bb196/cruisinmama06/
http://s204.photobucket.com/albums/bb196/cruisinmama06/[/quote[/url]]


Thanks for the further advice. I see us planning our next Disney adventure in the fall of 2010 ... combine it with free dining (I hope they still offer it then) and then throw in a 4 day Disney cruise. We want to do a cruise or two before this though.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:38 pm

michele - i booked that independence base on your review - tell royal carib that.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:16 pm

oesnjstar wrote:
michele - i booked that independence base on your review - tell royal carib that.

They don't care. Laughing There are people on the Family Board at CC that have booked groups on the Freedom class ships based on my reviews. I don't get as much as a chocolate on my pillow at night. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:57 pm

crusinmama06 wrote:
They don't care. Laughing There are people on the Family Board at CC that have booked groups on the Freedom class ships based on my reviews. I don't get as much as a chocolate on my pillow at night. Laughing

What? No chocolates? You need to try Princess.... Wink

FWIW, I've convinced hundreds of people to take cruises, and I've never gotten anything, until I found this board and met Tina! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:31 pm

well don't start me michele. you saw my review on the chocolate issue. i am telling you i literally stomped down the hall and stalked a cabin attendent until he came out from cleaning a room. he looked afraid to tell me they stopped putting chocolates on the pillows.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:20 pm

HelenB wrote:


What? No chocolates? You need to try Princess....

Yep, it's true. In an effort to "cut costs" they did away with the chocolates on the pillows. Shocked

Did I mention they are building a ROLLER COASTER on Labadee, but they can't finance a couple of chocolates. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:28 pm

crusinmama06 wrote:
HelenB wrote:


What? No chocolates? You need to try Princess....

Yep, it's true. In an effort to "cut costs" they did away with the chocolates on the pillows. Shocked

Did I mention they are building a ROLLER COASTER on Labadee, but they can't finance a couple of chocolates. Rolling Eyes

Wow ... a roller coaster. I guess that over time the roller coaster will pay for itself. But the chocolates will just always add cost. It's true ... the chocolates on Princess are yummy ...
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:55 pm

I haven't been on Celebrity in awhile, but their chocolates are my favorite. DH asked the cabin steward for some extra white chocolates, and he got a whole bagful! It was incredible!

Needless to say, we tipped that steward extra well. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:17 pm

HelenB wrote:
What? No chocolates? You need to try Princess.... Wink

Princess disappointed me this past fall because there are no soft-serve ice cream machines to be found anywhere. Anywhere that is, except for the ice cream counter where you have to pay for it. That nickle and dime tactic really peeved me.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:25 pm

Really? We cruised last year and they had soft serve, but only at certain times in the Horizon Court.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:27 pm

HelenB wrote:
Really? We cruised last year and they had soft serve, but only at certain times in the Horizon Court.

One hour per day they had ice cream in Horizon Court. Every other cruise I have ever been on had them available 24/7 including the QM2.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:31 pm

I agree with STeve. I dont like that princess doesnt have ice cream available like carnival does. I do like the milk and cookies in the afternoon though. I did miss princess not having animal towels like disney and carnival. It made it so much fun for the kids to go to the room after dinner to see what animal we would have waiting for us
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:03 pm

My girls (12, 16) love the towel animals. So far the best one was on our Carnival trip this last fall. It was a Monkey hanging from the ceiling. The steward didn't know that we are a little partial to monkeys because at my MIL in South Africa she has a troop that comes through every morning and evening and my youngest loved it. Have pictures of her feeding them. (My MIL has named them and they actually bring her the new babies to see.)
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:24 pm

I, too, would most definitely recommend Carnival to families with young children. Royal Caribbean is great, too, but probably best for teens. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:53 am

PRTTravel wrote:
I, too, would most definitely recommend Carnival to families with young children. Royal Caribbean is great, too, but probably best for teens. Smile

Candy

Nooo, you have to see these ships! You are missing out with little ones Very Happy Take a look at these pics....my little one had the best time...

http://cruisefreekforums.forumfreek.com/royal-caribbean-cruise-reviews-f192/independence-of-the-seas-fort-laud-belize-costa-maya-coz-t2855.htm


And Princess doesn't have towel animals????? Shocked Shocked Shocked We need towel animals. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:34 am

michele - i hope the independence has a lot of towels when we go 3/28/10 because my niece has never been on a cruise and that would be just another great thing for her. on the explorer last week we had 2 towel animals and if you read my review the cabin attendant forgot to come back and make 1 of the animals so it was just 2 towels on my bed.
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