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Onessa

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About Onessa

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    USA - Midwest
  • Interests
    volunteering
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCI, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. Some of the ship's excursions may tender to a different area where there is road access for tour buses. We took this for a quick excursion. the tour bus took us to Oia for a few hours and then to Fieria where we could take the funicular down to the regular place. Lines for the funicular down are not as bad as up. Or we could have met back up with the excursion for bus back to the alternate docking area. Apart from the bus transportation, our excursion was on-our-own. It met our needs perfectly and took the stress out of the whole "getting up there" part. (I hate lines!)
  2. I've had limited success getting good quality rest on long flights (for me and for my daughter 🙂 ). I purchased sleep headphones - tiny flat speakers sewn into a comfy headband designed for listening while sleeping - (on-line at www.sleepphones.com). Combined with an audio book or calming music or white-noise, and other comforting things and use the headband as a sleep mask or find another way to block light -- to eliminate outside stimulus and distractions. Shoes off (bring some heavy socks or use slip-on shoes for trips to the bathroom), a nice bedtime snack (dairy combined with a carb) and some comfort item. I'd limit any type of sleep med other than maybe melatonin myself. Most sleep med have carryover effects or side effects. While awake, most long-flightaircraftt are supplied with personalized in-flight electronic entertainment. Head phones. Books with travel games/puzzles/madlibs; and miniaturee versions of toys. I have had a lot of luck with the tiny "party" sized containers of pla-doh - they are fun, cheap, versatile (and disposable when they get yucky) -- use in free play, but also come prepared with some doh "games" -- for pre-schoolers, have them make doh snakes and outline simple shapes drawn on paper, for older ones sculpt different shapes or other challenges (make a chain, use other stuff to make impressions into the doh, etc). Have some fun snacks. A couple of dollar store surprises. Come armed with word games. Watch the carts, and plan a few get up and walk the aisle trips to coincide with the food or bev service's down-times. Have fun! Getting there should be part of the adventure.
  3. Yup, go to the open house to get the kids familiar and maybe meet some other kids there for the tour. Goring to the club for an hour or so the first "time" open is the key -- everyone is "new" at that time
  4. DD is now 23YO, but I traveled alone with her for years. When she was an infant, I'd buy her a seat (even though she could have flied for free on my lap). In the airport she traveled in a front pack, and I strapped her diaper bag and her carseat onto a similar cart to just roll behind me, but as she got older, I discovered the same trick you use with the magna carts. She thought it was great fun and I made my life SO much easier! Great info!
  5. I did not read any of the prior responses as "snippy" or "rude" -- just honest. Swim diapers are not allowed in most pools and splash pads on most cruise ships. There are notices posted, there are notices in cruise documentation, there are good reasons why they are not allowed, and yes (sadly) many pax "get away" with it because cruise employees will likely not push the rules unless there is an issue or if someone else complains.
  6. Also if you are cruising outside of North America/Caribbean, the regulation as to acceptable frequencies can vary from those used / available in N.America.
  7. We did a couple of European adventures with our DD when she was close to your kids ages. She was a pretty chill kid, so we were able to do a lot of sightseeing without her getting too antsy. But I'd set up daily visual scavenger hunts for her every day -- a list of about 10 or 12 things -- some specific to where you will be that day - Venice, winged lion for example. And others more generic - like an orange baseball hat, or a round window. If she saw something, she'd point it out and we'd cross it off. If she got all of them, she get a prize -- very often a Kinder Egg (she loved those things). It would keep her more interested in looking around! We also did a daily search of US and Canadian flags -- doing a daily count. As far as packing is concerned, Europe tourist areas can be a bit "dressier" than US tourist areas, so I might go a bit heavier on collared shirts for boys, sundresses for girls. With as long as a trip you are planning, you must be planning for laundry -- so I'd be comfortable packing lighter than usual. May will be cool in some of your destinations - so at least one basic cardigan and a light water resistant jacket for each is a must have, but there again, resist the temptation to overpack.
  8. First night of kids club is key if the kids want to use kids club -- it is when they are most likely to meet new friends -- there are a lot of games that encourage kids to meet and since everyone is new there is not the awkwardness. Some familiar snacks and pack a few "comfort" things. Keep an eye out for potential melt-down moments and retreat to somewhere with a familiar snack A budget for extras - souvenirs, treats, game tokens, etc. Most kids programs will have a pajama night (in addition to those mentioned elsewhere) so some "cool" PJs are generally a good idea. I always brought a bag of cheapo toys and stickers and stuff, for impromptu entertainment / surprises. I'd work out a daily scavenger hunt -- 10-12 items from the mundane -- like an umbrella or a NY Giant's tshirt or an orange purse; and then things that we should be "on the lookout for" because of the location we were in (a statue of a lion in Venice, or the French flag or whatever) It keeps the kids more involved in their surroundings. a separate list of 5-6 for each kid and then 5-6 that are "joint" Dress for your activities -- nothing is more miserable than having a kid who is too cold or who keeps stubbing a toe because they can't keep their flip-flops on.
  9. Perhaps you were unaware but this WAS an option in the old system. It is a personal preference and a very, very common option on many social media sites. When I was following the boards on a daily basis; it made a lot of sense. I followed many of the same long threads and by having the newest posts in a thread at the top of the thread, it was very easy to just view the new posts in each conversation. Rather than the posters stating that something seems "peculiar" or "strange" or whatever to them or you poking fun of something that you do not do; perhaps ask politely why someone might want to see the most recent posts first? Or otherwise maybe just resist the urge to post?
  10. I'd also take a look at the rest of the itinerary. We've done a variety of cruise lines to AK -- our last we chose a smaller ship that stopped at some of the smaller (less congested and less commercialized) ports - Love Sitka and St. Pete. Some of the other ports have just gotten crazy!
  11. Why is that "unreal" when <80% of Americans consider themselves Christian? If it had been a Shinto, Hindu, Muslim or Flying Spaghetti Monster adherent, I simply would've remained silent for a moment. It's about respect. Would that one minute of your life have affected your cruise all that much? THAT is what's unreal to me. I'm sure he was as glad you moved as you were to move. Tolerance and respect goes both ways. I am not going to "bow my head" but I would remain silent for a moment. I would be uncomfortable if anyone of any religion expected me to join them or if they felt it necessary to "speak" their prayer. Many of the approximately 75% of Americans who consider themselves to be Christians also admit to not be "religious". And among even the devout Christians there are widely different practices and prayers. An Orthodox Christian's prayer may "offend" a Baptist (or vice versa). And for those of us who are not Christians, being asked to participate in another religion's rites is sacrilegious both to my belief's and to the other religion. As others have suggested, a moment of silence - to be used however everyone wishes - is fine. Even the least religious of us could use a few seconds of silence before beginning a meal.
  12. Cruise to where? Standard Caribbean may be a bit more difficult. I've never had any issues but during the school year for cruises - we've done Panama Canal (Language, History and physics), Hawai'i (History and natural science/geology), and three different Med cruises. If there are US ports, look into trips to National Parks, their kid's programs are excellent
  13. Both of our AK cruises were very early June - the pools were open but particularly on at sea times could be a bit chilly (but we are from up on Lake Superior and so chilly is a very relative term) There are a lot of opportunities to hike in AK - Juneau, Skagway, and Sitka in particular. Ketichan is pretty cool with the lumberjack stuff and the totem museum. The opportunity to visit a glacier is also pretty gosh darn interesting. Med - you've got a lot of cool spots, Roman and Greek ruins, beaches, etc. A Greek cruise could be interesting - some beach opportunities but the ancient olympics site from Kotocolon, exploring Santorini, lots of new adventures, but many spots in Europe do require a bit of a trip from the port to the sights
  14. Depends upon what made your carib cruises "fun" for your kids. We did two AK and three Med cruises with our DD while she was in elementary and middle school (+ one HI, one Maritime, and one Baltic). DD is NOT a fan of beaches, or amusement rides, but likes impressionist art, hiking, and photography. She really liked all of our cruises -- we balanced some museums with national parks and her father tolerated our shopping. She always liked the various kids club and still keeps in touch with some of the kids she hung with. Now that she is out of middle school, she has spent most of her travel time with marching band trips and sports trips. No time for cruising!
  15. No personal experience with Carnival. But typically kids programming starts after sail away on all lines on which I have travelled. As far as Step-D's reluctance to "leave" her kids anywhere, while kids personality vary, most kids prefer hanging out with other kids for at least a part of the day. And most will prefer the programs aimed for kids at the kid's programs more than the stuff we adults usually do. Give the kids some time to be kids every day and then they will be more likely to try other family-oriented stuff that includes the adults The staff is very well vetted and the program procedures ensure safety The kid's club counselors tend to be among the more highly paid regular employees on board so they aren't just there for the tip money. They tend to really like working with kids so they make the programs fun places to be. She should check them out and let her kids participate if they want to.
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