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About mdjohn5

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. mdjohn5

    Cruise with Toddlers

    If your room only has a shower, bringing the blowup pool also makes a good bathtub.
  2. mdjohn5

    Miami Airport Taxi with small children

    Most airlines will let you check car seats without a charge. Booster seats are super easy that way. The full on car seats are harder, but still doable. Not ideal, but an option if others are looking at this thread.
  3. mdjohn5

    Kids in lounges and bars?

    Not sure what the official policy is, but there are relatively few kids on the average HA cruise. Other than the casino, I don't think they would throw kids out of a venue unless they were causing an issue. But maybe others have had a different experience.
  4. People head to the kids club the first day because there is paperwork you need to fill out before you can use the club. Its easier to do that right away and that gives the kids some time to look around the club and meet the staff, etc When our kids were that age, we would bring a set of dry erase markers for sea days. If you have a balcony room, the kids can go to town on the plexi-glass while you sit and read with a glass of wine.....I mean supervise... just grab a towel and clean it off when they are done. Our kids also love to play bingo. we divide up the cards and they help find the numbers. There is always something going on...it never seems like a problem to find an activity.
  5. mdjohn5

    Are There Kids on HAL at Spring Break?

    Last year on a 7 day spring break cruise on the Niewe Amsterdam (late March), there were just under 100 kids on board If you have kids on the ship, the Club HAL staff will usually tell you how many kids on the ship if you ask. That was the most children we have seen on a HA cruise.
  6. At that age, we purchased a used umbrella stroller at a garage sale for about $5. It was easy to just collapse and carry when the kids wanted to walk, and since we got it used/cheap, our plan was to just throw it away if it ever became a burden. That thing lasted through more trips than anything else we owned..
  7. mdjohn5

    Best ship for non-English speaking 3-year old

    You might try a line like Holland America. We have found fewer kids in general on HA, so the kid/counselor ratio is better than the more kid oriented cruise lines. With more adults around to keep them engaged, it might be easier in the kids club if there is a language barrier. Their ships also go all over (they don't just stay in the Caribbean like RCCL or CCL) so it seems like they tend to have more people working in the club that speak more than one language (although lucking out with a Swedish speaker seems like a bit of a stretch, but you never know!)
  8. My wife's method is to load up the Sherpa (aka Me!) with everything he can carry...then she throws one more bag on just for fun...
  9. mdjohn5

    Stupid Question...lost child?

    In the unlikely event this happens, all kids wear a flexible band that has their muster station. So at a minimum, anyone on the crew could isolate where the child belongs down to a few cabins. I would image security could figure it out pretty quick based their muster station and the picture in their system. Plus, if they are doing kids club, (depending on the ship and number of kids) there is a good chance the kids club staff will recognize them and where they belong.
  10. mdjohn5

    Stroller for a 3 year old?

    Bring a stroller. period. end of sentence. There is a lot of walking and standing on vacation....and 3 year olds have short legs! Nothing worse than having your arms full of travel stuff, and the kiddo decides their done walking :) at 2-4 yo, I like to have them in the stroller in busy places like the airport, ports, etc so they don't get away from me. We bought a "vacation" umbrella stroller at a garage sale for $5 with the intention of just throwing it away if it was ever too much of a hassle on vacation...we have had that thing for 6 plus years now. Also, if you are flying it is nice to have the cheap stroller in the airport. In a lot of airports, having the kid in a stroller is what gets you moved to the family lines at security...
  11. mdjohn5

    Excursions with 6 year old...recs please

    The stingrays on GC are really neat to see, but 6 yo might be a little young. The sandbar is roughly in 4ft of water? (someone correct me...its been a few years), but I think a 6 year old would probably not be able to stand on it...they would need to cling to you or float in their life jacket. For the price, I would recommend waiting a few years unless they are really good swimmers, just my 2 cents. Dunn River Falls in Jamaica might be a good for an adventurous 6yo. Its a large park with a cool waterfall that you climb up.
  12. mdjohn5

    Stateroom question with toddler

    If you have a room with a couch, you can turn it around to face the wall.
  13. mdjohn5

    Parenting Advise

    One more thing, First day, if your child is a milk drinker, scout out the locations to get milk. Our kids like to drink it before bed, and the buffet is usually closed and/or closing about that time so its nice to know a few places to get it if you don't have any on ice or in a fridge (if your room has one). You can always do room service, but that can take a while and (my) kids don't always have a while :).
  14. mdjohn5

    Parenting Advise

    Couple of tips from a father of 5 and 7 year olds who have each been on 5 cruises, Set your expectations....cruising with kids is a different experience. You need to be able to roll with the punches! I go to the casino after the wife and kids are tucked in for the evening and my wife goes out to the pool/spa in the afternoons while I entertain the kids. Need to work it out so that everyone has a fun time. Zip lock bags are your new best friends. Pack outfits in them and then re-use them as diaper holders in case it takes a while for your cabin garbage to be removed. My kids love to color / draw. If you have a cabin with a balcony, you can use dry erase markers on the Plexiglas. I could sit out on the balcony and read while my kids go to town creating their next Picaso masterpiece! We like to bring a few hard plastic toys that are multi-purpose. They can be used in the bathtub, in the room, in the pool, etc. Don't be afraid of the main dinning room. I am always ready to remove the kids if they get loud, but its much easier to have people bring you food than have to juggle it all at the buffet. I don't think you said if your child was a boy/girl....but you can get a kids Tux online pretty cheap....and they are the hit of the dinning room on formal night. Transportation is always an issue at that age, so scout it out first. You need to decide on your car seat strategy and how you plan to get between point A and B. On most ships you can't use the kids club until they are potty sufficient...i.e they can do it by themselves but may need a little help. For my kids, the clubs can be hit or miss...really depends on how engaging the staff are and if they make friends early in the week. Some times we cant keep them out, and other times we have to push them in and run...... :) Have a great time!