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bamelin

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About bamelin

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  1. Personally I'm taking shuttles everywhere so not bringing the car seat. You can lap seat your child if in a bus or big shuttle in Florida. If using a cab or car then you will legally need the car seat. On the cruise itself we plan on sticking by the ports.
  2. We actually cruise in December. Hopefully there will be no problems! I feel it's going to be a bit of a hassle but he's too young to use the shower.
  3. Years ago I gave my parents a cruise as a surprise on their wedding anniversary. The way I handled it was that I gave them a present (normally they might get a $20 gift card wrapped in a box for example). So I had the same size box as what I normaly put gift card but this time put in a MSC cruise magazine with the ship on the front cover then a sticky note saying January 7 - 14. They were so shocked when they opened it haha. They couldn't BELIEVE it. That was 10 years ago. Now they've done more cruises than me haha. I'm on team "don't surprise the wife" and I see that you wisely told her ahead of time. As fun as it would be to see her shock, on cruises you need nicer outifts for the gala nights, plus as others have mentioned there's a bunch of stuff you just HAVE to have packed as you won't be near any stores aside from what the cruise gift shops have.
  4. So for the land portion of the cruise I always recommend Double Denali. In order to be able to do the 8 hour Tundra Wilderness Adventure Tour which is a "deep dive" into Denali Park you must have at least 2 nights accommodation in Denali Park. The half day tour (Natural History Tour) doesn't go as deep into the park and I feel you miss the whole reason for being in Denali Park. If you only have 1 night in Denali Park, the only option is the half day Natural History Tour. A typical itinerary will have coach or train from Seward (or Whittier) to Denali Park, 2 nights in Denali, coach or train from Denali back to Anchorage or up to Fairbanks with one or two more nights in either city before you fly home. Anchorage is totally walkable and a great way to end the trip. Fairbanks has some awesome tours like the Steamboat Whistler tour or the All you Can Eat Salmon Bake with show afterwards. Can't really go wrong with either city although I'd say Anchorage is preferable if you want to be able to just walk around. If you prefer paid/guided tours, then Fairbanks might be better. Another option is to look for a land portion with Alyeska Resort (halfway between Seward and Anchorage up the side of a mountain) included -- this hotel is very luxurious with lots for kids to do --- typically though this hotel is not included with 4 night double Denali itineraries unless you are doing a longer land tour. Talkeetna, while the resorts are nice, I could have skipped that stop. The town was kitschy with cute little stores and restaurants, but overall I would aim to spend the bulk of my time in Denali Park. Also some cruise lines (like Princess) the resort in Talkeetna isn't really close to the town at all. As others have mentioned, be aware that the hotels are LODGES mostly -- they will NOT be at the same quality as what you would get in a 4 star continental US hotel like Hilton/Sheraton/Marriot. The lodges the cruise lines run are for the most part clean, comfy, usually have really nice public areas (bars/restaurants), and generally some epic public outdoor sitting spaces but they are not at the same level as a Marriot/Hilton in terms of the rooms themselves. Also food will be VERY expensive. Like the cheapest thing being a burger/fries that costs $20 and other proper options running $30 - $50 a plate. The food is GOOD but $$$$$. Buffet breakfast will be $17 - $20 and your standard American breakfast options (with added bonus of Reindeer Sausage which is DELICIOUS). It's all about the outdoors up there.
  5. I see a few other threads were linked including mine which I posted last week. Great advice in all of them -- my kid will be 16 months too. I highly recommend a travel stroller -- Purchased the Mountain Nano which I think is going to be great. Other recommendations include the Baby Jogger City Tour 2 or the Babyzen Yoyo+ (although this last one is crazy pricey). All 3 of these strollers should fit in the carry on compartment of the plane which is huge -- damage can occur if you check your stroller. The Babyzen Yoyo + fits in even the smallest of compartments and for many parents replaces their larger strollers completely. We already had a huge SUV style Graco stroller so we went with the Mountain Buggy Nano we got on sale -- got it for a great price and it will get lots of use as our secondary travel stroller when we cruise and likely get use in the spring and summer at home too. The cruise line will provide a pack n play (just ask them to add it to your reservation). We generally co sleep so will use the pack n play when we need somewhere to put him while we are all awake. For clothes I'd recommend just packing enough for the cruise -- while I DO plan on doing laundry that's because we will be away for 14 nights -- on a 7 night I'd just pack enough. You could get the $50 unlimited laundry package or do 1 bag of laundry which I believe costs $20. (edit: I was assuming you were on a HAL ship -- you will have to look up all the various laundry options -- a lot of ships have laundromats but who really wants to do laundry on a cruise?) Some of the best advice I got here is to bring doggy poopy bags, disposable bibs rather than ones I'd need to wash, oh and to bring a blow up tub for swimming on the balcony as well as bathtime at night. There were a lot of things in those threads I hadn't thought of and it really helped me with envisioning what we need to pack.
  6. For sure. We are planning to be early, have it folded, in the bag. You can fold it with wheels on or off, we will take off the wheels as it does reduce the footprint. The nano folded with wheels off is borderline cabin walk on but on larger planes which we mostly are on it should be ok. I wanted the yoyo so bad but just couldn’t justify 200 for the nano versus 800 for the yoyo. Our winters are bad too so our massive graco will still get lots of use. I’ll say though that the yoyo with add ons (leg rest and cupholder) has everything we wanted. The price with add ons though ... yeah obscene. Thanks for letting me know about special instructions with laundry ... thats our big worry his cloths will come back shrunk or messed up. Or worse some detergent he has allergies to.
  7. Got that covered my parents are sailing with us . They are doing two weeks we are joining them on week two. They are insisting on babysitting at least two nights so we can go out a couple nights. That was a huge factor in choosing this cruise. To be honest though I'm a home body I'll be happy chilling in our room watching movies, drinking wine on balcony, enjoying MDR room service...
  8. So per bag $20? In asking as I'm on another cruise before my Hal cruise and have 2 days at a hotel to do laundry before we start our 7 day HAL cruise. I doubt we will need more than one bag. We can pay as you go at 20 a bag?
  9. I'll admit I'm old school and was vehemently against the "leash". I survived somehow ranging in parks and malls at age 7 miles away from home. But it's a different world nowadays. And tbh after reading that story about the kid falling out the window on that cruise ship ... Horrible. Yeah we will use the tether. My kid is at that age where fully mobile but can't (barely) talk or completely understand what we are saying try. He's so fast... It's easy to make judgements until you have a little nugget running at a million miles an hour and you can barely keep up lol Im an "old" dad at 43, I need the leash hehe
  10. my wife says thanks! We use well.ca all the time so that’s a good option.
  11. Do you have a brand you recommend? My wife mentioned skiphop (I think that’s the brand name)
  12. yeah my wife wants one of those. I’m kind of sold on it now although I’ll admit I made the snide dog comments when she first asked about it ... but I’ve thought it over and recognize the benefits. Do you recommend the backpack harness or straight harness?
  13. For sure. If you choose to fly home upon getting off the ship: 1. You are up at 6 or 7 AM, rushing to buffet then disembarking -- so already pretty tired. Maybe even missed the buffet due to early morning flight forcing you to express disembark 2. Immediately having to deal with a busy airport after battling huge equally stressed crowds for a cab 3. If not able to get reasonable priced afternoon flights, having to hang out in airport until late afternoon or evening 4. Taking the flight and possibly having to connect. Crappy airport and airline food all day since lunch 5. Finally getting home and dealing with a drive home (in some cases a long drive) 6. Collapsing in bed past midnight exhausted with mountains of laundry waiting the next day As opposed to: 1. You are up at 6 or 7 AM, head to buffet then disembarking -- so already pretty tired. 2. Tired but pretty relaxed since you were able to linger at buffet and casually saunter off the ship without a whirlwind time table ahead 3. Shuttle/Taxi to luxe resort and check in. 4. At the pool by 12 sipping on a cocktail, maybe having a bite to eat 5. Afternoon spent at pool/napping/etc 6. Delicious dinner 7. In bed early to prepare for flight next day 8. Get up at 10 or 11, have a buffet breakfast late so you are full before your flight and happy 9. Relaxing ride to airport happy knowing you have a great afternoon flight you got cheap because you didn't leave on a Saturday or Sunday 10. The rest of the air stuff still sucks but at least you aren't tired =) That's the main thing really -- flying out the same day is exhausting. Hotel doesn't even have to be a 5 star -- I tend to try to stick with Courtyard quality or better, but in the end it's about being able to rest before the flight so we are not exhausted wrecks the day we go home.
  14. One of the things we are debating about bringing, we have one of those beach tent protection thingys --- our cruises have multiple beach days. The beach tent thing is smallish but will still take up space in luggage. @mommyzI need to get him sunglasses too but I'm worried he'll just tear them off and throw away when I'm not looking lol.
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