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kitkat343

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  1. My kids were fine with the kids club starting at 3. I wasn't impressed with the kids club staff at Cunard, and my 2 year old was very reluctant to stay despite the fact that he'd been in daycare since aged 4 months. If his brother hadn't helped him through the transition, he wouldn't have made it. So you do need to be prepared for the possibility that your child will not be able to handle Camp Carnival, and if you think you will still be able to enjoy your vacation without a kids club then you should go. If you are completely dependent upon a kids club in order to enjoy a vacation (and that is the case for my family) you might want to wait until the age of 3.
  2. I think you absolutely did the right thing by taking the taxi since your child was upset and you needed to get back as easily and as quickly as possible. However, Bermuda is extremely safe, and their public buses are actually really nice. I think if this had happened somewhere less safe or on the third day where there was a time crunch to get back to the ship, NCL might have been a bit more likely to reimburse you for the taxi.
  3. I need to preface this by stating that we sailed on the Ryndam, which is one of the oldest ships in the fleet. We took a one week segment of a three week cruise departing from Ft. Lauderdale visiting Guatemala, Roatan and Costa Maya (these turned out to all be great ports for a toddler but I'm not sure that's a common belief). The demographics for this particular sailing skewed much older than even Hal's normal standard. There were very few children on board. Our son was 3, and the crafts seemed mostly of the glue stuff to paper plates standard, which was far below what we saw from crafts on either NCL or Princess. I was also quite concerned because there were only two counselors on this sailing for the kids club. Not just two people on staff at any time - only two actual counselors on the whole ship, who had to work every single shift the kids club is open (which is less time than other ships, but still way too much time for two people even though the kids club was pretty empty.) We sailed on Princess on a ship that also had very few children (Panama Canal cruise during school year had only 9 kids) and they had a lot more staff on board, so the kids club staff got breaks during some of the shifts. The two actual counselors were very nice and friendly and my son was quite happy at the kids club. Others on this forum have reported being more impressed with the level of activities on HAL, so maybe their newer ships/more kid friendly itineraries have more resources for kids. There was absolutely no education, but this might be different on other sailings like Alaska. If there are very few kids on your sailing, I would imagine the staff might be quite willing to accommodate whatever your children need if you can give them specific instructions (again they seemed like really nice staff, I just didn't see that they had been given a lot of resources in terms of craft supplies or high enough staffing levels so they don't get tired). I was not given a pager, but the kids club staff were happy to answer the phone when I called about 10 minutes after drop off to inform me that my son was quite happy. My son really liked the cooking class - he said his pancakes weren't nearly as good as the chef's. I can't remember if they took the kids to the cooking demonstration center or if they made them in the kids club.
  4. I really wish Alla would stop giving people credit for flooding the forums with this garbage.
  5. Good luck and I really hope it all works out! It’s just frustrating since you’ve done everything right.
  6. Flam and geiranger are amazing, but these are two fjords affected by new regulations requiring ships to be more eco friendly in order to dock. If you find an itinerary you like, post it here and hopefully someone can tell you if the ship meets the new regulations.
  7. I haven't read the review. If something like this happened to me, I would also write a review because I don't think all travelers will carefully note cancellation policies ahead of time and part of the point of reviews is to let other travelers know about parts of tours that they might not be aware of. I would make sure to note in the review if their cancellation policy was clearly stated in their website or email communication prior to booking. I think it is reasonable to write that kind of a review, since travelers who are willing to risk losing their deposit will still choose to go ahead with the tour, and those who are more risk averse can make alternative arrangements. And honestly if the provider chooses to keep people's deposits then that's the risk they take instead of giving the money back. For example, I took a great Mayan tour in Costa Maya. They very clearly stated on their website that their office was a few blocks from the port, and that travelers with difficulty walking should take a cab. There were no cabs available when we left the port and we had a small child with us, so this was difficult for us. I noted in the review that we had been clearly warned ahead of time about this walk, and that it might be difficult for some travelers if cabs aren't available. I wasn't upset with the company since they warned us ahead of time about this situation, but wanted other travelers to have all the information available prior to choosing if this tour would be a good fit for their situation.
  8. I'm sorry - I can't find anything that directly addresses your situation. It's clear that without the adoption, a minor child is able to go on a closed loop cruise to Canada. An U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original, notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by Department of State, (DOS) and/or Certificate of Naturalizationissued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Note: Baptismal papers and hospital certificates of birth are not acceptable. Voter registration cards or Social Security are not considered proof of citizenship. If the child is a newborn and the actual birth certificate has not arrived from the Vital Records Department, we will accept a Hospital issued birth certificate. The United States does not require you to have a passport. (A Consular report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State or a Certificate of Naturalization is also acceptable.) HOWEVER, it is possible that one or more of the Caribbean Islands on your itinerary, does require you to have a passport to enter their country. In that case, it is very possible that the cruise line will require you to have a passport to board, even if it is not a U.S. requirement. Celebrity's blog indicates they would let a minor child sail to Canada without a passport: https://www.celebritycruises.com/blog/cruise-tips-and-advice/find-out-if-you-need-a-passport-to-go-on-a-cruise
  9. thanks so much - this is extremely helpful! We've really only sailed on ships with few amenities, so my kids might really enjoy this.
  10. My family has traveled on a few cruises, but we've always chosen itineraries instead of ships. I was wondering if it might be worth trying our home port (Cape Liberty) since we have 3 kids including an infant to be on a fun ship for the kids. My dream for a long time had been to travel to Cuba, but since that isn't an option I'm wondering if a local ship for an easy vacation might be something to try. The ships in Cape Liberty are: Oasis of the Seas Vision of the Seas Adventure of the Seas Anthem of the Seas Empress Are there any ships among these that would be your top choices of activities for a young family (children are currently aged 8, 4 and 9 months) . We'd wait until the baby was over a year to sail.
  11. I did Teppanyaki on the Star 5 years ago. The food was fine but not outstanding. They can charge through the roof since families will go with their kids since they figure its got to be an improvement over the mdr, and the kids will enjoy the show (the latter is definitely true, not so much for the former at least on the Star). There's very limited capacity in Teppanyaki and a lot of families, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it sells out even if it is a rip off (as a parent you sometimes sign up for that willingly). The kids club is closed for two hours for dinner on sea days, so its something to do with your kids and you get a meal with limited whining. Aside from that, no I'd recommend doing this off the ship.
  12. Roatan is great with a toddler. Victor Bodden does an excellent job of providing private transportation all over the island, so you can easily create a customized tour for children. His house also has monkeys, and other animals you can play with for a small fee (we brought them some bananas). There is a great iguana farm (they like bananas too). When my son was 3, we also went to South Shore zip line. We did not zip line, but there is also a canopy walk. It is a beautiful view, but you need to always hold onto your 3 year old, and it can be a bit physically challenging with a small child (we would absolutely do it again and we were able to handle it but if you have a kid who is a runner or if you have any physical limitations I'd hold off on a canopy walk until the child is old enough to walk independently). I really love Roatan and have been there twice, but would warn you this is a port that you need to preplan a tour. don't just get off the ship and wander. You are perfectly safe on an organized tour - we did this twice, the second time with a 3 year old, and never felt unsafe but people who just wandered around were not as happy. Belize - I would not recommend cave tubing for a small child. They let small children do this on our tour, and thankfully the water current was extremely calm but there are days in which the current is a bit more of an issue (and they don't allow cave tubing if it is really bad, but what's dangerous for a small child is different than an adult). The Belize zoo is very small, but outstanding and a very enjoyable visit. I'd post this on the local board since there might be something else to do there for small children (I traveled to Belize before I had kids, so we went cave tubing and then went to the zoo, which was totally worth a short visit even for adults without kids). Grand Cayman has an excellent turtle farm if you choose not to do stingrays (again repost on the destination board since the turtle farm isn't a full day but can be combined with beach time or there might be more kids activities there I'm not familiar with since this was also a trip I took before kids.) Have a great trip!
  13. I’m so sorry - they really should have treated you better considering the cost of your your suite. And I understand that with the grandparents, you’d want an ncl cruisetour for ease of travel. But for others in groups in which everyone is able to travel easily, please note that it is cheaper and fairly easy to arrange a cruisetour in Alaska independently. (You do need to deal with your own luggage though but can take the same train as the cruise ship passengers to Denali). We did it when I was pregnant with my first and Denali was lovely.
  14. I've also heard that they will search your safe and briefly search your room to try to find your passports and leave them with the port agent. You can easily scan your passport so you will at least have a copy and it will be easier to replace. I've also read that in Alaska, they go to the bars right next to the port to try to find missing passengers, and that's where they usually are!
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