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Dulciana8

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About Dulciana8

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Huntsville, AL
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    music, reading, traveling, cooking

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  1. I do think it’s an important consideration, to take into account, the ship itself— you will “feel” a difference in a 2000 passenger ship vs one that sails with twice as many passengers, not only in terms of age of vessel per se, but also in on board amenities. (Heck, my husband swears he can tell a difference in layout and feel going from a ship with 2000 pax to one with 2500 pax and I’m only referring to passenger size, not layout or design. (I’m not sure he really can!)) BUT my point is, is that you should be comfortable and confident where you lay your head for the week/however long your sailing is— as well as liking your itinerary. I think it’s all important. You just have to decide what is more important!
  2. We were pretty disappointed in the offered sailings, too. Still trying to decide on one of the offered potential Canada sailings for fall break— weighing pros and cons of a few missed school days/fewer children on the sailing/etc.
  3. We’ve cruised multiple times on RCI (only on explorer class ships) and three times on HAL— Eurodam and Oosterdam— and transitioning between the two lines was easier going to Eurodam first (or in your case, Nieuw Statendam) rather than one of HAL’s smaller ships— just my opinion. We are looking forward to our Nieuw Statendam cruise in November. Biggest difference in my opinion is the laid back atmosphere of HAL vs RCI. Far fewer daily activities offered by the cruise director staff, for example (in addition to the obvious lack of on board water park/slides/rock climbing, etc). I think service is comparable, but HAL is less obvious and obtrusive. More polished and classy. And we cruise HAL with our 5 year old, who loves Club HAL and does not need the distraction of water slides, etc. Go and enjoy!
  4. Absolutely! And for regular cleaning— iPhones and iPads!
  5. I do the same. My husband thinks I’m nuts. But we have a 5 year old. Germs loom everywhere. Hand washing, wipes, and hand sanitizer are a daily part of life!
  6. I know this weighs on your mind— and rightly so. You’re a mom! We all worry for the safety of our children. Go and enjoy your cruise. Do your mom thing and remain constantly vigilant while on deck, and anywhere in the ship— even if that means, for your peace of mind, that you need to avoid the promenade. I think once you see the space, and see the ship, you will be reassured. We have cruised on HAL and on Disney with our son (who is now 5), and honestly, I don’t ever recall seeing plexiglass on the promenades... we always hold his hand. Keep him away from the side rails if he is not holding our hands. The usual parent things we would do on a busy street, for example. You will be fine. Have fun. Your three year old should be old enough for Club HAL, if potty trained! Definitely go and check that out!
  7. Great information on the “recent” movies— thanks! Curious too, if there are there movies/programming that run throughout the day poolside or is this just a nighttime thing?
  8. Thanks for these links! Interesting articles.
  9. When our son was small we cruised with an umbrella stroller— Uppababy G-lite, which is the non reclining version of the stroller a previous poster mentioned (our son never napped in a stroller?!). Main benefit to the Uppababy brand is its compact size, light weight, and good maneuverability. I’ve pushed that thing over cobblestones. Of course there are many other great umbrella strollers! If you baby wear, I would also recommend trying that— I used to travel with my Tula and it was great for ports and even on the ship.
  10. We were on the Oosterdam over Thanksgiving last year with our then four year old. He loved Club HAL. He’s a seasoned cruiser (three Disney and one HAL) and we were extremely pleased with the quality of the club on the Oosterdam. We are booked again this Thanksgiving, but this time on the Nieuw Statendam. We found the counselors and programming at Club HAL to be like a hidden gem— very personalized, one on one, but structured, if that makes any sense at all. Because of the small size there was room for children to be individuals and do their own thing when possible. My son loved the personal attention. HAL is a little old school, so no pagers, and no texting (like on Disney), and the hours of the club are somewhat limited on sea days— like 9-11am, 1-4pm, then like 7-11pm. As you sign in, parents list their likely locations on board to be found during the check in window— they say they call the room first if you’re needed. Once a counselor needed us, and she checked each place on the sign in sheet until we were found at the pool— which was like the third place we said we’d be during that time (after a stop at the room and the coffee bar)! I remember on port days children could stay on board with an advance registration, mainly so lunch/snacks could be ordered (and/or presumably buffet arrangements made). Each night the kids could sit together at the shows, and they had special game nights, some with family, some not, and special ice cream socials in the lido... our son begged to go every time it was open. I hope your children will enjoy it!!! Even over Thanksgiving There were only like ~200 children on board so they were in the minority. Crew and fellow passengers were giving high fives and extra goodies to our son all week. Extra towel animals, treats from the cruise director, it was wonderful to see such a welcoming environment for children on HAL.
  11. Bummer! We’ve done this delivery a handful of times on our land vacations and it’s saved our sanity. I hope you can figure something out!!!
  12. Are you staying somewhere the night before? Totally unrelated to cruising but on our land vacations we’ve had Amazon deliver groceries to resort/hotel properties— I’m specifically thinking of Hilton resorts and Disney properties. (We have a small child... and thank goodness for Amazon delivery on vacation...)If you’re flying in the day before, could you check with the hotel and see if they would take delivery?
  13. We sailed Oosterdam last year over Thanksgiving and will also be on Nieuw Statendam for Thanksgiving this year! So excited to sail for the holiday. Last year, we had a port day for actual Thanksgiving Day (and I think our itinerary calls for the same this year!) but the MDR offered a nice dinner of turkey, dressing, vegetables, prime rib, lobster, baked fish, honey baked ham... it was not family style, and I never saw a carving station, BUT there were plenty of festive specialty desserts and drinks to go around, and everyone was very merry and wishing all a happy holiday. I can’t speak to football games, but I’d imagine that these would be on in the lounges since it’s so important to many people! I would anticipate being able to watch these games at some venue on the ship 😊
  14. We were three in a standard balcony cabin on the Oosterdam last November (bear in mind we were cruising with two adults and a child... but, the sofa bed was still down at night!), and you have to look carefully at the deck plans, as not all cabins will sleep three. Be aware that the sofa bed opens up parallel to the veranda door, so that when it’s all down and set up, you literally can’t get to your balcony without squeezing by with inches to spare between the bed and the vanity, or else jumping and walking across the sofa bed to access the veranda. It’s very tight. Now when the sofa is folded into just a seating area, it’s fine— small, but fine.
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