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cantgetin

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About cantgetin

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    Cool Cruiser

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    USA
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    DCL
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  1. You are correct that everyone needs proof of citizenship. However, that is not required to be in the form of a passport (a certified birth certificate qualifies). What I mean in my post was that there was no ADDITIONAL documentation required to take a minor who was not my child other than the "minor authorization form." Someone above had posted that they required a passport, which is not correct. The appropriate birth certificate worked fine for our friend. She of course needed the standard documents--proof if ID and proof of citizenship.
  2. I have done DCL as a solo, but it was many years ago before the outrageous prices. I chose an inside cabin to save money, knowing there were plenty of public spaces where I could enjoy the air. Yes, a balcony is nicer, but the price is not. Yes, there will be kids everywhere. IMHO, the one place that DCL has not performed as promised is the restriction of kids in adult only areas. SOME areas, like the fitness center, are well controlled. Other areas, like the adult pool and Cove Cafe area are not controlled, allowing children to walk/run/skate/scream their way thru with or without parents (this happens on ALL DCL ships), kids come into the adult area to "touch base" with mom, etc. Like you, I am not anti-kid. But I can't go to the Oceaneer's Club; they shouldn't be able to come to the "adult" areas! And I really didn't appreciate the one cruising thru on his "heelie" shoes (yes, they are against rules too), and slammed into me while I was sitting in a chair outside the Cove Cafe drinking hot tea. He then skated off without so much as a "sorry." Not cool! They do a good job of restricting in adult only restaurants and nightclubs after 9pm.
  3. IF you have filled in all the computer info (flight info, DCL transportation) and it still asks for a PAT, just pick one. You will be admitted to the terminal as soon as the DCL bus gets you there.
  4. Basically you can use any form of public transportation to get from FLL to the port in Miami. Rent a car, use a shuttle, taxi, Uber, etc. Why would you do it? Cost and or convenience of the flights. Check out what is available into both airports and make your choice.
  5. 4 night. The difference is time to enjoy the ship. A 3 night cruise is 2 1/2 days, and they are all port days. The cost to get to port is the same, whether the cruise is 3 nights or 14 nights. A 4 night cruise is A LOT nicer than a 3 night. I could write paragraphs on the differences....bottom line is that if you can afford 4 nights, do it.
  6. I've done it--we have taken a friend. THe only thing required was the Minor Authorization Form thru the link above. NO PASSPORT or other additional documents were required. That said, I did obtain a notarized letter authorizing me to make any necessary medical or legal decisions for the child while on the trip as well as taking them on the trip. I also required trip insurance as a 'just in case."
  7. We prefer dinner. That said, as platinum CC members, we get one visit comped. Would I pay for it otherwise? Well, if you want a nice, quality dinner without kids, it is a good value. I recently prices a similar cuisine at a local restaurant--a nice place, not a chain. Choosing the least expensive menu items would have cost about $60, the most expensive about $100. On the other hand, for a first time cruiser, I'd recommend enjoying the MDRs each night. Then you'll know which menu you wish to miss if you do a Palo dinner.
  8. I've only heard of them in association with B2B cruises. As far as I know, DCL has no airport transportation late in the day. Of course you can always take a taxi or rent a car and visit the space center or other location of your choice prior to your flight.
  9. The nice thing is that the bags DCL gives to return cruisers (one per cabin), are good quality...not like the stuff Princess gives.
  10. The Frozen characters are on all the ships. As above, you can reserve a "meet and greet " time when your booking window opens (for first time cruisers, this is 75 days before embarkation). This system works well as they DO check tickets before you can join the line. The wait time is short. They do not appear "around the ship" as they would be mobbed! If you cannot get a reserved time on line, go to "Port Adventures" after boarding and ask if they have any tickets available. The tickets are free but are required. On a short cruise, they may run out of tickets. On longer cruises, no problem in getting them on line. Most "meet and greet" situations are just around the ship and you get in line and wait. A good hint is to show up 10-15 minutes before the character is scheduled. This puts you near the front of the line, and you can even have time for a different character's line. You can also run into characters just walking around the ship. The only two that normally need tickets are the Princess Gathering (4-5 princesses at the same time) and the Frozen characters. On some special cruises there are other ticketed meets, like star wars characters on the cruises that feature star wars day. The princesses who are at the "princess gathering" are also available around the ship on other occasions....just not as a group.
  11. Depending on the insurance company, you are often allowed one "change of dates" for a canceled cruise. We have encountered this several times, although private companies are becoming more strict about allowing this. That MIGHT have been part of what happened on your Oceania cruise. Insurance thru DCL will cover you for an illness in an immediate family member, so I don't think you have issues there. Each cabin number is a separate reservation number, but presumably you had insurance on both reservations. Most insurances will cover even if the family member is NOT a cruiser--for instance, if I cancel because my father had a heart attack, that is covered even if he was not on going on the trip. I've always had better experiences booking thru a TA who specializes in DCL and using their recommendation regarding insurance companies than going thru the cruise line. We are not allowed to name TAs on this site. I would suggest that you look at different companies on "insuremytrip.com" or one of the other web sites that list multiple companies. You can compare coverages and rates. We have found that many companies offer multiple policies, and the cheapest may not be the way to go. Moving up one notch adds very little cost, but may offer twice the coverage for medical issues which is the main reason I buy insurance. My medical insurance does not cover me outside of the US. I could afford to lose the cost of the cruise (not happily, but.....) but I certainly don't want to be in a position of having a huge hospital bill, repatriation costs, etc. We've only ever filed two small claims (one for using the ship's medical center and one for costs when a cruise was delayed), but I'm not getting any younger and my daughter has a chronic medical condition. Thus, I prefer the security of the insurance.
  12. You might see if the blackout dates are on the DCL website. There are relatively few, but they hit the big holiday periods and sometimes specialty cruises. And, as you said, your TA should be able to find out for you.
  13. The point is NOT "paid in full," although that must be done to book any onboard reservations. The point is your booking date based on your Castaway Club status. Most people with previous cruises do choose to pay earlier than required so they can book at the earliest possible date. As to saving spots, it depends on what you are discussing. Palo and Remy reservations are "held" and not released on line. In addition, the concierge holds a small number of reservations for virtually all activities; if these are not taken by concierge guests on the first day, they are released to the general public. These are the only reservations that are held for the princess gathering, Royal Tea Party, Frozen Meet and Greet, or excursions. Basically those are "first come, first served" on line unless someone changes their plans and then releases their previously reserved complimentary tickets. DO keep checking back on line because some people DO release them. And a general request to those out there--if you have tickets to an event and know you will not be using them, please release them. You can cancel them on line up to 3 days before embarkation. You can turn them in at Guest Services or Port Adventures as late as a few minutes before the event. Remember that there may well be someone who will be delighted to be able to attend, even at the last minute! I can't tell you how disappointed one member of our group was to not get tickets....and later when I said something to a member of the boards, she commented that she wished she'd known that I wanted them because she had 6 tickets that the kids had decided to not use. Even if we didn't get them, someone else could have!
  14. The difference is that in your first situation the cruise line canceled the cruise. Therefore, they had to make you "whole," including the cost of the insurance. In this case, YOU canceled the cruise. No line that I'm aware of will refund the insurance in that case. Before your next cruise, you may want to look into purchasing insurance privately rather than thru the cruise line. Many private companies provide a free child's policy with the purchase of a policy for a parent or grandparent (one child free with each adult...if you cruised with 2 adults and 4 kids, you'd pay for 2 of the kids). In addition, we've found that we typically get more coverage at less cost. The down side is that with insurance thru the cruise line and cancel for a reason that is not covered, a portion of what you paid can be applied to another cruise; if you cancel for a non-covered cause with private insurance you are out of luck. Just so you know, when DCL canceled all or a portion of our cruise, they did more than make up every penny we'd spent--like 100% of what we paid applied to a future cruise, which was discounted 25% for us; any balance due refunded to us....or just take the 100% refund.
  15. Currently it would be very rare to have two DCL ships in port on the same day. It does happen with Carnival at PC and Princess at Port Everglades. On DCL, you'd usually get off, go to a hotel overnight, and reboard the next day. You are right, you would have to pack up, take everything with you, and disembark. DCL does offer cruises that make 2 stops at Castaway Cay. That would certainly be easier if that is the goal! They are often called "Double Dip" cruises on these boards.
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