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phxbne

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About phxbne

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  1. We did an Alaska cruise on HAL when DD was 10. She really enjoyed it - she is an animal lover so I chose animal focused shore activities. Our choice was based on dates, round trip Vancouver and an ‘Alaska expert’ cruise line. We did not do the land portion. As KitKat said, what does the 10 year old like to do and what do they think might like to do in Alaska? While she has enjoyed the kids club on other cruises, she did not really care for the HAL one - no particular reason that she articulated. I have read good advice from others on this forum about focus 1 being itineraries and activities. There are a lot of stories here about kids who don’t like clubs, and just as many about those who do. What a treat for your family - Have a wonderful cruise and create marvelous memories!
  2. I have looked at Mekong cruises for three of us. Pandaw looks great and while they only have cabins for two they do have dates where 18 and under are free. And it reads they can have the cabin and not split the adults. we did A triple on AMA Rhine when DD was 13 and it was very cozy and not a full twin bed for the third sleeping space
  3. We did AMAKristina with our then 13 year old daughter on the foldout. It is quite firm and comfy, but narrow - kind of solid foam, not a mattress. Once it was folded out, cabin space was pretty tight. hope that helps
  4. We did a great family trip on Celebrity. Not sure if they have family cabins though.
  5. We did the Celebrity excursion about a year ago. We had a full day (Christmas Day) and then a half day. We did the half day junk on the second day. We opted for that rather than private for a few reasons, knowing we would just get a 'taste.' One nice thing was that the junks came to the ship, so that reduced the hassle. They were all about the size of the red one - held around 20-25 I think. It was pretty full. I think they provided drinks (scary how bad my memory is). It was very crowded walking to and through the cave - pretty much wall-to-wall people. The views from the junk were nice although it was a pretty 'standard' path. One thing I did not realize was how scenic the cruising in/out of Halong Bay was - we left around 1pm, and the views were magnificent for an hour or so. In hindsight, I may have just done that...... I had been to Vietnam in 1999 and have memories of a very empty Halong Bay which was magical.
  6. We were on the Millennium cruise right before dry dock and did not notice anything. Lots of chats with crew about their roles, and apparently some workers came onboard a few days early. A few spots in public areas looked they had been ‘let go’ a little, but overall the ship looked better than I expected. My parents cabin was not in great shape, but as one of the only handicap suites there was not much that could be done. now I just want to sail on the refurbished version!
  7. What an adventure and some great tips! here are some things I’ve learned from multiple long flights and trips with kids: - bring a stash of snacks from home that your kids like - many of our travel arguments involve looking for lunch.....or when your kid wakes up hungry on the flight - eyeshades can help with sleep - planes can be bright - I also like a light blanket - we have some from travelsmith that are great and we use them in hotels too often - only use a sleep aid if you have tested them out at home - we use melatonin and essential oils - DD started with melatonin at about 8 - if you are used to a backpack, stick to that! I tried tha5 Travelon bag and found it clunky and heavy. DH is our designated backpack mule. Keeps his wallet in a front pants pocket. - carry some soap to wash a few things out in the sink - lots of ideas online about what soap etc - cruise cabins usually have a clothesline, but you could by one too - we take reusable water bottles to spend less money on water everywhere.... - if you don’t use them, think about packing cubes to separate each persons clothes have a wonderful time!
  8. Fun idea! things that pop to mind - sunscreen stick - games to play waiting for meals or hanging out in the cabin - Uno is a stand by, or a pack of cards - sushigo is fun and gamewright makes a ton of others; scattegories can be fun - pick ones the whole family can have fun with - iTunes or apple card to download music or apps - journal and pens or markers; word find or sudoku books; book for the trip - my daughter is not a reader despite my best efforts but has fun with word finds - I usually get a couple at the dollar store before a trip have a great time!
  9. We did a cruise over Christmas with our 13 year old - she had zero interest in the teen club. She did miss the first night because iof jet lag (cruise was in Asia) but I’m not sure that really mattered. She loves trivia and we played that every session offered.......If you haven’t already, I would get him involved in choosing shore excursions, where to eat in port or on the ship etc. We have done 8 cruises as a family, and what we do in port is really our focus.
  10. We have sailed X 4 times with our now 13 year old. We have also sailed Crystal with her 3 times. I mention that because one of our Crystal cruises was over the summer and had KSF. Ship capacity was about 1000 - around 60 kids on board, 5-10 of whom were senior crew members children. As others have pointed out, I am guessing that was because some combo of price/itinerary/amenities did not appeal to many families. Celebrity has kids clubs for at least 8 years that I am aware of - any cruise line that offers a kids club, I expect kids to be on board (crystal does too, which is why we even considered cruising with them). So I view the promotion and marketing pics as a gradual shift, not a dramatic one.
  11. Crystal offers kids club on designated/many sailings. My daughter loves it! Most kids we had on there was 60, with 4 counselors. And not all 60 used the club. feel free to ask any questions - also take a look for threads on the Crystal forum that talk about kids. Michele
  12. We really enjoyed our stay at Der Teufelhof.
  13. I am a little obsessed by bags like this..... Agree, I think searching for wristlets might help - or perhaps “pouch.” They may be bigger than what you have or are looking for though. . I have some from Target - just luck of the draw as to what they have in stock. I have one from Charming Charlie and seen cute ones there. Kipling has Creativity pouches that come in a couple of sizes and a range of colors. Travelon has a few types - I have seen them on ebags and Amazon. My fanciest ones are from Michael Kors. enjoy the hunt!
  14. If you think you are unlikely to return, I suggest Hanoi. We were in Halong Bay in December. If you cruise in or out in daylight you will see amazing scenery. Not as good as the overnight bay cruise, but a taste. I wish I had realized that before booking a 4 hour cruise - overnight on the bay could be cool, but Hanoi is fascinating.
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