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Surprising kids with cruise on Sunrise


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It's okay if nobody actually reads this but I just had to say it somewhere so I don't tell my kids.   They are 10 and 11 and the plan is to wake them up day of the cruise, hop on a train to NYC (we live in VA) and board the cruise all while not telling them what we are doing at all!  Grandparents will be watching our 2 little ones, age 4 and 1.  It was just too expensive for us to add them and I'm banking on the hope they won't remember when we left them behind...insert a whole lot of mom guilt and hope it doesn't ruin my vacation.  We go to Bermuda and then Grand Turk.  Have no idea what they will want to do excursion wise so we may just wing it.  

 

I would love to hear others stories if they surprised someone like this and what the reaction was!

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I've never surprised anyone with a cruise, but.... I think it's a fantastic idea. Your older kids are the perfect age to take on the cruise. Don't feel guilty about leaving the little ones with grandpa and grandma. You might want to look at the "don't forget to take" lists that people share on this forum and also on pinterest. OTC meds are expensive on the ship as well as other forgotten items. I hope you have a great cruise and good luck not spilling the beans.

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21 minutes ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

It's okay if nobody actually reads this but I just had to say it somewhere so I don't tell my kids.   They are 10 and 11 and the plan is to wake them up day of the cruise, hop on a train to NYC (we live in VA) and board the cruise all while not telling them what we are doing at all!  Grandparents will be watching our 2 little ones, age 4 and 1.  It was just too expensive for us to add them and I'm banking on the hope they won't remember when we left them behind...insert a whole lot of mom guilt and hope it doesn't ruin my vacation.  We go to Bermuda and then Grand Turk.  Have no idea what they will want to do excursion wise so we may just wing it.  

 

I would love to hear others stories if they surprised someone like this and what the reaction was!

That's a little risky with taking a train on the day of the cruise to NYC! Of all places. NYC is notorious for train delays. Especially from Virginia. You should consider a hotel near the port, and stay there to relive the stress, with two children! As a younger cruiser myself, however, I would be THRILLED to go on a newly renovated ship! Great idea, you might risk missing the ship!

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We told our daughter we were going on an adventure.  The look on her face when she first saw the ship is priceless!!  So, my only advice is to make sure you guys have cameras ready to snap away when they finally figure it out!!  Enjoy your cruise and don't worry, the littles will likely enjoy their time with the grands without the older kids taking their valuable time!

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47 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

That's a little risky with taking a train on the day of the cruise to NYC! Of all places. NYC is notorious for train delays. Especially from Virginia. You should consider a hotel near the port, and stay there to relive the stress, with two children! As a younger cruiser myself, however, I would be THRILLED to go on a newly renovated ship! Great idea, you might risk missing the ship!

This is a good point!  We are not train travelers so didnt know delays are typical.  We were planning on taking the 6am train with arrival around noon.  In your opinion, is that time frame too risky?  Are delays usually likes hours long?  May have to consider going the night before. I haven't bought the tickets yet so glad I'm considering it now.

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48 minutes ago, obx_fintoo said:

We told our daughter we were going on an adventure.  The look on her face when she first saw the ship is priceless!!  So, my only advice is to make sure you guys have cameras ready to snap away when they finally figure it out!!  Enjoy your cruise and don't worry, the littles will likely enjoy their time with the grands without the older kids taking their valuable time!

How awesome! I'm sure you'll never forget her smile that day.  I plan on videoing various points like when we wake up, when we get to the train, when we get to NYC, and then rolling up to the terminal.  Each point will be surprising to them.

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15 minutes ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

This is a good point!  We are not train travelers so didnt know delays are typical.  We were planning on taking the 6am train with arrival around noon.  In your opinion, is that time frame too risky?  Are delays usually likes hours long?  May have to consider going the night before. I haven't bought the tickets yet so glad I'm considering it now.

Yes. Penn Station is notorious for delays. Oh and don't get me started about the tunnel! If one train gets stuck or the track doesn't work! God forbid! Anyway, you should consider paying the extra $ and go the night before, and/or book travel insurance!

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18 minutes ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

6am train with arrival around noon

Also, That is rush hour for trains all around the northeast. So yeah! I do not mean to "rain on your parade" but from past experiences, it can be super stressful! You can tell I have cruised on out New York many times if you expand my signature!

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7 minutes ago, jbethel11 said:

Also, That is rush hour for trains all around the northeast. So yeah! I do not mean to "rain on your parade" but from past experiences, it can be super stressful! You can tell I have cruised on out New York many times if you expand my signature!

You're not raining on anything. I probably needed to see this so I can plan better! Thank you!!

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I take the train with some frequency between Virginia and New York. It would be wise to train in the day before. Stay in a hotel that night. It’s not as if every train is hours late, But delays do happen.

 

And don’t feel guilty about leaving the little ones. We have four kids, and never take them until they’re about eight years old. For them, a week with the grandparents is probably more fun at that age anyways.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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2 hours ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

It's okay if nobody actually reads this but I just had to say it somewhere so I don't tell my kids.   They are 10 and 11 and the plan is to wake them up day of the cruise, hop on a train to NYC (we live in VA) and board the cruise all while not telling them what we are doing at all!  Grandparents will be watching our 2 little ones, age 4 and 1.  It was just too expensive for us to add them and I'm banking on the hope they won't remember when we left them behind...insert a whole lot of mom guilt and hope it doesn't ruin my vacation.  We go to Bermuda and then Grand Turk.  Have no idea what they will want to do excursion wise so we may just wing it.  

 

I would love to hear others stories if they surprised someone like this and what the reaction was!

We're doing the exact same thing on Sunrise in July for our grandson and granddaughter (12 and 6). Our daughter knows (she's coming too) but the kids don't. We cruise every year in October and our grandson always wants to go. Can't wait to see the surprise on his face when he realizes we're not going to the Hamptons. 😁

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Well it wasn’t a cruise, but I remember my parents doing something similar for my sister and I. We had a sleep over at my grandparents one Friday night, and when my parents picked us up Saturday morning, they surprised us with a trip down the shore for a few days. It’s one of my fondest memories. 

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We are on the same cruise.  It is getting closer, yeah!  I also think you are cutting it way too close.  With a 4PM departure final boarding will probably be about 3PM.  Penn Station is only about 15 minutes from the port, but if you hit a delay of a couple hours it will get really tight.  Come up the day before on a Sunday and spend the afternoon and next morning in NYC.  You might even be able to get a weekend rate for Sunday night hotel.  Maybe Amtrak has a package deal?  NYC is a beautiful port to travel out of.  You get a great view of the skyline and Statue of Liberty and I love going under the Verrazzano bridge.

 

I will give you a contrarian view.  Have your kids cruised before?  I had asked my kids if they would ever want to be surprised this way and they said no, because part of the fun for them is looking forward to the cruise.  But they have cruised many times before so they are involved with the planning and all.  Either way it is an amazing time!

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We surprised our kids. We live in North Carolina and they were 7 and 4 we drove to Jacksonville and told them it was for dentist appointments, and if they were good, maybe we would go to the zoo. We stayed in a hotel the night before, and didn’t tell them until we were leaving the hotel to board the ship. We got some good videos of their reactions 

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We surprised our 11 and 14 year old in December with a Christmas Cruise.  We left super early in the AM, they thought we were going to Grandmas in Florida.  Made it all the way to New Orleans - one hiccup, the boat coming in was delayed, so we had a 4 hour delay getting on the ship.

We took the kids down to the river and had them take a picture of husband and I standing in front of the Natchez.  We popped off our coats to reveal our "Merry Cruisemas" shirts.  They both were trying to figure out what it said -- It was cursive so it was hard for them to figure out.  The 11 year old said "your shirt is spelled wrong" (Cruisemas vs Christmas).  Then the 14 year old figured it out and then thought we were going to cruise on the Natchez.  LOL

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I am currently working on one of these! First let me say that you shouldn't worry about the little ones. My youngest hasn't sailed since he was 5 and 6 (2 cruises) and is now 13. He claims he remembers but from some of his answers I'm confident he only vaguely remembers anything. My surprise is over Christmas this year. My 2 will be 17 and 14 and know I have been wanting to be back on a ship (it's been almost 8 years). To get away with the Christmas surprise I had to book a short summer cruise so we could redo the passports. 

 

For the Christmas Cruise I don't plan on telling them until the day before we leave. My family does a Christmas party at my house every year. My mother and I came up with the idea of having it early this year. I plan on wrapping the suitcases with travel docs inside and a note stating we leave at X'oclock the next day. I'm hoping the kiddos don't see it coming!

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7 hours ago, merdon said:

We're doing the exact same thing on Sunrise in July for our grandson and granddaughter (12 and 6). Our daughter knows (she's coming too) but the kids don't. We cruise every year in October and our grandson always wants to go. Can't wait to see the surprise on his face when he realizes we're not going to the Hamptons. 😁

They are going to love it!

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4 hours ago, nycruise1 said:

We are on the same cruise.  It is getting closer, yeah!  I also think you are cutting it way too close.  With a 4PM departure final boarding will probably be about 3PM.  Penn Station is only about 15 minutes from the port, but if you hit a delay of a couple hours it will get really tight.  Come up the day before on a Sunday and spend the afternoon and next morning in NYC.  You might even be able to get a weekend rate for Sunday night hotel.  Maybe Amtrak has a package deal?  NYC is a beautiful port to travel out of.  You get a great view of the skyline and Statue of Liberty and I love going under the Verrazzano bridge.

 

I will give you a contrarian view.  Have your kids cruised before?  I had asked my kids if they would ever want to be surprised this way and they said no, because part of the fun for them is looking forward to the cruise.  But they have cruised many times before so they are involved with the planning and all.  Either way it is an amazing time!

They have cruised once but they were so much smaller, like 5 and 6 yrs old.  I actually worry if I told my son beforehand he would talk himself out of wanting to go because he has a lot of anxieties if he has time to think about it.  Once we are doing the activities, he is fine.  He over thinks everything.

 

I am looking into going Sunday or maybe even flying out of Richmond. It would be hard to ask my in laws for another night of kid watching though. Lots to think about.

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3 hours ago, jdoc2007 said:

We surprised our 11 and 14 year old in December with a Christmas Cruise.  We left super early in the AM, they thought we were going to Grandmas in Florida.  Made it all the way to New Orleans - one hiccup, the boat coming in was delayed, so we had a 4 hour delay getting on the ship.

We took the kids down to the river and had them take a picture of husband and I standing in front of the Natchez.  We popped off our coats to reveal our "Merry Cruisemas" shirts.  They both were trying to figure out what it said -- It was cursive so it was hard for them to figure out.  The 11 year old said "your shirt is spelled wrong" (Cruisemas vs Christmas).  Then the 14 year old figured it out and then thought we were going to cruise on the Natchez.  LOL

That's a cute reveal!  

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14 minutes ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

he has a lot of anxieties if he has time to think about it.  Once we are doing the activities, he is fine.  He over thinks everything.

Haha, I do too, it is only until I am having fun and not thinking of any of that, I destress!

14 minutes ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

It would be hard to ask my in laws for another night of kid watching though. Lots to think about.

If that is a concern, consider catching a train between Mid-Night and 6 AM, so you allot more time getting to NYC, without having to have your inlaws stay the extra day!

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20 hours ago, Formytinkerbelle said:

This is a good point!  We are not train travelers so didnt know delays are typical.  We were planning on taking the 6am train with arrival around noon.  In your opinion, is that time frame too risky?  Are delays usually likes hours long?  May have to consider going the night before. I haven't bought the tickets yet so glad I'm considering it now.

Way to risky IMHO.  Travel in the day before and take all that stress off the plate.  What sailing is this?

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