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mom2oneXY

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  1. Yes, we'll account for that. My guess is that our non drink purchases will total less than $100.
  2. Last year, on a 7 night, we barely broke even with Cheers! We stayed on the ship in every port, but one and indulged a LOT! We had mimosas, iced coffees, cocktails, wine, beer, water - we drank a LOT!!! We were without the kiddo so lived it up! Had we gotten off the ship at each port we wouldn't have even come close to drinking our money's worth. Basically we didn't walk way thinking we were sooooo glad we got Cheers. We walked away thinking our livers were angry with us and wondering if we broke even. This year we went back and forth because we're also just on a 5 night, but decided against it. We plan to get of the ship at both ports and we're sailing with kiddo. We did buy $500 in Cruise Cash just to prepay as much as we could. We know we'll be using the cruise cash to purchase a few things other than drinks (HMC clamshell, chatting feature, arcade, night owls, etc.) but this will be a good experiment to see how we do. We won't skimp on drinks so we'll see how it goes. If we go over the Cruise Cash by more than $100 we'll know we need the drink package in the future.
  3. We sailed with him a few years ago on the Pride and were fine with him. It was our first time on Carnival so we weren't used to having such an engaging CD. We've sailed with Dr. E a few times and prefer him to Schwartz, but I wouldn't avoid Schwartz.
  4. My son is very tall for his age. He's always been in the 90th+ percentile for height and weight. Very well proportioned, but looks like a 5th grader not a third grader. He did not meet height requirements for the drop door water slide until he was 6 years old. Same for the ropes course on the Magic. The height requirement for these are both 48 inches.
  5. So helpful in answering the OP question. 🙄 Since you're planning on staying on board at ports, I'd say Sunshine. Sailing her in 12 days! Can't wait!
  6. Can anyone confirm that you can reserve these once you're on the ship? Or do you wait until you get there?
  7. Definitely his Camp Ocean on embarkation day even if you registered online. It help build anticipation 🙂 It always gets my son really excited. My son's favorite embarkation day tradition is to look at the schedule for the week in Camp Ocean and highlight his "must dos". No Camp Ocean the first night, so we spend it playing putt putt, watching the Dive In Movie, or playing games. Have fun!!! Most ships the waterworks open times are listed 9am-sunset in the Fun Times.
  8. We usually only get the chat feature when sailing with our kiddo. When it's just us we know how and where to find each other. I tend to just stay put in the pool area reading, so DH knows where to find me when he goes off doing other things. When kiddo comes we tend to divide and conquer more often so it's helpful. We also consider the ship - new ship -yes, familiar ship -no, larger ship-yes, smaller ship-no.
  9. A few cruises ago, we used our CC in St. Marteen and the CC froze our account. We used it three times on the same day at the same resort for small things (drinks, banana boat ride, umbrella rental). At home we would have received a text asking us if it was us. Well we were on airplane more so no notification. It wasn't until we tried to pay for lunch that we realized we'd been cut off. Lucky for us, we carry more than one CC and cash so we could get back to the ship. We immediately went to Guest Services because the cut off card was the one on file for the ship. They let us call the 1-800 number no questions asked. We got it all sorted out no problems! We had called the CC company ahead of time to let them know we were traveling outside the country, but it was the multiple small purchased (less than $20) in a 2 hour time frame that locked the account! Live and learn - we use cash in ports now to avoid this.
  10. I have a VERY active 8 year old son who has been cruising since 15 months and has never been disappointed with a ship. His most recent age 5 and beyond: Carnival Pride from Baltimore - putt putt, water works with a gentle water slide, table top shuffle board, foosball, kids club was a HUGE hit, Dr, Suess parade and story time, Cat and the Hat character breakfast, arcade. As for ports - my kid is a total beach bum. Give him a snorkel and he's happy. But we did a beach break in Freeport that had a aqua obstacle course that he LOVED! Carnival Magic for Port Canaveral - all of the above, but the sports court was added, ropes course was a big hit, and two bigger water slides. Again, as for ports we did a lot of beach, but we did the forts in San Juan and he loved that. He also did a dolphin swim in St. Kitts. Carnival Pride again from Pride - Same as the first trip in the Pride, but finally tall enough for the green thunder (drop door slide) which he loved. I broke my ankle in Grand Turk so we staying on the ship the rest of the trip and 7 year old was perfectly happy having the pool, water park, and rest of the ship to himself pretty much. Even though I was in pain, the empty ship was great! Carnival Sunshine in 16 day from Charleston - Seems like an ship in between the Pride and the Magic. A little bit more than the Pride, but not as much as the Magic. Your kid will love any cruise you pick I'm sure. Like I said, my son is VERY active with pretty significant ADHD and his favorite part of cruising is the ice cream, kids club and the beach -probably in that order!
  11. I agree...don't give up on the family cruise, but don't make it a surprise. We have done several family cruises where we decide on the cruise together and sometimes my dad paid for it and sometimes he didn't. Sometimes he "surprised" me with a gift card at for excursions or the drink package or to help pay down the cruise. I loved traveling with my dad and they are cherished memories for me and my son especially since he just passed this year, so don't throw in the towel yet!!! If someone gifted me a cruise I would be so grateful, but a little stressed/anxious that someone else was making the decision for me. I like to pick my own cabin and have some say in the ports and excursions. I think it is great that you are willing to do this for your kids, but it might make the experience more enjoyable if you planned it together. It also might help your possible future SIL feel more in control of the situation which would help his anxiety. Feeling like you have no control or lack of voice can just increase anxiety...especially if he was entrusted with the secret originally and couldn't talk to your daughter about it. It probably festered - one of the ugly truths about anxiety. Had it all been out in the open, I imagine the outcome might have been different.
  12. If you miss the table on embarkation day, they list the number to call for reservations in the Fun Times. Embarkation day is crazy...we always seem to miss it...or avoid it, but we call the number and all is OK!
  13. We sail Carnival for the value and we all love it. The ships (most of them) have a lot to do: Waterworks, miniature gold, sports court, arcade, game room, dive in movies, and the games in the Red Frog Pub (shuffleboard and Foosball and ring toss games). And all that doesn't even touch what happens in the kids club. My son loves the kids club. He's an only child so gets tired of just mom and dad and hey...it's his vacation too. I will say that the adults only area is sometimes lacking on Carnival. A few the ships have pools on the Serenity Deck, but not many. There's still plenty of adult things to do though! We were skeptical because we had only sailed on Royal and left our son home with grandma, but took the plunge with Carnival and love it. We'd be willing to try Royal again, but can't even come close to Carnival on the price...we've always booked a balcony and always will and expect an ocean view....not a boardwalk view!
  14. I don't think there's much right off the ship in Nassau. We walked to the Hilton British Colonial for the beach with our 5 year old, but I realize you don't want a beach. I will say that the walk there (only a mile) was full of shops, an open air market, and vendors. If you do get off the ship, just to get off the ship please talk to your 5 year old about not taking anything from anyone. The vendors near the port are relentless. My son was offered "free" handmade bracelets and bookmarks. Like any 5 year old, he held out his hand only for us (mom and dad) to be rudely told to pay up for the item. When we gave it back they would refuse to take it back and asked for money. My son was crying because he was confused. We finally got away, but the same tactic was attempted at least three more time on the way back to the ship. Our son, now 8, knows not to take anything from anyone.
  15. Right now I'm torn between the Red's Rum Treasure from the Rum Bar (hands down my favorite drink on the ship) and a Twilight Zone (favorite frozen drink on the ship). It will probably be the Red's Rum Treasure with a burger from Guy's for lunch. 21 days!!!!
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