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About calikak

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    3,000+ Club

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    Seattle area
  1. My family and I will be sailing from Red Hook in August and I'm wondering about whether wheelchair assistance is available. I have incurable cancer, and standing for long periods of time is hard for me due to fatigue from my treatments. I'll be able to handle walking around the ship, since I can rest as needed, but long lines at check in would be difficult for me. Is wheelchair assistance something I need to arrange in advance, or is it readily available at the pier?
  2. Hello everyone! I'm finally planning a QM2 sailing to make up for the one that Cunard cancelled on us back in 2008. It'll be my husband and our now 2 kids (we had just one back in 2008). We're considering a grill suite, but I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a pen than try to keep the kids from bothering all the other diners in one of the Grills (or in the main dining room, frankly, but my mom guilt would be even greater in the Grills if they are having a bad night--and who wants to feel like that at dinner?). So, my plan was to feed the kids at the buffet, then drop them for evening activities at the kids' club while DH and I enjoy a nice meal together. It's not clear on the Cunard site that the buffet is open for dinner--is it? Thank you in advance for your insights!
  3. There is light rail from the airport to downtown. Depending on where your hotel is, it can be super convenient (plus it's much chepaer than a cab), or you can end up with a long walk from the stations downtown to your hotel. Our light rail system is called Link and unfortunately, it's extremely poorly signed at the airport itself, but basically once you have your luggage, go upstairs, and across a sky bridge to the parking garage, then take a left and just keep walking until you get to the station.
  4. Also, to update info on Metro Transit to Pier 91: The #15 has been replaced by our new Rapid Ride D line. Its stops downtown are on 3rd Ave and are pretty well-signed. http://metro.kingcounty.gov/maps/routes/rapidride/d-674.html
  5. Seattle now has Uber, a town car service available via an app for your smart phone. It's also available in several other cities. The way it works is, you tell the app that you need a towncar and it dispatches the nearest one. In my experience, they arrive within 5-10 minutes. No need to tip, the fare/tip is all charged to the credit card you register with the app. Fares are fairly similar to a taxi, and you can see on the app where the car is, it's kinda cool. :) http://www.uber.com
  6. We haven't cruised Princess with the kids yet. I am wondering if they have any times where you can bring your under-3 kids to the kids club and stay and play with them? I know NCL did that when we were there, the few of us onboard with under-2's would hang out in an unused space a couple hours a day. It was nice to have a kid-friendly play space on occasion, rather than playing in an unused lounge during the day. Not a huge deal if it's not available, but just wondering.
  7. Not sure about Alaska but I have yet to be on a tour bus with seat belts. Sometimes they do use vans for tours, though, so that is something to keep in mind.
  8. Thanks, good tips! I am thinking Catalina would be a good beach day. Perused the Samta Barbara thread, hoping to get kid-specific suggestions. Thinking a trolley tour could be fun...or horrible, depending on their mood... 6rugrats, that was my worry about Legoland too, traffic there and back. I don't want to miss the ship! Was really hoping there would be an organized excursion, or at least a scheduled thing like a Grayline tour? But not finding anything. Wondering if arranging like a shuttle service would be cost-prohibitive...
  9. My son's favorite part of his cruises so far is seeing the live entertainment onboard. We find that there is usually live music on any ship almost all day, but definitely starting around dinner time you can find people dancing someplace.
  10. I am in love with my Maclaren Volo. If it were a person, I would leave my husband for it. :D It is now 5 years old and has survived being gate checked 8 times with zero damage. It worked great over the uneven terrain in Mexico on several walking tours. It weighs practically nothing, so you can fold it up and toss it over your shoulder as you hop on and off buses. And, it looks pretty cool. Honestly, best child-related purchase I have ever made. We now have two kids and we use our Joovy sit and stand one a lot now, and every time we do I think how much more awesome the Volo is and how I wish it could hold two kids. I am really looking forward to the day when my oldest is too cool for a stroller so I can go back to using the Volo exclusively. LOL!
  11. I am going to brag: I am now elite with princess, which means free laundry service. Booyah! Seriously, that is party why we went with Princess for this upcoming cruise, to help deal with the problem of overpacking and kids and messes. That said, the Carnival ship we were on had a lovely self laundromat. If you are willing to spend some time there, you can bring a lot less clothes. With our wee one (she will be 18 months, so, done nursing, onto whole milk), we will be buying diapers after we get off the plane, so we don't have to pack them. We also will be picking up the sip and toss cups instead of bring sippy cups. I try to be all environmental at home, we even cloth diaper, but I throw that all out the window when traveling with kids. It's hard enough without spending half your day hand washing dishes. I did bring a pump on a short cruise a couple of times. Pros: other people can feed your kid; you can pump and dump if you are inclined to an adult beverage. Cons: more stuff to lug on the plane, and washing to do. I brought a little container of dish soap for washing pump parts in the bathroom sink, worked out just fine. A suggestion: see if you can pick up some of those little disposable bottles that they give out at the hospital, the little 2 oz ones, so you can pump directly into them, and toss out when you are done with them. Or maybe the bottles with the drop-ins? Again, to minimize the washing. We overpacked on toys when we cruised with DS at 11 months. He just wanted to run around exploring the ship. A few small toys were plenty for him. But, YMMV. Definitely pack any special lovies your wee ones have, although we had a rule that special lovies can't leave the cabin, so they don't get lost! We also packed snacks, which was dumb, because, hello, it's a cruise, there is so much food onboard! Do your kids like fruit, cheese and bread? Then you will find everything you need at the buffet.
  12. When we cruised with our son at 17 months, we specifically planned all our excursions and transportation so as not to need a car seat. Everything was boats, buses and walking. It is surprisingly easy to avoid getting in a car if you are so inclined.
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