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Everything posted by gluecksbaer

  1. Always giving the room number of the cabin with the package works some of the time. The fine print (at least as of last summer) also explicitly allowed pictures of your minor children even if they were in a different cabin. That means the only pictures you might be denied would be pictures of the parent in the other cabin by themselves. We traveled with a large family group this summer and I just put one of my children in almost every picture I wasn't in so it could be included. Everyone gave my room number when asked by a photographer so I got a couple that didn't have my immediate family in them, but many of those were not included when I was looking at pictures to select.
  2. When my kids were little I stocked up on small toys throughout the year for travel. I mostly bought clearanced stocking stuffers and easter basket items and sometimes trinkets after Valentine's day, but also found some items at the dollar store and some sets of party favors that made it worth it splitting between two kids. I wrapped them and gave them a "present" about once an hour when confined (such as on a car or airplane) and once or twice a day when traveling by train or on a cruise. On a train/ship I would give them a "present" at dinner to help keep them occupied and sometimes also at breakfast or lunch. The wrapping both added to the excitement and slowed down the opening to increase the distraction. Since I also have twins I used a sharpie to write their names and a present # on each one so I they got similar toys at the same time to cut down on fighting. I also pulled suitable toys out of their toy bins a couple months before each trip and hid them so they were "new" again by the time they saw them on a trip. I usually started each trip by giving my kids a small backpack (reused each trip) with a new coloring book, new crayons, a new story book or two, and one or two small toys. On a cruise, the same types of magnets you might occupy a child with on your fridge at home will work on the walls of the ship and help occupy them while Mom and Dad are getting ready for the day or ready for dinner. I recommend bringing an insulated bottle or two. Juice and milk are most easily found at breakfast so it's nice to fill up then to have throughout the day. Similarly, bring snack containers to fill with cereal in the morning for an easy snack throughout the day. I would also bring some of their favorite snacks. There's usually plenty to find on the ship but toddlers can be picky so having some things you know they will eat can be really helpful. Also, most countries only allow prepackaged foods to be brought in, so it's nice to have something to take off the ship too. You might want to pick up some shelf stable milk or juice boxes for the same reason.
  3. Interesting, I've taught public school for over 20 years and in all that time the only changes were during the recession when our state allowed furlough days and then some minor changes when we went back to a full schedule because we liked some of the days off where we had them so we had to put those days in other places instead.
  4. Mostly they're worried that the battery getting power/connection could cause a fire. Flight attendants are well trained in fire suppression so if the battery somehow starts a fire on board, it should be caught and contained. If the same battery starts a fire in the luggage compartment, it could get ugly.
  5. The picture of it folded makes it look like if you propped it on the bumper like I do, the legs would hit before the front wheels. That's good that is can also be rolled in. For me, the freedom to go places without having to schedule it with my husband, and hope he didn't forget and schedule something else that day, was life-changing.
  6. I also decided to buy, because, as you mentioned, it only takes a few trips to break even. I bought a lightweight folding scooter. It's got a pretty surprising turning radius, although I'm sure your wheelchair is better. The benefit to the scooter is that it folds flat with the wheels down so I can prop it on the bumper of my car and push it into the trunk area which gives me the freedom to go places without someone strong enough to lift 50 lbs.
  7. I agree with the suggestion of renting a scooter. That doesn't mean she has to use it all the time. And, as noted, if you contact the special needs department, they will make sure she is on a list to get wheelchair assistance for embarkation and debarkation. The rest of the time she will be on her own. Even on a smaller ship, she could hit more than 1200 steps a day or end up feeling like she has to limit her activities or rely on you to push a manual wheelchair. Royal partners with Special Needs at Sea and Scootaround. Both companies are allowed to deliver to the port or your cabin.
  8. I bought a folding travel scooter last year and it has been life-changing. With the seat detached it folds to the size of a large suitcase so fits easily in the back of my mom car and will even fit in the trunk of every sedan I've ridden in (except my sister's but that's only because her trunk is always full of stuff). When I went looking, I was thinking my kids were old enough to help me lift 50 pounds to get it in the car, but the owner of the store I bought it from showed me how to prop it on the bumper of my car and then push it into the trunk area so I can get it into and out of my car without any help at all. I had looked at scooters when I first started using a wheelchair for long distances, but the ones that disassemble seemed so complicated and the pieces still weighed more than I could lift. The lightweight folding scooters are so much easier. I recommend checking those out when you're ready.
  9. Are you saying that the "invite to chat" feature wasn't working in your children's accounts or that even after inviting/accepting an invite you still couldn't send/receive messages?
  10. Are school breaks that inconsistent? Even without a published calendar, I know my kids get two weeks that include Christmas and New Years and then the week after Easter. They also always get Veteran's Day, President's day and Memorial Day. The only changes in 8 years of Catholic school have been an extra week at Easter for a couple years during the pandemic, occasionally extra days before Christmas if Christmas is too close to the weekend, and a full week at Thanksgiving in the last couple of years. All of those are additional days, not different days. They also get 3-4 teacher inservice days off every year that move, but I just wouldn't plan for those. If I were you, I would plan for time periods the kids regularly have off. If it's that widely inconsistent, then I would talk with other parents about starting a letter writing campaign requesting the diocese create a more consistent calendar. Some lines are better than others about allowing you to make changes, but I'm pretty sure they all will charge you the going rate for your new cruise at the time you change your sailing.
  11. If there aren't enough kids to split the groups in the middle of the summer then it seems splitting them would be the exception and not the norm.
  12. Our experience on Allure last summer is that teen activities were not split. There was one group of 12-17 year olds. I don't know how many of the older teens hung out in the teen area, but my 12 year old had a lot of problems with bullying from a boy who looked around 15 or 16.
  13. If there is a Target near you, their "dollar spot" at the front of the store is another good place to find small activities. Also, look for small toys designed to be party favors. Buying a pack to use for multiple cihldren can be about the same as the dollar store. Pop Its seem to still be pretty popular and would be good quiet toys for dinner time. If you have time to order, Oriental Trading Company usually as packs of small coloring and activity books that might work well at dinner too. Probably too late to help, depending on how soon you sail, but I look for small toys/kits that get clearanced after holidays (stocking stuffers after christmas, easter baskets after Easter, and often even little trinkets after Valentines). I keep them in a bin my closet and pull out some for daily "presents" whenever we travel. And for you little ones, I would pull suitable stuff out of my kids' toy bins a month or two before a trip. By the time we traveled that stuff was "new" again. I always got my kids a new coloring book, new crayons, and one or two new reading books.
  14. Magnets are fun. For the little ones, whatever you have on the fridge to keep them busy at home will work. For the older girls, try something like the Learning Resources Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run. I also got my kids folding buckets for beach days.
  15. Special Needs at Sea has a foldable mobility scooter for rent. This would be your best bet without having a disabled access cabin. The scooter is going to be way easier and give you way more freedom on the ship. I went with Rony's Tours in Roatan. They were super nice and helpful, but I am fairly mobile so I only used my scooter to get down to where we met the van. I was able to walk the rest of the time. We just went to small animal park that was a bit more walking than I'm used to and I found some fence posts to lean against several times, visited a school, and did a little shopping, so nothing strenuous. If you contact them, I'm sure they can help you find something that will work for you. I would suggest, if you haven't already, looking for mobility scooters at your local Target/Walmart/grocery store. Using those a bit will help you handle shopping for now and also help you get used to how they work. The controls are generally similar, but whatever you rent will feel super-easy after navigating with the big heavy ones in stores.
  16. Depending on where each muster station is, probably best to find an emergency family meeting location. Everyone meets so the parents can exchange kids, then continue to their respective stations.
  17. When my kids were 4, I brought 2 umbrella strollers and stroller links. Kids pushed their own strollers through the ship's corridors until we got near the gangway and it was wider. If I had another adult with me, then we left the strollers separate. If I was by myself then I linked them together. The upside is that it's usually cheaper and gives you flexibility in splitting them. The downside is the linked strollers are too wide for most doorways. There were places where I would have to unlink them, then push one child inside, then push the other in which was pretty annoying.
  18. When my doctor prescribed scopolamine for my first cruise, she included an extra patch. She suggested I try it that weekend so I would know how it would affect me and if we needed to try something different for the cruise. I always suggest people who haven't taken scopolamine request the same from their doctor (or apparently just buy an extra in Canada).
  19. Because the actual medical advice is that it works best as a preventative which is contrary to your claim that it works only as a preventative. I don't see anywhere on either page that you link that it states that it will have no effect if taken after symptoms start, works only as a preventative, etc. I googled meclizine and looked extensively and I can't find a single study that mentioned giving the dose after symptoms start or a single page that stated it works only if taken before symptoms begin. (Although I did find a study that showed cetirizine had no effect on motion sickness.) The closest I can find is that cleveland clinc page saying it prevents motion sickness and prevents and treats vertigo. One could infer that the lack of use of "treat" for motion sickness means they don't think it does, but more pages (such as the Mayo Clinic that you also linked) use "prevent and treat" or "prevent and control" for motion sickness. Plus, the Cleveland Clinic page states "Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse." Why would they say to tell your doctor if your symptoms don't improve if they are known not to improve when taking this medication? Again, if you can find something statin that meclizine only prevents, but does not treat, motion sickness, please share.
  20. Why would cruise lines regularly hand out meclizine if it doesn't help at all once people feel sea sick? Most people don't go down to medical looking for sea sicknesses remedies before they feel sick. Also, between you and my kids' pediatrician, I'll trust the doctor. She was there for the discussion I had with my son that taking the meclizine she recommended before we got on the ship was better, but if he wanted to he could only take them if he felt sick, but he would probably still feel sick for several hours before the medicine took effect. She actually recommended he take the first one before bed the first night (after we were at sea and he would potentially already feel the affects of motion sickness) so he could sleep off any potential drowsiness, but agreed that he could see how he did without if he wanted to try that. If you can point to a study showing meclizine only works as a preventative, I'd love to see your evidence.
  21. Interesting, my most motion-sick child takes Zyrtec daily to control allergies. He made it midway through out last cruise before feeling ill. I wonder if the Zyrtec was helping before the seas got a bit rougher. Meclizine works better before you feel motion sickness, but it can help after you already feel sick too. As I noted above, my child who was on Zyrtec may have done better because of that, but when he felt sick halfway through our cruise, I had him take meclizine and he was fine within an hour. As a note, Dramamine Less Drowsy is the exact same medicine as Bonine, which Numer3 already said makes them too drowsy.
  22. The Feds can really only mandate things under their own jurisdiction which is why we get the following from the Real ID Act (Section 202 d) "(11) In any case in which the State issues a driver's license or identification card that does not satisfy the requirements of this section, ensure that such license or identification card-- (A) clearly states on its face that it may not be accepted by any Federal agency for federal identification or any other official purpose; and (B) uses a unique design or color indicator to alert Federal agency and other law enforcement personnel that it may not be accepted for any such purpose." States can continue issuing driver's licenses however they want, as long as they are clearly marked as not federally compliant. Some states will go to Real ID licenses/IDs only, but some will continue to allow the option for a non-federal license.
  23. Out of curiosity, does that mean they close the pools on board or are there just no lifeguards (swim at your own risk as is typically of cruising anyway)?
  24. If we could cruise next October I would definitely take the child who I could barely drag out of her cabin during our last cruise so she could meet other Swifties and run the ship and hopefully learn how much fun it can be out there.
  25. I have custom labels now with my name, email address, and phone number on them. I put them in 3 places on/in anything that gets checked. Avery No-Iron Clothing Labels is what I used before I had the custom ones. Those are nice because they do not come off for anything (you can write your information on them). I actually ended up with a car seat bag to find one big enough for my walker because mine is pretty big, but I wouldn't worry about a bag as much for gate checking. I checked mine at the counter because I also use a mobility scooter and I didn't want to deal with both through the airport. I was mostly noting the warning I got in case you wanted to use a bag. Sometimes people see extra space in a bag for a medical device or car seat and then end up having to pay extra baggage fees.
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