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claireruth

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About claireruth

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. My husband and I have been talking about taking our kids to Europe next summer (they'll be 11 and 14, both boys) and were looking at a 10 day Baltic cruise. Just curious to hear from others who have done this cruise if the ports were interesting for kids these ages? I haven't looked into what we would do at each stop yet. We've done two cruises as a family, one Caribbean and one Mexico, so I figured this one would be pretty different since I presume the weather will be a lot cooler. TIA!
  2. We were on the 10/27 sailing and got ours at Guest Services.
  3. We got passes last week, and it was money well spent. My husband sprinted to guest services and I met him there; the two ladies behind him in line got the last two passes. There was some confusion there, though. When it was our turn at the counter, the lady there said the passes were at the Social. We called the employee over that had said we got the passes to correct her, and it all worked out. We were Group 1, but the side of the waiting area where we were sitting had awful sound or broken speakers or something, so you couldn't hear the boarding group announcements. We could tell people were going on the other side, so we went on our side, and they let us through. Not sure if we were really supposed to board then or not because we couldn't hear what the announcements were saying. I think it was slightly before 11 that we were boarding. This was our first time in Vibe, so I don't know how it compares to other ships, but I thought there was a lot of space, and it never seemed crowded. The staff was fantastic. Although now I feel like I need it on every cruise.
  4. I wonder if jogging/running is allowed on the Promenade Deck? That seems a better place than the actual track!
  5. I have two boys who were 8 and 11 on our last cruise, and they basically live in t-shirts and basketball shorts. I did make them "dress up" one night on our cruise (NCL, so it's pretty casual) where they wore button down shirts and I think they wore khakis? My youngest ended up wearing the same shirt with khaki shorts another night. Most nights, though, they wanted to have dinner at the buffet and then go to the kids club, so I think we only had dinner together as a family in one of the MDRs twice? I seem to remember most kids being pretty casual in the dining rooms. If I could convince my kids to dress up more, I for sure would, but mostly I find it's not worth the fight.
  6. We're about to go on our second NCL cruise, and my son is almost 10. He was 8.5 on the first one. We've only done NCL, so I can't compare it to others, but he absolutely loved it! He had so much fun in the kids club every day and wanted to be there all hours it was open. It was only open for a few hour blocks at a time and would close basically during meal times (I don't remember exactly but I think it closed from 12-2 and 5-7), so he'd hang out there while my husband and I had time just us, then we'd have family time when the kids club was closed. They had all kinds of fun activities, and they put on a circus show at the end of the week in the theater.
  7. This was so great...thank you!! We board the Bliss on 10/27 and are getting so excited! My kids are about the same age as yours (oldest is 12 and my youngest is almost 10), so it was great to hear a review with kids. It has me wondering about the go karts for my youngest, though. I can see him struggling with it and ending up in the same position as your daughter. He's pretty tall, though, so I wonder if that would help at all? How was the weather on the sea days? Warm?
  8. When we were on the Escape we would get beers from District Brewhouse and take them to our room to enjoy on the balcony. Conveniently it was just two floors down from us, so my husband would run down and grab some for us.
  9. I'm not sure if it's different in Haven, but my husband had pre-ordered a birthday package when we were on the Escape for my 40th birthday. I think it was $30 or $40 extra, and our stateroom was decorated with banners and balloons when we arrived and a cake waiting for us (it was so good!). We cruise at the end of this month for his 40th birthday, so I ordered the same package.
  10. I've been anxiously awaiting the first Bliss Mexican Riviera cruise...we're on that on 10/27!
  11. I love Airbnb over hotels, especially in Seattle! There are so many fun little neighborhoods you can explore that way, whereas a lot of the hotels are downtown and not that interesting. Plus I have two kids, and when we all four stay in a hotel room I hate it...I much prefer having space to spread out and also a kitchen so we don't have to eat out three times a day. We've stayed in a few in Seattle, but recently we stayed in one in the Ballard neighborhood that was great. We chose it because it was near my brother, but Ballard is a cool area, and there was a ton in walking distance. There's also a pretty major bus line that makes it easy to get to the Seattle Center and downtown if you want to do the touristy stuff.
  12. My kids were 8 and 11 on our last cruise. A lot of times they'd have dinner at the buffet and then go to Splash Academy because there was an activity there they wanted to do, then my husband and I would go wherever for dinner on our own. A few times we had family dinner in the MDR. The first time my youngest ordered off the kids menu, but my older son ordered off the regular menu. Once the younger one realized he could do that, too, he never looked back at the kids menu. Since he only ate off it the one time, I don't remember what was on it, but I think it was pretty standard kid fare.
  13. My kids have a fall break where they get a week off at the end of October.
  14. I've been wondering this, too. We're booked on a cruise over Halloween with our kids, but I haven't found any definitive information about what they do. I'm planning on packing costumes and bringing some bags of candy. I told my kids that worst case they can stand outside our door and knock and I'll just open the door and put candy in their bags. :) Or maybe we'd meet some other families and could trick-or-treat between our rooms or something like that.
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