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About TexasPirate

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Vacations, Disney
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Here goes TexasPirate off on a tangent.... just ignore me and scroll on... I was reading over my last post and thought to myself, "there was one time that I thought my youngest wasn't where she was supposed to be but it wasn't her fault!" On our very first cruise Disney Dream 2012 Bahamas Double Dip she would have been 8 years old. She absolutely loved the kids club on the Disney ships. Every chance she got she wanted to go to the kids club. It was so foreign for me to go on a "family vacation" and have my kids go off and do stuff in the kids clubs. We would go check on her from time to time to see if she wanted to do something else but she almost always wanted to stay and do the kids activities. She had so much fun.... Anyway, I went down to the kids club to check on her one time and the girl working the counter said, "she's not here." Just as plain matter of fact as she could be about it. Me: "She's 8 years old... she doesn't have self sign out privileges, what do you mean she's not here!" "Maybe your wife came and got her." was the reply. Me: "No, my wife and I are together and I just left her to come check on my daughter!" From there is was a blur of me getting beyond angry. I'm just a plain pirate... not a violent pirate but I was getting pretty upset pretty quickly... Luckily, I started scanning the room for her blonde curly hair and spotted her playing at a one of the kids stations before I had a chance to get too upset. I pointed out to the now very confused girl at the counter that I could see my daughter in the room, and now I needed to talk to someone in charge. It turns out that the little monitoring bracelet that they put my daughter wrist had broken. So they put a new one on my daughter but failed to update the system. Long story short there was basket of candy and an apology letter in our stateroom that night. All I can say is that the girl behind the counter is probably lucky that Mrs Pirate hadn't been the one looking for her baby girl.
  2. That is rule #1... actually not true.. It's rule #2... not even other kids cabins. Cabins are not for hanging out in.... my girls have known that rule since their first tweenager cruise..... We don't hang out in hallways, stair cases, or any other not hangout appropriate places. In fact for those who may be wondering... lol... I would love to get away from the internet stuff but quite frankly it's the best way for my kids to be able to get ahold of me asap and I can get a hold of them. I want my girls to grow and have independence but that takes time to cultivate. You can't just take them out in public and say..."off you go, have fun storming the castle!" So my girls know that have to keep me informed of their movements on the ship. And they know they need a destination... not just roaming. So for my girls our on board dialog goes like this.... DD text: Dad we are going to the kids club. Dad text: ok. let me know when you get there. DD text: we are here. DD text: Leaving kids club to go up to windjammer for food. Dad text: ok, wash your hands and clean up after yourself! DD text: we are at windjammers. And so on through out the day... I should always be able to find them by the last place they told be they had arrived at. I have check over the years... I used to check regularly less so on the last cruise but I have never, not once, looked for my girls and not found them where expected. Rule #1 by the way is... always stay together...Always!! If they don't want to have to hang out with dad all day they better be hanging out with each other!
  3. We are confident that the girls will be fine on the cruise and we have had very detailed conversations about expectations. Mainly discussing the dos and don'ts on a cruise. But we will revisit all this prior to the cruise. We booked the cruise in June of 2018 after 3 months of conversations with her parents. I am paying for internet, refreshment package, excursions, hotels before/after, extra meals, and any other transport costs. They are paying for her airfare, cruise/tips, and medical/evacuation insurance. I have also asked them to provide her with some port money... I guesstimated $50 per port and maybe a little extra for anything she might want from the shops on board. Anything she purchases on board will come out of her spending cash (even though I know it will first go to the on board account.) I think we have covered all the bases but if you see any gaps I am very open to hearing them. Thank You Alan
  4. Our first time experiencing the promenade view cabins was on the Navigator in 2014. And we thought they were terrific for the price. Don't get me wrong I like a balcony just as much as the next guy but 2 bathrooms trumps a single bathroom/balcony every time with teen girls...... This December we have 3 promenade rooms in a row on the Explorer.
  5. to take other peoples kids on vacation! We are taking my daughters BFF with us on our cruise in December and I am now getting around to making sure we have all our paperwork in order. I called Royal this morning and was told that all we need for the minor child to travel with us is a notarized letter from both parents granting us guardianship for the duration of the cruise. My history with Royal tells me I need to call 99 more times and then average the answers to get the most probable correct answer.... but I figured I would search here first. I did not find the answer so I am asking... Everyone in our travel party including the BFF will have a passport. So is a notarized letter really the only other item we need? (I can be the only person to have ever tried to do this right?). Part of the agreement with her parents for this trip to happen is that they will be waiting by the phone just in case we need them to fax something else at the last minute when we are trying to board. We also will have travel medical insurance for each person. Ok - folks what have I not thought of?
  6. we did two excursions in 2017 that were great for our tween and teen. Golf Cart Rental in Bonaire where we explored on our own. They now have 6 passenger ATVs that we are looking to do on our next cruise. Find them at bonairecruisers dot com. The other was a regular snorkel adventure which was a regular ship excursion in Aruba. This was cool because we got to snorkel around a WWII ship that was scuttled during the war. Highly recommend!
  7. I apologize for leaving out details - (At the time I didn't think they were pertinent but agree that the more I can tell you all the more you can guide me from your experience). We are part of a bigger group (17) but for the sake of this message I am only worried about the 5 traveling in my immediate party. Myself, DW, DD(18), DD (turning 16 on this cruise), and DD's BFF. - Birthday cruise. We are now confirmed on a flight landing in FLL at 3:30 PM on the 25th of December. From there we need to make our way to the Hampton Inn East by the Miami International Airport. I figure we will then go out to dinner (94th Aero Squadron is probably our dinner destination). Then back to the room for the night. On the 26th if weather permits we will go down to the beach (somewhere) and hang out for part of the day. Then back to the hotel and get cleaned up for dinner (Need to find another place to try). On the 27th - We check out and make our way to the cruise port. With all that moving around I thought having a car would be ideal but a car that will seat 5 plus cruise luggage is going to be a minivan or suv. About $300 for 2 days, plus gas, and parking, and the headache of dealing with it. Yesterday I used Uber Estimator to guesstimate all the various trips I have planned using an UberXL and came up with a price of around $220 so I canceled the car. Now maybe if we decide we need a car for one day on the 26th I can take the hotel shuttle to Miami International and rent one just for the day. It wouldn't need to be so big because we won't be carrying our luggage around on our free day. I could then return it that same night (back at the airport) so I don't have to deal with it on cruise morning. Anyway - Thank you for all your thoughts and ideas!
  8. Sorry I should have said Alamo has a return desk at the Intercontinental Hotel. I was not planning to park there just return the car before the cruise. However, I did some basic math and agree Uber is probably a better choice for the limited driving I need to do.
  9. I was flying, then driving...now flying again.... too many things to try to keep track of.... Anyway, we are now flying into FLL on Christmas Day for a cruise on the 27th out of the Port of Miami. I have decided to rent a car since we will have the better part of 2 days in Miami. At present I have a car reservation for pickup at FLL and returning it to the Alamo counter at the Intercontinental Hotel the morning of our cruise. I figured I would drop my family off at the port with our luggage, return the car, and grab an UBER back to the port. Is this a good plan? I am guessing that Alamo doesn't offer a shuttle back to the cruise port after dropping off the car which is why I say Uber back from the Intercontinental Hotel. Another option would be to return the car the night before the cruise and just utilize the hotel shuttle for the roughly $10 per person so that I'm not dealing with the rental car the morning of the cruise. Miami Cruising Pro's - Please help me figure out a plan that's not crazy. Thank You
  10. (This is not a sharing or scheming question!). What is the current status of the drink package rules? I drink but my wonderful wife doesn't.... On all our previous cruises she wasn't forced to buy the package but I know the rules changed a while back to where everyone in the stateroom of age must buy the package.... because people cheat I guess. Anyway, I believe I read that Royal may make exceptions on a case by case basis if you call to book that package. I haven't called them yet because I am hoping for a sale price (although I missed the deep deep deep discount a few weeks ago) I figured I would ask here before I called. My goal is to buy her what used to be called the Royal Replenish and myself the Ultimate... I know the names have changed. Curious if anyone has actually had any luck asking Royal to do this? Thanks
  11. Thanks to you both - Those are very valid points! I will look into hotels a little farther north and just parking at the port. Having to pay for a cab or uber brings the savings down considerably since there will be 7 of us plus luggage that is almost certainly 2 taxis or Ubers. Much better to stay a little farther out for less and park at the port.
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