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jp2746

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  1. Thanks for the information!! I looked into Lyft and Uber and it seems that they are a little over $100 each way (that is for four leaving on a Sunday around the time all the cruisers would need a ride). So, it would be about the same amount with tolls/gas by taking Lyft or Uber. Thank you, I am going to skip the car and get a Lyft. I wasn't too excited about renting a car, but I couldn't get a straight answer from any of the "car services" online as far as how much it would cost. Most of them only carry 4-6 people. This way we take two cars directly to the hotel and directly from the cruise port. Thanks so much! You have really made me feel better about this trip.
  2. We were able to rent a van one way for $167 each way. That will get all of us there and back for under $350. Do you think I could get a car service for all of us for that price or close? If so, what service do you recommend? I would much rather get a car service, but the ones I have looked into were really expensive. I don't mind dropping the family off at the hotel and dropping the car off at the Newark airport. We did this in Florida and it was a breeze. It was so nice to drop all the luggage and kids off and only have to get on a shuttle by myself. Honestly, it was a nice break from the hectic day. πŸ™‚
  3. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded. We wound up booking the Oasis in June. We are going to fly into LGA and rent a car one way to Newark airport. After dropping the family off at the hotel, I will drop the car off and shuttle back to the hotel. It will be a bit of work, but I think it will be worth it. My biggest concern at this point is getting to the airport after the cruise. My plan is to rent a car and drive to LGA the morning we get back. I am just concerned that there will be issues with us getting to the airport in time for a flight. But I figured that if we make it after 3pm and walk off with our luggage, we should be okay even with traffic. Hopefully... Every year I stress out because we go to places that we have never been. Transporting the family is stressful because kids are always asking questions that you wish you knew yourself. πŸ™‚ They just remind me that I have no clue! Anyway, thanks again and I can't wait to sail on the new Oasis!!
  4. I think we will just abandon ship. It’s way too complicated and with airfare for 8, it is out of our price range. I guess we will be going on a lesser ship. 😒
  5. It's soooo stinking expensive in the summer! My sister does not want to take her kids out of school and I completely get that since her son is a senior, but we just can't afford summer prices on the Symphony with 8! I am dying to go though. Even if we have to share a teeny, tiny interior room to make it work!
  6. I’m so sad that they are sending her to Europe. That trip would be too rich for my pocketbook. 😒. If she was still in Florida we would go on her again this summer. My FIL can’t stop talking about how much fun he had. 😊
  7. Thanks for all the replies. We are still trying to decide what to do. I have to do a cost comparison for flying into Florida and going on Harmony or Symphony verses flying into another airport like ISP or Philadelphia and renting a car. Time isn't an issue and we have rented a 12 passenger van in the past which worked out well. With 8, transportation is always a huge issue. We always take two cabs or two Uber cars. The reason we stick to Southwest is because we have a companion pass for my son. So, with eight of us, one is free. We also have a lot of Southwest points and they would cover the entire airline trip for eight. If you figure we pay $300 a person from San Diego (which is not going to happen in the summer too often), that adds $2400 to our budget. Then we still have to consider transportation to the port and hotel. So, there are a lot of factors involved. I know a lot of people hate Southwest and there a some things that bother me about it, but we use the credit card for everyday purchases and haven't "paid" for airfare in a few years. I do like Delta too, but we don't have enough miles to put a dent into this trip. But, I was able to book Chicago to San Diego for 10K miles on Delta for my FIL. That was a great deal! In comparison, with my son as a free companion, we are flying to Houston this week from San Diego for 5K points total for both of us on Southwest. I can't beat that!
  8. This was our second time in Cozumel and both times we went to Paradise Beach. The kids really enjoyed it there. I'm sure there are a lot of fun things to do in Cozumel but since my FIL is in a wheelchair, we were limited to what we could do. If you are looking for a beach day Paradise Beach if fun for kids. Make sure you go to the shopping seminar on the boat. They give you a coupon for a free bag at Del Sol which is really nice!
  9. To put things into perspective, our youngest is 13. So language is a concern, but unfortunately he hears the same stuff at sports games and practices. Also, we were sitting high up and at the back of the theater since my FIL is in a wheelchair. Because of that, we could not always hear exactly what they were saying. However, I do remember hearing "bastard" but we couldn't hear it that well and I don't think that is a word he has heard before. Since he is a 13 year old boy, sexual content is always a concern and this did seem to have a lot. In all honesty, I had my husband take him to play mini golf at intermission because there was so much in the first half that I couldn't really enjoy it with him there. I kept waiting to see what would happen. I think 13 and up would be okay, but I was uncomfortable and wanted to enjoy the play. He was ready to leave by that time anyway. I thought it was REALLY good. But I also thought that they could have cleaned it up just a bit. It would not have taken away from the show and it would have made it much more enjoyable for parents IMO. I'm sure a lot of people would disagree though. We did have a good view of the water show from our balcony, but my son insisted that we go down and watch it from the rock climbing wall balcony. I guess the view wasn't good enough for him but I thought it was great. I also enjoyed Labadee. However, I had some bad news that day about the sudden death of my 23 year old nephew. They had been trying to reach me for a couple of days but we had our phones off on the ship. That put a damper on the vacation and especially Labadee since that is where I learned of the death. Everyone loved Labadee though. Yes, drink cards were offered but for coffee only. The last RC cruise we were on was the Adventure. We tried Carnival last year and it just wasn't for us. We felt that it was geared more toward leaving your kids in the kids camps and letting the adults have fun. I get that but we go on cruises for family time. So, we will be sticking to RC. The Allure had so much to do with family that we couldn't do it all and want to go back! I am jealous of people going on back to back. There was a family there that were doing three b2b cruises. I gained seven pounds in a week so I'm not sure three b2b cruises would be a good idea for me. lol Yes, I had researched so much before this trip to make sure we had a good, safe time. I was so disappointed that the excursion ended the way it did because that is what made the biggest impression in Jamaica. There was a lady and man driving us and the lady said that she always shops at this place when she is in Montego Bay to grocery shop. That was impossible because all they had were t-shirts, coffee and spices. It was an obvious tourist trap. When we were in Honduras last year, we asked our driver to take us somewhere so that we can get some local foods to take home. He took us to a grocery store and pointed out all the things that are made in Honduras. It was so much fun and we brought back a lot of good spices, vanilla, coffee and banana ketchup. That is what I asked them to do and they took us to a tourist store. My sister was very flustered because the credit card company initially declined her credit card because it was a large purchase and she did not tell them she was going out of the country. Because she was stressed they were able to charge her $15 for a small bottle of after sun aloe that you can get at the $1 store without her realizing it. But at least she caught the pretzels before she paid. How did you like Oasis? We are looking at that one for next year after it is in dry dock. It looks like they are adding some fun stuff. I'm not sure how Allure compares with Harmony but we really loved it! Have fun!
  10. I just wanted to say that we returned a couple of weeks ago and it was the most amazing vacation ever! I am not good at doing reviews but I will mention what stood out to us. Embarking was almost too easy. Basically we gave our luggage to the men outside, walked in and showed our passport, and we were on. The rooms were ready at exactly 1:00 pm. Our luggage was at our door by 3:00 or 4:00. The shows were so good! We loved Mama Mia. The only thing I would mention is that I researched to see if it was kid friendly. I would say for the most part it is okay. There were some things that went over our kids head. However, there are two scenes where a girl is laying on a guy. The second of these scenes, the man is unbuttoning his pants quickly when someone walks up and catches them. Just a heads up in case you were wondering what kind of explaining you may have to do. The diving show was so good that my kids (even my 20 year old) saw it several times. We also saw the ice show a couple of times. We didn't love Blue Planet. My kids thought there was too much singing. Mo5aic was the headliner and we really enjoyed their performance. There was a parade that was a lot of fun the last night. And the family comedians were hilarious! It was so much fun every night to dress up, have a nice dinner and go to a show afterwards. Royal Caribbean has really made family time so much fun on the boat. The food was wonderful and there was plenty. In fact, there was so much that we didn't get to try everything. There was only so much time and belly space. But we managed to pack quite a bit in. :) We tried the roast beef sandwiches in Park Cafe that were really, really good. It doesn't seem like the same roast beef that they use in the other venues. We only ate at the MDR for dinner and lunch and we had a wonderful time. Our servers Rolando and Fernand were so fun and Isiah came over and did magic tricks. We really enjoyed the food and very rarely had something that we didn't like. At lunch, we ate in the MDR on sea days. It was better than dinner. I thought that the Tutti bar would be a regular salad bar... nope. It was so good. The two days we went there was a build your own pasta bar where they cooked shrimp or whatever you wanted with the sauce of your choice. It was so yummy. We made the mistake the first time of ordering off the menu and then looking at the Tutti bar. The next time we just ordered desert and an appetizer off the menu. Overall, I would give the food an A. We ate so much that by dinner the last day we felt like we couldn't squeeze another bite into our mouth. However, we managed to squeeze a couple of appetizers, a main course and two desserts in at dinner. lol We had a Boardwalk balcony room. It was small but there were only two of us per room, so it worked. I can't see four staying in a room that size. You really wouldn't have room for your luggage and people. We didn't find it to be noisy at night, but we were up until about 11 every night and that was when most activity on the Boardwalk died down. We did get the drink package as part of our room and enjoyed that when it worked. It seemed that there was always a problem with our cup, but that wasn't a big deal to us. The ports were okay. We went to Jamaica and didn't really love it. We hired Courtney tours for a trip to Doctor's Beach and asked them to take us to a store where we could see some local foods instead of to a restaurant which was in our tour. They took us to a place and they totally ripped us off. My sister was going to buy a bag of pretzels and it cost $9. Since they had just told us that this was about the weekly income for a person on the island, we figured that most people in Jamaica do not pay that for a bag of pretzels. It changed the way we look at Jamaica and we have no desire to go there again. Yes, we were offered drugs and a "message". We went to a private beach, but the drug dealers just waited until you got close the the boundary of the private beach. We also went to Labadee and Cozumel. Both were also okay. Labadee was nice because everything was included and no one tried to get $20 to rent a chair. I think the ship just made it so much fun that the ports were just beach days for us. We were limited because my FIL has mobility issues, so maybe there were more exciting things at the ports that we missed. Getting off the boat was smooth except for a problem on our end. My sister left her passport in her room and remembered at the last minute. We had to get a security person to go to the room and get it. I was a little nervous about the time because we had a plane to catch at 10:15 at FLL. But we were at the airport in plenty of time for our flight. We decided to take a cab over Uber because it was easier to just walk over to one of the cabs lined up. It only cost $14 plus a tip for four of us to get to the airport. That was about what it would have cost for Uber. But with self embarking at 7:00, we were off the boat by 7:10. Overall, we had such a great time that we can't wait to go back. The only unfortunate part is that we are spoiled now and RC has really raised prices! It's so expensive to go on an Oasis class ship. But I am trying to make it work. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. We were just a regular family, no pinnacle or diamond. Just a passenger with no benefits. But, we had a blast. The crew was amazing and I would highly recommend the Allure.
  11. I checked into renting a car from ISP or LGA and dropping it off in New Jersey. Since I don't know the area, it is always stressful. Another option would be to stay at a hotel near LGA that has an airport shuttle. We could stay there for a couple of nights and then rent a car to take to New Jersey. We could stay there the night before departure so that it was an easy drive the next morning. But... returning would be a pain. We could stay one more night and leave on a Monday so that we are not stressed for time, but all of this adds up. Maybe we should just go out of Florida. We really want to go on the Oasis. It has some fun stuff being added for next summer.
  12. The Allure is going to Europe this summer and the Symphony and Harmony are both sooooo expensive in the summer. Oasis was in our price range until you added airfare. There are 8 of us, so that gets really pricey. I will check into car rental to another airport. Thanks!
  13. Any help would be greatly appreciated! After talking our extended family into going on the Oasis of the Seas (we just got off Allure and I don't think we can ever go back to small ships!!). It was all set with dates and prices that fit into our budget. We usually use Southwest points to fly so that it cuts out that cost. However, I just read that Southwest will not be flying into New Jersey this summer. Is there ANY idea of a way to get from La Guardia or ISP without spending a fortune? We have our heart set on this cruise, but with airfare, it is out. We could fly into another city and rent a car, but then we have to figure out how to get back to the airport after the cruise. Why Southwest? Why did you do this to me??
  14. What are the dates? We are looking for August sailings since they are usually cheaper. We just got off Allure last week and are looking to book for next year. However, the prices have really gone up! We paid $2195 per room for two for the cruise this year and would be willing to pay $2290. Most of the ones that I have looked at are much more than that for a Boardwalk balcony.
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