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Everything posted by CruiseDigits

  1. Scanning through some of the flights it looks like a stop in Frankfurt or Dubai gets you closest to your original request. Flying through Frankfurt you'd have about 7.5 hours for your first flight followed by about 12.5 hours for your second flight. Flying through Dubai you'd have about 12.5 hours for your first flight followed by about 7.5 hours to Singapore. I'm a fan of the stopover, giving you the opportunity to spend some time in different locations to break up your travel even more.
  2. @KelSny1011 have you looked at the calendar function on Google's Matrix - ITA Software page? I just mentioned in another discussion forum, it's usually my starting point to get a sense of what is available and when.
  3. When you fly back to the U.S. to a connecting flight you have to do this for all airlines, not just with Southwest and not just in FLL. The Chicago O'Hare airport has a really nice web page to describe the process.
  4. That's correct, the only routes that Southwest flies that require ETOPS certification are to Hawaii. This article touches on some of the requirements: "Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) certification from the FAA...allows for 'extended operations' over open ocean, something Southwest Airlines has not previously needed." "Flight 6808 was operated on a Boeing 737-800, one of about a half-dozen Southwest aircraft that are ETOPS certified with extra life rafts and additional communication devices."
  5. @klfrodo time is money. The pricing for CLEAR is also easier to swallow if you plan to add family members, up to 3 at $50 per family member. Children under 18 are able to accompany you through the CLEAR lanes without enrolling (they can't enroll until they turn 18). Personally we are using the trial period now and plan to keep it.
  6. TAP Air Portugal is showing the lowest one-way fares for April 2020 if you pull up the calendar search on either of the Google air search pages (ITA Matrix and flights). Long stopover opportunities if you want some time in Portugal. Star Alliance member.
  7. For reference this is the Southwest source page: https://www.southwest.com/air/flight-schedules/index.html
  8. We've been able to take some nice trips with our family by looking for air deals and then looking for opportunities to pair with "kids sail free" type of promotions. For example, several years ago we did a Med cruise (round trip Rome, Greece, Turkey) at the end of the season (free shore excursions for kids paired with low cruise fare) when we found good airfare. A couple of years ago we booked crazy low airfare to Martinique then figured out the rest (not a cruise on that one but same approach). It's not for the faint of heart and takes some research but it can be done if you're flexible on location and timing!
  9. This exactly for us. We've never given our kids spending privilegs on their cards and it's never been an issue.
  10. @lianaks as I mentioned earlier in the thread this was also our experience several years ago. We didn't have any problems hearing with the monitor for a cabin next door.
  11. I'm pretty sure you can ask a moderator to pin a thread like they did with the acronymns for first time cruisers, see a few posts in to this thread:
  12. This Cruise Critic article provides a nice summary, to include options for "Romantic Extras": 10 Best Honeymoon Cruises
  13. +1 for ITA, it's a great starting point for air research. The calendar feature is particularly helpful when there is any flexibility in the travel schedule.
  14. Posting for reference as I didn't see it specifically mentioned earlier in the thread. The Princess "Military Personnel Benefit Onboard Credit Program" is tiered based on the length of your cruise: Voyage Length --> OBC amount per qualified passenger 6 days or less --> $50 7–13 days --> $100 14 days or longer --> $250 And the link to the form currently available on the web: https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/faq_answer_legal/Military_Personnel_Benefit_US.pdf
  15. @Bellas_mom we are taking a Princess cruise to Alaska next month and this is wording I see on the Excursions FAQ in our cruise personalizer (I'll list the detailed click path after the quote): "Toddlers aged 2 and younger sitting on a parent's lap (not occupying a seat), are not charged for most excursions. If a parent would like their infant to occupy a seat or would like to utilize a safety seat, the parent must purchase an excursion ticket for the infant at the published excursion price. Parents are also responsible for bringing a safety seat for their child." If I were in your shoes and wanted to book Princess shore excurions then I'd print the information from the web page and book the excursions for the six adults but not pay for your 17 month old. We often use independent providers for our shore excursions, it all depends on the type of activity and complexity of the travel to and from the ship, to include tender vs pier. My click path: Log in to your cruise personalizer > Manage your booking now > Excursion Reservations (it's at the top menu on the page) > Browse & Reserve Excursions > View Excursions (for any of your ports) Scroll down to the section that states "Show Filter Options" then click > Excursions FAQ > Children's Excursion Pricing Hope this helps!
  16. This is also another forum discussing the topic:
  17. This is the link from the Carnival FAQ page about Carnival's Youth Program, it states in part, "If parent/guardian decide to leave their children in the care of the Youth Staff while in port, they can! They should let us know if they are going on a Carnival shore excursion or going to explore the port on their own." Note that the in port policy differs by cruise line (mentioning in case you look at other options). Our kids are older now but they never really like the kids clubs, regardless of the cruise line. Others post that the kids love them so it really depends on your children. For what it's worth, we've travelled all over the place with our kids, even when they were infants, and we've always brought them ashore.
  18. Agreed. It's been a while since we used a baby monitor on a cruise but with the old audio only technology we were always able to use it through the walls with next door cabins.
  19. Destination thoughts: I think you're looking at the Caribbean if you want January or February 2020. See this article about "The Alaska Cruise Season" Narrowing it down thoughts: I'd start with duration and destination -- how much time do you have and where in the Caribbean have you previously travelled? If you have an upper cost limit then you can use that as a limiting factor too but I'd hold off on doing price comparisions until you are able to make it apples to apples. For example you may find an itinerary for early January, when everyone is off from school, may cost more than late February. If your timing is flexible then see what is out there in February.
  20. @CruiseCriticMamaBear we have four children, two still in the house being homeschooled and we've taken them all over the world using a mix of cruises and independent travel. Be careful though, our eldest son is so comfortable with travel and different cultures that he went to university in London and he now lives in Hong Kong ;) I echo the comments from @Keith1010 to try to find ways to get off the beaten path and in to the community. If we are staying somewhere for a while then we figure out the public transit system. We ask locals where they like to eat. We love to go Mass wherever we are -- pro tip is that a bilingual service in Barcelona does not usually include English, it's Spanish and Catalan! We've also purchased opportunistic plane tickets when we've seen an unbelievable fare sale then figure out lodging and everything else from there. We're going to Alaska for the first time next month and then we'll be in Barcelona again for a while the following month. Next year is still a blank slate for us. Your comprehensive approach is rare to see!
  21. I grew up in the L.A. area and the first time we went to Disneyland we were told a similar story -- I remember being super confused and happy when we pulled in to the park area.
  22. We always brought the car seats to use them on the plane. From the FAA Flying with Children web page (bold emphasis added by me): "Make sure your CRS is government approved and has "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft" printed on it. Otherwise, you may be asked to check the CRS as baggage."
  23. How much flexibility do you have with your dates? Also do your kids have interest in kids clubs and meeting others their age? We have four children, our youngest is 11, and none of them ever really liked the kids club scene.
  24. Chiming in for future readers. With the caveat that you should always confirm with your airline, but I *think* you are able to check car seats for free on most, if not all, domestic airlines. This article, though a few years old now, is incredibly thorough: https://tripswithtykes.com/car-seats-on-airplanes-part-1/
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