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Everything posted by woostergirl

  1. You can also bring your own board games. We brought Catan for kids. It's a great cruise game as it can take quite a while to win. We just bought Wingspan but haven't tried yet. We also like Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, a fun slapping game. Your cruise might offer family activities like a scavenger hunt, craft making, or video game tournaments. The Celebrity cruise we were on offered those. The egg drop contest on our Princess Alaska cruise last year was fun and there were tweens/teens who entered.
  2. I'm going on my first river cruise next week...AMA/ABD Basel to Amsterdam cruise on August 3rd. Thanks @notamermaid and everyone for the information and updates on the Rhine water levels! Much appreciated!!
  3. Following along! You're an amazing brother!! I'm considering a YC MSC cruise for my family.
  4. We're on Celebrity Equinox for a Dec 2024 sailing on deck 8. We have oceanview forward cabins and I'm worried about the motion. We have stayed in a forward oceanview cabin before, but only a short 4-day cruise that didn't go very far. I'm a little worried about the motion but we will bring bonine. Any thoughts on this cabin location? I've been reading that this cruise can have rougher seas. Thanks in advance!
  5. Here's a recent-ish video of a forward prime oceanview cabin.
  6. Has anyone reached Celebrity's Destination Insiders to organize a private journey tour? I just received their info because of an itinerary change to my cruise in 2024. But when I email privatejourneys@celebrity.com my email was returned with a delivery failure notice. For those that have gone on excursions planned by the Private Journey program, what did you do and would you do it again? Many thanks!
  7. Thank you @KasioSails for the great trip report! I also have kids around the same age and we are considering a CS on Solstice. We've only been on one Celebrity cruise and our whole family loved it. It is fun to read your trip report as it brings up fond memories of my own cruise. Some of our friends ask us about cruises for family travel, and honestly, it is so much more relaxing for me, as a mom to cruise. While I love land trips and the whole planes-trains-automobiles aspect to that immersive experience... sometimes I just want some time on my vacation to do nothing or read a book. I would like to hear if you have additional thoughts on Royal vs Celebrity regarding your experiences traveling as a family. Thanks again for sharing!
  8. Following along! Doing this cruise next Xmas. Thanks @abbydancer for all the tour ideas on BA.
  9. Love these pictures! Are you able to pet the wombats too? An Australian cruise is definitely on my cruise list..
  10. Looking forward to following along! We are also on the West Coast. Bon Voyage!
  11. Great review! Our kids also loved our cruise on the Beyond. The activities the Camp at Sea puts on, especially dodge ball and the campout night in Destination Gateway were really nice. Our kids really loved those. The other activity my 11 year old loved was the cardboard armory session. The kids made all kinds of armor with cardboard (shields, swords and helmets) and then they played games with their armor towards the end of the cruise. She loved it so much all the "armor" travelled home with us! We also did the famiily scavenger hunt and some other famiily events coordinated by Camp at Sea. Between their activities and the port days, there was plenty to do for everyone. Our next Celebrity cruise is on the Millennium, which is much smaller, so I'm a little worried but hoping Camp at Sea will work its magic there too!
  12. We went on a Celebrity cruise in December and my kids (11 and 7) loved the kids club program and the food/service is very nice. They do have a teens club/hang out area. Teens have their own programming generally more geared to scavenger hunts and sports activities. There were lots of inter-generational families on our cruise and it's a nice festive but not crazy atmosphere. The one nice thing about Princess (from a mom perspective) is that they have the Medallions. The Medallions are like a GPS token and you can see where everyone is on the ship on your app or on the large screens around the ship. For tweens/teens like your grandkids, that might be a benefit. They can be independent around the ship and you still can keep track of them. Princess also has good food and has lots of inter-generational families on board. On our Princess cruise, the teens even have teen dance nights early-ish in the night. Although my kids are younger, the thing I would say about the ships with lots of extras like go carts and roller coasters is that those are more destination cruise ships and not great for port intensive cruises like Med cruises. You don't really have the chance to use/enjoy those amenities when every day is a port day. Celebrity and Princess both sail to Greece. Those would be my top suggestions. Good luck and happy cruising!!
  13. @fryfrye Sorry, I didn't get to answer in time for your cruise. I hope it was amazing!! I wish I was back on the Beyond!!
  14. Maybe a bottle of Poo-Pourri toilet spray. I bring a bottle for the bathroom, really helps with smells from number two!
  15. I like the magnet hooks to hang jackets/lanyards/etc. I would also suggest air fresheners. Like the solid ones. I bring one for the closet but sometimes I wish I had another one for the cabin or bathroom.
  16. We did a Celebrity cruise over Christmas this past December with my family (including 11 year old daughter and 7 year old son). I brought heavy duty magnets with hooks and hung our stockings from home along with soft felt garlands to decorate our cabin. (And some gnome plushies!) It made the cabin feel more like Christmas and home. I know some families even bring a small Christmas tree, but I didn't want to manage a tree on flights! I brought our stockings to Target/the store to make sure the things I bought would fit in my kids' stockings!! Some suggestions would be binoculars for shore excursions and maybe craft kits that she can do with new friends on board. (My daughter got friendship bracelets kits.) I got her the card game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza which was a huge hit and fun to play on board. My son got some smaller pool toys to play with in the pool. We were on Celebrity Beyond and not MSC, but I posted the holiday activities from the kids club and around the ship. They had a special Xmas craft making, holiday treats, and holiday themed games on Christmas Eve Day. There was a visit from Santa on Christmas Day (Many families went to see Santa in matching pajamas. I didn't think of this but it was cute, especially for the pics.) Santa gave out small gifts to each child. There was caroling and Xmas song performances by the entertainment crew. There was an inter-denominational Christian service on the ship. There were also special items on the menu for Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. Good luck and have fun! We really enjoyed Xmas on a ship. We will do it again for Christmas 2024.
  17. My family were on Celebrity Beyond from Dec 18-26 in a Sky Suite. It was a great cruise! Best one yet!! When I was planning our Celebrity cruise I didn't see too much about their Camp at Sea program on the boards and want to provide our experience if you are considering a Celebrity cruise. Lots of people recommend the larger cruise ships but Celebrity does a great job with activities for the kids. I wasn't super worried as my kids just like to play with other kids from time-to-time on cruises and having a kids club is enough for the. They were 11 and 7 when we sailed. We were told by the Camp at Sea counsellors that there were 320 kids on board for our sailing (with 2,700 total passengers). As you can see from the attached photos, they have both kids club activities and also family activities. We did both scavenger hunts and came in 2nd on the second one. Woohoo! The space is smaller than the ones on Princess and RC but a cool thing they do is open up Destination Gateway for the kids club during the evening. Destination Gateway on deck 2 is where you disembark and return on port days. At night they take one age group down there at a time and do things like dodge ball and capture the flag. My daughter in the Captains (ages 10-12) group loved the adventures in cardboard: armory activity. For the Cadets (ages 6-9) one night they had a camp out and movie night. This was hosted in Gateway Destination and the counsellors decorated the space with bean bags, a tent and s'mores for the kids. We generally picked our kids up before 10p and the kids always said we came too early! On Christmas Eve Day, the Family Craft Time in Eden was very well organized. Kids and families took over Eden that morning and the counselors had set up craft tables, cookie decorating stations and holiday activities (both Hanukkah and Christmas decorations). Captain Kate even stopped by towards the end to say hello to the kids and answer any questions they had. My daughter loves cats and asked about her cat Bug. We also learned that Captain Kate is a 49ers fan! It always makes a cruise more enjoyable when your kids are having fun. Mine loved Camp at Sea. I wouldn't hesitate to bring them again.
  18. Was on Beyond Dec 18-26 in a Sky Suite. Luminae was usually terrific but what makes it really special is the service. (I stayed away from the Cobb salad in Luminae.) The waiters were always friendly and helpful and usually funny too. Loved the bread basket constantly circulating and the attentive sommelier. The food is very good but also rich. We also liked that there were minimal lines. The MDRs were also very good. In particular, the Tuscan pork chop at the Italian restaurant was so good, I'd go back just to eat that one dish! My husband had the lamb shank at lunch at Cosmopolitan and he said it was the best lamb shank he's ever had. The main dining dishes were very good and there was always something to pick from. I guess the menu is smaller than before, but is still quite extensive. We only ate at two specialty restaurants on our 8 night cruise, Le Voyage and Le Petit Chef (we have kids). Le Voyage was excellent.The service very good (with all the niceties of an upscale restaurant like synchronized presentation of the dishes. The food was excellent, we had the regular menu and we were able to order two appetizers each. LPC has the best wine pairing deal on the ship! $25/person for four tastings...heavy pours too. Highly recommend it! I guess I'm catching the Celebrity wave on the ride down, but in comparison to our cruises this year on Royal and Princess, the dining room food on Beyond...was beyond the other two, hands down. My 7 year old discovered his love of croissants on this cruise. Luminae serves larger ones but he will also grab a few from the buffet. The Indian food at the buffet was great! Loved the papadam bread...so good! The service at the buffet was the worst. We ended up grabbing a table by a beverage station because no one came by to ask what you would like. In this regard, Princess's buffet service was much better and even Royal's was better.
  19. I was on Beyond Dec 18-26 and was on high alert for creaking noises. We didn't hear any except maybe one night but it wasn't too loud and we all fell asleep. Cabin 9177.
  20. Excited to follow along! Especially interested in the excursions. I booked this trip for 2024. Bon voyage!!
  21. I'm boarding the Beyond on Dec 18th and am wondering if they show live sports games on the ship. Sunday is the World Cup final game between Argentina and France and we'd like to watch the NFL games on Sunday and Monday as well, if possible. If they show live sports game, what is the best place to watch? Thanks!
  22. I'm looking for cruises for next holiday season and saw that Brilliance OTS is going a 11-night South Pacific & Fiji cruise. What kind of enrichment does RC offer on those kinds of trips? My only other cruise was a 9-nights from San Francisco to Alaska and a 4-night cruise on Navigator OTS over the summer. Princess is known for their enrichment which meant on that cruise we had one lecturer (Honestly she was not great. She forgot lost her train of thought. They need to get someone younger and an Alaskan local would be a huge plus.) and some rotating local artists (much better). I know Holland America is also known for their enrichment but what about RC? Would this South Pacific & Fiji cruise include any lecturers/experts/locals on board?
  23. I'm researching 2023 holiday cruises and found two to the South Pacific that look interesting: Option 1: 10-Day Papua New Guinea Roundtrip from Brisbane, Australia On board Coral Princess Departing Mon, Dec 18, 2023 Option 2: 11-Night South Pacific & Fiji Holiday Leaving from Sydney, Australia onboard RC's Brilliance of the Seas Dec 19, 2023 to Dec 30, 2023 I am traveling with my DH and two kids who will be 8 and 12 next holiday season. We have not visited either of these places. The cruise to Fiji sounds more relaxing and very beautiful. And I think it would be easier to fly in and out of Sydney. However, I'm a huge NatGeo fan and PNG has always intrigued me and I thought a cruise would be an ideal way to see that country with kids in a manageable way. I've been on one 4-night RC cruise and one 8-night Princess cruise. I didn't care for the main dining room on the RC ship (Navigator OTS) although the specialty dining was quite good. I liked the food in the main dining room on our Ruby Princess cruise much more. I'm torn because I'm slightly leaning towards the Fiji cruise but I don't like the RC food in the main dining room. Which cruise would you choose and why?
  24. I just listened to Gary Bembridges latest podcast episode: These 7 Things Throw Norwegian Fjord Cruisers Every Time! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/essential-cruise-tips/id786541438 And he said that Norway on Jan. 1, 2026, will begin a ban on cruise ships powering through the Unesco-listed heritage fjords on anything but zero-emissions propulsion. So that the number of cruise ships going to Norway will be severely impacted. So of course now Norway is on the top of my cruising list! On the podcast Gary also mentioned that Norway is like Alaska on steroids but without animals. Our family (with two kids 11 and 7) just did a 9 night Alaska cruise this past summer and really enjoyed it. We went inshore fishing and ate our fish in Ketchikan, saw brown bears and whales at Icy Strait Point and saw sea otters, seals and mountain goats cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. But I'm wondering if Norway is a good destination for kids? Are excursions just as expensive in Norway as they are in Alaska? It would be great to hear from families who cruised to Norway with their kids. Thanks!
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