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About notentirelynormal

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Oak Park, CA
  • Interests
    Cruising and grandchildren
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tahiti and Med

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  1. Hank I know you always venture off on your own but I am at a loss what to do here. There will be 7 of us. Two with limited walking and standing and 4 kids ages 16, 14, 13 and 11. I'm having trouble coming up with something that the kids would like to do or that doesn't require a lot of walking. For me a lot of walking is more than 20 or 30 minutes. We will be seeing enough ruins in the other ports so I wanted to focus on what else there is to offer. Any suggestions?
  2. Not on the ship but there was always a long row right inside the terminal that was full with crew members.
  3. Hi. We are going to do a cruise with my grandkids. We have an 11, 13, 14 and 16 YO that I'm sure don't want to spend their whole time looking at ruins the shopping. Does anyone have ideas of what we can do in these locations? Can you include a tour company that might do it. I'm trying to work with Barcelona Day Tours and Spain Day Tours but they gave me the same spiel they give everyone. I am 100% sure the kids don't want to go so a quaint little town and go shopping for three hours. I also don't/can't walk for three hours. I have no clue what to ask for. Is there anyone that can give me clues? Barcelona Day Tours came up with a Chocolate Museum. That was a perfect idea. I need help. We are also going to Sardinia, Italy and have no clue who to use or where to go there either. Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
  4. My daughter was only 7 on her first cruise and actually wanted to spend time with us so we didn't push her to go but yes, you are right, there were counselors on board. I do not remember a room with arcade type games but I do remember now that you mention it a long table where the kids could color and play games together. I remember the counselor taking the kids to the bar area, sitting in the back corner and buying them drinks. They thought they were so grown up. My DD chose to go to the restaurant and learn napkin folding. To her that was really fun. She often helped them set up for dinner. Back then the entire staff was allowed to engage with the kids and there were so few sailing that it was a joy for them to spend time with the younger ones since the only connection they had to their family was calling home while in port. I guess that is why people still give "tips" of calling cards to the crew. So they can call home on public phones LOL.
  5. Wow. This brought back memories. Our first cruise back in April 84 was on the Fairwind. The next, in April 87 was on the Fairsky. Yes, we started with Sitmar. My daughter was 7. There were no children things. None. The staff loved and I mean loved her. Since there were so few kids she got the royal treatment. Every night when she entered the dining room this gorgeous young assistant waiter would see her come in and stop whatever he was doing. He would run over to her and escort her to her table. The other ladies were so jealous. The Cruise Director flirted with her terribly. She kept talking to the Captain. I told her to leave him alone he was busy. He had to do the welcome about speech. He took offensive to my comment. He grabbed her and pulled her up on the stage with her. His first dance was with her. The second with the cruise director. As we get ready to leave I hear the guys taking the suitcases and open the door to see my daughter bothering the guys. Well, I tried to tell her to leave them alone they were working but they grabbed her, put her on the dollie, ran her down the hallway to the stack of luggage and threw her on top. Our next in 91 was on the original Regal Princess. If I remember right this one didn’t really have a kid’s center either but there were more kids. They hired the really tall guy who was in Pete’s Dragon as the kids counselor. Since there was nothing dedicated for the kids they made it up. He took the kids to the dining room, turned plastic cups upside down and found round oranges and viola! a bowling alley. He told them to go back to their cabin, take a roll of toilet paper and empty it all over their cabin. Then stick one end in the toilet and flush. They did a scavenger hunt. I’ll never forget our room steward helping. He was yelling up and down the corridor and all the other room stewards came out to find out what they were looking for. A green cherry, toothpick etc. She loved it. I used to love those directories they gave us. Name, cabin number and home town. The cruise director remembered everyone's name. Funny story. My sister in law got invited to the Captain's room for a drink. She's an airhead. I'm sure he meant just her what with the expensive champagne he was serving. Too bad for the Captain cos she brought my brother. A party for three.
  6. Steeler36: I don't see a price for MY category (figures, right). What is the price for 4 devices for a 26 day cruise or is that particular cruise one where you can't buy in advance? Our cruise can be booked as 10 plus a 16 or the 26 that we booked.
  7. It must depend on the cruiseline. It is rare for Princess to move kids up or down. The only time I've seen it was when we were on a cruise with a small amount of children and they combined the group. I think there were only around 20 kids total on the entire ship and the siblings from England asked to be put together and they allowed it.
  8. When we started cruising there were no kid's club or fancy dancy stuff. Remember the original Love Boat? Yup, way back then. They found things to do even on those small ships. My daughter was a master napkin folder. When they sailed on ships that did have a kid's club they hated them. Never went. They loved exploring the ship, watching the shows, the pizza and hot dogs and even the ice carving. I never worried about them having fun because they made it on their own. They actually had fun spending time with us too. The last cruise I took with my four grandkids. They were 7, ,9 10 and 12. They loved being able to come and go. We put a magnet on the cabin door. Like the ones a real estate agent might put on the side of his car. All the doors look alike and this way even our autistic granddaughter could find her cabin. Everything was a game. We had 4 kids in a room with 2 single bed, a couch that makes into a bed and a bunk bed that comes out of the ceiling. They took another set of magnets and put the who was sleeping where each night. Everything became a game for them. At dinner they could choose what they wanted. I gave them the option to try new foods. Just take one bite. If you like it great if not the waiter would have their backup dinner waiting. My DGD always had her spagetti with 5 meatballs waiting. We brought kid champagne (apple cider). The waiters served them in wine glasses, kept the bottle chilled for them and they could choose red or white. After the younger girls were in bed the 12 YO slipped out and watched a show. He returned through our cabin so I knew when he came back. I would check on him occasionally but he was a good kid and that was his reward. Bottom line. Bring a few things for them to do with each other but they will find new things to do on the ship even without all the bells and whistles. Just like in the olden days before all the instant gratifications. We are taking a 26 day cruise on the Pacific Princess. The same ship we started on. There is literally nothing to do during the day. So, we are taking scrabble, jenga, dominoes and a portable DVD player. We will sit on our balcony and enjoy each other.
  9. Coffee mugs with everyone's name on it. I also did a cabin directory so everyone knew what cabin everyone was in plus the phone number. For example, to call someone in cabin 456 on Caribe deck might be deck 8 so 8456. I did it for everyone in the cabin not just one person so that the kids could look up kids etc. One had a glitz once when the ship moved my brother as they were boarding. The people in the original cabin must have hated us. Or, we did sun visors with our group name on it.
  10. My grandkids start school and have different spring break times than the kids where I live which is Ventura County. VC borders LA County. None of their time off matches the kids in our school district. Plus we have different school districts within our County. Oak Park has different times off than Calabasas and Thousand Oaks. My dentist used to tell me he had three kids and none of them ever had time off at the same time. My grandkids from Washington State start and stop school totally different. I think last year the kids here were in school for three weeks ahead of the WS kids and they sure get off school at a different time. I think we have one month where they are off at the same time. Then, of course, you have Orange County which I'm sure has different times off as well.
  11. The old fashion way. I go to the bank every month or so and take some out. With on line banking for bills and credit cards for purchases I almost never use cash so it lasts a really long time.
  12. When we did our Med cruise 10 years ago we spent 3 days pre cruise in Rome. The pickup from the airport, the 3 private day tours and the drive to the port were all paid by cash the day of. Spain also. They were very expensive and I was paying for 3 people. I brought around 7,000 EU cash. Each port the money was divided into envelopes and kept in a safe when not needed for that day. Spending money was minimal but we did have to pay for our meals each day as well as entrance fees and additional private guides to the Vatican and Pompeii. Is this normal for me? No. Usually every tour is paid for in advance by credit card. In this case though - we carried a heck of a lot of money. I am not one to want to spend my day looking for or using a foreign ATM. I don't use them at home either. LOL - it has been a while since I've been on CC and had forgotten about CB.
  13. I had a similar problem. My oldest grandson (12) had the drink package. Just him. The other three younger kids did not. I sent him down to the bar to get 4 drinks, one for each of them. Yes people - before you ask as I know someone will - they were non alcoholic. He had the sticker. He came back and told me they would only give him two drinks at a time and they both had to be free on his card. I asked him, did you explain you wanted to purchase the other three. Yes, he says. I go down. They explain to me that they can only give him two drinks at a time. I told them I wanted to BUY three additional drinks and get his one plan drink. After clearly explaining it so that the bartender understood he made all four drinks, charged us for three and everyone one happy. They are just used to people expecting to get the free drinks regardless. At a later time they bartender actually told me that. After that no matter when or which one of my grandkids went to get drinks from that bar they were able to get the package drink and the additional at my extra cost. I would agree buying drinks for working staff/entertainers would not be allowed. They are working. Does your boss let you drink while you are working? It has nothing to do with passenger safety. There are tons of crew that can drink no matter what the time of day as long as they are off duty - and they do party hardy - and that doesn't have anything to do with ship/passenger safety. Can you actually buy a drink? Of course you can. If my DH has the package and I do not that doesn't mean he can't get me a drink when he gets his own. He just had to bring both cruise cards to do it. His card is accepted and mine is charged. Aren't there drinks that aren't part of the plan? Expensive bottles of wine or champagne or top notch brands. I thought on Princess that there was a dollar amount for glasses of wine or that you could buy a bottle of wine for sharing. It's been two years since my last cruise but things can't have changed that much. Thinking back I remember that we could get kahula for our coffee but not double shots unless we paid for it when we had the suite breakfast. There are always work arounds.
  14. At my favorite restaurant the waiters are paid just fine in tips. At 35 one waiter owns 5 rental houses. He had nothing when he started working there at 15. The other waiters work only a few days a week. Another makes enough to put both his girls in private school. They made about $30,000 a year more than I did. Regarding what the OP was asking and I"m sure afraid to come back to this thread: unlike most I don't tip quite as much on tours. I tip depending. I never tip based on the price of the excursion unless I get exceptional service. I tipped my guide in Spain. He was stunned but happy. I tipped in Italy. They were fighting to get me for the next three tours. None excepted anything from me. In the Caribbean I must tip $5 to $10 depending on what they did. It should be something good. If they took me from Point A to Point B and dropped me off than they got no tip. That is what I already paid for. If they also shared information or maybe made a stop for pictures or something not contracted they would get a tip of again maybe $5 or $10. For a bus driver I give $1 and maybe $5 for the guide if she spoke loudly and clearly and gave me interesting and useful information. Whatever you do please please don't tip in $2 bills. If you are trying to reward don't make the recipient take more steps to get the money. I was in Sydney Australia once and our driver asked me if it was even real money. Someone thought it cute. The bank had never seen a $2 and wouldn't take it. It was useless and a waste. To China.... get over yourself. You know and I know and most of the other posters know you are only trying to stir the pot because you are bored. You said so yourself. You are off school so have plenty of time to post things. You are arguing for the sake of arguing. I don't believe you actually believe the drivel you are spouting. You took a thread of someone asking for help and turned it into your own crusade and then you became the victim. The reason people don't like you being a teacher is because they know you are pushing your single minded argumentative thinking on your poor students. They are worried you aren't teaching both sides just the side that you think is important. Every negative comment wasn't about you. You are choosing to see it that way because you want to be the victim because you think people will feel sorry for you. They don't. They think you are single minded and unwilling to learn and that you want to be the center of attention. That's all. Seriously, get over yourself.
  15. I have two kids. They were elite on Princess before they were 18. Now they each have two kids. My 14 YO grandson has been on 7 cruises at 56 days and the youngest who is now 8 has only been on 1 at 10 days. We have always considered cruising a family vacation. My DH and I are getting ready to go on our Princess 31st cruise at 264 days. We have cruised by ourselves, just immediate family and kids and extended family and friends up to 26 people. I can't imagine any of them NOT being interested in a cruise.
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