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Erica@cruisecritic

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  1. Jumping in as the family expert from Cruise Critic's editorial team! 😉 Is this your first kid? 1.5 year olds are all kinds of energetic, and it's hard to know at 8 weeks the personality of yours. Will he be the kind of kid who happily sleeps in a stroller through a show and play happily with whatever toys are at hand, or will he be like mine who at 1 was trying eat the decorative rocks in the atrium, spent endless hours pushing a walking toy up and down the cabin hallways and would only nap in his pack n play. I can tell you the latter is exhausting, and 2 weeks with nowhere to go would have been torture. YMMV -- which is why I recommend getting to know your kid before booking a long cruise with no ports. Some will handle it gracefully, and others won't. Also, my son at 1 and my daughter at 2 on cruises did a typical kid thing and stopped eating/drinking normally while away from home. While this is a normal little kid response to change in routine is that something you want to handle on a long sailing? Sleep also gets disrupted; transatlantic cruises involve daily (or almost daily) time changes, and your kid is not going to adjust as well as you to the schedule. Make sure you're cool with that. If you do choose a long cruise with a toddler, bring extra clothes, diapers, toys, kid snacks, etc. Be prepared to pay for laundry or bring a lot of detergent for washing in your sink. Also soap to wash out bottles or sippy cups each night. And be sure to get them adorable outfits for formal nights (we got my son a tuxedo onesie!) because those photos will be priceless. 🙂
  2. We wrote an article on this hot new trend! https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=5144 Looks like Coral does not have pickleball yet (or didn't at time of writing).
  3. If people are still wondering, I cruised Zaandam in August, and there is an Indian menu (with veg and non-veg dishes) that you need to special request. I believe you need to alert the dining room the day before, but you don't need to commit to eating only Indian food all week. When we found out about the menu the last night at dinner and asked politely, they were able to bring us a vegetarian Indian entree (though not necessarily the one from the menu), and it was very good and flavorful, and everyone who ate it agreed it was delicious -- even the meat eaters.
  4. Since I'm researching this, too, see https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/tidepooling.htm It looks like you can walk to Bar Island from the port.
  5. Puppy pads ordered (since they were cheaper than chux/bedwetting versions and essentially the same product)! I'll bring one washable mattress pad we have and layer the puppy pads on top because gerif is right: I'm more concerned about soaking the mattress than sheets that can be washed. And I'll alert my cabin steward on day one that he will likely be changing the sheets more often. And limit after-hours drinking and hope for the best!
  6. We're talking the disposable incontinence pads, yes? I believe they were called "chucks" when I was in the maternity ward and they'd put them in the babies' bassinets.
  7. Thanks, everyone! I will have a word with the cabin steward to give him/her a heads up that her sheets might need to be changed more regularly. I'll strip the bed if it's wet. And I'll investigate my mattress pad options because as horse gal suggests, a couple of puppy pads or similar might be better than bringing one larger one.
  8. I'm cruising with my 5 yo, who goes through phases of wetting the bed at night, even though she's been potty trained for years. We've never done pullups, so I don't really want to introduce them now. But we're going on a Princess cruise in a week, and I'm not sure what to do. I can bring a waterproof pad for the bed -- but will I end up doing laundry every day? Wondering if other families have experienced this and if you've come up with solutions I have not thought of. Thanks!
  9. Emailed with MSC PR. Their first post was misleading. She has sent me the revised compensation/cancellation policy and says they're working to update the website: Guests currently on board MSC Armonia and their travel agents have already been informed and will receive: · $400 USD per stateroom as onboard credit. If this credit is not fully used during the cruise, MSC Cruises will refund the difference upon check-out from the ship. Any shore excursions in Havana that were pre-purchased before the cruise, or which are included in the ticket, will be automatically refunded to the Guest’s onboard account. Guests on future MSC Armonia sailings that was scheduled to visit Cuba will be offered: · $400 USD per stateroom as onboard credit if they choose to remain on their currently booked sailing. If this credit is not fully used during the cruise, MSC Cruises will refund the difference upon check-out from the ship. Any shore excursions in Havana that were pre-purchased before the cruise, or which are included in the ticket, will be automatically refunded to the Guest’s onboard account. · The possibility to change ship and itinerary. MSC Cruises will waive cancellation fees and transfer already paid funds to the new booking.
  10. Oh, good point. The wording is rather confusing. I will chase the PR.
  11. I work for Cruise Critic! 😉 They sent the release to their media distribution list. I haven't checked to see if they posted on their website.
  12. Here's the press release we just received: MSC Cruises updates Caribbean itineraries including Cuba following changes made by the U.S. administration Geneva, Switzerland, June 6, 2019 - In connection with the U.S. Administration changes to regulations regarding travel to Cuba which eliminate as of June 5 the prior authorization permitting cruise ships to travel from the U.S. to Cuba, MSC Cruises will modify effective immediately all its cruise itineraries previously scheduled to call that country. Due to these substantial changes in U.S. law and regulation, MSC Armonia is no longer authorized to call the port of Havana, Cuba, as part of her current Caribbean sailings. The alternative ports of either Key West, Florida; Costa Maya, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; or Cozumel, Mexico will replace Havana, Cuba. The remainder of MSC Armonia’s itinerary will remain as originally planned. Guests currently on board MSC Armonia and their travel agents have already been informed and have been offered the following options: - $400 USD per stateroom as onboard credit. If this credit is not fully used during the cruise, MSC Cruises will refund the difference upon check-out from the ship. Any shore excursions in Havana that were pre-purchased before the cruise, or which are included in the ticket, will be automatically refunded to the Guest’s onboard account. - The possibility to change ship and itinerary. MSC Cruises will waive cancellation fees and transfer already paid funds to the new booking.
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