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About bcakes

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    Cool Cruiser

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    DCL, NCL
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  1. We took my son on his first Disney cruise when he was almost 2. We did not use the nursery at all. My husband and I each got some alone time by switching off who watched our son and the rest of the time we did stuff as a family. The nice thing about DCL is that they do have activities for younger kids. There was a wake up with Disney Junior daily and they have open house hours in the kids club where younger children can visit as long as an adult stays with them. He enjoyed playing with the toys in the kids club at that time. You will be "confined" in the sense that you cannot all use the adult areas together because someone always needs to watch your grandson. But I certainly didn't feel confined. Between the extra help we got from our dining staff to make sure my son was happy during meal times and all the new things for him to see and do, my son was well entertained and I felt like I had a chance to relax at times.
  2. You're right. I forgot about the recent 10 day southern Caribbean itinerary. I guess it's more accurate to say that the Fantasy always sails the Caribbean (at least until DCL releases its new ships). And that the vast majority of Fantasy's cruises are the standard 7 night eastern and western caribbean itineraries.
  3. I don't know what deals are offered to Canadian residents as I am not one. For Americans, the booking strategy is to book as early as possible because prices go up as the ship fills. There are sometimes discounts close to booking, but the final price is usual still higher than what one would have paid if they had booked when the itinerary was first announced. In the 6 to 7 night range, your choices will likely be the Fantasy 7 night eastern and western itineraries or southern and/or eastern Caribbean itineraries on the Magic. The Fantasy always sails the same itineraries. The Magic is more varied, so you will need to wait for the announcement on those. You will have no problem finding cabins that accommodate 3 or 4. The 3rd and 4th person will be on a pull out couch and/or bunk bed that pulls down from the ceiling. I don't think a balcony is necessary and we don't book them because it makes me nervous since I have a 6 year old. The balcony door locks are at a height where you need to be a grown adult to reach them, so there's no actual safety issue. It's just that I would be stressed out imagining my son somehow getting outside, so it is not worth it to me. We book cabins with the big porthole windows. (There is a choice of 2 small porthole or 1 big one. The big ones are basically the whole back wall. I think it's almost as nice as having a balcony).
  4. For what it's worth, we had good luck getting our dining time moved to early seating when we booked close to the sail date. We booked about 50 days before departure. I called a few times to check our status on the waitlist (late dining was not an attractive option since my son was under 2 at the time) and they eventually had good news for me. We did share with another family with a child the same age as ours. Even as someone who is fairly awkward with new people, I found the shared table worked out okay.
  5. I am glad you had a good cruise, but sorry you missed Castaway Cay. Fear of the weather not being warm enough is one of the main reasons I have been reluctant to try a Merry Time cruise. Did you find enough to do on the ship given the weather?
  6. As a lawyer, I can tell you that it's pretty rare for any litigation to get to a stage where someone decides what's true. Most litigation settles. There's a real risk to defending this type of suit because juries often believe that a long term employee is "owed" their job, even if they develop performance issues. Disney is unique in that they are aggressive in defending litigation where other companies might settle. I will be interested to see what happens here.
  7. I think moki's mommy really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the considerations. Car seats are not required on airplanes or buses, so the question is whether you are comfortable doing without. We did multiple cross-country flights with my son before he was 3 and did not bring his car seat. He was much happier in the airplane seat then he would have been in a car seat because of the additional room. I am sure that varies from child-to-child because I would imagine that some children enjoy being in their car seat. My son always has (and still does) hate his. Another option to consider besides the bus is a rental car. You can rent a car seat along with your rental car. Finally, many car services will provide car seats if you request them. (I do have friends who don't trust the safety of a rented car seat, so -- again -- a personal decision). I have used all of these options at one time or another to avoid lugging along a car seat.
  8. There isn't. Neither sloths, nor monkeys live in Cozumel. I hope that you will reconsider your plan to hold a sloth. I assume that you are an animal-lover since you asked the question. We did a recent trip to Costa Rica where we visited an animal rescue and one of the things we learned is that having new people touch them is very stressful for sloths.
  9. Since you already have answers to most of your questions, I will just answer number 4. At 2, my son enjoyed open house in the kids club, character meets, wakeup with Disney junior and the live bands. For me, the (regular included) dining and shows are must dos. The attention to detail in designing the spaces and in service is amazing on DCL.
  10. I would suggest noting this on your booking before you embark. I have heard of DCL accommodating vegans with special desserts and things if they know ahead of time. (That's not necessary for those who are just vegetarian because there are veg options marked on the regular menu). As far as meals, there is a main dish that is or can be made vegan at every meal. You should also know that non-dairy milk is available by request, even if you don't see it out. Sometimes they also have non-dairy ice cream.
  11. One of the reasons we first cruised with DCL is that they offer open houses at the kids club where kids who are not old enough to check in to the club can play there with a parent. It won't help you if your hope was to drop your daughter off so that you can enjoy some downtime. But my son enjoyed having the option to play in the kids clubs during the open houses. There was at least some open house time every day.
  12. My general view on traveling with kids is that any destination is kid friendly if you pick activities that the kids you are traveling with will enjoy. We took my son on DCL to Alaska just before he turned 2 and it was one of our favorite family vacations. My son liked the Disney aspects on the ship and also enjoyed seeing wildlife. What does your granddaughter enjoy doing? Alaska would be a great choice for a kid who loves animals. Lots of chances to see bears, eagles, go dog sledding, etc. Kids who are into active adventure things will also find things to do. When I went as a kid, my family did river rafting and canoeing, for example.
  13. We're vegetarian and my son is picky on top of that. Our servers did bring him items from the quick service locations on deck for some of the dinners. They would check in with us the night before to see if he wanted a special meal the next evening. (We didn't even think to ask for this. The servers just noticed we had trouble finding food he would eat at the embarkation lunch and were proactive about asking us what he did and did not like). I see no reason why your experience would be any different -- especially if you talk to DCL about the issue in advance.
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