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kitkat343

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  1. It's a great train and I hope you have a lovely trip! Just get there early to get good seats - most seats have a good view but a few don't so you want to line up a little early.
  2. Please note that this year the seasonal road in Geiranger is opening today, May 16th, so sometimes mid may can work out!
  3. If parents don't want to supervise their kids, they should leave them in the kids club. The kids will be perfectly safe (and most kids will be really happy). There are other lines that only close their kids club for one hour breaks at lunch and dinner - if the kids are driving people crazy all over the ship, then I'd recommend that you mention wanting more kids club hours in the post cruise surveys (currently RC kids clubs close from 12-2 and 5-7). The parents should do their jobs and watch their kids (especially around the water) but some of them won't and the cruise line employees really don't get paid enough to deal with angry entitled parents, so if the kids clubs were open for more hours hopefully the parents who want to relax can put the kids there.
  4. The road to the highest viewpoint opens seasonally between Mid May and early June. Our cruise left May 18th and we missed the Geiranger road opening by 2 days. The other viewpoints in Geiranger were really lovely though. I'd also vote for the May 17th date, with Olden, Geiranger and Flam having been my 3 favorite ports in Norway. Alesund is much beloved on these forums, but I didn't have the chance to visit. Have a great trip!
  5. This is true. We couldn't see anything from the furnicular in Bergen, which was fine since our kids still loved the ride and the playground on top but if we had paid the prices of the Loen Skylift for this it would have been really disappointing. It is a really expensive excursion if you can't see much. I just have no idea if it ever sells out completely.
  6. This, Absolutely this. It's totally fine for a cruise line to overbook as long as they are planning on taking responsibility when there are too few cancellations. All you have to do today is send out an email to all of the balcony cabins and whomever contacts them first to take the offer gets it. Even the original offer to this couple would have probably been sufficient for someone on this cruise - I'm sure someone on the ship would be happy to take a 50% refund in exchange for a downgrade in cabin (they could also throw in some free specialty meals to sweeten the offer easily). Or offer someone a FCC. There could also be people whose work situation changed or family situation arose and they'd want to cancel but didn't due to the significant penalties of cancelling late who might be fine with just cancelling the cruise altogether.
  7. In response to one of the other threads about cancellation after final payment, a poster stated that they no longer book NCL cruises in advance, and only book close to sailing at a discount price so if the itinerary changes after final payment for a nonemergency reason they won't be upset. This seems like a really wise strategy to consider about booking with NCL, but unfortunately, with a bucket list trip like to Antarctica, the last minute airfare prices would make it extremely difficult to utilize this strategy.
  8. So glad! I hope he is able to make it and you both have a wonderful cruise, but if not please go by yourself and enjoy. Your conscience is completely clear.
  9. I know the OP is aware of this, but for others please note:
  10. Please make sure you review this prior to booking:
  11. Call RC and see what the status of the handicapped rooms are. The other rooms may have already been released depending on how close you are to sailing. IF they tell you to keep the room, when you board you can go to the front desk and leave them a message telling them you'd be willing to switch if someone is injured while on the cruise or contacts them telling them they need a handicapped cabin. You didn't try to deliberately game the system, so if RC cannot redistribute your cabin you should just keep it with a clear conscience.
  12. The one way cruises leaving from Vancouver have stronger itineraries. Doing a roundtrip from Seattle saves you the longer flight from Anchorage though. Traditionally, HAL and Princess had the strongest programs in Alaska, and Princess is a great family line for if the kids can go without waterslides. Princess brings puppies on board to play with, and has a naturalist to teach the kids about Alaskan wildlife. We were really happy with our princess cruise. RCL might be another good line if your kids want waterslides, and lots of other kid amenities. I'd be cautious with NCL because of the itinerary change issues but its totally up to you.
  13. The most important amenity you need to consider is if you require drop off care for your child. If so, for 18 month olds all Disney ships and most RC ships have a fee based nursery (the only RC ships without a nursery are Jewel, Adventure or Explorer of the Seas®.). Hours are not guaranteed (but I think you can book Disney ahead of time). Cunard has free childcare for children aged 6 months -23 months from 6 pm to 11 pm, but their website states that this service is not guaranteed on all Cunard voyages. Please note that the Cunard kids drop off kids club starts at age 2 (along with Carnival) but Cunard allows babies from 6-23 months to attend daytime kids club sessions with parental supervision. Precovid, Princess also allowed children under 3 to attend the kids club with parental supervision (you'd need to confirm if this is still the case). Princess did a really good job of helping my 2 year old play and complete the daily arts and craft activities so we just needed to be in the kids club but could sit in a chair and read. Princess has a great kids club and is a really good option to consider for families with young kids. Older kids might miss the lack of water slides, but it's a great family line for younger children. The other amenity to consider is a splash pad. Please note that most ships do not have splash pads that children in swim diapers can safely use. All Disney ships have splash pads. The following RC ships have splash pads that children in diapers can use : Adventure, Allure, Anthem, Freedom, Harmony, Independence, Liberty, Oasis, Ovation, Odyssey, Quantum, Spectrum, Symphony and Wonder. The other option is to wait until your child is 24 months, and eligible for free drop off care on Cunard or Carnival or (I think P&O). Please note that we have sailed Cunard twice with children, and it is a very formal line. I would strongly recommend booking private tours with a young child so you can control the itinerary. Just carefully check their refund policy prior to booking, especially on NCL since there have been issues with itinerary changes after final payment so you'd need to make sure the private tours are refundable.
  14. My three favorite ports were Geiranger, Olden and Flam. You'd get two of them on Cunard. Flam is really lovely, but on any of those days you might have tough weather that makes it hard to appreciate the spectacular beauty of Norway, so on the Cunard cruise you have two shots at clear weather so you would be able to appreciate the most beautiful fjords. If you do chose the HAL cruise, make sure you plan to do both the Flam railroad and Stegastein Viewpoint (if the weather is clear you can go to the viewpoint. You should do the railway either way - we went with some rain/cloud cover and the railway was still lovely). I've sailed Cunard and HAL twice (heaven help me both times on Cunard and once on HAL with small children). I don't necessarily recommend either line for kids, but if you aren't crazy enough to bring kids with you on those lines, Cunard is a lovely line with excellent food. I actually prefer Cunard to HAL. They do generally take formal night quite a bit more seriously on Cunard than HAL, with dress codes applying to most of the ship, but I throw on an ordinary black dress and given the fact that I am chasing small kids no one said anything (on the second Cunard cruise I went all out and put a sparkly silver belt that did not match my ordinary day dress at all but at least was an attempt at the black tie required for Xmas/New Years Celebration).
  15. This is a pretty good itinerary. And the thread title is hilarious. Hopefully all the nudists will have a. great time!
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