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About travelhound

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel, biking, snorkeling
  1. I agree that age is not the issue. It's interests and cruising style. We are taking our soon to be 8 year old on the Rotterdam in March. There is a kids' club, but not slides, not climbing wall, not extra frills and all of us will be fine with that. This will be her 9th cruise and we've never had a bad cruise with her. Since she was 22 months on her first cruise she dressed for dinner and ate with us in the dining room. That gave her the opportunity to try so many food I would not normally order for her, such as calamari and mahi mahi...and she liked them! There are many other cruiselines to choose from and we want to dd to experience many different options. We're taking Carnival to Bermuda and Turks and Caicos this summer and that will be a 180 from HAL. To quote another famous movie (Trading Places) "Can't we have both." Love the Ferris Bueller quote BTW! I agree that expectations are everything and if you are going to dump your child on the kids' club and disappear for the rest of the week, leaving the kid to chicken tenders, HAL is not a good fit. It's also not a good fit for many adults I know. 🙂
  2. We are on this cruise too, so I had to look up our reservation to see if we now had HMC on our cruise. It's not listed and my guess in the place where you see those listing are generic for all cruises and when you go to buy it, there will be something that says "not available on your cruise." You can also look up indulgences under our daily planner along with spa and specialty dining. Or, as you said, could be a quirky website thing. :)
  3. Thanks for all of your hard work on this review. It makes me more excited for our spring break on the Rotterdam next year. Enjoy your HAL ship next year! Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  4. Love the pouty face! I have a few of those from our last cruise --- more of a sideways glance, ticked off face --- that I'm saving too. :) They are great because I then have the all smiles versions, which is what most people usually see. We were thinking of going to the fort too, so I was happy to see your pictures. I didn't think it was 70 minutes, but that's ok, now we know. We spent more time on that getting to a beach in Jamaica on this trip. Can't wait for more!
  5. I also share your dislike to eating with the family at the buffet. By the time my dd and I sit down, dh is half finished. If we're wearing swimwear and coverups it's ok for lunch, but I prefer being served for dinner. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  6. The first HAL we did was a two week to the Middle East and Egypt on the Rotterdam. Then a few years later we sailed from Barcelona on Maasdam through the Mediterranean. Our Baltic cruise was on Celebrity, which was very nice. It was so tour extensive during the day that we weren't really looking for too much to do at night. Every morning was an early call and since we kept changing time zones, some nights were a little short. From London to St. Petersburg was either 3 or 4 time zones, so we got those time change cards night after night. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  7. So loving this review! We are sailing this exact ship and itinerary next spring break. It will be our dd's 9th cruise, but first on HAL. We've only sailed HAL in Europe and I was beginning to wonder if we made a mistake booking this one with our dd. She will just have turned 8 when we leave. Did your son attend the kids' club? Being an only child, our dd loves meeting other kids there and it's usually one of her favorite parts of the cruise. Can't wait to hear the rest of the review. Your kids are adorable and it's nice to hear we're not the only ones that bring children to the dining room to eat as a family. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  8. You can get a cheap waterproof bag/box that is just big enough for folded bills and cards. That what we use and just bring it into the water with us. We also have a waterproof camera that we don't leave behind. I wouldn't bring a phone unless one of you is always going to be on shore.
  9. Thanks for the info. I'll try to make the reservations prior to leaving. In the past we couldn't do that without a credit card. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  10. We are sailing in three weeks. Thanks for the review. I have a question about the specialty dining. Were you able to make reservations for the platinum dining prior to sailing? Don't you have to pay when making the reservation? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  11. I think waiting is the best decision too. That's why our dd was 21 months when we went the first time. Once you get that passport, ramp it up and go as much as possible until kindergarten.:) In the meantime, just cherish every moment. It sounds so cliché, but it goes so fast. Every moment is uniquely different. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  12. Of course this could always change, but we've done it three times and it's always been at Millers by the Sea at Fort James Beach. You can see it around the point as you sail in and out of the port. It's only people on the excursion and they have a very good lunch included.
  13. Getting on the ship is one thing. (Again, wouldn't trust anything an NCL operator told me.) What I would be more worried about is taking a child out of the country without the proper clearance/paperwork/permission of the person that holds legal custody. You don't want to mess up anything on the adoption side. I for one know what you've been through to get this far. Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  14. Mike, I agree with not relying on NCL's customer service. Once you get your new birth certificate with your names on it and a passport with his, you will feel much more secure. We only travel with dd's passport now. Cruising is one of our favorite vacations and this March will be her 8th cruise. For future planning, take as many trips as you can before kindergarten. School really puts the brakes on long travel.:) Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
  15. Maggie...are you insinuating that they want to be out of the country in case the birthmom wants the child back? If so, that's not how it works. No state has a year waiting period. Documents are different than parenthood. Mr. Mike, First, congratulations! We adopted our dd from the hospital when she was born. There was a 30 day waiting period before parental rights were permanently terminated but it took 9 months to get to court for finalization and it was well after her first birthday before we had an amended birth certificate. That was all just court, lawyer, paperwork jamming - no issues with the adoption. She didn't go on her first cruise until 22 months, so we had a birth certificate by then. From what I understand, it depends on if your agency is a true agency or if it's a law firm. We used a law firm that acts much like an agency with one huge exception. After parental rights are terminated you can be the legal guardian, but the legal responsibility belongs to someone else. In our case it was a lawyer. In a true agency's case, they hold the custody. In our initial research I was talking to an agency and they told me they would take custody until finalization and we'd be guardian. I even asked about taking the child out of the country before finalization and documentation. She said that she would be responsible for the child and we'd have to inform her of any travel plans like that. We didn't end up using them, but from that conversation I figured we'd need paperwork from her if we were to travel internationally. So, that's a long winded way of saying, contact your agency and find out who has legal custody for your son. If it's them, ask them about traveling paperwork. You can't be the first people to ask the question and I'm sure they have the proper answer. Each case would be different and I wouldn't trust anyone's advice on a board. Good luck and enjoy your son. A true blessing has been bestowed on your family!
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