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Paris334

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About Paris334

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  1. Ha ha - I would have thought that of every line but was surprised by what a "deal" you could get on RCI. (Ha - still crazy expensive but it's better to pay $20 less than "full" price!) Thanks for the answers - I'll go right ahead and make my decisions based on the prices I see!
  2. We've been on several cruise lines but our last two were on Royal. Each time they had various "sales" for things like shore excursions, beverage packages, internet, etc. Seriously, the prices fluctuated all of the time! Kind of annoying and kind of fun to find a bargain, LOL. Does NCL ever discount any of these items? We have lots of freebies with our package but shore excursions are spendy for a family of four so if they ever offer discounts I'd like to watch for them! So far I haven't seen prices change but we only booked a couple of weeks ago for a March 2020 cruise so it hasn't been long. Thanks!
  3. Oh, man! I'm sorry her kids club experience wasn't awesome but glad she tried it and was willing to give it another shot on the last night. What a bummer about your flight!!! At least you did something fun and didn't just sit and be mad about it! It's so easy to get upset and let things ruin your day but you saved it by being flexible!
  4. Eek! I just realized you're already back! I'm behind and didn't read carefully! How did you granddaughter do? Did you make your flight OK?
  5. Not original poster but I was on the same cruise and I can answer a couple of these. Didn't have coffee card, sorry! My kids both went to Adventure Club and really enjoyed it. I knew my 6 year old would as she'd gone two years ago and had great memories. She loves meeting new kids. I was worried about my 4 yo as she's more hesitant sometimes but she had a great time. Six year old had one tough night, though - apparently there were some kids not listening and she was really upset, saying they were wasting everyone's time by not listening. (I think that's what she hears at school so that's why she phrased it that way.) She did still want to go back the next night (even chose it over the pool, which was a TOTAL SHOCK to us, LOL!). My 4 yo is a little shy but the staff is really welcoming and they do a lot of activities with the kids so even if the kids are too shy to strike up a friendship and do free-play, there are things for them to focus on so they're not hung up on that. The first night we went back and checked on them after 30 minutes or so to be sure they wanted to stay and we were told to leave, LOL. (To be clear, they were both in different rooms and I was worried about that - thought 4 yo might have a way easier time going if she could be with big sister). I'd suggest telling your granddaughter that you'll be back in 30-60 minutes to see if she likes it. (I'd probably wait more like 45 or an hour just so she can really get into it!) That might help her feel better because there really is no way for them to get a hold of you if a kid is not having fun and she knows it won't last long if she doesn't want it to. But I'd try to give her enough time to make a friend or join an activity. Also - we were there over spring break and the kids areas were pretty full (one night we waited 30 minutes for someone to pick up a kid to get our 4 yo in as they were full) - hopefully your granddaughter won't run into any of those poor listeners! 🙂 For luggage - we just called "0" when we received our luggage tags as we needed to get a lower number. We were listed as one of the last to get off (tag 46, think it went up to 48) and we had a 12:25 flight out of MIA. Customs was slower than I've ever seen getting off a ship and I was really relieved to hear that our flight was delayed or I would have been freaking out. The best we could get was tag 22 but it was still really backed up and took a long time. We probably should have chosen to carry our luggage off and just get off right away due to our flight time but I've always had a quick breeze through luggage and customs so I wasn't expecting the wait. My in-laws also changed to tag 22 (from 46) and they had a 1:05 flight out of FLL and they texted me that they were waiting at the gate at 10:12! When they called to change luggage tags, the person suggested that they might be happier keeping the later tag as by 9:45 (the time listed for tag 46) people has really thinned out and it's a quick walk off the ship, easy to find your luggage (since most of it's gone already...) and a quick jaunt through customs. So knowing that they made it to the airport, checked in, got through security and were sitting at their gate at almost 3 hours early I wouldn't worry too much about what luggage tag you have! But if you will worry, then call right away when they come and request an earlier tag! Have a great time - I'd love to hear how your granddaughter did in the kids club!
  6. We took family of four (6 and 4 year olds) and they charged us $10 for each adult. (They basically said they don't charge for kids.) So that was a nice surprise for us!
  7. We were on the exact same trip (disembarked 3/14/19, right?) and we felt the same way - best cruise in a long time! Almost everything was terrific! I left a review but I doubt it's posted yet. Our meal experience in the MDR was excellent, too! Food was incredible each time we ate there. MTD was OK for us but we'd chosen 5:45 (so, early) and my mom has a cane - they singled her out and told her never to wait and we chose to use the same table/waiter each night so we just showed up at 5:30 (they hinted at that and we realized it'd help turn over tables for them instead of leaving ours empty for the first 15 minutes each night - fine for us with 6 and 4 year olds) and walked right to our table (didn't wait for anyone to seat us). This might be a good strategy for people to avoid waiting but of course it requires you to basically choose the same time to eat each night, which isn't exactly the purpose of MTD! My comments on the upgrades (for others who may have kids my age (6&4) that you listed are in RED: The 2018 upgrades made a meaningful difference our family, including: Water slides - our 6 year old had to push herself to get started again 3 times. She weighs 50lb. This was fine for me as it meant it was just "meh" to her and she wouldn't spend all of her time waiting in line for it! Splashaway Bay - my kids really, really loved this! It was great! And it was enclosed enough to not panic when you don't see them for a few seconds. Good lifeguards, too. (Also great lifeguards at the pools - I love that cruise lines have lifeguards now!) Playmakers Sky Pad - also have to be 5 - it was clear in Compass but not on app (said min of 20 lb!) so we asked and 4 yo was disappointed Laser tag (must be 5yrs old, watch fine print) (we didn't do this) Climbing lily pad things on sports deck for little ones - my girls both loved this. Especially great for smaller kids while they wait for older siblings to do rock wall or Sky Pad! I also totally agree with this comment - it seemed weird to me that it was sort of hard to find this area! And mini golf might has well have not even been there - unless you were looking it'd be hard to stumble across! Aft sports area requires a little more navigation than usual to find, it is a major area of ship that feels like it should have prominent access
  8. Each time we sail Carnival we say we won't sail them again. (With the exception of our honeymoon, which was FABULOUS back in 1996!) But we've been on them four times so I guess we do go back! I agree that RCI, Carnival and Norwegian are all quite similar with various things to like about them and their ships. Our main reason is that with the exception of that 1996 cruise, we've had pretty poor service. We are not snobs and actually prefer to be left alone - we are uncomfortable being hovered over, etc. We stood at an (empty) Carnival bar for over 10 minutes once while the two bartenders chatted, apparently needing that much time to wrap up their conversation before they could be bothered to find out what we wanted. (And they only wrapped it up because I interrupted to ask them if they were open!) There were other instances of great service, as well, but there was much more lack-luster service than we've received on other lines and this is what prompted us to say we wouldn't do it again. Having said that, I get the feeling that the "good" staff is moved to the longer sailings on the newer ships so I'd still be willing to give them another shot, especially on a new ship. (However, as others have noted, the new ships are similarly priced with the other lines so maybe I'm not as willing to take the chance??) And I agree with others that the level of party is closely tied to the length (and likely price) of the cruise. I've seen poor behavior and sad drunkeness on RCI, Norwegian and Carnival. (In fact, I've probably seen it more on NCL and RCI as Carnival usually is more affordable and therefore I'm more likely to be on a 7-night cruise!) I've also noted that service level seems tied to the length and age of the ship. (Not for sure - but it's where I picked up my hunch that good performers are moved to newer ships with longer itineraries. A Holland America employee confirmed this once after I told him my theory.)
  9. This was us, too! I booked everything under my email address and my husband received the two offers! It was so weird to me and I searched and searched through my emails looking for one from them and never found one!
  10. We "needed" a passport for DD4 for our cruise in March. Did her application on December 27 and received an email that it will arrive next week. So three weeks or so. I'm too paranoid that we would need to return home to not get one.
  11. If the beverage package is $42 I'd book it! That's a low price and you can then decide if you want to keep it or not. (Or keep shopping and see if it goes lower?) I just canceled our $52/day package today (on Independence in March) because they were advertising $52/day with second passenger gets 50% off so that lowered the price A LOT. BUT - after I canceled and went to re-buy, the "new" price was the same! The "fine print" said that the price already reflected the discount. So same price. So I bought it again and will keep looking to see if it lowers. If it does, I'll cancel this one and re-buy. If it doesn't, I'll probably just cancel it. The nice thing about the package is you can shop it and cancel if you change your mind!
  12. We often asked for a bottle of water with each drink and sometimes just asked for two bottles of water. ( I had read at some point that you can order 2 drinks at a time - our experience (though in Feb 2017) was that was true. If we were going to a port we'd ask for two and we accumulated enough in the evenings to have bottled water at night in our cabin for us and our daughter. It was very handy. Hmm... I wasn't thinking to do a drink package this time but the ability to get water for the kids does help! How much do they charge for bottles of water at bars, etc.? Anyone know? I'm doubtful I'd get my money's worth from a couple of drinks a day and a lot of bottled water, LOL.
  13. My parents may sail with us over Spring Break on the Independence and we don't gamble so I never pay any attention to casinos! They go to Las Vegas 1-2 times/year and mostly just play blackjack (dad) and slots (mom). I'm assuming they'll find what they want here? Any tips for them?
  14. This seems efficient to me but couldn't someone take your card and buy drinks, etc.? I'm sure it's safe or they wouldn't do it (and I am not worried a bit about someone lurking in my room, LOL!) Just curious about how that works the link to your onboard credit or bill works.
  15. Ahh that certainly helps! Still high price but better than small bottles!
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