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About JasonMS

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  1. After several cruises, both by myself and with my son, I have to say it is difficult to meet other singles or single parents on a cruise ship. I've gone to the singles events and found few people actually attend. Am I missing something? Is it possible to meet someone on a cruise?
  2. Here is a link to some past cruise Compass issues. Please feel free to add yours when you get back. http://www.******************.com/cruise-compass Reading through a recent Compass for your ship is a great way to prepare for a cruise.
  3. Considering the lack of consideration we received in Florida I would have to recommend that you bring your own car seat. I can't help worrying that you will show up at the rental company and they won't have the correct size car seat, or it won't be in good working order - despite assurances before you arrive. We were put on the spot and had to make some tough decisions with few options - after waiting for almost an hour at the airport. The driver of the car is responsible for the car seat. If the rental car seat doesn't work out then are you going to go and buy another one for a couple of days use? Wish I had better advice.
  4. I did a Google image search for "sit and stroll". It looks comfortable. Had I known about it a year or so ago I probably would have gotten one! I'll know better for the next kid. ;)
  5. I don't know if they have a minimum age. I can tell you that the staff is well trained and professional so you can feel safe leaving your baby there. Cruise lines are vague on so many things. This is why I took the time to write down some of the details of my experience. When we checked the official policy of RCI online we found that babies under 1 year old are not allowed on the ships at all. Once on board we saw many small babies around - if that policy applies to the Allure it is not enforced. Stop by the daycare when you get on the boat. They will go over any details with you. Another tip: Book your shows online early. It will save you waiting in line on the ship.
  6. YES! The wifi phone they give you works anywhere on the ship - for free! Great way to keep in contact when my wife and I were doing different activities. Make sure they give you the right charger when you pick the phone up. You can put the phone on vibrate when you are at a show.
  7. My wife, one year old son and I just returned from a week on the Allure of the Seas. We had a wonderful time and recommend it to all families. Here's why: Royal Caribbean International has perfected the cruise ship with the Oasis Class. There is plenty of room to fit everything in without compromise. Let's start with the child care. We had professional child care until midnight everyday. We enjoy our son so we didn't use it as much as we thought we might. About 14 hours in all. Just enough to enjoy some shows and dinners as adults instead of parents. The cost is $8 per hour. I wish I could get this level of care at home for this price! The daycare room is well designed with padded mats, Fisher Price toys and a nursery where the babies can sleep. I found my son sleeping in the arms of one of the care workers there on one occasion. There is a toy lending program but they were still waiting for more toys. The daycare was under used. There were only a few children there at a time. My son had a ball playing with all the toys and getting lot's of attention. Across the hall from the daycare is an area called "Play". It is designed for supervised play and is well padded and stocked. A climbing gym with slides, balls, mats and books adorn this round room. Around PLAY are rooms designed for kids of different ages. I can't comment on those programs but the rooms were well designed. Dreamworks is all over the ship. My wife and I enjoyed the movies in our cabin as well as the 3D movies in the theater. My son couldn't wear the 3D glasses and usually fell asleep. The poor soles who had to wear the Dreamworks character costumes on the ship amazed my son. He couldn't take his eyes off them! At the aqua-theater we saw the characters for the first time. Afterwards my son looked out over the ocean and said his first word: Wow. (Real story.) Plan to see the parade. Everyone does. They close down the Royal Promenade for this show. The H2Ozone is more for bigger kids. My son was only allowed in the splashing pool (for good reason - diapers). He enjoyed splashing around. There was always plenty for him to eat in the dinning room or the buffet. I recommend the dinning room for most meals. It is less crowded and I tend to eat better. My son was treated very well. Our wait team went out of their way to take care of him. Try the cold fruit soups. Apple, Raspberry and Strawberry. Very good. My son liked them too! Use room service. It is a great way to get milk, fruit and other items that you would otherwise have to travel across the ship for. Getting Around The ship is divided into neighbourhoods. Rightly so, they are big. To get to where you want to go you often need to go from the front of the ship to the aft or vice versa. The best way is through Central Park on Deck 8. The second best way is to take the Royal Promenade on Deck 5. My least favorite way was to take the narrow hallway on other decks where the cabins are. In any case expect to take the elevators often. And there will be some waiting for those elevators. There are 12 elevators in the front of the ship and 12 elevators in the aft. We spent lots of time waiting with the stroller to go up or down just one deck. Bring a carrier! In the Cabin We chose an interior cabin. I sleep better in the dark and we don't go on a cruise to spend time in the cabin. We ordered a crib (playpen) for my son and it just kind of fit between the sofa and the TV. My son was fine but he could reach items placed on the table under the TV. There was almost one foot between the playpen and the table for me and my wife to squeeze through to get to the bathroom. Otherwise it was a nice cabin. My son was able to open the drawers and mini-bar fridge. Keep this in mind if you have a small child. He loved the bed! Crisp white sheets and big pillows to him was a place to roll around and jump on. We took advantage of a new program RCI is offering. Diapers (you can order other things as well) delivered to your stateroom when you board. We thought this was a great idea! We saved packing and transporting almost 30 diapers this way! However they did not understand the difference between size 3 and size 3T diapers. "T" stands for toddler. It was a tense few days and about an hour of lineups at guest services before they corrected the mistake. It is not easy to find diapers on this ship or in the ports. We did find some dusty swimming diapers and hand wipes in Cozumel. Allure is a big ship. We did not have time to do everything. We will be going back! Over all it was a very good experience and I recommend this ship to everyone! There are two types of people in the world: Those who love cruises and those who have not tried cruising yet!
  8. My wife and son and I truly enjoyed our cruise on the Allure of the Seas. Great ship and good weather. As I wrote previously, I was concerned about travelling with a one year old child in Florida. We drive our own car here in Toronto and use our own car seat. In Florida we planned to take taxis and shuttles to get around and didn't know if we needed to bring our own car seat or not. After finding sketchy information online I called our hotel and the manager assured me that the shuttle has a car seat. We started our trip feeling safe and secure. I liked the free phone at the airport to call our hotel to order the shuttle to pick us up. They told us where to wait and I informed them of our need for a car seat for a one year old. About an hour later the shuttle showed up. It was a long wait and my son did not enjoy it. We could have taken a taxi for $10 and been at the hotel in 5 minutes. I asked the shuttle driver for the car seat for my baby and he pointed at the bench style adult seat in the van and told me that's a seat and it's in the car. That seemed to be the attitude in Florida. There are seatbelt laws and baby car seat laws. They are not enforced. It was suggested to me that the police in Florida cannot pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt. So a word of warning to parents travelling with small children - bring your own car seat!
  9. First and foremost - Great links. Thank you. I'm old enough to remember a time before there were seatbelt laws. It was actually safer to be in a car without a seatbelt back then - people stopped at red lights and everyone drove on the right side of the road. I am glad to see that we are taking the proper steps to ensure that proper restraints are available and used for infants. I'm about to write a post about travelling with a baby - you may be surprised at our experience. I was.
  10. Since my son is only one he doesn't get a seat on the plane. We need to hold him for the entire trip in our laps. For take off and landing we are asked to hold him in the burping position over our shoulder. We would prefer a proper seat for him on the plane but since they are not charging us for his flight I don't think I'll make a fuss. We would rather not carry the car seat with us because it adds a lot of extra weight in our arms. We already have the diaper bag and toys in addition to our bags and if we have to carry the car seat we won't be able to bring the boy - which makes it weird to bring the car seat. :-) Thanks for all the positive posts. I called the hotel (Comfort Suites Airport & Cruise Port) and the manager took the call. They have a car seat in the free airport shuttle. Whew!
  11. My wife and I are taking my one year old son on a cruise. We leave this Saturday. We just learned that we may have trouble travelling to our hotel and to the ship from the airport because of the Florida child seat laws. Has anyone had trouble getting around with a small child in Florida?
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