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About phxbne

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  1. We were on the Millennium cruise right before dry dock and did not notice anything. Lots of chats with crew about their roles, and apparently some workers came onboard a few days early. A few spots in public areas looked they had been ‘let go’ a little, but overall the ship looked better than I expected. My parents cabin was not in great shape, but as one of the only handicap suites there was not much that could be done. now I just want to sail on the refurbished version!
  2. What an adventure and some great tips! here are some things I’ve learned from multiple long flights and trips with kids: - bring a stash of snacks from home that your kids like - many of our travel arguments involve looking for lunch.....or when your kid wakes up hungry on the flight - eyeshades can help with sleep - planes can be bright - I also like a light blanket - we have some from travelsmith that are great and we use them in hotels too often - only use a sleep aid if you have tested them out at home - we use melatonin and essential oils - DD started with melatonin at about 8 - if you are used to a backpack, stick to that! I tried tha5 Travelon bag and found it clunky and heavy. DH is our designated backpack mule. Keeps his wallet in a front pants pocket. - carry some soap to wash a few things out in the sink - lots of ideas online about what soap etc - cruise cabins usually have a clothesline, but you could by one too - we take reusable water bottles to spend less money on water everywhere.... - if you don’t use them, think about packing cubes to separate each persons clothes have a wonderful time!
  3. Fun idea! things that pop to mind - sunscreen stick - games to play waiting for meals or hanging out in the cabin - Uno is a stand by, or a pack of cards - sushigo is fun and gamewright makes a ton of others; scattegories can be fun - pick ones the whole family can have fun with - iTunes or apple card to download music or apps - journal and pens or markers; word find or sudoku books; book for the trip - my daughter is not a reader despite my best efforts but has fun with word finds - I usually get a couple at the dollar store before a trip have a great time!
  4. We did a cruise over Christmas with our 13 year old - she had zero interest in the teen club. She did miss the first night because iof jet lag (cruise was in Asia) but I’m not sure that really mattered. She loves trivia and we played that every session offered.......If you haven’t already, I would get him involved in choosing shore excursions, where to eat in port or on the ship etc. We have done 8 cruises as a family, and what we do in port is really our focus.
  5. We have sailed X 4 times with our now 13 year old. We have also sailed Crystal with her 3 times. I mention that because one of our Crystal cruises was over the summer and had KSF. Ship capacity was about 1000 - around 60 kids on board, 5-10 of whom were senior crew members children. As others have pointed out, I am guessing that was because some combo of price/itinerary/amenities did not appeal to many families. Celebrity has kids clubs for at least 8 years that I am aware of - any cruise line that offers a kids club, I expect kids to be on board (crystal does too, which is why we even considered cruising with them). So I view the promotion and marketing pics as a gradual shift, not a dramatic one.
  6. Crystal offers kids club on designated/many sailings. My daughter loves it! Most kids we had on there was 60, with 4 counselors. And not all 60 used the club. feel free to ask any questions - also take a look for threads on the Crystal forum that talk about kids. Michele
  7. We really enjoyed our stay at Der Teufelhof.
  8. I am a little obsessed by bags like this..... Agree, I think searching for wristlets might help - or perhaps “pouch.” They may be bigger than what you have or are looking for though. . I have some from Target - just luck of the draw as to what they have in stock. I have one from Charming Charlie and seen cute ones there. Kipling has Creativity pouches that come in a couple of sizes and a range of colors. Travelon has a few types - I have seen them on ebags and Amazon. My fanciest ones are from Michael Kors. enjoy the hunt!
  9. If you think you are unlikely to return, I suggest Hanoi. We were in Halong Bay in December. If you cruise in or out in daylight you will see amazing scenery. Not as good as the overnight bay cruise, but a taste. I wish I had realized that before booking a 4 hour cruise - overnight on the bay could be cool, but Hanoi is fascinating.
  10. When we disembarked in Singapore in January, we avoided one of those people in the terminal - quoted $60 for 5 of us - I was tempted but hubby saw through it..... We walked out to the taxi lines to see a split line - left was for large limo/van taxis and right was for regular taxis. We had 5 people, 7 suitcases, carryons and a folding wheelchair. We opted for 2 regular taxis which were $20 each to our hotel in Orchard Rd. The large van one would have cost us $60 - and we would have waited 30 minutes or so......
  11. I love the tram idea! Some other options between the airport and the city: If you are Disney/theme park fans, HK Disneyland is between the . Also in between is a large shopping mall (Citygate Outlets) and the cable car to the Big Buddha (https://www.np360.com.hk/en/).
  12. Thanks for sharing the pics - we were on the last cruise pre dry dock so very curious about what is happening. It was our first cruise in a suite and we did not find Michaels club appealing at all - love the new lighter look!
  13. We did a 3 day private tour with TJ a few years ago and included a couple of 'off the beaten' path/non-museum/palace elements. We picked matroshkya doll painting, a subway ride, canal cruise, walking around Nevsky Prospekt and supermarket visit. I just looked and what we did is pretty much now '3 day children itinerary' with some add-ons. As someone else said, you should be able to pick and choose across elements if it is private. Neither my then 10 year old or my parents are much into art galleries, so we spent I think an hour at the Hermitage......it was so crowded we were all happy to leave. Have a great time - all of us left wanting to go back!
  14. We have gone back and forth.....being only travel in school vacations and limited vacation time means not many Crystal choices work logistically. That is why I really wish they would get new ships! We just got back from a Celebrity cruise in a suite, and it definitely was a step closer to Crystal! Hardest for me was when we did a cruise on Celebrity from San Juan (as someone else described, better 'fit' for the group) - and just across the way Symphony was headed to Rio.....that made me sad. Things we miss most are rarely having to hand over a card, Bistro (all of us), art class (daughter), Trident grill salmon (hubby).....
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