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About Baxter

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
  1. An idea is to put the equivalent of the cost of Cheers on your account before you go. If you don't drink much and neither does the other person then you won't exceed it. You'll know the cost is covered and can proceed without worrying about it.
  2. I called recently to complain and to ask to be put on a no-call list. Ironically, I was told I needed to email them at donotmail@carnival.com with the following information: The phone number the calls come to Name, address and birthdate associated with the account. We haven't received a call since.
  3. We do the drive from Canada to Galveston as well. When we travel separate we have only ever been asked for the letter coming back into Canada. I can't understand the logic...we can leave the country...drive all around...even fly to foreign destinations out of the US, yet bringing them home is the only concern?!?
  4. Absolutely. There are 4 of us travelling and we actually found it cheaper to book 2 spa cabins rather than jam 4 people into 1 spa cabin.
  5. We travelled with our kids as soon as we could...leaving them home wasn't an option, and we were thrilled to travel as a family. We followed the rules (no swim diapers in the pools, for example) and strolled around the ship a lot. The kids loved being out and about, and really are great travellers. But I was surprised at some of the reactions of others. Lots of cringing and eye rolling when we entered the dining room (and some negative comments about having to eat near kids). Rarely did they fuss and, if they did, we removed them from the dining room immediately. So it got better through the cruise as people realized that we weren't about to spoil their pressure dinner time. I can't tell you how many elevators were closed prematurely so that we couldn't get on with our stroller...and it was quite obvious as you could hear them repeatedly pushing the "close" button inside. But we were on vacation, so in no hurry. Lots of lovely folks stopping to talk to us and the kids too...so it wasn't all doom and gloom. And it didn't impact us in any way...we were just surprised.
  6. Thanks for that link...we had reviewed it but they recall the printed program that outlined what exactly was done when. This is the downside to having scheduled kids...they like to know what the day might look like, even though we are months out! I really am trying to encourage them to relax a bit! :)
  7. We are heading on the Breeze in March with our kids. They are persistently asking what kinds of activities are offered for them in the kids club. I am hoping to see a recent program from the kids club for the 9-11 group. If you have one to share, or could direct me to one I would really appreciate it!
  8. We sailed right around December 15 one year, and there were only 15 kids on board. We were told that it was not uncommon to see very few kids on board the sailing or two before Christmas since families who are travelling at that time are likely to hold off til the kids are out of school. It almost felt weird to us.
  9. We have never had issues when cruising. But every time we return to Canada we are asked for a signed letter from the absent parent stating the kids are permitted to travel. I always found it odd that we have zero issue getting them out of the country, but returning is a problem...
  10. Indoor soccer is a little different in Winnipeg...our indoor facilities are full sized soccer fields. Indoor season for us runs from October to March.
  11. Someone said it nicely earlier -- when people don't tip or suggest removing tips, they get an earful. If someone tips "too much", they get an earful. You really can't win on the cruise board. I do get angry when people indicate they remove tips because they've paid enough for the cruise. If you can afford to cruise, you can afford to tip. If you can't, wait another year. A tip shouldn't be expected. It should go hand in hand with decent service. I don't mind prepaying tips because I have always had great service -- but I also know I could remove the tips if I needed to. I can't imagine what it would take for that to happen. Like the OP, we tend to tip generously. And I appreciate the fact that they recognize that their kids might be a bit messy in the lido or dining room, so they tip a little extra. Too many times we have watched families tear the place up, waste plates of food, half seeming to end up on the floor, and the family just walks away because "that's their job to clean it up".
  12. While not a child, my husband has severe tree-nut allergies. Each night they bring out the next night's menu for him to review so they can modify any of the dishes should he want them -- for example, on another cruise line the escargot dish contains nuts....we would have never guessed! -- no problem, they just made two for him that didn't contain nuts. We have found Carnival to be just as accommodating. But always ask lots of questions.
  13. Winnipeg - Toronto - San Francisco I still shake my head...
  14. Well, RCCL does give us the option of paying in Canadian or in USD. Because the exchange rate wasn't great, and because we would avoid the 2.5% currency conversion on our credit card it worked in our favour to pay in Canadian funds. We were also able to pay our gratuities in Canadian as well. It's not much, but better in our pocket than someone else's. :)
  15. For us, the pool situation wasn't great mainly because it was salt water. My son really wasn't a fan. They didn't spend much time in the pool at all. Goggles were really necessary for them. No slides, or anything "fun". Our observation was that most kids spent their time in the hot tubs...I'm sure much to the chagrin of the adults. There was no "family dining" when we sailed. We had early seating. On alternating days, they would have dinner for the kids where they took them to the buffet but food options were standard kids fare. My kids LOVED that they did dinner on their own. When there was no dinner, the staff picked up the kids at 6:45 outside of the dining room. That worked really well -- they ate with us, and then took off. Time in the camp: Our daughter, particularly, loved it. She wanted to be there at door opening and didn't want to leave at the end. After some "discussions", we came to the resolution that it is a vacation for the kids too, so they should be able to do what they want...within reason. We let it be child-led, for the most part. On sea days, they spent much of their time in there. On port days, we would pick them up at 2pm and drag them off the ship -- on port days, they have "lunch with friends"...again, a time for them to eat with the group at the buffet...they didn't want to miss that. And then the next hour was spent playing hide and seek in the theatre...another not to be missed activity for them. With our son, who was 5, we would check in regularly to see if he wanted to leave. He never did. I don't recall ever seeing them on a screen. Maybe they did a movie once. Lots of crafts and colouring coming back to the cabin. We loved that they had a talent show, they did a little routine as pirates along the promenade one night. The 5 year old went on an alien hunt one evening. We never did late night so I can't report on that aspect. As for excursions, we didn't do much. In Falmouth we went to Margaritaville -- because they had a big pool and waterfall. The kids swam for a few hours, had a "special drink" and were thrilled. In Grand Cayman, we did Stringray City, which our 5 year old wasn't ready for (he is an awesome swimmer...but the water was just too rough). He liked the boat ride out there though. Then they noticed the Margaritaville across from the pier, and asked if we could go. Pool and waterslide there...why not. In Cozumel, we just walked around. They wanted bongo drums, and we had said Cozumel was the place so they were excited. In all honesty, they ship could have thrown the anchor out 400 feet from Galveston and the kids would have been thrilled. They didn't need to get off the ship. Between the kids camp, the mini golf, the basketball course, and the ice cream, they were tickled pink.
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