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eileen2664

New to cruising and many questions

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4 minutes ago, grandmarnnurse said:

Thank you for that information. I was unaware anyone would question a 17 year old going into the comedy show. This is good to know for when we travel with our older teen grandchildren. I thought they just “advised” nobody under 18 go to those shows. Thank you! 


I don’t know if it is just a coincidence or an informal policy, but it seems they are more diligent checking the age of younger looking passengers on ships with smaller lounges used for comedy shows. 

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2 hours ago, grandmarnnurse said:

The 17 year old cannot go to the casino, where as the 18 year olds can. As for the Serenity Deck, I’m not sure if the age for that area is 18 or 21. If 21, none of them can go there. Please be careful when ashore, as kids will get served alcohol in bars. Also, not sure what itinerary you are choosing, but always use caution when ashore in some islands, such as Belize. Human trafficking is a problem there, and my 21 year old granddaughter had an issue there with a stranger that she and her BF met in a bar. I won’t go into it, but I’ll say she got lucky, as police arrived in time. 

I have traveled with large groups before, and the one time we all flew together and needed transportation together, we booked a shuttle. Try Viator to book a private shuttle for just your group. As for when on the islands, just have everyone book the cruise excursions they choose, as transportation will be provided. Since you are all newbies, pick only cruise line sponsored excursions, for safety reasons. If you are late returning to your ship, a cruise line sponsored excursion will wait for you. The ship will not wait for you if late on a private tour company. They can promise and guarantee all they want, but things happen. Then you, and your group, are stuck on an island as your ship sails away.

 

So glad your granddaughter is ok, that sounds very scary!  I've already warned the kids that while on the ship they can pretty much do anything except jump ship, they're gonna have a very short leash in ports (ie: within eyesight at all times).  We don't go to Belize, but we do go to Montego Bay which I'm not sure is much better.  I don't care if they drink though; I don't want them to get to the point of drunk but they're all looking forward to being able to order a beer or frozen drink and I'm fine with that (it took me 18 years, but according to my son I'm the cool mom....since it'll be legal I'll continue to be cool in the Caribbean too 😉 )

 

2 hours ago, grandmarnnurse said:

Now, as for the picky eater. There is so much food on a cruise ship, I bet he’d find something. The MDR does have a kids menu with kids favorites, and there is pizza available 24 hours a day. Not sure about whole milk. You may have to settle for 2%. It has less fat, but still a lot of protein. Does he eat Greek yogurt? That’s loaded with protein, and I know they have that. And there’s always plenty of ice cream—LOL! I can’t believe you won’t find anything he’d like to eat. My kids from our generation were raised to eat what’s in front of them, or they didn’t eat at all. Solved any issues with picky eaters, as soon as their belly’s were rumbling! LOL! I wouldn’t worry so much, mom. Go, and enjoy yourself. Everything will work out fine. 

This kid's picky eating would astound you....they say kids won't starve themselves, but I disagree, he would.  I was one of those "if they're hungry enough they'll eat it" people before him.... he changed that.  If they have milk, plain noodles/rice/bread/cereal and fruit he'll survive.  He will eat ice cream....only vanilla though and I'm not completely sure he'll eat the softserve kind (I assume that's what they have); haven't tried Greek yogurt in awhile he will eat some regular yogurts though so maybe.

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2 hours ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

Serenity is 21 and older.  Earlier this year we met a couple on Horizon who had a 17 year old daughter who  we hung out with a lot on the cruise. We went to Serenity almost every day on the cruise and no one ever said anything about the 17 year old who was in the Serenity area every day with us. However, she was very quiet and didn’t bring any attention her way. However, every time she tried to go to an adult comedy show with us they checked her age at the door and wouldn’t let her into the lounge. After being turned away for the 3rd time, she didn’t try any more. 

 

I'm gonna keep the Serenity deck our little secret 😉  I don't think a single 17yo with her parents is a problem and wouldn't even get a raised eyebrow from me.....but a group of 7 teens, even the best behaved teens, are pretty likely to disturb the "Serenity" vibe.

 

It's a bummer that she was turned away from the comedy club though.  Really, I imagine most teens today have seen/heard much worse than an adult comedy show; but thank you for the info!  I will warn the 17yo that she's likely to get turned away so if she tries to attend she should be prepared.

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2 hours ago, eileen2664 said:

He will eat ice cream....only vanilla though and I'm not completely sure he'll eat the softserve kind (I assume that's what they have)

 

It's serve yourself soft serve on the Lido, but in the dining room they have regular scooped ice cream on the dessert menu. I usually get a couple scoops of vanilla along with a fruit plate as I'm not much for most of the more rich and overly sweet desserts. 

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Is there a reason you need to cruise from Galveston?  New Orleans is another option in that same general area.  NOLA airport is only about 30 minutes from port area where Galveston is at least an hour depending on time of day and which airport you are using.  That travel time might make the difference of $200 or more for a group that size if you choose taxi/uber or maybe even shuttles. 

 

Also, the cheers package works out of NOLA on first day/night of cruise but it doesn't out of Galveston due to laws.  I just wanted to be sure you knew about that since we always spend more on booze on day 1 and having to pay drink for drink might add up really quick!

 

Good Luck with your cruise planning.

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And what people from previous generations didn't understand was that some people have extreme texture issues when it comes to food, where trying to force them to eat certain things will just make them gag. It isn't about being stubborn for stubborn's sake.

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 Here's my tip for you. Any time anyone in your group leaves the ship, make sure they carry their passport, a credit card, some cash, and their ship id card. If you were to miss the ship during a shore excursion without the above list of items, you may be stuck there for some time.

 

 Have fun on your cruise.

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7 hours ago, jdemps said:

Is there a reason you need to cruise from Galveston?  New Orleans is another option in that same general area.  NOLA airport is only about 30 minutes from port area where Galveston is at least an hour depending on time of day and which airport you are using.  That travel time might make the difference of $200 or more for a group that size if you choose taxi/uber or maybe even shuttles. 

 

Also, the cheers package works out of NOLA on first day/night of cruise but it doesn't out of Galveston due to laws.  I just wanted to be sure you knew about that since we always spend more on booze on day 1 and having to pay drink for drink might add up really quick!

 

Good Luck with your cruise planning.

 

We looked at NOLA (we’re coming from MI so actual port isn’t all that important). But the schedule didn’t work for us. We have to set sail on Saturday so they miss little to no school Friday and are home before Easter. The kids prefer a 7day since the cost (once you figure in airfare and such) is only a couple hundred $ over a 5day. 

 

Thank you for your suggestion though. And I do know about the cheers program delay on sailing from TX, it’s a bummer but I can control my spending/drinking for 18ish hours. 😉

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I think you'll find cruising is one of the easiest ways to travel with a picky eater. Granted I would say my kids are more run of the mill picky than super picky but there are so many different options for food, it is a lot easier than on a normal vacation when your options might be more limited at times. Also I have found my kids to try new foods much more willing since the cruise is a low pressure situation. They can pick up one new food a meal, try a bite but know they had a plate of traditional foods to fall back on so I get less push back from them (and don't end up wasting a ton of money on food they don't end up eating). Last cruise I got them eating beef which was hugely exciting. Good luck!    

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On 11/3/2019 at 7:44 AM, eileen2664 said:

 

Ok, so I've got 5 months to get the kid to drink the powder mix (apparently it tastes different ::) ) since the stuff he likes only comes in plastic bottles.  If he wasn't underweight I wouldn't worry so much about a week without the extra fat/protein.  At least he can get his noodles, he'll be happy about that 🙂 Do they happen to have whole milk on board or is it only low-fat?  Whole milk would make feel a bit better.

You should contact guest services shore-side and talk to them about this. They can make exceptions for things that are for health reasons. For example, my dairy-allergic son uses coconut milk on his cereal. He hates the canned stuff that they have on board (it isn't really meant to drink as much as cook with). We were able to get permission to bring the single serving cartons onto the ship for him. Even if the policy states that you can bring cartons on, we preferred to get permission, just in case. We did not have a problem at embarkation.

 

As for your question above about plain noodles, etc... the answer is yes! You can pretty much get whatever you need/want, as long as they have it on board. Once you get to know your waitstaff (a big advantage if you choose a fixed dining time compared to anytime dining), you can ask for stuff for dinner the next night at the current dinner. This would be similar to the allergy protocol, which requires you to order the night before for your dinner meal.

 

Happy to answer other questions about allergies and picky eaters :).

 

dctravel

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13 hours ago, fred549 said:

 Here's my tip for you. Any time anyone in your group leaves the ship, make sure they carry their passport, a credit card, some cash, and their ship id card. If you were to miss the ship during a shore excursion without the above list of items, you may be stuck there for some time.

 

 Have fun on your cruise.

 

 

Leave your passport in your safe. We never take it off the ship until we debark.

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On 11/3/2019 at 5:25 PM, eileen2664 said:

 

 

 

It's a bummer that she was turned away from the comedy club though.  Really, I imagine most teens today have seen/heard much worse than an adult comedy show; but thank you for the info!  I will warn the 17yo that she's likely to get turned away so if she tries to attend she should be prepared.

 

As you spend more time on these forums, or in the various cruising groups on FB, you'll see that there are people out there who will take their under 18 year old kids to the 18+ shows, then complain to Carnival because their kid heard a naughty word and is now scarred for life. These people are why we can't have nice things and it's why they are enforcing the rules more than in the past.  The good thing is that there are family friendly comedy shows earlier in the evening. 

 

As for transportation and lodging pre and post cruise, you may want to check the Gulf Coast Departure board. Lots of good info and knowledgeable people over there who can help you out. Galveston's a nice port to cruise out of. Despite what some say it's easy to get to, just not as cheap as some of the other ports out there. 

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What's really a bummer is waiting in a huge line for a comedy show and then not being able to get in bc it's full and some people think the 18+ rule doesn't apply to them or their kid. 

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6 hours ago, Rudyard said:

take their under 18 year old kids to the 18+ shows, then complain to Carnival because their kid heard a naughty word and is now scarred for life.

 

 

you know you are going to an adult +18 show, scarred for life because of a curse word? 

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6 hours ago, Rudyard said:

 

As you spend more time on these forums, or in the various cruising groups on FB, you'll see that there are people out there who will take their under 18 year old kids to the 18+ shows, then complain to Carnival because their kid heard a naughty word and is now scarred for life. 

Nope. Don’t think I have seen that complaint here.

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On 11/3/2019 at 7:54 AM, eileen2664 said:

Thank you!  I'm so glad to hear your trip went well, I'm hoping ours does too.  I think we have a good group of kids going (a couple I don't know all that well, but they're all respectful enough that I think it will be fine).  I now know that we have at least 2 other pairs of parents going and possibly a 3rd set (if mom can overcome her fear of water, I'm trying to convince her that an umbrella drink will likely help 😉 ) so I feel a bit more at ease.

 

How did you get everyone to where they needed to be on land (from airport to ship; from ship to beach/excursion)?  It seems there must be a cheaper way for a large group to travel then the Carnival shuttle/excursion options.

 

If you are planning to let the kids drink in ports I would have written permission from the parents that they are ok with it.  I would over-communicate in general.  Respectful kids that you don't know very well might suddenly become not very respectful in a cruise setting.  They might not too, but laying ground rules is important.

 

Research your ports of call.  Some ports have inexpensive shuttles to local beaches or taxis could be affordable with your larger group.  Carnival excursions will generally be overpriced - especially for a basic beach day/shuttle - but can be a good deal in some instances.

 

For airport to ship - are you flying in day of or night before?  Most like to fly the night before incase of delays and many hotels will shuttle from airport and sometimes to cruise port (sometimes a small fee).

 

 

On 11/3/2019 at 6:13 PM, eileen2664 said:

 

So glad your granddaughter is ok, that sounds very scary!  I've already warned the kids that while on the ship they can pretty much do anything except jump ship, they're gonna have a very short leash in ports (ie: within eyesight at all times).  We don't go to Belize, but we do go to Montego Bay which I'm not sure is much better.  I don't care if they drink though; I don't want them to get to the point of drunk but they're all looking forward to being able to order a beer or frozen drink and I'm fine with that (it took me 18 years, but according to my son I'm the cool mom....since it'll be legal I'll continue to be cool in the Caribbean too 😉 )

 

This kid's picky eating would astound you....they say kids won't starve themselves, but I disagree, he would.  I was one of those "if they're hungry enough they'll eat it" people before him.... he changed that.  If they have milk, plain noodles/rice/bread/cereal and fruit he'll survive.  He will eat ice cream....only vanilla though and I'm not completely sure he'll eat the softserve kind (I assume that's what they have); haven't tried Greek yogurt in awhile he will eat some regular yogurts though so maybe.

I'm not so sure about the greek yogurt (unless in MDR breakfast/brunch), but I do remember seeing regular yogurt.  I think milk is chocolate (not sure of milkfat), and either skim and 2% or 2% and whole.  Whole is only 3 or 3.5% so 2% isn't a terrible option.  Hard serve vanilla is generally available in MDR but not at all buffets.

Carnival doesn't allow bottles, but they do allow cartons.  I have seen several protein shakes in cartons, maybe this will work for him.

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6 hours ago, pacruise804 said:

If you are planning to let the kids drink in ports I would have written permission from the parents that they are ok with it. 

 

 

You have got to be kidding. You don't have kids, do you? I think the drinking age in Mexico is puberty. 

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11 minutes ago, coevan said:

 

 

You have got to be kidding. You don't have kids, do you? I think the drinking age in Mexico is puberty. 

It’s not for the bars. For the chaperones protection when the parents say they didn’t expect their angels to be drinking.

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15 minutes ago, coevan said:

 

 

You have got to be kidding. You don't have kids, do you? I think the drinking age in Mexico is puberty. 

LOLOLOL. Same for smoking. 

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23 minutes ago, 2wheelin said:

It’s not for the bars. For the chaperones protection when the parents say they didn’t expect their angels to be drinking.

 

I didn't quote you and you don't know what other people are thinking.

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2 hours ago, coevan said:

 

I didn't quote you and you don't know what other people are thinking.

Ahem!  “If you are planning to let the kids drink in ports I would have written permission from the parents that they are ok with it.“

Have a nice day.

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14 hours ago, coevan said:

 

 

You have got to be kidding. You don't have kids, do you? I think the drinking age in Mexico is puberty. 

Actually I do have 2 children - 19 and 14.  The 14 year old has been to Guatemala and somehow managed to not drink, same with the 19 year old in Puerto Rico.  My husband and I drink, and actually would have been fine with our daughter choosing to try a drink when we went to Bermuda and it would have been legal.  She has chosen for her own reasons not to drink though, so I'm 

fine respecting her decision not to.  Just because something is legal doesn't mean a person has to do it.

 

14 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

It’s not for the bars. For the chaperones protection when the parents say they didn’t expect their angels to be drinking.

Pretty much.  Not all parents are ok with their kids drinking, or at least not without them present to help keep it responsible.

13 hours ago, coevan said:

 

I didn't quote you and you don't know what other people are thinking.

@2wheelin actually understood my post better than you appear to.  If all parents are fine then it isn't an issue, but if I was responsible for teens not my own (at a minimum the 17yo, but really most 18yo brains can still use guidance) I would want it to be very clear what the other parents expected.

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