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m00k3y

Rhapsody in Review 12/5 - Cruising with a 2 year old

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Ben & Jerrys is hoping to be open by the christmas cruise. They are waiting for supplies.

 

Rhapsody of the Seas has been subject to many detailed reviews So I am going to keep this more oriented to families with small children.

 

Arriving in IAH: we had reserved a limousine to pick us up. the limo was not there when we arrived. Made a phone call and they had a SUV pick us up within 10 minutes - was irritated that the proper vehicle was not there but glad it was a short wait for a ride. They discounted the fare including the return limo which was there when we disembarked.

 

Embarkation: We stayed at the Hilton in Galveston the night before. They provide shuttles to the pier, but since we did not arrive until late, all the early shuttles were full. So we arranged to have a taxi pick us up at 11:00 am. After the scheduled taxi did not show up for 15 minutes, one of the Hotel employees took us to the pier in a mini-van. We were extremely happy and impressed with the friendliness and service at the Hotel. Highly recomended. Once arriving at the pier, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. We were able to use the line for suites, but the other line did not appear to be that long and was moving quickly.

 

Traveling was My DW, DS (2), Myself and we brought my wifes best friends 19 y.o. daughter with us to babysit our son in the evenings.

 

We stayed in the Grand Suite 8018. We had more than enough room. The curtain that draws across the room makes the main bed area very dark which was great for keeping the bed area dark for our sons naps. The door to the balcony can be locked in place at any point between fully closed and fully open. There is NO WAY that a small child could open this door if it is locked. The 19 year old had trouble getting it opened. This room had plenty of room to allow our son to play with the toys we brought/bought and coloring. At first we were very concerned about our son on the balcony (even bought one of those harnesses - never used it) but he was fine out there. I certainly would not leave a small child unattended on a balcony, but short of pushing a chair to the rail and climbing up, there was no danger.

 

Since our son was not yet 3, he was not officially allowed into Adventure Ocean, but we were allowed to go up and participate with him. They will also supply you with a "kit" for small children to take back to your stateroom if you ask. Ours was a pillowcase that you can color and had a plush octopus keychain, a small octopus plush, a bandana you could color, lots of crayons and pages to color and an Adventure Ocean T-shirt.

 

Our biggest mistake was requesting a table with another family with small children. Next time, we will ask for a small table for our family only. We wanted to make sure that we didn't get seated with "Folgy" (nothing personal Folgy, just think everyone knows your feelings on this subject!) :D and ruin his/there dining experience, so we made that request. What we did not consider is that this family would make ME feel like "Folgy". 2 Kids, not quite 2 years and 4 years... spitting jello through straws across the table - milk too. banging/throwing silver ware. yelling, screaming, running to other tables, no parental intervention. Some of the rudest people I have ever met. The husband were obviously prejudiced. Never once said thank you to our waiter (because he was black) for anything. One night the husband yelled at the assistant waiter telling him he needed to learn English (their anniversary - Poor wife was mortified and left the table shortly after a big fight). Formal night dress for them was t-shirts and jeans, husband in shorts. For us it was suits for the boys, nice dresses for the girls. Ack, good news was they didnt show up 3 of the night. bad news they stiffed our poor waiter and asst waiter. Then leaving the ship we see them not only coming earlier than their tag color, but cutting to the front of the line too.... Then we see them leaving in a brand new Tahoe.... (grrr they could afford to tip). Sorry enough ranting but thanks for letting me get it off my chest. GRRRR feel better now

 

The staff is extremely good with the small children. It was amazing to us how many people remember our sons name. Even in port, we had people saying hi to him.

 

The sports deck around the rock wall was a great place to let the little one run off energy, plenty of room to run around and not much foot traffic.

 

You can get beach toys in the store on ship (bucket, shovel, rake, sifter, molds) They have 2 different sets, one is $3.95 the other is $5.00. We purchased both sets and left them in Costa Maya / Mahahual for the local kids and repurchased the same items for Cozumel. The children we gave the toys to in Mahahual were so excited to get these toys.

 

PORTS

-------

Key West:

We just walked up to margaritaville had a drink some chili fries, bought a "licence 2 chill" and went back to mallory square. Our son absolutely LOVED the shell shop that was there. He was amazed by all the different shells. Priced from a few cents to $$$ for huge shells.

 

Costa Maya/Mahahual: This was actually our favorite port. You take a taxi from the pier area, $3 @ (2 year old was free - I am pretty sure they said 4 and under was free) to Mahahual. Mahahual is a small village that recently has started receiving tourism. The back areas are kind of run down, but the beach area was nice. We walked about 50 yards down the beach (beach was on our left) from where the taxi's drop you off at. It was a Brown Hut right on the Beach with a sign that says "FARO". Elmer was our waiter and he speaks excellent English. The food was delicious and EVERYONE working there was extremely friendly. Everyone in the whole village is very friendly. They will definately try and get you to look at their items for sale but they except "No Gracias" very graciously. Only vendors going up and down the beach we saw was a small girl selling bracelets and handkerchiefs and a singer with a guitar. He was very good.

 

We found several places that had beautiful hand made dresses for little girls there. $12 - 15@ (after negotiating - $25 to start).

 

Cozumel: we just spent the day at paradise beach and a little shopping at the pier. Son loved the beach again especially going out on the Kayak with me.

 

If you have any questions, would be very happy to answer them!

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we are going on the explorer of the seas on jan2 with our 2 year old grandson

we bought him a three piece suit for formal night just wondering if he can wear a shirt and pants on semi formal nights

thanks so much

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.I'm just down I-80 a couple hours in Kearney! My next cruise will be the

Rhapsody as well. Glad things worked out with the family!

 

Mitch

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we are going on the explorer of the seas on jan2 with our 2 year old grandson

we bought him a three piece suit for formal night just wondering if he can wear a shirt and pants on semi formal nights

thanks so much

Yes, that should be fine. Our son wore long pants and different shirts ranging from caribbean print to turtle neck to dinner. A lot of kids were in jeans and t-shirts.

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.I'm just down I-80 a couple hours in Kearney! My next cruise will be the

Rhapsody as well. Glad things worked out with the family!

 

Mitch

Hey Mitch, I know Kearney well. I went to Park Elementary for 1 - 3rd grade and have a lot of family near Holdredge. You will Love Rhapsody, they are SO great with kids!

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mOOk3y

 

I was on the same cruise. This cruise went under the very enjoyable category. We really enjoyed Mahahual though disappointed in missing the Stingray's in Grand Cayman. We rented a golf cart from the port to Mahahual. Very affordable and what a blast. Was able to see the small town from one end to another without problems while stopping at recommended and UN-recommended beach stops. Stopped, drank, ate at our leisure and walked/snorkeled out to the barrier reef and shallow coral. The town reminded me of the Cozumel San Miguel Village of many many years ago. The commercial portage built at Casa Maya was what was expected. The shows here were nice but unattended. The shops there were typical cruise fodder and I am sad that a lot of people judged this stop on this.

 

Though not exactly perfect, I am still smiling about this cruise.

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I am just now catching up on this thread. We are taking our 19 month old on her second cruise next week. It was nice to read about the activities and what is and what is not available for someone our kiddos age. We have been teaching our child manners and have no problem excusing one of us if she acts up. We would have loved to share a table with you. We didn't actually request a table with another family.

 

You didn't say but did you have early or late seating? We had early in Alaska partly because of the time change. We did late because we didn't want to be so rushed to get back. We figured we would feed her from food from the Solarium or the Windjammer at her normal dinner time and she would just come with us in her stroller and could nap/sleep there if she got worn out.

 

We are though planning on using in-cabin babysitting, but have not yet decided on which nights. From what I understand the dinners on this cruise have been.

 

Sunday-Casual

Monday-Formal

Tuesday-Smart Casual

Wednesday-Western Night

Thursday-Formal

Friday-Smart Casual

Saturday-Casual.

 

Is that still the case? We will probably do babysitting on Thursday for sure and maybe Friday night.

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I am just now catching up on this thread. We are taking our 19 month old on her second cruise next week. It was nice to read about the activities and what is and what is not available for someone our kiddos age. We have been teaching our child manners and have no problem excusing one of us if she acts up. We would have loved to share a table with you. We didn't actually request a table with another family.

 

You didn't say but did you have early or late seating? We had early in Alaska partly because of the time change. We did late because we didn't want to be so rushed to get back. We figured we would feed her from food from the Solarium or the Windjammer at her normal dinner time and she would just come with us in her stroller and could nap/sleep there if she got worn out.

 

We are though planning on using in-cabin babysitting, but have not yet decided on which nights. From what I understand the dinners on this cruise have been.

 

Sunday-Casual

Monday-Formal

Tuesday-Smart Casual

Wednesday-Western Night

Thursday-Formal

Friday-Smart Casual

Saturday-Casual.

 

Is that still the case? We will probably do babysitting on Thursday for sure and maybe Friday night.

 

We were fortunate and never had a problem with our son at dinner the whole week. I am quite sure there were many other families with small children on the ship that we would have really enjoyed sharing a table with. But after our last experience, me will probably be inclined to ask for a small table for just our family. At least until our children are older. We had early seating. I would not even consider late seating if you plan on having your tot at dinner any of the nights. I am sure having the early seating spared us from having to deal with a major meltdown! ;)

 

We brought along my wifes best friends 19 year old daughter to babysit for us, so we never had to use the in room babysitter. We considered using it for the caribbean sail away party, but decided against it. To be honest, we just did not feel comfortable with someone we didn't know watching our son. But, before the cruise, the only people did any babysitting for us was grandparents. I think that if I was going to use the babysitting service, I would want to meet the person first and if you feel comfortable with that person, request the same person to babysit both nights.

 

On the Rhapsody, Monday and Thursday were the formal nights.

 

You will enjoy the cruise and if you are on Rhapsody and go to Costa Maya, definately go to Mahahual. I would recomend that you go to a place called "FARO". Elmer was our waiter there and he speaks excellent English and everyone there was VERY friendly. When you get out of the cab, head up the beach with the beach to your left. There will be an open air Hut ( several tables, bar, kitchen and very clean bathrooms) that sits 25 feet from the water. There is a banner that says "FARO" on it. we spent 6 hours there, ate fajittas, quesadilla's, nachos, chips and salsa - all excellent, tried a coco loco and had LOTS of beer, ended up being $42.00 for the whole day. We were very comfortable leaving our stuff on the table while we played in the water and when we got ready to go, Elmer ran (literally) down and had a cab come up to get us so that we did not have to carry all of our stuff down to where the taxi's were at. Far and away, this was our favorite port. When we make it back to Mahahual, FARO will get our business again. Everyone else who went to other places liked it just as much and no one got sick. But we had such a great experience there, that we would go back to FARO for sure.

 

Hope this helps and enjoy your upcoming cruise! Wish we were going with you! :D

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Flagger:

 

Also, on the ship in the gift shop, go to the back of the store and turn left, look to the far wall, you will see beach/sand toys there. They sell 2 different sets. one for $5.00 one for $3.95. We bought both sets and when we were done at the end of the day, we split them up and gave them to a couple of local children. The huge smiles and thanks were worth much more than the $9.

 

If you make it to Faro, tell Elmer that Mike, Christina, Mikey and Jennifer say high! (like he will remember ;) but we gave him some of the beach toys, he might remember that!

 

ENJOY!

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Thanks Mike, I will. I have been following your threads and posts and already had planned on the beach sets. I remember you saying the cheaper one had better stuff, but for $9 it means not having to shlep it with us nor shlep it back. We are at a point where all her summer stuff is almost too small, so we might be just donating all her clothes at Cozumel. I am sure there will be someone that PB Tom could find who could use them.

 

We have been eating late for a few months now so she should go with the flow, but we bought a new stroller for the trip that she just loves to lay in, so that will be an option. We used in-cabin babysitting on Infinity this September. We had the same woman from the pantry both nights. We totally felt comfortable doing it. My MIL/FIL pussyfooted around about going not going that the cruise sold out, but we were not counting on them as babysitters either since they like to get out. As long as my daughter has some food in her, gets a late nap she should do ok with late seating. I found myself (being a stay at home dad) napping as much as my daughter did in September. We might have missed a lot on the ship, but we came back really relaxed.

 

I was reading your threads about Costa Maya and have planned on stopping either at FARO or Tapas. Glad you said you felt comfortable leaving your belongings on the table.

 

Ms. Flagger asked me to ask did you wash up before or after you got back on the ship and where if you did it before.

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Hi Flagger,

 

Glad to be of help. We definately missed out on a lot of things on the cruise. Do we regret it.... NOT A BIT! :D we did whatever we fealt like doing. Only made it to 3 of the shows - 1st night, the magicians and the "Broadway" type show. All the other nights, we found that with half the ship at dinner and the other half at the show, we had the Solarium to ourselves and enjoyed the quiet time together. Definately would recommend this at least once! and yes, we came home relaxed instead of frazzled! More than once we all laid down and took a nap at the same time. hehe

 

After our day at Mahahual/FARO, we just went out in the ocean and rinsed off, then went onto the hut which has wood floors, wiped off the sand and took the cab back and showered in the room. there is a sink right there to wash your hands. We are not ones to be fond of "sand in our shorts" but we didnt have any problems. It is a very short ride back to the ship.

 

If you are going to donate come clothes, I would leave as many as you could in Mahahual as they are much more in need of the donations there.

 

Also, we bought 3 dresses in Mahahual for our daughter. we paid $34 for all 3 from 2 different vendors. Right across the street from FARO, you will see clothes hanging on the front porch for sail. The dress we bought there was completely done by hand. Very beautiful. You can tell if the decorations (flowers on ours) was done by hand by turning it over. You can easily see if it was done by machine or hand. They will probably ask $20 - $25 each, but were quite happy with 12 - 13. 2 for $25. We didnt have to haggle very much at all to get this price.

 

Also, on our trip, one of the local girls named Cindy came around selling hand made bracelets. She is probably 6 or 7 years old. Want to see a huge smile? buy her a coke! :) She got so excited that she ran off and left all of her bracelets on our table. hehe

 

When you get back, let me know what you thought, it is my guess that you will favor Mahahual to the other ports on your trip!

 

Bon Voyage!

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Quote:

Our biggest mistake was requesting a table with another family with small children. Next time, we will ask for a small table for our family only. We wanted to make sure that we didn't get seated with "Folgy" (nothing personal Folgy, just think everyone knows your feelings on this subject!) and ruin his/there dining experience, so we made that request. What we did not consider is that this family would make ME feel like "Folgy". 2 Kids, not quite 2 years and 4 years... spitting jello through straws across the table - milk too. banging/throwing silver ware. yelling, screaming, running to other tables, no parental intervention.

_________________________________________________________________

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!! What a nightmare. This is exactly the concern I have on cruises >> *bad Parenting*<<

 

mOOk3y, I certainly don't take what you have said personaly. You and your family obviously want the same thing as I do .A peaceful and enjoyable dining experience.This sounds pretty much far from it. I wish you better luck with your next cruise when it comes to tablemates . :)

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Quote:

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!! What a nightmare. This is exactly the concern I have on cruises >> *bad Parenting*<<

 

mOOk3y, I certainly don't take what you have said personaly. You and your family obviously want the same thing as I do .A peaceful and enjoyable dining experience.This sounds pretty much far from it. I wish you better luck with your next cruise when it comes to tablemates . :)

 

Really it wasn't bad parenting. Honest. It was complete "LACK" of parenting!!! hehe On the bright side.... We saved another family from having to deal with it and I am much more easy going than most. We actually discussed asking to be moved, but the dining room seemed to be pretty full and could not bring ourselves to stick someone else with them! :o

 

Like I mentioned, good thing was they didn't show up 3 of the nights. They were so rude that on the nights they were there, you could see how tense our waiter and asst waiter was. On the nights we were by ourselves, they would be much more relaxed and jovial.

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We were planning on doing the ruins at Costa Maya in the morning and then the beach in the afternoon. We go back and forth on taking our Backpack with us or just using a stroller. It would mean one less thing to have to shlep if we left the backpack at home.

 

What did you do about water for your little one in Mexico? Since we are driving for this cruise and not flying weight is not a concern. We were thinking of bringing some of our own bottled water with us. I know the water on the ship is fine, but just having the extra bottles is nice on a hot day.

 

Now that you are back but knowing we don't have the luxury of a built in babysitter, was their anything you wished you did but didn't get to? Were there things you did do that you wished you hadn't?

 

And as far as Folgy is concerned, I keep watching his signature to know just what cruise to book for our next one!!! :D:p:D

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quote:And as far as Folgy is concerned, I keep watching his signature to know just what cruise to book for our next one!!!

_________________________________________________________________

 

LMBO .. I am cruising for New Years. Be comforted though. I am not on the Rhapsody ;)

 

Have a great New Years and a wonderful cruise . I have sailed on the Rhapsody twice . The staff and ship is fantastic.

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We were planning on doing the ruins at Costa Maya in the morning and then the beach in the afternoon. We go back and forth on taking our Backpack with us or just using a stroller. It would mean one less thing to have to shlep if we left the backpack at home.

 

What did you do about water for your little one in Mexico? Since we are driving for this cruise and not flying weight is not a concern. We were thinking of bringing some of our own bottled water with us. I know the water on the ship is fine, but just having the extra bottles is nice on a hot day.

 

Now that you are back but knowing we don't have the luxury of a built in babysitter, was their anything you wished you did but didn't get to? Were there things you did do that you wished you hadn't?

 

And as far as Folgy is concerned, I keep watching his signature to know just what cruise to book for our next one!!! :D:p:D

sigh, ok trying this again, network crashed and had to reboot... after losing my response! DOH.

 

as far as the stroller goes, as long as you don't mind getting dirt in the wheels/axle then I would say just bring that. The roads in Mahahual are dirt/sand. Quite a few pot holes, but should be easy to navigate. We brought a sit n stroll on our trip, but left it on the ship at all ports.

 

We were fortunate and had a very active roll call and one of the CC members was nice enough to pick up water and soda for us since they were driving and we were flying ***THANKS DEB!!*** had a case of water and two 12packs of soda. we used all the water and half the soda. Deb was kind enough to put all the water and soda in plastic and in a box. We just gave the box to a porter with our other luggage and had it delivered to the room.

 

Ok as far as things we would of done differently, we would not of left our 6 month old at home, we missed her horribly. :\ I think our son missed her the most. He was always grabbing the picture of her that we brought along and kissing it. For you guys, I would say don't miss out on at least one night in the Solarium during the 2nd seating of dinner! My DW and me enjoyed having some quite time together just the two of us to talk and relax. I would definately get a baby sitter and do this at least once! Also, don't miss floating on your back in the Solarium pool while at sea, LOTS OF FUN... especially if the ship is rocking!

 

One last tip... Stay away from Let it Ride in the Casino! Play Caribbean Stud Poker! and bet big if Clint or Tanya are the dealers!!!! well that worked for me anyways! Many thanks to them for qualifying on my straights, flush and full house!!!! (had $60 bet when I got the full house! sure was happy when Tanya qualified!!!!!) If you see her, tell her we said hi, she will remember us because she has a cousin named Christina (my DW) who dated a Michael! Tanya is from New Zealand and is a whoot at the tables! She is very funny and has a very quick wit to her! LOL she got me to stick my foot in my mouth more than once. She made the table a LOT of fun.

 

Oh one more thing, make sure to get a play pack from adventure ocean. I mentioned what comes in it in my first post here, but forgot to mention that you get to keep all that stuff! My son loves the plush octapuss!

 

Bon Voyage!!!

 

You could always take us to be your baby sitter!!! ;)

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MOOk3Y...... Aaahhhh about your tablemates!

 

After just one of those meals....my husband would have given birth to a cow. ....and we would have asked to be moved.

 

Doesn't it just amaze you?

 

Is Costa Maya the replacement for Grand Cayman? How long is this supposed to last? We sail this itinerary in March...and are really looking forward to Grand Cayman.

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My husband would have had a cow too...

 

btw, Boo I think we are the only ones going on Rhaspsody March 13.

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Hi BoSteph!!!

 

Surely there are others! :rolleyes:

 

Perhaps people received a cruise for Christmas....and we just haven't heard from them yet? :p

 

Final payment is due in a few days. :eek:

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as far as the stroller goes, as long as you don't mind getting dirt in the wheels/axle then I would say just bring that. The roads in Mahahual are dirt/sand. Quite a few pot holes, but should be easy to navigate. We brought a sit n stroll on our trip, but left it on the ship at all ports.
Yeavh even though a new stroller, we don't mind dirt. She is just getting pretty heavy and we both get hot and I would think after awhile the backpack carrier would be just too uncomfortable. It did work great in Alaska though when she was 15.5 months. Of course it was also cooler there.

 

had a case of water and two 12packs of soda. we used all the water and half the soda. Deb was kind enough to put all the water and soda in plastic and in a box. We just gave the box to a porter with our other luggage and had it delivered to the room.
What do you mean by put it in plastic. Like big ziploc bags incase they leaked or what? We were bringing our own soda as well. Even though we are getting the soda card, it was nice to have a soda before going to bed at night or with breakfast. It is how I get my caffeine. :D

 

Also, don't miss floating on your back in the Solarium pool while at sea, LOTS OF FUN... especially if the ship is rocking!
I know that is where you go to get pizza and burgers, but I guess you had the built in babysitter so you could go in there since kiddos are not alllowed in right?

 

Oh one more thing, make sure to get a play pack from adventure ocean. I mentioned what comes in it in my first post here, but forgot to mention that you get to keep all that stuff! My son loves the plush octapuss!
It was one of my first planned stops actually. On Infinity, you could not take her into the kids area but they checked out a treasure chest full of age appropriate toys. The day we were rotating at Hubbard Glacier, she decided it would be fun to push one just under the glass and over the balcony. Fortunately it bounced off the top of the lifeboat/tender and fell onto deck four and did not hit anyone down below. We took the treasure chest back that night after that one. :o

 

You could always take us to be your baby sitter!!! ;)
We would but here I am having to shlep a 60" Plasma screen TV for Paradise Beach Tom ;) The ship is plum sold old completely. We are avoiding lots of school age kiddos but there are lots of Texas college kids on this cruise who do not have to be back until after MLK day. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. We are really looking forward to it. The box sounds like the way to go.

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Thank you for your post, We are going to be on the Jan 30, 05 cruise on the Rhapsody. It is nice to know that they are that good with the little ones. I am bringing my 12mo old daughter (she actually turns 1 on Jan 20). We are sharing a Junior Suite with my parents. My Brother, his wife and daughter (8) are in an OV. I am really looking forward to this cruise.

 

So sorry about your table mates. I am hoping that we can have a table for just the 7 of us.

 

Misty

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flagger: by plastic, it was a trash bag and yes, to contain leakage in event of a spill. We had no problems at all tho. Everything was fine. It is nice to have soda right in your room if you feel like having one. We did not get a drink card as we didnt feel we would use it enough to make it worth it. Only bought 3 sodas the whole trip and those were at shows for our son.

 

We brought our son in swim diapers into the solarium hot tub and pool. There was NO one there, so it didn't matter. QUICK everyone look at Folgy watch him shudder! ;) just kidding of course. Yes, it is supposed to be for 16 and over only. We saw no one break this rule on our cruise! the 4 nights that we went into the Solarium during 2nd seating, we were the ONLY ones in the water and at most - besides workers - we would see 2 maybe 3 couples wander through to get a snack while we enjoyed the hot tubs to ourselves! But Like I said, it would be well worth the $ for you to do this at least one night!

 

:D Enjoy!!!! we are jealous! ;)

 

Others: Even if you don't make it to Grand Cayman, Costa Maya / Mahahual is a beautiful place to have a nice relaxing day at the beach. Yes, we were bummed too. We had over 30 people from our Roll Call all signed up with Captain Marvins to do a Stingray City excursion together. We were really looking forward to that. But it ended up being that our day at Mahahual was our favorite port/stop on the trip.

 

Boosmom: Yes, it was amazing. We kind of made it a game. Watching to see how rude they were going to be! It was on the second night that we noticed he never said thank you. What really got me about this was that he told me he use to be a waiter and a couple of stories about some of the people he had to "deal" with that were such bad customers........ : /

 

Oh well, has made for good story telling at work! hehe

 

lilbratt17: Yes, you will be amazed at how great everyone is with the kids. Many of the workers have children at home and as you can guess miss them very much. There is no way that I could imagine being away from my children that long. But many of these people come from countries that are so poor that there families lives are made so much better by the money they make in the cruise industry.

 

ttfn

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