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About careyayn22

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Photography, travel, reading, hiking

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  1. My 11 year old boys were not as into the Splash Academy this time around. It wasn’t bad, but they felt the organized activities were not challenging like they were a couple years ago. I do think the 10-12 range is a hard one, but she might find a couple kids right away that she clicks with and that might help. We we did a lot together, but sometimes we just left them in the room to watch movies after dinner. We always gave them the choice of splash academy or room. The sea days were the only time they got a little “bored.”
  2. We just got back from the Joy sailing with two 11 year olds. They didn’t care for the splash academy this time (did like it two years ago). My dh and I did Alaska in 2002 on the Princess Star. It’s hard to compare with that time difference, but I would recommend a glacier bay sailing (which we had on princess and not NCL Joy). However, I think the excursions are more family friendly for the kids on NCL. They liked them all and all were solid quality.
  3. I was cruising during the TCZ drama, apparently, so I am filling in the blanks here with all the allusions to the infamous post. I’m guessing most of your post is sarcasm. I admit I am alarmed by some of the crazy posts I’ve seen about having to rub elbows with the unwashed masses. Ffs. Ship within a ship or not, “you’re” still just a cruiser on NCL. You’re new money bougie at best. I do bet it is a little easier to afford the haven if one doesn’t need to buy airline tickets. I never really thought about that. We have to fly everywhere. It would be great to live near or in a port city or area.
  4. I think it’s so one can have the amenities of a large ship and the service of a more elite line. It’s pretty brilliant, and I understand the allure, but I also think you have a point there. When they start taking away the pleasures of the ship away from the masses to give to the few, there is a line crossed, and if one REALLY can’t stand the masses, perhaps a mega ship isn’t the place to be.
  5. I said a couple of times on this trip that maybe I need to sail on a smaller ship. We’ve sailed the Joy and Escape because, well, we have kids. This time the kids hardly used the splash academy, liked the VR pavilion but wasn’t anything special, liked laser tag, but it only lasts ten minutes and we had a big clustercuss with the speedway and never even got to do it (NCL’s issue and another story). Of the two days swimming was an enjoyable option (Alaska not NCL and expected) an adult threw up in the kids pool and they couldn’t even swim. I understand people pay big bucks for the haven. Maybe some day I will too and I’ll want what I pay for, but I don’t think I want to do that at the expense of the other guests. If the haven needs to be bigger and more people want that experience, maybe something is fundamentally wrong with the mega ship philosophy. Anyway, I am definitely going to keep my options open for the next cruise. Maybe a smaller class of ship or another brand. It all started to feel just a bit too overwhelming between the issues we ran into, the largeness of the ship, the class system, the upcharges for everything...just “extra” as the kids say.
  6. Yeah, we just got off the Joy. There are a lot of great things and a lot of SMH things going on. This was only my third cruise (second on NCL). I am wondering if I’d be happier on another line or if their weaknesses will be just as annoying. I find the “public” pools ridiculously small and the MDR was very disappointing. It does seem like the general riff raff is supposed to just be happy to be on the ship and not to question anything NCL does.
  7. The pool thing is weird on NCL. Such small pools and only one for kids (and as we found out a couple days ago, kids are out of luck when it gets shut down due to vomit even though it was Alaska and only a couple adults were swimming in the very small “main pool”). It has been awhile, but I remember Princess having much more and bigger pools. Good luck with your group. Even in Alaska, we could only get about four loungers together on the couple decent days.
  8. I haven’t stayed in a suite or Haven, but I do think so much depends on tone. Beyond finding the correct tone, the rest is how you perceive the role and relationship between you and the service staff. For me, I don’t think I would leave a note for anything other than “needs” or maybe a couple very strong preferences. To me, these should be things you need/really strongly want, the entire cruise. One time things should be communicated orally. I like a tone that makes it sound more like a partnership rather than master/servant relationship. I might say something like: (totally made up) Hi we are the “Smiths” and we are looking forward to our first stay in The Haven and getting to see Alaska again from the point of view of a NCL cruise ship. We are fairly low maintence and do not wish to give you additional work, but we do have a couple things we will need. First, Joey, our eleven year old, is allergic to peanuts. So, please make sure our snacks are not nut based. Also, Tim, my husband, has a CPap machine. We would really appreciate a pitcher of fresh water every day for that and to take our medications. Finally, we do have a couple preferences. Suzy, our fourteen year old, really dislikes the smell of seafood and fish, it possible, we would prefer not to have seafood snacks in our room. Also, we love chocolate covered fruit, so whenever that is available, we would love that as an afternoon treat, but we completely understand this may not work out depending on availability. Thank you for taking the time to read this. We appreciate all you do and look forward to getting to know you a bit more this week. See you around, the SMiths.
  9. Yes. I believe we agree. I suppose I should add we all have difference tolerance levels depending on the environment and our own preferences.
  10. Everyone has different tolerance for noise, but we don’t base common sense courtesy on only our own tolerance levels. I can be pretty immune to loud kids playing. I have twin boys and I teach. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let my kids yell and wrestle in the middle of a speciality restaurant. We all have this cruising experience together. Some people are ultra particular and will always be annoyed by every little thing. We can’t cater to the lowest common denominator, but we should be able to step outside our own bubble and evaluate the environment and cultural norms.
  11. You’ve never seen someone under sixty send food back? I’m not someone who sends stuff back often, but I certainly have and will if the problem is particularly egregious/inedible. Haven’t done it on a cruise. I do think some people can be annoying about it. My sister in law is one of those and my father law used to be, but that was personality and not age. She was doing that in her 20’s. I think sometimes sending food back or at least alerting the establishment to a problem is just common sense and advocating for yourself. I’m in my mid 40s.
  12. That would have been so cool to actually see each other there and the boys would have loved having some automatic new friends at the Splash Academy!
  13. One thing I’ve done for camping and cruising is to take a hanging shoe holder with pockets that can hang from a door, shower rod or hook. We put all of our toiletries, meds, first aid, Yeti mugs, extra batteries, etc... in the pockets. Everything is out and accessible and not taking up limited space.
  14. Hi Angela (I’m pretty sure. Lol) ::::wave:::: looks like we are missing each other on the Joy by a month. Carey
  15. Glad you are home safe. Our 25th is rapidly approaching —fall 2020. We travelled a lot by ourselves before kids, but we had them a bit on the “older parent” side, so since they were born, we have done very little traveling on our own without bringing the kids and experiencing travel with them. I teach, so Fall is a hard time for us to travel, but we have a break mid October. Maybe we should leave the kids behind and try a Crystal New England cruise? That one may be attainable. Thanks for for the idea to consider and again, congratulations on your amazing journey.
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