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About numtini

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  1. There are two clubs, one more or less oriented around younger kids and the other more or less around older kids. They are connected by a long hallway. They are mixed because when they were separate parents complained siblings couldn't be in the same clubs and now people are complaining about the range. If there's an issue they'll contact you--the app has built in texting or there are two "wavephones" in your cabin. They will do food, but they won't force kids to eat. Generally, it's reckoned to be not very good.
  2. OMG you're right about Starbucks. FWIW, the Cuban place in the airport has insanely good coffee and pastries.
  3. From perusing some Navigators, it's usually the last night which is usually a sea day.
  4. We did the Cozumel Chef tour last month and it was fantastic. You hit up a bunch of different places in a taxi-van and the food was fantastic. It fits mostly into the Tony Bourdain/street food sort of experience and it felt great to get out of the tourist pen and actually see Cozumel. We also have an 8yo daughter and Gerardo, the guide, was very friendly and accommodating as was the pricing, which was great for a tour that isn't exactly competing with the beach for a kiddo.
  5. NP. I spent a lot of time worrying over that 11:55 flight. But we were in the airport at like 9 and Southwest's computers went down earlier in the day so everything was an hour late anyway...
  6. We just got back from the Magic in Miami two weeks ago. We found embarkation and debarkation ludicrously easy. You will check-in online at 75 days prior to the cruise. You will choose a port arrival time. This is when you are supposed to get to the port, not when you actually get on the ship. It's meant to space people out, but in practice, anything after 1, you just walk on. When you do check in, there will be a form to print out, but if you don't have it, that's not a big deal. Disney uses terminal F. The port facility is huge and the Magic is not that large a ship. We arrived at 11 for our 11 to 11:15 PAT, handed off our luggage to porters, walked in the terminal, breezed through security, waited 30 seconds for an open desk to check in. You are given a health questionnaire to fill out and once you're checked, they give you your key to the world cards and magic bands for any kids along with a card with your boarding group. After that we went to the waiting area which had ample seating complete with charging stations. They call boarding by group and it shows on the monitors in the waiting area and is very fast. It doesn't have all the Disney decoration that PC does, and you enter through the 4th floor balcony, not directly into the atrium (they still cheer you on board), but I found it an easier experience overall. We did express debarkation because we had a 11:55am flight out of FLL. Cabanas, the buffet, opens at 630 (everyone knows this, but it's not in the paperwork anywhere) and we had a wonderful breakfast on the aft deck looking over the skyline of Miami. (I will never do MDR breakfast on debarkation day again.) Sometime a little before 730 they announced that express debarkation was open, we said "oops" because we had kind of lost track of the time. We went to our cabin and got our luggage, by the time we made our way up the elevator and to the 4th floor balcony, they were already calling the first two luggage groups. There was no line for customs--in fact I didn't even have time to get our documents out before we got to the desk. (I think this is where you really save time with express walkoff.) He looked at them casually and a minute later we were outside dialing up an uber. If you're not doing express, you would instead leave your luggage outside the night before, and they call by luggage tag groups to debark. You then go to a big room where it's all waiting for you. I don't know about the DCL official transport, but I think they might handle luggage for you and send it directly to your airline.
  7. We flew into FLL last week. It was very easy and honestly a very pleasant airport to deal with, particularly compared to MCO. Uber from our FLL hotel to port was 32. I guess it was surge pricing, but it was 51 from port to airport. Trip was about a half an hour. Shuttle prices are around 15/person so if you are 2 or 3 people, an uber is generally cheaper. No wait at all for a car.
  8. There are a couple of shuttle services or you can just get an uber. Next month, we're flying in the afternoon before, staying near FLL, then grabbing an uber to/from port.
  9. It's one of the things that does tend to sell out online. There were no spots when we booked at the 75 day mark for a 7 day. However, all is not lost. Start haunting the DCL website about 4 weeks from sailing. People solidify plans and cancel. Also, don't be afraid to book for part of your party to get your foot in the door. About four weeks out, I was able to book for myself and my daughter. Then a week later, I was able to find a single slot for my partner. If that doesn't work, see guest services when you get on board. Also, haunt the balcony above the atrium and that's where the secret entrance to Character Land seems to be. We had some incredible extended time alone with several characters, including my daughter doing the standard ballet poses with Goofy and a long one on one with Arial.
  10. You can do two placeholders per cabin at $250 each. There are cards that you fill out and drop in a box, so it's really painless. If you are using a TA, you need to name them on the card. That gets you a small on board credit and 10% off the cruise price. You need to set sail within 2 years of getting the placeholder. Not book, but sail, and not the date of the cruise you buy it on, but the actual date you buy it on, so drop the card the last night.
  11. Booking 38 days out, I think it's doubtful that you will get an early dining time. Keep in mind that the vast majority of DCL cruisers are familys and most prefer the earlier dining time. Eating with others is the standard with DCL. They seem to be pretty in-depth on matching, so it may not be as dire as you're thinking. Not only were we matched with another 3 person family with a 7yo girl, but they were also older parents like us. There were no problems, but I think all of us were introverts waiting for someone else to start the conversation. FWIW, we requested a private table three or four months from sailing and didn't get one. I've heard it's somewhat easier if you're a straight up 4 top or 6 top (we were 3) and if you have late dining. You won't know if you have a private or shared table until you get to it afaik. You can always do a second request about this when you board, but if this is a "deal breaker" then I'm not sure what to tell you because booking this late, I think you're going to be at a late dining shared table at least until you get on board.
  12. Ginger is the one that's 50/50. And on ginger ale, I can attest that it settles the stomach even when I know it's cheap ginger ale that probably has zero actual ginger in it. I suspect it's more drinking something cool and soothing. The sea bands are complete hokum, proven in several studies to have no effect.
  13. The classic is slightly flat ginger ale, which has the ginger as well as a sugary liquid. Good to calm the stomach. My guess is that some kind of ginger candy would work better than a capsule of pure ginger. On ginger as a whole, there's been some studies and they've been inconclusive. Studies on snake oil and magic bracelets, on the other hand, have conclusively proven they have no effect.
  14. I don't think they ever anticipated the number of long term regular cruisers they have, but it would be nice to have more diversity. It's not like the other ships have menus that are all that different either.
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