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Everything posted by kctwinmommy

  1. You're welcome! And if you see what Eaglecw wrote, and I obviously agree, I'd skip going up in the Space Needle. Such a better view from the tower.
  2. Like many others, it's definitely a much more subdued cruise. It's all about the scenery, whereas I feel our Caribbean ones have been about finding the nearest beach! LOL! We were off the ship for several hours in each port, and then when we were on the ship, we would wander around too. We did spend a little time on the Lido deck, but a lot of time on our balcony, which was lovely. And I wouldn't say it was totally quiet, a lot of people were out and about watching the sunsets at 11 p.m.! LOL! It's certainly not the same as Caribbean, which is why it's so unique and a great experience!
  3. Even if he's in Circle C, he'll be gone all day too. When we were in port, we did family things. But on sea days, we'd grab some breakfast together (sometimes), and then he'd be gone until dinner. The clubs actually close for a few hours during the dinner time anyway. We always required that we do dinner as a family (and we often cruised with a larger group too). And then he'd go back to the club and hang with his friends. Depending on what the activities were planned, and what we had going the next morning, that would determine when he needed to be back in the room.
  4. Here's my trip report on our days in Seattle. We did most of the things you're asking about...
  5. There always seem to be a lot of factors with this. Having a sibling in the older group seems to help influence their decision. And definitely the number of kids will impact things. When we were in Alaska, they moved just one kid up to O2, and mostly because he was the only one in his large HS group that wasn't 15. And the cruise was packed with kids. But nobody else moved up. However, on our Caribbean cruises, which we do in early November and are way less crowded, they tend to move several kids. I do notice that a lot of the O2 kids will also co-mingle with the Circle C kids as they get to know each other. Since they use the same facilities, there is a lot of overlap.
  6. I haven't been to either of the other cities, but we loved Bruges! Just get off the ship, hop on one of the shuttle buses there (we bought tickets from them right at the side of the ship) and venture into town. It's easy to walk around and see lots of things, eat good food, and enjoy the day. We came back in the late afternoon just because we were tired and it was getting really busy & crowded! It was probably my favorite city of our stop!
  7. Same with mine! He was between 12 & 14 on his 4 cruises and had a great time on all the Carnival ones, and his one Royal one as well. He found that things were pretty similar between Carnival and Royal, to be honest. He said that both would have things set up, but then depending on the kids who were there, they could change, and often did.
  8. I should also add that there are shows that the kids sometimes enjoy, broadway style shows, and there are often comedy shows for the younger set as well.
  9. So when we go with our teenager, who was a tween for his first one, we did the early dining so we'd be done by 730-8:00, I forget exactly. He'd have the day to hang out with friends, or we'd be off the ship together. Then we'd do dinner in the MDR, and afterwards, he was free to go hang with friends again. Most of the families with tweens seemed to eat early for this reason. He was in Circle C for all his cruises (like 4 in those 2 years). But he always went the first night - highly recommended by most people, and that's when he got to meet the other kids who would be there for the week. It gave him a chance to connect with a group of people and then they would hang out all week. Usually in the club, playing games, or at the pool, or the Lido deck eating, things like that. We always laid ground rules before hand. He needed to check in with us on occasion, it's actually not that hard to run into each other on the ships in general. Or he'd leave a note in the room. Other rules were the standard things of being polite, not being completely obnoxious (but I get a group of teens can be loud and have fun). We also told him no going into places he doesn't belong, no other people's rooms, and nobody in our room. He never had any problems, he did everything we asked, and had a great time!
  10. I agree with most of this, but I can't speak to the exhibit in Tacoma as we didn't go there. But the Chihuly exhibit in Seattle is nice, I liked it, and yes, it's not super huge. We took maybe an hour to go through, but it was a little busy and we took our time, and I took a lot of photos. So we purposely went slowly, but we didn't actually need to. And I also agree about going to Columbia Center over the Space Needle if you can. It's also cheaper! The ticket you buy gives you 2 admissions as well. So we went in the afternoon for about an hour or so, then went back to our hotel, changed, grabbed some dinner and headed back at the blue hour for photos!
  11. I also often request little to no ice. I don't like it getting all watered down, so I prefer just a little bit to chill it. The other thing I notice I do more by having the BB is that when my soda gets watered or warm, I just go get another one. Even if it's only been 20 minutes! LOL!
  12. We always bring our as well. You just never know what the weather will be like for sure. Now, on our July cruise 3 years ago, the pools were barely used. We only had one day that was really quite warm, but everyone was out in port for the most part. But the my parents went like 10 years ago, one of (if not THE) first cruises of the season and they were in the suits a few times, on the top deck, just lounging around on their Princess ship. They had some really warm days. It's all so crazy for sure!
  13. Have you checked with the hotel to see if they offer a shuttle? We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton and they did.
  14. We also used Already There and they were wonderful. That sucks that you had a bad experience with them. We used them when we got to the airport, to get to our hotel for our pre-cruise stay. And then we used them for the return after we docked and they were great.
  15. Yep! We booked it early on, and our friend was diagnosed like 2 months before the cruise. So we got lucky by choosing to do so. And yes, when you have a slightly larger group, as long as there aren't 10 of you hanging there, getting drunk the whole time, they don't seem to notice or care. I'm sure if there was a large group there, acting up, they might say something then. I guess the big thing is that it's up to each person to pick what they want to do. 😃 I mean, they have 10 of them there and they seem to be always booked, so people like them. I'm sure they could add 20 more and sell those out too.
  16. This was what it looked like when we were there in 2016.
  17. For us, and this is a personal opinion, we enjoyed having the cabana last time we were there. We had 2 families, 7 people between us. So we did split the cost, which made it nice too. Us 2 moms and the adult daughter hung out at the cabana, going back and forth to the pool and beach. But the 2 dads and teen sons spent a lot of time at the beach. And for us, it turned out to be a blessing because the other wife had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, so she was a little more limited in what she could/couldn't do. So she had to really limit her sun exposure and couldn't go in the water past her waist. The cabanas provided the shade we really needed and the ability to relax with the waitress service right to our front door. But, if it was just the 3 of us going again, not sure we'd get it for just us. It was a nice thing, a little bit of luxury in a way. Not saying it's luxurious, just a little extra thing to have which was nice.
  18. I guess we went the opposite route, we did exactly what we wanted to do, knowing it would most likely be the only time we'd go to Alaska. I think I'm confused on why you say you'd like to not leave the ship though?! Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to ask? Yes, it's expensive. But are you planning to go again? Or are you going, not doing the things you want, and then regret it?
  19. Keep in mind, that if they're looking to hang in then teen club, instead of going to dinner, the club is actually closed. I want to say they closed at 5 and reopened at like 8, then started the activities again. For us, I like that they did this, it kind of "forced" our teen to come with us. It gave us a little time to talk about our day, the next day, what he did all day (for sea days especially, when we don't see him most of the day), and just have a little family time. We have often cruised with other families, so we had one large table for all of us. Or when it was just the 3 of us, we had a table to ourselves. We usually did the early dining, as that's closer to when we eat at home due to school and swim practices. But on our 1 RCI cruise in Europe, we did have the anytime, which worked nicely on their ship. We actually made "reservations" for each night to go the time we wanted based on the time in port. Carnival doesn't do reservations for YTD, you just show up. Which we did that for Alaska as well.
  20. We did ours through Carnival, and it's done by Northstar. It was the most amazing thing we've done! We did Mendenhall Glacier. MVI_4237.MP4
  21. We went in July 2016 and had a great time. There were a lot of teenagers (a major school group that was doing an awesome west coast trip of like 30 days!), but they were good, no real problems with them. Our tween son had enough people to hang with as well. We did an excursion in every port. We're a couple in our 40s (me) and early 50s (hubby). I would read more on the Alaska board to get more info on ideas of what you want to do. Also, lots of people write reviews (I have mine in my signature). https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/33-alaska/
  22. If you look on the Florida departures board, you'll find more answers. But we've used Cocoa Beach shuttles for over 10 years now. No problems, usually only have to wait about 20 minutes for them to get there after we get our luggage and it's the least expensive for us. And we'll do a R/T booking, so when we return from the cruise, they're there to pick us up too. We don't like to rent the car because when we land, we just want to sit back and relax, not drive through traffic.
  23. I'm with the poster above, we didn't bring any backpacks. I'm sure we grabbed our wallets/money and just put them in jacket zipper pockets. But we also didn't bring much with us. We didn't bring any extra socks or snacks either. And just to add, this was one of our favorite excursions! The guides are awesome, so much fun! And looking at ourselves, not seeing any bags, and these are the boots.
  24. Yes, like Bruce said, check the West Coast departure board... https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/315-west-coast-departures/ We stayed near Seattle Center, which is up by the Space Needle. We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton. It was a good price and we didn't need or want to be right downtown. It's easy to get down there using the monorail from the area by the Space Needle.
  25. YES!! I said that in my initial review I believe. The war room parts were much more interesting to me. The Churchill museum part was definitely backwards and hard to follow. When I walked into that part I was actually confused at first, because it started at the end of events and such. I would fully admit that I spent more time in the war rooms section over the Churchill part for sure.
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