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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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  #1  
Old June 28th, 2001, 03:59 PM
Diana Diana is offline
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Default Cruising with kids, but not during school holidays

Has anyone cruised on Royal Caribbean during a time when most kids are in school? I'm considering a cruise on Explorer January 20, 2002. My daughter is 8. Has your experience been that there are always some kids on board? I don't want to book this if there will be practically no other kids on board. My daughter loved our cruise on Voyager, but it was during spring break, and there were kids aplenty.

I'm not taking my daughter out of school, but her school has 3 alternative weeks off during the year and goes three weeks longer into the summer (bummer!). I have priced the cruise for January and it is substantially lower that I would like to consider this week.

I hope someone can share their experience on Royal Caribbean during a non-school holiday time.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old July 4th, 2001, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Not RC but on Princess the same week this year, my eight year old had a great time because there were at least 20 kids on board of varying ages.
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Old July 5th, 2001, 11:21 AM
Diana Diana is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Thanks, Sue. I'm getting the idea that there are always kids on board, no matter when you cruise. We're definitely going ahead and booking the Explorer for the end of January. We can't wait!
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Old July 5th, 2001, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

I'm the family cruise editor for CruiseMates.com. We've been on 10 family cruises with my seven year old daughter. While most have been during school holidays/vacation times, we did go on two which were not during this time period -- in early December (Costa Cruises) and early March (Princess). There were enough kids so that the youth progams on these ships were viable and my daughter had a good time. However, just be aware that there probably will be more younger kids/pre-schoolers on board than older grade school children. I think the week you're planning to go is when Martin Luther King Day falls so that perhaps there'll be more families taking advantage of the long weekend and traveling that the week. Also, the Explorer has such great kids' facilities that even if there aren't as many kids as hoped for, the kids pool area, video game room, miniature golf, etc. will keep her busy.
Have fun!
Luisa
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  #5  
Old July 5th, 2001, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Hi Diana,
We were on Explorer the last week in April and was not sure if it was still spring break time for some, but there were plenty of families/kids on board, of course all having a great time, don't think this will be a problem. BTW, the ship is awesome, we had a great time, sure you and your family will too.

Donna
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Old July 5th, 2001, 11:43 PM
Diana Diana is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

I did it! I booked the Explorer for January 19, 2002. I can't imagine we won't have a good time, but I'm hoping to see at least a handful of happy kids when we go (it's just me and my daughter). I booked a DB cabin, a corner balcony cabin. Our first balcony! We were on the Voyager April 2000 with an inside, and it was our first cruise. I guess there's no going back to an inside after Explorer!

I hope to get more advice as January gets closer, and thanks for sharing your experience with me.
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Old July 20th, 2001, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

We have already booked this cruise along with my daughter that is 9 years old and also my 11 year old son. It is great to travel when there a few less kids in the programs this time of year. We have gone the previous 3 years with our kids in Jan.
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Old July 22nd, 2001, 11:30 AM
Diana Diana is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Hi Barb.

I'm glad to hear there will be other kids on our cruise! I'm probably going to become a cruise addict. No vacation has compared to our Voyager cruise. The Explorer seemed the next logical step.

It will just be my daughter and myself, and cruising seems to be the best way to keep us both happy - she can be as active as she likes and I get a lot of down time and relaxing.

Keep in touch. Perhaps we can arrange to meet on board as January gets closer.
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Old July 23rd, 2001, 10:47 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

How old will your daughter be in Jan. My daughter will be 10 years old by the time we leave. I'm sure whatever age she is they would have a fun time together. They always have alot of fun at the pool. Will she taking part in alot of the kids actitivies on board ship?
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Old July 24th, 2001, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Liz will be a few weeks shy of her 9th birthday in January. I told her I'd see if she could go to the "9-12" group for kids activities.

On Voyager she loved the organized activities. We spent a lot of time at the pools and I would check her into Adventure Ocean for a three hour slot in the afternoon or evening once a day. She even asked for the extra time at night once (10-midnight) for one of their pajama parties. Liz is really looking forward to climbing the big rock wall, too.

We're both looking forward to the change of weather on this vacation. We usually travel in the spring. I hope Chicago has a great blizzard, after we leave for Miami, of course!
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  #11  
Old July 24th, 2001, 06:21 PM
Barb Barb is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

We live in northern WI and also will love getting out of the snow. We have a flight out of Minneapolis to St. Louis then on to Ft. Lauderdale. We are going on the 17th because we always like to be there early. Do you know if there is a waterslide on the ship? We usually go on Carnival and they have a great one that the kids loved.
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  #12  
Old July 24th, 2001, 10:26 PM
Diana Diana is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

I don't know if it compares to Carnival's slide, but Explorer does have a "tube" slide. Go to the following site: http://www.lastcallcruises.com/home.htm

Then click on: Check out Voyager/Explorer of the Seas

There are a lot of pictures of Explorer. There is one picture of "Adventure Beach for the Kids" which shows the water slide tube (not a real good angle), but it'll give you an idea. You climb up inside a tower and the slide splashes down in a small pool.

When we were on Voyager, Liz enjoyed the slide, but had more fun in one of the regular pools.

We'll be flying in on the 18th, I haven't booked the flight yet - either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale depending on which is the best rate. I'm still checking out hotels (I'm open to suggestions) and hope to have the flight and hotel arranged for pretty soon.
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Old July 24th, 2001, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

We have stayed the last 2 times at the Doubletree by the Miami airport. It was an ok hotel but nothing to do and it was very expensive to go anywhere by taxi. I did not like Miami. We don't know where we are going to stay in Ft. Lauderdale yet. I really need to start looking. I may get brave and try priceline. Have you ever used it? We have already rented a car and will drop it off at the port. Then when we fly back home we fly out of Miami.
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Old July 25th, 2001, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

I'm curious about vacationing while school is in session. Do you just tell your kids' teachers in advance that they will be out? What kind of reactions have you gotten?

Thanks,

Carpooler
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  #15  
Old July 25th, 2001, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

It is really nice to vacation when school is in session because there are less kids in the actitivies and I feel they get more attention from the kids program teachers. We always let the teachers know 2 weeks in advance that we are going. Most of the time they have them makeup their work when they get home. Sometimes they won't even have them do the work instead they may have to write a report and present it to the class. Our kids are in 3rd and 5th grade.
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Old July 25th, 2001, 06:21 PM
Sara Sara is offline
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

We are taking our 2 kids out of school in October for a week on the Sea Princess. We typically tell their teachers well in advance of the vacation and then get a homework packet ahead of time. I like to finish the homework before leaving on the trip. Some people do the homework while on the airplane.

Teachers and schools are usually cooperative with the vacation schedules. They get $$ for each student in school (and no $$ for a student absent for illness). They will get $$ for students who are on scheduled vacations as long as the teacher gives the parent/student a homework package. In CA, this qualifies the school to recieve the state funds for the pupil for those days, so the teachers have been fine with us taking the kids out on mid-semester vacations. Check with your own school district for their policy. Bottem line, they can't forbid you to go! They may have a cap on the number of days that a student can miss in a school year but its usually around 20 school days and most family vacations won't exceed that. Good luck and have a great vacation. The experiences your family will have on vacation will be more educational than those days in a classroom anyway!
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  #17  
Old July 31st, 2001, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Cruising with kids, but not during school holi

Glad to hear that you all have had positive experiences with cruising with your children during non-holiday periods. We never have negative reactions when we tell my daughter's teachers that she'll be out a week for a cruise. However, she is only entering third grade. Last year the principal of her school even said that he feels that such travel is a great learning experience. He added, however, that as she gets older it will be harder to pull her out for a week due to all the work she will miss (and all the catch up work she'll have to do upon return). We always request her homework before so that we can do a lot of it on the plane. I find it too depressing to save until after the trip -- after a great week, who wants to be pressuring their child to do hours of homework each night?
Thanks for sharing your cruise experiences.
Regards,
Luisa
CruiseMates.com Family Cruise Editor
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