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Old December 15th, 2006, 01:53 AM
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Default Tips for traveling with 6 kids?

We are taking our six children, ages 21, 18, 13, 11, 8 and 4 on Ecstasy in January. I've been spending HOURS on these message boards, but if anyone has any great suggestions, I'm open...REALLY open! It's going to be a surprise for them.
Thanks,
Margaret
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Old December 15th, 2006, 08:03 PM
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Hi lifeisschool,

What a wonderful surprise for your children!

I don't know if these are great suggestions, but here goes!

The youngest (4, 8, 11, and 13) will love Camp Carnival. Be sure to go the meeting on the first day and sign them up. From what I've heard, you'll have to drag them out to be with you ! Here's the link to Camp Carnival if you haven't already found it:

http://www.carnival.com/CMS/FAQs/Cam...l_Program.aspx

Of course the 21 year old can do anything he/she wants (within your limits, of course!). If she/he is going to be in the bars, remind her/him to never leave their drink unattended (even soda). If they get up to dance they should order another drink and toss the one they left on the table.

Your only "problem" may be the 18 year old. Too old for Camp Carnival and too young for the adult "stuff". I think children of this age will find each other and just "hang out".

I'd suggest you have a "check in" time every couple of hours for the four oldest children. (After age 9 they can check themselves out of Camp Carnival.)

You can also buy or rent walkie-talkies to keep in touch.

IMO, I'd have them join you for dinner a couple of times, but otherwise let them do their own thing and enjoy some quiet time with your spouse!

I hope you all have a wonderful cruise!
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:51 AM
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Thanks, Fern, for all your GREAT advice! We have already purchased 2-way radios. From Christmas day to the day we leave for the cruise, we're going to let them open a gift/clue to see if they can figure out what and where we're going. I'm so excited about this!

Quote:
IMO, I'd have them join you for dinner a couple of times, but otherwise let them do their own thing and enjoy some quiet time with your spouse!
We homeschool our kids...love 'em to pieces...but what a concept, quiet time with dh! I've almost forgotten what that's like!

Thanks, again, Fern. Anything more you can think of, please post.

Margaret
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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We had our daughter with us on our last 2 cruises..... When she was underage it was easy for her to get the drinks, either herself or from some new friends....
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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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Margaret,

I'm sure all your kids will have a grand time...as someone mentioned here, put the younger 4 in Camp Carnival and they'll never want to leave.

Make sure you look at the daily newspaper every night so you can see what the next day's activities are. If you've never been, the art auctions and trivia games are fun. Carnival usually has good evening entertainment too (and definitely attend the Not So Newlywed game).

On the shore excursions, in Cozumel I suggest the dolphin swim at Chankanaab Marine Park...it's a bit pricey but an experience they're remember all their lives. If you're on the 5 day cruise, I hear about the only thing worth doing in Progresso is to do the shore trip to Chitzen Itza.

Too bad you didn't get a 7 day cruise, but I'm sure you'll book another as soon as you can...

Dana
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Old December 18th, 2006, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob M
We had our daughter with us on our last 2 cruises..... When she was underage it was easy for her to get the drinks, either herself or from some new friends....
Thanks, Bob, for the "head's up".
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Old December 18th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danacline
Too bad you didn't get a 7 day cruise, but I'm sure you'll book another as soon as you can...
Dana,

I know...I wish, but the 5-day was more in the budget for 8 of us! It's been 9 years since dh and I were on a cruise (RCCL to Alaska), and I've been salivating ever since...and having a couple more babies! So, I think your right...I'm going to be on a cruising roll after this. It's the way to go!

Margaret
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Old December 18th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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I don't know Margaret, too much alone time with hubby and the next years post from you may be asking about taking an infant on board
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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Cozzette1,
I did figure THAT one out! Last baby was a c-section and dr. assured me that he tied those tubes in double knots!
M
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Old December 19th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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How many cabins did you have to book and did they let your kids stay in rooms by themselves?
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Old December 19th, 2006, 02:20 PM
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Margaret,

Yes, I understand how kids strain the cruising budget...we have 4 but one moved off already. That's why we book inside cabins, and try to find the best deals we can...

Dana
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Old December 19th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Tips for traveling with 6 kids: 1/2 dozen rolls of duct tape, sorry couldn't help myself.

I am from a family of 6 and I just couldn't imagine all 6 of us on a cruise at once; heck, we are all grown now and I still couldn't imagine all six of us on a cruise at once..... I hope yours are like my siblings .
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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret
...dr. assured me that he tied those tubes in double knots!
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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisschool
Cozzette1,
I did figure THAT one out! Last baby was a c-section and dr. assured me that he tied those tubes in double knots!
M
This is the true story of the pregnancies of the sister of a co-worker:

1st son... heat of passion
2nd son... while using profilactic
3rd son... while using IUD
4th son... while using the pill
5th and 6th sons... after the tubaligation!

Next trip was to the lawyer's office!

It happens!
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstill
How many cabins did you have to book and did they let your kids stay in rooms by themselves?
mstill,
We went the super-duper budget way...1 cabin for the boys, 1 cabin for the girls! Otherwise it would have cost us 33% more to have three cabins. Thought I could spend the $1K elsewhere since we only plan on sleeping in the cabins! That alone time with hubby that Cozzette1 was talking about? Well, we'll either have to get creative or plan another cruise for ONLY two in the very near future!
Margaret
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Rhapsody of the Seas - long ago, in a galaxy far away!
Ecstasy - Jan. 2007
Conquest - Sept. 2007 cruisemates 4Bs
Ecstasy - Jan. 2008
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Yes, creative is good I hope you guys have a blast and time spent with the fam is so precious and the memories will last forever. A cruise just for the two of you [ soon ] really cements your relationship as a couple. We try to do a family trip one year and a couple trip the next. My parents married 52 years swore by date night and couple alone trips. I am so thankful that they took the time needed to stay strong as a couple because it gave me parents that stayed together for the lenth of their lives. Have a blast!!!!
Cozzette1
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Tips for traveling with 6 kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisschool
We are taking our six children, ages 21, 18, 13, 11, 8 and 4 on Ecstasy in January. I've been spending HOURS on these message boards, but if anyone has any great suggestions, I'm open...REALLY open! It's going to be a surprise for them.
Thanks,
Margaret

Margaret....

What Islands are you going to visit?

Definitely go to the Meet & Greet Camp Carnival the 1st night on board the ship. You will meet the Camp Counselors, find out what activities they plan for the week and the kids will meet other kids their age. It's great for the 11 & 13 year old as well as they will be allowed to sign themselves in & out whenever they want to.

Let the kids know where you will be and have them check in at a certain time.

Either take their signing privilege away (which you can do upon check-in) or let them know what they can and can't charge on their Sign N Sail card... A soda card might be a really good idea or even better, pack your own soda or juice... (we pack a minimun of four 12 packs in our suitcase, in a plastic garbage bag and have never had a problem).

I can't really help you with the two older ones so maybe someone else can help there.

We also always insist that our kids be with us at dinnertime and at each port, we are a family, no going off in different directions.

Again, let me know what Islands you'll be visiting and I'll see if I can help you there with things to do etc...




03/31/2007 Carnival Liberty Eastern Caribbean
07/10/2006 Carnival Fascination Key West & Cozumel
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Heavy drugs...............Yes yes, HEAVY DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, have a great time. You want another " kid " to tag along? I dont eat much and im potty trained.



Tim
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Old December 25th, 2006, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimRuth
Heavy drugs...............Yes yes, HEAVY DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, have a great time. You want another " kid " to tag along? I dont eat much and im potty trained.



Tim
TimRuth,
"Eight is Enough"...oh, yeah, that was a TV show...ok then, if you're potty-trained; since you can eat all you want on the cruise I won't worry about that part!
See you on Jan. 8th on the Ecstasy?!?
Margaret
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Old December 25th, 2006, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
What Islands are you going to visit?
Elaine,
We will be visiting Cozumel and Progreso. We don't plan on buying shore excursions through Carnival. My hubby is very fluent in Spanish and I'd like to rent a van and do some things on our own. Any suggestions? Thanks for all your other suggestions!
Margaret
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Conquest - Sept. 2007 cruisemates 4Bs
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Old December 25th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Margaret,

We NEVER book tours with the cruise line.... Way too expenisve...

I like your husbands idea....when you get off the ship, there will be hundreds of cab drivers with vans (extended ones too!!) that you can negotiate a price to take you on a tour of the Island. As long as you use the ones right in the pier area, they are very safe and are very good tour guides, with most of them born and raised there. You can also email

janiecoz@yahoo.com and ask if Gabby is available to take you on the tour.. He is highly recommended and their price is very good and they can accomodate up to 10 people (even if they have to get a 2nd van/car). This might be a good idea because you will have already negotiated a price in advance and also have someone waiting for you upon your arrival in Cozumel.

Another suggestion for Cozumel is to take a van over to the beach. We went to Paradise Beach and loved it.. While you will have to "buy" an armband for the kids to use all the water facilities....it was well worth it...they were busy and happy from the time we got ther to the time we left. Also, the menu prices were not high and the food was very good.

http://www.paradise-beach-cozumel.com
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Old December 29th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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[color=red]Doin' the DOC dance! WOO HOO! - kiddo's have all guessed and we're excited!
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Ecstasy - Jan. 2007
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Old December 29th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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I'd offer to dance with you, but with that many feet on the dancefloor, I'm afraid my feet would get stepped on!

WooHoo! I know how excited you and your family must be. Get those suitcases out and get packing!
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Old January 17th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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UPDATE???????????????

HOW DID IT GO????????????????

WHAT DID YOU DO?????????????????????

ETC ETC ETC!!!!
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:30 AM
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We had a WONDERFUL time, however we're ALL sick right now , so I will update everyone and post pics in a few days!
Margaret
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Old January 21st, 2007, 08:53 PM
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Yikes, Margaret ,

All of you sick at once ! I'm so sorry to hear this and hope you all feel better soon.

Looking forward to your review when you feel better!
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