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

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 14th, 2004, 07:09 AM
goin2alaska
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Default Surprising Kids with Cruise

We are planning a family cruise to Alaska in May 2005 on Serenade of the Seas. Right now it includes my husband and I, my mom, my inlaws and a couple of their firends. Needless to say with all the cruise planning talk going on my children (9 and 12) are VERY bummed they are 'staying here with other relatives'.

The kids are actually going and our plan is for it to be part of their Christmas present. They have sailed before on the Rhapsody so they already know what fun we'll have.

My question is has anyone surprised their kids before with a big trip and if so how did you do it? Or, I'm sure there are some VERY creative parents out there with wonderful suggestions on how to do this. We figured their gifts could include stuff they might need (warm clothes, binoculars, etc).

They will obviously be surprised no matter what but I'd like to make it special.

Thanks so much for your help!

Goin2Alaska

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Old October 14th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

I did it with a scavenger hunt once. Each clue led to a present which had something to do with the trip with the last one being a coupon for the trip itself (we didn't have the tickets yet). Good luck and have a great time.

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Old October 14th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

fill a goody-bag or stocking with wrapped travel sized toiletries, they should be able to get an inkling after unwrapping toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc. put a bottle of sunscreen in the bag, a disposable camera, a stuffed polar bear, and on the very, very bottom of the bag a card or something that explains it all.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

If only I had so much will power. Our cruise started out as a surprise to our four children for Christmas. That lasted about two months and I just had to tell them. I'm sorry about the surprise but it's been great to see their building excitement. I am surprising them with a limo ride and possibly a dolphin swim.

Paula
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Old October 15th, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Paula

We surprised our kids with the limo ride. Make sure you have a camera ready for the look on their faces when they realize they're riding to the airport in a limo! It's priceless. Also, if you can, do the dolphin swim. We did it in the Bahamas two years ago and the kids are still watching the video and talking about it. It's one of the best excursions we've ever done.

Darcy

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Old October 15th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Thanks Darcy I keep telling myself the dolphin swim will be worth it but it's so expensive. I do hope I can swing it. I know my kids will love the limo and be so surprised. We live on a pretty tight budget and they will never suspect a thing. Glad to know it worked for someone else.

Paula
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Old October 15th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

We also surprised our children with a scavenger hunt with messages left in tubes. They had an absolute ball running around my in-laws house trying to find the next clue. The reveal was when the were lead to a certificate that we made on the computer that stated they were cordially invited to...........for ........days with sights to include and so on. The kept the clue containers in their keepsake boxes and still....3 years later... have their certificates on their walls.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

I like the scavenger hunt idea - each gift leads to another - with the final gift (a little plastic ship, maybe with the info about the sailing date, etc.) in the FREEZER!!

Sounds like a wonderful gift. What a great set of parents you are!

dorothy

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Old October 18th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Another thing we have done is to let relatives (grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc) know what we are doing so they can give the kids money for birthdays and christmas. I have my kids use this for their spending money on the cruise (or other vacation). This helps to eliminate them wanting to buy everything they see. It's amazing what great shoppers they become when it's their own money!

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Old October 18th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

WOW!! I knew there are some creative parents out there!! I love the ship in the freezer!! My friend also came up with a clue about "seeing something" and the surprise they find are their own small pair of binoculars. I also saw Land's End has an orange backpack with a whale embroidered on it which would be perfect for my 9 year old to pack his own "goodies".

I keep repeating...I HAVE willpower...I CAN keep a secret...I am an ADULT!! It's so hard especially when someone says something about the cruise and their "puppy eyes" that they aren't going! 2 months; 1 week until Christmas... I CAN MAKE IT!!

You all are AWESOME!!

Goin2Alaska (with the kids) WOOHOO!!
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Old November 29th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

if you are planning any of the excursions find out from your cruiseline what outside company is the operator. we did our alaska cruise in august-the major company (temsco) that handled the bulk of the excursions sells a video/dvd that gives a great overview of several of the excursions (we bought one so our family back home could see what our glacier helecopter ride was like). you could order one and put it under the tree in an unlabled package-have the kids pop it in to see what's on it-then as they watch it tell them you thought they might like to have a sneak preview of what they would be seeing 'IN ALASKA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

Have a great time (and take lots of photos)-everyone will be awed by the experience (in fact my daughter (10) was trying to convince us to jump ship and stay "forever".
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Old November 29th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

We've done it several times - the first was a scavenger hunt through our house for the Disney Cruise for the Millennium... they loved the running up and down stairs, leading them from room to room until they got to the "final gift".

The next year we hid clues about our trip to Hawaii, same way.

3 years ago and again last year - same method - trips to Playa del Carmen to an all-inclusive.

This year - we'll be hiding clues to lead to puzzle pieces which will, when put together, be a picture of the Carnival Legend - we're taking our kids (now 13 and 9) on a cruise.

Can't wait!
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

I'm so jealous! I didn't even think about how much fun that would be to plan so it's too late for me - the kids already know about their cruise in Jan 06. I wish I would have seen this earlier, it would have made for a fun Christmas surprise!

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Old November 30th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

My first cruise was a surprise from my parents. They were talking about going on one in January and just leaving me with my god-parents for the week because it was going to be in the middle of January and school was going to be going on. We were at my uncles for Christmas diner. My ucnle had been on the Norway 7 times and he had a little model and then all of a sudden my dad asks "Which cabin is ours Michael?" I started freaking out. I was going on a cruise in the middle of January in the caribbean and my friends would be so jelous cause i would have a nice tan and they wouldn't. That has been the best cruise that i have gone on yet.
Jenna
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Old December 1st, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

We did not tell the kids where we were going on Spring Break. At the airport we met friends so the kids thought they were going South to San Juan to spend a couple days with friends. When we got to San Juan then they found out it was a cruise we were all taking. Our code name when talking to the other adults planning this was Operation PAX. It was fun to see the look of mouth dropping to the floor at the airport. They could not believe we kept it a secreat fro months.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 01:11 PM
Bill & Family in Chic
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

We did it! Last night the kids got their "big gift". A clue hunt including words - such as "passport", "island", "port", "OHare"... and puzzle pieces that when put together showed the ship along with the islands we're visiting...

They were SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! My daughter (9) is bouncing off the walls anxious to go... we'll soon be counting the days until March 27!...
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Old December 16th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

That's great! What a nice effort you put into doing a clue hunt -- the kids will always remember that!
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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Old December 21st, 2004, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

GOOD JOB
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Update...


My kids are watching the calendar like a hawk - Passports are here, and we're talking up the trip... Here we go!!!!!!
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Old February 24th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Bet they can't wait! Have you planned any shore excursions?

dorothy

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Old March 1st, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Surprising Kids with Cruise

Dorothy -
Just got the details from our TA - our GTY cabin is on the Panorama deck of the Legend, almost midship... cant wait to see the look on the kids' faces when they see it!

As for excursions, we've posted up looking for suggestions. none booked yet, but I think we'll do that this weekend - I'd rather pay a bit more and book thru Carnival and not worry about it...
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