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

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Old August 17th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Default A few infant and teenager travel questions (please help)

I had this all typed up but had computer issues...so trying again. It's been a couple of years since we logged on and took our old cruises, this is first with the baby.

1. Cabins. We booked an interior cabin for my husband and two boys ages 13 and 15. We booked a balcony for myself, 21 month old daughter and 16 year old daughter. We were told this was for booking purposes only to show an adult in each cabin and once onboard we can have it switched to have myself, husband and infant in the balcony room....and the teens across the hall in the interior. Has anyone done this? Is it just simple or do we need to expect problems once on board?

2. Cribs. We reserved a portacrib for the balcony cabin. Is there an additional charge for this?

3. Immunizations. I was planning to bring current immunization records for the 21 month old, better safe than sorry. Is this required?

4. Non-traveling parent letters - I had been told that when traveling to Mexico you have to have a letter for the child to travel with you if both parents are not traveling. This is not an issue for my 16 year daughter as we share joint custody and my ex is writing me a notarized letter to take with me and I will bring my divorce decree. For the two teen boys, I have full sole custody and we don't even know how to contact their dad. I am planning to bring my divorce decree to show I have sole custody. Will that be sufficient?

5. Excursions. We'll be on Carnival Glory for 7 days. We are trying to do things the teens will like and that we can keep an eye on and play with the baby. In Cozumel we were planning to take a van to Chankanaab park. In Costa Maya just hang out at the pool at the port. In Nassau take the Atlantis Hotel tour of the aquarium and the harbour tour. Then in Belize do a beach break if we all go or cave tubing if in-laws decide to stay onboard and take the baby for the day.

I am a worry wart and try to ensure we have everything thought out, so if you all think of something I haven't please comment on that as well.

thanks
Lynn and Rob
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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relax, take a deep breath, you have just about everything under control.
1. Once you board just go to the pursers desk and have your sign and sail cards changed- put a spending limit on the kids cards.
2. Call Carnival or your Travel Agent and ask
3. Have not heard of any immunization record requirements for infants.If it would make you feel better, pack them.
4. You are correct that you will need the notarized letter of consent to travel from a custodial non-traveling parent. I am not sure if you would also need a consent letter for medical treatment from the father, this letter does not need to be notarized, might be a good idea. Bring a certified copy of your divorce decree to show that you have sole custody of your boys.
5. Sounds good
6. Passports if you are traveling after 12/31/06.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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thanks for the quick response!

I called travel agent, they didn't know either about crib. They called and Carnival said "no charge" so that's good. Other than that, sounds like i'm covered. Oh and yes the letter does need to include permission for medical treatment, but we had already included that. We are sailing before Christmas so we're good on the passport issue. Woo hoo now i'm ready to go

thanks
Lynn
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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By the way... we've never allowed the kids to have a sail and sign card. What are the advantages to that? We just always felt the ship wasn't so big that they couldn't find us if they really needed something. We get them the soda card for drinks, but just felt if they lost that sail and sign card it would be a pain. I hadn't really thought of any advantages to allowing them to sign for stuff. Do most of you allow your kids to have their own?

thanks
Lynn
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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On our recent cruise first thing we got was the soda card for my 14yo also bought the red souvenir cup, he carried it all over the ship. We did not give him a sign and sail card although on the 4th day he asked if we could put some money on it and we asked why he said " for the candy shop" So as not to get him used to using for lack of a better word "credit cards" we said no. I don't see a reason for a teen to have signing priveledges if they get the soda card.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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the main reason the teens get the sign and sail card is that it is your stateroom key. Do you want to have your teens trying to hunt you down all over the ship everytime they want to go back to the stateroom for something? You can make it just the room key if you want to.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:22 PM
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I agree I dont' want my teens having access to sign for anything but more out of concern if it was lost or stolen, I like the idea of it being just a room key. thanks for the info

Lynn
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Old August 24th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Lynn:
Just an fyi...we were in Cozumel last month and Chankanaab was still closed due to damage from the hurricane a year ago.

Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old August 25th, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Hi Luisa,
Thanks for the info. Was the whole park closed or just the extra things to do? i've read some posts that stated the beach area was open but all the extra places within the park were still closed. I'll probably call right before we go and if the majority is still closed, we'll likely just go shop or do a beach break or something.

thanks again
Lynn
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Old August 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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I don't recall the S&S card being the room key. we received seperate cards with holes in it as a room key. The only thing the S&S card was used for for the kids was getting on and off the boat and as a soda card for my oldest. of course it managed to help me spend $836 on board!
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 10:07 PM
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I'm 17 and my dad has always made it that me and my brother can sign for things if we want them instead of carrying around cash which is worse if it gets lost. We know that we can spend exorbetent amounts of money but some candy or a souviner here or there was ok. Its usually a hassle to have to search all around the ship to find a parent to ask for something, as my dad soon learned. I believe that with the age your teens are that they should be responsible enough to know the importance of the card and not lose them. And if worst comes to worst the customer service type people (cant remember the official name) can deactivate that card and issue another one.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 01:24 AM
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I don't know about the park that you are talking about in Cozumel but we went to Xcaret when we were there and we strongly recommend it to everyone. It was recommended to us by a couple of older travellers who thought it was the best. We took our two boys who were 1 and 3 at the time and had a fabulous day. It is a nature park with some animals and beautiful greenery. It also has a gorgeous beach on a lagoon that is ideal for young and old. It is very sheltered and crystal clear. There are dolphins on one side of the lagoon and they put on a show. There is also an underground river that you can float along. You get life vests at the top end and leave all of your bags there. Your belongings are taken to the other end on a donkey cart and you collect them at then end. They had life vests for our children as well (plenty small enough for a one year old).

The only caveat to all of this is that, if you take a ferry from the island where Cozumel is, to the mainland, the passage is very often quite rough. If you are lucky enough to get the catamaran, it is an easy ride but, if you get the boat (as we did on the morning crossing), there were a lot (1/3 of the passengers) who got seasick, including my one year old. If you decide to do a mainland tour, just remember to dose up with Dramamine early enough that you won't feel the effects on the ferry ride.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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UPDATE back from cruise:

1. We didn't need the letters for non-custodial parents, never even mentioned them.

2. We allowed kids their own sail and sign card. My 17 year old daughter left hers in the dining room once but got it back, my 15 year old lost his once (my daughter picked it up by accident), he also had his soda card go overboard, but all in all it worked out okay, although the 13 year old ran up a bill for internet not realizing how long he was using it.

3. cribs was no extra cost

4. excursions - shopped in cozumel, xunantunich in belize, beach in costa maya and discover atlantis in nassau

5. Cabins - no problem switching at all. we booked two with an adult in each once onboard we went to pursers desk and they switched my spouse and my daughter so that we had me, him and baby in one room and teens across the hall in their cabin. their cabin was secured with my husbands credit card for his and their purchases...our cabin was secured with my credit card for me and my daughters purchases. We were issued room keys at embarkation so purser had to switch the two cards to fit the right rooms too but it only took a few minutes.

Had Fun!
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