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Old February 10th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Default First timers, with kids, advice??

Hi. We are first time cruisers, with children ages 16 and 10. Going on a 3 day Bahama cruise in April 2004. Besides the fact that the tipping dilemma has me spinning, we are super excited to go! Any advice from past cruisers with pre-teen/teen boys?? Is a 10 year old safe exploring a bit on his own? We plan to bring walkie-talkies. Any fun ideas for Nassau for the day we are there? What's up with the "soda-card"? I take it pop is NOT included???!!! Is it worth purchasing them? What is the best or funnest thing you've done with your kids on a cruise and would definitely recommend? Thanks!!! Happy Cruising from Michigan!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 10th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

When you say that tipping is a dilemma I hope that you still plan to tip. If you go out to eat at a nice restaurant or someone helps you with your bags at the airport, you are expected to tip. The only earnings that tipped crew members get is from tips, RCI doesn't pay them anything besides free room and board, so I hope you keep that in mind when you receive the excellent service that you will receive. I have a two year old and my father thought I shouldn't tip the full amount for her. But she resulted in just as much labor if not more for the crew, so why shouldn't I have tipped the full amount for her?

There are plenty of activities on board and with the Ocean Adventure program you might not even see your kids for much of the cruise. The parents I talked to on the Serenade said that their kids were having a great time. Soda is not included as part of the free beverages, but you can get juice, milk, lemonade or iced tea. I hope that you have a great cruise.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

the ship should be ok, but keep a good eye on them on the islands!
have fun
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 10th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

I remember for your younger boy(10 year old), that they have a sign in. This can require parents to sign in and out their children. There is an option, that you can sign a waiver to allow your child to leave when ever they want.
The soda- card is an option, you can purchase at a bar. for $4.00 a day(for anyone under 18) and $6.00 a day (for anyone 18 and over). It allows unlimited fountain soda and bottled juice at bars and dinning room and RCI private island.
What we did on Soverign at Nassau was go to Atlantis resort. We rented a room at Comfort Suites and spent a day at Atlantis enjoying the facilities.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25
Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

Thanks for the tips and advice. I do plan to tip, for sure, it's just that everything I read has different amounts, different advice, people for it, people against it......YIKES! I don't want to gyp anyone, but I also don't want to just throw money away. I usually tip what someone would probably consider "average" unless someone really provides me with superior service.

The RCI book we received with our cruise info. said guidelines were per person, per day (so for 4 of us) $3.50 for head waiter, $3.50 for cabin attendant, $2.00 for assistant waiter. I figured off that at $36.00 per day for the 3 day cruise. Does that sound about right??? Who else do you tip? The bar gets automatic 15%, right? That's what I meant by the "tipping dilemma".

We are really looking forward to it! 8 weeks and counting!
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Old February 24th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

Do the adults on their romantic cruise vacation and have your children obey the "no Children Please" signs. Childless couples don't know how to relax in an "Adults Only" hot tub or pool area when other adults are allowing their children in also.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: First timers, with kids, advice??

Just got back from a cruise on the Enchantment, my first on Royal Caribbean.

Tips are easy: The last day at sea you have the option to add the suggested tips for the head waiter, waiter, assistant waiter and cabin steward onto your credit card.
You fill out a form & drop it off at the dining room. They give you a booklet of coupons. Each coupon is labeled "For my waiter," etc.
You put the coupon in an envelope [we added extra $$ for the best ones!] and hand it to the appropriate person.
He/she then cashes it in with the cruise line.
There were 2 of us on the 5-day cruise, and the suggested tips came to just under $100 total. We added $5 to head waiter, $15 to waiter, $10 to assistant waiter.

Soda cards: My husband got one, $30 for the 5 days. When we purchased the soda card, there was a gratuity added to the purchase price. I think it was about 15 percent.
So when he ordered soda at a bar, show, casino, he did not tip.

When you order alcoholic beverages at those places, a tip is added in to your bill automatically.
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