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Old 04-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #1246
happy_momma
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Well, I guess my theory that late dining was over-booked is wrong....

Glad you got early dining!!!

I really am glad now they switched us to early dining. Honestly, when we booked late dining 1 1/2 years ago when we booked this cruise, what we'd do at each port wasn't even on my radar yet, but I just knew all the boarding times at most ports was after early dining started, which is why I booked late dining originally. We didn't plan out each port until about a month ago, and so now knowing we have early dining, it just works a lot better since we have so many early mornings (also, just in general, I prefer early dining... we've had late dining before, and I don't like going to bed with a totally full stomach, so at least early dining allows the food to settle before we go to bed).

Thanks, I'm glad too! Initially I was worried about it, then just figured we would go with it and make the best of it. It's definitely better for us though. It does seem odd that they are moving people out of late dining when they initially seemed to have no room left in main dining.

LovesToRun - I read your posts about how you are planning to balance your port days. My thinking is very similar...kids are 17 and 6, and I've been trying to figure out how to keep everyone happy. We, too are planning a few port intensive days, with lots of history (Rome, Ephesus), balanced with some really laid back port days where we just do our own thing and explore what the kids want and go back to the ship when they are tired. I know they would be bored to tears if I drag them through church after church and it is their vacation too. :-)

Since I've been doing all of the planning and homework, we're going to have an evening dedicated to each port before the trip where I'll tell them all I've learned, watch some videos - maybe even some themed food from the different countries for supper that night. I figure that if everyone knows what is ahead of us, and some of they history behind it, that they will appreciate it more when we go. Plus it will help us all get even more excited.

We took them to NYC last summer, and it was very hot on the day we went to the 9/11 Memorial. We left there and went on the Staten Island ferry to get a look at the Statue of Liberty. I was showing my then 5-year-old where to go to get a look at the statue, and he looks at me and says, "Mom, you know I don't really care about any of this, right?" We ended up getting off of the boat and going straight to McDonald's, of all places, for ice cream. The funny thing is that now whenever we talk about New York, or he sees anything on tv about the Statue of Liberty, he gets all excited and talks about how he saw that. Even though we were all cranky and hot at the time, it's one of the stories we talk most about from that trip. I expect we'll have some similar stories after our cruise.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:36 PM   #1247
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Thank you everyone for your responses and input on the FE and SM.

I have just closed off the sign up sheet for the FE on page 1, post #4. At the moment we have exactly 25 people signed up for the FE so I am going to limit the group to that. If we get a rush of more people interested I can make a second group.

If anyone is still interested in signing up for the Secret Mickeys please let me know, I can still take names for this till April 24th and I will let everyone know their names the weekend after.
Hi Eleblanc, I also think it's important for everyone on the current FE list to confirm they are still participating. We all signed up for this many months ago and some people might have dropped the cruise or changed their minds.

thanks, ellen
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:42 PM   #1248
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Hi Eleblanc, I also think it's important for everyone on the current FE list to confirm they are still participating. We all signed up for this many months ago and some people might have dropped the cruise or changed their minds.

thanks, ellen
i agree with ellen....there is at least one on the list that says "maybe" FE....we should confirm not that the list is closed......

karen
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #1249
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We are definitely on for FE, if you are looking for confirmation . . .

As for early vs. late dining, we wanted early because so many of the Med ports require getting off the ship early in the AM to have a full day of touring, and late dinner really gets you in bed late. I agree that when we did a Med cruise in 2007, even for Rome, which was our latest night, our server insisted we come to dinner in the main dining room even if we were significantly late, so that really is an option. After a tiring day at a major European port, it is so nice to sit down and have the server take care of you (and often know what you want even before you have to order it!).
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:58 PM   #1250
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Originally Posted by happy_momma View Post
LovesToRun - I read your posts about how you are planning to balance your port days. My thinking is very similar...kids are 17 and 6, and I've been trying to figure out how to keep everyone happy. We, too are planning a few port intensive days, with lots of history (Rome, Ephesus), balanced with some really laid back port days where we just do our own thing and explore what the kids want and go back to the ship when they are tired. I know they would be bored to tears if I drag them through church after church and it is their vacation too. :-)

Since I've been doing all of the planning and homework, we're going to have an evening dedicated to each port before the trip where I'll tell them all I've learned, watch some videos - maybe even some themed food from the different countries for supper that night. I figure that if everyone knows what is ahead of us, and some of they history behind it, that they will appreciate it more when we go. Plus it will help us all get even more excited.

We took them to NYC last summer, and it was very hot on the day we went to the 9/11 Memorial. We left there and went on the Staten Island ferry to get a look at the Statue of Liberty. I was showing my then 5-year-old where to go to get a look at the statue, and he looks at me and says, "Mom, you know I don't really care about any of this, right?" We ended up getting off of the boat and going straight to McDonald's, of all places, for ice cream. The funny thing is that now whenever we talk about New York, or he sees anything on tv about the Statue of Liberty, he gets all excited and talks about how he saw that. Even though we were all cranky and hot at the time, it's one of the stories we talk most about from that trip. I expect we'll have some similar stories after our cruise.
I think that is so smart to spend time before the trip to talk about each port/city with the kids, watch videos, explore the food, etc. We have been doing the same thing here.... it is really international here in Seattle, and we have lots of ethnic food restaurants around. So, we are going to start going out to Greek, Turkish, French and Italian restaurants to experience the cuisine (well, we already have our favorite Italian restaurants, but we'll be finding some good Greek, Turkish and French restaurants).

It's funny how kids are, too. They really are little "sponges", but don't always admit it, or realize it. My kids do the same thing.... they may not seem as interested in something, but later on, it will come out somehow about how they had a certain experience, or visited a certain place, etc, and be excited about the experience that at the time they didn't seem as interested in. I'm sure there will be times on our Med cruise where our kids will complain, but like you said, this is a vacation for our entire family, so that is why we are making sure that we are doing something at each port that the kids really want to do, too, and then it can be really enjoyable for all.

I just think this is such an amazing opportunity for all the kids who will be on our Med cruise (and adults, too!). And, after our trip, in school in their history classes, they can speak from experience when they have units relating to the history they experienced on our trip. When we went on the Panama Canal cruise Jan 2011, since they missed school, their teachers asked both our boys to keep a daily journal on the trip, and then write a report and give a presentation in their class to all the students after they got back on the Panama Canal. At first, our boys complained that they had to do all this extra work, but they ended up getting really into it, and in the end, they both learned so much from the trip on the Panama Canal and they were able to share their experience with their classes. It might be for all the kids on this Med cruise, at some point in school, they can use their actual experience in what they saw and places they visited in a report or project at school, and it'll make the project lots more fun since they experienced it first-hand.

Also, I think it'll be great for all the kids to meet, too, on the cruise... I'm sure friendships will be made.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #1251
calihannah
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We also requested to change from late to main dining because we were worried about the late hour with the kiddos (6 and 2.5). In 2011, when the kids were 4 and 6 months, we had late dining and it worked out well, but that was because we didn't get them up before 10am most of the time -- only in Rome did we have an early day with a 7am wakeup. For Alaska last summer, we intentionally switched to early dining and were SO glad for it, since we had many excursions leaving at 8am or earlier. So we're happy with the early time this cruise, though I can totally see the advantage of calmer, quieter late dining, too
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:58 PM   #1252
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LTR - I was initially livid and was ready to cancel only November 2014 cruise but when I really looked at it the only time we will not be back on the ship at 6(so could make dinner by about 6:20) was La Spezia. We would only take a max of about 1:20 at dinner so we would be out by 7:40 giving them enough time to turn for the next sitting.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #1253
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Definitely in for the FE here too. Not doing the other one (secret Mickey??).
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #1254
mom3bellasorella
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Hello fellow med travelers! Getting really excited for this trip. We are on roll-call but not doing FE. We just got off Fantasy and needed a whole extra suitcase for them which will be too hard to bring on this trip

I have three DD, 8,11 and 14 and am looking for other cruisers with kids in these age groups. Especially for my DD 14. Was hoping to get her in contact with a few girls her age on this trip. We did that for Fantasy and they all had a wonderful time together. It helped them get to know each other before via email, snapchat or Instagram and then they felt more comfortable hanging out on board.

We don't have facebook and can't chat that way so email or txt works better for us. Feel free to PM me.

Can't wait! We were on the 2010 med cruise and it was wonderful. If anyone has any questions about that let me know and I would be happy to answer.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:45 PM   #1255
MrsG
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Silly question,

How can I vote for bracelet/lanyard, etc. on facebook. Is there a link???

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:48 PM   #1256
FloridaMom3461
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Silly question,

How can I vote for bracelet/lanyard, etc. on facebook. Is there a link???

Thanks
For those not members of our facebook page, it's here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/262104457209865/

This is a private group page and you request to join and I'll add you.

Right now it looks like most votes are for the wristbands - I presume it would be the disboard lime green color - all agree? I'll wait another week or so to see how the votes go.....

Randi
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #1257
happy_momma
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For those not members of our facebook page, it's here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/262104457209865/

This is a private group page and you request to join and I'll add you.

Randi

Just sent a request to be added...thanks!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #1258
MrsG
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Where have I been that I didn't know we had a facebook page??????

Now I am in the loop!
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #1259
LovesToRun
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Originally Posted by mom3bellasorella View Post
Hello fellow med travelers! Getting really excited for this trip. We are on roll-call but not doing FE. We just got off Fantasy and needed a whole extra suitcase for them which will be too hard to bring on this trip

I have three DD, 8,11 and 14 and am looking for other cruisers with kids in these age groups. Especially for my DD 14. Was hoping to get her in contact with a few girls her age on this trip. We did that for Fantasy and they all had a wonderful time together. It helped them get to know each other before via email, snapchat or Instagram and then they felt more comfortable hanging out on board.

We don't have facebook and can't chat that way so email or txt works better for us. Feel free to PM me.

Can't wait! We were on the 2010 med cruise and it was wonderful. If anyone has any questions about that let me know and I would be happy to answer.
Were you on the Fantasy last week (April 5 - 13)? If so, we were on there, too!! I did not join the cruise meet for that cruise (which is unusual for me, because I always participate in the cruise meets, and FE groups most of the time), but in all honesty, I was so consumed with planning our Med trip that I did not even think much about our Fantasy cruise until just before we were ready to go, and by then, it was too late to really join the cruise meet. So, if you were on that cruise, that is why I didn't know you were on the cruise until now. It was a super fun trip, and the weather was perfect!!!!

Yes, we normally would do the FE group for this Med cruise, but aren't... we're going to be traveling in Europe on both sides of the cruise, so we just don't have the room for the FE stuff. It's hard because it's so much fun to do the FE's, but we have to pass this time.

I only have boys (10 & 12), but I do think there some girls for sure whose parents are part of this cruise meet! I'm sure your DD's will find someone.

How did your kids do on the 2010 Med cruise? If you have any tips for people traveling with kids on this, I'd love to hear? We travel a lot with our kids, but this will be a first for Europe for our kids. Well, it must have been a great experience for your family if you are doing it again this year!!

We can't wait.... it's going to be such a great time.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #1260
LovesToRun
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Hello fellow med travelers! Getting really excited for this trip. We are on roll-call but not doing FE. We just got off Fantasy and needed a whole extra suitcase for them which will be too hard to bring on this trip

.
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Were you on the Fantasy last week (April 5 - 13)? If so, we were on there, too!! .

Wait, today is Saturday (I knew that!! LOL!!), so you probably mean you just got off the Fantasy today! Which means you were on the cruise right after us. So, never mind about my question asking if you were on the same Fantasy cruise as us (if you did mean you just got off today!).

At any rate, glad you had a good trip!
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