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Old 10-11-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
JayhawkFans
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Aug, Sept, Dec or January

Desperately trying to figure out when to plan for our 2nd cruise. We are hooked after our much too short 3 night DREAM cruise. Our main problem is when to attempt to go.

Based on DH's line of work he is only able to be gone during the months of August, September, December or January. Our daughter will be starting 7th grade next year so I am not at all crazy about her missing a week of school for a cruise (unless we can find an affordable cruise mid-Dec to where she would only miss 1 or 2 days right before Christmas break).

Looking for advice from other parents with kids in middle school. Have you pulled them for an extended period of time right after the school year begins? Did they have a hard time catching back up? She is not involved in athletics so that won't be an issue.

The rates for August and December are a bit scary when compared to what is available in September.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Hi - we did a 7 day Western Carribean on the Fantasy last September labor day week. My son was in 6th grade at the time, so we had the same concern. This week had some very big PROS:

1) PRICE
2) 4 days week (as oppose to 5)
3) Did i say PRICE? This week was like $2K cheaper for us than the same cruise in August.

Anyways, I sent an email to the school principal and let her know we wanted to go but were concerned... also explained the educational value of the trip, different ports of call, Mayan ruins, Mexico - She very eagerly gave us her "blessing", said have a great time, and let your teachers know, which we did.

I think doing this early in the year helped since they were still just reviewing and not into that much. He had no issues when we returned, just very little homework. We did bring some reading assignments which he worked on he trip down and back.

Hope that helps

Oh and PS: It was a blast! We had the same bug as you (and most here, so we booked again after our first 3 night!)
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Lowest prices are when school is not in session. So last week in August is low since all southern states start school in August, while some of the northern states start after labor day.

3rd week in December will start go up - depends on when school ends as more folks will be willing to pull the kids out for a couple of days.

January is low - but as long as you avoid any holidays or long weekends.

Regarding pulling the kids out during middle school? Yes, we've done it. But you know your kid best. If the kid has no issues catching up with the missed work, and you try to get some of that homework ahead of time so it can be done during the vacation, then go for it.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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We did the Sept 2-9 Alaska on the Wonder this year, and we have a 7th grader and 3rd grader. We got all sorts of assignments from their teachers beforehand, and ended up doing about an hour or so of homework each day on ship. When we got back there were a few things they needed to catch up on, but they were mostly ok. I really don't care if they miss school for a family trip. Most schools do some sort of travel study program so the school still gets credit for them being there. It is your choice as a parent how to handle family vacations and school, but honestly we don't view it as a big deal. We are already booked for the EBPC next Sept 12-26, so we will be lugging those books on the ship again.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:42 PM   #5
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August is our favorite month to cruise. If not, of your choices, I'd choose Dec for the holiday decorations as long as you understand the ports might be unswimmable.....

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Old 10-11-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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Our son will start 6th grade next year. We decided on December 1st. It's right after Thanksgiving break. (He'll have off Monday and will miss Tuesday-Friday.) Our thoughts are that he can get his assignments before Thanksgiving and can work on things until we leave, then have the weekend after the cruise to finish up. He does really well in school, so I don't worry about him falling behind. The amount of work can be overwhelming, so we are hoping this will give him some time to get it done without taking it on the cruise.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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Good ideas on pairing it up with a "short week".
Get assignments early and do before/after/during.

And relax, it's only a week or less, not a month.
Communicate with teachers so tge absence isn't unexpected, and you will be fine. :-)
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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August is HOT.
So is September.

January is getting pretty cold..
I'd go with December if you can.

(FL res here - basing this opinion on FL weather.)

Depending on where you're from, Sept might be ok also. At least at sea there's a breeze, lol.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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My kids miss a week or so of school each year for various family trips. This year (with my son in 7th and my daughter in 2nd) they'll miss the week right before Thanksgiving break. Oops! I'm not too worried though. My kids always catch up quick but honestly they start out pretty far ahead of the curve. You know your kids best. Just be realistic about how easy or hard it might be for them to catch up and talk to their teachers well in advance.

Next year my kids will be missing two weeks of school in September as we cruise through the Panama Canal. I have to admit that even with my somewhat laid back attitude about attendance I'm a little nervous about that one. I bet I'll get over it though.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayhawkFans View Post
Desperately trying to figure out when to plan for our 2nd cruise. We are hooked after our much too short 3 night DREAM cruise. Our main problem is when to attempt to go.

Based on DH's line of work he is only able to be gone during the months of August, September, December or January. Our daughter will be starting 7th grade next year so I am not at all crazy about her missing a week of school for a cruise (unless we can find an affordable cruise mid-Dec to where she would only miss 1 or 2 days right before Christmas break).

Looking for advice from other parents with kids in middle school. Have you pulled them for an extended period of time right after the school year begins? Did they have a hard time catching back up? She is not involved in athletics so that won't be an issue.

The rates for August and December are a bit scary when compared to what is available in September.
The first 2 weeks of December prices are the same as September. You also have the Christmas decorations up and hurricane season is over.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofinn View Post
The first 2 weeks of December prices are the same as September. You also have the Christmas decorations up and hurricane season is over.
Not a bad deal!. You could also maybe count the trip as an early Christmas present too
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:01 PM   #12
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We've only cruised once. Last month was our first. We didn't think it was too hot on the cruise, but then the ship is air conditioned and we didn't get off in Nassau. Castaway Cay was hot, but you could get in the water to cool off easily enough. There always seemed to be a nice breeze when we were on the verandah or the open decks. The only time we were hot and sweaty was really the lifeboat drill. Yuck.

A good friend of mine has cruised a bunch of times April through October. Last year she went in January, with relatives. She said never again. It was too cold and windy to enjoy the verandah or open decks, and too cold to get in the water at Castaway Cay.

I'm sure others would disagree though, since plenty of people cruise in the winter months. DD and I are going to stick with September and October, I think.
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