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About DJsMrs

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  1. Oh Amazon - you make me so happy. As various packages arrive, it's a lovely daily reminder of our pending vacay! Travel straws have arrived, as have shoe bags to pack our shoes in an effort to keep our suitcases cleaner and more organized (I hope). We use packing cubes too - so things tend to be pretty clean and organized in our suitcases. Waiting for the sunscreen and portable travel fan... I've also prepped some ducks for the kids to hide on the ship - I'm not sure why I think they'll be bored and in need of something to do, but it should be a fun activity for them. In much more exciting news - we got our Genie email!!! Our email came from Alan, but he's going in vacay and we will have Luciano! Have read good things about him and we are very excited. Question for those with star class experience - how much did you include in your reply to the initial email? I feel like I'm writing a minor novella and don't want to scare off our genie. Not doing all the planning is a bit of a challenge. Working hard to adopt Elsa's mantra "let it go". I've indicated our dining, entertainment and activities requests and given info about our embarkation day plans, and requests for drinks in the room... anything I'm missing? @Lovetocruise2002 @WAAAYTOOO I'm lookin at you 😉
  2. We've sailed sky class twice and our number 1 favourite thing is quiet time in the late afternoon with a book and a snack in the suite lounge. My husband and I would read, kids would either bring a device to watch a show, or would we would play a board/card game (travel version of Connect 4 and Battleship come with us on all trips). It was heaven.
  3. ditto on this question - do you call your genie, email, text? thanks 🙂
  4. That’s the truth right there! Just need a Timmy’s and a Caesar for the trifecta! 🇨🇦 🏒
  5. We have cruised the caribbean numerous times in December - SJ, St. Maarten, Labadee, St. Thomas - and it has been amazing beach weather every time... save for a couple cold'ish days in Orlando after disembarkation, but they were perfect Disney Days!
  6. Thanks all. We don’t need private ice time. The boys aren’t rail holders - so they usually enjoy the open centre area as I pray they don’t run into anyone 🤪. They’re good skaters - but they sometimes forget that most people in the ship aren’t. Lol
  7. 35 long chilly days until we board Allure... Needless to say the excitement is building. We've been fighting colds in this house and while I'm not happy to be sick, I'm happy to be sick now and not a month from now. Mind you, this has given me plenty of opportunity to do some pre-cruise-preparation shopping. I've never been one for a door decoration - but have found one that will put a smile on some faces and will get people in the Christmassy mood too. I've also been on the hunt for a coral friendly sunscreen. I guess buying sunscreen in November in Vancouver isn't high on people's priority list so I've been saved by Amazon. Turns out Sun Bum original 50+SPF spray is coral friendly - so it's on its way. Additionally, the thought of drinking a cold slushy drink through a paper straw is gag-worthy so we have invested in some reusable straws (with the hopes that the consumption of said slushy drink doesn't result in the straw being lost or forgotten). I've also got my luggage tags printed and loaded in our tag holders, which were the best buy ever. Scored some good rash guards for the kids too - and I have to say these shirts are a life saver for sun safety, but man alive it is hard to find a good one that fits. My eldest son is long and lean - so he needs about a size 8 for width and a size 12 for length. I learned this on our last cruise when the shirt I bought him was a smidge short and after spending the better part of a day in the sun and snorkeling at Labadee he ended up with a band of sunburn about 4" wide on his lower back where the sun shirt had ridden up. And because he had a sun shirt on we didn't even apply sunscreen to him where his shirt should have been. Luckily it wasn't too bad and a bit of aloe gel soothed it - but we will not be repeating this error. On our last cruise in July on Anthem it was HOT. So hot. Almost too hot - and I love some heat. But my in-laws had these portable fans in their bag and although I've made fun of people for using these fans in the past (because I like it melting hot), I have caved and bought one. Such an awesome little treat on a sweaty day and they are rechargeable with a usb cable, so won't eat up a tonne of batteries while we travel. Kids will get a kick out of it too. I know we're travelling in December, but we were in St. Maarten last December and it was an absolute cooker on the beach. I'll also be bringing little battery-operated tea lights for the room and balcony in the evening. It's nice for the kids to have a night light and I love having a bit of ambient light on the balcony when it's dark out. And last but not least - disinfecting wipes for the airplane seat and tray table. I follow passengershaming and the stuff that I cannot unsee on that twitter feed is gag worthy and I will be disinfecting our surroundings on the aircraft. Also - they're individually packaged, so can be handy for wiping mucky hands when lunching on the beach! I'm about ready to start packing the fun bag with all the toys, travel games, snorkel gear, and various cruise accouterments ... just waiting for our genie email.
  8. Staples has magnetic hooks and clips https://www.staples.ca/search?q=magnetic+hooks https://www.staples.ca/products/392735-en-staples-1-34-square-magnetic-clips-nickel-3pack We use the clips as you can use it as a hook too 🙂
  9. Funny - we have 7 going into a 2BR ATS next month and we had the same concerns. Granted our sitch is a bit different with 4 boys (6, 9, 11, 12) and 3 adults - but we decided the star class would be worth sorting out sleeping arrangements. As long as your adult daughter is ok with the couch - is go for it!
  10. @twangster we are flying WestJet and have done it multiple times. Unfortunately the airport in Bellingham, which is about the same distance as YVR, only does connecting flights through Seattle - and is prone to weather delays in the winter so we avoid it. And driving to SeaTac is a 3 hour journey and after having done it a few times that drive home after a travel day is a gong show. Our bags will be checked through, so we don’t have to collect them at Pearson, and because we are in plus we get priority boarding. Our Nexus will help too. Also - WestJet usually has us go through a back hallway to clear customs in Toronto and it’s been pretty seamless. Previously when we’ve flown through Toronto it’s taken about 10 -20 minutes from gate to gate. I will not stress. I will not stress. 🤣🤣
  11. Okay - the countdown is on like Donkey Kong! We are 39 days out from our "leave the house" date. As we are flying from YVR, connecting through Toronto in December we are definitely flying in on the 7th for our December 8 cruise date. Also - flying east is a bit of a pain as we basically spend the entire day travelling. We have an early morning flight out of Vancouver, so have booked into the Fairmont at YVR so we can have an extra couple hours of sleep on the morning of our flight. We live about an hour away from the airport, plus we use park and fly - so if we decided to leave from the house we'd have to get the kids up at about 2:30am to make our checkin (even with Nexus). Now - my boys will ALWAYS get up at any time for a flight, however, and I speak from experience, the evening of the travel day and the subsequent couple of days can be rough due to lack of sleep and grumpy kids, which is never a good start to a vacation. Our journey to FLL includes a 5 hour flight to Toronto, a 2.5 hour layover, and then a 3.5 hour flight into FLL from Toronto. We will land at 8:00pm in Fort Lauderdale - which will be 5:00pm west coast time, so the kids won't be quite ready for bed when we get to the hotel at 9. But I'm hoping that the early morning will result in being able to put them on east coast time that first night (and maybe a little melatonin will help too). We've got the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina booked for the night. We'll be at the hotel for a little over 12 hours - it's close to the airport and the port so was a good fit, plus I booked it on points. In other news, I submitted our initial questionnaire last week - I gathered all the responses from the group and put it in one document. After reading others' experiences I feel like we may have put more time into it than necessary, but it was a good opportunity to think about the things we want to eat, drink, and do while on board. We pretty much want to do it all. Zipline, ice skating (kids want to bring their own skates because "what is this rental brand? it's terrible"🤣), quest, comedian, aquatheatre show, dining everywhere. We'll see how much makes it through to our genie. Speaking of genies, I suppose we now wait for the genie email and we're obviously stoked. We requested Ana in our survey after reading such amazing things about her on this board - hopefully our request is honoured, however, I am sure whomever is assigned to our cabin will be amazing. I guess we may receive something from him/her within the next 7-10 days. Insert finger-drumming here... so hard to not book shows and dinners.
  12. Thx @DDaley there will be 4 good sized ships in port when we are there - so i feel like the opportunity for a crowded beach is significant. I will, however, check with our driver. Maybe we can swing by Magens. I’ve heard such good things!!! Thank you 🙂
  13. Lol - this is me exactly. My husband asked me the other day "do you even need to go on this trip - it's like you've lived it already" I told him to watch it or I might send him to the wrong port. 😯 The Jr suite is amazing and you'll love it. The big balcony is heaven for morning coffee, afternoon cocktails and a book, evening movies on the tablet. I love having a quiet place to retreat to - not for the whole cruise, but definitely for some of it! You say mean - I say smart and making effective use of tools that are available to me - lol 😈
  14. Some Housekeeping Itinerary: Day 1: FLL Day 2: At Sea Day 3: At Sea Day 4: St. Thomas Day 5: San Juan (should have been St. Kitt's) Day 6: At Sea Day 7: CocoCay Day 8: Back to life, back to reality A note on the itinerary change - we nearly cancelled the cruise. Nearly. We've been to SJ so many times and being that we are major beach people - SJ just isn't my jam. It's beautiful. The streets and old SJ are absolutely worth a walk around, but we basically booked this trip because our boys haven't ever been to St. Kitts. My eldest son is an AVID snorkeler, and I was super excited for him to do some great exploring. Having said that, the stop in SJ is quick... like basically a drive by from 7am - 1pm ... so my friend and I will go wander and find some amazing coffee and maybe breakfast, umbrella street, etc., and probably a trip to CVS for something that we will inevitably forget, and all the boys and my DH will stay on the ship. Then we'll come back and tough it out on our amazing balcony - it'll be hard but we will somehow manage to make it work. #firstworldproblems It's almost like a bonus sea day, which is never a bad day! Plus the kids are stoked about CocoCay - mind you, being the mean mum that I am, I've told them that it's really expensive to go to the water slides and I haven't decided yet if it's even worth the expense. Maybe I would buy tickets if they earn it. Do your homework. Clean your room. Work a little harder at practice. Turn up the gas a little during your games... Little do they know we have a Thrill Water Park Cabana booked. They literally have no idea how lucky they are (but thankfully they are grateful for such treats)... so after the room surprise this may not register the same level of excitement, but they'll be stoked to rock out the water slides. As will I! And I love having a "home base" so everyone knows where to find a buddy or a parent in case we get separated. And shade. We will need shade. St. Thomas will be a beach day as I have a van booked to take us to Sapphire Beach for the day. We struggled with this decision. I know Magens Bay is supposed to be amazing - but it seems jammed with people because of its popularity, which doesn't really work for me. We found Lindquist Beach - but with no food services it didn't really work for us as kids need to eat (avoid the Hangry Monster at ALL costs), so Sapphire seemed like a good compromise. Hopefully it's not too busy, but has access to food (and more importantly drinks!), and I think there will be some reasonable snorkeling there for the boys. Also it seems like there is a reasonable amount of shade at Sapphire - so it meets all of our needs. My only concern (feel free to provide feedback!) is that some people have indicated in reviews that the beach can be a bit rocky in places and they recommended water shoes. I really don't want to bring water shoes... but I will ... if I have to... but I really don't want to... anyone have any idea? I'm hoping we can find a sandy entrance point and then the kids can swim to the rocks, etc for fish viewing.
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