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thepants

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  1. Our rookie mistake was years ago back in 2007 on my hubs first cruise. We did a rookie mistake to book flights the same morning of embarkation day AND that was with a RC cruise leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico as well! We almost missed the boat. Total rookie mistake and I am such an over-planner that I can't believe we did that. Fly in a day early and book a hotel near port!
  2. Fellow homeschooling family too! I don't work a 9-5 either. I do transcription work at night a few hours a week for fun money. We live below our means so we can spend life doing things and experiencing life and adventure with our three boys! Because we home school our vacation time is not restricted and we can find some great deals not only with cruising but with vacationing in general (ie hotel rates, theme parks, flights) So we tend to vacation on the off season or shoulder seasons. So we like to chose times such as second/third week of September (when most people are in traditional school and back to work after labor day) , first week of December (just after thanksgiving rush and just before Christmas craziness) and this next cruise will be in January (well after new years but before spring break crowds).
  3. I'd love an RCI cruise from Charleston! Even a smaller ship would be fine with me. In fact, we prefer smaller to mid-sized vessles. We are in NC so that's an easy drive to port for us. I miss RCI going out of Newport, VA. The rest of the ports are quite far from NC. Baltimore being the closest drive.
  4. Newark is the way we go when sailing from Cape Liberty. What about taking a train instead. You can go into Penn or grand Central and hire a car to take you to port. Hotels are in walking distance of train stations.
  5. Most of the walk did have a sidewalk. I can't remember if the empty lot that was next to the cruise port had sidewalk or gravel path in front of the lot. If no sidewalk then there was a walking path. You can always take a taxi to downtown and take a look as you drive to see if you would want to do the walk back. Really it was a nice little walk along the boardwalk and then over a small bridge and along the main road near the water.
  6. We did walk from St. Maarten downtown along the road (on the sidewalk) back to the cruise ship. It was not a bad walk at all and just followed the many other cruisers walking. If you have any physical limitations or lots of purchases though, I would suggest getting a ride back to ship. It was about a 15-20 minute walk.
  7. Most of the above stated responses are good advice. I would like to add that we have done MTD on one cruise and glad that we tried it out. It was not our thing. We like to be able to get dressed, get to the dining room, go right to our same table, say hi to the same wait staff and proceed to order. We did not prefer to wait, and my hubby gets grumpy if he has to wait to eat too long. One time we did get seated at a large table and did not like that at all. FWIW for set dining time (we always do early dining) we always go to the MDR on embarkation day and request a table for just the size of our party so we are not sitting with others, and the MDR usually always honors it.
  8. We'll be on Mariner in January! We usually do not venture into the casino, but hopefully will see you around!! We have sailed on Adventure in the past and are looking forward to seeing Mariner and the new updates!! This will be our kids first cruise. My husband and I have cruised a few times.
  9. I am glad you posted this. All of our boys (ages 10, 8, 5) are adventurous eaters and would prefer the MDR menu over the kids menu as well. So glad they will be allowed to order off of the adult menu, especially if they see a charcuterie on the appetizer list and lobster bisque in the soups!!!
  10. We have the plastic holder with steel cable too and I LOVE them!!! If we drive to port, I put them on before leaving the home. If we fly to port, I put them on after our flight but before check in (We usually fly in the day before embarkation, so I usually put the tags on in the hotel room the night before embarkation).
  11. It depends on where you are sailing from and if its a closed loop USA cruise. With that said, RCI highly recommends passports for children. We do have passport books (not cards) for all of us (me, hubby, and our three kids). It's pricey but anytime we leave the country, even on a cruise, I personally wouldn't travel without one.
  12. One of the first things we do when we board is to go the main dining room and request our table number and confirm or make changes to table. We have never had a problem with getting a table for two by going in person to MDR upon boarding. This time I am going to request a table for 5 alone, if possible. We have three kids, and while they have traveled enough and are well behaved, we are not wanting the glare of people that would prefer to sit alone stuck at our table with our family.
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