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Hi there.  We will be cruising with our 14 and 15 yr. old and I want to ask how people keep in touch with their kids if we don't plan on purchasing the internet package. I've seen mention of walkie talkies and curious to know if they work or if they are not really practical.  Thanks!

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Depending on what ship you are on, there are some hacks to get access to iMessage for free without purchasing the internet package. 
Walkie Talkies can work sometimes, but on the bigger ships like Oasis and Ovation class ships they can loose connection and can be bulky to bring around with you at all times. On smaller ships, they may work better but haven't tried them on the smaller ships yet. Hope this helps!

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when we took our 12 and 14yr old boys on their first cruise our initial rules we set for them was to check in with us every 2 hours, no question asked.   we always made sure they knew of the potential places where we would be.   if for some reason they couldn't meet up or couldn't find us, then they needed to swing by the cabin and leave us a sticky note on the mirror as to where they were and what time it was when they left the note.

  Some may think this was extreme but we just prefaced it to them with the understanding that if they missed any of our expected check-in's,  they would be glued to our hip the next day.   I'm very pleased to say that we never had any issues.  In fact,  they actually ran into us much more frequently than was expected.    as they showed the responsibility, we gave them longer windows of time in which they needed to check back with us.     i believe that they loved the freedom and wanted to prove to us that they could do it, which they did.      They had a blast and in turn, because of they behavior, we had a much more relaxed time knowing that they were being responsible.

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5 hours ago, Paml514 said:

Hi there.  We will be cruising with our 14 and 15 yr. old and I want to ask how people keep in touch with their kids if we don't plan on purchasing the internet package. I've seen mention of walkie talkies and curious to know if they work or if they are not really practical.  Thanks!

Our kids are in college now, but have been cruising with us since they were 2 & 4.  Once they reached the level where they could sign themselves in and out of Adventure Ocean (or whatever kids program of the cruise line we were on) we set guidelines.  They were required to eat breakfast and dinner with us each day, and participated in the choice of excursions for the ports, so everyone was happy.  On sea days, other than the two meals, we allowed them to come and go as they pleased.  Guidelines were: you had to be back by the junior cruiser curfew, you were not allowed to go in anyone's cabin, and respect of the other passengers was expected.  They each had their own color highlighter and they marked the activities they expected to go to.  Luckily for me, my boys are great and we never had a problem.  They figured out quickly which kids to stay away from and which to become friends with.  We had complete trust in their ability to make the right choices and they knew that.  It also helped that they actually enjoy our company and want to spend time with us, so they usually spent part of their day with us.  LOL 

We did have walkie talkies at one point, but they never really worked all that good.  That was around the time that they were old enough to sign themselves in and out but not in the teen program.  Those were more for them to be able to find us, than us being able to find them.  The cruise lines used to give you paper and a pen in the cabin, so we'd leave a note where we were heading so they could go back to the cabin to see where we went.  Having to meet up for dinner helped as it broke up the day and we made sure to discuss the plans for the evening and who was planning on going where.  We made a point at night to stay where we said we were going to be,  just in case they wanted to join us. 

On our last cruise this past May, we used a white board with dry erase markers to write down what we were doing that day.  We'd leave each other notes when we came back to the room.  We wished we had brought another one for the outside of the door as finding the 70-something in-laws was harder than the college boys! 

 

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5 hours ago, Paml514 said:

Hi there.  We will be cruising with our 14 and 15 yr. old and I want to ask how people keep in touch with their kids if we don't plan on purchasing the internet package. I've seen mention of walkie talkies and curious to know if they work or if they are not really practical.  Thanks!

There's no way we could make our kids use walkie talkies on cruises at that age, so we put a magnetic dry erase board on our door and left each other messages, and left them alone. They didn't mind using it.

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Like kathyC, we did breakfast and a dinner check in with our teens .  Our youngest was 12 and able to check herself in and out.  We didn't have room so we pretty much would say where we expected to be and say hi every once in a while.  She was always back by curfew and she had a great time.  We didn't do the walkie talkies as they can don't seem to work great and they are admitting to other cruisers.  Have your teens go to the teen center the first night to meet people... They will be their best friends the rest of the cruise.  Jane

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Hi, our family first RCCL cruise is a month away, I would like to know our teens activity on board.  Zip line/ Flow rider have to sign the waiver ??  Can we do on line  ?  reserve the spot ?

Any recommendation would be appreciated.  How about arcade card ? There are always discounted.( $20 for $25 value}.  some one bought this ?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

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2 minutes ago, J. Woody said:

Hi, our family first RCCL cruise is a month away, I would like to know our teens activity on board.  Zip line/ Flow rider have to sign the waiver ??  Can we do on line  ?  reserve the spot ?

Any recommendation would be appreciated.  How about arcade card ? There are always discounted.( $20 for $25 value}.  some one bought this ?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

To know what teen activities are on your ship, you can check the Cruise Compasses from your ship on prior cruises and some of them have the teen compass in them.
You can't sign the waiver's online, but you can sign them on your stateroom television on at least the Oasis Class ships. Most of the time, the activities are first come first served, but you can also reserve the Flow Rider for groups or yourself online at a cost

I have never bought the arcade card, so I have no idea how it works, but I usually see them at a discounted price as you said.

Enjoy your first family cruise on RCCL!

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33 minutes ago, J. Woody said:

Hi, our family first RCCL cruise is a month away, I would like to know our teens activity on board.  Zip line/ Flow rider have to sign the waiver ??  Can we do on line  ?  reserve the spot ?

Any recommendation would be appreciated.  How about arcade card ? There are always discounted.( $20 for $25 value}.  some one bought this ?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

It depends on the ship if you can sign the waiver online.  On Harmony, you have to do it on the ship.  If you can do it online, then you will see it as part of your online check in.

You can't reserve a spot to do the zipline or flowrider unless you are doing a private event or lessons.  We did the zipline after embarkation with no wait at all.  My teens did it a handful of times in a row and then were done for the week.  It's a very short ride.  If you are looking for special Flowrider time, you can reserve the flowrider for a private session or just do group lessons for an hour (just not the first night as they should visit the teen club the first night).  Group lessons are limited to 8 people so you get quite a few rides in the hour.  There is also teen flowrider session one night just check the teen cruise compass.

We've put arcade credit on the kids seapass card on Liberty but decided against it on Harmony to use the kids gold C&A discount (which was a huge pain so don't do that).  On Harmony, you can purchase arcade credit on the cruise planner or once onboard purchase individual games on the seapass card.  You can't get the $25 credit for $20 onboard Harmony unless it is to refill the card (don't know if it works the same on other Oasis class ships).  On Liberty, you could just buy the $25 credit for $20 on the ship so the difference on Harmony surprised me. So next time for my kids, I will just purchase the arcade credit on the cruise planner.

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We did the notepad on the desk for our kids and it worked just fine.  DON`T do the white board on the outside of the cabin door.  You may find bogus messages placed on the board.  I know because the kid in me has been known to do those things to this very day.  For instance: Gone Fishing, went to to Walmart, etc.  Beware.   

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3 hours ago, CraftyCat05 said:

To know what teen activities are on your ship, you can check the Cruise Compasses from your ship on prior cruises and some of them have the teen compass in them.
You can't sign the waiver's online, but you can sign them on your stateroom television on at least the Oasis Class ships. Most of the time, the activities are first come first served, but you can also reserve the Flow Rider for groups or yourself online at a cost

I have never bought the arcade card, so I have no idea how it works, but I usually see them at a discounted price as you said.

Enjoy your first family cruise on RCCL!

Thank you for your comment!!

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2 hours ago, melski94 said:

It depends on the ship if you can sign the waiver online.  On Harmony, you have to do it on the ship.  If you can do it online, then you will see it as part of your online check in.

You can't reserve a spot to do the zipline or flowrider unless you are doing a private event or lessons.  We did the zipline after embarkation with no wait at all.  My teens did it a handful of times in a row and then were done for the week.  It's a very short ride.  If you are looking for special Flowrider time, you can reserve the flowrider for a private session or just do group lessons for an hour (just not the first night as they should visit the teen club the first night).  Group lessons are limited to 8 people so you get quite a few rides in the hour.  There is also teen flowrider session one night just check the teen cruise compass.

We've put arcade credit on the kids seapass card on Liberty but decided against it on Harmony to use the kids gold C&A discount (which was a huge pain so don't do that).  On Harmony, you can purchase arcade credit on the cruise planner or once onboard purchase individual games on the seapass card.  You can't get the $25 credit for $20 onboard Harmony unless it is to refill the card (don't know if it works the same on other Oasis class ships).  On Liberty, you could just buy the $25 credit for $20 on the ship so the difference on Harmony surprised me. So next time for my kids, I will just purchase the arcade credit on the cruise planner.

We are going on Harmony. I’ll let my teens to do first thing after embarkation... I don’t want to buy flow rider lessons. Looks cool, but so expensive.  I’ll buy arcade credit on cruise planner then. One thing, this is out of “ teens activity” topic, We are staying hotel near airport Ft.Lauderdale.  I will use taxi to get cruise port, should I give driver the address or just name of the ship?

Sorry for newbie question😢

Thank you for your post!!

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16 hours ago, J. Woody said:

One thing, this is out of “ teens activity” topic, We are staying hotel near airport Ft.Lauderdale.  I will use taxi to get cruise port, should I give driver the address or just name of the ship?

Sorry for newbie question😢

You will want to tell the taxi driver "Port Everglades", and ideally the terminal number where your ship is docked (this may or may not be on your set sail pass, I honestly don't recall). If you don't know the terminal, it's OK. There is an overhead display as you enter the port that lists all of the ships and which terminal they are in, so you can look at this as you enter and quickly figure out which terminal you need to go to. IIRC, Harmony is usually in terminal 18, but others here can confirm that.

And don't worry about asking newbie questions! That's a really good question to ask, and we were all newbies at one time or another. 😊 Honestly, even with one cruise under my belt I still feel like a bit of a "noob"!

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17 hours ago, J. Woody said:

We are going on Harmony. I’ll let my teens to do first thing after embarkation... I don’t want to buy flow rider lessons. Looks cool, but so expensive.  I’ll buy arcade credit on cruise planner then. One thing, this is out of “ teens activity” topic, We are staying hotel near airport Ft.Lauderdale.  I will use taxi to get cruise port, should I give driver the address or just name of the ship?

Sorry for newbie question😢

Thank you for your post!!

We've did a taxi to PE last time on Harmony and also when cruising Allure.  You just need to tell them, "Port Everglades, Terminal 18".  And be on the look out for Harmony of the Seas.  You cannot miss her.  She is massive.  You'll know if you're not getting dropped off in front of her 😉

However, taxi drivers in FLL are not the greatest, at least not in our experiences.  After our last taxi debacle last August, Hubby says we are done with taxis and sticking to Lyft now.

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2 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

However, taxi drivers in FLL are not the greatest, at least not in our experiences.  After our last taxi debacle last August, Hubby says we are done with taxis and sticking to Lyft now.

I used Lyft for our ride from hotel to PE (terminal 29), still not the greatest. Our driver spoke only broken English and I got the impression he hadn't done a PE run before, given the number of U-turns we ended up making at the start of the ride.

I would just say regardless of taxi, Lyft, or Uber, clearly state "Port Everglades, Terminal 18" for Harmony, then offer up a prayer to the patron saint of all travelers that you don't get lost on the way! 😉

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Just now, JLMoran said:

I used Lyft for our ride from hotel to PE (terminal 29), still not the greatest. Our driver spoke only broken English and I got the impression he hadn't done a PE run before, given the number of U-turns we ended up making at the start of the ride.

I would just say regardless of taxi, Lyft, or Uber, clearly state "Port Everglades, Terminal 18" for Harmony, then offer up a prayer to the patron saint of all travelers that you don't get lost on the way! 😉

Yikes!  We're planning on taking Lyft from FLL to POM in August!  I will be praying hard! lol

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2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

You will want to tell the taxi driver "Port Everglades", and ideally the terminal number where your ship is docked (this may or may not be on your set sail pass, I honestly don't recall). If you don't know the terminal, it's OK. There is an overhead display as you enter the port that lists all of the ships and which terminal they are in, so you can look at this as you enter and quickly figure out which terminal you need to go to. IIRC, Harmony is usually in terminal 18, but others here can confirm that.

And don't worry about asking newbie questions! That's a really good question to ask, and we were all newbies at one time or another. 😊 Honestly, even with one cruise under my belt I still feel like a bit of a "noob"!

Thank you JLMoran !!

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

We've did a taxi to PE last time on Harmony and also when cruising Allure.  You just need to tell them, "Port Everglades, Terminal 18".  And be on the look out for Harmony of the Seas.  You cannot miss her.  She is massive.  You'll know if you're not getting dropped off in front of her 😉

However, taxi drivers in FLL are not the greatest, at least not in our experiences.  After our last taxi debacle last August, Hubby says we are done with taxis and sticking to Lyft now.

Do you mind to explain for “ Lyft” ??  What is this ??😰

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52 minutes ago, J. Woody said:

Do you mind to explain for “ Lyft” ??  What is this ??😰

19 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

https://www.lyft.com/rider

It's like a taxi except it's all done through an app.  The fare is known up front and you pay for it through the app.  That's what we like about it.

And there is a competing service named "Uber" which is very similar -- also uses an app on your smartphone, payment made through the app, etc.

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1 hour ago, J. Woody said:

Do you mind to explain for “ Lyft” ??  What is this ??😰

It's a ride sharing service that allows virtually any individual to take their personal car and become a taxi like service.  Understand it is someone's personal car and the app facilitates the transaction between you and the stranger driving it, charging your credit card the pre-determined rate.  You never know what kind of car or driver will be assigned. 

The app requires an internet connection so coming from Canada consider if you will have a data connection while in the US to use the app.  It's often much cheaper than a conventional taxi.

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On 7/8/2018 at 1:05 PM, J. Woody said:

Hi, our family first RCCL cruise is a month away, I would like to know our teens activity on board.  Zip line/ Flow rider have to sign the waiver ??  Can we do on line  ?  reserve the spot ?

Any recommendation would be appreciated.  How about arcade card ? There are always discounted.( $20 for $25 value}.  some one bought this ?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

We did the arcade credit on Adventure in May.  There is no "card" but the amount is pre-loaded on their seapass cards, very difficult to monitor how much money was spent.  The kids had to keep mental track which was annoying.  The only way to find out exactly was to bother a technician in the casino.  It took a few tries to activate the card, and they each had a charge added to the account, but by bothering the technician in the casino it got taken away quickly. 

Adventure just went through a dry dock/refurb a couple weeks before we were on, and supposedly had "new" machines and card readers.  At least half were not operational when they went in to play.  

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