Welcome! I am so glad you found our page. Congrats on your anniversary. We spent our 21st on the Wonder last year on the WBPC. Is this the first cruise for you or your kids? First in Europe? Are you intetested in a small FE group for our cruise?WE ARE!!!! It will be out 20 year anniversary celebration!!
Bringing the kids: daughter will be 14, son will be 11.
Welcome, glad to see you here. Congrats on your anniversary as well. We had such a great group on the disboards before our WBPC cruise. Hopefully we can get a nice interaction with fellow cruisers on here as well.hi again!
group of 9!
me and DH (it will be our 41st anniversary!!! we married in nursery school )
DD and DSIL (they'll be 34 and 32 next year)
DS and DDIL (they'll both be 32 next year) - and their 3 little ones (ages next year: DGS - 5, DGD - 3, DGD - 1)
i always like "getting to know" fellow cruisers before a cruise...Welcome, glad to see you here. Congrats on your anniversary as well. We had such a great group on the disboards before our WBPC cruise. Hopefully we can get a nice interaction with fellow cruisers on here as well.
We have participated in some size of FE for 8 of our cruises. We have really enjoyed it. Sometimes people go overboard and get competitive, but it is always fun to see the variety of things people think of. If we get enough people I would be happy to organize it here with a list of staterooms, names and ages, etc. I do not want anyone to be stressed about it. It is just a fun little way to share some happiness with others. Since we have always cruised with our kids, my husband and I have not taken advantage of too many adult activities, but they sound fun and some day we will make it.i always like "getting to know" fellow cruisers before a cruise...
it doesn't always work out, but sometimes it's really great!!
on our allure of the seas cruise, we all ended up spending a lot of time together - as several of us were trivia fans, so we just had an ongoing group throughout the cruise - really fun!! that cruise was DH, me, DD and DSIL....
i've never participated in an FE group before....but maybe i'll break that tradition just for the 5 and 3 year olds....they might find it fun to have little gifts throughout the cruise as well as be able to put gifts in other peoples FEs.....
well i'm sure this cruise will be different... first time we'll be with really small kids..We have participated in some size of FE for 8 of our cruises. We have really enjoyed it. Sometimes people go overboard and get competitive, but it is always fun to see the variety of things people think of. If we get enough people I would be hapoy to organize it here with a list of staterooms, names and ages, etc. I do not want anyone to be stressed about it. It is just a fun little way to share some happiness with others. Since we have always cruised with our kids, my husband and I have not taken advantage of too many adult activities, but they sound fun and some day we will make it.
yes, i've been to Versailles - both as a kid and then 18 years ago when my kids were teens...It all depends on flights/prices from the West Coast. Our plan is to get there by Tuesday at the latest. Luckily we all recover from jet lag fairly quickly and easily. We know Thursday and Fiday will be long, busy days so we hope to have a buffer day to sleep in late and take a more leisurely approach. Thursday we will be spending the day at Tibidabo; an amusement park just outside the city on top of the mountain. Our 7 yr old DD is a daredevil and loves rollercoasters. When we visited Barcelona last time she was not tall enough for most of the rides, so we have kept this as a day for our next visit - 2019. Our DS will turn 16 on that Friday and he had so much fun at Cosmo Caixa last time that he asked to spend his birthday there. Last time we enjoyed Cuitedella Parc. They have a zoo there, a small lake where you can rent rowboats, an amazing fountain ( google it ) and a small playground area with swings, etc. We may wander over there again on that Wednesday to keep ourselves in sunlight and fresh air to help with the jet lag.
Question for you: Have you visited Versailles? We are thinking of spending a day there after the cruise as a day trip from Paris. It has been on my list and no one in our family has been there. I know it will be extremely crowded, but you have to work with what you get. Any tips, ideas, warnings? Thanks!
it's very hard to remember what we did in paris - i know we did many museums (we had that card with entry to all of them, or most of them)....but i'm pretty sure we didn't do les invalides....We are all looking forward to Versailles. Glad your family enjoyed it when you were there. Luckily, my kids already love Paris and both of them at separate times said that they want to walk up the stairs to the second level of the eiffel tower again! I am thankful that they remember it so fondly to want to do it again. I suggested walking to the first floor and then take the elevator up to the top this time. It really is a different experience to use the stairs, but I think it will be nice to go up to the third floor as well since it was closed last time. I also got huge blisters all the way across the balls of both feet, so that was not fun.
Yes, I love the Rodin sculpture garden and it is on our list to do this time. Did you visit les invalides and napoleans tomb when you were in that area? Trying to decide if it is worth adding to our list for this visit. We are definitely making it to the Arc de Triomph this time. We got as far as the Disney store just a couple of blocks away on our first visit and just figured we would go back in the next couple of days. We have been to Notre Dame, but have still not taken the kids inside, so this will probably be a good time for that. We are also not missing icecream at Bertillon on Isle St. Louis. We had a cash/credit card mishap in the metro last time that put us behind schedule with a reservation for a concert at st. Chapelle, so we missed that as well.
I think the kids should be adjusted to the time change by the time you get on the cruise since you will be flying in a couple of days early. It always helps to eat, go to bed and wake up at your regular time but in the new zone as quickly as you can. The nursery is open at least to 11:00 (23:00) if not midnight so you can all go to the shows. We used the nursery during that time for DD on our first few cruises. They take such good care of them there and princesses are even known to stop in for a special visit. We also do early dining since it is closest to our regular dining time. I do not know how people do late dining as I am still full from dinner when I go to bed hours later from early dining.
Yes, we are planning a day with a stayover in Dover before taking the train into London where we will stay for three days before going on to Paris. Our Iceland cruise left out of Dover and we really had a great day there before our cruise. We were all blown away with the castle and had some amazing fish and chips for dinner. We also had a nice afternoon tea at our hotel before we set out. We all want to repeat those, but take a tour of the WWII tunnels up under the castle. We found a lovely apartment right across the street from the Tower of London and we plan to stay there again. We plan to spend a little longer visiting the Tower this time and a day at Legoland. Last time we did the Harry Potter studios tour - which was amazing. I did not even know there was a Legoland nearby until not long before we left and there just was not time to squeeze it in. Our daughter asks all the time when we can go to Legoland again since we went when she was three. Of course, we were not expecting to be doing it in London when the one near Disneyland is much closer. But, hey, it works. We had originally been planning to do the 11 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy for summer 2019, but the price was just crazy. We are doing all of this for probably the same or a little less than just that cruise. My kids were sold on this new trip idea because my daughter could go to Legoland and our son could eat at Wagamama again.
We may get to the zoo in Barcelona on our first full day. When I was a little girl there was a famous albino gorilla named Coco who lived at the Barcelona zoo. Unfortunately I never saw him, but he always fascinated me and I think it would be special to see where he actually lived as well as spend a nice day outside enjoying other aspects of the zoo.
As far as planning, I have a mental plan of our top things we want to do in the various cities for the land part. I am a little overwhelmed with the vastness of Versailles from my initial research and feel that I need to purchase a good guidebook to help. One thing we are excited to do is to rent a rowboat and teach the kids how to row in the grand canal! Before we booked I did some basic research of each of our ports and possible port adventures, but I will leave that until closer to the cruise since it is over 16 months away. I just feel a need to have a handle on all there is to do at Versailles, so that will ge my focus for a little while.
Happy planning and hope this helps give you something fun to think about while you are finishing your treatments.
Hi, we're on this one. Me, husband, and our by-then-16-year-old-son. We'll be flying into Barcelona well in advance, probably Tuesday, and then spend a day or two in London after the cruise (we did Dover to Copenhagen in 2016, and spent time in London beforehand, thus the short time after the cruise this time and spending more time/attention on Barcelona and Spain)
We did the 12 night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland cruise. Dover, Newcastle, Kirkwall, Reykjavik (overnight), Akureyri, Bergen, Stavanger, Copenhagen. It was flippin awesome. Best vacation we've ever taken.hi!! welcome aboard!!
wow - out of the 4 families in this thread so far, three have teens....amazing!
how did you like your 2016 cruise? was is to the fjords? or russia?
Welcome! How fun to be cruising together again! I was thinking the exact same thing when I read your post that our sons probably met on the last cruise. What a small world! You probably read that we had to break his heart to not go on the Fantasy again before he ages out of the clubs. The saving grace for the Europe trip was that he gets to go to Wagamama again in London and it looks like some might be open in Paris before we get there. Did you guys eat there when you were in London? We were only there three days and ate there twice! Did you do the Harry Potter studios tour? We had an amazing time there and really enjoyed the butterbeer and butterbeer icecream. We rented an apartment right across the street from the Tower of London and used the Thames as our road to get to various locations around the city. We went to Greenwich on one of our days and had tea at the Cutty Sark. There was quite a variety of things to see and do there. We also stopped off at the London Eye and walked across the bridge to see Big Ben and the palace up close. What were your families favorites in London? We took the train down to Dover the day before the cruise and really enjoyed our time there. We will be spending a day there after the cruise and then heading into London.We did the 12 night Norwegian Fjords and Iceland cruise. Dover, Newcastle, Kirkwall, Reykjavik (overnight), Akureyri, Bergen, Stavanger, Copenhagen. It was flippin awesome. Best vacation we've ever taken.
Edited to add- wait a minute- o&smom, our young men probably know one another. We were on the same UK/Iceland/Norway cruise it looks like, and goodness knows my kid lived in the Edge.
Definitely do Harry Potter! We went for me, but my whole family really enjoyed it. To see the costumes up close with all the details was incredible. What was your favorite thing in London? Do you recommend the cremony of the keys with kids 9 and 16?We had a very nerdy to-do list in London a mile long, and everyone was promised one of their top choices so... Harry Potter lost out. Might squeak it in this time.
I had a bajillion points and top-tier status at Hyatt that year (ah, business travel), so we stayed at the Churchill and took full advantage of the tube. We went to/did the British Museum, Westminster (had to see certain scientists' memorials/tombs), a Thames boat tour, several walking tours, tea at the Churchill, the Natural History Museum, the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London, and saw Emma Rice's incredible staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Globe. We also met up with old friends we'd not seen since they moved away just after the kids were in first grade. Food wise, we did Tonkatsu Ramen in Selfridge's food hall and the champagne and oyster bar there (mmmm), Wright Bros Oyster Bar at Borough Market, and Barnyard.
Barcelona we're in the early phases of figuring things out: fly to Madrid and spend a few days there then go to Barcelona? Do all Barcelona? Definitely doing the Grand Loop of Gaudi Architecture while there, possibly doing Port Adventura since it's only an hour and change away by train.