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Old 10-20-2004, 07:52 AM
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Hello, everyone. I'm new to the forum, and having a great time reading your comments! Quick background: My wife and I took a 4-day Bahama cruise as part of our honeymoon on Carnival (the original Fantasy, if you can believe it!) and loved it. Now, we want to bring our kids for our first big family vacation. We're both teachers, so we'll be traveling over spring break. I've got it narrowed down to the Diamond and Carnival Pride and I'm leaning toward the Diamond, as we are not quite the party crowd that I remember and have read about. Our daughter is 3 (going on 16, as she'll be happy to tell you) and our son is 5. They both love preschool and playrooms. Does anyone have any experience on either ship for this age group? Any suggestions for an alternative line (RC, NCL) that I haven't realized? Finally, we love balconies, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to upgrade to a mini-suite. Comments? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:52 AM
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Hello, everyone. I'm new to the forum, and having a great time reading your comments! Quick background: My wife and I took a 4-day Bahama cruise as part of our honeymoon on Carnival (the original Fantasy, if you can believe it!) and loved it. Now, we want to bring our kids for our first big family vacation. We're both teachers, so we'll be traveling over spring break. I've got it narrowed down to the Diamond and Carnival Pride and I'm leaning toward the Diamond, as we are not quite the party crowd that I remember and have read about. Our daughter is 3 (going on 16, as she'll be happy to tell you) and our son is 5. They both love preschool and playrooms. Does anyone have any experience on either ship for this age group? Any suggestions for an alternative line (RC, NCL) that I haven't realized? Finally, we love balconies, but I'm not sure if it's worth it to upgrade to a mini-suite. Comments? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-20-2004, 04:49 PM
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Hi Josh,
I do not have children, but, cruise quite often & have friends who do so with their families.
I highly recommend Princess. They have a great children's program. School break time does see an increase in children on board.
I have heard that Royal Caribeean also has a good children's program.
Travelling with the children might be nice to have the extra room that you would get in the mini-suite. ?? although some would say how much time would you spend in the cabin...??
There have been some recent reviews on the Diamond that you may want to read thru too.
GOOD LUCK with you choices
Cathy
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Old 10-21-2004, 05:59 AM
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Welcome to cruise-chat Josh. As a former school teacher myself, I spent many years cruising according to the school calendar.

During spring break there will be a large number of children on board, so both ships will have their children's programs in full swing. Both ships offer a good program, but there are some variables. On Carnival the children are divided into 4 age groups - Toddler group is for ages 2-5; and on Princess the children are divided into 3 with the youngest group comprising 3-7 year olds. Depending on your children's interests and maturation levels, that may be a factor.

Personally, I believe that Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean youth program and facilities are about the best at sea. But based on your children's ages and given the time of year you will be sailing - they should be happy on any of the ships.

Nancy
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Old 10-21-2004, 06:21 AM
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Get the mini suite, more room and most have 2 televisions. They do not have much on the tv's but at least the kids can watch what they want and it will keep them occupied when in the room.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:31 AM
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We were on the Diamond in August, so there were tons of kids. Even though the website says that they have 3 age groups, the Diamond has 4 (at least they did the week we were there). The little ones go to a room that had ages 3-5 only, and there were lots of kids to play with. That room even has its own semi-indoor pool: about 10' in diameter and 12" deep, with a spitting dolphin. It is enclosed from the back deck with a huge cargo netting that hangs from the roof (shaded), so the kids can't go anywhere or get sunburned, but you could watch them from the deck if you wanted. Of course, you can go in the rooms as well. Two nights they had kid movies in the room, and on the formal nights they have kid dinners, but at least one of those nights dress the kids up and have a family picture taken.
The tv on the Diamond has more stations than I have read about other ships, and there are 2 cartoon stations that play all the time. They also play movies that came out a few months prior but aren't even on pay-per-view yet. Since we had early evenings because of our son, we caught up on a few movies that we missed.
OUr son loved the bed that folded out of the ceiling. The steward brought it down every evening and it stowed away during breakfast, so our outside cabin didn't seem crowded for the 3 of us (about 183 SF). The shoe bag/rack on the outside of the bathroom door was essential, however, to store all our gear, but we went to Alaska, so we had gloves, umbrellas, etc. I was really amazed at how much storage really was in the room, especially since you won't have heavy coats!
You will have a great time on the Diamond.
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:31 PM
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My wife and are teachers too (soon to set down the chaulk for the last time we hope) and will also be traveling on the Diamond during spring break. We have done most of our cruising during spring breaksand always with Princess. There have always been many familys on the boats .We've not personally observed the children's programs (our baby is 22)but have been told that Princess hires teachers to run the children's programs.

One of the things we like most about Princess boats is they fit nicly into our demographics (mid age empty nesters). However most family units seem to do very well. They tend to hang around the two center pools where there is more action while those of us looking for more quiet relaxations stay at the rear and lotus pools.

Can't speak for other cruise lines, but I think you'll find Princess to your liking
 
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