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Dawn 8/24/03--Family Trip

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by musicmom, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. musicmom

    musicmom Guest

    We're sailing on the Dawn with my two kids, my parents and my sister's family, which includes her two kids, all under 10 years old. When we're in Port Canaveral, we've rented two minivans, and we're going to do Universal on our own. Any thoughts about doing the theme parks on your own, as opposed to the excursions. We'll be saving over 300 dollars as a group if we do it on our own, plus, we're getting carseats, booster seats, etc.

    What is Nassau like? How is the private island? Any tips on traveling with kids?

    Thanks in advance for all replies.
     
  2. MALTESEMOM

    MALTESEMOM Guest

    Just got off the Dawn on 6/22. The private island had 1000 people on it at 9 a.m. I think the first tender was 7 a.m. We decided not to do it. Nassau was incredible. We took the Discover Atlantis tour, it was really nice.
     
  3. Galley Girl

    Galley Girl Guest

    Can you tell me how to go about getting prices for all the extra trips at the ports? I have two sons age 14 and 15 and want to be as prepared as possible. Thanks Joanne
     
  4. musicmom

    musicmom Guest

    Hi Galley Girl,

    Go on the NCL website, www.ncl.com and click on Shore Excursions. That will give you the option to choose which area you are cruising, and then you can click on a PDF file that has all the information- different excursions, prices, etc.

    Good luck. When are you going?
     
  5. tortoni

    tortoni Guest

    I would definitely do the excursion on your own and save the money--just leave plenty of time to get back to the ship before she sails. I would not try to cover both Universal theme parks in one day. For kids under 10 (and even adults)--go with Islands of Adventure. Lots of creative rides (Spiderman is great) and the water rides are terrific. They have some kind of express feature that is worth it because it moves you along quickly and you will need this in August. When you go into the park, start right--in Zuess land. This is great for the kids and most people start left in Marvel so you may get around a little better. Have fun
     
  6. musicmom

    musicmom Guest

    Hi Tortoni,

    Thanks for the reply. We had definitely planned to do only one park for the day. I had checked out both Universal parks, Islands and the regular one. We were leaning toward the regular Universal Studios, but your opinion is that the Islands of adventure is more appropriate for my needs. Can you tell me a bit more?

    The express feature is an added cost, I'm sure, but probably worth it due to the crowds. Any and all info is greatly appreciated. Any other tips about excursions that NCL is offering in Miami, Nassau, etc.?
     
  7. shutterbug

    shutterbug Guest

    i was told that magic kingdom is best for kids under 10, most of the rides do not have height requirements...... depending on how old they are if all of them are under 10 it might be something to look into!!
     
  8. BigAl

    BigAl Guest

    If you go to Universal, definitely opt for the express. The lines can be very long, especially in the summer. I'd look carefully at the web sites and see what rides are offered. There are height restrictions on some of the Island of Adventure rides. If your kids are not into coasters and wet water rides, the Studio may be a better match..or as has been mentioned, have you considered the Magic Kingdom in Disney?
     
  9. garykr

    garykr Guest

    Hi Musicmom.

    I will also be on this cruise. We have a very big group over on the cruisecritic.com message board. Please feel free to join us and also join us for our get together.

    We are meeting 1/2 hour after muster in the bimini bar and then again on monday morning between 10am-11am in Dazzles.

    See you on board,

    Gary
     
  10. BigAl

    BigAl Guest

    I agree with a couple of the earlier posters. A lot of it depends on your children and how they are on coasters, scary rides, etc. Many of Islands rides have height restrictions. The Studios side may have more attractions available for them (and perhaps the rest of the family if not into coasters or getting wet). With children that young, Magic Kingdom may be a better choice. But if at Universal, the express pass is well worth it. Make sure to check your itinerary also. I believe that they shorten the Canaveral stay to an 8 pm departure starting on the 8/24 trip. We are going on 9/28 and leave at 8 instead of 10.
     
  11. musicmom

    musicmom Guest

    Hi - Thanks for your postings--we have decided to go to the Magic Kingdom. I think it will be the best for all the kids. Universal will have to be for another day.

    Gary, thanks for the invite. I can't believe this trip is tomorrow--still doing last minute packing! I saw your discussion on cruisecritic and got lots of information. I really enjoyed everyone's comments.



    Musicmom
     
  12. Linda1629

    Linda1629 Guest

    Hi!

    I hope you're having a great trip and hopefully you'll see this when you get back, hopefully you can answer a couple of questions for me!

    I'm going on the same cruise in November and have thought about renting a car and doing Islands of Adventure on our own. Where did you rent the car and how far was it from the cruise ship? Did it take a lot of extra time to get the car?

    What time did you have to be back at the boat that day? And, if you had to do it again would you rent the car or use the NCL excursion?

    Also, how was the private island? I'd love to hear about it!

    Thanks!

    Linda
     
  13. musicmom

    musicmom Guest

    Hi Linda1629,

    Thanks for your post. This was our first cruise, and the whole experience exceeded our expectations.

    Regarding the car: A few days before the trip, I called Avis to confirm the reservation and found that they had moved their location from the Radisson Hotel, which meant that they had no provisions anymore for key return after they closed (6:00 pm) and they weren't near the taxi stand anymore, so I cancelled the reservation and booked the NCL shuttle bus to the Magic Kingdom. It was a nice bus, and it worked out fine. They charge (28.00) per person. NCL doesn't offer just a shuttle bus to Islands of Adventure; if you want to go through NCL to Islands you have to book their package, which seems expensive. Why don't you add up the admission price, factor in the cost of car rental and see if its worth it to do it on your own, or go through NCL? Avis had the closest location to the ship, but it didn't work out for us. In the end, we had a sense of comfort knowing that we were guaranteed to get back to the ship in time, etc. The last bus was at 6:00, and I believe the ship sailed at 8:00.


    The private island was crowded, but still worth the trip. The water is beautiful, and they have a barbecue, some Caribbean music and floats to rent. My son got some sunscreen in his eyes and there was a nice first aid station and the nurse helped us out. We had a lovely time. It was a little, beautiful deserted Gilligans Island, and we really enjoyed it. Don't expect to have any real space to yourself! Like I said, it was crowded, but not to the point where it was annoying.


    Write back if you have any other questions,

    Musicmom
     
  14. MzLuLu

    MzLuLu Guest

    Hi Music mom

    I'm happy to hear your family had a good time. I was wondering, where do they serve breakfast and lunch on the ship? and is it buffet or sit down? Also are all the restaurants open for lunch(those with cover charge too)? Thanks, Linda
     

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