Monday, April 2, 2012

About that cruise...

There are just no words to describe the faces on the boys when we told them what we were up to :) - I got a lot of "really??!?" and "Mom, I can't believe you kept the surprise this long!!" (What can i say, it's hard for me to keep presents a secret)  Then, they were like - "wait - we didn't bring our passports!!" Yes..I brought them..."MOM THIS IS AWESOME".  Best Mommy Day EVER.

Ok - the nitty gritty.  Transdermscope is my new best friend.  Maybe you aren't prone to motion sickness, but the boys and I are.  I think I put my patch on a little late in the game, it needs time to kick in.  I put it on the day of (about 5 hours before the cruise), and after speaking to some people it looks like putting it on the day before is really what should be done.

About 2 hours out to sea, the waves started to roll a little bit and all 3 of us went green. But i slapped those patches on the boys - and by the next morning - we were all good as new.  We even went through a little storm that last night at sea, and it didn't even give us a twinge.

 That water in the Bahamas is so pretty, and... cold.  I don't know why i thought it would be warmer - but i got as far as my big toe - it didn't affect the boys however.  And i'm not sure if it was the patch or that they had so much to do, but at the end of the day - this is what they looked like - by 9pm!!! We had to make them stay up the last night so we could see at least one show.
And I'm sure that you have seen these all over the place, these towel creatures - the boys loved them - very cute.  And they had a short little class on how to make these during the 'at sea' day.
We took Carnival and it was a good first cruise experience for a family.  There are some things that I wouldn't do again and then on the flip side, there were some things that we absolutely will do again.  (that deck below, that you see thru the netting, was the deck off of the spa, so you could get a massage, wander out and sit in the hot tub or on a deck chair - and kids were not permitted.  (not that i was staring or anything, or jealous...noooo)

What we would do again: We splurged and got cabin with a balcony - with 4 of us in one cabin - that balcony was the timeout space.  Seriously, mommy put herself out there with a glass of wine on more than one occasion.  Definitely will do a balcony again.

And while Carnival was great for a quick jump - we would probably try a bigger ship next time, and different cruise line.  It is GREAT for kids - read that again - GREAT FOR KIDS.  It's all you can eat cafeteria food, with self serve ice cream bars and unlimited desserts all day long.  Vance summed it up - it was like being in the student union at college 24/7.

But even my boys were like - meh, the food's ok - the appeal is that it's always available.

The biggest draws were the pool deck here below and the slide deck above.  They were different spaces a deck apart. The pool deck had live reggae all day long and mostly the older teens hung out there with dance contests, etc.

We really thought our boat was big, until we docked in Nassau beside the Norwegian ship - i can't even describe how big that ship was.  Let's just say you couldn't see our ship at all from the other side of the Norwegian ship - we looked like it's dinghy.
98% of the staff was great - and while they gave you an itinerary every night for the next day, we still found ourselves wondering about stuff that wasn't spelled out, and they didn't put a ship diagram on any of those itineraries.  We literally had to leave our cabin, walk to the elevators and look at the "you are here" map.  And yes, we did do that at least 5 times a day.
I actually lost a pound on the cruise.  We covered the entire ship many many times - up the stairs, down the stairs, front to back - so any over indulging was quickly negated.  One thing I definitely want to do that we missed out on this go around was the private bridge tour they offered. They only do 1 per cruise and only allow 16 people to attend. You meet the captain, check out the bridge, and have to sign a waiver that you can do all of the stair climbing - in tight spaces. I think because they also show you the engine rooms, etc.  I'm a geek like that so i really do want to do that.

Also, i think experiencing the formal dinner is a must, and if not that, at least do what we did, which was actually dress up (not formal, but not casual either) and have dinner at one of the nicer restaurants instead of the cafes.  It's a great opportunity to have your kids practice those table manners, order themselves, sit up, speak up, you know the drill :)  Trust me, we looked around and it seemed that every table was taking the same opportunity to train their offspring - very cute.

So, that's pretty much it - we had a great time and are now looking at an Alaskan cruise next summer! 


  1. Oh, I just love vacations posts! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I have never been on a cruise. We usually just go to an island but with kids maybe we should consider cruises. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this! We are going on a cruise next Spring Break, so I am taking notes {especially about the motion sickness which Gabe & I both get}. So happy that the boys were so surprised and loved it!

  3. Shelley - we had a blast - definitely do it!
    Megan - be warned that your pediatrician may not write a script for transdermscope for kids - my wouldn't. And i didn't push the issue, but was very thankful i ended up bringing my whole prescription - because we all used them. Trust me - all the other things the pediatrician told me to do never worked (wristbands, etc)