Yes, a cruise. Who would have thought that this family full of stamps in their passports would love cruising so much? I only say that because many of our friends sometimes give us a strange look when we say we are going on a cruise. The look says something like "a cruise...that is not a real vacation...silly Americans." Technically we aren't all Americans in this household, but you get the idea.
Well silly we are and let me tell you that a cruise is the perfect holiday and a great (can't stress it enough) deal for the entire family. How many other week vacations do you know that will cost $1,500 for a family of five, where EVERYTHING essential is included. I say five because, wait for it, Mikah plays regular price on a cruise. Yes, that is not a typo. But honestly even regular price is such a great deal that you can't beat the value. Note: A baby has to be 6-months to sail on a Carnival cruise, most cruise lines have the same restriction.
Another reason we love to cruise with the extended family is that is gives the freedom for everyone in the group to do their own thing, but then we still meet for meals, shows, excursions, etc. Also, if you have parents that are not 100% mobile like mine...it makes everything easier.
Also, attention parents of small children! Did you know that on a cruise there is a camp for the kiddos and basically you get to leave them there. They have a great time and you get some time for yourself. Granted this time we have a tiny baby to contend with but having one to babysit makes it much easier to take turns getting massages at the spa...just one example. And don't feel guilty about leaving the kids at the camp because they ABSOLUTELY love it.
What to take a sneak peek into our cruise adventure...
Arriving on board with JJ's parents. My parents got VIP boarding and beat us to the photo.
This was our ocean view room. It was amazing. Note: Remember the price I told you. Yes, it was for this room. Having a room with such a view made the cruise 100% better. Our cabin was huge, but it felt even bigger with these panoramic windows. Only a couple of these babies on the ship since they are in the front. Well worth it!
The entire family went to Key West together.
Here we are in the spot where it all started and we got married 9 years ago. The only difference is that we have three boys joining us (Mikah is on the other side of that stroller).
Looks just like it did the day we got married.
We stopped by our reception site - The Southernmost House. Luka was captivated and tried to imagine what the party was like.
Having lunch...who knew Mikah loves lemons?!?!?!
Sam and Abuelo "riding" on Duval Street.
"Los Reyes Magos" made it to the ship for Three Kings Day.
Sam loves the pool. He is doing his "Swimming Happy Dance."
Grand Cayman. We visited the sea turtle farm and the boys were able to play in the turtle pool. So cool!
Here goes...the tacky part of a cruise. I am guilty of loving every minute of it. My mom and I might have played one too many games of bingo and here is my trophy for winning the Famous Faces Trivia Contest.
Here I am singing "Ice Ice Baby" with my baby in my arms. Yes, I know all the words! It was part of the Music Trivia Contest. Don't judge me please...it was fun!
Luka never missed an opportunity for a group dance and there are many on a cruise.
My parents weren't able to join us for our Date with the Dolphins in Cozumel, but they seemed to cause trouble all on their own.
Guess who swam with the dolphins in Cozumel before we did...we are in good company, no? hilarious...
The boys were so excited.
Pucker up Merlin...that was the name of our dolphin.
Luka was so brave to ride on the dolphin's belly.
Here JJ is being propelled by Merlin on his foot.
NOTE: To get a better deal swimming with the dolphins book the excursion directly from the company before you board the ship. The ship prices are sky high.
Did someone say chocolate? This was Sam after sampling a couple of the desserts at the Chocolate Buffet one day.
And no cruise could be complete without a formal night...well as formal as we could get with this bunch.
On our last day at sea we had breakfast with the Cat in the Hat, Sam I am, and Thing 1 at the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast.