In which she spills the beans on a secret she’s been (not very successfully) keeping

by DaniGirl on September 30, 2012 · 6 comments

in Away we go

You may have picked up my not-so-subtle hints recently (so not good with the subtlty) that we have something big in the works for this fall. And by big, I mean biggest IN THE WORLD.

I have been trying to write this blog post for a while, and I can never figure out quite which tone to take. I still have trouble telling people I went on a free trip to Mexico last month because I write a blog. Hell, sometimes I still have trouble not apologizing for the fact that I write a blog at all – eight years later and I still twist my toe in the carpet when I tell people about the blog, even though it’s brought me not only amazing friends and connections but pretty much single-handedly launched my photography business and pays a steady part-time income and has led to a regular day job in social media and has brought me trips to Toronto and Vancouver and Mexico. And a cruise. Did I mention the cruise yet?

A CRUISE!!!!!!

Thanks to my amazing friends at Fisher-Price and their partnership with Royal Caribbean International, in three weeks the whole family will be taking a seven-night Caribbean cruise on the world’s largest cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas.

*pauses to shake head and pinch herself for the 100th time*

Although we leave in three weeks (!) I still don’t have a lot of the details. The ship itself sounds absolutely amazing, though: at capacity she holds more than 5000 passengers and nearly 2500 crewmembers, with more than 2000 staterooms on 16 decks. I simply can’t get my head around that sort of scale! I know we will make stops at Labadee, Haiti and Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. The ship has seven ‘neighbourhoods’ featuring a full-sized carousel, a zip line, five swimming pools and 10 hot tubs and a Starbucks. Talk about something for everyone!

Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

As excited as I am about all of that, you know what I’m most looking forward to? A whole week to simply enjoy my family. Cheesy as it sounds, the idea of simply being with them with no need to worry about cooking, tidying, running off to guitar lessons or getting the groceries or cutting the grass… just a week together with my menfolk. I honestly think that’s the most wonderful part of this whole crazy idea!

So I need a crash course in cruise culture. Anyone have any tips or advice? What to bring, what to avoid, how to tip, how to navigate two airports you’ve never been to before (LaGuardia and Fort Lauderdale) with three kids? Have you been to the ports? Are there excursions you’d recommend or avoid? And for that matter, any tips for traveling with kids at all? Share ‘em up please, I’ve got a lot of learning to do in the next three weeks!!

Oh, and the biggest question of all? How will I survive a week without the Internet?!?


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 valerie September 29, 2012 at 8:46 am

You should hear Sarah’s “oh, WOW!” in the background! Do you have room for a borrowed daughter? I’m excited for you, too – it sounds totally awesome (and FREE!). On the one cruise we took, the best excursions were the beaches, seriously – it was so great just to play in the sand and swim in the ocean.

I found ours a little less than relaxing at times, having to watch a 4 yr old around the pools, but the kids’ club can be a lot of fun for them, too. We found that the buffet was the best place for breakfast – instead of sitting still in the fancy restaurant and being served one pancake and a piece of fruit, Sarah could go help herself to a pancake, waffle, french toast, and all the fruit she wanted.

You will have an awesome time! (“She’s SO lucky!” still echoing behind me. :) )

2 Lara September 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

Eric and I went on our first cruise last December and it was AMAZING.
I agree – breakfast buffet OR get breakfast delivered to your room. To is especially awesome on excursion days. We were on the voyageur of the seas and also didn’t have kids w us so that was very different but I hear the kids club is great and the food was amazing in the dining room. Oh and the opening and closing parades old be great fun for the kids! Enjoy!!

3 Jody September 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

Linda at Indigo Girl went on a cruise with her husband, and her wrap up of that vacation has a lot of good information

http://indigogirl.typepad.com/linda/2011/10/vacation-wrap-up.html

Also, her entries for the days right before that detailed each part of the trip — and I’m sure you could email her with more questions.

That having been said, what I remember most of all is that there was a TON of information online, even organized by particular ship, so you should be able to find too much information for your every whim.

Have a great time! What an adventure!

4 Chantal September 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

That is AWESOME Dani! So happy for you guys! Enjoy every minute!

5 Batman September 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Wow! This is awesome! I hope you have a fantastic trip!

6 DaniGirl September 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thanks all! Jody, great tips, I enjoyed that blog post – thanks!

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