Sunday, June 03, 2012

Cruisin 2012

As a graduation present to our graduate, and to the rest of the family who had to endure a missing piece of our family, we decided to take the boys out of school for a week and take the family on a cruise!! We left Tampa on a Monday after an early morning and a 5 hour drive. The first night was interesting. We were trying to get situated not sure of where we should be, all having differing opinions of what we thought we should be doing and tired. Brandon had been complaining of an earache as we were getting on board, and was in tears by that evening. Then when we went to dinner the food did not taste good to me, and I got a little nervous. We were on this boat like it or not for the next 5 days with all the kids. Yikes!

Well...... we went to bed that night and by the next morning things were much better! We all slept great, Alex was easy, no seasickness and Brandon's ear problem was gone, so we headed up to a delicious breakfast right on the water. The  boys favorite thing to get at the buffet restaurant was hot chocolate. They probably had 30 cups each over the 6 days. Crazy!


After breakfast we took the boys off to Camp Carnival.{This is right outside the door to the camp}

They were separated by age, and the 3 oldest were together, and Brandon was off by himself. Surprisingly, he didn't care at all! And he enjoyed camp the most. {Brandon dancing at camp}

 The down side was that Alexander was too young to go to a babysitter. That sweet little bundle of joy was with Mom and Dad the whole time. I would suggest to anyone thinking about it, to not take a baby under the age of 2 on your cruise with you. After dropping the boys off, Steve and I sat by the water and had a nice chat and then headed to the cabin to put Alex down for his nap. It was a very relaxing day with the boys occupied while we slept.

The next day we arrived on Grand Cayman Island around 11am. We headed off the ship in our swimming suits with our snorkel gear in tow. Steve took the older boys snorkeling for a while and Brandon, Alex and I went shopping. Later we switched so I could check out the snorkeling. It was very cool. I loved it. Then we had some ice cream and headed back to the boat by 7pm.


 Next was Cozumel Mexico. Steve was so excited to take us to Mexico. He knows the language of course, and knows a lot about the culture. We spent this day shopping! We gave each of the boys an allotment of money and we found a great market where we could spend it. We got some really neat things. Steve enjoyed speaking with the natives and using his Spanish. Our only downfall was the restaurant we found for lunch. We were excited for some authentic mexican tacos and the place we ended up was over priced and had OK food. But, we know how to make Mexican food pretty good ourselves so we didn't feel too cheated.

The next day we were back on the boat headed home, and relaxing while the boys played with their friends at Camp. One of our favorite things about the boat was the formal dinner that was available every night. We had a table reserved for our family at 6pm in a nice restaurant with a window looking out to the water. The food was wonderful and I just loved being there eating, and walking away when we were done without paying a hefty bill. It was great.
{This was THE most delicious cake that I had every night. It was called melting chocolate cake. YUM!}

 I also thought it was amazing to go out to the side of the ship and see nothing but dark blue water as far as you could see. It makes you feel pretty small, but was beautiful.

 All in all I LOVED the cruise. Where else can you get room and board, all the food you can eat anytime you want it, transportation to new places, and babysitting for that kind of money. What a fantastic way to travel.  There were some down sides. It is hard to travel with 5 kids of course. There are a lot of opinions of who wants to do what. Just to share a little of what we heard hourly over the week, I filmed a moment during our mini golf tournament. 

But, I am so glad we went and were able to spend this time together. It was a memorable week.


Roger said...


Jessica said...

Ha! I loved reading about your cruise and I maintain I still would have loved to come despite the whacking in the arm. Thanks for updating!

laura said...

Haha!!! I hope Carnival doesn't get wind of this video you posted. They will sue you over lost revenue because after that video, I will NOT be taking my kids on a cruise! Just kidding. It looks like you had a wonderful time. The picture of you all eating out by the water is just amazing. What a way to spend a week! And the truth is(and what I must remind Brian of all the time), nothing is relaxing or easy with kids. That is just our stage in life right now. 20 years from now, we can all gather for an adult only cruise, with no little kids to discipline or care for. It will be quiet and relaxing... and sounds almost a little boring. I love that you got to experience this as a famiy NOW.

Sue said...

Looks wonderful! I am so happy that your family did this as Steve's graduation present! I would love to go on a cruise with our children! I would even be happy if they each brought a friend!

Scott B. said...

Oh boy. Now I really do need to try a cruise. That looks so fun. Maybe without the fighting kids and a baby though. I am happy you guys got to do this. What a very memorable family vacation and a great way to celebrate such a big accomplishment. I have to admit that the eating and the napping sounded the very best to me.


Kristin said...

These are awesome pics and I love love love the video! SOOOO glad I'm not the only parent who hears, "You never do ANYTHING when I get whacked!" HAhaha! Love it!! SO glad to see you guys had such a good time!! Can't wait to see you guys soon!!