If you’ve read our past blogs, you’ve probably realized that our family likes to travel. You’ve probably also noticed that our preferred method of travel is Cruises. There are many different reasons why we prefer Cruise ships when on vacation, and don’t worry I won’t bore you with them on this blog. No, this blog is about a particular cruise that I took with my daughter.
It was February 2011, when my wife told me she was thinking about taking a trip to Australia and visit her friend who was living there. She asked me if I would be “okay” having Bernie, my 3 year old daughter, all to myself for two weeks. Now, I love being a Daddy, and my kids and I are the best things that happened to me. That being said, I’m also a male. And being a male, I sometimes prefer to have all the help I can get when taking care of my children. It’s not that I feel incapable of taking care of my kids, it’s just the opposite. I want to make sure that I’m surrounded by suitable people if any issues were to come up. If there’s a problem, or Heaven forbid an emergency, I want to make sure that I have “all hands on deck.” Ha, “All hands on deck.” See what I did there? So, when my wife tells me that she wants to go to Australia for two weeks, my internal support team draft is at full tilt. I’m thinking to myself, “Two weeks? I’ve never been alone with my daughter for two weeks? I’m going to need one heck of a Team.”
My wife was super excited, and I was TRULY excited for her. She not only finds a great deal to visit New Zealand while visiting her friend down under, but her Mom was also going with her. It would be the first time those two have ever gone a vacation together, and the first time her Mom had been out of the country. It was literally going to be a trip to remember. I on the other hand, was still in my draft pick mode. Now that Angie’s Mom was going with her on the trip, I lost the number 1 draft pick. This was setting up to be a very interesting, and slightly nerve-racking experience. But when faced with adversity we must think outside the box (I just made that up) and think outside the box I did.
The mantra in our household when it comes to Family Travel is, new places, new experiences and new adventures. When our family goes Vacation we want to have a new experience, go to new places, and have new adventures. Families can sometimes be trapped in the “vacation comfort zone” (more on that blog post, click here.) As I talked more with the voices in my head about the new places, experiences and adventures Angie was going to have, I came to the realization that the trepidations I felt had nothing to do with being alone with my daughter, but being somehow caught in a comfort zone of my own. It dawned on me that it was comfortable for me to stay home with my daughter, looking for the perfect support team. What my daughter and I both needed was our own Family Adventure, and what better way than on a cruise.
Yes, cruises are my preferred way to travel, when it comes to family vacation. There are many reasons why, (again, probably another blog) but two main reasons are, 24 hour food service and child friendly entertainment. When I look to book a cruise the destination is definitely one of the determining factors, but so is the ship itself. How many pools are there, what kind of entertainment does the ship offer? Do they have a formal night? Those things are always on my radar. Let’s face it, I’m not about to hop a ship with my three year old daughter, if they have multiple formal nights.
It took a couple of days to research, but I finally found what seemed to be the perfect cruise. It was an 8 day 7 night cruise on the Crowne Princess, leaving out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. We would hit the Grand Caymans, Mahogany Bay, Honduras, Cozumel, Mexico, and Princess Cay, Bahamas. Now for full disclosure, I had been to these places prior to taking my daughter. Actually it was the same ship my wife and I took on our honeymoon. That being said, when you’re a parent taking a family vacation, it essentially becomes all about the children. Seeing your kid’s reaction the first time they see how massive the ship is, or how blue the ocean water looks. The look your daughter gives you when you tell her she can have as much pizza and ice cream as she wants, because we’re on vacation and Mommy isn’t here to stop us….I mean her. I digress. The point is, it’s all about going to new places with your children, and being a part of their new experiences and adventures. That, my friends, is the best feeling in the world.
We had a great time. Bernie did have a lot of pizza and ice cream. Daddy had a lot of, well, yeah pizza and ice cream. The ports were awesome. The staff was beyond helpful. By the third day, our room steward had fries and applesauce waiting for Bernie for her night time snack.
We did attempt a formal night, it was definitely an experience. Let’s just say that halfway through dinner, her shoe ended up at the neighboring table. I may have bought them a bottle of wine.
When we finally got home at 9:30 at night, we were still energized from the vacation, that it took us a whole 30 minutes to pass out on the couch. I remember having to wake her up to get her pajamas on. We were silent the whole time she got ready, I finally got her into bed when she looked up at me and said, “Daddy, the big, big boat was fun”. I smiled at her and said, “Yeah, I miss the ice cream and pizza, too.”
I’ve attached the itinerary my daughter and I took. If you liked this blog, don’t be afraid to share it. If you didn’t like the blog, you probably didn’t get this far into reading it. More blogs to come!
|1||Hotel Accommodation – Room Only|
Princess Cays, Bahamas
Arrive in UK – Overnight flight
|Itinerary details & timings may be subject to change|