How to Successfully Cruise with a Infant or Toddler- Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks Cruising with Infant Or Toddler

When Autumn was 14 months old we took a family cruise in the Caribbean. Our Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas cruise out of Tampa in January 2015 was a blast for all of us. It was a wonderful 7-day cruise that was packed fun of fun in the sun, shopping, eating plenty of food, lots of wandering around the ship, and some nice leisurely afternoons filled with naps (for all of us!).

We did A LOT of research before selecting our cruise line and cruise we would be taking. Ultimately, we had learned that Royal Caribbean was in the process of outfitting their ships with nurseries. It felt like a no-brainer to have the nursery as an option for us to use so we then selected our ship, dates, and itinerary.

Check out our breakdown of the big things to consider when cruising with a baby or a toddler:

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-Selecting your cruise-

It’s important to pick a cruise line, ship, length of cruise, and itinerary that works best for you. They are all import factors in you selecting the cruise you will take. There are so many cruise lines and itineraries that you can easily become overwhelmed. Stick with something that you think you will enjoy and be comfortable with.

Something that we considered was the age of our child and the services the ships provide for her. As she was too young to understand any of the Disney characters we decided to skip the Disney cruise. We felt the Royal Caribbean cruise would offer great things for us and for her. And we were right!

Something that we didn’t consider was if the ship would be tendered or docked at each port. After completing our cruise that had 3 tendered ports and 1 docked one, I am certain to say that tendered ports stink! You can manage but they require so much more coordination than if the ship is docked. You already have so much to juggle with you infant, your stuff for the day, and the baby’s stuff for the day, that having to deal with the on and off and waiting for the shuttle boat stinks.

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-Packing-

It’s quite amazing how much clothing you need while on a cruise! From the daytime stuff like bathing suits, shorts, tops, and sneakers, to the evening stuff like pants, blouses, dresses, and heels. And don’t forget the formal night(s)!

And then add all the stuff your baby needs… clothes, diapers, wipes, medicines, formula, pumping equipment, some toys, etc, etc!!!

Be mindful of all of this and carefully pack up all of this stuff before your trip. I don’t think you can truly properly pack for a cruise at the last minute, but, hey, that’s just me! So take your time and properly plan it all out before you pack it all up at home.

Once you get on board I highly suggest that you unpack your suitcase(s) so that you can easily find things and get around your room. We put one empty suitcase under out bed and one in the closet. It worked well for us so just find something that works well for you.

And then pack as much stuff as you can the night before you get off the cruise so that your suitcase(s) can be collected outside your room to be brought into the port. It makes getting off the boat so much easier.

-Laundry-

We used the laundry service a few times while we were on our week long cruise on the Royal Caribbean.

The first 2 times we used laundry we were charged by piece, similar to when you bring items to the dry cleaner. After that our room steward gave us a bag that had a flat rate to use as an option. See what laundry service and rates your cruise line has, ask ahead of time or ask your room steward.

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 -Swimming on the Ship-

Unfortunately, your little one can’t use any of the pools while on board as they don’t allow babies and toddlers to use diapers in the pools. And you’re little one has to be potty trained, so don’t just think you can dip your baby in there without a diaper.

This is a bummer, but it’s for sanitary reasons as cruise lines (with the exception of the Disney Cruise Ships) don’t have the proper filtration systems in place to deal with any poo accidents.

On some forums I read that people pack inflatable pools that they blow up with a plastic hand pump, or with a strong set of lungs!, that they use on their balcony. If you think that would work well for you then you might want to get a pool like this Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool (34 in x 10 in) and a pump like this Hand Air Pump.

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-Getting Around-

There are 2 main ways to bring your baby or toddler around on and off the ship- a stroller or a baby carrier.

We brought both an Ergo and an umbrella stroller that a coworker generously gave us. We liked having both options as we like using a carrier when in the airports and the stroller was great when we were in each port.

The carrier is also great when you have to go to your muster station before the cruise starts. Getting around the ship with it is great as well, as there generally is a wait for the elevators. My using a carrier you can skip the line and just take the stairs.

We found that the stroller worked well for us when we were in port as it allowed for us to get around quickly with Autumn by having her safe and secure. Sure, we could have had her in the carrier but it was nice not having to load ourselves up as we had other bags of things like snacks, water, shoes, sunblock, a camera, and towels to lug around as well. It was a pain to push through the sand at the beaches but it did help us keep out stuff together and out of the sand when we loaded it up when it wasn’t in use.

If you would like to use a stroller but don’t want to bring one yourself then just inquire if your cruise line has strollers for use, as Disney and Carnival do, for a deposit or daily fee.

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-In Port/On Shore Excursions-

We didn’t participate in an of the excursions that were arranged through the ship. They sounded wonderful but the majority of them were too advanced for her. We did speak to another family that took their 2 year old on an excursion to see and swim with dolphins. They said she did well and enjoyed it, which was great for them, but the year difference between Autumn and their daughter would have made a big difference. We just thought she would have been too scare, just do what works for you.

Grand Cayman and Costa Maya were beach days for us. They were both wonderful days filled with fun in the sun. We made the days work with cab & shuttle rides to and from the port to the beaches. From there we chairs and umbrellas that we either paid ($20- Grand Cayman) for or we free (Costa Maya) for use.

The other days were spent around port shopping and just walking around. Belize was the toughest day as it was our last port and it was so incredibly hot. But every port was great in its own way.

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– Dining-

We all loved the food on the cruise! The variety of foods meant that she could try a lot of different things so there was sure to be something that she would like. And there were things that she tried for the first time that she loved- like jello!

While everyone thinks there is food 24/7 it’s not really the case, there are set times when the restaurants and cafes are open. As our daughter is an early riser we spent many mornings waiting for the main restaurant on the 9th deck to open. We quickly learned that it was important to always have snacks available to ease the hungry toddler. Grabbing boxes of cereal, yogurt, and fruit when we left breakfast each day helped us get through snack time and those lunches when Autumn just wanted a yogurt and not any of the 50 choices we laid out in front of her.

Our diner servers were so awesome as they quickly learned how to make dinner run smoothly for all of us, including them! Autumn was a fan of the bread basket so they always brought that over quickly and we always kept our menu browsing time to .2 seconds so we could order as soon as possible to get our food out quickly. It was a bit rushed but it all worked well for us so we could all enjoy food.

There were nights when we just knew Autumn would be content with some bread and yogurt and then there were other nights when we ordered her an appetizer. I was a bit hesitant to order her any food but our server kindly reminded us that we paid for it so we might as well. There were nights when she loved what we ordered and their were nights she hated it, and then were were the nights she ate what I ordered for myself. ha!

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– Your Stateroom-

Unless you get a suite, your room is going to be cramped. That’s just the way it is when you have a small room and then add a pack and play.

As I was exclusively pumping, I needed a refrigerator in the room to store the milk. I called ahead and spoke with a Royal Caribbean agent who arranged that, along with our pack and play. Both are to arrive by8pm the day you embark on your cruise so it can make things tough if your child goes to be earlier (like ours), but be patient with your room steward as they are busting their butts that day.

I really suggest getting a mini fridge as this will help you keep your pumped breast milk/milk/formula, snacks, medicines, etc cold. We had to have a chair removed from our room to make room for it but it was so worth it. Unfortunately we couldn’t rip the built in sofa out of the room to make even more room. ha!!

Autumn wasn’t used to taking showers so they were kinda scary for her but she did well as we kept them quick. We found it worked well to tag team the ‘event’ so that she was in here with one of us and when she was done/completely over it the other could grab her, dry her off, diaper, and change her, while the other completed their shower.

I suggest bringing a surge protector as there are not many outlets in your room so with 1 outlet being dedicated to your mini fridge you are limited to can use the other outlet for. For example, if you are pumping then you have used both outlets and are unable to charge any of your devices while in the room.

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– Nursery-

We used the nursery on our Royal Caribbean Cruise throughout the week-long cruise in one way or another.

Babysitting was just $8 an hour (January 2015) which certainly beats our $12 rate in the Boston area. They had clean facilities and experienced staff who were excited to watch Autumn. Autumn loved the toys and movies they had playing and quickly took the staff getting snuggling in their laps to take a bottle before going to bed there while we were having our dinner. We would just get her, quietly walk to our room, and put her in the pack and play in our room to complete the wonderful night.

Unfortunately Autumn was the only kid to use the nursery that week. It would have been great to have met other families while using the toys during the open play times.

The kind staff even gave us a bag of toys at the start of the trip so that Autumn could have things to play with while we were in our room. We just returned it on the last day after lots of use.

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Our Top 10 Tips & Tricks To Successfully Cruise with a Baby or Toddler

Avoid tendered ports. Tendered ports are no fun for anyone, but they are even less fun for you and your infant as you have to lug your stuff and theirs on and off the boat that shuttles you from the ship to the port. Plus, there is the wait to get on the shuttle boat, load it, and then unload it. Babies aren’t always the most patient creatures!

-Bring a compact umbrella stroller. This is helpful for getting around in port or around the ship. It’s great for on the go napping. Plus, the storage helps you keep your hands free too.

-Bring a baby carrier. This is great when you are attending your muster station drill, getting on/off the ship, and in port. Plus, we find them to be really helpful when you are going through the airport.

Bring extra of everything! Pack more diapers, wipes, and formula than you think you would need. Better be safe than sorry. But be sure to pack efficiently too!

Request a mini refrigerator for your stateroom. Call ahead of arrange this. This is definitely needed if your formula feeding or pumping. Plus, it’s great for storing snacks.

Request the staff to remove any furniture, if possible. Our room steward took out a chair for us as we were cramped with a pack & play and the mini fridge.

Take portable snacks whenever possible. Grabbing boxes of cereal and fruit at breakfast is a great way to start the day to know you’ll have something on hand for when your in port or just around the boat.

Use the nursery, if available. We found this very helpful and just awesome. We used their open play times and babysitting services.

Try to maintain your typical schedule, especially for naps and meals. This worked well for us as the consistency was helpful for her to have some sort of routine.

Go with the flow!! While you should stick to your child’s normal schedule as much as possible, if your kid doesn’t eat, behave, or sleep like normal, just remember how this is a new experience to them so just follow their cues to make it work for everyone.

Bonus… Have fun!! It’s a cruise! It’s vacation! Always remember to have fun.

 

 

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Our 2015 Vision of the Seas Cruise: Days 5 & 6 Recap

We took a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise on the Vision of the Seas to visit the Western Caribbean for my 30th birthday/pre-wedding honeymoon. We visited Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico, Georgetown in Grand Cayman, and Belize City in Belize, sandwiched between 2 days at sea cruising.

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{Wednesday – Costa Maya, Mexico}

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While we were eating breakfast we noticed this rainbow that was shining brightly over the coast of Costa Maya. I was so glad to capture it We learned our lesson of sticking to the rule of ‘bring the camera with you everywhere!’ as Price missed getting pictures of dolphins swimming and jumping along side the ship on our day at seat and I missed a double rainbow over Grand Cayman when I ran up for lunch that afternoon. Still so bummed about the dolphins!

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Costa Maya was the first, and only, cruise port that was docked. This truly made the process of getting on and off the cruise ship so much easier than the previous tendered days. Instead of having to wait your turn to get on a small boat to shuttle you to and from the port, you just walk right off. Simple as that!

There was a free trolley from the ship to the port entrance, which we didn’t use, as we didn’t think the pier was too long, but others with limited mobility might have found the trolley useful.

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The most amazing thing about the Caribbean to me is the crystal clear water. We got to see a school of Moorish Idols (I think!) bobbing around the long pier on our walk into the port.

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When we arrived in port we are greeted by a grand entrance and men adorned in ancient native dress. You could take pictures with them but we just breeze by as we were on a mission to get to the beach as soon as possible. Top priorities!

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There are shops, a craft market, restaurants, a hotel, and a pool in the port area. We were blown away by the fact that pool was free and so well maintained. We briefly considered stayed there to hang out at the pool and the beach, but there is a rock wall preventing access into the water.

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We took a $2 per person trolley ride to get to the beach. While you can actually see the ship from the beach the trip is far too long to walk, so the trolley ride was worth it.

The trolley makes several stops along the beach before going into downtown. We decided to just get off the first stop, which brought us right to the beach that ran in front of a Senior Frogs Restaurant and Bar.

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Just like the beach in port, the beach and the equipment were free. There was a cabana set up on the beach where there were some women giving out massages. I was tempted to inquire about prices but I really just wanted to relax with Price and Autumn.

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I swear there is nothing better than enjoying a cold beer while on the beach.

While we were on the beach we ordered a plate of chips, salsa, and guacamole. The drinks were dirt cheap. Super, super cheap! Our bucket of 4 beers was just $5. But the food was pretty expensive, which is why we only got the plate of chips for $10.

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The only thing to note about the beach where we were is that there is a big section where there was plant growth. There were some people snorkeling along the edges to check of aquatic life but most of the small fish I saw was right along the water’s edge. We had water shoes, which I highly suggest if you get the least bit squeamish when stepping on unkonwn squishy stuff (like me!!!). In general I found them to be a great investment just to avoid some of the sharper rocks on the beaches, which was very prominent in Grand Cayman as well.

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Autumn did amazingly well at the beach as she played in the sand with her toys, enjoyed dips in the water, and playing on the beach chair.

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It was such a wonderful day at the beach. Our beach babe was so tired afterwards! Thankfully, the reentry on to the boat was just as easy as getting off. Just through security and we were on our way back to the room. Much easier than being tendered!

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We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon and the time to rinse off all the sand and salt water. Endless

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It was formal night so we were a bit under dressed, at least compared to the couples wearing tuxes and ballgowns, but at the same time we were on par with others on the ship too. At least everyone loved Autumn’s frilly aqua dress.

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I started to not feel that great later on in the afternoon so I kept dinner pretty plain with some chicken and rice. It was done beautifully, but I just wasn’t feeling so great. Maybe a combination of the foods I had been eating, the sun, or the fact that there was a small out break in Norovirus on the ship on the cruise prior to ours. I never got sick but just felt off, which is why we also, sadly skipped dessert.

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We were all quite satisfied with our meal, and our day, and I think that Autumn’s happy, smiley face shows it.

{Thursday – Belize City, Belize}

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Autumn is normally an early riser so it was no surprise that she was up early on the cruise but at the same time she never slept well at night so we had been hoping for some ‘later’ mornings to make up for it. Sadly, that was not the case, but we did get to enjoy some amazing sunrises while on the cruise.

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To change things up a bit we took our breakfast (6.15-10.30am) out of the Windjammer  Cafe to enjoy the fresh morning air as we approached the port in Belize City. Plus, this way we could see all of Autumn’s best friends on the deck. She took a liking to an older gentleman named Michael. So sweet.

After breakfast we went back to the room to stick to our morning routine of Autumn napping while I pumped. And then we’d gear up for the time in port.

While going to the beach would be have been great, I still wasn’t feeling too well so we decided that we would keep our time in Belize quick. Plus, Price had to do his time sheet for vacation week, so we’d have to bring the laptop with us. We figured the laptop and beach sand wouldn’t be a good mix.

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We had wandered around the Belize City port a bit trying to find a good spot to stop and use Wifi before we settled on a friendly open air bar that had a $10 minimum for Wifi (pretty average rate in port) and a 2 of $10 drink special. Perfect. Plus, the friendly waitress also gave Autumn a cup of mango juice, which she really enjoyed on the hotter than normal day.

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“You have a baby… in a bar.”

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We didn’t spend too much time in the port area as there honestly wasn’t too much to do. It seemed that the excursions required a taxi or bus ride to get there, which would have been fine to experience but decided it was too much to juggle with Autumn, our stuff, and a laptop. Next time Belize, next time…

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I’d suggest keeping an eye on the schedule for the ferries that bring you back to the boat as we got on one immediately, and then had to wait and wait and wait for it to leave, which is hard with a frigidity 1 year old.

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I kept my lunch simple with some plain pasta as I was feeling off but Price and Autumn enjoyed their lunches in the Windjammer Cafe. Autumn tried jello for the first time and loved it so much that she had a bowl and a half.

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After lunch we spent some time during the afternoon enjoying the Open Play  Session (1.15pm-5.15pm) in the nursery. They has set up musically themed toys that day. And then it was time for Autumn’s nap. As usual, Price and I took turns resting or roaming around the ship during the afternoon naps.

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Stripes and baby shorts. Perfection.

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We took advantage of the daycare provided by the nursery staff for another ‘date night’ dinner together. We dropped Autumn off right at 5.30 with some snacks & yogurt (for her to have as dinner), her bottle, and diaper bag before we headed over to the Aquarius dining room.

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During the afternoon, we had scoped out the menu on the information screens located outside of the dining room so that we could learn what the theme was for the dinner that night. We figured that with the Italian themed dinner we would best enjoy the bottle of red wine that we brought on board.

Man oh man, it was so enjoyable to enjoy a dinner together without having to get up to allow Autumn to stretch her legs and burn off that frigidity energy. Plus, she enjoyed her time at the nursery watching some Mickey Mouse, reading stories, and cuddling up with the sweetest nursery staff.

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A couple that stripes together, stays together. ha!

After dinner we strolled around for a bit while Price finished off the bottle of wine. Wine and the fresh Caribbean breeze… to die for! We picked up Autumn from daycare and got settled back in the room.

Another very fun day on our cruise!!!

1.24-25: End of Cruise Weekend Recap

{Saturday}

up early | breakfast & walk around the ship | disembark | Dad picked us up | visit Model Home | unpack & start laundry | mom & nanny come to Dad’s house | lunch, hang out, dinner | Autumn has a bath | Autumn to bed | Mom and Nanny leave | guide mom to highway | get ice cream with Robin | watch The Interview | pack the suitcases | go to be really late

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{Sunday}

up early | breakfast | Dad drops us off at the airport | flight | home | Kemper gets home | go to the grocery store | Autumn naps | basketball | make Autumn’s dinner | Autumn has bath & goes to bed | burgers and fries for dinner | hang out | watch Screen Actors’ Guild Awards | bed

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Long Weekend Cruise: Boston to Saint John, NB – Carnival Glory

We recently went on our first cruise together (my 3rd cruise). Originally, Price and were supposed to go to Greece for 10 days back in March but that trip fell through at the beginning of the year. It was a huge disappointment as it was totally out of our control, but serendipitously everything else fell into place resulting us getting our first house. We felt that we still needed a little vacation so we began looking around and found a great deal on a 4 day Carnival cruise out of Boston that would take us up to Saint John, NB. A fun, quick trip up to Canada was just what the Dr ordered! 🙂

Long post… I know… but I hope it helps anyone looking for information about taking a Carnival Cruise in New England and Canada. 

Embarkation Day (Thursday)

We each took a half day so we could head over to the port early on. Plus I had to buy a pair of sneakers before we left. After a quick T ride to South Station and then a Silver Line bus to Cruise Port and we were quickly breezing through the lines to board the boat. Everyone was really friendly as they ushered us through security, checked us in, and gave us our cards that act as our room keys, security to get on & off the boat, and our debits cards for anything we purchase on the boat. 

  

Before we knew it we were dropping off our bags in the room and running up the Lido deck to enjoy the views.

 

I was completely and utterly loosing my mind every time a plane came in for a landing at Logan. There is just something so fun and amazing about their power and I love knowing that people are going on or returning from an adventure. (Unless of course they are on a bussiness trip).

Prior to leaving the port we went back to the room, changed into our bathing suits, went on a tour of the spa, went through the safety drill, and went back to the spa for a raffle.  Sadly, we didn’t win any spa services so we high tailed it back up to the decks to wave bye to Boston and enjoy the sun on the Serenity area. Unfortunately, we went opposite ways when we left the spa & couldn’t find each other for a while so I just grabbed a lounge and enjoyed the music, sun, and time to relax.

 

Price did find me so we hopped into a hot tub and enjoyed the whole novelty of being in water while being on a boat. dorks. Serentiy started to clear out as people went to the first seating for dinner so we were able to get a hammock and relax for a bit before we had to get ready for dinner.

 

Tall ships were arriving for the Fourth of July celebration so we saw a few coming into Boston as we left.

This happy towel animal greeted as when we came back to the room. We headed off to dinner and that is when things went poorly for Price who started to battle a headache. He didn’t make it through dinner since he went back to the room to lay down. I went to the duty free shop and paid though noise ($12) for a small bottle of Tylenol for Pricer. (Remember to be prepared so you don’t have to pay so much too!) Thankfully he woke up feeling fine the next day 🙂

Fun Day at Sea (Friday)

There are Fun Days at Sea which is just when the ship needs a day to travel to get to the next port. Our cruise has 2 Fun Days at Sea, which were the days that brought us to Saint John and then back again to Boston. The daily ‘Today at a Glance‘ brochure that is provided in your stateroom outlines all the activities to available to participate in. We decided to generally keep our days relaxing so we didn’t do a whole lot, which was just perfect!

You are here when you wake up…

 

 

rain clouds and fox news… kill me!

After breakfast and a nap, I went to the information session that the Cruise Director Josh hosted to let passengers know what is going on around the ship.

 

I went to a foot analysis seminar. It was focused on a set of orthotics from Good Feet that they were selling but it actually was really interesting and informative. We did imprints of our feet and that would tell us about our ‘foundations’ and how that could relate to any pain we have. Well my imprints showed my right foot is flatter than my left, which could relate to my issues with my hip on my right side. hmmm… should prob see a DR about that…

After lunch, the weather started to clear and the sun came out so we got our bathing suits on to enjoy the day. We heading out on the Lido deck and saw an ice sculpture being carved away at.

 

Thankfully, I grabbed some seats quickly so we spent the afternoon laying out by the Azure pool. After getting too hot we would just take a dip into the pool and then layout again. Oh, and we would sip on pina coladas as well. My kind of vacation!

Rib-bit!

 

Friday night was the Captain’s Dinner night so it means getting dressed up. Apparently that memo did not get to everyone as there were 2 winners for the night. One guy wearing plaid (not madras style) cargo shorts and a polo with some graphic on the back and the other guy who wore jeans and an orange hoodie. (Overall, orange hoodie guy won as we saw him wear that for the rest of the cruise)

soooo good!

After dinner we went to one of the on board Broadway/Vegas style shows called ‘Livin’ in America’. It was good but I dozed off a bit since we enjoyed a bottle of wine with dinner and all the afternoon sun caught up with me. Instead of walking through the ship to get to the elevator bank to take us to Riviera Deck we went up and walked along top. Very cool as it was really foggy.

Saint John, NB (Saturday)

As with all ports, you can book an excursion through the boat to have something secured for the day. We didn’t plan on booking a tour through the cruise line and after having the info session on Friday our initial feeling is that we would not. Saint John is not a very large city and if we can handle 8+ miles in NYC on a typical visit we could handle Saint John. And if we felt we wanted to go with a tour company we could easily book a tour just outside the port, where a lot of companies set up. In the end we just figured we would wing it and we are glad that we did. w

I highly suggest putting something in your window so you can spot your room when you get off the ship. It’s silly but a lot of fun to figure out where you are in the massive ship.

 

When we got off the ship I was handed a rose from a member of the chambers of commerce. I manged to safely hang on to it the whole day 🙂 Also, one of the tour guides was really helpful as she provided us with a map of the city and explained how to get around, if we didn’t take a tour. We would simply have to walk a few blocks and then could follow the pedestrian trail of Harbor Passage towards Reversing Rapids.

There was a look out along Chesley Drive and that was out first real glimpse of the Reversing Rapids.

Reversing Rapids with Irving Paper and Crow Island. Truthfully, I was really disappointed to have the paper mill right across from the park, and therefore in the photos. It was annoying but watching the rapids pick up pace in the hour we were there made the whole experience worth it. The birds would drop down into the water from the island, ride the current for a bit, and then fly back up to the island and repeat the process. It looked like they were having a blast on the rapids.

The funny thing was that our intent was to book the zip line at the falls but once we got there we decided not to do it. It was not like what we expected with it being out in the open, not really over the rapids,  and having such short runs between the platforms. So we decided to save our money and plan on going zip lining again in the Berkshires.

 

A muskrat (I think) came about 2′ from Price. It came up the embankment and just waddled around for a bit eating the grasses.

 

After leaving the park we following the map along the route the tour buses take along Douglas Avenue. There were so many beautiful houses along Douglas. And then we turned on to Main Street which gave us the perfect shot of the Saint John sign (above). We did get a little lost at one point as Main Street became a bridge over Rt 100 and there was no sidewalk anymore. We figured out we had go down to Hilyard St, which became Paradise Row and then take the Somerset Street Bridge over Rt 100. That brought us right into the older area of Saint John and by the cruise ship.

 

Old City Market was nice to walk through.

 

And after strolling around a bit we decided to have lunch in Saint John. They were getting ready for the Canada Day festivities so there were bands playing on a stage in Market Square. We had lunch at Lemongrass where I had Thai Fried Rice and Price had a Chicken Pad Thai. The service was great and the food was good but the time it took for the kitchen to prepare simple dishes was unreasonable. At least we had a beautiful day with  some live music.

 

After our trip I figured out we walked over 6 1/2 miles that day. It was tiring but a perfect adventure together. We got to experience Saint John at our pace and get plenty of exercise doing it. We came back to the ship and spent the afternoon relaxing in the Serenity area of the ship for a while and then got ready for dinner and enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

 

And dinner was always very entertaining. Shooooow Time!

Funday at Sea (Sunday)

From my experience on my past cruises I knew that the pool side chairs would fill up fast as sitting poolside is very desirable for the at sea days. So, I quickly got ready once I woke up and was up by the pool by 8.15 and there were already a few people securing their seats.  I grabbed 1 pair right at the edge of the Azure pool (adult only) so we could hop in and out as we wanted. Price came up after he got ready and we then grabbed breakfast from the buffets at the Red Sailt Restaurant. From there we did a whole lot of nothing until 2.30. From laying out, ordering drinks, and taking dips in the pool. It was so nice to be forced to relax. Not like when I’m home and I get distracted from relaxing with the computer, laundry, dishes, etc.

 

My rose from the chamber of commerce started to really open up in the rock vase we purchased at Market Square in Saint John. The vases were so unique and handmade by Gary Kingsley.

 

We went back to our room to relax a bit and get ready for the rest of the day. We started to roam around the boat, including browsing the duty free shops and the casino.  And then we enjoyed a picture perfect sunset.

Most of the wait staff gathered together. I really give them a lot of credit as they leave their families for months on end and really work hard during the cruise. The trays they carry are stacked to the top and they are always running around getting you what you need. Keep their hard work that you see and don’t see in mind when you are tipping on the boat.

Roar!!!! It is always so much fun to come back to the room to a different towel animal.

Disembarkation Day (Monday)

I got up at 5.30am so I could see the sun coming up and our entry back into Boston Harbor. (If you are going to want to to sleep in & just see Boston while still lounging in bed get a room on the Starboard side of the boat.) I made it up in record time to snap photos of the sunrise at 5.35am. The sunrise and entry into the Harbor was so beautiful. I was glad that I woke up early for it. I rushed down and got Price later on when we were further into the Harbor. We then had breakfast and enjoyed the views together.

 

After breakfast we went back to the room to clear things up and get our belongings to wait on the Lido deck- an approved waiting station- for our room floor to be called. They worked from the top down so we had a bit of a ‘long’ wait but we managed to get off the boat, on to the bus, and then take 2 different T lines and I only got into work 30 minutes late. Def not bad deal!

 

 

As it was right before the 4th of July, the Navy ships part of the Tall Ships event were in the Harbor. It was so cool to see them all as we entered into the harbor and docked.

 

Overall reflection:

  • We booked our cruise early so we got to do the Early Saver deal. If you know well advance you want to take a cruise (3-5 months ahead of time, depending on the length of the cruise) then you can take advantage of this deal. We paid for our cruise in full but if you want this deal you just have to put a deposit on the cruise.
  • We also did a deal that allowed Carnival to assign the room for us. We told Carnival we wanted a room with a window and they did the rest. We ended up in Rm 1393, which I don’t actually suggest. This allowed us to save more, which is always great, but I would not suggest that you pick this room on the Carnival Glory because there is some sort of in/outtake in what seemed like under the room. It was very loud and we could feel the water rushing in/out. It was not all that bad but I would not want to deal with it on a 7 day cruise.
  • Our room steward and our servers at dinner were amazing. Our room was always clean and our servers were all great.
  • The boat was very clean. There was always staff cleaning the boat- cleaning up dishes, vacuuming,
  • The Carnival Glory was built in 2003. That doesn’t seem very long ago but apparently that is very long for a cruise ship. It will be dry docked this fall for some work. While we were on the ship we saw a segment on one of the ships channels with the architect speaking about the design of the ship. In all honesty, I think he has his head up his ass as we thought the decor was tacky and the materials and color pallet used dated the ship so much that we thought it was much, much older than it actually was. (Post cruise research revealed that he will no longer be working on the new ships. It will be interesting what see a new design team does.)
  • While staff was on point with making sure we wanted drinks, cleaning up pool side messes, serving our fantastic dinners, and taking care of our rooms, we felt that the one thing that they lacked was controlling the adult only Serenity Area and the adult only pool. I had to ask for security to come over 3 times to come over to speak to parents with their kids in the adult only areas.
  • The food was top notch on the cruise. The food selection was expansive, diverse, and located all over the ship. You could not go hungry on the ship if you tried. I could nitpick about little things- like how they served fish & chips in a basket with a napkin like piece of paper and that disintegrated all over the fish from the heat and moisture from the fish & chips – but it is not worth it to pick at little things considering the crew serves endless meals for thousands of people.

6.28 – 7.2: Long Weekend Cruise Recap

12pm leave work early | DSW for new sneakers | meet Price at Downtown Crossing T station | train to South Station | SL2 bus to cruiseport | cruise! | relax & wave bye to Boston | hammock time | dinner | Price got a headache & got sick | day at sea 1 | rainy morning | foot analysis test | lounging & pool time | elegant dinner night w a bottle of wine | ‘living in america show’- I fell asleep | day in Saint John | reversing falls | lunch on the patio | shopping | walk 6.5+ miles | lay out & naps in Serenity | show time! | day at sea 2 | 8.15am reserve our pool side seats | laying out & pool time | 2.30pm too much sun & fun | showers | wander around the boat & shops | hole-in-1 mini golf | nap | sunset pictures | dinner | packing & bedtime | 5.20am awake! | pictures & videos coming into Boston | breakfast | leave the cruise & go to work 😦