Friday February 6 |
All packed and ready to head to the airport. These boys are so excited! Eight day Carnival Sunshine cruise, we’re gone for a total of ten days. This is going to be epic!
Saturday February 7 |
First things first. Guy’s Burger Joint. One of the main reasons we picked the Sunshine was because of this restaurant. Coda’s favorite Food Network chef is Guy Fieri, so we knew he would be pumped for this! And the burgers were actually really good.
The boys loved the water slides on the boat. It was so awesome because the waterslides, sports square and mini golf were all together and they could just go do their thing while Zach and I read by the pool.
Sleeping aboard the Carnival Sunshine. Yes, five people can fit in one interior cabin. It is possible. And actually totally fine. We spent very little time in the cabin. There is so much fun to be had out on the boat!!
Sunday February 8 |
So many fun things for the kids.
Seuss at Sea.
Waterslides and sports square.
Foosball on the Sports Square.
Monday February 9 |
They boys went to Camp Carnival almost every night after we fed them dinner (Guy’s Burgers and veggies from the buffet usually) and then Zach and I would hang out, relax, and eat dinner in the restaurant. It was nice. Tonight, we caught a little of the “dive-in” movie before heading to dinner. Later in the week, we skipped the nice dinner and all at at the buffet so we could watch Big Hero 6 under the stars in the middle of the ocean. It was awesome.
Tuesday February 10 |
Beach day in Aruba!
Oliver’s first time at the beach! He loved it.
Holden got some muscles at the beach.
Suns out. Guns out.
Wednesday February 11 |
Second stop. Curacao. We decided to hit up the aquarium so Oliver could see (and hopefully touch) the dolphins. We got there just in time for the dolphin show. Oliver loved it! He loves dolphins.
Each of the boys even got to kiss a dolphin. Which was awesome, because we really wanted to do the dolphin experience excursion but it was like $200 a person. We just grabbed a cab to the aquarium (I think it was like $10), aquarium admission was around $60 and then the dolphin kisses with photo were $20 each. SCORE! And it was definitely a highlight of the trip. Well worth the stop.
After the dolphins we watched the sea lion show. That was pretty awesome too. They brought the sea lion right down in front of you. We had great seats!!
Starbucks stop on the way back to the beach.
Even on vacation, homework must be done. We only pulled them out of school four days, but they still have homework. And they all have to do some writing about the trip.
Thursday February 12 |
Pretty much everyone got sick on Thursday. The seas were rough. SO rough. I’ve been on two other cruises and have never had to take anything for motion sickness, but after this, I will always at least bring something. It was our one night we were going to try and have a nice dinner together. We all got dressed up. But, dinner didn’t even come out and Holden had to go back to the room (technically he didn’t make it much past the dining room before he got sick) so Zach left with Holden and Oliver. Coda seemed totally fine and ate up his meal. I took three bites and started to feel bad so I just waited for him to be done and we headed back to the room. (Thankfully I made it all the way to the room before I got sick.) It was a rough evening. We all went to sleep early. I bought some Bonine the next day and we all took it, just in case. Not another problem after that.
Before we all got sick, the boys got a picture with the captain. They thought that was pretty awesome!
Friday February 13 |
On our way to breakfast the pool deck was covered in towel animals. The boys thought that was so awesome! They really got a kick out of the towel animals.
Last stop, Grand Turk. We didn’t venture out much in Grand Turk. We just headed off the boat and did the beach and pool thing. It was pretty awesome, right off the boat, they had beaches with chairs you could use and a really nice resort-style pool. The boys played in the sand (if you go here, veer left off the boat not right, the sand is better, unless you want quieter, then veer right), swam in the pool, Holden and Zach did the Flow Rider, and we even bought a $35 plate of nachos from Margaritaville. It was a great last stop.
Holden did awesome on the Flow Rider. I think the big kids were impressed by his skills.
He was pumped when he got up!
Holden and Oliver got some Del Sol color changing shell necklaces for their souvenir.
The Hasbro game show on the boat was so fun! Holden even got up on stage to play. He was so excited. Coda was super bummed he didn’t get on.
After the game show, the boys went to Camp Carnival for pirate night while Zach and I had dinner together. We love Camp Carnival.
Saturday February 14 |
Seuss at Sea breakfast on the last day. It was $5 extra a person, but totally worth it. The room was super cute, the boys had fun with the characters and the food was yummy (better then the normal breakfasts, I think).
Oliver dancing with Thing 1 and Thing 2.
We went to the towel folding class and Coda got super into it. He even bought the book as his souvenir.
Coda’s towel creations.
I finished FOUR books on this vacation. So awesome!! I was on my last book, and I had borrowed it from the ships library, so I had to finish.
The boys loved Camp Carnival. They did so many fun things with them. Tonight they had a farewell, Valentines day celebration!
Sunday February 15 |
We decided to take an extra day in Florida so we didn’t have to rush off the boat and head straight to an airplane. I’m so glad we did. I spent a few hours doing laundry while our room was getting ready (later to learn that we had laundry IN our room, ugh!) and it was so worth it to not have it when we got home. Plus I got more reading done while Zach took the boys to play and swim.
It was so awesome to see our old neighbors again! So happy they could come visit us. These two were so happy to see each other.
They even played in the ocean even though it was freezing out, in my opinion.
Swimming, beach, watching tv, pizza party with friends.
Monday February 16 |
Headed home. Where should we go next?
Overall thoughts on the cruise |
I love the cruise for the family friendliness of it. It was nice to have some time to ourselves but also have a vacation with the kids. I totally felt like I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy myself as well as have fun with the boys. The length was perfect, more then 8 nights would be too much. I was sick of the food by the end. I also think more time on the boat and less stops was a good choice. The boys loved hanging out on the boat. They made friends, played with each other, it was awesome. The food on Carnival was ok, I wouldn’t say it was great, but it wasn’t bad. I preferred the restaurants to the buffets. Guys burgers were great for lunch and/or early dinner. They had a taco/ burrito place that had great breakfast burritos. The asian restaurant was open during lunch and served make your own noodle bowls that were really good too. Would I do it again? Maybe. I think if we did another cruise, we would try Disney, at least while the kids are young. Just to compare.
Zach thought it was a good vacation for families like ours. There was something for everyone. Kids club was nice because we got some alone time. But, don’t go for the food. The food was ok, but not great. He wants better dessert options! (I personally liked the chocolate melting cake.) Would he do it again? Not the same cruise again, he would check out Disney cruises. He wonders if Disney would have less of the partying/ drinking and be more family centered. (Our room was right under the dance club which bothered him, I could sleep through it.)
Thoughts on the next family vacation |
After going to Disney World in June and this cruise in February, we love vacationing with the boys. They are pretty fun to hang out with. Who would’ve known? Before the cruise was even over Zach and I were discussing next years vacation. We are kind of hoping to do this once a year now. We’re thinking one location (not a cruise, more of a resort). Somewhere beachy. Probably all-inclusive, because it was nice to not have to worry about budgeting food money and just let them eat whatever whenever. We also like easy flights. We don’t want to spend a big part of our vacation on an airplane or in a car.
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