Saturday morning we headed off to the airport for our flight to Miami. We were officially ON vacation! Excited and nervous to be headed on vacation… I will be completely honest. I love boats, I love water… but living on a boat for a week. I was a tightly wound wreck. But put on a happy face for our kids. Which I did, and then later admitted to them that mommy was just as excited and nervous as they were and it was totally ok for all of us!
We called an uber for a ride to the port on Sunday morning. This was also a first for us. Calling an uber from the airport to our hotel. I admitted to my hubby I was feeling so over whelmed, he already knew this, but understood. We took two uber rides and both worked out awesome.
After about a 2 hour wait in the port… yes we were that early but it was easier heading there after checking out at 11am. At 130pm we began the boarding process. My heart was racing. I told my hubby that I was so nervous. We went through boarding and found our room. The rooms are very much like a hotel room. The kids had bunk beds that during the day tucked into the wall and ceiling and had a couch to sit on. We had a queen size very comfortable bed with lamps and power on either side of the bed on the bedside tables. The bathroom was split in two. The toilet and sink in one room and the tub/shower with a sink in another room. We were blown away at how beautiful this room on a boat was.
We dropped off some things, checked out the room and went out to explore. On deck 9 you could watch as we left the dock and headed out to the ocean. It suddenly hit me like a rock in my stomach. We were up really, really high! I am scared of heights. Again I looked at my hubby and said I didn’t know if I could do this. His reassurance helped me so much. I also again admitted to the kids mommy was scared of heights and this was really tough for me. They understood, also tried to freak me out with how high we were of course LOL! I was fine. I did some breathing. Talking to myself, literally saying “I am safe, I am ok” helped.
Then we went and got a beer and checked out the Pinnochio’s Pizzeria! They have pizza available pretty much all the time from lunch time on! SO cool. Near the pizzeria is a pool with two hot tubs and a huge massive screen to play movies etc! The kids began to go explore. Whew! This was tough for me – but again I felt so reassured. This time by Disney. Their staff, crew and cast – INCREDIBLE! Honestly there was not a worry for kids our ages, with their key to the world, they could explore the ship together and check out some of the fun kids stuff! I took another deep breath. Here is where I can admit I was finally feeling better because I was also hung over. Yes not the smartest on my part, however I enjoyed first night of vacation and was so crazy nervous LOL! We had a lot of fun in Miami Saturday night. We stayed at a beautiful hotel, Double Tree By Hilton. The hotel had a roof top pool, a very yummy restaurant and was very clean. They also give you all a warm chocolate chip, oatmeal and nut cookie when you check in!
Pizza and a beer to the rescue for day 2. I love pizza, so I was in heaven. As were the kids when they learned about the unlimited pizza AND soft serve ice cream. Yup there were a couple restless nights, so we encouraged less chocolate maple syrup on pancakes and donuts and a bit more protein and fruits… yes seriously the buffet in Cabana’s was incredible for breakfast and lunch. I really miss it. We joked about how we would have to come home and think again about what meals and activities we have to plan around here. As much as I love cooking, a true vacation for me is totally taking a break from everything. This was beyond my expectations. The food, the people, the service, the drinks, the water… all amazing AND me, someone with a digestive issue and have had for years had zero problems on this cruise.
The shows available were incredible! A lot of new movies. Musicals, even during dinner there was entertainment. Characters walking around, posing for photos. Wednesday was Marvel Dah at sea… Incredible show on Deck 9 after dinner!!! Before dinner that night Mickey and friends had their own marvel party where they dressed up and wow was it fun! The deck was full of people and kids. We watched from deck 10 and had a blast! Especially when music from our teen years came on haha! Our kids may have wanted to hide for a few moments as we busted a move 😉🤣!
There was even an adults only area with a pool and 2 hot tubs. The best part was, kids could still go through so after our kids convinced us it was ok for them to explore and us to go chill for a bit, they could come find us. Another awesome thing about the ship, it was huge, yet we could always find each other. They had an awesome app too that we could connect to the ship’s complimentary wifi (for the app) and message each other. Still room for improvement as messages only come through when your phone is active. We adjusted and calmed down more.
The people – from the other guests, housekeeping, in the kitchen, servers, bar tenders, kids… amazing! Everyone was so positive and happy. Patient as well. It was just the best experience Ive had on a vacation! Even when we were on the islands, in Cozumel Mexico we did a dune buggy snorkeling beach tour. So cool! The fish came right up to us! An incredible experience. Checking out one of the local beaches. Absolutely gorgeous, but it was very windy and rough so they were closed. The kids could still run in the soft sand. In Castaway Cay Bahama’s Jaz and Cars went Parasailing while Mads and I checked out the gorgeous view and beach and then they went snorkeling. I was totally prepared. We all had sunscreen on. I found chairs with an umbrella and set myself up in the shade. We enjoyed a few hours on the beach and headed back to the ship. Enjoyed the Cabana’s lunch buffet and wow again blown away! The quality of the food was outstanding! Somehow even with all the sunscreen… I got toasted! We all did! Haha the Bahamas sun is quite powerful and even sitting in the shade we all got burnt!
As many people were still enjoying the beach and excursions there wasn’t many people on the ship, so we headed straight to the pools! Such an awesome view of the ocean to the sides and a huge movie screen. In between swimming we watched Toy Story 1 and 2 before heading back to clean up for dinner.
The dinners at the various restaurants were mouth watering! The quality and variety of the food was outstanding. The first night we ate at Rapunzel’s, then Lumiere’s and then Animators. Everyone who ate in Rapunzel’s then moved to Lumiere’s and then Animators and then the rotation started again. Even the servers moved with us so we had the same servers every single night. It was awesome.
They also always had activities going on for something. Kids clubs for all ages, various shows playing in the theatre and live, character greetings, even things for the adults. Every single morning the day’s outline of activities etc were handed out to each room. An awesome resource to use (along with the app) to catch any various events or plan your time in the pool. There were actually a good amount of couples traveling without kids! And anyone we met, they were super nice! We always all felt comfortable and welcome. As a family living the ADHD life we certainly appreciated the variety of kids activities as well as the option to take downtime whenever any of us needed it. It’s important because you certainly can be way over stimulated if you allow yourself to be so we were very aware of this and it helped so much!
I was able to re-ignite my photography passion with capturing beautiful images of the ocean, the sunrise, sunset, clouds. Just beautiful. I had a blast with my camera, my phone, Jaz’s phone and we even got the disney photo package. Any photo their Disney photographers took of any of us were put to our room number (ironically our room is 2004… we got married in 2004 and this year are celebrating 15 yrs married!) We also had fun just BEING there. Calming the mind to be ok with NOT doing anything but sit and enjoy the fresh air. By the end of the cruise we were all so much more relaxed. Time wasn’t an issue at all. We had all the time in the world. We truly were in the moment of whatever we were doing. It was absolutely great. Not a thought in the world about what to make for lunches or dinner, picking up groceries, doing laundry etc. Ahhhh it felt so good!!!
Ahhhh the fresh air was gorgeous. I did at times have a stuffy nose. It was so weird, more on the windy at sea days it bothered me. Overall though it was great. Our first night it was chilly. So cold it got me worried we hadn’t brought enough clothes. We brought too much of course haha. But all good. The kids laundry is already done and put away so we can do ours tomorrow. I even got my butt to a doTERRA meeting with Yoga this morning – SO good!!!
Literally by day 2 on the boat we were all thrilled with everything. Fears subsided and it was only fun to be had! My soul is so happy near the water and this was just heavenly!
This was such an incredible experience. Ive already begun my notes of what we for sure need to pack for the next one. This list from Disney helped – but I needed to expand to be custom to us!
- Sunscreen – use it everyday not just during time you will be IN the sun
- Sea Bands – we simply didn’t want to take a chance, so we wore them
- Go Pro Camera
- Oil blends – cannot bring a diffuser, so I refilled my Sleepy Child receipe blend, which also helps knock me out too! The kids loved this blend too!
- Oils – we used our On Guard hand sanitizer a lot! I kept one in my backpack and one in my purse at all times. TriEase helped me SO much on the stuffy nose days so I could breathe so much clearer! Protective blend of On Guard, Tea Tree, Frankincense and TerraShield to not only protect energy but also boost immune systems! Kids routine oils morning and night and I also used their Balance blend on me 😉 When we got burnt I used Lavender, Helichrysum, Peppermint and Frankincense in lotion on our skin. Next time I will bring the Aloe Vera as well! The oils certainly helped calm the burn.
- Goggles for the kids – they weren’t big fans of the salt water – can’t blame them!
- Comfy shoes, sandals, runnning shoes, water shoes – this time we didn’t use the water shoes, however they are good to have depending on what the beaches are like or where you stop
- Costumes – we had a blast dancing at the various deck 9 parties! Next time we will for sure be participating in whatever themes they have on board
- Water bottles – they have filling stations all over the boat, these come in handy!
- Backpacks – so handy to throw what you need in them and go!
Check out some of my fav photos I took below in this Flickr Slideshow. Next to BEING on the trip, these are my next favourite! As you will see, I very much got past alot of my own fears of this trip and it didn’t take long 😉 Just goes to show and I was happy to admit to the kids of how its ok to feel the way you feel, but you have to work through it rather than stall. Still filled with so much happiness! Check out the pics… ❤