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How to Plan for your First {Family} Cruise

Our family just got home from our first ever cruise! I thought that along side my sharing all sorts of fun pictures, I’d also show how to plan for your first {family} cruise, because I feel I went into it fairly blind. I put family in parenthesis because some of these tips are for first time cruisers alone without kids, and some tips are for families with kids.  I’ll also share a little printable packing list at the bottom that you can save for later.

How to plan for your first family cruise

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{I made the arrow shirts using my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut vinyl, use it as a sticky stencil and painted. For the girls I added a layer of blue glitter and fabric mod podge to hold it in. My youngest has a sad face here because I said she had to have dinner before ice cream. She wasn’t happy with me for that!}

Let me just say that a cruise has never been on my radar, it just never interested me. Maybe because I saw so many people going and loving it, I wanted to be different and not go just because. I’m weird like that. I also associated it with older retired couples, or often I heard of people going on cruises for their honeymoon.  My husband and I have done quite a few trips together just the two of us, such as Alaska a year and a half ago, to France (here, here, and here), Vermont in the fall, and a few other fun places. He and I actually view vacations very differently. I like to go-go-go, while he likes to stay in one spot.

Last year, when my sweet grandmother passed away, each grandchild was gifted a little inheritance money. Right away, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I wanted to take my family on a fabulous trip, something that we might not otherwise do. But where, I didn’t know. Around the same time, a local friend of mine just got back from taking her family (with 5 kids) on a cruise. She is similar to me with our thrifty spending, and upon inquiring all the details, I decided it might be something I’d enjoy after all. My husband would get what he wanted=relaxing in one spot, and I’d get what I want=adventure.  This friend told me that Roaton, Honduras was their most favorite spot, and that really sparked something in me…Honduras? Who goes THERE?  It had never occurred to me to vacation there, but all of a sudden, it sounded like such a mystical place. With so much going on last year, I didn’t take the time to research a spot to go with my family, sometimes I think it’d be nice to just have someone decide for you!  The cruise that my friend mentioned just kept coming back to me. In November, I booked the 7 day trip, and kept mum until Christmas morning when we surprised the kids with a cruise scavenger hunt! I had to make sure it was also gifted from my grandma, wanting them to appreciate it more.

The 3 big kids cheered as we discussed the details, the littlest one wasn’t sure she wanted to be on a big boat. Once I was booked, I started asking lots and lots of questions to friends in real life and on Facebook. I found that I appear to have been in the minority having never cruised before. It’s pretty commonplace as a vacation!

We traveled from Houston to:… Continue Reading

Walt Disney World Family Vacation: How to Plan your Trip

I recently came back from a Walt Disney World Family Vacation, and we had so much fun! Since it was the first time I’d been with my children, I had so many questions in my mind about what to do in just ONE day at each theme park, so I thought I’d put together a 5 part series with the top ten attractions and tips along with photo ops at each park we went to, in the hopes that it will help others as well.

Walt Disney World Family Vacation

Our family spent 5 days in Orlando, with a 4 day pass to Walt Disney World and a 1 day pass to the neighboring Universal Studios. We decided quite last minute to go for our kids Spring Break, and I was so confused about all of the parks, what rides were at each, what were the “not-to-miss” attractions and food and events. … Continue Reading