What does the phrase “Family Vacation” bring to mind? Fun, family, road trip or long car ride, screaming, and whining? Well, for me the thought of the latter was too overwhelming to even consider. Luckily for me our next family vacation had been in the works for several years, all I had to do was convince my son that a cruise ship was a safe place for kids and it finally happened this year. For me this meant…let the planning begin! Being a newly single mom made this task a tad different from other family vacation plans, so I turned to my local travel agent and that turned out to be the best decision I made.
Planning a trip with kids can be very overwhelming especially when you are planning on leaving the country. Ever since my husband and I took a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary we knew we wanted to go again. We told the kids as much, so it was pretty much a “done deal”, our family was going to the Caribbean!
To make this as painless as possible for me I went to a travel agent and told him the dates we had available, the area we wanted to vacation and the fact that I wanted to worry about nothing but getting to the airport on time. What that meant for him was basically just…make it happen.
After many unforeseen road blocks we ended up choosing Royal Caribbean as our cruise line, which was actually the one we had cruised with before. Getting there was not uneventful, but we made it and I learned that I could handle unforeseen problems with a smile, so the kids wouldn’t see that mom was freaking out inside.
One terrific thing about cruising is that once you get on the boat you don’t have to worry about anything else after that. No trying to find restaurants or hotels, no trying to drive around unfamiliar towns or worrying about entertaining your family. Everything is in one great big place and everyone who works there is committed to make your trip a pleasant experience.
I was worried about how my kids would deal with being on a boat the whole time. When my husband and I went we were more than content to just sit in the sun and relax for 6 days, but kids are not quite that easy to entertain. We found out that today’s cruise ships always have something for everyone. Ice rinks, pools, movie theatres, video arcades, climbing walls, miniature golf, basketball, ping pong, zip lines, live shows, kids activities and clubs and always food…everywhere. I needn’t have worried.
We stopped in Roatan Honduras, Belize and Cozumel Mexico, where we got off the ship and zip lined, went cave tubing and swam with the sting rays. We got to see other cultures and visit beautiful places. I made sure that we had picked our shore excursions before we left so all the decision making was done when we got there. I think that made things a whole lot easier.
I think the best endorsement I could give would be to tell you that the kids say they would like to go again. So would I take my kids on another cruise? I would. For a single parent it was a lot less work than not traveling where everything is included and I actually got to relax as well as play with my kids. So Happy Cruising and thanks Royal Caribbean!