Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cruise: Day 4 (At Sea)

Our last day on the boat was a day at sea.  It was nice to have a more relaxing day scheduled after two busy days (one at the Atlantis water park and one day at the beach of Carnival's private island).

We hit up the water slide pretty soon after it opened in the hopes of getting there before it got crowded.  It worked!  It wasn't super hot yet, and there weren't that many people.  The kids got to go down as many times as they wanted!

Cooper was the biggest fan of the slide by far!

I even took a turn down the slide!

LL went down the slide some and swam in the pools some, but she also hung out with me some!

I missed a picture of the animal the day before (and I actually don't remember what it was), but we got an elephant on the last day!

We dropped the kids off at Camp Carnival (the first and only time they went the entire trip) and Matt and I had some alone time!  What did we spend it doing?  Eating from the chocolate buffet!  On the last day, they had one entire buffet dedicated to all things chocolate - and it did not disappoint!

We picked the kids up from Camp Carnival in time for lunch and for them to go through the chocolate buffet.  After they ate, we went out on the deck to watch an ice carving.  They were fascinated!

The final product (a fish).

We got ready for dinner and then went to Laura and Gino's room to let the kids hang out together and play somewhere cool (it was so crazy hot outside on the deck).

That night at dinner, I tried baked Alaska for the first time.  I liked it!

After dinner we went outside to get some pictures on the deck.

These three kids had a blast!

That night we went to the Rock and Roll America concert.  We met up with Amanda and Lorelai and sat with them for the show!

They passed out headbands and gave tattoos to those who wanted them!

Cooper and Matt were the only ones to get tattoos.

The next morning, we got all packed up and started the disembarking process!  We chose to just carry all of our own luggage off the ship so that we could get off earlier.

Cooper started chatting up a police officer at customs, and he ended up giving Cooper some of his gloves.  It was hilarious how much Cooper loved these and was excited about them.

That's a wrap on our cruise vacation!  I am so happy that we decided to do this for our vacation this summer.  The kids were at perfect ages (9 and almost 6).  No one is potty training, no one is napping, and they're still young enough to be so so excited about everything.  It was a great week with my family, and everyone had such a good time!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cruise: Day 3 (Princess Cay)

After our fun day at the water park at Atlantis, we didn't schedule any excursions for our next day at Carnival's private beach - Princess Cay.  We figured after a day filled with being busy, having a relaxing day at the beach would be nice.

The nice part about having kids that are early risers is that you're up and ready to go first thing in the morning!  We got up, ate breakfast, and then grabbed one of the first tenders to the island.  

The kids waiting to load up on our tender.

The downside of cruising with someone else is that we really didn't have any way to communicate if we weren't face to face.  We loaded the tender, and luckily Laura and Gino loaded up on the same one!

The kids liked riding the tender to the island!

We looked back and saw this as our view - it is so stunning!  It totally doesn't even look like a real picture (and for sure not something I just snapped on my iphone)

The great advantage of getting on the island so early was that we were able to get some great beach chairs close to the water, and the kids got to play for a while before it started getting crowded.

This trip is something that I'm just so so happy that we did.  Our kids go several places every year, but being able to take them out of the country and seeing their world open up just a little bit more was so amazing.

They were over the pictures and just ready to go play!

This sums them up: LL loves to play in the sand and Cooper loves to throw it - haha.

My favorite activity?  Having a great chair and watching my kids have a blast.

There were coral pieces and shells all over the beach, and LL was in Heaven.  She loved finding as many pieces as she could!

I didn't swim, but I did go about knee deep for a little while just so I could say I did.  ;)

Funny story: a few years ago, I connected with a girl on Instagram because we both have daughters named Lorelai.  Long story short, but over the years, we've realized that we have quite a few more things in common.  A few months ago, she posted about going on a cruise, and we figured out that we both had booked the same one!  We met up on the beach day and both of the Lorelai's got to play together!  It really was the neatest thing, and LL had so much fun.

Lorelai squared!

I love how kids just skip any awkward part and just play and become fast friends with no issues.  The girls spent a lot of time building a community for a hermit crab that Matt found.

A cool drink and a warm sun - life is good!

I will never know how he has the ability to get so covered in sand - haha.  But this boy loves the beach!

The views of the beach, water, and the boat were just gorgeous!

We headed back to the boat around lunch time just because it was so crazy hot.  We took a shower, got dressed for dinner early, and then went to a Build-A-Bear workshop that they had set up for the kids!

LL refused a picture, but here's Cooper waiting in line with his heart to go in his bear!

They both used their souvenir money to get an animal (LL got a cheetah and Cooper got a shark) and two accessories to go with them.

They also got to take their friends to dinner with them, which they were super excited about.

LL is our adventurous eater, and she has been talking for months about how she wanted to try escargot on the cruise.  Well, tonight was the night!  She ordered it for her appetizer and ate about half of them!  I'm so proud of her willingness to try new things!

After dinner, we went to watch a game show themed show (at which this is the only picture I took - haha).

Matt and I looked over after both kids fell asleep to see Cooper sleeping so sweetly with his hands like this.  It was precious!  A long morning at the beach will wear you out!

Up next: our last day on the cruise and a full day at sea!