I could list a few of the cruises I’ve been on here — it was always something that I wanted to do. Growing up, my family pinched pennies. We were a one-income family, and my mom was a stay at home mom — she was always there to pick us up, be a taxi, go to practices and games, make dinner, keep house, and so on. My dad worked at the Space Center, five and six days a week. We always had everything we needed, and most of what we wanted…but we didn’t vacation much. When we did, it was usually to visit my grandparents in North Georgia.
In 2002, right after I’d graduated high school, we took our first our-family-only vacation — a short three night cruise to the Bahamas, and it was really a lot of fun. There were a ton of activities on the ship, things to do on the islands, and it was just a really great experience all-around. (I mean, the food was amazeballs. Isn’t that why most people cruise??)
Since then, I’ve done two more cruises — a second one to the Bahamas, and a really awesome seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise. The best one? Totally the seven night cruise. We did that in 2016 — we all got to go! Except Lily, because she was on a school trip to DC. We flew out to Florida, met up with my parents, and they treated us to an amazing vacation in honor of my dad’s retirement — we visited the Bahamas, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. We had an unscheduled stop in Turks & Caicos due to a medical emergency (not ours) — didn’t set foot on the island, but we were able to see it from the ship… It was pretty cool to cruise by Puerto Rico, too — would have loved to stop there.
The best part of the trip, aside from seeing the landmarks from a local taxi tour (we had a great driver in St. Maarten), was watching the kids. I’m fairly certain that the highlight of the trip for them was the dining room. Knowing they were getting great (new & different) food without a finger wagging at them to finish it meant that they were open to a lot of new experiences…including escargot. Who knew that some of those kids would eat a plate of escargot? (It was really delicious…I would have never thought it myself unless I’d tried it myself. I guess I like snails?)
I think we’re all looking forward to the next cruise we get to go on.