Walking On Sunshine: Cruising With the Kid

I finally had a chance to take my baby girl on vacation this past August. What ensued was a great deal of unrest but a lovely array of memories that I know will live on in both of our minds. Why the unrest? Traveling solo with a child is...different. All the attention all of the time. With no one to help with the distractions. And my Frog Princess warned me ahead of time and pretty much kept to her word that she didn't want to go to Camp Carnival because "I just want to hang out with you, Mami."

I couldn't argue with her. I was anxious to get away and just be present with my child. For many reasons, I kept waiting to go on an official vacation. It was a reminder for me to stop waiting on things/situations/people to start creating vacation memories and traditions.

As I was trying to find a last minute cruise (y'all be on this booking ahead game!), Carnival Sunshine kept bubbling to the top. After chatting with Tawanna who let me know the skinny (she's a travel expert and makes my life way easier though I'm pretty sure I give her heartburn) and then talking with Cara from Jefferson Parish Parent who had been on this ship in particular, I was convinced. The Carnival Sunshine did not disappoint.

The Frog Princess had a most favorite thing. Well, two: ice cream every day and water slides!

My most favorite things? The service was amazing and I absolutely fell in love with Cucina del Capitano. The food was beyond delish and we really enjoyed the service staff. It was great to engage with them on what they loved about the islands we were visiting and a bit of their time on the ship.

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Though the child did not stay at camp, we both loved the Camp Carnival quarters. I will say that after dinner one night she said yes to stopping by the camp. An hour later when I came to pick her up (because it was past her bedtime) she told me she almost cried because she missed me so much. Y'all, the guilt she was trying to dish out was real!

Frog_Princess_Invitation

I definitely enjoyed my time, though. Loved the one hour I spent on the serenity deck (read: no kids allowed) and feared falling asleep in the hammock and missing picking her up. Our trip was definitely needed and I really enjoyed connecting with my child outside of the walls of my home and in places where we felt we could go on adventures. From the beaches of Half Moon Cay (Carnival's private island) to the shores of Atlantis and their beautiful aquarium, to the sounds and flavors of Freeport, Carnival Sunshine offered us exactly what we needed. Fun, great food, adventure and relaxation.

Things to remember when cruising solo with a child:

  • Have items to engage her with (we had coloring books that we both used and books to read).
  • Determine up front what's important to you on your vacation (for me, it was spending quality time with the kid).
  • Have a plan B if child doesn't want to participate in kid friendly activities on the ship.
  • Play it by ear. It's okay if your everything on your list doesn't get checked off.
  • Pack antacids for kids. The last day, we indulged a little too much and the Frog Princess ended up with a tummy ache that I thankfully could fix.
  • Try to relax.
  • Enjoy.

Cruising with the kid.

Have you been on a cruise lately? If not, I suggest you put it on your to do list soon. You won't regret it. What did I miss on this list?

Disclosure: I was provided with free WiFi during my cruise as a media courtesy. I was also invited to dine at Cucina del Capitano. All thoughts, opinions and sand in my bags are purely my own.

Fashion Friday: Packing for a Cruise

Why yes, I am getting ready to go on vacation. Thank you for asking! Let's not talk about the last time I was on an actual vacation (as I do believe I got the gift that keeps on giving in the form of the Frog Princess). Let's just focus on my bag. It's packed. Can we just celebrate this for a second? I leave on SUNDAY and my bag is packed! And by packed I don't mean my hair products or gadgets because what am I, a freak?! The clothes. The clothes are all packed up.

I took Tawanna's advice and grabbed some packing cubes. I've always known they were magic but geez, Louise! Do you guys know about this business? I packed us in 4 cubes total. Five if you count the last minute "ohemgee! We need cute dresses" cube.

What did I pack? I'm not entirely sure. Is that wrong? Don't judge me! I've been busy packing. Who do you think I am?! A blogger or something? Nope. I took zero pictures of what I packed. I know I packed some dresses, bathing suits and shorts. Here's my current suitcase situation.

There's room for the flip flops and sandals, maybe one pair of closed toe comfy shoes and that's it, my good people! I've decided we are going to roll Bohemian style. But seriously, if you want the formula, here it is: two outfits per day. If you want to dress up, there will be one elegant night on the ship. I'm bringing 3 bathing suits and a full sized bottle of conditioner.

Also on my list:

  • Surge protector (because there will be like one outlet there for me)
  • Thermometer for the Frog Princess
  • Fever reducing meds (just in case)
  • Dramamine (because it occurred to me that the girl might not love the sea)
  • Waterproof disposable camera (2)
  • Waterproof bag for my phone
  • Small first aid kit (with bandages and whatnot)
  • Sunscreen
  • Tote bag to use while at the pool and on excursions

The Frog Princess picked out some soft pants at the store, y'all and I secretly wish I could steal them. She also selected an adorable orange flowy A-line top to go with them. She will be rocking these as we embark on our first official vacation.

Packing for a cruise!No work shall be done (to which she gave me a fist pump and a YASSS). Though I did tell her I would probably be writing at night after she goes to sleep.

My goal is to write. Write, write, write. And create ridiculously amazing experiences with my girl. It will be her first trip out of the country and I am already planning a Mediterranean spring break excursion.

Don't think things aren't happening around these parts while I'm gone. We have a packed schedule of awesome next week. Do. Not. Change. The. Channel. If you do, I cannot be held responsible for what you will surely miss.

I may be sharing a few pictures here and there with the #MamiTravels hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. But my social postings will be kept to a minimum. Not only will I be wearing Bohemian clothes large enough to accommodate all the food that I will surely consume, I'll be wearing a smile that will allow me to come back and continue working on all this Epic we have going on.

Have you gone somewhere this summer? Talk to me, good people!