I’ve loved traveling since the age of four, which is when I took my first flight. At that time, I flew with my mother from Jamaica, West Indies (my homeland) to New York City. That year, my mom, a Registered Nurse, moved to New York through a special program for nurses while I stayed with our family in Jamaica and continued my schooling there. My mom and I traveled back and forth multiple times each year, between Jamaica and New York, until I graduated from prep school in Jamaica and moved to New York in 1991. Through those early years of flying, I developed a love for airplanes, so much so, that my father often took me to a park near the airport to watch take-offs and landings.
After moving to New York, I continued to travel to and from Jamaica each summer. During high school, I took a quick trip to London, England with one of my sisters. Soon thereafter, I traveled to Berlin, Germany with three other members of my high school’s debate team for a high school Model United Nations event. My travels have created in me an appreciation for languages, culture, diversity, and unity. In high school and college, I studied French and Italian. Adding to that, in college, I majored in and received my Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies.
Although flying had become my favorite way to travel, I discovered a new love in 2005 when I joined three friends for a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, round-trip out of Port Canaveral, to St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Thomas, and Disney’s Castaway Cay… it was AWESOME! That year, I graduated from law school and began the transition from being a full-time student to entering the world of employment. For a short while, with New York as my home-base for school and work, my international travels slowed down a bit, but I jumped at opportunities for domestic travel during that time for both business and pleasure.
After a number of years working as an attorney, I've returned to doing what I love... traveling:
planned my own destination wedding of 80 guests in Negril, Jamaica…
celebrated my first wedding anniversary in St. Philip, Barbados…
gave birth to our first son and took him on his first international flight when he was 5 months old, and at least four domestic flights before his first birthday…
sailed with my husband and son, in January 2013, on a 7-day cruise, round-trip out of Port Canaveral, to Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan, and Costa Maya, which was GREAT…
enjoyed sailing with my mom, my husband, and my son, in October 2013, on an 8-day cruise, round-trip out of New York, to Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, which was EXCELLENT!
That lineup doesn’t even include the closer-to-home trips we’ve taken… including one of our favorite relaxing family getaway destinations, Lancaster, Pennsylvania… home of Dutch Wonderland, Sight and Sound Theater, American Music Theater, and much more!
Instead of cruising in 2014, when we learned that we were expecting our second child, we chose to do land vacations. In August 2014, we spent a few days at the Paradisus Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. In October 2014, we stayed at both Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort and the Art of Animation Resort, which were both EXCELLENT! Disney did not disappoint, and in fact, we had a wonderful time park-hopping throughout the week.
In 2015, we welcomed our second child in March, and we also lost my father that April and paternal grandmother that May, so 2015 was a bit of a challenge. In May 2015, my 2-month-old son and I traveled to Jamaica for my grandmother’s funeral service, which was also a memorial service for my father.
During my maternity leave in 2015, we explored locally with family trips to the Bronx Zoo, Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Water Park in New Jersey, and sailing on the Hudson River, around the Statue of Liberty.
In August to September 2016, my one-year-old son, my five-year-old son, my husband, my mom, and I sailed on a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise onboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. We visited San Juan, Puerto Rico, and sailed round-trip from there to St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We had a WONDERFUL time on this port-intensive cruise!
In March to April 2017, my two-year-old son, my six-year-old son, my husband, my mom, and I sailed onboard the spectacular MSC Divina, visiting Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Nassau. We thoroughly enjoyed each port-of-call, and we also enjoyed the cleanliness, sparkle, glitz and glamour of this ship!
From April 2017 to the present, after posting a number of our family cruise slideshows on the My Cruising Family YouTube channel, and in having discussions with friends who’ve recently asked for advice on cruising, I have been inspired to present this blog, My Cruising Family, to inspire others!
Since then, we sailed to Cuba onboard the Norwegian Sky in October 2017, and in the Spring of 2018, we enjoyed a 14-day Caribbean cruise on the MSC Fantasia, from Guadeloupe to Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Grenada, with multiple stops in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Kitts & Nevis from March to April 2018.
In June 2018, our family enjoyed a 5-day land vacation in St. Maarten, which, by the grace of God, we managed to turn into an island-hopping experience, as we visited both Anguilla and St. Barthelemy from St. Maarten! Glorious experiences!
In August 2018, our family enjoyed a magical 3-day Bahamian sailing on the beautiful Disney Dream, and it was AMAZING!!! Having already visited Nassau multiple times, we decided to stay on the ship while it was in Nassau, so we explored and enjoyed our ship, and of course, we disembarked at Castaway Cay to enjoy Disney’s beautiful island. My then 7-year-old said this Disney Dream cruise is his favorite so far, and he’d already experienced 7 cruises to compare!!!
Most recently, in October 2018, we enjoyed an anniversary cruise, just hubby and me, while grandma stayed at home with our sons. We flew to Curaçao where we embarked on a 7-day journey onboard teh Pullmantur Monarch. This was the oldest ship we have sailed on yet, but it was also probably the best itinerary we have experienced thus far. From Curaçao, we visited Aruba, Bonaire, Panama, and Colombia. Amazing!
As a natural bargain-shopper with high standards, I seek to provide my family with spectacular vacations at affordable prices, and I enjoy the steps I take along the way to make these spectacular vacations happen. Through taking such steps, I have learned a lot about family cruising in particular, and I am excited to share what I’ve learned in hopes to encourage you and your family to pack your bags and cruise the world.
Additionally, I am combining passion with education, as I have and am continuously educating myself about the travel industry I so love. My trainings are conducted by and through a number of major players in the industry, including Career Quest, Travel Planners International (ARC, ASTA , CLIA, IATA, IATAN, NACTA, Ensemble Travel Group Member), and industry suppliers.
I know first-hand what it’s like to:
want or even NEED a vacation;
scour the internet looking for the perfect vacation;
plan a last-minute trip;
plan a vacation months, and even more than a year in advance;
travel for family emergencies;
travel for special occasions;
plan a group trip;
plan a destination wedding;
be one of the members traveling with the group trip;
be a guest at the destination wedding;
be a first-time cruiser;
be an experienced cruiser;
travel as an unaccompanied minor;
fly with an infant;
fly with a toddler;
fly with two children;
book and stay at hotels with a toddler;
cruise with a toddler;
cruise with two children;
feel post-cruise/post-vacation blues (not cool);
get through the post-cruise/post-vacation blues by booking another one.
Through all these experiences, my favorite type of travel is family cruising.
As it's very likely that you can relate to one or more of the situations that I've dealt with first-hand, I know that I can answer some, and likely, many of your questions regarding cruising. So, feel free to send me a message, comment, and/or follow me on social media.
I look forward to sharing My Cruising Family’s stories with you, and to hearing your cruising stories as well.
Cruising Together. Making Family Memories. Enjoying The Journey.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr., P.S. I Love You (1990), quoting his mother Sarah Frances Brown