Posts in Family Cruise Line
What Can You Really Do On A 3-Day Disney Cruise?

Glad you asked! 

 

We have taken a 5-day, an 8-day, a 14-day, and multiple 7-day cruises, and with that experience, we can truly say that, during our 3-day Disney Dream cruise, from August 24, 2018 to August 27, 2018, we felt as if we received the value of a 7-day cruise.  Since returning from our cruise a little more than a month ago, I’ve been saying that we received the value of a 7-day cruise, and some folks have asked what I mean by that, wanting to know exactly what value such a short Disney cruise can offer. 

 

Here’s a glimpse into each day of our August 2018 Disney Dream cruise!

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5 Things You Must Do When Planning Your Disney Cruise + A Bonus Tip

Today marks exactly 3 weeks since we returned from our 3-Day Disney Dream cruise.  Since then, I have had many conversations with folks interested in cruising with Disney, and I promised each of them that I would prepare a blog post with tips for planning a Disney cruise.  While there are many general cruise-planning tips, some of which I have already shared on this blog, today’s blog post is specific to Disney cruising, and especially short Disney cruises.  Why is that?  Well, I truly believe, now, from experience, that, with the advice I am providing here, you can get about a week’s worth of pixie dust in a 3, 4, or 5-day Disney cruise!

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Our August 2018 Disney Dream Cruise!

Today, September 1, 2018, marks one year since My Cruising Family, LLC went live online, and we hope that the experiences that we have been sharing with you have been informational, helpful, and inspiring.  In August 2018, with lots going on from summer camp to priority projects at work, we did not publish any blog posts; however, we did experience an amazing family cruise! 

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Video Tour Of The MSC Fantasia

Just how big are cruise ships these days?  How do you even get around onboard such big vessels?  Can you walk from the front of the ship all the way to the back of the ship?  Have you ever wondered any of these things?  

Well, we hope to answer those sorts of questions through this blog post and video. 

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ANNOUNCING OUR FIRST GROUP CRUISE!!!

Why cruise with a group?  Well, the answer is simple.  Many cruise lines offer amenities to groups, which usually include onboard credit or some other perk(s).  After much research – because, you know, I always RESEARCH EXTENSIVELY before selecting a cruise – My Cruising Family has decided on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary for its FIRST GROUP CRUISE!!!  My extensive research for our individual family cruises sometimes means changing my mind, and for this group cruise, that process was no different.  I had a number of other cruise lines and sailings in mind, but when looking at the VALUE received, Norwegian Cruise Line tops the list. 

We will be sailing onboard the Norwegian Dawn from San Juan, Puerto Rico, from March 24, 2019 to March 31, 2019!  Are you super excited yet? 

Did I mention the ports of call yet?  Oh yeah… Castries, St. LuciaBridgetown, BarbadosSt. John’s, AntiguaSt. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands… and Tortola, British Virgin Islands!  Excited now? 

AND, a wonderful perk is that it only takes a $50 per person deposit to lock-in the stateroom of your choice on this group cruise, as well as TWO PERKS of your choice AT TRULY NO ADDITIONAL FEE!  Of course, staterooms/accommodations, meals at complimentary restaurants, spectacular entertainment, and most shipboard activities are already included in your cruise fare.  However, with this group cruise, we are offering even more already included!  Every stateroom will be able to receive two of the following perks:

-        Ultimate Beverage Package *1st and 2nd Guests Only*

-        Prepaid Service Charges *1st and 2nd Guests Only*

-        Commitment Ceremony 

-        Internet Package Per Cabin 

-        $50 Per Port Shorex Credit Per Cabin *Maximum of 4 Ports*

-        Specialty Dining Package *1st and 2nd Guests Only*

-        Cocktail Party Per Cabin

-        20 Photo Package Per Cabin

-        $75 Onboard Credit Per Cabin

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CRUISE REVIEWS: OUR FAMILY'S MSC FANTASIA CRUISE

This was my second MSC cruise and my seventh overall cruise.  However this was the 1st time that we had booked a 14-day cruise!  Yes, FOURTEEN DAYS!  My mom, my husband, my 7-year-old son, my 3-year-old son, and I sailed together on the MSC Fantasia, from March 18, 2018 to April 1, 2018, roundtrip 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.  We had two Fantastica balcony staterooms on Deck 10, right next to each other: 10208 and 10210.  We loved our clean and spacious staterooms!  We booked this cruise for the amazing itinerary!  I was a bit disappointed when a portion of the itinerary changed – the initial itinerary included Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Dominica; and St. Maarten/St. Martin.  After the damage caused by the 2017 hurricane season, those three ports were removed from the itinerary, and, instead, an extra stop in St. Kitts was added, as well as a stop in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  We made the best of it!  Truly, the itinerary was still FABULOUS!  We had a wonderful time!  The crew and staff that we dealt with the most, which were our room steward, wait staff and other dining room staff, and the photo team were consistently pleasant and really made this voyage GREAT! 

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Why I Unplug During Family Vacations

As I write this, I am some tens of thousands of feet in the air, on the way to Guadeloupe for My Cruising Family’s Spring Break 2018 cruise.  I will schedule this to automatically post on the My Cruising Family blog, and we will be enjoying a fun-filled, yet relaxing, family vacation. 

On prior vacations, I did not even take my laptop because of my deep-rooted, genuine, desire to unplug, breathe in the fresh Caribbean air, and have not a care in the world, except to admire God’s handiwork and connect even more as a family. 

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Making The Best Of A Family Cruise To Cuba

On the 6-month anniversary of the existence of this blog, My Cruising Family has decided to share a blog post that combines our review and our tips/advice from our most recent cruise.  It had been my intent to share a review of our first Cuba cruise soon after our return to the United States, but those plans changed after the unexpected loss of my brother the day after we returned from that cruise. 

My Cruising Family visited Cuba for the first time in October 2017, via cruise ship.  The Norwegian Sky, to be specific.  After eventually sharing our photos and stories of the amazing time we had during our cruise, a number of people have asked us for recommendations on how to make the best of a visit to Cuba, especially with two young children.  Here are some of our recommendations. 

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My Cruising Family's Anniversary!

January 19, 2018.  Today marks 5 years since My Cruising Family’s first family cruise. 

Sidebar… It’s funny because my first cruise – not a family cruise – was in 2005, prior to becoming a mother and prior to meeting my husband, yet it was on Disney Cruise Line, which is probably the first cruise line that comes to mind when you hear the words “family cruise.”  I’ve got to let you know that Disney is loads of fun for adults without children, as I experienced it first-hand in 2005.  Nevertheless, I now say that that Disney Magic cruise, being my first cruise, was a sign that I’d be loving family cruising years later, and that I’d be a resource for all things related to family cruising. 

So, back to January 19, 2013.  My husband, our then 2-year-old son, and I sailed on the Carnival Dream’s 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary.  Little did we know then what we know now, and what we put into practice as we now usually sail as a family of four or five. 

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5 Commonly Asked Questions

In an effort to assist those who are considering, planning, or already booked a cruise, I have answered many questions regarding cruising.  In answering those questions, I caution that there are some things that all cruise lines have in common, but there are other areas in which each cruise line differs.  Here, I have included a list of five commonly asked questions, as well as a list of some cruise lines and the corresponding links to how they address each question. 

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Caribbean Cruise, Cruise, Cruise Activities, Cruise Tour, Cruisetour, Cruising, Cruising With A Child, Cruising With Children, Excursion, Excursions, Family, Family Cruise, Family Cruise Line, Family Cruising, Family Time, Family Travel, Family Vacation, MSC Cruises, MSC, MSC Cruise, Onboard Activities, Shore Excursion, Shore Excursions, Tour, Tours, Travel, Tropical Cruise, Vacation, Vacation Planning, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, RCI, CCL, NCL, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, HAL, DCL, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise LinePeta-Gaye Danielkids club, children's club, ships, fleet, stateroom, staterooms, family stateroom, family staterooms, suite, suites, onboard youth program, onboard children's program, onboard kids program, onboard kid's program, onboard kids' program, gratuities, tips, service charges, automatic gratuities, automatic service charges, automatic service charge, gratuity, pre-paid gratuity, pre-paid gratuities, prepaid gratuities, prepaid gratuity, drinks, drink package, drink packages, cruise drink package, cruise drink packages, Beverage Package, Cruise Beverage Packages, Cruise Beverage Package, excursions, excursion, tour, tours, cruisetour, cruisetours, cruise ship excursion, cruise ship excursions, independent excursions, independent excursion, cruise line policy, cruise line policies, viator, shoretrips, shore excursioneerComment
CRUISE REVIEWS: Our Family's MSC Divina Cruise

Although this was my 5th cruise, this was my first MSC cruise, and I loved it.  My mom, my husband, my 6-year-old son, my 2-year-old son, and I sailed together on the MSC Divina, from March 25, 2017 to April 1, 2017, from the Port of Miami to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Nassau.  We had two Bella staterooms on Deck 8, one room across the hall from the other: balcony stateroom 8251 and inside stateroom 8253.  We had a wonderful time!  The crew and staff were generally very helpful and cheerful.  Our stateroom steward, Lynyrd, was excellent in keeping our rooms in order and providing any requested services, such as

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CRUISE REVIEWS: Our Family's Southern Caribbean Cruise

Upon our return from this particular cruise, I didn’t do much of a review of the ship itself.  However, I can say that the ship was fine. We had connecting Promenade View Staterooms, which were very convenient because my mom and our two sons stayed next door, while my husband and I had some space to ourselves. It should be noted that Promenade View Staterooms are listed as double occupancy, but by calling Royal Caribbean and explaining our group’s dynamic, including the fact that our younger son was one-year-old at the time, and would have a Pack 'n Play to sleep in, Royal Caribbean was able to book three of us in the room given that one of three was a one-year-old.  It may not be an option on every cruise, but it does not hurt to ask.  After all, that’s how we learn things.  I know that, as a mom, I teach my children that it’s ok to ask questions.  I know that many other parents take the same approach, so if you’re one of those parents, let’s take our own advice on that.  Therefore, if you’re wondering whether or not this is a possibility on your cruise, I suggest calling and speaking with either your travel agent or the cruise line directly. 

This particular cruise was port-intensive, so our focus, as well as this review, was more on the ports than the ship.

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CRUISE REVIEWS: Our Family's Carnival Splendor Cruise

As mentioned in My Cruising Family's previous blog post, I have written cruise reviews, excursion reviews, and more, to share my experiences, and to, hopefully, help other cruise-planning/cruising moms and families to plan the best cruise vacation for their families.  That being said, I will share some of those reviews in this week's blog posts, starting with a review of our family's Carnival Splendor Cruise.  

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Getting To and From Guadeloupe

Our family is looking forward to cruising from Guadeloupe on our most port-intensive cruise yet, so I was quite concerned when I realized that the round-trip cost that I was finding for flights between New York City (NYC) and Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP) was over $2000 per person!  That doesn’t include checked bags, and we are traveling as a family of five! 

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Why We Love MSC Cruises!

Cruising is our preferred way of traveling together as a family, as I truly think that it is the best vacation value, or in other words, the best bang for your buck, if researched well, and I love to research cruise options.  It was through researching cruise options that I initially came to admire MSC.  MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company, as it began as a shipping company, but MSC has, at present, become the world’s fourth largest cruise line.  The basic information the cruise line provides on its website and in its literature is already impressive.  Add to that, we have now cruised with MSC and are booked to cruise with them again after enjoying a wonderful first MSC experience earlier in 2017.  Here are a few of the reasons we love MSC.  

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Myth vs. Truth: What Will You Believe?

We've probably all heard one or more of the following seven cruise myths, and unfortunately, such myths have kept some folks away from a spectacular vacation.  I am writing today to shed some light on a number of negative things that have been said about cruising.  Let's spread some truth, debunk some myths, and hopefully inspire someone to explore the awesome world of cruising!  

Myth #1:

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Organized Island-Hopping and Further Globetrotting

I am Jamaican-born and first visited the United States when I was four years old.  Then, after years of visiting the United States during Easter and summer vacations, I officially moved to New York, U.S.A. in 1991.  I then visited Jamaica regularly during school vacations. 

Being born and raised in the Caribbean, I am well aware of the beauty and diversity that the Caribbean holds, and while I know that a number of Caribbean islands, including my homeland, are tourist hotspots, I also know that there are a number of lesser known islands that offer much to be experienced. 

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Globetrotting, Globetrotter, Island-Hopping, Island Hopping, Caribbean, Islands, Travel, Tours, Tour, Shore Excursions, Shore Excursion, Family Vacation, Family Travel, Family Cruising, Family Cruise Line, Family Cruise, Excursion, Excursions, Diversity, Diverse, Cuba, Cruising, Cruisetour, Cruise Tour, Cruise, Vacation Planning, Vacation, Tropical Cruise, Caribbean Cruise, Land Vacation, All-InclusivePeta-Gaye DanielCaribbean, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, France, Netherlands, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saint Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Saint Thomas, USVI, United States of America, United States, United States Virgin Islands, U.S.V.I., Belize, Mexico, England, Germany, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Dominica, Martinique, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent, Saint Vincent, The Grenadines, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saint John, St. John, Saint Croix, St. Croix, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Bucket List, Family Travel, Black Family Travel, African-American Family Travel, Black Family Cruising, African-American Family Cruising, Family Cruising, Cruising, Island Hopping, Island-Hopping, Globetrotting, Globetrotter, Globetrot, International Studies, Passion for Travel, Peta-Gaye Daniel, PetaGaye Daniel, Peta Gaye DanielComment
Why Cruise?

Why cruise?

For our family, the answers are simple, and can be summed up in one word: value

As a mom, I value family time.  As Peta-Gaye, I value travel.  I have been blessed to merge these two values into one amazingly convenient experience over and over again through cruising.  With deals like MSC Cruises’ Kids Sail Free, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free-At-Sea Offer/3rd and 4th Guests Sail Free, the overall cost of a cruise for a family of four or five can be quite affordable, and certainly valuable if one thinks of all that family will be receiving during the cruise. 

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