On March 19, 2018, my mom, my husband, our 7-year-old son, our 3-year-old son, and I happily got off the ship at our first port-of-call on our 14-day MSC Fantasia Caribbean cruise: St. John’s, Antigua! We thought that, on that day, we would experience the most amazing adventure to start out our cruise, but it turned into a disappointment. Of course, as in most disappointing life experiences, there is a lesson, and as such, I am writing this blog post to share the lesson with you.Read More
I recently received a question regarding boarding times, distance to the cruise port, and recommendations for getting to the ship on time, and the blog post in response to those questions addressed these concerns for cruise embarkation day. This blog post will address similar concerns about getting back to the ship on time when in a port-of-call.Read More
I recently received a question regarding boarding times, distance to the cruise port, and recommendations for getting to the ship on time. The general rule of thumb to address all three of those areas is to pay close attention to the documents provided by the cruise line. Specific cruises differ with regard to the time that guests should arrive to “check in” at the port. Keep in mind, that most, if not all, cruise lines require online check-in which will then produce cruise documents for guests to print and take along to the port. So although I say “check in” at the port, what that entails on embarkation day is usually guests presenting their printed cruise documents, along with their passports, for a fairly quick process at the counter with an agent from whom guests will receive their stateroom keys and a number to be called to board the ship.Read More
Why am I writing this now? Well, because, right now – today – just about one week before our family goes on vacation, both of our boys have what seems to be the common cold, with stuffy and runny noses, and coughing. There have also been complaints of ear pain, which we know can happen sometimes simply as a result of congestion, but can also happen if there is an ear infection. Their symptoms started developing on the weekend, so I am thankful that we had that opportunity to treat them at home without having to take days off from school, day care, and work, and without contaminating other people’s children. Nevertheless, with our next cruise around the corner, I called the doctor’s office this morning to try to get an appointment as soon as possible.Read More
I recently responded to the question, “What’s the best way to pick a cruise?” A lot of this information will be similar to an earlier blog post, Make Planning A Cruise A Breeze. However, this question came after that blog post, so I think it's worth sharing my response here. Let me start by saying that this is really subjective. For some, this decision will be primarily driven by dates. For others, this decision will be primarily driven by cost. There are many cruise options out there, so the quick answer about the “best way to pick a cruise” is to know the factors that are most important to you and your family, and to prioritize those factors accordingly. As an example, I share with you, below, what My Cruising Family’s decision-making process usually looks like when choosing a cruise.Read More
When traveling with a family, especially a family that includes young children, we tend to be very thoughtful about our travel plans. That being said, given the rough 2017 hurricane season, some parents may be re-thinking their planned family cruises and others may be reluctant to plan Caribbean family vacations at this time because of the idea that the Caribbean islands are in bad shape right now. While a number of the hardest hit islands have a long road to recovery ahead of them, there are many available options in the Caribbean that were virtually unharmed by the 2017 hurricanes.Read More
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:Read More
My family and I are excited about our upcoming cruise, and as embarkation day approaches, we have watched, heard, and read a lot about the hurricanes that have already occurred this hurricane season. Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1st to November 30th, but hurricanes are said to be more likely from mid-August to mid-October, also known as the “season within the season” or “peak season.” Some may ask, “With all these hurricanes, are you still cruising this season?” Our quick answer: “By the grace of God, yes!”
We have cruised during hurricane season at least twice before. Our upcoming cruise is a combined birthday and anniversary celebration. Therefore, it stands to reason that the cruise will take place at or near the time of the birthday and anniversary being celebrated. Furthermore, if you read My Cruising Family’s very first blog post, you know that I am an advocate for purchasing travel insurance before cruising, especially before cruising with young children. Children are unpredictable. Life is unpredictable. As my husband said, “Cruising during hurricane season is the same as cruising any other time. All travel involves some level of risk.” Purchasing insurance takes those risks into account and provides peace of mind.
Hurricanes should always be taken seriously. However, that does not mean that successful travel plans cannot be made during hurricane season, even if those plans are to the Caribbean, Mexico, and/or parts of the United States that are vulnerable to hurricanes.Read More
Cruising is amazing, fun, and relaxing all in one, and in order to get to that amazing, fun, and relaxing part, it is important to first take some time to ensure that all required paperwork is in place. Understanding what travel documentation is needed to cruise starts with understanding the types of cruises that exist. My hope is that the information in this post will help you to prepare well for your cruise by having all the documentation that you need, and then some.Read More
Some of you may have read this on the homepage for this blog, but my guess is some didn't scroll through the homepage... lol. I know how we can get, clicking around and jumping from link to link, so I've added this introductory information as well as a bit more insight in this blog post because I think it's important to know the reason and motivation behind things that I read, support, and/or engage in.Read More
In January 2013, our then two-year-old son, my husband, and I traveled to Orlando, Florida, to witness our friends’ wedding onboard the Carnival Dream. We arrived in Orlando, Florida, on the day before the wedding, and we stayed at a nice hotel as a part of the wedding group. Two of my siblings reside in Orlando, so we welcomed the opportunity to have them visit us at the hotel. We ordered dinner, and my son, my nieces, and nephews spent a nice evening at play while the adults talked, laughed, and had a good time. After my siblings and their children left the hotel, we went to sleep to recuperate from a day of traveling and to prepare for the next day's wedding and cruise.
What does this have to do with travel insurance, you ask?Read More