Posts tagged family cruising
My Cruising Family's Caribbean Cruise Packing List

My Cruising Family presents to you My Cruising Family's Caribbean Cruise Packing List.  We hope that this helps to put our blog posts, WHAT MY CRUISING FAMILY PACKS: CARRY-ON EDITION and WHAT MY CRUISING FAMILY PACKS: CHECKED LUGGAGE EDITION in a much more mommy-friendly package for you.  Please utilize this checklist when preparing for your next cruise, and please also provide us with your feedback.  Happy Packing!  

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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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On Shore: Getting Back To Port On Time

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. 

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What's The Best Way To Pick A Cruise?

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 postMake 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. 

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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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Make Planning A Cruise A Breeze

While juggling life’s demands, planning a cruise can seem like an unnecessary use of your time, or like a luxury that you can live without.  This working wife and mommy – yours truly – is quite familiar with the day-to-day juggle, and I am also quite familiar with the tools that can make planning a cruise a breeze! 

So, what are some of the things that go into planning a cruise? 

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Not To Be Missed On Your Next Cruise

There will be many activities to choose from during your cruise.  However, My Cruising Family recommends attending the following events.  As with all the information we share here, we hope this is helpful to you and yours.  

**MANDATORY** Muster Drill:

Prior to your ship setting sail, you will be required to attend a muster drill.  The purpose of the muster drill is to familiarize all guests and crew with their assigned muster station, which is, basically, the location at which guests and crew are to assemble in the case of an emergency.  There are multiple muster stations on the ship, and to allow for an orderly evacuation, if necessary, each guest and crew member should report to his or her assigned muster station.  The muster drill also includes information on how to put on life vests, which are included in each stateroom. 

Note: Generally, the life vests that are in the stateroom are adult-sized.  If cruising with infants, toddlers, and/or other small children, you may need to request the appropriately sized life vest for the child.  However, My Cruising Family has experienced at least one cruise line that

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