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!Read More
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!Read More
This week, we got around to uploading our video coverage of our recent St. Maarten - Anguilla - St. Barth adventure! We did not share every single moment in video or photo because we truly do believe in the full experience of getting away from the day-to-day and spending time together as a family, which means that we will not always have a camera rolling. That being said, I hope that what we have captured and what we share with you here is inspiring and helpful.
Here's our recap!Read More
I had already visited a number of Caribbean countries, as well as Honduras, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Germany prior to making the decision that I want to visit all countries in the Caribbean before venturing back to Europe or elsewhere. So, how will we island-hop around the Caribbean?
It is, of course, no secret that My Cruising Family loves to cruise. However, we do enjoy other modes of travel too. In fact, our most recent family vacation was not our typical cruise, but rather, it was a land-vacation that, by the grace of God, and with intentional planning, we managed to turn into an island-hopping experience. With catamarans, speedboats, and ferries to many neighboring islands, St. Maarten/St. Martin is perfect for those who desire a land vacation, but also want to explore other islands.
Cruising may seem like the most obvious answer to those who want to island-hop, butRead More
For our family's most recent 5-day vacation in St. Maarten, we were able to travel with carry-on bags, no checked bags, and it was great! Packing for our two sons, using one Rume Garment Travel Organizer ("GTO"), allowed their items to fit into one carry-on, which made it super easy to use only carry-on bags, and also helped us to organize in a way that made unpacking simple.Read More
This blog post is yet another untraditional post in that it is more of a personal note to those of you who have been following My Cruising Family’s journeys thus far, and who have come to expect regular blog posts. It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post as life has been feeling like a whirlwind. Whew!Read More
It has been about two months since our family experienced an amazing 14-day Caribbean cruise from Guadeloupe. As you may already know if you’ve been planning a trip between New York and Guadeloupe, finding flights can be challenging, depending on the time of year that you are seeking to travel. We are thankful for Norwegian Air that flies non-stop between JFK (New York, USA) and PTP (Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe), seasonally. Our flight to Guadeloupe this March was within Norwegian Air’s PTP season. However, it was a bit more of a challenge to find return flights to New York because we returned after the season ended. Thanks to Air Antilles and JetBlue, it worked out very well for us. I have an entire blog post to assist in planning flights to and from Guadeloupe, here. Norwegian Air flights from New York to Guadeloupe will generally arrive in PTP after 6 PM, which means that, if you’re planning to sail from Guadeloupe, you may want to fly in a day in advance, and that will then require a pre-cruise hotel stay.
We flew into Guadeloupe on Saturday, March 17, 2018, and our ship, the MSC Fantasia, set sail from Guadeloupe on Sunday, March 18, 2018. So, for one night prior to our cruise, we stayed at Canella Beach Hotel. We arrived at Canella Beach Hotel within about 20 minutes of leaving the airport. The front desk staff greeted us warmly, and spoke English quite well, which made check-in very easy. For our family of five, our pre-cruise stay at Canella Beach Hotel, Duplex 322 and 323, was comfortable and convenient.Read More
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. Lucia… Bridgetown, Barbados… St. John’s, Antigua… St. 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 CabinRead More
If you know me or if you’ve been following this page, then you know I love to travel. Even if you don’t know me, but you take a look at this website, blog, My Cruising Family’s Facebook page, or My Cruising Family’s Instagram page, then you will see that I love to travel. In a recent conversation, what I’d been feeling inside for a while and what I’d been examining was called out when the person I was speaking with said that travel is sometimes just a band-aid for something deeper. Have I been using my travels and travel planning as a band-aid or pain-reliever? Well, honestly, YES, I have.Read More
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
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!Read More
I’ve heard the saying: “The internet is for looking, while a travel agent is for booking.” Although I agree 100%, I think an explanation of that statement is warranted.
Nowadays, we all know of travel websites through which virtually anyone can book a trip, including our favorite type of trip, a cruise. So, why even bother to contact a travel agent?Read More
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.Read More
In preparing to cruise, there are many things that I do for our family before sailing. Today, hoping to help you to prepare for your cruise, I share 5 of those things with you.Read More
With My Cruising Family's next cruise right around the corner, we are in crunchtime to pack, confirm activities that we've planned, and all around prepare for our longest cruise yet: our 14-day Caribbean cruise onboard the MSC Fantasia! That all being said, this week's blog post is not the traditional My Cruising Family blog, but it is still quite informative and helpful.Read More
Dear Overwhelmed/Tired Mom,
Let me start by acknowledging that I don’t understand. I say that because I can sometimes be annoyed by people who tell me that they understand what I’m feeling when I don’t think that they do. Many times, the person means well, and I think the person means to convey that they hear me, they care, and they have been through similar experiences.
There is only one you, so only you know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Only you know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, Mondays through Fridays, to get yourself ready for work, and also to get your children up and awake, showered, clothed, and fed before school. You may drive them and yourself to school and work, or like me, you may walk or drive a portion of the way, then take a train – in our case, at least 3 trains – just to get to school and work. Only you know how you feel during and after the shuffle, hustle, and bustle just to get your children to school. Only you know how you feel walking into your place of work before 9am, yet feeling as though you have already completed a full day of work. Only you knowRead 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