After almost 5 years we will be taking our first family vacation.  We haven’t been on a vacation since August 2011. Sierra wasn’t even one years old. She’ll be 6 this year, and poor baby brother wasn’t even in the picture. So while this technically wouldn’t be our “first” family trip. It’s our first trip as a complete family.

So yeah, to say this trip is long overdue is an understatement.

The conversation of our trip, which I will get to in a moment, started 72 hours before. I was researching one thing and discovered a really great deal that couldn’t be passed up. I talked to Jeff about it and he was kinda on the fence about it. Which meant with enough poking and prodding I could get my way. So the next day, I mentioned it to my mom, who has been actively seeking a getaway since my grandmother passed almost a year ago. My mom and aunt just want to get away like how we used to when me and my cousin were kids.

I told my mom we might not take this trip because we have our eye set on a new apartment. She proclaimed, “you could die tomorrow. Let’s go.”

She did have a point. I could. Chances are I wouldn’t, but would Jeff see it that way? I didn’t have to poke too much because he buckled like a belt. And just like that, my family would come together for the first time since my wedding in 2008 for a 9 day Caribbean Cruise.

cruise

Sweet trip, right?!

We didn’t let the recent news about ships sailing into storms or a sickness outbreak bother us. Oh, no. We’re cruise lovers and nothing short of pirates will keep us from sailing, if the price is right.

Which brings me to why we haven’t taken a vacation in a long time – money. Isn’t it always about moolah? It’s not that we don’t have it. We do. It’s just that it’s super expensive for a family of four to board anyone’s plane. Before kids me and Jeff could high tail it to Miami for less than $500. Now, we aren’t getting there for anything under $1500! And in the words of Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Not I. No, I don’t. I’d rather save it up and do something else that’s more affordable.

So when I stumbled upon this cruise at a rate of $1159 per person, for a window cabin (boooo!) leaving right from our backyard, it was just too good to pass up. Fate was telling us to take it. And today we paid our deposit!

This summer we will be sailing on *drum roll* Carnival Sunshine.

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

I know there are people who talk smack about Carnvial and how it’s the Walmart of cruises. How all we do is party, drink and get loud. As if that’s an insult. Carnival is known as the fun ship which means Lido Deck pretty much looks like

And our captain like

Yeah we party hard. But we also work hard, so we deserve it.

On this cruise our destinations will include:

SAN JUAN

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

ST. MAARTEN

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

ST. THOMAS

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

GRAND TURK

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

In addition to those stops we will also spend four days at sea, 2 days getting to the Caribbean and 2 (sad) days coming home.

Because we frequent the Caribbean we have already been to San Juan and St. Thomas, while on our honeymoon cruise in 2008. But because we really enjoyed these destinations we don’t mind  going back, especially to San Juan. And the two new destinations for us will be St. Maarten and Grand Turk. We may or may not do excursions here, that hasn’t been decided yet. We like to roam and talk to the locals. We’ve toured some amazing islands just paying a local to take us to the sights they love that are not listed on the cruise directory. This is highly frowned upon but we’ve never had any issues.

While on our vacation we will spend our time in a quaint cabin with a window overlooking the ocean.

carnival cruise sunshine
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise

Now the reason why boo’d my cabin a little while ago is because I’ve become spoiled by balcony rooms. It’s the equivalent of flying first class and now being forced into coach. Since we’re booking on the late side the category we wanted was sold out. Not to knock anyone who has stayed in a window room, or even an interior, but it’s just once you’ve experienced your own private balcony it’s hard pill to swallow realizing you’ll be without it. But, I will take the high road and be thankful 1. we’re even going, 2. that I even have a cabin at all since there are only less than a dozen rooms left on the entire ship and 3. realize there is a family somewhere dying to take a trip and can’t. So I just need to suck this shit up and enjoy it.

But because I’m a cruise pro (this is my fourth) I know at the end of the day it doesn’t matter about the room since I’ll hardly be in it. There’s so much going on at various times all over the ship (not including when you get to a new destination), that you’re only in your room the four S’s – to sleep, shower, shit and the sex. That’s it! The majority of the time you will be on Lido Deck in the pool, at one of the all you can eat buffets, shopping, gambling, a game show competition, a comedy show or musical, and the list goes on.

And if I can ditch the kids for a few you’ll find me at the pool like…

I’m busting over here right now at the thought, as this is going to be the vacation that we talk about for years to come. And as much as I’m excited to go since my last cruise was in 2009, I’m more excited for the kids. This will be their first time on a boat period, let alone a cruise and with so much for them to see and do it will be epic. I’m just waiting on their faces when we get there so I can capture it. Only 193 more days to go until I can see it.

So that’s my summer vacation. Do you have any vacation plans set?

17 comments on “AFTER FIVE YEARS WE ARE FINALLY TAKING A FAMILY VACATION”

  1. Wow sounds like your family will greatly enjoy this trip. Personally I don’t cruise, but u make it sound like so much fun!! Take lots of pics so you can share with us. My next trip is to Disneyworld with my son who is 7…we will be going in March and I don’t plan to tell him until we are on our way to the airport lol.

    • OMG cruising is amazing! Everything is done for you. All you have to do is show up with your bags. It’s a floating hotel, but with much more to do than your average hotel. I’m gonna be taking so many pics and video you’re gonna feel like you’re right there with me. We were gonna do Disney but that cost way more than our cruise so we went with the lesser evil. I haven’t been since 1997 so I’m itching to see how much has changed in 20 years. Enjoy! And you too, please take pictures I wanna see. =)

  2. We have always cruised Carnival and loved it. They are all the same to me. I agree once you go balcony ya don’t want to go to anything else! Something about sitting in the dark out on your deck is amazing! Have fun. We are still planning ours but this damn zika virus is killing our ideas!

    • No no no no you totally lost me when you said, sitting out in the dark. Nope. I don’t even open the curtains after sunset. It is so creepy. I get so spooked I freeze up. Jeff goes out there but I’ve never. Now if I’m on the main deck of the ship looking out its not that bad, I guess all the lights and action. Oh no I’m sorry to hear zika is messing up your plans. I hope you guys can settle on a vacay spot.

  3. Oh I’m so happy for you! I love the details that you including in this post. I’ve never been on a cruise (have been a bit wary of them actually). But see so many stories about how great they are for families! I will keep popping back to look for your recap. Enjoy it – you deserve it. 🙂

    • Yeah I was put off by them for a while myself but when I took my mom on one in 2007 I knew that we had been missing out. When everything runs smoothly (no ship wide sickness, storms etc) they are really great! There is something for everyone from ages 2 and up. You don’t have to worry about your meals or entertainment. It’s all free with the exception of gambling, and your alcohol. When you get to your island if you don’t want to get off, don’t. Don’t want to pay for activities on the islands? Don’t. Like you could literally sail with $100 in your pocket and still come home with change. The plan is to write monthly posts about cruises and document my entire trip. So you most def have to check back. =)

  4. We do our family cruises on carnival. They’re good for families in general. We normal get a balcony. I don’t see anything wrong with them. Your ports of call are great!

    • Girl you my vacation IDOL! I’m trying to be like you. LOL! This will be my first time as a family so I’m interested to see what they offer.

    • Awww yay! That makes me feel great! Cruises are fun when you’re not thinking about Jack and Rose. LOL! There is so much to do and you really get your monies worth. Especially with the food since it’s non-stop eating. I will be posting more on cruises and why they’re fun and things to do on them, so stay tuned.

  5. Yaaaasss sleep, shower, shit and sex is making me want to go on a cruise right now lol I like carnival, I went as a kid so I know I can bring DJ and he would have a blast. I really want to travel but haven’t focused my plan, I want to do the London, Paris circuit.

  6. I have been wanting to go on a cruise for years. Me and my husband haven’t even had our 1st honeymoon and we’ve been married for 13 years next month. Our kids are older now so it should be easier to get away unlike when they were little and we couldn’t find a babysitter. I figure if I plan now for later in the year I can save up or make payments and be on my way….I’m going to start looking into cruise packages today!!

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