Cruising, Again

itinerary mapThis time next week, the Jones family will be embarking on the hellish fun adventure of a 17-hour drive to Miami to board the ship for our second family cruise.  We’re doing Eastern Caribbean this time, with stops in the Bahamas, St.Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk.

Did I mention that we haven’t done anything yet?  Well, not exactly nothing.  I’ve made sure that the entire family has bathing suits, and we’ve thought about what we’re going to eat, but that’s about it. But, that’s part of the fun of cruising, right?  You don’t really have to think about it.

Seriously though, it’s this drive time that’s giving me the most blues.  I’m not looking forward to all of these hours in the car with small children, but airfare to Miami for 3 of us (Zoe isn’t two yet) would be $1,000 dollars, so yeah, pass.

Anyway, we’ll be stopping in Tallahassee to spend the night, and regroup, and then on to Miami, to spend the night and regroup again before we board the ship. Our hotel rooms are already booked, but I would appreciate restaurant recommendations and a (very small) something to do in those cities if you know of anything!

Anyway, I’ll of course let you guys know how a 17 hour drive with a not quite 5 year old and a not quite 2 year old went, as well as cruising with this pair.  When we went last time, Izzy was two, so she could go to the onsite kid’s facility, Camp Carnival if we wanted her to.  No such luck with Zoe this time, but we found an EXCELLENT deal on this cruise, so we’re taking advantage of it, and the kids will just be tagging along this time.
I will also most certainly voice my displeasure if this ends up being another one of Carnival’s “poop cruises” lmbo. I swear, if that happens, I will never stop talking about that shi– Okay, that’s a bad pun, but you get it.

cruiseitineraryI’m hoping to get in some rest and relaxation, have some fun, see some sights, and if I’m lucky, maybe even get some writing in. With the mistakes we made the first time around, we’re hoping for an even better experience than last time.  One thing I’m definitely doing differently this time is the packing. For me, all dress everything. And minimal shoes. Nobody has time to be lugging around unnecessary luggage, so I’m taking 7 dresses (the ship has laundry service, which we used last time with no trouble), a pair of jeans for just in case, and I’m gonna make myself choose from only TWO pairs of sandals, and a pair of flats for exploring the ports. Dassit.  We’ll see how THAT goes as well.

Hair-wise, I have twists right now that were supposed to last me through this trip, but I’m feeling pretty ‘meh’ about them. I think I want a curly weave instead, but not sure how it will hold up to getting wet in the ocean. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be practical and just stick with the twists though. For the kids, Izzy has twists right now too,  that I’ll redo today probably, and Zoe… that child destroys any hairstyle I attempt, so I think she’s getting some prison-style cornrows and a prayer for the best.

Wish us luck!

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16 Responses

  1. Noooooooo…don’t give Zoe the prison cornrows. LOL. I’m definitely interested to hear about how your cruise goes this time around. The Mr and I are finally toying with the idea of taking one now that the kids are older. Of course,I’m not sure if we would utilize the childcare though just because of their food allergies and I’m not sure if their staff is trained to handle special needs children.

    Those are some things we are looking into. We’ll probably end taking a Disney or Nick cruise instead though. They’re a lot more expensive, but I’m sure they offer some kind of discount to bloggers. Anyways, good luck with the packing!

    1. I think you’re absolutely right in not trusting them to properly care for special needs/food allergy. Most daycares on land can’t seem to get that right consistently, so I totally get it. The kid centered cruises ARE expensive, and OMG, soooo many kids. But, it can’t be any worse than the actual Disney parks, which we’re thinking about doing next year.

  2. You’re hilarious, Christina!! I’m sure you guys will have a fabulous time. I don’t know about the car ride. I’m one of those, “Are we there, yet?” people. So I’m a friend of PRICELINE and have gotten excellent flight deals utilizing them. But I’m sure you’ll make wonderful memories that will last a lifetime!

    1. We booked the cruise last minute, (18 days before cruise day!) So we were too close to the flight date to get good deals, or we DEFINITELY would have just flown and gotten it over with, LOL! We were looking at a thousand dollars just in airfare!

  3. I went on this same cruise a few years ago. Half Moon Cay is Carnival’s own private island, so nothing to see there except the beach. They will have a lunch buffet on the beach. We’d already been to St. Thomas before so we took a ferry over to St. John for the day. San Juan was my favorite port on this itinerary. Plenty to see and do. Grand Turk was my least favorite. Nothing to really see beyond the port. There are bars and shops set up at the port and the beach was ice. Island is very much undeveloped. Enjoy your cruise and safe travels!

    1. Thank you so much for the info! Reading the reviews from people who had been on this cruise, I think I’m coming to the conclusion that the eastern Caribbean itinerary is more “pretty” than “fun”. I’m okay with pretty though, this time, since Zoe has to tag along for everything, we couldn’t do too much anyway! Which ship were you on for this one, the conquest or the glory? (Or a different one)

      1. Regardless, it’s still just good to get away. I took the cruise in 2011 and it was on the Liberty. The ship had just been updated as well so that was a plus.

  4. Have fun, mama! I am from Tallahassee and totally recommend Hopkins Eatery for delicious sandwiches and salads. I also love Barnaby’s. It’s a really popular pizza place. Enjoy the cruise!

  5. Watching this trip closely as we’re itching to cruise again! So much so that we have our eyes on a Disney cruise next year with the kids and extended family. We’ll see . . . Safe travels and have fun!

    1. I’ll be posting our adventure soon, but can tell you now: I wish we’d waited until Zoe was old enough to go to the kids camp! (We still had a great time though!)

  6. Hey Jones family..
    Enjoy your trip. I just finished reading Finding Forever,and I loved it.Tory and Avery were supposed to be together. Loved their story. I am ready for the next installment. Bravo!

      1. You are so welcome. Keep the great stories coming,because I amhooked on Ms.Jones novels..

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