Vacation Recap: Embarkation and Port Departure- Part 2

Embarkation
Happy Father's Day!  It really was the perfect day for Embarkation.  FatherWinter made the suggestion for a cruise this year and it seemed perfect that we were leaving on a day meant to honor fathers. FatherWinter was in a great mood and decided to share it by encouraging Superbug to wake up :)

Daddy jumping on the bed to wake Superbug


After gifting FatherWinter with Father's Day cards and getting ready for the day, we were off to the Port to go cruising!

Superbug had several great memories of the trip.  One of his favorite was driving to the port and seeing the ship as we approached.  He talked about it quite some time after we were actually on board.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

Once we arrived at the port and paid for parking, we went through the boarding process.  We were pleasantly surprised that, though there were already quite a number of people, the lines were moving quickly.  After having all of our documents processed properly and posing for our Sail and Sign Cards which served as currency on the ship, we were ready to go.

Superbug is ready to board the ship

Taking the escalator to the gangway

Preparing to board
Superbug was very excited to cross the gangway onto the ship.  Our sister and brother (in love) were already on board, so we went straightway to their cabin to say hello.  After a brief conversation and catch-up, FatherWinter and I took the kids to our cabin and placed our luggage, which had been bought to our room, inside.

The cabin was a very nice balcony cabin with an upper berth for Superbug and a pullout for Honeybee We stood outside on the balcony taking in the sights and then decided to grab a bit to eat!  (Our family loves food).  Despite their being so many of us (4 adults and 6 children), we were able to find a booth section rather quickly.  The men went to the buffet line for the moms so they could bring back plates for the kids.

The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was very satisfied with their meals.  Being done, we all went to the top deck to take in some of the sights of the port before leaving. It was such a pleasant time up there.





Taking in the sights from the  ship

Somewhere over there is our car

Cousin time
 We knew our time would be a bit brief there as the ship had to prep for the muster drill.  The drill is like a fire drill for a cruise ship.  It preps the passengers for what to do in the event of an emergency requiring passengers to access the lifeboats and/or prep for an abandon ship order.  The safety briefing that accompanied the drill was a bit long, but the information was important.  I didn't mind at all.

This was our second time on the Carnival Victory, but our first with children.  We were interested in hearing how things would be done with and for them in the event of an emergency.  All of that was explained including the actions that would occur should the children be in the youth clubs while the emergency was declared.  Children under the age of 12 were all given wristbands that coordinated with their muster station.  They wore those bracelets during the duration of the cruise.  Even my 9 month old nephew had one attached to his ankle.  It gave a good feeling knowing the kids were so carefully considered in the cruise.

After the muster drill was over, the family returned to our previous activity of viewing the port sites, but this time we were also excited to see us towed to sea.  FatherWinter and I had never departed from this port before.  It's funny the comparisons one makes in their minds.  I think I might have an aesthetic preference to Miami only because you are leaving by the highway and people are more inclined to wave.  (It kind of makes you feel super special).  However, the port workers were very kind to wave goodbye, as were some of the passengers on the cruise ship we were departing.




Pretty soon, we were out on open water and were ready to head for a day and evening of fun.  We went to a show and then decided to check out the kids club.  I'd already registered the children prior to boarding the ship, but SisterWinter (that's FatherWinter's sister) had not.  We took all the kids in and allowed the younger ones to play in the club to get acclimated before we would have to return later.

They loved it.  For the rest of the cruise, all I had to do was sing to Honeybee let's go pla--a-ay".  She would giggle and sing it back.  Then would anxiously go to the cabin door ready to leave.  The staff was awesome to her and called her "cutie pie" which is now a new word in her vocab.  The older children also enjoyed the club for the most part.  They enjoyed the activities and made some new friends.  After registering the kiddies, we walked around and caught a show, caught an early dinner, and enjoyed some of the endlessly fun activities. Superbug asked if he could hang with his cousin for a while in her cabin with Sister and BrotherWinter and we were glad to let him hang out with family.

That left us with Honeybee and entertaining her.  No problem.  We got her dressed for bed and posed for a few selfies.





Soon, it was time for Honeybee to call it an evening.  FatherWinter and I watched the NBA Finals in our bedroom until my tummy started growling again.  Superbug, who'd returned to our cabin by then, joined me for a jaunt upstairs where we searched for, found, and claimed cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Without a doubt, it was a great day.

-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Freeport, Bahamas-Part 3

Welcome to Freeport


When we woke the next morning, we were greeted by the the inlet of Freeport.  Because we wanted to give the kids a chance to experience the cruise and didn't want to overdo it with activities, we decided not to do excursions this time.  We decided to go out an explore the harbor on our own.

There were plenty of shops and eateries available.  We walked the main drag and enjoyed looking at all that was available to see.






-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Formal Night and Nassau, Bahamas-Part 4

No lengthy explanations needed here.  We enjoyed beautiful singing, lots of fun activities, a beautiful beach (Tiki Beach Hut), and tons of great beverages and food.  It was a great time!  There are plenty of other pictures, but I thought I'd keep some just for us :)  We hope you have enjoyed journeying with us.  We will talk to you soon!

Singing and dancing for love

Formal night fun







-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Road Trip to the Cruise Port! Part 1

We're back!  Oh my goodness, what a wonderful vacation we had!  I have to admit that I was more than a little nervous about taking the kids on their first cruise, but I needn't have been.  They loved it. FatherWinter and I are already discussing doing another one when Honeybee is just a bit older.  For this first one for the kids, it was really nice.

The Drive Down
FatherWinter and I decided that it made much more economical sense to drive down to FL for cruise embarkation than it did to fly.  Round trip flights for a family of four are not inexpensive.  Buying gas for the car and going down just seemed to be a much better option for us.

Our original plan was to leave at 5AM, but some challenges had us leave about 7AM instead.  The kids were pretty excited about a new adventure and were all for pre-trip photos before our departure prayer.





After we let, the kids were sleep pretty quick.  As was I.  FatherWinter took first drive and we slept for about four hours and then stopped for breakfast at the local Shoney's.  This is sort of a tradition for our family.  When we do long road trips South, we stop at Shoney's for a good breakfast buffet. This one didn't disappoint and after a quick meal, we were on the road again.


Several hours later, we arrived at our hotel and were so excited to just to stand up lol.  We grabbed a bit to eat and then met up with FatherWinter's sister and brother in law and their kids.  The older kids went to the pool and played all evening.  I went straight to bed with Honeybee.  We were exhausted!

-WinterMommy