It’s Time for a Vacation

Ray and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary while sailing over the Caribbean. We won a pair of tickets on board the Carnival Destiny and were thrilled to experience our first cruise. We didn’t quite know what to expect. While our cruising experience left much to be desired, and we figured we wouldn’t sail on a Carnival cruise again, we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our port stops in Jamaica and Grand Cayman. We went floating down the river and zipping through the sky in Jamaica. We went snorkeling in the deep blue waters of Grand Cayman. These experiences alone left us hungry for more cruising.

Fast forward six years – Ray and I are ready for a big vacation. With so many people to please, we wanted to be certain that everyone had plenty to do and see. We decided on a road trip to New Orleans, exploration of the historical sites along the way, plenty of fresh beignets, and maybe an airboat ride. After a few days in the French Quarter, we will be boarding the Carnival Elation!

Photo Courtesy of Carnival
Photo Courtesy of Carnival

Yes, we are eating our words and have decided to give Carnival another chance to impress.


The Price
When you are looking at cruising during the summer, fairs can be crazy high. We are vacationing during the very week before school begins, so none of our kiddos miss anything, meaning we are sailing during peak time. Now, with nine of us, we had to book two suites – one that sleeps five, and another that sleeps four – so we had to consider that, as well. But, remember – the great thing about cruises is that they are pretty all-inclusive. Sailing out of New Orleans, instead of Galveston, will also save us a bit of change. All in all, Carnival offered the best deal for our family.

The Food
In addition to the fine dining every evening, there is plenty from which to choose. Kid-friendly options were a must for our kids who love to eat. Here is what we will be enjoying on the Elation:
– Sushi Bar
– Pizzeria

– New York-Style Deli

– Mongolian Wok

– Rotisserie

– The Grill

– Taste of Nations

– Dessert Bar

The Entertainment
I am excited for my kids to enjoy Camp Carnival. The kids clubs just look like fun! And that 115 foot Twister water slide into the pool? Yes, please!

Photo Courtesy of Carnival
Photo Courtesy of Carnival

But, that’s not all. There will be plenty for all of us to do while at sea:
– Nine-hole Mini Golf

– Ping Pong 

– Basketball Court

– Volleyball Court

– Jogging Track

– Camp Carnival

The Ports and Excursions
Now, this is what excites me most – I can not wait to snorkel in Cozumel and explore the Chichen Itza ancient ruins in Yucatan. Ray did find these activities available at a much lower rate than what Carnival is offering, so we are exploring the option of booking them outside to save some money. After all, there are nine of us and the excursions add up pretty quick!

Chichen Itza Castle, Mexico  Photo via SOMATUSCANI
Chichen Itza Castle, Mexico Photo via SOMATUSCANI

I can’t wait to share our experience with y’all, but in the meantime I’d be happy to hear your tips for cruising Carnival!

Cruisin’ on Royal Carribean #SeasTheDay

I am blessed with some amazing blogging friends, experiences, and opportunities. A few years ago, Ray and I went to New Orleans on one of the very first Brandcations – #BOBNOLA. While I had a great time, I was 7 months pregnant and it was oh-so-hot and sticky. I am very much looking forward to my next Brandcation adventure – A cruise on Royal Carribean with 39 old and new blogging buddies!


We set sail in a little over a week, and I have tons to do before then. In fact, I still need to make it to the passport office, do some shopping, pack my bags, and make a quick trip to Cali!

But, let’s not get distracted… On this 5 day/4 night cruise, we will be going to Cozumel, Mexico and will get to see and experience all that the Liberty of the Seas has to offer. I can’t wait to explore the ship and share with you all it has to offer, from ice skating to surfing, and more! We’ll also be getting a behind the scenes tour of the ship, so stay tuned for lots of photos and info.

Liberty of the Seas

Follow along on our adventures – on the ship and in Cozumel – with the hashtag #SeasTheDay. And be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and Instagram stream!

Is there anything you’d like to know about cruising on Royal Carribean, or about the Liberty of the Seas ship? MAybe I’ll get a chance to find an answer for you!

Cruisin’ on the Disney Fantasy – Day Three

Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a dream vacation…

You are laying on a lounge chair in the middle of the ocean, onboard a magical ship. Each time you pop your head up, you are met with inquiries regarding your comfort and thirst. Fresh fruit and ice cream is available, if you feel like satisfying your urge to snack. There is a constant breeze cooling your skin as you bask in the glorious sunshine. And, your kids are safe and wearing themselves out, as they keep busy in the kids clubs and activity centers.

That was me today. Minus the kids.

Photo taken by Janice Croze

Tomorrow we port in Cape Canaveral. While I am glad to be going home to Ray and the kids, part of me wishes this vacation never had to end.

Someday I’ll be back. And with me will be all of the people I love most!

Cruisin’ on the Disney Fantasy – Day Two

Before I get in to what an amazing day today was, I must say that boarding the Disney Fantasy yesterday was such a thrill. I was on a Disney cruise ship. On vacation by myself. No work and no responsibilities for three whole days.


Before Janice and I even found our stateroom, we did a bit of exploring and I decided that someday Ray and I would be back with the kids. There is so much for the whole family to see, taste and do… I was truly enchanted and I knew my kids would just be thrilled with the wide array of fun onboard.

After being greeted by a tote bag full of goodies waiting on our beds – including media credentials for me, which was a sweet surprise – we decided to change into our swimsuits and treat ourselves to a drink at Quiet Cove Bar, near the adult-only pool.


Our first evening of sailing was rough. I began to feel a bit lightheaded and was afraid I was becoming seasick. Dinner at Animator’s Palate would have been so much more enjoyable if I had been more prepared. Assuming you don’t get seasick after only being on one single cruise is a very silly idea! I learned that one must always be prepared.

At any rate, today I felt so much better. I did lounge in bed a bit, but do you blame me? I mean, who could resist a big comfy bed and no other sound but the crashing of waves against the side of the ship?


Today was the day we were in port; the day to explore Castaway Cay, Disney’s privately-owned island in the Bahamas. Oh.My.Word. It is gorgeous! Just a short distance from where the boat was docked for the day, we discovered where any kid would have a blast spending the day, complete with water slides and a plethora of kid-friendly activities. On a bit further we found an overabundance of fresh fruit and other yummy things to eat.

Janice and I made ourselves comfortable on the beautiful beach at Serenity Bay, frozen drinks in hand. What a peaceful and relaxing place to spend the afternoon! It was near perfect… Only the addition of my hubby (and perhaps an open-air massage) would have made it completely divine!


The Disney PR team treated the bloggers onboard to a fabulous dinner experience at Palo, and were kind enough to include me. Palo is an elegant hideaway serving Northern Italian cuisine just for grown-ups. It felt like a lavish girls night out, as I dined with two of my very best blogger girlfriends and enjoyed a bit of girly conversation. It was the perfect ending to a nearly-perfect day.

Dinner on the High Sea

All photos of our adventures were taken by Janice Croze of

I’m Off to Embark on a Magical Adventure

I have been a Disney fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve played in Disneyland a number of times, I’ve visited DisneyWorld a few, and I’ve even explored Disney’s Aulani on Oahu. But. This week will be a first for me. I AM GOING ON A DISNEY CRUISE!!

One of my bestest friends has invited me along with her on the Disney Fantasy media cruise. I wasn’t invited as media this time, so technically I’m going as Janice’s guest – which is kind of odd for me, to be honest – but I AM GOING ON A DISNEY CRUISE!!

Can you tell I’m a little excited?

I’m sitting at the airport in Phoenix waiting for my flight to Orlando, and I can.not contain my excitement. I have this urge to turn to the person next to me and tell them why I’m on this flight with them…

Don’t worry. I won’t.

Stay tuned as I bring you photos, video, and my thoughts on the magic and wonder of the Disney Fantasy.

(For the record, this is not a “free” trip for me. I paid for my airfare to get to Orlando, as well as the taxes and gratuities for the cruise.)