Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our First Family Vacation

Last month, our family got to go on our first big vacation on a Caribbean cruise. Last year when Jared was about 18 months old, we were supposed to go to Hawaii with my mom and sister but Jared got sick with an ear infection and we were told not to fly.

So with the airline credit we had, we decided to fly to Tampa and our ship left from the Port of Tampa. Carnival cruise lines has a kids club starting at age 2 which is nice so mom and dad can get a little vacation time as well. Too bad he didn't like going there very much or we would have taken him more often!

Jared did so great on the airplane and loved watching them take off at the airport while we were waiting to board the plane. He is such a good little traveler. He only slept for 45 minutes on the way to Tampa and a little over an hour on our way back to OC. We brought our MacBook and his favorite move--Disney's Cars--to entertain him when he got antsy toward the end of the flights but we never had any tears which was great!

Jared loved sleeping in a hotel room (our first night in Tampa before boarding the cruise ship).
My boys relaxing by the pool waiting to leave Tampa!
Our cruise had four stops--The Grand Cayman Islands, Rotan in Honduras, Cozumel in Mexico and Belize City in Belize. Our first stop in the Grand Cayman Islands we went to Turtles, Turtles and more Turtles. It was a fun excursion where you got to pick up the turtles and you could even go swim with them (and all their poop so we opted not to with the baby).
The largest turtle was over 600 lbs!
After the turtle tour, they had a lagoon you could swim in or lounge at which was great because it was so hot and humid there!

Our next port was Cozumel. We went to this awesome beach called Paradise Beach and as you can see it truly was! All the fun slides and climbing walls you see in the background could be rented for the day, they had food and bar service, massages, jet skis and much more all right there. We all had a great time in Cozumel.

Our next port of call was Rotan, Honduras which was just beautiful. It is a new destination for cruise ships and I loved it there. We went to another beach called Mahogany Bay and it was also beautiful.

Doesn't the picture below look like a postcard? They had ski lifts they called the flying chair lifts that took you from the port down to the beach but if was a very quick walk.

After the beach, we had lunch at the only restaurant. Do you think Jared is tired? I love this picture...

On the ship, Jared liked to play miniature golf with his dad, eat ice cream cones and run around like a crazy man! I think he knew his way around the ship better than we did. :-)

Our final port was to Belize. Our original plan was to leave Jared at the kids club so we could go do an adventurous excursion but Daddy decided he didn't want to do that last minute so we all went to Belize. We ended up just looking at all the shops but not doing anything there which I was pretty upset about. I mean, how often do you get to go to Belize? Oh well, next time when we go without children some day.
The rest of our trip was spent swimming and relaxing at the pool. As you can see, Jared loved this part!

Our little "swimmy fish" as we call him now. You would never know that two weeks prior, he was scared to death of the water! Thank God for those swimming lessons I enrolled him in prior to our trip!

Our first family vacation was a lot of fun and adventure! I am glad we were able to go and spend the time with our adorable son. We will always have these memories to cherish.

So would I do a cruise with a toddler again? Absolutely! Next time, I think it would be fun to go with a larger group of friends and family. Maybe a Disney cruise next? Who's coming?

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