Ahoy, Mates!

I wouldn’t have ever considered myself a cruise fanatic but the fact that I went on three cruises in a 14 month span, may speak otherwise. The first one was a group/couples-only cruise that was planned to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. (Soooo much  fun!!!) The second one was just my husband and I and was more of a “work” trip, with the objective to visit as many high-end resorts on as many islands as possible. I know, poor me!

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The third was a multi-generational family cruise that fell between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Like many Americans, my husband’s family is spread out across the country so a couple of years ago we decided that in lieu of Christmas gifts, we would all go on a family vacation together. (Deep breaths….)  There are many reasons why I think a cruise was an ideal choice for our family vacation, but the two most important are ease and value.  Not only are your accommodations, food, activities and entertainment included, but we also got better rates and extra amenities by booking as a group.  Since we were paying for 6 people, this was HUGE for us! Plus, you only have to unpack once, you get to visit multiple destinations and there is plenty of room for everyone! As in, not TOO much family togetherness.  🙂

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Another great thing about choosing a cruise for your family vacation is there really is something for everyone.  Since our group included Grandpa Denny (at age 89!), aunts, uncles, cousins and grandkids of all ages, the freedom and flexibility to do what we wanted, when we wanted to do it was invaluable! Some spent the day in the casino, some ventured on shore excursions, some hung out by the pool (that would be me!) and some did LOTS of shopping. But without fail, every night we would all gather in the dining room, took turns sitting beside Grandpa and cherished the time we got to spend together as Family.

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Many cruise lines are now catering specifically to families and provide ample opportunities to laugh, play and connect . There are kids-only facilities and activities, the spa and specialty dining for adults and poolside fun, shore excursions, and nighttime entertainment for the entire family! Without a doubt, our entire clan had a blast (including those hard-to-please teenagers!) and we are already planning our next sailing – Christmas 2015!! Bon voyage, ya’ll!!

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