Back from a family vacay–A Cruise! The Good & the Bad!

I just arrived back from a family vacation – a Royal Caribbean Cruise! 028 I’m pleased to report that all of us had a great time.   Some of us (including me!) did a zipline over the ocean.  500 feet above the beach at speeds of 40-50 mph.  Yes, I wanted to go again!Smile  027

All of us petted stingrays.  (I held one in my arms. <3)  We snorkeled.  My son and son-in-law did the climbing wall.  My husband and the rest of the boys rode the wave machine.  SO COOL!  My son performed a Phil Collins song for Karaoke and brought down the house. 038 Proud Mom moment for me.Smile  We enjoyed fabulous meals every night.  I couldn’t possibly participate in every activity, but it was nice that so many options were offered.  I love trying new things!  Do you?

My adult kids did the dolphin experience.  It was so fun to watch them.  I have done it twice before, so I didn’t need to do it again.  Shopping in Cozumel was fab as usual.  And when I was too tired and overexposed to all the people, my husband and I watched How To Train Your Dragon.  (LOVED it!<g>)

Downside:  the flights.  No way around it, air travel is harsh.  The flights were short, but loud and I felt like one of those indentured servants ordered to stay in the lower decks of the Mayflower. (The opposite of how I felt on the actual cruise!)  Our luggage was delayed in Orlando.  Worse yet, our luggage was delayed when we got out of the ship!  They almost lost my luggage.  Well, in fact, they did lose it for an hour and a half.  Sheesh.  I sure am glad we allowed for leeway for our departing flight!

I’m going to have a terrible time adjusting to sitting down at the table at night and not being able to order my delicious meal from our wonderful server Peter.Smile  065

What’s your favorite family vacay ever?  What was your favorite part of the vacation?  What was your least favorite part?

xo,

Leanne

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24 Responses to Back from a family vacay–A Cruise! The Good & the Bad!

  1. debradixon says:

    Leanne– I want to go on a cruise! I’ve been on one and love it. Deb Smith and I are looking at some knitting cruises as a reward for surving 2012. (g) We’re planning ahead.

    I love that you got to watch your son sing karaoki! What a fun trip.

    BTW, my black cat looks exactly like the dragon in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. It’s pretty freaky. Her eye color, how she tilts her head, how she moves. Even my son has noticed and I never told him that’s what I thought! But great movie, huh?

    • leannebanks says:

      Deb, you should go! And a knitting cruise! How cool is that. It’s just so wonderful to have all that great service, and I was super happy having my family around.:) Haha that your cat looks like the dragon! xo

  2. Sara says:

    It sounds like a great experience. I would love to take a cruse.

    Our best vacation was a cross country drive we did last summer. Two adults and two teens in a minivan. The good, we got to see much of the country and do a lot of fun hiking. The bad, we were on a budget so sampling local cuisine and sleeping in hotels was not on the menu. We switched off driving and took turns sleeping in the car.

    It was an amazing experience.

    • leannebanks says:

      Sara, that sounds like an ADVENTURE! I think it’s great that you worked it out on a budget. Great memories!

  3. kris says:

    I love cruising. We’re big into the Disney thing, we’re vacation club owners and alternate years with a trip to WDW and a cruise. We’re going on their newest ship for the first time this Aug and I can’t wait! Disney does a great job with their cruises and we always have a blast. My daughter has done the stingrays, swimming with dolphins, wave runners, zip line, etc. They also make it good for the grown-ups with plenty of adult activities. It’s very tough to come back home again and have to make the beds, clean up after ourselves and worse, have to cook!

  4. leannebanks says:

    Kris, I’ve heard those Disney cruises are fabulous. I love getting the opportunity to do things I’ve never done before. I’m with you that it’s tough to come back home and go back to work!

  5. Irene says:

    My husband took me to England several years ago. I saw just about every place I wanted to see…stood on Land’s End, did the Tower, Stonehenge, York and the Lake District. Even the girls, who were much younger, keep bringing up things they remember now. One of the best parts was finding Jelly Babies (I’m a Doctor Who fan) and eating scones with clotted cream.
    Bad part was that I didn’t see any real castles, just palaces.
    It’s all still vivid in my memory, though. I’d love to go back.
    Glad you had such a great time!!!

    • leannebanks says:

      Irene, I love hearing your memories. That sounds like a fantastic trip. I want to go to England too! I love that your girls remember things about it too!:)

  6. Leigh Raffaele says:

    Leanne, aren’t cruises the best!!! Best vacation was a few years ago – a 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise to the eastern Caribbean. Snorkling with sea turtles in St. Thomas, driving ATVs through St Martin to their magnificient beaches. I know what you mean about being waited on for dinner. The day we got home, my husband sat on our deck relaxing the day away, sipping rum punch (he’s never done that before!) asking what was on the menu for dinner. In fact, that night he put a chocolate on my pillow 🙂 Took another cruise this summer to Alaska. While Alaska is gorgeous with its mountains and glaciers, the cruise was the worst. Tried a different cruise line this time. Big mistake. From now on, it’s Royal Caribbean all the way!!!

    • leannebanks says:

      Leigh, I keep hearing from experienced cruisers how much they prefer Royal Caribbean, and I must confess that I originally thought about going on a different line, but then I read the reviews and Royal won! I’m so glad y’all had a great time. We need to go again, yes?:)

  7. CateS says:

    Cruises are wonderfu… just wish I didn’t have to use an airline to get to the port!! When you come from the upper midwest in the winter… word of advice…. pack some clothes to change into — your luggage won’t appear for a while & those darn turtlenecks, long underware and lined wool pants are hot when standing on the ship’s deck with a mimosa…

    • leannebanks says:

      CateS, I’m totally with you on hating to use the airline to get to the port!:/ That was the worst part for me. Flying is just so stressful these days, and since we had 6 people in our group, I was a bit more tense than usual. Funny that you mention the change of clothes. That’s exactly what I did. I was afraid of not having my bathing suit, so I packed a little bag with underwear, bathing suit, underwear & flip-flops. My feet get cold on the plane, so I always wear socks and skeechers for flying.:)

  8. michelehauf says:

    Wow, sounds like the whole family had fun!
    You’ll never get me on one of those big cruise ships. Erm, I don’t like the idea of being out in the big ocean surrounded by water on all sides. Nope, not for me. Very claustrophobic, as well, that you can’t just walk off the ship any time you need to get away from all the peoples. 😉

    Best vacation? Paris still lingers in my mind. Sigh…

    • leannebanks says:

      Michele, I love the ocean. Being close to water makes me so happy.:) Must agree that the crowds were a bit much at times. That said, the ship was huge and even had a lovely, quiet library! Yes to Paris! I’d love to go back!:)

  9. Cindy Gerard says:

    Great photos Leanne and it sounds like you had a wonderful time. I’ve been so fortunate to travel to so many places (New Zealand and Australia last year was the BEST) but I still enjoy the times with our family all together up at our cabin on Lake Kabatogama the best. It’s the one I look forward to every year!!

    • leannebanks says:

      Cindy, I loved NZ and Australia too! So many wonderful experiences!:) Your cabin sounds WONDERFUL! I’m so glad you’ll get to enjoy it this year!:)

  10. Donna McClaugherty-Cruise Holidays says:

    I LOVE cruising which is why I became a travel agent. Cruising is the best vacation for your money. I totally agree that traveling by air to the ports can be a pain. Alot of times, I tried to go out of a port close to home to avoid the air flights. My whole family is doing a Christmas cruise this year and I cant wait!

    • leannebanks says:

      Donna, another cruise lover!:) After this last cruise, I’m actually reconsidering the drive… and I don’t like long-distance drives! A Christmas cruise, oh, wow, that sounds wonderful! Enjoy!

  11. Kathleen O says:

    So happy you all had a great time.. All of our family vacations were spent at our cottage. We a family of seven, inluding Mom and Dad. And there was not the money to travel when we were young and when we were older, we were travelling with friends mostly, At least I did.. I went to Ireland and Scotland with my grandmother, And I did a few car trips with my Aunt. And Mom and Dad and I went to Ireland a couple of times…But mostly all my trips have been with my friends…

    • leannebanks says:

      Kathleen, we didn’t go on cruises when I was young either. Driving vacations to the beach once a year. A couple of times, we went to Florida (still driving). Your trips to Ireland and Scotland sound wonderful. I’d love to visit!:)

  12. kylie brant says:

    Wow, Leanne, fabulous vacation! I will never get my dh on a cruise because he has motion sickness 😦 But I did get him on a zipline over the jungle in the Dominican a couple weeks ago! Favorite vacation is any taken with family. Isn’t it just the best to get everyone together and enjoy each other?

    • leannebanks says:

      Kylie, bummer that he gets motion sickness. I will say that these ships are so huge that you don’t feel the movement very much at all. No one in our party got nauseated and one even brought a patch just in case. Cool that you got him to do the zipline in the Dominican. I keep hearing great things about the DR. What I like about this kind of family vacation is that we weren’t joined at the hip the whole time. Plus, other times we get together often center around holidays and that can get stressful!

  13. MaryC says:

    Favorite vacation was a cruise I took with my parents. The least favorite part was the air flight.
    For the past few years, my family has taken cruises departing from Boston – we can drive to the ship location in about thirty minutes.

  14. We took a Caribbean cruise years ago, and I enjoyed much of it, but it wasn’t Clyde’s favorite vacation. Clyde had bronchitis for about 3 days, which he attributed to popping in and out of AC. We hit some bad weather, and one of our port days was cancelled. I do love being on the ocean, but what I like best about taking a trip is going and doing and seeing. I think the Alaska cruise would be spectacular.

    We’ve had many lovely vacations, but one I’m especially thankfully for was the 3-week European tour with a bunch of teachers–all women, good friends–and my mother. Mama got cancer 2 years later and died 2 years after that. I remember looking at the prints from Paris she’d hung on her bedroom wall when I was keeping vigil at her bedside and recalling with her the sidewalk cafe and going to the beach in Nice. I’m so glad we took that trip when we did.

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