Family Travel BoutiqueFamily Travel Boutique

Category : Disney Cruise Line

By Kimberly Milnes

My Top 10 Answers to Why I Think a Cruise is a Great Family Vacation

I think a cruise is a GREAT vacation choice for families. First, they are a great value. You have your food, activities and room all included in the price. As well, you and the family can explore more than one destination and unpack only one time. Even more, a cruise can offer something for everyone in the family; great kids clubs, babysitting, pools and water slides, great destinations, adult only areas and more.

Our first cruise as a family was a Disney cruise when my son was 4 months old. I have heard from parents in the past, that they are concerned about safety, my kids are too young or it is too expensive.  Well, I wanted to share some information and tips to make a cruise, a great vacation choice for your family.

1. I am afraid of the Balcony.
Yes, the balcony can be a scary option for families with small children, but there are some roomy cabin options without a balcony.  Norwegian has Family Ocean View cabins that are spacious and include a large porthole so you don’t feel like you are living in a cave.  As well, Disney has cabins with large portholes, they big enough sit in to read a book or just watch the ocean pass by. As well, Disney has Inside cabins with the Magic Porthole. These inside cabins are surprisingly large and with the Magic Porthole, you are getting a live feed of the outside of the ship, along with some surprise friends.

2. Will there be enough room for the family?
Along with the no balcony options, the cruise lines have seen the need for larger family staterooms.  Especially on the newer ships like the Norwegian Breakaway and Royal Caribbean Oasis ships.  Disney of course, has always had larger rooms to accommodate families.  As well, there is also the option of connecting cabins, or even a suite to make sure everyone has room to spread out.

3. What about a hurricane or bad weather?
The height of hurricane season is the end of August through the beginning of November. So if this is a concern for you book accordingly.  However, if weather becomes an issue the ship can easily change its path to calmer waters, but your ports might change. Rarely is a cruise canceled.  I say make sure to book travel insurance to cover your family and your money.

4. How do I pack for a cruise, especially if I am traveling with a baby?
When cruising you have to check your bags before you board the ship and they are delivered to your cabin, which sometimes can take a few hours. So make sure you have a carry on bag with anything you might before your bags arrive. As well, pack swim suits in your carry on because if you get on the ship early your room might not be ready. But you will be able to get something to eat, enjoy the pool and get your vacation started.   As well, most ships have an onboard laundry facility, so if you want to pack light you can do laundry to make it through the vacation. Also ships with a nursery will have baby toys, high chairs, and anything else you might need for a baby.

5. What if I run out of diapers, formula, etc.?
I know when traveling with little ones it can be daunting thinking of all the supplies you will need. Also, what if you run out of something while at sea.  Most ships have baby supplies available in the shops.  As well, there are companies likeBabies Travel Lite or Babies 2 Go where you can order supplies in advance and have them delivered directly to the ship.

6. My child is not old enough for the Kids Club.
While most ships have kids club where you can drop off kids 3 and up. Not all have good accommodations for babies and toddlers, but there are options. Disney has the “its a small world nursery”, which has trained child care providers and just about anything a baby could need. There is a small fee, but it allows Mom and Dad to at the very least have a nice dinner or head to the spa.  As well Royal Caribbean and Carnival also have babysitting options.

7. What if we get bored on the ship?
Bored is something I do not think anyone will have as a problem on a cruise. Every day a planner will be delivered to your cabin with activities, shows and more planned for almost every hour of the day.  As well, I know my boys just want to be in either the pool or the kids club.  As well, adults have shows, amazing specialty restaurants, casinos and adult only areas of the ships to entertain.  As well, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian have some of your kids favorite characters for photos, fun and of course a character breakfast.

8. It is too expensive
Really if you compare to a  land vacation, a cruise can be a GREAT value. The cruise lines are always having promotions and for my clients even after they are booked I am looking for free upgrades, onboard credit and more. As well, for those near a port, you could save over $1000 on not having to fly to the destination.  As well, if you look at all that is included in a cruise it can be a great savings.

9.  What if we all get sea sick?
My kids have been on 3 cruises and have never had a problem with motion sickness. These newer ships have stabilizers and unless there is a storm you are not feeling the motion.  However, I never travel without my “patch”. I put it on before we board and I am good to go. There are pressure bands and other remedies, but I think the patch really works the best.

10. A cruise does not go where I want to vacation
There are so many options of where to sail on a cruise. Of course, you can visit the Caribbean, but you can also visit Alaska, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Europe and more.  Especially with a family, cruising can make visiting locations like Europe so easy.  I think it is a great way to introduce your kids to Europe.  Once on the ship you unpack, relax and visit, Span, Italy, Greece, France and more. No packing and unpacking, schlepping bags, kids, etc.  During the day you visit the city, at night you relax and enjoy the ship and the next day you are at a new destination. So easy.

For those of you here in the NY/NJ area we have some GREAT options for cruising. We have the new Norwegian Breakaway sailing from NYC to either Bermuda or Florida/Bahamas. On the Florida/Bahamas, you can spend the day at Walt Disney World and Atlantis. I call that 3 Vacations in 1 and you don’t have to fly.

Next November 2014, we will have another amazing ship, Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas sailing out of Cape Liberty, NJ.  This ship is amazing. You will be able to ride bumper cars, “sky dive”, zip line and more.

 

By Kimberly Milnes

Sail Away on the Disney Magic!!

Would you and your family like to sail away on the “new” Disney Magic®?  You can be among the first to enjoy the new AquaDunk and all the other amazing upgrades.

Have you been waiting for a great deal to take your first Disney Cruise?

 

Well, here is your opportunity!!   You and your family can sail away from Miami this fall.

Here are the details:

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruises
• Starting at $125 per person, per day, based on double occupancy for Category 11 Standard Inside Stateroom on most sail dates Nov. 1 – Nov. 29, 2013 (excluding Nov. 24, 2013).

Booking Window:
• Must book through July 31, 2013

If you are ready to go, email info@adventuresbykim.com or give us a call at 1-800-516-4329

Additional Details:
• Excludes Government Taxes and Fees of approximately $80 per person for Western Caribbean cruises (all amounts subject to change).
• Gratuities and Port Adventures are not included.
• Category 11C Standard Inside Staterooms can accommodate up to 3 Guests aboard the Disney Magic.
• The number of staterooms allocated for this offer is limited. This offer cannot be combined with any other special offers or discounts.
• Rates are in U.S. dollars.
• Offer subject to Disney Cruise Line Terms and Conditions.

By Kimberly Milnes

Fun Family Destinations for 2013

I know a lot of you are hitting the road in these next few weeks for your well deserved Spring Break vacation.  If you are still looking for vacation ideas for your summer vacation and beyond, here are some great family travel destinations.

 

Gogobot put together a list of the most shared travel destinations of 2012. I think there are some great choices, but not all are so family friendly.   Here is their top 10:

1. Paris
2. Las Vegas
3. San Francisco
4. Barcelona
5. San Diego
6. Bangkok
7. Rome
8. New York City
9. Venice
10. Marrakech

If you have not checked out Gogobot, give it a tour. It is a great site, I love their postcard app. It is a lot of fun.

Here are a few of my family friendly suggestions: 

1. Alaska Cruise – This certainly would be a family adventure to remember.  You can view the glaciers, take in the amazing Alaskan wildlife, maybe even see some whales. If you can go in May when the season opens you can get some great deals.  I would suggest sailing on either the Disney or Norwegian cruise lines.  They both have great itineraries along with activities and clubs for the kids.

2. San Diego – San Diego is a great destination any time of year.  The weather is perfect and there is so much to do. Along with being close to Sea WorldLegoland and of course Disneyland. They have one of the best zoos in the US.  You can rent a car and visit all the great beach towns as you make your way up to Los Angeles for the day.  I would suggest staying at the historic Hotel del Coronado.  The hotel’s beach was named the best beach in America for 2012.

3. Colonial Williamsburg and Surrounding Area –  Colonial Williamsburg, is considered one of the largest living history museums in the United States. It is an opportunity to learn, teach and play at the same time.  You will be able to show your children how America was settled and how our country came to be. You can also visit Jamestown and Yorktown as well.  But, when the kids eyes glaze over from all the history you can head over to Busch Gardens Amusement Park or Water Country USA to cool off.   There really is something for everyone at this destination.

4. Beaches – Turks & Caicos and Jamaica – I think the Beaches properties are a great value.  Since Beaches resorts are all-inclusive, you are not going to end up with a surprise bill when you check out. They offer amazing kids clubs and activities with Elmo and the Sesame Street gang.  What I also love is that Mom and Dad can get a little vacation as well.  They offer the Red Lane spa, golf and certified nannies so Mom and Dad can have a long over due date night.

5.  Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – This is a perfect family destination. It is only 4 hours from NYC, with lots of nonstop flights to choose. Along with pristine beaches and great all-inclusive resorts. One of my favorite resorts here is Hard Rock Punta Cana.  They are all-inclusive and now have The Little Big Club for kids. The club highlights Thomas The Train, Barney, Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina.  For Mom and Dad there is the spa, golf and of course the casino.  The Hard Rock also has Family Suites which are beautiful and give the family a little room to spread out.

These are just a few of my choices to get you started on your search for that perfect destination for you and your family this year.  I am always looking for new destinations to share with you all so stay tuned for more to come.

 

By Kimberly Milnes

Ready to Sail Away?

 

Are you ready to sail away to adventure?   Disney Cruise Lines has some amazing deals right now that can make your dreams of taking a Disney Cruise come true.   Especially if you are looking to get away from those cold winter winds.  Here is what they have to offer

Kids Sail Free from Galveston
Kids 17 and under sail free on most 4-, 6- and 8-night sailings departing from Galveston Jan. 12 – April 26, 2013. To take advantage of this offer, kids must travel with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom in categories 4A – 11B. Government Taxes and Fees not included.

Kids Sail Free from Miami

Kids Sail Free offer on most 4- and 5-night cruises departing Jan. 14 – Feb. 25, 2013. Kids 17 and under must travel with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom in categories 4A – 11B. Government Taxes and Fees not included.

Early Fall Savings on Disney Dream
You can get a great rate – plus an onboard credit up to $100 – when you set sail on a 3- or 4-night cruise aboard Disney Dream departing from Port Canaveral Aug. 25 – Sept. 26, 2013. This offer must be booked by Feb. 28, 2013

If you have ever wanted to take a Disney Cruise these are some great deals that can make it happen.

Please email me to book this adventure or to get more information.

By Kimberly Milnes

Take a peek at a Fantasy!

The Fantasy, is the newest addition to the  Disney Cruise.  It really has some amazing features.  The best is that there is something for everyone in the family.   Even some secluded areas just for adults.  Hey, Mom and Dad need some vacation too.

I wanted to share this video so you can truly see all that this new ship has to offer.