Friday, August 9, 2013

The Cruise Plan

The Plan

I was starting some other post drafts, and realized, its a good idea to start at the beginning.

So, let me run down the current plan for you guys, so you know what we are expecting, and you can tie it all together as we talk about what, where, and the how of this cruise.

Pre-Cruise

We will be flying down the Thursday before our cruise.  Leaving directly from our local airport and flying straight through to Sanford/Orlando airport.
We are flying Allegiant Air, and that has its ups and downs.  I'll get into detail some other time.

We are staying at the Marriott Courtyard in Cocoa Beach Thursday and Friday night.  This hotel is just a few miles from the Cruise Terminal, and gives us access to the beaches and attractions of the area.

We will be renting a car from Avis.  They have a free shuttle from their location to the port.  A lot of the rental companies do, but this one gets great reviews on YELP, so we went with that.

We will have an entire Friday to kill, so we have planned something AMAZING!
We are going to the Kennedy Space Center!!  WOOT!!!  The new Atlantis Exibit is open, and I can't wait!!
In researching this trip, and bearing in mind a toddler, this kept coming up.  They have a "Childrens Play Dome" that looks like I would have fun in, let alone an energetic 2 year old!  I think this is going to be WAY to much fun!

As well, we have some friends going on the trip with us, and they will be joining us at the Kennedy Space Center!
Doesn't that look like fun?

The Ship

The Carnival Dream
This will be our home-away-from-home during the cruise, the Carnival Dream.
  • 128,000 Tons
  • 3600 Passengers
  • 1004 ft long
  • 122 ft wide
  • 1300 crew members
Its a big ship, the biggest of the 3 we will have sailed on!  And yes, this is the ship that got "stuck" in St Martin after a back-up generator failed a test.  If you ask me, I'd rather be stuck in St Martin with full access to normal ship activities, and all the wonders of the island, than sail with without a backup generator!

The Room


Our cabin will be 10259 on the Lido Deck.  This is a Balcony Cabin. (and the Internet provided this pic:)

The Itinerary

  1. Saturday - Port Canaveral
  2. Sunday - Day at Sea
  3. Monday - Cozumel, Mexico
  4. Tuesday - Mahogany Bay, Rotan
  5. Wednesday - Belize
  6. Thursday Costa Maya, Mexico
  7. Friday - Day at Sea
  8. Saturday - Port Canaveral

The Activities

In Cozumel we are hitting one of N's bucket list items.  We are swimming with the Dolphins and Dolphinaris,  Even B gets to participate, and he is FREE!  Granted, he doesn't get to do the swim part, but he gets to be down in the water with us.  
We purchased this one through the cruise line, as it was actually cheaper (don't have to pay for B) and included lunch.  I have read that you can not take your own pictures, and they photos taken there are MEGA expensive.  I will report back later.

In Rotan, we are booking a "Private" Tour.  Basically, we get our own driver for the day to take us where ever we want.  Beach, food, sightseeing, etc, etc.  We are also adding a visit to "Monkey Business".  This is all through Bodden Tours

In Belize, we are doing something special.  This is our 3rd cruise, and our first was our Honeymoon.  We visited Belize aboard the Carnival Glory way back then.. and we visited a TINY little island as our excursion.  This island is named Goff's Caye, but also known as Gilligan's Island by the tour operator.  Despite battling sea sickness and bad weather to start, we still have great memories.
This tour is no longer available through Carnival, but we have booked it ourselves.  We can't wait!!

In Costa Maya we will be experiencing an ultimate day of relaxation.  We have booked a private beach day at Almplena Hotel Eco Beach Resort.  A nice all-inclusive day of beach relaxation, swimming and snorkeling.  I CAN'T WAIT!

Post Cruise

After the cruise, we will spend one more night in the Courtyard Marriott, and then fly home Sunday afternoon.

Pre-Cruise Thoughts

I am really excited for this cruise.  Even more than getting to spend time in a tropical paradise, with unlimited food, warm sun, sandy beaches, and fruity cocktails, but more so to get to experience this with our toddler.

I've read a number of posts online, and blog articles that admonish parents who DARE to take their children on a cruise.  The reasons I hear for this are varied, but none of them are worth the time it took to write.
Sure, my son may not remember this cruise when he is an adult, but I'll have THOUSANDS of pictures to share with him.  I will also get to see the joy and wonder as we board the ship.  I'll get to watch him try new foods.  I'll get to watch him build sand castles, play with monkeys, splash in the ocean, and MANY MANY other things.  These will be memories that I get to keep forever.  And, trust me, this will not be B's LAST cruise!

That's it for now.  The next few posts will be all about planning, gear, timing, packing, and preparing for a cruise with a toddler!

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