Wednesday, May 27, 2015

bon voyage! | family travel with royal caribbean international




I am so excited to share that we are teaming up with Royal Caribbean International to share some experiences on family travel! I can't wait to see what Royal Caribbean is all about, and I have no doubt that traveling over the ocean is the most peaceful way to go from place to place!

Travel is something that I am very passionate about, because not only have I discovered {later in life} that I have a deep desire for travel, but even more than that I have a great love for encouraging families to adventure together. I think traveling is one of the greatest experiences you could share with your children! We hope to share many tips to help encourage you to finally take the plunge and get your family on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Before we take off on the Independence of the Seas where we head to San Juan, St Kitts, and St Maarten, I am going to share some things to help you get started - I have been on a cruise before and it has really helped me become better prepared this time around. I am so prepared that I have offered my advice as a "pro tip" since doing this once before makes me a clear expert *wink wink*

pro tip: Be sure you check the ports (especially the day + the arrival and departure times!). Get familiar with the activities available ahead of time. Once you're on the ship internet is limited and you're on vacation for goodness sake, you won't want to be on your computer or phone trying to research the "must see" stops at each port, try to do as much planning and research as you can ahead of time. Once you are settled in your new home fore the week mingle around with your new friends and see what they are planning in the days too come!!!

pro tip #2: Be sure to keep your swimsuit, ipad/ charger, camera, and a card game in your carry on. Don't check it in on the ship since it may take hours for you bag to arrive in your room! The rest of your bags can be easily checked!

pro tip #3: Be sure to check your cruise guide to make sure there aren't wardrobe restrictions in certain dining rooms, or if there is a formal evening -- you don't want to be left out!

pro tip #4: Kids are still kids. Even on vacation. Don't stress! Your kids will still have tantrums, fits, and disappointments. They will be hot from walking, they will be tired of looking at souvenirs, they may hate the ocean (GASP!), they might even miss their bed. Funny thing, but kids don't, in fact, turn into angels while traveling. Enjoy them, and try your best to be extra patient as they try to adjust to their new location. Oh, and don't forget to say "Please" when you try to force them to drink that extra water :) :)

pro tip #5: don't be afraid to stay on the ship while some get off at each port, it is a great time to have free reign in some ares since the ship is less populated. We usually are the first off at each port and then make our way back to the ship about 1.5 hrs before they depart to take advantage of the cleared out decks.

pro tip #6: Childcare/ hang outs are available on most ships. If you aren't sure that you or your child is comfortable with this new scene, then I suggest you tour the childcare room together. Plan a 15-20 minute stay for the first time - it is short so they know you are coming back, but gives them time to scope things out on their own. Then you can assess if your child feels comfortable and confident without you. We did this with our boys and they begged us to put them back into the child care! Just be sure you keep in mind that kids get tired of the sun and running constantly, if you have a full day packed there is a good chance they may want to take it easy, don't be scared to utilize the available sources that your ship has to offer - there is a good chance your kiddos will even make some new friends!

pro tip #7: YOU'RE ON VACATION! ACT LIKE IT! SIT, DO NOTHING ...OR DO EVERYTHING!!!! AND BE SURE TO TURN YOUR DEVICES OFF AND MAKE SOME MEMORIES AND MEET NEW FRIENDS! 

 ___


PACKING... the conundrum. 
My biggest goal while packing is trying to make everything work together and mix'n'match so I don't need as much. My second goal is a wrinkle proof wardrobe - I try to find pieces that still look amazing if they're crumpled from travel. This is always a much easier task when on a warm weather vacation! Think linens and loose fit.

I am not big on over-packing, especially with children because your greatest enemy is options, why spend so much time getting ready when there is a new world to see! I love rompers and dresses for this reason, they are small and don't need to be paired with anything which makes for less fuss! On a cruise you have to keep in mind that there is usually humidity that comes with being at sea, which means that your clothes don't stay dry or clean for very long, so be aware that packing minimum items also calls for a day of wash or you can count on wearing salty or moist clothing.

Staples in my suitcase? I always shoot for the classics when I travel! A good pair of denim shorts like these here, a killer cover up for your swim suit that you won't mind living in most of the week - I am absolutely in love with this one by Eberjey here, A good hat - always a good hat(here), a swimsuit that can second as a shirt/top, and I always include classic sandals and a good read!  Oh, and I never forget to pack an extra suit or two - nothing worse than trying to shimmy into a wet swimsuit, I know you feel me.

Things that should top your packing list:
*PASSPORT to ensure you get on the ship! Be sure it is in your carry on and easy to access for when you arrive!

*SUNSCREEN (don't forget to apply multiple times per day, the sun is much more intense in the caribbean

*CARD GAMES - for mornings on the deck of the boat or evenings in your room, or even great for down time before or during your flights while traveling to the ship

*WATER SHOES - for any beaches you may encounter, especially those with coral

*MULTIPLE OUTLET/CONVERTER - some times the rooms have limited outlets for charging cameras and phones - you wouldn't want to miss capturing your memories, would you?!

*SUNGLASSES - especially for the kiddos!

*WATER BOTTLE - though the cruise ships have plenty of beverages it is always great to have one on hand, especially for when you leave the ship.

*SNACKS - we all know that cruise ships are known for the bounty of food they offer, but don't forget many of us leave the ship while at port, and you will definitely want some easy snacks to bring with - kids are ALWAYS hungry!

*A GOOD BOOK - there won't be many moments during the day to read if you're traveling with kids, but once they tuck out for the evening you will have plenty of time to yourself in the room (or hopefully on the balcony!)

*TRAVEL SIZE - I always ask my salon or skincare provider for samples of my favorite products so that I don't run the risk of losing my full size products to the fate of the baggage check on the flight over. It is also a great idea so you don't have to worry about accidentally forgetting your expensive toiletries on the ship once you pack up, as we all know life with kids can get a bit chaotic. Just take a deep breath and remember everything is replaceable!


Here are some inspiration boards of simple travel staples to pack for your crew should you have the chance to take a cruise in the near future. Notice they all start by a great swimsuit and some fun leisure activities - and they end with great memories! 

MUSTS FOR MOM



MUSTS FOR THE 6 YEAR OLD



MUSTS FOR THE 8 YEAR OLD





MUSTS FOR THE HUSBAND



BON VOYAGE! WE CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE MORE OF OUR TRAVELS WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN hope to see you there!

4 comments:

Linda said...

this is a terrific and very thorough post! i travel a ton and really learned a lot of tips! :) also, you totally talked me into pulling the trigger on the triangl swimsuit! ;) xo

Daisy Harvey said...

Have a lovely time! Thanks for the tips! :)

http://en.emoi-emoi.com/

lesliekershaw said...

Yay! Can't wait to see photos, they were amazing last time. I'm looking forward to a cruise soon with the boys! You gave some good tips that I will use for sure!

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