The best vacation of my entire life was our honeymoon. Joe and I splurged on a 10-day cruise to Florida and Mexico. It was incredible luxury vacation, from nightly 4-course meals to extravagant excursions at every port.
To me, a cruise is the ultimate vacation. Nothing will ever change that. I've been bitten by the cruising bug, and I've been looking forward to our second cruise since we got home from our first.
Now that we're parents, our priorities have changed. We still want to go on a cruise, but we prefer kid-friendly menus over escargot and lobster tails. We prefer kiddie pools over adults-only pools. We prefer rowdy games and craft activities over the serenity and peace of the spa.
(I never thought I'd say that. I really like serenity and peace.)
The awesome thing about a cruise is that you don't really have to choose. If your kids are old enough (and adventurous enough) to participate in the on-board kids' programs, you can still experience some of the grown-up activities while they're off making new friends.
The thought makes me giddy.
Norwegian Cruise Line has a program called Splash Academy where kids ages 3-12 can play, learn, and make new friends while mom and dad enjoy a little private time. (The program includes babies from 6 months to 2 also, but a parent is required to attend.)
I think Grace would be excited to participate in Splash Academy because they offer a circus program – juggling, tumbling, and performing tricks – as well as craft workshops, movies, and Wii.
At 5, Grace is old enough to flex her independence a wee bit and enjoy some time with Norwegian's trained counselors, but if she preferred to stay with us, that would be okay too.
When we're looking for family activities, we look for things that we can all do together, like the Kids Pool, family sports challenges, and the Nickelodeon on Norwegian activities.
Because Dora and Diego are Allie's best friends after her sister. Dora's Dance Party? Yes, please.
In any vacation, we look for family activities and family meal options. Our kids are little. They don't sit still; they aren't always quiet. They're picky and messy.
And sometimes, they sleep through meal times.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Freestyle Dining Program is perfect for families like mine. Basically, you can eat any time you want, in almost any restaurant on board. If you miss a mealtime because someone is napping, no problem! You can go somewhere else instead. (Having a prescribed dinner time was my least favorite thing about our first cruise.)
I love that Norwegian caters to families, with plenty of options for activities together and apart. I love that the price is all-inclusive. There are no extra fees for the kids' workshops or for entertainment or for normal meals. (There are a few things that cost extra, like babysitting and some restaurants.)
We've been saving our pennies for another cruise. I'm pretty sure we'll be cruising with Norwegian. I hope it's soon!
Please visit Norwegian's site to learn more about their family vacation experience
Enter to win a cruise for a family of four!
BlogHer and Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a voucher for a cruise for a family of four to one lucky reader. (One winner will be chosen from comments on all the participating blogs, not one winner from Feels Like Home.)
To be entered for a chance to win, tell me about your family's dream vacation in the comments.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
- Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
- Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
- Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
- For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2013-6/2/2013.
Be sure to visit Norwegian Cruise Line's brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers' posts!
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