Planning a Last Minute Family Cruise

Planning a Last Minute Family Cruise

I am a planner. The teacher in me makes lists, compares options, and goes a little Type A when it comes to vacations. Right now we are looking at a very last minute family cruise. Why you ask? Well, it’s been several years since we have really gone away. Stress and lack of location change is grating on the adults here. We have gone to visit family within the state, but as wonderful as it is to be with them – it’s not a vacation.

The BIG reason I want to really do something special. TechyDad has a BIG birthday coming in August. We need something as a family to do that will not be stressful. While we adore going to Walt Disney World, *gasp* that is not an option this year. 2016 will be our time with Mickey and friends.

We have talked about going to Boston, DC, Montreal, Chicago, and other destinations that have so much to offer. What is stopping us? It’s SO expensive and makes my head spin trying to figure everything out. Where do we stay? Do we need a rental car? How much will lodging, food, and entertainment cost us? How will we get there?  As you add up everything, it’s a lot to do in a short amount of time and is going to cost us a lot in the end.

For years we have watched others go on cruises. They rave about it being the perfect option if you want a low stress vacation. You book and go. Little planning is needed unless you want to pre-book excursions at specific ports that your ship will stop in.

If you have been on a cruise, I would love to know any tips and tricks you have. We will probably be making our final decision this weekend. I’m still a planner and making this decision last minute is hard for me. My mind automatically goes to how much we have to get ready to go and what we will need on the ship. Of course, I also think about the four of us sharing a small cabin and it worries me.

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  • Traci says:

    Having cruised in 2013 with both kids I can tell you it was a tight squeeze in the cabin when the kids’ bed was made (the couch turned out into a bed) but otherwise it was OK. You’ll want to unpack the suitcases and store them underneath your bed (they should fit). To keep the bathroom smelling “fresh” we bought a small Yankee Candle magnet (they come in a lot of different scents and just stick to the wall (which are normally metal). If you’re stopping in Nassau I’d suggest getting off the ship for a short time and exploring the main shopping area but that’s about it – unless you’re paying for a shore excursion. We find that it’s a good port for staying on the ship and enjoying the pool. If you’re thinking of a cabin with a balcony I would say go for it – you’ll want the extra space. If not, at least get a window. Avoid the interior cabins. Pack liquid handsoap – it’s less messy than the little bars of soap they leave in the bathroom. OK…I’m sure there is more but that’s all I can think of right now :)
    Traci´s last blog post ..Out of Commission

  • We love cruising! We cruised with our kids when they were 10-15. Cruising is an amazing family vacation. Cruising is relaxing and it can be very educational. Where are you thinking of cruising to? I’d be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
    Cindy Schultz´s last blog post ..EasyAcc 3rd Anniversary Sale

  • Terra Heck says:

    I’ve never been on a cruise. Would love to someday. Hope it all comes together for you.
    Terra Heck´s last blog post ..Chamilia – Shoot For The Moon Charm Review

  • We did a family western Caribbean Cruise a few years ago. If you bring a soft cooler and reusable drinking bottles, you can fill them with ice/juice/water before you head off the boat. They are easy to pack and definitely helped during excursions. A backpack is worth bringing too.

    Another thing my kids liked bringing was one of the mister fans. We’d fill it with ice and a little water for the occasional cool down.

    I’d try to get the early dinner seating. We booked too late for that. There was a first come/first serve section. We’d show up when it opened and never had to wait. Showing up 30 minutes later, thereally would have been a line.

    Let them know about any allergies early. We have a peanut allergy. After dinner, before dessert, every night the head waiter brought us the next days menu.

    I’ve been on 2 cruises. Once before kids and once after. Both were great times.

  • […] I have a confession, I love my smartphone. At times it is my lifeline and my BFF. It allows me to be connected to my family, friends, kids’ schools, and work. In addition to this, my Samsung S5 that I currently use has an amazing camera on it. This means I rarely need anything else to capture memories. Thanks to my heavy reliance on my smartphone, an upcoming vacation scared me a little bit. We are going on our first ever cruise and it was planned rather quickly. […]