Wednesday, February 1, 2012

~~2012 Cruise!!~~

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting our FAMILY CRUISE blog update...
Ugh... Well at least my sister Sharon and my Mother are soooooooooooo HERE WE GO!!~~
(WARNING LONGEST POST OF PICTURES EVER AHEAD...)
 We left home around 6 a.m. and stopped off for breakfast. We made it to the Cruise Terminal by 11 a.m. and the kids were SO excited to see the "BIG BOAT" We were some of the first cruisers on the ship after the VIP loaded so we felt VERY happy about that!!~
 The first thing we did was head to the back of the boat and eat some grub at the Buffet. I think Hailey and Landon were overwhelmed with all the food. They wanted to get everything they saw! Matt and I had an AMAZING hot sandwich with turkey meat and the kids leftovers. Jello was a BIG hit!!
 Our rooms were not going to be ready until after one so we decided to take the kids on a tour of the boat. We headed upstairs to see the water slide and the top of the boat aka "The Whale Tale". This is Landon's favorite part of the boat! 
Then we took them to the pool area. We relaxed in the chairs and this is where Hailey fell in love with the "Warm Pool" We let her put her toes in the warm pool because she REALLY wanted to get in. (full on almost strip to get in when I told her we did not want to get our clothes wet; logical Hailey response OK, take off my clothes and get in)
 Then we took them to Camp Carnival to become acquainted with the play area. This part of the boat just might have been Matt and my favorite!!~ They were very excited to go back there later on... then we went to check out the front of the boat...
 They saw some people playing golf so they let us know we needed to do that for sure; but not before they played on the course rocks...
 The view of Long Beach area before we took off... it was a BEAUTIFUL day!!
 We went to get our golf balls and clubs for a fun game with the kids. Landon did not want any help so we have some good videos of him "playing golf" We got through all the holes and I even got a hole in one! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! When we went to return our equipment Hailey fell in LOVE with the frog towel they had displayed. One of the workers said she could take it and her eyes just LIT UP!! We were able to go to the room at this point so guess what the kids wanted to do...
 That's right... they wanted to play in the water!! We all put on our swimsuits and relaxed in the nice warm sun. The kids went down this kiddie slide SO many times! Matt checked out the bigger slide and was not very impressed so I just laid out rather than get wet! About an hour later Hailey was able to talk us  into going to the "warm pool". We just maxed and relaxed until it was time to get ready for dinner.
 We showered up; had the Muster Drill, got signed up for Camp Carnival; then headed to dinner JUST in time! Our dinner was at 6 pm and it was WONDERFUL!! The waiters were on top of taking care of the kids.
 The kids got Pizza and French Fries and Matt and I both got two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts...
 The key lime pie was to DIE for, and the Chocolate Multan cake was amazing! I always get the cheesecake and I have to admit I was not really into it this time... But the kids loved tasting it all!!
 After Dinner Matt and Landon had to go up again to see "The Whale Tale" while Hailey and I went to get some chocolate milk from the buffet. (I think the kids drank their weight in chocolate milk during the cruise I swear!!)
 We got back to the room to our Towel Walrus and Bunk Beds! 
The kids were SO excited about the bunk beds!!
 Check out the Light Saber Action I got above with Landon... the kids were too tired to go to the Camp Carnival night so we all got ready for bed and slept!! It was for sure a LONG day!!
 The next morning we hit up the buffet for breakfast and watched the tug boats help us get into port at Ensanada. The kids opted for cereal and chocolate milk (go figure) and Matt and I enjoyed omelets and pancakes and fruit.
 We ate in the sun while the kids played bean bag toss and with the GIANT chess pieces. Hailey had the horses kiss and told me they love each other... it was a kick!
 We headed back to the room to get ready for the day. (notice Landon talking with our Room Steward in the top left picture; they are best friends) We decided to get off the boat and we were going to head into Ensenada; but with Landon not wanting to get off the "BIG BOAT" and Hailey wanting to see and buy every souvenir on the pier port we opted to take advantage of an empty boat. We let the kids pick a souvenir; Hailey got a bracelet and a Kitty Cat bobble head doll... Landon did not care about getting anything he just wanted back on the boat... 
So we did and Landon and Hailey wanted to go back to the Camp Carnival to play. The cruise planned "Princess and Prince" activities that we thought the kids would enjoy; so we dropped them off. Matt and I went to play a Trivia Game; and relax in the sun. (it was TV Show Theme Songs; we were about 10 years too young to know enough to win; we got 16 our of 20 however...) It was time to pick the kids up for lunch; but not before we checked out the Library Area... We knew it had games so we went there before hitting up the lunch buffet...
Landon made a "Big Boat" with the Jenga pieces and Hailey made a stand for her Kitty Cat... can you find the kitty?? We also played the memory game; and got too loud for the Library so we headed out for Lunch. Guess what the kids wanted to do after Lunch...
 YUP... we swam again. On the slides AND in the "warm pool". I have to admit this part was pretty nice. We were shocked how nice the weather was; we thought for sure we would not be able to take advantage of the pool and slides and we were so happy when we were able to! We had to get ready earlier today because it was Formal Night for dinner...
We tried to get a good family picture; but as you can see the only happy people were Matt and I. We got many compliments on how wonderful our family looked despite the kids not wanting to take any pictures...
 Dinner was GREAT! The kids got Mac' Cheese and Chicken Nuggets and Fries. They were served right away so I tasted Landon's food and it was SOOOO good! Matt got Ribs and Lobster, and I got Steak and Orange Honey Turkey. We all sampled, and I think the ribs and the steak were the best!! For dessert I got the Creme Brule and a Chocolate Cherry Cake. Matt got ice cream and his same old favorite, the Chocolate Molten Cake. The kids got a little restless so our assistant server folded a napkin into a mouse for Hailey and a Captain Hat for Landon. It was a GREAT dinner!~
 We headed back to the room and found our room steward there. He and Landon had become BEST friends. He had told us the day before that he had a son the same age as Landon and he really missed him. Every time Landon saw him he ran up to him and gave him a BIG hug and told him "I'm on a Big Boat!" so his nickname SOON became BIG BOAT by our room steward! We got a towel folded dog that night and he slept with Hailey. The kids went to camp carnival after dinner and got to watch Ice Age 2. Matt and I got to watch the Showtime Dancers do a Tropical Themed show. When we went to pick the kids up; Landon was asleep and Hailey was giggling at the movie! We got in bed around 11, not bad!
 The next morning we decided to try the dining room breakfast with the kids. Matt and I enjoyed it more because we got to sit for most of the breakfast. Landon loved the orange juice and standing in the window watching the ocean view.
 I had been CRAVING eggs Benedict from previous cruises so I got that and some french toast. Matt got a big plate of everything; Hailey got eggs and pancakes and Landon got eggs and french toast. The food was again OH SO GOOD!!~~ We went back to the room and got dressed for the day. 
 Landon had to look at the Big Boat every time we left the Restaurants; it was cute. On our way to drop the kids at Camp Carnival we decided to check out the pictures we had professionally taken the first night. Hailey wanted to stop at almost every booth to get her picture taken. A few turned out REALLY cute, but I was not going to pay the cruise prices; so we got a picture with her best picture and headed out. Matt and I then went to the Towel Folding Demonstration. We took pictures to remember how to make the three things we learned... can you tell what they are??
 Matt's towel animals have the glasses on them. The big picture is the dog. The top little picture is an elephant and the little bottom is a mommy and baby Seal. We hope our step by step pictures we took will come in handy with the kids later... We left the demonstration and headed to the back of the boat for the Serenity Area. This area is a KID FREE ZONE for adults 21 and over. We sat in the jacuzzi and made lots of new friends. It was nice to really relax in the warm sun... a few hours later it was lunch time and we went to get the kids...
 They were SO excited to see us; they wanted us to see the FACE PAINT they got while playing. Hailey loved her rainbow and heart, and Landon was SO proud of his "Whale Tale" We took the kids to eat at the buffet and they REALLY enjoyed it. They had chocolate fondue and ice cream galore... And of course after lunch we had to go get the kids suits on back at the room, do you love our towel heart??
 This time we went to the "warm pool" first. We were there quite a while; and a few times Hailey grabbed my face and said "Oh mommy, I just love you so much!" that was the best part of my trip for sure. After about an hour lounge in the warm pool; Landon lobbied for us to hit up the slides!! So we were on our way to the back AGAIN...
 It was a little more chilly this day because we were out on the sea, but the kids were sploshing and splashing without a care in the world!! When both kids were ready to go we headed to the room to clean up a little. The Camp Carnival had a scavenger hunt planned for the kids and parents so we decided to play. We had to go all over the boat getting tons of pictures; hanging ten on the greens; starting a Conga line on the pool deck; doing the chicken dance by the slides; finding the Pizza Palace and a few other places; getting ice cream all over our face and finding our favorite crew member with a big smile... then we had to get a picture on every deck... it was alot of work...
 BUT it was worth it because the kids got a MEDAL and won FIRST PLACE (we figure we were the only ones playing, or everyone won a medal) And first place included a SHIP ON A STICK... (Matt was SO proud; we have 4 from a previous cruise that he and his friend Brent Cutts won... the Bird Family carried on the tradition...) Landon LOVES it the most!!
 Of course he had to show it to his best friend and then admire it after dressing up for dinner AND take it to dinner with him... he is SO like his father...This night we took the Nook and Matt's IPhone for the kids to play games so we could enjoy dinner... it WORKED!!
 Dinner was again amazing and we all had entirely too much to eat. Landon ate a few bites then decided he was ready to go to bed. And he did so right then and there on the bench. Hailey ate a little more and played then decided to lay down besides him... it was a perfect end to that dinner...
 Landon stayed asleep when we changed him into PJ's and took him to Camp Carnival. Hailey woke up and went happily and willingly. Matt and I caught two shows this night the Showtime Dancers and a family comedian. It was nice going to a comedian show without any cussing or rude jokes. We walked on the deck enjoying out last night on board before getting the kids...
 Hailey ran to us when we arrived and was saying "Meow... mommy look I am a kitty" and Landon was still asleep right where we left him. Hailey showed us a puppet she made, and a t-shirt she colored and was telling us about the show she was watching. She told all her friends goodbye and we grabbed sleeping boy and went to our room. We had to pack up all our stuff for our luggage to be loaded off in the morning so I was doing that while Matt and the kids watched cartoons. We got some LATE room service and enjoyed cookies and cake and chocolate milk with Hailey late into the night.
We woke up the next morning and got our Breakfast Buffet on. The kids enjoyed their cereal and Matt and I got all kinds of goodness!! We wanted to go to the Dining room one last time, but decided this would give us more time to get off the boat. We went back to the room and grabbed our stuff and waited to get off the boat. We got off early and we were in the car on our way home in no time!
This Family Cruise was a GREAT vacation for us. We knew we wanted to spend some special time with the kids before we decide to have another baby, and the kids let us know EVERY DAY how much they loved going on the big boat! The Disneyland Trips and the Cruise will be FOREVER a fond memory for us all!
If you have yet to go on a cruise... GO! But if it is your first time go without kids... if you have been before PLAN TO GO AGAIN!!~~
If you are still reading this post... I consider you a TRUE friend... :)

4 comments:

LIZ said...

Looks like so much fun! We went on a cruise once, when we had just our 2 girls. I think I'm ready for a kid-free cruise!

Lindsey and Jared said...

It sounds like you had an absolute blast Melissa! I am SO GLAD that you had the opportunity to take your family. Some of my best memories are family vacations and cruises. So, now that it's out of the way, when are you going to have another baby? We'll have to coordinate ;)

The Jensens said...

I have been anxiously awaiting this post, but haven't wanted to bug you about it :-)

I am SO GLAD you guys had fun! What an awesome experience for the kids (and adults!).

The "warm" pool is usually just that on cruises, warm, not hot!

I've been wanting to try a Disney cruise after watching Cake Boss :-)

3richardsons said...

Looks like you all had a great time, I'm so jealous. We will have to talk dad into doing a cruise for a family reunion, it'll have to be after we get next years taxes back though.