I’ve traveled to many places such as Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, USA, Thailand, Mexico, etc but I had never been on a cruise. I didn’t even know where to start when it comes to planning a cruise trip. Many questions came to my mind... where do we board? what If we miss our boarding? What should I bring?
As a single parent traveling with a baby, I always had to prepare way more in advance than someone without kids. Luckily this time my mom came with us! Because on every island, going off the cruise ship was not an easy task. It would have been so overwhelming doing all this alone while folding the stroller with the baby in my arms. Checking in and out on every island was exactly like boarding at the security airport.
It was a 7-night Caribbean cruise with 4 islands on the itinerary. I'm showing you some photos of our Princess cruise departing from Miami, Florida back in August 2018. I hope to inspire you to explore new horizons, and step out of your comfort zone. We may feel safer in our little bubble, but it’s also boring. That’s the main reason I started traveling in my 20's, and I’ve fallen in love with the thrill of discovering new places.
Day 1 & 2: Day on the sea
Spent the day exploring the ship. We got lost so many times! But at the end of the day, we could just relax by the pool. In the evening, "Movies Under the Stars" offers a unique way to relax and enjoy current hit films outside on a comfortable lounge chair. The giant screen shows a variety of entertainment throughout the day, including up to seven feature length films. I would recommend to bring a the Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection to block noises, so your baby could sleep while you are enjoying movies.
Day 3: Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is the largest of the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.
MY FAVORITE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS!
Day 4: Roatan
Roatán is an island in the Caribbean, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) off the northern coast of Honduras.
Day 5: Costa Maya
Costa Maya is one of Mexico's most popular cruise ports and emerging travel destinations located just hours from Cancun on Mexico's southern Yucatan Peninsula. Costa Maya is comprised of three grand pavilions, artisan and luxury shopping areas, a beach club, saltwater pools, fine restaurants and bars, and all the resources necessary to explore the surrounding jungle and the world's second largest coral reefs.
Day 6: Cozumel
Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean. Rich in history, Mayan vestiges and natural wonders; an authentic paradise in the middle of the sea with white beaches, beautiful sunsets and world-famous for its coral reefs. It is a destination of adventure and relaxation where all kinds of activities are carried out in impressive natural settings.
Day 7 & 8: On the sea and back to Miami, Florida
Here I'm giving you some cruisers tips to help with cruise planning and saving money while cruising:
- Arrive at the cruise port city a day early. Find a hotel that offers complimentary shuttle service, it makes the trip slightly more hassle-free when your transfers are already taken care of.
- Make sure your stroller fits the cabin's door. I had the Britax travel set but was a little wider so I had to fold and unfold it outside of the room. I would recommend a light stroller for a cruise trip. Just like the Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller which would have been more convenient.
- Pick the right floor for you. Contrary to what most people believe, picking a room on a higher floor is not always the most efficient. Not only it will cost you more, but it will take you longer to get to any amenities, shows, restaurants, shops, etc because the ship is so big and you will be far away from all of them. Pick a floor that is conveniently located near the amenities that you would use the most and this will save you time and money! You can look at the map of the cruise ship and figure it out, or you can simply ask your travel agent to recommend a floor.
- On day one of your cruise try to explore as much of the ship as possible. You will be tempted to just unpack your luggage and hit the pool or buffet. We got lost on the ship on day 1, but luckily we discovered certain features. Sometimes you may not realize certain features of the ship until the last day of a cruise.
- Don’t “buy” the hype! From the time you set foot on a cruise ship, the entire experience is designed to help you part with more of your hard-earned money. Purchasing extra drinks, spa packages, low quality “luxury” watches and jewelry could end up costing you hundreds of dollars over the course of a week. Set your budget before you get on the ship and avoid spending on those incidentals.
- Book an inside cabin. If you want to save money consider booking an inside cabin. Although balconies are nice but most of the time we rarely end up spending much time in the cabin. An inside cabin not only saves you money but also encourages you to get out and explore the ship. One of my favorite things about cruising is always being able to find entertainment going on somewhere, whether that’s live music or something more interactive.