Carnival Cruise with The Kids

 I would live on a cruise boat if I could.  We have decided it is our vacation of choice and unless we are traveling to visit family, cruising might be our only travel in the future.  On our first expeditions, I missed the kids terribly and making arrangements for them while we were gone caused mommy-guilt.  At the same time I was nervous to have them along; sleeping/loosing sleep in close quarters, getting lost, being exposed to general-public raunchiness, limiting our excursion options... While there are definite pluses to being alone with my Love, having my Lovlies with me was pretty sweet too.
The thing I loved the most was their excitement for every little thing.  It was entertaining to see them take in everything as they experienced it for the first time.  I have never known a two year old to appreciate a good view, but my baby did.  It was also fun to snap a bunch of pictures, especially of Brik because he is so darn cute!
Our pit stop in Indio is always a great idea when driving to California.  It breaks up the drive and is a really nice little resort.  I loved that we had a walk out patio to the pond with friendly ducks and flirtatious butterflies.  Roxwell was thrilled to play here all morning and I was thrilled to just sit. 
Roxwell was so confused about the whole boat/ship/cruise thing.  He would say he wanted to go on a cruise with us and we would tell him we are on the cruise right now and he would insist "no we're not."  Everytime he saw the red wings on the back of the boat he would point and say "There is our boat!"  It wasn't until the last day that he asked "are we on a boat?"  I said YES! Because he finally got it and he followed up with "How do you know that?"

Our first stop was Catalina Island and everything was absolutely perfect until we stepped of the tender and Layne saw the motor boats.  We had an idea what we wanted to do on the island and it did not include having an eight year old drive our family around in a small boat where we were sure to be cold and wet.  Layne didn't see it that way.  He had a meltdown because we had ruined his vacation.  I was so disappointed in his behavior.  He should be thinking we are the most awesome parents in the world and grateful to be able to have such and experience, the other two did.  Roxwell was pointing at everything with enthusiasm.  He spent an hour walking around with me while the others went back to fetch more money (excursions are expensive).  He had a blast and we did nothing but look.  We ended up renting the golf cart as planned and Layne had another bout of poutiness when he learned he was not allowed to drive the golf cart.  He did he usual "I'm going to control the situation weather you like it or not" and sat in the front seat.  I let him and that is how we got out of that fit.

The REX was a kid's dance club.  I took a picture of it because it in all decorated in animal print and thought my mom would love it.  Layne did not, the music was too loud for him, though I have notice he has picked up some new tunes and mad dance moves since we have been home.  Layne always wanted to "go explore," "see if the boat is moving," and play in the elevators.  Since that is what Layne wanted to do, that's what we all did, most of the time.
At Encinada, Brik wanted to go to Camp Carnival instead of getting off the boat, so we left Roxwell too.  Layne chose to go with us.  We talked about Encinada being a poor and dirty place, do not drink the water and do not give to beggers. Toting our own water in our camelback and explaining to Layne why we don't want to load our pockets with quarters to hand out to people, we thought we were covered. Right when we got off the boat a dragonfly stung him. Talk about ways to pick up something nasty in Mexico.  I remembered I had essential oils in our room, so we went back and took care of his sting before we were off again.

We ended up getting on a bus that took us into town, where they offered the popular blowhole excursion for way less than the ship.  It is a three hour tour that we would like to do if we end up going back.  Jarom got the price as low as $10 per person, good to remember... This time we just walked around the town with the streets and streets of shops with everyone urging us to "come in and look around," and everything was "a good price."

One good thing about the dragonfly sting is that it calmed Layne down.  It has always been like this, after a good cry, especially from pain, he becomes mellow and non controlling.  It must be a chemical thing in his brain, boy, would I like to bottle it!  He got into the bargaining with us.  There were these bracelets that every other store carried that they sold for $3 and the shop keepers were always asking Layne if he wanted one.  Layne would ask how much and they would say $3, he would say that is too much and they would say $2.  I would step in with three for $3, because I am hard core.  Then, we would walk away.  After about five times I went up to three for $5 and got a taker.  The kids all loved their Mexican bracelets with their names on them and Layne was plum happy to be part of it, he helped pick the colors and gave them to his brothers when we got back on the ship.

Because we had had a talk with Layne about how poor this area was before hand, he was really in tuned to the people around him laying on the street.  He kept bringing up this lady who was laying down on the side walk and her daughter sitting beside her holding a cup.  I didn't really understand why this stuck with him all day until that evening at dinner when he was telling his brothers about this illustration of the poor people.  He turned to Jarom and asked "Dad, why didn't you give her some of your water?"  It all clicked; camelback- water- cup.  He has such a tender heart!
Brik loved Camp Carnival.  He is all about making friends and loved the attention he got walking around the ship with his face painted.  They had themes every morning and afternoons and activities that corresponded.  I liked that Carnival let them stay on the boat while we got off, I don't think all cruise lines do that.  They also changed diapers, so that limited the interruptions, really nice to get some alone time.  I hit the steam room, played games with Jarom and went to some shows.
The pools were a joke.  The water was freezing in all of them except for this kids pool that was the size of a jacuzzi.  The kids still played for a good while, it was nice to be out in the sun and spruce up our tans.
Brik really liked the miniature golf, I can see him being a good golfer, he is so patient and considerate.  All I remember from golf lessons are lots and lots of rules on etiquette.  Brik also learned how to play checkers while Layne and I were going to elevator rides.  He has been begging us to play everyday we have been home.
So sad to get back to reality.  I love being pampered.  One of my favorite moments on the ship was when our waiter cut Brik's whole steak into bite sized pieces and made the comment that he was taking care of Brik because Mom is on vacation too.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

What a great little trip. Lane and I have decided that we just want to cruise for the rest of our life too. It really is the way to go! Glad you had fun!