My kids’ spring break has sprung upon us and found us completely unprepared. The husband has meetings he cannot miss, and no plans have been made. Do these things happen to anyone else? I used to be an organized person. An extreme type A personality. That all fell apart when I started writing.
So, in my best jumbled nature, I have organized a trip for the kids and I to take Vegas by storm with grandma (my mom). You know, a little gambling, free drinks – it’s all good. But in all seriousness, the kids have been asking to go for some time now. The rumor around the mill is grandma will soon sell the Las Vegas house. Well, if you know me, and some of you do (some of you are only just starting to get a clue), I must see this bit of desert architecture before it’s out of the family. Since it was only recently acquired, I haven’t yet had the chance. So picture me, if you will, loaded up with kids for a five-hour thirty minute car ride. Sound like fun? I’m fairly certain there will be some torture involved. Bring it on! 😀
If you have any great recommendations for kid friendly activities in the Las Vegas area (that don’t cost a bloody fortune), I’m all ears.
What has this taught me? I need to be better a better planner. Are you planning any trips in the coming months? Possibly summer or beyond?
I have a wonderful recommendation for an all-inclusive trip, if your focus is less on the 500 things you want to do and more on relaxation and quality time with loved ones. Consider a cruise.
- Your hotel travels with you to many fabulous destinations.
- All meals are included.
- You avoid rental cars, traffic, gas and insurance.
- The ship’s crew will provide a multitude of activities to keep you busy from sun up to sun down if that is your wish.
We took our first cruise over the New Year. Huge success! No one wanted to get off that ship when it we came into port. We took a Disney Cruise, slightly more $$ than some of the others, but here’s some of the features I’m aware of that differ from some of the others:
24 hour open soda and hot cocoa bar! I was at the cocoa bar every morning, I’m sorry to say. 🙁
- An adults only section of the boat including pool, coffee bar, club, etc.
- I heard the rooms are slightly more spacious from those who know.
- The kids club (other ships have kids clubs, but they can’t compare to Disney. Come on! It’s Disney. Your older kids can check themselves in and out of the various clubs. Mine even opted out of a port venture to stay at the club one day).
- Nightly Disney stage shows – that don’t suck. Disney’s Pirate night includes a fireworks show.
- They include wave phones for calling each other across the ship.
- All the characters and princesses, amazing Disney artwork lining the upper halls, and Disney shows in the dining halls.
Our room was on Deck 6 and included a veranda. Decks 5 and above have verandas. Saving money? Lower decks have massive porthole windows and you’re closer to the water. If view doesn’t matter, save even more and get an inside cabin.
There are multiple pools on-board. This is the Mickey pool with slide.
The family pool with funnel vision. It’s basically a large screen showing movies.
The quieter adults-only pool.
To the rear of the ship is a nice buffet where you can grab a meal, a seat and enjoy the view away from the sounds of the pool.
There are three main dining halls through which breakfast and dinner are rotated. Your servers follow you from hall to hall. You get the luxury of enjoying each room with their featured show.
Several lounges can be found on board. Some welcome kids; one is adults-only – the Cadillac Lounge. Such a wonderful piano bar decorated with large 1960’s Cadillac tail fins running up the walls and large headlamps decorating the walls. I LOVED this place! All the lounges were fun and each tailored to a different style to fit different preferences.
During the day you might find trivia taking place in one of these fun destinations. I cost my husband the win at one by making him late. Oops.
Of course, you’ll want to spend plenty of time up on the top deck soaking up the sun.
Things I learned that can benefit you:
- You don’t need a hair dryer. One is provided for you.
- Outlets are limited (we had one); bring an extension cord for chargers, etc.
- Bring plenty of money for port excursions and tip at the end of the cruise. You’ll be tipping your servers, room service, etc. It will add up quickly.
- If you plan on booking tours outside of the ship line you’ll want to watch your time. You don’t want to be the one left standing on the dock.
- If there are particular activities you want to be sure and get in, be it at the port or on the ship (i.e. massages, private dinners), be sure to book these in advance.
- Check under the bed for storage of your luggage after you unpack. I didn’t do that till late in the game. We walked around our suitcases for half the week. Silly us.
- Order room service as often as you like. It’s free! Unless you are adding spirits to the tab, of course. Those you have to pay for.
- When picking your dinner time, we choose the later thinking it would leave our day free for more activities. What we didn’t realize was the first night at sea the clocks get changed to ship time. We lost an hour. Every night my kid was falling asleep at dinner and slipping under the table. We would go with the earlier dinner next time. It didn’t make a difference as far as activities or port calls.
- Ports: there are two types. Be aware what you will have before you go so that you’re prepared. We had one of each. Port, we could walk on and off the ship at our leisure. Tender, we had to take a smaller boat to and from the shore. When this is the case, you must allow extra time to wait for the return boat and know that you will lose port time in transit.
When booking your cruise, remember the exotic destinations and amazing activities you can participate in. Give it some thought. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.