will travel on water

We're going on a cruise soon.  We're excited.  Why we are excited to be on a floating dish with thousand of others for weeks ???  we don't want to fly as our noisy kids can't sit still and don't like restaurant.  Cruising sounds like the least stress option as other parents highly recommended it to us, and both the parents and kids love it.  I like that we can eat anytime on the ship and that we get to stop off at different ports to explore for a day or two.  I don't know how baby Love will do but I know for sure there's plenty of room on the cruise's deck for her to screams to her heart's content and will disrupt no one :)  Of course I booked this trip with our kids in mind.  Picky eater and screamer, we got it cover baby !  I plan to relax, eat hot food, get a massage or two, then eat again.  If you're a parent you know what I mean when it comes to meal time !  Cold meal ?  yeah, won't happen here :)  I hope anyways.

Since this is our first cruise, I've done extensive research and thought I share my pre-cruise findings (will report back after trip):

- book early !  A LOT of people cruise !!!  price doesn't get cheaper closer to departure date.
- pick low mid ship (less movement if sailing through rough sea) and not near elevator, not underneath a common area (dining room, shops, clubs, pool, etc) for less noise disturbance !
- be prepare to pay even for baby !!!  unlike plane, where baby is free under 2, on a cruise, it's still the 3rd/4th person rate, there's no discount !  and you have to pay for her gratuity too ($12 a day per person).
- read reviews on different ships, the destinations (itineraries), best time to cruise, the food, service, etc.
- make your own itineraries for each docking port
- pack for sun and rain, light and warm clothes, even if travelling to warm places (many travelers suggested this)

Bee is super excited so I created a calendar for her to X out each day.  I can see her being in the pool everyday.  The travel agent I spoke with suggested I bring a kiddie pool so when I'm on top of the deck relaxing, the attendant can fill up the pool for the kids to play in next to me.  I will take her advice on that.

Why we decided to take a cruise instead of flying ?  Besides the fact the hubby and I dislike flying, it is because we have a very active toddler.  My eldest is an excellent traveler so I know she would do well, while my youngest, my fearless wild child, was a bit of a concern.  You see, she loves to run around and talk to strangers, dogs, poles, tables, chairs, anything and climb on to everything.  A little explorer she is.  She isn't fit for plan ride or restaurant.  And my eldest is feeding on her energy and gets really hyper too.  Trust me, a mother knows what her kids are capable of.  We wanted a family vacation and decided that taking a cruise is the best for all us. 

Cruise has a bit of everything for everyone and if everyone is having a bad day we can stay in our room and order room service !  Cruising seems to check off a lot of items for us.  Stuff like food availability (eat at your own schedule), comfort of our own room (within short distance), kids friendly menu (many choices of food to choose from (within arm's reach :), swimming pools, and kids play room.  We also like that on the ship, everything is close by for the kids (we have one willing walker and one who doesn't like to walk more than 5 min., doesn't like to be strap on a stroller, and doesn't like to be carried).  If we were to be at a hotel the restaurant might a block or two away, there's no kids playing area, or there might be no pool available.  Cruise was our ultimate vacation plan.

*** while we did book for a cruise, I still prefer road trip :)  prefer a drive down the coast.  I like travelling in car, making impromptu stops, exploring roads off the beaten path, checking out small towns along the way.  But Lovebug can't sit too long on long drive yet so we will have to wait until next year for a road trip.  Yeah, flying would be fast but you see, we don't like flying :) 

If you didn't know already, I have a fear of height !  no make that 2 of us :)  both hubby and I.  This contributed (I'm sure) to our deep dislike for flying.  Most people equal our dislike of flying = to fear of dying but for us it's more about being up in the air, miles and miles off the earth.  It's an unsettling feeling.  Sure there's also the "I don't like putting my life in the hand of the pilot" part parked at the back end of our head but majority of the time, when we really have to fly, thoughts cities diminishes behind the clouds frightened us. 

I hope our cruise will be a good experience for all of us.  I look forward to spending a lot of time with the kids and make memories.  They're growing so fast.  I'm going to go and kiss them now.