We are back from our Carnival Cruise Family Vacation. Let me tell you, this was the most exciting thing that has happened this year. We finally did it with the help of my parents. Going on a vacation is something everyone should be able to do at least once a year. At least that’s what are our goals are every year from now on. Brian and I wanted to go somewhere tropical and my parents have done a cruise a before and told us that it was fun. So we booked a cruise through Carnival. Carnival has a lot of cruise ships and we went with Victory.
Carnival Cruise – Day Before Embarking
We did a 4-day cruise. Our cruise departed from Miami, Florida so we had to travel from Chicago, IL to Florida. Thankfully my parents were able to drop us off at the airport. On our way there we decided to grab breakfast. Once we got checked-in through American Airlines and checked our bags, security was insane. This was our first time flying and we didn’t realize how chaotic things are, thankfully they’re easier when you’re traveling with kids.
Once we got to our gate area, we found out 1 into waiting that our flight was delayed by 2 hours. So instead of boarding at 1:20 we were boarding at 3:20 but we actually didn’t board at that time. We didn’t board until 3:50! We did have our electronics to keep us busy and I was worried my boys were going to get annoyed or bored but they survived the 2 hours.
Flying over Chicago
Arriving in Miami.
Flying for the first was INSANE! Not in a bad way but in a MIND-BLOWING way. It was so cool being over the clouds. The only thing I hated was landing. That made my tummy hurt.
Where did we stay?
Since we were arriving a day before embarking on our cruise, we had to stay the night and we were able to book a room (a few months ahead of time) at the Residence Inn by Mariott Hotel. Even though we were not arriving a few hours past check-in time, they were nice enough to hold our room. We got a free shuttle pick up from the airport to the hotel, so that saved us money.
Morning of our cruise embarking day, we got some breakfast in the hotel and afterward, we decided to take a stroll around the hotel because this was our first time seeing palm trees with coconuts. It was so mesmerizing. Waking to palm trees with coconuts and 70-degree weather is something I could get used to. Meanwhile back in Wisconsin, they were getting snow. Once it was time to check out of the hotel, we got a Lyft which was another thing we did for the first time.
Boarding onto the cruise was just like going through airport security. They’re very careful about what comes into the ship. You are given a “zone” number and once your zone number gets called, then it’s time to board the ship. Once we were on the ship, we are told to pretty much go to Deck 9 where everyone is hanging out and having lunch while our luggage is dropped off at our room. Which we had to wait a while, so we got some pizza at their Pizza Pirate. Loved how it was made fresh right in front of you. After we ate, we decided to walk around and it was so beautiful seeing Miami from the top of the deck.
Once you get to your room, you are given your “Sail & Sign Card” which is your room key and the way you charge things to your account for food/drinks or items that are NOT covered by the cruise. You can’t pay for anything with cash or credit/debit. Which is why you need a card on file when booking your cruise.
Carnival Victory Cruise doesn’t cover sodas, alcohol or certain food places on the boat. Brian and I did charge a few drinks onto our room. Cause duh, we’re on vacation. The boys, of course, bought candy from the candy shop and played at the arcade.
Because the cruise didn’t leave until 4 pm we pretty much had to get ready for our 6 pm dinner. Day 1 was pretty much a day filled with getting our items out of our luggage and getting to know the cruise. We arrived at our assigned dining room and we are given a table number which is the same place you are to have dinner every evening while on the cruise. We had the best servers and we loved them! They were funny and took good care of us.
Facts: Appetizer, entree, and dessert are all covered every day.
What did we eat? Brian had his steak with baked potato, boys had their kids meals which was a cheeseburger and hot dog with fries and I decided to have their garlic & herbed chicken with french fries. For dessert, we had their Carnival Chocolate Lava Cake and the boys were given TWO desserts, banana split, and jello.
After dinner, we took the boys to the arcade for some fun before we went to bed.
Carnival Cruise – Day 2 Fun Day at Sea
We got up pretty early to eat breakfast at the Lido Deck 9 buffet. Sadly we weren’t that impressed with it. After breakfast, we took the boys to the pool. They were so excited to get out there. You also have to get up early to grab a seat out there otherwise you’re SOL. We literally spent the WHOLE DAY out in the sun by the pool. Brian and I wanted to work on our tan and we definitely did. After 8 hours by the pool, we were nice and toasted.
Day 2 was our Elegant Dinner and that meant we had to dress up for dinner. During our dinner, the servers did a small performance for us and it was so much fun.
What did we eat? The appetizer I had their Scallops with Garlic & Herb Risotto, for dinner I had the Citrus Salmon with whipped potatoes and Brian had their Blue Crab Ravioli which had vodka sauce. For dessert, Brian had their Coffee Cream Cake and I had their Vanilla Creme Brûlée. Boys had their kids meal.
Carnival Cruise – Day 3 Half Moon Cay
Half Moon Cay was seriously BEAUTIFUL and BREATHTAKING. I have never seen a beach this teal/aqua color. And the water was clear too. While swimming, we got to see a few fishes (harmless) and a baby stingray. The boys were loving it. The sand was seriously white and they felt like I was walking on pillows. Because I was so burnt from the day before and I had tan lines from my first swim suite, I was trying to get different tan lines by wearing this swim suite but it didn’t work lol.
After we got back to our room, we showered and got ready for Dr. Suess – Suessapalooza Parade + Story Time. This is something the boys were definitely looking forward to because they love Dr. Suess books. During this time we basically we went around the cruise (hence parade) with “Sam I Am, Thing 1 & Thing 2“. The kids got to make noise and shout “Dr. Suess Is On The Loose“. When we got the lounge room, they were greeted by the “Cat in the Hat” as well. Our cruise director Felipe read the book “Horton Hears a Who“.
Carnival Cruise – Day 4 Nassau (Blue Lagoon Beach)
For our last day on the cruise, I booked this excursion to the Blue Lagoon Beach which is a private beach. You can only go there by paying. We’re so glad we got this excursion because the boat right there was AMAZING. We got to see Atlantis, beautiful mansions, and condos that are by the beach in Nassau. Blue Lagoon was so surreal. We saw dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays. After a long beach day, we got pretty exhausted so when we got to our room, we showered, ate dinner, packed our stuff so we were ready to get off the ship in the am and then we fell asleep. This vacation was definitely the best! I can’t wait for our next family vacation.