Thursday, April 16, 2015

Family Vacations

I think I love planning our annual family vacations as much as I enjoy the experience. In 2013, we took our first family cruise on Norwegian and had a blast. It was the best bang for our buck and we got to visit Roatan in Honduras, Belize City, Costa Maya (literally just a port stop for shopping and swimming in Mexico) and Cozumel.

2014 found us at Disney World and was truly magical. We did all four parks and Downtown Disney over eight days. For the DH we upgraded to the Deluxe Meal Plan and were able to book all the character meals! We got sick on the tail end and missed out on just one *must do* meal, but what fun! I would love to do this again before the kids get too old to enjoy the magic.

Later this year we're cruising with Norwegian again to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, Ocho Rios, George Town and Cozumel again. Maybe this time we'll make it to Chitzen Itza since the kids will be older and more able to handle the trek.

Because there were so many things in Orlando that we wanted to see, but didn't because there just wasn't enough time, we're going back next year to visit Sea World, Universal Studios, and Lego Land.

But what I'm most excited about is planning a 2017 Alaskan Cruise!!!

Yesterday I priced a Disney Alaskan Cruise. $20,000 for a balcony room for four people, but only $7,000 for an interior cabin, plus our airfare to Vancouver. Ummmm, I guess we'll be going back to Norwegian which offers the exact same itinerary, but less magic, for just shy of $5,000. Interior cabin of course. [I should point out that 2017 rates are not yet published, so this is based on 2016 rates. The price may change.]

We live very hectic lives. I firmly believe in children having extra-curricular activities to help keep them balanced. As such, our typical school year is a blur of school and work, church, homework, cub scouts, ballet, gymnastics, tennis, baseball, soccer and basketball. Since there are no grandparents for thousands of miles, the DH and I manage Stinky and Blinky by ourselves. This is no easy feat. Therefore, our family vacations provide an opportunity for us to relax and just enjoy each other, and experience fun, new things together, building memories that will last a lifetime. So yes, I am one of those crazy mamas that plan too far in advance but the reward is so worth it.

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