In January, we started talking about doing something fun for Spring Break. Living in Florida provides many different options and lots of discounted rates. I've become quite a fan of those "Florida Resident Specials!" We looked at several options then found a really good deal on a 4 day cruise out of Canaveral. The entire cruise was less expensive than 4 nights in a hotel. Considering that included food and entertainment, we jumped on the idea. We booked our cruise, bought travel insurance (because, you know...) and decided to keep it a big secret from our kids.
The next day when I was talking to Jimmy (remember him, he was my boss for 7+ years when we lived in Vidalia!) I somehow convinced them to come go with us. Looking back, that wasn't he wisest of ideas. Cathy hates water. And boats. But, they jumped on board (see what I did there?) and booked flights and their cruise the very next day.
They came in on Friday before we left on Sunday. They had a couple of days to play with the kids and enjoy them before we left. Dan preached both services that morning. I took the kids to church with me and left after the first service. I ran home to grab the loaded car and we waited for him by the door. He walked out of the service and we went straight to the port.
When we parked our car, the lady that checked us in looked at Dan and said "Dude, you are on vacation. Loosen up!" Ha! He was still dressed from church and certainly was over dressed compared to all the other people about to get on the boat!
Jonah was the most excited of any of us. I had done a great job for a couple of months keeping all of this a secret from him. But, my car needed some warranty work and Dan called so say they needed it for almost a week. I said "Can't they do that while we are on the cruise?" Jonah immediately piped up to let me know he heard me. STINK! I could not believe I ruined the surprise. I had done so well!!!
Once we got on the boat, we went straight to eat. We were all starving. Since we came straight from the church, no one had lunch. We all happily fixed our plates before exploring.
My kids were most excited about the unlimited ice cream. Jonah quickly made his way over there to try it out.
We got our things to our rooms then had to find our Muster Station. That is the worst part of any cruise. Soon after getting on the boat, you have to go for safety briefings. You aren't allowed to talk. You are crowded in there. It's not fun for anyone. Especially kids. You can't really blame them. You promise them fun and excitement then you tell them they can't talk or move around. This was Jonah's response.
Micah was given the same instructions as Jonah. This is his response. (Can we say polar opposite kids?)
All the while, Jonah sat quietly and counted down the minutes until the fun could begin.
And, Micah just wanted to bring the fun to where he was at that very moment!!
Jonah finally figured a way to quiet him down some! (Actually, this wasn't a head lock like it appears. Micah laid his head in Jonah's lap and Jonah put his arm around him!)
After all of the boring safety stuff, we went back to our room to get ready for the pool. When we cruise, we always go for the cheapest room. We get the interior state room. We do that for a couple of reasons. First, it is cheap. Second, that window is fake so the room is jet black and you get AWESOME sleep! But, a room that small for 4 people was quite crowded!!!
The boys both loved their "up high" beds. They thought that was so cool.
They could hardly wait to get to the pool area. It was entirely too cold out there for me but they didn't care.
By the time they got out of the pool, Dan's head was killing him. It was hurting when we got on the boat but it was terrible by this time. I encouraged him to go sleep for a while to see if that would help. He isn't a napper so when he took me up on that, I knew he felt bad. I used that time to walk around the boat with kids and feed them dinner. We ran into Jimmy & Cathy while we were out.
Our first big dinner on the cruise was at 8:00 that night. The kids were going to Camp Carnival during that time. So, I got them dinner before we took them there.
Just a few minutes after being seated at our dinner, they called to tell us Micah was crying for us. Dan went to get him. He joined us in the dining room.
I was so proud of his behavior in there. He was the only kid we saw and he was so sweet. The two tables beside us came over to compliment him. That is saying something considering it was almost 10:00 p.m. on a day where he had not had a nap and was already a couple of hours past his bedtime. I think he enjoyed the one one one attention too!
We got back to our room and the kids were super excited to see our first towel creation. We had not told them about this so that was a fun surprise.
It did not take long for any of us to get to sleep that night. It was a fun first day aboard the Carnival Sensation!