Our Cruise (w/a toddler)

by - 10/15/2018

A couple of days ago we got back from one of the most fun vacations I think I have ever been on! For my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary we were able to get a big group of family together and go on a fun little Carnival cruise! It also happened to be the week that both Kody and my little brother Gunnar had the week off of school for fall break so it worked out perfectly for us. I had never been on a cruise before and boy was I MISSING OUT. You guys, it was the coolest thing ever and now I want to just spend all of my money on cruises for the rest of my life.

Okay, not for real but kind of. It was so much fun!

I was nervous but excited at the same time to bring our 15 month-old along. I wasn't sure how he'd do but he actually did great and loved it so I am actually really glad we brought him.

The cruise left from Long Beach, California so we were able to spend a few days staying with Kody's parents and hanging out at the beach before and after the cruise which was nice.

The cruise left around 5pm that afternoon and we were at sea until the next morning when we arrived in Catalina Island. I have always wanted to go to Catalina Island (usually you can see it faintly on the horizon from some southern California beaches) but have never been able to until this cruise. It was the CUTEST little island/town ever. We rented some golf carts and rode all over the town, up and down the mountian hills. Pretty much everyone there drove golf carts around and ours included a car seat for Jack so I felt safe about it. I LOVED riding around. We did it for about two hours and Jack was able to get a good nap in. We also stumbled on a little family of deer who were NOT shy at all and walked right up to the golf cart and sniffed/licked us. I was absolutely dying. Catalina had a huge selection of food, shopping and all sorts of activities. I want to go back again and again and can't get over the fact that people actually live there!!! SO CUTE.

Having so much fun on the golf cart!
Snuggled and sleeping on the ride :)

Breakfast on the ship

Riding the ferry. Jack wasn't actually as sad as he looks in this picture, I promise! :)

Forever my favorite person to travel (or do anything) with. He makes life so fun and I love him. 

Our spot at dinner was lovely <3

Pop pop (grandpa) and Jack playing pat-a-cake at dinnertime. 

Elegant night with my handsome guys. 

Jack LOVED the little towel-animals that our cabin attendant (a sweet man named Made) made every day!
My cute parents :)

Jack & his uncle Bailey

Jack & 'nanny' (grandma)

my brothers racing down some little slides

The next day we docked in Ensanada, Mexico. I have only ever been to Mexico one other time (on our honeymoon in Cancun) and it was a little different than Catalina! While we were there we took a tour bus to the other end of Ensanada (about 45 minutes away) to a little market where they were selling allllll kinds of stuff (and were very persistent in trying to get you to buy their stuff and barter and make deals with them). This market was right near a little 'blowhole'-type rocky water area called La Blufadora which was super neat and Jack absolutely loved. We bought him a little cowboy hat, a Mexican poncho and some other goodies while we looked around there.

The people there were very kind and it was interesting driving around Ensanada. It definitely wasn't America and made me realize how lucky I am to live where and how I do. Some of the people there are so unbelievably poor and I'm sure I didn't even see the worst of it.

Jack walking around like he owned the boat 

The next day we were at sea the whole day and it was fun swimming, eating and enjoying all there was to do on the cruise ship. It was the Carnival Inspiration and had lots of fun things.

Overall we had such a perfect time! It was a short cruise but was still so much fun. I was honestly expecting it to be more of a party/"booze cruise" but while there was a good share of drinkers, there were also lots of families with children and people of all ages. It was a lot more family-friendly than I expected and I would 100% do it again in a heartbeat!


-pack lots of diapers! recommended rule: enough diapers for the duration of the cruise + 1 extra day, just in case.
-bring a comfy pack n' play mattress. Our ship put a mini crib in our room and our mattress made it nice and comfy for Jack.
-take advantage of childcare on the ship! I felt bad 'ditching' jack but finally did on the last night while we watched a little concert and I wish I would have done it more! He had fun playing with toys/other kids and I had fun relaxing.
-read into EVERYTHING you can about the boat you'll be on. Look for reviews from parents and know exactly what you will and will not need for your little one.
-bring blankets and jackets. Being on the ocean can be a lot cooler than you think and you'll want to snuggle your baby up at times when you're outdoors
-bring tylenol/ibuprofen just in case
-bring a small stroller + a baby carrier if your little one likes those
-have realistic expectations. don't expect to be up every night 'til 1 AM partying. Take it easy and relax about schedules, naps and all that. Try to go with the flow :)


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