It was a big moment in our parenting journey. We introduced our children to the joys of cruising. We took our one-year-old and three-year-old on a 3-day cruise leaving out of Long Beach on the Carnival Inspiration. The ship departed on Friday evening and returned early Monday morning. The itinerary included one day at sea and a port of call in Ensenada, Mexico. My husband and I have taken over 10 cruises before having children. Cruising with kids opened up a whole new world to us. We loved it.
My husband and I like to explore the entire ship upon embarkation. As we entered the Carnival Inspiration, we set off to discover all the fun places on the ship. At one point my son stopped and looked down at the Lido deck at all the people sun bathing, eating, and drinking. He was memorized. It was a moment I will never forget. I was viewing everything through his eyes. I realized that it is important to slow down and take it all in. My husband and I tend to rush from one place or activity to the next.
Pre-children, we would rush to arrive at the buffet or dining room before breakfast was over. On this cruise, we were the first people to arrive at the dining room for breakfast. We got there at 7:20am. We were all dressed and ready to go but found out it was too early for breakfast. After a quick wait, we had a nice quiet breakfast together. There’s a magical feeling of having the cruise ship to yourself in the early morning.
Soft serve yogurt for breakfast? Sure.
Pushing the bed to the wall so the kids could stand on it to look out the window? Of course.
Riding in the glass elevators to glaze at the people in the atrium? Every time.
Bedtime? Bedtime was when we were partied out. One night we followed the show’s dancers to the after party in the atrium. My son and I danced to Tina Turner’s Proud Mary while my daughter fell asleep in my husband’s arms. Another night my son was completely exhausted and begged to go to bed during our 5:30pm dinner.
We weren’t even off the ship and were already discussing when we could go again. My kids tried new foods, heard a wide spectrum of music, watched in awe during the nightly shows, and learned cruise terminology (port, starboard, cabin, lido deck, aft, forward). Before having children, we would be extremely relaxed and well rested as we disembarked at the end of a cruise. This time, we were exhausted. It was 100% worth it.