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FreshCruiser blog features tips, news and insight to make the most out of a family vacation without sacrificing luxury & a healthy lifestyle. Focus on fun, active, & healthy travel. Enjoy!

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Welcome to FreshCruiser.com

Enjoy all the tips, news, insight, and advice on luxury family travel that highlights fun, active, and healthy vacations. Explore how to make the most out of your family vacation without sacrificing luxury.

FreshCruiser.com opens readers’ eyes to new adventures and calms any fears of traveling with children. With a special focus on family cruising, the website includes tips to staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities while on a family vacation.


Top family travel ideas to capture and save memories

Taking a family vacation this summer? Check out these fun ideas to capture and save memories.

Summer vacation is here and it’s time to take off on a family vacation. This summer try to resist the urge to video and photograph every second. Of course, I want to capture every cute and crazy moment including my son’s little tantrums when he doesn’t get to press the hotel elevator button.

However, being present in the moment is so much more important. Follow these easy to do ideas for preserving a vacation keepsake while having fun.

Quotes & Moments

Keep an e-mail draft of the funny quotes, new words or memories from the trip. It is a way to remember the trip that pictures can’t. If you do a photo book of the trip, add a page and entitle it “Memorable quotes and moments”. Paste the text to it. You never know what is going to come out of your children’s mouths, which is fun and exciting. For instance, in Hawaii my son said things like, “I want to float away.” “We have a problem” and he got mad at his grandma because she went down the slide faster than him. It’s easy to forget. Once the kids are all tucked in, take a second to write it down.

Say Cheese!

Mark your child or children’s growth by taking a picture of them on the hotel room bed every vacation. We started this when my son was 3 months old. It was his first time staying in a hotel room. We placed him on the bed and took a picture. It reminds me of that moment that you just plop yourself on the bed after a long day of travel and your vacation has truly started.  We now do this with both children on the bed and it’s a cute way to show their growth from trip to trip.

Scrapbook it, the easy way

Bring home the used tickets and hotel room keys from the trip. I have a scrapbook for each child. The scrapbook has self-adhesive pages, which means it has a sticky backing. I simply peel back the transparent overlay, place the tickets, smooth it and I’m done. The keepsake is a special reminder of the places we have visited. It does not require a time commitment like other types of scrapbooking.

Ask questions

It is magical to watch your children’s expressions as you visit new places.  When you have downtime, either driving or at the airport ask your children questions about the trip. The questions are fun and you may be surprised by some of their responses. My nephew would answer yes to every question.

After a trip together, I asked him yes or no questions. It marks that moment in time perfectly, as you guessed it, his answer was “yes” every time. You can also add these to the photo book or save as a memory.  

Vacations can be packed with non-stop stimulation. It is important to take a moment and revisit the trip for them.


Diary: Our first cruise with children

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.


Tips for Legoland California with a Toddler

My family recently spent 3 days at Legoland California. When we told people about our long weekend, the response was, “3 Days?!?”  We did and we had fun. We found new places to explore. We ran to our favorite attractions to ride again and again. We didn’t rush to do everything in one day.

Legoland California, which is located in Carlsbad, is for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. My son is three years old and my daughter just turned one. My son is a thrill seeker.  He wanted to go on every ride. My daughter was too short for many of the rides but there was still plenty that she could go on. She enjoyed people-watching, being outside and the rides she did go on.

A trip to an amusement park with two little children can be overwhelming. Follow the tips below for success in visiting Legoland California with a toddler (and a baby).

Check your Toddler’s Height

Legoland’s rides have a variety of height requirements. Check your toddler’s height at the front of the park to confirm which rides they are eligible to go on.  

You don’t want a situation where you wait in line to be told your son or daughter is not tall enough to go on the ride. You’ll have a disappointed toddler. My son is just a little over 36 inches.  This allowed him to go on more attractions than our last visit.

Start your day at the back of the park

If you arrive when the park opens, head straight to the back of the park and work your way forward. You’ll find less crowds and get on more rides in the early part of your day. Click here for a map of Legoland California.

Take a break from the lines. Visit Duplo Playtown & Minilands

A great way to break up the day is to bring your kids to the Duplo Playtown or explore the Minilands.

Duplo Playground is a playground with every type of play structure you can imagine. My son ran from sitting in Lego cars to going down a slide. He would have been happy spending all day there. It can get crowded so it’s important to keep an eye on your children. A big plus is that there is only one way in and out of the area. Find shade and recharge while your children play.  

Also, there is a train in the back corner that is hidden. Make sure to check it out. 

When walking through the Minilands, make sure to remind your kids that it is all built out of legos. The replicas are true to form you can forget!

Splash! Bring an extra change of clothes, maybe two!

There are a lot of places throughout the park where kids can get wet. You’ll find spots to run through fountains, race boats, and explore a pirate ship splash area, etc. Bring more than one change of clothes and a towel. It’s hard to resist watching the joy in their eyes as they run through the water, especially if you go on a hot day.

Grab snacks at The Market

The Market

The Market is a favorite place of mine to stop throughout the day to pick up snacks for the kids. It is located at the front of the park.

The store carries nutritious snacks which will keep your child happier in the long run rather than sugary items.  We’ll grab a fruit cup, milk, string cheese or a food pouch. Grab a coffee if you need a little extra boost.

Coast Guard Build-a-Boat

We made a lot of memories throughout our 3 days at Legoland California park. Do not be too focused on the rides, as the park has a lot of the other attractions. My son says his favorite ride was the roller coaster, Coastersaurus, however, he spent over an hour at the Coast Guard Build-a-Boat. He enjoyed building boats and racing them in the water.


Must follow packing tips for traveling with children

Vacation is approaching and you begin to wonder how you will pack your belongings but also pack for your children. Take a deep breath. Thinking about packing is worse than actually doing it. I am constantly in a state of packing and unpacking as we travel so frequently with our two children. Here are useful tips to help you on your way and to give you the confidence to get the packing done.

Click to read more ...


FreshCruiser quoted in article, “57 Life-Changing Travel Tips from the Best Family Travel Bloggers”

FreshCruiser.com was recently quoted and included as the #1 Travel Tip for family travel in 2016 in an article from Vacatia.com Family Vacation Blog. Here's an excerpt from the Vacatia story, "57 Life-Changing Travel Tips from the Best Family Travel Bloggers."

It's not always easy traveling with kids. You've got your routine, a budget, and maybe a little voice in your head that says “you’ll have to wait until the last kid moves out of the house to really start traveling?”So, we asked some of the best family travel bloggers to see how they make vacations a priority.

Read the full article by Vacatia, which includes motivating travel tips to give you the push you need to start packing your bags in 2016.


Tips for visiting London with a Toddler

My family recently spent five nights in London. We flew non-stop from Los Angeles with our toddler son. The flight left in the evening and we were fortunate to get a good amount of sleep. If you’re thinking about visiting London with your toddler are a few tips to help plan your visit. Vacation Expectations My husband and I often need a vacation from our vacation. We want to see everything a city has to offer and ‘go,go,go.’ On this trip, we knew we’d have to adapt our normal schedule for a toddler. Taking a break in a park to see the ducks, running around historic gardens, and stopping for a snack were not part of our old sightseeing days. However, we enjoyed the city just as much if not more.

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Review of the ERGObaby 360 Baby Carrier for travel

Review of the ERGObaby 360 baby carrier after flying to Toronto with two kids. I recently purchased the Four Position ERGObaby 360 Baby Carrier for a flight from Los Angeles to Toronto. The carrier can be used as a front-inward, front-outward, hip and back carry positions. My daughter is 5 months old and I wanted to use an infant baby carrier that would allow her to be in both outward and inward positions. She’s inquisitive and doesn’t like to be looking inward if she’s not sleeping. The plan would be to push my toddler son in a stroller through the airport while having her in the Four Position Ergo 360 carrier.

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FreshCruiser quoted in Care.com article, "7 Top Babymoon Ideas"

Abby Aisley founder of FreshCruiser.com was recently quoted in an article from Care.com. Here's an excerpt from the Care.com story, "7 Top Babymoon Ideas".

"Are babymoon ideas on your brain? You've weathered morning sickness, are bearing a bountiful belly and your due date is just around the corner. Before your family of two becomes a family of three, it's time to take a romantic pre-baby trip! 

Calm Down on a Cruise

Stick to what soothes you. "When choosing a cruise for your babymoon, do your research on the itinerary," says Abby Aisley, a mom and the creator of family travel blog FreshCruiser. "Select an itinerary that visits calmer waters such as the Caribbean rather than the North Sea. Review excursions for the ports you plan to visit. Adventurous excursions are put on hold due to pregnancy limitations -- fortunately, there are plenty of great options to choose from." "

Read the full article by Care.com contributor, Erica Loop, which includes more ideas for picking the right Babymoon.

Celebrity Millennium

FreshCruiser Tip: In planning a babymoon, maximizing your precious vacation time is key. If you are within driving distance or a quick flight to a cruise port, there are many short cruises that would make a great babymoon. Book a 3-4 day cruise over a weekend to save your vacation days for when the baby arrives.