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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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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 spot for whale watching in Maui, Hawaii

Plan your family vacation during whale season with the “Whale of a Deal” room package at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

I recently vacationed in Maui, Hawaii with my family.  We stayed at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa for 10 days. I could have stayed another 10 days.

View of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (photo credit: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa)We enjoyed spending time at the resort as well as exploring the island. My favorite days were when we rented a cabana and took advantage of all the activities at the hotel throughout the day.

If you’re considering a family trip to Hawaii in the near future, I’d recommend going to Maui during whale season.  You’re able to experience the wonders of watching humpback whales directly from the beach, quite a sight.

According to Frommer’s, about 1,500 to 3,000 humpback whales appear in Hawaii waters each year. The whale season usually starts in December and runs through April.  If your children are interested in wildlife, traveling during whale season to Maui is a definite perk to your Hawaiian vacation.

Click here for Frommer’s Maui whale watching tips. 

View from my room at the Sheraton Maui Resort & SpaThe Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is offering a “Whale of a Deal room package.”

“Whale season is one of the most exciting times of year here on Maui and Kaanapali Beach, the unique location of the Sheraton Maui’s Moana building, situated on top of the Black Rock, provides an unrivaled view of the Humpback Whales across the Maui Nui Basin where their population is amongst the highest,” explains the resort’s general manager, Tetsuji Yamazaki.

The Whale of a Deal room package includes:

  • two drinks delivered daily by in-room dining
  • two souvenir refillable mason jars , binoculars, stuffed whale
  • a personal Whale Concierge to assist with booking the top things to do in Hawaii including whale-related activities

With over 83 percent of the resort’s 508 rooms facing the water, the resort provides an ideal setting to watch nature’s majestic giants. As I woke up every morning to the most beautiful view of Molokai, I couldn’t help but picture the channel filled with whales breaching. I can’t wait to go take my son during whale season.

For reservations, you call (866) 716-8140 and mention rate plan WHALEPKG or visit http://www.Sheraton-Maui.com.


Tips for flying with a toddler

I can't believe my son is a toddler already.  I've given tips on traveling with a baby before, however with each new stage my son enters; airplane travel changes.  We recently flew from Los Angeles, CA to Washington, DC. It was his 16th cross country flight.

I'm glad we traveled with him so much already, however we need to continue to adapt to his needs. We have the usual things worked out, like diapering, boarding the plane, and which stroller to fly with. Here are a few of my tips for flying with a toddler.  These tips will be helpful at any early age but specifically for your child if they are 15, 16, or 17 months old.

Snacks on the plane

It is not a good idea to surprise your toddler with a new snack or food while on the plane. It sounds good in theory but if toddlers don't like something, what do they do? They spit it out.  Not fun on a plane. Or maybe they are like my son, who takes it out of his mouth and throws it. Try the new snack with your toddler beforehand or I'd recommend only packing their favorites.

We always pack our Munchkin Snack Catcher with puffed wheat as he can feed himself and keeps him busy. He also likes dipping foods, like pita chips and hummus. It's a little messy but I bring a snack pack with us.

Best seat to sit with your toddler: Aisle or Window?

It depends what you think will work for you and your child. If you want to be able to get up and walk around with your son or daughter, the aisle is the way to go. If you think they will like looking out the window, and have space with the wall, go for the window.

I'm a big fan of the aisle but there's nothing that entertains my son more than looking out the window through take-off.  However, he doesn’t sit still for very long, in which case, we typically pick an aisle seat. I usually decide based on the time and length of the flight. I've found that other travelers understand and have no problem getting up to let you out if you pick a window seat.

Bring new toys to play with on the plane

I'm sure many of you have heard the trick of bringing out a new toy every hour for your child to play with. I think new toys are great as there's an excitement of figuring it out.

Here are my two new favorites that worked well:

Melissa & Doug removable sticker

Water WOW! Vehicles - ON the GO Travel Activity

I quickly wrap them in tissue paper before we leave as that adds an activity of something to do.

What's in your travel diaper bag?

Click here for a list from a previous post I did of what I pack in my bag.

Now that's he older, the only addition is food and different types of toys which I already discussed above.

All about me! Videos or pictures of themselves

Our son currently doesn't watch TV when we're at home.

However, on the most recent flight, he was overtired and having a difficult time going to sleep. I decided to play videos on my phone that I had taken of him.  He settled down, laughed, and eventually fell asleep.


Give smiles but I don't apologize, so many times I feel my son crying is him voicing what everyone else is thinking. How much longer? I really have to get back in that tiny seat, sit still, and not touch the person sitting next to me.

I just keep smiling at everyone and I don't let other people make me feel bad and concentrate on my son.

My Advice

Before I had children, I enjoyed flying. The time of the plane to relax and disconnect was always the perfect start to a vacation.  However I know everyone isn't like me. And now with the addition of a toddler, it can add to anxiety. My best advice with flying with children is to be prepared and after that to go with the flow and don’t forget to laugh along the way.

FreshCruiser Tip: Don't let people's looks, stares, or sighs get to you on the plane, as how many times have you flown with another fussy toddler on the flight. When you get to the destination, you'll never see these people again.


Examining family lounge and kids play areas in Airports Terminals

After frequently traveling with my son for the past year and a half, I am always looking for a calm and easy place to change him, feed him, and for him to let some energy out in the airport.  If you are like me, you need to take a breather and regroup when flying with children. Family Lounges and Services Areas are comfortable areas to do this, however most US airport terminals don’t have them.

Airport Terminal Family Lounges

Outside the US, the trend is growing. For instance, Zurich and Copenhagen airports include family lounges and are perfect examples of providing facilities for passengers with babies.

The amenities at the Zurich Airport include: "Rooms for sleeping and breastfeeding, baby changing-stations, baby care products, and a kitchenette with a microwave, cutlery, and utensils.”

It also includes a play area with toys for all ages and a craft workshop. It is free for all passengers.

Click here for a list of Europe’s Top Ten Airports for Families from a study commissioned by Skyscanner in 2013.

When I recently traveled solo with my son, we had a two-hour layover with no safe place for him to crawl around and no easy way for me to change his diaper. He was sick, and I was changing his diaper about every 15 minutes during our 2 hour layover in Las Vegas.  The bathrooms in the terminal were crowded and the changing station was next to the hand dryers. There was no clean place to put my bag down. It was a juggling act. I ended up changing him in his stroller the rest of the time, which wasn’t ideal.

Los Angeles International Airport - "Nursing Room" in terminalIn Los Angeles, LAX is currently undergoing renovations and I hope the improvements will include a better nursing area for women traveling with small children.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw the little bench they provided next to the bathroom stalls that everyone passes by in order to get to the toilets. When they said "Nursing Mothers' Room", I guess the room they were referring to was the bathroom.

Airport Terminal Play Areas

Many airports have Children’s Play Areas.  This is a big help to pass time and keep your children happy before getting on your flight.  Look at the airport terminal map to find where they are located compared to your departure gate. If you have time, it’s worth it to look up this information before you fly so you know whether or not to anticipate a place for your children to play.  If they don’t, you may want to set up your own play area by an empty gate with some toys to play with.

Buffalo International Airport The Buffalo International Airport terminal has a children’s play area.  This was perfect for my son to have an area to play. It’s supported and provided by local business, Fisher Price. It had about 4 toys bolted to the floor. Sadly one of the electronic ones didn’t work.

Athens International AirportIf there are ways to reduce the stress of traveling with small children, it should be a priority for airports and airlines. It will not only adding family lounges make the family's trip easier but also be more pleasant for other travelers as well. Children will be happier after getting some energy out prior to the flight as opposed to running up and down the aisles mid-flight.

If you aren’t already part of a Frequent Flyer program with a flyer status that lets you in to the airport lounges, consider paying for a day pass if you have a long layover. It’s clean, quieter, and gives you all the opportunity to refuel and take it easy before getting on your next flight.

LAXHere’s a list provided by Red Tricycle, that lists the “15 Worst Airports and How to Survive Them With Your Kids”.

I call on US domestic airport terminals to follow the international trend and make family services a priority.

What airport terminals would you give the thumbs up to for traveling with children?

FreshCruiser Tip: Research the airports ahead of time so you know what to expect, sometimes the terminal can surprise you.


Road Trip to Monterey with a Toddler – Incorporating nap times & bed times into your travel schedule

Last weekend my husband and I decided to take a last-minute long-weekend road trip. The plan was to drive from Los Angeles, CA to Monterey, CA. It’s about a 5 hour drive when there is no traffic and no stops. There was something relaxing about shoving everything we might need into the car, rather than thinking about weight requirements and keeping bags to a minimum.

Click to read more ...


Trending: Free Strollers to use at airports

Wondering if you should carry your baby or bring your stroller through airport security? When traveling with young children, the amount of luggage really adds up. My family often travels to a destination where we either won't need a stroller, there is one for us to borrow, or we prefer to check it in. Occasionally, we take a stroller with us solely for use in the airport, especially during a long layover.

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Flying Solo with my baby...again.

Everyone survived the flight: my baby, myself and all the passengers. We made it to the destination safely and the rest is already a distant memory. I realized that traveling with my 14-month old by myself cross-country isn't easy no matter how much you prepare but my preparations definitely made things go more smoothly.

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Getting ready for a last minute cross-country flight...flying solo with my toddler

It's the call no one wants to receive in the middle of the night, the news that a loved one unexpectedly passed away. I live on the opposite coast as my family and with the funeral planned within the next few days, it's time to get on a flight. First thing to do is get organized with my diaper bag to make sure I have all the necessities.

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Press Release: FreshCruiser.com expands to include luxury family travel

May 28, 2014 (Los Angeles, CA) - FreshCruiser.com, which focuses on cruising with tips, news, and advice highlighting fun, active, and healthy cruising, announced today that it will expand to include luxury family travel. The website will include advice about traveling with children, top places to visit, and how to make the most out of a family vacation without having to sacrifice luxury.

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