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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.

Entries in tips (6)

Wednesday
Jun142017

Headed to Hawaii with your kids? Make room for these must have items in your suitcase

Tips on what to pack when traveling to Hawaii or an island vacation with your kids.

Wailea, MauiReady to leave for Hawaii? At this point, you’ve packed bathing suits, shorts, shirts, hats, and tons of sunscreen. Now it’s time to take a step back and find some space for the less obvious must-haves for your trip. 

Big Beach Bag

Throw in a big beach bag, you’ll be glad you did. It’s great for holding your sand toys, snacks, sunscreen, goggles, water, etc. After prepping it the first day of your vacation, you will have all the items you need already in there and can get out of the room quickly. Also, you don’t have to deal with your kids carrying their sand buckets and complaining that it is “too heavy”.

Pool & Beach Toys

It’s essential to have sand and pool toys while in Hawaii. You will be spending most of your time in one of those spots, so buy a few new toys to play with.

For the pool, depending on your children’s swimming abilities bring a mixture of floating toys (bath toys) and dive toys. Of course, buy sand buckets and shovels for the beach. You can stock up on these items at your local dollar store.  

The rule for my kids with all toys is if you bring it to the pool or the beach those items are to be shared. It not only encourages sharing but is an easy way to make new friends. When your vacation is over, there’s no reason to drag them home with you.  Find a family to and have your kids give them the toys, demonstrating kindness to others.

Inflatable Raft

Who doesn’t love floating? An inflatable raft provides hours of fun for all ages.

It’s easy to bring as they are folded up small so it won’t take up much room in your suitcase but you’ll be glad you packed it when you arrive. 

Zip Lock Bags

Treasure Hunting in Wailea, MauiBe prepared by packing a box of Ziplock Bags.  You’ll find yourself glad you have them to reach for throughout the day.

  • Kids love to snack. Easily bring snacks with you to the pool or the beach without having to drag the whole bag. Your kids won’t fight over the bag as they have their own bag.  
  • Protect your cell phone or camera while at the beach
  • Sunscreen goes in a bag in case it opens up and so it doesn’t get covered in sand
  • Wet bathing suits
  • Put the treasures or seashells your children collect
  • Ticket stubs go in one so they are together and ready for scrapbooking. Read the "Top family travel ideas to capture and save memories" article for more tips on easy scrapbooking.

Maui Travels

We recently got back from 8 nights in Wailea on the island of Maui with my 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. It was our third time traveling to Maui as a family. We spent our days going between the beach and the pool. Every day was a fun and new adventure that we didn’t want to end.

What less-obvious items do you pack for a beach or pool vacation?

Happy Packing!

FreshCruiser Tip:  Stay away from “we’ll just buy it there” phrase. Try to bring as much as possible so you don’t waste previous vacation hours shopping. 

Friday
Oct102014

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.

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Monday
Oct142013

Tips for Traveling Solo with an infant

My husband and I were planning a trip from the West coast to the East coast for a few days to visit my parents. However, I decided that I wanted my 6-month old son to spend more time with his grandparents. My husband couldn’t take more time off of work, so I made a decision. I was going to fly by myself with our son. It would be my son’s third trip back East. I traveled with him before, but never on my own. I knew that once I got there, my parents would be waiting for us with open arms, ready to help. However, I wanted to get there with as little stress as possible.

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Tuesday
Mar122013

BabyMoon: Tips for staying healthy when cruising while pregnant

It’s official! I’m expecting my first child this spring. I am already dreaming about all the fun my child will have while cruising. Going on a cruise is the perfect “Baby Moon” trip to go on with your husband or partner. 

A cruise really allows for great quality time and lets you spend your day how you want. When planning the cruise, it’s neat to think about it being the last time it will be just the two of you! I spent pregnancy weeks 14 and 15 on board the Celebrity Millennium.  I enjoyed the experience and wanted to share some of my tips and experiences with other mothers-to-be.

When to Go on a BabyMoon Cruise

If you’re trying to figure out a time to go on a cruise during your pregnancy, I would pick a date a few weeks into your second trimester, at or around 4 months.  If you’ve been suffering from “morning” or in my case, “all-day” sickness, it’s better to wait for a time when chances are, you’ll be feeling a lot better.   Our trip was already planned before I found out I was pregnant.  The timing worked out well as while on the ship I finished the first trimester and feeling a lot better.  

Celebrity Solstice

Every cruise line has a different policy for pregnant women. Generally you can take a cruise until you’re 23 or 24 weeks pregnant. Vacationstogo.com offers a list of the policies for each cruise line. Click here to check out the restrictions.

Top healthy tips for traveling while pregnant

Below are my tips for staying healthy on a cruise while pregnant.   Before you book a cruise, it’s important to check with your doctor first and discuss your concerns and questions.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate
Drink lots of water. I would always grab a water as we walked through the buffet. 

 

Since the weather was very hot, it was even more important to make sure I wasn’t getting dehydrated.   On days at port, we made sure we had water with us at all times.

Wash your hands
This is a tip that everyone should follow on a cruise ship but even more important for a mom-to-be to prevent sickness.

Eat what you feel like eating
Morning sickness?  One of my favorite parts of cruising while pregnant was the buffet.

It allowed me to have tastes of different items and then go back for more of the one that I liked the best. With food readily available on a cruise, try having multiple smaller meals throughout the day to help with morning sickness, heartburn, or nausea.  


Be active

Before leaving on the cruise, I bought a heart rate monitor to check my heart rate during physical activity as my doctor told me to keep my heart rate below 150. (Check with your Doctor before starting any workout routine or physical activity).

Walking 15-30 minutes a day around the cruise ship track is a perfect way to get exercise, which is important for you and your baby. I enjoyed starting my days with a long walk, either on the treadmill or around the track.

Watch your step
Depending on how many weeks along you are when you’re cruising, you are adding a lot of extra weight to your body and you’re not as stable as it used to be. Make sure you have a good center of gravity before stepping and watch out for notoriously slippery areas like the pool deck.

Know what you’re eating
With pregnancy comes a long list of do’s and don’ts. It’s important for you to make those decisions however, knowledge is power. When it comes to food, if you’re curious about a particular item, make sure to ask for more information. 

I had to say good-bye to sushi and tuna tartar but luckily there were so many other items to pick from that I didn’t miss them as much as I thought I would.


Be Prepared

I know it may sound crazy to pack food to bring on the cruise but, I would definitely recommend bringing granola bars or crackers with you on board the ship.  In the mornings, I always had crackers next to my bed and it helped with my morning sickness.  In addition, you want snacks to have while at port or on an excursion to hold you over until lunch or dinner.

Take a break from being adventurous

Now is not the time to be adventurous with activities or food.  While at port, stay away from street vendors and stick to eating on the ship or at a hotel which allows you to try the local food but typically has a higher standard of food quality and preparation.  When looking for an excursion, read carefully any restrictions for pregnant woman. 

I definitely wanted to go zip lining in Costa Rica but instead we planned a really fun day exploring the Monte Verde Rain Forest. I really enjoyed Costa Rica and can’t wait to take my child there. We’ll go zip lining together!

Why go on a Cruise for your Baby Moon

There are a lot of great reasons to go on a cruise for your Baby Moon.  The ability to have whatever food you feel like at your fingertips is a dream for any pregnant woman.  The accessibility of the buffet throughout the day and all-inclusive food is a real plus.  

Casino on the Celebrity Solstice

With strict non-smoking policies on most cruise ships now, it was a relief to that I didn’t have to worry about walking through clouds of smoke. In addition, I could enjoy the casino without breathing in the smoky air.

Whether we were at a show or at the casino at night, when I was tired, I loved being able to just take the elevator to my room and be in bed within minutes.  I didn’t have to worry about a drive home, a long walk to the hotel, or waiting for a cab while on a land vacation.

Towel Creation from on board the Carnival Paradise

I really enjoyed the quality time with my husband. We’ve been on so many cruises together but this one felt different. We didn’t run around to every activity like we have in the past; but instead, we played games and hung out just the two of us. This was such a memorable cruise that will always have a special place in my heart.  

Cruises are a great place for pregnant women.  When cruising, make sure to follow my tips above as exercise and eating well are important aspects for a healthy mom and baby.  

Stay tuned for more details about my Baby-Moon Cruise experience!

FreshCruiser Tip:  Don’t forget to check out the kid’s club on the ship for fun, won’t be long till your little one is there!

Friday
Aug262011

Worried about the weather on an upcoming cruise?



As hurricane season lasts from June until November, it's important to be prepared before you leave.  Check out weather and sea conditions so you'll know what to expect on your next cruise!

These are great sites that I like to use before leaving on a cruise. 

Passage Weather

Weather Underground - Marine & Boating

As Irene causes cruise ship itineraries to be shuffled, cruise travelers need to be informed on how the changes might affect them.  To find out the latest information on changes to your itinerary and embarkation times, keep checking the specific cruise line's website.

FreshCruiser Tip: Be prepared and don't be afraid to keep checking for updates as weather can be unpredictable and weather patterns can change.

Monday
Aug082011

Quick tips for eating healthy at the buffet on a cruise


Trying to eat healthy on a cruise buffet?  Is it possible?  Definitely!  You just need some willpower and to stick to a few rules and you’ll be able to enjoy trying new foods while keeping off the extra pounds.  I know it can be tough when you are surrounded by temptations.  Below are some of my tips that I follow when I’m eating at a buffet while on a cruise.

Make a plan and stick to it
If you want to eat healthy at the buffet, decide what you’re going to have ahead of time and stick to it.  However, have you ever decided that you want to eat healthy but by the time you walk around the buffet, your mind has completely changed?  I always start by “scouting” out the food before I’m ready to eat lunch or dinner while sailing.  It gives me time to process the information and make the right choices when I’m ready to eat. 

Go before you’re starving
Don't go into the buffet starving.  If you’re hungry and it’s not time for lunch or dinner yet, have a small snack like a piece of fruit before it’s time to head over to the buffet. It will help avoid taking too much food and overeating. 

Start with Small Portions
As I wrote in an earlier blog, one of my favorite parts of cruising is trying all the new foods.  If there are a lot of things that you want to try on the buffet, take sample sizes and if you find something that you like, then, go back for more.

Keep it healthy
Having a salad or a sandwich for lunch and think you’re eating healthy?  When at the buffet, be careful not to fall into what I call the “salad dressing trap”.  If you’re truly looking to have a healthy sandwich, stay away from the different mayo’s and oils. Stick with mustard as a spread.  For salads, be careful of which salad dressing you pick.  Take a moment to look at your salad to make sure you’re adding veggies to the salad and not toppings (croutons, fried wontons, peanuts, etc.)



Cooked to order? Speak Up!
Many cruise ships have "cook to order" stations where you can get food such as stir fry, omelets, and pasta made with the ingredients you pick.  I love these stations as it gives me the opportunity to know exactly what’s going into my dish.   Since most of these start with a little fry pan with oil in it, I always ask for less oil which saves me some calories. 
Just ask! 
Beware of hidden cream, butter, and salts in prepared dishes.  Don’t be afraid to ask what’s in it as you may be thinking you’re eating healthy by grabbing the Summer Succotash dish but it could be drenched in butter.  This happened to me recently as I went to grab a bowl of gazpacho but asked if there was any cream in it.  It turned out there was and the waiter pointed out a healthier option for me to get.  I was glad I asked as I would have had a whole bowl of it thinking that I was having a healthy lunch.  

Stay away from Sauce
On the buffet, stay far away from items drenched in sauce, it adds extra calories, fat, and sodium.  Look for grilled, steamed or poached items. 

Ice cream vs. Frozen Yogurt
Check out what’s offered on the ship as there might be an option to get frozen yogurt or sorbet, both are better options than ice cream.  If you’re still craving ice cream, ask for a kid’s size and stay away from the toppings.  Want it in a cone? Don’t feel bad having it in a cone, only adds about 30 extra calories.

Take a taste
If that chocolate mousse is staring you down, try it but just eat half and share the rest! 

Move it
Finished eating? Move the plate away from you.  With the plate out of your reach, you won’t fall into the trap of unconsciously eating the rest of your plate because it’s in front of you. When you’re done, remove the temptations. This works really well for desserts if you were just planning to “taste it”.

My favorite lunch on a cruise ship is a grilled chicken sandwich with a big salad on the side that I made myself with frozen yogurt for dessert. 

FreshCruiser Tip:  Try eating a healthy lunch and then allow yourself to splurge a little at dinner!