We just got back from an amazing vacation! It was 10 days of fun family times with a little whining and sibling arguments involved, but all in all a great vacation.
We went on a 7 night Royal Caribbean cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. We also spent two jam-packed days at Universal Studios in Florida. There is literally so much to tell you that I am going to break up my posts into a few days at a time.
If you read my post on the 10 Essential Tips for Cruising with Kids, you will see that one of my recommendations is to fly out the day before your vacation. This is very important if you are traveling in the winter from a destination where it snows. The last thing you want to do is miss part of your cruise because you were delayed in a snowstorm!
Here we go with day 1 & 2…
We flew on Delta airlines the day before our cruise. Delta now has TVs on the back of their seats with free movies and tv shows which is so amazing when traveling with kids. It makes the flight smooth as can be.
Against my better judgment, I booked a flight with a connection. I honestly try to always get a direct flight because it’s just so much easier when traveling with kids, but the price difference hooked me in. The 1st leg of the flight was fine, but on the connecting flight, we were delayed for over an hour while sitting on the plane. Again, thank goodness for those TVs. It did make for a very long and exhausting travel day though. We arrived safe and sound which is all the counts really.
Our cruise was leaving from Port Canaveral, Florida. The closest airport is Orlando which is about 45 minutes from Port Canaveral.
I did some research ahead of time on my transportation options. Shuttles or taxis were over $40 per person. That means it would have cost us over $160 for our family of 4 to get from the airport to Port Canaveral! Crazy, right?
So I found a better solution. I booked a rental car for 1 day for $80 total. That’s half the price! We picked up our car at the airport and returned it at a location that was 5 minutes from the cruise port and took their free shuttle to the port. Easy peasy!
After picking up our rental car, we drove 45 minutes to Cape Coral, Florida which is 5 minutes from the cruise port. We stayed at the La Quinta Inn Cocoa Beach. The cost was $125 for the night and it was your standard 2 queen bedroom. Very clean and comfortable with free breakfast. I think we all fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows after a very long day of traveling.
We woke up so refreshed and ready to really start our vacation today. We headed down for our free breakfast which was the traditional continental breakfast fare that you would expect.
Our cruise allowed boarding after 11 am which is actually pretty early for most cruises so after we filled our bellies we checked out of the hotel and went on our way to return our rental car. We dropped off the car and hopped on the shuttle and arrived at the port within 5 minutes. So easy!
The check-in process for Royal Caribbean is pretty quick and efficient and we were walking onto the ship within 30 minutes. The first impression of this beauty is awe of its massive size. It looks like a monster compared to the other cruise ships in port.
Once we boarded the ship, we wandered around to check things out and to get our “lay of the land.” There is just so much to do. Multiple restaurants and bars, 4 pools, a boardwalk, even a Central Park at sea.
We booked a balcony stateroom which we were excited to see. After some lunch, we headed to our room. I will warn you that staterooms on cruise ships are not what I would describe at roomy, but you really are hardly in the room so they suffice.
Our room had a king bed, a pull out sofa bed, and a pull-down upper birth. Perfect for our family of 4. There is a small bathroom with a shower and we had a balcony with a table and 2 chairs.
After a delicious dinner, we called it a wrap and headed to bed. See you tomorrow. Happy Cruising!!