We packed up the kids and took Carnival Glory to the Eastern Caribbean, stopping at Nassau (Bahamas), St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands, where Joe and Sarah were married), San Juan (Puerto Rico), and the Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos).
With a 23-month Charlie and 6-month Miles we were nervous that the cruise ship would be a nightmare, but it totally worked. We weren’t thrilled about paying full fare for kids who were too young to participate in the on-board daycare, but were pleasantly surprised at how much we all enjoyed the cruise.
We sprung for a big ocean-view suite, brought the double stroller and three big rollerbags of luggage. We also had a lot of family who helped kid-wrangle so we could have our anniversary dinner date night and the occasional hour off.
The kids loved the boat. They didn’t have any problems with the timezone change or sea-sickness and all of the staff were very accommodating.
Our first port of call was Nassau, Bahamas. It’s not Eastern Caribbean, but I think it’s a good idea to stop somewhere on the second day.
Nassau was a good first stop. We walked around the downtown area near the cruise ship terminal, did some window shopping, and even found a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin for a reasonable price…not that we bought it.
We hit the beautiful white beach with the GrandJohn and Ben and Allie, played, swam, and drank from coconuts hacked open by machete.
The next day was a “Fun at Sea” day, which gave us time to explore the boat and catch up with all the family on-board. We recommend the 24-hour pizza bar and Sonoma County’s own Guy Fieri-branded burger joint.
Wednesday was Joe and Sarah’s wedding on beautiful St. Thomas, followed by the reception back on the boat. St. Thomas was gorgeous. Next time, we’ll make a longer stop and enjoy the sights.
Thursday was San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we went exploring with Ben and Allie.
Charlie and his bear backpack love the waves. The backpack has a leash attached to it, so he can run around but we can restrain him from charging into traffic.
We checked out one of the old forts built on the cliffs around the town.
And found a fantastic restaurant on a cobblestone street that served up traditional Puerto Rican fare.
We walked around some more, found an anniversary present for six years of joy and happiness at The Butterfly People, and were back to the boat just before departure. We would all happily return to Puerto Rico.
The next day, and by now we had no idea what day it was – perfect, we stopped at Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos. Sara, Allie and GrandJohn watched the kids while Ben, Joe, Sarah, and most of the wedding party went snorkeling. We joined back up at the beach and had a late-evening departure.
Saturday was our last day at sea as we steamed back to Miami, taking an easterly route that had us just off the coast of Cuba for weather reasons.
Saturday was Formal Night, so we dressed the boys up in their wedding suits.
And it was also Sarah’s bachelorette party.
Monday morning we arrived in Miami and disembarked.
We really liked the cruise. It was very convenient to have all of our stuff – and with two kids we don’t exactly travel light anymore – in one place. The weather was nice and while the motion was unusual, it wasn’t unpleasant.
Meals were convenient, which is important when feeding two little monsters: we ordered small portions of everything and the kids would eat something and we would eat the rest.
Charlie and Miles loved all the attention they got from the crew and our large extended family. Charlie also liked sleeping right next to our bed in his crib. He would pop his head up in the morning and say “Daddy! Daddy!”, so excited we were right there.
We walked around the boat a lot and explored.
Miles slept in our bed and loved it. I don’t think we’re going to be able to get him into a crib anytime soon.