As a mother of five, I need help. In fact, every mom needs help even if it looks like she’s mastered this motherhood thing. A supportive spouse, a friend, grandparent, or babysitters are the people that come to mind when I think of a support system.
However after my experience this summer, I’ve added the folks at Carnival Cruise Line to my support system. In fact, a Carnival Cruise is a mom’s best friend. Here’s why:
Onboard Child Care
To say that Camp Ocean, Carnival’s onboard children’s program, is a godsend would be an understatement. As a self professed helicopter mom, I am always skeptical of anyone besides my husband when it comes to the caring and supervision of our children. Camp Ocean however tossed my fears overboard. When we visited the designated area, we were cheerfully greeted by the staff and sat down to review the list of activities they offered for children ages 2-11. There was literally something for them to do every hour on the hour. Camp Ocean is divided into three age groups each with age appropriate activities that all of my children enjoy. There were even parties that took place after hours (for a small fee), where the kids would celebrate with their new friends and return home with a swag bag full of toys and gifts.
There were three things that impressed me the most about Camp Ocean:
Security and Safety – No matter how many times they saw me, each time I signed my child in and out, I was required to present my Carnival ID card. I was also assigned a Carnival issued cellphone where I could be reached or I could call them any time I was on the ship. The staff always made sure my phone was fully charged. If it wasn’t they refreshed my phone with a new battery.
Organization- The schedule of activities isn’t just for show. They actually did what they said they would do. How do I know? My children would return excited to show me the craft they made, or sing the song they learned, or to tell me about a new friend they made on the ship.
Cleanliness – Several nights I witnessed the staff sanitizing toys, the carpet, keyboards and play areas. It certainly put my mind at ease. Who wants to be sick while on vacation?
“Can I have a snack? What’s for dinner?” It’s these kind of questions you really don’t want to hear while you’re on vacation—that is unless someone else is cooking. The great news is that you have access to food 24-7 on a Carnival Cruise without setting a foot in the kitchen. Go ahead and kick up your heels—but before you do, there’s more! If you don’t want to fix your own plate, Carnival will serve you breakfast and dinner in the formal dining rooms at no extra cost.
And while we’re on the subject of formal dining, Chris and I did however visit the onboard steakhouse for a date night. The cost was less than what we’d pay for fine dining here in Atlanta. The food and service were both impeccable.
So with your kids occupied and your belly full, go ahead and bypass the fitness center (for now) and head over the spa. I got rubbed down like a fine Kobe beef steak. Who knows if she really used a dry rub seasoning? What I do know is that at the end of the session my aches and pains were gone. There’s a chance that I drooled on the towel propped behind head. I’ll never tell. In a relaxed stupor, I purchased a few skincare products that I still love and reordered since I’ve been home.
Go ahead moms and treat yourself to a massage, facial, blowout, or whatever your heart desires. Be sure to book these appointments early if you plan to go on Sea Days. On Port Days, the spa is empty. This could work in your favor if you go early in the morning. That way you’ll still have time to venture into the city for a few hours until it’s time to return to the ship.
Special Interest Seminars
While on the cruise I attended a cooking demonstration and food tasting. Did I mention I love it when someone else cooks? It was delightful entertainment and the perfect snack to tide me over until dinner. Other seminars ranged from how to apply makeup to salsa dancing. Fun!
Comedy and Karaoke
As they say, laughter is the best medicine. At the The Punchliner Comedy Club, my husband and I attended the late show. The show scheduled right before ours would be the one more appropriate for kids if they wanted to tag along. We laughed aloud and slapped knees with total strangers and then ventured across the way to another lounge for a few rounds of karaoke to laugh some more.
My only complaint with Carnival housekeeping is that they wouldn’t allow the staff to accompany me home. Our staterooms were tended to by the staff several times a day whether they were replenishing towels or making up my bed after a nap. The stewards assigned to my hall were always courteous and accessible each time I needed them. Unfortunately, one of the kids wet the bed (it could happen even on vacation) and the staff quickly refreshed his bedding without any issue. I was mildly embarrassed but my embarrassment was carried away with the dirty laundry.
Need I say more? Well, I could actually write a book but this post sums up perfectly why you should add Carnival to your support team. It’s just the break you need so that you can return home and be an even more awesome mom.
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.