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Doin’ Work In Cruise Control

I call myself a Daddy Doin’ Work, so there’s no secret that I put in a lot of work during the course of any given day. That fact doesn’t make me special, because doin’ work is a highlighted item on the parenting job description for all of us. Cranky babies, late night feedings, managing toddler tantrums, shuttling to and from soccer practice, and questioning our intelligence as we clumsily attempt to help our teenagers with algebra homework is enough to make the best of us exhausted.

Thankfully, I’m taking my family (including my parents) on a vacation where we can kick back and enjoy each other without stressing about the hustle and bustle of daily life. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to “do work” during my time off. Check that – I know that avoiding daddy duty is impossible, but I want to avoid all of the additional planning that comes with most vacations.

That’s why when Carnival approached me to partner with them and it included a cruise vacation, it was an absolute no-brainer. They handle (or eliminate) all of the annoying logistical work for me.

Rental car? Nope, not needed.

Hotel? I’ll pass and stay on a luxurious ship, thank you.

Finding good food? The ship is loaded with amazing food options.

Stuff for kids? With mini golf, water slides, video games, Seuss at Sea, outdoor movies, etc. it would take work just to make them feel bored.

Fun for adults? Comedy clubs, bars, dancing, live music, shows, karaoke, etc. are on the ship, which means there is literally something for everyone.

But what about childcare for the little ones? That’s what Camp Carnival is for. Kids can enjoy arts, crafts, games, etc. while the grown ups enjoy some grown up activities.

So what I’m saying here is that being asked to take a cruise over a traditional vacation was a slam dunk for me. Less work in planning for daddy means a less-stressed out daddy. That’s a win-win for everyone involved.

We chose to cruise on the Carnival Sunshine, which sails out of Port Canaveral in Orlando. For our family that  means a 5-hour cross-country flight from southern California to Florida. And let’s be real: being stuck on an airplane with toddlers and zero activities is a lot less fun than being on a luxurious ship with plenty of activities.

So how do I keep the kids from losing their tiny little minds on the flight?

1) Technology: As far as I’m concerned, tablets are the greatest inventions ever when it comes to keeping kids entertained and quiet. My daughters will enjoy apps, movies, and cartoons in heavy rotation while we’re 30,000 feet in the air – and hopefully I’ll enjoy a nice nap in the process (probably not, but please don’t shatter my dreams).

2) Snacks: I’ve learned that the second-best way to keep toddlers from yelling, screaming, and being disruptive is to fill their mouths with food that they like. Parents, you know that your kids have that “go to snack” that will turn them into angels as soon as you offer it to them. If you’re traveling on a plane, be sure to bring plenty of those goodies with you.

3) Sense of humor: No matter how much we plan, craziness will probably ensue. There will be meltdowns, bad behavior, and other age-appropriate shenanigans, but that’s cool as far as I’m concerned. Sure, it probably won’t be cool while I’m in the middle of it, but nutty stuff makes for the best memories. I’ve learned that the most important tool I have in my parenting toolbox is a sense of humor. Without it, I’d be completely lost. Also, I plan to document all of the craziness so I can share it during one of their teenage birthday parties. I’m sure they’ll love that. #payback

This trip is going to be epic in every sense of the word and I’m excited to share all of it with you. Everything from the multi-generational aspect of my parents interacting with their granddaughters to conquering fears (heights and hopping amphibians to name a couple) will make this an event I’ll surely remember for the rest of my life.

It’s time for daddy to put himself into cruise control.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.