The third day of our Caribbean cruise was spent in the lovely Mexican island of Cozumel. I have been to several parts of Mexico before as it is an extremely popular winter escape for Minnesotans however I had never been to Cozumel. Once again there was an enormous variety of fantastic excursions to do in Cozumel ranging from visiting nearby ruins to spending a day enjoying the surf and sand. We selected to do a catamaran snorkeling trip to a kid-friendly beach run by Fury Catamaran, the tour outfitter we used. It was a fantastic day and we had a blast.
Our first destination of call during our Royal Caribbean cruise this past Christmas was to Belize. After exploring Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, Belize has been on my wish list for quite some time and unfortunately I’d only get a taste of this un”belize”able place (as the tour operators rightly called Belize). But a taste was enough to whet my appetite and understand why so many tourists are flocking to the amazing English-speaking cayes (small islands) off the coast of Belize.
By far the largest attraction in Belize is her beautiful, vibrant barrier reef. Belize boasts 190 miles (300 kilometers) of the 560-mile long (900 kilometers) of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which is the second largest barrier reef in the world spanning from Cancun on the northeast tip through the Riviera Maya and up to Honduras. Most people come to Belize to enjoy the diverse scuba-diving and snorkeling activities afforded by the reef, however, there are many other fabulous things to do and see in Belize. Belize hosts her own share of noteworthy Mayan ruins, adventure sports and amazing wildlife.
This past Christmas we took our first ever family cruise. It was my second cruise. The first cruise I did was over seven years ago on the Queen Mary when I was four months pregnant with my daughter Sophia. It was a business trip for my husband and my parents watched my son Max during our vacation. I recall the trip being relaxing, enjoyable and fun. We sailed from New York City to the gorgeous southern town of Charleston, South Carolina and then to the Bahamas for a day.
Fast forward eight years, and we were on our first family cruise with the kids and my sister and her family. Four adults, four children ages 5-9 and four days and five nights on the Royal Caribbean meant we were in for quite an adventure jam-packed with fun, excitement and a small number of entertaining mishaps.
Looking back, it was a fabulous trip and we had an absolutely wonderful time glimmering with special memories. Yet it wasn’t without a small amount of “newbie cruiser” mishaps which prompted me to write this list of tips for surviving and enjoying your first family cruise together.