I'm shaking my head realizing that the kids have been on summer break already for 2 weeks. It has been a whirlwind. We left the day after school was out for Florida. Then home for a few days and off to Bead and Button for a great shopping week and then yesterday we took the big boys to Mizzou college for a swim camp. Makes hubby and I wish we were 20 years old again and could go back in time but still retain our current mental capacity.
So my parents took my family and my brother's family on the Disney cruise ship the Dream. (Thank you Mom and Dad. You're Awesome!) It was a 6 day cruise that travels to the Bahamas, and it was an epic vacation and goes down in my top 3 vacations ever. I can't recommend a Disney cruise strongly enough. Especially if you have older kids. It is so much fun and offers so much for each member of the family.
I was worried that my oldest son who will be 14 next month would get bored because he didn't have a cousin to pair up with. But they have a teenagers area for kids 14-18 years old called The Vibe that we were able to get him enrolled in since he turns 14 in a month. They can come and go as they want. Their special hang out area is incredible. All of us adults was wishing we had an area like that. They even had their own private deck, a movie room, a stage, a bar for smoothies and there are activities going on until 3 a.m. Keegan teamed up with about 10 other kids and had the time of us life. He was so happy with his new freedom of running around the ship with these new friends. I don't think we even saw him much the last 3 days on the ship.
Here is a pic of their private deck and one of the rooms where they hang out. He is still texting the gang and they created their own facebook page and even found a girl he liked of course.
This is the send off party. The main deck is awesome and has a deep pool and this Mickey Mouse pool below was the kids pool. Check out the Aqua Duck water slide. It made a big oval around the deck. The kids loved this. I even did it.
The kids were running around on their own a lot. My middle child Connor who is 12 hung out with my niece who is the same age. They also have a kids area for 10-12 year olds that have lots of activities. The room isn't near as cool as The Vibe but they still enjoyed coming and going from it. They have a separate childern's area for 4-12 year olds that is beyond huge with tons of large rooms. This place was incredible. I didn't include any photos here, but I remember on the first night that Caiden was getting teary eyed because after dinner we weren't moving fast enough to take him to the kids club to play. All of these kids wear security bracelets that stay on the entire time. That is what they use to check them in and out. Plus it is a nice safety feature if for whatever reason they get separated from the parents then all of their information is on their wrist. So I would find pockets of time to hang out in the adult section. There I am on the bottom left sipping the drink of the day, reading a book, and looking out at the incredible view in that awesome recliner. Right at my feet they had a clear glass floor that let you see all the way down to the ocean. I gotta say that Disney know how to do it right. Even if you don't have kids, you can't go wrong on a Disney cruise.
The bottom right photo is one of the restaurants at dinner time. The top photo is at the Castaway Key island.
One night they had a pirate party on the deck. The ship gives everyone pirate bandanas. And most of the kids and some adults dress up too. I love the photo of little Caiden. He did not want to wear the mustache. Look at my handsome husband. Don't you love his teeth?!
This is just a mixture of other random photos. Including our shopping adventures on Nassau and Keegan trying on the local clothes, Caiden getting a wooden carved snake, and my brother and sister-in-law, my mom and dad with the boys. Caiden and my nephew. And the bottom middle pic is of a tile mural in one of the quick serve buffet restaurants who BTW had the best food. Another close up of the aqua duck slide. You sit on a raft and can have 2 people on one raft for a leisure ride around the deck.
So I used the collage feature on Pic Monkey for the first time. Gotta say so far I'm totally digging it. I forgot to resize the photos though. Sorry about that. I'm not going back and redoing it.
I got back on Sunday from a great weekend shopping at Bead and Button. I'll post about it over the next day or two and share more photos.