We love a bit of adventure! Today’s contributing article is by day Nuala Murphy. After having two children in quick succession Nuala is now running her own consultancy house in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In her spare time Nuala is the Founder of the Belfast Leanin Circle, supporting and encouraging women to lean in to their ambitions. If there is any time left in the day Nuala shares some parenting moments as HappyMummyHappyBaby on Facebook and Instagram.
Nuala and her family recently cruised from New York City and she shares her family adventures with us!
We went away the day after boxing day on the Mega Ship The Norwegian Breakaway. This ship was built for the New Yorkers, calling at Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay, a Norwegian private island Nassau in the Bahamas. We chose to pick the cruise up from New York as United flies direct from Belfast and it was short enough for the boys and us to handle. Must say it was comfortable and the air stewards could not have been more helpful with heating bottles, extra meals etc ( my husband thought the meals were delish)
It was a combination of things that made this a super holiday with kids.
We wanted a bit of sun but the option to be out of the sun if need be. We didn’t even get off the ship in Port Canaveral instead we took advantage of a few of the ships offerings. The under two zoo, the spa, gym and story time with Dora. We did however get off the ship at Great Stirrup Bay for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Building sand castles, chasing waves, collecting stones and eating hot dogs. All activities and food on the island is included in the cruise price so an easy.
Accommodation – Mini Spa Suite
We booked a room suitable for four with a balcony. The sofa can turn into a bed and a Murphy bed too. We got a cot for Conrad and had the sofa made up for Henry. Although the ladders would have provided great entertainment at bedtime I would not have slept worrying about him falling out. Your dedicated cabin steward makes the room up every night leaving towelling animals for the kiddies. Our cabin steward was particularly great as he would take all the babies bottles and clean them for us if we left them out when we went for breakie. I was weaning Conrad off the breast on this trip so there were quite a few bottles, double trouble. A few dollars tip at the start of the week goes a long way. 😉 We rearranged the bedside tables on either side of the bed to allow a little extra space, The cot fitted nicely in-between the bed and sofa leaving plenty of room under the bed to store suitcases, nappies and any other large items we were pretty comfortable. The bathrooms have plenty of space especially for the inflatable duck we brought for bath times and in the spa suites there are Bvlgari products a little bit of luxury. 🙂
Food – something for everyone!
With over 20 dining options there surely is something for everyone.
The food offering was amazing. We opened the breakfast room every morning at six with the fellow European families. Fruit, omelettes, every cereal and nut you could imagine. I particularly liked the crispy bacon so after breakfast we packed the boys up in the double stroller and did a 3 mile walk. 5 laps is a kilometre and 8 a mile. One day we both even took the boys to the gym and did a weights session while they slept. Bonus.
The ship was Nickelodeon themed so Dora and friends jumped out everywhere. There were a variety of activities for under 3; messy play, art, soft play, meet and greats and story time. And for 3+ there was a drop off day care facility that was fun packed with fun .
For teenagers and big kids there is a climbing wall, bowling ally, games arcade, and a casino for the even bigger kids. There are also age specific pools; a splash pool for kids and an another for older kids with jacuzzis and hot clubs for adults too!
The Dream Stroller – for sand, walking, running through airports…The Out n About!
Before travelling we weren’t sure on which stroller to take. Our uppa baby and rumble seat or our out n about. I’m so glad we took the out n about. It’s very compact, lightweight and suitable for snoozing too. Without it my hubby and I wouldn’t have been able to do the beach day. It also made navigating airports and boarding lots easier.
My Top Tips for travelling with kids
1. Leave plenty of time to the airport
2. Bring plenty of fruit & snacks & water for journeys no matter how long or short
3. Make the travel an adventure (we use the seat recline button as blast off on the plane)
4. When flying have babies & kids have something to drink or suck on from preparing to take off and landing save ear popping pain
5. Give up on normal screen time rules – there is a time and place for sticking to rules and traveling isn’t one of them! #happymummyhappybaby
It was truly an amazing holiday spent with family. My next focus will feature the next leg of the trip; NYC with kids.
We would love to hear about your favourite family holiday, get in touch with us if you would like to contribute!