Three years ago we took a family cruise through the Caribbean and it was so much fun that we decided to do it again this year, but visited different ports this time around.
This was our Christmas present from Katie's mom, so all of Katie's siblings (on that side of the family) came, her grandparents, Rene & Patrick and his kids!
The flight to Puerto Rico was quite ridiculous. Fox doesn't nap on airplanes, so the fact that our plane left right during his nap time didn't really help. He did fine on the first flight, but then we had a seven (!) hour layover in Houston and by the time we got on that second flight, it was the middle of the night and the kid still hadn't slept. He lost it. Big Time. Poor guy was so tired and just screamed and screamed until he eventually passed out for the last three hours of the flight. It was rough.
Once we got to Puerto Rico, we went to the condo Katie's mom was staying at (they arrived a few days earlier) and took a shower and another long family nap, until it was time to board the ship.
The first stop was St. Croix.
We went off the boat to check out the port.
It was really hot and humid, so after a while we decided to go back to our room to change into our swim clothes and go back out to hit the beach instead.
Fox had never been in the ocean, so we weren't sure if he'd like it, but he thought it was the best thing ever!
He thought it was so funny to splash water into Katie's face!
The water was really warm and he loved the crashing waves!
We had a really fun morning!
Katie and I have been on several cruises and while this ship was nice, it wasn't the best we have ever been on and kind of old compared to the other ones we had stayed on. Another issue was that Fox was too young to do anything there. They had a really cool kids club, but they wouldn't allow him in, because he was under 3. We even asked if we could go in with him (we had no intentions to just leave him), but they said no. We also weren't allowed in the kids or regular pool, because he wasn't potty trained!
So on our free time on the boat, we usually walked around, played with balls in the sports court, played mini golf on the upper deck and visited the toddler room a couple of times (which was basically a small room without windows that had a couple of gym mats and about 10 toys in it...even Fox thought it was lame...haha). And rode a lot of elevators, Fox thought it was the coolest thing ever (they had windows in there)!
This was one night before dinner. After battling Fox's jet lag in Germany, we decided to just keep him on Arizona time, which worked out beautifully because they were three hours ahead of us, so Fox would wake up around 10am every morning and go to bed with us at 11pm, instead of his usual 8pm Arizona bedtime.
Christian and I
Obviously, Fox was the star at every dinner and had everyone's attention!
This was St. Kitts, our second stop.
I would say Fox's favorite part of the cruise was the dessert. At home, he rarely gets sweets, but having not only his grandparents, but also his great grandparents with us, meant that he got spoiled to no end. Tasting a brownie for the first time.
I think he liked it.
The rooms on a cruise ship are tiny as it is, but we also had to fit a pack n play and car seat in our room, which made it even smaller. I was surprised how well we did though, Fox loved our room and had fun running the 10ft hallway from the door to the bed back and forth.
His favorite about the room was the little ledge on the window, he would sit there and just look out, yelling "Water".
Look at that face!
One night at dinner everyone was waving their napkins for the waiters, until Rene and Robert got into a napkin fight.
Fox got so upset, that his sweet Uncle Robert "got hurt" and gave us the biggest boo boo lip and crocodile tears. He is such a sensitive guy and doesn't like when someone he loves is being mistreated.
One of the stops was St. Marteen, which was absolutely beautiful. The three of us took a short taxi ride to the beach and had an awesome day.
I mean, look at these pictures! He had so much fun in the waves and thought it was hilarious when they were hitting him.
Belly Laughs all around!
The next day, Fox's grandparents offered to take him for the morning, so Katie and I could go on an excursion by ourselves. We were in Barbados and went swimming with sea turtles and snorkeled over a ship wreck!
We bought a cheapie underwater camera, that didn't work too well, so we'll definitely need to get a better one for our next trip, but it was a lot of fun!
On the boat to the snorkeling site, this is our cruise ship in the background.
The sea turtles were huge, but this is the best shot we got. They were swimming right underneath us, so close, they would touch our legs. It was a really cool experience.
We did a quick beach stop after the snorkeling and Katie and I rode this "banana boat", which was a blast! At this point, our cheapie underwater camera had given up I guess, not sure what this red stripe is, but that's the only pic we got!
We were concerned about how Fox would do during dinner, because it's impossible to have him stuck in a high chair for 2.5 hours each night. He did amazing though and only had to take him out early a couple of nights.
We're missing Christian and the great grandparents in this picture!
4 Generations! He has them all wrapped around his finger!
On this trip, Fox learned what ice cream was (Thanks Grandma). He had it once before in Germany, but he really "got it" now and kept asking for "ice cream" every night. And the waiters would bring him the biggest ice cream Sunday you have ever seen. They even had a Ben & Jerry's on the boat and Fox knew exactly where it was! He can't say "Mommy", but he sure knows how to say "Ice Cream"! He is my kid after all!
Our crazy family!
I always wanted to go swimming with dolphins, and in St. Kitts this dream came true! The entire family (minus the great grandparents) came on this excursion and we had a lot of fun!
We were told that Fox wasn't allowed to come, but we didn't have a babysitter, so we decided to take him with us and just take turns waiting with him while the others swim with the dolphins. When we got there, they put a life vest on him and we were able to take him in the water with us. We didn't even pay for him! It was so awesome that they accommodated us and that Fox got to experience this.
You can't see it here, but the dolphin was pushing us on the boogie board.
I don't know what Fox was thinking about this, but he was definitely intrigued!
We had a great trip and are so grateful for Katie's family who made all of this happen!