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Showing posts from March, 2018

Celebrity Eclipse 2018 - Second Day At Sea

Another sea day so it was more of the same in the morning. Before lunch, there was family bingo at the Kids Club. Unlike the last trip where we totally cleaned up, only Teddy won a game. I have to admit that the kids weren’t super-gracious losers, and I was steamed at them in the moment. But later in the day I gathered a little perspective and put myself in their place, where it’s been two years of build up, then a day-and-a-half of wait—GO! wait—GO! between travel day and embarkation day, plus bedtimes thrown entirely out of whack – there were a lot of reasons for them not to be the best versions of themselves. By and large throughout the trip, they were good. We had a few random folks approach us at various times to say how well behaved the kids were, so let’s remember that and not the occasional descents into savagery. After bingo and lunch, we went swimming, where some friends from the kids’ club showed up. And when I jumped into the hot-tub with my little dudes, about seven o

Celebrity Eclipse 2018 - First Day At Sea

It’s a hell of a hike from Miami to St. Maarten, so the first two full days on the cruise were sea days. Some people hate sea days. Not sure who exactly – I’ve only heard of these people, never met them. Sea days are your excuse to lazy-it-up. These were a little more work in the past because we always had at least one kid to entertain all day long. But with Susannah being four, she could enroll in the Fun Factory with the others and we could really get our lazy on. Our sea day pattern was established on Day One: sleep in, get some breakfast, drop off the kids, do some lazy, pick up the kids, eat lunch, swim, drop off the kids, lazy, pick up the kids, dinner, drop off the kids, cafĂ© visit, pick up the kids, get the kids to bed, get lazy one last time. Said like that, it looks like we were using any excuse to offload the kids, but that’s not the case. They begged to be there. They nagged us through meals about when they could go back. I mean, we took full advantage of their absence, b

Celebrity Eclipse 2018 - Boarding

We had breakfast at the hotel and then went to Church nearby. Largely Spanish congregation, but we caught the English mass, which is good because the only Spanish I know is “Ay, ay, ay! No es bueno!” Then it was back to the hotel to scoop up our bags and head out. Veronica, for whatever reason, fell in love with the smallest of our grey suitcases. She named it Buddy, and insisted that she alone would carry it. All well and good until we got to the ship and had to hand off all our bags to the porter. Tears were shed over her good friend Buddy, even though they’d only be separated for about two hours. Embarkation was an absolute breeze and we were on board before eleven. Having not been on a Celebrity ship for two years, I was excited to see what was new and what had changed. And I should have known better because the answer was: absolutely nothing! We were on board the Eclipse, but we’d already cruised on four other ships of the same class and by design they’re all basically the s

Celebrity Eclipse 2018 - Pre-embarkation

It had been two years since our last full family vacation, and two years since we’d flown with the kids. While some things get more challenging as the kids get older, flights just seem to get easier. No one throws up, the level of complaining is proportionate to the length of the journey, and none of the parents have to physically restrain any of the kids for two straight hours anymore. We flew Ottawa to Toronto, then Toronto to Miami, and other than having to inexplicably clear security at Pearson after we’d already done it in Ottawa, the whole thing was pretty painless. Our hotel was just down the way from where we stayed in 2016, near to a park and shops, and a pretty short ride from the port. To keep things simple for dinner, we went to a nearby McDonald’s – which was probably the roughest McDonald’s I've ever been to: multiple homeless guys (one with no legs), a special needs dude trying to sell a flower to customers in line, an active squad car across the street. I don