Meet Brianne! Once a fashion showroom owner, she is now a super mom and author of Stroller in the City. Brianne lives in NYC (how cool?) with her husband Jason and her three little inspirations, Ryder (6), Siella (3) and Gemma (2). Her blog boasts about city living, kids fashion and all things that are mommy. In her own words – “Being a mom doesn’t mean you need to lose sight of the cool stuff” – We couldn’t agree more!
Brianne recently left the Big Apple for a week to cruise around the Bahamas with her gorgeous family. Aside from being completely envious 😉 we were instantly excited, intruigued, and needed to know more..
☆ Tell us about your last adventure?
Our latest vacation was just before Thanksgiving, we went on a cruise to the Bahamas on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem. We sailed down the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic for 7 whole days, stopping in ports in Florida and the Bahamas.
☆ What made you decide to go on a cruise?
I have to say, initially I was a bit skeptical about the idea of cruising as visions of the Titanic movie riddled my brain, but having witnessed so many cruise ships packed with cheering families leave the harbor from my living room window, I thought it would be a fun adventure for all of us. We loved the idea of practically hopping right onto a vacation without having to go far. The cruise left from NYC which was a great perk for us not having to fly. Starting our vacation after a cab ride only a few blocks from our apartment was a refreshing alternative to the hours spent on security lines at airports, before lengthy flights with fussy children.
☆ How was the accommodation on board?
Our family of five had plenty of space in two adjoining rooms, making ship life a bit more manageable and considering most ship cabins are on the small side, compared to a regular hotel on land. Not to mention, it helped with Gemma’s naps.
☆ Can you tell us about a memorable experience whilst on board?
Sure, there were plenty of memorable experiences while on board!
Each port brought a new adventure, with beaches and activities that we had never experienced, and I feel that the kids grew up a little bit over the week, with the freedom of pouring their own soft serve ice cream cones, and paying for juice with an individual personalized key card.
☆ How did you find the staff on board the ship?
One thing that I was completely intrigued with was the super hard working staff on the ship. They run a very “tight ship” which is the saying that now holds way more meaning with me. Each employee had their specific job assignments, from waiters, to porters, to the staff who stand in the doorways holding hand sanitizer for the guests to wash their hands.
I was surprised at the way some of the staff lit up when they saw Gemma wobbling down the corridors. What I soon learned was that the employees, from countries all over the world, are contracted to the ship for 8 to 10 months at a time. In that stretch, they work seven days a week, and then fly back homes for only about 2 months, prior to setting out on their next tour. There were plenty more stories of them leaving their three month old and coming home when they are over a year old. While telling their tales and holding my baby in their arms, it would sometimes bring tears to their eyes.
Ryder took a huge liking to one steward, Owen, and he spent plenty of mornings and evenings chatting it up in the hallways and cabin. Each night we would come back from dinner, and we were greeted by fun animals and creatures made from towels, with chocolate mint garnishes. Ryder kept his chocolate stash the entire week, and some even made it into his bag to bring home.
☆ Can you give us some highlights from the port destinations you stopped off at?
Some of the highlights from the week came in the form of warm Caribbean air and turquoise waters of the Bahamas. In Freeport, we made our way to a beautiful beach called Paradise Cove Deadmans Reef, where we gathered lovely seashells, while snorkeling in the glass-like water.
The next day, I was super excited to visit Nassau, home of Atlantis, which has been on my bucket list for quite sometime.
Even with lackluster weather, we still experienced the famed Dig and the huge Aquarium which blew the kids’ minds, as well as the big waterside park.
Every port we stopped at had a bunch of activities planned and transportation just waiting for you.
☆ Would you recommend a cruise to other parents and if so why?
Yes, absolutely. My children were in awe the entire time and loved being on the ship as well as seeing the sea creatures at our destination stops. The trip was definitely an adventure! It was a nice break before heading into the hectic holiday season, and a treat to sneak in a few days of warmer weather, before we welcome 20 degrees in NYC. Jason and I really enjoyed spending the week with our kids, because watching them experience new things for the first time is something we live for.
☆ What local delicacies did you try and would you recommend others to try them?
We ate on the ship most of time which offered a wide range of family dining options including three main dining rooms with buffet, casual cafes, grills and grab-and-go choices. Dining can be as fun or fine as you want with Steakhouse, French Gourmet, Asian Fusion, Churrascaria, Italian and Teppanyaki options all available.
☆ Your best ‘easy wear’ holiday attire and why?
Oh my absolute fave attire to wear on vacations are long flowy dresses!
☆ Best phrase of the holiday and why?
“Everything is better in the sun!”
☆ What advice would you give to other mums to encourage them to ‘Journey Well’ with, or without their children?
I think the thought about having to travel with children can scare some people. But I think as long you plan ahead, whether it be packing lots of snacks for the airplane ride, or bringing along activities to keep them entertained during travel time can help tremendously!
Thank you Brianne – you’ve sold the idea of a cruise to us and our children just love the thought of being little pirates off on a new adventure
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