This post is in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, but opinions expressed are my own.
This past weekend, I returned from my first ever momcation – a trip I decided to take on a whim. With my bags packed with all of my essentials, I set sail with my mom and two aunts on the Carnival Conquest for a nearly week long trip across the Caribbean. This was my second Carnival cruise, and let’s just say, the staff did NOT disappoint! Here are four things I absolutely loved about my momcation with Carnival Cruise Line.
It’s safe to say we didn’t go hungry on our cruise. There was basically food EVERYWHERE, ALL DAY! And I got to sit down and eat EVERY SINGLE MEAL. That alone was like vacation.
I’m blaming my pregnancy weight gain on Carnival. From huge buffets at breakfast and lunch to three course dinners, I’m probably going to scare myself at my next OB visit when I step on the scale. But, oh well! It was totally worth it. I discovered Eggs Benedict at breakfast (um, what have I been doing with my life?! This stuff is amazing), and at dinner, I had the BEST crab cakes I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously, sooo good! Oh, and the dessert…I mean…where do I even start? Chocolate melting cake, creme brulee, baked Alaska, etc.? We didn’t have a bad dessert or meal!
On board, they surprised us with a private tour of the kitchen, where they serve 1500 meals in 45 MINUTES! Can you even imagine?! Our dinner staff treated us like gold, and not to mention, did some hilarious and cute dinnertime dancing/singing for us nearly every night, too.
I don’t know about you, but I’m disappointed by poor customer service on a regular basis – from grumpy cashiers to rude coffee shop workers. I don’t know what happened to great customer service, but it seems that Carnival hasn’t let this slip into a thing of the past.
Every single day, we were greeted by smiles and “Hello, Whitney, Debbie, Julie and Mary,” by our stateroom steward and our dining staff. They truly made us feel at home, and every day, our steward delivered fresh towels, tidied our space, made our beds in the morning, turned down the covers for us before we arrived at night…and even made us laugh with fun towel animals – including a monkey swinging from the ceiling one night, ha! I mean, having someone make MY bed and turn down the covers was a dream in an of itself!
The views and relaxation
There’s something about being on board a cruise ship that makes me sleep like a baby! It must be the gentle swaying of the ocean waves that rock me to sleep, or the fact that I know I’m going to wake up to views of ocean as far as I can see. Whatever it is, I was SO well-rested on board.
We’d go to bed early (before 10 p.m. most nights) and wake up around 7 a.m. to get our workout/walk in on the top deck with a fresh ocean breeze and breathtaking views. Talk about a great start to the day!
If we were on board for a day at sea, we’d grab pool chairs and layout in the sunshine near a salt water pool while reading and listening to Carribean music from a nearby performer. We made stops in Nassau (Bahamas), Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos) and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).
The most relaxing stop was in Half Moon Cay, where we rented rafts and literally floated out into the clear blue ocean for most of the day. I got super fried in the sun, but it was so worth it for the views and the relaxation! Seriously unlike any other experience I’ve had on vacation.
Who says you can’t have fun when you’re pregnant? We tapped into our adventurous side and tried out the on board water slide, and went ziplining over the huge pool in Amber Cove (twice!). It was so fun! We also got some quality shopping done in Nassau, and taste tested the famous Tortuga rum cakes (and may have brought back a couple of cakes!).
A couple of evenings, after our bellies were sufficiently stuffed at dinner, we’d catch a movie near the pool on the big screen located on the upper deck. I never make time to watch movies anymore, and I was so excited to finally get to see The Greatest Showman on board. So good! There were also plenty of performances to catch every night, like comedy shows, piano bar singing, casino games, live music as well as on board shopping.
We laughed too much, ate too much, and slept too much. And that – in my opinion – is what vacation is all about. Thanks to Carnival for making my momcation one to remember. It will likely be the last true vacation I take for a while with baby #2 on the way!
Now, I’m attempting to settle back into my Midwest reality – without three course dinners, laying out all day, and stunning ocean views. To be honest, leaving for a whole week was really hard. I battled a LOT of momguilt and missed my family so much. But, being apart gave us space to miss one another and find gratitude for the little moments.
I’m back and feeling super recharged and grateful I had the support of my husband and family to go on this trip. And if you’ve read this far, I hope you’ll take this as a sign that you need to make time for yourself, too…with a momcation or otherwise.
I’ll be looking forward to my next momcation way off on the horizon! Until next time, Carnival.
PS: To see videos and more snippets of my Carnival experience, visit my Instagram and click on the Momcation icon in my story highlights. You don’t want to miss the sweet reunion with my boys at the airport (tears!).