Monday, November 23, 2015

Cruising - December 2015 - Carnival Splendor

Thanks to my daughter, I get to go on another cruise!!

In less than 2 weeks, my daughter Cody and I will be boarding the Carnival Splendor for a 7 day cruise.
This will be my 6th cruise, and her 2nd.

The reason we are going on this cruise is because my baby girl is turning 25

Time sure flies. It seems like yesterday she was a little bitty girl. She grew up so fast!!!

She was only a few minutes old here:

She was about 18 months old in this one:

2 and a half:

 4 years old:

Just after her 5th birthday:

She was 7 or 8 here:

About 15 years old:

I think she was around 21 when this was taken:

And a more recent picture:

See how fast she grew up??? And now we are already celebrating 25

How did that happen??

Cody and I had been talking about doing something for her 25th birthday for a while. We both really wanted to do a birthday cruise for her, but when it came down to it I told her I just couldn't afford it.

At the time I was working on paying off my upcoming 50th birthday Disney vacation and I just couldn't spare any money for a cruise.

Cody really wanted to do a cruise so she offered to pay for my flight, cruise and hotel. It didn't take long for me to agree to that deal!

The apple didn't fall far from the tree. It seems my Cody likes to plan whopper vacations just like I do. She made all the choices for this vacation, and I couldn't have planned a better vacation myself.

Here are some of the details of what we will be doing:

She decided she would like to spend a day or two in Miami before the cruise. We both wanted to stay at our favorite Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami, but rooms there were $350.00 a night and that is outrageous. I have stayed there twice before and never paid over $120.00 a night.

We looked around for other hotels in the area and we found there is an art show or something going on in downtown Miami the weekend we will be there, so all of the hotel prices were a bit high.

We found the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay for a reasonable price (for a Marriott) and we booked a room for 2 nights before the cruise.

Pictured below, the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay has red letters across the top:

She picked a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Splendor. Neither of us has been on this ship before, so it will be fun to explore a different ship.

Our ship sails from Miami on Sunday December 6th, 2015

We will visit 4 islands and have 2 sea days.

The islands we will go to are:

  • Half Moon Cay - Carnival's private island in the Bahamas
  • Grand Turk - South of the Bahamas
  • St Thomas - Neither of us has been to this island before
  • San Juan - We haven't been here either

For reference, I marked the locations of the islands in red on this map

We talked about the different types of cabins on the ship (inside, balcony, spa cabin, suite)
 She changed her mind several times, but she finally settled on a cabin at the back of the ship with a huge balcony.

The red arrow is pointing to our balcony in the back corner of the ship:

Here are a few pictures of the inside of the cabin she picked for us. We happened to find these pictures online. (Thank you if you posted these pictures) It was nice to be able to see pictures of the cabin before we booked it:

 Because it's in the back corner of the ship, the room is shaped like a triangle.
The beds will be separated into twin beds for Cody and I - we don't have to share a bed

The brown thing on the bed is a luggage mat. They put that out for you on arrival day so your luggage won't get the bed dirty wile you unpack.

Here is a picture someone posted of the balcony
I can picture us standing at that railing at sailaway time with fruity umbrella drinks in our hands

OOooohhhh! I'm getting pretty excited about this cruise!!

With Tim's help, I have a few things planned to celebrate Cody's birthday on the ship.

For her birthday present, Tim and I are splurging for Cody and I to get spa passes for the week. She really wants to go to the spa, and since we didn't book a spa cabin, we will have to pay for it separately. Thank you to Tim for making that happen for us!

We will be able to go to the spa every day. One of the things I can't wait to do in the spa is to lay in these awesome heated tile lounge chairs.

I also plan to take Cody to the ship Steakhouse on the night of her birthday.

On one of the sea days, they have a Dr Seuss breakfast with green eggs and ham!
We both want to go to that

After the cruise, Cody doesn't think she will be ready to go home yet.

She booked 2 nights for us at Lago Mar resort in Ft Lauderdale.
Fine with me!

I stayed here a few years ago with my friend Christina, and we absolutely loved this place.
Cody wants to see what we have been raving about.

Hopefully we will be well rested after this vacation. Three weeks after we get home we will be loading up and moving to Maryland.

I can't forget Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year will all be somewhere in there too!

Cody did a good job planning out this whole thing, and she worked really hard for over a year to pay for it all.
 I am one lucky Mom to get to enjoy this birthday vacation with her.

I guarantee this will be a birthday she (and I) will never forget!

HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, DARLIN! I can't wait to celebrate with you on the SPLENDOR!

Stay tuned, I will post my usual over-detailed review (with hundreds of pictures) of our birthday adventures at sea.

Sadly, I won't be able to post it until I make the move to Maryland. If you haven't heard about my upcoming move, read THIS.

Most likely I'll post Cody's birthday cruise review sometime toward the end of January.

Meanwhile, if you haven't read about my "disaster cruise" I took last year, you can read about it HERE
That was the cruise I took where I didn't really get along with any of my cruisemates.

You can click HERE to read about my honeymoon cruise with Tim on the Carnival Destiny in May of 2011.

And HERE is my review of my Carnival Victory cruise from 2013.

I promise I'll be back as soon as I can with more tales of the high seas!

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