(Part 1 of a 2 post series)
This summer has just flown by. My son is now in the third grade and my daughter is 14 months. She’s growing and learning everyday. Some days it seems she’s almost a carbon copy of my son at the same age. They are so much alike, but so different too.
Just a couple of weeks ago we left for our summer vacation on a Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean. Our stops were Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Costa Maya. We’ve wanted to visit Mexico for such a long time and we’re so excited to finally get to go. We had pretty good weather most of the trip thanks to our wonderful Captain. We skipped stopping in Belize to avoid a storm and somehow our Captain seemed to sail around the storm on our whole cruise.
Having kids with such a large age gap means there’s not a lot of things we can do as a family that can entertain everyone. That’s why I love cruising with Carnival. They have a kids camp and even babysitting for the little ones, so if you need some time away from the kids, it’s not a problem.
I kind of have a hard time separating from my kids though, especially my young daughter. It gives me such anxiety, so we didn’t take advantage of any of the babysitting services. My 8 year old son though really enjoyed Camp Ocean.
This is us on the first day. I love to get on the ship early and hang out on the bow. It’s always so peaceful and quiet and you can enjoy the scenery. (That’s also our favorite seat on our family’s little Bayliner too!)
Here’s the view at Port Canaveral.
At Camp Ocean the kids are able to play games, hang out with other kids and do lots of fun activities. This year, because of his age, he was the oldest kid in his group and didn’t have quite as much fun as he has had in years past. He really wanted to be with the older kids playing video games, but he wasn’t quite old enough. Although he still had fun.
Our first day on the cruise was a sea day. We had a blast exploring the ship. The lobby looking up at the water slides is so pretty!
We also couldn’t resist the water slides. The only downside of having an under 2 year old and an older child is the older one wans to do water slides nonstop, and there’s really no where for babies to play in water except the puddles on the deck. If I could add one thing to the Carnival Magic it would be to add an under 2 only splash zone.
There are two large pools though for the big kids. My son had a blast in them.
Even though my son didn’t hang out at Camp Ocean everyday, there was still plenty more to do on the ship. There were several shows we attended that he liked. There was a comedian on the last day that completely cracked us all up. He really knew how to do family comedy and not in that cheesy way. He was really awesome! There was also a reading and game room we hung out in pretty often. It was so nice to get away in a quiet place and play some board games.
Oh and did I mention there’s an outdoor gym with an incredible view. basketball courts, and a track to walk or run on. My husband and son loved the obstacle course. They did it several times. There’s really no reason to not work off all those extra calories you’ll be consuming!
I think his favorite hangout was the arcade. There were lots of games for him to enjoy. He even won a few minecraft toys in the claw machine!
He even won a few minecraft toys in the claw machine!
I always look forward to the food onboard. On the Lido deck there’s Guy’s Burger Joint that has the juiciest burgers and an amazing toppings bar. And the Blue Iguana Cantina serves up the very best breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. They also have great lunch tacos and burritos and also an amazing toppings bar and lots of different hot sauces to try.
Carnival Magic also has Cecina del Capitano, the onboard Italian restaurant that also has a complimentary pasta lunch. We went there on tone of the sea days and it was incredible. You can choose what type of pasta you like, which sauce and all the add-ins too.
When we weren’t exploring the ship, we were relaxing in the room and enjoying the view on our balcony. Did you know you can now order bottled water by the case to be delivered to your room for a very reasonable price (about the same as the grocery store). So no need to lug on case after case of bottled water for the family anymore!
We enjoyed fresh fruit in our room, cheese and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries with freshly baked cookies. It was wonderful.
Our first port was Costa Maya. We were so excited to see Mayan ruins for the first time. It was a great history lesson for our son and us too! We visited the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins. They kept warning us about the bugs and heat but honestly my backyard is way way worse. It was actually very comfortable walking around. Most of the area is shaded and there’s also monkeys rooming the trees. The kids loves that!
Here’s Lilly burning off some energy.
There’s several ruins here that you can climb and check out. It was amazing!
We did the excursion through Carnival. I like doing my excursions through them better. It’s easy to book online and you don’t have to worry in case the ship can’t port because Carnival will definitely refund your money.
The kids did get hot and agitated by the end of the tour, but once we reached the gift shop and I let my son buy his very own obsidian dagger and my daughter look at all the pretties, everything was fine.
The next day we were at Mahogany Bay. It was so beautiful and relaxing. Here all you have to do is get off the ship and walk to the beach, grab a lounge chair and order a cocktail. The views are perfect. This may be my favorite port yet.
You can even take a relaxing ski chair lift to the beach, or take a relaxing nature walk to the beach.
We opted for the walk. It was so serene.
There’s a couple of places where you can sit and enjoy the views under shade. So nice.
There’s more to do if you like. My husband and son did one of those water bikes and saw a huge sea turtle. They didn’t take the phone though because they were afraid it would get wet. I wish we could have seen it. Lilly and I were napping under a palm tree, and eating fruit loops.
We did so much more fun things, and ate so much more amazing foods, plus breakfast with Dr. Suess! I’ll be sharing those in a post coming later this week!
All pictures were taken with my iPhone.
Thanks to Carnival for having us for the week! The cruise tickets were complimentary, but we picked up the tab for all the extras. All opinions 100% mine.