IT STARTS WITH A LETTER

If you have read my blogs you will know about the trip we took to the Mediterranean. I wrote a letter to the cruise lines and told them about my daughters and about my dancer, Lisa. We were treated like royalty on that cruise and it is something we will never forget.                                                                                                                              Another cruise, another letter. We were able to take a cruise in Oct. We sailed on Carnival to Ensenada and Catalina. We have taken this trip many times but it is both affordable and fun for the girls, so we decided to make that our fall trip.

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I wrote a letter to Carnival Cruise Lines and got a response the next day. The person who I corresponded with just happened to have a son who is Down Syndrome. He was excited to make our trip one we would remember for a long time.                                                        We arrived on board and found treats in our rooms. Enough waters to last 2 weeks and more everyday. You do know bottled water on a ship is not cheap. There were Carnival souvenirs and some fun snacks. Bar credits, room credits, free photos, free wifi and a free excursion.

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The girls got to meet and hang with the dancers. Lisa was chosen to dance in the Atrium, along with other lucky cruisers and she also danced on stage. The girls were sung to, danced with and treated with enthusiasm. We also got a back stage tour of the theater. Those dancer have very little space and very little time to change for each part of their shows.

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It was a wonderful 4 days and we plan on going again this Oct.

Here are a couple things to do on this cruise and port activities

Catalina is always fun. The shops are fun to explore and you can buy a shirt for under $10. Always have to have a shirt, right!

Rent a golf cart and ride around the island. Fairly inexpensive and a whole lot fun.

Parasail You have to parasail. Don’t leave it until you 70 like I did. One of the funnest things I have ever done. So beautiful and serene as you float through the air. We used Island Water Charters and they were wonderful. Super nice employees and very helpful. The 2 men on the boat were very good at their job and made everyone feel safe and comfortable.

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Ensenada is Mexico and you can expect some fun but remember where you are and don’t let the aggressive salesman or the children begging put you off. It’s their country and they have the right to do what they want. Just don’t encourage either action.

La Bufadora, the Blow Hole. Apparently one of 3 in the world, but don’t quote me. Its a fun place to go. Shopping, food and at the end of the street the famous Blow Hole. Hopefully it will spray while your there. You might get wet because it can go 100ft in the air.

 Zoologico Parque del Nino, Ensenada Zoo This is a new adventure on Carnival Cruise lines and it is a must, especially if you have families. Because it was Oct and all the children were in school our small excursion were the only ones there. This is an amazing park. It was spotless and the animals were all clean and well cared for. There were 2 large swimming pools, a kiddie pool, paddle boats, 2 big parks and hundreds of concrete picnic tables and benches. Shade, trees and a very pleasant experience. We will definitely visit again. The ice cream was good too!

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Things to do on the ship. These short cruises don’t always have lots of activities but you can have lots of fun. There is Trivia, St Jude charity on Lido Deck, dancing Lido deck, swim, water slides, eat, eat, eat, contest on Lido deck, bingo, game show, dance contest, Atrium fun, and the evening shows. And of course get your picture taken every time you go around a corner, get off or on the ship and while you eat.

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If you have a child or adult with disabilities make sure you write the cruise lines ahead of time especially if you need special assistance. This is true for all cruise lines. It’s much easier if they know before you arrive. Many of the cruise lines have special needs programs and crew that are specially trained. You must write ahead of time to get the specifics and reserve the special programs.

Shortly after my divorce  I cruised with about 20 family members from my family and my sisters family. One of my daughters was around 5 and not potty trained. The kids club would not take her even though I assured them they wouldn’t have to change her or anything. I desperately needed a break and was very disappointed. They told  me they didn’t have to follow the discrimination laws because they weren’t an American ship. I am so thankful that the cruise lines have seen the need and are now filling that need. Just make sure you plan ahead for this.

Happy cruising!

 

 

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