Vacation. I know as I get older that word has become a favourite. Our family loves to travel and though my husband and I have done a fair amount of traveling over the years through work, I love showing our two boys new places and new adventures.
This past February we moved to Ottawa after living in Washington, DC for twenty years. Not the smartest time of year to make the transition but when my husband was transferred in December, we decided for various reasons to move after Christmas.that it would be best to have the boys spend their half year adjustment in the latter part of a school year. Though I had lived in Ottawa over twenty years ago, I don’t think I fully appreciated how incredibly cold this city can be in the middle of winter. Needless to say three weeks after our arrival, I was desperate to find warmth, palm trees and sand.
After much last minute searching on the internet, we realized there were not a lot of options. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for many other vacationers, carnival cruise lines was going through a massive PR campaign given the problems with a couple of their cruise ships off Alabama and Florida. Suddenly a last minute cruise to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands for a family of four became incredibly affordable. Did you ever get a last minute bargain and you can’t help feeling you just won the lottery?
So we set off for Miami to board our Carnival Victory cruise. First impressions weren’t great, loud music, lots of fatty food everywhere and more beverages with umbrellas in every shaped glass then I thought possible. Once we were inside our room we were pleasant surprised, a lovely balcony and far more space then we had imagined. The formal dining room and waiting staff were amazing, and the food was much better then I anticipated. The best part of the cruise were the day trips. In Jamaica we went ziplining and river cruising, and stopped at a shake in the middle of nowhere to have the best jerk chicken I have evr tasted. We opted not to see the falls, or to rest on the beach, I think a proper Jamaican vacation would have us do both of those but one day is not enough.
Our second land day was at Cayman Island, a truly beautiful place. We went cycling, kayaking and snorkeling in the beautiful water just off the Governor’s beachside residence. This was one of the best days our family has ever spent doing various activities and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Yes Cayman is expensive but it so beautiful and I would recommend spending some time on this beautiful island. Getting back on the cruise ship was not a treat after Cayman but by our fourth day we knew what to expect and we were thankful for being able to have had the chance to have the time and the means to head south during the midst of winter. As for our next vacation, Hawaii? Belize? Recommendations welcomed.