First Time Cruising Since Covid (2020)

First Family Vacation of The Summer!

What a better way than to start the summer vacation off with a five day cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island, right? well, that’s just what we did this year to celebrate more than just the summers’ arrival. This year, my baby girl completed elementary school, not only ending her 5th grade year with honors, but receiving accolades in Math. It was also, Memorial day when we set sail, and of course this was a perfect grab seeing that it was 3 days after school let out.

Even with our skepticism about cruising due to all the Covid madness that’s been happening, we felt a little more at ease with our family being vaccinated (except my littlest one of course). Of course, that doesn’t mean too much these days, especially with research findings changing and CDC regulations going back and forth. Nevertheless, we still practice safety precautions like distancing as much as we can when in public, wearing our masks, and most importantly washing and sanitizing hands and things we use constantly.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are some highlights and other feedback from our Memorial weekend/Summer family cruise kick off:

Here we go! from left to right, there’s me, my boyfriend, (below him) my nephew, my son, (below my son) my youngest daughter, my close friend (I also refer to her as my sister from my Vegas & NYC girls trip posts), and my oldest daughter.

We decided to sail with carnival on their sunrise vessel, out of the Miami Florida port. The port was very easy to find, and the bag drop off experience was super simple. Just drop off your bags in the front with tags (There’s a few gentlemen outside to help, just dont forget to tip), and then loop around one more time to access the parking garage which is right in front of the boarding entrance.

After going through an hour of checking in, taking our badge pictures, final expense set up for the duration of our trip, taking our littlest ones to Covid test again, and then boarding, we made our rounds touring the ship, and finally settling into our rooms. We were beyond exhausted after driving hours from Orlando to Miami, and then going through the process explained, so we didn’t change for dinner, we headed straight there when it was time.

One thing I can say, the service was always great on board, with an exception of room service that is (Maybe they were understaffed as to why it was never on time, or always cancelled after 30 or more minutes of waiting). We loved the ability to dress up, and dine in altogether. Keep in mind, you can order more than one dish just in case you don’t like the one you ordered as your #1 option. Fun day at sea is great for everyone with great food options available, drinks, entertainment on the Lido (pool) deck, and of course the water slides and pool, and splash pads for the little ones.

Tip: Never leave your room card behind. You need to purchase drinks, even though you never really have to. You can opt to drink the water they have from their machines (or ask for ice water from the bar and its free), as well as free orange juice, lemonade, or apple juice. Everything else you’ll be charged for .

One more thing I forgot to mention was the no liquids or ice rule they apparently have. I had to throw away my canteen with ice inside because their TSA wouldn’t let me through even though I emptied it. I thought this was ridiculous and seen others get a bypass, but I decided not to make a fuss.

If nothing else, we definitely, had a great experience in Ocho Rios Jamaica. We climbed Dunns River Falls, and our legs were screaming after. So if you’re not the athletic type, or even able to withstand climbing for at least 45 minutes, then you might want to skip this excursion. You can always sit off to the side until its time to go to the next location, but our beach access was closed off day off, which I felt they should have given us some sort of credit for but once again, I was not in the complaining mood. I wanted to enjoy the time and maybe next time when we try another cruise line, it’ll work out better.

We maybe spent 15 minutes tops at Discovery Bay because a lot was closed for some reason, and there wasn’t much to do after going to the area with the birds and other animals, except swim in their pool which we could do at the comfort of our pool deck. So we headed back and did just that.

We did stop by a restaurant on the way back to the ship, and was really disappointed with the service, the food portions, and the amount of time it took to make. Honestly, I’ve had much much better, right here on U.S soil and at home. I’ll be posting some highlights from our trip on Tiktok, so be sure to follow if you haven’t been already.

Grand Cayman was a bit of a disappointment to be honest as well. I guess I should’ve known that from the looks of the excursion list carnival had available. There was only maybe 3 or 4 options and that was comprised of beach access and dolphin interactive experiences. But for our own experience sake, we still got off the ship which enabled us to experience disembarking by fairy boats because the islands port was too shallow for the ships to dock. The process took really long which cut down our time, but It was all you really needed unless you want to shop in their gift shops and diamond jewelers.

So we took the opportunity to walk down the street and find spots to take pictures, get ice cones, and beat the rain on our way back to the ship. We did enjoy our breakfast together as always, and had the chance to take the kids to the pool area where we joined them on the slides.

On our very last dinner together, we took family pictures after dinner and enjoyed on board entertainment like a Broadway type show called Latin Nights at one of the lounges, and took the little ones to dance at one of the Latin clubs that were open to everyone.

All in all, the trip was great and very much needed, the kids told me they had an amazing time and enjoyed every experience they were able to enjoy on the ship. The last night and a half we were hit by rough seas due to a hurricane brewing in the ocean, so the captain cranked the speed up to get us back home asap. Of course this meant no last pool day and a little spell of sea sickness. I’m just glad that it was at the tail end of the trip and not the beginning or middle.

Until Next time Jae Talks family, I hope you enjoyed, and don’t forget to follow on Tiktok for travel clips and more. Don’t forget to comment on videos, share, and save for your travel reference. #catchmetripping on the next destination! Safe Travels!

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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