What Lies Beneath Aruba

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Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take ya Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama

Today has had epic proportions, like being in a Beach Boys song while filming an action movie, with a dash of romance.

From facing my deepest fears, to a crazy bus, to a submarine, a dramatic speed boat exit, to tearing away leaving a ship’s Captain waving on the deck and shouting my name, Aruba has it for the most epic day so far on our cruise with Carnival Breeze.

In other words, I pulled and overcame my fear of the deep. Continue reading

Carnival Cruise Lines Funnest Family Episode 5 – singing and voiceovering

IMG_0482Last year we were selected to go on two cruises with Carnival Cruise Lines, and be their funnest family. We had so much fun on board Carnival Sunshine in October, enjoying the ship, the destinations and working with the film crew, and there are now five short funnest family films about cruising as a family, featuring us.

In the last of the five funnest family films from Carnival Sunshine, me and Mr A sing with Seth in the piano bar and fine tune our voice over skills as we look towards our next cruise in the Caribbean… Continue reading

Carnival Cruise Lines Funnest Family Episode 3 – Nightlife!

IMG_0773Last year we were selected to go on two cruises with Carnival Cruise Lines, and be their funnest family. We had so much fun on board Carnival Sunshine in October, enjoying the ship, the destinations and working with the film crew, and there are now five short films about cruising as a family, featuring us. The whole family had an absolute ball at night time…

Film One is here and Film Two here. Film Four and Film Five coming soon. There’s a behind the scenes post of the day the film crew appeared. I’ve answered all the questions I was asked about cruises as a family here. Read more about our adventures in Venice and the sailaway party or have a look through our photo album.. There’s a behind the scenes post of the day the film crew appeared. I’ve answered all the questions I was asked about cruises as a family here. Read more about our adventures in Venice and the sailaway party or have a look through our photo album.

I’m feeling so nostalgic looking back, it really was the trip of a lifetime, but not long until we sail on the incredible Carnival Breeze in the Caribbean.

A family Carnival Cruise holiday – you had just a few questions…

2013-10-251Firstly dear readers, thanks for being so sweet about all our cocktail and sunset laden updates. As you may know, the Alexanders were lucky enough to be chosen as Carnival Cruise Line’s funnest family.

We have just returned from our first cruise, around the Mediterranean on board Carnival Sunshine, for the first 5 days we had a film crew with us which was a real giggle. It was all so utterly amazing I had no idea where to start, however, I know I was unconvinced about cruising before I left, so I thought I would ask my readers and facebook friends to remind me what first timers want to know about cruising. You did not disappoint. Continue reading

What do I need to pack for a Cruise?

It is isn’t long until we head off round the Med with Carnival Cruise Lines on our first voyage as their ambassador family. This is a completely new experience for us, and I’m starting to panic think about what to pack.

Scrapbooks Mine is my blog, but it has always been family tradition to make a holiday scrapbook. You can’t beat a place to stick tickets, postcards, beer mats, flowers and even stray mosquitoes. So a big scrapbook, pens, pencils, glue and sellotape are a must. Beware they can come back to haunt you, here is my Dad embarrassing me from the ‘family scrapbook of Sweden’ in his father of the bride speech at my wedding:

People keep telling me I need some smart dresses for dinner.  I think Carnival Sunshine will have a relaxed and family friendly vibe, it’s not about dinner jackets and ball gowns. But I can see it would be nice to look respectable of an evening, especially for those evenings when the kids are in the Kids’ club. All our summer clothes are pretty worn after a fab summer, time to hit the sales perhaps?

Exercise gear – all inclusive food of this quality definitely requires working out, and although holidays are about relaxation, having a gym and a running track and classes on board makes it really easy.

Travel guides – each stop in port is only a day, so it is important to have an idea what you plan to do. The kids are really enjoying learning about our destinations from the Atlas my Dad gave them. The boat will sail without you if you are late, so I think for some stops we will make the most of Carnival’s excursions. Mr A wants to see the Colosseum in Rome, I want to see the Acropolis in Greece. It will be nice to just potter by the coast in some of the stops I think.

Toys and Games there is absolutely loads to enjoy and do on board for children, we’ll be going to the theatre, making the most of kids club, swimming, watching films and taking on the arcades. But you can’t beat a bit of familiar play stuff for little kids, especially at mealtimes and chilling out times. I’d like us to enjoy whiling away the days at sea together, and taking siestas.

We love Dobble and Storyonics as portable games families can play easily together. Lego is the perfect transportable miniature playworld. Activity books, pen and paper.  A tablet with apps and favourite cartoons too.

Essentials Obviously passports, money, cards, E111 cards and travel insurance. If you are looking for insurance, Debenhams have a kids go free offer: Family Travel Insurance from Debenhams Personal Finance

Any other suggestions gratefully received!

The Dover Adventure: Carnival cruises, Castles and much, much more

Carnival Cruises kindly invited us to come and tour a ship, ahead of our first cruise in October. It was a chance to meet the film crew we will be working with, familiarise ourselves with a cruise ship and start to plan for our next adventure. It was also a chance for a mini holiday in Kent, we saw some amazing sights. Continue reading

Switch on the Fun: The Alexanders are Carnival Cruise Lines’ funnest family

Carnival Cruise Lines have selected us to be their fun ambassadors. That is how we reacted. Then it sank in… This means a tough few weeks, all hands on deck, thoroughly testing out the fun factor of their cruise ships. It’s not a holiday of course, have you seen how gigantic and fun packed those ships are? Plus Carnival just spent 100 million on making Carnival Sunshine even more fun. Meaning even more ‘work’ for us. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.

I quote from the press release:

The family’s adventurous nature, good humour and travel experience will be put to good use trying out every aspect of life on board a Carnival cruise.

Reading between the lines you can see they intend to make us work hard at this fun. Carnival gave us a long list of things to test and rate, some of the most desirable locations in the world, the delicious cuisine, the luxury spa, the EA sports bar, award winning comedy, The Hasbro Game Show, the kid’s club, the pool, the waterworks, West End standard shows. Frankly I think we are going to have our work cut out with all this fun.

Fortunately we’re no lily livered land lubbers and are quite accustomed to life on board a ship. I think with our newly purchased cruise attire we’re going to blend in perfectly with life on board. That or Carnival Sunshine won’t know what’s hit it.

Shall we plan a stop to pick you up? Barcelona? Venice? Sicily? Rome? Marseilles? Athens?

Joking aside, we’re absolutely over the moon about this chance to take our kids around the world, I can’t imagine a more painless way to take a 4 and a 6 year old to sightseeing around Europe, and further afield. We’ll be visiting Carnival Sunshine next week in Dover and doing a bit of a rekkie. Later this year we’ll be embarking on a cruise on board the newly revamped Carnival Sunshine, around the Mediterranean, taking in the amazing sights of Greece, Croatia, Italy, France and Spain.

Our second cruise will be to the Caribbean, onboard the Carnival Breeze, where we can fully indulge our love of all things piratey.

We’re excited about having some time together as a family, and perhaps as a couple, as I think the kids are going to love the kid’s club. Mr A has worked in video games all his working life so I think he will be well placed to test the EA sports bar and the Hasbro Game Show. I’m excited about the shows, the spa and the international cuisine, I also fancy trying out the running track, running at sea, mad right!

The kids are looking forward to all a boat has to offer, especially the swimming and waterworks. We’ve not quite managed to communicate how big a cruise ship is, the River Trent doesn’t offer many big boats:

L: Is it bigger than that one Mummy?.

Me: Lots, it’s like a hotel, a leisure centre, a kid’s club, a disco, a theatre, lots of cafes and pubs, on a boat.

L: All on the same boat?

Me: All on the same boat.

L: That’s big.

Me: Huge.

Follow our antics over on Carnival’s facebook page!

About Carnival

Carnival is “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®” with 24 ships operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, NewEngland, Europe, Panama Canal, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Norway, the Baltic and the British Isles. The company’s 25th ship, the Carnival Vista, a 135,000-ton vessel, is scheduled for delivery in winter 2016. www.carnival.co.uk