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Hello from Barbados!

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I am currently on the Cabot Celebrity Summit cruise. Each year, Cabot Coop takes about 40 – 50 community-oriented volunteers and treats them to a week-long cruise. Most of the ‘Community Celebrities’ give so much of their own time and money away that they rarely have a chance to treat themselves. It’s really an amazing chance for these inspiring people to relax, connect, and brainstorm new ways to help others. (And YES – if you volunteer in your community in any way, shape, or form, you should totally apply to go on the next cruise!)

 

I’m on the trip in a hybrid staff/media capacity. I’ll be sharing some of the Celebrities stories with you on HTP and Operation Beautiful, and I’m also working with the Celebrities to teach them some new social media tricks. For example, I co-hosted a seminar yesterday on how non-profits can utilize social media to spread awareness, attract volunteers, and fundraise.

 

It’s a *real* treat to be here, not only because the Cabot staff rocks, and the Community Celebrities are so awesome (they really have got my gears turning about new projects and endeavors for Operation Beautiful), but also because – well – I’M ON A FREAKING CRUISE!!! Woo to the hoo.  I have never been on a cruise before, and it’s ahhhhh-mazing. We may become one of those families that forgoes regular travel and only cruises from here on out. It’s great.

 

But here’s the most wonderful part of all – Cabot let me bring the Husband, Henry, AND my mother-in-law.  I actually managed to keep my MIL’s involvement a secret from Kristien until we met up in Puerto Rico – he was SO surprised and happy to see his mom!  We are really enjoying the time together. It’s truly been very special for us four, and I feel so grateful for the experience.

 

Here are some highlights thus far!

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I wish I could take a slice of the warmth and sun and send it to all of you!

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I didn’t even tell Henry that Nana was coming because I was terrified he’d spill the beans to the Husband.  He’s so good at talking now!  The surprise was nice for Henry, too. He was super excited to see his grandma. <3

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I ran 2.0 miles on the treadmill while the ship was at sea – oh my goodness. So challenging! I rocked back and forth the entire time.

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The ship is loaded with fun things to do, but Henry isn’t allowed in the pool because of potty training…

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… But that’s okay because it turns out he loves the beach!  The few times he’s been before, he wasn’t a fan, but apparently, he likes the beach when it’s in the Caribbean.  Who doesn’t, Henry? :)

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Oh – the food. THE FOOD. So much food. And it’s sooooo good.

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A few of the Celebs chatting it up – they gave everyone wonderful sashes to wear around the ship so the other cruisers can find out about all their inspiring work.  It’s a nice conversation starter.

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Two of the Community Celebrities huggin’ it out with the Cabot CEO, who is a really nice guy.

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I’m already thinking things like, “I don’t want to ever go home!”  I may take up permanent residency on this ship.

 

Are you a fan of cruises?  Which line or boat is your favorite and why?

{ 28 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Diana Griffith January 13, 2014, 3:23 pm

    How exciting for you!

    I have been on two cruises in my life (most recently last year for my anniversary). They are the perfect type of vacation for when you want to get away but want to do no planning in the process. We had so much fun and it was only a weekend trip. Now I’m dreaming of Caribbean beaches.

    Reply
  • Danielle January 13, 2014, 3:45 pm

    I was on Celebrity Summit this past Christmas, small world :) Make sure to ask the bread guy for gluten free toast, he’ll take care of you!

    Reply
  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 13, 2014, 3:57 pm

    So cool! Have a great time with your family :)

    Reply
  • leatitia January 13, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I’m thinking of going on a cruise with my (by then omg!) 3 year old boy and I was wondering… do you feel the ship rocking? I get incredibly sea sick. When I’m on a chair with wheels, if my feet on in the air and someone pushes it, I get dizzy.

    So I think, not a good idea?

    Reply
    • Megan January 14, 2014, 1:54 pm

      Never been on a cruise- have one coming up in June- but I personally don’t know if I’d wan my first cruise to be with a toddler in tow. It kind of freaks me out. Probably irrational.

      Reply
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 13, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I love cruises! I haven’t been on one in many years but they are so much fun! I want to plan another one soon so that I can take my husband. He has never been!

    Reply
  • Rachel January 13, 2014, 4:30 pm

    I LOVE cruises! I was skeptical of them, but once I went on my first one I was hooked. As much as I love exploring and doing my own thing, there is something to be said for just relaxing as a boat carries you through the ocean from island to island. Have an amazing time, it looks gorgeous!

    Reply
  • Hollie January 13, 2014, 4:34 pm

    Glad you are having a good time! My favorite vacations are cruises because of the unlimited food and access to booze as well as the option to visit several different places versus hanging out at one location the entire time.

    Reply
  • Liz January 13, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Huge fan of cruising! I’m taking my 7th in February and my 8th in April. I’ve done both NCL & Carnival so far and I prefer NCL. Have a terrific time!

    Reply
  • Alex January 13, 2014, 4:53 pm

    I interned last year at Norwegian Cruise Line and its a really great company with some awesome new ships out. I’d definitelly recommend!

    Reply
  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health January 13, 2014, 5:31 pm

    You SO deserve the cruise with your loved ones, have fun hun :)

    Reply
  • Lauren @ Peaks and Passports January 13, 2014, 5:32 pm

    I love cruises too! One of the great things about them is that I really think there’s a cruise for any age range, vacation preference, etc. The most crazy-fun trip I took in college was a Spring Break cruise with Carnival, and the best trip of my (more) adult life has been a SilverSea cruise to the Greek Isles with my family. Talk about the ultimate “I don’t want to ever go home” experience!

    Reply
  • Jack Sh*t January 13, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you suck!

    Just kidding; I’M JUST SUPER JEALOUS, OKAY?

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties January 13, 2014, 6:59 pm

    How fun!!! So awesome that you got to take the family, too :) Have a great time!

    Reply
  • Maria January 13, 2014, 8:04 pm

    I’ve only been on one my entire life and it was 13 years ago! I’m a big fan of all-inclusives. It’s fun to visit lots of different places in one trip, but sometimes staying put in one place with all you can eat and drink is nice too :-)

    Reply
  • Rebecca January 13, 2014, 9:31 pm

    I’ve only been on dinner cruises–one in Alaska (getting to see whales and sea lions along the way was awesome) and one in Chicago (Cha-Cha or Electric Slide with youth group and random other passengers was fun.). Never been on a vacation cruise for the week or whatever. I think I’d enjoy it depending on the cruise line and the activities and who I went with.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip! :)

    Reply
  • Nicole January 13, 2014, 11:03 pm

    I miss you!!! Glad you’re having fun.

    Reply
  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 14, 2014, 6:56 am

    What a wonderful thing they are doing for all of these incredible people! It must be so inspiring to be around all of them!

    We went to Barbados on our honeymoon. If they give you enough time for a shore excursion, I would highly recommend the Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but you can walk around and many of the animals are loose. Lots of turtles and, if you get there at feeding time, green monkeys! http://www.barbados.org/reserve.htm

    Enjoy your working vacation!

    Reply
  • Megan (The Lyons' Share) January 14, 2014, 10:25 am

    This looks amazing and I’m so glad you’re getting this fun opportunity! I love cruises – I used to live in Miami, and my husband and I would try to take advantage of last-minute deals to hop on board. Such a great way to escape!

    Reply
  • Jessica January 14, 2014, 11:45 am

    My husband and I went on a 7 day Carribbesn cruise last February. I loved every second of that cruise. We go t a room with a balcony. Totally worth the extra money! I totally want to live on a cruise ship now and only want to cruise for vacation. It’s so convenient and luxurious. I love it!

    Reply
  • KSW January 14, 2014, 12:26 pm

    I have been on 6 cruises:
    Two Caribbean (Holland America)
    One Hawaiian (NCL)
    Two Transatlantic ( Cunard and Celebrity)
    One European this past September (NCL again)

    I would highly recommend the Cunard Transatlantic. It goes from NYC to Southampton, England. The difference with Cunard is that they are not “cruise ships” but rather Ocean Liners that are built for crossing the Atlantic. Therefore they are much larger and have really good stabilization systems to keep the trip smooth.

    We were going on a vacation to England and decided to cruise there and fly home. We took the QM2 and it’s so fun. They have afternoon tea every day in the ballroom and they have a full real British Pub on board called the Golden Lion. I think Kristien would really like it. Plus you get to hang out in NYC before and in England at the end (the cruise is 6 days). Win Win situation!

    Reply
  • Jen January 14, 2014, 12:39 pm

    The husband and I just got off our 10th cruise on Sunday. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity (we went to Bermuda on the Summit!) Celebrity is by far our favourite line – I’m already looking into planning our next cruise with them!

    Reply
  • Megan January 14, 2014, 2:01 pm

    Our first cruise is booked for June. We are going with three other couples- one is celebrating their 15 yr anniversary, us our 10th, another couple their 5th, and the last couple just thought it sounded like fun. :) we are going on Royal Caribbean. I’m having fun doing a little shopping here and there for cruise clothes/fancy dresses.

    Do you love it enough to pay for one? I’m hoping that I’m not disappointed in this trip as It will be the most we’ve ever spent on a vacation. Our kids really want to go on one so if we have fun (I’m sure we will!!) then we will probably start saving to go on a family cruise in a few years.

    Those fruit tarts look good!! Were they gluten free? I’d be worried about cross contamination if I had food restrictions on a cruise. I know most of the food is prepared fresh but I imagine there is a main kitchen where most of the cooking is done.

    Reply
  • Susan - Nurse on the Run January 14, 2014, 4:05 pm

    Are those beach pictures right outside the Marriott in San Juan? I was just there for a long weekend and it looks exactly the same! We hung out by the rocks…that part of the beach had the most sun!

    Reply
  • Andrea January 14, 2014, 11:04 pm

    I’ve done two cruises – both Royal carribean, and am planning on a third for my honeymoon. Um, they are AMAZING!! I’m obsessed. You can’t explain it to people that have never been on one…you just have to try it! The service, the food, the decor, the ship, the people, the places you go….all spectacular!! Enjoy – sooo jealous!!

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 15, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Awesome!! I wish I were there too!

    Reply
  • Elisabeth January 16, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I’ve never been on a cruise, but I definitely want to go on one – maybe this year? :D

    Reply
  • katie January 16, 2014, 3:45 pm

    We love cruises. We were just on the summit in Nov for the same islands. St marteen is my happy place!

    Reply