Our family of nine heads off for a week of Caribbean fun on the NCL Breakaway

Tomorrow is the big day. Nine of us – two moms, one dad, five children and me (Nona Cindy) – will board the NCL Breakaway in Miami for our first family cruise.

The reason we have decided to do this is that my husband – Grandpa Chet – passed away unexpectedly in early May. This particular seven days, the last week of July, is the week that my daughters and their families flew in from San Diego and Boston each year to spend a week with us in Boyne City, Michigan, near Lake Charlevoix.

But we knew it would not be the same without Grandpa there so we (well, me really) decided we would do something totally different and begin creating new memories. My treat! I connected up with Paru at Cruise Vacation Outlet and gave her the date, number of people and ages. She came right back with the recommendation that we sail on the Breakaway to the Western Caribbean. Their summer program offered lots of inclusions, such as alcohol and specialty restaurant packages, that would make the trip more economical.

For me, this will be a big change. I have been on well over 50 cruises. However, Chet and I typically sailed on small ships, under 1,000 passengers, and usually even smaller. So spending a week on a 4,000-passenger mega-ship with the grands will be eye-opening for me and surely give me a lot to write about.

My daughters, Jen and Amy, jumped into the planning of meals, shore excursions and entertainment. It was nice to leave it up to them. The children – Vivian, age 18; Cynthia and Dominic, age 15; Seely, age 11, and Violet, age 9 – are ready to try every activity. I found some of this planning to be extremely confusing so I hope to be able to clarify that for all of you as the week progresses.

Of course, I hope weather cooperates and we can do all the activities we have planned. We will be zip-lining, snorkeling, sailing, and exploring some historic sites on the western coast of Mexico. Our itinerary includes two full days at sea which should provide plenty of time for fun (or naps, if that is your preference).

So let the fun begin!

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