Our First Family Cruise

Our second son Zachery turned 21 at the beginning of this month. And we have had a Cruise on our Bucket List for so very long so I suggested to our family that we all go on a cruise to celebrate together. Seen as how he doesn’t like to have any fuss made of him I knew a big party was out. And I wasn’t not going to celebrate his 21st Birthday – even though they all live in Sydney and we are currently helping out David’s parents in Bundaberg I was determined that we would be together for his big day.

After all I was in labour for 19 hours with Zachery, and I delivered him after such a crazy car trip into Mackay {yeah its one crazy birth story} and I carried him around in our arms for over 2 years {reflux baby} so I was going to celebrate big time!!! Our First Family Cruise for our second son’s 21st Birthday might become a family tradition for all of our boys – we might have to look at a Cruise for Nicholas! And Cameron and Kyle.

But let me get over this cruise first!

We only had a short cruise to see if we all liked it, and also because its a juggling act with having a Dog, helping to be here for David’s parents and for a business reason – can’t spill the beans on that secret just yet, but hang around cause its going to be a big one!!!

We decided to go from Sydney for our cruise as we have most of our family down that way, and it was way easier going from there then everyone coming up here to Brisbane for it.

I would love to try the Carnival next time – this cruise was with P & O Pacific Jewel – and it was amazing. From the food choices, to the funny entertainment, to the tours on Moreton Island – to the theme nights – to the music – to the drinks – oh yeah it was amazing.

Bucket List Moment ::

From Bundaberg to Sydney! Yep we drove all the way down there to be with our family – David rocks at driving long distances. We left Friday afternoon and tried to stop at the big rest Stop in Ballina New South Wales. David remembers parking the bus there when he bought it up from Storage, but this time it was empty. And when he got out to look at the signs we realised why!

They have shut the Free Rest Stop down at Ballina. And there are so many signs everywhere that you would be crazy to stay there – NO camping, NO sleeping in Vehicles, NO parking over night! And a huge fine for those that are caught. With the rest stop being empty we soon realised that they must have regular inspections so we decided to keep driving until we reached New Italy. We have been to New Italy for lunch ages ago so we realised how clean the toilets were and what a perfect spot for Kyle to have his Bucket List Moment Crossed off.

You see Kyle has always wanted to sleep out side under the stars without any tents, and experience the real world of camping without a sleeping bag etc. So he asked David if they could sleep outside on the mattress together! I wasn’t game enough so I slept in the car with Cameron – I slept in the front seat and we layed the back seat down for him to sleep on it.

Not the best way to sleep but hey it will do for when we have to be somewhere at a certain time/day. And we pulled it off because we got to Sydney in time for dinner with our family.

Sleeping at New Italy New South Wales

KYLE BUCKET LIST MOMENT – SLEEPING OUT UNDER THE STARS

New Italy New South Wales

WAKING UP TO A VERY FOGGY MORNING

We slept for about 6 hours and then woke up early to keep going. But the road was not visible with all of the fog so we had to wait a couple of hours for it clear up enough for it to be safe enough to keep on driving. There are lots of “donation” boxes around New Italy so we dropped in heaps of coins to say thanks for the free camping spot. The toilets are open at the back all of the time, and the place is so very clean so we are happy to support the community in any way possible. If the cafe was open we would have purchased coffee and breaky but at 7.00am it was too early!

We continued onto our oldest son’s Place in Sydney where all of our family was waiting – all of our boys were there and my two brothers/and one of them is engaged to be married so she was also waiting {and came on the cruise with us}.

The Big Banana New South Wales

KYLE AND FLAT STANLEY AT THE BIG BANANA

Along the way I did ask if we could stop at the Big Banana – yeah we have stopped there plenty of times but this time Kyle had “Flat Stanley” with us – all the way from Florida USA so I wanted to stop and show him the big Banana.

Kyle and Flat Stanley at the Big Banana

SO WHICH ONE IS THE MONKEY IN THIS PICTURE

Coffs Harbour The Big Banana

YEAH I RECKON I KNOW WHICH ONE IS THE MONKEY

We were so very happy to get to our oldest son’s place for a BBQ dinner! We had asked him to make Potato Salad without the dressing so that David could make it and we all could eat it {we are mainly gluten free and sugar free}. And I asked for Egg Plant because I don’t eat red meat.

I so should have thought about doing a Birthday Cake for Zachery but I was too tired from being in the car – its basically an 15 hour drive from Bundaberg to Sydney, and thats not stopping for toilet breaks/food breaks!

BBQ DINNER

OUR OLDEST SONS PLACE FOR DINNER CELEBRATIONS

Yeah the white bread is not ours ๐Ÿ™‚

Zach Birthday Dinner

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

We were so excited to be on the Cruise. – I asked David to pinch me cause we have had it on our Bucket List for So very long that it didn’t seem like it was for real. Mind you he pinched me on the way down to Sydney!!! Kyle missed Beauty so much – he said it that much that we had to ask him to stop saying it. And we had to keep reminding him that he was going to see her soon.

All of us had different times to board the Ship – but they let us board together as a family with no issues. After heading to our rooms to see where we were sleeping we headed straight to lunch and then onto the top deck for the “Sail Away Party”

P & O Cruise Pacific Jewel

KYLE WAS SO EXCITED CAUSE HE FINALLY GOT TO SLEEP ON THE TOP BUNK

Cruise Room

THEY EVEN HAD A VIEW FROM THEIR CABIN

Fish and Chips

KYLE GOT HIS FAVORITE MEAL STRAIGHT UP – FISH AND CHIPS

Meals on the Cruise

CAMERON GOT HIS FAVORITE – ROAST MEAT AND VEGGIES

The food choices on board the Cruise was amazing – from Fish n Chips, to Mexican, to Indian, to Roast Meals, to even Pizza/Burgers/Chips and then the deli. There was also a restaurant on board which was on level 7ย which we ate at every night together – and I didn’t think to take one Picture!!!!

Sydney Harbour

WE GOT TO SAY GOODBYE TO SYDNEY AS WE LEFT THE HARBOUR

P & O Pacific Jewel

THE TOP DECK WHERE WE GOT TO CELEBRATE LEAVING SYDNEY

The following pics are from Hayden’s Phone – he took a lot of pics for us with his phone and sent them to me ๐Ÿ™‚

David and I on the P & O Cruise

DAVID AND I FIRST CRUISE

Sail Away Party

THE SAIL AWAY PARTY

Sail Away Party

THATS OUR BOY – UP ON THE BIG SCREEN AS WE LEFT SYDNEY

ย Kyle and Cameron asked for the “Gold Pass” which gave them access to the Flying Fox, Bungy Trampoline, Abseiling, Seg way, Slackline, titanic scene, laser tag and the big Screen. Kyle used the pass to the max while Cameron only used it a few times – luckily it was their Xmas Pressie ๐Ÿ™‚

Loved the Family Cruise

SPENDING TIME WITH MY BOYS WAS SO GOOD

Flying Fox over the P & O Cruise

KYLE GETTING READY TO GO ON THE FLYING FOX

Flying Fox on the Cruise

HE LOVED THE FLYING FOX SO MUCH

We have so much to share about Our First Family Cruise – from what to take on board, what not to take and what is vital!

We are now thinking about having it as a family tradition for each time our boys turn 21!!! I was in hospital with my first son when I was 21 years of age. He was not well and I was really sick so I missed having any celebrations – now I am going to make up for it by partying big time when each of them turn 21 ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our First Family Cruise was so much fun with all of my boys, my two brothers and Karen. Wait to you see which cruises we did on Moreton Island.

** Our oldest son 21st Birthday ***

Have You Been On A Cruise?

Our other Blog Posts about the Cruise –

Sunset on the Pacific Jewel

P And O Cruise Pacific Jewel

Cheers

Lisa

New Life on the Road

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