So one of us (probably me) mentioned a cruise. Cruises are pretty inexpensive, just about everything is included (we don't drink/gamble so that is not an issue for cost), and they have kids programs! Just one little problem--Simon wouldn't be 2 yet (still looking at early spring at this point), and Carnival, the most affordable cruise line, starts kids programs at 2. (the rest start at 3, with the exception of NCL--2, and Disney--12 weeks) So we moved our searching forward to after Simon would turn 2.
If you have ever tried to research cruise lines, individual ships, rooms, amenities, travel distance, terminals, requirements, etc., you will understand the frustration I faced over the next couple of weeks. The best piece of advice I have? Networking! Seriously, if you don't have a Twitter account--get one. The people on Twitter that know cruises, plan cruises, and go on cruises are amazing. I had so much advice pouring out to me just on Twitter.
If you want a list of the awesome people that helped me most from Twitter during my researching here they are:
But Twitter isn't where I stopped. The best sites I found for research were:
Cruise Critic especially the forums!
Cruise Deck Plans which you might not think is useful, until you realize that the room you want to book is right above/below a bar/dance club/pool deck.
Cruise Advice which has a section for best cabins/deck, to help you find where the best rooms are
I also spent a ton of time on the websites for Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line. There's tons more cruise lines, but those all have kids clubs that start at 2 or younger. Yes, there are other, much more expensive options (like Cunard, who has on-board nannies for children 12 months and up) that handle little ones, but...you know...budget and all.
After discussing it, we decided that yes, a cruise is a viable option. Now....how on earth would we choose one?!