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Dream Family Vacation

As you may or may not know, our family travels a lot. With a husband from The Bahamas, me being from Southern California, and occasional travels to Europe, we get around. This might sound pretty glamorous to you, but let me break it down for ya.

My husband doesn’t care for travel. He is a basketball player professionally, so his idea of a vacation is to sit, relax, sleep, eat a lot, and watch movies. That’s it. History doesn’t interest him. Sight-seeing doesn’t interest him. Even laying out by the pool doesn’t interest him. Well, he is black, so he doesn’t need a tan.

Then there’s me. I love history. If I could travel the streets of old, where Napoleon walked, where Marie Antoinette lived, where the Romans conquered, I would. I could spend entire days walking and reading about history, discovering new places, and exploring new lands. I’m a little bit of a dreamer. I also like to keep busy, so my idea of a vacation involves a little more than laying around.

Then we have two little guys who couldn’t give a lick about history. They are active and have so much energy it wears me out to even think about it. They want to play, have fun, run, jump, swim, you name it. They want to keep busy & entertained.

Now bundle up us four and try to think of a vacation that works for everyone. It’s hard, right? Just this last Christmas I wanted to travel to Germany, Belgium, Holland, & Luxembourg and I was pretty much the only one. The boys would have been stuck in the car the whole time, Lavar would have been miserable, and I would have felt bad that everyone else was miserable!

Well, I finally have the answer. We need to take a cruise!

I used to work for a cruise line before I got married. I’ve taken a few cruises, but it’s nothing like what they have now. There is literally something for everyone!

Enter Norwegian Cruise Line.


See, my ideal family vacation is where everyone is happy and we are together. Norwegian Cruise Line says “They can do their own thing. Together.”

There are so many reasons why cruising is literally the best vacation option for a family. Especially with Norwegian, as you’ll see when you read on. So I’m gonna break it down for you by person. Then I am going to present it to my husband and just see what happens… Like a proposal. Although after you see his bullet point, I think it’s a shoo-in for our next vacay!

The Kids

Let’s start with the kids program. It’s for all ages, so my 3-year-old can have a blast with activities for his age and my 6-year-old can do his thing too. My kids are very independent and wouldn’t mind being left in the kids place by themselves, but guess what? Parents can join in! They have plenty of family events for everyone to enjoy.

And since there are literally too many awesome points as to why my kids need this cruise, I’m gonna bullet point them for ya.

  • Encourages kids to play all day with non-stop activities and themed events. Is there anything worse than hiring a babysitter only to come back and see them watching a movie? I could have done that! Why am I paying you?!
  • – They have something called Cirque Du Jour on the ship. It offers circus school consisting of a series of family workshops throughout the cruise including a circus show starring your kids and surprise pop-ups throughout the week by stilt walking clowns, balloon animal makers and much, much more! I mean, seriously?! What more could a kid ask for?
  • – Offers all kinds of sporting activities every day of the cruise taking kids out of the kids’ area and throughout different areas of the ship. My boys are sports fanatics. Whether they are good at the sport or not, they want to play it. This is perfect.
  • – The counselors are energetic and fun. It takes a lot of energy to keep up with my boys. I know, because I don’t have it. But with these counselors, I am sure they’ve met their match!
  • – Exclusive to Norwegian, Nickelodeon characters join your kids aboard! I know my boys would love activities with Diego and friends!


Honestly, guys, I could keep going. I’m so stoked about this, I might just book a cruise when I’m done writing this post.

The husband

My husband isn’t a really complicated guy. He’s more like a one-bullet-point kind of guy. Here it is:

  • Food. All you can eat. All included. You mean to say I can eat whatever I want, when I want, my kids are happy playing, and my wife is happy at the spa? SOLD.

Photographed on Norwegian Pearl CajunRibeye_11.tif

The Wifey

That’s me. Queen Bee. The hardest to please. Well, here are my bullet points.

  • No cooking for my bottomless pit of a family.
  • Spa.
  • Family activities where I can enjoy my kids and husband together and then leave them to enjoy the kids program while the husband and I have a date night. Can you say best of both worlds?
  • I just have to unpack once and I get to tour many beautiful places? Possibly even more than one country? SOLD.


This could be me.

If you’re not already on their website searching for where your next cruise is going to be, then let me give you a few more bullet points.

  • You can pretty much go anywhere. Alaska, Caribbean, Europe. With both short and long itineraries you can and will find the perfect family vacation.
  • If you’re worried about price, check this out. Add up how much it would be to book a hotel, 3 meals a day for 4 people (or however many are in your family), activities for everyone, and transportation to see other places. With Norwegian, it’s all in one place. The prices are affordable and it’s all included.
  • As I pointed out above, there’s something for everyone!
  • Accommodation. You guys. They have adjoining interior rooms. Privacy for mom and dad and the kids are still right there. Yes, please! There are so many other options to fit your family’s needs.

Are you convinced? I know I am! We have wanted to take a cruise for a long time and when we do, Norwegian Cruise Line will be our choice. It just makes so much sense for everyone to have a dream vacation.

So tell me –

What is your dream vacation for your family?

Answer in the comments for a chance to win a cruise voucher for a family of four!! Read below for the official rules.

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1.) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2.) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry“; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post. Here is a suggested tweet you can use:

“Just entered to win a cruise @NataliaLSimmons blog! You can enter here: #SweepstakesEntry”

3.) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4.) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/8/2013-6/2/2013.

Be sure to visit Norwegian Cruise Line’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

104 Responses to Dream Family Vacation

  1. tanya Smith May 8, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Dream vacation for my family would be to go to the Caribbean or Hawaii. We would have a blast!

  2. Christy R May 8, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    I agree!!! A cruise is the perfect answer!! I would love to take my family. I have two teenagers, so the bottom-less plates sounds ideal! Thanks!

    • Natalia May 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Oh boy do I understand that! My boys are young and are still bottomless pits!

  3. Amy S. May 8, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    We are a small family of three and we all love being active and seeing the sights. For us, the ideal vacation would be something with a bit of relaxation but lots of activities and time to take in some of the local atmosphere. My daughter and husband would love to travel to Europe, I have been several times but would love to experience it with them, so that would probably be the dream vacation for all of us!

  4. Jasanna Czellar May 8, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I and my husband would love to go to Austria/Hungary!!!

  5. Jasanna Czellar May 8, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I tweeted here!

  6. Tracy May 8, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Our fav vacation is a cruise to Bermuda. It’s our favorite mode of transportation and our favorite destination!

  7. Melissa @ Love Bug Living May 8, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    My hubby and I spent our honeymoon on a cruise and have been trying to make plans to take our three girls for one forever. Love the relaxing combined with excursions!

  8. Rebecca May 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    We actually love cruises. There is such a variety of things to do! 

  9. Rebecca May 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I tweeted!

  10. Nicole May 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Honestly, my dream vacation is exactly this and for the exact same reasons. My boyfriend and I have very different ideas of vacation. Oh this would be amazing to win. Thank you!

  11. Lee May 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    A trip to Australia & New Zealand!

  12. Tonia Tucker May 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    This sweeps stakes would be a DREAM FAMILY VACATION come true!

  13. Amber Dominguez May 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to go to Europe…..but my dream vacation for my family would definitely be a cruise, I’ve never been and have wanted to for a long time! 

  14. katie pidge May 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Um this sounds amazing!!!  I would love to see some of europe this way so that we could do it as a family

  15. althea May 9, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    I would love to take a cruise with my family! i would also love to take them all t o Europe but that will have to wait until they are older. 🙂 

  16. Maureen May 9, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Would love to go on a cruise to Alaska.

  17. sandra May 9, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    island hopping in the greek isles

  18. grace May 9, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Our dream vacation would be going to Hawaii as a family ….. exploring those nature beauties that God created, learning some local culture and of course just relaxing and have a good time as a family. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  19. Kelly D May 9, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    My dream vacation right now is to take my kids to Disney and stay at the park and enjoy all the activities.

  20. Jenee May 9, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    A cruise would be amazing for our (blended) family! We have been together for years, but have not vacationed together yet. With a preschooler and a teenager, a cruise is a perfect choice. Lots of food, lots of entertainment, and sun and fun!

  21. Jenee May 9, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I tweeted:

  22. Adrienne Gordon May 9, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    My dream vacation is a trip to Africa and do a safari.

  23. Jennifer May 9, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    I would love to go to Argentina. My husbands family is from there. Or New Zealand! 

  24. Margaret Smith May 9, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    My dream vacation would be to go on a cruise to Bermuda with my family. We’ve wanted to visit Bermuda for awhile now and my husband and I dream about being able to bring our kids there with us someday.

  25. Margaret Smith May 9, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I tweeted:

  26. Lori Taube May 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    While we want to eventually travel around the world, our ultimate dream vacation would be to Israel! (I know, not so glorious.. lol)

  27. Betsy K May 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I tweeted about your giveaway.

  28. Betsy K May 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    I love cruises…they are the ultimate relaxation for a busy mom!

  29. Stephanie V. May 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    so many dream destinations, but probably Alaska first. Always wanted to cruise Alaska.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  30. Rosanne May 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Any beach any where as long as we are all together

  31. Kim H May 10, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    I would love to go on any cruise since I havent been on one yet!!! It is in my plan book!!!

  32. Stephanie Larison May 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    I’d love to go to FL since there’s so many family friendly things to do there. We need time together as a family, and I’d love to see a beach. I’ve never seen one yet!

  33. Denise May 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    My husband and I have had several ideas: Hong Kong Disney, or cruises to see ancient ruins in Greece or Italy. Thanks!

  34. Georgia May 11, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    My dream vacation would be to take my whole family to the islands!

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  35. Georgia May 11, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Tweeted here too

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

  36. Breenah May 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    My dream vacation would be a roadtrip through Europe. I’d especially love to visit Spain!

  37. Breenah May 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm #


  38. Kerry May 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    My dream vacation would be either a cruise or an all-inclusive resort with the family!

  39. Sarah Hirsch May 13, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    i love traveling anywhere with my family, but one of my dreams is the galapagos islands

  40. Emilie May 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Never been on a cruise with my husband…seems ideal though and very dream like!

  41. Jacob LaFountaine May 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I’d go to Hawaii by boat

  42. Hilary A. May 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    My dream vacation with my family would be a long European/Mediterranean cruise. There are lots of places I would like to go across the seas! I’ve only ever been to Israel (which I would love to show my mom, what a beautiful country).
    Great giveaway!
    x Hilary
    hilary . l . adams @ gmail . com

  43. Hilary A. May 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Here’s my tweet:
    x Hilary
    hilary. l . adams @ gmail .c om

  44. Donna Najera May 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    My dream vacation is to travel to Italy and cook with the local women there.

  45. melissa Resnick May 14, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    greece would be amazing

  46. Tara Perez May 15, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    My dream vacation for my family would be somewhere where there is something for everyone. My family sounds a bit like yours. I love history and want it all too. But…I have a husband that works hard in construction, so just is looking to relax, then I have two small kids who, well, need some entertaining! Cruise sounds like it would be the perfect match!

  47. Maria May 15, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I’d love to spend a family vacation having outdoor adventures.

  48. Nicole H. May 15, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    A cruise with my kids and someone else worrying about food sounds perfect!

  49. Sarahviz May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    A dream family vacay for me, my husband, and 3 boys would be going anywhere that involved watching a sporting event! #boymom

  50. Debbie B May 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    my dream vacation is the NCL Hawaiian cruise 

  51. Debbie B May 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    i tweeted here:

  52. rachel May 16, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    I want to go to Shanghai to visit family!

  53. Bev E. May 16, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    I think a cruise would be a wonderful way for my family to vacation. I’d love to sail somewhere we’ve far-off and exotic, and I think the list of possibilities would be endless! 

  54. Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly May 17, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    For us it would be a cruise to Alaska, we all want to see the Aurora Borealis up close and personal and the best place to see it is Alaska, I have never been on a cruise and that would be my dream trip!

  55. Brian Smith May 19, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Our dream vacation is anywhere involving sun, sand and surf. We have never cruised but have always wanted to, I think it would be a hit all around! Great review, thanks

  56. joni May 20, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Our dream vacation would be to visit all the Hawaiin Islands.

  57. Mary Calhoun May 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    super want to win!

  58. Amy Baker May 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    I never really considered a family cruise vacation….but our dream vacation involves play for the kids….with hubs usually doing the supervising so mom can relax 🙂 if somebody else is playing with the kids…we could have some really hard to come by couple time…..this sounds awesome! Superb idea, in fact…I guess I didn’t really know cruises had kid activities, I haven’t been on a cruise since I was single….and my motivations were very different, lol!

  59. BusyWorkingMama May 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    We love the beach. I’d like to go on a trip to the South Pacific.

  60. Lethea B May 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    A cruise to a great tropical paradise!

  61. Lethea B May 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I tweeted=)

  62. kim May 22, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    I’d love a cruise for my spouse and I to Bermuda!

  63. kim May 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    It’s on my bucket list to take a cruise to the FL Keys!

  64. ashley May 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    My dream vacation is for us to go on a Mediterranean cruise

  65. Wild Orchid May 25, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    I look for fun for the whole family. A relaxing environment for my husband and I, and plenty of fun activities for my son.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  66. Wild Orchid May 25, 2013 at 6:44 am #


  67. Samantha Waters May 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I’d love to take my family on a European vacation!

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

  68. Samantha Waters May 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    I tweeted!

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

  69. David R May 27, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    love it need it want it

  70. Lisa May 27, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    The Caribbean or the Mediterranean

  71. Zina Brown May 28, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    My dream vacation would be a cruise to the Caribbean my daughter wants to vacation on a cruise.

  72. gina May 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    My dream vacation for my family would be a secluded all inclusive resort in Tahiti.

  73. Jennifer May 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    I would love a tropical island!

  74. Lee May 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Our dream vacation would be to see Europe.

  75. Eugenie May 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Our dream vacation would be a cruise to the Carribbean. We love the water!

  76. Eugenie May 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Our dream vacation would be a cruise to the Caribbean. We love the water!

  77. Sarah L May 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    My dream vacation would be a cruise to New Zealand.
    Thanks for the contest.

  78. Lisa Baker May 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I tweeted!

  79. Lisa Baker May 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    We have always wanted to go on either an Alaskan or Mediterranean cruise.

  80. Renee May 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    The hubs & I cruised for our honeymoon ( I sold him on the idea- he was not convinced!) It was so awesome that we went on a few more and then BAM twins. End of vacations for a few years. They’re old enough now, so this would be perfect!

  81. Nancy V May 30, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    My dream vacation would be an Alaskan cruise.

  82. Diane baum May 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Our dream vacation would be 2 weeks in Colombia-now that it’s safer, as our sons were adopted from there

  83. Bruce June 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    a cruise to Hawaii

  84. Chad Babcock June 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    A cruise around Italy

  85. Brittany Little June 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    I so need a vacation… and a cruise sounds great!

  86. Pat U June 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Pick me!

  87. Pat U June 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm #


  88. LAMusing June 1, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    My mom has some mobility issues, so cruising is perfect! We’d love to go to the South Pacific!

  89. Wendy T June 2, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    My dream vacation (honestly – not just saying this because of this contest) is a cruise. You see, it was my daughter’s dream. It was her last wish, at age 11. It was in the planning stages and she and my son were excited. I so vividly recall the video she made in which she said “we are going on a cruise!”.

    Anyhow, Olivia passed away before the cruise came to be. I live with the guilt of my son not only having lost a sister, but loosing out on his chance to go on a cruise. He was 7 at the time, but can you imagine?? All of a sudden you ALSO don’t get this trip of a lifetime. The person who was going to make it happened pulled out when Olivia died. I don’t blame them – but it hurts.

    I’ve always said to myself that I will make that up to him someday, someway. And now I’m considering spreading Olivia’s ashes out to sea when and if it happens – the sea is the place she loved the most.

    Thanks for letting me share this.

    • Natalia June 3, 2013 at 6:58 am #

      Oh I am so sorry to hear this, but thank you for sharing. I hope that you can give your son his dream trip someday & it will be so special because it will be in memory of his sister. Thanks for entering and I really really hope you win!!

  90. Wendy T June 2, 2013 at 10:02 am #


    *Also, I am confused. The rules say limit of two entries. Is that two entries on each participating blog, or is it two entries on any or all of the blogs, period?

    • Natalia June 3, 2013 at 6:56 am #

      Two entries on each participating blog. Thanks for asking!

  91. Elizabeth Ray June 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    A cruise to Alaska sounds great!

  92. Kelly McGrew June 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    i’d like to take a dream cruise to hawaii or europe!! i like cruises because you get to visit several places, not just one! it’s such a money saver in my opinion!!! this would be amazing to gift my sister with. i would have a blast with her!

  93. Shirley Zolenski June 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    We would love to go to Hawaii

  94. Shirley Zolenski June 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm #


  95. Heidi Embrey May 13, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    My dream vacation is the Bahamas, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean.

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