Hello! Hi! Remember me? *slowly creeps out from the rock under which I have been cosily hibernating for about 3 years*
It’s been a minute since I last posted on here, but a quick peek at my stats page tells me that you guys are still here… so thank you for sticking around! The big C hit us all pretty hard when it came to travel, but I am pleased to report that I’ve finally been on holiday again! Wahoooooo! This time, with a new mini-me in tow. Yup, thats right, I created a whole other human being since we last caught up. Crazy, huh? My new bestie is currently settling in at nursery, so I’m camping in a cafe near by, manically refreshing my phone for updates and eating my feelings in chocolate. BUT it does mean that I finally have time to write this post about our first abroad holiday with our little one!
For our first family holiday abroad, we decided to …. dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun…. go on a cruise around the Norweigan Fjords. To be honest, before motherhood, I wasn’t especially enthused at the idea of a cruise. My parents go on them all the time and rave about the whole experience, but I’ve always thought “mmm nah, not for me, ta!”. But then around 5 weeks into parent life, we ended up spending a night in A&E battling bronchiolitis and then spent a few nights recovering at my Mum and Dad’s house. We started talking about holidays, and the possibility of joining them for a cruise came up and I realised that it might, in fact, not be a half bad idea.
The reasons why I shunned the idea of cruising before suddenly didn’t apply anymore. Mainly, I hated the idea of holidaying on someone else’s schedule and not being able to explore a place at my own pace. But HELLO BABY. My schedule is now dictated by a tiny little human’s naps and feeds anyway, so what’s a little more structure? I also didn’t like the idea of eating the ships food instead of dining out at local restaurants for dinner. HELLO AGAIN BABY. I need to eat at 5pm now, when the doors of most swanky restaurants would still be firmly closed. Also, HELLO SPENNY NORWAY, so all inclusive food is pretty destination approps’. Travelling by boat enabled us to afford to take our little girl to one of our favourite countries, visit multiple places without having to cart around all the baby luggage, and always have access to a medical centre which in my post-A&E-mamma haze felt very appealing. Oh, and we didn’t need to fly, which meant no liquid restrictions and cabin pressure induced poonamis! Whoop!
So off we went. It was so special showing our little adventurer the beautiful fjords. Admittedly she didn’t really care where we were, and was more enthused by the lovely lush green grass (tbf we had left England during a heat wave so the grass at home was spikey and boring) than the beautiful vistas, but I cared. I’ll remember. Our baby loved boat life. She adored spending so much one-on-one time with her grandparents, and was a bit of a magnet for the other guests who she treated to lots of smiles and waves.
My favourite places that we stopped at were Flam and Olden. B-E-A-U-tiful. Parent life meant we couldn’t do the hikes or more adventurous activities that we would have done pre-baby, but to be honest it was so nice not having an agenda. Before, I would plan everything we did down to a tee! I’d research hikes, photo stops, where would have the best light for photography at each time of day, what time the sun was due to rise and set. But this trip, we just left the boat when we were ready, wandered around until it was nap time again, and then headed back to our cabin. Sometimes, it’s nice to let go of expectations, live in the moment, and let the adventure come to you. One night, for example, we were sat on our balcony watching the sun go down and BOOM! we saw the northern lights. Bucket List item ticked off when I least expected it. (Unfortunately I only have a blurry iphone pic to show for it, see below).
Although #cruiselife in itself is quite baby friendly, the ship itself is less so. We found a lot of the baby items we requested weren’t there upon arrival, but thankfully this overly anxious mamma fully succumbed to her trust issues and packed all our own stuff just in case. The most useful things we took were:
- Milton Steralising Tablets and a Collapsible Bucket
- Baby Food Pouches and then we just requested some freshly cooked veggies to mix in and add texture
- An Inflatable Bath Tub
- The Bugaboo Stardust Travel Cot
- The OXO tot portable potty
- This travel busy board
We had such a great time away, and I can’t wait for more family adventures! Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been so excited to show our little bean the world. I’ll pop some snaps from our trip below. x
p.s. yes, yes I did buy us matching fleeces