The holiday blues have well and truly set in…I know I shouldn’t complain but hey it’s a thing right?
We have been home from our Family Mediterranean P&O Cruise for 5 days, and I find myself spacing out in the memory of one of our best family holidays!
This was our third P&O cruise with our little lady (very lucky I know). We just love how easy they are with a busy toddler, that you get to see new places at every stop, and it is all inclusive.
This was our first fly cruise, usually we go from Southampton which is SO much easier for us. On the up side by flying you get into the warmer climate, and calmer seas a lot faster!
P&O do make it very easy. They organised a chartered flight from Gatwick, and sorted the luggage in Malta (where we embarked) so we had one less thing to think about! Our luggage was waiting for us outside of our cabin when we got on the beautiful Oceana!
Our cabin was the perfect size for the 3 of us. I always opt for an inside cabin, firstly because it is cheaper, and secondly because it is pitch black at night giving us all the perfect night sleep!
On arrival we signed our little lady into the Reef, the children’s club on board. As she was 2 it meant she could stay and play under the supervision of the staff. The ship had very few children on, (as it was out of season), so bubs had one to one with the staff which was great! Every day she woke up asking if she could play, she loved it so much!
I was a bit apprehensive about leaving her at the start, but it was fine. The Reef had a soft play area, craft activities, and SO many toys! I couldn’t get her out in the end,
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We stopped at Malta, Montenegro, Split, Venice and Zadar. Each stop was absolutely beautiful! Our favourite was Montenegro! It was stunning! We booked a tuk tuk so explore Kotor, expensive but so worth it! The views at the top blew us away.
The food was endless on the ship…our favourite meal was the outside BBQ they put on as we sailed out of Malta, it was delicious! I did think the buffet food could be improved a little bit, the Britannia was better.
The staff on the Cruise couldn't do enough for us! They were so kind to our little lady, smiling at her and chatting to her wherever we went. One lovely waitress even showed her napkin folding, which was so lovely!
Overall we had the best holiday! Bubs was so so sad to leave, as were we! It was another holiday of a lifetime that we will treasure forever. I have said it before, I would definitely recommend cruising with little ones! Kxx
Anyone else love a cheeky weekend away? It has been so long since we took one. The last trip I had planned we had to cancel as my little lady got Chicken Pox (booooo). Anyway… I was heading down to Cornwall to host a craft party with Crafts and Giggles, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to combine work and play!
When looking to book somewhere to stay, I realised our weekend coincided with the Easter Holidays. The prices were sky high, and loads of places in Plozeath were booked up! (What a rooky error!) That’s when I found St Moritz Hotel, and they had the availability. It was a tad out of my price range, but hey why not… work hard, play harder.
We arrived early (check in was 4pm, and we arrived at 1pm) the lady on reception was lovely, and let us check in anyway! The hotel was beautiful. The staff were all beaming with smiles, and so lovely to my little lady. This makes such a difference us.
We had booked a family suite. The room was a good size, clean, beautifully decorated, and practical. It had a pull down bunk-bed but we opted for the travel cot, which was all set up ready for us. We were on the ground floor, and had a mini conservatory type thing that opened onto the hotel grounds, this was lovely extra space.
We off course started the break with some food at their Sea Side Café. It was a pretty special “café” Penny was extremely welcoming and gave our little lady a fab activity pack. We opted for some comfort food, stone baked pizzas. They were pretty good.
That evening we had booked into their Shorecrest Restaurant. It was expensive, but I had the Plaice and it has to be the softest Plaice I have ever eaten. We enjoyed a three course meal, and bubs loved her meal off of their children’s menu. The only thing I think they could include, is more vegetables on the children’s menu. This was definitely lacking. The breakfast was pretty special too!
The hotel has some great facilities for children. In particular a good sized swimming pool, and a children's play room. The toys could do with a little TLC but it is definitely as nice extra. I think the pool was a highlight for bubs!
We loved our stay at St. Moritz Hotel. I think the kindness and attentiveness of the staff made it. It was such a treat to be waited on and taken care off. I would highly recommend it for families looking for some time out.
Dubai is somewhere I had always wanted to visit. It had basically been on the bucket list that floats around my busy head for many years. Instead of planning a visit before I became a mummy, I decided to take the plunge and book it with a 23 month old (as you do!)
DECIDING ON WHEN TO GO AND WHERE TO STAY
After doing some research I decided that November would be the best month for us to book our trip to Dubai. The reason I chose November is because the average temperature is around 26 degrees! I thought this temperature would suit our little lady. I would have hated for her to feel uncomfortable in the heat, Dubai is in the desert after all.
Choosing somewhere to stay took a little longer…there are SO many incredible hotels in Dubai. My dream was to stay on the Palm. I was concerned it would be too pricey. I had already decided I wanted to fly with Emirates (I really rate them) and their holiday website had some amazing half board Dubai offers! This included a half board stay at Sofitel The Palm. (The best bit was our little lady got to go for free, as she was just under two years old!) The reviews on Trip Advisor were excellent. The hotel came across as family friendly (which is so important to us when booking a holiday). So I booked it! Six night’s, half board, emirates flights included! We couldn’t wait for our adventure to begin!
A MID HAUL FLIGHT WITH A TODDLER AND A VERY NERVOUS FLYER
I was nervous about the 7 hour flight. Firstly as this was our little ladies first time flying, and secondly because I am such a nervous flyer. Despite my fear I never want this to stop us seeing the world. I chose a night flight to Dubai in the hope that bubs would sleep, and she did most of the way. I on the other hand didn’t! The Emirates flight attendants were great. They provided her with a children’s activity pack, and a cute bag with her very own blanket included. I would highly recommend flying Emirates with children. We were well taken care of. If you want some happy tips for when flying with a toddler check them out here.
SMILES, SUN, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
When we arrived in Dubai my husband and I were a little nervous, we didn’t know what to expect. This soon passed. Everyone was SO lovely, they couldn’t do enough to enough.. Emirates put on a private car, to take us to our hotel. They had a baby car seat ready for bubs, which was fantastic. It was a great way to start our holiday as we basically had a tour of Dubai. Sofitel The Palm was beyond my expectations! It really was 5 star luxury (we felt like we were on our honey moon again). The staff were amazing, and were so kind to bubs. As soon as I walked in I knew I had book the perfect hotel for our little family!
SWIMMING, EATING, BEACH, PALM TREES, PLAY AREAS AND SUNSHINE
The hotel had everything and more. It had three different swimming pools, including a small children’s pool and sandpit. These were safe and shallow for bubs to play happily in. There were also lifeguards on every swimming pool, which was a great addition.
The hotel had a children’s club on site. Bubs was a little too young to stay there and play on her own, however accompanied by me or my husband she could play with the endless amount of toys they had to offer.
As we had half board included we chose to have breakfast and dinner. The amount of food, and choice was out of this world! They even had a small children’s food section in the evening which changed every night. The staff were attentive, and made sure bubs was looked after.
Getting around dubai
When we go away we like to have relaxing days, as well as exploring what a place has to offer. We found the best way to get around Dubai was in a taxi. They didn't cost very much, and drop you to the door. My only qualm... the taxi's do not provide car seats, so bubs had to sit on my lap, in my seat belt. We visited Dubai Mall, went up the Burj Khalifa (highly recommend you do this), The Emirates Mall, and The Aquarium and Water Park at The Atlantis. Walking around we felt very safe.. Before we went we were concerned about the dress code. If you dress respectfully you will have nothing to worry about.
In my opinion I would highly recommend a family holiday to Dubai. I enjoyed it so much so, that I have booked to go back again late this year (so sorry bank balance), If you are thinking of going, look around for deals. There are lots of great ones out there! Have a little plan of what you would like to see, and do in Dubai before you go, There is so much to do in such a short space of time. You don't want to miss anything out! If you do go have a great time, and enjoy every minute! I would love to hear all about your Dubai adventures!
(please note all opinions are my own. I have not collaborated with any listed venues above, this is all my own experience and paid for by me, The images shown belong to me and my husband)
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx