Last summer before we left Canada a friend hooked me up with a friend of hers who had travelled for a year with her family while on sabbatical. Though I didn't have a chance to get together with her before we left, I did exchange some emails with her. The best thing they did for the year was take a Mediterranean cruise on which they found a deal.
I tucked that bit of information away and we headed out.
Skip ahead a few months later. We knew we were going to Barcelona and I started looking for cruises leaving from there. Not surprising that I found one since Barcelona has one of the busiest cruise ports in Europe.
Around this same time, Dad said he'd like to come over and see us. I set out our rough plans for him to choose when he wanted to come, and he pounced on the cruise option.
And I'm so glad he did. It was a fabulous way to travel with him (he turned 84 while we were on the cruise), and my sister, who accompanied him over. He didn't need to do a whole lot of walking if he didn't want to, yet could easily spend lots of time with us, and the kids, in a fantastically comfortable environment.
|So many chances throughout the cruise to all pose for a proper photo together, |
but instead we settled for the waiter taking a shot at Dad's birthday dinner.
We went ashore together, went on the same excursions and ate most of our meals together. But, we also broke into a variety of separate groups to play shuffleboard, swim, eat ice cream, go for drinks, go to a show, lose money at the casino, and just hang out. And the kids had a chance to roam on their own, play in the kids' club, or play with their new friends at the arcade, shuffleboard, or WiiU.
Our family of four all enjoyed it so very much because it gave us a total break from travelling as a pack of four, and it gave the kids some much needed independence and freedom from Kerry and me. Dad enjoyed it because after Mom died, he thought he'd never get on another holiday or cruise again. And Sharla enjoyed it because she was on a Mediterranean cruise - though I have no doubt she would have enjoyed it more if her daughter had been able to join us.
I'm not certain I'd go on many cruising holidays (you'll find out why in a later post), but for us it was a fantastic way for Dad to come join us on our adventure, and gave all of us some terrific memories with him as he continues along living life without Mom.
Keep on the lookout for my next posts about where in the Mediterranean our cruise took us, and what we did.