Educating a Clueless Traveler About Cruising

I recently returned from a 5-day cruise to The Bahamas courtesy of the good people at Carnival Cruise Line. I had an absolute blast, but this story began a week before when I dropped off my daughter at school and had a conversation with another dad.

 

Me: “I’m heading to The Bahamas next week.”

The dad: “Nice! Are you flying into Nassau?”

Me: “No, I’m actually flying into Jacksonville. It’s a cruise to Bahamas.”

The dad: “Dude, why? Cruises are lame.”

 

At that point, I had to educate this clueless guy about the awesomeness of cruising.

 

#1: Hotels and getting around

OK, let’s use my family as an example. Now let’s say we flew into Nassau for a vacation in The Bahamas. We’d have to secure a hotel and get a rental car (with car seats). On a cruise, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Simply fly to the port, take a shuttle to the ship, and off you go. Not to mention, your ship is the hotel!

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#2: The food situation

If your kids are like mine, they’ll do one of two things at mealtime: 1) We’ll order something and they’ll decide after one bite that it’s not worth eating. Or 2) They’ll eat everything and within 15 minutes of leaving the restaurant, they’ll decide they’re hungry again.

How would we handle that if we flew into Nassau? We’d end up spending a ton of money all while dealing with grumpy kids. Nobody wins. On the beautiful Carnival Elation, there was a ton of food options available 24/7 — most of which is included in the fare. So if you have hungry kids or picky kids, they have you completely covered.

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#3: A break from the kids?

Again, let’s say I flew into Nassau. What if I wanted to enjoy some adult fun without the kids around? Would I just knock on hotel doors and hope that someone would take care of my adorable children? Of course not. On a cruise, that’s not a problem. Carnival has Camp Ocean which is built-in childcare for kiddos between 2-11. Simply drop them off, and they can enjoy age-specific activities like art, games, movies, etc. while grownups can enjoy some “me time.”

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#4: Bonding with fellow vacationers

If I stayed at a hotel in Nassau, would it be realistic for me to become friends with the people in the room next me? Probably not. But cruising is different. A ship is like a giant floating city, and we’re all residents of it. For that short time we’re on board, we see the same people during meals, during shows, and at the pool. We get to know them, their families, their home life, etc. — and before you know it, we’ve made new friends. Cruises have the unique ability to bring people from all walks of life together, and nobody does it better than Carnival.

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So after I laid those points out to my fellow dad, he realized the error in his ways and apologized for his ignorance. He even said that he may consider a short cruise this summer. Cruising is truly the best way to enjoy a vacation, and I’ll do my part to share my feelings with anyone who will listen.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.

 

I Officially Achieved “Cool Dad” Status

I’ve been at this fatherhood thing for almost seven years, and depending on the day, sometimes my kids really admire me — other times, they don’t want to be seen with me (this is the case for any public dance party I decide to start). However, I finally found something that made me the most popular dad on my block.

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The New Robots In Town

As most of you know, I LOVE technology. And if you followed me on Upworthy, you know that I love Wonder Workshop’s Dash & Dot. But now they released new versions of their ultra-popular robots and they are absolutely amazing.

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Myth Busting In An Organic-Obsessed World

DISCLAIMER: I’ve partnered with Johnson’s® for this post but all opinions are my own.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Los Angeles — which is way different from the east coast where I was born and raised. Other than being a city filled with sunshine, beaches, and crazy traffic — it’s also a city that’s obsessed with organic products.

It doesn’t matter if it’s organic fruits, organic vegetables, organic toothpaste, organic diapers — if you can ingest it, apply it, or wear it, there’s a good chance that an organic version is available somewhere in LA. As an LA dad who hangs out with other LA parents, I started believing the whispers at social gatherings:

“Oh, I only pack organic snacks in my son’s lunch.”

“Do you use that new organic sunscreen? It’s amazing.”

“If it’s not organic, my family won’t buy it.”

You get the idea. Organic products are viewed as safe, good, and healthy, while anything else is deemed as “dangerous” for ourselves and our children. Other parents may try to make us feel guilty if we’re NOT using those kinds of products. Finally, I took a step back to realize something: my family used JOHNSON’S® products on me and my two brothers when we were babies, toddlers, and children — and we all turned out just fine as adults (one is a Harvard graduate excelling as a corporate executive, another is a best-selling author, and then there’s me — your friendly, neighborhood, Daddy Doin’ Work).

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And yes, I still use JOHNSON’S® products on myself today, especially the shampoo (yeah, I said it — I still use shampoo. Gotta keep my dome clean. JOHNSON’S® doesn’t tout itself as being an organic brand, but that doesn’t mean their products aren’t safe – they are the pioneers and leaders in the industry. Over 90% of baby skincare research comes from JOHNSON’S®. I’ve been to their headquarters myself, met with the people in their labs and research centers, and feel confident saying that they hold themselves to stringent standards when it comes to safety.

That’s why it’s important to dig a little deeper when it comes to the organic vs. non-organic debate. Did you know that yummy blueberries naturally contain Parabens? Or that apples, bananas, and carrots (to name a few) naturally contain formaldehyde? But I bet that news wouldn’t stop you from having your kiddos munch on those fruits and veggies, right? Of course not. I’ll go out on a limb and state that you probably ate them as a kid and still do today (I know I do). Another fact is out of the thousands of cosmetic ingredients used around the world, less than 2% meet JOHNSON’S® rigorous standards for baby products — and yes, many of those ingredients are actually natural. JOHNSON’S® uses both natural and non-natural ingredients, but the most important thing is they want to put safe products on the market.

I know all of this is true because I spent time in JOHNSON’S® headquarters recently and asked a ton of questions to the scientists who work there. They were honest, smart, and (most importantly) they’re parents. Just by being around them I could tell how passionate they are about their work. Nobody in the building knows more about what their ingredients do than these ladies, and they are 100% committed to making safe products for their babies and ours.

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I even had an opportunity to make some lotion on my own to see an abbreviated portion of their process. It was extremely eye-opening, informative, and fun.

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It’s too easy to feel pressured by the buzzwords of organic and all-natural products without truly understanding if they can help your family. That’s another reason why I believe strongly in Johnson’s® because they make it easy for parents due to their transparency on their Behind the Label page. No need for an advanced chemistry degree, because every ingredient they use is listed in alphabetical order with its purpose in plain English.

As mentioned before, I trust JOHNSON’S® because it was the brand used on me and it’s the brand I use on my kids.

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If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably know that nothing in the world is more important to me than my two young daughters. Do you think I’d do anything to jeopardize their safety in any way? Of course not.

Do your research, be informed, and decide what products are right for your family — because at the end of the day, it’s important to realize that not all natural ingredients are good and not all non-natural ingredients are bad.

More Men Need To Stand With Planned Parenthood

Lately you may have noticed that I’ve been a lot more political lately. And whenever someone talks about politics on the Internet, some people absolutely love it, others absolutely hate it.

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Guess what? Now is the time to have the “race talk” with your kids.

Picture a married couple who walked into their kitchen and found a broken glass on the floor. Their first reaction was to go in on each other.

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8 Parents You Do NOT Want At Your Super Bowl Party

America’s biggest sports day of the year is almost upon us, and yes, I’m talking about the Super Bowl pitting the New England Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons. When it comes to the game, most of you fall into one of three categories:

1) You love football and will be watching the game no matter what, and yes — I’m firmly planted in this category.

2) You tolerate football, but you mostly care about hanging out with friends, eating food, and watching the commercials.

3) You despise football and you will not watch the game under any circumstances.

For those of you in categories #1 & 2, you may decide to host a Super Bowl party and watch the game with friends and family members. If so, I hope these eight parents aren’t at your gathering. More importantly, I hope you’re not one of these eight parents. Oh, and if you happen to be in category #3, don’t worry— I have something for you too.

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No More Wound Myths

I’m excited to partner with Band-Aid and Neosporin on this post.

I remember when I was a kid I used to get hurt — a lot. Everything from broken bones and torn ligaments to minor scrapes and bruises. When it comes to the major injuries, the treatment is set by a doctor. In my case it usually meant undergoing surgery, getting casted, and resting for a few weeks.

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POSA 2016

It’s the first Tuesday in November and that means it’s election day! No, I’m not talking about one of those elections. Let me explain.

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The Great Cargo Shorts Debate

Wait, you didn’t know there was a debate about cargo shorts in the first place? Well apparently there is one, and the good folks at the Today Show wanted me to pick a side.

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