Happy August! Now that summer is winding down, we’re thinking about back-to-school—and specifically, to college. This month, we’re talking about a new trend we’ve been seeing lately: Families taking special trips with their college-bound kids. And speaking of bonding travel, we’re also highlighting our recent retreat in Puerto Rico—including our top hosting tips. And finally, rounding out this edition is a great Q&A with Qatar Airways, which was recently honored with the distinction of “World’s Best Airline.” We hope the rest of your summer is fun and relaxing!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
New York power couple Courtenay and Daniel Hall spend their days running BELLA, one of today’s most exciting women’s magazines. Between juggling cover models and raising their three kids, they needed a break. They turned to us for their first family cruise. And came back craving more.
When was your last family vacation?
Winter break in February. Our go-to spot is Southern California. But this time we wanted to try something new. We also wanted to go somewhere that our family of six – including my mother-in-law and our three children: Lindsay (turned 14 on the ship!), Lauren (11) and Chase (8) – would enjoy.
Where did you go?
We did a 7-night tour of the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas. We hit five islands including St. Lucia, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Kitts and Antigua.
What makes a family cruise such a great vacation option?
It truly is the perfect family vacation. It was fun because every day there was something new and exciting to do. Whether we were in a new port or all six of us wanted to do something different (which happens a lot!), the ship offered options for everyone, no matter what age.
How did everyone spend their days?
The kids had tons of other children to play with. There was a Kids Club for all ages, where they had amazing fun for hours at a time. Lifesaver! I loved lounging by the pool and reading a book while at sea. At night, we went to the shows, played ping pong, enjoyed a cocktail, and relaxed. There were poolside movies for the kids and a fabulous night club, when the kids went to bed. You could never get bored with all there was to do.
How were the shore excursions?
A blast. We will never forget snorkeling in Antigua. We had the most fun on that adventure and will never stop laughing thinking about it. The kids did better than the adults!
How was the food? Were there enough options to please everyone?
The food was the main theme with this crew. It was incredible every meal, every day. The kids have never been so happy to sit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My 8-year-old son would board the ship from the excursions and have “early dinner” at the amazing buffet before our formal sit down at 8. We have never seen so much food – so there were definitely enough options.
What was the best part of your vacation?
Just being together. Our nightly dinners were the best time – where we laughed and recapped the favorite things we had all done during the day.
Are you thinking about your next cruise yet?
Most definitely! We would love to do a Mediterranean cruise next.
Ready to explore your first cruise? Contact Stephen Scott or our cruise team at email@example.com.