Spring Styles for Boys from The Children’s Place

With our trip to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration coming up next week, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping over the past few weeks in preparation. The Children’s Place is one of our favorite go-to stores for stylish and classic options for kids. Though I’m always envious of the racks of pinks, pastels and sparkles, the boys’ selection at The Children’s Place is pretty plentiful.

We noticed that the main trends for boys at The Children’s Place were stripes, sharks and neons. I’m always a fan of the classic look with a little edge, and The Children’s Place does that so well.

IMG 7762

For our trip, I picked out a few dressier shirts for the boys to wear at the various dinners and family events at DisneySMMC. I let the boys choose and then picked outfits that coordinated.

IMG 7768

For the more casual looks, we opted for sporty tanks and fun graphic tees. I’m pretty sure the bulk of our play clothes are from The Children’s Place. The clothes are comfortable and they hold up very well. 

IMG 7766

The Children’s Place always has great deals going on. I try to find coupons before I head to the store to maximize the deals. So if you’re on the hunt for great spring and summer outfits, make a stop at The Children’s Place.

Full disclosure: I received a gift card to share my experience at The Children’s Place. All opinions on NKT are my own.

NYC Vlogger Challenge Week 11

It’s time for week 11 of the NYC Vlogger Challenge. This week, I have some great prompts for more travel hacks and other favorite requests.

This week, let us know:

1. What are more of your travel hacks?
2. What are your favorite books and magazine?
3. Does your family have a favorite board game?
4. What’s your favorite salad recipe?


How can you join the conversation?

Each week, one of us will host the challenge and we ask you to join us on Youtube, Vine, Instagram or your blog with a response video. That’s it! 

Can’t wait to hear your video response to one of the prompts above!

NYC Vlogger Challenge Week 8

It’s my turn once again to host the NYC Vlogger Challenge. We’re at week 8 and my prompts were inspired by Disney Social Media Moms Celebration on the Road, as well as Spring activities coming into play!

My prompts are pretty easy and straight forward. I’m hoping you share some of your favorite Disney World hacks or theme park essentials. If outdoor play is more your speed, tell us about it, we’d love to hear all about it!


1. Do you have any favorite Disney World or Land attractions or secret spots? 

2. What are your theme park essentials? Is there something you always bring to a theme park?

3. What are your favorite Spring toys?

4. What are you favorite outdoor games?

5. Does your family like to swim?


How can you join the conversation?

Each week, one of us will host the challenge and we ask you to join us on Youtube, Vine, Instagram or your blog with a response video. That’s it! 

Can’t wait to hear your video response to one of the prompts above!

Enjoy Summer Memories at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk + #JenksMemory Giveaway

As far as summer fun goes, we’ve been pretty lucky this year. Between hanging out with friends at our lake all day, playing baseball, rugby, running a triathlon and riding bikes in the neighborhood, we’re so fortunate to have so much to do this summer.

IMG 0584

However, with all the fun activities and sports, that’s not to say we don’t love a good road trip. Our summer isn’t complete with a few trips to the beach. When heading down the shore, to Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant is our go-to beach.IMG 0691
At just a little over an hour away, Jenkinson’s is a family-friendly beach that has an attraction for everyone in the whole family. From games to rides to fun food to mini golf to relaxing on the sandy beaches, for us northerners, Jenkinson’s is the quintessential summer at the shore.

This week, we took our friends to their first ever jaunt down the shore. First stop per the kids’ request: Jenkinson’s Aquariaum to say hello to the penguins, Luseal and Seaquin.

IMG 0607


The aquarium, always a hit for rainy days, is super fun to visit mid-day to get a reprieve from the weather and crowds. We enjoyed the aquarium and didn’t have to fight too many crowds on the sunny day when we visited. The sharks, penguins, touch tank and seals are our absolute favorites, but I have to say, the clownfish up front is a runner up.

IMG 0618


Weekday visits to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is such a treat because, not only do you get to enjoy the beach, depending on the time of summer, you get a reprieve from the crowds.

Since we visited later in the summer, vacationer traffic seemed to be dwindling, so we had the restaurants to ourselves. We had lunch at the Pavillion, one of our favorites. What makes this spot so great is that it’s close to the Aquarium and it has a variety of food for everyone. Even better? It’s an enclosed area to beat the heat. As with any destination type of place, food can be pricey for an entire family. The kids always love the lunches served in buckets that double as beach toys. Portions are big here, which is always a plus.

IMG 0624


Roof Top Mini Golf is another must-do for our family. Last summer, my husband was toting my toddler around as we played, this year, it was fun to see my little dude go all Happy Gilmore on the putting green. Because this Mini Golf area is on a rooftop, there isn’t much shade.
IMG 0642So if you don’t mind the heat, there aren’t too many other people playing in the middle of the day. It’s a fun and clean course, perfect for friends and family to take on a friendly game of mini golf. Do yourself a favor though, watch out for the slippery puddles after it rains! We had a little accident when we missed a puddle and fell hard onto the concrete. Nevertheless, Roof Top Mini Golf is a blast for everyone.

IMG 0636

Perhaps, one of the things that sets Jersey Shore boardwalks aside from other beach towns is the fun amusements! Having grown up in Virginia Beach, we had several amusement rides, but nothing quite as expansive as what you can find at Jenkinson’s.

IMG 0657

The kiddie rides are always in great condition with minimal lines during the week. The big kid rides are fast and can’t be missed. I love that my bigger guy and littler guy could still ride rides together. And hey, I enjoyed hopping on a kiddie ride for good measure, too!

The Flitzer, though, is still our absolute favorite ride. For a mini roller coaster, you can’t miss this super fun attraction.
At a little over an hour away, Jenkinson’s is a fantastic option for a day trip, whether it’s on one of these last summer weekends or on a weekday with the kids. With the very cool aquarium, beach access, plenty of restaurants and treats, mini golf, games and rides, Jenkinson’s is fun for the whole family!

IMG 0716

Headed to Jenkinson’s later this summer? Be sure to check out Hot Halloween which runs August 25-27th. In September, don’t miss Labor Day Fireworks on the 7th, Grandparent’s Day at the Aquarium, Behind the Scenes Tour at the Aquarium on the 19th and Tea by the Sea at the Aquarium on the 24th. For a full line up of activities, head to Jenkinson’s Events.

In conjunction with NKT, and as part of my participation in the Jenkinson’s Memory Maker program, I’m thrilled to be able to giveaway a weekday VIP voucher to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk that includes wristbands for up to 5 people.
Head to Rafflecopter below or on our Facebook Page to enter. Good luck!

The wristbands include unlimited rides in the amusement area, Rooftop Mini Golf, admission to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, admission to the Fun House, beach access and Jenkinson’s bath house. Not valid for parking. This voucher is valid Monday-Friday only, no weekends or holidays, and expires 12/31/15. This giveaway ends on 8/16/15 at 11:59pm! A random winner will be announced on Monday, 8/17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full disclosure: as a Jenkinson’s Memory Maker, I have been provided with a voucher for my visit. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hilton Garden Inn Garden Getaway Tour Kicks off in NYC

We have family travel on the brain this week as we’re preparing to embark on a big trip next week. But before I go on about that trip, I thought I’d share some cool family travel news.

IMG 7889

Hilton Garden Inn, a part of the Hilton Worldwide chain, is well known for their upscale, yet comfortable amenities that cater to business travelers and families alike. With the ever-so-slight glimpse of Spring that we’re enduring here in the NYC area, it was a treat to see the that the Hilton Garden Inn is in full bloom with its Garden Getaway Tour.

IMG 7884

Hilton Garden Inn kicked off their Garden Getaway Tour in NYC a few weeks ago by setting up camp at several iconic NYC destinations with their Garden Greeters in tow, of course. The Greeters visited Chelsea, Herald Square and Central Park in their full-flowered regalia. The kids and I shared our travel ambitions, which also hints to where we’re headed soon! We enjoyed meeting the festive Hula, Cowboy and Queen’s Guard Greeters, all of whom not only looked fantastic, but smelled tropically divine.

IMG 4161

As part of the Garden Getaway Tour, consumers will have the chance to win a getaway to a new Hilton Garden Inn located in Hawaii. To enter for a chance to win, you must capture a photo with a Garden Getaway Greeter and share on Twitter, Instagram, or on the Hilton Garden Inn Facebook page using #HGIGardenGetaway and #entry.

Want to check out the Hilton Garden Inn Garden Getaway Tour for yourself? Be sure to check out the next stops: Dallas on May 15 and 16, Los Angeles on July 3 and 4 and wrap up in Chicago on September 4 and 5.

Full disclosure: I was offered a complimentary stay at a Hilton Garden Inn property in exchange for sharing this contest. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.


Penguins of Madagascar is a Smart and Funny Family Flick

The Penguins of Madagascar are back, and this time, they’re stars of their own movie. Produced by Dreamworks and distributed by 20th Century Fox, Penguins of Madagascar is a fast-paced and funny story about four penguin friends.


POM Banner

Penguins of Madagascar, which hits theaters on Wednesday, November 26, sheds light into the backstory of the funny foursome: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. The spinoff to the Madagascar franchise, the Penguins’ adventure follows their pursuits in preventing the peculiar Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.


POM Still6


Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private must work together with North Wind undercover agents while keeping their character in tact and eating as much Cheezy Dibbles along the way. Above all pursuits, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private embrace their brotherhood and prove the importance of loyalty.


POM Still2


Famous names lend their voices to this fun film: John Malkovich is Dave, Ken Jeong is hilarious as Short Fuse and Benedict Cumberbatch is Classified the gray wolf. Like other Dreamwork films, the humor in Penguins is witty and smart, relevant for the parental audience, but still silly and fun for the kid contingent.  With all the action, adventure and fun, Penguins has all the elements for fantastic family film and impeccably-timed for the holidays.

POM Still1



In honor of the Penguins Movie, we were invited to a press junket in the City. Together with several other bloggers’ families, we enjoyed the day at the Bronx Zoo, where we toured the Madagascar exhibit and watched a private feeding of Magellanic Penguins and were treated to breakfast and lunch courtesy of Residence Inn. 


IMG 8376

IMG 8387

IMG 8396

IMG 8426

IMG 8475

IMG 8523

IMG 8536

After our day at the Bronx Zoo and following our screening of the Penguins of Madagascar, we were hosted at the new Central Park Residence Inn. Residence Inn and the Penguins have a partnership promoting the family travel experience, and we were quite fortunate to experience this partnership firsthand.

IMG 8605

Overlooking Central Park from a few blocks away, the Residence Inn is a convenient midtown location that’s close to a myriad of NYC tourist destinations.  The decor is modern and sleek, the complimentary breakfast is expansive and the rooms are cozy and comfortable; the Residence Inn is ideal for families who seek a midtown hotel with ample amenities.

IMG 8618

IMG 8680

 IMG 8687

My kids were in amazement of the unbelievable views of the city from our room at the Residence Inn. As if watching the Penguins movie before anyone else wasn’t cool enough, getting to stay in a really cool hotel overlooking Central Park was certainly a highlight of the weekend.

IMG 2047

IMG 2050

IMG 2056

IMG 2054

IMG 2059



Check out Penguins of Madagascar on Wednesday, November 26!


Check it

Residence Inn announced a promotion in line with their partnership with the Penguins of Madagascar release. Contestants can enter the Penguins Picture Mission contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by reenacting their favorite “Penguins of Madagascar” pose with the hashtag #PenguinsMissionPromo between now and December 7. Contestants can enter up to six times, once per week. Each image will be generated into an online photo gallery, giving fans a chance to check out the competition.


The grand prize includes round trip airfare to Tampa for four, a three-night stay at the Residence Inn Tampa Downtown, four tickets to see “Madagascar Live! Operation Vacation” at Busch Gardens Tampa, two-day admission tickets for four at Busch Gardens Tampa, and more. Every week for six weeks, participants will also be entered to win prizes including a package of Madagascar DVDs and a $150 Residence Inn gift card.


Full disclosure: my family was hosted at the Bronx Zoo, Residence Inn and to a screening of the Penguins of Madagascar, with thanks to DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox. A big thank you to Big Honcho Media and the studios for hosting my family on such a lovely event.


7 Reasons to Love and to Visit Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

I’m going to be completely honest here: when it comes to beaches, I’m a bit of a snob. When I moved to New Jersey more than 13 years ago, I knew nothing about the beaches here, or should I say, the shore.  It was all unfamiliar to me: young professionals would rent space—not even whole rooms—in small shore houses; you had to pay to enter the beaches and they call it “the shore.” What? 

Growing up in a beach town and then settling in a lake community in the NJ suburbs, we rarely visited the shore unless we were visiting family at LBI. In my 20s, we’d visit Jenkinson’s for bachelorette parties, but the daytime boardwalk was totally foreign to me.  I’m so glad that has changed as we’ve grown to love Jenkinson’s this summer as part of the Ambassador program.




There’s so much to love about Jenkinson’s, so much so, I felt compelled to itemize the things we love most about this fun boardwalk and attractions in Point Pleasant, NJ.



1. The Rides

If you spend any time at a beach boardwalk, then you know just how turnkey the rides are for the kids. It’s, quite simply, a rite of passage to spend hours waiting in the hot summer sun mapping out which rides to ride and then waiting for said rides.  At Jenkinson’s, the amusements are manageable, even on the most crowded days. 

IMG 2136IMG 5745

The lines are streamlined, the rules and regulations are clearly posted and all the rides appear to be safe. Most importantly, however, the kids love them. On wristband days, my older son and I can be found riding Flitzer non-stop.

IMG 5748

I especially love how there’s a great selection of rides that appeal to my two year old as well as my six year old. Some rides that they can ride together include:  Motor Jump, Convoy Race, Carousel and the Elephants.

IMG 5758

IMG 2222The Train is a family fave.  It’s a chance to sit and relax somewhat in the shade, but still, the kids are being entertained by circling the perimeter of the amusement area. It’s a win-win for tired parents and energetic kids!



2. The Aquarium

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is their Aquarium.  Educating the public about marine life since the early 90s, the Aquarium remains a mainstay for tourists and locals alike.

IMG 5772

The Aquarium boasts exhibits such as Atlantic sharks, Pacific sharks, coral reefs, penguins and seals. We love to spend a few hours at the Aquarium to cool off from the beach and boardwalk, and it also gives us a chance to say hi to our favorite marine animal friends.

IMG 2190

IMG 5783

IMG 2157

Like so many others, we love “studying” the sharks’ and giggling at the penguins, but it’s the seals who have our hearts. We talk about Seaquin and Luseal like they’re our friends, and we’re still mourning the loss of the Aquarium’s beloved seal, Coral. 

IMG 5779IMG 5780

We were absolutely touched by the children’s artwork in the makeshift memorial for Coral who passed away last month. On a brighter note, when we’re not touching the stingrays in the touch tank upstairs, we absolutely love watching the seal feeding time or participating in one of the many educational workshops.

IMG 5793IMG 5790

At just $11.50 for adults and $6.50 for kids 3-12, the Aquarium truly is a gem for the Boardwalk and worth every penny of its admission. 



3. The beach

As a lifelong east coaster, I’ve spent most of my summers at a beach: toes in the sand, relaxing under the sun and listening to the calming waves. It was so fun getting familiarized with the beach at Jenkinson’s.

IMG 3498

We found it to be a spacious and definitely one of the cleaner beaches we’ve visited here in the north. Even on the busy days, because there’s so much to do at Jenkinson’s, we never felt too crowded. My only complaint, as for any beach, is the parking situation—or the lack thereof. Daily rates for entrance to the beach runs around $9.50 for adults and kids five and under are free. Looking to spend even more time at the beach? Look into investing in a season pass, which runs around $90/adult and $45/child.  



4. Games

If you spend time at Jenkinson’s, then you know there’s no shortage of games.  From the arcade games to the games of chance to mini golf to the fun house, there’s a game for everyone.

IMG 2236

IMG 3495

My family has a healthy obsession for competition, so we always like to try our hand at the games of chance. Those ring tossing games always stump us, but we give it a good family try. Thankfully, though, we had some luck at the water gun races. Earlier in the summer, we had fun with the rooftop mini golf.

IMG 3445It was pretty difficult playing mini golf with a toddler in tow who wanted to sabotage everyone’s game, but we had fun nonetheless. It gets a bit hot on the rooftop and this venue is not stroller friendly, so definitely keep that in mind if you’re thinking of mini golf during the day. The views up there are not to be missed!



5. The Food

I always associate the best beach trips with delicious food. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk offers a great selection of sweets and treats. For lunch, my family likes hitting Little Mac’s for cheesesteaks, pizzas and fries.IMG 2033

IMG 2209

When at the beach, you can’t go wrong with comfort food and fried food. The freshly squeezed lemonade stands, though, can’t be missed!  Looking for sweet treats? Make sure you grab a frozen custard cone from Kohr’s or a chocolate covered Rice Krispie from one of the sweet shops.

IMG 2203



6. The Boardwalk

The beach and the boardwalk go hand in hand. As a teen, I remember walking up and down the boardwalk of my hometown, boy-watching, laughing and giggling with my friends. IMG 2066As a mom, it’s fun to do the same with my family. Only now, our laughter and giggles are elicited from people watching and the silly antics that can be found on the boardwalk. One of the coolest aspects of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk is the family-friendly activities that congregate on almost every corner.  Throughout the summer months, we’ve loved watching magicians, stilt walkers, and most recently, even participating in a kid hula hoop contest!  This is what makes summer so memorable.


IMG 5801



7. Making Memories

Last but not least, perhaps the best part of Jenkinson’s is making memories with my family. I can record and take pictures all day long as we have fun, but the best kind of memories are the kind that we make in person.

IMG 2043

On Instagram, I posted how it was so tough being a big brother. As much as big brother hated riding a baby ride, he’s such a trooper for appeasing Littles. Just look at that smile!

IMG 5821

IMG 2230

The best kind of memories are the ones that you and the kids will remember for years to come. Whether it’s riding the Flitzer 120 times on one visit, winning a super-sized stuffed animal, getting totally freaked out in the fun house or giving Luseal kisses from a distance, Jenkinson’s is the quintessential backdrop for making family memories that will last a lifetime.

IMG 5797IMG 3430


Full disclosure:  This is a sponsored post as part of the Jenkinson’s Ambassador program. I was compensated for my time and participation, but as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.




Westin Introduces SuperChefs Program and Eat Well Menu for Kids

This summer, we’ve had quite a few travel adventures so far.  Just as awesome though, we’ve had some cool kid-centric culinary experiences.  I’m still working on my reviews on my travel pieces, but I wanted to share some information on a recent event we attended.


Kids 620x330

Westin Hotels & Resorts announced the next stage of its year-long Westin Well-Being Movement and we were on hand to experience it ourselves.  As part of their ongoing initiative to harness wellness within their properties, Westin unveiled two new nutrition-focused partnerships with SuperChefs and The Juicery and the newest member of their Well-Being Council, dietician Ashley Koff RD.


In a time where childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years per the CDC, educating and engaging kids with food and healthier habits is so integral.  With programs like the SuperChefs that emphasize the educating kids on eating smart, I truly believe our paradigm is shifting in the right directions.  


IMG 4986

Westin’s partnership with SuperChefs underscores the brand’s dedication to well being.  They now offer a menu fully dedicated to healthy options for kids at hotels globally.  The Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids engages children through a playful menu placemat filled with dishes like Build Your Own Fruit Crepes.  Kids get to play with their food, which gives them a chance to discover what they’re eating but still offers the value of healthy eating.  Among some other dishes on the new kids’ menu includes Build Your Own Salmon Nicoise Salad and Baby Spinach & Omelet.


A few weeks ago, we had the chance to experience the SuperChefs program firsthand, and super was quite the understatement.  My six year old learned not just what a crepe is, but also how to flip it!  I absolutely loved his surprised look when he learned to snap his wrist and flip! 

IMG 4959IMG 4963

IMG 4966



As if smearing Nutella on his very own crepe wasn’t delicious enough, Biggie also learned how to make his own pasta.  I’m not talking opening a box and boiling, we’re talking creating our own dough and cranking out our own noodles with love.  J loved learning how to use the pasta machine and cranking out his very own noodles—so much so, he begged to make noodles at home so we’d have enough for everyone.  You know an event is that good when your kid wants to continue the activity at home and further in life.

IMG 4939IMG 4947


SuperChefs is a wonderful, engaging way for kids to learn about the food they eat.  I appreciate how Westin’s Well-Being Movement continues to make strides to offer their guests with an overall well-rounded approach and includes kids with their recent collaboration with SuperChefs.





Family Travel: New Destinations for Adventures by Disney

I’ve been thinking a lot about my bucket list lately.  And like many people, my bucket list includes quite a bit of travel; not just any travel, but traveling with my family.  Last month, I was invited to a Disney Adventures press event, where I had the chance to learn about their latest destinations and beyond.  

0419Y 1161DZ 2013

The thing about Disney: everything is a story—a well told story with explicit details.  From their amusement parks to video games to books to shows to movies, every facet of this multi-media power house is magical, including their Disney Adventures travel destinations.

New on the Adventures by Disney lineup, not surprisingly, is inspired by the insta-classic that took the world by storm.  Disney by Adventure’s Frozen-inpired trips boasts two agendas to explore Norway, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.

The Norway agenda allows for excursions that explore the landscape inspired by Frozen.  Families will visit the village of Bergen, hike through  terrains, explore a fjord, and see the Briksdal Glacier.

Fjord JOS 9644


Lake Leon JOS 8172

Adventure Highlights 8 days/7 nights

  • Welcome dinner and reception in a historic room overlooking the picturesque Bryggen wharf
  • Glide along a river in Voss that offers stunning vistas of the region’s mountains
  • Explore the natural beauty, cultural heritage of the Fjord country, and meet local storytellers on the Fjord safari in Flam
  • Visit the Borgund Stave Church, the best preserved stave church in Norway
  • Walk in the footsteps of a fisherman by participating in rainbow trout fishing on Lake Loen
  • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Bergen Wharf, Nærøyfjord (Naeroyfjord), and Geirangerfjord
  • Visit the Briksdal Glacier and be surrounded by cascading waterfalls and high mountain peaks 

The Austria, Germany and Czech Republic

On this Central European adventure, families can explore the hidden jewels of the Bavarian Alps, visit a medieval castle and walk the same streets that Mozart once did.

Adventure Highlights 9 days/8 nights

  • Explore the art of marionette-making with a local artisan at the Art Deco Marionette Theater Club, including a backstage tour of the theater and a mini-performance
  • Explore the salt mine and ice cave in Berchtesgaden and finish the day by making traditional pretzels and tasting their famous schnapps
  • Visit Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and explore the whimsical Hellbrunn Castle, including a visit to the “trick fountains”
  • Fly high with a falconry demonstration at Hohenwerfen Castle
  • Learn the art of Schnapps making at Germany’s oldest standing distillery, Enzianbrennerei Grassl
  • Enjoy dinner with entertainment by a duo of Mozart violinists at St. Peter’s Stiftskeller, the oldest restaurant in Europe
  • Go backstage at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna which has been in practice for over 440 years

Wrap up this royal adventure by learning the waltz and having a splendid dinner at Emperor’s Pavillion at the oldest zoo in Vienna

In 2015, Adventures by Disney will explore even more exotic locales, including the Amazon and Galapagos Islands.  On that worldly adventure, families will expire bio-diverse areas of the world

Ecuador: Amazon & Galapagos Islands

The new 12-day, 11-night Ecuadorian adventure, featuring the Amazon and Galapagos Islands, journeys through the most untouched, bio-diverse areas of the world and experience local culture and learn about wildlife first hand.Adventure highlights

PRINT AnakondaAmazonCruises byMarynaMarston 028

  • four-night river cruise on the Anakonda riverboat to explore the tropical rainforest
  • three night stay at the beachfront Finch Bay Hotel in Galapagos
  • exploration of Quito, with vistas to local markets, studios and Spanish cathedrals
  • cooking class with an Ecuadorian chocolate tasting

And an adventure near and dear to my heart:

Long weekend to NYC

DSC08391r 2


This detailed trip to NYC includes adventures worthy of stories themselves, including:

  • Behind-the-scenes visit to Good Morning America
  • Hands-on Broadway musical dance workshop
  • Visit to New Amsterdam Theatre and a backstage tour
  • Enjoy a performance of Alladin
  • Private guided tour of Harlem
  • Learn about in-depth stories of what it was like to be an American immigrant during a visit to the Tenemant Museum


Adventures by Disney highlights the importance of sacred family time and the stories that are told during family travel.  Trips like these, in my book, are once in a lifetime bucket list adventures, and as such, are priced as luxury trips.  They include guides and VIP experiences, and in Disney fashion, I’m imagining are top notch.  For more information, check out the beautiful photos and other information on Adventures by Disney’s site.



An Ultimate Getaway Aboard the NCL Getaway

The weather here in the northeast has been downright frigid.  Lucky for us, we had a chance to getaway on the NCL Getaway—well, at least for a day anyway.


Last weekend, The Moms and Norwegian Cruiseline hosted a family media day aboard the latest ship in the NCL fleet, the Getaway.  Having just sailed across the Atlantic, literally, just weeks from the shipyard, we were among the first to explore the brand spanking new ship.  Beyond getting to smell that new ship smell, we savored some food, entertainment and whet our appetites for much more.


Getaway header jul2013


Measuring in at 1,068 ft., boasting 18 decks (14 open to the public), 28 diverse dining options and a waterpark with five waterslides, among other features, the Getaway certainly lived up to its name.


As we arrived, we convened in the Illusionarium, which channeled a big top circus with a magician’s appeal.  Deep velvets and vintage-looking magician’s tools, made for a mysterious, yet intimate backdrop for a dining and entertainment space.



IMG 8626




NCL treated us to a delicious lunch that included coconut shrimp, a simple salad, twice baked potato and a filet.  And since we were celebrating the babe’s birthday, the banana cupcake for the kids was an expected hit.  The fluffy, decorative icing was a major hit for Josh, no surprise there. I devoured the dessert sampling that featured a trilogy of sweet confections, including a red velvet cupcake, vanilla crème caramel and chocolate cake.


IMG 8635IMG 8702IMG 8647


After our fulfilling lunch, we were treated even further with a sampling of shows that could be found aboard the Getaway.  Burn the Floor, an invigorating, fast-paced dance show, headlined the entertainment.  This high energy show featured dancers who stomped and burned the floor with tap and jazz-inspired choreography.  Of all the shows, this was my favorite, and based on the kids’ expressions, I’m sure they felt the same.


IMG 8672IMG 8676IMG 8665

The magician was the next performer who engaged the kids even further.  He balanced a candle atop a floating table, which mesmerized both kids and adults.

The Tony Award nominated show, Legally Blonde was the next performance that turned heads.  While I love Broadway musicals, Legally Blonde just isn’t my thing.  Nevertheless, it was a fun and entertaining performance.


IMG 8693


IMG 8703IMG 8724


The kids’ absolute favorite performance, though, was the Nickelodeon crew.  Dora, Diego, Spongebob and the Nickelodeon team danced even further into my boys’ hearts.  The excitement and allure from the oversized, singing characters from the 2 year old was immeasurable.


After the performances, we had a chance to explore the ship on a guided tour as the older kids got to enjoy the Nickelodeon Splash Camp.  The highlights of the tour for the expansive dining options included The Waterfront, an open air promenade that showcases the ocean as part of the ambience; the chilly Ice Bar; La Cucina, the obligatory italian joint and my favorite, Carlo’s Bakery. 


IMG 8743

IMG 8749

As a former longtime Hoboken resident and fan pre-Cake Boss, I absolutely loved seeing this iconic bakery have a presence aboard another NCL ship.  I didn’t have a chance to taste anything beyond the luncheon, but the thought of a future sail has my mouth watering.






IMG 8742

IMG 8758























IMG 8737



As for the staterooms, we had a chance to peek into several interior rooms.  Like most interior rooms, they were modest and cozy, but had me feeling claustrophobic. 

IMG 8786

Having lived in tight quarters for so long, I dream of stretching out while on vacation.  On the other end of the spectrum, the staterooms in the Haven were nothing less than dreamy.  I peeked into a few Haven suites and fell in love  with the clean, modern decor and smart design.  These suites maximized the space and even featured an offset sleeping area.  The tiled bathroom and glorious tubs truly evoked elegance.


IMG 8802IMG 8805

IMG 8807


The areas I really wanted to tour though, I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to really explore.  Though Jack spent some time at the Splash Camp, I wanted to have a look at the facility for the kids. NCL is known for their comprehensive kids’ programs, which looked super fun from a distance. 



 It featured bright colors, fun music, a second floor and cool counselors.  My only complaint: the babe really wanted to play with big bro, and since he’s just 2, he wasn’t able to play along and enjoy balloons with the bigger kids since that specific kid area was for 3 and up.  He eventually got over it when we let him gamble.


IMG 8762


Since I’ve had the pleasure of attending several media cruises and events aboard various cruise ships, it always great when I’m able to bring family to experience the fun.  This time around, we spent the babe’s 2nd birthday aboard the ship.  Since we opted to forgo a big party for his 2nd birthday, it felt as thought NCL threw Josh a super lavish party!  Entertainment, delicious food, Dora and Diego, Spongebob and an attentive staff to wait on us and clean up? Best birthday celebration ever!


IMG 8733


A big thank you again to NCL and The Moms for hosting us for the media and give us a reason to dream about a major Getaway.