Welcome to part two of the Sunday feature on my blog The Officer Wife Series Travel & Cruise Tips Q & A. As you know I travel the world on a cruise ship with my husband, who is an officer on a cruise ship. This is why I thought this would be a fun Sunday feature with my friends that also are officer wives.
This week we will feature Shannon. Shannon is from the USA and she travels with her husband onboard with their children. She has just had a baby boy, so will she is staying home until he is old enough to travel onboard. Shannon has travelled around the world with her young daughter and is an is an expert in cruising, fitness and travelling with a toddler.
Let’s see what travel and cruise tips Shannon has for you.
What is your favourite place in the world?
This is tough. I have very emotional connections to so many different places in the world. I met my husband in Alaska, although that particular destination would otherwise not make my list of favourites. We found out we were expecting a baby in Hawaii, babymooned in Tahiti, and have very fond memories all over the place.
If I absolutely have to choose I would say Norway. Norway has incredibly stunning scenery. I was in awe of the fjords and waterfalls. This is also where I witnessed the Northern Lights for the first time. To top it off, Norway as incredible food and their craft beer scene is booming. The Norwegian trolls are pretty cute too!
What is your favourite cruise?
Is it cheating if I say the world cruise? The Mediterranean cruise that includes Barcelona, Greece, Montenegro, France, Italy, and Croatia. There is a lot to do on that cruise and amazing food and wine.
What is your favourite part of cruising?
The best part of cruising is all of the people you meet. I love to mingle with the different people from all over the world. This is an experience I never thought I would have.
I am just a small town girl from the South who happened to marry a very worldly man. I also love that the officers and crew have become a second family. We have been blessed to get to know some very fabulous people.
How many countries have you been to?
47 thanks to the World Cruise.
What are the beauty products that you cannot travel without?
I am very particular about beauty products since I have sensitive skin and the ship water is a little harsh on it. I love Micellar water, Big Sexy Hair Hairspray, Oligo Blacklight 18 in 1 hair treatment, Limelight by Alcone makeup, and I use a skincare line by Isagenix.
Do you have any packing tips?
Put together the outfits you THINK you need and then subtract half. I always end up shopping when I travel so there really is no need to take a different outfit for every single day. I also take a lot of clothes that can be mix and matched. I pack for myself and my children and they require a little more than I do.
They are much more likely to get too dirty so they need a few extra outfits in case they need a mid-day change. I also do not pack anything that can be purchased upon arrival like toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion, etc. If it is something that I don’t have a favourite brand of then I usually do not pack it and just get it when I land.
What are your tips for travelling with children?
Snacks and entertainment! I have travelled a lot with our 2 year old and her needs have changed throughout. For babies, I suggest having a pacifier or bottle handy for takeoff and landing to help with their ears. I also suggest getting them adjusted to the time zone as quickly as possible. If they are used to a 1 pm nap at home then have them take a 1 pm local time nap while away from home.
For toddlers, you have to keep them entertained. Eating and drinking still comes in handy for takeoff and landing but they get bored and want to walk around. We always bring a book, something to colour, her favourite toy, and most recently an Amazon Fire Kids with Bluetooth headphones.
Do you keep healthy or eat what you like when travelling onboard?
A mixture of both. When we are in port I eat what I want. I love to enjoy the local food and drink. When we are on the ship I keep healthy by having superfood shakes and trying to make smart choices from the menu. I have really started to enjoy the vegetarian options onboard.
Do you exercise when onboard, if so what you do to keep fit?
Yes! I love to take some time to myself while my husband and daughter rest in the afternoon. I love to run around the track and get some fresh air. Ironically, I am the fittest while onboard since I have access to a gym. When I am at home I have to get in the car and worry about childcare to be able to use gym equipment.
What do you do with your time onboard?
Most of my time onboard is spent with my daughter. We have a son now as well but he hasn’t had the opportunity to cruise yet. My husband is at work for most of the day so it’s the same as being a stay at home except on a ship!
I also run my own health and wellness business. I have been very lucky to find an opportunity that allows me to create my own schedule and work from anywhere. My business also keeps me motivated to stay healthy and makes it easy to do so since the products are available globally. All we have to do is place an order to whatever port we are in and we can avoid those pesky buffet pounds the entire contract!
You can follow Shannon on Instagram @shannbryant
I hope you enjoyed reading part two of the Officer Wife Series with Shannon. She offered some great cruise tips and next week you can read more Q & A’s with another officer wife.
Read more travel and cruise tips with Julie in part one:
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Love Lucy x