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:
THE OFFICER WIFE SERIES – CRUISE TIPS – PART 1
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Love learning a little more about you! I won’t lie, that world mediterranian cruise sounds inticing 😉
I went on my first cruise last year and absolutely loved it. I had no idea officers could have their family on board with them!
This was such a fun q and a. I enjoyed reading all the answers 😊
Cool post. I saw a lot of super fit cruise ship personnel who were using the gym on board. It’s an interesting way to budget your calories by burning on board and eating on land. I love the idea of taking what you think you need and cutting it in half. We are working hard to pack light but it doesn’t come easy or naturally for us.
That was a great packing tip by Shannon- about taking what you think you’ll need after you have subtracted half of it. It was really interesting to read about the cruising life of the families of officers onboard and how they find their routine of working out and eating healthy when vacationers around them are indulging in holiday excesses!
Wow, Shannon sounds like a powerhouse! Great advice for keeping fit aboard – being able to use the gym is a great advantage too. People who cruise a lot probably have a great idea of how to slim down their packing – Shannon’s tip of halving everything planned is a real eye-opener!
This is a great insight into someone’s unique lifestyle. I love how she keeps herself healthy and fit while onboard. Great post! 🙂
Nice interview. I have yet to go on a cruise, I need to change that. That Mediterranean cruise sounds amazing! Great packing tips. I always try and put outfits together and then take out some stuff after lol.
Good advice on the outfit packing, I always end up with too much! And it’s important to leave room for all the cool stuff to be found while traveling! Meeting people is always the best part of any journey, learning about people from all over the world and how you ended up in the same place together is a pleasure. Good food and wine are the hallmarks of any good adventure!
Wow! I love reading this post! Thanks for sharing your Mediterranean cruise.I also love how you take good care of yourself, doing exercise while on board. Thanks for the packing tips I really enjoyed reading this post all down.
I totally agree on the Mediterranean cruise. As a Greek, I would definitely recommend it! I would love to visit Norway and its fjords though. It is really high on my bucket list! Thanks Shannon for the tips!
I’d never really fancied a cruise but you make it sound fabulous – to have the time to workout on board would be great, I struggle with a routine when I travel. I love her packing tips too, I used to always take too much with me but I am getting better – I don’t halve it but definitely cut it down!
I honestly never knew cruising was a thing. Lol. This is a great interview from a very unique behind the scenes perspective. I did not know that the officers wives and children travel along with them. That’s pretty fantastic. I’ve only ever been on the Disney cruise (pre-travel blogger days.) I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to do it again. I also can’t wait to see the northern lights.