Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Red Hot Confidence is Right In Your Closet....And in Your Soul.

There's a reason why red is the color of the season! It's bold, it's loud, it's confident! Is there something that you wear that makes you feel confident? What is it about this color that just automatically makes you feel like you're a rock star walking on water (or basically, Beyonce)? Red commands attention. It makes a statement and it means you want to be seen and be acknowledged. Want to take it to to the next level? Dip yourself in red from head to toe, like I did when I recently went back home to NYC and took a photographic stroll with my photographer, Lauren, in the Village. I can't tell you how many compliments I got on this look while covering fashion week shows. I was thisclose to jumping on that runway because I was feeling oh so good and confident! You could read it on my face! There was that extra sparkle. Confidence to me is also a pop of red lipstick. It's an instant mood changer, and why not flaunt it some more with this all-red H&M ensemble?! Red is a big hit for fall, as are ruffles. Carmen Miranda your way into the season with ruffles upon ruffles on your next outfit- just make sure its red! 

We covered the clothes and now its time to cover the soul. Let's go deep and have a confident conversation. 

A few weeks ago while I was organizing Maya's homework packet for school, I started thinking about confidence. Here I am, looking through this little girl's classwork, and she's only five, hoping I'm doing the best job possible in instilling a sense of pride, confidence, and self-love in her mind and body. As a mother and as a woman, I do feel it is my job to equip her with the best tools I possibly can, and to constantly remind her of how awesome she is, how smart she is, and how kind she is, even if and when she reaches a threshold of doubt. 

How early in our life, does confidence begin to form? Are we born with it (no relation to the cliche commercial)?  Is it something that begins to take shape in early childhood or adolescence? The word 'confidence' encompasses so many different things to so many and I believe it is cyclical depending on where you are in life. There are those that confidence never wavers. Some are faced with the challenge of trying to find a healthy balance between confidence and self-esteem. Having confidence is a high like no other, but when you lack it for whatever reason or for whatever time, it can make you feel downright miserable and empty. 

I consider myself a pretty confident person. My friends joke I have 'bullet-proof' self-esteem. That didn't happen overnight. The events in my life have absolutely determined my growth in confidence, and at times, my decline. Everything from being an honor roll student and doing well in school to the death of my mother, have been factors in my confidence. Little things with big worth like being a helpful individual or being a good friend or a good wife, are jolts of confidence boosters for my soul. Moving to New York, fighting for what I want, getting what I want, and not letting anything or anyone deter me from my goals, no matter how arduous they seemed, shaped my confidence. Becoming a mother really cemented my confidence in so many ways- talk about a roller coaster! Then there are those moments that make you question your confidence. Am I doing a good job as a parent? Am I being a good romodel? Do I still have what it takes in my career? Will I be able to coexist amicably with my anxiety? Am I doing this whole life thing right? There are no answers to some of these and that's when confidence kicks in- that's where I get my answer. Confidence is resilience and I've proven to myself again and again, that I am resilient. I'm confident because I know that when I set my mind on doing something, look out world, because I'm getting it done. It's knowing that I'm a fucking great parent, but that I also have bad days, and that's perfectly okay. Confidence is making shit happen. It's putting on my favorite red lipstick, messy hair, and strutting out into the world like, "look at me. you should know me." It's taking it one day at a time believing that you are capable of absolutely anything and everything. It is trusting in God, when sometimes its hard to do so because you don't get why things are happening. 

Above all, it's loving who you are and realizing that you are an awesome human being. 

What does confidence mean to you? I wanted to find out- and who better than some of my closest friends and followers. To read all these responses was extremely inspiring! I love the honesty, the positivity, and the motivation in each of these personal definitions. Confidence is not just one thing. It can be physical, mental, and emotional. Heck, its pretty much a combination of these or all three! Confidence is that good juju and it looks like we're all trying to live our best life with a very important ingredient- CONFIDENCE! 

As to how early confidence starts to become a topic of thought and conversation, well, just ask the little ones! I didn't want to exclude our tiny philosophers from this blog experiment  so I asked a group of kids what confidence meant to them. It also turned out to be a great little exercise in communication between parents and kiddos, and that, is always a good thing! 

Go on, read below and get inspired! 

Confidence is sexy. It’s caring for yourself and showing others that you are comfortable in your own skin. - Viviana

I seldom have it.  -Rachel

Confidence is not being afraid of what others think...especially when it comes to taking risks in your career. - Tiffanie

Trust builds confidence. Trusting yourself to do/say what is on your mind or to express how you feel builds confidence. Surrounding yourself with people you trust where you can be honest, builds confidence. And you can therefore take that confidence and build upon it in a wider audience. - Sheila

Confidence is the ability to be yourself.  Your true, unfiltered self and being able to stand by that. - Maureen

Confidence is seeing the good in yourself through all the imperfections. - Becky

Firm belief in myself and others. Confidence means helping others become better versions of themselves. Confidence means promoting love and support. - Karla

Confidence to me is carrying myself with grace, style, and positivity! And that no matter what, I feel proud and beautiful, even when others try to tell me otherwise! And that my confidence is so bright and full, I share it with others and it rubs off on them. - Lydia

Confidence is when a person (or any creature, for that matter) believes in himself or herself and truly believes he/she can achieve whatever they set themselves to do. It requires one to have value themselves. When someone is confident, they are able to take risks and achieve things that having any self-doubt would limit them from doing. When a person is confident, they don't care what obstacles or criticisms come their way, they go one being their merry self because they know they're awesome! - Jenise 

Being confident is finding strength in vulnerability. - Carmen 

Finding confidence and having confidence can be tough sometimes, but its about pulling through, putting your best foot forward and just going for it. Go big or go home.  -Claudia 

Confidence to me is wearing a bomb pair of shoes that sound like power when they hit the ground. Its my bad ass bounce. - T

It means that I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, will have bad days, but no matter what comes my way, I will overcome it, make the best of it, and keep smiling! - Yamile

Confidence is trust, especially when there's no safety net to catch you. -Kristine  

Confidence is an individual's feeling of being sure or certain of oneself ..that creates an inner positive drive in believing they can accomplishing or tackle any task. - Gina

Little voices, BIG impressions! 

Confidence is believing in yourself and trusting yourself. It means to concentrate when the teacher tells you to so you can do your work. - Maya, 5

Confidence is trusting in God. -Gaine, 7 

It means believing in yourself. - Drew, 5 

Confidence is being happy about what you are doing and not being scared. -Emma, 9 

Confidence is doing rainbow writing the way my teacher wants me to, and putting my hand up when the teacher asks who could do the pins safely. - Sarah, 5 

Confidence means I feel good about something. -Kaitlyn, 7

Confidence is being kind and standing up for people. It means helping people up when they feel down. - Reagan, 8

Confidence is that you believe in yourself. To be strong and know that you can do it. Be brave. It means you're nice. Confidence means you can do it and then doing it, like when I say I'm going to ride without training wheels and I do it. -Lucy, 6 

In Style, 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fall Fashion Underground With Marshalls

Let's get real. The best part about fall isn't the pumpkin spice lattes or the leaves changing colors. It's not the apple picking or the cool breeze when you're taking a hike, Yes, these things are all 'Fall Fab,' I can't (and won't) disagree with you! The best part about fall, however, is the wardrobe! From the chunky knits to the latest trend in ankle booties, shopping for fall is THE highlight of the season. Also, let's not forget you need the most Instagram-worthy fall closet to pick up that pumpkin spice latte at your favorite coffee shop or to go apple picking at your local orchard.

Mine came in the form of New York- where fall has a way of coming to life. Whether I'm running from shoot to shoot on the train, or heading out east for some wine tasting with the family, my looks have to be on point and on trend. As a New Yorker and a Miamian, my fall wardrobe has to fit both extreme climates while still being comfortable, chic, and budget-friendly! That's where Marshalls (https://www.marshallsonline.com) comes in. Marshalls has never failed me. If there's a specific look or trend that I want to showcase or have fun with, I know that Marshalls will deliver- plus, the unexpected fashion surprises are always a perk (#marshallssurprise)! They offer an incredible and surprising selection of high-quality designer merchandise at insane prices that keeps my bank account in check and my pockets smiling- plus I walk out styling! 

Before heading to New York Fashion Week, I always make sure to pick up a new outfit or two to really get me into that hustle and bustle vibe of the city. The energy, the buildings, the 'getting it done,' attitude of the Big Apple, its enough to inspire and to really capture who I am and what I'm here to do. My clothes needs to reflect that too. I'm a producer and a writer and my job is to cover every beat from celebrities to red carpets. 15 years of covering fashion shows and I still get a rush when I hit the backstage and see all the models getting into their 'first looks.' Covering runway shows is one on my many job descriptions, but also one of my biggest perks! I get a glimpse of what the season's hottest trends are; and, what's even better is I get to scoop up these trends whenever I visit my local Marshalls- and that's exactly what I did when I recently visited the new Lincoln Road location! 

Finding that fall outfit that can fit both New York and Miami can sometimes be challenging; but, that's why its smart and practical to find pieces that are still fall-inspired that you can wear in both hot and cool climates. Marshalls' vast selection of the latest trends makes the process a lot easier. The first thing that caught my eye was this off-the-shoulder gingham blouse with bell sleeves. Summer was all about the gingham trend. We saw it on dresses, skirts, trousers, even high-waisted shorts. Here's the beauty of this particular summer trend- it can make a stylish transition into fall if it's the right piece and the right cut! I actually went a size bigger on the blouse because I'm into anything oversized and I thought it emphasized the off-the-shoulder cuteness of it! I also love the drama of the bell sleeves. There's a bit of that 70's flair that still makes it stand out without being too over-the-top. The price? $12.99! Can you really beat that?! I don't think so. 

I made a few laps around the store all while thinking, "what would I wear this with besides the obvious?" The obvious to me is denim or something black; but, if you know me, I like to be a little more bold in my fashion statements! As I was about to call it a night, thinking how a trip to another Marshalls was definitely in my future, I spotted it. 

Lo and behold, the embroidered faux-leather floral skirt! The Marshalls Surprise gods came through. 

Floral Embroidery is a HUGE trend we are going to be seeing for fall. It started making a presence last spring and by summer, floral embroidery was blooming everywhere. Now fall has adopted the trend and all is well in the world! First off, for $19.99, this skirt is an absolute steal! I knew that it would pair perfectly with the black and white gingham blouse. I love the contrast between both pieces and combining them would be a showstopper! The skirt mixes two of my favorite elements: 'rough and tough' detailing like faux-leather and studs and ladylike touches like the moody florals (dark florals are key for fall). The mini is not a cut that I normally go with; but, I fell hard for this skirt and I didn't feel constricted whatsoever while wearing it. I felt fierce and fabulous and I got so many compliments on this look that it definitely gave my confidence level a boost. 

No look is complete without the perfect pair of shoes and as soon as I saw these gold block heels, I literally let out a yelp. I was THAT Marshalls enthusiast you probably heard if you were at the Lincoln Road location! Here's the truth- I had been coveting the gold Gucci block heels since they first came out; but the price tag was a little too steep. I put that shoe dream to sleep, only to find a more affordable designer version at Marshalls! It was love at first sight and at $29.99, I would have bought two of the same pair if they had an extra one in my size. Block heels are another popular shoe trend for the season and I personally love it because I like a sturdier heel. I also like the chunkiness and its a subtle step into the mod world of the 60s and 70s. 

Taking into consideration that balance between Miami fall and NY fall, I wore a simple pair of black socks with my heels. The schoolgirl trend of heels and socks comes and goes depending on the season and depending on the fashionista! This girl right here, loves her heels with socks! My Marshalls metallic heels look oh so stylish with these sheer black socks. They are ideal for Miami and if you're in much cooler climates, pair your minis with opaque tights! Whether black or a pop of a color, you can pick up a pair at a Marshalls near you. 

When it came to photographing this insane fall look from Marshalls, it was my extraordinary photographer, Kim Mancuso (www.kimmancusophotography.com), who said, "Let's get on a train!" 
Fashion is about self-expression, it's about having fun and doing a little bit of the unexpected. You want your clothes to tell a story and by taking this 'cool-downtown-fashion-girl' look underground, we were really able to show that there are so many different fashion personalities out there and they're all unique! You might think its an nontraditional location to shoot florals or something sexy, but its the opposite. The subway system isn't just a means of transportation, its part of the fabric of NYC. Its where fashion has no hierarchy; where clothes tell a story of who you are, where you've been, and where you're going. It's where I get inspired when I see someone wearing something I really love and go home and try to recreate it with my personal stamp of approval. It's where there are no fashion rules- just fashion. 

From Spring Street to Times Square, I was one of those stories- and thanks to Marshalls, I got to tell mine in the most stylist way possible. 

What's your story? 

In Style,


Friday, September 22, 2017

Summer's Last Hurrah Featuring TJ Maxx and Hotel Colonnade

Slap my hand for I have sinned! I have been promising this post for a few weeks now; but with the appearance of Hurricane Irma and my own two tiny hurricanes at home, well, blog stuff has gotten postponed. Alas though, I am currently here, sitting in front of my computer, tapping away at this thirsty keyboard, and bringing you the last 'summer' post of 2017 (well, because summer seems to always overstay its welcome in Miami). 

It's been a fun and busy summer, with some hiccups along the way (lice, anyone); but the Buccio family has taken full advantage of lazy days with no bedtimes; and, adventures where we could take them. We've cruised, we hit the beach, we did field trips to the museum and every indoor playground imaginable. We decorated cupcakes, did staycations, went to the movies, had countless play dates, celebrated 10 years of marriage, had too much fun back to school shopping, and visited family in NYC (thanks, Irma). Our tiny (albeit beautiful and loving) terrorist turned two and our number one girl officially became a Kindergartener. We came, we saw, we conquered summer. 

On one of our last summer hurrahs, we were invited to experience the newly revamped Hotel Colonnade in Coral Gables (http://www.hotelcolonnade.com). I've often posted about the Hotel Colonnade because it holds a very special place in our hearts- we got married here! Our wedding reception was held in the iconic rotunda and boy, was it memorable (don't ask me, ask the hotel, the guests, and the wedding planner)!  It was a breathtaking setting of red roses and candle (like the red wedding minus the gory deaths), and we sang with the band (we may have broken a guiro), puppies were let loose on the dance floor, and someone (ahem, possibly the bride), ended up in the fountain. Sign of a good time! So when we were invited for a weekend staycation, we were thrilled! Not only were we going to relive some amazing memories, but we wanted to share them with our kids too. 


The hotel has undergone an impressive face lift without sacrificing any of the historic and luxurious elements that make it special. Walk into the Hotel Colonnade now, and you are transported to a more modern, more hip boutique hotel in the heart of Coral Gables. You get the coolness and sophistication rolled in one; so, whether you're a family of four or a couple of lovebirds looking for a chic getaway, its got you covered. The decor is eclectic and vibrant, with pops of color and unique architectural features that can be found on everything from bed pillows and lobby mirrors. 

There were so many things we loved about the hotel; but one of my favorite things believe it or not, was breakfast at the Aragon Cafe. The cafe is so reminiscent of a European hotspot. We loved starting our day with the breakfast buffet and delicious pastries made fresh daily- chocolate muffins for the kids, guava and cheese pastries for us. It was a comfortable setting with cute sofas jazzed up with colorful pillows and mismatched chairs. It was a great spot to catch up on some leisurely reading- which we did (it wasn't just for picture purposes)! Speaking of, the Hotel Colonnade team really knew how to make us feel extra welcome! If you saw my Instastories, I'm sure you caught some of the surprises they left for us in the room! We were so appreciative of them going the extra mile! A bottle of champagne for mom and dad, fashion magazines and a pool hat for mom, the most adorable dragon towel for our baby dragon, and a mermaid tail float for Maya. That's what I call attention to detail! 

Another favorite, especially for the kids, was the family suite! Talk about an upgrade! You really see the hotel's transformation firsthand when you step into one of the rooms. Our room was two floors, with a bunk bed, a second bathroom, and a big screen TV for the kids on the second floor. As you can imagine, they were in HEAVEN.  Mom and dad were able to have semi-privacy with our own bed and bathroom on the first floor and our own TV, where we watched whatever we wanted to watch  (it's the little things). Our room overlooked the hotel pool, with views of Miracle Mile. The hotel is walking distance to some great shops and restaurants (we made several trips to Barnes and Nobles with the kids). You can also take a trolley or jump on one of the hotel's bikes available for guests to rent at no charge! Convenience is key, and the hotel makes it SO easy to explore everything the Gables has to offer. We actually kept it very local with dinner at the hotel's 'unofficial/official' restaurant, House Kitchen and Bar (http://www.housekitchenbar.com), which is not only delicious and kid-friendly, but also happens to be a nightly hotspot with great music and a lively crowd; and, before dinner, we made sure to pop into the also upgraded and renovated hotel bar. It's so chic with old photographs of the hotel, friendly bartenders, and a conversation friendly layout that makes it a great spot to grab a drink before hitting the town! 

Have I sold you yet on a staycation at the Hotel Colonnade?! You gotta go! 

Let's not forget the pool! I'm more of a 'laid back- lounge on a chaise- swim at my leisure- kind of girl- which basically means I don't like loud pool parties with loud music, loud people, or raucous. Hanging at the Colonnade pool with the kids was DIVINE and fit the bill for my pool needs. They have pool noodles for the kids, sofas and chairs to lay out on, and though the pool is not huge, it serves its purpose! The only thing I would add is drink service at the pool. Nothing a cocktail can't fix! 

Our staycation at the Hotel Colonnade coincided with back to school shopping for Maya, so before hitting the hotel, we stopped at one of our favorite stores, TJ Maxx, and loaded up on some outfits and school supplies! Now, did you think that I wasn't going to pick up something for myself at the Maxx?! It's back to school shopping for me too, right?! I AM going to school with her, so it all makes sense. I thought it would be perfect to bring our outfits along to our staycation. 

Maya loves picking out her clothes and though I like to give my input on things (because I'm a stage mom), I want her to be able to express herself and find things she loves (with mom's approval, of course). She gets so excited when she finds something that she really likes and if it looks like anything I have in my closet, she freaks out. Twinsies! That's what I love about big box stores like TJ Maxx, you find incredible deals at amazing prices. It's guilt-free shopping! After browsing through the kids' section, Maya picked out this navy blue and white Hello Kitty dress, because hello! It's Hello Kitty! She loved the tutu skirt because its fun to twirl, she said, and she wants to wear it to a playdate with her school friends. 

She also picked up this furry penguin notebook for school because that's where she wants to write about her day and her feelings, she told me. That's right girl, let those feelings out! Express yourself! There's a budding writer inside of you. 

It's on to my look, kids! The obsession is real with this TJ Maxx wrap around dress; and, for $19.99 it was quite the steal! The color combination instantly caught my eye! The fuchsia with aqua just screams, POP POP POP! I'm all about versatility and what I love about this dress, is that I've worn it several times in different settings, with different shoes, makeup, and accessories. When I go shopping, I'm all about practicality. Long are the days of buying something and only wearing it once. Goodness, I think back at how much money I spent in my 20s buying a trend piece that I only wore one time. I would probably have a designer closet with all that wasted money.  Nowadays, if I can't wear something more than five times, it doesn't go home with me. My dollars need to take me far! 

This is one of those dresses. I've already worn it three times and no doubt I'll be wearing it again, considering Miami is an endless summer. Guess what, though?! If I really wanted to take it into fall, all I have to do is throw on a leather jacket, some tights, some leather booties or heels, and I'm ready for pumpkin spice lattes! 

I've really been into dresses with sneakers in the last year and it doesn't look like I'll be retiring that 'ladylike ath-leisure' vibe anytime soon. Case in point- I paired the dress with these insane Sam Edelman pom pom slip-ons I scored at the Maxx! Not a likely combination, but that's whats fun about fashion- pairing the unexpected and making it work! Like a true Maxxinista, I scrounged through every shelf to find a size 6 in these beauties and I did!

You're looking at a very satisfied fashionista. 

No look is complete without the perfect shade of lipstick, and mine was begging for a hot pink pout! I couldn't think of a more fashionable way to wrap up such a fun staycation! 

In Style, 


Saturday, August 26, 2017

I'm Back! 20 Things You Should Know About Freshly Squeezed Fashionista.

Happy Saturday, Squeezers! I hope that you are all enjoying your weekend to the max, doing what you do best- being fabulous and fashionable! I am very excited because the Buccios are hosting a little dinner party for friends tonight and it just takes us back to our famous NYC dinners that we would host several times a month with family and friends. We love having people over and what's even more out of this world, we would do it in a 700 square foot apartment! Imagine- 10-14 people getting together to feast, drink, and have a good time. It was never a dull moment at our awesome dinner and drunches! While we haven't done many in our Miami home, we do make sure the ones we have are just as memorable and fun- with great food and company! My BFF since 2000 and his partner are in town so its sure to be a lively affair! I'll share some photos and videos on my Instastories! Don't miss it! 

Well, back to the blog. It's been a little while (more like a long while) since I posted a fashion related post. I hope you all enjoyed my last travel-related write up; but, I thought this time around, I wanted to share some fun facts about me. Yes, one of those US Weekly inspired '10 Things you don't know about Me,' or something along those lines. I wanted to go a little outside the box and share things that were slightly more detailed and personal, maybe you can get a few chuckles out of some. 

Also for your viewing pleasure, this Eva Mendes summer dress for New York and Company (http://www.nyandcompany.com/eva-mendes-collection-allegria-dress-lily-print/A-prod10490053/?An=1767853277&prodNo=41), that happens to be on sale for $29.99! If you know me well, you know that I speak floral fluently, and this print is vibrant, colorful, but also so ladylike and effortless. The dress is so light weight, it literally blows in the wind (or no wind). I paired it with a summer hat and a pineapple purse because.....summer! 

So, enjoy the pics and the read, and get to know a more personal side of...ME! 

1- I'm obsessed with KFC biscuits. I once took a Downtown bus just so i could go to the only KFC on the upper east side to get them.

2- I love licking the butter off the inside of popcorn bags. It's disgusting but oh so good!

3- I have fly girl dreams! Ever since watching In Living Color as a kid, I thought I could totally dance like that and be a fly girl. Or so I thought. Jlo is my dance spirit animal.

4- I watched Legends of the Fall 23 times because I was so in love with Brad Pitt.   When my Dad told me I couldn’t watch it anymore, he said that I cried more than I did at my grandmother’s funeral.

5-  When I was in Pre-K, I told my teacher I didn't drink my juice because my mom was trying to poison me.  Really, I just didn't like the juice and that was the best excuse I could come up with.  My Mom was thrilled (not).    

6- I used the money I had set aside to buy a bed when I first moved to New York and bought my first pair of Jimmy Choos instead, because PRIORITIES.   

7- I had a breast reduction at age 23.  I was a 32 FF on my small frame and couldn’t haul the extra weight around anymore; and, I was tired of wearing corset bras like a Victorian dame.  Who knew boobs could weigh that much?!

8- My hair has been every color - from orange to black. One day I want to go full blonde but I haven't mustered the courage yet.

9- I don't sleep well when Coco's not home, which brings me to this fact....I suffer from anxiety.

10 - When I was 13 years old, I got second degree burns on my hands from squeezing lemon juice on my hair. The top of my hands literally peeled off and all this happened right before I was to start 8th grade. Needless to say, my self-esteem suffered slightly. Funny enough, this happened again when I was 21 and I fell asleep at the beach with baby oil on my face. I ended up in the hospital with second-degree burns. Lesson learned. 

11- One of my greatest accomplishments is being a mom. (I'll take it one step further and say, for me, giving birth vaginally ( I was so terrified I was set on having a C-section).  Sounds superficial, but no one, not even me, thought I would go through with it; yet, I did- not once, but twice! So yay to me and to all the mamas out there! Whether you pushed that baby out of your pikachu, had a C-Section, surrogate, adopted- becoming a mother is the most intensely wonderful and hardest thing in the world!   

12 - I got my first internship (and TV job) from a flyer posted at school. And because I didn't want anyone to have my dream job at Access Hollywood, I ripped the sign off and shoved it in my book bag so no one else could see it. Even then I was ruthless! Persistence and determination have served me well in life. 

13- Coco and I had our first unofficial date at a Spanish bar and spent hours dancing. The bar's name is Iguanas and it's still open in Times Square.

14- My favorite movie is Jaws. I basically love watching movies and shows.  Even as an adult, I used to fall asleep watching Peter Pan.  And I consider Liz Lemon from 30 Rock my spirit animal.

15- Believe it. I was a cheerleader and played softball growing up. A true sporty spice! 
16- I love alone time. Sometimes I like to go out to eat by myself, go to the movies, the beach and even shopping. I don't like shopping with other people. I consider myself selectively extroverted with introverted tendencies. 

17- I own like 15 shades of red lipstick.

18- One of my favorite things to do is cuddle in bed and watch movies with Maya, especially if it's Harry Potter.

19- I completely fan girled when I had to do a segment with NKOTB. You could probably still find it on you tube. 

20- I don't drink coffee. Only tea. I drink 2-4 cups depending on the day. I also like wine.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Living Our Best Life on the New Carnival Vista!

Ready to board the Carnival Vista! 6/11/17
The Carnival Vista takes biking to new extremes. 

It's been way too long, Squeezers! After a taking a little break from blogging, I knew it would have to be something truly special to bring me back on this forum- and family is always a good reason to do anything! The amazing team at Carnival Cruise Line (www.carnival.com), invited my clan and I to check out their new majestic ship, the Carnival Vista; and oh boy, what a beauty! The last time we cruised, Coco and I were basically newlyweds! Here we were seven years later, venturing on our first cruise as a family of four and we were so excited (yet nervous) to dive deep into the unknown; because any time you travel with two toddlers, it is the unknown! 

First off, let's talk about the ship! It's grand, it's loaded with so much to do, and there is so much to see. As cliche as it sounds, there really is something for every kind of traveler- whether you're on a family vacation,  a honeymoon, or looking for the utmost relaxation, this ship covers it all! Stepping onto every deck felt like Christmas- you didn't know what to expect. From IMAX theaters to the fan-favorite SkyRide (the first of its kind on a Carnival ship), which lets you bike overlooking a never-ending ocean, the Carnival Vista is really delivering on their 'Fun At Sea' mantra! 

Get your most cruise-worthy outfit ready (beach hat a plus), because I'm taking you on a little Vista adventure! 

The view from our balcony stateroom

No more monkeys jumping on the bed. Testing out the bounce factor.

First thing's first- check in time! Carnival makes it really easy to prep before a trip! We printed all our documents, luggage tags, even registered the kids for Camp Ocean (more on that later), so once we arrived, we breezed right through priority check-in. Because we had priority, we were able to get into our room early and check out our digs! We had a stateroom with a balcony, which was like having your own little sanctuary in your room- just you and the big blue sea whenever you wanted it- a true oasis! The room had a full size bed with a small sitting area, and I think Maya was the most thrilled because she got to sleep on a bunk bed that came down from the wall- big girl status! I don't think we ever saw her during bedtime; but, that didn't stop Maya and Rocco from testing out our bed first! 

She's a smart girl. Lounging in the thermal suite at Cloud 9 Spa

Next order of business on our agenda was checking out the rest of the ship! There were two musts for us (aside from getting a cocktail): Camp Ocean and the Cloud 9 Spa! We did a spa tour and got to see first hand all the services they had to offer- besides the traditional massages and facials, they also had acupuncture, teeth whitening, and wellness classes and seminars at their state-of-the-art gym! Maya even got to test out the thermal suites in the relaxation area (these are available at extra cost)! 

The following stop on our self-guided tour- Camp Ocean! I think I was looking forward to Camp Ocean more than Maya was looking forward to Camp Ocean! When you got two parents who are always trying to sneak some child-free time here and there, this camp was heaven sent! The first thing you see when you walk into the camp, is a Dr. Seuss Bookville- even I couldn't resist making myself comfortable in the colorful nook! Kids and parents are invited to hang out and pick from a vast library of Seuss books and you even have the option of checking out the books and taking them to your cabin! Maya and Rocco made a beeline for Bookville, while Coco and I met the counselors. Kids are divided by age into three groups- Penguins, Stingrays, and Sharks. Unfortunately, children under two are not allowed at the Camp during the day, but they are allowed to come during the camp's Night Owl program, which is basically a babysitting service from 10pm-1am at an extra cost. This was one of my only complaints. I wish the camp had more day time options for kids under two. I would have loved to have taken advantage of some alone time with Coco at the 'Serenity' pool, which is the adult-only pool and lounge area on the ship. We did take advantage and use Night Owls every night, though! 

The security is Pentagon level at the camp, which is super important to Coco and I. There's a check-in and check-out process that happens before any child gets accepted and released. Once you go inside Camp Ocean, you literally feel like you're in some aquatic wonderland! Maya and Rocco went wild! Their Penguin section was full of toys, an Igloo slide, and a big screen TV playing movies on rotation! What a treat for them. They also did arts and crafts with the counselors, got stickers, and I even received a personalized note from one of Maya's counselors telling me what a kind, and helpful little girl she was and how they loved having her there! They also said she was very protective of her little brother when he would come to Night Owls! That special note is hanging on her dresser! As imagined, Maya loved going to Camp Ocean, even if it was for only an hour after getting back on the ship from one of the ports. That is a sign of a good time! 

In her natural habitat. Picking out a book from the Dr. Seuss library.

Dr. Seuss Bookville ready to take all the mini cruisers!

After getting a quick bite to eat at the ship's main cafe, we let the kids play a bit at WaterWorks, the well-equipped waterpark perfect for kids of all ages! There are two awesome slides (with height requirements) the kids can enjoy- Maya was loving the Twister! The lines were a bit long and on the first day we actually waited 30 minutes to go down, but it did get a little better on the other sea days. There were sprinklers, a Power Drencher, and even two smaller sides that were perfect for the tiny tykes! If you're my kid, you seem to think the slide belongs to you and bypass everyone on line! 

So much to do (and drink) on the ship's Waterworks water park. 

So much candy, so little time! Cherry On Top was a hit with the kids.

Now, when you promise a kid candy, you have to deliver on that promise because they don't forget! The ship has the most Instagram-worthy candy store onboard called, Cherry on Top, and it has everything from cute cruise swag, candy, and an ice cream shop where you can make your own creations! It's basically candy heaven and Maya was a little overwhelmed with all the choices. Don't worry, she didn't leave empty-handed!

Italian specialty restaurant on the ship. 

Spaghetti or chocolate chip cookies? Hmmmm.

Spoiled by the wonderful team at Cucina di Capitano

No Italian meal is complete without Cannolis for dessert! 

On the first night, we dined at one of the ship's speciality restaurant, Cucina Di Capitano (the Captain's Kitchen) and we had the whole restaurant to ourselves! First off, the decor was impeccable! It truly looked like the inside of a captain's quarters. It was regal but also inviting and casual. The menu had so many options! I encourage you if you're cruising, spend the extra $15 per adult and try it! Coco and I also invested in the Cheers! Program. We booked it before we left so we got a great deal at 49.95 per person, per day. This basically guarantees you top shelf alcohol and wine by the glass ($25 glass limit). Also, if you buy wine by the bottle, which we did at every meal, you get 25% off! It worked out nicely for us because we love to enjoy our wine with dinner and we took advantage of the specialty bars on the ship! 

Back to Cucina...We wanted to sample everything! The kids had the Spaghetti Carbonara (and spaghetti with butter) and we had everything from the Fried Calamari, to Nonna's Meatballs, to the Pollo Parmigiana de la Cucina (Coco's favorite). We couldn't end our meal without having the Sicilian Cannolis! Mamma Mia! They were molto delicioso! We made sure to thank the amazing chefs and server for our first meal! No one cried and everyone ate so we call that a success. 

Our Carnival towel friends made some visits to the Buccio room.

I always get a kick out of these towel animals we find on our bed! They really do make me smile and the kids loved them! Every day they were looking forward to seeing which animal was going to greet them when they walked in the door. It's the little things! 

View of the lido deck from the 12th floor.

That's what I always say! The Red Frog Rum Bar knows what its doing!

This piña colada didn't last very long. 

Happiest girl on the Vista! Time for some water park fun.

Twinning in our navy blue suits.

We spent our second day at sea; so, that meant more Waterworks for the kids, which was perfectly fine by us since they were contained and we could monitor them all while getting some sun! We enjoyed some tropical beverages, like this tasty Piña Colada, from the Red Frog Rum Bar. The ship's main lido deck and pool were a little packed. I'm not a fan of ship pools for that reason. I find them so tiny for the amount of people you find on the ship. I wish they were a little bigger or in our case, I wish Camp Ocean could have taken both kids so that mom and dad could enjoy the Serenity Adult Retreat (just sayin', Carnival)! No, but I know that once Rocco turns two, it'll be different! I'm definitely looking forward to that! 

Maya and I were twinning in our matching navy blue swimsuits! Cruise fashion is not to be neglected when you're traveling in style! We made sure to pack some great outfits inspired by our travels! 

Getting a pre-dinner cocktail at The Alchemy Bar. 

Blue Cheese Martini. 

After a nice afternoon nap and a burrito lunch at the Blue Iguana, it was time to get ready for the ship's Elegant Night- my favorite! This is when everyone gets all gussied up in their finest evening wear (cocktail attire appropriate as well) to dine in the main dining room! Before dinner, we popped into the Alchemy Bar, a true mixology bar that looks like a hipster apothecary, where you can find 'cocktail specialists' mixing up some eclectic and unique libations- like Coco's Blue Cheese Martini, which he helped create!  How does a French Kiss sound? It's made with Absolute Vanilla Vodka, Domaine Chandon, Chambord, and a hint of lime. That, and many other specialty cocktails are served up nightly starting at 5pm. And Maya? She went with the Shirley Temple!

Long live soft-serve ice cream. It's a crowd pleaser! 

You know what gets kids more hyped up than candy? Ice cream! That's all they were looking forward to after dinner. The ship has a soft serve ice cream machine that is available at any hour and this is just a bonus for the mini cruiser! What a sweet way to end the evening! 

Hello, Ocho Rios, Jamaica! View from our balcony. 

Day three and we've arrived at Ocho Rios, Jamaica! Neither of us had been to Jamaica and we were really pumped. We had heard the beaches were beautiful and Dunn's Falls, the island's natural waterfalls, were a must-see. Ocho Rios was the only port we opted for a shore excursion. A shore excursion specialist was available that morning from 8-10am to help anyone booking last minute. She was really helpful in helping us select an excursion that would work with two small kids. She also encouraged us that this would be the best port for a guided excursion due to safety reasons. We went with the Dunn's River Falls with beach and lunch package. We would be able to see the falls and walk along them; but, because Rocco was under five, he wouldn't be able to climb. It didn't take away from the experience whatsoever! 

Making our way along the Dunn's River Falls. 

Cooling off in one of the springs. 

Where the rocks end and the sea begins. Beautiful and tranquil beach. 

We had the best time checking out the Falls and taking a dip whenever we found a small spring for the kids. It was so refreshing! The falls are one of Jamaica's national treasures and with reason- they are breathtaking, lush, and very picturesque! The grounds feel a bit like a retreat- rustic and relaxing at the same time. There's also a beach at the end of the falls where we spent most of our afternoon. The waters were a crystalized aqua blue and deliciously cool! The kids played in the sand and since the water was low, Coco and I were able to watch them easily from our towel. It was perfect. Unfortunately the kids' waterpark was under construction so we couldn't experience it, but when you have an amazing one already on the ship, no big deal, right?!

Pearly Beach. Jamaica.

Daddy and Son dip.

The next stop on our excursion was Pearly Beach, a small strip of beach that's used by locals but mostly by cruisers on excursions. Lucky for us, we were the only ship in port that day so the beach belonged just to our group and it was awesome! There's a lifeguard on duty, lounge chairs, and we were served a yummy lunch with Rum Punch. Sadly, it was watered down Rum Punch but that didn't matter because we spent most of the time savoring these salty seas! Aren't they just magical?! 

A shot of our stellar ship, the Carnival Vista. 

We were able to get a great picture of the Carnival Vista on our way back from the excursion. She looks so grand just sitting there waiting for all her travelers to board!

Seuss At Sea. Sam I Am made a surprise appearance during Story time.

The kids loved the Seuss-a-palooza story time led by our cruise director, Chris.  Hello, Cat! 

We made it back in time for the 'Seuss-a-palooza Story time,' led by our Cruise Director, Chris! This was AWESOME! Story time came to life thanks to a special appearance by the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Sam I Am! The kids not only got a chance to participate in the story itself, but they got to parade around with the characters and they loved it! It was so interactive and Maya was having so much fun! Fun Fact. Maya and Dr. Seuss share a birthday so the 'Seuss at Sea' attraction was extra special! Rocco didn't know what to make of the characters but he did love all the musical props!

Fresh seafood daily at the Seafood Shack.

Gulf Oysters for a late afternoon snack. 

We were craving some fresh seafood, and hey, you're at sea, so you know you are going to get some freshness atn the ship's Seafood Shack! We love this little New England-inspired spot tucked at the back end of the ship past the Havana Bar! We got a dozen oysters, shrimp, and a delicious lobster roll that was gobbled up in less than five seconds! It was the perfect appetizer before a light dinner! 

Cayman Islands. 

Its just you and the sea, kid. 

Beachside foot rubs. Priceless. 

Family selfie in the Cayman Islands. 

Bright and early the next day we arrived in Grand Cayman! The Cayman beaches are some of my favorite beaches with their tranquil and clear waters. Last time Coco and I were in Grand Cayman, it was when I was pregnant with Maya. We came for our babymoon! Six years later, we're back on Seven Mile Beach with two beautiful water babies ready to enjoy some fun in the sun! We didn't do a shore excursion on this stop because our plan was simple- cab it to the beach, lay out our towels, and hang out until it was time to go! The kids played in the sand, had fun with the GoPro cam, Coco and I got foot massages from a local lady advertising on the beach, and we enjoyed some cocktails and snacks. Here's something that really worked out for us. Our awesome stateroom attendant, Yusef, would bring us fresh fruit daily and since the kids and Coco love fruit, I would pack them up in our bag along with water, and have them handy wherever we went. I can't tell you how this little tip went a long way! 

All dressed up for Elegant Night. 

We clean up nice! Ready for our steak dinner. 

It's time for another evening of elegance; and, as you know, us Buccios were stoked to get all glammed up! I even donned a vintage dress for the night's dinner, which happened to be at another specialty restaurant, Fahrenheit 555. This was, by far, our favorite meal of our cruise! When you get a  couple of carnivores in a steakhouse, you know it's going to be a good meal! 

The meat presentation at Fahrenheit 555 was out of this world. 

Guy Fieri's Hunt and Ryde Pinot Noir was a deliciously complimented our meal. 

If you're going to invest in one specialty restaurant on your next Carnival Vista cruise, make it the steakhouse ($35 per adult, $10 for kids 11 and under). The service was sharp and on point. The restaurant itself was stately but not stuffy. It was welcoming and the ocean view didn't hurt! You have the option of dining al fresco as well, but with Rocco, we preferred to keep him as contained as possible! We opted for a bottle of wine instead of by the glass and went with Guy Fieri's Hunt and Ryde Pinot Noir, which the steakhouse was advertising, so we wanted to try it out (http://www.huntrydewinery.com/shop/2014-estate-grown-pinot-noir). It was delicious! Perfectly balanced, with hints of strawberry and chocolate, and a smooth finish. It was so complimentary, that we did two bottles! If we weren't already impressed with the service (our waitress was able to recite the whole menu over Rocco's cries), and the extensive wine list, the steak presentation cart took the cake! Every type of premium cut of beef was available on that cart and thats how you made your entree selection. Coco went with the Cowboy Steak (18 oz. Rib Chop) and I went for the Surf and Turf (which comes with the Filet Mignon).  

Escargots, anyone?

Cheesecake with Hazelnut biscuit. Yes, please! 

Before savoring every last bite of our meat, we ordered the Escargot Bourguignonne in the Garlic Butter Sauce and they were SO juicy and flavorful, we had to have a second serving! Even though we could have easily rolled out of that restaurant and straight to bed, we couldn't finish our meal without dessert! We shared the cheesecake with hazelnut biscuit and you guessed it, it was heavenly! 

Now it was time to drop the kids off at Night Owls and grab one last glass of wine before bed! 

Maya loved Cozumel because seeing her name everywhere made her feel famous.

Our last stop on our cruise was Cozumel, Mexico! I'm going to be completely transparent here- this was my least favorite stop. I had been to Cozumel before and the first time was actually on Carnival on the first cruise I ever took at the age of 21! It was pouring rain so my friend and I ended up at a Señor Frogs in town and had those ridiculously large yard glasses with booze. It was not a proud moment for me! I was happy to come back and make new memories with my family! My husband is Mexican-American so he was delighted for at least a small piece of his heritage.  I say it was my least favorite stop not because of the beaches or the friendly locals, but because it has definitely become more Americanized and commercialized than many other popular port cities. From chain restaurants to shops, it really caters to the American traveler. While that is good to some extent for the sake of familiarity and fun, you sometimes miss out on the rich Mexican culture that is thriving somewhere behind a Fat Tuesdays. We even asked our cab driver to take us to where the 'locals like to be' and he dropped us off at their 'downtown area,' which was just another tourist trap full of sombreros and shot glasses. 

Spent the afternoon at the Paradise Beach Club. 

Say cheese! Ready to swim. 

A moment of quiet on the Cozumel sands. 

We thought about doing an excursion to the ruins, but the shore excursions agent did not recommend it with a toddler. We decided to do a beach club for the day, and chose Paradise Beach Club (http://www.paradise-beach-cozumel.com). We had heard good things and for an entrance fee of three dollars per person, you couldn't beat it! Food and drinks were at your discretion and if you wanted to use any of the beach attractions, it was an extra charge. All we needed, though, were a couple of beach chairs and an umbrella so we were good to go! I like to make note, though, that Camp Ocean will take little ones under two when you are at port cities at certain time slots. They tended to be short and we weren't quite comfortable leaving him on the ship while we were off it. This was our personal choice; but, if this doesn't phase you whatsoever, it's a great option if you want to leave a little one behind and do some exploring! 

The beach club was great; but, my only gripe with it was that certain parts of the beach were full of seaweed. Swimming was kept to a minimum at the beach because of that; but, the kids played a ton and when Rocco napped, we took Maya to the pool, which was fantastic (Kids in swim diapers were not permitted). The pool was actually really nice and we ordered a caracol ceviche, which is one of their local specialities. It was so refreshing in the blazing heat! Guacamole and signature cocktails were the icing on the cake! 

Local Mexican crafts a street market downtown. 

Time to hunt down my Mexican mumus.

We wanted to have a bit of time to do some shopping so we wrapped things up at the beach and took a cab to what we thought would be a local market, but was really just another mall catering to American travelers! We took a walk off the beaten path and found a little street market so we went to town (literally) when it came to bargaining! Here's a secret- I have a slight obsession with Mexican mumus ( embroidered houses dresses that are very chic). I own two and I wanted another one to add to my collection! I also wanted Maya and I to have matching dresses. The key to shopping at these markets is to haggle them until they get to their lowest price possible. Never settle for the first price. They know there are other stalls hungry to make a deal. I'm happy to report that I scored three traditional Mexican dresses for $45 (two for me and one for Maya). You would have thought I won the lottery; but I literally live in these dresses when I'm home so I was the happiest muchacha ever! We also got a woven Mexican blanket from $60 down to $15 for my dad and a pink leather crossbody purse for Maya for $10! 

My mission was complete! Time to get back on that ship! 

Showing off her traditional Mexican dress and purse for dinner. 

A little dancing during dinner never hurt anyone! 

By the time we got back on the boat, showered, relaxed, and watched Rio 2 for the fifteenth time (thank you, Carnival TV!), we were ready to head downstairs for dinner at the main dining room. Maya wanted to wear her new Mexican mumu and of course I said yes! Can you spot the new cross body purse as well?! She's so stylish for her cruise dinners! That night during dinner, the whole staff broke out into a song and dance and Maya and Rocco joined in on the fun! It was such a nice feeling to see everyone laughing, dancing in their seats, and snapping pictures! That's what a trip should be about- making memories that not only last a lifetime, but that invite you to live and enjoy in the moment! Yes, snap the pictures, do the Instagram stories, but sometimes its good to put your phone down and just take it all in as it happens! Carnival Vista has given us some pretty spectacular memories that we will never forget! 

One of two family shots that we purchased on board! We loved  it so much, it went straight to a frame. 
The touch screen photo walls were so fun to use and gave the experience a personalized touch.

One of the things I love the most about cruising is the photography on board! I am a sucker for a good family picture; and, while I don't necessarily like staged photos, we were lucky that the photographers were willing to bend the rules to give us what we liked! Every night and at every port, we took family photos. I knew one to two of those was bound to be a good family pic! Let's talk about the latest feature on the ship when it comes to picking out your favorite photos! Long gone are the days of printed photos that get left behind on a shelf. Touch screen displays covered every wall at the photo department so that anyone could come and see their photos with their room number and code! This modernized amenity is not just easy and quick, but also efficient and personalized. That's what people want when they travel- a bit pf personalization; and, you are getting it on the Carnival Vista! 

Rain couldn't stop us! Watching Lala Land on the ship's deck after dinner. 

Guess what we did after checking out our photos? We left the kids at Night Owls and went to the Lido Deck where they were playing Lala Land! Another favorite from this cruise! Every night, the lido deck turned into an outdoor movie theater that played blockbuster movies starting around 7pm. It started raining when we were out there but we didn't care! The kids were at Night Owl, we ate our free popcorn, and danced along with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone! 

Rocco taking over the slides at Waterworks. 

It's a Maya and Rocco showdown! 

'Now it's time to say goodbye, to all our company!' Last full day at sea and we are slowly getting into the 'we don't want leave' stage of our trip! Thats understandable; which meant, we are going to make the most of our last day! Even Maya was saying, "are we going home yet? Because I don't want to leave." How were we going to make the most of our day? By going to Waterworks and a movie! The kids had a blast going up and down the slides at the water park. You know what really made me happy? I loved watching Maya saying hello and playing with friends she made at Camp Ocean. It was so sweet watching them greet each other with hugs and run around playing with one another! Rocco was all about the slide and Maya would make it a point to go down at the same time as him so they could experience it together! It really was the cutest thing. We spent a few hours watching the kids go up the slide, down the slide, up the slide, and down the slide. After that, it was time for a nap! Lucky for Maya and I, we were wide awake. 

Taking in a showing of Wonder Woman at the IMAX theater on board.

Lights, Camera, Action! 

While Rocco and Coco slept, Maya and I hit up the IMAX theater! Second to the steak dinner, this was SPECTACULAR! A movie theater on a ship showing the latest flicks?! Where do I sign up!? We were feeling very 'Girl Power' so we watched Wonder Woman in 3D and it was KICKASS! I was so impressed with the theater and the high-end sound system and Maya and I couldn't stop talking about the film afterwards! There was no way I was going to be on this ship and not experience the IMAX theater! I recommend you do the same. 

Last cruise dinner. Pre-dinner drinks at Fahrenheit 555.

Sharing a Shirley Temple

Friday was our last dinner on the Carnival Vista and we were so bummed to say goodbye. This trip had been a surreal experience. Not only did we get to vacation aboard an incredible ship, but we made some remarkable memories along the way. There were more memories to be had on this last night and we weren't going to waste our time!

Before dinner at the main dining room, we popped into the steakhouse for a glass of wine. The kids shared a Shirley Temple. Here's a tip! The wine by the glass selection is top notch at the steakhouse. If you're looking for something a little different, hit up their bar for some tasty options!

Beef Carpaccio

Van Duzer Pinot Noir was a winner! 

Chingri- the hostess with the mostest! These ladies were wonderful! 

Once our last meal was over, we were so sad to say goodbye to our favorite hostess, Chingri! She and the front desk team at the main dining room were always so upbeat, happy, accommodating, and above all, engaging. There was always a smile on her face depsite complaints or long lines! Each time she saw Maya, she would personally hug her and walk her to her table. That made all the difference in the world when it came to our meal. She's hard to come by! 

PS. I added a photo of the beef carpaccio because I was so obsessed with it, I had two servings! Is it bad I could have had another two? It was perfectly seasoned! Also, the Van Duzer Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley (https://www.vanduzer.com) was a hit! We had it almost every night for dinner. Such a creamy and smooth red! 

Havana Bar for a little dancing before bed!

Love the decor inside the bar. The teal shutters were my favorite.

Daddy and Maya doing a little salsa dancing! 

There was no way we were wrapping up our vacation without a visit to the Havana Bar! I'm Cuban-American, so anytime I can get an inch close to the music I love, I'm game! Coco loves to dance and so does Maya and anytime they hear Latin music, they go nuts! I love the way this space is decorated with the colorful accents, and Spanish style elements like the paintings, shutters, and tiles. Again, it's all in the details!  

Coco and Maya got into the spirit and danced a little salsa on the dance floor, while everyone watched! We were loving every second of it! Coco and I sneaked in a dance as well while the kids danced on their own and I was so thankful for that! Any parent can relate- if you get even 30 seconds with your other half- consider it a honeymoon! 

Taking all Piano Bar requests! 

Last but not least, we paid a visit to the Piano Bar. It wasn't our first time; but, we came back with Maya and she was an instant fan! Both her songs (Ring of Fire and Fireworks) were played and she was jamming with Coco and I behind the piano. It was really cool to come and kick back at the lounge listening to an eclectic selection of songs from other cruisers. We had a great time! Rocco was asleep and Maya was just eating up the praise and applause for her two selections. I couldn't have thought of a better way to wrap up this vacation! Once the song was finished, we strolled back up to our room and called it a night. Was this vacation really over?! I want to do it all over again! 

The Carnival Vista takes biking to new extremes- and with a stunning view! 

It's not goodbye, its see you later!

I hope whomever reads this feels so informed and so excited about our own experience, that they plan their Carnival Vista vacation as soon as possible! From the service to the amenities, the Vista is definitely a sight to see and to experience. Next time, I'd like to check out a different itinerary.

With that being said, I absolutely recommend this ship to families because there is so much for kids to explore; but also so much to do together! I mean, what other ship has bikes that let you peddle around the big blue sea?!  Our kids are little so we they were a slightly limited, but there's the Sky Ride that's just amazing, the Sports Square, even a teen-friendly night club. I look forward to Rocco turning two so Coco and I can take advantage of the Camp and take in other adult-friendly activities aboard the ship! 

If you would have asked me if I expected to have this much fun, I would have told you, probably not. I have been reliving this trip as I've been typing up this blogpost. It really has been one of the best family vacations I've ever taken! I hope you had fun reading all about our Buccio vacation and you got to savor some of those happy moments with us! 

Thank you, Carnival, for our unforgettable adventure! 

In Style, 

Kathy Buccio