Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I Want in A Family Vacation--And a chance to win a FREE CRUISE!!! I'm serious.


Note: This post was written just before our recent trip to Vegas.


We're heading out on a little family vacation soon. I'm excited. Very excited. We're driving to our destination and I cannot wait to get in the car and cruise! April has been less than stellar in Park City this year and I am not just craving a little fun in the sun, I NEED IT.

But that's the thing--family vacations. Are they really fun? Do you really get in the car, or the airplane, or to the resort or theme park and actually CRUISE? Or is it more of a lurching, fighting, exhausting, bickering, wallet-draining experience? I would love to set my family vacation at a comfortable, relaxed speed and sit back while it cruises along like a finely oiled machine. I could enjoy my kids, enjoy the scenery, and not stress about planning and budgeting and the million other things that go along with kids and traveling. So we'll see how our upcoming trip turns out. I'll let you know how much of it felt like cruising and how much of it felt like pulling a handcart full of poopy, whining children.

I have a feeling it is actually going to be great. We're meeting up with all of my siblings in a warm place with a pool and hot tub and plenty of activities. And my brother from Boston, who is a gourmet chef, will be cooking plenty of insanely great food so that usually tips the scales to the side of AWESOME. (And yes, he was just in the MIDDLE of everything going on with the marathon bombings. Crazy stories for another day.)

(if my brother cooks anything like he plays the drums/sings...you can guess how DELISH)

When planning this trip, there were several factors that went into it. We wanted to go someplace warm. That was #1. We wanted to be OUTSIDE with the kids. No more meeting up in Utah for Christmas in the dead of winter. It needed to be in a destination that was affordable for everyone to fly into. But more importantly than that, we needed a really great place to stay that would accommodate everyone. (4 kids in my family and we each have a spouse. That's 8 adults. And between the 4 couples we have 8 kids.) We found a really great house to rent with a pool and hot tub, badminton court, and BBQ grill. Let the good times roll! Food is a big factor in the Bice family.

But here's a thought: what if you could truly, entirely, and literally cruise with your family? I'm talking the open seas. Have you ever gone on a cruise? I haven't! I've always wanted to. (I've always wanted to be a performer on a cruise ship and have had SEVERAL friends do just that. Have I missed the boat? Am I too old now?) But I digress. I'm here to tell you that Norwegian Cruise Line has a youth program for kids and I'm kind of dying to let Peter experience it. A mother can dream, right? They have teamed with Nickelodeon and created some really cool stuff for kids and teens on the ship!


It really would be nice to take time away from the stress of everyday life, get on a beautiful cruise ship, not worry about meals or cooking, AND to have built-in, hands-on, creative, engaging activities for my kids. I mean...they have circus school! How cool is that? (Back to that dreaming thing...every mother has dreamed of their son being a clown...amiright?) Along with circus school, they have all sorts of sporting activities and events, pools, slides, Nickelodeon events, and even great counselors for the kids. I think when it is our turn to plan the Jackson Family reunion with Vic's siblings, we'll hit up Norwegian Cruise Line for their youth program alone. (We have like 12 more years until it is our turn since we do it every other year and it started with the youngest child of 7. Vic is the oldest, so....start saving up!)

For more information about Norwegian's family vacation experience, click here.

What is your dream vacation for your family?  Answer in the comments below for a chance to win a cruise voucher for a family of four!

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 5/7/2013-6/2/2013. Be sure to visit Norwegian Cruise Line's brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

141 comments:

  1. My Dream vacation would be to Australia!

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  2. A cruise is a brilliant family vacation idea!

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  3. Ohhh la la!! I hope you win it Molly!!

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    1. Sadly, I don't think I'm eligible since I am one of the bloggers hosting the giveaway! Boo.

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  4. Our family could really use a vacation!

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  5. I would love to go somewhere sunny and warm. Perhaps the Bahamas :)

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  6. These days I'd love a trip to someplace warm and sunny!

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  7. I would love to do some form of Disney trip with my family someday. I think a cruise with kids would be lots of fun, though!

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  8. Anywhere that's warm enough for the kids to spend all day outside or swimming so they'd be exhausted and sleep all night :)

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  9. Dream vaca would be a beach, pool and an awesome view from our room!!!! Fun activities and no cooking!!!!

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  10. Anywhere! We have never taken out kids farther than Jackson hole!!! Somewhere warm for sure. :)

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  11. Somewhere warm with a beach.:)

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  12. We had done a couple of family vacations and we don't really care where we go as long as we go!

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  13. My dream vacation would be somewhere that I don't have to cook and clean up after my kids!! ha!

    would LOVE a cruise!!

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  14. A family vacation cruise is on my bucket list.... just thought I would have to win the lottery first :) here's hoping I don't have to go that route!!!!!!

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  15. Our dream is to plan a vacation that allows us to have some fun & give our kids unique experiences that they will remember forever. BUT those experiences must be coupled with a chance to give back. We are actually planning a cruise this Christmas. the plan is that at one of the ports we will not do all the beaching, ziplines, or other awesome looking shore excursions. Instead we will meet up with a charitable organization in that city and bring a suitcase or 2 of items in need to children in need. We will spend the rest of this year contacting organizations to see what the needs are and gathering those supplies locally. We won't have much time in the port to do any service, so this process will allow us to do most of the work before the cruise and just make deliveries once we're at the port. We're hoping this simple combination of fun and giving will be a way to get something AND give something. Sure would be nice if Norwegian Cruise Lines sponsored this vacation by letting us win! ;)

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    1. Ummmm....of course YOU and Vince would think to do this. This is amazing! I love this! They would be foolish not to choose you! You could blog about your experience and it would be a win-win for everyone involved. Oh, the possibilities are endless. This is really genius. Just one more reason I love you guys. I want to help in anyway that I can. Please let me know!

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  16. We would love to take our kids to Disney, really anywhere warm, where we can just spend time and play! Here's to hoping!

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  17. Oh my! A family cruise would be a dream come true!

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  18. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/SilentSprings/status/331813336721260545

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  19. We have been wanting to take a family cruise for a long time now. Alaska sounds nice.

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  20. No cooking and planned activities for my kids?? sounds like a dream vacation to me!

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  21. Our families dream vacation is Disneyland, cars land, the beach and of course legoland. Can you tell I have young kids?;)
    lucky04you@gmail.com

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  22. Round the world! I homeschool my kids, so the furthest reaches of the world excite me as they would make epic field trips! Iceland? Yes! Bolivia? Yes! Touristy hot spots are fine and can be fun to visit, but I'm also interested in places that are off the beaten path and put is in line with humanity.

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  23. Tweeted it: https://twitter.com/ohathena/status/331827477179686912

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  24. Our dream vacation would be going to Hawaii as a family ….. exploring those nature beauties that God created, learning some local culture and of course just relaxing and have a good time as a family. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    ghalim at yahoo dot com

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  25. Our dream vacation would be a cruise to the Mediterranean! It's such a pity that we already live in Florida but have not gone on a cruise. It would be fantastic to win!

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  26. Our dream vacation could be anywhere! Since we do not live near family, most of our family vacations are spent visiting family (not necessarily a bad thing, I know). But I feel like we just don't get opportunities to have too many real adventures, and that makes me sad for our kids. And if we do happen to go have an adventure somewhere, I get guilt tripped by one family member after another that we didn't go visit them instead!

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  27. Our family would love a vacation anywhere! But a cruise would be fun since we've never been on one.

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  28. A vacation to anywhere would be a dream! ;)

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  29. Our dream vacation would definitely be a European cruise! Definitely my favorite way to vacation!

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  30. Dream vacay? I want to take my daughter to Paris for the first time... it would be a first for both of us.

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  31. Dream vacation: sun, happy kids, happy husband, happy mom. Anywhere.

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  32. I have never been on a cruise! That is my dream! I would LOVE to take my kids and hubby on a magical vacation!!

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  33. And it's tweeted. https://twitter.com/aapacker

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  34. Ooh, I know chances are slim, but I gotta try! My current dream vacation is: Entirely leaving behind the stress of work/law school, somewhere warm with beautiful beaches and snorkeling.

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  35. Dream vacation would definitely be a beach somewhere with lots of outdoor activities and where I don't have to cook or clean!

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  36. Dream vacation is a resort in Bermuda.

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  37. Dream vacation right now...anywhere warm!

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  38. Our family would love to go on a cruise!

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  39. Dream vacation for me would combine outdoorsy activities with times of total relaxation in the sun.

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  40. Our dream vacation would be anywhere there is no cell phone or internet service. Oh, and where it's warm. Please bless. :)

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  41. We've talked and dreamed of going on a cruise to Bermuda. That would be our family dream vacation.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  42. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/331915992265535489
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  43. I would love to go to Australia!

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  44. I would love to win this cruise! I would love to leave from out west and see that side of the world. I'm in SC.

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  45. I would love to go to New Zealand!

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  46. A Hawaiian cruise would be my dream for my family. I have always wanted to explore the islands with my husband. He is working 2 full-time jobs and going to school right now and a relaxing cruise sounds just like heaven right now. Wouldn't that be the best surprise EVER!?

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  47. probably Alaska - always wanted to cruise Alaska!

    tvollowitz at aol dot com

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  48. My dream vacation for the family would be to go somewhere warm, sandy, and with no worries. I would love to win this. I just graduated from College with my BSN and needless to say...we need a vacation!

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  49. With a family I would love Disney world, with just a spouse I would love to tour Italy, Rome was absolutely amazing I can only imagine how cool the rest would be!

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  50. I need a trip with my kiddos! Anywhere!

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  51. I've always wanted to go on a cruise. I'd love to go on a European Cruise or to Asia. My husband would choose an Alaskan Cruise, I think. Fantastic idea with kids!

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  52. Going on a cruise is our dream vacation for our family!!! We would love it!

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  53. I have never been outside of the US! I would just love to be with my family! Doesn't matter where! angelamrush@hotmail(dot)com

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  54. I've love to see a beach...any one. Living in mid MO there's not too much to do here. I'd love to spend time at the beach with my family.

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  55. I just want to get away with my family and make happy memories!

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  56. Crazy, but as an adult I've never taken a vacation. I lived across the country from my family, so all trips/vacations were just trips home to see the family. I'd love to do something different, and its a life dream to go to Alaska. Win win!

    Also tweeted: https://twitter.com/Rhradecky/status/332131470346969089

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  57. A cruise would be fun.....never been on one. It would be a dream come true. I'm so easy to please, right? Ha Ha

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  58. Wow, a cruise, never really thought about taking one before but you sure made it sound relaxing for me and fun for the kids. hmmmm....

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  59. My husband and I went on a weekend getaway to Park City over 10 years ago when we were newlyweds and I have been thinking lately about how I would love to go back! That sounds like a good vacation to me! Also, my daughter and I talk about our dream to go on a trip to all the Little House on the Prairie sites. At this point, a family vacation to any destination sounds like fun since we have never been on a real family vacation! Keep waiting for that raise...

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  60. Oh how I would love a dream vacation!!!! Life has been beyond stressful and this is just what I need!!

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  61. We would love a "real" vacation. We live far from both of our extended families and so our funds and vacation time is usually spent visiting them! Fingers crossed!

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  62. I would love to take my family on a trip to the Caribbean.

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  63. I would love to win this for my kids!! Let's see...my dream vacation would probably be to San Diego to go to Disneyland, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. But a cruise might be even more fun!

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  64. My tweet:
    https://twitter.com/plz16/status/331840469967462400

    ghalim at yahoo dot com

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  65. fun and sun and relaxation

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  66. My family dream vacation would be to Alaska to enjoy the flora and fauna..

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  67. Boy do you make a girl dream! I would love any vacation!

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  68. my dream vacation would be to cruise the galapagos islands with my family
    stigay at comcast.net

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  69. oh how I'd love to win...sounds fabulous!!

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  70. For me personally, it's Greece. With the family: love to rent a beach house for a week and just hang out.

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  71. Some peace and relaxation...is there such a thing...yes I think so. My dream would be to go somewhere warm and let my kids experience putting their toes in the sand. Thanks for the chance!
    Meredith

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  72. I tweeted! thanks again
    https://twitter.com/Dimplesbyu/status/332982846383857664

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  73. Ireland for me and Spain for my husband. Together with my family.=) I just found your blog. Incredible and amazing. I shared it with my best friend who had a stillborn over two years and is seriously struggling. I moved from Las Vegas to Iowa last year and it has been hard on her. I hope she will have an open heart to your wonderful words of wisdom. PS. Love your adorable hair cut!!

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  74. I blogged about this, but more so others can find out about you and your amazing hope for life. bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com

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  75. Love a cruise and would love to be on one with both my kids!

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  76. Tweeted here too:

    https://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/333248037038194688

    gmissycat at yahoo dot com

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  77. Either a cruise or an all-inclusive resort would be our dream vacation!
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  78. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/333394574791831552
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  79. Would love this vacation (just like everyone else)! Good luck everyone! Oh what fun!

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  80. my family's dream vacation would be to europe...my husband and I are dying to explore there!

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  81. Southern Italy would be a decent trip

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  82. I would love to do a mediterranean cruise! So amazing!

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  83. http://thewilkinsbunch.blogspot.com/

    I blogged about this giveaway here.

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  84. Our dream vacation would be to ride the Trans Siberian Railroad! Or a trip to New Zealand!

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  85. My dream would be to take my whole family all together. Destination doesn't matter!

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  86. My dream vacation would be a cruise. I went on one a long time ago and LOVED it!

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  87. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/KristieLatimer/status/334714043325620224

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  88. dream family vacation would be a cruise...someone else to do the cooking! Activities for the kids would be a plus!

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  89. This would be a dream vacation for us! We never had a honeymoon (it's a long story in which our home burned down right after our wedding). We always said we would do it later, but now have so much anxiety over leaving the kids, that we have never taken a trip together in eleven years of marriage. This would solve both problems! Fingers crossed. :)

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  90. Uh, OBVIOUSLY our dream vacay is a Norwegian Cruise!!

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  91. Everyone deserves a vacation!!! Even better when you win one ;) good luck everyone.

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  92. Going to Europe -- particularly Croatia -- is a dream of ours.

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  93. We love going on a cruise. It is our favorite way to vacation. Low stress and laid back.

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  94. A cruise is our favorite kind of vacation. So stress free and relaxing!

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  95. Dream Vacation would have to be Bora Bora :)

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  96. Boy oh boy does our family need this vacation! Cruising with 2 small kids....nothing better!

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  97. My dream vacation is basically ANYTHING that involves leaving our home and having fun. I'm not hard to please. We've never been on a real family vacation and this would be a dream!

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  98. I've never been on a cruise, I'd love to go on one and get some sun!

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  99. not sure if it showed and I cant see my post but here it is https://twitter.com/Sheafish2004 I tweeted. We would love to go any where!!!! We havent been on a vacation for a long time 6 yrs. We have had stay vacations in UT and visiting Idaho but that is really it lol

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  100. I would like to find a stress free vacation (hahaha). I would really love to take my girls to Yellowstone when they are a little older. It is so peaceful up there.

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  101. I would love to take my family to a beach somewhere and not have to worry about activities, just a relaxing time spent together!

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  102. Any place where my family goes together and my son does not have a meltdown would be a dream--let alone a vacation!

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  103. My dream vacation is the South Pacific. Thanks!
    aleksnearing gmail com

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  104. my dream vacation is a Mediterranean cruise!
    addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

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  105. I look for fun for the whole family. A relaxing environment for my husband and I, and plenty of fun activities for my son.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  106. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/338290939091103745

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  107. I would love to take my family on a European Vacation

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

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  108. I tweeted!

    https://twitter.com/SaMiKaY101/status/338881785121357824

    snunnrob at yahoo dot com

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  109. I could really use a vacation...

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  110. A private all inclusive resort in Tahiti.

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  111. I would be thrilled to be anywhere in the caribbean!

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  112. Our dream vacation would be to see Europe.

    hlee99 at gmail dot com

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  113. My dream vacation would be a cruise to New Zealand.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  114. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/339889543476023298

    slehan at juno dot com

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  115. I tweeted! https://twitter.com/Phuckiphino/status/339907066640609280

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  116. We would love to do a European cruise someday!

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  117. I would love to go on a Mediterranean cruise.

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  118. Dream vacation would be to England.

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  119. Costa Rica is where my family wants to go!

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  120. Not sure would depend on whether or not hubby has his passport yet!

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  121. My family dream vacation would be a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean...

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  122. We would love to go to HAwaii

    daveshir2005@yahoo.com

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  123. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/2005daveshir/status/341030742257725441

    daveshir2005@yahoo.com

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  124. So many places - Fiji is on the list - and a Mediterranean cruise
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  125. https://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/341075243953184769
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  126. Our dream vacation would be a cruise to the Caribbean. We love the water!


    eugeniewu [at] gmail dot com

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  127. I would love to go to the Bahamas!! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  128. As a long hot summer approaches, the dream of an Alaskan cruise comes to mind.

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  129. dream vacation to hawaii!!!!!!!!! this would be amazing to gift to my sister and me.

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  130. I have always wanted to see the Panama Canal! My family says our ancestry stems from the region, so I would love the chance for myself and my family to see a place so near and dear to our history. The Bahamas have always been on my bucket list as well!

    tho3640@calu.edu

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  131. I think a walkabout in Australia would be good...or bad -- I don't know the terrain!

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  132. Tweet - https://twitter.com/ilovetoclap/status/341340119900504065

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