On July 16th, it happened. Even though I attempted to flee the Country in hopes this day would not come, I was unsuccessful. Forty found me. FORTY. What? Wasn’t I just turning 21 like a year ago? Despite my hesitation about this milestone, it turned out to be the best birthday ever (except for my 9th birthday when I had a party at McDonald’s and got a purple boombox from my Grandma…that was pretty rad).
My hubby (in cahoots with Carnival Cruise Lines) was a Rockstar and deserves all the props for making me feel like a Queen on my special day. Here are some ways you can help a loved one celebrate their birthday while aboard the Carnival Dream.
1. Decorate the Cabin: Cleverly hide some decorations from a local party supply store and deck out your stateroom with balloons, streamers, banners and signs. Some Carnival ships offer this service for a fee if you cannot seem to hide the decor in your carry on bag.
2. Breakfast in Bed: Order room service the night before so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast in bed instead fighting the crowds at the breakfast buffet.
3. Spa Appointment: The Carnival Dream has a lovely “Cloud 9″ spa which offers services for women, men and children, too. My hubby surprised me with a morning massage and facial. It was a great way to start the day!
4. Bucket List Excursion: Following my spa treatment, we headed off to swim with the Stingrays in Grand Cayman. It was just the right touch of adventure and relaxation to make for a memorable birthday.
5. Signature Dining at the On-board Steakhouse: While the regular dining options are fantastic, the steakhouse is a whole other level of exquisite. Make a reservation and let them know you have a birthday being celebrated at your table.
6. What’s a birthday without cake? Special decorated cakes can be ordered at the Steakhouse and I can tell you that it was delicious! A whole cake was delivered to my table complete with candles and of course the obligatory birthday song.
7. Roses Are Red. And yellow, white and pink, too! A dozen multicolored roses can be purchased on board (the Carnival Dream offers this at the Cherry On Top shop) and delivered to your stateroom.
8. Send a Gift: Not on board with your loved one? You can still arrange to have a gift sent the their stateroom to let them know you are thinking of them on their special day. One of my best friends sent me a Carnival Sweatshirt which was much needed at the chilly theater on board.
9. Make a Memory: Professional photographers are on hand several nights on all Carnival ships. I absolutely loved having a professional shot taken of my precious family. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.
Turns out, 40 is not so bad after all.