Shanghai Mamas sat down recently to catch up with Kimberly, the winner of the grand prize from the silent auction held at the Shanghai Mamas annual family day party on 19 November 2017. We were so excited for Kimberly and her family, the winners of a 5 day, 4 night Christmas cruise to Kochi, Japan.
Siobhan: Can you tell us a little abut your family, where you are from, how long you have been in Shanghai and the ages of your children?
Kimberly: We are American, I am from New York and my husband is from Louisiana. Our daughter, 7, was born in Texas and our son, 5, was born in Brazil. We are from all over! But we arrived in Shanghai in late July 2017 and now call Hong Qiao our home.
Siobhan: Were you surprised when you found out you were the winner of the Princess Cruise Prize?
Kimberly: Yes! I was SO afraid about how the end of the silent auction would work, and that you would stop the auction with the first bid at 2:00pm, or the one after mine at 2:01pm...luckily, I was able to get the last bid in before the clock changed to 2:01pm..pfew!. It was a tense 10 minutes prior to the end of the auction!
Siobhan: Were you at all apprehensive about spending your Christmas on a Cruise ship?
Kimberly: Very! With two young kids, family traditions and the expectation that Santa will appear on December 25th are pretty important. We have always said we would not travel over Christmas until the children were older, but this just seemed like such a great way to create a Christmas we wouldn’t forget. Luckily, the kids agreed…Santa made an appearance on the Princess Cruise Christmas morning….and agreed to make a special trip to Shanghai on the 27th December in time for our return. How lucky was that?!
Siobhan: What was the best part of being on a cruise ship for Christmas?
Kimberly: The cruise felt very festive. The crew did a great job with the traditional Christmas events; holiday crafts, caroling, tons of decoration, Christmas photo ops complete with numerous photographers…even a Christmas ham and lobster dinner! The Christmas morning breakfast and party was fantastic. Every child received presents (yes, plural) and were able to have a photo with Santa.
Siobhan: What was the most unexpected part about being on a cruise ship for Christmas?
Kimberly: How smoothly everything went. We thought for sure it would have been much harder to be away for Christmas, especially considering there was no Wi-Fi! Yet unplugging and being on the ship allowed for a wonderful opportunity for us to create family memories. My husband would like to add that the cruise had American beer and alcohol options, which was a pleasant surprise!
Siobhan: Would you recommend a Princess Cruise to other foreign families living in Shanghai?
Kimberly: Without a doubt. We worked closely with Thomas, our Princess Cruises and CTS Representative,….and by worked, I mean we provided him the information he requested and he took care of the rest. It was all very easy, very hands off (at points, I was worried they forgot about us…I am so used to doing the planning!) Thomas met us at the dock, had someone park our car, had another to help with luggage and yet a third to escort us to the entrance. He and his staff were more than attentive during the cruise as well. We all had a fantastic time from start to finish!
Siobhan: Thank you so much Kimberly! So glad you came to our Annual Party and that the cruise was so memorable for your family 🙂
Kimberly: It was, and please let me know if you would like anything additional or have more questions. We have tons of photos. And thank you to Shanghai Mamas and Princess Cruises!