Every year my parents treat our family to a cruise. We all look forward to the relaxation, activities, food, entertainment and childcare for our son. This year we found out that most cruise lines do NOT allow pregnant women in their 3rd trimester onboard. Since I am seven months pregnant with our second child, we had to forgo our coveted cruise! WHAT TO DO??!!!
We all loved the convenience of an all-inclusive vacation and being pregnant, we really didn’t want to have to fly or take an agonizingly long car trip. With a little research online we came up with a new plan- Rocking Horse Ranch Family Resort- only about an hour and a half away in Highland, NY. We ended up having the most amazing, action-packed, memory-creating, vacation ever!
We booked a 5 night stay at the Ranch. The website looked great, but we were all a little anxious. We didn’t personally know anyone who had been there recently. Would it be as much fun as a cruise??
From the moment we pulled in we were struck by the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness of the facility, the yumminess of the food, and the PLETHORA of all day activities. The resort only has 120 guest rooms, which meant that we didn’t have to wait for anything and nothing felt crowded. To me long lines can suck the fun out of a vacation, so this (along with a 2 to 1 staff to guest ratio) was a HUGE plus.
Similarly to a cruise, an itinerary of events was provided every day and included a wide variety of things, such as “Beer Volleyball at 2:00,” “Character Lunch at noon,” “Chef’s Tasting at 3:30,” “Paddle Boat Races at 4:00,” and “Scavenger Hunt by the Pool.” Between water skiing, kayaking, tennis, horseback riding, the Water Park, bungee jumping, and the 9-5 drop-in Day Camp for the kids, there was much to do for everyone in our group. The banana boats, waterslides, fireworks, gem-mining, and Fun Barn (complete with a bouncy house and air-powered nerf cannons) were among our family’s favorites. Every night at 9:30 there is a family friendly show, like comedians, jugglers, and magicians. Our 5 year old managed to stay up for this every night. Usually up and running by 7 a.m., we actually had to wake him up around 10 each morning to make it to breakfast!!! Sleeping in makes vacation even better.
We couldn’t help but compare our vacation at the Ranch to our previous cruise vacations. The Ranch was a little bit less expensive, and a whole lot more “all-inclusive.” No paying for parking, excursions, and with all of the free “happy hours,” next to no bar bill either! Sure, we didn’t get to travel to new places, but we did get to try so many new and exciting activities as a family. It was much easier to get to and MUCH less crowded.
In the end, our whole family agreed that Rocking Horse Ranch was just as good (maybe a little bit better??) than our yearly cruise. The memories that we created in the week will last a lifetime. We just may have found a new annual family tradition.
Rocking Horse Ranch
600 State Route 44 55
Highland, NY 12528