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An alternative to Disney's 'Frozen' cruise packages

While some parents might already be online booking tickets for Disney’s new cruises inspired by the film 'Frozen,' others with less to spend might be up-talking entirely different water adventures in hopes of making a splash.

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    This image provided by Disney shows a teenage Elsa the Snow Queen, voiced by Idina Menzel, in a scene from the animated feature 'Frozen.'
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It may seem like the wrong time to get all excited about being frozen, but the Disney Cruise Line has nonetheless announced a new summer cruise inspired by the film “Frozen.”

Select Disney cruise ships, heading to a variety of selected destinations including Norway and Alaska, will undergo an Arendelle-friendly makeover, from environment to food, according to the cruise line's website. Costumed characters from the film will abound and the frosty theme will warm the hearts of fans and families.

Disney cruises to Northern Europe, leaving from coastal England for a family of four can begin around $16,000. 

Those who either can’t afford to contemplate that brand of family vacation, or who find it hard to sing about the cold right now might empathize with my son Quin, age 11, who found himself the unwilling participant in a frozen cruise of sorts of my husband’s invention last weekend.

Let’s be clear on the point that if I so much as hum the Frozen tune “Let it Go” under my breath, Quin puts his hands over his ears and yelps for mercy.

So his “frozen” adventure was not built on the Disney model, but something that more resembles survivalist Bear Grylls.

Because our family lived aboard a sailboat once upon a time with our first two of four sons, cruise ship vacations aren’t really our style.

My husband regularly races in and organizes Laser boat races on the river near our home. Despite rain, wind, or cold, nothing can keep us off the river even on the roughest of days, as he races and I serve as a race official.

This past weekend, my husband said to Quin, “Hey buddy, how about you come out an help your mom run the boat today? A little cruise.”

Minutes earlier, in the car on the way home from church, Quin had told me of his plan to play Legos while I was at the races and I’d said something like, “That sounds awesome!”

The juxtaposition of my husband’s face lit with enthusiasm and my son bursting into tears of disappointment simultaneously made my parenting role a mix of tested loyalties.

Here I was, stuck between dad and son – as I often have been over 21 years of parenting four sons – in what promised to become a very emotional moment.

“What? Come on. It’ll be great. It’ll be fun. Make sure you’re in your warmest clothes so you don’t freeze and meet me at the dock,” my husband ordered decisively before walking out the door.

Because I had not intervened, Quin gave me a heartbroken look.

My husband wants to share his love of the water and help our boys to build the kind of mental and physical toughness he believes is vital to their becoming good men.

To that end he wants us to really crack-down on sedentary winters and build some muscle and character by getting them to be more physically active rain, shine, hot or cold.

He wants to see less exercising thumbs on video consoles and more hikes in the woods, yard work, and dog walking. I promised to be on board.

While the Sunday sailboat races my husband organizes in winter are called “The Frostbite Series,” the day was unseasonably mild which aided me in backing him up because I wasn’t worried about Quin’s physical well-being.

Quin’s emotional well-being, however, was compromised at the moment and I needed to pull a rabbit out of my mommy hat in order to turn this Titanic cruise around and head it to more happy waters.

Despite some truly impressive pouting on Quin’s part, I got him and the boat geared up.

Once we were out on the water, where he refused to speak to me, I handed Quin the score sheet, a pen and the big orange whistle and said, “OK, as long as you’re here you are going to call the races.”

To me this meant calling out the numbers as each racer crosses the finish line and blowing the whistle for the countdown to each start.

However, to Quin it meant realizing that I was videotaping the races and morphing into a caricature of an ESPN announcer shouting color commentary at the top of his voice for the next three-and-a-half hours.

His commentary became the delight of the hard-core winter sailors, who laughed their way around the marks for the first time since summer.

At the end of the nearly four-hour-long session, Quin reveled in his new role as race official and even helped me haul anchor, lug the buoys out of the icy water, and let out a war whoop of pure joy when I punched the engine and we sped across the river toward the dock where his father was waiting.

“Hey Mom,” Quin shouted over the wind, “Is there a long way back? Can we extend the cruise?”

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