Many people have an odd perception of cruising, are not sure what to expect? Choose your cruise-line wisely and cruising is incredible, exciting, luxurious, cultural, fun and perfect for families.
We embarked on our first Royal Caribbean cruise 7 years ago and it totally blew us away.
In fact it changed the way we saw family travel forever. When the boys were small we had accepted holidays were no longer for relaxing, but for cramming as much adventure and activity as possible into our time away.
Why? Because we didn’t want the boys to get bored, bored kids mean miserable parents. I had never tried kids clubs; the boys were just not bothered. We enjoyed our holidays together but always returned home frazzled.
Then we discovered cruising and everything changed. From the moment you enter the embarkation lounge you know your family are going to love cruising. Royal Caribbean makes every effort to ensure you are comfortable during the embarkation process. Yes, there are forms to fill out. But there is also coffee, juice, fruit and cookies. This goes a long way with excited kids who are dying to get on board.
I feel giddy just thinking about it, boarding a cruise ship is so exciting. The feeling I get as we enter the Royal Promenade, knowing we are going to have the best time.
The kid’s club onboard Royal Caribbean ships are incredible. Adventure Ocean is split into ages and all staff involved are fully qualified. They are a crazy cool bunch, the boys used to beg to go into the club. And never wanted to leave when we collected them.
It is safe: children cannot leave the club unless you sign them out. I am all for quality family time, but cruising is the only holiday where we get that balance of family time and couple time. We all love the cruising chill/adventure balance.
The problem is having time to go into the club; there is so much to do onboard. The ships vary slightly, but favourite features of the boys are the FlowRider, climbing wall, sports court, mini golf, ice skating and of course the pool, particularly the H2O zone.
You don’t need to worry about feeling overwhelmed. The ships are huge, but there are maps everywhere showing you where you are. And how to find where you are going. Every night when you return to your cabin your Cruise Compass daily newsletter is waiting for you. It tells you what activities are on offer for the next day. There is always a huge selection to choose from, and also a kid’s version, which the boys loved.
For those fussy eaters? The restaurants onboard are my favourite part of cruising. You know you are going to get fantastic quality food every mealtime.
The choice is vast, you can chill with a light snack, head up to the buffet restaurant for a choice that goes on forever. Sing along in Johnny Rockets, Royal Caribbean’s resident 1950s burger restaurant, head to the main dining rooms for a delicious 3 course meal or check out the signature restaurants.
Wherever you dine the staff are very attentive. I remember one trip when all Joe wanted to eat was plain pasta, so that is what the kitchen made him. The waiters were also able to knock up a quick swan out of an apple for dessert, much to Joe’s delight. The boys loved the waiting staff who made meal times special, as they all high-fived the boys when made our way to our table every night. And don’t get me started on the cocktail menu!
You don’t want to get off the ship some days. Cruising is the perfect way to see the world, a new and exciting port every day. The opportunity to take part in excursions to see incredible attractions or cities, then return to the ship for a delicious meal, chill by the pool. Maybe climb the climbing wall to enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the ship.
What better way to finish the day, than sail off into the sunset, stood on deck looking out to sea with your family. On the way to your next adventure, a new day in a new and exciting place.