I could write and write (and write) about my trip away to Italy with Royal Caribbean but I’m going to make this my final post about my trip and talk about the things I would be interested in if I wanted to read a review about what a cruise is ‘really’ like.
On our second day we were treated to a tour of the Amalfi Coast. If you want to choose a guided tour organised by Royal Caribbean, they don’t just organise one – there were about a dozen different trips to choose from. Full day, half day, travelling on boats, travelling on land, every permeation you could think of – and I think these photos speak for themselves. I don’t think I’ve seen such a beautiful place in my life.
Mount Vesuvis on our way to Sorrento & Amalfi
We stopped to take a photo of Sorrento below us
Perfect end to a perfect day
I might be controversial for saying this, but sometimes I think it’s much better if parents and children have time apart from each other whilst on holiday (so that everyone can spend time doing something they like rather than having to suffer just to keep the peace.) The best thing about cruising … (apart from the never-ending food and gorgeous scenery) … is that all children of all ages are looked after all the time. Should you wish. Whether you have a baby or a teen, all kids are catered for. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put Dexter into a kids club all day and all night but … hypothetically speaking … if I wanted to, I could. Even up to the early hours of the morning.
This is a massive selling point for lots of families. Imagine everyone getting to do exactly what they wanted on holiday? No sulking. No cries of “I’m bored.” Free time to sunbathe, see the sights, experience the evening entertainment … and you have the choice of whether you want the kids with your or not!
Breakfast with a view!
It’s a cruise, you expect there to be food everywhere you look … and you won’t be disappointed. Food available all day, every day. Whilst I was on board, the quality of the food was great – and I was really surprised at the sheer variety of food on offer. They seem to cater for every nationality. Stir fry for breakfast anyone? I think the novelty of eating for the sake of eating would wear off soon enough (although it didn’t for me!) and even if you’re watching your weight, there seemed to be lots of healthy alternatives on offer. I know that they also cater for different dietary restrictions so no-one has to go without. I even saw a frozen yogurt machine next to the swimming pool which was self-service!
There are specialist restaurants you can eat in (at an extra cost) and we were lucky enough to try them out. I think if you were celebrating a special occasion whilst on board it would be nice to treat yourself to at least one ‘special’ meal out.
Eating at one of the specialist restaurants – we seem to have ordered everything!
My experience as a guest blogger on board was slightly different to that of a paying guest … but there are different drinks packages you can purchase when you are booking your cruise (which would especially appeal to the drinkers amongst you!) I can’t imagine it’s much fun having to pay extra every time you want a drink on board so I’d seriously think about purchasing a drinks package suitable for your family before you go then you won’t have to worry about the cost racking up whilst you’re on board.
It’s worth noting that you’re not allowed to take any alochol with you on board – your duty free gets taken off you and stored somewhere safe until it’s home time!
Just an old man. Balancing on his head. On a bottle.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to experience much of the on board entertainment but what we did see was great. We saw a variety show which, although fairly old fashioned in format, was so much fun. We saw the house band, a group of singers and, our favourite act, an older guy in a white suit (complete with white patent shoes) balancing on his head. Sounds … interesting … but it was brilliant! Linda and I liked the fact that the staff and all the entertainers on board came onto the stage at the end of the show to wave goodbye to everyone – even waiting outside the venue afterwards to talk to everyone. Thought that was a nice touch. Which brings me to …
I’ve ‘only’ been on two cruises … and the one thing that stands out, particularly with Royal Caribbean … that is different from, say, a typical package holiday abroad, is the level of service. It makes such a difference. We all like to be treated like we’re special and Royal Caribbean have got that down to a T. From the porter of my room knowing my name and always making an effort to say hello and ask how I was, to the waiters doing a spontaneous Macarena halfway through breakfast … they were all lovely! We were even lucky enough to have a tour of the Bridge and meet the men responsible for making sure we arrived at our destination safely. I was really impressed.
I had an amazing time. I don’t know what more I could say about the trip really that doesn’t just involved me saying how awesome it was. I wasn’t able to take my boys with me but I can see how well they’d be looked after IF they had have come and, as a single woman, it was also interesting to see that single people are also catered for.
I know that I was a guest but I hope you also know that I’d be honest enough to give a truthful account of what I found. Since I’ve been home, I’ve spoken to a lot of friends about cruising who would never have even thought about going on a cruise with their family and the general consensus seems to now be that it’s something they’d definitely consider and that maybe … cruising IS for families after all!