It was during a recent episode of the cruise on BBC2 just as theywere talking about the average age of their customer being 68 that an email came through with our itinerary for a day aboard The Independence of the Seas. Mr B’s heart sank but I reassured him that Royal Caribbean cruises were as far removed from the ship in front of us on the TV as it was possible to be whilst still on a ship.
He didn’t sound convinced but when I told him I KNEW it was true because I had been following the escapades of six Royal Mum ambassadors, he started to come round to my way of thinking.
It’s true. I was full of envy when I saw six fellow bloggers set sail earlier this year, aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. I was positively green as they Tweeted pictures from their various destinations along the way and then came home and blogged about how fantastic their adventure had been.
And how family friendly.
And that did surprise me, because I did think cruising was more akin to the TV programme on BBC2. Aimed at the “older traveller” and not particularly energetic, which is fine if that is your idea of a fabulous holiday, but if you have teenagers or younger children then they don’t really appeal. Or should I say didn’t.
Because what Royal Caribbean have done is genius. They have shown that cruising can be for families. IS for families. And they didn’t just want me to take their word for it in a press release with some cleverly angled photos. They were inviting Mr B and three teens down to Southampton for the day to spend the day on their flagship (literally) Independence of the Seas.
I didn’t need to be asked twice!
And do you know what? We had a blast. We got to try out the Flo-rider, see an ice skating show, sample a cup cake making class, lounge by the pool, fill our faces with scrummy food and sample what a cruise holiday is all about: having fun! It is possible to relax and chill out, or to be active in the gym or run round the deck running track (yeah, I swerved both of those). Not only is there a whole H2O zone for children but there is a whole entertainments programme for them. For older children (and grown ups) there is a climbing wall and a golf course!
There is even an English pub, restaurants and shops on one deck so you can go for a wander, shop to your heart’s content, have a pint and almost forget you are out at sea and being leisurely taken to your next destination.
This is a little video that Royal Caribbean did that features yours truly:
And you know up there I mentioned the Flo-rider? Don’t know what that is, or don’t believe me, well here is Mr B on it. I wasn’t ready to give it a go myself, well actually the world wasn’t ready for me doing it, so he did the Barrow/Brewins proud and did it for us
Everytime I see that video it makes me smile.
Being on board this Royal Caribbean ship really showed me that there is more to cruising than I had ever expected. And that if you are looking for a family holiday where you will never hear “Mum, I am bored”, this is it. In fact I am wondering if it is too late to cancel our flights to Barbados this summer and if we could stowaway on the next trans-Atlantic sailing!
We were guests of Royal Caribbean for the day, with our expenses paid but no expectation of anything in return from us. This is my honest opinion, and there was certainly no script in the video above, that was me being honest when I asked what I thought, over lunch.