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What We Got Up To on the Perfect Family Holiday

By KarinThursday 04th September 2014

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As a family of four, two of whom are age 6 and under, we have to choose our family holidays carefully. The age gap of 3 ½ years works just fine when we are at home or visiting local attractions and parks but a big holiday can prove to be a bit more challenging. Taking a cruise as a family had never even entered into our dreams until I experienced all that Royal Caribbean had to offer on a press trip in 2013.


As I floated in the azure blue waters at Castaway Malfini of the coast of Labadee, Haiti on that press trip, I could envision Ella and Sam running back and forth along the shore, chasing waves, building sandcastles and laughing and playing together. Could a cruise as a family be just the thing we needed or was it something we would have to wait a few more years to tick off our bucket list?


Cruising is perfect

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It turns out that cruising is the perfect family holiday and, in fact, it is definitely something that needs to be done sooner rather than later! Our children, Ella, age 6 and Sam, age 2 ½ thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our 7-day cruise in the Western Caribbean on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. While we, as parents, didn’t get to experience any of the night life on the ship, we all happily fell asleep each night, exhausted after experiencing everything that a Royal Caribbean cruise has to offer.
One common concern that most parents have in planning any holiday, but especially a holiday on a cruise ship, is safety. We never once worried about the safety of Ella and Sam while on board or partaking in any of the excursions throughout the cruise. We were able to find the areas on board Allure of the Seas that would be of greatest interest to Ella and Sam and visited them regularly throughout the cruise. The Boardwalk was probably one of the most enjoyable areas to visit thanks to the brilliant carousel which Ella and Sam loved riding. Ella quickly found her “favourite” horse and was able to ride it nearly every time. We also spent a fair bit of time playing some of the games on the Boardwalk, watching the sporadic water fountain shows in the Aqua Theatre and visiting the Ice Cream Shop more than once.

Amazing fun for kids

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While Ella was old enough to experience the Adventure Ocean Kids Programme first-hand, Sam was not yet old enough to be left on his own (children need to be age 3 and older to be allowed to stay in the Adventure Ocean programme). However, Royal Caribbean thinks of everything and for those families with children under age 3, they provide the Play centre, located in the middle of the Adventure Ocean area.
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Parents accompany their children (all ages are welcome) and supervise their play. The room is filled with a variety of toys, games, mats, climbing structures, books and more. Both Ella and Sam really enjoyed using the Play area and we visited it several times throughout the cruise. It was the perfect source of entertainment right after breakfast on At Sea days.

Family time

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We love spending time together as a family. Most of our weekend time is spent doing projects, visiting family and having fun. Each day on board the Allure of the Seas we were able to keep up our usual family fun while enjoying a slightly more exotic backdrop. We enjoyed breakfast in the Windjammer Café most mornings, experienced a brilliant DreamWorks Character breakfast in the Main Dining Room, bobbed in the H2O Zone pools, whirled around on the carousel, scaled the walls (Ella and my husband Mark), ate ice cream and cupcakes, tested our balance on the ice rink (even Sam had a go!), watched amazing physical feats from talented performers, putted our way to mini-golf gold and laughed quite a lot.
I don’t think we could have squeezed more into each day if we had tried! The list of activities and entertainment each day was long and exciting as per our Cruise Compass and truly, there is no way you could miss out on having fun. I believe my husband Mark and I would both agree, that while we could have used a nap each day, we had the most fun we have ever had on a family holiday while on board the Allure of the Seas.

We didn’t want to go home!

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There are so many options these days for family holidays. Our holiday on board the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas allowed us to experience so many “firsts” for both Ella and Sam. We flew internationally, visited (albeit briefly) my home country, were treated to the height of luxury in accommodation, food and entertainment on board the Allure of the Seas, visited gorgeous and exotic ports in the Caribbean Sea and met amazing people who treated our children as special friends more than guests.
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While Sam’s memory may not hold onto this experience, we know what a special holiday it was for us all, and it’s still something that we talk about with our friends and family. If you think that a Royal Caribbean cruise is something to be taken in your “Golden Years” when the kids are off experiencing their own adventures, you’d be mistaken! Pack your family up and book a cruise! You will not regret it and will create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Take a look at our previous post, to find out more about our Royal Mums, who are setting sail with their families this summer. Head over to Karin’s blog Cafe Bebe for more on what she and her family got up to!

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