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Meet the Cruisers: Jack Billington

By JoFriday 18th October 2013



Regular cruiser Jack Billington tells us why he loves Oasis of the Seas, and offers some great advice for those cruising for the first time.

Where did you sail to on your first ever Royal Cruise, and on which of our ships?
Our first cruise in 2009 was on Voyager of the Seas embarking from Barcelona for a 7 night journey around the Mediterranean stopping at some amazing ports including Rome, Naples, and Florence. It is the reason why our family is now "hooked" on cruising!
Who are your favourite cruising companions?
I have only travelled with my family on a cruise, but I hope to travel with my friends some day soon, once all of the exams are over, I fancy celebrating with an adventure on the upcoming Quantum of the Seas!
Where do you think is the best destination for a first time cruiser to sail to?
Oh there's too much choice! I would recommend sailing out of your home country first time round so you get used to the 'cruising experience' and you aren't worrying about air travel. Both the Mediterranean cruises and Norway cruises are fantastic, I guess it depends what kind of experience you would like. Then once you have trialled cruising, trust me you will be addicted, you have to try Oasis or Allure of the Seas around the Caribbean... WOW!
Of all the ports you have cruised to, which has been your favourite?
I would have to say Muscat, Oman on the Dubai cruise during 2012 on Brilliance of the Seas. It was just a whole new culture and experience, the people are friendly, and it is so clean and unique! The souks are just fantastic and so is the landscape. We then had an Arabian party on the pool deck that night, an amazing experience.
What's your favourite thing about a Royal Caribbean cruise?
What makes a Royal Caribbean Cruise the best has got to be their staff and crew, never have I experience a company who go above and beyond to meet your wants and needs. It must be difficult but you would never know it, they always have a smile on their face, very respectful and helpful.
What’s your dream cruise itinerary?
Alaska is my dream itinerary, I've always wanted to go and getting the time has been difficult, something we will have to do very soon!
What advice would you give about cruising to someone who is about to set sail for the first time?
I would have to say 'try everything!' There is so much to do onboard, which truly enriches the whole experience. On your first day when you read through the cruise compass list of activities, you will be surprised as to how much occurs in 24 hours from parties, quizzes, ice skating, shopping, disco, ice sculpting, rock climbing, surfing... I could go on.
Where is your favourite place to dine whilst onboard?
I am doing my 7th cruise this year and I haven't found my way around all of them yet! I would have to say it depends what ship you are on. The food in the main restaurants is first class, and difficult to beat, but if you want to try different experiences, I can strongly recommend Park Cafe, Johnny Rockets [1950s diner], Seafood Shack, and Chops Grille. The Windjammer is also fantastic if you prefer a more convenient but still amazing buffet choice.
Best drink to enjoy whilst watching the sun set over the sea?
I am under 21 so alcohol is not a choice for me, so I am very happy with my soda package. However my parents enjoy the cocktails of the day on the odd occasion, and they enjoy watching the sun set from the Viking crown lounge with a strawberry daiquiri or mojito.
Tell us about a memorable WOW moment on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Boarding Oasis of the Seas in 2010. As soon as you boarded, you could hear nearly every passenger stop and just say "wow" while they get their cameras out! Finding a park, boardwalk, and promenade on one ship are things you do not expect! When we docked in Nassau (Bahamas), standing next to the ship for the first time was amazing.
Do you have a favourite Royal ship? If so, which one and why?
My favourite ship has got to be Oasis of the Seas, it is the biggest, most unique, and still maintains that happy 'Royal' atmosphere - packed with everything you could want! After watching the promo videos for the Quantum Class of ships it looks like Royal Caribbean are out to impress once again!
If you could only pack three items for your cruise, what would they be and why?
I am not a heavy packer anyway as most of the things you could want are already on board. My list of three things to pack are:
Clothes - for obvious reasons!
My camera - to capture my wow moments on board and ashore.
My iPod - to relax while I sunbathe around the pool.
Where on the ship will we find you on day one of your cruise?
I'll be in one of the restaurants or dining areas, then off to the pool to go for a quick swim and sunbathe until we go and get ready for dinner. Day one is the beginning of my relaxation period!
If you could take one aspect of a Royal Cruise home with you, what would it be?
It would be the amazing chefs on board, the food is just one of the things we miss when we leave.
What advice would you give to a first time cruiser?
Forget any preconceptions of cruising you may have, Cruising is for everyone and especially fantastic for families! Choose your itinerary, ship and sail date to best suit you and your lifestyle! I love cruising for the whole experience, waking up in a new country everyday, in the meantime having the time of your life while you get there!

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