Guest Post by Becky Wiggins
While I perched precariously upon a surf board, squeaking ‘don’t let me go!’ to the cheery Aussie instructor by my side while water whooshed underneath me at a rate of 32 gallons per minute, my first thought was ‘wow, my teens would love this’. Okay, so it was my second thought – my first being ‘I hope I don’t face-plant spectacularly in front of all these people’ (I didn’t – and I actually got a round of applause!).
The FlowRider aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Sea was definitely my WOW moment. My teenage children, when watching the video of my surfing skills, were slightly impressed, but: ‘you only lasted about five seconds!’, said one, and ‘wow, crashed and burned’, said the other. Of course teenagers are always our harshest critics, and generally think they can do anything better than anyone else (on this occasion they’re probably right), and when we return to the FlowRider, I’ll happily sit on the sidelines and watch as they ‘crash and burn’ too (it doesn’t hurt, but it does make for a very fun spectator sport).
Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself why I was on the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas without my children. Well, I was working (no, really, it was hard work), as one of Royal Caribbean’s Royal Mums, an elite squad of mums with children of all ages who recently spent five days cruising around the Caribbean rigorously testing every aspect of life on board ship.
My own particular interest was what a teenager would make of this mammoth floating city. The answer? They certainly wouldn’t have time to get bored. Royal Caribbean has an award-winning range of kids’ clubs called Adventure Ocean, with specialist, approachable and easy going staff overseeing each group, from six months to 17. Teens are split into two groups: 12 -14 and 15-17, and have their own place to hang out, where they can just relax, play video games, or enjoy organised events like Scratch DJing courses. To encourage your vampire teenagers out into the sun, the staff organise all sorts of outdoor events too. Liberty of the Seas has an amazing climbing wall, the incredible FlowRider, an outdoor basketball court and a huge running track to name a few. Teen-only sessions are organised for all these activities and there are also pool parties, ice skating, karaoke competitions, discos, table tennis tournaments… the list goes on and on.
I was interested to talk to the staff to see if teenagers, notoriously difficult to motivate, actually join in. The consensus was clear – it often starts off slow, but a few team games later and everyone’s enjoying themselves. By the end of the cruise new friendships have been made and families often re-book at the same time so their children can meet up again.
Meanwhile, while my children are having the time of their lives, I’ll be by the adults’ only pool with a Mojito. Cheers.
This guest post was brought to you by Becky Wiggins, a parenting, food and travel blogger at http://englishmum.com.
For more information on the Royal Mums take a look at their other posts here. Alternatively why not find out more about our family holidays.