We cruised with Royal Caribbean on one of their older but great ships, Voyager of the seas.
The cruise left from Sydney, Australia for a 10-night voyage travelling to the wonderful Pacific Islands in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.
So if you’re new to cruising and thinking about taking a voyage similar to ours, in this article we will give you…..
- A Quick Overview
- Our Cabin and sleeping arrangements
- Fun activities for the kids
- Fun activities for the parents
- Helpful tips and what you need to know
This was our first cruise as a family and we all really enjoyed it, so much so we booked another trip with Royal Caribbean on their flagship Ovation of the Seas travelling to Hawaii in 2019.
A Quick Overview.
A simple but rewarding feature for any cruise passenger this that for the duration of your cruise you are completely looked after from the moment you set foot on board. Your room is turned down twice a day, all meals are cooked for you and food & drink is available 24/7.
On board the Voyage of the Seas, the Kids Club is for children aged 3 years and over. For children under 3, there is an allocated room that the babies & toddlers can play away from the older children. For one of the nights on board, we booked a babysitter so we could enjoy a few precious moments as a couple enjoying the evenings onboard entertainment.
The appeal for us was the idea that you can be in one location and but have so much fun, not needing to think about any chores, worrying where the kids were, then wake up in a tropical location the next morning……sounds great, doesn’t it?
The hard work starts a few months before the cruise departs, for example, planning and booking your on-shore excursions in advance, or as some do, just relax on the boat or have the ship to yourself when everyone else in on shore.
There are enough things to keep you entertained whilst onboard such as; swimming, gymnasium, walking track, bingo, casino, cinema, time zone for kids, a teens-only area, rock climbing, mini golf, basketball, messages, the very cool FlowRider, onboard festivals, poolside games, physical challenges, karaoke nights, live bands, a sports court, the outdoor movie theatre, table tennis, pool party’s, parades, shopping, dance classes, productions/game shows…….and the list goes on!
Why haven’t you booked your trip yet !!
Our Cabin and sleeping arrangements.
Royal Caribbean caters for all budgets, so depending on how much you’re willing to splash out, you do have a few options.
As we are a family of 4 we considered the following options:
The Family Suite – An amazing large space for a family but comes with a price tag.
Balcony Room – Complete with a double bed, pull out sofa bed and a nice outdoor seating area.
Ocean View – Complete with a double bed and pull out sofa bed and a window looking out to sea.
Interior Room – Complete with a double bed and pull out sofa bed but no windows.
As we did not want to sleep in the same room as the children, we decided to book two interconnecting interior rooms. Whilst being the most cost-effective option for us at the time, we soon realised this wasn’t the best idea as when we put the children to sleep, from 7pm onward we were usually in the room watching TV.
So for our upcoming trip in 2019, we decided this time to upgrade to a single balcony room, so in the evenings we can sit and enjoy the ocean breeze with a glass of bubbles of two, whilst the children sleep.
Fun activities for the kids.
Royal Caribbean offers the Royal Babies program for ages 6-18 months. This gives parents and babies alike, an interactive class filled with enriching activities developed by early childhood experts. For ages 18-36 months, they offer a 45-minute interactive playground session filled with age-appropriate activities and toys. For both these programmes, a parent or caregiver must accompany the child during all activity sessions.
Youth programmes for older kids and teens.
For the older kids and teens, Royal Caribbean’s games, events, and cruise activities for are ongoing throughout the day and into the evening hours to keep them entertained whilst onboard.
Unique to Royal Caribbean is the DreamWorks Experience, The DreamWorks Experience encompasses a variety of shipwide activities that feature characters from popular DreamWorks movies, such as “Shrek,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar.” Such offerings include:
Parades: There’s no better way to start or end a cruise than with a parade. On embarkation day and on one of the last days of each sailing, crew members in colourful costumes accompany the likes of Shrek, Princess Fiona, Puss In Boots, Alex, King Julien, Mort, Gloria and Po for lots of singing and dancing in the Royal Promenade or along the Boardwalk.
Character Interactions: At select times throughout each voyage, characters will make appearances to greet passengers and pose for photos. Character breakfasts are also offered, featuring themed menu items like the Muffin Man’s Chocolate Dreams (chocolate bread and pastries), Puss In Boots’ En Garde Omelet and King Julien’s Crunchy Granola, and of course visits from favourites like Mort from “Madagascar” and Po from “Kung Fu Panda.” (Because seating is limited, reservations are recommended and can be made online in advance of boarding.)
ADVENTURE YOUTH PROGRAM
ages 3-5 years – will have fun conducting cool experiments.
ages 6-8 years – is packed with exciting cruise activities for kids, which includes themed parties.
ages 9-11 years – will explore a range of activities.
LATE NIGHT PARTY ZONE
Kids and teens can enjoy activities into the late evening with extended hours in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces. An hourly rate applies after 10:00 p.m.
TEENS & TWEENS
Whether hanging out with other kids or checking out games, sports and parties they can do this in the Teen only areas, it allows older kids the freedom to come and go as they please.
You can play to win in a classic arcade atmosphere with timeless games like Pacman and table hockey, plus the latest – Guitar Hero, Fast and Furious Drift and more.
See comedy/action and other movies as well as 3D movies in the theatre. You can watch movies in your room as well.
Available in the ship’s library, this area offers classic and popular family titles in a variety of languages (based on the ship’s itinerary) and a comfortable reading area for kids to relax and delve into a book, individually or with a parent.
Fun activities for the parents.
Kids club facilities = relaxing for you… even if it’s 3 hours a day. You can’t be superwoman / Superman. Don’t feel bad having some me time.
There are adult areas, a lovely adult pool to sunbathe and drink cocktails listening to the pool party songs or hit the casino if you’re feeling lucky.
Getting pampered with a massage or facial or just getting your hair or nails done. Maybe a quick spray tan.
There’s a great Gym and they do planned yoga classes to help keep the weight off whilst your enjoying all the delicious food! There’s also a walking or running track to keep the cardio fitness up, Plus all the below!!
Bingo, cinema, rock climbing, mini golf, basketball, FlowRider, poolside games, physical challenges, karaoke nights, Live bands, Sports court, Outdoors movie, Table tennis, Pool party’s, Parades, Few shops, Dance classes, Productions/game shows, Theme nights.
Important to know if you’ve had a few too many wines!!
A good point to note is that the same rules apply onboard a ship as they do on land, if you get too drunk and misbehave, there is a jail and will use it. They will even kick you off at the next port if you do something really bad…. so don’t be naughty or have relations ANYWHERE other then your room 🙂
Helpful tips and what you need to know
There are plenty of cruise liners, voyages and ships so make sure you choose the right package that suits fits your requirements.
On our next cruise, we will be on a newer larger ship with more features. This has a kids club for both the children, a balcony room, plenty of things to do for all the family and a little bonus, a few destinations we have never been to…
Once we had found the right package for us, we had no hesitation in booking. These types of cruises have lost the stigma that cruises once had, we tried to book this trip for 2018 but it had sold out, That’s how popular they now are!!!!
Another point to note is that you have to choose a dinnertime prior to boarding. Early dinner bookings times with our two kids are better. We knew people who booked 8pm and it was way too late for the kids and ran into some shows times. Just because you have booked these times doesn’t mean you have to go, there is always a relaxed buffet you could go to instead of the a la carte restaurant-style meals.
Another tip is that we recommend as soon as you get on board is to book your babysitters.
Royal Caribbean is very good a marketing to you whilst onboard, they offer you spectacular deals to another cruise so it’s worth checking you if you can.
Book your excursions – You can also do this 2 months prior to your departure date, make sure you do this as these excursions sell out fast!
Room selection: Make sure you choose a room that right for your family, we had no windows and it became a little claustrophobic and the recycled ship air wasn’t that good for the sinuses either. This time around we have opted for a balcony room. If your travelling in a group try and book your rooms close together and on the same deck, remember there is very little cell phone coverage onboard.
You can see more photos on our Instagram account “Traveltantrums”
Let me know if you book a cruise, what ship and how you found it??