Alas, a mere two weeks after our return from the amazing Allure of the Seas, I finally share the last post in my not-so-liveblogging of our cruise. Hey, my tanned Caribbean skin has not yet completely faded back to Canadian winter white, that’s got to count for something, right?
So why exactly were we on this cruise? As you know, I’ve been a Play Ambassador with Fisher-Price for more than a year, and Fisher-Price has a partnership in place with Royal Caribbean International. They work together to provide great services and entertainment to families on RCI’s cruises. For example, the Fisher-Price Toy Lending Program consists of a collection of developmental toys, specifically created for infants and toddlers ages 6-36 months, where you can borrow and exchange toys for a new activity every day. The Royal Babies (ages 6 yo 18 months) and Royal Tots (ages 18 to 36 months) programs offer fun interactive playgroup sessions for families with the youngest cruisers, developed by early childhood experts at Fisher-Price. (For more about the Royal Babies and Royal Tots programs, you can read Caroline’s post on the Fisher-Price play blog.) We were given this amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity along with the newly formed American counterpart to our Canadian “fisherpricemoms” team to see the Fisher-Price/Royal Caribbean partnership in action.
For us, the real joy of the cruise was not the chance to get away from the kids (which would have been easy, given the great Adventure Ocean kids’ clubs that offered quality care late into the night each day at no additional cost – and the kids loved it.) Cruise ships are known for having great entertainment for adults, but I don’t imagine many of them cater to families like the Allure of the Seas does. Here are a few of the amazing entertainment options for families and kids of all ages:
- The Ocean Aria show. (Though not specifically a family show, we loved it so much that we sat through at least a portion of it several times. It’s a mix of high-diving, comedy, dance and trampoline with the most amazing pool I’ve ever seen – the floor of the pool moves up and down, so that one minute it’s shallow enough for the performers to run across it and be ankle-deep in water, and then the next minute a diver from a board 10m above the surface plunges deep under the water. Imagining a pool deep enough to accommodate high divers on a ship is awesome enough, but I couldn’t get over how amazingly the pool could change depths without looking any different.)
- The How to Train Your Dragon ice show. (I may be in violation of some Canadian cultural law in having never brought my children to an ice show before now. Watching one of our favourite movies brought to life in an amazing ice show was the perfect way to spend a part of our extra day at sea when Hurricane Sandy cancelled our scheduled port day in Jamaica.)
- Fisher-Price Little People birthday party (Tristan may be at the top edge of the age range they were aiming for, but I’m grateful to say that he’s still young-hearted enough to enjoy these things without (much) self-consciousness. And Lucas has traditionally been terrified of just about any of these mascot-style characters, so he was pretty much desensitized to them by the end of the cruise!)
Dreamworks character breakfast with Alex the Lion, King Julien and Mort from Madagascar.
Power-wheels racers for little ones
Dreamworks sail-away parade and end-of-cruise parade on the Royal Promenade (I was impressed by the production values on this — it’s no ordinary “characters wandering by in a line” sort of parade!)
- Pop-up circus and play sessions (These were great – staff from the Adventure Ocean kids’ club would set up informal stations with a giant chess set, some musical bells, a dominoes set, some skipping ropes, hula hoops and other playthings and just let the kids – and grownups! – help themselves.)
- Dreamworks character appearances (the program said this was Puss-in-Boots from Shrek, but the boys say that Willie grew big and got a hat and boots so he could join us on our cruise!)
ImaginOcean blacklight puppet show
- Cupcake decorating class (another great way to not think about dodging an approaching hurricane!)
Pretty impressive, eh? But don’t just take my word for it – you can check out Tristan, Simon and Lucas’s perspective on the cruise on their entry on our Fisher-Price Play Ambassador blog post! Click away but make sure you come back – I’ve got one exciting detail left to share.
While I wish I could share with you something exciting like a chance to win your own week in paradise on the Allure of the Seas, I can’t quite pull that one off. However, our generous friends at Royal Caribbean International do have a lovely gift package to share with one lucky reader containing an Allure of the Seas bath robe, insignia towel and luggage tags. You’ll have to supply your own cupcakes.
Want to win? Here’s how to enter:
- This is a giveaway for a goodie bag from Royal Caribbean International and the Allure of the Seas.
- To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post (not on Facebook or Twitter – comment must be on this post!) and tell me something you learned about the Allure of the Seas from one of my liveblogging posts.
- For a bonus entry, “like” Royal Caribbean on Facebook. (This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.) You MUST leave a comment telling me you liked RCI in order to qualify. If you already like Royal Caribbean on FB, just say so in your comment.
- This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents, excluding residents of Quebec. (sorry!)
- This giveaway will run until 11:59 pm EDT on Friday November 16, 2012.
- One winner will be chosen at random from all comments posted.
- If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information to me to share with Royal Caribbean, who will send the prize package directly to you.
Good luck and happy cruising!
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