Five things I love (even more than I expected to!) about cruising

by DaniGirl on October 26, 2012 · 0 comments

in Allure of the Seas 2012, Reviews, promotions and giveaways

A cruise had never crossed our radar as a potential holiday. Even though my parents have loved a few cruises in the last few years and regaled us with their adventures, it would still never have occured to us to even consider a cruise vacation for the family. However, I have to tell you — I could get used to this!

Here’s five things that have surpassed my expectations to become five of my favourite things about cruising with Royal Caribbean International in general, and the Allure of the Seas in particular.

1. The food

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Oy. They say you can easily gain 10 lbs on a 7-day cruise, and I can totally see how that would happen. From the snacks to the specialty restaurants, there is always food and it is always yummy. Our particular favourites are the guacamole, chips and self-serve ice cream in the Wipeout Cafe, the early-morning coffee and pastries in the Park Cafe and to my great surprise, dinners in the main dining room. Also worth a mention: the fresh food in the Solarium Bistro (my favourite and most scenic breakfast) and the family-style Italian dining at Giovanni’s Table. And the salads and roast beef sandwiches at the Park Cafe. And the kids want me to tell you that the buffet at the Windjammer Marketplace is awesome! (You can see, we are in no danger of starving!)

2. The ship

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The Allure of the Seas is a marvel. I’ve loved exploring her and getting to know her. Funny, I usually have a very good sense of direction, but she’s just so darn big that my internal compass is completely off. I start off heading for the Boardwalk thinking I’m on the Promenade heading aft only to have Tristan point out I’m headed forward. And if you do end up at the wrong end of the ship, it’s a substantial hike to get back where you thought you were going! But I’ve loved taking different ways to common destinations so I’ve gotten to see just about as much of her as I think is possible. Some of my favourite places are the deck just off the running track on deck 5 that looks back over the ship’s wake, the Boardwalk with its carousel and kid-friendly shops, and the splash-and-fun zone on deck 15 with the pools, hot tubs, kiddie splash zone and great views. I even love our compact little stateroom, which is much larger than I expected and is equipped with so much smart storage that even we are kept organized. And more than anything, I love our private balcony, although I also love just about any bit of the ship where I can lean on a rail or grab a deck chair and just stare out at that mesmerizing sea.

3. The crew

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Our room attendant, Andy, is always smiling. Every second night he makes an animal out of face cloths for the boys. Some nights he’s holding the remote control, and some nights he’s wearing kiddie sunglasses. The boys love it! Every single crewmember is cheerful and friendly, and the staff in the main dining room go out of their way to make us — all five of us, kids maybe even moreso than the adults — feel welcome and at home. There are 2,200 crew members from more than 70 countries throughout the world, and not a one of them has ever been anything less than welcoming.

4. The fun!

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Swimming, rock climbing, surfing, zip lining, skipping ropes and hula hoops, carousel rides, shows – these are just a few of diversions we’ve enjoyed in the last few days. The kids have come to love the Ocean Adventure kids’ clubs, and we’ve had the best time just playing together. Who knew ships were so much FUN?!?

5. The sea

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I love the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt, the sight of those amazing, unbelievable blues — I could honestly spend seven full days sitting on a deck chair simply staring out at the sea. I love the gentle rocking of the waves most of all, I think. I can’t bring myself to ignore a glimpse of the sea, and I’m only surprised that being 360 degrees surrounded by it that it is occasionally possible on a ship this massive to forget that you are at sea — even when you are charging full-steam-ahead away from a hurricane! Considering I have a visceral fear of deep water and wide open spaces, it’s odd how truly obsessed I am with the sea. I will miss it most of all.

But there’s no time for nostalgia — we have just docked and watched the sun rise in Cozumel, Mexico! Another day of adventure awaits!!

Okay wait - if we're going to do a sunrise over Cozumel photo, this is better! Ola!! #fisherpriceonroyal #ad

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