Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sailing Away

In February we went on our first cruise - and we loved it!

I had never thought about going on a cruise until my Mum mentioned wanting to go on a Royal Caribbean cruise from Sydney to Tasmania. As she couldn't go by herself she asked me whether I would like to take my girls and go with her.

We were lucky enough to get an upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony, though in truth we were never in our room long enough to fully utilise it. The other downside to the balcony is that Evie couldn't see over the railing so she kept trying to stand on a chair and lean over - heart attack inducing behaviour!

Before our cruise I did some internet research to see what other people had thought and I when the departure date rolled around I was really excited.

It was a wet and gloomy Sydney day when we boarded the Voyager of the Seas so we were happy to be heading towards warmer temperatures.

The highlight for us was definitely the kids club. I had planned on dropping the girls off once or twice but once they'd been they kept asking to go back. The kids club staff are fantastic and the girls loved all the staff plus the new friends they made.

Highlights of our cruise:

* Not having to cook for 10 days

* The two night time parades on the promenade deck

* The towel animals left on our bed each evening

* Meeting the Dreamworks characters that were on the ship

* The staff - everyone is lovely from the people that make up the room to all the dining staff

* Having 'me time'. Thanks to kids club I managed to read 2 books and 2 magazines while we were away

* The shore excursions

* The food

* The kids club pirate parade

* The entertainment

* The accommodation

We all really enjoyed ourselves and had a great time. As a full time carer to my Mother and single parent to 2 small children it was lovely to not have to think about what to cook or planning activities to entertain the girls.

The only downside is that one of our shore excursions was disappointing. We booked a trip which included a visit to Penfolds winery plus the Adelaide Zoo. By the time we'd been to the winery we were only given an hour at the zoo!! After much complaining it was extended to 90 minutes - still nowhere near long enough to see everything so we picked out the main animals the girls wanted to see and basically ran from enclosure to enclosure - in 40 degree heat!

I do think the zoo should have been an excursion all by itself as it's a family activity whereas wine tasting is 18+ and it was hard to keep them entertained when everyone else was participating (we ended up getting back on the bus and just waited).

That said it was a minor glitch in an otherwise fantastic holiday and we are booked on a South Pacific cruise in December - can't wait!

 Departing Sydney Harbour

 Our Room

 How cute are these towels!

Adults only pool

 Street Parade along the Promenade deck 

 King Julien and Alex - Madagascar

Awesome food sculpture

 Adventure Ocean - kids pool area

 The girls loved the kids pool area

 Meeting Puss in Boots

 The English pub - The Pig & Whistle

 Cleopatra's Needle

 The Promenade Deck

 The Promenade Deck

 with Po from Kung Fu Panda

with Shrek

Family photo

 early morning arrival into Sydney harbour

The old versus the new - a tall ship and Voyager of the Sea

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