Are you new to cruising? Is this the first time you are considering cruising as a family holiday, but you’re not sure what to expect?
If you are considering cruising as a family holiday, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, is not a bad place to start! Here’s my brief expereince as a cruising novice.
1, The Oasis of the Seas will dwarf most of the other ships in port.
You may not be privy to the VIP treatment the Oasis of the Seas got when entering Southampton the 15th of October, but this vessel is HUGE, yet beautifully majestic and will look stunning in most ports.
2, You will comfortably walk on-board (or off) via a broad gangway and a lift will take you to any deck aka level you wish, you can choose from 15. (I had visions of having to climb up flights of stairs for some reason.)
3, Your luggage will be delivered to your stateroom (the cruising term for the humble and not so humble cabins). Of these there are a huge variety of configurations to choose from to fit your family, extended family and your budget- balcony, ocean view, interconnected, with a sofabed, with a pull down bed, and so on. This one is a simple stateroom with a pull out sofa and a beautiful little shower room:
4, You will get lost on the vast ship
… and there are plenty of interactive information points to guide you to your intended destination. If you still need help, the staff are amazingly helpful.
5, You will get acquainted with the cruising lingo such as muster (the safety briefing you receive on the day of embarkation), port, starboard and the likes. It’s part of the fun!
6, You will have the opportunity to endulge in exquisite dining and may even expand your waistline.
The food I sampled at Giovanni’s table and Chops Grille was exquisite. The steak I ordered at Chops was possibly the best steak ever. Cooked to perfection!… sorry no picture of that, as I just tucked in as soon as it arrived. I’ll whet your apetite with just one of our starters at Giovanni’s though:
7, You will be able to work on said waistline in the extensive gym, on a running trail all around the ship, maybe even with a yoga session on the helipad on the bow of the ship.
8, You will find all sorts of thrills from zipwiring across a void 9 storeys high to rockwall climbing or riding artificial waves.
Excuse the picture quality on this one, but my hands were shaking so much just from watching… I might have even closed my eyes as my friends and fellow bloggers cast themselves off from the far end.
9, Adrenalin not your thing? You will find lots of places to just chill: by the pool, in the park (yes, I did say park! Well, lots of trees and plants and fresh air),
…on deck, maybe even on your own private balcony or with a massage at the spa.
10, You will find amazingly attentive staff who come from around the world and speak all languages imaginable. They will make your stay extra special with the support of small touches of courtesy from Royal Caribbean itself. I loved reading this (… something that bugs me at resorts- lounger hogging.)
11, You will be able to enjoy world-class entertainment, shows that would match most west-end performances, listen to great live music and fabulous speakers, learn about wines and lots more… I doubt you or your family members 0-99 years old would have a chance to be bored.
12, Your children- be they anywhere between 18 months to 18 years- may not want to leave the kids zone and their new found friends.
This is where the littlest ones hang out and this is the smallest of the “playrooms”.
13, The times the kids aren’t in the kids zone, they will have lots to do including splashing about in the fabulous kids swimming zone.
14, You might end up with a lot of really good artwork from your off-spring and new/renewed interest in science. (If that raised an eyebrow, check out Mummy and Boo’s account of the day.)
15, You will, most likely, enjoy your holiday so much that you loose track of time and what day of the week it is
…and help is at hand, just step into the lifts. 😉
…and these are just what to expect while on-board!
Check out some of the itineraries to see what amazing ports the Oasis of the Seas and its sister ships take you to day after day.
I wouldn’t mind waking up in a different port each day; Exploring a different island, a different city each time, while your travel (the more tedious bit of the adventure usually) is turned into just as much fun with all the faclities.
You will meet all sorts and I expect come away with amazing memories for the whole family
(if my short stint on-board is anything to go by)
I had the privilege of spending an afternoon on board the newly refurbished Oasis of the Seas as member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, when the ship docked in Southampton. The 8 hours spent on the ship whizzed past at lightning speed and I definitely want to explore more of cruising as an family holiday option. From discussions with other Mumsnetters, several cruising skeptics, there on the day we concluded that maybe the best way to dip one’s toes into cruising for families is with one of the short trips on offer.
Although I was a guest of Royal Caribbean and Mumsnet I have retained full editorial control over the content above and they are reflective of my experiences.
*pops off to scour the web for good deals on cruises*
Don’t just take my word for it, you can also read what my fellow bloggers thought of their afternoon on the Oasis of the Seas: