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Having a Great Time on the Family Cruise and Spending Quality Time

family cruise vacation royal caribbean

We just got back from our Royal Caribbean cruise and we had a great time as a family.  This is the teens and my second Royal Caribbean cruise, and the rest of my family’s first time (we had gone on a Carnival cruise a couple of years back).  My sister and I did all the planning and decided to go on Allure of the Seas to check the Oasis class, which are the biggest ships in the world.  I googled and it holds 8,565 people. 

Before going, I was reading tons of articles, watching YouTube videos, and searching Pinterest pins.  Thanks to all the great advice that I received because it helped make the planning for a large group (12 of us) as smooth as possible.

Everyone is already doing another cruise next year.  Next year is the big MBA trip (we are voting this Fall on the location) so do not plan on doing any major trips other than where my son wants to go to celebrate his high school graduation.

Embarkation Day

The teens and I, as well as my aunt and her husband, decided to arrive the day before. We had gotten the Key Program (provides special perks that are similar to what the higher tiers of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Society get) so we had lunch at one of the specialty restaurants that ended at 2 PM. None of the flights from where I live were getting there before 12 (so that means an hour or more at the airport after that so we would have missed it), and I didn’t feel like driving to Baltimore. It’s something I plan to do from now on because it was nice getting up without rushing to the airport or getting on a plane (I am getting better but have a fear of flying).

We got on the ship and headed to eat lunch at Chop’s Grille. The food was amazing, and I was already glad that we got that extra perk. After lunch, we walked around the ship for a bit and then headed to the room so I could start organizing it.

Room Tips

  • The shoe rack definitely helped because we were able to put our toiletries there and save space in the small bathroom
  • The USB port was already an additional help because we were able to charge all of our electronics
  • I even brought my white noise machine that helped drown out the outside noise and let us sleep soundly

Sea Days

We spent our time at the Solarium, which is for guest 16 and up. There were a couple of times that we went to the main pool so we could join the dance party but we mainly stayed at the Solarium to enjoy a relaxing adult (well maybe more young adult) time.

After dinner, I got the idea to do a “pub crawl,” and everyone had a good time going from place to place. It also helped us explore the ship and get to know the different places on the ship.

St. Maarten

We got to our first destination and decided to do the Beach Excursion. We woke up that morning and it was raining and raining. I checked Accuweather and saw that it was supposed to end by 10. After getting to the beach around that time, it stopped raining! I am glad it rained because it cooled down the heat, but by 12, it was sunny and hot as hell. At 1, we headed back to the ship, but the bus gave the option for anyone to get off at the city of Phillipsburg. It was only my niece, nephew, cousin, aunt, uncle, and son who got off. Everyone else stayed on the bus. We had an amazing time walking around and even went to this great coffee shop where we had the best Frappes ever.

Chef’s Table

We had a reservation at the Chef’s Table and so glad that we did. The food was delicious. There was this drunk annoying couple who was there, and the man was very rude. Other than dealing with him, we enjoyed the great food and wine pairing lesson.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a beautiful place, and I definitely want to go back. However, if you are doing it on a cruise, it’s better just to stay on the ship. It’s a short trip because cruises are usually out there by 1 PM, and so you don’t really get to enjoy the country. I also couldn’t get my mofongo.

Labadee, Haiti

We had the best time in Labadee. My sister got a cabana, and it was VIP all the way. The water was the perfect temperature and spent the majority of the time in the there.

Rest of the Cruise

The rest of the cruise was amazing. Our waiters were the best. They even gave us a special going away treat. I wish I could the same for our stateroom attendant. She was rude and definitely was not like the rest of the Royal Caribbean employees. Definitely fill out the survey because it lets you highlight the amazing people on the ship (our waiters) and lets Royal Caribbean know the people who need more training (attendant).

The best lesson I learned on this cruise is to have a good time and don’t let anyone’s bad behavior ruin your vacation. I didn’t, and I enjoyed myself.

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