Cruise ships are like floating resorts with countless amenities and activity schedules as lengthy as your last CVS receipt. No matter how you like to spend your leisure time, a cruise ship will most likely offer something you’ll enjoy.
From the kids club and entertainment, to activities and dining options, we got our fill of family fun, with bits of grown up time sprinkled in. Here’s a recap of our top 10 moments aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas that left a lasting impression.
1. A Welcome Surprise
Upon entering our stateroom we were greeted with some surprise in-room amenities for the boys. Luke grabbed the octopus plush and blanket, while Eli headed straight to the rice crispy treat cake pop. No surprises there. Eli loves to eat!
2. Floating in the Deep Pool
I can’t say enough about how fantastic of a job the ship’s lifeguards do. As our family approached the water the lifeguard pointed to the rack of life vests for the boys. While they are pretty good swimmers, the boys aren’t able to navigate deep water 100% safely, and Robert and I didn’t want to dive in with them. The life vests gave us peace of mind and we were able to comfortably sit more than arm’s distance away from them as they happily and, most importantly, safely floated around.
3. Snacks in the Solarium
All parents of young kids know they are always hungry. They’re like little snack machines in need of constant replenishment. We found a little snack bar in the solarium where we could take a pit stop for a bag of chips, cookie or piece of fruit while enjoying sights of the sea below.
4. Miniature Golf
The little miniature golf course on the stern of the ship was perfect for our little crew. Our boys like hitting golf balls, but their short attention spans typically don’t allow us to enjoy putt-putt for long. They were so excited when we saw the course and we were able to get through it quickly enough to get off the course before they started using the clubs as weapons.
5. Dining Room Adventures
We were seated next to other young families at dinner, so our kids fit right in among those who have a hard time sitting through a meal. We had couch walkers and under-the-table trolls creating havoc with water spills and food messes, but we also had a lot of laughs! One family near us had two kids a few years older than ours. Their kids sat still and ate their dinners like little dignified mini adults and I felt like the mom fondly looked at our mess. She’d been in our shoes before and made it out alive with well-behaved kids to show for it. I told myself our time will come. Someday we would be there.
I need to add that the service was so phenomenal that our servers didn’t blink an eye when a drink was spilled and often brought out just the right food before we even ordered it.
6. Evening Entertainment
We took the boys to the family-friendly comedy show night one and were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it. They kept laughing at everything so we brought them back for a couple other shows the following nights. They sat through them better than I expected and seemed captivated by the music.
7. Kiddie Pool
The kiddie pool area consisted of a large slide, a small slide with a climbing feature and a shallow-water pool. Again, the lifeguard gave us such a relief. While the shallow water would likely not pose any real threat to our boys, having the lifeguard there allowed us to watch from the sides rather than follow the boys around like we’ve had to do at less safe venues. They had a blast with friends going down the slide over and over again and pretending to be sharks.
8. Perfect Sunsets
Living on the west coast of Florida, we’ve seen our fair share of sunsets, but there was something special about the ones we caught while aboard the ship. The setting sun looked even more vibrant, and it felt like we could reach out and touch it as it sunk below the horizon.
9. Poolside Lounging
It’s a rare occurrence that I can lay poolside with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. We took advantage of Adventure Ocean for a morning and I relaxed while Robert tried to relax but ended up being the only adult participant in a poolside athletic competition. Let’s just say his team won.
10. Space Night at Adventure Ocean
One evening after picking up the boys from Adventure Ocean they were going on and on about all the cool stuff they did. They walked up to the upper deck to look at stars and made green alien slime, which they got to take with them. Although I wasn’t there for it, it seemed like their evening was one-of-a-kind and full of excitement.
It wasn’t until after I made this list of 10 moments that I realized how simple they were. It all came down to spending quality time with each other doing the things we love to do. The ship was our vessel – see what I did there 😉 – that allowed us to make our own fun.
It’s safe to say we’ll be taking another cruise next year, and I’m excited to see what fun our future trips hold!
Thanks for reading!