After a really good night’s sleep I had the luxury of breakfast on my balcony, for no extra cost. I chose what I wanted the night before and hung the menu on my door handle. Room service is free, as is breakfast in the Windjammer and main restaurant.
We had some spare time so met at the pool for some relaxation. Becky and I ventured into the pool, and after making some very odd noises (think “Ooooh, aaaaah”, “Aaaaargh it’s cold” and “SHEEEEESH”) managed to get in. It was cold, but then it was also 9am and the sun hadn’t quite reached the pool yet. After our non-swim we all sat on the upper deck in the sunshine.
It was incredibly windy (see picture of Erica below) on the top deck and I misjudged the heat of the sun. Apart from that though sitting there on the deck, on a sun lounger, looking out to sea, is such a relaxing experience – especially when someone brings you a cocktail just before lunch! We took the time to decide which excursions we’d like to go on during the following two days in Haiti and Jamaica – there was so much choice but we all went for the same trips. More on our excursion in part 3.
I had some very attractive red patches by the time we met the Hotel Director, Darren Budden and Cruise Director, also known as the Director of Fun, Leo Papa. They told us all about their roles on the ship, how they have to cater for not only many different age groups, but also nationalities. The week we were there the ship had 58 different nationalities on board and that’s not taking into account the staff below deck.
As safety conscious parents we wanted to know all about how seriously they take safety with so many children on board. Darren told us that safety is a big concern at all times and all children under the age of 12 wear a wristband. This gives their muster station number and can be scanned at any time. The ship is designed to be easy to navigate around and although I don’t think my children would ever spend time alone on the ship I felt confident that if they did get lost they would be able to find a member of staff or use one of the touch screen maps to find their way again.
We met Hugo Hotdog and Lightening Lee (yes, really!) who deal with the kids clubs, which go from babies all the way up to teens. They had thought of everything and children of all ages are catered for with a fun packed schedule. Of course, they can join in with as much or as little as they want. If you are not sure whether your children would like to be separated and they are close in age they will, in some cases, let the children go to the same kids club. The Teen programme looked really interesting with DJ lessons and guitar lessons being part of the schedule. From what I saw of the programme I would be hard pressed to keep my children away from the kids clubs. There was so much to do and they would love making friends.
We watched the Encore Ice Spectacular on the ship’s ice rink. What a great show, anyone could come along and the show was free. The children around us were mesmerised by the ice show as were the adults.
We were lucky enough to be invited up to the bridge to visit the Captain. After some security measures and a good frisk, we were shown around. The bridge has such a calm, serene atmosphere that it is difficult to imagine that it is powering an enormous ship. Per, the captain, was very relaxed and told us all about his role on board.
We met in the champagne bar that night and I sampled a kir royale. Alcoholic drinks are not free but when you book your break you can ask for an alcohol package to be added or just buy as and when and add to your Seapass.
We had all dressed up for Formal Night and were all looking rather glam, which I found quite difficult due to my sunburn. We had dinner in the main dining room which is rather grand. I had a salad followed by fillet of beef which melted in my mouth.
We caught the late night show In The Air, another free show – where fuelled by gin we ogled young men twirling and whirling above the stage. The shows we saw that day were of such high quality, I was really impressed.
We finished the night in the Catacombs bar which is a late night bar/nightclub. Returning to my room that night I discovered some towel origami on my bed. I am partial to a bit of towel origami!
A day at sea is a lovely way to get to know the ship, relax and take in the beautiful sea views and learn to apply suncream MORE OFTEN than you think is necessary.
Click here to read Goodbye Preconceptions – Hello Royal Caribbean Cruising …
Click here to read Part 1 of our RCI Cruise : Mr Tumble, a Black Tipping Cloud and a Mahoosive Ship