All Aboard This Floating Hotel

By Joanie B

For those of you contemplating a cruise, it’s by far one of the easiest vacations and especially wonderful for multi–generational travelers, as there’s plenty to do for all ages. Think of it as a huge floating hotel complex.

We just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise on the “Allure of the Seas”, which is one of their very large ships. We traveled to the Eastern Caribbean stopping at the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Martin. At each port there are plenty of excursions to sign up for. However, a good tip is that if you don’t mind going on your own, you will save a lot of money instead of signing up for excursions on the ship.

Super bowl under the stars

On a week’s trip there are usually 3 port days and 4 sea days, which are equally as fun as this ship. There is so much to do- two surf tanks, rock climbing walls, an ice skating rink, a zip line, miniature golf, ping pong and bingo. There is also a great gym with classes, a spa, and lots of places to shop.  In the evenings, there are several shows, movies, specialty restaurants and of course a casino.  We watched the super bowl on big screens outside under the stars.

If you can afford to book a star class or family suite you will be in what’s considered the “Star Class”, which can go by several different names on different cruise lines. It is equal to a concierge floor in a hotel and comes with several perks. Our particular star class included a “Genie” who took care of us the whole trip.  Everything was taken care of from priority boarding and disembarking to booking all our dinner reservations at any restaurant we wanted and at any time. Reserving seats at any show we wanted to see was also another perk of our Genie.

The suite guests get free Wi-Fi, a free alcohol package, free laundry service, as well as gratuities being included in the suite price. These items can really add up. The Genie will print your boarding passes for your flight home and will even send your luggage directly to the airport so you don’t have to wait for it or carry it off the ship.

Now, for the answer to the question you’re all wanting to ask….No, in my 6 times cruising, I have never encountered sea sickness although I know it can happen. The large ships have stabilizers that keep the ship from rocking.

I highly recommend you try a cruise on one of your family vacations!