I hope you are having a great week. Recently, I went on a cruise with Royal Caribbean and we went on the Allure of the Seas. It was our first time going on that specific boat but we have gone on her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas twice, and really liked it. They are almost identical but the Allure is a year younger. The Allure will be getting an update soon so we were one of the last voyages it will be taking. They shared the plans with us for it’s new updated look and it’s going to be complete with slides and a lot of other great entertainment.
Is it a Good Value for Families?
Growing up we always went on cruises and once I had a little family of my own I realized why. The entire trip cost us about $2,500 dollars. We had a balcony that overlooked their version of central park. My brother and sister in law paid less and got a balcony facing the ocean (there were no other rooms available to fit 3 so we couldn’t upgrade). Royal Caribbean is always offering deals throughout the year and a lot of deals closer to the trip. My sister in law upgraded and got money back; when she saw a balcony room was cheaper than the room she originally had.
If you think about it: How much would it cost for a family of 3 to go to 3 different Islands, stay in 5 star resorts for 7 days, pay for all meals and the cost of travel…Idk exactly but I can imagine a lot! We paid 2500 for all three of us to do that. We ate very well, felt safe and got to experience three different islands in the Caribbean.
Day One- Three at Sea- (Sunday thru Tuesday)
We were at sea but there is plenty to keep you busy.
Pools for kids and Adults only
Toddler Friendly pools- this was really important to me b/c not all other Cruises offer this. They also had life guards!
Movies at Sea
Ice Skating (yes!)
Different Classes (i.e. Makeup classes, Cooking classes and other “How To” classes)
On Board tours (i.e behind the scenes tour, massive kitchen tour, meet the captain, etc.)
Lots and lots of good food!
**There’s so much to do! You will ever be bored. They give you a daily itinerary of activities every mornin.
Day Three-St. Kitts (Wednesday)
Timothy Hill (left Atlantic Ocean/ Right Caribbean Sea)
When you register online for your cruise, you can pre purchase almost anything including excursions. I highly recommend doing this because they tend to fill up fast and will sell out. My brother and Sister in law signed up for ATV riding and rode all over the island, saw some famous spots and ended at a beautiful beach.
We opted for a more relaxing stay and purchased a beach pass straight from St. Kitts Marriot. We enjoyed the beach under a cabana and then finished the day by the pool. The cab ride was about 4 dollars a person each way and we stopped at a very famous area on the Island where you can see both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. This wasn’t through Royal Caribbean but there wasn’t much we liked that was family oriented offered as an excursion.
Day 4 Four- Puerto Rico (Thursday)
Having a yummy Piragua with my sister…It’s a delicious Puerto Rican Icey
Okay funny story, last year we specifically took a cruise so we could go to Puerto Rico, but the weather wasn’t good so we weren’t able to go. This year we were super excited to have another chance to go to Puerto Rico; and then we saw on the news of major riots happening because of the Governor on the Island. We almost missed our time there but luckily we were able to go. Unfortunately, no other ships after us were able to. This is one of the major benefits of going on a cruise because they’ll never port you anywhere unless it is safe.
We enjoyed our time there and this is where we went:
Took a private tour by Taxi to all the famous spots around Old San Juan
Went to the famous Castillo San Felipe del Morro
The Famous Puerto Rican Mofongo
We ate lunch at Raíces: The food was incredible and we even celebrated my birthday there and danced! (they do a huge celebration of music and instruments if it’s your birthday). It was so much fun. I highly recommend that restaurant for authentic Puerto Rican food. I ate mofongo which is mashed up green bananas mixed with meat or you can have it alone. It’s a Puerto Rican favorite and something I had to have while visiting.
We had only about 5 hours there and I wished we could have been there longer but the port stop was very short in order to get us to our next destination on time.
Day Five- At Sea (Friday)
Same items to do as above.
Day Six- Nassau Bahamas
We had the best day here. We signed up to tour the Aquarium at Atlantis and I am sooo happy we did. I almost didn’t but last minute decided to go. It was incredible! We saw so many different fish and sharks. There is even this cool hallway that you can walk through and see sharks swimming over you. The resort is truly incredible. They have lots of pools, slides and a beach. We didn’t purchase the pool pass because we figured we would do that on the boat if we wanted to. My sister and brother and their families went to the beach and loved it. The water was clear and the sand was like sugar. It was free to go to the beach from the resort. Also, when you purchase an excursion with the cruise ship, transportation is always covered and you are guaranteed to get to the boat on time.
Day Seven- Return home
We were off the ship by 9:15AM and it is always bittersweet because you are truly living your best life on a cruise…lol.
Other things to think about
Food and Drinks
It’s all inclusive. Food and drinks are covered. You can literally order three dinners and it doesn’t matter…lol. If you want soda, bottled water, alcohol- you have to pay for special beverage package for that.
The Spa is amazing and probably the best than any other cruise company I have been on….and I’ve been on a lot of cruises! Royal Caribbean offers the best spa packages.
Here’s a tip for the Spa!
Don’t pre purchase a Spa treatment. Get one on a day while you are at port or a day towards the end of the cruise. They were offering tons of deals including a 75 minute massage, facial and body treatment for as low as $119 dollars on day six.
There are various bands and musicians playing all throughout the ship. If you want quiet classical piano to a techno music club, they have it. we often visited the latin Club and it was family friendly but I also saw couples without kids dancing as well.
Adults only clubs
Retro parties – (i.e. 70s dance party)
Caribbean parade with ships, pirates, and fun sea creatures
We saw Mosaic and they are an a capella group from Las Vegas and they were incredible!
Broadway plays like Mama Mia
Cirque do Soleil style shows
Aqua show- divers, swimmers and acrobatic performers.
Stand up Comedy
Ice Skating show
Full blog post here about this very useful outfit and sneakers
Did we feel safe traveling with a toddler?
On the Islands
Yes, we felt very safe and I am a Nervous Nancy haha. Every Island we felt safe but normal protocols are always important. We kept Tommy a lot in a carriage because we know he is a darter and will run off fast. In order to give us peace, we put him in the carriage. When he wasn’t in the carriage I purchased a backpack for him that had a leash attached to it in the back. This gave us crazy eyes from a few people lol. I didn’t care. He could freely walk but worst case scenario I was always holding on to him.
Every car we went on accommodated us with the carriage and it was never an issue.
On the Cruise Boat?
The staff were very accommodating to him. There was always a high chair available. Space in the theater where he could sit next to us in the carriage. Elevators were always working and went to every deck. There was ease to move around everywhere with a carriage. Other people had babies as young as 6 months old with them. All the barriers were high so he wasn’t able to climb and jump anywhere. I know some people worry about their child falling overboard and it’s very unlikely unless you don’t follow the rules and sit your child up on the ramp. I didn’t have any worries or fears but I kept my eyes on Tommy just like I would in a mall, a pool, by the stairs or anywhere else where there could be a potential danger.
They provided us a pack in play for Tommy to sleep in. We brought his blanket so he would feel comfortable
I cleaned all of Tommy’s sippy cups and bottles. All rooms have a fridge, so it’s easy to store water, milk, juice, etc. Last year, we asked the room attendant to clean the bottles and they did every night for us in a dish washer. You can make special requests and the room attendant will do everything they can to help you.
This was a very long post and if you made it to the bottom, thank you! I hope you find it helpful and if you decide to go on a cruise, definitely check out Royal Caribbean. There are so many wonderful options available and that are affordable too!