If you follow me on twitter or Instagram, I can only apologise for filling your feeds with #AnthemoftheSeas pictures and tweets all weekend long! In my defence, all I can say is that I just wanted to share as much of this magical experience with you as I possibly could.
Let me start at the very beginning! From the moment we stepped onboard Royal Caribbean’s ‘Anthem of the Seas’ (that’s the ship’s name), we were made to feel welcome by every single member of staff. The check-in for us was faultless and took no time at all. Before we knew it we were onboard and being offered welcome refreshments and snacks. Immediately, I knew this was going to be a five star, top quality weekend and an experience that we’ll be talking about for years to come.
After dropping our bags in our ‘stateroom’ (with balcony) on the thirteenth floor, we headed up to the top deck for our RipCord (simulated sky-dive) flight. I must confess, I personally wasn’t a natural at ‘flying’ – I totally lost control but I did have the most amazing fun and couldn’t stop talking about it all the weekend. The girls (who were with our friends Karen and Matt from Mini Travellers and their lovely kids) found the whole thing very funny and I’m sure would have loved to have a go themselves.
Once we were back down on two legs we headed over to the outside splash pools, so that the girls could have some fun in the (surprisingly) warm sun, ‘splashing around’ while us adults could have a much needed (after that sky-dive) cocktail. With Royal Caribbean’s All Inclusive service all drinks, snack and meals are covered, so we were able to relax and order as and when we needed anything, which was a lovely feeling. Also, the amount of choice of food and drinks available throughout the ship was phenomenal.
Speaking of food, that night we all went for dinner at the ‘Grand’ (fine dining) restaurant. We had an early reservation for 6pm as we had two little ones joining us for dinner. If I’m honest, the grandeur and quality of this restaurant was lost on the children, who wanted to get up from the table at any opportunity. That being said, the staff were beyond friendly and more than happy to serve pesto pasta and burgers for the kids – while we had steak and lobster (I kid you not!). I must also mention the chocolate volcano pudding I had for pudding, which was incredible!
This is not the best quality picture but we were having a great time and I wanted to include this shot regardless.
We shared our evening meal with the Mini Travellers family, who quickly became our cruising companions for the whole weekend. After some subtle hints the husbands agreed to take the kids back to the rooms, so Karen and I could experience the ‘night life’ offerings onboard the Anthem of the Seas. Our first stop of the night was the cabaret show at two70, which was a magical mix of dancers, music, lasers and lights. We then had a quick look at the Bionic Bar, where robots were mixing up the cocktails! As you can imagine this was a very busy bar so we decided to make our way to another cocktail bar where we enjoyed a few strawberry daiquiris and chatted away the night.
The breakfast buffet at the main restaurant did not disappoint, you name it, it was there! Pancakes, waffles, pastries, a full English, muffins, smoothies, granola, fruit, yogurts, the choice went on and on. The kids were literally living a dream, because they could have anything they wanted for breakfast – and believe me they did!
After breakfast I was booked into the spa for a full body ‘bamboo’ massage, which again was simply dreamy! Ellie my therapist was excellent and so friendly. We chatted about her new role onboard the ship and how she was looking forward to getting out to sea and arriving in the Caribbean. For me this was one of the highlights of the weekend, I left the spa feeling relaxed and light on my feet. The spa onboard offer Elemis product and treatments, which is always a winner for me!
On Sunday we had lunch at Jamie’s Italian, which is an extension of the British chef’s UK chain of restaurants. As a family we love Italian food, especially pasta, so this meal was right up our street. Also, Lili is slightly obsessed with Jamie Oliver (she loves watching his 30 minute meal episodes on the iPad), so she was very happy. Once again, the staff we beyond friendly and helpful and the food was excellent.
That afternoon we went swimming in the indoor pool. Well, I say ‘we’ but what I actually mean is my hubby and Lili went swimming while Pops and I relaxed on the sunbeds – bliss! For me this is what holidays are all about, I love feeling relaxed and like nothing more than lying on a sunbed watching my kids having fun. Or in this case watching one of them having fun, while the other is curled up next to me asleep under a towel.
The girls had an early dinner at the pizza parlour that evening before we went to watch the West-end favourite We Will Rock You in the ship’s impressively large theatre. Lili later told me that this ‘show’ was her favourite part of the weekend and I totally understand why. The girls enjoyed every second and got up to dance at every given opportunity, while I sang along to all the famous Queen hits. While we were in there, it was easy to forget that we were onboard a ship and not in a London theatre.
Once the show was over, we took the girls to the Kids club (which is open until 2am – if you want to stay out late), so that we could have an adult only dinner with Karen and Matt from Mini Travellers. We were booked into the other fine dining restaurant ‘Silk’, which has a very Asian theme. Again the grandeur of this restaurant would have been uncomfortable for the girls but for us adults it was gorgeous. I enjoyed some crab fishcakes and steak teriyaki, with a fab raspberry meringue pudding. After we finished dinner we picked up the kids and went to bed, as we knew we had an early wake-up call the next day to disembark.
On our drive home we all shared our favourite moments from the weekend, these were our thoughts…
Me – My full body massage on Sunday morning (ooh and the all the delicious cocktails!)
Hubby – The RipCord sky-dive experience
Lili – The We Will Rock You show
Poppy – “All of it…”
Here are just a few of the amazing cocktails on offer! Picture credit: @devinalexander on Instagram.
This little video, sums up the weekend and how much fun the girls had running around the ship…
All that’s left for me to say now is a big thank you to the team at Royal Caribbean for inviting us onboard this truly amazing ship and for making us feel so welcomed and relaxed. Is cruising something we’ll consider in future? After this experience… definitely!
This unforgettable weekend was organised through the MumsNet bloggers network.