By Gina Burgos (guest blogger)
ABOARD THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN ALLURE OF THE SEAS (Day 1 of 3) –Whenever I daydreamed about taking a vacation it definitely involved cocktails, sun and someone else making my bed. I will admit that it did not involve any of my daughter’s animated movie characters. Call me selfish, but I am not the type to plan a vacation thats activities would center around my daughter’s interests. Like many of you, the last time my husband and I took a proper vacation was our honeymoon, long before our daughter was born.
So when given the opportunity to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas as part of their brand new Barbie Premium Experience, I felt like I had won the lottery. This cruise sounded amazing, especially since it coincided with our daughter’s 4th birthday. It was a bonafide vacation and I was sure there would be plenty of sun and at least one pool side cocktail involved.
When we arrived at our room the “Special Barbie Guest” sign outside was our cue to press record before opening the door. We secretly hoped there would be a Barbie doll waiting for our daughter and were greeted by a guest package that was beyond our wildest dreams: a Barbie doll with a set of three full Barbie outfits, a tote bag and on the bed was a satin Barbie pillowcase and a plush Barbie throw. And just when we though there couldn’t be more, in the bathroom was a travel case with a Barbie toothbrush – so much more than we had ever expected! But better that all of that was my daughter’s immediate reaction: “Mommy, I never want to leave this vacation!”.
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is the largest cruise ship ever constructed and can accommodate over 6,000 passengers. We quickly realized that the Barbie Premium Experience was only a part of the amenities offered. The ship boasts so many attractions our itinerary was jam packed. The first evening was a welcome cocktail reception with the Barbie Premium Experience organizing staff and senior ship crew members. All of the girls immediately started gravitating towards each other, making easy introductions for all of the parents. We enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and I truly felt that each person I met was nicer and more informative than the next.
I learned about the ship’s Adventure Ocean program from the director Cody (the kids call him “Penguin”) which boasts more amenities for children ranging from infants to teens than my word could will allow me to list. Open from 9:00am all the way until 2:00am (10:00pm-2:00am there is a $6 fee per hour per child), the Adventure Ocean Program is a gorgeous, state of the art facility with separate dedicated rooms for children ranging in ages from 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11. Amenities include a science lab, an arts and crafts room, a theater, gaming rooms and Fisher Price toys for the little ones, just to name a few!
The cocktail reception was highly informative and also highly enjoyable; a nice ice breaker leading into dinner with many of the families in the group. It was the perfect way to kick off to the vacation.