By Gina Burgos (guest blogger)
ABOARD THE ROYAL CARIBBEAN ALLURE OF THE SEAS (Day 2 of 3) –Monday kicked off the first full day of the cruise and our first Barbie activity, the Barbie Tea Party, part of Royal Caribbeans Barbie Premium Experience, Each girl was given a pink tiara and asked to choose one “guest” (parent) that was invited to sit with her at the tea party. Then the etiquette lesson began. They were taught to serve their guests first and the girls poured out pink lemonade and offered us some delicious pink pastries.
As we ate pink napoleons and cream puffs we discovered what a multinational group we were. Girls from all over the world had come for the Barbie Experience – New York, Utah, Toronto, Mexico City, São Paulo, London, Dublin and even Sydney! Barbie truly speaks the international language of fun for young girls of any culture.
After the tea party we headed to the ship’s Boardwalk for a quick ride on the carousel before dinner. It was no surprise that our daughter fell asleep before she was even served, but it gave my husband and me a chance to mingle with the other parents. By the end of day one I knew that this cruise was truly a vacation for us all and not going to be just a child-centric experience.
Tuesday was the Barbie Fashion Experience where the girls got to design an actual outfit for their Barbie to wear to the fashion show on the last day. I initially thought this activity may have been geared more towards the older girls of the group but I was surprised how my 4 year old was able to keep up. We watched a video about a fashion designer who makes clothes for Barbie and the girls sketched out ideas before working with real materials. The fashion kits are available in stores and their ease of use would make them excellent gifts for any girl who loves Barbie. My daughter used stencils to decorate her dress with hearts, attached the self adhesive ruffles and bows and had made a dress ready for the runway!
By day three we were getting to know the other families and participants really well and socializing had become just as fun as the activities. I’m certain that if we were not part of the Barbie Premium Experience my daughter would not have formed friendships with this many other children and my husband and I certainly wouldn’t have been socializing with other couples.
The Barbie activities were spaced out enough that we had plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s shore excursions and multitude of other amenities, such as the Dreamworks character shows, aqua shows, ice skating show, the Boardwalk, Central Park and most importantly the pool! There was a sprinkler play area with almost no depth to the water, a pool that goes from 2.9ft to 3.5ft and a small 3.5ft deep “whirlpool” that just spins the kids around. This was only one of four pool areas on the ship’s upper deck. My daughter was fearless in her swimmies and the setup of the pool made it a comfortable way to wind down the days.