Find a Cruise

Priscilla Carrera

Age: 34

Occupation:house wife

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Mariner of the Seas

Sailing Date: April 24th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I am writing this as a mom for other moms who have preschool age children, and are wondering if this is a good investment. It is!!! My biggest concern was that this would be our second cruise with our twins. Our first one was on the 7 day Disney Cruise when the girls were 17 months and it was a NIGHTMARE. The girls were three when we took this cruise and let me tell you this was the best vacation of my life. The childcare provided at The Adventure Club was beyond excellent. I had one child who cried to go there and cried when I picked her up. The childcare staff was WONDERFUL. I cannot say enough great things about them. First of all they change their names so that the kids can have an easier time of remembering (Lauren was Lilipop, Yoham was Yoyo, etc). Obviously the kids are divided into age groups, and all their activates are geared to their ability and attention span. Each night you recieve a schedule of what they will be offering the next day so you know if your kid(s) will be interested. The problem with that, for us, was that they wanted to do everything, because it all sounded like fun. Because of this, my husband and I actually got to spend time together -alone! WE LOVED THAT! You do carry a beeper, so if they need you, they can contact you right away. Please be aware that your child has to be three or older on the day they go and they must be potty trained. They are allowed 2 or 3 potty accidents and after that, you they are not allowed to go back. So if your child is not three or potty trained, don't bother taking them there. They are VERY strict about this. The area where they are, seems small and unimpressive, but it really does work well. The facilities are very clean. The activites are all excellent and in very good taste. They are not cheap when it comes to using materials, such as crayons, paper, and other arts and crafts stuff. While at sea they do divide the day in two and you must pick up your child at lunch time. While in port they are opened from the time the ship docks until it departs, allowing the parents to do excursions. The majority of the staff were college grads with majors in early childhood education and were doing this before they started pursueing other career goals. They were really were young and perky, and had an incredibly positive attitude that translated into everything they did with the kids. We were and still are very pleased. Their private island Labedee is awesome. It is actually the tip/corner of Haiti and the way it is shape means you have beaches on three sides. So although there is over 2000 people on this little piece of land, it never feels crowded. The Adventure Club has a location there, so you can drop off the kids. Parents now have the option of taking the kids to a splash park. It is nothing out of this world, but is cute and the kids love it. They also have a water park on the beach. There is a surcharge for doing this (I think $10 for an hour) and it is way worth it. We took our girls out with us and they had a blast. We had to drag them out kicking and screaming at the end of the hour. The pools on the ship have cold sea water that is dumped daily. Even though we went at the start of summer, we spent 99% of our time in the hot tubs, because the pool water was that cold. Unlike most ship, this ship does not have a slide. (They do have an adult pool, where kids are not allowed.) As for the room, we got a standard ocean view room and it was two twin beds on the bottom and two fold away bunk beds on top. Because our kids are monkeys, we decided to join the twin beds to make a king bed and take the mattress from one of the fold away top bunks and put it on the floor for the girls. It was a bit crowded at night, and one kept rolling under the big bed, but it worked out for us. Our cabin stewart was really good about working around this with us. The food was the only disappointing thing.They did have all the standard kids stuff everywhere (the main dining room, buffet, snack bar, etc.). It was just ALL blah. There was not a single thing that was just plain good. We did eat one night at Chops ($20 per person surcharge, put the kids in the Adventure Club), the steak house and we have to say that the food was excellent. The cheese cake was marvelous. It was the only decent dessert I had all week. On the bright side, the average cruiser gains 10 pounds in one week. Since the food was what it was, we didn't gain a single pound. I do have to say that our wait staff was excellent too. Overall the ship was beautiful and very clean. I would venture to say it is more accommodating to an older crowd. The absolute highlight of my trip was when I bumped into Charo checking-in in Jamaica. Her show was MARVELOUS and she is so funny and truly talented with her guitar. (The shows are good and the first one is always child friendly.) In Cozumel I took a banana ride with a snob that bragged about being on the Love Boat, to which I responded that Charo had upgraded the venues she chose to preform in and we had follwed. (Only those of you that were watching the Love Boat in the late 70's early 80's will understand that comment.) Bottom line, if you have kids that are social and do well with other kids and are not clingy, they will do great in The Adventure Club. As much as I love my kids, having alone time with my husband, while knowing my kids were having a great time, just made this vacation the best ever. I felt not one ounce of guilt about putting them in The Adventure Club since they wanted to be there and seem to have a better time with them than us. I hope that if you do go on this ship, you have as great a time as we did.

Was this review helpful?

Yes No Email this review to a friend
 

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,