I’ve only recently written about how we are currently searching for our next family holiday, the one which will see us taking the children abroad for the very first time. Next year both Paul and myself turn 40, and although it’s not a scary number it’s a milestone for us both that we want to mark and remember, not with a party or jetting off alone but together as a family having an adventure therefore a family holiday seems the perfect way to celebrate.
Of course we have been looking at those package holidays and hadn’t considered that this holiday could be at sea but having just returned from two days aboard the Independence of the Seas on their Shakedown trip I just know the kids would enjoy it as much as Paul and I did.
The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, voted the UK’s favourite cruise ship has just had a multi-million pound makeover and is now ready to provide even more family fun which you sail away on an adventure – it really is the place where extraordinary things happen.
It was at times hard to remember I was actually on a ship in the middle of the English Channel as I couldn’t feel the ship moving at all and there was SO much to do aboard that you would think you were in a fixed location, of course the stunning views from the windows and top deck did remind me very quickly.
I’m convinced the kids would absolutely have a blast, we enjoyed ourselves and couldn’t fit in everything there was to do, and with the kids they adventures would more than double.
What is there to do while on the Independence of the Seas?
Well as you are on the water it seems only fitting I tell you about the pools, slides and water features first.
Independence of the Seas 2018 makeover
You’ll be spoilt for choice whether its a swim you want, fun for the kids, water slides or even to try a spot of surfing you’ll find it all on-board with 4 pools, 7 whirlpools, 2 water slides, Flow Rider and Splashaway Bay water park.
There is something for everyone when it comes to water – whether you fancy some thrills riding Perfect Storm water slides – why not have a race to the bottom, fancy showing off your surfing skills on Flow Rider or even sipping cocktails in the whirlpool (adults only of course) while the kids splash about in the water park….I know Emmy and Harry would spend as much time as they could in the waterpark and I don’t blame them I’d happily be joining them too.
Around the pools there is plenty of seating both in the shade or in the sun, so after a dip you can dry off poolside or even chill out and what the kids have fun. There’s even kids deck chairs and ice-cream available by Splashaway bay, and you’ll not need to worry about your towels as these will be out on the loungers ready for you – and unlike many holiday resorts there’s no need to be up at 5am to reserve a lounger as that’s not allowed, towels will be removed after 30 minutes if the seats unused.
You can even watch a movie on the big screen at the poolside cinema.
More fun on top decks
If you’ve have enough swimming for one day you can head over to the Independence Dunes for a spot of crazy golf
You can climb up high for a better view by strapping up and hitting the climbing wall or even have fun on the basket ball court.
Or you could bounce your way into virtual reality in the Skypad – this is a bungee trampoline meets VR, strap in and slip on your virtual reality headset and you can soar into a whole new universe playing games while you bounce.
With a ship so big the fun doesn’t end when you head inside.
You can head off to enjoy ice-skating together as a family which is always great fun, however if you aren’t keen on heading onto the ice yourself you could watch one of the ice-skating shows instead and be enthralled by the twists, turns, twirls and jumps.
Why not get a team together and head off to the escape room on-board, here the world’s greatest professor has invented a supreme time machine, but he has become lost in his travels through space. Your mission is to team up and save him, solve a series of puzzles and you’ll bring him back to safety.
Fun for big and little kids alike, ad of course I mean adults here too. When only one team can win it’s time to get ultra competitive, great fun for everyone.
See a show
Head off to the theatre – yes there really is a theatre on the ship. With spectacular stage shows and even live music – there is something for everyone. With 2 shows a day you can fit this into your holiday. on-board while I travelled was a Take That tribute band and Grease stage show.
Head down to the Royal Promenade and there is something for everyone, a market for those toiletries you may have forgotten and your ship souvenirs to make all your friends jealous of your holiday, designer boutiques, Ben & Jerry’s for ice-creams or the sweetshop for those of you with a sweet tooth.
At might the promenade comes alive with late night music, dancing and lots of fun.
I can’t actually remember the last time I stayed up and out past mid-night, the joys of being a parent with kids, one who doesn’t like to sleep and the other who gets up early, but should you fancy it there’s an a night club, bars and live entertainment around the ship until 2.30am- should you be like me and tucked up in bed by then don’t worry it quiet in your cabin.
The are kids clubs available on-board for all the way up to teenagers – the teens even have their own deck where adults are banned from and only 12-17 year olds are allowed to hang out with their mates.
For younger ones there’s dedicated kids rooms which are run by fully qualified staff, they can play games, do painting and crafts and have loads of fun.
Arcade and Casino
There is a lovely arcade on the ship, something for all ages from shooting games, racing games, slot machine style games to grab machines – I know this would be a huge hit with my kids.
Adults can hit the casino while here too and there’s no need to worry if you’ve never played before as they give free lessons too.
Food and drink
You certainly aren’t short of choice on-board the Independence of the Seas, with buffet style dining which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with choices such as a full English, continental breakfast, fruits, pastries and so much more for breakfast to a full carvery, Chinese pizzas, burgers etc for dinner (with the choices changing daily).
If that’s not your thing there is plenty of other options – pizza, burgers, steak and even sushi.
Don’t forget your gladrags for your first evening if eating in the main dining room as it’s Blacktie or formal wear for one of the days on your holiday
We have a wonderful time on the Independence of the Seas and it has certainly made me rethink family holidays from now on, the kids are already bugging me asking when they can come next.
Oh, I forgot to mention the amazing views didn’t I!
Why not take a photo tour around the ship with me, there are only so many picture I can put into one post after all!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Royal Caribbean, all thoughts and opinions are my own.