My 1 year old is on her 3rd cruise with
Royal Caribbean this year.
We love the flexibility of taking a cruise. Cruising just makes travelling a lot easier with a baby.
Olivia has cruised on the Adventure of the seas taking a short trip to France. Followed by a splash out cruise around the Caribbean for mummy’s birthday on the Oasis of the Seas and this month we have just boarded the Independence of the seas for a 11 night cruise around the Canary Islands.
The Independence holds special memories for us as a family so we were excited to introduce this ship to our daughter. We have had many special moments already which is why today I have decided to keep an onboard account of some of our favourite “wow” moments.
Olivia is wearing her sailors outfit today. We have packed all of her favourite things including a good selection of toys because of course sailing from Southampton means zero luggage allowance! Checking in with our Gold card was smooth and easy and we had met up with Olivia’s Diamond card holder Granddaddy just in time for lunch. We upgraded ourselves to a suite this trip and all our expectations were met. We love our room and there is space for Olivia to play and bum shuffle around! After registering with the nursery and a little exploring we decided to take advantage of ordering room service for dinner. Our suite has a dining area so we enjoyed a 3 course meal knowing our baby was asleep and safe beside us. The staff have been very accommodating and everybody adores the baby!
Tonight is formal evening which means dressing in a ball gown or pretty frock ! we have booked the baby into nursery. I am feeling nervous as I have only ever left her with family members in the past.
We met the staff at registration last night and Olivia had a little tour and play. Lovely staff and feeling confident about our first few hours alone. Granddaddy is taking Olivia to playgroup this morning whilst I have a session at the gym.
Olivia returned from playgroup and it seems she has made a lot of new friends. There is a huge selection of fisher price toys and soft play mats. The playgroup leader puts out a different selection of learning toys daily. We had a fun day and all ate a big lunch together in chops Grille restaurant. Another perk of being a suite guest. The selection of food on offer in the windjammer is amazing but sometimes it is nice to get away from the crowds! My baby gets easily distracted by new faces and I like her to eat lots of protein at her lunchtime meal. Chops grille offered a great selection of meats and today she had chicken. At around 2 pm she took her afternoon nap and played a while before bath and pyjamas. We had booked her into nursery for 6pm and she would have her dinner there.
I dropped Olivia off in her pyjamas and took her favourite bedtime teddy, dummy and milk. There were other babies playing and she was very excited to join them. The staff gave me a mobile phone and said they would contact me in case if emergency. I watched through the window at Olivia enjoying her new surroundings and felt grateful for some time alone ! But now I had to fulfil my wife duties and spend some much needed time with Delicious Daddy.
We headed for the concierge lounge and ordered a glass of champagne for myself and a vodka based drink for Delicious Daddy. Another perk of being a lounge guest. The concierge lounge is open 24/7 to suite guests and serves tea and coffee. At 5pm every evening you can indulge in an alcoholic beverage and a light snack consisting of prawns, vegetable samosas, canopies and our all time favourite chocolate strawberries. We said hello to Nizar Laatir our concierge assistant So I took my glass of champs and a few chocolate strawberries and headed back to my suite. Tonight was formal night so I would have to look my best.
Dressed in a sparkly number I headed to the dining room with delicious daddy where we met Olivia’s grandparents. We were reserved a table by the window with a beautiful view of the ocean and had a wonderful meal.
At 9pm we watched a show, took a stroll on deck then had a few games on the slots in the casino. We had a lot of fun and decided to pick Olivia up 30 minutes early. I had missed my little girl and was very tired. The nursery staff gave me all the details of her visit , what she ate etc! I lifted her from the nursery crib and transferred her into her travel cot back at the room. Our first experience of Royal Caribbeans nursery has left me feeling like a very relaxed, proud mummy. It was great to spend some quality time with my partner knowing my baby was happy and content in safe hands. This was a very big and much needed step for me to take as a first time mummy.
We took Olivia to the shops and for a short tour on foot to see a little of Vigo. The port is very welcoming with lots to see and do. The weather today was perfect.
Whilst browsing the stores in the small shopping precinct I was reminded of a shop called sephora. I love this shop which sells make up and beauty products. I found my usual face powder in the sale and bought a few other products. I got some real bargains for just 22 euros.
We then took a walk through the local market and saw the different kinds of seafoods on offer. I wish I had taken a picture of the platters of seafood being consumed. It looked amazing.
Through the market were a selection of leather goods and mostly handbags.
We had a coffee and watched the world pass by for a while before heading back to ship.
This afternoon we had a family outing to pool on deck. Olivia loves to splash around in the water and the children’s area here on Royal Caribbean is both safe and inviting. With water jets and coloured fountains this is a haven for all children.
Olivia was really worn out tonight so we decided to feed her and get her to bed by 7pm. We would order room service.
I ordered our dinner from the restaurant menu and took a bubble bath with scented bubbles whilst waiting for it to be delivered. I dressed in my pyjamas and Royal Caribbean bath robe and much to my delight dinner had arrived and been served on our balcony. We ate just the two of us watching the sunset and crossing the Atlantic. The waves were smooth and tonight has to honestly be one of the best dinners we have ever had together. The setting was so romantic and the conversation flowed. We needed this time together as a couple and as a full time working mum, eating in my pyjamas was the best! We are all having a really great holiday.
Olivia woke early and missed her morning nap. No gym today however we walked around 12 laps on the running deck so defo got some exercise in! We all took her to music time at 11am in the tots nursery and she joined in with the other babies. Zach the playgroup leader loves to sing to the kids and has an amazing voice. He is auditioning to join the entertainment team in December. Keep singing Zach.
Olivia has been very unsettled today , not napping and hardly eating. Maybe she is teething a little. We had booked her into nursery this evening but when I delivered her she was really tearful. I am not great at leaving Olivia when she is upset so I sent Delicious a Daddy to pick her up again! Silly mummy I know but I sensed she was not herself today. After a few cuddles and some tea with her Grandaddy she was happy again.
So dinner on the balcony it was. And a very pleasant one indeed. More champagne from the concierge lounge and more chocolate strawberries for after dinner!
We had a WOW moment today. After lunch we had been informed that we had become Platinum members. Can you believe our 1 year old is already a Platinum member?! She has to be Royal Carribeans youngest badge holder. Next year she will be driving. Tee hee.
We all had a great breakfast this morning and I managed to get a workout in at the gym whilst Olivia had her morning nap.
So usually we would be stopping at Lisbon but as there is a marathon happening there we have taken a detour to Lanzarote.
We have been here as a couple on our baby moon when I was 6 months pregnant so it was lovely to get off the ship this morning and walk our daughter to the coffee shops and along the sea front. We bought a few small gifts for friends and family back home. And Olivia got a huge bundle of bath toys for just 3 euros! We have a beach excursion planned in a few days so we will be packing them in our beach bag also. After a big lunch back on ship Olivia has been booked into nursery again. This time she is happy and delicious Daddy and I went for a jacuzzi. We also enjoyed some quiet time up on deck sunbathing in an exclusive area for suite guests. Couple time!
After picking Olivia up she went for cake with Grandaddy then it was back to our suite for a bath. The 3 of us went for a swift dinner in the restaurant and settled for an early night.
Today we took an excursion to maspolamas beach. Delicious Daddy chose to take us on this particular excursion as the beach here holds a great childhood memory for him as a kid. Our excursions were easy and stress free to book – and were dealt with for us from the concierge lounge by Nizar. We loaded the buggy up with towels and Olivia’s beach tent and bought her a bucket and spade on arrival. Of course there is only so much time you can spend on a beach with a one year old so we had a lovely lunch and a quick browse around the small community of tourist shops. The maspolamas beach excursion was just right for us as a couple with a young baby at approx 3 hours beach time.
We were back on ship in time for a playgroup activity making butterflies! Our WOW moment today was an invitation from our concierge assistant to view the bridge on Thursday. I hope we get to meet the captain.
Delicious Daddy took Olivia to dinner in the windjammer this evening. The baby loves to eat here as there is always lots of finger food choices and great puddings.
We all snuggled in our pyjamas and had cuddles in bed at the end of our day. I am so pleased I made the choice to put Olivia into nursery a few times whilst on this cruise. She is learning so many new things! And we have found a new favourite cartoon. Fisher Price little people. We have it on the TV right now and we are cuddled in bed. After a very sociable day this has got to be my favourite way to end my day.
An early start this morning and off of the ship by 8.30am for another excursion. This time we went to Loro Park. A great family attraction with parrots and penguins! Also lots of shows to see. Our favourite was the Dolphin water show. A little tip – if you decide to do this transfer through Royal Carribean there are yellow trains in the park entrance. You can hop on and off this attraction free if charge and it takes you down into the main town. Trains back to the resort are every 10 mins. We had a lot of fun adding this into our tour.
We were all exhausted after a long day out but met Grandaddy for a piece of cake and headed back to our suite for a shower. We dressed for dinner and the 5 of us joined together for dinner in the restaurant. Unfortunately there was a mix up with our order and we had to wait longer than usual. Dining with a tired 1 year old is no fun so as not to disturb other diners we decided to leave the restaurant and get her a quick bite from the windjammer. Olivia then went straight down to bed. There is so much to do and see on Royal Caribbean that she is greeted by someone or something new on every corner she turns! Time for a snuggle and chat with Delicious Daddy in bed. Tomorrow we arrive in Madeira. My favourite stop. another busy one planned!
We love Madeira. It was my favourite place to visit on our first ever Royal Caribbean cruise a few years back and i have been so excited for months now to take my daughter to Madeira for the day on an excursion.
The first time we visited Madeira with Royal Caribbean we took a trip to the small town of Monte and had the pleasure of seeing a church there. I remember being so thankful for that special moment and the people in my life. It was a very emotional visit for my partner also as he had lost his Brother just a few months previous. That evening our Precious Daughter was conceived onboard ! There I was today – a shade over 2 years later in the same church feeling very thankful. Unfortunately I could not take Olivia up to see the church as there are so many steps but she went for a small walk with Delicious Daddy whilst I had 10 minutes alone.
Please look at the wonderful excursions to do in Madeira. The whole island is so beautiful and has a very romantic history! Look into the toboggans if you have an active family. Because we have a young baby we opted for a ride in the cable car.
After a wonderful stroll we decided to take a different method of transportation back to the boat. A tuk tuk! Very cute ride and a great new and upcoming company.
We had lots of surprises this afternoon when we arrived back to our cabin. An apology gift from the restaurant manager consisting of a bowl of fruit, a cheese plate and champagne! A packet of crayola pencils for Olivia which had been given to all younger guests that day and an exclusive invitation to a special ice show performance the following afternoon especially for gold, platinum and diamond members. Olivia’s Grandaddy is already a Diamond member! We shall catch up with him someday.
Olivia had another great playgroup session this afternoon and we made butterfly drawings. I also bought another pack of crafty bits for our Royal Caribbean scrapbook. Olivia’s nanny Linda treated her to a new bib and a little floral apron from the cupcake cupboard so all in all it’s been a very eventful day as usual!
Breakfast in our suite this morning. Olivia has her high chair in the dining area permanently which is handy for feeding and snacks.
We were invited on a tour of the bridge. This is where the ship is controlled. It was very interesting and I got a few piccies. Wanted to take Olivia swimming but it was a little to windy today. Still warm considering it is the middle of October. Took her to play at the playgroup instead and we had a lovely mummy and daughter hour together. A different selection of toys are put out each day. Olivia has made a lot of new friends and is quickly learning new skills.
We met the rest of the family for our daily cake time and then headed back to our suite for formal evening preparations. Olivia was booked into nursery and I dropped her off. She had a great time as there was lots of other kiddies booked in also.
I wore a beautiful red dress and Delicious Daddy and I had a lovely portrait picture done. We will purchase our favourite tomorrow and add it to our collection of cruise pictures in our dining room back home! We then saw a show after dinner tonight. We had great seats in an area for loyalty card holders and I laughed a lot at the comedian. We are all now in bed – Olivia is in her travel cot next to me and we are sleeping with the balcony door open. It is a calm evening on the seas tonight and there is not a sound more soothing than the ocean. The captain announced earlier that this has been the best sailing in October weather wise for the past 6 seasons.
Back to Spain and the ship I’d docked here from 10am until 4.30pm. We are in no rush today and will take a still into town shortly. Delicious Daddy is off to playgroup with the baby and I am about to have a lovely jacuzzi bath. Until tonight my friends!
Whoa what a day. I have eaten so much. We had Tapas for lunch in the main square and also found a sweet shop. I fancied a few sweeties and ate far too many. The weather was good again today but a little chilly. We had fun communicating with Olivia’s Grandaddy by Walky talky. If you are cruising with other family members we strongly recommend walky talkies. Back at ship I changed into my comfy clothes and chilled out. Olivia had a long nap whilst I relaxed on the sofa and watched a film with DD. Oh we chose a photograph from the selection of shots we had last night and I was really pleased with them all. We were all showered, bathed and in our pyjamas by 8pm. Will be our last day tomorrow and we were reminiscing about our last trip on the independence over dinner. Before baby our itinerary was so different. We were climbing the rockwall and surfing on top deck by day. Drinking in the wine bars , playing the slots in the casino and dancing in the nightclub until close by night. Guess it just goes to show that the independence caters for everybody.
At sea heading back to Southampton.
We were up early this morning so put Olivia’s high chair out on the balcony and blew bubbles whilst watching the sunset. We did this in memory of a beautiful little girl. Definitely a WOW moment.
No big plans for today , packing and feeling sad that our holiday has come to an end. Thanked all the staff for being so helpful and told our room attendant Manuel Luis how grateful we were for his help. Manuel has worked for Royal Caribbean for 9 years. He looked after us so well and it was a pleasure seeing his welcoming smile everyday. Our accommodation has been presented to us in the highest standard and always clean and tidy. So thanks again Manuel and I hope someday you get to read this.
Our cruise has been amazing on the independence of the seas.