[PHOTO GALLERY BELOW – All photos were taken by Ashley Morgan]
Gone are the days of mediocre food, bingo nights and smoky casinos, cruising has come a long way in recent years. And for those who have been avoiding cruising because they think it’s boring or claustrophobic, think again. With the onslaught of new mega-ships, cruise lines are doing unimaginable things onboard these amazing vessels.
Royal Caribbean is by far my favorite cruise line, and with the inauguration of the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, they have just become the world’s favorite cruise line, too. These amazing ships are more like cities on the sea, destinations in themselves, than just a simple mode of transportation. Imagine strolling down central park, window shopping at Coach, then sitting at a peaceful bench in the midst of lush vegetation. Later in the day, take your kids to the fair, riding a full-sized carosel and eating hot dogs on the boardwalk. At night, see live Broadway shows in the theatre, or for the kids, see Shrek and his friends on ice at the ice-skating show. Come back to your loft-style apartment to rest or visit the jazz club for a nightcap. And this is just a sampling of the things available on both the Oasis and Allure.
The ships offer a plethora of dining options: traditional homestyle italian, upscale steak and wine, a Brazilian churrascaria, a Mexican cantina, crispy fried fish, Coney island hot dogs, pizza parlor, gourmet salads and sandwiches…or you can choose just to eat in the traditional cruise dining room, cupcake bakery, which also offers innovative gourmet delights each evening. There is a small cover charge for the speciality restaurants, however well worth it. The Coney island hot dogs, pizza parlor, gourmet salad/sandwiches and main dining room are all unlimited and included in your cruise fare.
You’ll never be bored onboard one of these mega-ships, either. Boasting three theatres: one traditional, one on ice and one outdoor Aquatheathre; a jazz club, a comedy club, a dance club, casino with smoking and non-smoking sections, solarium adult pool relaxation area, children’s zones (more on this below), family pool, movie theater playing first-run 3D Dreamworks films, and so much more. All of these amenities are included in your original cruise fare and do not require additional payment.
The children’s programs are absolutely fantastic. Parents need not worry about what the kids will be doing, they will certainly be entertained, leaving you to relax. Royal Caribbean has created an entire wing of the ship that is designed with young ones in mind. They also took in mind security, keeping this section away from the rest of the ship and hiring certified child caregivers to oversee the activities. The whole wing looks more like a child’s dream school, with a science exploration room, their own movie theatre, an indoor playground, an arcade and Crayola art room. For the teens and adults, there is also an arts and crafts area located just outside the children’s zone, where you can score a free scrapbooking or jewelry making kit. Great for a free memory of your vacation onboard the Oasis or Allure. Teens will also be entertained with a seperate area of the ship, designed especially for them with their own hang-out area and teen nightclub.
For the adventurers in the family, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas both offer two rock climbing walls each, two Flowrider surfing stations and a zip line high above the decks of the ship below. Certainly enough to keep them thrilled for hours on end. Art enthusiasts will have fun with the hidden art views located throughout the ships, as well as the modern architecture. The Allure also has it’s own Romero Britto gallery onboard in Central Park.
So, if you are inspired to learn more about either the Oasis or the Allure, just send us a quick e-mail. I’d be happy to speak with you one-on-one about what your family could do on one of these amazing ships. I am your own personal Allure and Oasis specialist, and I’m here to serve YOU.