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Planning a vacation that pleases everyone – from your youngest cartoon-crazed preschoolers to your hangout-seeking teens, with a little R&R mixed in for the adults in the group – can be a chore. But taking a family cruise could be the answer. Not only does it have fun and activities for all ages, but you also won’t need to pack up your bags each night, drive to your next destination, and check into another hotel to find new adventures. Cruises can be a one-stop spot for family recreation. There are so many reasons to book your vacation aboard one of Royal Caribbean International’s cruise ships like the Oasis of the Seas®, Allure of the Seas® or the new Quantum of the Seas, for your next family getaway – not to mention all of the amazing things to do and see at the different ports of call.
1. Loads of adventure – all on board
On Royal Caribbean’s Oasis or Allure of the Seas, from bow to stern, port to starboard (that’s front to back, left to right for landlubbers), there are unique places to explore. Thrill seekers will want to head to the stern of the ship, where they will find the Flowrider surf machines. In these wave making areas you can grab a surfboard and try mastering the waves. Other pools dot the deck. Stay high and dry zooming along nine decks above the ship’s Boardwalk area on a zipline or climb on one of two rock walls – all while enjoying the blue skies above you and the sea all around. The new Quantum of the Seas will feature SeaPlex, the largest indoor active space at sea that offers roller skating or bumper cars – a first at sea innovation. Of course, you’ll also find miniature golf and sports courts. And for a more laidback afternoon, grab a seat in the most transformational space at sea – Two70ﾏ_, an open area living room which boasts beautiful panoramic views by day.
2. Activities for everyone in the family
Family time is important, but your kids are likely to want to have their own time to explore. Most cruise lines offer play groups and programs for children. Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean® youth program provides interactive programs and activities designed specifically for different age groups, and it gives kids the chance to discover a whole new side of themselves. While the kids are busy, parents will have no problem finding something to do. Squeeze in a workout at the fitness center or attend an exercise class before heading to the spa for a hot stone massage or maybe a seaweed wrap. Then again, you might try the slots at the Casino Royale. There’s also entertainment for the whole family. Take your pick of onboard entertainment to unwind at the end of the day. Broadway shows like Mamma Mia! and others are offered depending on the ship you’re sailing. Don’t miss the dancers, divers and acrobats perform stunts and high-flying aerials against a backdrop of backlit fountains, big screens and the endless horizon of the sea in the outdoor Aquatheater, on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class of ships.
3. Hot dogs? Filet mignon? Both?
There’s no need to wait until after dinner for ice cream – your kids will love that they can have ice cream any time of day. Breakfast, lunch and a multi-course dinner are available in the Main Dining Room and included in the price of your cruise ticket. For a nominal surcharge, embark on a journey of culinary discovery in the ship’s specialty restaurants. You can enjoy the finest cuts of meat at Chops Grille, Royal Caribbean’s signature steak house, or tantalize your taste buds with Asian-infused flavors at Izumi. Along the ship’s Boardwalk, and in other parts of the ship, look for kid-friendly food stops with favorites like a doughnut shop, a hot dog house and a cupcake café, where you can even design your own treat. And it’s OK if you don’t feel like going out. Room service is complimentary, so you can sit back and eat breakfast in bed. (Fees applies when ordering between midnight and 5 a.m.)
4. Helps your vacation money go further
Tallying up prices for three meals a day, plus lodging, and extra money for activities for a family can drain your vacation fund fast. With a cruise, vacation essentials are all included, though there are options for extras (i.e. excursions and spa packages). AAA Travel has negotiated special fares and added amenities for thousands of Royal Caribbean cruises, so a AAA Travel Expert can help you plan not only an awesome time for your family, but an affordable one, too.
Offering autism-friendly cruises, too!
Royal Caribbean is also one of the first autism-friendly cruise lines. They offer programs to accommodate guests with autism and other developmental disabilities with sensory- friendly films and toys, dietary menu options and overall autism-friendly training for staff.
Get more info: Contact your AAA Travel Consultant for special rates and packages. Visit AAA.com/TravelAgent to find one near you.