Well, didn’t I have a lot of misconceptions about cruising… (Bad buffets, coffin dodgers, norovirus and sun-lounger-wars; really didn’t sound like a stylish and fun kind of vacay time to me.) However, my head was turned when I stepped aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas newly revamped (think £67 million makeover) ship. It was super spacious – so didn’t feel like you’re elbowing your way through the crowds, with plenty of available sunbeds to bask, spaces to sit, Jacuzzi’s with a view and places to feel at one with the ocean. There’s also amazing shopping – think Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, brilliant beauty brands like L’Occitane and jewels by Pandora and their own high-end bling boutique. The food options were incredible, and I was amazed at how many activities there were to see and do. We sailed from Southampton for a 2-day cruise, but could’ve stayed much longer and headed out to one of their exotic locales. Here’s my edit of the 5 great things about sailing the high seas…
- You can actually get fit on the cruise – or at least balance all that eating with some brilliant and fun, heart-pumping action. Try the rock climbing wall, waterslides and aqua park at Splashaway Bay, bounce around on the SkyPadSM for some gravity-defying bungee trampolining, or grab a board and hang ten on the 40-foot-long surf simulator, FlowRider® or simply grab your Nike’s and jog the running track.
- The Vitality Fitness Centre and Spa offer traditional classes, like yoga and Pilates to spinning and boot camp or book in for a personal fitness programme. Or unwind with a high-end luxury treatment with all my personal faves – like Elemis leading the way in relaxation.
- Ok, so we couldn’t go cruising without talking food. There are the Titanic-style chandelier-d dining rooms that offer brilliant traditionals like a filet or fish, all fantastically cooked and fresh. Izumi Hibachi & Sushi is the Asian room offering Teppanyaki, dishes prepared tableside, along with tempting sushi and sashimi. While Giovanni’s table provides traditional Tuscany dishes – and has that proper authentic Italiano grills, pesce and pasta vibe. While breakfast is an oasis, and really is a case of whatever you like. Plus there’s 24-hour room service for private dining.
- If anything like me, you have two highly energetic boys under 5 – then seriously think about the cruise option. There’s no stressful airport run (you have the whole afternoon to board), there’s soo much for them to do, play and explore, they’ll never be bored and, well with ice-cream and juice on tap – it makes for very happy children and happy parents to boot.
- For the PM, you can really hit the town… We went to the theatre to watch Grease, (we could’ve been in the West End), plus there’s plenty of wine, fizz and cocktail bar spots, before hitting the casino or club to watch someone like Mark Wright play the decks.
Amazing Sushi and Sashimi