Hi again! As I’ve mentioned before, this was my very first cruise. For as much as I travel, that seems a little bit nuts, but I think the reason why I had never pursued it before is because to me, cruising seemed…lazy. There, I said it. I know that it’s not like me to prejudge things, it just that when people got back from cruising, all I heard them talk about was the food…and the naps…and the food. It just didn’t seem like something that would jive with my active lifestyle. Um, I was wrong. Dead wrong. There are so dang many things to do on the ship! Here, let me show you.
You can play a rousing game of mini-golf on the top deck…
You can rock climb up a seriously impressive wall. For real, check out the height of that climb!
You can practice your surfing skills on the FlowRider (which was hysterical to watch)…
You can also go swimming or lounging in one of the three different pools (kid-friendly, adults only, or a combo) or check out the numerous hot tubs….
If you want to keep up your fitness level, there’s a boxing ring in the state-of-the-art gym (along with everything else you’d expect to need for workouts). If gyms aren’t your thing, there’s also an outdoor running track on the top deck. Say what?!
Suffice it to say that I didn’t have time to nap. I was too busy running around the ship and trying out all of the fun stuff to do. I spent waaaay to much time hanging out by the SurfRider and Climbing Wall. Watching people try is as much fun as trying it yourself and everyone is a good sport when you, ahem, wipe out (which is really almost inevitable).
Now, was there food? Of course. Was there lots of food? Yeah. What really surprised me, though, is how many healthy options they had. Salad bars, fruit bars, smoothie station, grilled fish, sushi (yep, for real),… I could go on and on, but truly, there was something for everyone.
We got a tour of the main galley from the female head chef (girl power!) and I was impressed to learn that not only do they have a kitchen staff of over 200 cooks, but every single thing they serve is made fresh onboard. From the pizzas to the rolls; from the steaks to the tiger shrimp – nothing is prepackaged. I love that.
One of the many cooks doing his thing (they work in shifts, but the kitchen is buzzing 24 hours a day).
I was happy to see that they go through A LOT of salads.
While the Windjammer Cafe was great for grabbing a quick lunch, I really enjoyed the full service in the fine dining room.
I ate all of my breakfasts in there and most of dinners. During breakfast, I brought my laptop down, enjoyed my mushroom and herb omelette, and sipped a bottomless cup of coffee while I worked on my book. It was seriously divine. For dinner, the menu rotated daily and we had the option of about 10 appetizers and 7 or so entrees (to say nothing of the desserts). I enjoyed shrimp, salmon, escargot, and too many different types of salads to mention. Everything was delicious.
On my third cruise day, we did something that was so much fun – we took a cupcake decorating class at the Cupcake Cupboard!
Our cupcake instructor was a pastry chef from Manilla, Philippines and he was wonderful. During our group class, we learned how to make a double-patty angus burger. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to turn these ingredients into something that resembled a burger….
but our pastry chef talked us through it and I was shocked that my burger turned out so great.
Now, there was also a competition component to the class. You all know where this is going. I am so competitive (even in cupcake making) that I put on my game face and went to work. The competition was for who could assemble the tallest burger. So I added extra frosting in between layers and cut the bare minimum off of my initial cupcakes and the results were…I won. Woohoo!
Then came the best part.
As a vegetarian, I got a kick out of eating my first “burger” in seven years.
I’ll have one more post coming for you (that has lots of fun excursion video), but I want to reiterate that my idea of what cruising entailed couldn’t be father from the truth. It was such an action-packed, fun-filled 5 days. I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you want to know more about all that Royal Caribbean has to offer, you can read about it here.
Disclaimer: I cruised with Royal Caribbean International as part of a press group. While my cruise was complimentary, I did not received monetary compensation and all opinions are my own. Naturally.