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tas
 

Mummy and me: Explorer of the Seas

Royal Caribbean

Explorer of the Seas is the newest and biggest cruise ship to call Australia home. And what better excuse to explore her mammoth proportions than on a mummy-and-me girls-only getaway to nowhere on the floating resort.

While we were sad to wave goodbye to the boys, my four-year old daughter Marlo was beyond excited to have the excusive use of mummy for the first time ever. We’d always travelled as a foursome, but with big brother back at school and dad unable to get the time off work, a three-day cruise to nowhere on this incredible mega liner seemed like an awesome opportunity for quality time for us girls.

The best thing about a family cruise holiday is that they're so easy to plan. No searching for kid-friendly accommodation, activities or places to go. Just turn up and everything is ready and waiting onboard. And with a ship the size of Explorer of the Seas, that’s a whole lot of everything.

Originally I was worried she’d be bored without her brother to play with, but how wrong could one person be? On this buxom beauty are all the best signature Royal Caribbean amenities including a rock-climbing wall that soars 61 metres above sea level, a nine-hole miniature golf course, three swimming pools, enormous bi-level fitness centre and spa, a full-sized sports court and purpose-built in-line running track plus 3D cinemas, an ice-skating rink, colourful theatre shows, the incredible Adventure Ocean kids’ club, all-you-can-eat ice-cream, and the brand-new FlowRider surf simulator for action outdoors.

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We’d get into the mini-golf action straight after breakfast each morning before the crowds descended. We hit up the Vitality Spa for matching mother and daughter pedicures, which Marlo showed off proudly to our fellow passengers as we frolicked poolside. For an hour or two each day she’d request a little time in the Adventure Ocean kids’ club for crafts and fun with the other kids on board. The fantastic programme offers activities for children of all abilities with families encouraged to consult with staff regarding special needs their children may have so activities can be modified.

But mostly my mini-me and I just wanted to enjoy each other’s company. We watched a couple of family movies in the 3D movie theatre, shook our groove thangs at a family disco and cruised the shops together along the huge Royal Promenade, an extensive inside shopping and dining arcade.

seahorse

We got inspired by the champion skaters in Explorer’s ice-show ‘Spirits of the Seasons’, that had Marlo entranced with falling snow. Afterwards we showed off our own icy moves, which mostly consisted of falling over and giggling during a public skating session.

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Explorer's brand-new FlowRider also created some big waves, mostly caused by my backside. While Marlo was a little small to hit the surf she certainly enjoyed watching my pretty ordinary efforts, especially the bit where I somersaulted inelegantly off my board.

Of course, all of our activities were interspersed with visits to the poolside soft-serve ice-cream station for top ups. Because if you can't eat ice-cream all day on holiday what's the point?

Marlo also loved dressing up for dinner each evening, something the male members of our family aren’t so keen on. Speaking of dinner, the food is excellent and ‘dining out’ three times a day proves a fabulous way of introducing my occasionally fussy daughter to a world of new flavours, with selections catering for the multitude of nationalities on board. While we didn’t take advantage of it this time around, Explorer of the Seas offers ‘My Family Time Dining’, an option that lets kids finish dinner in the main dining room in 45 minutes, so they can be collected by Adventure Ocean counsellors to head to the kids’ club to play while mum and dad enjoy a more leisurely meal.

Choc
 

Of an evening we’d head back with to our newly refurbished balcony stateroom, eager to find out what kind of kooky towel creature our lovely room attendant had left for her. And she’d cuddle it until she fell asleep smiling, her mind abuzz with plans for another day of mummy and daughter fun.

When she’s not treading on Lego and being forced to watch Frozen on loop, Aleney de Winter is a travel, food and parenting writer. She shares tales of travelling and eating along with the hilarious antics of her globetrotting six-year old foodie son and daredevil three-year old daughter on her blog, Boy Eats World

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