My 11-year-old son Angus took some persuading when I first asked him to accompany me on Royal Caribbean International’s Barbie Premier Experience cruise out of Ford Lauderdale, Florida. Eventuallyhe relented. ‘You won’t tell my friends, though, will you?’ he asked.
The two of us had never been on a cruise before, and we had no idea what to expect – though I was sure the colour pink would feature heavily. It did. But though Angus bowed out of a Tiara and Teacups party because it was ‘too girlie’, he did enjoy a cupcake-decorating class.
The route: The ship called in at three ports during our seven days at sea. Labadee, a beach resort in Haiti, was where we took our first swim in the Caribbean. Then we had a full day ashore in Jamaica and another beach day in Cozumel, Mexico. Angus has never had so much fun. And me? Well, there was always the cocktail bar.
It’s not all about Barbie – despite the branding, doll-themed events only make up a small part of the voyage. And Angus and I really loved what he termed the ‘other stuff’. Facilities were great: four pools, a kids’ waterpark, two surf simulators, a mini-golf course and even a zip wire. And the Adventure Ocean is a fantastic kids’ zone with toys, games, and as many activities as even the most energetic pre-teen can handle.
Price: Seven-night cruises from £1,378 for adults; £1,152 for kids, including flights (based on four sharing an inside stateroom on a 1 December departure from Fort Lauderdale on Allure of the Seas). The Barbie Premier Experience, £224 per child (aged up to 11), is available on all Royal Caribbean International Cruises of five nights or more. To book, contact Royal Caribbean International on 0844 493 2061.