By Celeste Moure
Step 1: Start with a big ship.
There is a reason cruise lines keep building ever larger ships: They are exciting. Picture floating cities with distinct neighborhoods, sporting greenbelts, boardwalks, quiet cafés, late-night discos, round-the-clock casinos, water parks, and much more. With so much to do and see on board, the destinations are like an added bonus. And when it comes to cruising on an epic scale, Royal Caribbean stands out, with four of the largest cruise ships at sea and a fifth in the works.
Step 2: Bring the whole family.
“Cruising is an ideal option for multigenerational travel,” says Deborah Director, a Boca Raton-based Virtuoso travel advisor, “and Royal Caribbean excels at meeting the varied needs of families traveling together.”
Sailing with tots and teens? No problem. Royal Caribbean offers younger guests an entertaining lineup of activities, from story time and dance parties to hands-on experiments in a science lab, painting, sculpture and crafts in an art studio, and hands-on fun in a DIY theater. While the kids are off having a blast, mom, dad, and grandparents can take a fitness class, unwind in the spa with a signature treatment, or enjoy a show. Come nighttime, let the babysitter tuck the kids in bed while the grown-ups enjoy date-night dining and thrills at the Vegas-style casino.
Step 3: Ratchet up the live entertainment.
Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line that offers Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals – think Mamma Mia!, Cats, Grease, and more. The line pushes the boundaries of what’s possible at sea with high-tech, immersive entertainment and cutting-edge productions on stage, in the air, underwater, and on ice. At Studio B, for example, world-class ice skaters spin and leap against a backdrop of stunning multimedia visuals and audio. In the Aqua Theater, divers sail off 30-foot platforms and perform aerial feats of derring-do before plunging with barely a splash into the deepest pool at sea.
Step 4: Throw in a private island.
Who hasn’t dreamed of escaping it all? Now you can, thanks to Royal Caribbean’s series of private island destinations around the world. The first in the collection is Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, where you can partake in seven superlative-demanding experiences, including the tallest and most thrilling waterslide in North America, the highest viewpoint in the Bahamas – a helium balloon up to 450 feet in the air – and the largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean. The exclusive Coco Beach Club, debuting in December 2019, will offer the first and only overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.
Step 5: Make it deluxe.
If ever there were a reason to upgrade, this is it. Royal Suite Class is designed for discerning travelers, such as grandparents accustomed to high-end cruising who want an experience their grandchildren will never forget. Think: floating five-star hotel with three ever-more-luxurious tiers. Star tier guests in Royal Suite Class enjoy priority boarding and departure (allowing you to avoid the crowds); spacious, spectacularly appointed accommodations with pillow-top mattresses and posh amenities such as L’Occitane bath products; VOOM, the fastest Internet at sea; preferred seating at select venues; and more. The best perk: a personal Royal Genie, certified by the British Butler Institute but with special powers to create one-of-a-kind experiences designed around you.
A backstage tour of your favorite Broadway show? Check. Catching the first wave of the day on the FlowRider? Yup. Exclusive access to the California-chic Coastal Kitchen restaurant? Absolutely. “It’s all included,” says Rockville, Maryland-based Virtuoso travel advisor Jeremy Hall. “Each generation of your family can rest easy and relax – which is what your cruise is supposed to be all about.”
This article is sponsored by Royal Caribbean International. All images courtesy of Royal Caribbean International.