I wanted to share some of the best aspects of our cruise in relation to traveling with the kids. This was supposed to be a top ten list, but I couldn’t narrow it down to 10. Or 15. Or even 20. As a Fisher Price ambassador, one of the reasons for our trip was to experience the ways Fisher Price and Royal Caribbean have teamed up to make the cruise even more fun for young families. Here are a few of the stand-out features of the Allure of the Sea for my kids: Free ice cream All day, every day. I don’t think this needs much elaborating. An oboard water park. My kids love being in the water, and I loved that this occupied them for hours. Kid-friendly shows. Ya’ll know I’m a bit of a theater geek, and this ship had a family-friendly show every single day of the week. And the Howertons were there for all of them. A carousel. On a boat. No big. An art room sponsored by Crayola. The biggest issue here was getting India to leave. A science room. With a teacher and bonafide science experiments. Space to run around. I was worried we might get stir-crazy being on a boat for seven days. I was wrong. One aspect that helped was the fact that the ship was so spacious. Another was: Free childcare! And not just babysitting – the Adventure Ocean experience was beyond anything I could have imagined. It was like a fully-programmed secular VBS. All of the staff have four-year degrees in education, and most have backgrounds working at YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, or similar programs. My kids loved being there, and it was enriching and entertaining and perfectly executed. (In the photo above, they are playing Dodge Ball. King Julian from Madagascar is “it”. NBD.) The Flowrider. There are two on the Allure of the Seas. One side is just for adults, and on the other side kids can give body boarding a try. Mini-golf. You cannot beat that view. Dreamworks Character Breakfast. This is included in the cruise. Our table was visited by characters from Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda. And there were chocolate pancakes. With bacon. Mmmm. Cupcake decorating classes. India took this very, very seriously. The rest of them were merely biding their time in order to eat the thing. Pirate Night! And every night, really. Adventure Ocean has something fun planned each night, but Pirate Night involved the kids putting on a pirate show for the adults in the main promendate. Little People Birthday Party. Each week, the kids onboard get to experience a Little People birthday party show, along with crafts and take-home treats. Educational excursions. As if the ship entertainment wasn’t enough, we had great educational excursions available at each port. Here, the kids are learning about Mayan architecture. DreamWorks movies, all day, every day. There was a channel in the room that continuously played DreamWorks movies, so that if you needed a little downtime, the kids could be entertained. They also had a couple showings each day of a DreamWorks film in one of the movie theaters. Family dance parties. I loved that there were scheduled times when the night clubs were turned over to kids and their parents to play. My kids won a few medals for their dancing skills. #proudmom FOOD! The food was amazing in every way, for both adventurous and picky eaters. Jafta is my foodie, and he dined on all manner of exotic delicacies. (I think this might even deserve it’s own post). For the pickier kids, there was a Fisher Price kid’s menu each night with tried-and-true kids’ fare. The DreamWorks parade. The kids saw a video of this parade before we went on the cruise and then asked about it all week. We saw it our last night and it definitely lived up to expectations. It was quite a production. Making new friends. My kids really did form some amazing friendships on this cruise, and I loved that they got to connect with kids from all over the world. Character appearances. Royal Caribbean really was generous with the character appearances. All of the kids got a lot of play time with their favorite characters . . . from photo ops to shows to just hanging around in the kids’ club area. I appreciated that they were so accessible. These are just a few highlights on the Allure of the Sea for kids. There really was something going on at each moment . . . face painting, balloon-twisting, family karoake, festivals, dance lessons, 3-D movies, talent shows . . . so much so that when Hurricane Sandy waylaid our Jamaica stop, we didn’t even mind the extra day on the ship. *A huge thanks to Fisher Price for inviting us on this cruise to experience their onboard partnership with Royal Caribbean!