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Are cruise ships for old people?

Having just got back from sailing the med on a Royal Caribbean cruise, I thought sharing my average day on board could be an interesting topic. It seems fairly obvious that most people think you have to be over the age of 60 to book all inclusive cruises but from my experience, that usually isn't the case.

I won't lie, this last cruise, it absolutely was the case and full of old people. It wasn't ideal but, it was the first time I've experienced the issue in 15 + years of cruising.

Even though the crowd was old, that doesn't mean there's nothing for young people to do on cruise ships. The Independence of the Seas has all sorts of fun stuff for younger people from an ice rink to an arcade and even a newly added escape room.

It's very easy to laze around on a sunbed all day if that's what you enjoy; the buffet is just next door to the swimming pool and the soft serve ice cream machine but that isn't our style and our days were packed full from beginning to end.


Breakfast

From a huge buffet on the top deck to a served breakfast in the main dining room, like all of our meals on board, there were lots of options. I did get up for food for the first few days, but soon discovered it was the easiest time for me to skip a meal (you'll understand why by the end of this post) so my day usually started by meeting my parents after they had had breakfast at around 9.30am. 

Explore on Land

Arguably, the best part of a cruise holiday is that you wake up in a new place almost every day. We did a 12 night Spanish Mediterranean tour which consisted of 8 stops and 4 days at sea so when we were docked, we got up early and went to explore. Sea days were the perfect excuse for a lay in.
There were some awesome stops, surprisingly, a few that we hadn't been to before but my two highlights were Lisbon; we hired a lady in a tuk tuk to show us around before stopping off for a whole load of pastel de natas, and Ibiza where we climbed to the top of the island to look over the ocean before climbing back down to the habour for a well deserved paella.

The good thing about it being accessible for the older generation is that everything is super easy. The ship docks, you walk off the gangway and then you're ready to go! You can join a coach tour and get picked up from there or go off and do whatever you fancy.

Lunch

Only a small part of our day was spent on shore, we usually got bored after a couple of hours and couldn't wait to get back on the ship to eat some more.

Activity

After lunch was my favourite part of the day and usually when we'd find ways to entertain ourselves on board. Sometimes I'd head to the gym but I'd usually save that for windy days at sea; so on sunny days at port my brothers and I would head to the top deck to go on the Flowrider.

On this particular day, I went straight from the gym and with lack of preparation, jumped on in my sports bra and shorts. Definitely recommend a sturdy top and I have had some flyaway bikini tops in the past!
After that, it was time to grab my headphones; and sometimes a frozen cocktail, and find somewhere cosy to curl up for the rest of the afternoon.

Get Glam

Time to head back to the room to get ready for the evening! To my mum's despair, most nights I went for dinner super casual in a sweater and shorts. There were 3 formal nights on our voyage and although we didn't get to fancy for those, I did step it up from the loungewear. Some people get really dressed up in floor length ball gowns and suits!

Dinner

The buffet was open but we would always go to the main restaurant which was spread across three floors and this was where our eating got totally out of hand.

On one of the first nights, my brother couldn't decide which starter to order so our waitress said she'd just bring him both. From then on, we got into the habit of ordering any dish that sounded good which meant while everyone around us was having a normal three course dinner, we would have anywhere between 4 and 7 courses turn up for each of us. Think NY steaks, lobster tails, lamb shanks and duck breast mains, it was all very rich and decadent! 

Drinks & Show

By this point, the ship had set sail again and the internet connection was gone for the night. We did struggle but it was a good thing because it meant we didn't spend all our time glued to phones. Buying onboard wifi was extortionate so we only did that on days at sea.

My dad liked to go and watch the show after dinner and if it sounded good, we'd go with him. Otherwise it was a matter of grabbing a cocktail and chilling at one of the many bars around the ship for an hour or so. 

Games

Back together after that, we usually spent the rest of the evenings playing cards and drinking cocktail after cocktail in the sports bar.
Failing that, I took the odd night to go back to the room early and watch Netflix in bed!

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