Travel

Taking my kids on a Royal Caribbean Cruise for Self-Care

Have you ever wished to stay at one of those resorts that specialize in detoxing and relaxing? A place where you toss the cell phone and laptop to the side and fixate on your inner self? I fantasize about it regularly. At least once a week I look up resorts that offer getaway packages that include detoxing, massaging, yoga, and relaxation.

Little did I know that I could find what I was searching for on a cruise.


  
After the hustle and the bustle of boarding the Majesty of the Seas, and being greeted by what seemed like every Royal Caribbean employee, we changed into our swim clothes and spent the day poolside while we waited for our luggage to be deposited in our room. It didn’t take as long as I thought. We went back to our cabin and changed into our “cruising” clothes. The younger kids and I stopped by their kids’ Adventure Ocean Club and said goodbye to my teenage daughter as she sailed towards the teen room. Which left me… all… alone.
  

  All alone.

I’ve been a stay-at-home dad for 15 years. Being all alone is an unusual feeling. I studied my choices and I had many opportunities. I strolled into the casino, but after a wall of cigarette smoke welcomed me, I spun around and entered a bar called The Schooner Bar, which would turn into my home away from home.
  
But self-care called my name and although I call top-shelf Scotch self-care, it wasn’t what I lacked. Upon entering the ship, I had a bad sinus headache. As the day passed on, my headache became worse. With plenty of time to myself, I entered the Spa and Fitness Center. Shortly after reading over the many choices, I settled on a deep tissue massage.


*Here’s a side tip for those choosing to get a massage on a cruise. DO IT EARLY. For one, the schedule fills up fast. But you’ll possibly get a sunburn and you don’t want someone placing their fist and elbows into your back while your flesh is blazing.


During my massage, the stress of getting 3 kids onto the ship and squared away fled with the knots accumulated over the years. My sinus headache eased away with the oils and massage to the afflicted areas. For what seemed to be the first time in forever, I was calmed. It was the ideal way to start the vacation. After my massage, they offered me some water, and I headed into the steam room to maintain that relaxed feeling. After that, I staggered to where my kids were having the time of their lives and picked them up. I’m not certain who fell asleep first that night, them or me. It clearly wasn’t my teenager who was out late into the night with her new friends.


 
Throughout the trip, I visited the fitness suite and regularly ended up in the steam room. There were days I used the fitness room briefly to make it appear I required a reason to step into the steam room.
 
Towards the end of the trip, I discovered I could receive 30% off another massage. Looking over my schedule, which had nothing on it, I dropped by the spa counter one more time and asked questions about their seaweed wrap. They described to me how the toxins were drawn out of the body through a seaweed scrub and then my body would be wrapped up serving heat to leak the toxins and accompanied by a massage. I booked it right there.
  
My body was scoured down in green gook and they enclosed me in a metal foil-like material. At first, my claustrophobia set it and I squirmed a little. With my eyes closed, I took a deep breath and calmed. My body seemed to be annoyed, and it itched at the beginning. I presume those were years of toxins trying to keep from being driven out of my pores. Within minutes, I was asleep and probably snoring. When I woke up, my eyes were being uncovered and gradually unwrapped like a fragile Christmas present. After a brief shower, it was massage time. By this stage in the evening, my body was a mass of mush. The masseuse then pushed around leftover knots. After my massage, I made one last visit to the steam room.
  
With time left for my kids to enjoy the Adventure Club, I rested on my favorite bar stool inside the Schooner Bar and ordered a Scotch. My week of self-care was complete.

Once I finished my glass, I picked up my kids, and we took part in our tradition onboard the cruise of drinking lemonade and eating a slice of pizza before bedtime. We chattered about our day and I grossed my kids out about the seaweed wrap and laughed about their dance parties and games they played.
 
The initial plan for our ship was to explore Cuba, but because of new laws, they rerouted the ship to Mexico. It disappointed us, but Royal Caribbean accommodated our desires, helped my kids have the time of their lives and provided me the relaxing week I desperately desired.
 
To anyone looking at cruises, think about what kind of cruise you want and how you wish to spend your time. I’m glad I focused on a self-care cruise for myself. I couldn’t have accomplished it without the Adventure Club. (AKA, the place where I dumped my kids off so I could have alone time.)
 


My kids and I had good moments together. We swam in the pool, danced during family dance night, and ate and ate and ate. We also created our own cupcake, which was a perfect way to discover who has a future in baking in the house. (Not Me)
 


To schedule your Royal Caribbean Cruise, click here.

* More will be written about our excursions.

All photos were taken with an Apple iPhone XR

Disclaimer: I was provided with onboard credit in exchange for a review.

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