The Wyatt Family recently returned from their family cruise vacation aboard the newest and biggest cruise ship in the world, Wonder of the Seas, from Royal Caribbean. They join us with all their summer adventure details from the same ship KeeKee’s Big Adventures at Sea will be on in July 2023.
For more family vacation ideas, check out all the podcast episodes. Adventure Awaits!
Tell Us About Yourselves.
Jamie: My name is Jamie, and I’ve been on six cruises. I absolutely love cruising.
Melissa: I’m Melissa. I am Jamie’s wife, and therefore I like traveling as well. Cruising is a big deal with my family. It’s not something we thought we would love, but it’s the perfect way to travel with kids.
Keaton: My name is Keaton. I am nine, almost 10. I really like cruises like my parents.
Cooper: My name is Cooper, and I’m seven years old. I’m really into robots, outer space, and futuristic stuff.
Where did you go on Wonder of the Seas?
We went on Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, the newest and biggest cruise ship in the world, for its first summer sailing season.
Keaton: We flew to Portugal, and then we took a short flight to Spain, and then we drove to the town of my mom’s great-great-grandparents.
Then we drove to Barcelona, and then that’s where we boarded our seven-day cruise. And then we went to Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Marseille in France, Pisa, Rome, and Naples in Italy. then we went back to Barcelona. And then we flew home.
Melissa: We already had these plane tickets to go to Spain, but we didn’t have any plans. As it approached, Keaton said, “maybe we should go on another cruise, in fact, I have one just here for you.” He had already found it. It fit specifically in the middle of our itinerary, and he said, this is the ship I’ve always wanted to go on.
What did you think about the ship when you first pulled up?
Keaton: I thought it looked so cool. It was huge.
Cooper: It was really big like a floating city. From the inside, it really does look like a floating city. A cruise is a city on water that’s controlled by a pilot inside of a cockpit.
Melissa: Every time we pulled up to the Wonder of the Seas after an excursion or for the first time with a cab driver, every single time the cab driver just said “Oh, my God. that’s the biggest ship.” So, it’s like noticeably larger.
And despite being the largest cruise ship in the world it was one of the most well-organized cruise ships we’ve ever been on. You weren’t waiting in super long lines. Everything was so well organized.
Jamie: It was seamless from boarding to offboarding to excursions, everything.
What did you do on Wonder of the Seas?
Keaton: Well, the first thing we did was the basic stuff, go to your room and do the safety drills. But then me and my mom, Jamie, we went to the water slides, and then there was this one slide it’s one of those like bullet slides, and it’s so cool.
Cooper: The Ultimate Abyss is a really big dry slide. You put your feet inside of the bag and cross your hands and hold onto the handle of the bag.
Melissa: One great thing… Keaton is completely into water slides. Cooper is not into water slides or pools, but the Wonder of the Seas has a little of something for everybody.
Cooper: There’s a shopping mall on the ship. It’s so huge, and it’s right through the middle of the ship, and behind it is the boardwalk, which is where the Ultimate Abyss ends by going 10 stories down to the floor.
We saw several shows.
Keaton: The Aqua show is called inTENse, and it’s a synchronized swimming mixed with diving show. I saw it four times.
What about the restaurants?
Jamie: There are so many restaurants. The Windjammer, which is the main restaurant, has cuisine from everywhere. They have Indian food, vegan food, vegetarian food, Italian food, seafood, hamburgers, and hot dogs. and so many desserts. They have a special kid’s station. Kids’ food. Kids’ desserts. It’s just the level of the kids’ height so they can go pick a dessert.
Cooper: There’s a cool place with these robot arms, and you can make your own drink with a robotic arm.
Also, through the middle of the ship, there was a little park with real plants in it called Central Park. And on the sides of it, it had two little restaurants and this little bar called Rising Tide. It’s really fancy, and after a few minutes, it rises itself up to Central Park.
Jamie: There’s a fabulous restaurant called Wonderland.
Keaton: It’s Alice in Wonderland themed. It has cool desserts with fondant and ice cream, and one you have to dissolve cotton candy to get to.
What was your favorite part of the ship?
Keaton: The water parks and Ultimate Abyss.
Cooper: The sushi place called Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and the Ultimate Abyss.
Jamie: I loved the adults-only bar. It was just fabulous. A waiter comes up, they hand you a drink, and there are hot tubs and pools. You can read a book and just relax.
Melissa: My favorite thing to do was go to the Windjammer at sunset, and grab a plate of some of the most wonderful appetizers generally from right there in the area. And then go sit on the quieter side where you could look out and see the European ports as we’re pulling away at sunset.
What was your favorite excursion?
Jamie: Cinque Terre, Italy was my favorite. Beautiful.
Melissa: Pompeii. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
Cooper: My favorite excursion only was the first city in Italy (Cinque Terre). We went to a restaurant that had pizza, and while we were on the boat, we saw tons of jellyfish in the water.
Keaton: I didn’t really have a favorite excursion. I like the boat the best!
Jamie: It was the trip of a lifetime.
Great Trip Planning Resource: AAA
Melissa: Another great resource while planning this trip was stopping by our local AAA office.
As there was going to be a driving element to it, and you have to have an international driver’s permit in Europe, I stopped by there to quickly pick up my international driver’s license for like 20 bucks.
And then I could think through all these other issues with them, and they helped me out, making sure that we had a converter for each kid to make sure that they’re going to be able to use their iPad everywhere they go. And a couple of other things like an R F I D protective fanny pack.
They had a lot of smart ideas for international travel.
Why is it important to travel with your kids?
Jamie: I think traveling is the best thing you can do for your kids.
It shows them that the world is bigger than where they live. There are other people out there who speak different languages, eat different foods, have different customs, play different sports, and wear different clothes.
It just broadens their horizons and makes them realize how big and rich the world is and instills travel in their DNA.