We, the Montero family, can now proudly call ourselves a cruising family. We’ve felt the wind in our hair, we’ve been served and served again, we’ve dipped into the huge deck pool and reclined in the hot tub whilst our ship takes us from Marseille to Mallorca.
Those of you who know us would call this behaviour totally out of character. What happened to the backpacks? What about our adventurous spirit? The local food? The people we meet along the way? In short – WHY WERE WE ON ‘THE EPIC’?!
This was not a trip fuelled by our own sense of adventure. It was one of those trips that came our way thanks to work. Basically, we went along on a press trip to find out what it’s like to cruise as a family.
There’s a great misconception out there that cruising is mostly done by blue haired women and their geriatric husbands. It’s a myth the industry is quite desperate to kill. As it turns out, some ships cater especially for families, as did our massive ‘Norwegian Epic’. (Check out this article by Jane Archer in the Telegraph from 2006 where some of the child friendliest cruise lines around are listed.)
Our Mediterranean cruise with the Norwegian Epic took us from Barcelona via Marseille to Palma. We had three nights on board, and could easily have stayed for a whole week.
Once the suitcases arrived at our cabin, there was no stopping the kids. I have seriously never seen them getting changed so fast before. Ever! They somehow managed to dig out their swim suits from in between the clothes, and literally dragged us up to Deck 16.
As far as I can remember, Deck 16 became our base, with occasional detours to the self service restaurant and – HOLD ON TIGHT – the self service ice cream machine!
Upon our return to the cabin later on in the afternoon, there was no trace of the kids’ frenetic search for swimsuits. We told the kids that ‘James’ had been there… You see, we’ve got this continuous joke in our family where we tell the kids that ‘James’ doesn’t work here. This applies to any given situation where they should have cleaned up their own mess, their plates, their homework, their clothes, etc. Today, at the age of six and nine, they still seem to hope for him to miraculously show up from out of nowhere so they don’t have to tidy themselves. Imagine their surprise when our imaginary servant had all of a sudden become reality!
Still, no one appreciates a James as much as yours truly. No one quite values sitting down at a laid table and a delicious meal like a working mummy. And finally, imagine this: Kids are happy, actually more than happy, I would go as far as calling them ECSTATIC at the choice of things to do on board. Daddy is coping just fine with a steady flow of mojitos being brought his way. We find time to squeeze in a family round or two of bowling and cheer the kids on in the climbing wall.
Summing it up – family cruising is a breeze! There’s plenty of entertainment on board for everyone, both day and night. And then there’s the HUGE bonus of arriving at a brand new port almost daily!
You’ll be having buttery croissants in Nice one morning, scrumptious pizza in Napoli the next.
We said it was work. And it was. However, there was nobody complaining about the work load. Somebody’s gotta do it, right? So the kids posed for pictures, and we photographed and took notes as usual. Below are the results, published in Norwegian lifestyle magazine Kamille Mor & Barn: