We need your vote too please

royal caribbean badge

A long, long time ago when this blog was in it’s infancy I joined in an alphabet styled weekly writing weekly challenge. Each week there was a new letter and you had to be inspired by that letter and write something which you then shared with the other bloggers. When it got to the letter O I chose Ocean Liner as I have always wanted to go on a cruise, a dream that has been in  my heart for such a long time now.

I do have sailors blood in my veins; my granddad worked his way up to Chief Officer after World War II but because of his Hungarian origins could never become captain and my father also sailed the seas with P&O as a young man before he married.

It was only a few years ago, well say 20 odd, that to go on a cruise was seen as The Ultimate in vacationing. John Lewis even had a cruise-wear department for all of those who would be sailing in the winter for sunnier lands.

Today taking a cruise is a much more accessible holiday open to everyone, young singles, retired couples, honeymooners and even families. Cruising has embraced today’s family and has something to offer for every member from 0 – 100 and above.

That is why when I saw Royal Caribbean were searching for their Royal Family to spend an entire year acting as ambassadors and relaying what fun it is to holiday on their fabulous ships, I had to enter and give it a go.

We were extremely lucky to have reached the final three in the Non Cruisers section and to spend a day on the Independence of the Seas in Southampton where we were filmed and treated to a fabulous day onboard.

A video of each family was posted on the Royal Caribbean Facebook page on Friday evening and the public was invited to vote who they thought was the ideal family. It goes without saying each of us have been hassling our friends and families for votes all weekend. This vote will count as 50% towards the end decision, the other 50% is down to the judges.

royal caribbean search for the royal family

So I am here to ask you to vote for the Weekes Family , as you can see from the screen shot above we are neck and neck with the Farmer family.

Please click on the link above or the widget in the sidebar for a direct link to the voting form and thank you very much for assisting us on our way to make this dream come true

Mari x

Could we be the Royal Family?

Royal Caribbean - Johnny Rockets diner

Odd question you may ask as you know we don’t have any blue blood running through our veins but a while back the Royal Caribbean launched a competition to search for a family to become their Royal Family for 2014. This would mean participating in things like the launch of their brand new ship Quantum of the Seas and having to spend a week in February cruising the Caribbean islands – can you imagine anything harder?

independence of the seas

Views of the Royal Promenade – independence of the Seas

So I put us forward, all you had to do was send a family photo in and write 150 words as why you would be the perfect choice. As with most competitions I thought no more of it, it was obvious half the UK would be entering such a fabulous competition and then I got the phone call to say we had been shortlisted – out of over 400 entries.

We are family right to the core. Every decision we take as mum and dad is based on what’s best for us as a family. 

There are no ‘date nights’, we take our girls with us and enjoy our treats together on family nights. 

We love to explore and having fun is top of our agenda. Holidays for us are precious family moments where memories are made that will last a lifetime and carry us through the dullness when we’re back at work. 

Our time spent together on holiday is trying new food, visiting new places, swimming in the pool, discovering new skills and above all laughing and having fun, oh and mummy taking a shed load of photos to record it all! 

Nothing beats tucking up a tired child who falls asleep with a smile on their face dreaming of tomorrow’s adventures 

We’d LOVE to be your Royal Family.

Until that phone call came in the whole idea had been little more of an ‘Oh wouldn’t it be lovely?’ in my head. Post phone call the idea shot to the very top of my ‘I Want This’ list.

What did the shortlisted families have to do?

independence of the seas

We were invited to spend one day onboard the Independence of The Seas as it docked in Southampton getting ready to depart for a mini cruise. We arrived at 9am passports in hand and wondered how does one look Royal

Find lots more photos on my Instagram feed

I had been very careful not to mention too much about the competition to the girls as I didn’t want to stress them over it, if we didn’t win I didn’t want them getting upset but the day started with a big cheer for each competing family and my two latched on to the idea in an instant.

cupcake making Independence of the seas

Our first challenge was to prepare Puppy dog cupcakes with Daina from the onboard Cupcake Shop, she made it look so easy! The twins sat at the table and mummy helped them create whilst the film crew took some footage, shame they missed our Bess stick her frosting bag in her mouth to catch the drip of frosting oozing out. I laughed at the sight and she immediately thought she was doing something wrong – cue big tears … oh dear it was going to be a long day.

All I wanted was for them to be natural and enjoy the day – right?

Our day was to include some rock climbing but the weather conditions cancelled this – cue more big tears and ‘But Mummy I really, really wanted to do rock climbing.’ Why had I mentioned it to them?

mini golf independence of the seas

Instead we putted on the mini golf and once the girls had made it round the course I told them they had won which put smiles back on their faces.

We were taken to lunch in Johnny Rockets diner, think USA, juke boxes, fun staff and burgers like you’ve never seen before. Husband went for the Smoke House Double which is a beast of a burger but needless to say he smashed it effortlessly.

Johnny rockets Independence of the Seas

Then it was time for the second filming of the day “Tell us why you want to be the Royal Family.”

Why hadn’t I thought about this and prepared a winning speech? #Panic

The four of us were sat on a leather sofa and had three cameras pointing at us.

I felt nervous.

I had met the other families and they were lovely but only one of us could win.

As I spoke the twins were grinning at each other and started to slide off the sofas onto the floor. They thought it was hilarious. I did not.

‘Please sit still for two minutes.’ I begged in my Really Nice Voice accompanied with a begging smile. Most probably all caught on camera.

Even funnier, they slid off again and again and again.

I came away thinking I could have done better, I should have said …, I should have done …. I’ve messed it up!

Oh well, husband thinks he may have saved the day for us, we’ll have to wait and see.

Next step is films on the Royal Caribbean Facebook page – please note – I will be begging for your vote.

May the best man win and all that and may that man be us. 

Viking bar Lounge - independence of the seas

Wishing she could go and play in the H2O zone

Silent Sunday

Royal Caribbean - Johnny Rockets diner

Onboard the Independence of the Seas: video

A second video taken on the day we visited the Independence of the Seas back in July

We had so much fin the day we spent on The Independence of the Seas, we met the captain, swam in the swimming pool, ate in the restaurant. We made cupcakes and visited the kids clubs which were amazing. Cruising has been a long time dream of mine and I sincerely hope that one day I will get to go on one with my family. See what we saw that day in our great vlog here.

See why the Independence of the Seas stole my heart #RoyalCaribbean

Sometimes you go to an event and it stays with you for a very long time afterwards and our family day trip onboard the Independence of the Seas did that for me.

I have been sent through the video clips taken that day and it gives such a great insight to what we got up to. You’ll meet my fellow blogger and friend Mummy Barrow who was present with husband and teenage daughter all of whom had a terrific time and saw completely different parts of the ship to us which goes to prove that Royal Caribbean has something for everyone, take a look for yourself – it’s fabulous and see some cute shots of the girls playing that day