When Royal Caribbean International invited us to try out the new Barbie Premium Experience on their Allure of the Seas ship, my family didn't have to think twice. "A Barbie cruise?" my seven-year-old Anna exclaims. She grabs four-year-old Avery and the two of them start packing. While the ship itself isn't Barbie themed, you can now get the Barbie experience on any Royal Caribbean cruise, which gives your child access to exclusive events for an additional $349 (US) per kid. A version of this article appeared in our August 2013 issue with the headline, "The Barbie cruise," p. 26.Photo: Tracy Chappell
The girls got lanyards to identify them as Barbie special guests, and tote bags so their new dolls could accompany us everywhere.Photo: Tony Lanz
Barbie movies were available free of charge in our room, but of course we just had to buy the DVDs as soon as we got home.Photo: Mattel, Inc.
Anna and Avery begged for more time at the award-winning kids' club, Adventure Ocean.Photo: Royal Caribbean International
Lemonade and pastries were served to us by my sweeties at a Tiaras and Teacups event.Photo: Royal Caribbean International
The week of fun culminated in a show-stopping fashion extravaganza. All the Barbie girls strutted their stuff down a pink (natch) runway for a wall of paparazzi (that'd be us parents), before ending the show with their surprisingly polished Mermaid Dance routine. By the end of the trip, my girls were talking about Skyping their new little friends and when they would see each other again. Maybe on our next cruise?Photo: Royal Caribbean International