Cruises appeal to all calibre of holidaymaker, from budget conscious families to loved up honeymooners and even celebrities. Former Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly is one of the latest famous faces to take to the high seas, whisking her family away on a Princess Cruises getaway to the Caribbean. So what went down? Katherine revealed all in an exclusive interview with HELLO! Online.
A much needed break before getting back behind the camera
While Katherine admits to not really taking many holidays, she and he husband decided that before filming for the latest series of Mr Selfridge began they would indulge in a family break. “Ryan and I had been tag-teaming our baby daughter Orla since December – as soon as he got home from work I’d pass her over and I’d hot foot it to the theatre. So it felt as though we hadn’t really seen each other for a few months!” she reveals. The solution? A luxurious, family friendly getaway on-board the Royal Princess. Even mum and dad were invited along!
A family with high standards
Katherine admits to having high standards when it comes to family holidays. While her hubby loves to explore, she prefers to sunbathe, relax and hit up the spa. Her dad is a stickler for history while her mum can’t get enough of live shows, entertainment and music. As for bub, she’s energetic, easily bored and needs a whole lot of attention. “Are we hedging our bets that this holiday will suit us all?” muses Kelly. Her doubts were quickly quashed when the family arrived at the port and set their eyes upon their home for the next 10 days. “The Royal Princess looks like a floating city, dwarfing every other cruise ship I can see in port,” she gushes.
Chilling out at sea
While the call to Princes Cays was thwarted by bad weather, the captain managed to outrun the storm and keep the ship under clear skies. Not a problem for Katherine and her husband who spent the morning indulging in a “massive breakfast” at the buffet, splashing around with baby Orla in the pool and sunning themselves on deckchairs with coffee cups in hand. After offloading bub to the grandparents in the afternoon, the couple make a beeline for The Sanctuary, the ship’s private, adults-only retreat. For Katherine, it was the perfect place to “soak up the sun or sit under an elegant cabana and enjoy the sea air and the peace and quiet.”
Kid friendly facilities
How do you keep a one year old entertained while at-sea? Take them to the Princess Pelicans children’s play centre of course! With two soft play areas, arts and crafts tables, a jungle gym, an outdoor area and oodles of toys and books, it’s a dream come true for the little ones. “She wriggles in my arms with excitement as soon as we get through the door. I didn’t think we’d be able to make use of the children’s centre, as you can only leave your children for session once they are three years old. But we got a letter from the Princess Pelicans the day we arrived to say that Orla was more than welcome to spend as much time there as she wanted as long as we stayed with her, so it was basically like taking her to playgroup!”
Exploring ports of call
With calls at St Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba, the Kelly family had plenty of destinations to explore. St Thomas was spent leisurely strolling around the old town, with plenty of history for Katherine’s dad to soak up. “It’s a beautiful island, steeped in history… We arrive downtown and walk along the quaint cobbled street surrounded by stunning old buildings.” As the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” Dominica was a dream for eco-loving Katherine, while a morning in Grenada had to be abandoned due to what Katherine describes as “one too many cocktails!”
With the final days at sea spent unwinding at The Sanctuary, hitting up the duty free shops, lazing around by the pool and catching a film at the famous Movies under the Stars cinema, Kelly and her family can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. So did Princess manage to convert the former Coronation Street star to the joys of cruising? According to Katherine, the answer is a resounding YES!
“Ryan wishes we’d booked a two-week cruise! As you can probably tell, we are cruise converts! The thing that surprised me the most was how much there is to do. My travel diary is obviously from the perspective of travelling with a small baby. But I can guarantee you could read another five diaries from people on our exact same cruise and they would be totally different, you’d never believe we’d all been on the same ship. I can’t recommend it enough. There was certainly something for all of us!”
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Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits:José Romero