A 'Mini Cruise' is the new girls’ weekend you haven't heard of, but desperately need to try.

Can you hear that?

It’s the sound of the kids going back to school.

God love ‘em, but every parent who’s been at home with their cherubs for weeks on end is breathing a small (or big) sigh of relief. Some of them are planning back to school lunches with the other mums, or cocktail nights…or even quick but so-well-earned girls’ weekends away.

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Video via Mamamia

A few years ago, I went on my first kids-free holiday with a group of school mums. It was on a fully-staffed yacht, where we didn’t have to lift a finger.

Just after the two-week term break, It. Was. Bliss.

I didn’t think I needed kid-free time; but when you have someone doing everything for you, and making all your decisions, you realise just how much being a parent demands of you.

There was a Captain who booked all our dinners, and organised our transport. There were staff to make our beds, coffee, and breakfast on the deck every morning.

There were late nights of barefoot dancing, incredible meals where no one had to take anyone to the bathroom, shopping and sleep ins.

Nama on her kid-free holiday. Image: Supplied.

Ok, confession time: the boat we were on was owned by one of my friends in the group, and I was a very lucky guest. But, I’ve found a way anyone can still experience the same level of heaven.

A Sampler Cruise.

Through my work, I was recently invited onboard Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, whilst it was docked in Sydney Harbour. It was there that I was told about the Sampler Cruise.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: a mini cruise of two or three nights, which gives you the experience of all the onboard luxuries on a ridiculously glamorous ship, where all your desires are catered to.

How perfect does that sound for a girls’ trip?

A million choices of cuisine, swimming, massages, cocktails… and, wait for it, the best bit - not having to put anyone to bed.

(I know you’re holding back the tears at that last one.)

This is what your Royal Caribbean Sampler Cruise experience could look like:

1. Wake up when you want.

2. Do whatever you want.

3. Eat and drink whatever you want from a choice of delicious options.

4. Enjoy incredible sea views, or not, if you’re in a blissful, uninterrupted sleep or massage.

5. Enjoy a range of shopping, cheerful greetings wherever you go, no one complaining that you’ve ruined their morning asking them to brush their teeth, and service with your happiness a priority.


6. Feel a bit weird about all of the above at first, but after you adjust, dream about never disembarking.

7. Repeat for one to two days.

8. Go home completely refreshed, ready to love your children again.

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All of that in the typical girls’ trip timeframe of 48 to 72 hours; the perfect amount of time for a quick getaway without being too disruptive to the family’s plans. (Because they can’t live without you. Yes, it’s nice to be loved.)

Celeste Barber shows us the benefits of a cruise with Royal Caribbean in a post on Instagram:


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Day on board Royal Caribbean ???? vs Day on land with @celestebarber ???? #cruisechallengeaccepted

A post shared by Royal Caribbean Australia & NZ (@royalcaribbean_aunz) on

Also, if you’re like me and have loved the idea of cruise, but weren’t sure how you’d go on board for a week, the sampler cruise is, well… a good way to sample the experience.

And, in comparison to a full cruise, it’s a relatively cheaper way to try it, without committing to a longer time. For example, you can do a 2-night cruise, departing Sydney and then returning to Sydney, from $349.

I know, I know. You want to book a Sampler Cruise right now. If you do, let me know, and I’ll join you.

Did someone say cocktails on the deck? Or in bed?

Feature image: Instagram/@namawinston

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