On one of our days at sea on our Alaskan cruise, we were all debating on what activities to participate in to fill our morning. My son, now six, quickly announced that he wanted to climb the rock wall.

If you have been on a Royal Caribbean ship, then you know how tall the rock walls are (especially for a child). If not, take my word, they are tall. My husband always climbs several times when we cruise and loves the views he gets when reaching the top. But when my little, sweet child said he wanted to climb, my first thought was, “No way!” Too dangerous, too high, too tricky, too frustrating for him.

But, sometimes I forget my little guy is getting bigger and older, and his adventurous spirit is always in full force. So….to the rock climbing wall we went. I watched my little boy change into his climbing shoes, snap on his helmet and get strapped up. I nervously bit my nails as his dad signed a waiver. I mean, if a waiver is required, I shouldn’t let him climb, right?

Then, on to the wall he ran, not one worry, just excitement. The guide had him climb the child’s area, where he could ring a bell about a third of the way up the wall. At his first try, he fell off quickly, but with no hesitation, he climbed again. This time, he was ready and rang the child’s bell in no time.

With relief that all was done, I cheered him on and turned off my camera, waiting for him to join me. Only he didn’t. He walked over and said something to the guide, then headed back to the wall.

Then, I watched as my son began his climb on the taller section. His little hands and feet grabbing, balancing, pushing and pressing upward. His eyes on that bell at the very top of the wall. His dad was also climbing, so I got great pictures of the two of them climbing together. But with no help (except from the guide worker below), my son climbed and finally reached the top. He rang that bell with so much pride, I am sure my ears will never forget that sound or moment.

He laughed the entire way down and ran over with such excitement. The first thing he said was, “Can I do it again?”

As a mom, I am often times (all the time) a bit overprotective. I won’t lie about the fact that it is hard for me to push worry aside and let things happen. While I had secretly hoped he would be too short or too young to climb, I realized that the experience of climbing a rock wall in the middle of the Tracy Arm Fjord on a cruise ship was a pretty incredible experience for him.

The experience also made me realize just how incredible my son is. He didn’t want to settle for the child’s area. He wanted to go to the top, to reach the highest point you could reach. He didn’t let fear get in his way. And after accomplishing what he had his mind set on, he wanted to do it again! I love his determination and ambition.

Being together on vacation is just priceless, and memories like this one are what makes the travel all worthwhile. We all learn a bit about ourselves, experience new things, and live out new adventures. I loved watching my son go to the top. It will forever be a moment I will remember always.

Want to read more about our Alaskan cruise? Check out these other posts.

Cruising to Alaska- A Review of Our Week

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas- What To Expect

A Look Inside An Inside Stateroom

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