Meet the Kids and Teens Activities Manager Who’s Traveled the World

Sara Bakin dives into tips on traveling for work and fun, what to eat and where to catch the best views.
by 1884

On a Royal Caribbean cruise, you and your family can experience the clearest waters at destinations around the world, including Australia's famous Heart Reef.


On vacation with Royal Caribbean, there are more ways than one for everyone to make memories together and on their own. From tasting the world’s many flavors to action-packed adventures on board—like zip lining and rock climbing—to relaxing on the beach or exploring top travel destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, Australia and more, there’s something for every age, vibe and occasion.

When it comes to the kids of the family, it’s Adventure Ocean Managers like Sara Bakin who make every day different with exciting experiences created just for them. Royal Caribbean’s complimentary and award-winning youth program features activities—like scavenger hunts and crafts—for kids 6 months to 12 years old. Have teens? They’ll love the teens-only lounges, where they can hang out and make new friends while enjoying the latest music, video games, movies and more.

It’s safe to say Sara’s explored the world in great company, and one of her next big adventures is the Ultimate World Cruise later this year on Serenade of the Seas—which will visit 65 countries on all seven continents in 274 nights.

Get to know Sara, what she does, her favorite destination for food, the best hidden spots on board and more in this exclusive Q&A. 

Sara Bakin’s adventures around the world started in 2008 on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, where she was a member of the youth staff.

Credit: Sara Bakin

Q: Let’s get started with your travel experience. How long have you been exploring the world with Royal Caribbean? And what do you do? 
Sara: For more than 15 years. I manage the youth entertainment and social program for kids on board, and I like to call myself the Mary Poppins at sea!


Q: What do you love about what you do? 
Sara: The kids! I pursued a degree in early childhood studies because I always knew I wanted to work with children. I also have a real passion for travel and hospitality, so I get to experience the best of both worlds. After 15 years, I’m still loving it!


Q: What’s your favorite thing about living and working at sea? 
Sara: I can’t name just one, so I’ll name three: travel, friendships and meeting new people. Not having to cook is also pretty great.


Q: What’s the most common question you get when people find out you work on cruise ships? 
Sara: Most people ask me what are my favorite places to visit, which is hard to answer since I love so many different destinations! If I’m really pushed for an answer, I usually say Japan for the food, Australia for the beaches and Alaska for the wildlife.

Pro tip: One of the best parts about a cruise to Alaska is you can extend your vacation with a Cruisetour. It’s a package that includes multiple days of guided experiences before or after your cruise, from spotting humpback whales at Resurrection Bay to caribou at Denali National Park.


Alaska is home to an estimated 50,000 black bears and 35,000 brown bears.


Q: What is the most memorable moment from your travels so far? 
Sara: One evening while in Alaska on Radiance of the Seas, I was walking across the top deck when the skies came alive with the northern lights. Dreams do come true!


Q: What’s the one thing you could eat again and again on board? 
Sara: The mushroom soup and filet mignon from Chops Grille and anything red velvet for dessert. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.


Q: What would you recommend are the top things to do on board? 
Sara: I love indoor skydiving. It took me a while to get the courage to have a go. Watching guests of all ages having so much fun inspired me to finally try it!

Pro tip: The RipCord by iFly simulator is where you’ll feel all the excitement of skydiving — while in the middle of the ocean. Only on Royal Caribbean, it’s an experience the whole family can enjoy.


As Sara knows firsthand, you can cross off all kinds of experiences on your bucket list while on a cruise with Royal Caribbean.

Credit: Sara Bakin

Q: Do you have a favorite show on board? 
Sara: I have always loved the ice skating shows on the ships. Recently though, I was also lucky enough to go on Oasis of the Seas and watch a show in the AquaTheater. In one word? Amazing.

Pro tip: The AquaTheater is a must-visit venue for entertainment on ships like Wonder and Icon of the Seas. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you watch Olympic-level athletes perform daring stunts and acrobatics. From slackliners to high divers, these talented performers will take your breath away. 


Q: Where would you say is the best view on board?  
Sara: I could sit on the Windjammer’s outside deck for every meal. Sea air, beautiful views and great food—what more could you ask for?

Fun fact: Every Royal Caribbean ship has a Windjammer, and some even have an outdoor deck. You can enjoy Sara’s special viewpoint on ships like Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade, Jewel of the Seas and more.


Q: What’s your “secret spot” where you go to unwind? 
Sara: The beach is my happy place. There’s nothing I love more than letting the waves hit my feet. Luckily, we visit some of the most beautiful beaches around the world.

Pro tip: To take things up a notch, look for the new adults-only beachfront getaway Hideaway Beach coming to Royal Caribbean’s private destination Perfect Day at CocoCay in January 2024. There’s everything from a swim-up bar to a live DJ and exclusive cabanas.


Q: What destinations are you most looking forward to visiting in the future? 
Sara: I can’t wait to experience the beauty of the Americas and Asia while on the Ultimate World Cruise. I’m especially excited about South America. It feels like a dream to get to ring in the New Year in Brazil before visiting places like Argentina, Antarctica, Chile and Peru.


The Americas leg of the Ultimate World Cruise visits Argentina’s famous Iguazu Falls aka the largest waterfall system in the world.

Credit: Royal Caribbean

Q: What’s one reason Royal Caribbean is a great way to vacation? 
Sara: We have the best crew who go above and beyond for our guests. The crew does not just deliver the wow—we are the wow!


Q: And now for a quickfire round of “this or that” questions, starting with chill or thrill?   
Sara: Chill.


Q: Night on land or sea
Sara: Sea.


Q: Chocolate chip or Ranger cookie? 
Sara: Ranger cookie.


Q: Coco Loco or The Lime & Coconut (from the Lime & Coconut bar)?  
Sara: Coco Loco.


Q: Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas or Labadee in Haiti?  
Sara: Labadee.


Ready to start exploring the world? Check out all of the incredible destinations you can visit with Royal Caribbean here.