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Written by Nathan Wertheimer
I recently took a 7-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. This was not my first cruise but one of many. This ship has everything for the entire family. Basically, it is a floating hotel and resort all in one. If you have never been on a ship before then continue to read my article. I will explain my cruise vacation experience.
When I planned my cruise vacation it was booked ninety days out. One can book either directly online from the Royal Caribbean or see your travel agent. Sometimes one may get a free upgrade of a statement room if available at no charge. One just has to ask.
Once you book your cruise, it is recommended to start preparing for your cruise vacation. Certain items you may want to buy and have for your trip. Check the weather forecast to predict what type of weather one will encounter. It is recommended to not over pack your luggage. One must lug their bag to the cruise port check-in.
Below are some of my highlights on this cruise adventure. Starting from day one till the last day of this cruise vacation.
DAY ONE – At Sea
To start my vacation I drove from Orlando to Port Canaveral, Florida. There was some moderate vehicle traffic area the drop off area at the port terminal. The traffic kept moving and it is well organized. Getting through security was simple. I recommend reviewing the list of prohibited items not to bring with you. This will make your way through security checkpoint very smoothly. The port security company over seeing the security screening process is very friendly and will direct you to where you need to be. If you have any questions just ask.
The next step is the cruise check-in on the second floor of the port terminal. One must have in the hand the right documents and passports to provide to the check-in agent. After checking in, one will notice the waiting area. This area may fill up fast before the ship is clear for your cruise. When the US Coast Guard has cleared the ship for departure it will be announced in the cruise port waiting area. Look for a long lines to get onto the ship. This is done is an organized way by level of cruising status.
Once on the ship, most people will go directly to the Windjammer Café for the buffet lunch because the passenger cabins are not ready until 1pm. They have a variety of food to pick from. You name it and they may have it. Plus, don’t forget dessert. Everything is tasty.
Before leaving the dock, the captain announced that all passengers must attend the mustard station drill. This is a federal safety requirement. Don’t worry about finding your life preserver. The cruise ship doesn’t keep them in the staterooms anymore. The life preservers are stored near all mustard stations near the lifeboats. If an emergency would happen all passengers and crew would be issued one.
During the mustard station drill, a team member will go over what to do in an emergency. There is a short safety film that everyone has to watch. This film reminds me of a 007 in action. There is also a Spanish version as well which can be seen in on your stateroom TV.
Right after the mustard station drill, the ship is prepares to leave the dock at Port Canaveral. Most passengers tend to head to the top decks to see our ship leaving. It recommend head to the Sun Deck on Deck 14 for a great view. Then the ship’s horn is sounded and the ship leave the port. Also, I recommend bring your still/video camera to capture these images. There will be many other ships leaving around the same time too.
For dinner every night I went to the American Icon Dining Room. It is recommended ask for My Time Dinning for all of your evening dinners. This dining room serves a three-course meal every night. Here is what ordered and I ate for that night. I had a Caesar salad and the Sirloin steak with a baked potato long with a few carrot slices. For dessert, I had the vanilla ice cream with royal chocolate cake. Everything was very tasty.
Before coming on this ship it is best to make reservations for the entertainment that you select on certain nights. Tonight’s show was entitled “Frozen in Time” which is an ice-skating style show. I would compare this show to Circus du Soleil Crystal Show. This is one show you don’t want to miss. It is recommended to get there early to get a front row seat. At this show, there is no flash photograph and video allowed. This is a family friendly show.
DAY TWO – At Sea
I went to the Shore Shopping Guide Seminar at Studio B. Be the first 200 people in line to receive the Royal Caribbean Treasure Pack Coupon Book. This is a must have coupon book for serious shoppers. Once there gone, there gone.
Tonight’s show was entitled “Oasis of Dreams Aqua Show” which is located at Aqua Theater in the aft of the ship. This show is a must see. Some of these acts were performed at Coney Island in the early days. This show till goes on with a twist. There is a story behind what they do.
DAY THREE – At Sea
During this day, I attended the Park West Gallery featuring Artist Thomas Kinkade Seminar and Unveiling Event in the Boleros Lounge on deck 5. The Art Director Ty and his team lectured about this artist’s background and style of his artwork. Then the gallery unveiled their collection of Kinkade Artwork.
This night show entitled “Action Comedy of Adam Kario,” and is located in the Opal Theater near the front of the ship. Basically, this is a show where Kario does some juggling along with putting on a comedy act. This show will have you laughing at some of the comedy jokes. One audience member maybe asked to come up on stage to participate with him.
DAY FOUR – Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
To start out my day I ate at Jonny Rockets on the Boardwalk on Deck 6. I had the two eggs, bacon, potato wedges, and toast. It is recommended to get there early because this place fills up fast. Overall, the breakfast was great and was free.
Then the ship arrived at St. Maarten and it was an overcast day. Once off the ship, I went to the various shops located at the port. It is recommended that all cruise passengers stop by Diamond International Jewelry shop to pick up your free gold bracelet with a charm. While browsing the many shops they had $5 t-shirts, $10 hats, and much more. Most of these items were branded with St. Maarten. Some passengers headed to the beaches instead of shopping.
DAY FIVE – San Juan, Puerto Rico
It was cloudy and wet day in San Juan. There was some rain, but that did not stop me from getting off the ship to sight see. Once off the ship, I headed to the center of town. One could see the narrow streets, many stores and restaurants. Don’t forget to bring a poncho or umbrella with you.
In the late afternoon, the ship’s captain invited me to the bridge. The ship was underway at the sea at this time. I had the chance to some photos of the bridge and chat briefly with Captain Claus Andersen on the bridge.
I asked Captain Andersen just a few questions.
Q: How does this ship compare to the size of a US Navy Aircraft Carrier A: The Oasis of the Seas is bigger than a US Aircraft Carrier.
Q:How has the ship’s technology evolved? A: Captain Andersen said, one needs to be kept up on technology because it is always changing.
Q: Will there ever be any automated cruise ships in this industry. A: He did not foresee any cruise liners having this in the future.
Also, the captain gave me a personal tour of the bridge. I was very excited to be on the bridge and the crew working. If you have never been to the ship’s bridge before, it stretches from one side to the other side. What most passengers don’t know about the bridge is that it is the command and control for the entire ship. The captain spends most of his time at the bridge. This captain is a hands on type of person and passengers will see him through the ship at anytime. If you’re looking for the captain’s table for dinner, one will not find one. He prefers to walk around the dining room to meet with the passengers.
DAY Six – Labedee, Haiti
The ship arrived in Labedee, Haiti at the Royal Caribbean private compound. This is a large compound on the main island of Haiti. One can walk or take the tram to the various places on the property. It was a very hot day on the island. Most people headed for the beaches to relax. Also, this place served a hot lunch for all passengers. They had hamburgers, hotdogs, fruit, and dessert. Cruise passengers will not encounter a lot of native Haitians on this property, but only a few Haitian workers and government officials.
When in port I was invited to visit the 5th Floor Dinning Room and Kitchen. Executive Chief Peter Simon, from Hungry, gave this private tour of the Kitchen. This was a great experience to check-out the ship’s kitchen.
DAY Seven – At Sea and headed back to Port Canaveral, Florida
Then it is time to pack up and end the cruise. No one wants this to happen. Most people tried to relax on there last day.
The ship arrived in the early morning around 6am. Most people head to the Windjammer Café for breakfast before they depart. Everyone’s stateroom is assigned a number for departing. Only a few numbers are called at a time to start the departing process. The entire ship has to be cleared by around 10:30am.
Once off the ship everyone heads to the luggage area to collect his or her baggage and then go through the US Customs process. At this time, one will have to declare any expensive items purchased or large casino winnings from this cruise. Once the US Customs & Boarder Agent checks over your passport and other documents. He or she will welcome you back into the United States.
Finally, that will end my wonderful vacation aboard Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. I highly recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a great vacation. This article would not be possible about the assistance from Royal Caribbean International. If you enjoyed what you read please book your next cruise on Royal Caribbean. For more information please visit www.royalcaribbean.com .
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