When some of our friends learn that we are off on another cruise they ask, “Where to this time?” When we tell them we are off to the Caribbean they look at us like we are crazy and exclaim, “Really, another cruise around the Caribbean?”
“Absolutely!” we reply. Truth be told, we just love being on the water. We have learned over time that each cruise is a uniquely different experience. The ships each have their own personality and, although we stop at many of the same ports, we have always been able to experience new and fun things to do on each one. And, in the last few years, we have expanded our horizons to included cruises to Europe, the Baltic and the Hawaii Islands.
So here we are once again on the beautiful Oasis of the seas for a 7-night cruise to the Western Caribbean with a wonderful group of fellow travelers from our community.
Once we got through the traffic jam at the cruise port, getting onto the ship was a breeze. We went up to Central Park for a quick bite to eat then off to our cabin. When I opened the door I had to laugh; the cabin was looked comfortable but oh so narrow. I looked at Randy and remarked, “The cabin is so narrow I feel like I am walking into a cigar tube”.
We both laughed and made ourselves comfortable on the balcony watching a group of bottlenose dolphins swimming playfully around the ship. “How wonderful,” I thought, “this is going to be a wonderful trip”.
We were aware that the safety drill would be called in a few short hours so left the cabin for a stroll around the ship to reacquaint ourselves with all its wonderful venues. The first thing I saw as we started our walk was one of the many ‘small wonders’ art exhibits on the Oasis. To date I have only found about half of these wonderful views of the many beautiful things we are surrounded by in our world. One day I will find them all.
The small wonder Scallops (Pectin Nobilis, Catophragmiae and Nemocardium Bechi) Mixed media was created by American artist, Larry Kirkland. The accompanying plaque read:
“Scallops propel themselves through the water by opening and closing their shells. The parasite barnacles attach themselves to the hard scallop shell for a free ride.
Our world is filled with small wonders. Every day, everywhere we look; the world presents its wonder for us to delight in. It is no different onboard “Oasis of the Seas!” Included in the art collection, there are 42 beautiful and intriguing small wonders from our natural world throughout the ship. Come explore and see how many you can discover!”
We continued our walk to a place we would be spending a good deal of time each afternoon, the Diamond Club. Outside the club was a wonderful scale model of the Oasis. The club is located on deck 11 and overlooks the Boardwalk. The club has two levels and is a comfortable space to enjoy a light continental breakfast and coffee in the mornings and a relaxing cocktail and hors d’ oeuvres in the evenings.
Our next stop was the Boardwalk. I love the Boardwalk especially as the Boardwalk is where we find two of our favorite eating places on the ship. Johnny Rockets has one of the best breakfasts on the ship and the Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar has a wonderful menu of authentic Mexican dishes that are just yummy.
The Boardwalk is also the location of the Aqua Theater where passengers can watch amazing and entertaining activities and high-diving shows that leave everyone who attends awe struck.
Our last stop before returning to the cabin for a luggage check was the Royal Promenade. The Promenade is a place of non-stop activity with many places to get a bite to eat, shop in a variety of stores and witness a variety of entertainment.
At one end of the Royal Promenade is a replica of a 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster. I can only imagine how many passengers have posed in front of this beautiful car over the years.
We returned to the cabin to check to see if our luggage had arrived; it had not. So, we spent a few moments on the balcony watching as many small water craft returned to port from a day out in the open waters. We also enjoyed watching a group of pelicans as they flew around the ship.
Once the safety drill was over we made our way to the Diamond Club for a quick cocktail before going to the dining room to meet other members of our group. I was not very hungry and chose the Beef Carpaccio for starters. The dish is a tasty combination of thinly sliced beef, arugula, crispy garlic, shaved parmesan, and Dijon mustard dressing. I chose small serving of Spaghetti Bolognese for my main dish. The dish is a wonderful combination of al dente spaghetti with beef ragout, San Marzano tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, and basil. Both were delicious.
Before returning to our cabin for the evening we returned to the promenade to have a last cocktail on the Rising Tide Bar. The Rising Tide Bar is amazing as it slowly rises from the Royal Promenade on deck 5 up to Central Park on deck 8 and can carry over 30 passengers. While we waited for the bar to start its ascension we watched DreamWorks character Kung Fu Panda strike many funny poses while having his picture taken with children and adults young at heart.
We had a wonderful first day aboard the ship. We returned to the cabin to unpack and settle in and think about what we would like to do while visiting Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.
Our second day will find us at sea as we make our way to our first port-of-call, Labadee, Haiti.