Cruising does the soul good!
We’re in the home stretch before our next cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas! And now I know why I should never schedule a cruise in December. How in the world am I going to get things ready for Thanksgiving, plan a Christmas party for 40 people at work, do all my Christmas shopping, bake all my favorite Christmas cookies, and still do my blog justice? Well, I don’t know yet, but my new theme song is “It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Don’t know if that’s really a song, but I may have to write it.
But, onto the most important part of that equation…our next cruise! The Oasis of the Seas has been on my bucket list since I saw a documentary about it a number of years ago when it was new. Since then, we’ve sailed on Freedom of the Seas, and while that was an amazing ship, Oasis promises to be bigger and better.
We booked this trip over a year ago, and I cannot wait to experience her myself, especially during the holiday season with all its decorations. And since this is actually the first cruise I’ve taken since I’ve started this blog, I plan on blogging each day from the ship with my adventures, if possible.
First, some background on the ship: Oasis of the Seas is a huge ship with a total of 2,706 Staterooms, and the ability to house 6,360 guests and 2,394 crewmembers from over 71 different countries. It was built in Turku, Finland, and its maiden voyage was on December 5, 2009.
Its Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) is 225,282, it is 1,187 feet long and 215 feet wide and has 16 passenger decks. So, that is one big ship! To give you an idea, we were on the Carnival Dream a few years ago, which was Carnival’s largest ship at the time, and Oasis was docked right next to the Carnival Dream. The Oasis of the Seas dwarfed the Dream by quite a bit. I was amazed!
On top of that, according to Royal Caribbean, the Oasis is the first ship to feature seven distinctly themed neighborhoods, and has the only original, handcrafted carousel at sea in the Boardwalk Neighborhood. It also has the first zip line on a cruise ship in the Sports Zone, suspended nine decks above the Boardwalk.
Oasis of the Seas’ Central Park neighborhood is the first-ever park at sea, with 12,175 plants, 62 vine plants, 56 trees and bamboo, some of which are over 24 feet high. The AquaTheater, which is located on the stern of the ship, is the first ever aquatic amphitheater on a cruise ship, and the AquaTheater pool is 17.9 feet deep, making it the deepest pool at sea.
Oasis has seventeen complimentary and specialty restaurants, twelve bars and lounges, a library, and a card room. It has award winning Broadway musicals, comedy shows, parades, and street parties, to name some of the entertainment.
Godmothers for the ship, who were present at the ship’s naming ceremony on November 30, 2009, are Gloria Estefan, Michelle Kwan, Jane Seymour, Dara Torres, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Shawn Johnson, and Daisy Fuentes. That’s seven Godmothers, one for each of Oasis’ seven neighborhoods. That’s a lot of Godmothers for one ship! And that is just a little bit of what makes Oasis of the Seas so special.
We were originally scheduled to visit St. Martin, Puerto Rico, and Labadee on this cruise. However, due to the horrible damage in St. Martin, we have been switched to St. Thomas. As of this writing, we are still scheduled for Puerto Rico and Labadee.
We don’t plan on doing much in the cities besides exploring the local area. We’ve been to all three ports before. There aren’t any excursions that really interest us because so much has been cancelled due to the hurricanes. But I’ll be taking pictures and posting on how the towns are faring after the storms.
But for this cruise, the real destination is the Oasis of the Seas. I’ll probably do the zipline. I may try the rock wall, not sure if my back will take it, but I’m not going to do the Flowrider. I’m sure I would break something if I did, and I don’t mean the surfboard.
So, is it any wonder that I’m excited to be traveling on Oasis of the Seas in less than two weeks? I expect to be totally overwhelmed by the splendor and size of the ship. I also expect to take the entire week exploring every nook and cranny. And I intend on bringing you along for the ride with lots of pictures and descriptions. Be sure to come and join me!