Some people have been asking, “Where is your post about your vacation?” I honestly debated because the goal of this blog isn’t to be a diary. However, due to popular demand, I have decided to share a bit about the week that I spent at sea with Mr. Fiancé’s family.
I love traveling and cruising is a great way to do it. While different vacations require different things, sometimes, cruising can be a perfect vacation – you have sun, entertainment, travel, professional photos, lodging, casinos, and 24/7 food, all-inclusive, in one spot! People cook for you and clean up after you. I love laying out and relaxing on the pool deck, a strawberry daiquiri in hand, listening to Caribbean music like Bob Marley or UB40. (Tell me you hear Red, Red Wine and don’t think of the Caribbean?) This t
Mr. Fiancé has the sweetest, most loving little Nanny any grandchild could ask for. Her goal in life is for her family to be happy so it was her pleasure to take both her children and their respective families on a Royal Caribbean cruise for a week. All 11 of us ate dinner together every night, served by one of the best waiters I have had on a cruise, bar none. Even though I will not officially be part of the family for another year, I am lucky to have been included on this family trip as if I were already family.
My own family loves to cruise and I am lucky enough to have been on all the major cruise lines and to the Caribbean before. So, where we went this time was not important. I was just absolutely thrilled to be included. We were scheduled to go to Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas; and St. Maartin. The Oasis, was a bit on the big side, to put it mildly. Afterall, it is the largest ship on the seas, today. It is bigger than some towns! There were 5,000+ passengers and 2,000 crew. Our first port was Nassau, where we explored the Atlantis for a bit. Apparently without purchasing an expensive day pass, you can’t really see much. Womp! When we got back on board, Mr. Fiancé’s brother told us we were changing course due to a hurricane! That little jokester, I thought he was kidding. But sure enough, there was a note in our stateroom that said we were changing course due to a tropical storm that was 100% likely to become a hurricane. 100%? Yeah, that sounds like a guarantee to me. GET ME OUTTA HERE! So the Captain made the executive decision to avoid that and head west to Mexico. I heard some passengers complaining, and I really can’t understand why. Would you really rather travel straight into a hurricane? Really people? You are on a vacation, on a boat, floating in the sea. Be thankful there is radar technology to detect this. Stop complaining and enjoy your vacation. We thought it might affect us when we were returning to Florida, but it dissipated near Haiti. Thank goodness! The seas were like glass and we had the most perfect weather you could ask for. I even saw dolphins chasing the side of the boat! Dolphins! In the wild! Every cruise I go on, I always look over the edge but never see this. I was like a little girl in Disney World for the first time!
Instead, we sailed to Costa Maya and Cozumel. In Costa Maya, we went to a beach with an open bar. At the port, there was a pool in the middle of the shopping area. We swam for a bit, until his cousin puked in the pool. GROSS! Even if I saw a shark, I don’t think I could have gotten out any faster! I bolted.
In Cozumel- I saw a jewelry factory and ate Mexican food! You would think Mexico would have the best Mexican food, but sadly, I make better guacamole. But the water in Cozumel is GORGEOUS! Crystal clear sea green, turquoise blue and deep blue, all together. Four of the grandchildren and I went on a snorkeling catamaran. There were a lot of people on this excursion, but to my surprise, the fish around the reef still came near the swimmers anyways. It completely astonishes me that under the water’s surface is an entirely different world. Sharks, whales, dolphins, sting rays, octopus, fish, and all kinds of sea creatures, all have their own life that you cannot see when you are floating atop the water. But when you snorkel or scuba you get a small glimpse into their world.
Back on the boat, I realized it surprisingly didn’t feel big at all, despite its 16 floors, 7 ‘neighborhoods’ and endless entertainment opportunities. In fact, I wondered if I explored all there was to see on the ship because it was just so easy to find your way around. It was the most brilliantly designed ship I have ever been on. I am not kidding, you could fit an entire other cruise ship inside it and not know the difference! One comedian even joked the Norwegian Sky passengers were relaxing in port on their top deck tanning until The Oasis pulled up next to it (hear: Star Wars Imperial March song) and suddenly the sun was gone!
The boat has beautiful tree-lined Central Park neighborhood in the middle of the boat. That’s right, trees on a boat! Necessary? No. Brilliant? Yes. Listening to a guitarist play classical music, under the stars, sitting in a park, while floating at sea was extremely relaxing and pure perfection! There was a full-sized carousel, a zip line, two rock-climbing walls, a basketball court, putt-putt course, and a simulated surfing wave pool in the back of the boat. I wanted to try the zip line and FloRider, but didn’t have the chance. There was just so much to do and so much sun to soak up.
Most boats have the running track on the same level as the pool causing joggers to trip over people laying out. Not this behemoth. It had a state-of-art gym and a designated open-air private running track equipped with motivational signs to keep you going. Genius. We saw the Broadway hit Hairspray and a water acrobatic diving show during the sea days. The boat even had a floating bar that vertically moved from floor to floor, but this was anti-climatic and actually quite problematic if you had to use the bathroom.
Despite the hurricane detour, this was one of the most delightful cruises I have been on. I came back from vacation feeling rejuvenated, refreshing and relaxed. Isn’t that what a vacation is supposed be like?!