"Oasis of the Seas"

Oasis of the Seas

You know the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  There are truly very few words that can describe adequately the energetic and innovative cruise ship Oasis of the Seas.  Though I had the pleasure of sailing her for two nights during her inaugural voyage, two short nights is nothing but a tease.  Her personality is revealed much more slowly, even intimately, when sailing for a glorious seven nights.  Yet even after seven nights, my exploration had just begun!

You might say “No way…cruise with 6,000+ souls?   Not for me!”  I promise you that I never once felt a crowd.   Perhaps I am now an expert at finding my own oasis at sea…wandering a ship in search of that special quiet place where I can contemplate and, yes, even slow my heartbeat a bit.  But you know my spirit of adventure and need for speed.  I found numerous ways to satisfy my hunger for both physical activity and calm surroundings

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara are related cruise lines with unique personalities owned by Royal Caribbean International.  The RCCL tagline is “The Sea is Calling.  Answer it Royally.”  Love it!

"Oasis in Labadee"

Oasis in Labadee

Our first stop was the private beach area in Haiti called Labadee.  It’s all about the water here…with several beaches, boat trips, lunch on the island, comfy chairs, even a very upscale beach area for suites and Diamond Plus members.  It was here that I bought my snorkel gear (nice stuff for $71) and attempted a snorkel, but the water was all churned up from a front that had come through earlier in the day.  Some of the agents enjoyed the $80 zip line from high up on the hill down to nearly touching the water.  Looked like a blast!  I saved my pennies since I have done five or six zip lines during my travels.  That night they had the VERY cool sail away party for Platinum Crown & Anchor members on the helipad!  Just one more WOW! for this girl to experience.

The Falmouth, Jamaica pier is about one hour from Montego Bay, and was built especially for this class of ship.  There are not many ports in the world able to handle such a large vessel.  The town is historic and quaint, and I suggest you experience the REAL Jamaica outside the fence to browse the local vendor tents and walk the streets of the town.  Alternately, do as we did and hire a driver to take you into the countryside or towards Montego Bay.  $120 round trip to Doctor’s Cave Beach split four ways was very reasonable, and we even stopped for coconuts to drink the water along the way!  Yum!

"snorkel at Dr. Cave Beach Jamaica"

My Snorkel Adventure in Jamaica

Doctor’s Cave Beach entrance was $15, offered free wireless service for phones, and had beautiful white sand and blue water.  A delicious lunch of spicy chicken soup and fresh fish…I was in heaven.  But the water…oh my!  Having my own snorkel gear was helpful, as for only $25 I was taken by wooden boat out to explore a wonderful reef.   

The other port on this Western Caribbean itinerary is Cozumel…but that’s for another blog!  I need to share more reasons active cruise lovers NEED this big ship.  There are lots of different categories to consider, but I love the aft balconies that look down on the water show and Boardwalk neighborhood.  Yes, there are seven distinct neighborhoods on this floating city!  Central Park, Royal Promenade, Boardwalk, Pool and Sports Zone, Entertainment Place, Vitality Day Spa & Fitness Center, and Youth Zone.  Check out the details here.  OASIS OF THE SEAS

So let’s get active!  There are TWO rock-climbing walls, a full-sized basketball court, ice-skating rink, mini-golf, a zip-line nine decks high, and TWO FlowRider surf simulators, one for boogie boards and one for surfing.  And if that’s not enough for you, there’s a jogging track and an AMAZING gym. Fitness classes like yoga and tai chi are offered.   After your workout, head for the SPA.  They have a great little café there with healthy choices.  The Solarium Bistro quickly became my favorite place for quality food, and the entire area is a kid-free zone. 

Rock climbing on Oasis

This is harder than it looks!

The evening offers lots of music and dancing to keep the lively mood going strong.  The shows are incredible, too many restaurants to review, and if you travel with the kids or teens, they will be so happy that they won’t want to hang out with you at all!  

About half of the RCCL ships have been updated with the crazy cool technology and innovations of the Oasis Class ships, with the rest to be completed by 2014.  Trust Royal Caribbean to deliver the “WOW” and please your energetic spirit.  As an active travel specialist, I assure you that this ship and others in their fleet will “WOW” your family, friends and fellow anti-lounge chair activists.  Smiling.

Bobbie Rae Murphy, Active Travel Pro