S: Oasis of the Seas July 9 - 16, 2011
BC: THE END
1: Mom & Dad, 50 Years of Marriage Celebrated in Style Congratulations! Memories from Oasis of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise July 9-16, 2011
2: Outside Winnipeg International Airport | We had a 5:30am flight through Toronto and onto Miami. This meant we left home at 3:45am! Super excited, but super tired at the same time.
3: Inside Winnipeg International Airport Airport. Checking in and heading for security.
4: Up In The Air
5: After arriving in Miami, we took a shuttle to the Hampton Inn in Fort Lauderdale to stay over night. There were lots of Palm Trees!! | After landing in Miami, we took a shuttle to the Hampton Inn in Fort Lauderdale. Since we flew in a day early, this was our resting spot until leaving for the cruise. We had a lot of fun taking pictures by the palm trees!
6: We had an anniversary celebration dinner at Rendezvous Bar & Grill on Marina Mile in Fort Lauderdale after settling into the hotel. It was hot, humid, fun and delicious! We enjoyed some live music, saw a lizard, and enjoyed each other's company after a long day of traveling!
7: After a good night's sleep, we packed up, ate breakfast and WAITED for our shuttle to take us to the cruise port.
8: We're here! We made it! First glimpses of the most amazing ship as we drive up to the terminal. Our group photo before boarding and Kyla's Sea Pass. Each person got one before boarding. It served as our room key and ID while we were on board.
9: Our first glimpse of the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 as we entered. The Sorrento's restaurant fed us many pieces of pizza throughout the week. Also, the view of the terminal from our balcony. You can see the long ramp has moved away from the ship in preparation for departure. | Climbing the enclosed ramp from inside the terminal up to deck 5 and the ship's entrance. HUGE lifeboat (one of many) viewed from the ramp.
10: As the ship left the port, a US Coast Guard escorted us through the channel, with a machine gun and operator just in case! | Mom & Dad State Room #6552 | Very compact, yet still roomy- feeling bathroom with an amazing shower! | Schinkel State Room #6550 | Suss State Room #6554 | We lived on Deck 6 for the week. It is the deck with guest rooms closest to the water and right above the life boats. We had a great ocean view!
11: SORRENTO'S | After finding our rooms and dumping our carry on luggage, we ventured out to find lunch. We all ate our fill at Sorrento's on Deck 5 before setting out to explore the ship.
12: Leaving Port
13: At 5:00, when Captain Trym Selvag made the announcement that all guests were on board and the ship was preparing to leave the dock, we were anxiously waiting on our big combined balcony to watch. It happened slowly, quietly, but quickly at the same time! It didn't take long before we were cruising on the open ocean with the land far behind. Then it was time to get ready for our first dinner in the dining room!
14: The Opus Dining Room spans three decks (3, 4, 5) at the back of the ship. We spent almost two hours each night enjoying the food and ambiance in this amazing facility.
15: Our first dining room experience. We later learned that we would sit at the same table every night and that we would always have the same waiters to cater to our every whim. (they even cut our meat!!) This first evening, Mom and Dad were given a special anniversary dessert to celebrate their 50 years. Much to mom's surprise, when she ordered the chocolate cake, our waiter told her "no, not for you tonight" and we learned why when the anniversary dessert was brought out. It was a fun time! | Our headwaiter congratulating mom & dad.
16: Oasis of Dreams Diving & Acrobatic Water Show | The aqua theater is situated on deck 6 at the back of the ship within the Boardwalk. There are climbing walls flanking the seating and the lights are beautiful at night.
17: The Opal Theater sits at the front of the ship on decks 3,4,5 and hosts many events during the week. The Hairspray show is one of those events. The musical was very enjoyable to watch and kept us captivated. We saw another show titled Come Fly With Me on our last full day on board. It was specially designed to make full use of the Opal Theater stage . It was also very enjoyable. | Musicals in the Opal Theater
18: International Bellyflop Competition & Fountain Show
19: We spent an afternoon at sea watching three events at the aqua theater. A beautiful fountain show put to music was fun to watch. Then we watched a fashion show about the evolution of swimwear in the last 100 years. Lastly we enjoyed the International Belly Flop competition and got to rate each contestant's belly flop splash. The winner is the one mid-jump in the photo!
20: Around the Ship Oasis of the Seas | The elevator floor was changed daily to show the current day of the week. | The hallways are very long! | All the pools are on Deck 15. The kids spent a lot of time in the water.
21: The running track on deck 5 circles the entire ship. A very peaceful place to spend time. | To-scale model of the ship. | There were maps and interactive displays on all decks both starboard and port sides of the ship at forward and aft locations so it was virtually impossible to get lost! | Central Park on deck 8 was a beautiful area to sit and soak up the sunshine while admiring all the plants.
22: Around the Ship Oasis of the Seas | Eric enjoying a skate on the ship's rink. We also watched an ice show one night on the rink. There were two places on board where we could get ice cream. It was a treat in the heat to get a cone! | Entertainment place was full of sparkle. We had a short dance party in one of the clubs. | The Rising Tide bar moves slowly between deck 5 and 8. Underneath, on deck 5, there is a lighted fountain show.
23: We were in the elevators a lot. There were 32 elevators divided into groups of 8, one on each side of the forward and aft "corners" of the ship. 16 of the 32 elevators were glass and you could look down to other floors and deck 5. These ones were the favourite. Most of the time, we didn't need to wait long. We also used the stairs to go up or down one floor. | Can you believe there was a carousel with real wooden carved horses on the Boardwalk? There was a display showing all the stages of carving the animals too which was neat to see. All the animals had to be hollowed out so there wouldn't be too much wood on the ship (fire regulations). Most had fun riding it at least once.
25: Labadee, Haiti Our first port of call on the cruise route was Haiti. Labadee is a Royal Caribbean privately owned peninsula on the north side of the country. After taking a boat shuttle from the ship (thus avoiding a long walk along the dock), we chose one of the beaches to set down our stuff and swim. This was our first experience with salt water. It was warm, much easier to float, and very salty. There was a free buffet lunch served by ship employees and there were artisans and vendors trying very hard to sell their items. They sure knew how to put on the pressure. After lunch, we split up. Susses went geocaching and sampled some hammocks, Schinkels went to explore, and Mom and Dad went back to the ship to get out of the heat. It was a beautiful place.
26: Flowrider (Wipeout!) Fun | Nolan | Lori | Eric | Kendra | Kyla
27: Dad didn't climb the rock wall but he did give the zip line a try! (or as Kendra said, "Grandpa. Harold. Schinkel. went. on. the. zip. line!!!") | Rock Climbing | Christie | Dean | Amber | Kyla | Kendra | Nolan | Eric | Grandpa & Grandma
28: This sign was displayed in our trolley. I guess we aren't supposed to stand!!
29: Falmouth Jamaica After disembarking the ship we were hit with humid, hot Jamaican weather. We took a trolley ride around the very old town. There were many old buildings and houses but some new buildings too. After the tour, we shopped in the market set up for cruise passengers. We all found a few nice souvenirs with a bit of shopping and bargaining.
30: Cozumel, Mexico | Braids, braids, braids! Schinkels and Susses went on a catamaran to snorkel and visit a beach in the morning while Mom & Dad shopped. We ate lunch on the ship together and shopped in the afternoon, and the girls were able to get their hair done!
32: During the week, we had a lot of fun in the dining room with our waiters Imade and Dani. Butter was very popular, as were the rolls and bread. You would hear the kids casually saying "potato" or "sourdough" when ordering a roll. And when Nolan ordered "nothing" for dessert, that's what they gave him!
33: During both formal nights in the dining room, our room attendant, Clover, left us special towel art in each state room. Here are some of her designs. Dean also made a special towel chicken to show his talents.
35: Home Again Home Again, Lickety Split!?! Getting off the ship, lining up to get our baggage and security check, waiting for our shuttle, security at the airport, plane ride, more waiting, plane ride, shuttle, HOME. Ahhhhhhhh.