Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cruising



We arrived on the ship around 2pm on Sat, Feb 1st, and it was all very confusing at first.  With a ship that big, it is easy to get lost, and when you've never been on a cruise, it was slightly overwhelming.  But, Royal Caribbean provides plenty of staff stationed all around the boat to help you find your way, and they definitely have a sense of humor.  The first gentleman who gave us directions to our berth, started to send me in the wrong direction.  Well, not really wrong, just the very LONG way around.  But, we finally made it to our room and got settled.  The room was much more than we expected.  Our "ocean view" was a very large, round window, that my mom loved looking out, day or night.  The waves were nice and quieting to look at.  The room was also bigger than I pictured, and there was plenty of storage space, which I was surprised by.  Right away, the "selling" started, and that was the worst thing of the cruise.  It did not matter what you were doing, they were charging for something or trying to sell you something.  And, I hated the fact that I had to pay for sodas, which was $45 for the week, and came with a nice cup, but still.  As much as we paid for the cruise, I would think it would be included.  Internet access was ridiculously priced, and I had to have access due to everything going on with Zoey, so ended up paying extra for it.  But, having said all that, I would do it again.  It was a LOT of fun.  Most of the shows that they had were good, the food was excellent, it was fun getting dressed up on formal night.  The ice skating rink was about the size that I expected (small), and open at odd hours, when other things were also going on, so did not do that as much as I would have thought.  The square dancing was a lot of fun, enjoyed the callers and the other dancers, even though I ended up having to dance the boys part >90% of the time.  BTW, did I mention we were on the Oasis of the Seas, which is the largest boat out there right now?  After our last stop, they made a joke.  "Did you see the group of people wandering around the boat today while we were in port?  Those were people from the Carnival ship coming over to see our ship for their excursion."  And, when you were right up next to the boats, the difference wasn't too obvious, but as soon as you stepped back, you could see how much larger our ship was than any other ship ours was docked next to.  The boat also had a zip line, climbing walls, a mini golf course, table tennis, a huge fitness area, and a large spa.  We considered going and getting a massage or something (they always had different specials going on), but decided against it.  Our second day at sea, we were getting into Haiti early in the morning, and I was awake early, so headed up to the top deck, and watched the sun come up as we passed around the Haitian shoreline, and I couldn't wait to come back later (see previous post).  Our stop there was in Labadee, which is a Royal Caribbean only port, so there were not a ton of people.  My mom and I went on a sea kayaking excursion, which was enjoyable, if not particularly comfortable.  :)  There was also plenty of time to enjoy the ocean, which was beautifully blue and serene in that area.  Played a little in the water and laid in the sun a bit.  They served BBQ for lunch on shore, and we had that for a late lunch before heading back to the ship.  For those who were wondering, yes, I've been off my vegetarian diet, but am now getting back to it.  It was just going to be too hard to be on the ship and be a vegetarian, and so I had made that decision ahead of time, and am glad, overall, that I did.  There were not very many vegetarian options, and the ones that were, mostly had things that I did not enjoy (since I can be a picky eater).  The food was amazing, though.  And, it was nice to sit with the same people every day at dinner, and get to know each other better.  More on stops in Jamaica and Cozumel later.

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