Later this month, I will embark upon a 7 night cruise aboard Oasis of the Seas and wanted to write a pre-trip report before the final trip report comes down.
Me and my 4 month pregnant wife
My sisters (older than 18)
Earlier this year, my parents voiced their desire to go on a family cruise. We have been veteran cruisers of the Caribbean, so we wanted to take a different itinerary than normal. Originally, we were looking for a cruise to Alaska but my sisters, always looking to worship the sun gods, preferred an itinerary that was a little warmer. The next idea was to cruise on Mariner of the Seas out of Los Angeles and do a Mexican Riviera cruise. My wife and I planned that we would fly out a few days early and spend some time at Disneyland and all would be perfect.
Well, then my father decided he wanted to cruise on something bigger than Mariner (seriously) and we mentioned that it doesn't get much bigger than Oasis of the Seas. After looking into it, we all agreed on taking Oasis of the Seas, departing Fort Lauderdale on July 24, 2010.
We have booked 3 cabins for this cruise. My wife and I have a cabin that overlooks Central Park (as do my sisters), while my parents have a veranda balcony over the ocean. My wife and I are usually fine with inside cabins (we'd rather spend the money elsewhere) but the Central Park cabin gives us a balcony to sit on and people watch, which will be fun.
Our cruise will stop at 3 islands, Labadee, Costa Maya and Cozumel.
Labadee: Our plan will be a beach day here. Everyone has been to Labadee before and we will find a spot on the beach somewhere. Currently, Barefoot beach seems like a good choice and so we're going to go there. I'm particularly happy that the ship can now dock at Labadee, as I've always found tenders to be incredibly slow and inefficient.
Costa Maya: Plans for this stop are still very much up in the air. My sisters will likely opt for the beach but my dad really wants to check out the Mayan ruins. His plan is to do this at Cozumel but I've heard good things about the Mayan Ruins at Costa Maya and so I'd like to take a tour here instead since I'm not keen on spending all day at the beach. One excursion to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins sounds pretty interesting so we will need to discuss this stop some more.
Cozumel: I love Cozumel and my wife and I could spend days here. Our plan is to spend the morning in the city of Cozumel doing shopping and having lunch. Last time we were here, we went to Pancho's Backyard for lunch, which was good but it didn't feel very authentic. This time, I'm looking for some real Mexican food for lunch, so we will need to do some more research. After lunch, we're going to take a taxi over to Paradise Beach to spend some time enjoying the beach there. We had a great time last time at Paradise Beach and looking forward to it once more. Not sure what the rest of my family is planning for Cozumel. I'm hoping to change my dad's plan for Mayan Ruins to Costa Maya (as previously mentioned) so we will see what they have in mind, but I kind of like the idea of spending this day with just my wife.
Needless to say, Oasis of the Seas is one big ship. Given that we are only making 3 stops, the emphasis of this cruise is spending time on the ship. My wife is a show junky, and so she plans to go to every show on every evening. Like a good husband, I will likely go to them as well. The Broadway musical "Hairspray" is playing and I'm looking forward to seeing that (we have tickets for it already). The rest of the shows don't do as much for me but we will see.
While my wife loves shows, I love the restaurants and I can't wait to check them all out. We have a reservation already for Giovanni's Table already but I'm hoping to be able to stop at Izumi, the sushi restaurant. I love sushi and could eat it every day so I really want to go here at least once. The other restaurants are less intriguing for us, but we're going to leave it up in the air. We are fans of the main dining room, so getting to know our servers and that whole experience is important to us.
Aside from that, our plans for the ship aren't laid out. There's going to be a lot of exploring and a lot of time spent at the pools. We're about 3 weeks away from our cruise and I can't wait!