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Oasis of the Seas Post (not live) Blog | Dec 15 -22

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Day 6 has brought us to Cozumel. On tap for the day...

  • ATV excursion + lunch & snorkel
  • Impromptu trip on our own to Paradise Beach
  • Portside BBQ
  • 20 Minutes of Cats
  • Cruise Ship(s) gone wild

We had our excursion booked through a third party and it was pretty much scheduled for right when we got into port. So Rebecca and I needed to get up even earlier to make sure that we could be in the first wave off the ship and get to our meeting location in time. After navigating through the endless maize that is the Cozumel port terminal, we made it to our meeting spot... Carls Jr. When we arrived we met our guide for the day, Omar. Along with Omar there were four other tour participants, all of which were friends who were on Empress (or maybe Majesty) of the Seas which was docked directly next to us. From our meeting spot (which was directly across from the port entrance) we walked about a block to where their excursion headquarter was (I say headquarter very loosely). 

Before I continue about the excursion, I am going to preference that I am going to crack a lot of wise-ass one liners. The reason being is because this was no Royal Caribbean all buttoned up, no cutting corners, excursion. Things were... let's say very lax. Which honestly, was not bad. We had a great time. The excursion made our time in Cozumel and was one of the highlights of the trip. But I will say this would not have been for everyone. It was a few notches above organized chaos, but it worked. We never felt not safe or uncomfortable. Honestly, we felt more uncomfortable and on edge when we did our beach break excursion in Jamaica and we booked that through Royal. On this excursion, you could just tell this is the way they operated. Just go with the flow. Which given the cost for what we were doing, that was more than ok with us. And, we were very lucky in that the group with us, had the same personality as us in that they were there for the experience and not going to get caught up with the unorthodox flow of the excursion.

Ok, so back to the excursion. Once we finished providing final payment and filling out some paper work (may have forgotten our drivers license - oops) Omar comes over and asks who in the group knows how to drive shift. A girl in the other group raises her hand. So Omar points to her, one of her friends, and then to me and Rebecca and ushers us over to a small little compact car. Then Omar jumps in another car with the two other members of the group. Odd. One would think you all would load into a van/vehicle - together. Not the case here. But hey, maybe it is only Omar working and he needed to drive one of the cars? Nope. Omar hops in the back seat of the other car and makes one of the other guys drive. The one girl in our group cracked a joke that either Omar doesn't know how to drive or got his license revoked. As bizarre as it was, it was also pretty hilarious (we have an odd sense of humor). But we all got an even bigger chuckle as we can see Omar in the car in front of us, reclined in the back seat just enjoying the drive. After about a 20 minute drive we arrived at a little side of the road shack where we got an extensive (and completely thorough) two minute introduction on to how to operate an ATV. Again... just going with the flow. From the shack, we headed down the road until we reached the beach. Then from there we entered onto the trail. Now let me say this. The ATV experience was exactly what was advertised and exactly what we were looking for. The trail ran through the jungle all along the coast. There were pockets where we would come out and see pristine beaches and coastline before zooming back into the jungle. And as far as the terrain, it was a fairly smooth ride. There were some bumps and rocky areas but overall the ride was pleasant. At the half way point we stoped at an area where would could walk out onto the beach to snap some pictures as well as view an ancient ruin. Finally from there were headed back the way came. All in all the ride was probably just over an hour and a great experience.









Now next up was a... tequila tasting? 🤔This kinda came out of no where. I mean, we all welcomed it with open arms, it was just out of the blue and definitely not part of the excursion itinerary. Anyway, it seemed to be a little "I scratch your back you scratch mine" between our excursion provider and the tequila guy. Again, Rebecca and I along with the others from Empress all took it in stride and had a great little experience. At the end when they try to get you to buy some of the tequila that you sampled, our counterparts could not have flown out of the room faster. But we ended up buying a coffee infused bottle... so nice that TSA on the the flight back home wanted a sample apparently. I just wish they completely closed up the bottle after they were done.

As we were about to head back into the car we heard Omar talking about two cruise ships colliding in port. At first we thought he was talking about a different day. But then he confirmed it was that morning. After watching the video (which I am sure everyone on her has seen - i.e. the two Carnival ships hitting), Omar then mentions that a Royal ship may have been hit (and then he shows us the other clip). Now image, you are on island in Mexico, on an excursion, with no idea if what is going on and you hear that your ship was in a possible collision. I had visions of my mother freaking out and looking to buy a flight that day to come to Cozumel to make sure we were ok. But now I have  Rebecca starting to freak out and trying to send emails to her mom to let them know we were ok. Me on the other hand? Not going to lie, I was hoping our ship got hit 😬(of course it goes without stating while with the intention of hoping no one was hurt). I am hoping for an extra night in Mexico. Envisioning an extended vacation. I'M THINKING CRUISE CREDIT!... However (as we all know), my hopes and dreams were crushed and our ship was spared.

From the ATV spot we rode back towards town and to the beach club where we were set to have lunch and to snorkel. The spot was super nice, however because of the wind, we were just limited to having lunch and to walk along the beach.


After lunch, our excursion came to end and we started to head back to the port and the ship. However, when we were halfway through the maize on our way back to the ship, Rebecca and I both realized that we didn't want our day in Cozumel to end. So we ended up making a u-turn and heading back towards the exit and the taxi stand. We really didn't have a plan but we decided to take a ride and check out Paradise Beach club. Really cannot tell you why we chose to go there other than the price of the cab was reasonable and the name seemed somewhat familiar... probably from ready other peoples blogs. Upon arrival we decided just to the beverage and food minimum to gain access, which was perfect. We probably arrived around 1:30 and ended up staying until to just about 4 taking in the beach (the weather got much nicer), crystal clear water, and the pool. Getting a cab back was super simple (there is line waiting outside), which put Rebecca at ease since she thought we weren't going to get one and end up missing the ship.




One we got back to port and on the ship, we did a little more lounging in the Solarium and some other water activities up on the pool decks. Since we were planning to have dinner in Portside, getting ready for dinner was going to be a little less of a production. Which was nice because after being up super early for the excursion and being out in the sun all day, having a casual dinner planned was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Now onto dinner. Portside was awesome. This was probably what I was most excited for after reading about the amplifications. The whole concept, location, food, environment are just so cool.  And for the price, considering its BBQ (very very good BBQ) - you simply cannot beat it. And you get so much food. And as a proud member of the clean plate club, I had to have my membership revoked. Yes, I had to take a to go container. Between myself and Rebecca we probably got to try everything on the menu (excluding the ribs maybe?). It was all delicious. It was a little sad that the restaurant was more or less empty, because it really is a great concept that I think more people need to give a try. I will say that Royal does not do that great of a job marketing the restaurant when you are actually on the ship. Which I think they definitely should do given the hidden/tucked away location up on deck 15. We did get a chance to talk to the manager who was super friendly and engaging. We ranted and raved to him about how much we loved everything which I hope made him feel good. You could kind of tell he was just as confused/frustrated that it was not a little busier. Maybe over time as more people find out about and the word spreads, the crowds come. And hopefully Royal does add it to other ships.


As dinner came to end, Rebeca and I needed to roll ourselves down to the theater to catch the critically (not-cruiser acclaimed) production of Cats. But not before running into this guy...



Now let me just say this. I was fully prepared to ride it out for the whole show. I was going to prove everyone wrong. No way it could be that bad. Everyone was overreacting.


we lasted 20 minutes. But in my defense, I think if we weren't up at 7am (after going to bed at 2am), did two excursions, and just ate an entire cow & pig for dinner - we could have made it. But after almost falling out of my chair multiple times we decided it was time to exit. *We also strategically sat in one of the bar hight ops along the edge as to not to disturb anyone - I guess we were really foreshadowing our early departure, huh?

From the theater we ventured around and then settled down in Globe & Atlas to catch up with Rudy. As we hung out, we noticed that Adam was not performing (but we did catch his set during dinner in Portside 😉)

Speaking of Adam... 

Now I know by now everyone is sick of hearing of how much of a fanboy I am. Deal with it. Every night, I am filled with envy when he sits down with a group in between sets and has a beer and shoots the sh$t. But at the same time, I am too shy to even go up and say hello. Anyway, there were are, just sitting there minding our own business and who comes walking in and sits down at the table next to us. After he chatted it up with a few guys next to us, I saw my opportunity to say hello. But every time I tried to form a sentence, nothing came out. I started to stress. What if he leaves? What if someone scoops him up and brings him to their table? I could not let that happen. So after a shot of liquid courage I made my move (sorry Rebecca). I cant remember exactly what I said, pretty sure I blacked out. But next thing I know, Adam is sitting at our table and we just chatted the night away. Literally. We shut Globe & Atlas down with him just talking about everything under sun. Quite literally a dream come true. We may have even gotten Sorrentos with him ☺️

So after we had to say good bye to my man crush (Rebecca could have not been more relieved), I think we may have tested out the casino. I believe the roulette gods were surprisingly in a good mood, which means Ryan is in a good mood, which means Rebecca is in a good mood. But this was probably the most fun I had in the casino on the cruise (of course winning helps). We had a table filled with a cast of characters, all of which were great people, which made for a fun time. From the casino we probably ventured maybe to Blaze before then calling it a night.

Tomorrow is a sea day on our way back to Miami. Highlights include: T-Shirt Sale, Trip to next cruise, Multiple food comas, And losing my sea pass card for the first time (on the last day no less!) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

And here we are, the last day... which just happens to be a sea day as we head back towards Miami. Similar to our second sea day, we had no major plans. I think the morning consisted of breakfast at park cafe, hitting up the t-shirt sale and heading to the next cruise desks to talk to them about options for slipping in a cruise when we go to Europe for honeymoon in 2021. Other than that, we planned to just veg out at the Solarium, make a few last rides on the water and dry slides, dinner in the Solarium Bistro and wrap everything up with the headliner comedian.

During breakfast we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do for dinner and the Solarium Bistro popped into our heads. We went straight to the app to see if we could book a reservation and oddly enough, the only time available was 9pm. We decided to just book it and see if we could walk up during the afternoon and ask to change it to a slightly earlier time. I mean, we do like our late dinners, but 9 was slightly pushing that acceptable threshold. But I had a hunch that it should not be a problem because most nights we are still up by the pool when the dinner crowds rolled through and there was always plenty of tables. Anyway, we weren't worried. So we decided to head down to the promenade to check out the t-shirt sale. And boy was it a zoo. I don't ever remember on the two previous cruises it being a literal battle royale (pun intended). But we finally were able to snag two shirts each that we actually liked and in our size... range. From the sale we made our way to the next cruise area. This was our first time ever interacting or talking with anyone from here. I am a big "do it yourself-er" and I also think that there really is not that massive of a benefit. But we were curious to see what suggestion they had. I kinda already knew possible cruises and prices for the timing we were looking at. So when the rep started spouting out information I already knew, it kinda reinforced my preconceived notion. Howeva (Stephen A. Smith voice), they did prove me slightly wrong. Prior to our sailing there were no mentions of Odyssey of Sea doing summer sailings in the Mediterranean. Pretty much all that I saw was Harmony out of Spain and I think Rhapsody doing the more Greek/Italy cruises. So initially, we wanted to see if we could get a better deal in some area (if possible). But once they started telling us information we already knew, I kinda started to lose interest. But then the rep mentioned that they were just about to release the sailing for Odyssey, which for us was intriguing. We did not end up booking anything immediately, as I wanted to do some more recon on price/rooms etc. But long story short, two weeks after returning home we booked a 7 night cruise out of Rome!

From next cruise we made out way back up to the Solarium and grabbed a few loungers to take in the last of the warm rays before we returned to snowy Baltimore. I did pop my head into the Solarium Bistro to see if I could move our dinner reservation. After talking with the manager, he was able to move our time up without issue. There must have been something off with the app because they had a ton of open time slots. For the rest of the afternoon we just lounged around the pool, had and ate way too much el loco fresh for lunch and then took a long dip in the hot tub, to which I ended up losing my seapass card 😣. After 2 and 3/4 completed cruises this was the first time I had ever lost my card. I was devastated (especially since it was the last day)- took such great pride in that fact. But I guess keeping it in your pocket in the bubbly hot tub can cause it to vanish. So this then caused an unfortunate trip down to guest services to stand in line for what seemed like forever to grab a new one. Although, it was entertaining listening to everyone pleading their cases on over charges (especially the ones where their kids may have swiped something mom and dad did not approve of 🤣) but I still  would have much rather been up by the pool. Once I returned, Rebecca and I made our way to the back of the ship to do a last few activities before deciding to take a ride down the ultimate abyss to hit up Playmakers to see some of the Patriots/Bills game.

Once down on the boardwalk we were able to get a hightop table and decided to order some drinks and an appetizer. This was really our first time taking in a full experience at Playmakers. Throughout the cruise we did stop in for a drink here and there. Watched a few minutes of the Gonzaga/North Carolina basketball game. And even played a quick round of pool. But other than that - we were never really drawn to spend a long amount of time. I think maybe (in the case of why we were there now) if we were on a cruise during a time where there was more sports events going on, I definitely would have pushed to go there more. But given Rebecca is already such a good 'sport' with my sport addiction (see what I did there), I didn't want to over do it. But overall we had a great time and highly recommend. We ended up getting I guess one or two craft beers and then wings and their special truffle/parm fries if I remember correctly.


From the boardwalk we made our way back to the room to quickly change, keeping things extremely casual and headed out to Central Park and visited the trellis bar. We had stopped by here a few times, but it was typically pretty crowded so we could never get a seat. But this time, we were able to sneak in at the bar and hung out for while. Wish we came here more during the week as we had a great time chatting with the bartenders and just taking in how hard these guys work supporting just not the guests grabbing drinks, but all the waiters coming from Chops, Giovanni and 150 placing orders. It was truly impressive how methodical these guys were pumping out drinks while still being some of the most engaging workers we encountered on the ship. From Central Park we headed up to dinner and it was wonderful. Solarium Bistro is a gem that I am sure is highly under utilized. We pretty much had the restaurant to ourself, and our server was one of the best we had the entire cruise. But we loved the menu options (and the buffet options for appetizers and additions to your meal). I think we got an assortment of small plates and then for the meal itself we both got seafood (fish for me, shrimp for Rebecca) and then shared a plate of made to order pasta. Do not remembering getting any dessert... between our Playmakers visit and now dinner, both our stomachs were operating at over capacity. 



From dinner we made one last pit stop in Central Park and then made our way to the theater to catch  our show, which like the majority of comedian shows was very funny. After the show, we went and did our formal good byes to all our favorite staff we engaged with over the past week before making one last visit to the casino.

So for the week I was even. Which for me was like being up a million dollars. When I do any sort of gambling, I have a set number of dollars I allocate to gambling for the week and fully expect to lose every dollar. It is more of a game of how to I make said gambling fund last rather than how do I make it grow. So being even should had made me extremely happy. I should not have even stepped foot in the casino. But considering the money I brought was 'cash back' from my credit card payments from the past year - I was looking at it like it was free money to lose (so dumb, so dumb). Anyway I got some stupid idea that it would be fun to put 100 bucks on black and see what happens on the roulette wheel. Rebecca highly advised against this.What could go wrong? Land on red? Yup. So from there I was like, "ok let's do one more spin and make back what I lost". But switch to red. Now let it be know when I play roulette, I never just play black or red. Not because I think I am too good or sophisticated for that. Actually quite the contrary. I have by far the worst 50/50 odds out of anyone I know. Super bowl coin toss? Can remember the last time I won that. You put a pebble in one hand, I 100% will choose the other. Kinda wild that my game of choice is what it is. But whatever. So I put my chips on red and the dealer lets it spin. Now, I think you know the end result. Black. But this did not just land on any random black number. Oh no. Not black 28, 17, etc. I would have even preferred 0 or 00. But that stupid ball decided to have the audacity to land on 22. Twenty freaking two. I played that number every spin for 6 days. I think it hit three times. And that is how I am repaid. Talk about a slap in the face. So after getting a scathing look from Rebecca I knew it was time to cash out...

After the casino debacle we rounded out the night doing... god knows what. I think we ended up heading to bed slightly earlier than usual as we were planning to debark pretty early in the morning to make it to FLL to sneak on an earlier flight home. What I do remember, which was quite depressing, was seeing them rolling out the new balloon drop nets for the next day's cruise. That stung.



So we woke up around 6 and made our way down to the promenade. I think the gangway opened at 630. There was already a line of about 50 people snaked around the Starbucks. We decided to self disembark, so we had our luggage with us which was not an issue at all. Once the line started moving we made off the ship through custom and to the ride share pick up point in a matter of minutes. Could not have been easier. After having a slight issue with a few cancelled uber and lyfts, we were finally on our way to the airport, which as we assumed, was quite overwhelming with people coming in all directions from the ships that just disembarked in Port Everglades. We were standing in line at southwest trying to change our flight, but it was barely moving. On the app we could see the flight we wanted to catch was quickly running out of seats so we ended up calling customer support and they were able to make the change for us (shout out to Rebecca for that quick thinking). If she did not do that, we would have been stuck in the airpot for another 6 hours. But because of our gamble, we were on a 930 flight back home and walking in the door to this little guy before we knew it.



Overall Perception Of The Cruise

Awesome, duh. Great ship & crew. Amplification was an added bonus but I think without it we would have still had the same amount of fun. While we were sad to leave, we were happy to get back home to see the pup and give our body a day vacation from our vacation. But overall, another great experience and we cannot wait for June 2021 when we do our Greek and Italy cruise on Odyssey (with it being our first time in a suite - well kind of - jr. suite). We already started to look into 2022 and it is seeming like we are lining up to do Oasis again which will take us to CoCo Cay, Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Been close to pulling the trigger there but there is a Celebrity Apex cruise that is toying at my emotions. May have to do the always over complex and strategic analysis of 'eeny meny miny more' to make a decision there...

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  • 2 months later...

What's really cool on Oasis is go to Deck 7 (cabins on that deck) and walk to the front of the ship as far as it goes.     Look toward the stern and you'll see a tiny light which is an exit leading to the Aquatheater.   Its the one interior deck you can look unobstructed from bow to stern (no obstructions or bends/turns).    You really get a feel for the size of the ship.

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Just reading this not-so-live-blog now and wow I really enjoyed this @rshov Excellent writing and glad to hear you and your fiance had a wonderful time! We are currently planned on Oasis in April 2021 but given everything going on we aren't really sure if it'll happen. Going with a group of 30... 16 adults and 14 kids including our little monster. Should be fun. Thanks again for a wonderful review! Looking forward to reading your June 2021 Odyssey blog!

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