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Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - San Juan

27 Nov 2019

Our second port stop visits San Juan, Puerto Rico, but not off the bat. We did not dock until 1pm, so our morning was effectively a sea day.

I got up early this morning and grabbed my laptop to write up a few blog posts (did you see the interview with Royal Caribbean's head of digital?) at Cafe Promenade.

After dropping the kids off at Adventure Ocean, my wife and I headed to the NextCruise office to book a few cruises for next year. With the Black Friday sale beginning today, I felt like this would be the perfect excuse to book a cruise (like I really need one)!

For lunch today, we grabbed a bite to eat at Portside BBQ. I went with the smoked turkey sandwich today, which was excellent.

Right around lunch, we pulled into San Juan harbor and we got a good look at the various landmarks.

Our plans today were to use a daypass to visit the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino for a day of pool and beach. I did not realize we were docking so late when I booked it. While the website listed the hours for a day pass being only 9am - 5pm, the resort said we could hang out at the pool until 11pm.  So needless to say, no problem.

To my pleasant surprise, disembarkation was extremely smooth. No lines at all despite the late arrival time.

We took a taxi ride (maybe 5 minutes) to the Marriott and quickly found plenty of chairs in the shade near the pool.

The resort looked great, and provided access to the pool and beach area. 


The day pass cost $60 per adult, and included a $20 per adult food and beverage credit. For the afternoon we spent at the resort, this turned out to be a great value.

As the sun started to set, we got changed and took a taxi back to Old San Juan for a dinner in town.

Before dinner, we took a walk around the Paseo de la Princesa, which was decorated for Christmas already.

We ended up at the same restaurant we dined at back in July, partially because many of the other restaurants were all slammed for dinner, and partially because this place had plenty of air conditioning.

I went with my go-to choice, which is mofongo.

The ship was in port until 11pm, but we headed back to the ship around 7pm as we were all pretty tired.

For our evening entertainment, we decided to enjoy drinks and a bite to eat at Playmakers on the Boardwalk.

Tomorrow is our last port visit, and it will be St. Thomas.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Labadee

26 Nov 2019

Our first port of call brings us to Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee.

I tried mightily to snag a cabana or bungalow, but all my efforts failed, so we opted to let the kids play at Splashaway Bay on the ship. It felt a bit sacrilegious to stay onboard, so I got off the ship alone and walked around a bit to get some time in Labadee.

I have always wanted to try the walking trails in Labadee, which offer some nice views of the area around.  Basically, when you get off the pier, there are a few walking trails to your left, and it provides some nice views around Labadee.

I explored the trails, and then walked up Adrenaline Beach to see what was going on. It was quite warm today, with a high in the mid to upper 80's, so I sought refuge at one of the bars.  When the breeze went by, it felt glorious.

I got back on the ship a smidge before lunch, and took my oldest daughter on the Perfect Storm water slides.  I did the racer slides and the champagne bowl slide.  The champagne bowl slide was quite fast, and I really liked that one.

For lunch, we headed to the Windjammer for a wide array of options.

After lunch, it was time for my favorite activity of this cruise: taking a nap!

Oasis left Labadee right at 3:30pm to head to our next port of call.

Dinner this evening took us back to the main dining room, and then it was back to the Globe & Atlas pub for some evening drinks with friends.

We spent a little bit of time in the casino, where my wife won a fair amount of money that was equally offset by everything I lost.

Tomorrow, we will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Stray Observations

I noticed these speakers on the pier at Labadee playing music. I cannot recall seeing these before.

These beach beds are complimentary, and there are about four of them. If you get one early enough, you can get a pretty nice spot for the day.

The workshop in Adventure Ocean offers families on-demand arts and crafts to enjoy.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 2 - Sea Day

25 Nov 2019

We started off our second day on Oasis of the Seas by following a time-honored sea day on a cruise tradition by sleeping in! We thought the kids would wake up early enough, but we ended up waking them up.

After rolling out of bed, we enjoyed breakfast brunch at Park Cafe. Had we gotten up earlier, I would have gone to Solarium Bistro, but we had slept half the morning anyway, so we needed something quick.

We immediately headed over to Studio B for the Crown & Anchor Society Top Tier welcome back party. This is an event for guests who are at least Platinum in Crown and Anchor Society.

They served complimentary cocktails, and featured the ice cast doing a few stunts for us all. I try to make a point of going to these Crown and Anchor events because it means a lot to me as a customer that the company wants to show they appreciate our business.

For lunch, we headed to the main dining room for a sea day lunch. They had the choice of an a la carte lunch, or buffet. Truth is, you can do both.

There was a pasta station, as well as hot buffet items including lobster tails.  Yes, unlimited lobster tails for no additional cost. 

After lunch, the kids went up to Adventure Ocean for an afternoon session. I had grandiose plans for a great day without the kids, but ended up taking a nap. Sleeping in and taking a nap a few hours mode is fully engaged!

As evening arrived, we got dressed up for formal night and headed to the main dining room for early dinner seating.

Our assigned table is in one of the annexes, which is off the side. Essentially, you turn almost as soon as you enter the dining room and there is additional seating in this area. We have a great table right by the window.

Dinner began at 5:30pm and at 6:40pm a representative of Adventure Ocean came down to pick up our kids from the entrance to the dining room. Quick and convenient, and it left my wife and I to enjoy our desserts with just the two of us.

After dinner, we went to the casino to spend our "mystery free play", where they give you a few (non-refundable) dollars to play in the slots. I had $2 waiting for me, while my wife had $5. Regardless, we both lost it all quite quickly.

We waited in the standby line at Blaze to attend the first adult comedy show of the evening. I was concerned we would not get in, given the length of the line, but had no issues. The comic that hosts the comedy shows, Simeon, is extremely entertaining and we go to the comedy shows just to see his act. The other comics are an added bonus.

After the comedy show, it was time to see one of the new production shows onboard, One Sky.

One Sky is an original Royal Caribbean production that features a variety of songs performed alongside plenty of dancing, set changes, and colorful costumes.

I did not recognize all the songs in the show, but the cast did a great job managing to sing, dance, and fly around the stage.

Following the show, it was time to grab the kids and head to bed.

Tomorrow, we will visit our first port of Labadee.

Stray Observations

One of the stores in the Royal Promenade offers a variety of "cruise family" clothing, including matching outfits.

Tiffany & Co. on Oasis of the Seas had a complimentary brunch set up in the store.

In case you are wondering, the Spotlight Karoake venue is extremely popular each evening with guests.


Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

24 Nov 2019

My temporary exile from Oasis of the Seas is over, and I am back onboard for an all-new adventure!

We stayed the night between cruises at the Cambria Suites in Dania Beach, which is near the Fort Lauderdale airport. Reasonably priced, and provided a room with enough room for our family. We stayed in this exact hotel about 10 years ago when we first sailed on Oasis of the Seas. It felt a little old, but room was clean and just fine for one night.

The drive to PortMiami on Sunday was quite easy, and we ended up getting to Miami so early that we opted to grab breakfast in Miami Beach at Big Pink diner.

After breakfast, we headed to the port and got in right around 10am.  When parking at the terminal, be sure to stop to drop luggage off with porters inside the parking garage, and then park the car. It saves time and makes your life easier.

Check-in was super easy, especially since I had expedited arrival.

Boarding began right around 10:35am, and we got onboard quickly with Diamond Plus being the first group called.

We went right to our rooms first, since the rooms were ready following 24 hours without any guests. It felt great going right to the room instead of dragging our carry-on stuff around.

We have connecting oceanview balcony rooms on this cruise, and it appears some elements of the room were updated in the amplification.  New capreting, new couch and art around the room.

We got changed and went up to Splashaway Bay for the kids to enjoy.  This Splashaway Bay is significantly larger than other Splashaway Bays on other ships, and features quite a large water slide.

Speaking of water slides, the minimum height for this new slide is 42 inches, whereas the other smaller slides in Splashaway Bay have no minimum height.  

Next up, we headed to Adventure Ocean to register the kids. Registration is now done via a tablet. The staff scans your SeaPass card, you answer a few questions and you are all set. It is so much faster than the old method of filling out a form.

After seeing the updated look to Adventure Ocean, the kids were super excited to go there later in the evening.

We walked around and explored the ship in the afternoon. I also managed to doze off at one point back in the room, while the kids watched television.

Following muster drill, we were treated to a special fireworks display in Miami harbor to commemorate the launch of Oasis of the Seas. I watched the display from my balcony and it was the perfect vantage point!

With the fireworks being in the early evening, it conflicted with our early seating in the main dining room. We opted to skip dinner in the main dining room and enjoy dinner in the Solarium Bistro.

After dropping the kids off at Adventure Ocean, we headed to the Diamond Lounge for evening beverages. I do not have a drink package on this sailing, so we are taking full advantage of our Diamond Crown and Anchor Society benefits.

For dinner, Solarium Bistro is served at a table, where you order your entrees from the waiter, but your appetizers and desserts are offered up buffet style.

I ordered the chicken kabob and mahi mahi, while my wife opted for the steak.  

My fish was overcooked for my taste, but the kebab was excellent. My wife enjoyed her steak quite a bit.

After dinner, we took in some drinks and evening entertainment in the pub.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

Stray Observations

Upon walking onto the ship, they were giving away champagne and rum punch in celebration of the ship's launch.

The ship's wifi has been much better today compared to last sailing. 

I could not help myself and bought a WOWband for me and my daughters.


Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 2 - Nassau

23 Nov 2019

My second day on Oasis of the Seas was filled with plenty going on, and as you might imagine, the excitement of being onboard had me up early.

I took a walk around the pool deck on a beautiful sunny day.  The ship was not quite yet at Nassau, so we were moving at a slow speed on arrival into Nassau.

I headed to Solarium Bistro to have breakfast.  It is a fabulous alternative to the Windjammer for breakfast, and they offer a traditional American breakfast, along with an omelette station.

After finishing breakfast, the ship began its docking procedure in Nassau.

I did not have any plans on shore, but I did take a few minutes to walk off the ship to take a few photos of the ship while docked.

Back onboard, one of the areas that has also changed on Oasis of the Seas is the Main Dining Room. The decor has reverted back to a "traditional" look, after being converted to separate motifs for each deck.

Another change on Oasis is the Central Park Library, located near Park Cafe.

By mid afternoon, I was starting to fade, so I decided to take a short nap.  

Another new space on Oasis of the Seas is Sugar Beach, which is the candy and ice cream shop.

Dinner this evening took us to Giovanni's Table.

I ordered my go-to Italian entree, eggplant parmigiana, and was not disappointed.

After dinner, I took in a set at the Pub.

I wandered around the ship for a bit to see the night life around the ship. Sometimes it is nice to meander and see what is happening.

I wrapped up my evening with the midnight balloon drop on the Royal Promenade.

That wraps up my two-night shakedown cruise.  Fear not, this live blog will continue in about 24 hours when we get back onboard Oasis of the Seas for a 7-night eastern cruise!

Stray Observations

I spotted the new Coca-Cola flavor available in the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

The internet speeds on Oasis was quite spotty.  Sometimes it would work very well, and other times it was quite slow.  On this sailing, they gave everyone complimentary internet access so perhaps that is part of the issue. I will be interested to see how it performs when we get back on this weekend.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

21 Nov 2019

We are finally on Oasis of the Seas today! The first of many days onboard begins, and today we are boarding Oasis of the Seas as part of a employee shakedown cruise.  This is a sailing in which everyone onboard is a Royal Caribbean employee, and I was lucky enough to be invited by the cruise line to be a part of the fun.

I drove down the night before and stayed with a friend in the area, and then drove to Port Everglades bright and early this morning.

I arrived to Terminal 18 at Port Everglades at 10am and to my amazement, was allowed to board immediately.

My goal for today was to see everything new and different onboard. My hope is to take advantage of this two-night sailing and get a lot of the footwork in now, so that I can take it back a notch when my family joins me on Sunday for our 7-night sailing.

Walking onto the ship, I immediately noticed Spotlight Karaoke venue.  Looks beautiful, and it even has private karaoke rooms you can rent in the back ($20 per person).

I should note that I compiled a look at all the changes I have noticed in one blog post, so if you are looking for an absurd amount of photos that show off the changes, be sure to read that post.  

It made sense to start things off on the pool deck, as there are quite a few changes there. New water slides, Lime and Coconut area and a giant Splashaway Bay.

I was pleasantly surprised by how large Splashaway Bay is on Oasis. Compared to other Splashaway Bays, this is significantly larger and the water slides longer and taller. I know my kids will love it.

Another surprise was the addition of a rather large sun deck at the Solarium. With the addition of new rooms a deck below, there was a lot of concern the observation deck would be removed, but it is there, along with a ton of space.

For lunch, I just had to sample the new Portside BBQ restaurant.

I have to admit, I am not a barbecue connoisseur and I am not from a southern state that prides itself on barbecue.  So I was not sure what to expect exactly.

Lunch is served with a smaller menu, where you select one meat and a couple sides.  At dinner, the menu greatly expands.

I opted for the beef brisket sandwich, along with mac & cheese, beans, cornbread and a brownie/cookie combo.

The brisket was very, very tender and I really liked the brioche bun and coleslaw it was served on. 

The mac and cheese was the perfect type of comfort food, and cornbread is such a guilty pleasure. Very moist.

By far my favorite thing was that "brookie".  It was so soft and moist!

I will have to try them for dinner, but I really like the venue and what they have done with the seating.  Prices are quite reasonable, and there is indoor and outdoor seating. There is even space for a live singer!

For those wondering, the meat is cooked every day with an electric smoker. They have special wood chips that they use in a specialized smoker to cooker that fills the entire restaurant with absolutely amazing smells. A return visit for me is in the works.

After lunch, I spent a great deal of time exploring the ship.  Again, please check out my ridiculously long photo update post for plenty of photos.

My stateroom for this sailing is a Central Park balcony room.

All the stateroom doors have been updated to RFID readers, so you can use your SeaPass card, WOWband or even Royal Caribbean app.

The room itself does not appear to be updated.





Muster drill was quite late (5:30), but after that I got ready for dinner.  I figured I had to visit one of my absolutely favorite spots on any Royal Caribbean ship: Izumi!

I absolutely love sushi, and was enjoyed quite an array of sushi. The albacore was especially good this evening.

I decided to leave the shows for when my wife arrives, so that we can see the shows together. Instead, I opted for evening entertainment in the pub and with the comedian.

Tomorrow we will be in Nassau, and should be another full day of exploring!


Live Blogging from Oasis of the Seas - Preamble

18 Nov 2019

Welcome to my live blogging adventure on Royal Caribbean's newly amplified Oasis of the Seas. This is an opportunity to take you on a virtual cruise with us, as we strive to share the cruising experience.

This time around, I will be going on the first sailings of Oasis of the Seas following a $165 million amplification.  While this is not my first time sailing on Oasis, it will be an opportunity to see first-hand all the new upgrades and enhancements the cruise line has made to this ship.

Why we chose this cruise

Cruising over Thanksgiving has become a new tradition for our family, having experienced Thanksgiving on Brilliance of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas. The great thing about a Thanksgiving cruise is my kids have the entire week off of school, and it tends to be a very inexpensive time of year to cruise.

Originally, we were booked on Harmony of the Seas for this week, but opted to change to Oasis of the Seas for two reasons: Oasis would cost us less, and allow us to see all the changes to the ship post-refurb.

I also need to mention in the interest of full disclosure that I will be on two sailings, the November 24 7-night sailing, as well as a 2-night "employee shakedown" cruise that Royal Caribbean invited me on. I paid for the 7-night sailing on my own, but the 2-night cruise was provided to me by Royal Caribbean as an opportunity to see Oasis’ new features.

Our plans onboard

My last time on Oasis of the Seas was all the way back in 2009, so it has been quite a while since we sailed on her.  However, we have sailed on her sister Oasis Class ships extensively over the years.

Of course, the ship underwent a massive upgrade, so there is going to be plenty new and different to see onboard.

For the two-night sailing, I'm in a Central Park Balcony stateroom.  That is plenty of space for just myself, and I have always loved the Central Park balcony rooms for the ample space and ambiance they provide.

When my family joins me on the 7-night sailing, we will move to connecting ocean balcony rooms.  Getting two rooms, instead of one larger room, is one of my favorite family cruising tips, because it provides enough space for everyone, an extra bathroom, and is quite often less expensive than a single larger room.

Oasis of the Seas is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, and that means a seemingly never-ending list of activities and things to do onboard.  Combined with lots of new enhancements onboard, I think we are going to have plenty to keep us busy.

Our plans on shore

We will visit three ports of call during our week-long cruise. Departing from PortMiami, we will visit:

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
  • Labadee

Usually when we visit San Juan, we simply walk around Old San Juan and meander around.  This time, we will change things up because we are going to spend two days in San Juan, Puerto Rico prior to our RoyalCaribbeanBlog Group Cruise on Freedom of the Seas in December 2019. Since we will ample time to explore San Juan at that point, we opted to book a day pass to the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. 

Based on photos and some reviews online, it looks like it could be a very fun day for the family and appears to be a good value. It is not a full all-inclusive, but I think we are more interested in a fun place to spend the day splashing around.

When we visit St. Thomas, our plan is to visit nearby St. John.  We absolutely loved St. John the last time we went, so my wife and I are excited to head back.  I have not decided yet if we will book with Royal Caribbean or do it on our own.  Royal Caribbean has an excursion it offers, but it looks like we only have 2 hours at the beach, which is quite limited.  My plan is to speak to the shore excursion staff once onboard the ship to inquire if we can stay longer.  Worst case scenario, we take the ferry on our own.

In Labadee, we have no formal plans.  I took too long to book a cabana, so my plan is to ask to be put on a waitlist for one once on the ship.  If that fails to work, I think we will just head to Columbus Cove or Nelie's Beach to enjoy some time on the beach sans-cabana. 

Three things I am excited to try

3. My Family Time Dining

Ever since my first child was born, we always fed our kids dinner in the Windjammer, dropped them off at Adventure Ocean, and then enjoyed second seating traditional dinner in the main dining room with just my wife and I.

This time around, we are trying My Family Time Dining, which is offered in the first seating time in the main dining room. The kids are served right away, and after about 45 minutes, Adventure Ocean staff comes to pick the kids up and take them to Adventure Ocean.

We wanted to try this because my kids are old enough now that eating dinner with them makes more sense, and dining earlier frees up our evening a bit more. Depending on how well it works, this may or may not be the way we dine on Royal Caribbean going forward!

2. Portside BBQ

To me, going on a cruise is all about eating and Oasis of the Seas is getting a few new dining choices, including Portside BBQ.

Royal Caribbean's first-ever barbecue restaurant is coming to Oasis, and will offer, "an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States."  I'm hungry already!

1. Reimagined pool deck

One of the best changes Royal Caribbean made to Navigator of the Seas during her 2019 amplification was the radical transformation of its pool deck, and Oasis of the Seas will receive something similar.

The new Caribbean-style pool deck will feature comfy casitas, daybeds, hammocks and swing seats, new whirlpools on the top deck, and a refreshed Solarium for the adults. I am certain there will be a few water slide rides in my future as well!

What's next

Our Oasis of the Seas cruise begins on Thursday, November 21, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels.  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have.  I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 7 - Sea Day

28 May 2017

Today was our final day on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.

This week has just flown by so fast, but it seems like they always do.

This morning we decided to skip breakfast; we just needed a break from all the food.

We decided to go relax in the hot tub that hangs over the side of the ship. These are right beside the solarium pool and have the best views of the ocean. While we were in the hot tub we were reflecting on the week.

For lunch today we had reservations at Izumi Sushi for noon. On our walk down to lunch we made a quick stop in the casino. We had received a card in the cabin that said we had a free $5.00 in the slot machines. Sadly, we didn’t win any money, but at least we didn’t lose any either!

Lunch in Izumi was different than usual stop in Sabor, but I’ve never seen them so busy before. I asked our waiter why they were so packed and he said they always are on the last sea day. Our service was a little slower than I would have liked, that’s okay we weren’t in a rush for anything. I ordered the DX Sushi combo, spicy tuna, and Ryu Futomaki. They were all good, and I also enjoyed some of those special Japan beers. At the end of the meal our waiter charged me $53 for the rolls. I talked to the manager on the way out and he voided the charge off, once I explained I had the dining package.

After lunch we went to Sabor to meet her parents, and I just saw people in line everywhere on the boardwalk trying to eat. Then I noticed it was raining outside so everyone came in for lunch. At one point the doghouse ran completely out of hot dogs, not to worry because you know they always have more!

We had planned to go see Cats today at 2:30pm. Unfortunately, the cruise director Tim made an announcement that both of the Cats shows are cancelled due to a few lead roles being sick. This was sad to hear, because I was actually getting excited for the show. They did put together a replacement show where they did some singing in the main theater.

We walked around the ship for a while to take in those last moments or something we hadn’t seen yet. We found ourselves on the back jogging track relaxing. On Oasis and Allure they have these wooden chairs that you can just sit and listen to the wake from the ship.

For happy hour this evening we went to the Champagne bar. I noticed this bar was usually very busy, unlike my other sailings where it was usually empty. I think people know they can make specialty cocktails in there now, and it’s become very popular. We both ordered the chocolate espresso martini, and wow is all I can say! If you ever need a wake-me-up kind of drink order this.

Dinner tonight was in Sabor, it’s become a tradition of mine to end any cruise with Sabor, unless of course I’m on a ship without it. We have good friends sailing with us Rich and Tammy, so I had arranged for the four of us to eat together on the last night. We had the best service tonight, I almost felt like family in there! I had the shrimp tacos for dinner and they were outstanding. But if you are a tuna taco lover, I’m sad to report it’s been removed from the menu.

After dinner we thought it would be fun for everyone to ride the carousal. Who said adults can’t have fun too! Everyone was laughing and just having the best time. I also recorded our ride on my periscope account if you want to enjoy that.

Wrap up

This was my third time on Oasis of the Seas, and by far my favorite cruise on her. I connected with so many of the staff members on board. The entertainment on board is the one thing that just stands out, as I reflect on the cruise. All the shows were so entertaining and we kept talking about them throughout the week. I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing.

  • Voom Internet worked so well on this ship. I always stayed connected and the speeds were very fast.
  • The crew was so friendly; some have been there since the first voyage in 2009.
  • Diamond drinks (3 coupons loaded on sea pass cards) could be ordered in any restaurant. I also saw many people getting their diamond drinks all at one time (unopened beers) to store in their cabin.
  • I never stepped foot in the Windjammer or Main dining room this whole cruise with since I had the ultimate dining package.
  • Customs no longer requires a declaration form if you aren’t claiming anything. Lines were moving very fast, didn’t take us more than 15 minutes from ship to car.

I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing. Until next time!

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 6 - Labadee

27 May 2017

Today was our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee, Haiti.

I woke up early today and decided to go out to the lookout viewing area on deck 14. This is actually a couple feet away from my cabin, so it’s a nice perk if you pick a forward cabin on deck 14. The sun was just starting to rise, so I decided to do a quick morning Periscope (live streaming app). Well during my periscope it was featured, by periscope to draw more viewers in. At the time of writing this it’s over 143,000 views, well I finally got my 5 seconds of fame!

We didn’t arrive into Labadee until 9:30am, so I grabbed breakfast to go from Park Café to enjoy on our balcony. Their breakfast sandwiches are so good, and included in the cruise fare. It was also fun to see us pull into port from the balcony, while enjoying breakfast.

This morning we had reserved the Jet Ski tours from the online cruise planner. During a recent sale they had the tour 20%, so we paid around $75 each to have our own. We checked in and signed our waivers and were asked to meet our group leader by the lockers. I left all our personal items on board, because I figured they wouldn’t have lockers big enough for all my camera equipment and snorkel gear. They do have small lockers to rent for $8 for the day if you would rather no go back on board for items after a tour.

The Jet Ski tour was likely the highlight of my trip; it was such a unique way to spend in Labadee for me. We stop at different down the cost and our leaded would tell us something about what we were seeing.

At one stop during the tour locals kayaked up to our jet skis trying to sell us things they had made. The only downside to the tour is it only lasted for 50 minutes. I talked to a lot of people who also did the tour throughout the day, and everyone said I wish it were longer.

After our tour we quickly went on board to grab our items for the beach day.

It was actually very easy because there were zero lines at noon. Once back in Labadee we headed straight to the floating bar on Adrenaline Beach. I was surprised to find a lot of options for chairs at 12:30pm. Now that we settled in I went to explore the new bar.

First impressions were it’s much larger than the one in Coco Cay, and can hold a lot more people. Only downside was there is so much rock to walk through to get out there. Honestly, I wish I had brought water shoes out there to swim. I think I much prefer Columbus Cove in Labadee for swimming. We also did a little snorkeling but really didn’t see too much in the area we were in.

Around 3:00pm we headed back on board, and I need some food!

I realized I skipped lunch, so off to Sabor I went. I just sat at the bar for a drink and guacamole to avoid the $19 cover charge. I’ve made some friends with the staff in here, they all know me from coming daily!

For dinner tonight we went to Giovanni’s Table. For those keeping count, this is our third dinner here. I ordered the filet and lasagna in the middle for everyone to share. I’ve noticed they always have lasagna to serve if you just ask for at dinner. Our waiter was absolutely outstanding tonight; he really made this our best meal of the week. I find that the food is great everywhere on the ship, but it’s the staff in Giovanni’s that keeps is coming back, really great crew in here.

We had come fly with me reserved for 8:00pm but were having so much fun at dinner we actually missed the show. They always asked if you have a show in the evening so they can serve you quicker if needed. I also had the comedy show reserved for 10:00pm. We get in line around 9:30pm because I just have to sit front row in comedy shows hoping they pick on me. Tonight’s comedy show was really entertaining, but it’s not a show for the kids.

After the comedy show we headed to the pub to listen to their singer before bed. There wasn’t much of a crowd tonight in the pub. I think everyone was tired from the long beach day. I didn’t stay here long and called it a day around midnight.

Tomorrow is our final day on board, it’s a sea day as we head back to Port Canaveral, Florida.

Oasis of the Seas Live Blog Day 5 - San Juan, Puerto Rico

26 May 2017

Today was our second port stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 7am-3pm.

I was here last year on Allure of the Seas, but I stayed on board.

Today I wanted to explore San Juan to the fullest.

I woke up early and decided I should go get a run in down on their jogging track. Since it was a port day the track was almost empty. I did get my favorite post run drink, yellow Powerade with my drink package at the coffee shop.

After I cleaned up from my never-ending 2.5 mile run, we had breakfast in Park Café. It was 9:00am by this point so most of the guests were already off the ship. I noticed when we walked in they had a bagel station where you could put all kinds of toppings on them. I decided to skip that section and try the breakfast burrito and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. While Hillary and I were eating we talked about how this was the best breakfast we have had all week.

At 9:30am we walked off the ship into San Juan to explore the island.

My first impressions of walking around downtown were how beautiful the old building looked. I could have spent the morning just exploring the streets and getting lost around town. However, I wanted to finally see the forts on the island, everyone always talks about.

We walked just a few forward from the exit of the pier, back to the Castillo San Cristobal fort. To enter the fort it’s $5 per person, but it also includes entry into their other fort Del Morro. Once we arrived to the fort my first thought was wow, this thing is huge.

After exploring for an hour I really had no idea how massive this fort really is. I think it would take 3-4 hours to really take a deep dive into this fort, but we manage to cover most of it in 2 hours. Just remember when visiting here wear tennis shoes and bring extra water.

We ran out of our water and they have bottles in the gift shop for $1.55.

Our original plan was to walk the 1-mile over to the next fort, but we decided we needed a break from this heat. I remembered the Bacardi rum factory was in San Juan, so that was our new plan for the afternoon. We started walking looking for a taxi, and I thought how about an Uber instead? Our Uber driver was there very fast, and the cost for four people was $11. The factory was about 10-12 miles away, so I was pretty happy with the rate. I will note the Uber drivers don’t speak English, so that’s some added entertainment for the ride.

Once we arrived to the factory, we were a little confused where to go.

The property looks like a headquarters to a company, guard at the entrance and buildings everywhere. We ended up grabbing some lunch, which was decent.

They also had a very large gift shop we picked up things to take home. However, we didn’t have time to complete a tour due to our ship leaving at 3:00pm.

Evening on board

Tonight was our second formal night and we had a pretty busy evening ahead of us. We had reservations for Giovanni’s table at 6:00pm; I know you must be thinking… Didn’t you already eat their Michael? We love the new menu in here so much we just wanted to come back. Again, I ordered the filet and it was just as flavorful as night one. The service in this restaurant is by far the best we have experienced, and he’s a spoiler alert: we are going back tomorrow!

After dinner we had the ice show schedule for 8:15pm. We arrived early to get a front row seat, (it’s a must for the blog right?). I haven’t seen an ice show on their ships in likely five years; just seem to never make them. Tonight I’m so glad I did, this show was so entertaining they even had kids from the crowd in the show at one point. They have a sand artist draw things with his fingers during one of the costume changes, which really got the crowd going. That evening my girlfriend asked me if we could go back to the ice show again, it was that good!

Our show started a little late, so we were rushing to leave to get to the 70’s street party on the Royal Promenade. This is the one party I’m looking forward to all week. If you have been to one of these parties before you know they play the same songs, but I still find them pretty fun.

We danced tried to enjoy ourselves, but I noticed many passengers didn’t really dance or anything. The party lasted around 35 minutes and this is when we decided to call it an evening.

Tomorrow is our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee. This is Matt’s second home, and he’s covered this port many times. So I’ll try to throw a different spin on it. Stay tuned!

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