At the time of our cruise, the Oasis of the Seas was the world's largest cruise ship. We couldn't imagine what a cruise with a capacity of 6,296 passengers in 2,706 staterooms and 2,165 crew would be like. So the only way to find out was to take a cruise.
We drove down to Miami the day before stopping off at Delray Beach to have lunch with our old friend Marilyn. It's been a while since we stayed in downtown Miami and we were amazed by the development, mostly high rise condos and hotels. After checking into the Viceroy Hotel we had a few drinks at their rooftop restaurant while enjoying views of Biscayne Bay. That evening we went to The Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center to see the very funny Forbidden Broadway.
The next morning we got up late and took our time driving to Fort Lauderdale and the start of our cruise. We arrived early ahead of most of the other 6,300 passengers and the check-in was surprisingly efficient. After the obligatory "boarding photo" which we didn't purchase we were escorted to our state room.
Our cabin on deck 14 with a king sized bed was very comfortable. We had an outside balcony with sea view (as opposed to one overlooking shops, restaurants or the pool area) where we had breakfast on a couple of mornings. The only downside was our neighbor who had the habit of screaming out in the middle of the night (and scaring the hell out of us) during what we assumed were nightmares.
From the top deck looking down to the Central Park area where the specialty restaurants and the wine bar are located.
Main Street, with shops, restaurants and bars and on the left "Vintage", the ships elegant wine bar
The main dining room, on three floors, where we ate dinner every evening except one
The main theater which was always packed during showtime.
The entertainment was for the most part very professional ranging from an Aqua show, ice skating show, a Beatles tribute band, the Broadway show Hairspray. The photos above show the excellent headliner show.
The ship stopped at Cozumel and Nassau, places we had visited before. We got off the ship at Cozumel and had a quick look around the town. All the shops seemed to be selling either tacky souvenirs or expensive watches - we didn't buy either. We last visited Cozumel about 25 years ago and were keen to see how cruise ships and mass tourism had changed the island. We took a taxi ride around the island which took about two hours. Fortunately the Mexican Government has set aside about a third of the island as a conservation area which means the island and particularly the beaches are unspoiled.
Our next and final stop was Nassau. We have been there many times and the decision to stay on board was an easy one - there were four other cruise ships in the port!!
Cruise line up in Nassau
The one more night on board, an early arrival in Fort Lauderdale and a drive back up the Turnpike and home again !