We flew in a day ahead of time. Stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th st. Less then 5 minutes from the port. We were on the 6th floor and could see the OASIS in port Saturday morning. We checked out at noon time. Took the hotel shuttle to the terminal. Cost was $7 per person. Make sure you have change or it will cost you $20. They won't have change. We dropped our luggage with the curbside porters. Then headed in.
We were checked in, on board, in our room, in our bathing suits, and in the pool with a drink by 1:15pm. I was shocked. But officially on vacation.
When you get your SEAPASS they will take your picture. They use a photo recognition system. It is amazing. Every picture they take of you will be placed in a file for you to look at when you want. At the end of the cruise you will have the option of purchasing a book with some of the photos taken. You get to choose the pictures you want. The book cost $99. The cd with all the photos on it cost $395. SO if you see a photographer have them take your picture. The book is designed to have photos from certain parts of the ship. If you don't have your picture taken on the boardwalk then it will put in a generic photo in that part of the book. We had formal pictures taken both nights and at three different locations. Get there early on formal night because EVERYONE will get their pictures taken. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THEM. But if you take enough of them you can get them in the book.
We had an inside cabin on the 14th deck. Room 14675. Located right by the stairs and the elevators. Close to food, and pools. At the end of our hall is the hidden balcony that over looks the Aqua theater. The room was shockingly comfortable. But we didn't spend a lot of time in it. Just slept. Bed felt almost like home. All the info you need is on the interactive TV. Check dinner menus, how busy dinning places are at that moment. Check you bill, or see what is happening that night.
I bought the soda package for just me. I had about 5 sodas every night a dinner. Just show your SEAPASS and you can fill up the cup they give you, or just get a plastic cup. If you don't drink a lot of soda, there is lemonade and some kind of flavored water, or ice tea in the dinning areas to drink.
FREE ICE CREAM CONES. I think I had about 20 cones over the 7 days. There are machines in between the four pools and in the wipe out cafe. Yes there is a CUPCAKE STORE. Offering flavors like apple pie, root beer and CREAMSICLE. It you see one you like spend the $2.50 and get it then. They didn't last. I never got to try the apple pie.
I got to ride the flow-rider during the ADULTONLY hours. OMG what a blast. I'm 47 and I was like a little kid. No wonder there is always a line. Go early and try it. The supervisors there were VERY HELPFUL in learning how to ride. Now I kinda wish I took the private lessons. Waited about 10 minutes for the zip line. Walk right in for the rock climbing, and walked right out with NUMB fingers. IT IS NOT EASY.
SHOWS- all were fantastic. LOVED Come fly with me. Love and marriage show and THE QUEST is a must do. I am still sore from laughing. I only wish they did it more then one night.
LABADEE-You can get off the ship and go to the beach at Labadee. Go past the GOLD CARD private beach and take a right. This will bypass the market place and bring you right to the beach. The meal on the beach had a large variety including RIBS. We rented a mat and floated all day. GREAT PICTURES from the beach with the OASIS right behind you. We were the first on the beach due to me riding the ZIP LINE at 8 am. I was told that sometimes they have to close it due to high winds in the afternoon. SO get up early an hit the beach. Take a nap on the hammock or in the SHADE. I didn't listen to my wife and got burned.
BRING something for your feet on the decks. The areas around the pool and the solarium get VERY HOT. They offer towels for the pools. You put the deposit ($20) on your SEAPASS card. They take it off when you return it at the end of the cruise. You can exchange the towel as many times as you want.
The WINDJAMMER was always packed during the middle of the day. We went twice. Could never find a place to sit and never went back. Johnny Rockets was $4.95 extra for lunch. I thought it was worth it. Breakfast was FREE there. As for the dinning room. We ate at the 8:30 sitting with our group. Three of the nights we were the only couple in our area of 4 tables. The menu had 4 regular items every night. I am a picky meat and potato guy. I had the chefs recommendation 4 nights and loved them all. I even had two entrees a few times. No one can due justice about describing this ship. It needs to be experienced to be believed. I miss it all ready. I thought it was funny that the two magazines in the cabin had Leonardo and Kate on the covers.
COSTA MAYA-Didn't do much at this port. Could go to the beach, to rocky. But spent money. We went to Diamonds Internationals. I bought the CROWN of LIGHT. It was a 21 years of marriage gift. I got 68% off the retail value. Plus if I bring it back in a few years they will give me what I paid for it towards and upgrade. The ships shopping expert just happened to be there and helped me buy it. Said it was a great deal. My wife was SHOCKED and thats all that matters. I would have prefered a second day at Labadee instead of Costa Maya.
COZUMEL-Here we did THE SECRET AMAZING RIVER. This is a must to do. It was the high light of our vacation. Discovered 4 years ago. Open to the public 2 years ago. This is outstanding to experience. First my wife hates the water if it is over her head and she is not to thrilled with tight spaces. She was skeptical about this trip. SHE WAS THRILLED that she did it. I was proud of her for trying it. You are given a wetsuit, life-vest, water shoes, and a lighted helmet. Then you go into the cave. About 45 feet underground. The water was 75. IT WAS DARK and beautiful at the same time. NO CAMERAS. They take photos for you and offer them for $59. They will give you about 70 pictures on the CD. I thought it was a good value. Great quality in the photos. They serve a small snack. Its not a lunch so don't expect much. If you can't go 6 hours without eating bring a snack from the ship. The total time was 6 hours but we were in the cave for only a little less then 2. You start off walking, at times you are waist deep, and then there is about a 10 minute time where you have to swim, but the wet suits make it easier. I thought it was easier swimming then walking. Walking in the water was the hardest because you could really see where you were putting your feet even though the water was crystal clear. I am a stay at home dad and my wife is a 1st grade teacher. DO NOT MISS THIS EXCURSION. It is something you will never forget. I PROMISE.