I wanted a seven-night cruise that would visit a few interesting ports in the Caribbean. This was my third cruise with Royal Caribbean and they have always delivered the best experience. My reason for the trip was to give two of my granddaughters a wonderful trip as graduation presents. I traveled with a college graduate, high school graduate, and their little sister (15). The ship I chose was the Oasis of the Seas after reviewing all of the entertainment offered for young people. Oasis is beyond amazing, From the Promenade deck (5), where one can find all kinds of shopping opportunities, guest services, pizza restaurant, and cafe, to the boardwalk on deck 6 with lots of eateries and a big carousel for kids and adults, there is no shortage of places to shop and visit. The top deck with multiple pools and flow riders (simulates surfing), ping pong tables, sky bars, latin music (bands) and numerous water competitions kept my girls occupied for seven straight days. The crew throughout the ship was dedicated to their mission of making sure that each and every guest was having the dream vacation they imagined. Guest services solved several of our problems with ease and a good spirit. One of our sea pass cards failed to open the cabin door and another sea pass needed to be replaced owing to tanning oil, which smeared all of the information on the front of the card. As for the port itself, Port Canaveral is an attractive port to sail from and return. It is easy to park with a five-minute walk to the entrance. However, it is a bit pricey (137.00 for 7 nights). There is off port parking for half that price only five minutes away, a service that I wished I had known about beforehand. The shore excursions on St. Maarten and San Juan were okay, but St. Maarten is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Irma--damage was extensive. San Juan was okay, but I was hoping for a Caribbean flavor; instead, San Juan is very much an American city and looks like most of the larger cities in Florida. The three-hour tour gave us a nice overview of some of the important buildings, but beware, this tour advertises a trip to the Americas Mall, which means that most of the tour time is spent walking around a mall that Americans can find in any of their home cities. Labadee was by far the best shore excursion. Like everything else that Royal Caribbean does, the trip to Labadee was superb. RC has invested quite a bit of money into making it a tropical paradise, complete with numerous beaches furnished with beach loungers, dining gazebos and outside grills manned by RC's culinary team, drink stations, zip lines, wave runners, and scores of other beach activities. Labadee is a must see. And lastly, the food on Royal Caribbean will not disappoint. Daily menus are innovative and the quality of the food and its preparation made our dining experience something to look forward to every day. I am sure that many folks who cruise or want to cruise will hunt for the best deals. I, too, want the "biggest bang" for my buck and I believe that Royal Caribbean delivered on that point as well.
Our cabin was always clean, which was amazing since I was traveling with my three granddaughters ages 15, 18, and 21. While it was tight quarters, we never felt cramped, mostly because we expected cruise ship rooms to be small or modest in size in the first place. Truthfully, we did not use the balcony very much because we were hardly in our room owing to all of the activities Royal Caribbean offers on its ships. Our cabin attendant saw to our every need and we always enjoyed coming in at night to a different "towel animal."
We decided to give ourselves a beach day in Haiti and we were so glad that we did. We had no idea of what to expect but the beach offerings far exceeded our expectations. After getting off of the ship, we made our way with scores of other vacationers down to the beaches as there are more than one. The crew and laid out hundreds of beach loungers, set up grill stations at all of the beaches, and provided activities such as beach volleyball. The water is crystal clear and sooooooo cool and refreshing. We stayed and played the entire day and hated to leave this little paradise. I would advise others to take advantage of a beach day over this or that excursion.