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Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean Cruise
July/August 2012


The Ship

Nassau

St. Thomas

St. Maarten

Make no mistake about it, this is one HUGE ship. 6,200 passengers, nearly half that amount of crew. Docked next to any other ship, it dwarfs the smaller one and noticeably. Yet, from the time we stepped onboard, until the 15 minutes it took us at the end of the cruise to disembark, claim our bags, and clear US Customs, we never felt crowded. With two dozen elevators to move you about the sixteen decks, there was only one occasion where we waited longer than a few minutes for one to arrive. There was never a wait for a table at any restaurant and only some minor jostling for pool chairs; after all, we were a party of six.

The ports are, of course, designed to separate you and your money as quickly as possible. Deals are there to be had. I scored a bottle of 30-year-old Balvenie Single Malt for several hundred dollars less than I could have bought back home. Jewelry is the purchase of choice. However, I found a locally cooked hot dog with spicy onions that was as good as any I've eaten on the streets of New York.

Three days at sea, three days in port: Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. A chance to relax and spend time with family. It doesn't get much better than that.