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Travel: Caribbean East Cruise (Apr 21, 2012 – Apr 28, 2012)

We love going to places where the  tourqoise water wash up onto fine sand beaches, this time we added a cruise ship into the perfect vacation formula.  It was our first time going to Eastern Caribbean and after some careful thought and planning we have decided to make it come true via a cruise to the region.  While some people are hesitant about the whole idea of being tied to a floating piece of metal for 7 days, we looked on to the brighter side of things, such as the non stop offering of tasty food, endless on board activities and top class evening shows, and last but not least the colourful ports of the Eastern Caribbean. This all turned out to be exactly what we experienced through 7 days of relaxation, well 6.5 days…  We lost that 0.5 day of relaxation due to Air Canada not being able to fly us out at the scheduled time.  Even though it is probably a rare occasion but it did just add enough stress for us to feel slightly frustrated.  Long story short, as the plane was about to depart the terminal we were informed by the captain that we had a problem with the fuel cap of the plane and that disembarking and waiting for a replacement plane was inevitable.  Luckily, the wait for the new plane was not too long and we made it to Fort Lauderdale airport about an hour later than our schedule.  About 15 minutes getting our luggage we were already boarding the ship!

Royal Caribbean really made the boarding process very simple, even simpler than checking in at a hotel.  Once boarded the ship and ventured out to different levels we were shocked at how massive this ship is compared to anything else.  It took us quite a while to walk from one end of the ship to the other, this is especially true when we take the wrong elevator and end up on the opposite end to our interior stateroom.  As already briefly mentioned about, we were very satisfied with the food, it was not top end quality but it was really sufficient and on par with mainstream venues here in Toronto.  On the contrary to online reviews that we have read, the food served in the main dining room and the buffet style Windjammer was quite yummy, our only wish was that Windjammer would stay open later into the night as our stomachs only got bigger and bigger over the time of 7 days.  There are also specialty restaurant onboard that we could choose to dine at for a flat fee, the only one that we tried was Giovanni’s and it was totally worth the price of USD 20 /person since that money would only buy me a half decent pasta locally here:).  Despite the fact that there are about 6000 people on board the ship because there are so many things to do on the ship, it never felt crowded at any time of our stay.  The onboard activities and shore excursion filled our schedule through the whole 7 days, notable mention here for onboard activities would the double rock climbing walls!

Booking the excursions were easily done with the in room interactive tv system.  They were not as expensive as my memory recall from my one and only previous cruise experience.  We opt for snorkeling in St. Thomas and kayaking + snorkeling in St. Maarten.  Both were extremely fun, especially our Turtle Cove snorkeling trip in St. Thomas.   As you can see, we took quite a bit of photos to document our 7 day journey.  One that was too short!

Photographer: Ricky Cheong
Model: Elva Sun
Location: Royal Caribbean Oasis Of The Seas, Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten

Leica M9, 28mm f4 perar, 50mm f1.4 summilux asph, Sony S90


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