Oasis of the Seas Caribbean Cruise Blog - Aug 2015
Part 2

Ahoy,

I, Jan, my mother, and my brother, are enjoying our vacation on the beautiful Oasis of the Seas and preparing for you to join us soon. We met with our group coordinators yesterday and they promised that everything will be perfect for our passengers regarding poker room logistics.

Here are some general ship observations:
They have done a good job of keeping the ship in top condition. The beds are comfy! The bathrooms in the inside, outside, and balcony cabins are small. The food in the dining room and in the Windjammer (buffet) is very good. They offer escargot every night as well as 4-6 other appetizers, two types of soup, and at least six different entrees per day. The desserts are plentiful. The headliner show is always good. Unfortunately, I canít say the same for CATS, the Broadway production. The ocean has been very smooth throughout the week and the ship has great stabilizers - I havenít even needed seasick pills since I canít feel the ship moving. I actually have to go outside to tell if we are sailing.

After two sea days, we docked in Costa Maya today. My brother Rich, Jan, and I went to the beach for a while then came back to the ship for lunch. Tomorrow we will be in Cozumel. Cozumel is my favorite Caribbean island. I recommend that you book a ship excursion in Cozumel since you should really get out and
see the beautiful beaches and coastline. I always say that once you get about 10 miles from town, if you close your eyes and then open them again, you would think you were in Hawaii. Thatís how beautiful the coast is! If you like to snorkel, Cozumel is the best spot on the Western Caribbean itinerary and St. Thomas is best on the Eastern Caribbean. For shopping, I think Cozumel (Western) and St. Thomas and St. Maarten (Eastern) are the best ports. We are happy to answer any port questions you may have since we have been to all these places at least 25 times.

We have had some of our cruisers email us to ask about how Hurricane Erika will impact us. Today the captain announced that it looks like that storm will bypass us and we will keep our scheduled port itinerary. Of course he said that he would continue to monitor it and make adjustments if necessary. As mentioned in the last blog, they will never sail into a major storm - safety is a priority!

Here are some more cruising tips to make your trip even better:

• Wash your hands often. This is a good way to stay healthy on a cruise ship.
• Be on time for dinner. We are instructing the wait staff to take dinner orders of those who are there first without waiting for the whole table to fill up.
• Bring appropriate clothing for the heat of the Caribbean. It is hot and humid in this part of the world.
• Donít forget to pack sunscreen, a hat or visor, your passport, a copy of your online check-in papers, your medications and vitamins, and lots of $1s and $5s.
• Jan says you might need to bring a sweater, shawl, or sweatshirt, since it can be cold in some spots on the ship.
• Book your shore excursions online before Aug. 30 if you are on the Sept. 5 cruise, or once you get on the ship if you are on the Aug. 29 cruise (it is too late to book online for the Aug. 29 cruise.)
• I like to tip my cabin attendant on the first day. You will get good service regardless of if you tip extra or not, but I like to see that extra smile on their faces.
• On sea days, there is a great salad bar in the dining room. You are allowed to make your salad to go and can eat it in the poker room if you are playing poker. There also will be a selection of food in the poker room.
• Smile! The shipís photographers will be taking your picture at every possible opportunity and they must use some special lenses since they make everyone look good. :)
• Remember the 10-year rule. If something is annoying you at the moment, ask yourself whether or not it will matter in 10 years. If the answer is no, get over it and choose to enjoy yourself instead of being angry or unhappy.

Jan and I are eager to see you on the ship. Please remember to check in at the poker room between 1-3 p.m. to get your badges. The welcome aboard party will be in Studio B (the ice rink) on Deck 4 at 5 p.m. on embarkation day. Please plan to attend and let us buy you a drink and give you some important information about your cruise. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the cruise, please send them to Linda@cardplayercruises.com. I am online every day and will respond.

Travel safely,

Linda Johnson