The Oasis of the Seas
Not So Solo Repeat Cruise
May 2023


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An Overview
This is the same cruise ship and itinerary as the one I went on last year for my first SOLO cruise.   I went solo last year because my wife (Kathy) wasn’t ready to get involved with pre-cruise testing and other protocols imposed at the time.  But this year all restrictions are off so she was ready to cruise. 

Oasis of the Seas is the worlds 4th largest cruise ship. It was #1 when built (2009) but Royal has raised the bar since. Her double occupancy capacity is somewhere around of 6,000 passengers (+2,100 crew).  We were told that there were about 7,000 passengers on this sailing.   Like last years cruise, this one sails out of Cape Liberty in New Jersey an easy 2-1/2 hour drive from home.  No air travel, hotels, and shuttles.

Under The Bridge
I cruised aboard Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne NJ.  While the port is in New Jersey, it does go out into New York Harbor.  All shipping in New York Harbor heads out to sea by cruising under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. A favorite activity among cruisers is to go up onto an upper deck as the ship passes under the bridge. I've watched and recorded the bow view several times before.  This time around, I wanted a vantage point that puts the modified exhaust stacks into view.  I was also hoping to catch them being extended into cruising position.  Success!   It was said that there is only a 10 foot clearance.

The Boardwalk Inside Balcony Cabin
For this cruise aboard Royal’s “Oasis of the Seas”, we initially booked an “Inside GTY”.  GTY stands for “Guaranteed Type” meaning the cruise line will give you a lower price but they will decide which cabin you will be placed in.  We’ve done this several times over the years and have been satisfied with where we’re placed on the ship. 

In recent years, the cruise lines have adopted a new approach to the cabin upgrade process. The current approach involves opening up any available higher level cabins to a bidding process. I went ahead and placed a little above minimum bids on three types of cabins… Ocean View, Inside Balcony, and Ocean Balcony cabins.  Results aren’t announced until sometime during the week before embarkation.  As luck would have it, I won the bid on an “Boardwalk Neighborhood Balcony” cabin. We had this type of cabin several years ago on one of Oasis’s sister ships.  Having a table and chairs was nice, we even ate lunch there.
We were assigned cabin 14307.  BTW, deck 14 was really deck 13 in disguise.

The Embarkation Day Balloon Drop
I found out that a balloon drop was scheduled for this cruise.   The drop happens at midnight in the Royal Promenade.   Somehow I managed to stay up and record the event with my 360 camera.  I was totally surprised to see the platform come out of the ball over the Globe & Atlas Pub entrance.
The Ultimate Abyss Challenge
I thought about it for the entire cruise and, finally, went for it on the last day.  The Ultimate Abyss is a dry slide that twists and turns it's way down 8 decks.  I was going to try this on the previous solo cruise  but the area was closed because of the weather.  I wanted to take my 360 camera along so I purchased a wrist mount to secure the camera.  In the end, getting onto and off of the slide turned out to be the hardest part for these old bones.

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