The rest of the afternoon we relaxed at one of the half dozen pools scattered on the pool deck and when the sun went down, we went to dinner.

Oasis has several restaurants but the main restaurant called Opus is a huge three-level dining room that can accommodate thousands of guests at a time. There are two seatings every night and we reserved the late seating which begins at 8:30PM. Our family of seven sat at the same table and were served by the same waiter (Ian) and assistant waiter (George) every night. The menu is extensive and changes every night. We loved this dining experience.

Around 5 PM, we met a few Facebook friends in Central Park Area then headed up to the pool deck to wave goodbye to the City of Fort Lauderdale as our ship began pulling away from the port. Seemed like 6,000 of us were standing on the top deck cheering one another as boaters sailing along our ship tooting their horns and people standing in their backyards watching this floating city nimbly maneuvering its way out of the port. We waved goodbye and blew kisses to all of them and in no time at all, our ship was out to sea.
After dinner, we went to a show called "Dreams" in the Aqua Theater located in the back of the ship. The show's theme is water and it features divers, synchronized swimmers, and dancers in the pool which at times transitions to trampoline and platforms. This show has received great reviews and I agree with those reviewers.

After the show, we retreated to our room and called it a day, a long day at that. Tomorrow, we will be at our first port of call, Nassau in the Bahamas.

Cruising the Eastern Caribbean (Day 1)
Saturday, May 8,2010

Time has come for our Caribbean cruise vacation to start. We came to Fort Lauderdale yesterday and today our cruise is to begin.

After a quick breakfast at the hotel, I dropped everyone off at Port Everglades where our ship, the "Oasis of the Seas", just came in this morning. I returned the van to the car rental office then caught the shuttle back to the port.

Port Everglades in the heart of Fort Lauderdale resembles an airport terminal with check-in counters and security lines. They moved people along quickly and at 11:30 AM, we were finally on the ship. Walking through the Royal Promenade, we were definitely in awe with the immensity and luxury surrounding us. Although I knew what to expect, I was still floored with what I saw inside the ship. I will describe the various neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops on this ship in the next few pages of this blog.

"Oasis at the Seas" docks in Port Eveglades, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Lee is checking in
Since we boarded the ship early and our rooms were not ready, we headed straight to Windjammer Restaurant on the top deck to have a sumptuous buffet lunch. On the way to the restaurant, we passed by the pools on the pool and sport deck and could not stop marveling at what we saw.

Stephanie, Christina and Julian are ready
so are Jessica and Steve
On the way to lunch. Passing by one of many pools on the ship
Julian loves the H2O Area for kids in the background
Our room was ready around 1:00 PM. Lee and I have a ocean-side state room with balcony, Steve and Jessica share one inside state room; and Stephanie, Christina, and Julian occupy the other.

Just before the ship departed, everyone was told to go to a certain area for an emergency drill. In the Opal Theater, we watched a short video explaining what to do in case of an emergency. Unlike other ships, Oasis doesn't require one to practice the drill with a life vest and life vests are not stored in your room and therefore, you have more closet space for your belongings.
Our stateroom. The ship is docked now but in a few hours we will be surrounded by the sea.
Waiting for ship to depart
Boaters following us
Well wishers waving as us
On way to dinner. Steve, Jessica, Lee, Julian and Christina
Steve, Bo and Julian in front of the Casino Royale
Inside the three-level Opus Dining Room
Opus Table 420. We eat here most evenings
A "Dreams" performer in the Aqua Theater

What do you think?
Feel free to leave a comment
Friends from Facebook. From left: Debbie, Gerda, Bob, Lee, and Pat