Kalin’s Chronicles: Cruising the Caribbean

oasis of the sea One of my favorite ways to travel is by cruise ship. It’s a wonderful way to see several countries on one trip without having to repack, because the ship is like a floating hotel. And it’s also a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday!

My most fascinating and unique cruise was to Antarctica – which is a totally different type of cruise experience that I’ll discuss in a future post. However, most of my cruising has been through the Caribbean. Some of the lines I’ve cruised on include: Princess, Carnival, Costa, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. In fact, I helped my brother celebrate his 40th birthday on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cancun, Mexico. A few months ago, Royal Caribbean launched its newest megaship, Oasis of the Seas the world’s largest cruise ship (pictured left) with 16 decks and 2,700 staterooms.

Most of today’s cruises offer 24-hour buffets, Vegas-like entertainment, casinos, spas, pools, and even activity camps for kids. But megaships offer amenities that you wouldn’t expect to see on a cruise ship such as an ice skating rink, rock climbing wall, and mini golf course. I must say ice skating in warm weather, and seeing the ocean from the top of a rock climbing wall was extremely exhilarating!

Did youoasis inside know that during a cruise ship’s naming ceremony there is a celebrity “godmother,” who smashes a Champagne bottle against the ship as part of its official launch? Well, Oasis of the Seas is so big that it had seven godmothers, including: Gloria Estefan, Keisha Knight Pulliam, and Michelle Kwan.

Each time a new mega ship is launched, it ups the game for all other cruise ships to compete for passengers. And Oasis of the Seas is no exception with amenities that include: Central Park – the first living park at sea, a carousel, 28 loft suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, nine specialty restaurants with cuisine from burgers to fine dining, an oceanfront amphitheatre, and like Royal Caribbean ships before it; an ice skating rink, casino, children’s play area, and several nightclubs. (image: an inside look at the Oasis)

The ship sails to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas. In May it will start alternating the eastern Caribbean route with a western one, with stops in Labadee, Haiti (a private resort on the northern coast); Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Rates start around $729 per person/double occupancy, and now is a great time to book a Caribbean cruise because of the deals available online.

Here are some sample cruise deals for May 2010:

kalins cruise In my next post I’ll offer tips to help you experience smooth sailing on your cruise vacation. And remember: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain  (Left: Kalin and family on Royal Caribbean)


Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, go to www.seetheworldproductions.com.

  • I’ve never been on a cruise personally but from what you’ve mentioned, it sounds amazing. It really is a genius idea, hotel on water :p I think it’s great that you’ve been able to go on so many cruises. I hope to one day as well.

  • I’ve never been on a cruise personally but from what you’ve mentioned, it sounds amazing. It really is a genius idea, hotel on water :p I think it’s great that you’ve been able to go on so many cruises. I hope to one day as well.