HARTS of the Seas - Cruise 2014 { Eastern NC Photographer }
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Saturday, January 17, 2015
By Meredith

Hi All!

So I'm starting this "personal" blog post after I was about to upload all of our vacation images to facebook...yep, facebook...the never ending portal of images and information! haha! Then it dawned on me, wouldn't it be so much better as a blog post? That way, those outside of my circle of close friends can enjoy our cruise experience too!

Though not all images will be here, you'll get a taste of the fun we experienced as the "HARTS of the Seas" on the OASIS of the Seas, in the Eastern Caribbean!

So, sit back, relax and please try not to laugh as I "attempt" to commentary this blog post...or rather...do laugh! We're having fun here!

Let's start off with the ship...of course, it's HUGE, but it wasn't until we got home and googled Oasis vs Titanic did we realize JUST how big this ship really is. Even though the grandeur of this modernized ship can never compare to the historic period qualities of the Titanic, the Oasis is still a beautiful ship through and through!

...aaaaand, then there is my husband (He is in there because he's just so darn cute), breaking in the bed before we go exploring!

...off to explore...so, I think I was in such a wondrous state, that I didn't care about getting many artsy type images of the decor and ship sites...I literally think I was bouncing from one "arena" to the next!

Vacation is supposed to be that way right?

So, Here we have an image of the levels of the ship, as seen from the Promenade...pretty cool huh?
Then we have Central Park...a park??? Why yes, a Park...with live plants and everything...on a SHIP! It was beautiful and such a peaceful area! I think I enjoyed the park cafe the most in this section of the ship!

The middle photo below is the Royal Promenade as seen in between the rising bar. The Royal Promenade is a cool Central Station of sorts with shops, cafes, photo ops, & fun bars (like a karaoke bar, rising bar and salsa bar)! It's always bright and colorful, and Sorrentos Pizza stays open til 3 am! yeeeaaaah, midnight pizza binges!!!

To the far right, is the boardwalk with a carousel! Yep, we saw some very happy kiddos riding that thang! The boardwalk ends with the Aqua theater, but we'll get to that later with the Men's International Belly Flop...can you guess who entered???

For those who don't know, Oasis sails out of Fort Lauderdale! This is the cast off right around sunset...pretty huh?...we're up pretty high! Wouldn't wanna fall in! :O

Ooooh look, our favorite part below...FOOD! haha! Just kidding...though food was not our one and only objective on this cruise, it certainly IS a highlight! The delectible appetizer to your far left is some sort of artichoke tart with a balsamic reduction and other yummies on top! I am a major foodie, so I gobbled it up in seconds...I might have used manners! 

And if you learn nothing else from this BLOG post, then learn this...if you cruise, order as many appetizers, entrees and desserts as you want! There is NO rule that says you have to have just one of each! We learned this after about the 3rd night on our first cruise. Please, please, please learn from our mistake and don't do what we did ;) 

I probably gained 5 pounds, but it was worth the weight to indulge and try new things! I can always burn it off later right?!

Yes, we did celebrate our anniversary! I think the most amusing part of that evening was hearing all of the waitors sing "Happy Anniversary" to the Happy Birthday tune, all in different accents! You can view it on my montage youtube video HERE. Oh, and the chocolate dessert was yummy too! I blew out the candle and snuck a bite before the hubs did, hehe!

PORT 1 - Nassau, Bahamas...What better to do than visit the Atlantis hotel and resort?! We decided to spend the day at their aquarium and waterpark...Jeeeeellies??? Sweeeeeeet!

...Oh the beauty and lavish detail...my first thoughts were, "it would be fun to photograph a wedding here!"

...we had a blast, and the hubs even dared to do the slide that shoots straight down through a tunnel where sharks swim! This photo shows the tubing side :)

We ended our day in Nassau with some local cuisine...nothing fancy like our ships fare, but still tastey! CONCH Fritters..I'd say more breading, than conch, but the sauce made it taste yummy nonetheless!

PORT 2 - Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands

This was probably my favorite port for exploring on our own. We took a taxi and walked all over the town. It's not very big and everything is in close proximity. We even met a man from ALABAMA! ROLL TIDE! We had a great time hearing about how he and his wife ended up in the US Virgin Islands, running an alleyway bar! "Living the Island life!"

I have a confession to make...I stepped off the ship in stealth mode, ready to karate chop anyone who tried to come near us or even look at us in a suspicious manner because we're not from there. However, after meeting our Bama Bar Friend, I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly the locals are. They were ready to lend a hand, give directions and suggestions of places to eat and to visit! 

^^^This is the 2nd oldest Synagogue in the Western Hemisphere...it still has the original sand floors! Pretty COOL!

If Walls and doors could talk...what stories they might tell...

^^^Glady's Cafe is the place to eat here! The food was amazing, and yes, Todd tried the homemade hot sauce...Me no do spicy hot!!! My favorite was the jerk chicken (not spicy) and the fried plantains! mmmm! We even became excited when we got to try breadfruit again. We had not had it since we went on a mission trip to Jamaica! 

Last stop, relaxation at Maegan's Bay...unfortunately, we hit it on a bad day. It's known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the US Virgin Islands, but the day we went, the water was greenish and murky. Then the clouds rolled in and it started to rain, so we didn't get to stay very long.

We like to goof! Can ya tell?

PORT 3 - Philipsburg, Saint Martin (Sint Maarten)

The most intriguing thing I learned about this island is that there are 2 sides: French and Dutch. Of course, we didn't have any excursion planned, so we just toured the town on our own and soaked up some sun! If we go back, I want to tour both sides for the adventure and photography! 

This was my favorite place to photograph because the weather was great and our views were amazing, thus I was able to capture a few landscapes & scenics of the island! 

Whereas we did a lot of exploring and shopping in Saint Thomas, we mainly relaxed and took in island life in Saint Martin.

"Bull dog"...fierce

This is Jill and Ted...we don't know who they are...I just decided to take their photograph...wait, just kidding! haha! 

We made friends with Jill and Ted our 2nd night on board when they were seated at our table for the formal dinner night. However, we kept running into them everywhere, on ship and off, so we decided to become friends and cruise buddies! 

...and here is the moment you've really been waiting for! THE INTERNATIONAL MEN'S BELLY FLOP!!! Jill and Ted joined me at the AQUA Theater, of course!

There he goes...

Todd got a little top heavy and didn't land belly first...no win...but that other guy DID win! I think there was a mini tidal wave on board when he hit the water! Hey, he got a standing ovation! How could he not?! 

We all still had a good time...that's the whole idear! ;)

If you dare, you can watch all of Todd's major FLOP on my Oasis video of our trip!

Last day we were at sea, so we decided to go ziplining and had a strange, but cool occurance during our activity...

Strange as this is, I thought on our way to Fort Lauderdale, "What if our dinner friends from our last cruise were to be on this cruise???!" naaawww, there's no way!

I'm sitting with Jill waiting for Todd to zipline, when I spotted them (on the last day no doubt-how did we not run into them before???)!

After ecstatic "Oh my goshes" and hugs, we got a photo with them! aaaand, then we saw them at dinner that night and when we waiting to disembark the next day!

WILD isn't it???!!!!

Here's from 2013 and then 2014 cruises!

What a great way to end a fabulous cruise!!!

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