State of the Art vs. Frozen in Time: My Nominations for Vacations that Fall Into Both Categories

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State of the Art vs. Frozen in Time.  Which is your preference, at least when it comes to vacations?  I just tried both in the space of three weeks.  Tough life, I know.  My verdict – they’re both awesome each in their own way.  Given my position in the vacation business, it may not startle you that I enjoy many kinds of vacations.  These two were no exception to that rule.



For State of the Art, our family went on (drum roll) Oasis of the Seas.  While you’re recovering from that shocking revelation, I will say yes it is (largely) possible for me to have a proper vacation on one of our ships.  Although I am curious about everything we offer, I still concentrate on the offerings that are most to my liking – specialty restaurants, shows, fitness, table tennis, spa, and destinations.  For the record, in Nassau we went to Atlantis (and caught up with a former Royal Caribbean colleague who works there now, hey I never said my professional and personal lives weren’t intertwined!).  In St. Thomas we rented a sailboat with a captain (and chef) and sailed to St. John and back.  In St. Maarten we went on the kayak and snorkel tour.  The weather was great everywhere and all of the excursions were very enjoyable.

Of course it was a priority for me to see how our new class of ship is performing after six months in service, not to mention six months before her sister ship, Allure of the Seas, starts service.  Between myself and my family members (including my brother, sister-in-law and nephew), we had a few dozen comments in the way of constructive criticism to pass along to the team, notwithstanding that overall the ship and our people were as marvelous as I had hoped and expected them to be.  In summary, Oasis of the Seas is what we had aspired for her to be, and even more.  I hope all of you will experience the bagpiper playing on the bow as you return from port, grab a salad or sandwich from Park Café, and sit outside for lunch in Central Park and take in the Oasis of Dreams show in the AquaTheater



For Frozen in Time, our family spent a few days on Cape Cod (Truro) and then the balance of the week in the lake region of south central Maine.  These are two areas where I have spent a lot of time in my life.  I don’t know if the people responsible for tourism will cringe when they read this, but the main attraction of these wonderful places is that they never change.  They are each almost exactly the way they were when I was ten years old.  In fact, I spent quality time with two of my camp counselors from when I was 10 and 11 and spoke to my counselor from when I was nine.  As an aside, I still remember a summer day in 1969 when the junior campers got to stay up late one night to crowd around a tiny, grainy black and white television to see the coverage of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. 

Back to the topic at hand, both Cape Cod and central Maine are truly relaxing places with incredible vistas and ridiculously good food, especially if you like lobster, steamed clams, pie and ice cream.  That last sentence probably explains why I ran my worst 5k of the year at Old Orchard Beach at the end of my vacation, and still won a medal for third place – I really have enjoyed being promoted to the 50 – 54 age group.

I’d like to hear your nominees for best vacations in the categories of State of the Art and Frozen in Time.

  • Scott Jensen

    For State of the Art, I’d break my nominations between tacky and high-quality.

    For tacky State of the Art fun, nothing beats Wisconsin Dells. Very little homage is given to old amusement attractions and current ones are always upgrading, expanding, and improving themselves. Snobs will not like the place but that’s their problem.

    For high-quality State of the Art fun, nothing holds a candle to Disney World.

    As for Frozen in Time, there’s Galena, Illinois. A cozy town nestled in a valley where to get to downtown, you have to pass through two huge flood gates. If you go, stay only in the Bed & Breakfasts there, park your car, and don’t drive it again until you leave for home. The shops are great, the restaurants are even better, and it takes you back to the idealized 18th Century when Ulysses S. Grant was President. If you want to recharge your batteries, this is the place for you.

    • Adam

      Scott, thank you for sharing all the details of your favorite “State of the Art” and “Frozen in Time” vacation destinations.

  • Debra

    For Frozen in Time my favorite vacation is Mackinac Island in Michigan. It is such a quaint little island where no automobiles are allowed and the best way to get around is a horse drawn carriage. There is also a homemade fudge shop around almost every corner and cute little mom and pop grocery stores to get ice cream sandwiches from. It is really beautiful in the fall when all the leaves are changing colors. I have some great memories from family vacations taken there!

    For state of the art, I am hoping that my vote will go to the Oasis of the Seas! I am sailing in September and am counting down the days(only 64 more to go!). Of course when I sail on the Allure in December I will have to let you know which of the two wins out!

    • Adam

      Debra, thank you for sharing. We’re excited to hear you will be joining us this September onboard Oasis of the Seas. We hope that you have a memorable and “State of the Art” experience sailing with us.

  • ann

    For “frozen in time” I vote for Cornucopia Wisconsin — Far Northern Wisconsin where wading into the frigid waters of Lake Superior from the sandy beaches is #1 activity! They have a genuine general store — food, hardware, gardening supplies, t-shirts — if they don’t have it at Ehler’s store you probably really didn’t need it anyway! Artisan well with the best water you can imagine. With all of this, you don’t need high tech!

    For a high-tech trip, our last cruise on Celebrity Solstice of the sea is my nominee. The roof top grass lawn, the tree suspended in the atrium, the ancient are of glass blowing updated using state-of-the-art equipment; all in luxury enviornment was the perfect blend of nature and technology.

    • Adam

      Thank you for sharing your vacation nominations with us, Ann. We’re glad to hear about your experiences.

  • Shauna

    We had the most amazing State of the Art and Frozen in Time Vacation ever! We boarded the state of the Art Navigator of the Seas in Italy and sailed to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Sicily. Then when we docked, we stayed in Italy for 5 days to see Florence and Venice. The world-wind cruise of amazing history! Come on!! Ridiculous delicious food, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and our very favorite souffle on board! Our first stop was Naples and Pompeii, Capri and Sorrento. We had STATE OF THE ART Gelato and walked the rubble ruins of Pompeii, all as Mt Vesuvius watched over us… frozen in time. Then how can you even describe seeing the Parthenon, Ephesus and riding camels at the Pyramids. We were in awe at every corner. But I think the best day we had was exploring Alexandria, Egypt. Crazy taxi rides through the city and walks through the bazzars of antiquities combined with polyester. Okay..I have a feeling the polyester will be frozen in time forever. The people of Egypt were amazing, warm, generous and happy to help us foreigners as we walked the streets exploring their beautiful city.

    The Navigator was our home port at every port. The staff was as charming and joyous as any ship I have cruised. So it was sad to leave them after 12 days to head to Italy. Almost! LOL Come on!!! We were then ready for land and gelato, pizza and gondolas. State of the art equipment had cleaned the Duomo in Florence so it took our breath away…frozen in time. The David standing massive and elegant was a vision to behold. The sunset in Venice was washed in a light that was just like the blown glass at every corner.
    And being there with my husband was everything I could dream a trip this amazing could be.

    I was thinking about the names of the RCCL ships and realized this trip was all of them! VISIONS of amazing things. ENCHANTMENT at every port. We were VOYAGERS through OASIS’s of LEGENDARY sites. We NAVIGATED the lands of the MONARCHS and the MAJESTIES as we experienced the LIBERTY of time away. We were MARINERS under the BRILLIANCE of the stars as we SERENADED the JEWELS on the horizons. All of this RADIANCE, as we felt the FREEDOM of the fresh air on the GRANDEUR and SPLENDOUR of the (high) Seas.
    Thanks RCCL for an experience I will never ever forget.
    Shauna Hoffman

    • Adam

      Shauna, thank you for sharing your “State of the Art” and “Frozen in Time” vacation with us. We’re so glad to hear you had a wonderful travel experience and that your entire trip was not only enjoyable, but memorable as well. We look forward to you sailing with us again.

  • Susan

    Adam, our choices for vacations are very similar. My boyfriend and I, we are a find-love-later-in-life young couple in our mid-40s who were raised in the Northeast but now work in south Florida.

    We will vacation in Maine during the second week of August from Portland to Bar Harbor because it’s familiar and cozy and eclectic. The trip will include a 10K from the beach to the beacon, a lobster festival, and kayak in Acadia. The trip is arranged for leisure and reflection at a slow pace.

    In December, we will sail on Allure of the Sea’s extravaganza voyage. Rob has sailed with Royal Caribbean 5 times but this will be my very first cruise ship experience. I’ve sailed on ships as a Merchant Marine Engineer (oil tanker) but never a cruise ship. We wanted to book an adventure that would be exciting for both of us given our experience at sea. We booked the extravaganza to share in the excitement of a maiden voyage on a brand new state-of-art world class ship and be WOWed. We are anticipating a sensory explosion that is vivid, fresh and seamlessly pleasurable.

    When the agent tried to recommend an ocean view, we insisted on a Central Park with balcony on 10D. Rob is a planner and we don’t want to miss a thing! We can see the ocean anytime, we want to see and be one with the ship in all its splendor. If we must, we will spend a little time in Labadee

    I shall let you know all about!

    ps, any chance of an engine room tour?

    • Adam

      Susan, thank you for sharing your vacation plans with us. We are excited to hear that December will be your first cruise experience. We can honestly say there is no better choice than to have your first cruise onboard Allure of the Seas, you are in for a true WOW experience! Regarding your question about an engine room tour, at the moment we do not have plans for engine room tours, but thank you for the suggestion. We look forward to having you onboard Allure, and hope that you enjoy your beautiful view over Central Park. Don’t forget to let us know all about it when you get back.