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.