The Oasis of the Seas… Day 6 – Somewhere East of Cuba…
Let’s call this one: The Blog About What Will Make This Cruise “DIFFERENT” Than Ones We’ve Ever Done Before, THE CONCERTS & SHIP ENTERTAINMENT.
Well, here we are, on our way back to Ft. Lauderdale from the islands and I have to say that I’m more excited about next year’s Michael W. Smith & Friends cruise than I was when I first stepped foot onto this ship (which I was already pretty excited). The reason for my excitement is that this cruise is going to feed people’s lives in so many ways. The exclusive concerts, bible teaching, and fellowship moments that you’ve all come to know and love will all be there – even more actually. The cruises full array of entertainment will also be in place – so not only will you get to do the MWS & Friends programming, but you’ll get to schedule whatever ELSE you want to do. Let me explain how this is different than years past.
In previous years we’ve been on ships that were smaller. The theater’s on those ships were lounges, which were small and not really geared for a typical MWS Concert experience. Those theater sizes also made it so that Michael and his guests would have to perform all of their concerts / speaking / teaching TWICE so as to accommodate the entire ship. As a result of that schedule, we had to shut down all of the ship’s standard entertainment experiences, Michael and his staff had to work twice as hard, and we actually had to cut out different concerts or teaching moments because there simply wasn’t time to accomplish everything we wanted to do, while having to do it twice so EVERYONE could participate.
The Oasis of The Seas has a theater that is a 2/3 thrust theater that seats just over 1,400 guests (the 2/3 thrust stage is a technical term… sorry – that means that everyone is surrounding the stage, not just straight back. Everyone is CLOSE to the stage. It’s also REAL theater seating, not a lounge with inefficient couches. The space is just built for WHAT WE DO! There aren’t any seats that don’t have a clear, close view of the stage. Michael and his guests will get to lead morning devotions, Laura Story will get to lead a women’s bible study thought the week (something we’ve wanted to offer for years, but have never been able to do), The teens will get to have their own exclusive place to hang out, EVERYONE will get to go see the full broadway production of CATS on the ship (it was pretty unbelievable seeing it… we’re talking actual Broadway actors and vocalists on-stage, not B-level talent folks – TOP NOTCH). Did I mention the return of our cruise favorite SMITTYOKE? We’ll have locations on the ship that our group can hang out and just TALK. But also, if you’re coming on the cruise and you just want to rest and be with you significant other or family, you can do that here. The dining options as I’ve explained in my previous blogs are second-to-none (Personal favorite, GIOVANNI’S TABLE, in Central Park, deck 8 – the crab ravioli and stuffed Italian shrimp were unbelievable.)
There’s all of your standard cruise fair going on, there’s dance parties, Bingo, duty-free shopping, the Boardwalk activities, the Flowriders, the zipline, the kid’s AdventureOcean Club (my daughter has gone almost daily from 2 to 5 pm… they take such good care of the kids, it’s awesome to watch her come up to us with email addresses of the parents, of her new friends from the ship). Then there’s the four pools, the 12 HUGE hot tubs (2 of which may be the biggest hot tubs I’ve ever seen – they hang out over the side of the ship, so that when you look down over the edge all you see is water), the Solarium for adults who just want to “chill”. For families, the Dreamworks Animation “Move It, Move It, Parade in the Royal Promenade was a fun 20 minute party that you don’t want your younger kids to miss… for the guests who are not interested in that… you can’t even hear it anywhere else on the ship. All cabins are so quiet, it’s just amazing the way they’ve separated these spaces.
In coming weeks, we’ll develop a couple suggested schedules and an FAQ that will tell you how to go about using Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Planner to build your schedule, because you do need to reserve your spots in the bigger shows/events in advance. That way you’ll be able to ensure that you get to do everything that you want to do. Our goal will be to get you a preliminary MWS & Friends schedule and the FAQ during the month of August to help our group be first in line for your theater and dining reservations if you want to make them.
Some people have mentioned that they feel almost overwhelmed by the amount of things going on. What I’ll tell you about THAT is this… YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE PART IN ANY ACTIVITIES THAT YOU DON’T CHOOSE. The ship, their staff, and their crew are VERY respectful and they actually work hard on keeping the atmosphere fun and lighthearted. I’ve tried to do far more on this cruise than I would EVER do normally, and more than I’d recommend that you do. My goal was to be able to tell you about as much as possible so I can answer as many questions as possible.
I will say this, my personal favorite show so far has been the FROZEN IN TIME (no, not THAT “FROZEN”), Ice dancing show. I went into it fully expecting it to be subpar and cheesy… but once again this ship has shown me, that, that’s not how they do things. My daughter’s favorite show was the high diving show OASIS OF DREAMS at the back of the ship. Just realized I’m typing about a cruise ship and I just mentioned an ICE-DANCING show and HIGH-DIVE show… wow. This is crazy!
Again, none of the big, main theater shows will interfere with MWS & Friends activities, and if any of the “other” shows do, we will give you suggested times to reserve your tickets to see those, so you don’t have to miss any MWS concerts or experiences.
OK, now before I sign-off… I want to encourage you to bring your family and friends on the cruise this year. I’ve been sending a group of my family’s friends telling them all about this cruise and I think we’re going to have a big group of them coming along next year now.
I mean it, if you haven’t booked your cabin yet, do it sooner rather than later… the earlier you book, the faster you can reserve your calendar, and the better experience you will have! Go here for details: http://www.michaelwsmithcruise.com.
Two more blogs to go this week, make sure you watch out for them.
- Final wrap-up (Friday)
- Disembarkation (Saturday)
BLESSINGS FROM THE CARIBBEAN SEA!
Follow my trip on the following social network profiles:
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mwscruise
- Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/mwscruise/
- Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelWSmithEvents
- Periscope: Live Videos via twitter – MWS Cruise / (Android and iOS App available)
Do YOU have any questions about the MWS & Friends 2016 Cruise? Ask them here and I’ll answer them throughout the cruise: https://michaelwsmith.com/caribbean-cruise-questions/
Thinking about booking the cruise? Get details and reserve your cabin today: http://www.michaelwsmithcruise.com