The main part of the holiday was always intended to be the cruise, and so July 2nd saw us boarding 'Oasis of the Seas', our home for the week. Oasis of the Seas is one of the world's largest cruise liners, operated by Royal Caribbean International, and the first set of pics simply gives an idea of the ship's facilities. Apart from rooms for approximately 6000 passengers and over 2000 crew, the ship offers seven 'neighbourhoods' for guest enjoyment. These are: Central Park, with boutique shops and restaurants, a bar that can be raised or lowered over three decks, and a living park with over 12,000 plants and 56 trees; Pool and Sports Zone, with sloped-entry pools, hot-tubs, surf simulators, a mini-golf course, zip line, and table tennis facilities; Vitality at Sea, with a large spa and gym with over 150 cardio and resistance machines, as well as a jogging track around the full ship; Boardwalk, with a carousel, bars and restaurants, rock-climbing walls and a 750 outdoor AquaTheatre for diving shows; Royal Promenade, featuring shops and restaurants, bingo hall, and even a branch of Starbucks; Youth Zone providing science lab and computer gaming plus events and activities for youths of all ages; and Entertainment Place, featuring the main cinema, an ice-skating rink, nightclubs, casino and smaller venues for jazz and comedy performances. You'll already spot we went to the ice-skating show!

Cruises are well known for their food, and this cruise was no exception - with three main dining rooms providing the dress-up 'high class' food, and at least seven other venues offering 24-7 free snacks such as hotdogs, cakes and ice-cream.  Personally, I was not so impressed by the food on this cruise as I was on our Norway cruise, but that may simply have been because it wasn't new. Certainly we had no problem finding plenty to eat, as the following gallery will demonstrate - it has to be remembered that this report only takes us one day into the cruise!

The reason for this cruise, however, was for the concert. I have been a long time fan of Michael W Smith, and have been interested in joining one of his cruises for some time. What this effectively means is as well as all the normal cruise activities, every day there is also a concert with Michael W Smith or one of his friends. On this cruise, the line up was Michael as main concert singer and worship leader, Laura Story, best known for the worship song, "Indescribable", Pastor Jack Graham doing the preaching, Oliver North talking about leadership, and Mark Lowrie, singer and comedian best known for years will Bill Gaither. You'll see them in the pics below (on the stage of Cats!) and you'll see us meeting Michael W at a signing!.

There you go - more from the cruise in the next few reports!
Trevor, Shanhong and Teddy xx