Updated: Jan 27
by Lynne Macolini
I never imagined that I would sail on 11 cruises in 12 months, but I did. April went on 12 in 12 months, Wow! It all started in the fall of 2021. April and I received an invitation to sail onboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship Odyssey of the Seas for a preinaugural sailing. We were actually onboard for the actual christening of the ship.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is one of the leading cruise companies in the world with a fleet of 60 ships and more coming. They sail to more than 300 destinations have itineraries in each of the following areas of the world:
Caribbean and the Bahamas
Arabian Gulf & Africa
We were really excited by this for several reasons. One, neither April nor I had ever been on a Royal Caribbean cruise, never been to Perfect Day at Coco Cay, and it was our first Inaugural Cruise with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. In addition, this would be our first cruise after the Covid closure.
Being on a new ship is also really exciting. You are trying things that very few people have tried. It cold be a show a new activity onboard, a new spa design, or even the bionic bar. Now the Bionic Bar was not new on this ship but it does give you an idea of what I am speaking.
When we are invited to an inaugural, we are hosted. We do not choose our stateroom. We are assigned one and learn what it is when we get on board. For this voyage, we were in an inside stateroom. Because we both prefer a balcony, we were thankful that this was only a 2 night cruise.
We boarded the Odyssey of the Seas in Fort Lauderdale, FL on November 13, 2021. We were as giddy as little kids on Christmas morning after they have spied that Santa Claus stopped at the house and left some presents. We were boarding our first ship in more than 2 years time. Our last cruise had been in 2019.
We did have to complete all of the Covid requirements. Having done that on several cruises, I am really glad that we no longer have to do all of that. Getting the official PCR Covid test 2 days in advance was both a challenge and stressful. I always wondered, would we get our results before we boarded? I was fortunate that they were always negative and in time.
Our first night was spent sailing towards Perfect Day at Coco Cay, RCCL's private island in the Bahamas. It was previously name Little Stirrup Cay and it is located right next to the private island of Norwegian Cruise Line, Great Stirrup Cay. Trust me when I tell you, there is no mistaking this island as you get close. Thrill Island shows off its tall water slides tower and is visible from quite a distance away.
Perfect Day at Coco Cay is and island made up of several different areas:
Captain Jack's: A la Carte Restaurant. you can purchase additional meal items here and use your ship's card to charge to your ship's account.
Captain Jill's Galleon: Complimentary kids splash area.
Thrill Water Park: There is an additional fee for the water park. Water park consisting of the tallest water slide in North America, largest wave pool in the Caribbean, and the highest vantage point in the Caribbean. There are 8 different kinds of waterslides in the water park, the Wavepool, Cabanas (at an additional charge), and more.
Up, Up and Away: A tethered air balloon. An additional fee is required for this well The air balloon is subject to weather and you will be refunded if it is not able to go up but it does need to be reserved as soon as possible before sail date.
Zip Line: Additional charge required. The zip line is 1600 feet long.
Oasis Lagoon: The largest freshwater pool in the Caribbean.
Harbor Beach: This is a beach that is in a small harbor. It is great for families as the water will be tamer than the outside beaches as it is sheltered. It is also right across from one of the complimentary grills: Skipper's Grill.
Chill Island: One of the outer beaches but it does have some protection against high waives as there is a little inlet.
Breezy Bay at Chill Island: This is another of the outer beaches which also has some protection. It is also the area where you go to get many of the excursions.
Chill Grill: The other complimentary grill on the island.
Coco Beach Club: This is an additional cost. There is a smaller pool here, a specialty lunch that includes steak or lobster and beverages. These are included in the cost. If you rent one of the cabanas at the Coco Beach Club, the beach club is included. That is a higher cost than just the beach club.
South Beach: This is where the sports games can be played. You can play or just relax. You can even float out or swim out to the floating bar at South Beach.
Cove Beach: Beach area for chilling just past South Beach.
Seaside Point: This is the place for Destination Weddings.
Announced Expansion: Royal Caribbean International has announced that they are expanding Perfect Day at Cici Cay and they will be adding an adults only Beach called Hidden Beach. No further details are available at this time.
You can also do an excursion from Perfect Day at Coco Cay. We did choose to do one and we were taken on a smaller boat to a stingray area not far from Perfect Day at Coco Cay. We were able to swim and feed the stingrays.
This is one of my favorite excursions that I have done. I have always loved stingrays. These guys were huge and they loved being there. They were fed lots of squid and we were able to hold them, touch them, and feed them. Feeding them was funny because they inhale the food. If you hand gets too close, you will get a little hickey on your hands.
There were not a ton of people there and everyone had plenty of chances to interact with the stingrays. It was also an affordable excursion. As we recommend to others, we did reserve this through the cruise line.
We did see two original shows onboard. Both were very well performed and imaginative. I would be interested in seeing them again.
Our stateroom host was fabulous. He explained to us how the communication system works onboard for the stateroom hosts. They have a magnet that you put on the door when you are out and about. You can also put a different one on advising that you are relaxing. This was great because the stateroom hosts always know if you are there. They do still knock in case you forget. Our stateroom host also had some fun with towel animals:
The poor frog was put to work on my laptop!
Our final day onboard was a sea day. It gave us a chance to check out everything else. April ran around the ship to get as many pictures as possible. I will share some. We did try out the spa and the casino. We were happy and surprised that there was not a lot of smoking in the casino. That may have been the smaller number of people onboard or the clientele.
I also found my first cruise duck! What is a cruise duck you say? Passengers will bring some ducks with a message attached to it and they will leave them in hidden places. If you see one, you can take it and keep it or you can hide it in another place. I found it funny that I found a Minnie cruise duck. Some cruise ducks also have a story as to where they have been. There is a website attached to the duck. You can log that you found the duck and then hide it on another cruise for someone else to find and log its destination.
Royal Caribbean does have itineraries available as follows:
Available to book now:
Alaska & Hawaii: Up through Winter 2025
Europe: Up through Winter 2025
Year/ Round/ Summer Caribbean: Up through Winter 2025
Remaining deployments: Up to Fall 2024
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