The many outfits I wore on the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas
Nassau, Bahamas + Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas + Philipsburg, St. Maarten 

Text message from Dad:  “Just saw your photos…how many new outfits did you buy!”
Me: “Hey they were on sale!”

Some were anyway.  This was the quick conversation I had with my pops over text after he made sure we were OK and survived Hurricane Sandy that hit while we were on our cruise ship.

OK, so I bought a lot of outfits for the cruise.  And yeah, so I even managed to pack so I didn’t have to wear a single thing twice.  Neons don’t make it into fall, but they certainly make it into the Caribbean cruise/resort wear!  Hurray for J.Crew sales and me raiding the racks to find some of my outfits!

As for Hurricane Sandy, the last two sea days were rocking that as I sit in my chair right now I feel like I’m on the ship.  I feel like I’m drunk.  Mr. Wonderful and I even bought drugs and bracelets to try to cope with the motion – while we weren’t seasick, apparently nothing can make the feeling of the boat motion disappear. Thank goodness it was only the last two days we were at sea.

Cruise-ing Highlights:

  • Watching Kevin and Cathy wed on board before we sailed away
  • Snorkeling for the first time. I still wore a life vest and plugged my nose over my goggles.
  • Thinking that I ate so much that my feet got fat only to be reassured it was the salt water that makes one “puffy”
  • Being served delicious food all week and having a break from cooking
  • Sailing on a catamaran, twice
  • Waking up to a new place, a new view, every morning
  • Witnessing our friend Russell eat 6 lobster tails at dinner – as in 6 plates of it.  “It’s all protein!”

This was my second cruise in my life – the first for Mr. Wonderful.  The first time I was around 11 and went to Alaska with my folks and was easily entertained by the kiddie activities so this was clearly a new experience.

For those wondering about cruises, here’s a few things you should know:

  • Not everything is free – some specialty restaurants cost extra, but they will tell you.
  • Soda package is around $45 so that means, soda is not included with your emails, or coffee/espressos.  Just be aware of it.  Mr. Wonderful and I decided sharing one was good enough.
  • At the end of your trip, you should tip people, the cruise often helps you decide what amount, but it’s basically around $85 per cruise passenger that covers a week of everyone who has served you from your waiter to assistant waiter and housekeeper.
  • You can change your dinner time. Ours was 8:30 pm and takes 2 hours to get served your three course meal.  It was great because we got to see everyone, but for some that was late.  You can change your seating time.
  • There are “sea days” and “dock days.”  Dock days can start around 8 am to 5 pm.  Do not miss your cruise ship because they don’t wait for you!  Sea days are just that, you’re on the cruise ship so find your fun.
  • There are many excursions to select from on each dock city/location.  They start at $40 up to $300 – with a specific time to meet on the dock.  You can snorkel, do a tour, you’re basically paying to be shuttled/sailed around. We did an excursion for each location (3 total) because I’m not one to go where all the tourists go and shop.  I’m into beaches, sailing, and seeing things that where the cruise ship docks cannot show you.  We loved it and would highly recommend it. You need to book these excursions as soon as you get into your room because they do book up fast – we had to pick 2 backups because the ones we wanted were full.
  • Like all vacations, you’re going to spend more than you think.  Cruises are not cheap.

For you photographers who are wondering how we managed to get the backlighting shots (even a friend who I handed the camera to take a photo asked, “But the sun is behind you!”) I shot all these with a MANUAL point and shoot that opens up to f2 and ISO 6400.  The Canon Powershot S100 with image stabilization is amazing and worth every penny.  You could immediately see what your image would look like on specific settings as you changed them.  The instructor in me immediately thought, “This would be so easy for someone to learn manual mode!”  I’d highly recommend this for photogs who travel and don’t want to take the bulky DSLR.

And in true former magazine reporter/stylist fashion, I’m going to give you the lowdown on where I bought my resort wear/cruise outfits incase you were wondering!  I’m going to feel like a fashion blogger.

Row 1: White long-sleeve top, belt, shorts, cardigan: J.Crew, cross-over bag and sandals: Cole Haan / Yellow rope cardigan: Forever 21, Metallic sandals and Anchor T-shirt: J.Crew, green striped shorts: Old Navy, clutch: Steve Madden at Marshalls / Floral top: Tory Burch found at Last Chance, orange bow shorts from Off Saks Fifth, Cross-over bag and Sandals: Cole Haan.  Row 2: dress: Anthropologie / orange hi-low dress: Marshalls, gold heels: Lauren by Ralph Lauren, clutch: Steve Madden.  Row 3: color block striped dress: Old Navy, floppy hat: Forever 21 / Cardigan, shirt, neon green shorts: J.Crew, gold heels: Lauren by Ralph Lauren.  Row 4: Color block striped dress: Old Navy, leather gold bracelet: Sundrops Nail Spot, leather belt: Ralph Lauren (sorry dad, I’m not giving it back), sunglasses: Tom Ford.  Row 5 (formal nights): Wrap front halter dress: Alice + Olivia, vintage gold belt, clutch: Ellian, heels: INC / White sugar shift dress: BHLDN by Anthropologie, gold clutch: Ellian, heels: INC

Diana Elizabeth kept thinking the entire time, “What would my parents be doing now?” as she looked over the daily schedule.  Her parents cruise quarterly, everywhere, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, you name it.