We took a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas last week (June 19-26, 2010). This is RCCL's newest ship, with its inaugural sailing in December 2009. It also happens to currently be the world's largest cruise ship. We just got off the ship Saturday, and I thought I'd post some comments about our cruise. I did a little bit of a "live" report (though not as good as one of Radio's or some of the others), which can be found here: Live report Before we get started, I want to let you know that we may not be your typical cruisers (if there is such a thing). Our family is quite active, and very much into all boardsports (wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, Endoboarding - haha). We were on Liberty of the Seas in June 2007 and quickly became addicted to the Flow Rider stand-up. So, when choosing a cruise this year, the Flow Rider was a priority. You might notice that there were many things about Oasis that we didn't experience because a good bit of our time was spent at the Flow Rider. Maybe we're weird, but we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. Our cruise was planned as our annual family vacation and to celebrate our 18-year-old daughter, Katie's graduation from high school. We took along her 17-year-old best friend Caitlin and my 47-year-old cousin Kellye. I am 43 and my husband Chris is 38. Unfortunately, when we booked the cruise, Katie had a previous obligation for Friday night, so I had to book flights in from Austin on early Saturday morning. This stressed me out during the entire pre-cruise planning. Even more unfortunately, Katie's obligation was canceled too late for us to change our flights to Friday without a cost of about $1000 for the four of us. (Kellye lives in Boca Raton and met us at the port.) Our flight out on Saturday morning was at 5:30am. This meant we had to leave home at 3:30 to be at the airport by 4:30. This meant we went to bed around 12:30am and set the alarm for 2:30. Leading up to a very tiring first day aboard ship. Our flight was not non-stop. We flew Delta and changed planes in Atlanta. The flight departed Austin on time, but there was a huge mess-up by Ground Control in Atlanta, and when we arrived, there were more planes on the ramp and taxiways than gates, so we had to literally taxi around the airport for 45 minutes. We had only 55 minutes between flights. I knew that there were 2 later flights from Atlanta to Ft Lauderdale that would get us there in time to board by 3:30pm, but I was still stressed. If we missed our flight, so would everyone else who might be trying to make it to Ft Lauderdale, and the later flights might be full. Ultimately, we pulled into the gate 10 minutes before our second flight left. Our departure gate was directly across from the arrival gate, so that was good. I ran off the plane and over to the gate to let them know the four of us were there. Chris stayed behind to catch the girls. Caitlin left her iPod in her seat and had to wait for everyone to deplane before she could go back, and the gate attendant at the FLL flight kept telling me she was going to release our seats to standbys. All I wanted was to be on Oasis. Long story, short, we got on our plane and they held it for our luggage to transfer. Whew! We are on our way. We taxied out on one of the world's busiest and most unorganized taxiways and were soon first in line for takeoff. Then we waited...and waited... and waited. Finally the Captain came onto the intercom and said "well, we WERE first in line for take-off, but a light came on on the control panel and we can't get it to go off. Please wait for further updates while we check it out." Lovely. What seemed like an hour later, but was only probably 10 minutes, he told us that the light had been fixed and we were now 7th in line. When we finally got to FLL, we were only 5 minutes behind our scheduled arrival time. Whew, again! Next time, we WILL arrive a day early and stay in the port city. Lesson learned. At FLL, our luggage arrived within about 10 minutes and we grabbed a cab to the Port Everglades terminal. As soon as we got around the airport garage, we could see the Oasis. At this point, I was doing my happy dance. So excited about this ship and this vacation. We met Kellye just outside the terminal, dropping off her luggage, at about 1pm. The energy was phenomenal. Everyone was excited about getting on this ship. Inside the terminal, we had a short wait at security (maybe 10 people in front of us), then we were off to check-in, where there were NO LINES. We had our Set Sail passes and passports, so check-in was relatively effortless. It took a few minutes to sort out the paperwork and have our Seapasses printed and matched to our photographs. Then we were off to have our Welcome Aboard picture taken. I had read that this photo is a "must" because they use face recognition to tie to our Seapass cards for the entire party. This way all of our photos during the cruise are linked. More on that later. Our Seapass cards included our names, some code numbers, our muster station code, the My Time Dining indicator, and our photo binder location. Also, those with the Coke package included a Coca Cola logo. Katie's card had an M2 (Minor 2 for 18-20 year olds) and Caitlin's had an M1 (Minor under 18). Lots of info on those little cards! So off we went up the escalators and onto the gangway. By the way, to this point, everything was immaculately clean, and there was lots of room in the terminal. Still, no lines. Next up - first impressions onboard.