R & J – Nov 2012
Departing from Port Canaveral, this full take-over charter on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas was completely sold out with over 3600 passengers. A sensual adventure at sea.
The itinerary was a perfect mix of classic Caribbean ports, including Royal Caribbean’s Coco Cay, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten, with its world famous nude beach, Orient Bay. At Coco Cay, passengers enjoyed the cruise line’s private island without any need for clothing. St. Thomas and St. Maarten also offered clothing-optional excursions in addition to the usual island tours, water sports, and of course, shopping.
Days at sea were exotic and sensual, with many passengers taking advantage of the daily seminars and presentations designed to help couples connect with their partner on a deeper and more meaningful level. Conducted by relationship experts, couples were offered advice and tips to enhance communication, trust, and intimacy. Meet and Greets for passengers were also a daily occurrence, giving everyone a chance to mingle and make new friends.
Portions of the ship were designated as clothing-optional, with nudity allowed on the pool deck, upper observation decks, and the cabin hallways. There were minimum standards for dress in the rest of the ship, with shorts, sarongs, and wraps the most frequent choice. In the dining room, the women wore club wear, sheers, and see-through fabrics, while the guys were dressed more traditionally in slacks and casual shirts.
One of the nice features of this cruise was the open seating policy in the main dining room. With a flexible dining time, we never felt rushed or on a deadline for dinner. And as our group of friends grew, the staff was always happy to provide us with a larger table to accommodate our new cruise-mates.
At night, the options for entertainment included Vegas-style production shows, comedy, and music. Venues ranged from cozy, intimate lounges to Studio B, a large nightclub reminiscent of New York’s Studio 54. With stadium seating, multi-video screens, and a dance floor that easily accommodated a thousand people, it was often the most active spot on the ship. Nightly themes encouraged many couples to go all out with fabulous costumes, props, and make-up, filling the boat with pirates on one night and pajama-clad partiers the next.
One of the most interesting parts of the ship was the interior Royal Promenade. Resembling a setting right out of early twentieth-century Americana, the inviting cobblestone-clad street was lined with stores, restaurants, and lounges. Over the storefronts, second and third story “apartment” windows offered passengers in promenade cabins the perfect vantage point from which to see all the action. It was the ideal setting for the impromptu street party presented as a tribute to the British rock and roll invasion, with multiple “floating” hydraulic stages allowing the ship’s singers and dancers to preside over some 3000 back-up singers.
OUR FAVORITE MEMORY from the cruise? At the request of several of their clients, Doug and Barb Allen of Erotic Adult Travel arranged a private catamaran charter for ten couples that sailed from Orient Bay, St. Martin to the uninhabited island of Tintamarre. Completing the passage in a little over half an hour, we spent the afternoon on a deserted, picture-perfect beach enjoying lunch, rum punch, and the company of both old and new friends.
Would I take another Couples Cruise? My husband and I have already booked the April, 2013, sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico.