When you are on a cruise, the staff entices you to book a future cruise, often before you know what ship you want to take or where or when you want to go. Low refundable deposits paired with financial inducements while you are on board begin the relationship. So it would be safe to say that this trip began to germinate when we put down a deposit while sailing on the Vision of the Seasin 2011. Once we learned that the Oasis of the Seas would be making a special sailing between Europe and the US after being refitted, we signed up. Although ships this size scare people and are limited by that size in places where they can dock, our experience on the Allure, a sister ship was unique and amazing. As Royal Caribbean has built ever larger ships, their people organization skills grew right along with them. We rarely stood in line and there was so many things to do onboard, the passengers were dispersed and it never felt crowded. We almost resented the time we spent in port. That won't be a problem this time; the sail across the Atlantic will be very slow and we will only stop once.
But it makes no sense to fly to England just to come home again, so we looked for other travel experiences that would pair well with this voyage. On previous cruises, we made some stops in Cornwall in southwestern England and were blown away by how beautiful the area was. Ken found a Road Scholar photography program in Cornwall which paired nicely with a "behind the scenes" theater program in London. When we added up all the fees, it made more sense to tour Cornwall on our own with a rental car and we looked forward to theater program with Road Scholar. Less than ninety days before the tour and after we had already paid in full, Road Scholar decided to cancel the theater program due to low enrollment. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. This left a huge hole in the middle of this trip, but was easy to replace since London is a favorite city with tons to see and do.
So this will be a three part adventure - two weeks in Cornwall & Devon by car, a week in a London apartment enjoying the theatre and a very slow sailing back home. A great way to spend the fall.