We are currently sailing a 5-day cruise on Odyssey of the Seas after first sailing on the ship’s inaugural cruise. This two-day preview event included the official naming ceremony as part of the festivities. We were invited guests of Royal Caribbean to celebrate the cruise line’s first new ship launch since the pandemic. Now, we share every moment from this historic sailing with you in our Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise live blog.
Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Cruise Live Blog
Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Cruise Live Blog – Day 1
Already Breaking the Rules on Day One
As always, we flew in the night before to ensure we did not encounter any issues arriving to the ship. Getting our flights only a week before the sailing, we did not have many affordable or available options for a hotel stay in Fort Lauderdale. So, we booked a room at the relatively new Cambria Suites in North Fort Lauderdale, which is about 30 minutes from the cruise terminal.
Even though the weather was stormy back home, we arrived in Florida with only a 30 minute delay.
During our cruise check-in, we received a boarding time of 1:30 pm. Although, emails from our PR contact suggested we could show up earlier. So, that is exactly what we did!
Finding a nearby coffee shop and getting ready for embarkation day took us to about 10:45 am.
After checking out of the hotel, it took only a few minutes to get a share ride. With little traffic for a Saturday morning, we were to the cruise terminal by 11:15 am.
There, we were greeted with some energetic Bahamian Junkanoo performers. Certainly, this was a great way to start the trip.
Luckily, we were able to drop off our luggage with the porters and begin the check-in process in the terminal right away. With a small line of fellow cruisers ahead of us, we were through the pre-screening, security, and checked in with 20 minutes.
It was slightly after 11:30 am, and we were officially onboard Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas.
It was time to explore Royal Caribbean’s newest ship!
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A Odyssey of the Seas Ship Tour
Like all of our Day 1 rituals, we started our Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise with a ship tour. Before making the rounds, we quickly stopped in to the press center to grab our credentials and say hi to the PR team at Royal Caribbean.
Being among the first cruisers onboard the ship, this meant we could get some video and photos of the popular spots sans people, like the Spa and Thermal Suite, the Fitness Center, and some of the outdoor bars and pools.
As part of this special inaugural cruise, Royal Caribbean had setup tasting stations at many of the specialty restaurants.
As we made our way down the decks, we may have stopped to sample some small bites along the way from venues like Teppanyaki and Chops Grille.
Even though we were among the first onboard, the ship was quickly getting busy. Also, some venues were reserved for private events. Therefore, our ship tour was a little less organized as we zig-zagged throughout the ship.
Like its sister ships Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Odyssey of the Seas is beautiful and features several impressive art installations.
The separate Esplanade and Via areas provide a more intimate feeling than the traditional Royal Promenade. However, Odyssey of the Seas still features most of the popular Royal Caribbean venues, some just in different locations.
For instance, Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade now offers loft views of the SeaPlex on Deck 16. The new Teppanyaki restaurant is located next to the Windjammer on Deck 14 aft.
Getting Front Row Seats on the Pool Deck
Around 1:15 pm, we checked in at our cabin.
We had a Oceanview balcony, cabin 13578, on the starboard side of the ship. This midship balcony is not far from the forward elevators.
Unfortunately, our luggage was not in our room just yet. So, we grabbed some photos and videos of the room and continued on to explore more of the interior of the ship.
Along our travels, we stopped in at our muster station on Deck 5. Muster 2.0 is a vast improvement to this mandatory safety drill. Watching the required videos on the Royal app, there was only a short recap of the process at our B3 muster station near the Schooner Bar.
Making our way to Two70, we decided to stop for a bite to eat. Our dinner reservation was for 9 pm, which is well past our preferred dining time. Thus, there was simply no way we could go all day without a snack.
Plus, I never miss a chance to have a Royal Kummelweck sandwich!
With just a few more decks to explore, we finished at the Deck 3 main dining room.
Back in our cabin, still sans luggage, we rearranged our gear and grabbed our media passes for the naming ceremony occurring on the pool deck this afternoon.
With time to spare, it was time for the first drink of the cruise!
After all, we were on the Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise for close to 5 hours with no drink yet! There was no better way to get this trip started than the Lime and Coconut bar on the Caribbean pool deck.
We were able to get seats, and a Watermelon Rita and Rum Punch, near the second pool.
Finishing our drinks, we made our way over to the reserved media area for some up-close seats to this exclusive event.
Fitting in as Much as Possible During the Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Cruise
The naming ceremony began at 5pm. The ceremony featured several members of the leadership team, including the Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, President Michael Bayley, and the the ship’s Godmother, Erin Brown.
With some heartfelt words, a large bottle of champagne smashed at the front of the ship, and some fireworks, the ship was now officially christened.
Back to our cabin around 6:30 pm, thankfully, our luggage had arrived. So, we took some time to organize and get changed up for our next planned event, a media cocktail party.
This media event was at the Sunshine Bar in the Solarium at 7:30 pm. This gave us the chance to try some new drinks and catch up with some cruise friends that you probably also follow on social media.
Talking with our friends and enjoying our strawberry mojito and passion spritz, we eventually made our way down to deck 5 for dinner at Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen.
We love the new Giovanni’s, but we went easy with ordering tonight for two reasons. One, we would be dining at Giovanni’s again on our 5-day cruise. Two, it was way past our usual dinner time.
Actually, it was closer to our usual bedtime!
For starters, we split the caprese salad with burrata, but had to photograph a tablemate’s meat and cheese board too. For entrées, I went with my staple, the Osso Bucco. The rich, tender shank fell right off the bone.
The Princess went with her go-to as well, the chicken parmagina. She was not alone, as it was by far the most popular entrée at our table.
With dinner taking over two hours, we also opted to split the tiramisu as a dessert. Alongside the complimentary limoncello, we bidded farewell to our tablemates around 11:15 pm.
Luckily, when we arrived to the Royal Theater on Deck 4 for the late night comedy show, the venue was not too busy. Getting seats in our usual starboard side section, the show featured two comedians.
The opener was one of our favorite Royal Caribbean performers, Simeon Kirkiles. Of course, Simeon did not disappoint with his usual wit and humor.
The second comedian, Steve McGrew, started off a little flat but won the crowd back towards the end.
Officially 12:30 am, our long day 1 on the Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise was now already day 2.
We needed to get some sleep. Tomorrow was the second and last day of this trip. Of course, we had plans for another full day ahead.
Not to mention, a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay!
Odyssey of the Seas Inaugural Cruise Live Blog – Day 2
Some Morning Immersion
Normally, I am up early to get video and photos. Knowing we have time to get that done during our 2nd cruise on this ship, I slept in until 7:15 am.
Today, we had several media events to attend, along with finding time to get ashore.
While the Princess prepared for the day, I grabbed some iced lattes and maybe a few photos.
Our first media session was at 10:15 am in the Music Hall. This session was a Q&A with the executive leadership. This gave us just enough time for breakfast at Café Two70.
Certainly, the breakfast menu received an upgrade, with several options for breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and wraps.
From Two70, we headed forward towards the Music Hall, where we were greeted by a massive breakfast spread! I guess we should have come earlier, and hungrier, to this media event.
Following the media session, we walked around the ship for a bit.
Not thinking ahead, we failed to secure a reservation for North Star or iFLY on day one.
While there was a standby line for North Star, it was at least 12-15 people deep. Instead, we headed to the SeaPlex where we jumped on the last bumper car ride of the day!
This complimentary activity is a lot of fun, even for big kids like us.
Around noon, it was time to head out to the island. We had to be back onboard and ready for a 4 pm media event, but we wanted to spend at least some time at CocoCay.
An Afternoon at Perfect Day at CocoCay
The island was much busier than our stop earlier this year on Adventure of the Seas back in June. It didn’t help that Freedom of the Seas was docked alongside of us today.
While ashore, we couldn’t help but stop for lunch at the Snack Shack. The chicken sandwiches are a must whenever we are visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Most of the island looked the same since our visit about 5 months ago, except there seemed to more loungers and furniture throughout the island.
Another new “update” was the re-opening of South Beach to cruise guests. During our last stop, this beach was open only to crew.
This re-opened spot included a third Snack Shack, a volleyball and basketball court, two bars, and some cabanas. Even though it is the furthest beach area from the ship, there were still a number of cruisers here enjoying all the amenities.
Completing our loop around the island, we walked past the grounded Up, Up, and Away Balloon. One day, we will be able to take flight on this island attraction.
We also took a peak at the Oasis Lagoon pool. The swim-up bar was packed with cruisers. A far cry from the nearly empty pool we had all to ourselves earlier this summer.
While we loved having CocoCay all to ourselves, it was equally great to see cruising back in full force!
When we returned to our room, we learn we would now have to take a COVID test for our next sailing. We had inquired about testing the day before at Guest Services and were told that we would not need to take another test as this was a 2-day cruise and the next was only 5 days.
Well apparently, the shoreside team informed the ship this morning that all back-to-backers had to take a test after all. So, we were escorted down to deck 2 to receive our test.
Sampling More of Odyssey of the Seas
Next on our agenda was a food and beverage media event at 4 pm.
This event was in Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen. Here, we learned all about this new specialty restaurant.
Along with Food and Beverage executives from Royal Caribbean, partnering chef Renato Viola was also in attendance.
This master pizza maker went over some of the processes that make the pizza at this restaurant among the best in the world.
Of course, we got to sample three different types of pizza as well. In addition, we were able to sample some of restaurant’s house wine.
This hour event was an informative and delicious way to begin our evening on the ship.
Following the food and beverage event, we took the short walk aft to Two70. Here, executive of entertainment, Nick Weir, provided an interesting look at the entertainment on the ship.
This session included a demonstration of the ship’s roboscreens and 12K vistaramas. During the talk, we also learned a little bit about the new shows coming to Wonder of the Seas next year.
Following the session, we returned to our room to get ready for the evening. Tonight, we had dinner reservations at Chops Grille for 9 pm. Also, we decided to catch the 7:30 pm showing of Effectors.
This new main theater production on Odyssey of the Seas features the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. The special effect laden show was a high-energy spectacle.
While the show might have been light on the superhero story, it more than made up for it with the digital immersion. The Princess thought this was one of the best cruise shows that we have seen.
The timing between the show and dinner gave us just the right amount of time to head to the Logo Shop. It was quite busy, but we were able to find the requisite t-shirt and Christmas ornament that we collect from all our cruises.
Checking into Chops Grille, we were seated at a table of 6 for another long meal.
Similar to the night before, the food was very good, but the service was slow. The entire dinner took over 2 hours. Apparently, there was a back up in the kitchen.
As usual, I went with the crab cake for a starter. Actually, I was disappointed in this option as it was quite dry. The restaurant made up for it though with a perfectly seared medium rare filet.
For dessert, I went with the apple pie. The Princess went with her go-to the red velvet cake. These options did not disappoint.
Saying goodbye to our tablemates, we popped into the Music Hall. Here, the Legends of Classic Rock were doing a show. Perhaps we are getting old or we were just tired, but we both agreed that it was too loud.
So, we met up with some cruise friends at the Schooner Bar for a final drink.
Good thing we have five more days onboard the ship. While we got to do and see a lot, there is still plenty more to experience.
Getting to bed around 1 am, the 7 am alarm was just around the corner!
Have you sailed on Odyssey of the Seas? Did you enjoy our Odyssey of the Seas inaugural cruise live blog? Drop us an anchor below with your reactions to this brand new Royal Caribbean ship.