Fox Cruise - Western Caribbean (Feb. 28-Mar. 7, 2015) and St. Louis Cardinals spring training in 2015 


"If not now...when???"

Booking Information (details and pictures below)

  June 9 UPDATE 

Royal Caribbean called me today (June 9) and said they have extended both our deadline for booking eight rooms

and their promotion that allows the 2nd person to only pay 50% of their regular price.


As of June 9, we have seven rooms booked. The rooms are 11672, 11684, 11688, 11694, 11696, 11721, 11723

      Jerry (1966) and Diane Waller

      Patti Peck-Bone (1967) and Jean Goodrum-Smith (1967)

      Warren (1968) and Fran Stoffey 

      Ray (1966) and Leanne Moore

      Bill (1966) and Gloria Cheatham-Brown (1966)

      Dennis (1966) and Penny (1968) Nichols-Spoerry 

      Carlyn Kramlich (wife of Dale Kramlich 1966) 


Should you decide to join us in what may be a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of old friends, a group reservation number has been established with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.


When you call 1-(866)-562-7625, you will get a menu of selections to go through. The numbers are 5, 1 and 3.
RCCL group bookings are available from 9:00-8:00 pm eastern, Monday-Saturday.


Tell whomever you reach that our group number is 9693504. (Our official booking name is Fox50, but they prefer the group number.)  


RCCL will also be able to place us all around the same dinner table or tables when we book as a group. I selected the first dining, which is at 6:00, but everyone else can choose another option. Later, we can tell them what size tables to set up.


If you have any more questions, you can also contact me through my email account,, or through my Facebook account.

(You can also click on the above
Royal Caribbean logo to go directly to the reservation page for this cruise, but it won't allow you any group discounts or incentives that we might create).



Background and General Information

Some of us have been talking about doing a cruise together. Last year at our annual informal reunion, at least 25 graduates/couples said they would be definitely interested.

Some of us (not me, yet) have been fortunate enough to enjoy spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals and the warm Florida sun during February and March.

After a bit of discussion, we [Jerry (1966) & Diane Waller, Patti Peck-Bone (1967), Bill (1966) & Gloria Cheatham-Brown (1966)] recently started to look for a cruise in conjunction with the St. Louis Cardinals spring training in 2015.

Not everyone is a fan of cruising and not everyone can dedicate the time to do both a cruise and spring training. Just do the cruise...just do spring training...or do both. The choice is totally up to you.

At this time there are no specific spring training related dates, locations, activities, etc. scheduled. There is a lot more flexibility with spring training over that of a cruise, so deciding when to go, where to stay and any gatherings may be up to each individual or small group. Maybe we can post tentative plans as we go along and any suggestions from those who have gone to spring training over the years can pass them along to me for posting (

The cruise we have booked is to the Western Caribbean, Feb. 28-March 7 on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, one of the two largest cruise ships in the world. This date seems to be the not only the lowest prices during this time frame, but it would also allow attending spring training before or after the cruise and allow us to get out of town before the spring break crowd takes over the beaches.

Many of us have been on cruises before, but many have not. So pardon me if I am anal about giving more information than some of you need.

Gloria and I have been on both Oasis of the Seas (and Allure of the Seas, the sister ship...same size...of Oasis). Not only do these ships provide more amenities than other cruise ships, the pricing is no more expensive than the smaller cruise ships. If you have never been on a cruise and don't enjoy this ship...then cruising may not be for you.(Down below, I have posted a table of the top 25 largest cruise ships in the world for comparison).

Unfortunately, some people have issues with getting sea sick. Oasis of the Seas weighs 225,000 tons; is 208 feet wide and 236 feet tall. It also uses state-of-the-art stabilizers that are deployed if necessary. It takes a lot of weather to make this ship even begin to wobble. Cruise ships will also do what they can to steer clear of any bad weather. This might not be enough to insure any guarantee of not getting sea sick for some, but please don't confuse getting sea sick on a 24 foot cruiser on a river/lake/ocean with the stability of an 1181 foot long, 225,000 ton cruise ship.

I'll post some pictures at the bottom of this page from our previous Oasis and Allure of the Seas cruises to give everyone an idea on their size and amenities. You will see in my pictures that Oasis of the Seas is open in the middle with balconies overlooking their Aqua Theater, Central Park and Boardwalk areas. I will also post pictures about the ports of call on this cruise.

A balcony, depending on the category and discount on where you live (yes, there is sometimes a state discount), is roughly $1,000-$1250 a person. A cabin with a window only or an inside cabin are less expensive options. You can see the general pricing at the bottom of this page or by clicking on the Royal Caribbean logo at the top. You will receive a small discount if you book by May 15th and a possible discount if you have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean.

Taxes, fees and port expense taxes will be an additional $120 a person. Prepaid gratuities (if you choose this option) for your cabin personnel and dining personnel are approximately $12 a day per person, which is extremely cheap when you consider everything everyone is doing for you.

For those who have never cruised, the price includes all meals (a four course dinner every night) and on-board entertainment. It does not include alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, specialty restaurants or excursions.

You will also need a passport for the cruise.

Oasis of the Seas sails out of Ft. Lauderdale, which is about 60 miles south of Jupiter, Florida...home of the St. Louis Cardinals during spring training.

            Ports of Call-Western Caribbean-Oasis of the Seas

                    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

                    Labadee, Haiti (One of my favorite stops...a private peninsula leased by Royal Caribbean. A day of beach activities, BBQ, relaxing and more).

                    Falmouth, Jamaica

                    Cozumel, Mexico (an island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico)

                    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

This invitation is for all Fox graduates, those who attended Fox but may not have graduated with us, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, friends, relatives, exes and future exes. The more the merrier. We have accumulated a large number of emails and Facebook names, but I'm sure there are many that we don't have and would like to join us, so please forward this page to whomever you want.

Prices go up and room selection goes down. Gloria and I have a cruise booked for May 2014. We booked it in April, 2013 and paid $950 a person for a nice balcony. This past January, the same room category was almost $1500 a person. I checked again this past March and it was sold out.

This doesn't mean there won't be price drops between now and next year or booking incentives won't be offered at a later date, but my experience with these ships is that these prices probably won't drop for these destinations and if they do, the savings might not be worth losing out on the cabin area you prefer.

As stated above, we do have specific areas of the ship that we prefer and reserving this far in advance allowed us to select a specific room. On this ship, we prefer a Boardwalk balcony (B1 cabin category) towards the end of the ship on deck 11, overlooking the Boardwalk and Aqua Theater while still having a partial ocean view. Gloria and I have booked cabin 11723 (deck 11).

Room prices are based on double occupancy and can be booked for a deposit of $250 per person ($500 per stateroom as stated below). If there are individuals who need someone to share a room, maybe we can put together a list of those in need of a roomy.

Full refunds are given up to 75 days before the cruise. This is huge. If you aren't 100% sure, book it and you have until basically the end of the year to change your mind.

Western Caribbean

Oasis of the Seas sails out of Ft. Lauderdale, which is about 60 miles south of Jupiter, Florida...home of the St. Louis Cardinals during spring training.

The top 25 largest cruise ships in the world (as of 2013)

Many of the older cruise ships are in the 70-80,000 ton range, far smaller than these top 25

Note: Disney and Carnival, very popular cruise lines, barely make it into the top 20 on this list.

(An aircraft carrier is 1092 feet long; 104,112 tons and 257 feet wide)

(The Titanic was 882 feet long; 46,328 tons and 92 feet wide)

Oasis of the Seas (Notice the hot tub hanging over the side of the ship)


This was taken from our room balcony (11721), overlooking the Boardwalk and Aqua Theater. We have booked 11723 for 2015.


Oasis of the Seas and its sister ship, Allure of the Seas are longer and taller than ships from other cruise lines, but the real difference is the width of the ship.

(Left to right: Allure of the Seas, Norwegian Pearl, Disney Dream and Carnival Sensation)


Two wave generators: one for boogie boards and one for surfing. This is me before the crash (padded surface, thank goodness).

I did stay up for 8 seconds, which would have been great if I were riding a bull!


Ice skating on board, both for personal use and professional ice shows. The ice was too hard on my well-padded rear end for me to try this.


Full court basketball


The Central Park area - There are shops and restaurants in Central Park. Also a nice place to relax and people watch.


The Rising Tide Bar inside the Promenade - This bar slowly goes up to Central Park.


The Promenade is probably at least 400-500 feet long. You feel like you are inside a shopping mall


Three floors of semi-formal/formal dining in the evening seat more than 3,000 people,

yet with servers assigned to only two tables, waiting on food is never a problem.


The Boardwalk at night.


One night they put a cover over the water at the Aqua Theater and had a 60s dance.


Rock climbing anyone? The patio areas at the end of decks 11 & 12 are public access areas, which is why I like to book

a boardwalk balcony towards the end on one of those decks. If you want more "ocean view" at times without venturing too far

from your room, these decks are great.  You also have a nice Aqua Theater view from your room. The other decks (8-10) or

private balconies that are part of a suite. Deck 7 is access to the rock climbing wall.


One of the two hot tubs that hang over the Oasis. (docked in Nassau)


Yep, a Zip line on board


The Boardwalk


A working carousel, even for us big kids


The Solarium limits to kids...woo hoo!


And, a pool area dedicated to the kids (the best part of this area is the free soft serve ice cream all day long)!


One of the two huge hot tubs that hang over the edge of the ship


The theater seats about 1380 and they have a couple of different live shows during the week, including Hairspray or Chicago.


Disco night in the promenade


This is our cruise director dressed as the Indian as part of the Village People during disco night


That is Gloria in the red top, three levels down (actually the 11th 11721). We booked 11723 for the 2015 cruise.

Electronic boards around the ship keep you informed on what is going on


Night club


Not exactly Vegas, but are at sea!

Misc. pics over the years from our cruise stops at Labadee, Haiti - Falmouth, Jamaica - Cozumel, Mexico


Labadee, Haiti - A peninsula leased by Royal Caribbean.

A day of beach activities, shopping, relaxation, plenty of bars set up, a free BBQ set up by Royal Caribbean,  and more.






One of the several Labadee beaches




Free cabanas for those who might be worried about the sun in Labadee



Labadee - In 2008, my brother (Dennis), youngest son (Kevin) and I went on a wave-runner tour of part of the island.

We were able to go full-speed (about 40 mph) going from one stop to another.




At one of the rest stops on our Labadee wave runner trip, some of the Haitian natives paddled out to sell their merchandise



Labadee - Kevin and I took a tandem parasail flight




Zip line at Labadee: "At over 2,600 feet long, this is the longest flight line in the world over water. Enjoy breathtaking views, as

you zip down the flight line at speeds of 40-50 mph. Your flight lands at Dragon's Breath Rock where your adventure began."




There is an open market area on Labadee where you can buy a variety of souvenirs from the locals (who have to be approved to enter the peninsula area).

These locals are restricted this area, which means you won't have anyone bothering you while on the beach or in a "common" area.

There are several dozen individual units similar to those in the pictures. Many sell the same items and bartering is expected.






Leaving Labadee






Falmouth, Jamaica




 A new cruise port was built in Falmouth a few years ago to accommodate the Oasis and Allure. There is a huge private shopping

area as soon as you step off the ship where you can shop without leaving the compound. The ship on the left is Liberty of the Seas (not Oasis

or Allure). This picture was taken by me during a 2013 cruise on Liberty and shows the private shopping area.






This is part of the local Jamaican shopping area just outside the gated private shopping area.



Falmouth - BBjr treated us to a helicopter ride over the area.





Cozumel - Shopping & beach activities




Cozumel-Playa Mia Beach


The following pages are from a typical Day Planner that shows everything going on for that day.
These are dropped off in your room the night before.


All cruise lines have their favorite shopping locations when in port and their shopping guide will highlight those they are involved with.

Also, there are usually a couple of Port Shopping shows in the main theater (shown and repeated on your room TV) to highlight these locations.