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Everything posted by OceansOfTravels

  1. We probably will, my husband's birthday is late August so we have been floating the idea of maybe taking a longer trip over his birthday in August - if we are allowed. Which would can this entire June plan. I guess I just wanted to know just in case, or, in the event that the prices stay low or we get another chance to cruise Oasis, we know what to do
  2. Hello, We are a family of three from Annapolis, MD. We had originally chosen June 27-July 4 as our vacation week, but the resort we planned for will be closed until July 1, so we needed to figure something out. I went onto Royal's website and I am seeing some amazing Oasis OTS deals, but despite the boring Canaveral-CocoCay-Nassau itinerary, considering we've never cruised on an Oasis-class ship, we think it will be a lot of fun. Further, the seas will be calm in June/July (that's usually our big fear when it comes to cruising from NYC or Baltimore), and after all of this craziness, a vacation might be nice. The best part of all is it's easily cancellable should the situation not change, and there's a good chance we land a half-empty ship. Sounds like a win-win to us, and if it's cancelled, we just save the money as credit and book a vacation once all of this is officially over. Not having to worry about flights is nice too. My question is related to the balconies. Where is the best location for an Oceanview balcony on an Oasis class ship, forward, midship or aft? Any decks to avoid? We typically like to be sandwiched in between two passenger decks, and we don't mind using stairs to get around (although on a large ship like this, we might be more inclined to the elevators). Further, what are the large balcony staterooms? Are those worth it? It's about $10 more per person for 30 extra feet of balcony, which could be nice, especially if the rooms are in a more favorable location onboard. Also, with the three of us, will we get crammed? Typically when we bring our son, he brings a friend or we bring another family member, so will it get cramped with 3 people? We have cruised on Carnival a lot and there are many Carnival rooms have are double the size that cost the same, so we have scammed those over the years. Any steals on the Oasis? Thank you in advance for any help y'all can provide! (Disclaimer: I've seen some "I don't think it's responsible to be booking a cruise" comments when people have suggested creating new bookings. While I understand the situation, as both my husband and myself work in the medical field, I also understand we are grown adults and can make our own decisions. If the state and international borders are open, and it is legally permitted, we would like to travel. Further, in the event that we feel uncomfortable, we can cancel 48 hours before, and in the event that the situation has not recovered (especially in the NY/NJ/CT area), our cruise will be cancelled for us. We are booking this simply because we would like a vacation in the event that travel is permitted in two months, as we can't get this week back after taking it off. After coming back to Royal after many years off, we had an amazing cruise on the Explorer in January 2020, and we would love to cruise RCI again, so we wouldn't even mind having money tied up with RCI to book a cruise at another date in 2021. Perhaps it would be a nice incentive, a light at the end of the tunnel. So for us, this makes sense. I can't stop you from telling us not to cruise, but please remember that that's not what this board was created for. Thank you!)
  3. Yes, it was usually a morning activity on the sports court.
  4. I thought the dining room food was of a really good quality. I was especially happy/surprised with the amount of meat we were given in meat dishes - it was a LOT. Some meals were a little bland, but I don't remember eating food and thinking it was of bad quality per say. Some dishes just didn't stand out, or just seemed like an excuse to finish off a certain ingredient, but definitely good quality.
  5. I heard it was pretty slow. A member of my party, as well as people I met throughout the trip, complained about not being able to do easy things, like check emails or search Google, much less post on social media. However, I found these claims odd, as I noticed many (and I mean many; at least 2-3 per day) people carrying out full video chats/facetimes to family, which means the wifi had to have been strong. So, I'm not sure if it had to do with the package chosen or what, but I heard reports of both.
  6. Nope, sorry! I had a panoramic OV, which I found to be quite large. Sorry!
  7. None are ringing a bell ... sorry! I know they did announce, though, that whatever band we had was leaving after our cruise, so there is a new band on the ship right now.
  8. Lots of people wore shorts to the MDR. Not gym shorts, but oftentimes, men, particularly those between 15-25, wore flat front khaki shorts. I felt like this was common amongst many passengers. However, on formal nights, no one wore shorts. I felt like the formal occasion was observed very well by the passengers.
  9. No I do not, I'm sorry! Is there anything in particular you're hoping to have while onboard? Maybe I can remember if and on what days they were offered.
  10. Yes! And I loved it, I found the selection to be good and it was nice to get away from the Windjammer, which I don't feel like was all too crowded - just repetitive on a 9 night cruise. Definitely plan to go on one of the sea days.
  11. No, all I remember was seeing a $13.99 per day soda package, but that wasn't really a card ... it came with a cup to fill at the soda stations ... Unless there was a card that was being swiped that I didn't notice. I didn't look up too much info on this though because I am not a soda drinker, so it did not interest me. Hopefully that's what you're looking for though, and if not, hopefully someone from my cruise will come in and answer!
  12. Hey y'all, I just got home after a great 9 nights away on the Explorer of the Seas. I am planning to write a little review on here later detailing the hits and misses I experienced, but in the meantime, I'll take any questions from any future cruisers and answer them to the best of my ability! Happy cruising!
  13. Thank you so much for your review! I am sailing on the Explorer this Friday for my first RCI cruise in a long time, and I am very excited. I'm hoping things go well so I can start considering Royal more in the future. Quick question: did you find your sailing to be busy? You were right before Christmas so I imagine that it was. If so, did you feel as though the ship was too cramped with people? Do you think it could handle the amount that it had? I am just trying to get a general idea of if there will be long lines in the Windjammer, no available chairs to tan, and a long time to embark the ship after a port of call. Thanks in advance for your reply, glad to see that you had a nice time away, despite the hiccups!
  14. Thanks so much for this trip! We actually have some that we could bring so I will consider packing them!
  15. Thank you! I've been trying to figure this out for months, you're the first person to answer it for me. I'm excited! Does it open any other time or just during sailaways and such?
  16. If you look at my cruise history, you'll see that the Explorer actually comes out to my third biggest ship ever .... I'm mostly a Carnival cruiser with two MSC cruises on their newer ships. Had it not been for MSC, the Explorer would in fact be my biggest ship to date ... Not sure what the purpose of your comment was, as I have been reading reviews and watching videos for months, but still had some gaps I wanted to fill through cruise critic. While the best spot for a deck chair is definitely a personal opinion, I was looking for something along the lines of "Deck 14 aft rarely gets full, you shouldn't have difficulty finding a chair back there" or "Deck 16 forward is nice, but there are no showers/pools so you will likely get hot". Definitely wasn't looking to be redirected back to where I started ... Thanks for your input
  17. Thank you! And yes, I was thinking the furthest beach away from the ship, so the opposite side of Adrenaline Beach. Looking for something more quiet, and I feel like with two ships, the further down we go, the quieter it will be. Looking forward to a good day!
  18. Hello, I will be on my first RCI cruise in multiple years later this week; my first ever on one of Royal's big ships. I will be on the Explorer for 9 nights, and one of our ports is Labadee. I was wondering, from the more experienced cruisers, what are some Explorer/Royal "hacks"? ie, how can I get to the bow to watch the ship sail away (I think it's cool that you can do that on Royal), where is the best place to get a lounge chair on deck, what night is a must-do in the MDR, etc? Not having cruised Royal in multiple years, I don't know many anecdotes, and those usually make a vacation for me, and considering how I want to like Royal, I'm looking to make this cruise as great as possible. As for Labadee, I have never been, and I was planning on just chilling out, going in the water, and enjoying the free beach day. What beach is typically the best? Is there any barbecue that offers better/different food than all the main ones, or are they pretty standard? Any other "hacks"/tips? Thank you in advance to anyone who provides anything, if anything, I'm just trying to kill the time between now and my flight on Thursday night. I'm very excited if you can't tell! 😄
  19. I am a little confused now. Is the food not free on this private island like it was at CocoCay? I remember when we went to CocoCay in 2016, we got lunch for free on the island. Is that not the case for Labadee? My thing is, I'm not going to spend a full day on the island and pay for lunch when I can just spend half of the day on the beach, then go back to the ship for lunch and rehydration, then spent the rest of the afternoon sunning on the top deck. That's what I'm trying to plan.
  20. They should have the football playoff games on! Last year, I was on the Fascination at the same time, and I sat down and watched Michigan-Florida (sad, but Go Blue regardless), and I remember walking past and seeing the Alabama-Oklahoma and Notre Dame-Clemson games. They either played them in the casino or in the Lido buffet on the TVs in the back, because I don't remember the Fascination having a sports bar. Nonetheless, you should be all good, and should see your games! I am very excited for y'all, but my real SEC team will always be Georgia, so I am holding out for them. Would love if y'all won it as well!! Geaux Tigers!! 😄
  21. Just realized Maryland plays Iowa, Wisconsin and Purdue, all of which are typically good games, while I'm on the Explorer in January. Aside from the NFL playoffs on the one Sunday I'm onboard, I can't think of anything else that would take prominence in the world of sports ... do you think there's any chance they will have college basketball available? I won't be heartbroken if I can't see the games, just wondering if I should bring some Terps t-shirts for the trip. I know this thread is about football, but I figured it was worth a shot
  22. This is exactly what I want to hear, thank you! Any beach in particular you would recommend to spend our day at? Also, do you know of any places to get wifi while ashore?
  23. Hi! Thank you for your review, I am giving Royal a try after multiple years and I am excited to get more opinions on the cruise line and hear frequent cruisers's sentiments. Just a quick question on Labadee: I see you went to Adrenaline Beach, would you say that's the best beach on the island? We are going to use our day in Labadee for a beach day in January, so we are wondering which beach would be the best to spend it on. Thank you!
  24. Hello, In about a month and a half, I will be onboard the Explorer of the Seas to Labadee, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. All of these ports will be new for me, and I have planned my days in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, but I have not finalized anything for Labadee. Not being a regular Royal cruiser, I do not know much about Labadee, but I do know it's a private island, so I was just planning to go to the beach when we stop here. However, after reading some more cruise reviews, I feel like I should maybe think more about the destination. There will be another ship with us in port that day, the Serenade. Do you all think it will be too busy for a beach day? Also, is there free lunch like CocoCay, or is it like Grand Turk and Amber Cove, where you need to purchase food? I'm just trying to plan how long I will be off the ship, and whether or not they have drinks available for free nearby. Also, are there any excursions or activities worth paying money for? We were planning on saving money in this port to splurge more of it in the ABC Islands, but I am totally open to being convinced into an excursion or paying for a certain experience. Just let me know! Thank you so much in advance to anyone that can help me, happy cruising!
  25. When I cruised to Amber Cove 4 years ago, we spent the day with Iguana Mama. We did this hike up a mountain, and then literally slid down waterfalls for the rest of the day. It was a lot of fun, and I would highly recommend it. The guide was very knowledgable, and we enjoyed the day doing something we never would've done. The food and free drinks were nice too. Maybe it has changed in four years, as I went literally two weeks after Amber Cove opened, so now that the area is developing, things could be different, but it was very nice when I went. I loved the area, just not the port of Amber Cove, but you are on MSC so you shouldn't be going there. Enjoy your cruise!
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