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Our wonderful family vacation aboard Oasis of the Seas - Nov 6-13, 2010

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Just wanted to share my review of our family vacation aboard Oasis of the Seas! My husband and I sailed with our 3 year old son and 8 year old daughter. It was my son's 1st time on a cruise and my daughter's 3rd. My husband and I have sailed a handful of times with RCCL, Princess, Carnival and Disney. I think this was our most memorable family vacation to date.

 

We began by driving to Ft. Lauderdale from Tampa on Friday after my daughter got home from school. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 7pm and checked into the Hampton Inn & Suites on Sterling Rd. I booked through Stay123.com to receive a rate that would include parking at the hotel for the week. The room was very spacious and the beds were comfortable. The inside walls of the hotel could definitely use a fresh coat of paint, but for one night it was satisfactory. As soon as I checked in I signed up for the shuttle to the port. I was told the 10:45am shuttle was full and could choose between the 11:45am or 12:45pm shuttle. I had called prior to see about booking the shuttle in advance, but they would not let me book anything until I had checked into the hotel and had a room number. I was disappointed in the times and asked if there was anyway I could get to the port earlier. My reason for wanting to get to the port early.......the kid's play area in the terminal. I knew my kids would love to play for a while so I wanted to get there in time to enjoy the facilities. The gentleman from the shuttle service stated it would be $8 per personal to leave earlier. I kindly told him I had purchased a cruise package and the shuttle was included in the pricing....and I did not want to pay an additional fee for the shuttle. He then managed to get me on a 10am special shuttle.....which I later found out was booked for a group of 20 people....and the shuttle service then stuck extra people on the shuttle to fill it up. It appeared that the shuttle service operators leave at 9pm....so if you need the service make sure to arrive at the hotel early the day before your cruise. The hotel was packed on Saturday morning with cruise passengers waiting for shuttles to the port. The complimentary breakfast was nothing special.....and was so crowded that the ladies running the breakfast area were going crazy trying to refill the items as fast as they could.

 

We boarded the 10am shuttle and arrived at the pier around 10:20. The embarkation processes was so smooth. No lines at all. There were plenty of employees waiting to check us in....no crowds....a great experience. My kids quickly found the play area and were excited to get our vacation under way. We were the second group to board behind the guests with suites and those who were Diamond and Platinum members. My kids were only playing for about 10 minutes when they started boarding our section!

 

Kid's area in Terminal 18

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We were in awe the moment we stepped onto the Promenade on deck 5. Wow! Oasis sure is a beauty!! Since we boarded early we had a very easy time finding a seat in the Windjammer. By noon it was a madhouse and there were no seats to be had. Since it was unseasonably cold in Ft. Lauderdale we were unable to use the pools....but enjoyed walking around the ship and finding out her unique and hidden secrets! We checked out the Adventure Ocean area and registered the kids. My 3 year old was in the 3-5 age Aquanauts and my daughter was in the 6-8 Explorers. We received a phone for my 3 year old so we could be contacted by the Adventure Ocean staff in case of an emergency or if our son wanted to speak with us.

 

Royal Promenade

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Kids upon boarding the Oasis

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Fountains under the Rising Tide Bar

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Kids in Central Park upon boarding Oasis

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Dining:

 

We only ate in the Windjammer for lunch on 2 occasions and preferred the Brassier 30 in the Opus Dining room on deck 4 for lunch. Both my husband and I enjoyed the Tutti Salad bar and the selections in the dining room. I will say however that the service was not the best during lunch. My water glass would go unfilled and it was hard to chase down a server if you needed anything after they initially brought out your food. I was a common visitor to the Park Cafe which was a wonderful place for a quick snack during the day. I also enjoyed bagels with salmon spread and an egg sandwich for breakfast along with muffins and assorted pastries. The Park Cafe served Strawberry Kiwi water and Mango Passion fruit water which were both wonderful. The only other place to find the flavored waters was in the Windjammer. Park Cafe is only open until 6pm each evening. We had breakfast in the Windjammer one day and also on debarkation day. Both times it was very challenging to find a seat. My husband and I had originally booked Chops for Day 3, but cancelled as we enjoyed the menu in the dining room. We had My Time Dining and found ourselves on the starboard side of deck 5 with Leah as our server. We were not too impressed after the 1st night with the service so we did not put in a request for the same server. On Day 2 we had Fathi as our Waiter and Amith as our Assistant Waiter. They were both wonderful with our kids and we put in a request to be seated in their section each night. One night we could not be accommodated, but all other nights we had Fathi and Amith as our wait staff and they made a great team. My husband and I are not foodies.....but we enjoy a nice meal. My husband had steak or lamb each night and enjoyed each entree. He kept saying he was going to order the filet from Chops one night, but never had the need. He had no problem receiving the Fisherman's Plate (lobster/shrimp) along with the Prime Rib on Day 6. He would usually order an appetizer, soup, salad and an entree each night.

 

Best Dessert : Warm Chocolate Cake with a side of vanilla ice cream (Day 5)

 

Favorite Appetizer: Scallop Risotto (Day 5)

 

Entrees that we enjoyed: Pan-fried Pork Medallions (Day 1), Slow Roasted Prime Rib (Day 1), Filet of Beef (Day 2), Surf and Turf (Day 4), Lamb Shank with Rosemary (Day 5), Tiger Shrimp (Day 5), Fisherman's Plate (Day 6), Slow Roasted Aged Prime Rib (Day 6), Shrimp and Mahi-Mahi Tempura (My favorite!! Day 7) and NY Strip Steak (Day 7).

 

Our children chose to order off the kid's menu each night, but could have ordered off the regular menu if desired.

 

My daughter enjoyed a cupcake from the Cupcake Cupboard, but I did not find it to be anything special. Not like the specialty cupcake stores you can find on land. I was a frequent visitor to the Cafe Promenade! I loved the Cinnamon Crunch Cake (crumb cake), the Blueberry Loaf, the Double Chocolate Brownies (a little too rich for me and I am a chocoholic!)...and the super yummy Triple Chocolate Chip cookies!! I did not try any of the yummy looking sandwiches, but many others seemed to be enjoying them. I also had hot cocoa and made my own iced tea on many occasions (seeped a hot tea bag and then asked for a cup of ice). The Mondo Cafe also had some nice desserts....cheesecake, eclairs and the chocolate mousse were our favorites.

 

Cabin:

 

We had a D4 OceanView Balcony on Deck 8, cabin 8570. This was an absolutely wonderful location! We were 4 doors down from the lobby entrance and the forward elevators....so no long walks down the cabin hallways. My kids slept in the pull-out sofa which was next to the balcony door. We had enough storage space for the 4 of us and stored our suitcases under the bed. We did have a problem with our shower drain not draining properly....it was pretty unpleasant to step out of the shower into ankle deep water in the bathroom...but the problem was quickly fixed with a call to maintenance. Our cabin attendant was efficient.....but not overly noticeable. He did make towel animals for the kids each night from Day 2 forward which they very much enjoyed. We loved being on deck 8 and right by Central Park. We walked through Central Park on many occasions....either by day or by night it is so beautiful. We never had a problem getting on an elevator except on embarkation day. At all other times they were plentiful.

 

Kids on the balcony

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Shows:

 

Hairspray was incredible! My 8 year old loved it and was sitting forward in her seat throughout the show. We also enjoyed Frozen in Time. There were several mistakes made by one skater, but overall the production was amazing. Loved the sand artist!! Oasis of Dreams was also amazing! Wish I could have had a chance to see it again before our cruise was over. Unfortunately the Aqua Theater was "down for maintenance" until Thursday night.....so we were unable to see Splish Splash on this sailing. This also messed up our entire show schedule....so we were not able to see the Comdey Show as they double scheduled us due to the rescheduling of events. Met many older cruisers who had seen the comedy and said it was enjoyable....raw, but good was the consensus. We also did not see the Headliner Earl Turner. Originally I was told the Headliner would be Abbracadabra and I was excited to see them....but I am not sure what happened.

 

Activities:

 

We went zip lining (over so quickly, but so much fun!!), rock climbing (harder than it looks! My 8 year old made it higher than I did...while my husband made it to the top on the more challenging area of the wall), ice skating, putt-putting....and rode the carousel too many times to count!! I think my kids had to ride one time on each animal!!! My husband and I bought the Live the Oasis book and participated in a couple of the scavenger hunts. These consists of about 15 questions on one of the neighborhoods of the ship. You then have 15 minutes to go to the specific area and find the answers to the questions. The Live the Oasis book is a great help and you will need it for a few questions. There was so much more I wanted to do, but we just did not have the time! My 3 year old passed out at dinner several nights around 8:30pm....while my 8 year old had fun at Adventure Ocean until 10 or 11pm. We were zonked by 9pm ourselves and missed many of the great activities. I did go to the Love and Marriage Game Show by myself while my husband stayed with our sleeping 3 year old. The show was enjoyable as always. I missed Quest....70"s night on the Promenade...and many other activities. Wish I could have stayed up later and partied all night, but after a large dinner...and chasing after our 3 year old all day....we were both too tired to stay up and enjoy all of the festivities that were going on. My daughter made a Pet at Sea. You can choose from a pet with a shirt for $23.95 or a pet with an outfit for $29.95. Go early in the week as the animals do sell out!

 

Sports Deck/Putt-Putt

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Kid's putt-putt area

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My husband and daughter on the rock wall

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H2O Zone

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Scrapbooking/Jewelry making:

 

The class is basically for beginners, but Joyce is a great lady and has lots of suggestions for your cruise pictures. You receive a free page kit from My & My Big Ideas for a formal night page. All other kits are on a pay-for basis. There are 2 other small kits for $4.99 and then 2 larger kits for $9.99 each. You can only receive 1 kit free for the entire cruise. Joyce will ask for your SeaPass card to make sure you only receive 1 per person. She does have an Accu-cut machine in the room that is available to use with words such as Party, Vacation, Beach, Paradise, and Cruise along with several smaller dies such as a dolphin, camera, palm tree, cruise ship, shells, etc.... I have a Cricut machine at home that I prefer to use so I did not spend much time in the workshop. A 12x12 scrapbook along with a package of stickers can be purchased at the camera shop on the Promenade for $39.99 and a really nice sticker pack with RCCL logo stickers (glittery) was $14.95 (might have been $15.95...pretty pricey for a handful of stickers, but they are specific to RCCL). I also attended the basic jewelry making class. The class offered at 1:45pm each day is the only free class. It consists of a small necklace and a pair of earrings. All other classes are fee-based projects.

 

Adventure Ocean:

 

My 8 year old had a blast in the kid's club. She always wanted to go in the morning from 9am-12pm and again from 7pm-10pm....and would then spend the middle party of the day with us. She made alien "boogers" in the science lab, a clay volcano in the arts class......and many more projects throughout the week. She also played bingo and received several little prizes. My daughter had previously loved the kid's club on the Caribbean Princess....but hated the club on the Disney Wonder (way too many kids). Now my 3 year old son is a different story. He has never been in a daycare setting...and had only been potty trained for about 6 weeks....so he was very apprehensive. The 1st day I mentioned that my son might need help getting onto the potty or straightening out his clothes after going potty and I was told that the staff cannot assist the kids in any way. This made me a little nervous, but it all wound up working out okay. My son did cry when I would drop him off at 9am on the sea days...but I was told he would stop crying within 10 minutes and enjoyed himself. We tried to bring him one evening so my husband and I could have a quiet dinner, but 30 minutes after we dropped my son off we received a call letting us know he was very tired and crying. We wound up taking our 3 year old to dinner with us each evening. He was very well mannered and loved by the wait staff who all miss their own children so much. My 8 year old participated in the Pirate Parade (2nd sea day) on the Boardwalk and my 3 year old was a little tiger for the Circus Parade(3rd sea day).

 

Pirate Parade

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Circus Parade

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Kids with balloons from the parade

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St. Thomas:

 

Weather was not so great, but we had decided previously to go to St. John. Took a cab to Red Hook.....just barely caught the 10am ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay.....Taxi from Cruz Bay to Trunk Bay....only to find out that the surf was very dangerous and we should not swim. The surf came all the way up the beach so there was basically no sand or anywhere to sit. Waves were crashing...the kids could not swim....so we sat down to try and play in the sand for a bit. Then the dark clouds rolled in and we left. We caught the 1pm ferry back to St. Thomas. We spent more time in the taxis than on the beach. Oh well....there will be a next time!

 

Rough waters at Trunk Bay, St. John

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St. Maartin:

 

Took a tour with Bernard. Jr. was our driver. I think there were about 40 people on the bus. We went to Maho first to watch the planes land. We were there for an hour and then headed to Marigot for 30 minutes of shopping. The traffic was terrible so we sat on the bus for quiet a while. After Marigot we went over to Orient Beach. My family opted to go to Le Galion. We only had about an hour on the beach, but it wound up being plenty of time as the day had become overcast...and the wind was blowing...and the kid's lips were blue from the cold. The water was pretty shallow at Le Galion and it would have been nice if the weather would have cooperated with us! We never made it to Rina's for souvenirs or to see the sea creature man due to time/traffic. Drinks were free flowing on the bus and Jr. was a good tour guide.

 

Oasis & NCL Sun in St. Maartin

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Carnival, Ruby Princess, Oasis & NCL Sun in St. Maartin

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Planes landing at Maho

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Oasis & NCL Sun in St. Maartin

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Le Galion

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Nassau, Bahamas:

 

Another dreary day! My 8 year old went to the kid's club while my husband, son and I went shopping in Nassau for about 45 minutes...then back onto the ship.

 

Oasis & Disney Wonder in Nassau

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Oasis in Nassau

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Other tidbits:

 

** There was a strong sewage smell out on our balcony the 1st night. It was gross. I asked the plumber who just happened to be walking by my room and he said he would check for me. Came back to tell me it was the way the wind was blowing the ash. Now for those of you who watched the TV show on the Oasis you know that the waste from the ship is burned into ash and then released back into the environment. Well....the release of the ash from the previous voyage caused the big outside stink on the 1st night!! I smelled it on several other occasions also. It was never inside the ship, but always outside. While watching the Oasis of Dreams show in the Aqua Theater I also felt wet drops every now and then which was the ash falling. RCCL needs to come up with a better solution for the release of this ash. It's just gross.

 

** Deck 15 & 16 are indeed very, very slippery when wet!!! Be careful and walk slowly in shoes that have a good tread.

 

** Central Park is absolutely beautiful at night!! With all of the white lights....and the ambiance.....just a wonderful place to relax or take a walk. Take advantage of the 3 photographers who are out each evening to take your photos!

 

** Use Deck 5 (Promenade) or Deck 8 (Central Park) as your main thoroughfares. You cannot get from Forward to Aft on Decks 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14...without having to walk through cabin hallways....which seem to stretch on forever! Since my stateroom was on Deck 8 I would simply walk through Central Park and then use the aft elevators to go to the Opus Dining room, Windjammer, Boardwalk or Sports Court. If I was going to the Opal Theater, Adventure Ocean, Solarium...I would just take the forward elevators right outside my stateroom.

 

** Loved the way they organize your pictures!! Very easy to find your own pictures and keep them together for a final decision at the end of the week.

 

** Saw a lot of elderly folks who were very confused and just seemed lost for most of the cruise. Talked to a couple of people who all stated they had been on 20+ cruises, but would probably not choose Oasis again due to her size. I think if you are spry in the mind and step then you will enjoy the cruise!!!

 

**For those with young toddlers be careful of the sliding doors out to the Boardwalk/Central Park/Pool decks!! My 3 year old dropped something on the ground by one of the doors....bent down to pick it up as the doors were opening for a couple to pass though...somehow his arm got wedged between the sliding glass door and the stationary glass door! It was very scary. He screamed and I thought for sure his arm was broken on Day 1. His hand was very bruised and swollen, but nothing was broken. We were very lucky. It all happened so fast so we are unsure how his hand wound up behind the 2 glass doors, but if your child has skinny little arms please make sure they do not get too close to the glass.

 

**If your young kids need to get their "sillies" out then head over to Blaze on deck 4 during the day. They have dance music playing and no one in there at all! My kids danced (if that is what you want to call it!) and had the dance floor to themselves.

 

We had an incredible cruise and hope to sail on the Allure within the next year or two. Sorry my review was so wordy...and unwitty, but I hope it helped those who will be sailing on Oasis

 

Sunset while at sea

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My kids on Formal Night in Central Park

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Last set of pictures....

 

Aft on Deck 4 along the jogging track

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My daughter with her Walrus from Pets at Sea

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Central Park at night

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Boardwalk at night

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A few more pictures.....

 

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I apologize for the quality of the pictures! I think I need a new camera...or I need to read the user's manual!!

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Thanks for your wonderful review. It's our turn on Feb 26-2011! You were able to board Oasis around 10:30 am, is that correct? I had read posts that most people were able to board around 11-11:30, perhaps that particular day was different in terms of boarding, as I know many factors come into place.

 

Your pictures are great as well!

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Thanks for the great review! Our son will be 3 when we go on Oasis in June, so it was nice to hear your story. We hope our little guy will go to AO, but who knows?

 

Did you try to arrange for any babysitting while onboard?

 

Thanks!

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A great review and loved your pictures! Thanks for taking time to post. I'll be sailing the Oasis next year-can't wait.:D

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Thanks for your wonderful review. It's our turn on Feb 26-2011! You were able to board Oasis around 10:30 am, is that correct? I had read posts that most people were able to board around 11-11:30, perhaps that particular day was different in terms of boarding, as I know many factors come into place.

 

Your pictures are great as well!

 

Thanks! I believe we arrived at the pier between 10:20-10:30. Then we had to check in and have our pictures taken.....so by the time we made it up to the 2nd level of the terminal we only had about a 10 minute wait. I would say we were on right at 11am.

 

Thanks for the great review! Our son will be 3 when we go on Oasis in June, so it was nice to hear your story. We hope our little guy will go to AO, but who knows?

 

Did you try to arrange for any babysitting while onboard?

 

Thanks!

 

Thank you! I did not try to arrange for babysitting. I thought that my son would do better with other kids around to play with as I have never left him with a babysitter (other than his grandma or aunt). The hardest part is walking away when he is crying.....but the AO staff will call you if he does not settle down and have fun! On the 2nd sea day the little ones wore train conductor hats and played with trains.....my son loved this day!

 

A great review and loved your pictures! Thanks for taking time to post. I'll be sailing the Oasis next year-can't wait.:D

 

Thank you!! You will have an amazing cruise!! Oasis is a destination unto itself.

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Your review and pictures are great. Thanks for posting. It sounds like you did a lot on the ship and had a really nice family vacation. We sail in March and cannot wait!

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Last set of pictures....

 

Aft on Deck 4 along the jogging track

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My daughter with her Walrus from Pets at Sea

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Central Park at night

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Boardwalk at night

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Thanks for sharing!

 

How much was the Pets At Sea?

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great review...thanks for sharing

 

were there a lot of kids on board? (ie. your DS and DD ages).

 

we will be going on the allure dec 5 and curious as how many kids take time off of school to go.

 

even though the weather was cloudy was it warm enough for shorts? did the night time get cool?

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"My daughter made a Pet at Sea. You can choose from a pet with a shirt for $23.95 or a pet with an outfit for $29.95. Go early in the week as the animals do sell out!"

 

Thanks for the great review! This was the first one I have seen that mentioned the kids play area in the terminal. Our DD6 and DD7 will love this!

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Very nice review; the pics were nice addition to your review. Thanks.

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