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ChristyLNDRN

Oasis Western 3/2-3/9 Review With Pictures

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Hi All,

 

This will be my first attempt at a review! I'm a long-time lurker, and am very appreciative of all the reviews and tips I've picked up from Cruise Critic, so I wanted to share in return. Let's jump in!

 

Background:

This was the 5th cruise for myself (32) and DH (35). Our 2nd cruise with Royal, having previously cruised on Explorer of the Seas. Previously cruised once each on Princess and Carnival, and 2 on Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. We have two adorable kiddos, DD 3 1/2 and DS 5, who got to spend a wonderful week with their awesome grandparents, because Mommy and Daddy were cruising solo! Wooohoooo!

 

I booked rather late, 46 days out from sailing. I had been watching prices for both Allure and Oasis, knowing that I wanted to try one of the big girls. My original plan was to do the Eastern route on Allure....so of course we ended up on Oasis for the Western route! Long story short, we were pretty flexible for dates, with my in-laws being retired and available most of the spring. In early January I caught a C&A preview sale and snagged a D1 Oceanview Balcony, 7th deck on the hump for $899pp, which I thought was a crazy good deal....it was just too good to pass up. When it came down to it, I was more excited to see the ship and wasn't really particular about the itinerary.

 

As soon as I booked, I immediately went online and was able to make all show reservations, as well as MTD reservations, with no problem at all. I pre-booked the Central Park dining package, which required us to eat the first night at Giovanni's Table, with a reservation made ahead of time for that night. 150 CP and Chops would have to be scheduled once onboard. The only thing I was unable to do at this time was book a cabana...the Nellie's beach cabanas were all gone already. However, with some help from my cruise critic friends, you will see later on that I was able to take care of that as well:) Within a day or two, there was nothing left to do but sit back and count down the days....so let's jump ahead in time to the day before:

 

Pre-cruise: Friday March 1st

We left DE around 8 AM friday morning to start our looooong drive to Ft. Lauderdale. Yup, we drove that far. Yes, I know I'm crazy. Booking late, near spring break=very high airfare prices. Or I'm just using that as an excuse because I don't like to fly:) Made it to Melbourne FL and around 10pm decided we were too tired to drive any further. Pulled in to a Hampton Inn and was able to book a room with my credit card reward points while we were sitting in the parking lot. Had trouble sleeping as I was so excited! Finally fell asleep a little after midnight....and then woke up excited again just after 4 AM. Managed to stay quiet for awhile, then gave up at 4:45 and turned on my ipad to check out the webcam. Hubby was less then thrilled at being woken up so early, but here's what I saw 30 minutes later:

 

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If you look closely you'll see I was not the only one up that early!!! I was so excited to see the ship sailing in!

Breakfast was served in the lobby at 6 AM, so after a quick shower and bite to eat, we were on the road again by 6:30. We made it to Ft. Lauderdale around 8:30. Coincidentally, my sister-in-law was spending a few days at the Marriott Harbor Beach, so we swung by and picked her up there for a second breakfast.

After 2nd breakfast, and a quick trip to Publix for some wine to carry on, we dropped his sister off and we were finally on our way to the Oasis. Here's our first view:

 

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We arrived at the port around 10:30. DH dropped me off at the curb with luggage while he parked the car. I had to wait a few minutes for a porter as the curbside was a little chaotic with lots of passengers leaving and lots of cars dropping off. Still, we were in the terminal very quickly, after one last nervous look over my shoulder at our bags. The porters just had everything piled up on the curb, with a few carts behind waiting to be loaded. Just bugged me a little not to see our bags go directly onto a cart. Still, everything did arrive just fine. I tipped the porter $5.

 

Once inside the terminal, there were only a few people in front of us, and plenty of people to check you in. I think the whole process took about 5 minutes. We were given two WOW cards as we checked in, and then we headed upstairs to the gold seating area. Boarding started just after 11. I would estimate that we were onboard around 11:15, as I took this picture after we had already made a few stops elsewhere:

 

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On the gangway:

 

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Next up: Taking care of business!

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I am on this same trip in Nov. Loving the review, living a little vicariously thru this! As I was reading your review of the night before, I can identify, I am always so excited the night before a cruise I can't sleep worth nothin!!! I have been on 11 cruises thus far and I always think I am not going to get that keyed up...doesn't work..excitement takes over, every time!!!

Thanks for taking time to do the review.

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Day 1:

 

Our first stop once onboard was Guest Services. Not the most exciting place to start, but I wanted to sign DH up for the All-Access Tour. It was the one thing I know he wanted to do, having previously done Carnival's behind the scenes tour and loved it. Had to wait just a few minutes in line, and got that taken care of. There were multiple tours for him to pick from. He ended up picking 9:15 on the last sea day (Friday). Cost was $150. After getting that taken care of, we headed up to Central Park:

 

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I wanted to make reservations for the Central Park dining package I had pre-booked. We ended up walking by Chops first, so we stopped in. Having pre-booked all the shows, and 4 nights of MTD, I knew exactly when I wanted to eat in each place: Monday night for Chops, and Friday night for 150 CP. Was able to schedule both easily right there at Chops. Once that was done, that was all the business we had to take care of. We had already eaten two breakfasts, and were not hungry at all, so we decided to hold off on eating. Time to explore the ship:

 

Giovanni's Table:

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Pool deck I think:

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Beach Pool:

 

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Day 1 continued:

 

Continuing to explore the pool deck:

 

Awesomely huge hot tub looking over the side of the ship:

 

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And then we walked into what quickly became my favorite place on the ship:

 

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The Solarium! We spent far more time here than anywhere else on the ship. So peaceful, and relaxing! Tons of chairs, two hot tubs, and one (cold) pool in the middle. It was love at first sight, and then when you add this to the mix......

 

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Now that's happiness right there:)

 

Francis, one of the solarium bartenders, was great! Always remembered my name, and DH's as well. I haven't quite adjusted to not having my 10:30 am pina colada yet.

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Day 1 continued:

 

After relaxing in the solarium for awhile, it was getting close to 1:00, so we figured our room would be ready soon. We took one more lap around the pool deck:

 

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And then took a quick peek down onto the boardwalk:

 

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And then it was on to Deck 7 to check out our room:

 

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My father, one of the sweetest guys in the world, had flowers waiting for us in the room:

 

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Day 1 continued--More room pictures:

 

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LOVED the size of the balcony...so deep!!

 

No luggage to unpack yet, too excited to nap, what to do next? How about hitting the zipline? Why not? Oh, and they did have loaner shoes, just like the rock wall. I did have close toed shoes, but they seemed to think they were too loose, as they were slip-on sketchers.

 

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Day 1 continued

 

Who needs kids to ride the carousel?

 

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By this time it was almost time for muster. We were in Studio B. It was pretty full in there...people ended up sitting in the aisles, so get there on time if you need a seat. It was pretty painless and quick though. And then it was time for sail away!!

 

I was pretty excited about sail away. Again, through you wonderful folks at cruise critic, I learned you could "request a wave" from the Fort Lauderdale webcam. You can go on their site, tell them your ship, sail date, and sail away location, and they will try to zoom in on you at sail away for people watching live on the webcam. I watched a few of the older sail aways on their site (they archive them on youTube) and noticed that they would really zoom in on the port side bridge wing. So, I emailed a wave request with the port side bridge wing for my location. As soon as muster was over, we ran all the way up the stairs (we are a little out of shape!!) to deck 14 port side. You go all the way through the cabin hallway to the front, and there is a door to the outside to get you to the bridge wing. When we got out there, another guy had requested a wave for the same site. When you sail by the building where the webcam is, you start waving like crazy. I had my dad and my brother watching live from home... Sure enough, the camera zoomed right in on us, and they saw us! It was great! My dad was on the phone with me, and he was looking at his screen and said, "Tell Mike to wave! He's not waving!!" That's how clear they could see us. My brother got a great screen shot of us that I need to download. I think it helped that I had on a bright yellow shirt.

 

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Us at sail away

 

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Liberty in port with us

 

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Shorter building on the water next to tall building is where the webcam is.

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Day 1 continued:

 

View of the helipad from bridge wing:

 

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More sail away views from our balcony. The sky just kept getting prettier as the sun went down:

 

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Day 1 continued

 

We had reservations at Giovanni's table for dinner at 6:30. We ended up going a little early at 6:15 and were seated right away, no problem.

 

Let me tell you, I think this was the best meal we have ever had on a ship. Now, remember that we never really ate lunch, so we were really hungry, but it was GREAT!

 

For appetizers, we had Scallops, and also Mozzerella that was wrapped in prosciutto on a little piece of bread. Our waiter asked if we would like seconds of the scallops...um, yes please!

DH had Osso Bucco--said it was phenomenal

I had the 8 oz filet--yum!

We shared a plate of spinach & ricotta crepes--very, very good

For dessert:

Tiramisu

Chocolate Tart

 

Sorry, no food porn...too hungry at dinner time!

 

After dinner, we had reservations at 8:30 for hairspray:

 

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We really enjoyed the show.

 

Normally we crash early on vacation. This time, we vowed to stay up late and sleep in. With that in mind, we stayed in the theater for a 3D showing of the Avengers that started shortly after the show ended. By the time ended it was 1 am and I had been up for 21 hours...so off to bed we went. That's the end of day one...a great start to a great vacation! That's all for tonight as well...my kiddos tend to get up early. I'll be back tomorrow, probably at night when kids are back in bed. Next up: Day 2 (at Sea) Rock Walls and flowrider wipeouts, oh my!

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Enjoying your review. Great photos!:) Looking forward to the rest.

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I'm loving it! We have 4 kids and will be sailing without them (thanks to wonderful grandparents) in May. We are sailing the eastern Caribbean route on allure. I'm looking forward to reading more of your review! Great job so far!!!

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Great review! I'm 31 and my husband is 34 and we have a 2 yr old who is also staying with the grandparents when we go on our cruise later this month. It's great to read a review from someone with our similar demographics. We talked about going on the Oasis or Allure in the future and your review so far is very helpful. Can't wait to read more!

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Thanks for your review, I can't wait for more! We are sailing in just over a month on Oasis (western) so I can't get enough of the great reviews ! There are 7 of us sailing ( a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my in-laws), so I am a little jealous of your quiet get-away for two!

 

Looking forward to more of your review! Thanks :)

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Thanks for all the replies and encouragement from everyone. I'm having fun reliving the memories:)

 

It's raining buckets here in Delaware. DS is at school, and DD is happily entertaining herself (for now) so I'll see if I can get started on Day 2 here...need to resize pictures as I go. Any specific questions, just let me know and I'll try to answer as I go.

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Day 2:

 

Excitement strikes again! I woke up early just after 6 AM. My kids get me up around 6 every day at home, and despite my best intentions, I find that it is very hard to reset my body's clock and actually sleep in on vacation. I'm also not one to just lay there in bed when there's an awesome ship to explore. DH grumbled a little when I started making noise, so I grabbed my soda cup, told him to go back to sleep, and off I went to explore, camera in hand.

 

Side note: I bought the soda package the previous day, up at one of the bars on the pool deck. Coke Freestyle machines were fun, and easy to find. They were a little cranky at times, but overall they worked pretty well. There were two machines side by side on the forward end of the promenade, which were the ones I used the most by far. Note that the machine on the right of this pair had plain water, while the left hand machine only had flavored waters...it took me a day to figure out how to get just plain ice water when I was headed up to the Pool deck for some sun. Also ran into some machines in the windjammer, which I only used once, because we only stepped foot in there once on the whole cruise:) Also found one machine around the corner from the Wipeout Cafe in the kids arcade...this was a surprisingly convenient location for me to duck into if I was headed aft.

 

First stop on my early morning exploration was the promenade, as we hadn't spent much time there the day before:

 

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Walked straight through the deserted promenade to the boardwalk:

 

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Not many people up and about there either!

 

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Aquatheater

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Day 2 continued:

 

This looked like a great spot to relax, aft along the jogging track:

 

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Great views of the wake from here:

 

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Jogging track:

 

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Aqua theater again:

 

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Rock wall:

 

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To be continued at naptime. DD, who is not known for her patience, wants to play with Mommy.

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Great start! We are doing the same itinerary in April, so I'm looking forward to hearing all about you trip.

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Thank you for taking the time to do this nice review. We are doing the Oasis western itinerary April 13th and these reviews are so helpful. We are traveling with DS, DD, and 3 grandkids (their spring break week in Boston). Since we are retired we are elected to do the research for the group.

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Thanks for doing this review. We are sailing Oasis May 11, Western Caribbean and can't wait - reviews that come in closer to our date only help feed the excitement!

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Continuing on to Central Park:

 

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And since we are currently touring Central Park, here's the Menu for Giovanni's Table, where we ate the first night:

 

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I may have missed a page of the menu, because we had almond-encrusted scallops, and spinach and ricotta crepes, and I don't see either of those on these two pages.

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Day 2 continued:

 

A good time for a side note related to Central Park. If you remember from Day 1, one of the first things I did was to make dinner reservations for Chops and 150 CP for later in the trip. Later on that afternoon, as we were passing through central park, I actually stopped to look at the menu for 150 CP:

 

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We had scheduled 150 CP for Friday, which would be the Hearth Menu, as shown above. Now, I am a fairly picky eater, so 150 was already a bit of a stretch for me, but I wanted to be adventurous and try it out. However, I much preferred the menu for the 1st half of the week, the Heirloom menu. Just personal taste, and knowing what I would be more likely to eat. So, we popped into 150, and rescheduled that for monday night. We had Frozen in Time scheduled for 7:30 that night...I had previously scheduled Chops for 5:30 to eat before the show. Well, 150 doesn't open for dinner until 6:00, so that was not going to work. No problem, we switched to 8:30 instead, and planned to eat after the show. For some reason, the gentleman at the front desk couldn't change my Chops reservation, so he sent me there next. One more quick stop, and Chops had now been moved to Friday night at 6:30.

 

End of side note! Back to more day 2 pics in next post....

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Day 2, continued:

 

Continuing on my early AM walking tour, next stop pool deck.

 

Look, no chair hogs this early:

 

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Let's talk about one of the most popular topics on CC, chair hogging!

Just in my personal experience on this cruise, it was not a problem. Now, we spent all our lounging time in the solarium, and never sat near the main pools outside. However, we looked for chairs at several different times of day, on sea days, and were ALWAYS able to find a chair.

Early morning: chairs EVERYWHERE.

Mid-morning: Areas filling up, but still plenty of chairs available

Lunchtime: Definitely peak difficulty to find a chair. We might have settled for a chair upstairs in the solarium rather than downstairs by the glass, but we still found chairs together.

After lunch (say 2pm-ish): Noticeable increase in chair availability. I will say the last sea day we hit the solarium at this time and it was still very crowded.

In my experience, there were far more chairs with people in them than chairs with only towels. Now saving seats in the theater? That is a different story, my friend, one for another day.

 

Kind of a tie in to the chairs: I've read in so many reviews that Allure and Oasis feel less crowded than other ships....again, just in my personal experience this is completely.....TRUE! We checked at Guest Services, and there were about 5800+ passengers on our sailing. About 800 kids according to our waiter. These ships just do a great job of dividing all the passengers up into different areas. I expected long lines and hordes of people. I found neither. In ports, we just walked right off, no lines. Now, we didn't try to get off the moment the ship docked, but we didn't wait for an hour or anything like that.

We also never had a problem with getting an elevator. As we are young and in fairly good shape, we tended to take the stairs whenever possible. However, we did use the elevators fairly frequently but never experienced waits.

Yes, when shows let out there are large crowds in an area. The promenade got packed during parades and certain other events...but that was very easily avoided. Again, these are just my experiences. Yours may vary.

 

Moving on: Back to the solarium:

 

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Happy feet, with a view:

 

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LOVED these chairs in the solarium:

 

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There were probably about 8-12 of these in the solarium, and I thought they would be claimed at all times. We were able to use them several times during the week, although we usually were done with breakfast and ready to lounge by 8:30-9:00.

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Day 2 continued:

 

More solarium:

 

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Love the details throughout the ship:

 

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At this point it was around 7:15 and I figured it was safe to go wake hubby up. I actually ran into him on the way back to the room...he had hit Cafe promenade for coffee and pastries. I had picked up a croissant there earlier in my explorations. After quick showers, we decided to try Johnny Rockets, which is free for breakfast.

I had a ham & cheese omelet

DH had a Breakfast sandwich...both were very good.

After breakfast, it was back to the solarium. We got there around 8:30, and perfect timing, someone was just getting up leaving us this lovely spot:

 

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We stayed here for awhile. One of my favorite times of day was 10:30. Why you ask....it's PINA COLADA time!!

 

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Day 2 continued:

 

Around 10:30 was the C&A welcome back party in the Aquatheater. There was an invitation waiting for us in our stateroom when we arrived. We headed in that direction, but more because I wanted to check out the rock wall.

 

This is from the balcony where the rock wall is. Captain Patrick on the right at the Welcome Back party.

 

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Here I go up the wall!

 

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Can you see me?

 

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Made it!

 

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Man, that is a BIG wall. I only tried it the once since I made it all the way to the top. My arms and legs were shaking! Oh, and be careful on the way back down....I somehow spun around and slammed into one of the footholds. I had (actually, still do have) a very nice, very large, pretty purple bruise on my rear. Picked a good place to hit though:)

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I may have missed a page of the menu, because we had almond-encrusted scallops, and spinach and ricotta crepes, and I don't see either of those on these two pages.

 

First, thanks for the great review, loving it so far and looking forward to the rest.

 

Regarding the Giovanni's menu, could that have been the lunch menu pictured versus the dinner menu you had?

 

Also, a comment on the round chair beds you enjoyed in the Solarium, on the Allure last year those were not to be found in the Solarium but only up on the deck 17 Suites only sun deck. Interesting that on the Oasis they kept those in the Solarium. Certainly the nicer space of the two.

 

bobj

Edited by johnbob7

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So after making it to the top of the rock wall, I was feeling pretty spunky. I dragged Hubby to the Sports Deck to check out the flowrider. (I needed photo documentation!!). I'm fairly coordinated and decently athletic, so I figured I'd give stand-up surfing a try. Why not? Yeah.....I was not very good:

 

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Not so sure this is a good idea:

 

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Yeah, definitely not:

 

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If at first you don't succeed....

 

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You will probably just wipe out in a more spectacular fashion the 2nd time:

 

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Note: LADIES!! Wear a swim shirt! I believe my hubby remarked that he saw some boobies loose during wipe outs. Not mine of course...I knew from CC to wear a shirt on the flowrider:D

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First, thanks for the great review, loving it so far and looking forward to the rest.

 

Regarding the Giovanni's menu, could that have been the lunch menu pictured versus the dinner menu you had?

 

Also, a comment on the round chair beds you enjoyed in the Solarium, on the Allure last year those were not to be found in the Solarium but only up on the deck 17 Suites only sun deck. Interesting that on the Oasis they kept those in the Solarium. Certainly the nicer space of the two.

 

bobj

 

Ahhh! Very good thinking on the menu picture! I was taking those pictures early in the day so that would make perfect sense. And also interesting comment on the difference between the solariums on Oasis and Allure...I would miss those chairs, I loved them! Thanks for input!

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From one Wilmingtonian to another, thank you so much for this review. I will be on the Oasis in May and there are not many western Oasis reviews out there. It will be interesting to see of there are any differences in activities when the cruise directors change at the end of the month.

Judy

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Well Thank you for all you information. We are on Oasis March 30.. I can't wait

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I am on this same trip in Nov. Loving the review, living a little vicariously thru this! As I was reading your review of the night before, I can identify, I am always so excited the night before a cruise I can't sleep worth nothin!!! I have been on 11 cruises thus far and I always think I am not going to get that keyed up...doesn't work..excitement takes over, every time!!!

Thanks for taking time to do the review.

 

Hey Raven, we're on the same cruise with you. I didn't notice your name on our Meet n Mingle roll call. Please come join us and be sure to sign up for the Meet n Mingle gathering.

Skip

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My kiddos are finally in bed and apparently asleep, so let's continue on with Day 2, shall we?

 

After my rather short flowrider session, we headed back to our favorite hangout, the solarium of course! At this point it was around 12-ish. It was much more crowded than in the morning, but we were still able to find two lounge chairs together on the first level.

DH hit the Solarium Bistro for lunch--did not write in my notes what he got but he said it was good.

I walked to the Wipeout Cafe and brought back a plate of tacos/nachos. The meat for the tacos was more of a chili as it had kidney beans in it...not my favorite, but no big deal.

 

After lunch, I noticed on the Compass there was a Jewelry workshop listed at 1:45, so I headed off to check that out. I had previously made a bracelet/necklace/earring set on our Explorer cruise, so I thought that might be a fun sea day activity. However, the selections they had to choose from for you to make were actually pretty much the same as the ones that were on the Explorer two years ago. The only one I could see myself wearing was the one I had already made, so DH and I went to find a hot tub instead.

 

We tried one of the cantialevered (OMG, I have no idea if that is spelled right) hot tubs that are right outside the solarium....couldn't believe how big it was!

 

Eventually we made our way back to the room around 4ish...we had MTD reservations for 6, and since this was the first formal night, we needed a little time to get ready. In the meantime, I was a little hungry since I hadn't eaten a whole lot for lunch. I ordered the Spinach/Artichoke dip from Room service. Actually, I had never ordered room service before on a cruise. They send a little dessert plate along with the dip, which was a nice touch, so along with the wine we had brought onboard, we had a nice little happy hour on our balcony:

 

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We headed down to Deck 5 for our first experience in the dining room around 6:00. There were two lines, one for those with reservations, one for those without. I don't think we ever waited more than 5 minutes to be seated on any of the nights we ate in the MDR...it was just waiting for the few groups that were ahead of you in line to be seated.

We asked for a table for two, and were quickly led to our spot.

 

Our team consisted of Jeldon (waiter) and Denzil (assistant waiter). They were great! When we came back to the MDR for the 2nd time, we were asked if we were happy with the service we received. We said yes, and each subsequent night we were seated in the same section with Jeldon and Denzil, which was great for consistency.

 

Back to dinner the first night.

I had the Lobster bisque for appetizer, and Carved Filet of Beef Tenderloin for my main course. Dessert for me was the Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle.

 

For DH: Chilled Banana Rum soup for app, Corvina for main course. BBB Creme Brulee for dessert.

 

Everything was very good!! I think I remember DH saying his creme brulee was just ok.

 

After dinner, we had reservations for Oasis of Dreams at 9:00. We had some time to kill before then, so we hopped on the Rising Tide Bar.

 

View of the promenade from the bar:

 

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It could definitely get crowded on the promenade, especially at night.

 

Us on the Rising Tide Bar:

 

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Looking up from the bar:

 

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I think we headed to the Aquatheater around 8:30ish to get seats. This is waiting for the show to start:

 

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Another really, really impressive show. I can't believe what they do on a moving ship....not just diving from the platforms, but from the high dive??? Crazy!

 

I think we turned in early after the show (Drats! Breaking our stay-up late vow already). This friend was waiting for us in the room:

 

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We had 3 towel animals during the week for those who care about those things. Oh, and I should have mentioned before, our cabin steward, Ophelia, was great. We didn't ask for much, just extra towels. She was so happy all the time...always singing while she was working.

 

That's the end of day 2. Next up: A rainy day at Labadee is better than winter at home!!

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Day 3: Labadee

 

We woke up to overcast skies on Monday morning:

 

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Still, it was a beautiful view!

 

We decided to eat breakfast in the Windjammer, since we had yet to set foot in there. Actually, this would be the one and only time we ate in the Windjammer...there are just so many options on Oasis, so many new things to try. Food was fine. I much preferred breakfast in the other places that we tried. Could be just that I really like my made-to order omelets on cruises, and that isn't available on the windjammer on this class of ship. No problem, I found plenty of omelettes elsewhere:)

 

Time for another side note: If you remember, I booked fairly late, at 46 days out, and was unable to book a cabana for Labadee at that time. On the excursion page for Labadee, all the cabanas for Nellies said, "Inquire onboard." I did actually call a rep to see if they were indeed all gone, and she did confirm that they had all been reserved already. I asked if any cabanas are held back for onboard booking, and she told me no. I'm not sure if that is true or not. She also said that there was no waiting list. Bummer! In doing my research, I came across yet another helpful CC tip. I read that some people had luck with "inquire onboard" later changing to "book now" on the excursion page. So I stalked the page. And stalked the page some more. I checked the excursion page for Labadee pretty much twice a day until the week before our cruise. I had just about given up, but was doing my standard morning check just for giggles, when all of a sudden, there in front of my eyes, is an Over the water Nellies cabana available for booking. I booked it right away, and received an email confirmation. I then did a happy dance. No, really. My son was a witness!

 

We arrived in Labadee around 8 AM. Here's a few more pics from the approach:

 

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