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Oasis of the Seas Photo Review ~ October 12, 2013


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Hello Everyone,


Welcome to my review of the October 12, 2013 Western Caribbean sailing on Oasis of the Seas.

This is my second attempt at writing a review on Cruise Critic after my trip on Ruby Princess in November 2012. On this trip I took over 1200 pictures & videos. I will try to post a lot of them here along with the daily Cruise Compass’ and much more.

This trip was booked 13 months prior to boarding and boy were there times when it felt like October would never arrive. Aaaaaand, now its over. We booked with a local travel agency who specializes in cruising. We were given $100 OBC per cabin and everyone was given a voucher for a meal at a specialty restaurant valued at $25.

This trip was everyone’s first cruise with Royal Caribbean and for me; I loved every minute of it. I did a ton of research on both RCCL & Oasis before the trip and kept saying, “Once going on Royal I won’t want to go on any other line again.” I think I’m going to be sticking with Royal for a long time. We have already booked a trip on Allure next year.


Who Are We?:

· Nathaniel (Me, 31) 6th cruise

· David aka Nooch (37), my buddy & cruise roommate, 5th cruise

· Aaron (Brother, 34) 8th cruise

· Allison (Sister-in-Law, 35) 9th cruise

· Caleigh (Aaron & Allison’s daughter, 22 months old) 2nd cruise. {Less than 2 years old and it’s her 2nd cruise?? Geeez she’s a lucky girl}

· Jodi (Allison’s sister, 40) 3rd cruise, celebrated 40th birthday onboard

· Felicia (Jodi’s friend) 3rd cruise

· Judy (Allison & Jodi’s sister) 2nd cruise

· Gerri (Allison, Jodi & Judy’s sister, 48) 1st cruise

· Alanna (Gerri’s daughter, 11) 1st cruise


Itinerary: 7 Day Western Caribbean

Fri Oct 11 – Fly from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale

Sat Oct 12 – Embark Oasis of the Seas

Sun Oct 13 – Sea Day (Formal Night)

Mon Oct 14 – Labadee, Haiti

Tues Oct 15 – Falmouth, Jamaica

Wed Oct 16 – Sea Day (Formal Night)

Thurs Oct 17 – Cozumel, Mexico

Fri Oct 18 – Sea Day

Sat Oct 19 – Disembark

Sun Oct 20 – Fly home to Toronto


Here’s a “brief” review before I get into the actual day-by-day report…


CABINS: We had 5 side-by-side ocean view balcony cabins on deck 11 - 11614, 11616, 11618, 11620 & 11622. We like to book mid-ship because you don’t feel the ship rocking as much. That really doesn’t mean anything for me because I almost never feel the ship moving, and on Oasis you never feel it moving. The cabin felt a little smaller than other balcony cabins I’ve stayed in but still had room to move around. The shower was actually the roomiest I’ve seen on a ship. The rest of the bathroom was the same except the counter & sink seemed a little low. For tall people that might be an issue. Our room steward Keston was great. He was always around when we needed something. Some of the tv channels are TBS, ESPN Caribbean, ESPN 2 Caribbean, CNN International, a generic movie channel (usually dramas & comedies), Dreamworks channel. I forgot to write down all of the channels.



SHIP: Where & how do you begin to describe Oasis? The ship is absolutely amazing. It’s a big ship but I was able to find my way around quite easily from the second I stepped onboard. Others I was with, not so much. They aren’t great with directions. Thankfully, Oasis has interactive touch-screens throughout the ship where you can get directions to where you’re going. I love the idea the different neighbourhoods. My favourite was Central Park. Walking through the park, boardwalk or Promenade you lose the feeling of being on a ship. The design right down to the smallest details seemed to be thoroughly thought out. With so much to do everyday people were spread out around the ship, which made it feel that there weren’t as many people on board as there actually were.



Main Dining Room: We only ate in the MDR for the 2 formal nights, there are too many options. The formal nights were Sunday (1st sea day) and Wednesday (2nd sea day). Our dinners were scheduled at 6:00pm. We scheduled the early seating because we were with my niece who needed to eat early. I prefer the late seating as it gives us more time at the pool or just to relax before dinner. The food was good but wasn’t anything special. It was on par with what I have had in the past. Lobster & Baked Alaska were both served on the second formal night. For our next trip we will book My Time Dining as we went to the specialty restaurants all other nights.


Chops Grille: Chops Grille is the signature steakhouse restaurant on RCCL and has a charge of $35. Royal Caribbean describes Chops as an American style restaurant and with it located in Central Park you really feel like you’re eating at an upscale restaurant in NY.

We booked this restaurant before boarding to insure it wouldn’t be full. Judy, Jodi, Gerri & Felicia ate here on Monday while the entire group went on Tuesday.

The first thing brought to the table is fresh baked bread with both butter and a delicious cream cheese spread. Appetizers that were ordered around the table… Shrimp cocktail (bigger shrimp than in the MDR), crab & shrimp cake, caesar salad, asian tuna, & Cheese N' Onion Soup (French Onion Soup). Everything that I tried was fantastic and the presentation was impeccable. There are many choices for entrées but I was there for steak. On the advice of our waiter I ordered the 18-ounce porterhouse. It was good, but the rib-eye I had last year on Ruby Princess at Crown Grille was definitely better. Other entrées ordered were halibut, NY Strip and lamb. In addition to the meals the sides were served family style. Sautéed mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, broccoli mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin and the biggest baked potatoes I have ever seen. For dessert the only thing you need to know is they have red velvet cake. This was amazingly delicious!!! If you’re going to Chops make sure to leave some room for this cake. They even allowed us to take a couple pieces to go.

Chops Gille Menu


Giovanni’s Table: Located in Central Park Giovanni’s Table is the signature Italian restaurant on Oasis & Allure and has a $20 charge. We ate here on night 3 and liked it so much we booked again for night 6. Sitting close to the windows and looking out on Central Park is truly amazing because you feel like you’re nowhere near a cruise ship.

After being seated our waiter asked if we would like appetizers served family style. Meaning they brought out a few different apps and everyone would share them. The first thing brought out was warm bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That was followed by antipasti which included proscuitto sliced fresh at the entrance of the restaurant. We also had baked mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto. That was incredible! Our waiter also brought us bocconcini, flat bread and a couple people ordered the seafood soup. As an entrée the first time I had the Ossobuco (veal) served with cheesy polenta. The second time we went I had a chicken breast stuffed with ricotta & mushrooms, wrapped in proscuitto. Both entrées were delicious. For the table we were brought gnocchi, crab & shrimp ravioli and pappardelle pasta with pancetta. If after all of that incredible food you still have room for dessert the waiter rolls a magnificent dessert cart. On that cart you can choose chocolate cake, tiramisu, panna cotta and/or miniature cannolis. I had the cannoli and tiramisu. I usually don’t like tiramisu but this was incredible. Giovanni’s was by far my favourite dining experience on the ship.

Giovanni's Table Menu


Solarium Bistro: Healthy eating on a cruise? That’s a new concept. Located on deck 15 forward, the Solarium offers up a complimentary breakfast & lunch buffet of healthier choices. When the sun starts to set the bistro transforms into a fine dining white tablecloth specialty restaurant with a charge of $20. I am not sure if it was because we ate here on the last night (Friday), but the restaurant was empty. Only 3 other tables were occupied.

We had a great waiter Eduardo. I mention him because he went above & beyond for us. A couple of us had ordered the Mexican Shrimp Bowl. In the bowl there looked to be a red bell pepper. Jodi gave hers to Caleigh to eat. It was then realized that this was a HOT pepper and it was burning her mouth & lips. We tried to get her to drink some milk, as that will calm the heat, but because she is so young she didn’t understand. Eduardo asked if she would want some yogurt and then ran to room service to get a little cup. When he came back he took a serviette and made it into a little mouse. The rest of the meal was pretty uneventful. I had the toasted barley mushroom risotto, which was very good. I heard from a couple people who ordered the chicken minestrone that it was delicious. For my entrée I had the peppercorn bison tenderloin. It was so juicy & tender. Others ordered roasted lamb medallions & veal. Dessert was served in somewhat of a buffet style. They have you walk over to the normal buffet area where they have all the dessert options presented for you. You then tell your waiter what you would like and they bring it to you. I had cheesecake.

Solarium Bistro Menu


Windjammer: For those who don’t know, Royal Caribbean refers to their buffet as Windjammer Marketplace. I like that better than just saying buffet. I went there for breakfast almost every morning. Your typical breakfast buffet items can be found here. Eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, pancakes which changed daily (I can only remember banana & raisin), French toast, fresh fruit. Coffee, orange juice, milk, chocolate milk & flavoured water were available. We only went once for lunch, embarkation day. Windjammer is located on deck 16 aft. It wraps around the galley with food served on both port & starboard sides. The same food is served on both sides. One thing I liked was they would find a table for you instead of you wondering aimlessly with plate in hand.


ENTERTAINMENT: Our cruise director was Dave Chapman. He’s from Australia and every time he gets on stage he says “G’day Oasis”. Everyone then replies with “G’day Dave”. I thought he was pretty good and funny. Overall the entertainment on this cruise is second to none. There are so many venues with tons of acts/shows. Theatre production shows Hairspray & Come Fly With Me were both fantastic. Oasis of Dreams in the Aqua Theatre was fabulous. If you’ve been to Vegas and have seen Cirque du Soleil’s ‘O’ you’ll know what I'm talking about. Comedians Mike Wilson & Rondell Sheridon were hilarious. Kenny James, former Star Search winner, was the headliner. He sang a lot of great Motown hits. There were also bands in other venues. There is no shortage of nightly activities on this ship including The Quest and an improv show.


EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was a breeeeeze. Their goal is curbside to gangway in less than 15 minutes and they did a great job keeping that up. We arrived at terminal 18, later than we wanted to, just before 1pm. We were hoping for 11am but the ladies wanted to go shopping. Once we got to the terminal we flew threw the line.

Disembarkation was delayed by about an hour. We were scheduled to get off the ship at 10:15 but didn’t get off until just past 11am. I was ok with that as it gave us a little more time on the ship. Once off our luggage was easily found and we went to customs. From what I was told, the delay was due to the lack of customs agents. The line for customs was pretty long but it kept moving.


PRE & POST ACCOMMODATIONS: For 1 night before & 1 night after the cruise we stayed at The Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port in Dania Beach. A couple years ago we stayed next door at the Marriott Springhill Suites so we knew the area quite well. The hotel is a 10 minute drive from both the FLL Airport & Port Everglades. There is also a lot of shopping and restaurants in the area. The hotel itself was very nice, as you would expect from a Hyatt property. We paid $94usd taxes in per night as we found a great deal on hotels dot you-know-what. We called the hotel and said we found a cheaper rate online. Their policy is to beat other prices by 20%. The hotel has a pretty decent continental breakfast and they serve Starbucks coffee at the bar. Free wifi throughout the property and a business centre where you can check e-mail or print your luggage tags or airline-boarding pass. The hotel also offers shuttles to and from both the airport & Port Everglades.



Labadee, Haiti: We wanted to rent an over-the-water cabana at Nellie’s Beach. To our dismay,

they had all been reserved when we tried to reserve one. If you want to book one of these cabanas you need to do it as early as possible. I was really looking forward to riding the zip line. I didn’t pre book it which wasn’t a problem because there was a lot of available space. When we docked I went to the base of the zip line to sign up. They have a very strict weight limit of 250lbs. When registering they ask you to stand on a scale and unfortunately I was 254lbs. Maybe I ate too much at the buffet that morning? The lady told me that even if you’re .1lbs over they won’t allow you to go for insurance reasons. But at .1 you can probably go to the bathroom and come out under. We ended up just going to the beach. I wish I had done a little more research on Labadee because we went to Adrenaline Beach, which was pretty rocky. I later found out that beside the private beach with the cabanas is a beautiful beach with no rocks. Royal Caribbean offers a complimentary lunch buffet while ashore with hot dogs, burgers, chicken, ribs, corn, salad, fruit.

Map of Labadee


Falmouth, Jamaica: We didn’t really do much in Falmouth. I wanted to go to the beach but nobody else in my group wanted to. We ended up just walking around the shopping area. Dave bought a new Invicta watch & a bracelet and Jodi bought necklace & pair of earrings from House of Diamonds. Our Ship’s shopping guide Ross was there and helped them get a good price. I wasn’t around for Jodi’s price but for Dave’s bracelet they said the lowest price they could go is $250. Dave said he didn’t want to pay over $200. We brought Ross over and the worker said Ross what do you think? Ross said you have your answer at $200. It was pretty good. From what I was told Jodi got a great deal on her purchases too. Just in front of Margaritaville was a Jamaican patty stand. The sign on the stand said “Jamaica’s Tastiest Patties”, and they lived up to that. They had beef, beef with cheese & veggie for $3 each. They also had delicious coco buns for $2. A couple of the girls got their hair braided and some got airbrushed tattoos. I can’t remember how much the braiding was, but the tattoos $8.

Cozumel, Mexico: Aaron, Dave & I went deep-sea fishing. I had done it twice previously in Cuba with other friends and had a great time. After lots of research we went with a private company, rather than booking through the ship, Tres Hermanos. When booking, I was dealing directly with one of the owners Oscar. He was very prompt at responding to emails and answered all of our questions. They offer 3 different options of 4, 6 & 8 hour trips. We chose the 6-hour trip at a cost of $400. $100 is required as a deposit and the rest paid in cash upon arrival at the marina. The only down side was they don’t have pick up & drop off service. If booking through the ship the price is $125 per person for only 4 hours and there could be other people from the ship with you.

We took a taxi from the International Pier to Puerto de Abrigo Maria, which was a flat rate of $15 plus tip. We had 2 crew members with us on the boat who set up all the lines for us and a 3rd as our captain. All we had to do was sit back, drink and enjoy the sun. Provided on the boat was beer, coke, diet coke, water & watermelon. When we heard a line go out whoever’s turn it was to reel in got up, sat in the chair and reeled that sucker in. In total we caught 10 Barracuda. They tried looking for other fish but nothing else was catching. We didn’t care what we caught as long as we caught something. On the boat I was able to plug in my iPod. If I knew we could do that I would have made a play list. Instead I put it on shuffle and of course the theme from Titanic came on while a couple hours away from shore. Overall the excursion was FANtastic and we all had a blast. I would highly recommend Tres Hermanos.


SUMMARY: What a trip!! What a Ship!! This trip was everything I expected it to be and more. If you go on Oasis and don’t like it, cruising is probably not for you.



I’m going to start posting the day-by-day report with pictures. If anyone has any questions along the way please ask and I’ll try to answer them in a timely fashion.

Edited by Cupcrazy
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Thank you for the review.


Falmouth, Jamaica: We didn’t really do much in Falmouth. I wanted to go to the beach but nobody else in my group wanted to. We ended up just walking around the shopping area.....


We are considering just staying around the port area as well next year. How is the shopping; is it a large area, would you say?


--> Anyone can answer, and thanks in advance. :)


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Thank you for the review.




We are considering just staying around the port area as well next year. How is the shopping; is it a large area, would you say?


--> Anyone can answer, and thanks in advance. :)



McDonald's, Burger King and Chiptole are in walking distance as well as the Oakwood Plaza. http://fort.lauderdale.retailguide.com/data/m101620.htm


About a mile down the road at the corner of happy and healthy there is a Walgreen's :) and Publix (grocery story) wasn't far either. Next door to Walgreen's there is a liquor store.

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Thank you for the review.


We are considering just staying around the port area as well next year. How is the shopping; is it a large area, would you say?


I'm going to try to scan the port shopping map, but I'll tell you there are a lot of options in Falmouth for jewellery. Diamonds International, House of Diamonds, Gem Palace, Jewels & Time and Philip Stein are all boutiques we went into and are all guaranteed by the cruise line. There are also a lot of souvenir stores. If you're wanting a drink, there is a Margaritaville. While watching the shopping channel on our cabin tv (channel 22) they talked a lot about a store called Cariloha. This is all clothing made from bamboo. It's a small section in Del Sol. The clothing & bed linen is so soft, they say twice as soft as cotton. Make sure to try the patties!

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Great report! Thanks for bringing us along with you. Looking forward to your pictures and daily adventures.




Nate the skillet six misses you. Awesome review, can't wait to see the pics you post.


Thanks Kenny! I miss you guys too!

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Our flight out of Toronto left at 10:50am Friday morning. With the US Government shutdown we weren't sure how customs would be. We were relieved that there was no issue and we got through with no issues or lineups. The flight was very smooth and we landed in Ft. Lauderdale right on time around 1:30pm. Once there, we collected our luggage and made our way to the rental car terminal via the free shuttle outside of terminal 3. The FLL airport has all the rental car companies in one place. It's very convenient.



We rented 2 vans from Hertz but we received a Suburban because they only had 1 van left. It totally felt like a Seinfeld moment. They know how to take the reservation but don't know how to hold it. The holding of the reservation is the most important part. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GmGSNvaM


All packed up & ready to go











Flying out over Toronto


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I watched Mighty Ships on the plane. Ya, I was just a wee bit excited to board Oasis. I've probably watched this show over 100 times since it first aired.




We flew over this town in Florida that looked pretty cool. I can't figure out where exactly it is.





This guy was doing great and then he started hot dogging a little a few suitcases fell off the conveyor.


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Shuttle from the terminal to the rental car centre





Free water



Instead of talking to someone in front of you at the counter, Hertz now has these new kiosks. You speak to someone in a different part of the country via web conference. You can see them & they can see you.




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McDonald's, Burger King and Chiptole are in walking distance as well as the Oakwood Plaza... http://fort.lauderdale.retailguide.com/data/m101620.htm


Oh thanks, I meant in Falmouth. :)


I'm going to try to scan the port shopping map... Make sure to try the patties!


Thank you, we definitely will!


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Great review, more pics please!:) We sail on her November 30/13, & we can't wait!


Did you happen to notice the cost of internet, and how much was the bingo?


Any suggestions of what not to miss on the ship that might not have been posted in other reviews?


When we were on Independence of The Seas in February, we picked up a book of all the art that was on the ship and had fun finding the different pieces on board. Did you happen to see anything like this available? If I remember this correctly, we picked this book up at the art auction desk.




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Hello fellow Canuck.


I think I have watched that video at least 50 times. I think I can narrate it. Once we sailed on Oasis we never went back. We have fallen in love with RC.


Looking forward to the rest of your review.


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Great start on the review! Our Oasis cruise is still a year and a half away so this will help get us through.


I posted a link to your review on our Roll Call already, so more followers are coming! So nice to see an Oasis review. It seems that most of them lately have been on the Allure.

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Great review, more pics please!:) We sail on her November 30/13, & we can't wait!


Did you happen to notice the cost of internet, and how much was the bingo?


Any suggestions of what not to miss on the ship that might not have been posted in other reviews?


When we were on Independence of The Seas in February, we picked up a book of all the art that was on the ship and had fun finding the different pieces on board. Did you happen to see anything like this available? If I remember this correctly, we picked this book up at the art auction desk.





Hi Rhonda,


I did not check out the prices of internet. I'll check the compass when I get home from work this evening.


The ladies played bingo and tell me the price ranges from $40 - $70 depending on how many cards you play. Pull tickets were also sold for $5 but had to be cashed in the casino.


A couple things to try to find are all the "Small Wonders" and Garry the Central Park Gnome. I will be talking about those more later in my review.

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