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Oasis Photo Review – All Dining and Drinks Menus - Daily Programs

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This review is intended to help those planning a cruise on Oasis or Allure of the Seas and particularly those who are interested in the minutiae, as I aim to be as exhaustive as possible. Secondly for those who enjoy seeing ship photos. Finally, hopefully some will enjoy reading about my experiences and observations, which will be my subjective opinion, both positive and negative.

 

I will try to cover all onboard venues and facilities; all dining options with menus; wine and bar drinks lists; and daily programs, activities and entertainment. If I miss something of interest, please feel free to ask and I will try to help if I can. Accompanying all this will be lots of photos to help give a flavour of what awaits. In this regard I hope that seeing so much of the ship in advance will not diminish the impact of seeing in person what this amazing floating masterpiece has to offer.

 

Before getting into the actual review, let me explain my expectations and reasons for taking this cruise. Actually there were very mixed feelings about whether I would enjoy a cruise with 6000 passengers aboard. There was more than a hint of trepidation that I would be trapped on a crowded ship with a noisy high-octane party atmosphere. Yet I was willing to take it for what it was, having a real fascination in experiencing for myself the tremendous feat of engineering and all the amazing groundbreaking design innovations with which Royal Caribbean were once again leading the way. Firstly with their "Vision Class" ships then the real breakthrough with the "Voyager Class" vessels with the revolutionary Royal Promenade providing a central thoroughfare running through the heart of the ship.

 

Now they have taken this idea much further and to a whole new level, by introducing three distinctly different neighbourhoods where one can socialise, eat, drink, shop or simply stroll. By adding Central Park and the Boardwalk (with the Aquatheater) to a much enlarged Royal Promenade, the vastly increased choice of dining venues, not to mention the dedicated karaoke bar, comedy club and jazz venues, they have made a virtual city at sea and it is all finished, as can be expected with Royal Caribbean, to the highest possible standard and with the closest attention to detail - think Main Street USA in Disney World. Visual stimulation abounds, and I don't mean in a garish sort of a way. Everywhere one looks, evidence of the thought and imagination of the design team is there to be admired and appreciated.

 

Pre-cruise

 

I flew into Orlando International Airport and stayed one night at the Hyatt Regency, which is located within the terminal building.

 

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View from balcony overlooking Atrium

 

This is a solid four-star hotel, a little dated but very well maintained. It has everything I look for on an overnight stay. Comfortable bed and armchair with footstool, good lighting to create the right ambience, pristine bathroom and wi-fi is now included in the room rate.

 

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Evening turn down service was offered but declined. I recommend the valet parking as the extra cost over self-park is minimal, especially if you will be coming and going rather than just parking overnight. Just phone down a few minutes before leaving your room and your vehicle will be waiting for you.

 

Drove the following day to Fort Lauderdale and bagged a few bargains at Sawgrass Mills outlet village. Checked into the Hampton Inn Downtown/Las Olas area. The hotel would have been fine at $150 but at $250 the supposed convenience wasn't worth the premium price commanded. Supply and demand means prices rocket on Fridays and Saturdays as cruisers fill the hotel, many taking advantage of the hotel shuttle to the pier that is offered on certain room rates. First impressions of the hotel are not great. Feels more like a motel with an uninviting reception area and stark corridors. The decor of the rooms is rather twee and dated although the actual furnishings are of a higher quality than might be expected. The bathroom is too bright and the green tiling garish.

 

The only advantage for me in staying here would have been to be able to leave the car at the hotel and go out to Las Olas Boulevard in the evening, which I do have to say is a very attractive area to stroll around and ideal for al fresco drinks and dining. This was my intention but after a reconnaissance drive around the area I decided that the 15 minute walk was not something I wanted to undertake simply because the route is not brightly lit and the streets deserted because the location is away from the proper downtown area. So faced with having to take taxis anyway, I consider that in future it would be prudent to stay at a better value airport-area hotel and use taxis from there if I wanted to visit Las Olas.

 

I highly recommend Total Wine if you plan to take the permitted two bottles when boarding. It is a large wine and spirits supermarket with a vast selection. I was also able to buy Schweppes Slimline Tonic and I did notice they also stock Fever Tree mixers. A Publix supermarket is almost adjacent.

 

Day 1 Check-in, Embarkation and Initial Impressions.

 

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I dropped my rental car at Fort Lauderdale Airport at 10.00am and, when I headed up one level and turned left, an Alamo complimentary shuttle bus was dropping off disembarking passengers before heading back to the port, all within about ten minutes. I strongly recommend early arrival as traffic gridlock that occurs later can thus be avoided. I do remember a previous departure when it took an hour and twenty minutes on an overcrowded shuttle to reach the ship; a combination of heavy traffic and dropping off and picking up at every ship in port before reaching ours, which was the last one on the shuttle's route. What a difference this time. First stop was the Oasis, the bus was half empty and the journey time was just over 10 minutes. I suspect disembarking passengers may have a longer journey depending on whether the shuttle's route is fixed or direct. I normally take a cab when disembarking and the cost is under $15.

 

Security screening takes place prior to check in. These officials enjoy their job and take great delight in detecting alcohol. I think they felt they hit the jackpot with one of my carry-ons, which was full of cans and bottles. After careful scrutiny of seals, detailed reading of labels and ingredients, the end result was that they had merely detected the two allowed bottles of wine, a case of Diet Mountain Dew and two cases of Schweppes Slimline Tonic. They looked dejected, as they had no option but to wave me through.

 

Check in was then immediate, with no queuing at around 10.30am. Very speedy and efficient I was then directed up the escalator from where passengers were segregated into separate seating and waiting areas by Crown and Anchor status and for those in Suites.

 

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Around 150 passengers were already there and the numbers swelled exponentially as time went on, the area becoming pretty busy by the time boarding began. I got the impression that boarding normally commenced about 11am but that they were running a little late on this occasion. Suites and Pinnacle members boarded about 11.15 and Diamond+ and Diamond members a few minutes later with each group in turn being guided by staff from their respective "pens" to the boarding checkpoint. The access route from the terminal to the ship has been well thought out with multiple lanes for passengers and hand-held scanners quickly processing the key card data in a blink of an eye; no swiping required. This was the most efficient boarding process I have ever encountered, and here as elsewhere, particular attention has been paid to alleviating any problems that can be associated with coping with huge numbers of passengers.

 

The gangway leads directly into the Royal Promenade and even having seen this on many ships before, this is more impressive than ever, partly due to its much greater width and all the extra features to be found, like the Rising Tide bar and the

fountains beneath.

 

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First impression was that Cafe Promenade looked smaller than on other ships and Sorrento's did not have the same variety of food displayed - seemed to be pizzas only. There was a general migration of early boarders towards the Windjammer to beat the rush. Again it doesn't look as big as it ought to, but it is misleading. The extra width makes a big difference to seating capacity. My last Windjammer experiences were on the Independence sailing out of the UK. The food was dismal. Oasis really caters to a much more internationally diverse demographic and hence a wider range of cuisines, and as buffets go, better than most.

 

For the first time I felt that English as a first language may have been spoken by as few as 50%-60% of passengers. We had a tour group of 600 Chinese passengers many of whom had chosen lucky deck number 8, same as me. Many others were from Japan and other parts of Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin and Central America. It all made for a wonderfully cosmopolitan atmosphere and it seemed to me that the ship itself was the big attraction that had universal appeal across the world's cultural diversity.

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After lunch I dragged my hand luggage to a peaceful spot in the Solarium where I planned to lounge until cabins were ready at 1.30. I took the opportunity to have a dip in one of the cantilevered hot tubs extending out from the ships superstructure.

 

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Although it looks like one big communal tub it is actually split into two, with a divider hidden beneath the waterline.

 

 

The cabin was everything I expected and I had the type with the bed nearest the balcony, something about which I had been ambivalent but in practice I felt it was the better layout for access to the wardrobe.

 

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I liked the easy accessibility of power points and the lighting was just right, not too harsh. I thought the en-suite was fine, not unduly small. Celebrity’s Solstice-Class feel bigger but I had no complaints other than the shower water pressure was tangibly weaker then on the Independence.

 

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I had carefully chosen this location as offering good value for money and being at the stern end of the Boardwalk it was afforded views across the sea beyond the Aquatheater.

 

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It was in fact a bad decision. The Aquatheater is a multi-function venue used not only for the diving show but also for outdoor cinema and live TV events, like the Superbowl on our cruise; also for hosted entertainment (?) like belly-flop competitions...

 

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The noise emanating from there and from other activities taking place in the Boardwalk vicinity throughout most of the day, and until late at night, was overpowering. You could just about have a peaceful hour out there in the morning but the rest of the day could more or less be written off. When I next travel on an Oasis class ship I intend to try one of the Central Park cabins. Depending on cost and single supplement, either a balcony or I actually quite fancy one of the “inside” cabins on deck 9 that have a window, a bit like Promenade View cabins on Voyager Class.

 

Having unpacked and attended the Muster Drill in the Aquatheater, with no lifejacket required that seems to be coming the norm now, I set off to get my bearings and a glimpse of what was on offer, before getting ready for a busy first night.

 

 

 

Please bear with me as I am writing and sorting photos as I go because of the quantity involved, so there may be gaps between posting…

 

NEXT TO FOLLOW

 

Day 1 Dinner, Hairspray and Oasis of Dreams Aquatheater Show

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Thank you so much for providing pre-entertaiment for my upcoming March Oasis adventure. Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Thank you so much for such a detailed review with loads of photos. I am already loving it :)

 

I also really appreciate whatever it is you are doing that makes the photos fit into the thread with scrolling left and right for text. I have never figured out how to do that, but it makes reading your review MUCH easier.

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Great start. My family and I will be on the Oasis May 17th and we can't wait. I look forward to more of your review, pix and if you have them, the Cruise Compass for each day. Thanks and keep up the good work.

 

DrB.

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great start! I am on the Oasis in March and will be following your post.

 

Thanks caneguy. Lots more to come. Hope it helps you make the most of your cruise.

 

megacruiser

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Thank you so much for providing pre-entertaiment for my upcoming March Oasis adventure. Looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

Thanks Miryam1234. My pleasure.

 

megacruiser

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Enjoying your review! Looking forward to more!

 

Thanks Wildcatfish. It really is good to get feedback.

 

megacruiser

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Thank you so much for such a detailed review with loads of photos. I am already loving it :)

 

I also really appreciate whatever it is you are doing that makes the photos fit into the thread with scrolling left and right for text. I have never figured out how to do that' date=' but it makes reading your review MUCH easier.[/quote']

 

Hello NHDisneylover. Oh delighted you are enjoying it. If I knew what I was doing to give the result you mention, I would certainly share it. Call it beginners luck.

 

Cheers

megacruiser

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NOOOO, don't stop!!!

How am I going to make it through my day at work!!

 

Hi max227. I am as eager as you but sorry to say it it looks like it is going to be a long week for both of us. No TV for me until it's done. Just want to do a good job rather than rush it.

 

megacruiser

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Wow - fantastic start to your review.

 

For all of the reasons why the cabin wasn't the ideal choice for you, it would be for me. I'm not a big fan of crowds and the idea of having a view for all of those events away from other people would be great for me.

 

I really can't wait for the rest of the review. :D

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By the way, which deck you are on?

 

Thank you for the beautiful photos.

 

Hi anandaindonesia,

 

I do hope you aren't skipping the text and just looking at the photos?:D

 

Cheers

megacruiser

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Great start. My family and I will be on the Oasis May 17th and we can't wait. I look forward to more of your review, pix and if you have them, the Cruise Compass for each day. Thanks and keep up the good work.

 

DrB.

 

Hello drb_2000,

 

Thanks for the positive feedback and I can assure you all the daily programs will be included and menus for all restaurants. In fact if you are a food lover, I think this review will be especially helpful, particularly on Specilality Dining.

 

megacruiser

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Hi anandaindonesia,

 

I do hope you aren't skipping the text and just looking at the photos?:D

 

Cheers

megacruiser

 

I did read it twice. :)

Maybe I miss something?

 

I know you are on Boardwalk balcony, at the stern. Only I couldn't find which deck.

 

 

Sent using Tapatalk. Sorry for typho.

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Cannot wait for the next installment. Especially menus and compasses.

Thank you so much

 

Hello bravostar. That is so kind of you to express how much you are enjoying it. I will mention that getting copies of and reproducing all menus for all restaurants was quite a challenge. They just don't want to part with them. Sometimes it meant laborious attempts to photograph small print in low light. Not easy. Hope the end result is worth it.

 

megacruiser

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I did read it twice. :)

Maybe I miss something?

 

I know you are on Boardwalk balcony, at the stern. Only I couldn't find which deck.

 

 

Sent using Tapatalk. Sorry for typho.

 

Hello again anandaindonesia. Here's a clue. It's a lucky number in China. :D

 

megacruiser

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Hello again anandaindonesia. Here's a clue. It's a lucky number in China. :D

 

megacruiser

 

I think Megacruiser said that Chinese passangers had chosen the lucky deck - 8 is considered to be very lucky number in Chinese culture - and he was on the same deck as the Chinese.

 

So I come up with deck 8.

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Wow - fantastic start to your review.

 

For all of the reasons why the cabin wasn't the ideal choice for you' date=' it would be for me. I'm not a big fan of crowds and the idea of having a view for all of those events away from other people would be great for me.

 

I really can't wait for the rest of the review. :D[/quote']

 

Hi meatloafsfan.

 

Well I thought I would be deterring most folk from Boardwalk cabins. So it's great to hear that what was a negative for me is a positive for you. My main issue was I could not get an afternoon nap without using earplugs.

 

Thanks for the kind comment too.

 

Cheers

megacruiser

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I think Megacruiser said that Chinese passangers had chosen the lucky deck - 8 is considered to be very lucky number in Chinese culture - and he was on the same deck as the Chinese.

 

So I come up with deck 8.

 

Well spotted Miryam1234!

 

megacruiser

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Thank you for doing a detailed review. We are sailing the Oasis in November and also booked Deck 8, but the ocean view balcony. I was on the fence about doing a Boardwalk view, but after reading your comments I am glad I selected the ocean view. :D

 

Lisa

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Our family of 4 (kids 5 and 13) will be on Oasis in November 4 floors directly above you I believe #12729. Hope the noise doesn't go on too long into the night or I'll have a grumpy 5 year old all week if he doesn't get his sleep.

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Thank you for doing a detailed review. We are sailing the Oasis in November and also booked Deck 8, but the ocean view balcony. I was on the fence about doing a Boardwalk view, but after reading your comments I am glad I selected the ocean view. :D

 

Lisa

 

Hello RedHeadTexan.

 

Well I thought I had spotted a bargain, partial sea view for the price of an interior balcony. I also thought the ability to watch Aquatheater shows without a ticket and people-watching on the Boardwalk could be fun. Just hadn't reckoned on the noise which can go on pretty late on the nights they have the diving shows. I think you made a wise decision.

 

megacruiser

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I like the approach you are taking to this review. We've booked the TA next spring on the Allure. We have the same feeling about it as you had as we're far more used to smaller ships. However my husband is an engineer and he appreciates the marvel that the Oasis class is and me? I'm curious as all get-out for the experience. So carry on with your report! We're all eyes. :D

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I'm loving the start of your review. We're on Allure in a few weeks and I can't get enough of pictures and experiences from the Allure or Oasis. Thanks for sharing!

 

Thanks TryingCruising for the positive feedback.

 

Cheers

megacruiser

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Our family of 4 (kids 5 and 13) will be on Oasis in November 4 floors directly above you I believe #12729. Hope the noise doesn't go on too long into the night or I'll have a grumpy 5 year old all week if he doesn't get his sleep.

 

Hello Sky616,

 

I think the latest show is over by about 11.30 and they are not every night. It might be a little less loud higher up.

 

Good luck!

megacruiser

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Great review so far... we are on Oasis in May and I just can't read enough about everyone else's vacations on Oasis.

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I like the approach you are taking to this review. We've booked the TA next spring on the Allure. We have the same feeling about it as you had as we're far more used to smaller ships. However my husband is an engineer and he appreciates the marvel that the Oasis class is and me? I'm curious as all get-out for the experience. So carry on with your report! We're all eyes. :D

 

Hi dln929,

 

I too like smaller ships too but as one table companion at the Chef's Table said "the trouble with those six star ships is they are so boring". Bored you will never be on this class of ship and always plenty of space to escape from the crowds. Put it this way, I'd do the same cruise again next month if I had the holiday time and know that I would not be bored for one minute. It was simply amazing... but not without fault.

 

I have been scanning documents. Doing a report like this is new to me so it is taking time.

 

megacruiser

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Great review so far... we are on Oasis in May and I just can't read enough about everyone else's vacations on Oasis.

 

Thank you kindly, time11130. Much appreciated.

 

megacruiser

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Your timing could not be more perfect. Just booked Oasis for may 31. Even though we are seasoned cruisers I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the size and all the options. Your report will be a lifesaver. Looking forward to every bit of information you will be sharing, thankyou.

 

Sent from my KFJWI using Tapatalk 2

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Thank you kindly, time11130. Much appreciated.

 

megacruiser

 

Megacruiser,

 

As others have noted, thank you very much for doing this. I know that it can be a lot of work, but your efforts will help a lot of us here.

 

I especially appreciate the honest critique about your cabin selection.

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