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Long Review Oasis of the Seas March 1-8 Family Vacation/Proposal - Aquatheater Suite

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I will begin with this review with some background and general information. I will then provide some daily overviews as well as focus on various key aspects of the ship such as pools, concierge lounge, boardwalk, central park, Royal Promenade, and of course our accommodations. I have all the compasses and will try to scan them to pdf files at some point. I have never done a review thread with pictures so I ask for your patience if I mess things up. Also, this review will be quite detailed so will likely takes weeks for me to complete. I will try to update a little each day. I will work by section/day, but some days will be so full they will need to be broken up. I hope you do not find my review too boring and it helps. I love reading reviews and seeing pictures before I cruise, and I hope my review is useful.

Background:

This trip included me, Laura (54), husband Tom (58), son Rob (26), Rob’s girlfriend/fiancée Amanda (22), my mom Vera (83), Tom’s mom Maria (85). My mom has COPD and congestive heart failure and Tom’s mom has severe arthritis, so both required wheelchairs. I arranged rental of transport chairs to be delivered to the Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale beach where we would be spending 1 night pre-cruise. This trip was requested by Rob so he could propose to Amanda. For the occasion we enlisted the services of Royal Romance. We booked a Royal Proposal package for $495.00, which included the services of a coordinator pre-cruise and also on the ship.

Planning:

The trip was booked in Aug of 2013, which was actually late for me. As I said, my son requested this trip and this ship so he could propose to Amanda. I am an obsessive planner. Once the vacation was booked I began researching. This was our 4th attempt at sailing on the Oasis class. Three attempts were aborted for various emergency reasons. I used cruise critic as my primary source of information so I am writing this to give back a bit. I collected menus, recent compasses, and show information. I researched Ft. Lauderdale hotels. I made a schedule, and began collecting all the information into a binder.

Accommodations:

We decided on an Aquatheater suite for me, Tom, Rob and Amanda and a balcony next door for the moms. We wanted to sail in March or April since the weather in the Caribbean is nice then, dry season and no hurricanes. We did not care if the itinerary was Western or Eastern. We did not care if we sailed Oasis or Allure. I called Royal and told them the requirements and told the agent to get me the best deal with those requirements. She worked for about 20 minutes and came up with Oasis Western, March 1 Aquatheater suite 10730 and balcony 10728. So there it was. We were booked!

We are Marriott Vacation Club owners and I am Gold Elite with Marriott so we try to stay with the brand. So, I originally booked 2 rooms at the Renaissance Ft. Lauderdale, because only my mom was going to join us, not Tom’s. But about 3 months before the cruise, Tom’s mom decided to come with us. When I called the Renaissance they had no additionally availability so I was in a panic. But luckily the Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale had 3 oceanfront rooms. I am so happy we had to change we loved this hotel. More about it later.

Drink Package:

I got the Royal Replenish package and I was very happy with it. For $140 I got bottled water, specialty coffee and non-alcoholic beverages. I could only get 1 water at a time, but I could order a specialty drink and water at the same time. And I could go back and water and drinks as frequently as I wanted. I loved the café mocha at the Café Promenade and this turned out to be my morning drink of choice every day. We also received an insulated mug that my husband used to fill with coffee and drinks during the cruise. Since we were in a suite, we had free evening wine and cocktails in the lounge and since we are not big drinkers we were quite happy with this.

Proposal:

Amanda loves animals and in particular lambs, so the plan was to put the ring on a lamb towel animal on the bed early in the cruise. Well, it turns out that they don’t make lamb towel animals, so the lamb became a zoo of towel animals and 2 stuffed lambs a pink one and a blue one. The pink one had the ring around its next. And all these were sitting on a bed scattered with rose pedals with champagne and chocolate strawberries. More about it later.

So now that I have given you a bit of an introduction, let’s get into the stuff you really want to hear about, the trip itself and of course pictures!

Feb 28, 2014: New Jersey to Florida

So, we do not travel light. With 6 people (2 handicapped) and 7 large (50lbs) and 3 small suitcases and various small carry-on pieces I decided I need a 12 passenger van to take us to the airport. Good choice for sure! We had a 10:30am flight out of EWR and the van was scheduled to arrive at 8:00am. As always my limo service was right on target, actually 15 minutes early. We flagged him over and began the process of loading the huge pile of luggage into the “party bus”. And off we went.

Rob and Amanda on party bus

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Bear is ready for vacation!

Prior to the cruise I had requested disability assistance and special requests for my mom that travels with a nebulizer. Seemed like a good idea. Wrong. The only thing it accomplishes is that you can’t check in on line. You have to wait till you get to the airport. And even if you don’t request special assistance before you just tell the porter when you get to the airport and they provide wheelchair transport anyway. Lesson learned. So we get to the airport and go straight to the curbside sky cap to take our enormous quantity of luggage and request wheelchairs for both moms. This was a wonderful service. We went on a special line. Checked in my mom, Tom and I (we were on one reservation so could not pre-check, everyone else could) and we were off. We all got to go through Pre-TSA and did not have to wait on the huge line. In no time we were through check-point and the moms were being transported to the gate. Nice service!

Waiting at EWR for our ride

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After an uneventful flight we arrived at beautiful, sunny, warm Ft. Lauderdale on schedule. What a treat after all the snow and cold in NJ this winter. We were really scared that it would snow the day of the flight and we would be delayed but luckily we had a beautiful day on both ends. Once again we had wheel chairs waiting for us at the plane door and they transported the mom’s right to the baggage claim area. Also, because of the luggage and people situation I reserved a van to pick us up at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. I am very happy with this choice. We had a nice Sprinter waiting for us curbside.

The moms in their wheel chairs at Ft. Lauderdale airport

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By 2:30pm we were at the Courtyard. Our transport chairs were there at the desk waiting for us. I would highly recommend Family Rental if you need to rent wheelchairs. They were reasonable and very dependable. I had previously had a bad experience with disability at sea, and was much happier with this company.

Upon arrival the Courtyard was hopping. Seems that cruise season was in full swing. Because it was so busy our rooms were not ready. We ended up having a nice meal at the pool bar. Good food and great drinks with a fabulous ocean view!

Ahhh...Palm trees and sunshine at the Courtyard!

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View from sun deck!

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Yummy drink on deck!

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I will continue with room pictures and informtion very soon.

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We leave on Allure/Eastern in 6+ weeks! I am so excited and can't wait to read more about your trip! I LOVE the romantic stories about getting engaged at sea! Can't wait to hear all about it!! :)

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We go on Allure in 5 weeks!!!...Can't wait!!!!

 

Love the review so far!!

 

We were on Oasis in Sept. and it was the best cruise ever!!!

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We will be on the oasis in April! Love reading reviews and seeing pictures because it gets us excited. We are also from New Jersey. Bergen county, are you near us?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Our group of 4 will be on Allure on March 23. I am thoroughly enjoying your review! Don't keep us in suspense! ;)

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By 5:00pm our rooms were ready. I had reserved 2 king rooms and a double for the mom’s. Because I am Gold elite they were able to upgrade the king rooms to corner oceanfront rooms. My son and the moms were on floor 9 and we were on floor 12. I must say the corner rooms are wonderful and our room on the 12th floor was spectacular. The view is just amazing. Although this hotel does not have balconies, the floor to ceiling wrap around windows more than make for it. The room was large, had a nice sitting area, small refrigerator, coffee maker and lovely bath with marble shower. And did I tell you the view was spectacular. I was able to see the cruise ships come in and I had an amazing view of the port and Oasis in the morning. The hotel is older but in my opinion well maintained and very clean and I am picky. The location is excellent, right across from the beach and there are lots of restaurants and stores within walking distance. We were able to pick up wine and water before we left for the ship. The only down side is that on a weekend the noise from the adjacent clubs can be rather loud. But honestly, it was worth it for the location and view.

The room!

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It's All about the view!1780798_521294524657830_713289948_n.jpg

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Next Up, Embarkation day March 1 and Oasis of the Seas!

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So here is what you are all really interested in, the ship, the cruise!

 

Of course I could not sleep so at 4:00am I woke up and began looking for Oasis. In a short while I was rewarded to lights on the horizon, but it was not Oasis. I believe it was Liberty or Indy who were also in port the same day.

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And then finally, after what seemed forever, there she was Lady O in all her glory! I cried when I saw her. I had waited so long for this and here she was and we were next on!

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And then the sun came up and embarkation day dawned! Sunny and beautiful.

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And outside our window we could see the port and all those wonderful cruise ships and there was my Lady, in all her glory, waiting for us!

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As you can see this hotel provides an awesome view of the port. So if you are all the about the view like us, this hotel is for you.

Next up, embarkation at the terminal.

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We will be Oasis May 17 family cruise,sound like you had everything together that wonderful.

A women after my own heart...we are going to need a wheelchair as well, can you please give me the number to family rental or a website thanks.

 

Denise

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Once again I requested a van to pick us up. We had breakfast at the hotel. The Courtyard does a decent buffet breakfast. And off we went to the port. We left around 11:20 and by 12:30 we were on the ship. Embarkation is extremely efficient as everyone has noted. Upon arrival there were porters to whisk away our luggage and we headed toward the building. There is a special entrance for suite guests. The man at the door tried to tell me my moms could come in with us because they did not have a suite. I said, really, but they can’t walk and have no mode of transportation except us. I think he was embarrassed and told us to go right in. And that is how it went the entire cruise. The mom’s had suite privileges. When we got into the building we quickly went through check point and were soon at the check in desk. Again we all checked in together since the moms could not transport themselves. Everyone was very efficient and could not have been nicer.

This is the terminal at around 11:45AM

 

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We will be Oasis May 17 family cruise,sound like you had everything together that wonderful.

A women after my own heart...we are going to need a wheelchair as well, can you please give me the number to family rental or a website thanks.

 

Denise

 

HI Denise,

Here is the link to their website.

http://www.familyrentals.com/browse-items/wheelchair-rentals.aspx

Some additional things to consider:

Be aware when the cleaning carts are in the halls it is a tight squeeze. The transport chair worked well, but of course it can not be self propelled which can be a down side. Just wanted you to be aware. Also, the dining room tables are really tight and the wheel chair can not be brought in certain spots. So if you need to the chair to go right to the table, check out your dining table up front to be sure it is an ok spot.

 

Any other questions feel free to ask. We had a great time. Enjoy.

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We are sailing a B2B on Oasis May 3rd and 10th and also staying pre-cruise at the same Marriott!

 

Will be following!

 

Kevin

 

Kevin, you will love the location. Any specific questions about the hotel feel free to ask. Enjoy! I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

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Soon were taking our Embarkation photos. I got the unlimited photo package and was very happy with it. This was a special family cruise so I decided to splurge. I got the disk for $309 and then purchased all the prints at a discount for $50. So I got 109 pictures on disc and hard copy for a little over $350. I think that was quite a bargain.

Embarkation photo

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And then it was time to board. Again, I cried. I was so excited.

Here we go!

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The first thing you see when you board is the amazing promenade. We had been on voyager class and it does resemble it, but it is on a much grander scale. The width of this ship is incredible. I can’t say it is like being at a resort a sea, it is more like a floating city.

So here are some promenade pictures

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Having trouble with facebook pictures but stay tuned for more promenade pictures.

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Kevin, you will love the location. Any specific questions about the hotel feel free to ask. Enjoy! I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

 

Hi Laura,

 

A couple of questions:

 

How far is the hotel from the airport/cruise-port

 

Are there plenty of restaurants/shops in the immediate area that are walkable?

 

Is it safe to walk at night?

 

Kevin

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Great review so far... loving the pictures, and all the detail in your story! I'm crying right along with you... can't wait to hear about the proposal... super pic of the Rising Tide bar, that's a hard one to capture...:)

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Soon were taking our Embarkation photos. I got the unlimited photo package and was very happy with it. This was a special family cruise so I decided to splurge. I got the disk for $309 and then purchased all the prints at a discount for $50. So I got 109 pictures on disc and hard copy for a little over $350. I think that was quite a bargain.

Embarkation photo

1979600_521513001302649_127879504_n.jpg

1779916_521513144635968_1392788623_n.jpg

How did you get the $50 discount for all of the prints of your photos?

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We will be on the oasis in April! Love reading reviews and seeing pictures because it gets us excited. We are also from New Jersey. Bergen county, are you near us?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

We have a house in Old Bridge and another in Bayville. A bit south of you. But I work in Rahway. You will love Oasis!

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Hi Laura,

 

A couple of questions:

 

How far is the hotel from the airport/cruise-port

 

Are there plenty of restaurants/shops in the immediate area that are walkable?

 

Is it safe to walk at night?

 

Kevin

 

The hotel is not far from the cruise port. We had a huge van due to our special needs but it is quick cab ride. It took us about 15 minutes I think, but I was so excited I was not thinking straight.:eek:

 

There are tons of restaurants. It is a great location. Just go out the back door. Bubba Gump is attached to the hotel. Head left if you are facing beach and it is restaurant row. There are all kinds or restaurants, bars and shops. Did I remember to say what a great location this is! :D

 

Yes, it is safe at night since it is a very popular tourist area and night spot. My husband and I took a walk after dinner and it was hopping. We stopped for yummy ice cream. I had an awesome chocolate dipped waffle cone with ice cream. Then we stopped at a liquor store and got some wine to bring on board. We felt very safe. There is a seven eleven across the street on the front side of the hotel and you can get water there.

 

Hope this helps. You will love it. Really.

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We will be on the oasis in April! Love reading reviews and seeing pictures because it gets us excited. We are also from New Jersey. Bergen county, are you near us?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

We are from bc also. You will love the oasis also. Small world we were at our hotel in Barcelona last year (pre cruise for liberty) at the rooftop bar. Met some ha cruisers and one couple was from same town as us. Just the east side of rt 17.

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So here are some other pictures of the promenade. Loved the cupcake cupboard. Yes it is an extra charge, but what the heck we are on vacation and I refuse to stress of this kind of stuff. I went into this vacation knowing it was not going to be cheap and I was going to enjoy myself. :cool:

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As mentioned we were on the ship by 12:30. Since our rooms were not ready, our first stop after strolling around the Royal Promenade was the Concierge Lounge.

I cannot say enough good things about the lounge and the level of service on this ship. Everyone was extremely accommodating. Israel Sanchez is one the best concierges we have encountered. I e-mailed him a few weeks before the cruise since I had some special requests due to the moms and their disabilities and he was most helpful. He answered all my questions and reserved a cabana on Barefoot Beach for me. He suggested a beach cabana instead of over the water that was a good choice.

So of course our first stop was the lounge. It is large and lovely and they serve lunch the first day. Nice place to relax and no need to fight the crowds at the Windjammer.

The Concierge Lounge

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The view from lounge

 

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Nightly appetizers :)

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At 1:30pm we assumed the cabins were open and we were right. I will now give you lots of information of Aquatheater Suite 10730. I have found there to be a distinct lack of pictures and information about this cabin. I was bit concerned I must say. Knowing this was the smallest of the 3 types and hearing some grumblings of it not being elegant and small bathrooms, I had some doubts. But they were all unfounded. This cabin is nothing short of spectacular. So I will now dispel any doubts you might have about these Aquatheater suites and 10730 in particular. As noted we are Vacation Club owners and gold elite. I travel a lot for business and we are relatively well traveled over all. I am very picky and typically pick upscale properties and rooms. We have stayed in many nice accommodations. And to say this cabin did not disappoint is an understatement. We have had suites before on Royal Caribbean ships and this suite is not opulent. So don’t expect over the top gaudy furnishings. This suite is all about the space and view. The layout is outstanding and the views are unparalleled. Our suite attendant Deroy was outstanding and really made the proposal special with all the towel animals he made. He got some nice extras from us for his hard work and good care.

So I will walk you through Aquatheater suite 10730 now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!1911711_520920974695185_1342628051_n.jpg

We start at spacious the marble entrance.

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There are two bedrooms on either side of a hallway off the foyer

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The master bedroom is nicely appointed.

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The master bath is not luxurious. So if a luxurious bath is important to you do not book this cabin because you will be disappointed. But for us, it is certainly not about a bathroom. And this one is quite functional and well appointed. It is not huge but had enough space. The fact that there are two nice bathrooms in this suite is a real selling point for us. We much prefer two nice bathrooms than one extravagant one when we are four people.

So here is the master bath that so many complain about but I myself found quite adequate.

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On the right side of hall is the second bedroom

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This room sleeps 4. There is a king bed (or two twins) and two pullmans. And here is what happens when a 26 year old decides to make a fort out of his cabin with his soon to be fiancee. :eek:

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There is a also a second bath in this cabin with a nice stall shower.

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It's all the about the view for sure!

So I saved the best for last. The balcony is beyond fabulous. As I mentioned for us it is all about the view and this suite certainly delivered the WOW for us.

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It doesn't get any better than this. I just don't understand anyone who complains about this suite. Oh, and for any of you who read about soot on the balcony, there is none. Nada, not a drop.

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Sail away photos next!

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Nice! We often wondered what it was like on the other side of the hallway from our stateroom. Well, now we know!

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We will be in 10330 in two weeks. You are really helping us get through a boring Wednesday night.

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Good review. AND I was on that journey also. I got rid of the regular compasses, but I still have the teen compasses if anyone is interested

 

Just say you want them and I can post them

 

I would love to see them! Taking a 17 yr old in June. Thanks!

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Following thanks for the review!

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------

Next Cruise

 

Allure of the Seas , August 3rd 2014

 

---------------------------------------------------------

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Thank you so much for your review! We sail on Saturday and have sailed previously on both the Oasis and the Allure but it has been a few years and I love reading about it again. Looking forward to the rest of your review!

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We are from bc also. You will love the oasis also. Small world we were at our hotel in Barcelona last year (pre cruise for liberty) at the rooftop bar. Met some ha cruisers and one couple was from same town as us. Just the east side of rt 17.

 

 

Haha that's funny! Small world! We live a minute away from 17!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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