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GadgetGod

First time RC cruisers (hopefully live) Oasis review April 9-16, 2017

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Sorry. All is fine. Was just too hard to complete live. I have notes from each day and will write a review over the next few days.

 

 

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Sorry. All is fine. Was just too hard to complete live. I have notes from each day and will write a review over the next few days.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I totally understand and am looking forward to your review. Safe travels home tomorrow.

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Sorry. All is fine. Was just too hard to complete live. I have notes from each day and will write a review over the next few days.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I had the same problem when I tried to do a live on Anthem last month. I look forward to reading your review!

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Sorry. All is fine. Was just too hard to complete live. I have notes from each day and will write a review over the next few days.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Reading with interest....thinking of booking for late Sept....

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Sorry. All is fine. Was just too hard to complete live. I have notes from each day and will write a review over the next few days.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

Interested in your review. I booked Oasis for next April. I am interested in knowing if there is an adult only pool/hot tub area on the Oasis.

 

 

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... I am interested in knowing if there is an adult only pool/hot tub area on the Oasis.

The Solarium area is for age 16 and over.

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Thank you! We just came off the NCL Jade and had to point out to them that they said there was an adult pool yet children were in it. They then did reinforce adult only but not that strict about it. We want an adult area for our next cruise.

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Thank you! We just came off the NCL Jade and had to point out to them that they said there was an adult pool yet children were in it. They then did reinforce adult only but not that strict about it. We want an adult area for our next cruise.

 

I think you will be fine in the solarium on any RC ship. I have rarely seen any kids, and if so they were quickly asked to leave, either by staff or other passengers. Solarium is definitely a quieter, adult area.

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Thank you! We just came off the NCL Jade and had to point out to them that they said there was an adult pool yet children were in it. They then did reinforce adult only but not that strict about it. We want an adult area for our next cruise.

Be aware that if the Solarium is the only covered pool on the ship, and the weather is inclement, they will allow kids in that pool for limited hours during the day.

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First impressions

 

This is a big, beautiful ship. The initial impression is very good. Lot’s of stuff to do and see. Surprised at how ‘inward’ everything looks. A lot of the time you do not get the we are on a ship feeling.

We were assigned a nice table for 10 in the Grande DR. Both the waiter and assistance (Garfield and Demetri) are very nice. He remembered all our names, and every night after the first one our drink was waiting for us when we arrived.

 

The big questions my wife and I keep asking ourselves is “are we cruise people?” I will address that more below, and the answer seems to change depending on the time of day and location. I can tell you the answer is always no after the room has been converted to sleep three at night. The room feels very small with the couch made up as a bed. I am sure that many people just go hang out in other parts of the ship. I really was hoping to relax on the balcony, but squeezing past the extra bed is hard, and it is very loud on the boardwalk until around midnight. The door is good at blocking most of the noise, but if you open it, you really risk waking a sleeping child. Also, unlike our balcony on HAL, there is no light on the balcony. I tried to use the laptop out there, and could not, just too dark.

 

There is a lot to do. We took the suggestion to bring highlighters and highlight activities, but even with that help, we missed several things we wanted to do. By the time we went to the skating rink, all times were booked (not just for that session, but for the whole day). The timing for some events turned out to be awkward, with shows sometimes starting before we could finish dinner. That being said, I think our favorite thing about the ship was the shows. We went to all of them, but left the headliner show after 10 minutes (ABBA).

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Portable movie server in room

I also usually travel with a travel router, currently either a RavPower Filehub or a HooToo TripMate Elite Wireless Router. These are both decent travel routers since they not only can do the travel router stuff including acting as a wireless bridge, they can be used a private server for media (flash drive or hard drive or microSD with the RavPower) and have a battery that they can run off of (private server on a plane) or be used to charge devices. They are both made by the same company and run nearly identical software. The Rav is much smaller and has the SD slot. The HooToo has a built in plug and two USB including one for higher amp charging. With a small 1TB drive attached, I can have a ton of movies, tv shows, and music that we can all access on a plane, in a car, or hotel room. I do not get a lot of time to watch TV or movie during the workweek, so I am looking forward to have the time to watch a few movies on vacation.

 

So, I set up the HooToo in the room with the hard drive attached. I was able to log the HooToo in to the ship internet, and stream or surf from several devices at the same time while in the room. I then logged the chromecast into the HooToo and was able to cast from my phone or ipad to the TV in the room. I tried casting both local movies (from the attached hard drive) and netflix. Both worked fine. With the server set up in the room, I was able to watch movies on the balcony, or in the adjoining room.

 

Also as an FYI, I had no problems with either the fitbit or apple watch. Since the ship stayed on Eastern time the whole trip, I turned off the auto adjust in settings. On my watch I set the screen to show the local time in the corner of the display.

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First Sea day

Cruise is off to a great start. After the meet & greet (see below) I grabbed a quick solo breakfast, since I skipped breakfast to go to the M&G. I went to the windjammer. It was your standard buffet breakfast. I was able to get a bagel and smoked salmon (was able to find smoked salmon every morning, which was nice post I had read made me think i would not) the salmon was not great (but not bad), but our standards are high since we live in a town with a large kosher grocery store and a very good selection of lox. Really I think the difference is we normally eat nova lox and this is run of the mill smoked salmon, but better than nothing. The cream cheese was philly, which was fine.

 

My wife and daughter (and the SIL’s) went to the pool. It was very crowded. I went up to join them after breakfast. My daughter was swimming and they were watching her. They had two chairs for the 4 people, as most were claimed at that point. During the 3 hours they were at the pool, the 4 chairs next to their two, were never occupied. Made my wife a little upset.

 

I did some exploring, checking back periodically. At lunch time we all went back to the room, changed and grabbed lunch at the park cafe.

 

We dropped my daughter off at the Adventure Ocean, for the afternoon session. She enjoyed it, but never did it again the rest of the cruise. She was happier swimming in the pool, riding the carousel, and seeing the shows. The wife and I hung out at central park, one of our favorite areas of the ship, and one that we kept forgetting to go to when we had a moment.

 

After that I watched a movie and read some on the balcony. We picked up my daughter and got ready for dinner, first formal night.

 

The Wait staff was excellent. The food was passable, like you would get at your cheap cousin’s wedding. I think that is the best way to describe the food in the MDR. It has high expectations, and is simple made in too great of quantity to ever be great. On the plus side, my meat was cooked closer to my order then my meat at chops. Garfield and Demetri were working so hard, that I did not complain and I knew if I did not finish or left hungry there was other food available elsewhere.

I have decided that I am not going to talk about each meal in detail, just will mention the stand outs (either good or bad). The summary is, at least in my experience with the meals we were served, is that the food is for the most part average and underwhelming. Nothing that was so bad I could not eat it, nothing that was so good I would recommend it.

By far, the best meals we had were at the solarium bistro. About a week before the cruise, it showed as $0.00 so we booked two nights, figuring we could cancel or not go if the plans changed. I wish we booked there for every night. It was not a la carte. There was no up charge for lamb or anything else. The service was top notch, and the food was the best we had on the ship. While not like eating at a high end restaurant, it was like having a meal at a country club. Decent food, made to order, with attentive personal service.

 

I did not want to delay, since the diving show started at 7:30, and I had read that getting seats could be hard. So we left around 7pm, since my daughter was very excited for the show. The diving show was excellent.

 

First formal night.

So, some thoughts on dress code, but I am not intending to sidetrack my review. When we were on our HAL cruise, it was notably more formal. Of course, besides being 10 years ago, it was an 18 day Mediterranean cruise, on a more upscale line all of which are factors (the three L’s) that point to more formal (length, location and line) . But I really get the feeling that that the quality of the food is also a driving factor as to the dress in the MDR. When I sat down to a meal on the HAL cruise, the quality and presentation of the food almost demanded a more formal dress. I would have felt out of place without a jacket on, so I wore one every night I was not wearing a tux. Even on Carnival (12 or so years ago) the food felt like a dress up experience, and seemed to deserve a more formal attitude and I changed every night for dinner.

Not so with any meal I have been served on this cruise. Ok, I wear a suit on most days and at least a tie and jacket every day to work (a tie for a lawyer is like the white coat of a doctor - people just expect it and I would never meet with a client without it) I have met the family at times right after work, still in a suit, at what I would call budget / family dining (Cheesecake factory, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday) and frankly it is a little uncomfortable being overdressed. Not because I am uncomfortable in a suit, I spend 12+ hours a day in one. Not because I am one of the only ones wearing a tie (there are other there in, what I can assume, a similar circumstance as I am coming straight from work) and I am used to being the only one in a room with a tie, but because it feels wrong. Just like the highway establishes a comfortable driving speed based on the the conditions, the MDR, in setting the quality of the food, has also, unintentionally driven down the formalness of the room. The quality of the food just is not “dress up” food. That is the feeling I get on the cruise. While it’s enjoyable (just like the food at the above named restaurants is enjoyable) It feels like polo and khaki food, not tie and jacket. I packed a suit, and a couple of jackets (left the tux at home, it cost too much to risk it getting lost in transit) Not sure I would bring a suit again and I am very glad I decided not to bring my tux.

Being brought up in a classic New England manner, I cannot recall going to any inside (so clam shacks, beach huts, and lobster stands don’t count) land based restaurant in the last 25 years without a collared shirt (but nice short have been worn when I was in warmer climates), and will continue to do so. We will dress nice for the formal nights, and enjoy ourselves. In the future I will likely bring a few dress shirts and a jacket. I will pack a tie, but likely not wear it. But I still get the feeling that the food is somewhat to blame in the decline of the dress on-board. Just my 2 cents, not trying to open a can of worms.

Meet and Greet

The meet and greet was not at all what I expected. People for the most part, came in entered the raffle and left. On the plus side I won a bottle of wine, so that was nice. There was very little meeting and greeting. This was very different from the M&G we did on HAL, we ended up being friendly with many of the people we met most of the cruise.

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Following too!! We're on Oasis on 7 May - first time Oasis. Did Freedom May 2016 which we loved!!

 

Looking forward to reading anything you post! Have a wonderful time!!

Boarding on Oasis on May 7th as well! Can't wait!

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Agree with you about dress in the MDR not being as formal any more. So many threads here address this subject. However, I do think even on the other lines you mentioned cruising, Carnival and HAL, you would find changes in the 10+ years since you cruised. Also, dress is very different on a longer European cruise - definitely more formal.

 

Also think food has changed on all lines - enjoying your review - not trying to be critical, but 10+ years ago everything was different on RC too.

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Thanks for doing this review. It is pleasurable reading, though we have to wait until September to board the Oasis. You have gotten the Solarium Bistro on my radar for dinner. Appreciate the tip.

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Also think food has changed on all lines - enjoying your review - not trying to be critical, but 10+ years ago everything was different on RC too.

 

 

100% agree. I have a feeling that the food 10 years ago on carnival was better than the food on HAL now. It's a shame that is also magnified by the fact that as I get old my tastes are more refined and the quality is dropping. So the two points are moving away from each other.

 

 

 

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The point about the food and dress is interesting as I have had similar thoughts. I have been cruising since 1990 and the food quality on all of the lines I have been on has certainly gone downhill in that time. I would also contend that Carnival has much better overall food quality and menu variety than Royal. I still mostly cruise on Royal for different reasons. I would also contend that Carnival has better itinerary variety as well, but I prefer Royal for activities, pools, and ships. I'm enjoying your food comparisons. Being from Omaha, we have a large foodie movement here, recognized as one of the top cities in the country for restaurants. And no one can beat a Nebraska steak!

 

 

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We were on the Oasis last week and I was very happy with the MDR menus and the food. Usually hot, well prepared steak, lobster, lamb chops and shank, even a pork shank. Lots of food too, sometimes couldn't finish all the entree. Was definitely better than most of our Coastal Kitchen dinners served on the Harmony.

 

Windjammer was decent for a buffet but just too crowded to really enjoy it.

 

Also liked Solarium for breakfast.

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise! My fave was SB also. I could have just had the buffet with all the hummus..yum. I am curious how you would compare the steak in MDR and Chops to restaurants on land. Hopefully I lowered your expectations enough that you were not terribly disappointed!~

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise! My fave was SB also. I could have just had the buffet with all the hummus..yum. I am curious how you would compare the steak in MDR and Chops to restaurants on land. Hopefully I lowered your expectations enough that you were not terribly disappointed!~

 

I thought the prime rib was excellent, medium rare with sauce on the side so not overpowered. We don't usually eat at steakhouses since my husband likes the beach restaurants for fish dishes and the views. Nor do we do the expensive for-fee onboard restaurants - prices are higher than we pay for two even with the BOGO coupons.

 

I had really low expectations coming off of Luminea on Celebrity and was really surprised. Talked a bit with the head waiter and he mentioned they had so many complaints about the food that they focused on getting their food back up in quality (and quantity!).

 

Not sure when the new menus were introduced, some cutbacks in options - one soup instead of two - plus the always available onion soup. Five entrees plus the standard - my husband ordered the salmon one night and said it was good.

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise! My fave was SB also. I could have just had the buffet with all the hummus..yum. I am curious how you would compare the steak in MDR and Chops to restaurants on land. Hopefully I lowered your expectations enough that you were not terribly disappointed!~

 

The prime rib in the MDR was decent, well seasoned and cooked medium rare. The steak, I don't think would order a steak again on RC. The one in the MDR was not great, thin and a little dry. I am sure it had been sitting under a light for a while. It was not up to outback quality, either in cut or preparation. Like we said before, I have never been to a Golden Corral but I think you nailed the relative level of the steak. I did not finish it and had something to eat a little later(Pizza I think).

 

Chops was a disappointment. I ordered my steak (the NY Strip) "red and warm" and he confirmed that as medium rare (a good sign). The appetizers were OK, The shrimp were decent but nothing to write home about, kinda rubbery, I think it was defrosted too quickly. The waiter brought several orders of the bacon, it was very under-cooked and fatty. I would say 75% stayed on the table uneaten. We had a table of 10 and they brought the sides family style. I'm sure that works with a table of 4 but with 10 half the items were totally out of reach and were served in hot dishes which could not be passed. So the options was either passing your plate with your entree around the table or standing up to get some items. It was kinda a pain. My first steak came out well done, I cut into it before the waiter had left the table and sent it back (it was gray not even a shade of pink). The next steak was at best medium. since my family was half way done with their meals, I ate it like that. I would not go back to Chops on a future cruise.

 

BTW the lamb shank in the MDR was very good, one of the better meals served there.

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