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xkristen83

Third cruise, first review - Oasis

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Hi Everyone! I'm a huge lurker on cruise critic, but haven't posted much. We just got back from the April 29th sailing of Oasis (Western Caribbean). Spoiler: It was terrific, and my self-professed non-cruiser husband is already asking about booking another trip on an Oasis class ship.

 

When planning/getting ready for the trip, I did a lot of research, and found everyone's reviews so entertaining and helpful, that I thought I'd do a review myself. I know there are a TON of Oasis reviews, so I'm hoping to add a bit more about Oasis with kids....which leads me to "a little about us." I'm in my mid-30's and have been going on cruises since I was a little girl (think The Big Red Boat) but didn't go from my late teens, until a few years ago. Traveling with me, in my immediate family, were my husband, and two kids (ages 2 and 3). Also tagging along were my parents (Platinum on Princess) and my husband's parents. After having our first son, my husband and I were looking easier vacation options with kids, which is why we started cruising a few years ago, after quite a long hiatus. We chose RCI right off the bat because of their nursery service (mom and dad need a break sometimes!), and have been on Navigator twice, the last time being a little over a year ago to the ABC islands. On the Navigator cruise, my husband and I both found that we were a bit bored, so I decided at that point that our next trip would be on an Oasis class ship.

 

My husband and I both have pretty demanding jobs, so we found a week that worked for both of our schedules, and looked at the itineraries for Harmony, Oasis, and Allure. Harmony sails on Saturdays, which was hard for us with work (we like to fly in the day before), and there were great flight options for us to Orlando, so we decided on Oasis.

 

Embarkation

 

For the first time, I did the online check-in for my family of four and printed our luggage tags beforehand. I honestly hadn't for previous cruises, because I was just too lazy to set up an account and fill out all the information. However, after doing it for this trip, I'm going to continue. It was so much easier to have all our documents ready to go, when we were trying to get through the port with two impatient toddlers. Also, we're gold, so were able to skip the 100ish person check-in line and go to the gold line with only three people in front of us.

 

As an aside, neither my parents, nor my husband's parents, did the online check in. They also didn't know/realize they were gold, so they all got stuck in the longer line. They said it moved quickly, and although we got split up going through security, my husband's parents (who came to the port with us) were on the ship 10-15 minutes after us.

 

We flew into Orlando Saturday night, arriving around 8pm. We spent the night in the Sheraton Suites Orlando airport. Our kids are great sleepers, but not when we are in the room with them. This hotel was great, as there was a separate living area where we set the kids up. The next morning, we got a large breakfast with my in-laws (my parents were already in FL visiting family and meeting us on the ship), packed up, and called a Lyft (we usually use Uber, but I think it was more expensive that day so my husband used Lyft instead). We were going to take two Lyfts (four adults, two kids, lots of luggage), but we happened to get a mini van for the Lyft and were able to get everything in. We had the Lyft take us to the nearest Walgreens so we could get our carry on wine, and then to the port. Once we got near the port (around 11am), it did take about 15 minutes of sitting in traffic before we could pull up and unload our bags. For those interested, the Lyft was $63, so quite a bit cheaper than many of the other options out there.

 

Once we got to the port, check-in was a breeze. There were lines, but everything moved quickly. We pulled up to the port around 11:20, and on this ship about an hour later. We carried on four bottles of wine (we had two adjoining balcony cabins) and a case of water. I wasn't sure if they'd let us take on the water, but the kids and I always get thirsty at night so thought I'd try it, and had picked up a case when we were at Walgreens earlier. We carried it on, and no one said a word about it.

 

For those traveling with kids...we brought a light weight convertible car seat for my little guy. The three year old weighs enough to use a ridesafe travel vest. Honestly, this was super convenient, but I was extremely nervous about my three year old not being in a regular car seat. He would sometimes lean from side to side or squirm, and the seat belt wouldn't be on him properly.

 

We also brought a radioflyer collapsible wagon. I wasn't sure how this would go over (I know Disney doesn't allow wagons and I had read some not nice comments on cruise critic (not necessarily on the RCI board) directed at people asking about wagons on cruise ships). I'm here to tell you, the wagon was a lifesaver. One or both boys could sit in it and relax/have a snack...if they wanted to walk instead, we could put our backpacks/bags/car seat in it instead and hold their hands. We only used the wagon in the airport, on Labadee, and getting on/off the ship, so it's not like we toted it down the Promenade, but we found it much easier than any of our strollers (both single and double).

 

Coming up....Day 1 on Oasis.

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Day 1 - Port Canaveral

 

When we got on the ship, I had plans to get lunch at either Park Cafe, or Solarium Bistro. As I kind of mentioned before, I don't think a cruise was my husband's first vacation choice. He really dislikes the chaos that can come with buffets, plus it's hard to manage two toddlers and get food for four people, so I tried to avoid the Windjammer with him at all costs (he actually didn't step foot in the Windjammer once the entire cruise, although I went a few times).

 

When you walk on the ship from the port, you walk right into the Royal Promenade, where there are a lot of people standing around/mingling with all their carry on bags. After being in a packed car for an hour, then going through security/check in for an hour, the last thing I wanted was more crowds, so we decided to go up to the pool deck and get some space. None of us were hungry, so we skipped both Park Cafe and Solarium Bistro. The kids saw the kids pool/splash area right away and were ready to jump in. They are both out of diapers, so we promised to bring them back for swimming later, but did let them wade around for a bit. They also both had their first ice cream cone (we try to keep it pretty healthy when not on vacation), and loved it!

 

At 1pm our cabins were ready, and we headed downstairs. We were on deck 14, with four balcony cabins in a row. My in-laws were on one side, my husband and I plus the kids in the two middle adjoining rooms, and my parents were on the other side.

 

I had requested pack and plays for both kids (the oldest still wants to sleep in his crib/pack and play, so we roll with it) when I made our reservation. The kids take a nap every afternoon from 1:30 - 4ish, so I thought the timing was perfect. Unfortunately, the pack and plays were not in the room (which I think is typical) and there was a note saying that our cabin attendant wouldn't be available until 3pm. Not a huge deal, but did throw a wrench in the nap plans. My husband and oldest ended up lying down together and falling asleep, but the two year old wasn't having any of it, so he helped me unpack (our bags were already in our hallway at 1pm when we went to our cabins).

 

Around 2:45, I left my son with my parents to go register both kids for Adventure Ocean and the nursery, and also pick up some food from the Windjammer. Registration for the three year old in Aquanauts was a breeze, but there was a short line for the nursery. I waited for about 10 minutes before I could register, but still got all the available times I had wanted. They let you register for 15 hours on the first day, but then later on in the cruise, you can ask for additional time, and they'll accommodate you if they have availability.

 

I then headed to the Windjammer, which was just about to close. They still let me in to get a plate to go, which was really nice of them. I grabbed some fish and guacamole to share with my son (both were great) and was on my way.

 

At 3:15 or so I called to get the pack and plays, and the room attendant brought them right up. She also unlocked the adjoining door, and opened all four balconies dividers. I hung out in our cabins with my parents until muster.

 

Muster was pretty painless. Our station was the Silk dinning room, which was also where our main dining room reservation was, so it was nice to check it out and see where our table was located before dinner that night. The two year old fell asleep during the video, so my mom ended up staying in the dining room and holding him (he was barely asleep so would have definitely woken up had she moved right away) for awhile after it cleared out. She said everyone was extremely friendly to her and had no issues with her hanging out while they set up for dinner.

 

After the drill, my oldest and I went with my in-laws to watch sail away from the back of the running track on deck five. My husband had some last-minute work to finish up before he lost internet (the two of us have a strict no internet on cruises rule, which helps both of us disconnect and provides a much needed break from work), so we decided we'd all meet up at dinner.

 

We had traditional dining, and I had emailed the dinning folks three or so weeks before our cruise to make sure we were at a table of eight together. They were great...super responsive, and met my request with no problems.

 

We had done traditional dining in the past, and with the kids it works out so well for nap/bedtime schedules. I had floated the idea of doing some specialty dining, but nothing really caught anyone's interest, so we stuck with the main dinning room every night. I know there are some complaints about the new menus, but everyone in our group was able to find something of interest each night.

 

We all thought the food was surprisingly good. My husband and I live in Chicago, and have a few "foodie" friends who have brought us along for nice dinners (although I wouldn't consider either of us foodies). I wasn't expecting anything of that caliber, but with the exception of one or two things, I really enjoyed everything I ate.

 

The first night, I got the fish of the day (can't remember what it was, but it was one of the "one or two things" I didn't care for). My husband got the New York Strip Loin. He said it was terrific. I'm pretty picky about meat, but I had a bite (because I honestly was a little skeptical), and was pretty jealous I hadn't order it for myself. My husband did eat it again later in the cruise and said it was pretty fatty and not as good, but the first night it was really great and the star of dinner. I also got the french onion soup, escargot, and creme brulee. All were very good.

 

The kids always had the fruit appetizer and milk waiting for them after the first night. I usually picked out one or two appetizers for them to try, and then they split the kids cheeseburger with vegetables and/or the kids chicken with vegetables.

 

The services in the main dining room was terrific. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very nice and patient with the kids. They always brought the kids food first, which was a huge help for me, because I was able to get the boys settled, and then enjoy my dinner while the kids were eating. I also am a huge fan of appetizers, and always order two for myself to try (plus one or two for the kids). There were no issues ordering extra, and my husband even ordered a second main course one night with no issues.

 

After dinner, we took the kids back to the cabin, changed into swim suits, and took them up to the pool. It was nearly empty, and the kids loved splashing around for a half hour or so before they closed the pool for the night. Not sure if they close the kids pool every night or there was something going on that night, but it was close to bedtime for the boys, so the timing worked out.

 

We put the kids to bed, had my parents babysit, and my husband and I went out to explore the ship. We have a wireless video monitor that we took with us for the trip. It was really terrific for when one set of parents was babysitting. We left the balcony doors unlocked, so the grandparents could always get in that way, but also left them with keys to both our rooms. The grandparents had the video monitor so they could see/hear everything going on in the kids room as well, and did pretty frequent check-ins.

 

My husband and I had tickets to the comedian that night, but we skipped. My in-laws went (and my parents went later in the cruise). Both sets of parents enjoyed it, and encouraged us to go, but we just didn't have time. Instead, the first night, my husband and I explored the ship and got our bearings. We had a few drinks in the Globe and Atlas Pub (my husband liked the beer and loved the guitar player, although it was the guitar player's last cruise on his current contract) and had some pizza from Sorrento's. I think Sorrento's gets a bad wrap on cruise critic. I thought the pizza was good, as did my husband.

 

Next up...Day 2: At Sea

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thank you for the review. looking forward to reading more, it's good to know it was a terrific cruise.

Thanks for following along!

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Looking forward to your review. DW and I will be on her June 17. It will be our third cruise aboard the Oasis. Can't wait!

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Sounds like a great time. I am doing the same cruise with my Wife and two girls (22 months and 3 ) in August. Thanks for the review

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@Xkristen83

 

Loving this review, its exactly what i need! as a mom of 2 (3 & 4 at time of sailing) and a first time cruiser (feb 2019 on allure) I want to be as prepared as possible. I do have a question about the aquanauts club, do you have to pick times that you will be brining them? Both the boys will be registered but if i have to schedule them i just want to have an idea of best times to have them in there. I'm also nervous they wont want to be left with strangers, did you find this to be a problem with your little ones?

 

Also, we will have the same room set up as you did, four side by side. Did the two double rooms have a sofa or was it a chair and table? I've been reading both.

 

I really appreciate your time and attention in the review! looking forward to more :)

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@ AKCollins Thanks! Sorry I've been slacking a bit on the review...we just moved the week before the cruise, so it's been a busy few weeks! For the Aquanauts, you don't need to schedule a time. There is a kids cruise compass that has the open times, and you just show up and drop your kid off/pick up as you need. I read a little about it being busy during holidays/breaks, but it never seemed overly busy the few times we used it. I'll go into more detail in my review, but we actually didn't have much luck with Aquanauts for our three-year old. I was surprised because I had read rave reviews of the program. My son is a little shy, but does park district classes and pre-school with no issues. However, he had a hard time with Aquanauts. We tried three times (in the morning, after breakfast, so similar to when he goes to pre-school). He was excited the first day, but said he didn't have fun when we picked him up. The second day we tried it, he was crying when we picked him up (the counselors said it had just started, so they hadn't called us), and the third time we tried it, he asked the counselors to call us to pick him up after about two hours. All three times he was there 2-3 hours, so not an extended period of time. We tried to get more info from him (the counselors all said he did great, just missed mom and dad) but being three and a few months, he's somewhat unreliable. In talking to my son, my guess is that there were a lot of older (4 and 5 year-old) kids, and some of the games/activities were a bit easier for them, whereas my son needed a bit more guidance/attention, and that frustrated him. I told my husband I think it would have gone a lot smoother had both boys been in the same class so that they had a familiar face, so hopefully you'll have a better experience!

 

Both rooms had a sofa and table. I don't have a picture, but there isn't enough room for two pack and plays with the beds out, so my husband actually stacked the beds (frames on top of each other, mattresses on top of the frames) so we could get around in the room. We also moved the coffee tables to the side, which gave us a lot more room to walk around both cabins. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions :)

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Looking forward to your review. DW and I will be on her June 17. It will be our third cruise aboard the Oasis. Can't wait!

 

Thanks! We can't wait to go on another one!

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Sounds like a great time. I am doing the same cruise with my Wife and two girls (22 months and 3 ) in August. Thanks for the review

 

Wow! Very close to where we are now (24 months and 3). Let me know if you have questions - I'm sure you'll have a great time!

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Day 2: At Sea

 

Apologies for the slow posting - it's been a hectic week so far!

 

Also, as I mentioned, my husband and I try to be technology free on cruises so we can really disconnect from work. As such, we really don't take a ton of pictures. I solicited some from my parents and my in-laws, so will be posting those at some point in the review. Unfortunately, most of the pictures are of my kids (unfortunate for review purposes, fortunate for me though), so I'll try to sort through what I can.

 

So...I'm not sure if it has come out yet, but my husband and I are pretty strict about the kids and their sleep. We've had too many bad experiences with them missing naps/having a late night, where they were disasters the next day, so even when traveling we try to keep them on their normal schedule. Fortunately, we live in the central time zone, and were traveling on the east coast, so this meant they went to bed around 8:30-9pm, and got up around 8am. They also did a nap from 1:30-4pm or so. We found this to work great for us, and the kids were well-rested/happy for the entire week.

 

Our first full day, we all got up around 8am, and used the open balconies to check in with both sets of parents, and we decided to head to breakfast around 8:30. I'm a big fan of breakfast in the main dining room for a few reasons. First, getting food brought to you is easier with kids. Second, I love eggs made to order. I know I can get this a few places, but it's just easy in the main dining room.

 

The main dining room on Oasis was terrific for breakfast. We ate there every morning, and were always a group of six or eight. All mornings but one, we went to the a la carte side, so we could order off the menu. We may have waited in line once, for two to three minutes, but usually we walked right in and were seated. Service was always quick, and it was a great way to start off our day. Also, even if you are sitting on the a la carte side, you can still get items off the buffet. This was a lifesaver, as we could walk in, sit down, and then I could head to the buffet to pick up fruit and milk for the kids while we waited for our main orders.

 

The first morning, I ordered an omelet. My husband had french toast, and both were great.

 

After breakfast, we headed to Adventure Ocean to drop the kids off for a few hours. As I mentioned, my oldest was in Aquanauts and my youngest in the nursery. We had talked to them about the "kids club" and both were excited to go. I dropped the little guy off in the nursery with no issues. They only allow one parent/family in the room at a time, so sometimes when picking up/dropping off, I'd have to wait a minute or two if someone was already there, but I think they try to stagger the pick up/drop off times so that there isn't a large line. You also have to bring diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, etc if your child needs any of those. Luckily, my little guy is out of diapers, so we just dropped him off with a change of clothes. He balked for a minute when I left, but the ladies working there were great with diverting his attention, and when I peeked in on him five minutes later, he was happily playing with the large variety of toys. They also gave me a cell phone that works on ship, in case they needed to get ahold of us for anything.

 

My husband dropped my oldest off in Aquanauts and said it went well. There was a little boy crying when they got there, so it took some of the excitement out of it for my son, but my husband said the counselors were really nice and my son was excited to start playing. I'm not sure how busy it gets, or what their capacity is, but we dropped our son off around 9:45am, and I think there were about 20 kids there. Similar to the nursery, my husband received a phone in case there was an issue and we had to come back.

 

Phones in hand, we went back to our room to change and headed up to the Flowriders. On our way there, we ran into my in-laws. My MIL wanted to try the zip line, so they were doing that. She did it three or four times, and we watched for awhile. The line didn't seem too bad - maybe ten minutes in between each of her turns. Everything seemed very safe, although I'm terrified of heights, so there was no way I was going to give it a go.

 

After awhile, my husband and moved on to the Flowriders. One is dedicated to boogie boarding, and the other to stand up. We had done boogie boarding on a prior cruise, so went there first. The line wasn't terrible - we waited maybe 15 minutes for a turn, and it's fun to watch everyone. After one boogie board, we decided to try the stand up. That line was a bit longer, maybe 20 minutes. They were giving each person two falls, which I thought was nice, so if you fell right away, you got another chance instead of having to stand in line again. We each did the stand up once (which is way harder than the boogie boarding) and decided we'd stick with boogie boards. We went back to that side, but the line had grown, so we decided to spend some time by the pool before picking the kids up around noon.

 

When we picked the kids up, my youngest was having a great time. My oldest, however, did not seem like he had enjoyed it much. The counselors said he did well, but my son kept telling us he didn't have fun. From what I could get out of him, I think they played Duck Duck Goose, and he didn't like the game. My guess is the older kids were better/picked up on it faster, so my young three-year old had a hard time keeping up. I'm not sure if the counselors do anything in situations like this, or just let the younger kids lose. I didn't really think about it much before, but there is a lot of development from a young three year old to a five year old, so I can see there being a big range of abilities in Aquanauts. Not a huge deal, so we talked to my son and figured we'd give it another go later in the week.

 

At 12:30pm, there was a Dreamworks parade on the Royal Promenade. After picking up the kids, we headed down there to grab some pizza and get seats. We went to two Dreamworks parades during the week. They were the same, but this one was much less crowded, so I'd recommend it if it's something you want to do. It was about 15 minutes long, which was perfect, and the kids really enjoyed it. They haven't seen the movies, but I bought them a Dreamworks book set before the cruise, so they knew who the characters were, and got a huge kick out of seeing them in person. Although our cruise was in no way planned around the characters, it was fun to do the parade and a few meet and greets with the kids - I think it's something I would miss if we go on Symphony next.

 

After the parade, we headed to our rooms for nap time. After nap, we all got dressed for the first formal night. We are not in the tuxedo camp, but also not in the jeans camp. I wore a dress, my husband wore slacks and a jacket, and the kids wore pants and button up shirts. We spent some time walking around the Boardwalk, and doing the carousel (we were on it quite a bit during the week), then headed to dinner.

 

I mentioned before we were in the Silk dinning room. This was hugely convenient, as it was at the end of the Royal Promenade, and one flight of stairs away from the Boardwalk. Before/after dinner we'd frequently walk around, and it was great not having to wait for elevators to get down a few flights of stairs.

 

Dinner was great. I ordered the lobster bisque, escargot, and seafood linguine. I didn't care for the lobster bisque, but everything else was good. Service was great and pretty fast - I think most of our dinners were in the hour to hour and a half range, which was just about the max for the kids, so it worked out well.

 

After dinner, we met Puss and Boots and Shrek at two meet and greets. The kids LOVED this, even though it was really fast. The character shows up, you get in a line with some other kids (it was maybe 5-8 families in total), say hi to the character and take a picture, then move on.

 

Next, we headed back to our cabins for bed. The kids went right to sleep and my husband and I watched a movie. I'm not sure what the TV situation is (honestly, I turned it on maybe twice to check our stateroom account), but my husband just pre-loaded some movies onto our kindle, and we watched on that.

 

Both sets of parents went to Cats that evening. They said it was good, but quite long, and they all ended up leaving during intermission (although my dad did go back to see the end on the last sea day). Everyone agreed the acting/singing was great, they just weren't huge fans of the plot.

 

Next up: Labadee

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Thanks for the great review. I am traveling June 10 with a friend (no kids) but am loving your review. Very detailed! Glad you had a good trip and hope you are enjoying the new house.

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Great start to your review. We are going on this cruise with my daughter and her 3, 10 and 11 year olds. I hope her 3 year old likes the camp better than your son did. He does go to daycare everyday but they are divided into age groups but all 3 year olds are together ect.

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Wow! Very close to where we are now (24 months and 3). Let me know if you have questions - I'm sure you'll have a great time!

 

Thanks... Will definitely follow the review. Did you do the Dreamworks Breakfast?

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Thanks, Kristen. Great review! We are going June 17th.

 

Thanks! Hope you have a great time on your trip!

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Thanks for the great review. I am traveling June 10 with a friend (no kids) but am loving your review. Very detailed! Glad you had a good trip and hope you are enjoying the new house.

 

Thanks! New house is great - moving is just a pain :). Hope you have a nice trip!

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Enjoying your take on this cruise as we were also on this sailing.

 

Thanks! I was following your review as well. Sounds like you had a great time too!

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Great start to your review. We are going on this cruise with my daughter and her 3, 10 and 11 year olds. I hope her 3 year old likes the camp better than your son did. He does go to daycare everyday but they are divided into age groups but all 3 year olds are together ect.

 

Thanks! Yes, I was a little disappointed our son didn't like the camp more. However, as I'm sure you know, it can sometimes be day to day with three year olds! I'm excited to try again on our next cruise when he's a little older - I've heard so many parents rave about it, I'm guessing my son was just a bit shy around the older kids.

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Thanks... Will definitely follow the review. Did you do the Dreamworks Breakfast?

 

We did not do the breakfast. I think it started at 7:45am, and our kids always slept in until 8am or so. I would have pushed for it a little more, had I known what character was there on each day, but I read on here you just show up and see that morning. That, coupled with the late wake times, led us to skip.

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Day 3: Labadee

 

This was our third time to Labadee in the past three years or so. It's always a favorite stop of mine, and I love being able to do an easy beach day with the kids. As usually, we all got up around 8am, checked in with the grandparents, and all eight of us headed to breakfast. This was the only day we did the buffet side in the main dining room. We were all anxious to get to the beach, so thought it would be easier. For some reason my parents were moving way ahead of us, so they got to breakfast about 10 minutes before we did with the kids and my in-laws. I was surprised that the staff had given them a large table, and saved the seats for us, but it was nice to be able to walk right in and sit down (although as I mentioned before, there was never a line when we went).

 

One note about high chairs in the main dinning room...although we don't use high chairs at home, we did use them for almost all meals on the boat. We found that our kids would sit/eat better if there were somewhat contained. At dinner, the high chairs were always set up, waiting after the first night. However, at breakfast, we'd always have to ask for two. Sometimes it took a minute or two, but it was never a hassle. I remember on our Navigator trip, sometimes it would be a huge ordeal to find a high chair for breakfast, but they must have plenty on Oasis, as it was always super fast.

 

After breakfast, we headed upstairs to get our things, loaded them in our collapsible wagon, and off we went. We always go to Columbus Cove, which we've found to be great for kids. The beach is sandy and shaded, and it's near restrooms and the lunch buffet. My in-laws hopped a trolley, which took them 2/3 of the way there (near the enclosed artisan market), but my husband and I walked with the wagon and the kids. It was maybe a 15-20 minute walk, but didn't bother us at all. We did have to walk through the open air artisan market, and people did try to get our attention, but we politely declined and kept going.

 

If you have a stroller/wagon, there is a cement walkway most of the way to Columbus Cove; however, when you get close to the artisan market, it ends, and it's more like packed sand. We made it through with the wagon, but it was a bit more difficult to pull once you get off the cement walkway. There's also another way to get to Columbus Cove, where you go around the artisan market. We had done that path one year, but there were stairs, so no chance of us being able to do it with the wagon.

 

Once we made it to Columbus Cove, someone came by and set up some chairs for us in the shade. I felt like an idiot because both my husband and I had completely forgotten to grab cash before getting off the boat. Luckily, my parents and in-laws tipped for us :). I think they tipped $1/chair, and the person helping us seemed very appreciative, although I was still annoyed at myself for not tipping.

 

We spent the morning playing with the kids on the beach and in and out of the water. It was crowded, but not uncomfortably so. We had brought a few small beach toys for the kids, plus their puddle jumpers, so they had a blast. After a few hours, we decided to head back to the boat for lunch/nap. I could tell the kids were getting tired, so we packed up and walked back to the boat. Both kids almost fell asleep in the wagon, so I knew we had made the right decision. We got back to our rooms, and my husband showered with the boys while I ran up to the Windjammer to get lunch. I grabbed a plate of food for the boys to split, and went back to our room. We ate on the balcony with the kids and put them down for a nap.

 

At that point, my in-laws were back, and offered to babysit while my husband and I spent some time together. We grabbed a quick lunch at Park Cafe. I had heard so many great things about that Kummelweck sandwich, but I wasn't a huge fan. Like I mentioned before, I'm pretty picky about my meat, and the one I had was pretty fatty, so not really my thing. That being said, everything else there was great, and it ended up being our go-to lunch spot for the rest of the week. They had chips, and a variety of sandwiches/paninis. They also had a made to order salad bar, where they tossed your own salad.

 

After lunch, my husband and I decided to head back to Labadee. Although we've been there three times, we had never really explored, other than walking from the ship to Columbus Cove, and back. We walked to Dragon's Lookout Point, which was really nice. It was a quick walk from where you come off the pier. We then checked out Nellie's beach (similar to Columbus Cove, but smaller and more crowded, even though it was late in the day) and Adrenaline beach (nice, but not as much shade as Columbus Cove, and I've read it is a bit rocky). Satisfied that we had made the best decision with Columbus Cove, we headed back to the ship to check on the kids.

 

When we got back, the kids were still asleep, so we took a quick nap, then all got up and ready for dinner. Dinner was great, as usual. I had the short rib, which was good. The popular item at our table that night was the chicken cordon blue, which people enjoyed as well.

 

After dinner, we had reservations for the 7:30pm ice show, Frozen in Time. Before the cruise, I had done some research and decided we'd try to take the kids to a few shows. I wasn't sure how it would work out, but figured it wouldn't hurt to make the reservations and see how interested they were. I coordinated with my parents and in-laws, and booked the ice show, aqua show, and Come Fly With Me (singing/acrobatics) for all of us together. When the schedule came out, I just picked the nights that had 7:30pm shows, figuring that would work well with dinner/bedtime schedules. Luckily, we were able to schedule all three at 7:30, on three different nights.

 

We got to Studio B around 7:15 or so. They let people in without reservations 10 minutes before the show starts, so we always made sure to get here a few minutes before then. We never had the best seats, but for all the shows, getting there 15 minutes beforehand was ample time to get decent seats together. One thing my husband and I both loved about all these shows was how prompt they were with the schedule. The show started right at 7:30, so we didn't have to distract our toddlers for an extra 10 minutes, wondering when the show would start.

 

Both kids were pretty excited to see the ice skaters, and once the show started, just loved it. Although they enjoyed all the shows, they both are still talking about the ice skating even now (a few weeks later). They both sat on our laps, and didn't fidget or make a peep the entire time. The show was about 45 minutes, so a perfect length for the kids. There was also a special guest who did this really cool presentation on a projector with sand....I don't think she's on the ship all the time, but was really impressive, and both my husband and I commented on how neat it was.

 

After the ice skating show, we put the kids to bed, engaged my in-laws to babysit, and headed to the jazz club, where they were doing an hour of Beatles covers. My husband has been on a Beatles kick lately, so he really enjoyed it. It was a really nice atmosphere, and I enjoyed myself as well. After, we headed to Globe and Atlas, where we watched the guitar player for a bit before ending our night.

 

One note about the entertainment - my husband was in an a cappella group in college and can be a little picky about singing entertainers. He thought everyone on the ship was fantastic, and was super impressed with the level of entertainment. We both really enjoyed listening to a lot of live music (which we haven't done on past cruises), so that was a nice surprise.

 

Next up: Falmouth

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