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Another Oasis review - July 29 - Aug 5

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I have never really written a review and mostly just consume reviews – so I thought it was time to contribute a little something.

 

First, I find negative reviews interesting (this is not one)because they tend to highlight a mindset as opposed to real issues. That is not to say that there are not real issues and everyone is entitled to their opinions. I, for one, tend to be a positive person and if I am paying good money for a cruise vacation, then I try not to let little issues distract as much as possible. We only had a couple of these “distractions” on our recent cruise on the Oasis,one of which I will highlight as a courtesy to those who have not been to Labadee. However, we had a great vacation. For me, the value in a cruise is unplugging and letting the stress melt away, forgetting about the daily grind and worries – basically being distracted by having a good time.

 

Second, on our first cruise, I lugged along my nice camera equipment. After that first experience,I decided to go without this time and just use my phone. This was a great move even if the pictures aren’t quite as nice. I did take most of my pictures in raw format and transfer them to Lightroom for some editing/enhancement. I am really pleased with the results and I will try to post a few here. You might see a few more “seascape” shots than other reviews. If you would rather see photos of my dinner, that’s OK – but you won’t find any here. Sorry about that.

 

So far, we have only sailed on the Oasis in ocean balcony rooms. This is really part of the experience for us although looking at pricing for next year, we may end up downgrading just to afford it. Right now, the same week next year is double what this one just cost us for the same type of room – so that’s not going to happen. Anyway, we had a great time. One more fair warning, this is ending up a little bit on the long side. It is mostly chronological, but broken up by a brief food section and an entertainment section which are labeled as such.

 

We traveled to Port Canaveral on Saturday and stayed at what use to be the Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach, but it changed to the Quality Inn. The day we arrived was hot and sticky and there were storms all around. On one side of the hotel, we could see the ocean and it was fairly clear…

 

43039531715_b33821f391_b.jpg1 - 2018 cruise pre-hotel 1 by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

On the other side, you can see some of the rain showers that popped up all over the place.

 

43944714261_ac001a71fc_b.jpg2 - 2018 cruise pre-hotel 2 by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

Thankfully, we were about to leave town. As humid and sticky as it was in Florida, I would have thought that it would get worse going farther South, but it was the opposite. Yes, it was hot, but nowhere near as humid once the ship pulled away. In a way, the weather was a mirror for my level of stress, which I could feel subsiding as we left the storms behind.

 

43896383032_1f131cd4a9_b.jpg3 - 2018 cruise leaving storms behind by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

By the time the rooms opened up, the storms were gone and we looked forward to our first sea day. From the balcony of our stateroom…

 

43944714901_252b1404e8_b.jpg04 - 2018 cruise ahh by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

Finally away, we spied a stunning sunset behind us and I grabbed this picture from our balcony as well…

 

43944714861_99bb093da0_b.jpg05 - 2018 cruise sunset behind by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

Sorry, but I warned you – I like sea pictures. There might be a few more...

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<Food section>

 

Anyway, our first full day was a sea day and we had reserved Chops for lunch because it was on sale at some point for relatively cheap. I have seen some reviews of Chops lately that say the food is just not that good. Now,I am not a foodie and perhaps my palette is not as sophisticated as some, but we loved it. I would say that it was the best food we had during the entire trip. This is not surprising because we did not do any more specialty dining.

 

Going a bit further, the filet mignon was quite possibly the best cut of beef I have ever had. It melted in your mouth and was so tender. We were raving about it so much that they brought another one to the table. The cheesy tater tots are gigantic and good and I had the red velvet cake for desert. Again, it somehow hit the magic spot where it was not so sweet to make you feel ill and yet it was a fantastic desert. Anyone reading reviews about Chops Grille that happen to be negative, take a chance on a great lunch if you don’t want to shell out for dinner. We were not disappointed.

 

I think the main dining menu could use a little more variety from night to night, but as I said before, it is not something that I would allow to distract me from our fantastic vacation. That being said, my favorite desert of the trip came from the main dining room – a warm chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top. It was actually more of a little pie, but it was only on the menu one night.

 

After the first couple of days, we decided to try Johnny Rockets for breakfast (since it is included) and liked it so much, we kept going there for the rest of the cruise. I would definitely recommend it as it was not over-crowded and the food was a little better than other options.

 

That, my friends, is the end of the food portion of this review. The rest was pretty standard fair and it was generally good.

 

</end food section>

 

<Labadee section>

 

43944714811_42cc10bd9e_b.jpg06 - 2018 cruise obligatory labadee by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

The third day of the cruise was in Labadee. It was a great stop, but I wish I had read a little more before going there. For those of you who have never been, I somehow missed any prior information on the“shopping” area. Maybe seasoned cruisers know this, but I expected a cruise line’s private location to be a little less distracting. To be fair, for the most part, it was a nice stop. There are some shops along one stretch of road where it is best to not make eye contact and ignore the people yelling at you to “come and take a look”. From what I gathered, there are Royal Caribbean “bouncers” along the road and the shop owners could not cross the line. However, if you wandered across that line to see something, you are fair game, so to speak.

 

Unfortunately, the little group I was with got sucked in and they don’t take “no” for an answer. I did spend some money just to get away and, for me at least, this tainted our stop in Labadee so that I could care less about going back. I won’t avoid it, but I certainly won’t make a point of searching for an itinerary that stops there. The whole situation, bouncers and all, felt a little off and even just walking by was uncomfortable. It’s too bad because Labadee itself is quite pretty. I just wish I had heard or read about this before going there as a heads up.

 

</end Labadee section>

 

The next day was Jamaica and we ended up staying in the port area (not leaving the nice little shops) simply to relax and have most of the day on the ship. Warning – another sunrise/ocean shot is coming. That morning, I woke up early enough to get down to the track (all the way around deck 5) and the back of the ship, which was East and caught a beautiful sunrise in progress.

 

43944714771_2de60da110_b.jpg07 - 2018 cruise sunrise into Jamaica by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

A little later, we were pulling into the port in Jamaica which had some interesting formations in the bay which I understand will eventually end up as more solid land in a couple of centuries.

 

43944714711_bea5e79f06_b.jpg08 - 2018 cruise pulling into Jamaica by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

While in the port walking around, it is just staggering to fully grasp the size of the ship as it looms over the shops. It is like someone just squeezed a 17 story hotel in amongst these single or two story shops (see next picture). The smaller port area was really quite nice and there was no one yelling at you to rent motorcycles or go on tours, etc.

 

43944714651_52e691765d_b.jpg09 - 2018 cruise in port in Jamaica by Alan Ours, on Flickr

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<Entertainment section>

 

While on the cruise, we ended up with reservations (which were mostly all necessary) for the diving show, the headliner show and an early (7:30) comedy show. Those were not the only things we went to, just the ones we had reservations for. The diving show was fantastic. The headliner was a world champion juggler and comedian that was quite entertaining.

 

The comedy show was funny, but even the early one was full of colorful language which I thought would be at least a little cleaner than the later shows. I am not opposed to language in a comedy show so I expected at least a little. However, the comedy was funny either way so I am not quite sure why there was so much. The jokes and the points were right on and the language added nothing for the most part. Either way we had a good time, I’m just sure why it was needed.

 

One of the comedians basically just made fun of everyone,but pointed out an interesting fact that I did not know. Did you all know that most of the signs and every cabin door has an arrow that points to the front of the ship? I must admit that I did not know this until it was pointed out in the comedy show. The arrows, if you don’t know, are subtle but they really are there and once you see them, you will never “not” see them again.

 

Of course, we went to other entertainment options and even watched the premier of the Netflix movie “Like Father” in the Aquatheater. It was pretty good, but a few of the characters seemed a little off and there are whole topics in the forum dedicated to this movie.

 

</end Entertainment section>

 

After Jamaica was another sea day with yet another beautiful sunrise from the back of deck 5. Along the way to Cozumel, we could see the Cayman Islands off our balcony as we went by.

 

43944714601_65662a60d5_b.jpg10 - 2018 cruise another sunrise on the way to Cozumel by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

We took advantage of this sea day to make sure and get in some flow rider fun, among other things. Here is a shot of my wife enjoying her turn…

 

43944714521_8abcdc5d7f_b.jpg11 - 2018 cruise a little flow rider fun by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

One of the funniest (and most embarrassing) things happened at the flow rider sessions that has been mentioned elsewhere but everyone was gracious and took things in stride. During one lady’s turn, as she slid down to the bottom of the flow rider after her first jump in, her shorts jumped off extremely quickly. Luckily, she was on her stomach and they had not flown off of her legs so she just pulled them back up but there was no doubt that everyone saw the full moon (so to speak). She was so embarrassed, but everyone clapped for her as she took a mock bow. Then she went up and jumped in again, so good on her. The best part was that every single person in line immediately tested and tightened the draw strings on their shorts – that made me laugh more than the incident itself.

 

On to Cozumel. This was our favorite stop, although there were a lot of people because the Oasis docked along with the Liberty and there were two Carnival ships docked not too far away as well.

 

43896382612_b6a63f47db_b.jpg12 - 2018 cruise Oasis and Liberty 1 by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

43944714341_7a49216d67_b.jpg13 - 2018 cruise Oasis and Liberty 2 by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

We walked around the port for a while before coming across a PADI certified dive shop that was running short snorkeling excursions (about 2.5 hours) and cheap at $30/person. The shop, if you are ever there, is all the way to the left and around up next to the dock and I highly recommend it. It was fantastic. The water was crystal clear and after the first stop, they handed out a few tortillas that we could break little pieces off to feed fish. We saw plenty of fish and even a small sunken vessel before heading back. This was one of our favorite activities of the vacation.

 

The last day was one more sea day and what would that be without a final interesting (in my opinion) sunrise picture. This might be my favorite. I took this from our balcony and in the distance you can see another cruise ship and the land mass to the right of the picture is Cuba as we were going by. It was a bit surreal, but this is part of the cruising experience.

 

43896382522_0c0c0a6209_b.jpg14 - 2018 cruise final sea day sunrise with another cruise ship and Cuba in the distance by Alan Ours, on Flickr

 

On the final sea day, I spent some time in the casino and in the afternoon, jumped in at the craps table. The table was hot and rollers lasted a long time. I ended up tripling what I put in. If I was more adventurous with my betting, it could have been quite a bit more. But I was happy and entertained, which is how I treat the casino win or lose.

 

When we got back to Port Canaveral, we could tell immediately because the humidity hit hard. Overall, this was one of our best vacations and we had a great time. This has been a little long, but I wanted to write some of this down while it was still fresh. Coming back to reality stinks, but I guess it is time to plan our next cruise to keep us going. We definitely have the bug and will be back. Hopefully, this is useful to someone out there. Thanks for reading.

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Great review and great pictures....

like you, I love my seaside sunrises and sunsets!! And yes, have to agree that sunrise photo with Cuba in the background is quite pretty!

I'm in debate mode about bringing my Nikon again in 8 days when we go on the Harmony - thinking one less thing to bring, but also at the same time, I know I'm doing things that I didn't do last year on HOS, so I'm kinda on the fence... How did you decide to go without?

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Great review, and thanks for personalizing it with so many pictures! (and now I'm going to remind the family to tighten the draw string on their swimsuits!)

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Great review and great pictures....

like you, I love my seaside sunrises and sunsets!! And yes, have to agree that sunrise photo with Cuba in the background is quite pretty!

I'm in debate mode about bringing my Nikon again in 8 days when we go on the Harmony - thinking one less thing to bring, but also at the same time, I know I'm doing things that I didn't do last year on HOS, so I'm kinda on the fence... How did you decide to go without?

 

It was a difficult decision because I do love my Nikon and assorted lenses. Even if I got down to two lenses (which can be difficult), it ended up being one more bag which is, shall we say, not flyweight? Also, I did bring it on our first cruise last year and ended up not using it much, so that made the decision a little easier.

 

As it is, we carried everything off ourselves this year (no waiting for luggage, etc.) and that was a much better experience than last year. For the record, I would not have left my camera bag out in the hallway, so that would have been with me either way. Without the camera bag, though, it was a little easier to manage everything ourselves.

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Great review, and thanks for personalizing it with so many pictures! (and now I'm going to remind the family to tighten the draw string on their swimsuits!)

 

Seriously, seeing everyone tightening their strings at the same time just hit me as one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time...

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Thanks for the Review. We were on the same cruise with you! I'm working on my review....I agree, there were some things that were a little "off" during the week, but no major complaints! A nice relaxing trip all around!

 

And that Filet at Chops was really great!

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Thanks, Alan. We will be sailing her in November and do enjoy that itinerary.:cool:

 

Thought I recognized your name. We just left the beautiful Golden Isles after living on Jekyll for 33 years and then in Bwk for 4 more.:cool:

 

Sea ya!

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I love seascape pictures! We will be on Oasis in just under a month. Reading your review got me even more excited than I already was - as if that is even possible! Thanks for sharing! :D

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Thanks for the review - we will be on Oasis in a few weeks.

 

What time did they begin boarding?

 

We were there pretty early and there was quite a line-up outside. If I remember correctly, we were let in the building at about 10 a.m. and they started boarding about 11 or so.

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We were there pretty early and there was quite a line-up outside. If I remember correctly, we were let in the building at about 10 a.m. and they started boarding about 11 or so.

 

That is what I remember also. They started the boarding with the Star Suites and Pinnacles. We are Platinum, so the 6th or 7th group and we were on the ship by about 11:20. It was a very smooth process. After we were checked in and seated, I never noticed a line at the check in desks, lots of them open!

 

Have a great trip!

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