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  1. Here we are again it’s time for another cruise. This time we are celebrating our 35th anniversary. We originally booked these dates as a b2b. But things changed when the cruise line decided to cancel those dates and change it to a a transatlantic. I was so upset first because it was our favorite ship and it was going to be our anniversary cruise. So after many sleepless nights the transatlantic dates and cabins showed up so we snagged our new cabin choice. We changed the cabins we had on the b2b to just one cabin for the 14 days. Who will be going this time : Me, hubby, sister and sisters fiancé Saturday we made it to Miami with no flight delays. We are staying at Intercontinental Miami.
  2. We are looking forward to our second cruise. We took our first one over Christmas Break on Freedom and it turned out my 16 year old son loved it! He kept asking when we were going to go on another cruise so we are going for his senior year spring break. Looking forward to connecting with everyone! I like to go on excursions but my hubby and son don’t so I would like to meet some people who wouldn’t mind me tagging along.
  3. I first fell in love with cruising as a child, and have rediscovered my passion for it in 2022 while sailing on Symphony with my husband. Both of us have also sailed on Wonder in January 2023, and this year the rest of my family has finally been convinced to go on a cruise with us - as long as I pick out the itinerary and select the ship. I'm between the 8 night Eastern Caribbean + Perfect Day itinerary on Oasis in mid-November, and the 7 night Eastern Caribbean + Perfect Day itinerary on Wonder at the end of October. Somehow the Wonder cruise is nearly $500 cheaper than Oasis for an oceanview balcony stateroom, midship on deck 8 (those of us that have sailed on Oasis before absolutely love Central Park). Only half of our group has been on Oasis class ships in the past, and I'd love to share the magic of Oasis with my dad and grandma. I'm the only one in the group that has sailed on both of them already, but I was last on Oasis in 2014, so it's hard to compare it to Wonder as that was nearly a decade ago and was before its amplification! Please let me know if you have any advice on whether Oasis or Wonder would be better for an active, multigenerational family that loves cruising, but in which only some of us have been on Oasis-class ships. We also don't have children, so this is a group consisting of adults in their 30s/mid 50s/mid 70s. Thank you so much in advance!!
  4. My husband and I just booked this. Will be his first time on Oasis and our first time in Curacao and Aruba. This will be our first cruise as Emerald!!!
  5. Hi, all! Been lurking but not posting. Now that the dust is settling from a very busy November and December, I'm starting to realize I'm going on TWO magnificent cruises on BIG ships very soon. I'm sailing Oasis of the Seas out of Miami next Sunday, and when that's over, I'll be disembarking, scooting over to Fort Lauderdale, and boarding the Celebrity Ascent that same day. Although I've been on the Allure many times and I've been on Symphony, I've never been on Oasis. Super excited. Traveling solo and I have a balcony room overlooking central Park. That will be a first for me as well! Another first will be sailing with Celebrity! Very interested in trying out the X brand! I have a solo cabin on the Ascent with an "infinite veranda" so I'm very interested in what that looks like. It was quite the bargain and I booked this cruise almost a year ago. Am I allowed to cover my Celebrity cruise here? If so, I will, if not, I will take you all along with me on Oasis and then we'll wrap it up. Here's our itinerararies: OASIS: Sunday, Jan. 14 1. Miami departure 2. Nassau 3. Coco Cay 4. Sea Day 5. Labadee 6. Falmouth, Jamaica 7. Sea Day ASCENT: Jan. 21 1. Ft. Lauderdale departure 2. Nassau 3. Sea Day 4. Cozumel 5. Sea Day 6. George Town, Grand Cayman 7. Sea Day Really looking forward to the fun. If anyone wants any specific info on either ship, I will recon. Another first: I bought "The Key" for Oasis, so I will check out embarkation day perks and that Choppes Grill lunch on boarding day. Quick share: Last May, I picked up norovirus on the Disney Dream. HOLY SMOKES. Never ever never again, please please please. In September, I got Covid (third time), on Princess in Alaska. Should I just give up on cruising? Have I no immune system? And let me tell you, no one on those ships washed their hands more than I did. So. We will see. Also: This is interesting: I discovered that Oasis is a group cruise for 800 people that play "Dice Tower." They have the Windjammer reserved for after dinners and you need a badge to join them. Really hoping you guys will follow along because I am genuinely excited to be back on the oasis class ships, without a doubt my favorite class of ships out there. Symphony last spring was magnificent, I went with my son to the Mediterranean. Looking forward to the whole week! Lots of photos to come!
  6. Is our White Whale of Moby Dick proportions? IDK .. are you counting our financial well-being? Who cares! YOLO!! Who: SweetPea and Batman, two crazy mutual enablers who found about 23 (24, 25?) years ago. Married for most of those. Don't ask me our anniversary. I once proudly told Batman my new ATM PIN, proclaiming, "Get it?! It's our anniversary backwards!" Spoiler: it wasn't. I've not heard the end of it since. What: Our White Whale. Why, you ask? We had 3,462.7 cruises in the Owner's Panoramic canceled during the Covid. Seriously. By March 578th, 2020, I'd had enough, just like the rest of the world. This was bound to happen sooner or later. I made sure of it. When: September 24-October 1, 2023. Too short and will be over too quick, but the ship is our destination so who cares?! (Our itinerary is mundane and boring. We'll only be getting off the ship for PDCC.) Where: Oasis of the Seas (C'mon now. There are only 2 OPs in the entire fleet, so there's a very good chance you'd win that coin toss.) Why: Why not?!! Besides, flying sucks and we can drive to the port! And by drive, i mean be driven. Because who drives on vacation? Is that even a thing?! How: Selling one pickled middle-aged kidney on the dark web. Let's face it, there's a difference between a kidney from a 20-year old athlete and one from a 50-something whose kidney is going to be (a-hem) grape-flavored. Clearly what I'm trying to say is that you could probably book two Star Class rooms with the 20-year-old kidney. Our cost wasn't *that* bad, but should still leave you questioning whether you'd consider us sound financial advisors. Crown&Anchor Level: Brown. I briefly considered making a parody pin that said "Not Pinnacle" with the "not" in very, very small font. I think it'd have been an excellent conversation starter. Pre-cruise Diet: Poor. I planned to lose 30 pounds. I only have 33 to go. Forget that noise. So here we go on our 3.5-year-in-the-making adventure. If you know us, I'm taking a very liberal definition of the term "adventure" here. As in, you shouldn't expect FlowRider reviews from us. That would only happen if they privacy-tented the entire wave pool and literally no one else could see us. I've seen this new TikTok thing all the cool kids are talking about, and going viral for all the wrong reasons would send me into a Brendan Fraser Whale-spin without the need of a fat suit. (Perhaps i should tell you about the time i managed to ATV my way into the middle of a sugar cane field in St. Kitts where the excursion leader pulled me aside and quietly asked if I'd consider a private lesson before allowing the group to continue. That was 20 years and 30 pounds ago and my grace and agility has not aged like the fine wine I enjoy so much. --- That was for the kids in the back who didn't get my grape- flavored kidney joke earlier.) This is our first cruise post-shutdown. We wanted to feel like we were going on vacation, not checking in for a clinical procedure. So we sat out all mandates. We both found them too stressful and opted to wait until the craziness was well on its way to over before we even remotely considered cruising again. This is one of the reasons we're going to the poorhouse post-cruise. I booked this pretty late and didn't partake in opening day prices. However, i got worried this was Oasis's last season in NJ so i bit the bullet and made several payments Batman wouldn't notice so our final bill was more in line with what I thought he could stomach. I can't be the only benevolently devious spouse to do so. If you've done something like this yourself, blink twice. (And, Mindy, if you're reading: You're a SAINT!) For the record, i caught Batman in a good mood one night and asked him the max he'd pay for a week-long cruise in Star Class. Unsurprisingly, it was a *bit* less than the cost of this one. So this is just between us RC Blog family, right? Good thing he thinks this website is Royal.blog.Carribean.me.live.com/reports which he always forgets to find later .... And to any dudes reading, please remember: there is no such idiom as "Bros before blogs." That does not and will never exist.... if i can help it. So, as long as Batman never does find this blog ... Continue to follow along to learn the riveting answers to such burning questions as: how will Anthem Star Class compare to Oasis Star Class? Will we prefer O Class to Q Class in general? Is this Deck 17 we keep reading about an actual Nirvana? What else has the pandemic stolen from us in pre v post shutdown changes? Will we ever want to return to Norwegian Haven? And ultimately, will selling a functioning kidney be worth the experience? Come with us! We'll find out together!
  7. Today marks 47 days to go. We received our genie survey 2 days ago. Plan to work on it this weekend. This is our 2nd star class sailing. First was on Anthem in 1/2020, right before cruising and life as we know it hit the fan. This is our first cruise back, and we’re excited! Our suite will include myself, the husband, and our 12 yr old son. Cruise Itinerary: 7 night Perfect Day Bahamas (Port Canaveral, CocoCay, Nassau) from Cape Liberty, NJ on 10/15/2023 Stateroom: Grand Panoramic Suite #1758 Shore Excursions: We have no real excursions planned. Will probably stay on ship in Port Canaveral and Nassau. However, we do have a Thrill Waterpark Cabana planned for Coco Cay. Transportation: We are fortunate to live approximately 2 1/2 hours from the port, therefore will be arranging transportation through Delaware Express. We have used them many times for airport transportation, and have found them to be reliable. Looking forward to finding out who our genie will be!
  8. Due to a family obligation, my children (15M/17F) and I will be in the UK next July, so, of course, I started cruise shopping in an effort to double dip and fit our vacation into this trip. I need to work within a two-week window and have narrowed my choices down to two itineraries, and they couldn't be more different. Option 1: Oasis out of Barcelona, with port stops in Palma de Mallorca (undecided), La Spezia (sightseeing tour of Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome food tour), and Naples (explore Capri). Option 2: Anthem out of Southampton, with port stops in Bergen (Bryggen Harbour and cable car), Olden (Briksdal Glacier/troll car), Flam (zipline, bike ride, and railway), and Bruges (explore a bit and canal boat tour). For some additional context, this past summer, we had a fantastic time on Odyssey out of Civitavecchia - our first trip to the Mediterranean. Our excursions included Rome, Positano, Sorrento, Pompeii, Ephesus, Santorini, and Mykonos with a morning in Delos. I see pros and cons of the Mediterranean and the Norway cruise. What gives me pause about option 1 is the heat. This summer, we sailed in late June and just missed a pretty bad heatwave. From what I have read, Spain can be brutal in the summer. We would also be visiting Rome and Naples two years in a row, though doing different activities. What gives me pause about option 2 is that we sailed on Ovation last summer (2022) to Alaska out of Seattle and really enjoyed it. I am concerned that Norway may offer a very similar experience. However, it does look amazing (I can thank Matt for the Norway bug)! I've been to Bruges before, but my kids haven't, and our only experience in Norway was a brief layover in Oslo this summer, so that doesn't really count. Both trips cost pretty much the same for a mid-ship balcony, with Norway coming out a few hundred dollars more. I put refundable deposits on both to hold the rooms while I make up my mind. I would love any and all feedback! Since I will be paying this off for the next year or so, I want to be sure I am carefully considering my options. I am of course Googling, reading blogs, and watching YouTube videos like crazy, but most of what I have learned about cruising I have learned here.
  9. We are currently on Oasis and had dinner tonight at Chops. They came around to take our dessert order and I joked can my wife get the Pavlova from Jamie’s as it is her all time favorite. Oasis has Giovanni’s ans we had dinner at there the night before and it was good but not as good as Jamie’s. Even my wife agrees. And I mentioned my preference to Jamie’s to the Chops waiter, and my wife was saying I was wrong to share my opinion. Am I the A Hole?
  10. Going on Oasis of the Seas next July, and I was wondering if the shop on board sells different model ships, not just the one you are on. For example, if you are on board Mariner of the Seas, could you buy a scale model of Liberty of the Seas, or would you have to go on that ship to get that model? I would really like to get a couple of different models on board.
  11. Travelling on Oasis in August 2023. Pre-Covid on Anthem we used to get WOW Bands that were able to unlock all the staterooms in our party, or at least all the adults got bands that would unlock their own room + their kids rooms. For some reason SeaPass cards couldn't do this... it had to be a WOW band. But WOW bands are a thing of the past. On Oasis last summer the only solution they had for us was a bunch of duplicate cards. Is there anything better this summer? Can the app get you into multiple staterooms? Does the app even open doors on Oasis? Can kids younger than 13 even have the app? It would be great if we didn't need 6 different people to have 3 different cards each to get into 3 different staterooms!
  12. Were the TVs on Oasis of the Seas updated to allow us to access our Netflix or other steaming services? I know the ship was refurbished in 2019, but didn't know those got updated like they have on the newer ships.
  13. We are considering Oasis out of Bayonne in the beginning of June (before schools let out) and Anthem out of Bayonne the end of March. Inside room Oasis vs OV for Anthem. We have only sailed small ships and want to avoid flying and experience a large ship. We want great MDR dining and want to dance every night. We love a good silent disco and want shows, comedy club etc. We find smaller ships have limited opportunities for activities and dancing after dinner. Your opinions please?
  14. Suggestions? Things to do vs. don’t do on board? Super nervous about it.
  15. At bayonne early and the crowds are already here. Dropped off luggage. No parking in garage. I was routed to another section and prepaid. My checkin was at 11. Good thing i got here early. Took 10 mins to go thru checkin. Now i sit and wait.
  16. The Festivus Star Class Miracle Blog is officially underway!! We are counting down the days until our 2nd star class cruise; this one on Oasis. I have been reluctant to start this blog for fear of something messing it up but I am trying to push that fear aside and enjoy this experience. Plus if I am going to post in real time about the star class process I really need to get started! So when in doubt I turn to my Magic 8 Ball. I got an “outlook good” “without a doubt” and “yes” so here we are!! Like so many others, getting to this point has been a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs and it will truly be a Festivus Miracle once we board Oasis! This cruise was originally planned for Easter 2021, then Easter 2022 and due to hubby’s work schedule, we had to do a last minute change to Christmas 2021. Inventory was limited, so it initially meant no star class for us, so we settled on the last available crown loft suite. I had my TA waitlist us for any star class suite that came available on Deck 17. At the 56 day mark our Festivus star class miracle was granted when the Grand Panoramic Suite became available. I grabbed it! I am still doing a happy dance! Our first and only cruise with Royal was over Christmas 2019 on Anthem. It was star class and soon after that cruise we knew that we wanted to try an Oasis class ship; specifically for Deck 17 and the proximity to the Suite lounge and CK. We had a few hiccups on that cruise so we are looking forward to having a much better onboard experience this time! I now have the benefit of a TA, all of your expertise and the wisdom gained from this amazing community over the past 2 years so I think we should be in good hands! I owe a huge thank you to @Lovetocruise2002 @Mindybrite @WAAAYTOOO along with others who have generously shared their knowledge, expertise and advice. I share @Lovetocruise2002love of suites and star class and consider myself a “west coast Canadian suite snob”. LOL Thank you doesn’t seem like enough but I hope to pay it forward through this blog. Now let’s get started!
  17. Checked the weather forecast for my trip starting 5/22. Currently it shows it raining in Eastern Florida and in the Bahamas area the whole week. I know I know, this can change and sometimes they are passing showers.... However, what to do on Oasis if it literally rains every day? Would a beach excursion be cancelled? Snorkeling at Cococay in the rain?
  18. Hey all! I thought it would be fun to do a live blog for a short trip on the Oasis this coming week. Quick summary and intros are in order: About us and pre-cruise: It will be myself and best friend Mel, just 2 girls in our early 30s. This was a fairly “last minute” trip as far as cruises go; we booked it a little more than a month ago (mid March) after a quick convo about how we both wanted a short getaway. (^ that’s us in Alaska last summer - fun tidbit, that’s where we are from) I live in central NC now so I will be doing a direct flight from Charlotte to Miami; and Mel will be coming from Atlanta so will be doing a direct from ATL to Miami. We coordinated our flights where we both land around 9-930am Sunday morning to meet at the Miami airport— yeeeep, the morning of. I know all the seasoned cruisers are gasping in anxiousness for us but yes, fingers crossed everything goes as planned. We got the earliest ship boarding at 11:30. This is my 4th cruise ever, my most recent was actually also Oasis in Feb 2019. Mel has been on 7+ but this is her first ever Royal Caribbean (mostly Carnival previously) so I’m really excited for her to experience this ship! I know it has had a revamp since I was on it last. I should also note that this is our first time cruising together. Stateroom, extras, etc: We are average Joes’ and will be staying in an ocean balcony room (deck 7, forward). As far as “add ons;” all we did were internet packages. Went back and forth on the drink package as we both do drink some [alcohol] but the math didn’t really make sense for us (we don’t drink soda or anything other than water really either) so we were okay just paying as we go. FOOD, glorious food: We both LOVE food. I should mention that I am a vegetarian incase that interests anyone else following along. We opted for the late traditional dining (8:00). We chose that over the early 5:30 seating (too early for us) or the My Time Dining because we agreed we like the traditional with same waiter each night and eating late allows us to get in more snacks throughout the day (haha). No major plans for specialty dining ahead of time but we may end up doing something once we are on board if it looks/sounds good and of course based on availability for reservations. Plans, excursions, fun, etc: Neither of us are huge scheduled people while traveling so we are very much along for the ride. In this case, the trip is more about the ship for us. We’ve both been to Costa Maya and it wasnt anything super exciting to us, but we do plan to get off the ship. USUALLY when I’ve cruised I’m with my boyfriend or a smaller group and we go explore on our own or book private tours (outside the cruise company); but being somewhere we aren’t as excited about and being just two girls in our 30s we aren’t feeling as brave so we decided on just paying the $55ish to do a trip to the beach thru Royal as we felt it was simpler and safe that way. We didn’t do a ton of research (again, wignin’ it) and it just sounded simple. Give us sand and beautiful water! As far as fun/entertainment we are interested in catching the Aqua 80s show and then we will see when we’re onboard what other things we may want to check out like comedy shows, etc. We plan to get lots of relaxing time (and hopefully sun) on the pool deck. I hope you all enjoy following along. We are pretty easy going and I plan to share info along the way about packing, the embarkation process, capacity, food, fun, service etc (including pictures of course).
  19. So, what's in a name? Each of the classes of ships have names that...well..."go together" for the most part... or do they? Freedom class.... Freedom, Independence, and Liberty... all synonyms for, well...Freedom. Voyager class... Voyager, Navigator, Mariner, Adventure, and Explorer... all synonyms for people who venture out and explore stuff... Then the lines start to blur a little bit... Radiance class... Radiance, Jewel, Brilliance, and Serenade... Radiance/Jewel/Brilliance sound "shimmery", and Serenade is just kind of an odd-ball one that's just tacked on on the end... Vision class... Vision, Enchantment, Grandeur...to me, in my mind I think "big looking" - but then we can't forget Rhapsody, which is a style of a musical piece.. Then the lines blur even more... Oasis class.... Oasis, Allure, Harmony, and now Symphony... Oasis and Allure really don't have much of anything to do with each other... but Harmony and Symphony are both "musical" in nature... so in theory, the next Oasis class ship... might it going to be something else entirely, or some other word from the musical milieu? Quantum Class... I have no idea. Quantum, Anthem, and Ovation.... Anthem is a musical style, Ovation is when you're standing up and applauding at the end of something you're amazed at, and Quantum... is..kind of "sciencey" So... what do you all think about Royal Caribbean's naming strategy... it seems like there maybe, at one time, was a rhyme or reason to it... are they abandoning said rhyme or reason? Should there be one? I like the consistency with naming within the class, certainly helps me remember the names of the ships.
  20. Hello! We were told on Oasis that they are not allowing takeout orders from Izumi. Has anyone else encountered this lately or is this new? Pre-pandemic on Symphony we had no issue with that.
  21. Getting excited for my first taste of Oasis class in just 7 days! This will be my third (& fourth!) cruise with Royal and cannot wait to see the mega beauty herself, having never seen anything bigger than Freedom class in person. This will also be my first semi-Side to Side... semi in that we have to spend a night in Miami between cruises. Still counts to me, twooo cruises, one vacation! Booking this came about because my boyfriend and I cruised in August 2019 on Freedom from San Juan and I got hooked on Royal and cruising in general. Right after that we went on Holland America’s Oosterdam in December 2019 and it further made clear our preference for Royal. I couldn't stand to wait in dry dock til Jan 2021 (at the time) so I snagged this 4-nighter on Oasis to hold us over. Like everyone else, this cruise has had several iterations and rebookings; it started as a May 2020 cruise, got swapped for a Nov 2020 cruise and finally Lift & Shifted to this Nov 3, 2021 itinerary. I added the Freedom 4-nighter right after as a way to see the renovated Coco Cay while also extending the value of my cross-country flight! I have been to Coco Cay once before (summer '98, baby!) so it should be fun to see how it's changed. Itinerary The mini Oasis sailing was originally slated as Labadee, got switched to Cozumel due to the unrest in Haiti and then switched a THIRD time to Nassau and Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) that means we’re essentially going on the same cruise twice on different ships! Oasis Day 1 - Departs Miami Day 2 - Perfect Day at Coco Cay Day 3 - Cruising Day 4 - Nassau - Day 5 - Debark + turnaround night in Miami, Penguin Hotel South Beach - Freedom Day 6 - Departs Miami Day 7 - Nassau Day 8 - Cruising Day 9 - Perfect Day at Coco Cay A vacation with Perfect bookends! Hard to complain about that. Who’s Going - my fiancé (Adrian) and I (Daryl) Cabins Oasis - Ocean View Balcony 10554… our first non suite. Ahh! We will see how we fare with the smaller room and lack of walk in closet! Haha Freedom - Ocean View Balcony 1880. I am excited to be on deck 12 with easy Lime & Coconut access. I also put in a bid for a GS that was slightly above the “weak” segment so we’ll see! Pre-Purchases I got us the DBP + Voom Surf and Stream for both legs of this trip - $61/day on Oasis and $75/day on Freedom. $75 was the sale price, too! Since this may be my only OA class for awhile I also snagged us the 3-night Dining Package for Oasis so we can try Chops, 150CP and Giovanni’s. I am also thinking about adding Giovanni’s again on the Freedom leg because the menu appears to be different! I kept waiting and waiting for the UDP to appear for OA but it never did. We will also be using some leftover OBC at Playmakers and Portside for sure. Excursions Since our itinerary was changed so many times for Oasis I really don’t have anything scheduled for our first 2 PDCC and Nassau stops. In Nassau we are thinking we will do a walking tour I found on these boards and grab some conch fritters at Oh Andros, then have a chill beach day at Coco Cay. I am eyeing the Up, Up and Away balloon but I hear it has a low chance of going up this time of year. At $74 each it seems pricey for those few minutes of incredible views but I may just yolo book it. On the Freedom leg, we booked the Snorkel & Sail excursion in Nassau and have Thrill Waterpark tickets for PDCC. I got these for $46.99 and haven’t seen it that low since! (I had them on a Nav cruise for the outrageously low price of $29 but it was sadly cancelled) Mid Cruise Hotel We are once again being cruising renegades as the best non-stop flights to Miami leave San Diego the night before the cruise and get in at 5am on the morning of, eliminating the need for a pre-cruise hotel. I feel like the 12 hours of wiggle room are enough to get us through. We have never been to Miami (Aside from our forced overnight near the airport on the way home from San Juan last time) so I wanted to stay in South Beach to get a real feel for it. I chose Penguin Hotel for this stay! Ocean Drive, directly across from the beach and had a “penthouse” (read: third floor) suite with a luxurious 1,000 sq ft “terrace” (read: roof of the hotel). I am anticipating a Bird Cage Art Deco vibe! One does want a hint of color. Hmm, what else? I bought the 6 pack of Binax AG Card tests, so that’s our Covid Testing Plan between cruises although Royal said they would take care of it. I like to always be prepared juuust in case! I hope to up my game on the live-ness of this blog, and take more ship pictures this time as I marvel at the beauty of Lady O. I am excited to see the AMP Freedom received since we last sailed her, too. Only 7 regular sunsets before the ultimate: SHIP SUNSETS are back in my life!
  22. Are we really going on a cruise??? It won't settle in for us until we actually step onto the ship tomorrow morning! It's been almost 2.5 years since our last cruise (Allure, 5/19/19)! Wow, that almost sounded like a confession, LOL! Like so many of you, we dealt with cancellation after cancellation due to this horrible pandemic... Harmony... Symphony... Oasis (x3)... I guess the 3rd time is the charm for Oasis! Unlike my first/last blog, I wanted to start before we boarded! My wife and I could not pass up the chance to sail on the amped Oasis out of Cape Liberty. We absolutely LOVED Allure and are sold on the Oasis class! This will be our 3rd sailing out of Bayonne - Explorer (2013) and Liberty (2015). This cruise will also be different, and special, as it will be the first time my wife and I have sailed alone since our 3-night teaser cruise on the Disney Wonder during our honeymoon 17 years ago! We're also planning on relaxing a bit more as the itinerary is not as port-intensive and we are planning on staying onboard in Port Canaveral. Covid testing: We had originally booked a PCR test with CVS for yesterday morning (24-48 hour turnaround), but we decided the stress of waiting for the results today would be too much to handle! Instead, we went to a local urgent care facility (City MD) and had the rapid antigen test. Results were e-mailed to us within 2 hours and thankfully we were both negative! OK... enough yapping... here is the brief synopsis... Cruise Details: Oasis of the Seas, 7-night, Perfect Day & Bahamas (Port Canaveral, CocoCay & Nassau) Out of Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ) 10/3/21-10/10/21 Cabin Details & Cruise Planner Stuff: Ocean View with Large Balcony (Deck 8, Mid-Ship, Starboard side... across from Giovanni's Table) Selected Traditional Dining (5:30PM) Purchased the Deluxe Beverage w/ VOOM Package Purchased the 3 Night Dining Package Purchased the Full Day Pass to Coco Beach Club (CocoCay) Purchased the Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounter and Beach Day (Nassau) Miscellaneous Stuff: We're located in Suffolk County, NY (middle of Long Island), so we're just 70 miles or so from the port. We're driving to the port, and for the convenience as in the past, will be parking in the port garage for the week. The cost is currently $25/day (incl tax), but effective 10/15/21, they are raising it to $30/day. Still trying to decide when to leave... should take about 1.5 - 2 hours to get there... probably leaving earlier and will wait in the garage if need be just in case there is traffic or an accident on the way! Our first time on Oasis and our first time to CocoCay post renovations! We chose the cabin location in part based on a comment @WAAAYTOOO made some time ago on the forum (Thank You!). Since we are on the same deck as Central Park and mid-ship, there are no cabins on the other side of our corridor, just the back of the restaurants (Giovanni's for us). Should be very quiet! We love Central Park and the convenience of being close to the Trellis Bar and all of the specialty dining options! We originally purchased the Key, but Royal cancelled it for our sailing. We're OK with the cancellation... sailing at reduced capacity will lessen the overall value of the Key IMO. *** Please let me know if you have any questions or would like me to post pictures of something you are interested in... I'll do my best to keep up! OK, time to finish packing! We also have to drop our Goldens (Bella & Jake) off later at my sister's house for the week! Don't tell them we're going away without them!
  23. Hello everyone, this is my first time doing this so bare with me. Lets just start from the beginning. In June of 2017 my family was about to embark on their first Oasis class cruise. They took the gamble and booked a Junior Suite Guarantee for the three of them, about a month prior to the sailing we logged on and saw they had been assigned a Grand Suite. Myself who was then in the process of leaving my first job so I could move on to my current career decided to leave a week earlier then planned to go experience the suite life I had read much about on here. Well lets just say this was the beginning to our obsession with wanting to take a Star Class cruise. About a year later my mom and dad took a cruise on Allure for their anniversary in a Crown Loft and this just furthered our want to experience Star Class. So one night while facetiming with my parents while they were at sea I was able to convince them to visit the next cruise desk and book one. Well three days later it was official, we were booked in a 2 Bedroom AquaTheater Suite on Allure in 2019. Fast-forward a few months and we were calling to add on 4 other family members to this cruise and we were being told it would be almost $12,000 to add these 4 people. We decided not to add them and to wait and figure something out. About a week later the sailings for the Summer of 2020 were released, we immediately called and snagged us a 4 Bedroom Villa on Harmony in June of 2020 for an amazing price. So that was it, now we just wait, so we thought. Insert COVID-19 We sat and watched the dates of the cruise suspension keep getting pushed, we finally broke down and called Royal just to see what our options were for changing this sailing. We were not planning to actually do anything on the phone that day and had no dates in mind, we just wanted to know what could be done. Well lets just say we got lucky, while on the phone the agent was able to find another Villa suite for $5,000 cheaper than we were already paying. We rebooked for January 2021, yeah Covid won't be a problem still. Well as we all know what happened, we called again about a week prior to Royal announcing more cancelations and this time found a Villa on Symphony in September 2022. So we though for sure this was the one and it would have been until August 2021 came around. My mom who was a 4th grade teacher had just started her school year when about 2 weeks in she had to leave school early and go to the hospital. Unfortunately about 2 weeks later she very unexpectedly passed away (non-covid related). So here we are now, trying to decide what to do with her ashes. We decided we would take her on a final cruise and spread her ashes in the Caribbean. This in itself is a massive feat, my father is an airline pilot, my sister a middle school teacher, brother an EMT taking Paramedic classes, and myself also in the aviation industry. The time we had to do this was very simple as my brother and sister are on similar schedules: Thanksgiving or Christmas. My dad was able to get Christmas off as he just so happened to not be on call that week. Myself being the lowest in seniority where I work, there was absolutely zero chance but somehow I sweet talked my way into getting the time off. So we got booked for Oasis over Christmas week in 2 Grand Suites, back where it all started. (I will also blog this one) So after getting the Christmas cruise booked and cancelling the three other cruises I already had booked for me and my mom, I came back across this sailing. I had originally booked this cruise in the Ultimate Panoramic Suite for my 25th birthday and my mom would have been coming with me. I decided I needed to go on a cruise to just get some time away from everything and get back into what I always enjoyed. The only problem now was I had nobody to go with me, my mom was always my cruising partner. So we now owed my grandparents a cruise since they had helped pay for the Villa Suite one which was now not going to happen. So I called to talk to them and started talking about this cruise and how I needed someone to go with me, before I could ask she said they would. We started talking about rooms and all they wanted was an aft facing balcony, I said sure. Well two hours later and we are booked in a 2 Bedroom AquaTheater Suite, 8330. In 33 days I will finally be able to experience Star Class, I just wish the person who wanted this all along was able to go. So here's where I need help, I only have 4 days on Oasis and want to get as much from the experience as possible. Any suggestions on requests from my Genie? Currently the only thing I know for sure I will request is sail away snacks and drinks from the balcony and I have my dinner schedule already figured out. I look forward to bringing everyone along on this journey and any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  24. So here goes. I am honestly not a creative writer (although I wish I was) but I posted an after the fact blog for our last cruise in Star class (Grand Loft Suite) on Anthem in March 2020 before the shut down so figured I would try it again. This cruise is a long time in the making. Since we had just discovered Star class, we immediately came home and booked a May 2020 cruise on Oasis in the 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite. Since Covid was here to stay, that cruise was cancelled. Then we figured, of course by September this will all be over so we Lifted and Shifted to Oasis in the same 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite...cancelled again. So our amazing travel agent (#TeamMindy) got us Lifted and Shifted to Anthem in the Royal Loft Suite in February 2021...we will surely be cruising by then, right? Nope. So, here we are now. We are sailing in 2 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite in a little over 2 weeks! About us. I am sailing with hubby and we are now bringing my father in-law. It started out with us bringing a friend but my father in-law really needs to get out and enjoy the Star Class life so we are bringing him. We are on Deck 9 (Deck 8 was sold out). We have previously stayed in the 1 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite and cannot wait to be in the 2 bedroom suite with the Star Class perks! On our first Star Class cruise we weren't sure what to expect so our expectations weren't high but after having Yen as our Genie on Anthem in March 2020, she is going to be tough to beat! On that cruise she took care of our 3 Star class suites so we had her all to ourselves. I am sure it is going to be different since our Genie told us he has 5 suites to take care of. About a month out, we received an email from Derick (who told us he is taking care of 5 suites) and then we got the normal genie email. We decided we didn't want to answer all of the crazy questions because we knew the most important ones were #1 what we want stocked in our room for drinks and #2 what we wanted to experience on the ship. I am a SUPER planner and need to know what the plans are before we leave so I have a schedule laid out as to where we want to eat and at what time which I sent to him. He said he wished all of his cruisers were as organized but he probably thinks I am crazy! Since cruising from NJ is just starting up and my father in-law is older, we plan to get room service for lunch and dinner on the first day to feel out the crowds so there is no anxiety for him. This will be his first cruise in 5 years and first Star class experience. I have sent a few emails to Derick and he usually responds within an hour or two which is amazing. We were told that in NJ, he can still meet us in the terminal and bring us on the ship, the rooms will be ready at noon and we can check in 1 hour before or 1 hour after our check-in time online. We chose a 12:30 - 1:00 check in (which was the earliest) so we are going to get there around 11:30. One difference I noticed from our last Star class cruise is we can't get beverages in the suite that are not normally stocked on the ship (we asked for diet iced tea and diet ginger ale and we were told we couldn't get those so we will bring some). In addition, the Genie and the room stewards are not allowed in our room while we are in there. They can clean our room if we are in our deck and we can call the genie or meet them on the ship with masks but not in our room. For us, we aren't high maintenance so that isn't a big deal for us. On embarkation day, Derick is going to have some fresh fruit waiting for us and we are ordering lunch for our room which we can do from one restaurant that is open. We are thinking Chops. He did let us know that bridge tours, Central Park tours, etc., are all cancelled until further notice. I am fine with that but was looking forward to having my father in-law do the bridge tour he used to own a big boat and would have really appreciated it. In the grand scheme of things, just get me on a SHIP, RIGHT NOW! I will try to update everyone as we plan more and talk to Derick. We cannot wait. We would love it if people who have been on Oasis since the revamp have some information on best bars or things to check out! One specific question I have is, does anyone know how to book the special area in Playmakers during football? I thought it may be fun to try and if so, how much is it? LET'S GET CRUISING!
  25. Hi everyone! My family and I are currently booked on a sailing on Oasis in April 2022 in a 2br grand suite. I need to move it to the fall and need help deciding. I want to go star class this time around because, well, why not. It's my wife and I and our 4 kids (9,7,4,4) sailing. Our options are: Oasis - 2BR Aquatheater suite (deck 9) Harmony - 2BR Aquatheater suite (deck 10) Both sailings hit Cococay and Labadee. Harmony is about $700 cheaper (but I'd get an extra $100 OBC for Oasis sailing and less transportation fees to and from Port for Oasis) Give me your opinions. I know there are a few different restaurants on ship and the decor in the room is a bit dated in Oasis. Any other major differences I should know? Kids club,splash pad, etc? This will be our first star class and first Oasis class. Blow this novice away with your expertise!
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