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  1. 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.
  2. Hello again all, been a long-time lurker and just now decided to register for an account. Had a question that I have to imagine is easy enough to answer, but you never know… Long story short, wife and family and I were on Symphony…Seas back in April (Easter Cruise). Whatever we did in the casino must have impressed the “powers that be” as they started sending us free cruise offers. We took them up on one a few weeks ago and went from Baltimore (we live in Maryland) to Bermuda on Enchantment...Seas. We opted to upgrade our room via the Royal Up program and ended up with a “spacious” Ocean View room. Not bad, though the bathroom/shower was tiny, there wasn’t enough power outlets for our devices and, most importantly, we were just below the pool deck. The latter meant that the kids running along the pool deck, the crew moving chairs, etc. all resulted in a lot of noise. We’ve recently been offered a Jr. Suite on Oasis…Seas in November out of Miami and decided to take them up on it. My question is, sorry for taking a while to get to it, is…are we able to choose or move our room that they assign us? We really don’t want to be underneath a dance club, dining hall, pool, gym and so forth. Do we have any way to request a certain room or at least an area of the ship we’d like to be on? If so, how would we go about doing that? If not, I guess it’s not a deal-breaker. Furthermore, while I've got your collective ears, what might the best spots on that ship be with a Jr. Suite in mind? We realize that going on a ship with 5K people might not be the best place for some "peace and quiet", but I have to believe that there are some rooms out there that are superior to others when it comes to noise. Thank you for any assistance anyone can give.
  3. 1st cruise with Royal this july. Cocoa Beach Club is 249 per person [family of 4]…sounds like 2 ships in port. Is there any value at 249 each? The 15 yr old is going to be bored to death from what i can see on the YouTube videos [i guess he can come & go] but it does look nice. 249 is steep [many videos advertise 69 or 89 per person] but with 10,000 people on the island i think some exclusivity might be worth the splurge. Any opinions / comments would be fantastic. Thank you!
  4. I just got my negative test result —so I am officially going on vacation! This will be my first solo cruise and first non-DCL ship, and I was hoping it might be worth a live blog even though my oceanview balcony cabin will be sub-cosmic class. About me: 37, Boston, Director of Operations for an environmental nonprofit; unrepentant overpacker, recovering overplanner, extreme introvert. My bag has been packed for almost two weeks. About my trip: Many firsts—First Royal cruise, first cruise since the shutdown, first solo cruise. I’ve never stepped onto a ship without my 9yo and currently-becoming-ex-husband before! He and I are still on good terms, and had initially planned an April ’22 post-separation sailing for the three of us in a 2-bedroom suite on Freedom—we had an overwater cabana booked and everything!—but he canceled right before final payment because he was spooked about getting on a ship in These Dark Times. He ended up taking our kid on a land-based trip to FL without me, and I decided on what would have been our embarkation day to YOLO Book It and have a solo adventure. (Having only sailed DCL before, even with the single supplement, DBP, UDP, and Voom I’m beside myself over how little I’m paying for this. ) This will also be the first time I’ve not had to fly to get to the port—I decided to try out First Class on the Amtrak Acela between Boston and Newark Penn Station. I’m leaving Boston tomorrow (Saturday) morning, and I’ll spend the night at the DoubleTree by Hilton that’s next to the train station. The question of the moment: how am I supposed to get any work done today?!
  5. My 1st cruise with Royal is July 22 on Oasis. I am not receiving any emails from Royal that are specific to my cruise. I am getting the emails from the marketing server that want me to book more cruises so I know they have my contact information! I found out through a Facebook group that my itinerary has had changes in port arrivals/departures. Now I am concerned about other news and information that is pertinent to my cruise that I will not receive. I have emailed Royal and have not gotten a reply [boo]. I have told my travel agent about this and she has emailed her inside contact and has not gotten a reply. This is frustrating because I literally don’t know what I don’t know. What deadlines are coming that I don’t know about? Final payment was about 2 weeks ago, nothing from Royal as a courtesy reminder - thankfully my TA is on her game and let me know. I’m trying my best to be fully engaged with Royal and make a permanent change from the D cruise line but this is not a good start. Anyone else go through this? Any advice? I do not have the time to go through every message board and facebook group to piecemeal the important details that i need. Send help! S.O.S!
  6. This summer [July 22 - 29] I am taking my 1st ever cruise on Oasis of the Seas with my family! I am looking for information for first timers but don’t know where to look just yet. I just became an “insider” if that helps find the information I need for planning and learning about this cruise line. I’ve sailed with Disney 6 times so we are not new to cruising, just new to all the different offerings and options with Royal. I do have a travel agent but I really want to learn about this on my own and save the unusual questions for her. Can someone point me in the right direction? Also a big fan of the podcast, including the old days from WDW Today - thanks for everything over all the years Matt! Please help - thank you in advance!
  7. I was on the official website for royal and looking in my cruise information [july 22-29] and did not see any information regarding the casino. Anyone know where I can find information about the casino on Oasis? Specifically I am wondering if they have “bubble craps” - this is an automated version of the table game. If not, do they have craps tables? Any information or details on where else I can look would be great. Thanks in advance for the help
  8. I am anxiously anticipating 2023 sailing offerings. While on board in November I plan on visiting the Next Cruise desk to at minimum purchase a Future Cruise certificate to avail myself the benefits tethered to it and then transfer to my TA when finalized. Can someone who is familiar with this educate me as to the cost of this? Three people 7 nights or more sailing. I'm hoping I have a preview of the offerings to actually place deposits on new sailings but if not I want to try this. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks so much!
  9. Just to be clear I don't want to cause drama, if we are in a crown loft can we invite our friends who are staying in a non suite to join us for dinner one evening in CK? Can I just make a reservation for us and add 2 more? I don't want to ask if it's a hard no way! Just don't roll like that.
  10. This morning the Oasis of the Seas made it to it's New Jersey port and cleared the Verrazano Bridge. Crew were on the deck and filmed it: And here is the view from a webcam showing just how little clearance there is:
  11. If I am reading things right, in order to sail with children 12 and older they must be vaccinated? Okay, so is the company going to refund my four after this date sailings? My daughter is 15 and while vaccination isn't off the table we want to wait for additional education before we give her this vaccine, so clearly our sailing 01 August 2021 is a no go. I paid with my FCC's please, will they be issuing refunds now? As an adult I am vaccinated, but I want to do my due diligence not be forced into something before I am ready. Thoughts? Anyone in the same boat here? @Matt am I understanding this correctly?? @Sharla what now?
  12. Which shows are on the Oasis OTS? I'm talking every venue, comedy club, main theater, aquatheater, etc. I've gotten mixed results from different websites, but I trust you guys.
  13. With the obvious lack of Oasis Star Class blogs recently, I thought I'd step up and do one as well. The more the merrier, right? Stealing from @Lovetocruise2002 for formatting: Who’s Going? Me, wife Abby, and 5 y/o Daughter Virginia, along with Abby's mom and dad (the in-laws). It will be the in-laws first cruise in over 20 years, so going on an amplified Oasis will be quite the culture shock for them. Flight Flying from STL to FLL the day before via SWA, then taking an Uber/Lyft to Miami to spend the night. Pre-Cruise Stay Looking at hotel rooms, we were planning on staying at the Intercontinental, but rates were outlandish. $500+ per night per room. I couldn't believe that certain members of the Blog group would stay there at that price, so I was confused. I did some research, and that weekend is the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, so everywhere was booked or crazy expensive. So instead we are booked in a 2 bedroom suite at the Hyatt House near MIA for almost 50% of that rate, and for all 5 of us. Itinerary This 7-night, Western Caribbean sailing, brings us to Falmouth, Cozumel, and Labadee. No plans in Falmouth. Cozumel we have El Cozumeleno booked, and in Labadee with have cabana B2 booked. Cabin 2 Bedroom ATS on deck 9 for us, we will try to keep it nice for you @Lovetocruise2002. The in-laws are booked in a JS down the hall from us. RCCL sent an email about 3 weeks ago saying that they overbooked JS for this sailing and offered to go to a Balcony room for $300 OBC and a full refund of the second passenger in the cabin. We paid for this cruise as a Christmas present for them, so I pushed like hell for them to go to the standard balcony, but unfortunately they had already been on the blog and youtube looking at cabin information and were dead set on the JS... Pre-Cruise thoughts We are beyond excited to see the newly amped Oasis of the Seas. It's the only Oasis Class we've been on, and that was in November 2018. I'm very excited for all of the slides, the escape room, and the prospect of actual brewed iced tea at Portside BBQ. No pre-cruise purchases because it’s Star Class, but I did snag the DX for my in-laws at $18/day. Looking forward to checking out the new Adventure Ocean, even though Virginia will probably be bummed out that @Matt's daughters won't be there too! I think it's interesting that @Lovetocruise2002 and I have a different Genie even though we will be in the same cabin. We have Smitha, whom I've heard great things about, but apparently it would be hard-pressed to go wrong with any of the Genies on Oasis. Smitha has been great so far. We got our initial email from her 1 day after our survey, on 1/7/20, and had a provisional schedule worked out about 3 days later.
  14. My husband and I were due to cruise on Oasis of the Seas April 12th. As of today, we’re 29 days away so we’re in the 30 day mark. Why is RCCL saying they’ll resume sailings on April 11th when that is only 28 days away if the suspension just started today? We planned on waiting a bit and cancelling about 2 weeks prior just in case anything changed. Got news today that DOD stopped all domestic travel and that included cruises through May. The military won’t approve him leaving so my question is, do you think there is a chance we can get the full refund or will it most likely just be a FCC? I’m currently on hold with them.
  15. Do Jr Suite guests on Oasis Class ships have access to the "After Deck Bar" on deck 17? Royal's website specifies Jr Suite guests do not have access to Concierge Club but does not specify this bar which seems to be the only one at which you can smoke a cigar.
  16. Didn't want to put this in the ? What Will The Oasis Get During Dry Dock ? thread. Was thinking this might be better suited for a thread of its own. Left side is the new deck plan, right side old. White areas show a change. Click on the image to enlarge, much have to click again when the image pops up. If count was correct 60 new rooms added (D7-3, D9-1, D11-13, D12-13, D14-30). Updated 11/21/2019: Things have changed slightly since orginal post. Good example would be rooms no longer going where part of Diamond Club was. That space now I think a card room. BlogPost: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/07/01/deck-deck-drydock-changes-oasis-of-the-seas
  17. Hi All My partner and I are traveling with his brother and sister-in-law on Oasis in Feb 2020 for his brother's 40th. Super excited. This is our first cruise and I'm trying to gobble up all I can learn on how to get the most of this experience. So excited! Also, we transferred our bookings over to MEI after we booked because I stumbled across this blog and read the amazing reviews. Thoughts, tips, etc. welcome on Oasis. And if anyone is also on that voyage, look us up!
  18. I'm going on a western Caribbean cruise soon (Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel). I'm getting conflicting information regarding vaccinations and whether they are necessary. Up until recently the information I sourced said they weren't required because you spend short periods of time in each port. On the other hand, other sources give long lists of vaccines needed. Can anyone tell me of their experiences regarding this?
  19. When Oasis comes to 'the Big Apple' this year, we've booked a cruise on her. There were many reasons to book this one: check another ship of the bucket list, seeing all the amplifications, not port intensive itinerary (to be able to get to more enjoyment of/on the ship) but still goes to Perfect Day @ CoCo Cay (see those upgrades) , & most of all it's drive-able (from Western PA). This is our first cruise out of the Cape Liberty/Bayonne port area. So any help & direction would be greatly appreciated. We are considering: Where to stay the night before? Outside of going into NYC, things to do in the area? If we were to rent a car what companies are close to port? (thinking of two-one way rentals: get car @ home to get to port, and then port to home) Thanks as always to this great community of Cruisers, and hope to perhaps meet some of you aboard RC in the future.
  20. Hi folks. I'm getting ready to sail on the Oasis in January. There does not seem to be many videos on YouTube showing the "reimagined" ship. Has anyone on this forum sailed Oasis since it relaunched in November? How does it look? Thanks!
  21. Hello, I am searching for the Oasis of the seas and Voyager of the seas ship models. If anyone has any of these or are planning to go on board these ships please get in contact with me as I am willing to pay for the model, and cover shipping while paying you a little extra. I've been searching for these since I didn't pick them up upon my previous voyages, thank you.
  22. My partner and I were planning to bring 2 bottles of red with us for our 7 night cruise. However, 2 bottles will typically last us three, maybe four dinners. Since we will be having 7 dinners (and perhaps wine with a lunch or two), we have been wondering which would be more cost effective: ordering a bottle at a meal (I cannot find the prices for bottles of wine served in dinning rooms on Oasis of the Seas) or doing one of those gift things and having the wine delivered to the room as a gift, purchased from RCI. Second question though, if we do order a bottle of wine before boarding from RCI as a gift (to ourselves) on the cruise planner or what not, will we be charged a corkage fee if we bring it to the dinning room or to a meal? Or will they know that we've purchased that from RCI? Sorry for the dumb question.
  23. Im have been looking and this may have already been discussed but the last Oasis of the Seas sailing out of New York is 25th October 2020 so that returns 1st November to New York. Oasis then has a 7 night Caribbean from Fort Laurderdale on the 8th November, I'm wondering why there is no repositioning cruise from new York to Florida? Did I see someone say that you cant just do America to America? Although surely they would visit some ports like CocoCay? EDIT : I had a duration filter on and there is in fact a 4 day leaving November from Fort Lauderdale
  24. Just returned from a 7 night western Mediterranean Cruise with my family and, all in all, a great experience. The only major disappointment was the shore excursion "Pisa by Trolley." The RCL website described the excursion as follows: See Pisa's essential sights as you embark on a guided walking tour of the town's history with a narrated trolley train ride and a visit to the prominent square before setting out on your own. Learn about the historical edifices in the Field of Miracles, as your guide illustrates the Tuscan city's rich heritage. Behold the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, a 12th-century bell tower known for its protruding tilt. Explore the area independently, where you can shop, visit the cathedral, or stroll beside the Arno River. Highlights: • Field of Miracles: Join a walking tour of Pisa's main square, admiring stunning Tuscan-Romanesque architecture and significant city landmarks. • Leaning Tower of Pisa: The 12th-century bell tower's tilt is caused by the inadequate foundation on which it stands. • Free Time: Wander at your own pace, shopping for souvenirs, visiting the cathedral, or walking along the Arno River. This was quite misleading. First of all, it is a 4 hour tour, but they do not mention that it takes 1hr+ each way by bus to get there, so already you are down to less than 2 hours (when I originally booked, it said it was 20-30 minutes, but I assume that was because they had simply used the description for the excursion from port of Livorno for the Port of La Spezia excursion as well, but of course I did not know that at the time). Once there we had to transfer to trolley, and then we spent about 30-45 minutes driving around the town of Pisa, which was actually quite pretty, and at the time I thought it was a great experience. But, let's face it, you go to Pisa to see the tower. Once the moment of truth arrived, we were dropped off a few minutes walk from the square- We were told where we could go to the bathroom, eat, and buy souvenirs (we had been on the go at this point for about 2.5hrs so most of the bus load of people lined up for the single toilet), and we were told to be back at that point in 40 minutes so that we did not miss the trolley to take us back to the bus, as it would not wait. No walking tour of Pisa's main square. So, waited 10 minutes for the toilet, then scooted over to get the obligatory holding up the Leaning Tower photo for each one of us. At this point, we started to have some panic set in as we were watching the clock and realized we had 10-15 minutes left before we had to climb back on the trolley. NO time to really explore the square. If you wanted to go inside anything, you needed tickets, and there was no time to stand in line to get a ticket. I had booked mine in advance with the illusion there would be some time to explore a bit (more than 100 Euros for 4 of us), but when I asked the guide as we boarded the bus back at the ship, he had laughed at me and said we literally had no chance of fitting that in. I did manage to get inside the cathedral (but not the Tower of Pisa) for less than 5 minutes, but literally ran to front, snapped some photos, and ran back out. I barely even remember being there. If anyone went to walk along the river, I am sure they had to find their own way back to the ship! The only people wandering at their own pace were those that could not wait to get back to the boat. So, in the end, we spent $64pp to get about 40 minutes at the outside of the Tower of Pisa and the area around, which had to include bathroom break and maybe time to buy a bottle of water (it was almost 90 degrees). I had also dropped about $125 on entrance to the Tower which did not even happen. I contacted guest services, and they gave me $32pp refund (The manager at Shore Excursions on ship said I was not the first person to complain about this particular excursion), but that only covered the entrance tickets I did not get to use. VERDICT: While you do not need a full day to see Pisa, if you really want some exploring time, this is not a good excursion. If you just want "The Photo" and get back to ship ASAP, this should work for you. To see this area, I would say you need a minimum of 90 minutes to explore, and the promised walking tour should be provided. RCL did try to apologize by giving us a 50% refund, but unfortunately for me, this really only covered the tickets I bought on my own which I did not get to use. This tour length should be 5-6 hours, and that would work well.
  25. HI all, I am in port Canaveral sitting in my hotel room this morning and excited to board Oasis of the the Seas today. This is my 27th cruise, but our first time on an Oasis class ship so I am super excited. I have had this cruise booked for a year now, after getting an unbelievable on cyber Monday last year so I have $400 OBC this cruise. This is also our first cruise as diamond, so our first time not getting the drink package in a while. The OBC will help. Because it is a holiday cruise, their were no specialty dining packages available in the cruise planner. We will be stopping in Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten this cruise. I am excited. I have not been to St. Thomas and St. Maarten in a while. I have 2 excursions booked outside of the cruise. For St. Thomas we are doing the "Taphus sips and bites tour" and for St. Maarten, we are doing the Bernard's island tour and then will likely come back to the boardwalk and get some drinks. In Nassau, I plan to just get off and have some drinks and appetizers. Starting at our favorite restaurant in Nassau, Athena cafe. My plan is to get conch fritters and their basil martini. :). We stayed last night at the holiday inn vacation club in port canaveral. I am an IHG credit card holder, so I used my annual certificate to redeem the room. The fee to maintain the card is $75, so I feel that I got a bargain on this room for $75. We arrived here early yesterday morning from Cincinnati. Lyft from MCO to the hotel was $61.72, and super easy! Our room was not ready yet so we checked our bags at the resort, and headed to Grills for lunch right next to where Navigator of the Seas was parked. I had the fish tacos which I was able to choose my fish for. ( I got fresh tuna, sushi style) and an IPA. The tacos were delicious. DL got the burger which also looked great! After lunch, we caught an uber to the taproom and Florida beer company which was a great atmosphere with lots of TV's. I enjoyed their southernmost wheat beer and DH got a flight and then purchased some IPA's for the hotel room. The weather is amazing in florda today, 60's and breezy so I wasn't as inspired to go into the amazing pool and lazy river at the hotel. Once they called and said our room/villa was ready, we headed back to the hotel. I sat out by the pool bar for a while and listened to the band, which was great. I also had a $3 mimosa, and they had a happy hour starting at 4. Our room was perfectly situated facing the channel so my favorite thing about the hotel was watching the cruise ships depart and come into the channel this morning. Yesterday, we watched Carnival breeze, the norwegian EPIC, the Disney fantasy, 2 other ships, and lastly Navigator of the Seas. This morning I woke up early, and saw Oasis come in about 5:30 am. Since then Carnival liberty and Carnival sunshine also sailed in. The lighting was perfect for the Sunshine. My plan is to head to the gym now and then possibly take a float in the lazy river prior or check out the beach prior to boarding oasis this morning. We are less than a mile from the port, so it will be an easy uber or lyft ride. The hotel also has a tram to the beach every 15 minutes, but I have not yet been. I don't have Wifi onboard, so i will update the blog, but it will be delayed. I am hoping to do Chef's table tonight or tomorrow night if I can get a special offer on board and since we have so much OBC. I am also tempted to take the Guacomole class at Sabor on one of the sea days. I did the sushi class on our grandeur of the seas cruise in march, and really enjoyed it!
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