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Oasis Of the Seas 9-16 June (Med cruise)

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Day 3 - Marseille

No big plans for today  , we visit this port at the past and I had many planned conference calls (some that I lead so I can not just  come to the call and stay mostly  on mute while saying every few minutes "yes we should handle it , or let's take it ofline"). My spouse wanted to visit the city for  few hours so she can buy some french cosmetics and other stuff as  it was a quite cold day with s good chance to rain so less outdoor activities . There are few ways to get from the port to the city: 

The firs is to take a shore excursion , the second is to take a taxi (25 $ each way) the third will be to use RCL shuttle which cost 20 $ per person (which mean taxi is cheaper for 3 + people) and there is the hash hash secret option which no one from RCL will tell you about - free shuttle from the port gate. All you need to do is to follow the green lane until you arrive the port gate were you will see a covered waiting area with a big sign "free shuttle to the city". We decided to try it as we had enough time and so I will have some content for today blog . 10 minutes walk (which we follow other people that seem to know the way or maybe they also  just followed other people that  they thought  knew  the way) we got to the station

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, I guess we just missed the shuttle which should go every 20 minutes as we were waiting for quite a while until it finally came. Here is the time table:

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10 minutes ride and we were in the city, nice option. My spouse did some shopping while I located a quite place and started my conference calls, once they were done I still had time to update the blog (and to add funny spelling / Grammer mistakes) so it was time well spent 🙂 . We did learn one big lesson regarding bring your passport with you while going of the ship : When you buy several things  (besides food)  over 175 Euro in one shop or one mall you can claim the taxes back by fillings a form in the shopping center desk and with the sign form you can claim it in the exit point from the EU. Good thing , but we did not  bring the passports with us so we could not claim anything ....  Oh well lesson learned. We went back to the free shuttle station , this time we only waited 3 minutes until it came , 10  minutes ride and 10 minutes walk we arrived back. We went up to the diamond club got few drinks and continued to the C&A event were the sand artist gave some nice demo 

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. 150 Diamonds, 120 D+ and 15 pineapples , top cruiser had  1570 points. Later we went to eat dinner in Solarium Bistro. Food was good and the service excellent , they also accepted the Diamond vouchers. The cost , well nice round 0 , nice option indeed.

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 Next  day at La Spezia

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Day 4 - La Spezia.

What a wonderful day , finally the weather was much better and finally it was a full day without any conference calls. As I shared at the beginning of this blog my main plane was to rent a car , drive to Milan and retrieve my cell phone from the airport lost and found, but since I already got a new cell phone and my numbers were duplicated I decided it can wait. We did not had any plans because of my cellphone so we decided to take it easy and just visit the city , let our legs take us wherever it feels like. We started to walk on the boardwalk of this nice city and we were stoped by some girl offering us to buyt tickets to Portovenere which is a nice town near the bay , we said thank you but skipped it as we already visit it last time. 200 m after another one offered us a private bought tour to the same place,  we refused that also until finally we came to something which looked crowded , apparently it was the ticket booth for the HOHO boat to Cinque terre , you pay 35 Euro for a full day boat services which allows you to get off in each of the villages and get on the boat again later for the next village. Just to compare, same excursion with RCL will cost around 120 $. As we saw its almost the time for the boat to leave, we had a short discussion between us if to take it or not as it's a full day activity and decided to go for it , my spouse told me "you want to take it so you will have many pictures for the blog right ?" Well I can not argue with her 😂.

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On the boat we took the time table we got and tried to calculate the best route and strategy to maximize the number of ports we visit (without drinking package) , we found out the best route for us.

 

We past Portovenere but decided not to go off there so we continued all the way to Manarola , a very lovely village with great views. We spent half an hour there.

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we took the boat to Verenazza where we proamed around and ate quick lunch. 

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Next we stopped at Riomaggiore as it was already in our way back...

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 continued...

 

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So we done our way back to the ship as we booked the Chef table for day 4 , we started to get organized when I got a call from CK asking to verify our reservation for day 5 , day 5 what do you mean we ordered for today ?He said he will check and came back after few seconds saying many people canceled and we are the only one for today so they moved us to day 5 😞 Well we did not want to be alone at the chef table which I think the people is part of the experience but hey let me choose,  do not let me think I suffer from memory lost... Anyway we agreed for that although it means we will miss the ice show , oh well next time

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7 hours ago, Traveler said:

Day 4 - La Spezia.

 

we took the boat to Verenazza where we proamed around and ate quick lunch. 

 

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What is this?  Our son is currently traveling in Italy and this was on the plate in one of his pictures. 

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

Ok , some bad news , tried to find out what will be instead of the diamond club . They thought to locate the wonderland there but they have changed there minds , now the rumours are they want just to add more cabins .... 😪

I thought the music hall thing was going in that spot?

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I thought the music hall thing was going in that spot?

Currently it depends who you ask , I will wait for the captain Q&A to ask the same.

I think it's too small for the music Hall  , maybe  Dazzles will become the music hall

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I thought the music hall thing was going in that spot?

 

22 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Currently it depends who you ask , I will wait for the captain Q&A to ask the same.

I think it's too small for the music Hall  , maybe  Dazel will become the music hall

I heard Music Hall replacing Dazzles.  Cabins right above the Music Hall wouldn't be so good.  

They've left some room for surprise venues in the verbiage about the AMP so I figured that area would be something unannounced. 

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Day 5 Rome (part one)

We arrived around 7 am  to the port , not that I know the exact hour as I was sleeping during the process. We had a train tickets to Rome which I have booked online for 9:16 am and did not cost much (19 $ I think). When we planned to go out I noticed I can not find the tickets so we spend around 10 minutes to find them but  no luck , we decided to use the online copy I had. Quick breakfast at the diamond club and  we rushed to the shuttle bus which took its time. By the time we were near the gates it was already 9:05 , quick look in Google maps show that it will take us around 19 minutes to walk to the station. Although there is a bus to take you to the station I could not seen it so we had to think what to do . One option was to try to catch the train maybe it has some delays (quite common in Italy considering it's was not the first station for this train) and if we miss the train just to take the next one which was 30 minutes after or to take a bus/taxi. We decide to approach one of the people that offer a ride to Rome (you have there a Bazar of offers  each one try to shout loader and offer a ride) they offer a bus ride which will drop us neat the Vatican , they want 19 for return trip and agreed to 18. We boarded the bus and after 5 minutes we started our ride . During the ride they offered skip the line tickets for the Vatican, HOHO tickets for the panoramic buss and Leonardo Da Vinchi museum , we took the museum tickets which cost 12 Euro .The ride took around 70 minutes and we done our way to the museum which is near the basilica.

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The museum is small but interesting enough , it contain models of his inventions and copy of is famous paintings , you also get an audio guide with interesting information . Most of the models are build to be touched so I think it's a good option for children's during an hot day.

 

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Next we started our way to Navona square were we found a nice restaurant to eat lunch

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. I took the truffle pasta , mind , for a change it was not a facke truffle oil but the real thing , the waiter come with a truffle mushroom and shread it over the pasta , it was very good.

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We started our way to the train station planning to pass near some of the famous places but it was a very hot day so after a while we decided to call for a taxi (not before getting tone of the supermarkets to buy some Italian wine) I used the local taxi application and after 30 seconds our taxi arrived. What a relief he activated the air conditioning , not something that common around here. After few minutes and 8 Euros we arrive to Tremini train station were we schedule to meet an old friend which we did not meet for many years,  he actually leave near Rome. So we had a nice meeting over a coffee and grappa until it was time to take the train back. It was super easy to find the train and it took less than 45 minutes to arrive to Civitavecchia train station, we took the 2Euro bus back to the port , it was only 5 minutes ride, by the way , I checked the price of trains to Rome , it was 4.5 Euros if you took the early 8:40 am  train  or the 9:45 train.

Strange , the port security did not told us anything about the wine bottles so we just took it with us to the ship.

We went back to our room to get prepared for chef table which will get it's own post.

 

 

 

 

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It will be my 3rd time in Civitavecchia this test but I'll be visiting Rome for the 1st time. Your photos look lovely and whilst I'm not looking forward to the summer crowds in the heat of August, I am looking forward to seeing the sights. 

Your Cinque Terre photos have also made me consider booking a trip there whilst we are in Livorno...

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UIDay 5 part 2 

So we arrived enough time before we needed to go to the chef table. We booked it on the ship on day 1 , when we have asked if there is any offer they told us 20% and been told it's 20% as it's only day one and they have only spots for day 4 and 5 . We booked it for day 4 which became day 5 as most of the people canceled for day 4 . The chef table take place at a strange location - it's inside the suite lounge across from the bar near the CK. Not the best location but Ok we did not mind. It was us and a family from Madrid that did not spoke English but we got alone after the the third glass 😂. Food was good as always and they kept fillings the glasses if you  allow them. 

We started with the scallop carpaccio 

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Continued with the amizing smoke tomato soap which came in a big bowl but we finish every last drop of it.

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Next was the shrimp salad  that replaced the lobster one I thought it was it was better  , maybe because all the wine I consumed until this point.

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The truffle spaghetti followed , it was my second one for today , but this one with truffle oil so different.

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For main course we both took the fillet it was amazing and came with truffle mushed potatoes.

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At this stage I was already heaving food comma but could not leave  it in the plate.

For dessert we got the famous chocolate sphere I could only take one spoon of it no more although it was quite good.

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That came with chocolate martini

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All and all it was a good experience which I might do again next time , but maybe a day of fast before 

 

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8 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I thought the music hall thing was going in that spot?

 

7 hours ago, twangster said:

 

I heard Music Hall replacing Dazzles.  Cabins right above the Music Hall wouldn't be so good.  

They've left some room for surprise venues in the verbiage about the AMP so I figured that area would be something unannounced. 

According to this, I think it's going to be where Dazzles is. 

http://creative.rccl.com/Sales/Royal/Oasis/19067374_OA_Amplified_Infographic.pdf

 

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One note regarding chef table (or any other special restaurant) if you book it via the cruise planner you get the price without the 18% service charge while if you book it on the ship they are adding it. So 20% discount is not really discount ... In my case the cruise planner showed 105 pp  so we saved something like 10 $.

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We just went out from Cats (first act) we said we will give a try maybe we were two tired during the first time but I guess not. It was funny and sad to see so many people actually fall asleep after the firs 15 minutes. Feel sorry for the all the people that work at that production. I think such a play is not the best choice for a cruise which need something more happy ? Less darker maybe ?  I wish they change it in the coming refurbish.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Traveler said:

 I wish they change it in the coming refurbish.

This is probably my greatest disappointment with the advertised changes coming in the fall.  I can't believe that they are keeping Cats as UNpopular as it is.  I was also hoping they would add Hooked but it looks like Oasis is getting a barbecue place instead.  Oh well... something different, I suppose.  But please CHANGE Cats !

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33 minutes ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

This is probably my greatest disappointment with the advertised changes coming in the fall.  I can't believe that they are keeping Cats as UNpopular as it is.  I was also hoping they would add Hooked but it looks like Oasis is getting a barbecue place instead.  Oh well... something different, I suppose.  But please CHANGE Cats !

And to think they for sure notice how during the first act the theater is full and during the second act it's half empty on a good day.

Regarding Hooked maybe there is a chance they will add were the current diamond lounge, one can hope.

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