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AshleyDillo

SOLOasis redubbed YOLOasis Thanksgiving of the Seas Nov24, 2019 - Dec1, 2019

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Thanks all to everyone that followed along and for all the nice comments and encouragement along the way to keep me going.  Made it worthwhile to do this.

I will wrap this all up once I am back in my own safe crowd-free bubble at home, I promise 😁

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I left off at Playmakers where I gave up on my team making any sort of an effort on a comeback and also gave up on finishing the wings.  For anyone who typically orders on the spicier end of the spectrum, the Major League wings had a nice little burn to them.  Huge improvement in the buffalo sauces there than what they consider "buffalo" sauce on the room service wings.  Buffalo sauce should not ever be anything other than spicy and vinegary.  It should never be sweet.  Not an opinion, but a FACT.  But the wings were very good and came out very hot.  Because they are breaded they tend to get soggy as they cool off.  Star Class goals is unbreaded wings.  I have made a note of it.

I wandered off to get my packing done.  I conveniently told my mother to just pack the laundry she had slipped into her free Diamond bag so I didn't have to wake her to get it back.  My carryon size suitcase was bursting at the seams already, so it was the least she could do.  I congratulated myself as I packed as I had nearly worn everything that I brought with me.  I had to stick to a carryon because my flight to the cruise was booked on a fare that didn't include free luggage.  They gate checked it for free anyways, though.  Suckers.

I went to the late night comedy show where it was funny but it was also the same typical make fun of cruise ship passengers and crew jokes that are at most of these.  If you don't cruise all the time, it will be absolutely hilarious.  The best parts are when they pick on folks in the first few rows.  If you sit in a front row at a comedy show, you are just asking for it.  I visited the casino after that hoping my friend ROOM CHARGE was back and available on the slot machines, but alas no such luck.  My favorite slot, the Redemption Machine, was out of order anyways.  I decided to spend my allocated gambling budget to see how many Casino Royale points I could earn from $100 but I chickened out when I was up $90 and left ahead.  I was never down more than $25 and ended cashing out at $190 and earned 22 points.

I came home with a little bit more cash than I had charged to my onboard account, so all my additional dining tips were covered by the OBC I received from my TA and Royal and my gambling winnings.  So thanks for all the Delta points for this sailing, Royal Caribbean!  

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4 minutes ago, AshleyDillo said:

Anyone ever come back to work after a long vacation and forget their password to log into their work computer? 

Yes - I have a ton of systems at work and each one has it's own login. I just came back to work after a week off - so far two have been reset because I can't remember.

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I didn't set an alarm but woke up at 4:45am.  Checked to see if we were in yet and we were.  I could see into the office windows of the terminal.  I also realized I wasn't wearing pants.  Oops.

Back to sleep and woken up by my mother who had gotten me coffee from Park Cafe.  It was very much appreciated.  I think I will keep her.

Then it was getting ready and making the final sweep of the room.  

We had swapped out our number 66 tags for 33.  We had an earlier flight and Guest Services was happy to give us the earlier numbers when we had asked the night before.  

Ended up leaving the ship at 8:15am and by 8:20am I was in the baggage claim area looking for my luggage in section 37.  Obviously it wasn't there because I had messed up the numbers and it was sitting by its lonesome self over in section 33.  I then walked up to customs and since I used a passport as my ID I was able to use the facial recognition which took all of 15 seconds.  If it hadn't been for my snafu of the incorrect luggage tag area, it would have been just a bit over 5 minutes from ship to outside.  The process of getting off the ship was effortless.  The only line I saw was for the folks who needed wheelchair assistance getting off the ship.  They were lined up waiting for clearance to be pushed off.

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For all the dream that Terminal A is for embarkation, those dreams are absolutely shattered when debarking.  You get kicked off the ship and dumped outside where you are screamed at and directed either to the left or the right.  Garage parking and taxis are to the left and personal pickups and rideshares are to the right.  It's an absolute crowded mess.  

Cell service is spotty and you're just on the edge of the ship's wifi range.  This doesn't bode well when you are needing to hail an Uber or Lyft.  We called a Lyft and it was quoted to be $18 for a ride to the airport.  We got assigned a driver who was 1 minute away.  But then he stated he had arrived and it started the 5 minute countdown.  They won't let you get into a rideshare until it is at the far right of the terminal.  We waited and waited but the Lyft driver never appeared.  He didn't respond to my text message of which zone we were in.  Then after 5 minutes it reported as a no-show and canceled the ride.  I put in for a refund for the $5 no-show fee and we will have to see how that all turns out.

Frustrated, we just went over and took a taxi.  It's a flat $27 to the Miami airport from the port.  It took 15 minutes before the taxi driver was even able to budge from the curb.  No amount of honking and gesturing was getting anyone to let him out.  But eventually we escaped that mess and got to the airport.

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I have never actually flown on the day after Thanksgiving before.  It's definitely not for the faint of heart for those who dislike crowded places.  Plus there was all the winter weather causing issues for many people flying back.  So it was an absolute mess.  TSA Precheck definitely saved the day here.

Boarded on time.  Then sat at the gate because they were having a circuit board issue.  Always reassuring to hear before taking a flight.  Then finally 40 minutes late we pushed back and were informed we were 10th in line for takeoff but some of the planes ahead of were being affected by the weather so we had to wait for them to decide where they were going to end up going.  

Runway blues...

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...coastal views.

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The port from the sky.

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I also got to pet this guy.  He was super well behaved in his owner's lap for the entire flight.  He did have an emotional support animal harness on and I was glad he was there to help with my post cruise blues emotions.

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Oddly enough despite the delays we arrived early.

Then it was a 2.5 drive home from there.  Then it was all over..just like that.

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Oasis is NOT a new ship.  She has been spruced up but it's still like buying a used car from the new car dealership.  They've cleaned her up real nice, but the old body is still there.  It doesn't detract from my overall experience at all, but it didn't feel as modern everywhere as Symphony did.  However, having been on all four Oasis class ships now this one comes in 2nd place for me.  Symphony is still my number 1.  She was my first, and you always remember your first.  But the AMPlification was executed pretty well overall.  They integrated some new technhology into the ship which was nice.  I've never gotten so much use out of a WOW band before this cruise.  

As for sailing without the drink package, I found it really easy on this sailing to get by without the drink package.  I wasn't with a raucous group of cruisers calling for shots hourly.  I don't sit in the sun or really drink fruity drinks.  I was fine with waiting until 4:30 when the Diamond Lounge opened to have a couple of drinks.  If I wouldn't have had the free drinks, I likely would have used the high drink prices as an excuse to not drink at all.  Having the 3 Diamond drinks on my card, the Diamond BOGO deal, and access to the Diamond Lounge is the perfect combination for me when I'm not on a social cruise.  I don't dare go on a RCL Blog group cruise without a package, though.  I know how that will end up!  😂

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As for the dining package..would you know I'm still on the fence about it.  I felt like near the end I was using it just for the sake of abusing it. 

I don't enjoy the long drawn out dinners or the atmosphere of the specialty restaurants, but I enjoyed the food.  I loved being able to do the quick service places like Johnny Rockets, Playmakers, Izumi Sushi, and Portside whenever I wanted.  I found myself ordering less food during each visit because I knew I could return.  I discovered that they were amenable to take out meals (with some pushing) which makes it even more attractive to me.  I would definitely do the package again on an Oasis class ship if I wasn't expected to do a full sit down meal with other people I was traveling with.  I found reservations right when the restaurants opened (5:15-5:45)  and right before they closed (9:15-9:45) to be easy to come by and using the app to make the reservations was very simple.  I also have to take into consideration the price.  I tipped additional for each food order I did which just adds to the total out of pocket costs for the package.  I know it's not required to tip as it's included with the package, but it just feels wrong to me to not recognize the service as I would in an on land restaurant.

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Again..thanks for following along and keeping me going with your feedback!  

Up next is the Royal Caribbean Blog Freedom Group Cruise.

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I will NOT be blogging this one for my sake and to protect the anonymity of all parties involved.

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