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Oasis 8 dec trip report ** Semilive**


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Everything I write here is from my perspective and may not match someone else's opinion. I want to use this time to say that English is not my primary language. This text is a product of nine years in the Swedish elementary school system in the seventies and the eighties. And we all know the seventies were the seventies. You might find some writing and grammar oversights. 

If the number of posts is dropping during the week, we likely have a lot of fun. I'll try to keep adding more and respond to all the questions you may hold. 

You lovely bunch, have likely already seen countless hours of footage from Oasis and hundreds of photos. So please excuse me if you view another picture of sliced roast beef in a kummelweck roll for the 356th time.

I love arranging the holidays as much as I like traveling on them. I am using lots of tools to help stay prepared. My preferred weapon for this is tripit.com. I also keep a binder to keep all documents and a few bits and parts together. I am sure there is a proper diagnosis for my behavior.

So who are we?

My name is Mikael, and I write this.

With me on the trip is as always, my lovely wife for the last 26 years Kerstin. I work as a field service engineer, and my wife is a registered nurse.

We live in a middle-sized area about 21 km northwest of Stockholm, Sweden.

 History and booking:

After our first cruise, on NCL Getaway in 2016. We fell in love with the cruising holiday product. After this, we have been on MSC Divina and Royal Caribbeans Oasis of the seas for a back to back cruise.

We want to cruise more, but the prices for the trans-Atlantic flights and the pre-cruise hotels are draining a hole in our vacation budget.

When we investigated the possibilities to get to the cruise, we had so many choices ranging from direct routes to flights with layovers. The layover flights usually are the more inexpensive alternative. 

After careful searching for a lengthy time, we noticed a ticket sold by Virgin Atlantic with a layover in London Heathrow. For this ticket, we paid almost four hundred USD return. That covered checked bags, and we made this our choice.

We are flying coach class, so we can afford to travel more. Its an uncomplicated equation for us. A few hours of cramped travel equals one more holiday week a year — an absolute win-win for us.


Pre-cruise travel Itinerary:

December 6th

Radisson Blu Airport Terminal 

December 7th

07:15 CET - 09:35 GMT ARN - LHR


10:15 GMT -12:05 Club aspire lounge 

12:55 GMT - 18:05 EST LHR - MIA


EDT 19:25 pick up the rental car at Alamo.

EDT 19:45 Arrive at the Holiday Inn Express Miami Airport Doral Area

EDT 20:00 Papa Johns on order 

EDT 21:05 Lights Out.

December 8th

EDT 07:10 Hotel Breakfast.

EDT 08:00 Last Minute Shopping at Walmart and Walgreens.

EDT 11:00 Return the rental at the airport.

EDT 11:15 Board the Almo courtesy bus from the airport to the port. 

EDT 13:00 Raid the buffet and get that bar tab going.


With this part completed, let's go forward with our semi-live travel report.

 Although we live so nearby to the airport, we decided to go a day earlier and check-in at the Radisson BLU Arlanda Terminal hotel. I reserved this with points that I have gained during many of my work trips. We had to add breakfast, which is an extra cost at this hotel. The price is about 160 Sek or $ 16 per person. This arrangement is rare for a hotel in Sweden. It may sound like an overprice to pay for a simple breakfast, but this is more like the breakfast in the windjammer than a typical American hotel breakfast.


At 7:00 pm, there are only two real possibilities to get to our flight. The first obvious choice is a taxi for about 60 dollars. The second choice is to drive. There is no problem to find a parking space at Arlanda. Pick from outdoor to heated indoor parking. You have to let the wallet decide what right for you. As winter is officially here in Sweden, the choice fell to a covered parking space near the terminal. This cost almost 90 USD for the ten days we are gone. Indoor parking may not be the most affordable option. Still, it sure beats an open-air parking space with the risk for iced windows and a few inches of snow surrounding the car when we return.


The drive to the airport was smooth even in the light rain, and we arrived after about 35 minutes.

We drove on a more or less an empty highway to the airport. We pulled up to the indoor parking space and headed up the ramp to the 3rd floor. That gives us direct access to terminal 2. Our first stop today is the Radisson hotel at SkyCity. All terminals on Arlanda airport connects with indoor walkways, and it is a comfortable walk for about 15 minutes. After the check-in at the front desk, we went up to our room. Our room is on the first floor, and we checked out the amenities and bed. After the compulsory bed check, I headed down to the self-service kiosks to get my luggage tags and boarding cards. So we can use the self bag drop at the star alliance area. Time well spent that will give us a few extra minutes to enjoy that pricy breakfast at the hotel.

Now its time for the room tour. This hotel room is not large more on the small size, but it is adequate for a night's sleep.

The room is clean and decorated in a trendy Scandinavian style. The bathroom is bright and tiled from floor to ceiling. Here we will most likely sleep well in the bed that is not in the bathroom. 

We headed down to SkyCity to get something to eat. The choice fell on the restaurant "on my way." And what does a swede eat at the airport, Swedish meatballs of course. That plate of restaurant meatballs with lingonberry and sweet pickled cucumber and the velvet-smooth cream sauce are as good as it gets. After that dinner, we went back to the hotel room to shower and wind down before the early wake-up call.


More to follow in tomorrow












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The first part of this trip is to London from our home airport Arlanda. 
Arlanda is the largest airport in Sweden. The airport has three runways to compare to Heathrow that has a much larger volume of both ingoing and outgoing traffic.  Flight leaves from terminal five and gate19. Terminal 5 is the main terminal for international flights; some flights also go from terminal two aswell. 

After we passed the airside security checkpoint, we headed straight for the gate. The flight is scheduled to leave at 07:55 local and boarding set to 07:15.  Were are booked into the SAS Go class; this is a no thrills product.

The only complimentary thing onboard is coffee. All other items are for sale; you can pay with points or credit card. No cash is allowed onboard. As we booked into a budget ticket, we did not choose to pay for seat placement.

The seat we got assigned at check-in was 16A/B. I have a fantastic view of the wing and engine. The estimated flight time is only two hours and 20 minutes. That may change if that gets in the infamous figure-eight holding pattern over London.

I love to sit in the window seat, looking at the flaps and that magnificent view over the wing. Today's departure with estimated pushback at 07:55 got delayed. Aircraft is an Airbus A320 Neo, and it almost got that new aircraft smell. As the captain announced, we are good to go.

The taxi time on the runway was short and effective. In a few minutes, we all heard the familiar sounds from the cockpit "Cabin crew take your seats for take-off."

We took off from runway 19R. Woo-hoo, we are on our way. Now the vacation started for real. As I mentioned earlier, the only free item onboard is the coffee. After that fantastic hotel breakfast, a cup of God's nectar is just what I am craving.

When we arrive in London, we have a layover before we can board the last flight of the day.  We have a layover time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. Therefore we have pre-booked access to Aspire Lounge to relax.

Before we can get there, we need to pass the security after taking the ride on the cross terminal buses. After the bus ride, it was time for the airport terminal 3 security checkpoint. I don't get it; we only came off an airplane on the airside. Everyone that's was on this bus has already passed an airside checkpoint. As this is a major hub, the line to the screening was quite long. 
We headed to the Aspire lounge for a pre-flight breakfast beer with a plate of English breakfast. 
The lounge was packed to the brim, pro tip; if you pre-book, you get a reserved table. That's service.
We got assigned a table in a quiet room. Very relaxing if you compare to the central departure hall.  After a plate of food and that small beer, we started to relax and wind down before the 10 hours flight to Miami.

next update in 12 -16 hrs




IMG_20191207_100134 (1).jpg


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After about two hours in the lounge, we made our way to gate 16 and the flight to Miami. The boarding began almost immediately. It took nearly only two minutes, and we were on board. Our seat 43H-K positioned on the right side just above the wing. The legroom was nothing to write home about. And I think the chairs were pretty hard. This flight was sold out to the last seat. Push-off right on time, and after a short taxi, we were in the air at 1.13 pm local time.

As soon as we arrived at cruising altitude, the onboard meals service started. The first part of this is that you hand out menu cards even to us in economy class. We had three options for the main course. After handling out the menu, the staff came with a drink cart through the cabin. All refreshments are free, and the choice fell on a pre-dinner cocktail. Dark rum and ginger ale, we also got a small bag of pretzels. 
Now the holiday has started for real. 
Just before the crew starting the serving, the aircraft entered an area of turbulence shortly after we passed the coast of Ireland. The captain turned on the seatbelt sign, and all meal service ended.

Now the drink started to make its own, and I began to crave some food. I had set my eyes on the chicken with mushrooms. And so had everyone else in coach. When it was our turn to choose food, the chicken option was long gone. What we had to choose from was a vegetarian cauliflower curry, and mac & cheese. Looking at my personal preferences, I do not touch cauliflower, not even with protective gloves. 
So the only option left was the pasta, here is the next problem I don't eat pasta.

So now I sit here with a tray with a small green salad and two crackers, and some cream cheese. Maybe a good thing when going on a cruise. I can say that several people did not get their choice. There were quite upset feelings in the cabin. After I started eating my green salad and biscuits, a steward came by with a cold chicken wrap and a bag of potato chips. As I understood this, this came from the first-class cabin. The staff on board apologized for not getting my first choice, and I said these are my preferences, so it is my choice if I don't eat anything The wrap turned out to be an excellent lunch.
After that, I returned to wrestling with the absolute worst inflight entertainment system I have tried. Touchscreen that does not respond to touch, and an Interface design that asks more questions than it answers. Fortunately, there was one of the old-style wired remote that could control the system.
After about five hours, they passed through the cabin and offered us an ice-pop. After that is was time for the drink cart again. This time the choice just fell on diet coke. I'm going to drive from the airport to the hotel. When we have only about 90 minutes left to landing, the cabin crew started to serve a box called mile-high tea. In this box, you will find a sandwich with mozzarella pesto and arugula — also a scone, clotted cream, and a raspberry jam. I only ate the bottom half of the sandwich. I cannot eat large amounts of bread and pasta after gastric surgery.

Now, finally, we have begun the approach to Miami, and we will land ahead of the timetable.
As soon as the plane had parked, we were out in five minutes. Then it was a pretty short walk to the ESTA machines, and CBP it took about 15 minutes max before we went to pick up the luggage our bags that were already on the band. Next, stop the car rental center. I always use Alamo. We have never had any problems with this company. I always arrange everything in advance, that is: bypass the counter. I do not have to queue, go down and choose the car in the class I want. The choice this time was a Ford Fusion. Brand new with android auto so I connect with the mobile phone. After about 20 minutes after we left the car rental center, we arrived at Holiday inn Express North Kendall.

It is now almost 8 pm, and we have been on the road for 20 hours. Slightly tired after the day, we take the elevator up to the fourth floor where our room. The hotel room is very typical of a holiday Express. Minor wear-and-tear but very clean, and most important of all, the beds are comfortable. While my wife is unpacking stuff, I take the opportunity to order pizza. It's not so much about the fact that we like pizza, but it's simple, and they bring the food to us. It took a maximum of 20 minutes before the pizza guy was here, and he got plenty of tips. It is now 9 pm, and I can no longer keep myself awake. 

It is 3:15 am and I am clearly awake and incredibly craving coffee, jetlag my old friend came to visit. The wife fits asleep while I find the coffee machine in the room, and soon the room is filled with a wonderful scent of God's nectar.
I'm used to getting up at 6am every day, whether it's work or not. So sleeping to 9 has kind of never happened. Because when it is 3am in Miami, it is 9am at home. Think I can start with a nap in the middle of the day.

Today is finally time for the cruise. But first breakfast and shopping at Walmart.

I promise there will be more updates, as I write in Swedish and then translate this into English. Then make sure that the text is correct.

The next update will be later on Sunday.

Thank you for reading, and you who just look at the pictures










Edited by JetlaggedAgain
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This is probably the last update. Just after the muster drill my wife fell badly.

She was seen by the medical staff onboard and are now in a halfcast on her left leg, waiting to get a proper medical examination at the hospital in Puerto Rico. She got a wheelchair to use while onboard, no swimming, no walking. This vacation could have started better. 

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Wife is doing ok. We are still on the ship. We will try to enjoy as much of all things the Oasis have to offer. Ship offered a x-ray at San Juan for the final assessment. And we got the wheelchair to make things easy. Now we are going to the cc meet and mingle, after that I have gift exchange at Jazz on 4 at 11 am 50 people signed up. 

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4 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

How did your wife fall ?  So sorry that it happened but am glad that you didn't have to leave the ship.

We was at the solarium, and she tripped on level difference between two area's We have decided to make the best of the situation. Thanks for caring.

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Bumped into @JetlaggedAgain and his wife quite shocked at the news because we meet in the plane and chatted,  today they were tucking into a Italian lunch both seemed in good spirits, I gave him some pointers on how to push a wheelchair as I’ve been doing it a long time and there’s a knack to it ?

all the best 

ps I’ve still got more chocolates if it helps ?

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3 hours ago, KWofPerth said:

This is one of the more dramatic live blogs I've come across. It started off like an engrossing novel, then it took a dark twist that nobody saw coming. Now I want to find out what happens...

It's happen first day at the solarium bar area. My wife walked forward to take some pictures, over solarium. When stepping out on the balcony type overhang, it was about 4-6 inches below and not marked. She twisted her for and was seen by the medical staff onboard. The took 3 x-rays, showing a hairline fracture, arrangements have been made in San Juan by ships doctor to get hi- resolution x-ray and see a orthopedic doctor and radiologist.

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8 minutes ago, JetlaggedAgain said:

It's happen first day at the solarium bar area. My wife walked forward to take some pictures, over solarium. When stepping out on the balcony type overhang, it was about 4-6 inches below and not marked. She twisted her for and was seen by the medical staff onboard. The took 3 x-rays, showing a hairline fracture, arrangements have been made in San Juan by ships doctor to get hi- resolution x-ray and see a orthopedic doctor and radiologist.

Thanks for the update JetlaggedAgain. And all the best for the remainder of your holiday and all the best to your wife.

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On 12/10/2019 at 3:00 AM, KWofPerth said:

This is one of the more dramatic live blogs I've come across. It started off like an engrossing novel, then it took a dark twist that nobody saw coming. Now I want to find out what happens...

Ship could not make arrangements to see a proper orthopedic, so we are more or less stuck in the room. 

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