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Post Trip Report Oasis January 12-19, 2020


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Well I am back from my Oasis of the Seas sailing.  After 32 Disney cruises on all 4 of their ships I was not sure what to expect.  Sure there would be food and activities but would I miss that Disney feeling that I get onboard while sailing with Disney?  We did a 7 night on the Disney Fantasy in September and it wasn't the best, I was on a knee scooter with a cast and between having to wait on elevators (even to go up one deck).  I am used to being independent and running up the stairs.  Maybe I was a little moody since I was in a cast and with a scooter.  You know how fun those scooters look, well if you have to be on one they are not fun, plus my coordination level is not good as I would run my good foot over and tip over.

Cast of Characters:

myself, Dan- avid lover of all things Disney, over planner and control freak

Scott- Husband of 23 years (bless his heart), lets me over think everything and just goes along for the ride.  Oh he complains if it goes wrong.

Itinerary 

Western Caribbean...departing from Miami with stops at Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel.

Room

Booked a Balcony GTY and received 6322- 8D according to deck plans.  Was not excited about this room assignment at all, it was beside Playmakers and so far away from everything else it seemed. 

Travel

We traveled to Miami on Friday January 10th on uneventful flights from Columbus with a connection in Atlanta.  There are no airlines in Columbus (or Cleveland/Akron) that offer non stop service to Miami except a flight on United from Cleveland but the flight times were not ideal coming back so we (ok me, again Scott just nods when discussed) opted for the lay over.  Arrived in Miami around 10:30a and took the MIA mover to the metro rail  to the Metromover to our hotel.  I booked the Hilton on Biscayne Blvd with a Junior Suite with a bay view.  We were at the hotel by 11:30 so we stopped by the front desk to drop our luggage to explore the city.  Well our room was ready which was shocking!  So off to our room we go.  Get to the room and the curtains are all closed to keep the heat out so first thing we do is open those up, we paid for a view and we are gonna enjoy it.  The room is a corner room so floor to ceiling windows on the 2 walls and off in the distance we can see ships (we also saw them on the trip on the MetroMover).  Ships in port were Carnival Victory, Norwegian Sky, Explorer OTS, Navigator OTS and Victory Sky.

So we are situated in our room and we haven't eaten since 5:30a at the Starbucks in Columbus airport, I wasn't necessarily hungry but if on vacation Scott is always hungry and gets really hangry!  The hilton is across the street from a Publix and he LOVES their subs so off to Publix we go for lunch.  We come to love having this Publix so close for bottled water, snacks and such for the weekend.  Scott got his Chicken Tender sub (OH my they put so much chicken on that beast) and I am harder to please as I am a post weight loss surgery person so I focus on proteins and less breads, so I ended up with a Chipotle Chicken Bacon Wrap.  We also grabbed some water, pretzels and potato salad and headed to the room.  After lunch it was time for a nap (Scott needs lots of naps during vacation as well or he gets grumpy), I couldn't sleep so I got out of bed and just watched the ships.

After nap we watched the ships sail away and then we went to the  Wynwood Walls and walk around.  So I got us a Lyft and away we went.  I apologize for not having pictures in my report but I am attaching one here.  I am not a professional photographer by any means but I absolutely loved this mural.  Wynwood was amazing and so glad we ventured out.  Being in a big city like Miami is intimidating for us country boys!

 

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After walking around I recall people talking about Salty Donut and I knew that was something Scott would enjoy, so we heading there next.  Salty Donut is just a small donut shop with cult like following.  We stood in line about 15 mins and then got our 4 donuts and we took Lyft back to the Hilton.

For dinner I had the other half of my wrap of Publix and Scott had Checkers (it is across the street as well).  I did have a small burger there as well.

Not that it was late or anything but we had an early night after starting our day at 3:30a.

Stay tuned for day 2

 

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I'm looking forward to your cruise report! I have primarily cruised on Carnival and will also be a first time royal guest. How long has it been since your surgery? I had mine this past July and I am a little apprehensive to take my first cruise post gastric sleeve.

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12 hours ago, JVPIII said:

I'm looking forward to your cruise report! I have primarily cruised on Carnival and will also be a first time royal guest. How long has it been since your surgery? I had mine this past July and I am a little apprehensive to take my first cruise post gastric sleeve.

Thanks.

 

I had RNY in January 2017.  I remember my first cruise after surgery and the worries but honestly I packed protein bars and premier RTD shakes to make sure I had something and to keep my protein high, I did drink it so I didn't have to bring it home but for the most part I didn't need it.  I still do the same today as it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

My go to on the Oasis was El Loco Fresh, I would get Taco meat and toppings.  

 

You will have an amazing time, plus you are star class so you can get catered to.  🙂

 

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9 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

Following. Would LOVE LOVE LOVE it, if you could upload your cruise compasses to @Matt

I brought them all home and my niece grabbed them to look at them.  Honestly I have doubts I will ever get them back.  Plus I have no idea why she wanted them as we are doing a different route in December.  I will message her and try to get them back.  

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9 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

Following. Would LOVE LOVE LOVE it, if you could upload your cruise compasses to @Matt

I brought them all home and my niece grabbed them to look at them.  Honestly I have doubts I will ever get them back.  Plus I have no idea why she wanted them as we are doing a different route in December.  I will message her and try to get them back.  

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Following! 

One of my childhood friends also has almost exclusively done Disney (now over 20 times - actually was on Magic last week) with her family. She tried Allure last year after we cruised and had an amazing time! Can't wait to see what you thought of Oasis!

126 days until we board Oasis here at Cape Liberty! 

 

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Day 2

Who needs sleep anyways?  Seeing that we paid for that Bayview we slept with the curtains open.  Not a big deal really but we live in the "country" with total darkness outside so the lights from the city are bright for us.  I did fall asleep but woke up around 2:15a to watch the first ship come in, then back to sleep until around 5a to watch the others come in.  I was not positive which ship was coming in at 2:30a but knew it was an Oasis class, when it made its turn in the basin to go back to the dock....WOW it is huge.  I failed to mention it is extremely windy out and being on the 17th floor with a patio above us it sounds like the roof was gonna fall in at any moment.  We loved this room even with the additional noise from the wind. 

Ships in port today:

Carnival Conquest, Carnival Horizon, Norwegian Escape, MSC Seaside, Empress of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.

Scott finally woke around 7a and asked why I was sitting on the sofa and how long I had been up.  Without glasses on or contacts in I explained I was just watching the little blurry ships come in to port all night.  He claims I have issues.  I'm a morning person and he is not so I jump in the shower and tell him I am heading to Publix to Starbucks, he of course wanted to join me as it is Publix so now I wait for him to get ready, so I will just sit and watch the ships...I can see now as I have contacts in.

Again I love the convenience of Publix to grab stuff while at the Hilton.  So I went to Starbucks and got a real coffee with Splenda and egg white bites and honestly I have no clue what Scott had for breakfast, I sure you he ate as remember a hungry Scott is a hangry Scott.  Oh wait thats right we got 4 donuts from Salty Donuts last night so he had donuts and coffee.  If you like overpriced donuts, Salty Donuts is there for you, Scott said that Publix donuts are better....well darn I tried. At least the box is cute.  

About 9a we head to Bayside Marketplace as we bought a Groupon deal for a water tour.  Again we took the MetroMover that is right next door to the Hilton the the Marketplace.  Quick, easy and free transportation.  I am amazed at how efficient it is and that there is no charge.  It is limited to the downtown area but you can get a lot of places.  We checked into the podium at Bayride Tours and were placed on the 9:30a tour....awesome but I thought the first tour was at 10:30a, no biggie.  Around 9:30 we boarded the vessel with about 20-30 other people and did out tour around Jungle Island and saw all the celebrities homes.  One of the homes we saw was the old home of Madonna.  This made me smile and warm as she is my sisters favorite performer and I lost her this summer to lung cancer.  The tour was great and lasted about 90 minutes as advertised.  If you want to do a tour in Miami I would check out Groupon as they have some good deals and usually buy 1 get 1.  Here is the Symphony 🙂 IMG_2102.thumb.jpeg.37acf901c05b5cad86fff969266cd744.jpeg

 

After the tour it was lunch time and Scott wanted to eat at Chili's at the Marketplace.  Wouldn't be my first choice but I suppose he can have some say.  It was a lackluster meal but his tank is full.  We walk around the marketplace and find a Starbucks so I do the mobile order and get my coffee.  We also find the Disney Store, remember we are Disney gays and it is just like every other Disney store....cramped and packed to the rafters.  It is now around 2p and Scott now declares it to be nap time so we head back to the hotel.  During the nap I hear a horn and out of bed I go to watch a Carnival ship leave, then I watch them all leave.  It is now 6p and I pounce on the bed to wake Scott from his sleep coma, I get in trouble for not waking him to watch the ships leave...SMH I can't win.

For dinner we wanted Tacos so we went to Tacomiendo which is a Taco Truck in the Midtown Garden Center in Wynwood.  We arrive and were a little worried but just do it anyway.  Having this little truck tucked into a corner of the Garden Center is beautiful with all the foliage and flowers around you.  They have plenty of tables and you can see even more tables across the way.  The waitress explains the tacos and Scott gets 2 chicken tacos and I get 1 fire brisket taco and we order chips and salsa to share.  My brisket taco was amazing and lots of meat, easily as large as both of Scotts tacos put together.  It was 7p on a Saturday and we were the only ones there but the food was really really good and we would definitely go back, Scott would get the brisket instead though 🙂  The waitress explained that it is BYOB so next time to bring a bottle of wine or a beer to drink with dinner.  After dinner we head back to Publix to get some more water for the room and then head back to the Hilton for the night.  Time to get repacked and ready to head out on the Oasis of the Seas tomorrow.

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Day 3- Boarding Day

Today is the day, we finally board the Oasis of the Seas.  It may not be a Disney ship, but it's a ship and it can't be too bad right?  

Again I wake around 2a to watch the ship dock, these windows are giving me insomnia!  I wait until she turns in the basin and makes her way back to Terminal A until I lay back down.  We have our alarm set for 8a and plan on leaving the hotel at 10a.  Usually when we sail with Disney we leave the resort area around 8:30 to get to the port and return rental car by 10a just to sit in the terminal until 11:30 but that is what my mother wants to do and well we do it.  So sleeping in and just going at our leisure is new and feels odd.  But who needs an alarm clock, I just woke around 6:30a and showered and was gonna let Scott sleep and go to Starbucks for my coffee and egg white bites.  But Scott woke up and wanted to go, not sure why as he hates their coffee and didn't get anything but across the street we go.  Once I ate and then brought my coffee back to the room Scott showered and then we sat around the room waiting to leave.  We make sure everything is packed, luggage tags on luggage and excitement in check.  I hailed a Lyft at 10:09a and was getting into the car at 10:11, arriving at the terminal at 10:41.  Traffic was a nightmare but its what you expect when 5500 are getting on the ship while the last cruise is also leaving.  We were graced with the "Expedited Arrival".  First impressions at the bottom of the escalator is this place is HUGE!  Love the propellers and lighting as you transcend up to the next level.  Once at the top we show those Expedited Arrival Sea Pass cards and are sent to the far left where they were scanned and then told to move on to security.  Security was empty and we put my backpack and Scott's "murse" (man purse) through and walk through.  Wow these security bins are high tech and really night.  It appears there are 2 lanes set up for the Expedited Arrivals and the rest were the others as there was a big line that appeared to move swiftly.  Up to level 3 and bingo we found all the people, we walked toward the toward front and low and behold they start calling for boarding.  I don't know the levels but when they called Diamond they also called for Expedited arrivals and luckily we were right there so we just walked forward, again Expedited Arrivals had the 2 far left lanes but they announced you could use any lane.  We walked up to the Facial Recognition cameras and were told we were cleared to board.  There must be another line someplace as this is going extremely to easy!  Next is photos and we passed by them and then just kept walking, then onto the gangway and then on to the ship.  It is now 10:55 and we are on the ship!  Holy crap that was so easy and a much better process than Disney at any of their terminals.  

Once onboard it is time for lunch as Scott only had the left over donuts for breakfast from 2 nights ago.  We walk through the beautiful Promenade and then up to the Boardwalk to look around.  Wow this ship is so big but so beautiful.  Every Crew member we encountered were very friendly and almost always said Hello.  Next we head to El Loco Fresh as we both LOVE mexican.  Not sure what all was eaten but it is a great meal and we are in love with the place.  After lunch we head up and went to check out Windjammer.  Scott something else to eat, something small.  Then we headed out to explore the ship and low and behold we are now at The Solarium Bistro where you guessed it Scott got something to eat!  Again if we are on vacation Scott needs to eat and he was worried about going hungry with not being on Disney....so far so good he is full.   The Solarium is beautiful and peaceful.  I love the new sun deck on the front but it is still quite windy and we just look around and head back in.  We now head back down to the Promenade and walk through like 2 salmon going up stream since this is ground zero for boarding.  We take a look into the theater and then down to the casino.  They announce the staterooms are ready so we head  up to Deck 6 to our room.  As we are walking down the hall our luggage is there so we grab it and take it with us.  Our keys our on the door just like everyone said they would. Open the door and explore our home for the next week.  It's a nice room, clean and everything we need it to be.  Once unpacking there is plenty of storage for both of us and we have a few cubies and could easily make more room in the closet for another person or for even more clothes and our luggage fits nicely under the open bed frame.  Scott lays down and takes a nap and I just sit on the balcony and FaceTime my momma until the life boat drill.  When it is time we are already on Deck 6 and our station is at the Aqua Theater so it is a quick trip.  The drill was painless and over in no time.  Scott heads back to the cabin and I head to the Sailaway Party.  I was shocked with such a small stage and entertainment for 5500 people but most people just watch us leave port anyway so the music is good background as we float away.  Sure I am used to a big production and a few characters but I went to the side of the ship and just watched the land drift away.  

Dinner is at 7p (My Time Dining) so I head back to the cabin around 5:30 to shower and get ready.  If the cabin was lacking anything the shower made up for it, the water pressure was amazing and after one shower I am in love!  If you enjoy lots of water pressure you will be so happy, I hope that is throughout the ship after saying that 🙂

Dinner was good, only 3 course meal as Scott pointed out as opposed to 4 course on that other ship.  Food quality was good, temperature of the food was hot and service was good as well.  Very friendly wait staff and we were in and out in under an hour!  I hate to keep bringing up that other ship but dinner always took at least 2 hours and was so annoying to me.

After dinner we walked around the ship and strolled through Central Park, are we even on a ship?  Everything is just so lovely and first day impressions are looking great!  Love the Royal App and being able to check your room charges as I did this frequently.  On the first night when I checked there was a charge for a cocktail on Scott's card for a mixed drink, a quick call to Guest Services and it was removed.  The Promenade is hustling and we check out a few shops and then back to the Boardwalk to walk around some more.  We decided it is an early night and time to get some rest.  Before going to sleep we order some coffee and pastries for the room in the morning.

Day 2 coming up, its a Day at Sea.  🙂

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12 hours ago, DanielB said:

 If you enjoy lots of water pressure you will be so happy, I hope that is throughout the ship after saying that

Yes!  The Oasis shower pressure was perfect for me. 

It was almost too much on Freedom as it would blast the shower head off of the holder and spray the entire bathroom as I wrestled with it.

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6 hours ago, KBugNC said:

"these windows are giving me insomnia!" I'm loving this post! Do you have a blog or vlog? If not....you need one. Can't wait to read the rest. 

Oh heavens no blog or vlog, not talented enough for either.  You would have laughed at me trying to do a penny slot as I was so clueless.  

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Day 4 (Day 2 of cruise) Sea Day

So we are boring folk, we had coffee in the room and Scott ordered danish.  Ordered for 7-7:30 and got the call at 6:30.  Coffee was good and Scott was not impressed with the danish and said they were better on Disney, but the danish were eaten....so not sure what were not good.  LOL  El Loco Fresh opened at 8a so we are there, Scott enjoyed the breakfast burritos and my cold scrambled eggs were well cold.  My only complaint about the food would be breakfast, you can't keep skillets of scrambled eggs warm and they are full skillets.  Breakfast was never busy that we saw here but the skillets always were full.  After El Loco Fresh we went to the Solarium to see what was there and shockingly Scott ordered an omelet and I had an apple.  Scott was impressed with the omelet as it was served quick (Disney omelet station is a mess) .  After breakfast #2 it is time for a Cold Brew from Starbucks then we walk around and people watch.  

The carousel opens at 10a and well we must ride it!

 

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For reference I am the one with sun glasses.  🙂

So the reason the carousel was a must for us is because it was made in our hometown.  Both the Oasis and Allure carousels came from good ole Mansfield, Ohio.  No idea why only 2 of the Oasis class were made here and not the others.  Below is a link to the company and pictures from the install and facts of each

http://www.carouselworks.com/carousel/carGalls/caroGall.htm

 

Lunch was at Windjammers as El Loco had a huge line and well I hate standing in line for food.  LOL  

After lunch it was nap time for Scott while I got my steps and and also zip lined, I figured if I died from the zip line it would be better for him not to witness it.  I made it btw 

Dinner was scheduled at 7:30 tonight but we show up at 7 and get taken in right away.  We were not seated in the same section as the first night and service was slow.  No clue what we ordered but no complaints.  Even though service was slow we were out by 8:45 and then we went and watched Aqua 80s in the back stand up area since we do not have reservations until tomorrow.  Even only seeing 1/2 the show wow it is amazing!  I will hold off my review until I see the entire show.

Bed time for now.

 

Day 5

Labadee

We were excited for this beach day but the wind and rain had other ideas.  We did make it off the ship early.  Love the LABADEE sign when you first enter from the pier but we never got a picture as everyone is there first thing.  We collect ornaments and this is the only port we have not been to so first thing on list is to get a christmas ornament.  Growing up on a working farm I am used to tractors, but honestly I didn't think one would be pulling the tram on the island.  We made it to the vendor market and well the we did get our ornament but the vendors were so aggressive that I just wanted to get back to the ship.  Scott thinks I am over reacting but it was not my cup of tea.  I know many prefer Labadee over CoCo Cay but I look forward to trying CoCo someday!  LOL  I grew up on dirt roads and well I prefer then paved or concrete or something....sand roads and random animals (I swear a dog was following us and was hungry- I can run faster than Scott so if needed I will sacrifice Scott).  The ship was empty and we just walked around and again people watched.  The shirtless crew may have been doing the slow rider and we may have watched as well.  

Lunch was at Windjammer and El Loco and refreshments from Starbucks.

Dinner was back in the section from the first night, we were asked where we were last night and we told them we were seated in another section.  They told us they had 2 tops free all night so that made no sense.  Service was great and dinner good.

Tonight is Aqua 80, however due to ocean conditions it was cancelled.

Bedtime for us 

 

 

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So I am totally gonna stray from doing a daily report as honestly I am bored and lazy at this point.  LOL  

Food was really good overall but El Loco Fresh is by far our cup of tea and give it 5 stars.  We did not buy any meal package or buy any food.  Playmakers looked really good as did Port Side BBQ.  The other specialty dining locations we have zero interest in but if there was a quick service with a soda package ($20 meal daily at each and the soda package for say $15 pp) we would have done that well before the sit down specialty plans.  

Service at dinner overall was good, not Disney standards but we only had the same servers every other night, so nights 1-3-5-7 were with the same team.  They mentioned they had empty 2 top tables every night so not sure why we didn't get them but its all good.

Entertainment

Aqua80's is the best show I have ever seen on ANY ship including Disney.  The energy and talent of that show is amazing.  LOVE IT.  Can't wait to see Aqua 80two on the Allure after dry dock.  I can go on and on but just go see it if you have to opportunity.  We booked the Allure before this cruise as a family vacation in December, this cruise was to explore and see if we should abort!  LOL

Cats- not for us.

Sky- not for us, great talent but yea its a no.  LOL 

Flow rider, zip line, bars, promenade parties are all great.  So much to do and how could you ever be bored.  

Debarkation 

We choose to do express walk off as we had a 10:25a flight from Miami.  We walked off the ship at 7a and was in a Lyft at 7:10a and at the airport at 7:26a!  Hands down the best, easiest and fastest debarkation off ANY ship in ANY port we have used.  Hands down the boarding and debarkation of Royal is hands down amazing!

 

So the question is other than the Allure cruise with family what will we do, will we keep trying Royal or did we miss Disney so bad it hurt????

We upon reflection Scott and I both believe that this was our best cruise vacation EVER.  The Oasis is amazing and as a 10 year ship she looks amazing, sure she just came out of a huge dry dock but we did the Disney Magic and Wonder after a big dry dock and Royal did an amazing job.  On Disney on the last day once you leave Castaway Cay (around 6p) they start closing areas of the ship to get ready for the net cruise.  We did not experience or see that on Royal.

So Scott and I did go to the NextCruise next and booked another cruise on Oasis in October from NY.  We love the ship and honestly love that class.

 

Thanks everyone for reading and I do apologize for abruptly ending.  LOL  If you have any questions please ask but I have to get busy planning another vacation as today a friend called me to join him on the Symphony on Feb 15....so in about 2 weeks I am sailing again!  

 

🙂

 

 

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