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"Follow That Star...Our Journey Back to Oasis" - Star Class - 3/15/2020-3/22/2020


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“Follow that STAR…Our Journey back to Oasis.” - March 15-22, 2020

Oasis…

A fertile or green spot in the desert, a shelter from the storm, a moment of respite from the conditions of the desert…”

We’re back with another blog and that line above pretty much sums up what this cruise means to us this time around.  Our lives, since entering dry dock back in August 2019, has been work, work, and more work.  To say that the last seven months have been busy is an understatement.  However, all is going to be well soon as we are about to embark on not just another cruise, but another Star Class adventure!

And full disclaimer!  In fear of being blog shamed (I won't mention any names here lol), I debated waiting on this one until about a week out but then I would have to back track to outline the Star Class process.  This is just easier.  Oh, and I am excited too! 

Please note that this is only 5 weeks early. 😉

Let's begin...

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It has been a crazy few days. Lots of back and forth between go and don’t go. Ultimately, a few things sealed the deal for us. Never were we worried about the virus on the ship. I am still of the

“Follow that STAR…Our Journey back to Oasis.” - March 15-22, 2020 Oasis… ” A fertile or green spot in the desert, a shelter from the storm, a moment of respite from the conditions of the des

Some updates from this past week:  Izzy has confirmed that the Thermal Spa is indeed complimentary for Star Class guest.  Each adult receives a one day pass.  Too bad for the kids.  We asked Izzy

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How did this one come about? 

You know there’s always a story to these things. 

Two years ago, in February 2018, I stumbled upon a “Star Class savings discount”.  If you have followed my blogs before, that is how we ended up booking our first Star Class cruise that we took last March 2019.  Well, what I did not mention before, not even to Hubby, was that I grabbed two bookings at that time.  One for March 2019, and one for March 2020.  Oops.  Have I ever mentioned that these cruises just book themselves?! 😁

The idea behind doing that was I knew Oasis would be ‘amped’ by then, the price point (with the savings) was good, and if we did not find value in Star Class on the first try, then we would just downgrade the sailing in March 2020 to Sky Class.  No harm, no foul.  If you know me, and the suite snob that I am, you’re probably laughing by now, because really, those two bookings were solidified once I said, “YOLO! Book it!”  As you know, we loved Star Class the first time around, so now the challenge became, “How do I break this to Hubby?” 

I am proud to say that I am raising true cruise addicts as it was my daughters who devised the plan.  We waited until November, which is my birthday month, and conveniently just before final payment was due.  True to nature, Hubby was once again at a loss as to what to get me for my birthday.  You can predict the conversation that followed.  After a combination of bargaining away birthday and Christmas presents, and logically pleading my case, Hubby spoiled us yet again by agreeing to another Star Class sailing!  Woohoo!

This sailing is quite special to us in several ways.  You all know that I am #TeamOAclass and it was this ship that started that love for us, many years ago, in 2009.  Not only did we sail Oasis of the Seas first (among that class of ships), but we were fortunate enough to sail her out of Port Everglades on her inaugural sailing.  At the time, that sailing was an “Oasis” to us too in that it was our first getaway cruise from our kids since becoming parents of two.  I still remember the awe and wonder, stepping onto that Promenade, and later discovering the Aqua Theater, and Central Park.  There were no blogs at that time (or none that I had discovered), but if there was, I would have echoed what others have already said, Oasis class was special and in league of her own, and we were completely in love. 

So here we are, a decade and soon to be three months later, about to set foot again on a ship that is near and dear to our hearts, desperately needing a break from our daily lives, and in Star Class style.  What more could a Stubborn, Canadian Scorpio ask for?  We are truly blessed. ❤️

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Who’s Going?

The usual crew:  Hubby, our 2 girls (D11, D13), and myself.

Flight

Our plan is to fly from DTW to FLL the day before.  Flying to Miami was $100 more per person.  With a $400 price difference, we decided we could take Lyft to Miami and still save.  We learned a huge lesson from last Spring Break in that the 60-90 day rule to airfare does not apply at this time of the year.  We took a gamble and grabbed these tickets upon release, 11 months out, and in tracking this flight over the months, I am happy to report that we made the right call.  The price never dropped below what I paid, and it has almost doubled since.

Pre-Cruise Stay

This one was heavily debated.  We are holding two hotel reservations and cannot decide.  Do we stay in Fort Lauderdale and visit our beloved La Bamba, or do we stay at the Intercontinental Miami and show our kids the hotel that we love and offers the most gorgeous Bay views?

Itinerary

This 7-night, Eastern Caribbean sailing, brings us to St. Thomas, San Juan, and Labadee.  Currently, the only port we have plans for is San Juan.  Taking our kids to visit El Morro this time as the weather should be more bearable than when we went on the Anthem GC last summer.

Cabin

Trying out the ATS on Deck 9.  The girls are excited for their own bedroom, I am withholding my opinion for now.  The suite snob is slightly out of her comfort zone once again as Deck 9 is a bit far from Deck 17.

Pre-Cruise thoughts

  • We are beyond excited to see the newly amped Oasis of the Seas.  We have not sailed her since her inaugural back in 2009!
  • No pre-cruise purchases because it’s Star Class.
  • In addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Star Wars, Hubby loves Back to the Future, so we’re pretty interested in the new Aqua 80 show, especially after seeing pictures by @twangster.
  • Once again, in the spirit of a live blog, please do not hesitate to ask any questions.  I will do my best to find out whatever I can for you.
  • When responding to a post with a series of pictures, please do not include the pictures in your reply.  It just makes for easier scrolling.
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Star Class Pre-Cruise Questionnaire

Via email at 48 days out.

Random observations...

  • At 48 days out, it was a bit later than last year.
  • One question is gone, "Apple or Android? What model?"
  • One question is new, "How can we make your on-board experience amazing?"
  • My link from last March still works and brings me to the same "new" questionnaire. So theoretically, those of you who did not receive the survey in a timely manner (and are really Type A like me lol), could probably use the link from a past one.

Apologies for the large photos...  

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Genie email (initial contact)

In at 38 days out.

Random observations from the initial email…

  • It is way shorter than the one from Araceli last year on HM.
  • No mention of Labadee Barefoot Beach cabanas.  In the past, this has been standard on the welcome emails from the suite concierge and Genies.
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After receiving the initial email, we sent back our reply that evening in the form of a Word doc.  Pretty basic stuff.  Just outlining the restaurants that we want to eat at and the shows that we want to see.  Also, we noted some standing orders that we wanted for each day.  Not celebrating anything so nothing too fancy.

Already impressed and off to a good start.  Izzy has responded back in less than 24hrs with a whole working schedule and everything already!

FYI...the one-day thermal spa pass is still complimentary on Oasis. I did not ask, he offered. Yet another inconsistency between ships.

And he obviously read our survey because his email response back noted things that I only mentioned on the survey. 

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About a month and a half ago, or maybe two now, the Royal app glitched out and showed me this for Night 1 in Coastal Kitchen:

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Not sure what this travesty is all about (Night 1 is Filet Night in CK, my favourite) but it appears that others sailing on Oasis in February and March also came across the same thing.  I was only mildly worried and I was pretty sure I would not have to resort to drastic measures as I mentioned in @Rags1's blog.  Turns out, Izzy got back to us and confirmed that @Rags1's source is good.  Filet Night is good to go! 😋

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@Ogilthorpe I will see you there!  Don't miss it!

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Just now, Ampurp85 said:

@Lovetocruise2002 Wow so there is a "star class savings promo"? Do they do it every year or is something that was a once in a life?

I have not seen it again since the time I used it.  That was January-February 2018.  So I'm going to say once in a lifetime.  @WAAAYTOOO might remember more.  She was the one who brought it to my attention in the first place.

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8 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

For Star Class savings?? 

Yes 😮 We were discussing some sky class options for next year, and the representative pointed out a Grand Loft option on the Anthem for a fare that was higher by about the cost of the beverage package than what we were considering. We booked it ... then upgraded our October sailing ... I sense an expensive trend! 🤣🤣🤣

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1 minute ago, WannaCruise said:

Woohoo! Really exciting!  I"ok be on a march break cruise same week as you, but will be following along pre-cruise and then will catch up and read your report after.  Oasis amped looks amazing. And we gave same itinerary on harmony next year.

I cannot wait to hear about what your thoughts on Anthem are.  Happy to have you along, pre/post cruise!

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Just now, Ampurp85 said:

I am doing an Eastern Caribbean on Allure in Sky class next year. I plan to visit Next Cruise on my Liberty sailing this year so I will make sure to ask all the right questions.

A recommendation (from experience), the concierge lounge will have an assigned NextCruise representative, it is our favorite method to engage NextCruise  ... relaxing, over a cocktail. 🍸😁

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5 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

@Ogilthorpe Isn't anything over cocktails, the best way to do something....well after too many you might agree to strange things...like 14 cruises in a row....which might not be too strange:35_thinking:🤩

I was going to mention that! Good news: they have a fail safe... you can each only book 3 while onboard ... the "damage" can be limited to 6 per couple! 😁🤣😁

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