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Oasis of the Seas Star Class - 9/12/21


jaullram
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So here goes.  I am honestly not a creative writer (although I wish I was) but I posted an after the fact blog for our last cruise in Star class (Grand Loft Suite) on Anthem in March 2020 before the shut down so figured I would try it again.  This cruise is a long time in the making.  Since we had just discovered Star class, we immediately came home and booked a May 2020 cruise on Oasis in the 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite.  Since Covid was here to stay, that cruise was cancelled.  Then we figured, of course by September this will all be over so we Lifted and Shifted to Oasis in the same 2 bedroom Aqua Theater suite...cancelled again.  So our amazing travel agent (#TeamMindy) got us Lifted and Shifted to Anthem in the Royal Loft Suite in February 2021...we will surely be cruising by then, right?  Nope.  So, here we are now.  We are sailing in 2 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite in a little over 2 weeks!

About us.  I am sailing with hubby and we are now bringing my father in-law.  It started out with us bringing a friend but my father in-law really needs to get out and enjoy the Star Class life so we are bringing him.  We are on Deck 9 (Deck 8 was sold out).  We have previously stayed in the 1 bedroom Aqua Theater Suite and cannot wait to be in the 2 bedroom suite with the Star Class perks!

On our first Star Class cruise we weren't sure what to expect so our expectations weren't high but after having Yen as our Genie on Anthem in March 2020, she is going to be tough to beat! On that cruise she took care of our 3 Star class suites so we had her all to ourselves.  I am sure it is going to be different since our Genie  told us he has 5 suites to take care of.

About a month out, we received an email from Derick (who told us he is taking care of 5 suites) and then we got the normal genie email.  We decided we didn't want to answer all of the crazy questions because we knew the most important ones were #1 what we want stocked in our room for drinks and #2 what we wanted to experience on the ship.

I am a SUPER planner and need to know what the plans are before we leave so I have a schedule laid out as to where we want to eat and at what time which I sent to him.  He said he wished all of his cruisers were as organized but he probably thinks I am crazy!  Since cruising from NJ is just starting up and my father in-law is older, we plan to get room service for lunch and dinner on the first day to feel out the crowds so there is no anxiety for him.  This will be his first cruise in 5 years and first Star class experience.  

I have sent a few emails to Derick and he usually responds within an hour or two which is amazing.  We were told that in NJ, he can still meet us in the terminal and bring us on the ship, the rooms will be ready at noon and we can check in 1 hour before or 1 hour after our check-in time online.  We chose a 12:30 - 1:00 check in (which was the earliest) so we are going to get there around 11:30. One difference I noticed from our last Star class cruise is we can't get beverages in the suite that are not normally stocked on the ship (we asked for diet iced tea and diet ginger ale and we were told we couldn't get those so we will bring some).  In addition, the Genie and the room stewards are not allowed in our room while we are in there.  They can clean our room if we are in our deck and we can call the genie or meet them on the ship with masks but not in our room.  For us, we aren't high maintenance so that isn't a big deal for us.

On embarkation day, Derick is going to have some fresh fruit waiting for us and we are ordering lunch for our room which we can do from one restaurant that is open.  We are thinking Chops.  He did let us know that bridge tours, Central Park tours, etc., are all cancelled until further notice.  I am fine with that but was looking forward to having my father in-law do the bridge tour he used to own a big boat and would have really appreciated it.  In the grand scheme of things, just get me on a SHIP, RIGHT NOW!

I will try to update everyone as we plan more and talk to Derick.  We cannot wait.

We would love it if people who have been on Oasis since the revamp have some information on best bars or things to check out!  One specific question I have is, does anyone know how to book the special area in Playmakers during football?  I thought it may be fun to try and if so, how much is it?

LET'S GET CRUISING!

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51 minutes ago, jaullram said:

We would love it if people who have been on Oasis since the revamp have some information on best bars or things to check out!  One specific question I have is, does anyone know how to book the special area in Playmakers during football?  I thought it may be fun to try and if so, how much is it?

I loved Portside BBQ.  We had the Ultimate Dining Package and they were open on boarding day so we got to try it as the first thing we ate on the ship.

Booking that special area in Playmakers is definitely something you can ask the Genie about pricing on.  He will be able to find that out for you and find out the availability.

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10 hours ago, jaullram said:

We would love it if people who have been on Oasis since the revamp have some information on best bars or things to check out!  One specific question I have is, does anyone know how to book the special area in Playmakers during football?  I thought it may be fun to try and if so, how much is it?

We sailed on Oasis in Dec. 2019 in SC (Joyce was our Genie) and it is really beautiful after amplification !  The ONLY complaint I had was the extraordinarily loud sound system that they had on the pool deck which was deafening.  I sure hope they have tamed that by now.  It probably wouldn't be so bad for you back in the ATS but it was awful for those of us up on 17.

I have never asked about the private seating area at Playmakers.  I didn't even realize that they would reserve that area.  I know you aren't suggesting this...but I would be very surprised if the Genie could reserve that area for you (for free, I mean)(but I've been wrong before !!!) as there is a general rule against allowing the Genie to reserve areas that are considered "revenue generating".  He probably could get it for you though, if there is a way to reserve it as a paid event.

We are not bar people so I really don't have any recommendations for bars other than those that are fairly well-known.  Too bad they have stopped the private tours.  I think your FIL would have really enjoyed that.

We sailed in a 2 BR ATS on Harmony on deck 9 (and twice on deck 8).  The only real difference (on Harmony, anyway) was that there is a "bump-out" area in the dining area and the MBR on the deck 8 suites that are missing on decks 9 and 10 but you won't even notice it.  The suites are really lovely.  The Master bath is rather disappointing but it's perfectly adequate.  The second bedroom is very small....basically the same size and layout of a regular inside cabin....but the living space is really nice and the balcony....well, you already know....

Enjoy it !!!

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Wow, 5 suites/ genie!  I know it’s covid but I hope it will not diminish your SC experience.
 

Our SC cruise isn’t until next year and we hope most of the perks will be back by then. I just hope RCCL doesn’t use covid as an excuse to permanently scale back the perks. 

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Following! So anxious to read about your Star Class experience @jaullram!!!  We do our first SC on Anthem in February 11th, 2022 from Bayonne.  I have been reading and re-reading all of the Star Class live blogs that have been written.  I am like foaming at the mouth waiting to get on ours LOL! I plan to do my first live blog to when closer!!!

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:45 AM, sammy79 said:

Wow, 5 suites/ genie!  I know it’s covid but I hope it will not diminish your SC experience.
 

Our SC cruise isn’t until next year and we hope most of the perks will be back by then. I just hope RCCL doesn’t use covid as an excuse to permanently scale back the perks. 

I know, I was surprised too.  I am wondering if he has all of the Aqua Theater suites because there are only 5 booked for the cruise.  It seems like it is going to be a lot and I am hoping we still get great service!

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On 8/27/2021 at 1:59 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

You lucked out.  I hear that Derrick is a great Genie!  If you see Shane around, tell him Sabrina says hello and give him my best.  Oasis has a really great group of Genies this time around.  Can't go wrong with any of them.

I will definitely tell Shane you said hi if I see him around!

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Many of the cruisers on this sailing received two heart stopping emails over the past few days....the one that says "We’re sharing a change for your upcoming Oasis of the Seas cruise".  Royal, please think of a better title for your emails!!  The first one notified us that because we are leaving at 6 PM instead of 4 PM, our time in Port Canaveral has been shortened but we will arrive at Cococay an hour earlier so I am fine with that change.  The second email was letting us know that all children between 2 and 11 need to schedule their PCR test at the port and also have a test prior with negative results within 3 days of the sailing.  The part that scared me was the email indicated that their records show that we are receiving the email because one of the guests needs to follow these rules (my husband).  

Panic set in so I immediately checked his DOB online (which was correct) and jumped on the Facebook page for our cruise and apparently, since we booked this so long ago, our cruise documents don't indicate that we are vaccinated.  Those that booked recently were asked about vaccination status so none of them received the email and their invoice states their status.  So far, nowhere within the online check-in process have I been asked yet so that is a little unnerving - maybe when we do the 24 hour health questionnaire it will ask there.

Booked our Covid tests today for Thursday (9/9) at CVS but have heard many people say CVS was cancelling their antigen test appointments after they were booked.  So, as a back-up plan I ordered the Binex Now Ag tests where you are supervised by a telehealth professional while taking the test.    In the meantime, I am trying to avoid anyone not in my family to limit my potential exposure to anyone with Covid because I am NOT going to be missing this cruise!!!!

Derick reached out to us and let us know that the day before the cruise he will be giving us his telephone number so we can text or call him when we are closer to the terminal so he can be ready to meet us.  With 5 other suites he is taking care of and all of us likely wanting to board ASAP, I am hoping it isn't too difficult getting on right away since our rooms will be ready and lunch being brought at 12:30.

The countdown is on and 2 weeks can't come fast enough!

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Slight change in our cruise.  My father in-law is no longer coming with us so we have invited my husband's cousin to come with us.  She came with us when we were in Star class on Anthem last March and she was spoiled.  She said she doesn't know how she would be able to do a regular room now so we figured she was the perfect person to bring with us.  Plus, I think she will be amazed by Oasis.  Unfortunately, because it was last minute, she is going to have to work remotely some of the days but I know I would rather work remotely from a cruise ship than my house!

A few other updates.  Derick emailed us over the weekend to let us know about the new protocols for Covid testing but assured us that it begins on September 13th so it won't affect our cruise.  Since we are doing the eMed Abbot at home test with the telehealth professional, we decided to take it on Friday (as opposed to Thursday) to avoid any possible issues at the port with confusion by port staff as to when the rules go into effect.  Once we take it, that 15 minute wait will likely feel like the longest wait ever!  

Derick also let us know that he was able to order some canned soda and diet iced tea from provisions that is not normally stocked on the ship so that was a pleasant surprise since he told us he could no longer do it.  Another update he had for us is that if we plan on eating at Coastal kitchen we need to make reservations for breakfast and lunch and if we go to the windjammer, reservations are highly recommended.  I know for one, I have NO idea when I am waking up or when I will be hungry so we didn't make reservations.  I told him that we would figure it out.  

I will say, it is definitely harder on this cruise than our last Star class cruise because it doesn't seem like we can be as flexible.  On our Star class cruise on Anthem we didn't have to worry about booking dinner each night and we could decide that day where we wanted to eat but we aren't able to be as flexible on this cruise.  For dinner, we sent Derick our preferred restaurants and dining times for dinner and left 2 nights where we don't have anything planned.  He indicated that it may be hard for those two nights to get into one of the specialty restaurants.  I figure if we can't get in or don't like the time then there are plenty of places to eat and it may be nice to not stuff our face every night!  For dinner reservations we have Izumi Hibachi, Chops (twice) and Coastal Kitchen (twice).  I know some people love Giovanni's but we we aren't fans of the menu.  When I want Italian food I want options such as lasagna, chicken parmesan, fettuccini alfredo, etc.  One of the nights we have scheduled from Chops, we may have delivered as we all want lobster and thought it would be amazing to do that on our enormous balcony!

5 days and counting!!  Now it is time to start packing and begin panicking about negative Covid test results on Friday!

 

 

 

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@jaullram WAIT....5 DAYS....and you are just starting to pack?? Oh my word, that is more stressful to me then the Covid test, which will be just fine! Relax and enjoy your trip, living vicariously through you! We were on the first sailing out of Nassau when they tested us at check in, after a flight from he!! I thought, don't think about it just roll with whatever occurs, and as it was a very long 20 minutes the elation on the other side of that negative test, pure joy! Cheers to you!

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So, a crazy day today. Today was Covid test day! I had taken a Covid test before but hubby had not so I agreed to be the guinea pig and go first. We did the Abbot Now home test with the teleheath professional which had been approved by Royal caribbean.  

I took the test and in about 10 minutes I could see it was negative but had to wait for 15 minutes for my results to be confirmed.  Did hubby's test and same results, negative! After his test, he immediately got an email and his App was showing negative but nothing for me yet.

I called eMed and they said nothing had been registered but they see I took the test so by 5 pm I should see an email and my test results.  By 7 pm. nothing so I called again and they said 24 hours. I decided to take another eMed test and got negative results again and they were sent in seconds. 

So, lesson for the day is, if you do eMed test, get 2 per person just in case! I was a wreck from 10 AM this morning until my second test tonight.

So glad we got negative tests and are ready to be on the ship in less than 36 hours!!

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That is very annoying! I bet you were checking emails every few minutes. Ugh. So happy you had another test to use! I have a question about your at home test. You say you went first and then your husband. Did your husband wait to do his after you were completely done? Or did the same test proctor (or whatever they are called) do both of you or did you go first and wait the 15 minutes and then your husband set up a different call and then it was his turn? 

Only 1 more sleep! 

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2 minutes ago, Salty Law Dog said:

Lovetocruise2002- Do you know who the genies are on Oasis currently? Toying with trying to upgrade to Star….

At the moment, it's Shane, Alan F, and Derrick.  All fantastic from what I know.  I have met Shane personally, but the other two have all fantastic reviews as well.  Have not heard a bad thing about any of them.

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10 hours ago, wannabecruiseexpert said:

That is very annoying! I bet you were checking emails every few minutes. Ugh. So happy you had another test to use! I have a question about your at home test. You say you went first and then your husband. Did your husband wait to do his after you were completely done? Or did the same test proctor (or whatever they are called) do both of you or did you go first and wait the 15 minutes and then your husband set up a different call and then it was his turn? 

Only 1 more sleep! 

We had to log in separately so I went first with my log in and then he had to log in after I disconnected to connect with his log in. I suppose we could have done them in different rooms on different computers. 

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T minus 12 hours until we leave for Bayonne! We decided that some pre celebration drinks were necessary so we could get our livers ready for the upcoming week!

Derick emailed us today with his phone number and told us we could text or call him when we were close so he could wait for us. He also let us know we could show up at 11 instead of 11:30 which works perfectly as there is a game at the Meadowlands that we wanted to avoid traffic for. 

We received another email "Important information about your upcoming cruise". We are leaving at 5 pm instead of 6 now. Again, can royal change the title to "Exciting news about your upcoming cruise "? Scares me everytime!

I probably won't be able to sleep tonight...or maybe if I drink enough I can...lol!

I will try to post as many pictures during the cruise as I can!

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19 hours ago, Salty Law Dog said:

We had Allan F. (2br ATS). He was amazing!! Good to know the others are wonderful as well. Our second STAR experience (UPS) was just ok- had a new genie. 

just another reason why we moved out of UPS.  Last night I told hubby my guess is UPS is the “ genie in training or NEWB” location. I just don’t see how you can get good service being that far from midship and that far from deck 17. No seasoned genie is going to risk that. Just my honest opinion that had been in the back of my head. One major reason I am extremely thankful for the input from this blog. I now very confident and glad that we moved to a suite on deck 17 shwww.  I am soo sorry your second SC experience was not great. I hope you cruise again soon and it’s better!! 🙏🏻

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We arrived at the port at 10:45 and all of the other Star Class suites were checking in at the same time. After handing our bags to the Star class porters we were the 4th in line. While in line, they checked our negative results and covid vaccine cards. The doors opened a little after 11 AM and we were lead right to the check in area. By around 11:30 we were on the ship. Derick led us right to the muster check in and then up to our room where some fruit and veggies were waiting.

We had asked for lunch delivery from Playmakers and can I just say, the food was amazing!!

We walked off our lunch by touring the ship.

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