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Oasis of the Seas / Nov 3-7, 2021 & Freedom of the Seas / Nov 8-12, 2021


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Getting excited for my first taste of Oasis class in just 7 days! This will be my third (& fourth!) cruise with Royal and cannot wait to see the mega beauty herself, having never seen anything bigger than Freedom class in person. This will also be my first semi-Side to Side... semi in that we have to spend a night in Miami between cruises. Still counts to me, twooo cruises, one vacation! 

Booking this came about because my boyfriend and I cruised in August 2019 on Freedom from San Juan and I got hooked on Royal and cruising in general. Right after that we went on Holland America’s Oosterdam in December 2019 and it further made clear our preference for Royal. I couldn't stand to wait in dry dock til Jan 2021 (at the time) so I snagged this 4-nighter on Oasis to hold us over. 

Like everyone else, this cruise has had several iterations and rebookings; it started as a May 2020 cruise, got swapped for a Nov 2020 cruise and finally Lift & Shifted to this Nov 3, 2021 itinerary. I added the Freedom 4-nighter right after as a way to see the renovated Coco Cay while also extending the value of my cross-country flight! I have been to Coco Cay once before (summer '98, baby!) so it should be fun to see how it's changed. 

The mini Oasis sailing was originally slated as Labadee, got switched to Cozumel due to the unrest in Haiti and then switched a THIRD time to Nassau and Perfect Day at Coco Cay. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) that means we’re essentially going on the same cruise twice on different ships!

Day 1 - Departs Miami
Day 2 - Perfect Day at Coco Cay
Day 3 - Cruising
Day 4 - Nassau
Day 5 - Debark + turnaround night in Miami, Penguin Hotel South Beach
Day 6 - Departs Miami
Day 7 - Nassau
Day 8 - Cruising
Day 9 - Perfect Day at Coco Cay

A vacation with Perfect bookends! Hard to complain about that. 

Who’s Going - my fiancé (Adrian) and I (Daryl)

Oasis - Ocean View Balcony 10554… our first non suite. Ahh! We will see how we fare with the smaller room and lack of walk in closet! Haha

Freedom - Ocean View Balcony 1880. I am excited to be on deck 12 with easy Lime & Coconut access. I also put in a bid for a GS that was slightly above the “weak” segment so we’ll see!

I got us the DBP + Voom Surf and Stream for both legs of this trip - $61/day on Oasis and $75/day on Freedom. $75 was the sale price, too! 😬

Since this may be my only OA class for awhile I also snagged us the 3-night Dining Package for Oasis so we can try Chops, 150CP and Giovanni’s. I am also thinking about adding Giovanni’s again on the Freedom leg because the menu appears to be different! I kept waiting and waiting for the UDP to appear for OA but it never did. We will also be using some leftover OBC at Playmakers and Portside for sure.

Since our itinerary was changed so many times for Oasis I really don’t have anything scheduled for our first 2 PDCC and Nassau stops. In Nassau we are thinking we will do a walking tour I found on these boards and grab some conch fritters at Oh Andros, then have a chill beach day at Coco Cay. I am eyeing the Up, Up and Away balloon but I hear it has a low chance of going up this time of year. At $74 each it seems pricey for those few minutes of incredible views but I may just yolo book it. 

On the Freedom leg, we booked the Snorkel & Sail excursion in Nassau and have Thrill Waterpark tickets for PDCC. I got these for $46.99 and haven’t seen it that low since! (I had them on a Nav cruise for the outrageously low price of $29 but it was sadly cancelled)

Mid Cruise Hotel
We are once again being cruising renegades as the best non-stop flights to Miami leave San Diego the night before the cruise and get in at 5am on the morning of, eliminating the need for a pre-cruise hotel. I feel like the 12 hours of wiggle room are enough to get us through.

We have never been to Miami (Aside from our forced overnight near the airport on the way home from San Juan last time) so I wanted to stay in South Beach to get a real feel for it. I chose Penguin Hotel for this stay! Ocean Drive, directly across from the beach and had a “penthouse” (read: third floor) suite with a luxurious 1,000 sq ft “terrace” (read: roof of the hotel). I am anticipating a Bird Cage Art Deco vibe! One does want a hint of color.


Hmm, what else? I bought the 6 pack of Binax AG Card tests, so that’s our Covid Testing Plan between cruises although Royal said they would take care of it. I like to always be prepared juuust in case!

I hope to up my game on the live-ness of this blog, and take more ship pictures this time as I marvel at the beauty of Lady O. I am excited to see the AMP Freedom received since we last sailed her, too.

Only 7 regular sunsets before the ultimate: SHIP SUNSETS are back in my life!


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9 minutes ago, Booscruize said:

We will be boarding Oasis the day you are getting off! Can’t wait to follow and get the up to the minute low down on her before we board! 

Can't wait to read your blog as well! I will see if I can get a passenger count estimate for your sailing at the Crown & Anchor event. 

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I would follow your Oasis “live” blog but I will onboard hopefully enjoying everything you decide to blog about!😏. I will follow your Freedom cruise once I get back home because I have that cruise coming up in April with all my kids and grandkids…as well as some of their friends!   I noticed when we are at PDCC next week Freedom will also be there!  It will be fun to actually see both ships side by side!  

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14 minutes ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

I noticed when we are at PDCC next week Freedom will also be there!  It will be fun to actually see both ships side by side!

I had noticed that but hadn't thought of how cool that picture will be! Hope you have a great cruise, can't believe it's actually/finally happening 🥳

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I'm on Freedom the 8th-12th as well. I would highly HIGHLY recommend Giovanni's kitchen. It's the New Concept Giovanni's and puts the version on other ships to shame IMO (just bring your appetite) 

On 10/27/2021 at 5:33 PM, DDaley said:

I am also thinking about adding Giovanni’s again on the Freedom leg because the menu appears to be different!

I'm on Freedom 11/8-12 as well. The Giovanni's on Freedom is the new version, actually called Giovanni's Kitchen. The basic staples of old Giovanni's are there, but the new items are AMAZING. Also, FYI the Wine Bar is NOT included with the UDP - it's all ala carte but they're both Amazing!

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46 minutes ago, JC Pats said:

It's the New Concept Giovanni's and puts the version on other ships to shame IMO (just bring your appetite)

Oh you've sold me!! Adding it for our one cruising night now. I was THINKING the menu items just sounded better but I have no idea why. Thank you! 

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@DDaleyI'll be following your account with extreme interest -- as I'll be doing its (almost) mirror image in late November.  4-Night Freedom followed by a day in Miami and then a 7-Night on Oasis.  Freedom was the first cruise ship I ever experienced -- eight years ago, so I'm looking forward to seeing all of the changes!  Was supposed to go on Oasis in 2018 (I think it was), but unfortunately an errant crane in Freeport, Bahamas put an end to that experience.

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Only 1 day till departure! Covid home tests taken, backup CVS test canceled. Good to go, hooray! 🥳

The Abbott BinaxNOW home test was super easy. I will note that you need a desktop/laptop computer, after getting the iPhone app I am wondering what that was for? It says on the box to download it, and aside from creating a Navica account, it was useless. Save yourself the storage space and just make an account on the website! 


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19 hours ago, Rags1 said:

We used IPhones to take the proctored tests and had no issues. 

So weird because I started the whole thing on my phone, selected "I have a test" and then once I said which test I had it directed me to "visit emed.com on a computer." Guessing that wasnt the only option! Thanks for letting me know. 

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22 hours ago, DDaley said:

So weird because I started the whole thing on my phone, selected "I have a test" and then once I said which test I had it directed me to "visit emed.com on a computer." Guessing that wasnt the only option! Thanks for letting me know. 

I used my phone and got the message visit emed.com so I did from my phone and chose the option to start the test and did everything from my phone

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This ship is beautiful!! Upon stepping foot into the promenade, the size difference was immediately apparent, Oasis class is huge! 

We had an 11am boarding time and got to the port around 10:20. We ended up being ushered inside to start the multi-check process around 10:40, walked on board by 11:10!! The terminal is sooo nice. 


I am officially on team suite.. balcony life is entirely too cramped for my standards. I am new to having to squeeze around each other at the foot of the bed! And I absolutely miss the more accessible closet space. 

Tiny cabin 10554 pictured below.



After boarding and grabbing our key cards at the (ready and waiting!) cabin, we went straight to make dinner reservations in central park. This space is so amazing, I love it. 



First thing to do post reservations was the water slides! The pink/orange ones are more tame and the green toilet bowl one is crazy fast. I recommend plugging your nose on the exit whoosh to save yourself from water rushing up there. 




Hot Flowrider action this afternoon!


Norwegian Gem and Scarlet Lady behind us in port. 






After Playmakers for lunch and a start on our beverage package usage, we hit the Solarium and a rain cloud came through from Miami Beach. We stuck it out in the hot tub and were protected from most of it under the awnings. 



Sail away from the Solarium forward deck


Trying to nap now to catch up on lost sleep, the red eye is rough. 

150CP for dinner tonight! Our first Royal specialty restaurant. Getting excited for fried cheesecake 🤤 

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Greetings from the Solarium Bistro! Just docked at Coco Cay and Freedom showed up not long after.





150CP last night was deemed “the best meal I have ever eaten.” Very pleased with all the food and service so far! This fried cheesecake was the best dessert EVER!! A must-try. 


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Oops, Perfect Day got away from me! 

Since we’re cruising today I can recap. I woke up to see Freedom docking next to us! Got some cool pics of both ships together. We hit up the Solarium Bistro for breakfast and went up to the top to see the island in all her glory.



On the island we went straight to Captain Jacks for Coco Locos and meandered to Chill Beach and eventually around to South Beach for the floating bar action! 




Hot air balloon was grounded for the day but went up a few feet later, just for looks?



Water was pretty cold in the ocean and pool but you could get used to it after a lot of just sucking it up and feeling cold. 






Late night Abyss


Last night’s dinner was Giovanni’s and it sadly was not as good as the amazing meal we had at 150CP.. we kinda thought that was gonna be the case, shouldve worked our way up! haha It was still good though and the service was fantastic. Everyone is so happy and friendly, I love the crew spirit. 

Cruising today, Day 3. Should be a laid back day! More slides and Solarium hanging in our future. Got us a sweet spot at the front of the sun deck. 


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Turnaround day/night in Miami today. Gotta do some blog catch up later today but as a big important FYI for @IRMO12HD, we got our covid tests on board yesterday!! We went to guest services to schedule and had to talk her into checking that we were eligible.. the rep thought only B2B cruisers on the same ship or international travelers could get it. She went back to check with someone else and then we were approved to schedule. Our test was at 8:40, takes about 20-30 including the long line. Had our results at 10am and 3pm (that one scared me!) and then went back to guest services to have them printed out for easier check in tomorrow. 

Back up plan B - AG Card tests still on hand but not needed, hooray! 


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Thanks for the testing update, @DDaley.  That's a little concerning that they were hesitant to decide you were eligible, especially since it's so clearly stated in their FAQs.  I'll definitely be double prepared for the possibility that they won't give me the test on disembarkation day.  I'll be making backup plans for my backup plans!

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Day Four in Nassau was fairly stormy, a novelty for us native San Diegans who rarely see more than 2 consecutive minutes of rain at any time. We were in port this day with Freedom, Disney Magic and Crystal Serenity. 


We started this morning in the Windjammer (perfectly adequate) and hopped off the ship to do some limited sightseeing following a Nassau walking tour map I had found here. Let me know if anyone wants me to link it again! We saw some cool churches, government architecture and the Fort and Queen’s Staircase, carved by hundreds of slaves out of solid rock. We stopped for some conch fritters and a tasty beer flight at Pirate Republic Brewing back near the port, the fritters were great and the bar had a nice upper viewing deck that kept up protected from a TON of rain!! 




Queens Staircase (in the background)


The old island water tower. 




I spy the Ultimate Abyss!! 


Sail away



Funny position report with a lot of circling around


For dinner we tried Portside BBQ.. I am with everyone else that the sides leave something to be desired. The beans were the best side option for sure, and the Banana Dream was amazing! 


After dinner we won back all our losses in the casino with a $75 jackpot! heyooo 

Ended the cruise with the ice show. Very entertaining and better than the Freedom Ice show, I think! The had some great talent. My favorite was the duck number, obviously. 


This has reminded I never mentioned the Day 3 Aqua show! IT WAS THE BEST SHOW I have ever seen on a cruise! Just fantastic. 


We came back to the room and had to pack up but it wasn’t sad because cruise number twooo is only a day away!! 

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Oops the liveness has really fallen off on this leg! I will come back to add some recaps a little later, but interesting update for this sea day has been us waiting all day for a medical evac! 

Captain Thor came on around 9am and told us why we were hovering off the coast of Nassau again; waiting for a medical plane to arrive in Nassau for a passenger evacuation. I figured we’d be done with that soon enough but we have been tooling around off the coast all day! The cruisemapper route looks so crazy already and we’re not done circling yet. Update was that the plane should land around 4:30pm. 




We have a nice spot in a day bed on the port side and the sun has been coming and going all day as we turn back and forth. 

Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen tonight and Thrill Waterpark tomorrow! 

Here’s a rainbow pic as an offering for my poor live blogging. 


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55 minutes ago, DunwoodyDad said:

Related to that, how was the port area in terms of shops and restaurants being open?

We were in Nassau last Saturday.  The is a small straw market as you get to the end of the dock area...this is where you get numerous offers to have your hair braided plus many little vendor booths.  We walked to Bay St and walked up and down that strip.  There are shops on both sides of the street...many jewelry and souvenir type places and a few restaurants.  The weather was unsettled so we did not venture much further than that...which turned out to be a good thing because on our way back to the ship the skies opened up like crazy!!!  Had it been sunny we probably would have continued our exploration for a few more blocks.

I have to say I am not the biggest fan of Nassau...although it does look like they are building some type of beach or something as you get to the end of the dock.  Anyone know what that is going to be??

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On 11/11/2021 at 4:20 AM, DunwoodyDad said:

Hi, a few posts back you referenced a walking tour map for Nassau.  Will you please post that link?  

Related to that, how was the port area in terms of shops and restaurants being open?

Sure! I attached the PDFs I got from someone else on this blog. The loop is nice as it dumps you back at all the bars, shops and restaurants along the wharf. 

 walking tour nassau.pdfwalking tour nassau_map.pdf

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On 11/11/2021 at 5:18 AM, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

I have to say I am not the biggest fan of Nassau...although it does look like they are building some type of beach or something as you get to the end of the dock.  Anyone know what that is going to be??

I was interested in this too! https://www.nassauportconstruction.com/about-1 Looks like that circular beach will be a fancy dock for the smaller ships/yachts to dock at. From the renderings it looks like they're also planning some sort of outdoor music venue. Would be cool for late night stops! 

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Hi hellooo, I am back at my desk today sadly which means I have ample time to update the tail end of my YASBCLB (Yet Another Short Bahamas Cruise Live Blog) which I am sure everyone has been dying to hear about! haha

We left off sailing into Nassau for a medical evac. While there we had a nice sunset in port and stayed till around 6:30pm. 



This 3rd night we had Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and it was great! I definitely liked it more than the Oasis' more formal version. You gotta try the Stromboli appetizer, so good. We also tried two pasta dishes, the Meatball Gigante and a Giovanni's pizza (spicy and sweet with honey, amazing!) so needless to say we were stuffed afterwards and completely missed the Once Upon a Time show in the main theatre. Whoops! 

The next day was our last, our second stop at Perfect Day. This day we finally got to try Thrill Waterpark and it did not disappoint. After having ridden the 5 ship-board slides available to me on OA and FR all week, the Thrill slides were a welcome departure. THEY ARE CRAZY FAST! The ship slides are pretty tame and slow, I almost needed to push myself out of the blue on on FR, but the Thrill slides are actually thrilling. 

The tallest red one was insane, I only managed that one once but we tried all the others multiple times. We got off around 8:15am and had done nearly all the slides by 9. Since we were joined in port by Anthem, the lines started filling up around 10 so we headed to Oasis Lagoon for awhile. 

Here comes Anthem



View from the top of Daredevil's Tower


View from Splash Summit



That yellow/pink slide was so much fun! I was not expecting to fly down backwards out of that hole the first time and managed to rotate our raft on the next 2 rides so that I went down facing forward instead. Much better!

The day got cloudy and rainy later in the afternoon but we stuck it out and rode all the slides again! We headed back to the ship around 3:30 and left at 5. Overall, definitely a Perfect day, rain and all. 

Bye Anthem! 


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Here are some more Freedom pics from around the ship! I loved the pool deck amplification. We were able to snag one of the cabanas a couple times up on the twelfth deck which is where our cabin was very conveniently located. I really liked being in these deck 12 cabins (1880) because of the proximity to both the elevators and the Lime & Coconut. 




Solarium from above. They took out the big red lips!! 



Cabanas seen on the left, first come, first served. The casita on the right was clearly rentable but not on our sailing. Not sure why! We also saw Super Mario's which was the one in the back.


View from the cabana


Lovely sunset leaving Miami



Royal Theater Ladies


Sunset Flowrider + slides in Nassau. My fiance got pretty good and swapped to standing later on! Funny that it took us till the 3rd Royal cruise to try it, we will be here on all cruises with Flowriders in the future. 


Sunset shuffleboard in Nassau, don't mind the bird! 


This lil angel turned out two $75 wins on both Oasis AND Freedom! On a 1x 30 cent bet both times, unfortunately. 


Back where we started. At least it rained for our departure! Nothing like experiencing a little weather when you're from the desert. 



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Overall Thoughts: 

Oasis Class

With only around 3,000 on this sailing, the place felt pretty empty and we were always able to find bar seating and pool chairs around the ship. The only place that felt busy all of the time were the hot tubs! With the strictly enforced 7-to-a-tub rules mixed with the rainy weather, you could almost never squeeze into a hot tub as they were being occupied by groups that stayed for hours. I think if you're going to limit the capacity, they should be limiting the time allowed in there. 

The water slides on Oasis were fun even for an adult. I havent been on a ship with slides until this one and they were a daily activity that needed to be checked off before retiring from the pool deck for the day.  

Central Park was such an amazing feature of Oasis class that I will really miss on the smaller ships. I enjoyed walking through every night on our way to specialty dining and hearing different musicians every time! Guitar, piano, cello. The plants also smelled so good after we had been through a rain shower. I also loved the Rising Tide bar that arrives/departs from Central Park every 15 minutes or so. Fun way to skip down a few floors. 

150CP was hands down the best meal we had on either cruise. The garlic bread I want to try to make at home! On top of the fantastic meal, the fried cheesecake for dessert really shined. You have to try it, even if you don't really like cheesecake (as I do not). 

Giovanni's was alright, nothing spectacular. Chops was also pretty great! My filet was smooth as butter. Even though I didnt taste any other filets on board, I gotta be team Chops filet as it was perfect! Our waiter added secret garlic fries to our chosen sides and they were worth a taste for sure. 

Playmakers was a slight disappointment but was okay for bar food. At least the prices are fairly low and we had OBC to burn. We ordered the burger, buffalo chicken crunch roll, campfire cookie AND chicken tenders. So much food for lunch but we somehow still made it to dinner, haha. Best of these items was the campfire cookie, so ooey gooey and delicious. 

Portside BBQ was alright, definitely a must if you have OBC or a dining package. Get the Banana Dream!

Music Hall is another venue I will miss on smaller ships. This is such a cool space to wander in and hear some evening music. Upstairs has a nice pool table that GREATLY rivals the pool tables in Playmakers. If you want to play a round come here; the sticks actually have felt, the chalk is physically present, you can make a shot anywhere around the table without the stick hitting walls and the surface doesnt list to one side (all problems of the Playmakers pool tables).

We saw the adult comedy show, Aqua show and the ice show on this sailing and we enjoyed them all. The Aqua Theater is soo impressive, I wish I had made reservations for two performances (which you can do!). 

Muster on Oasis was done at your leisure upon arrival. We watched the video in the room and proceeded to our meeting place early on in the day but the call came on over and over for people to go and do it or they wouldnt be able to sail. This was in contrast to the Freedom muster method; as soon as you board you are told to go directly to your muster station, no video watching necessary. I loved not having to congregate at a certain time, though! 

Vaccination bands on both Oasis and Freedom were a ribbon-like material with a clamp that could tighten but never loosen. These were different from the plastic Livestrong type vaccination bands I saw on guests arriving on Anthem. These to me were nicer feeling than the plastic but the tail end kept dragging in my food or drinks if I wasnt careful! Bring some scissors to trim your tails up if you're sailing out of Miami.

Here are some other Oasis photos featuring nice-looking clouds. 











Previously mentioned adjustable ribbon vax bracelets


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