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


DDaley
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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. 

Itinerary
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!

Oasis
Day 1 - Departs Miami
Day 2 - Perfect Day at Coco Cay
Day 3 - Cruising
Day 4 - Nassau
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Day 5 - Debark + turnaround night in Miami, Penguin Hotel South Beach
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Freedom
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)

Cabins
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!

Pre-Purchases
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, CP150 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.

Excursions
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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@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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Hot Flowrider action this afternoon!

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Norwegian Gem and Scarlet Lady behind us in port. 

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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. 

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

CP150 for dinner tonight! Our first Royal specialty restaurant. Getting excited for fried cheesecake 🤤 

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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.

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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! 

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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. 

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Last night’s dinner was Giovanni’s and it sadly was not as good as the amazing meal we had at CP150.. 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. 

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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!! 

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Queens Staircase (in the background)

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The old island water tower. 

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I spy the Ultimate Abyss!! 

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Sail away

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Funny position report with a lot of circling around

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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! 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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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