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First cruise I felt cramped..


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Not sure if this is the right place to post this.  But I just returned from Oasis-OTS..  it was a little disappointing.  The boat felt crowded.  There were long lines for the main dining room every night,  the 2nd day there was a huge line  for breakfast at windjammer.  Also was difficult to get chairs on the pool decks sometimes. People everywhere in the walkways on the pool decks.  It’s not just the lines but it also felt chaotic.   I don’t remember this on other cruises.

 

I don’t want to complain too much, but this was my least favorite cruise.  Have Also been on anthem, freedom and a competitor.

 

I do want to say every single employee we encountered was beyond amazing,  but I will be rethinking future cruises on the mega ships.

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Did you have reservations for dinner or just show up?  Hit WJ at the most popular breakfast time?  Expect to get a prime pool lounger mid morning?  Sailed on a full capacity oasis class ship before?  What you encountered sounds pretty normal to me.  Ships sailing at 100%+ of capacity are crowded.

 

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You're describing some of the more common complaints these days, although lack of pool chairs is an age old pain point.

I believe the unusual lines are due to the ships still working to get back to full staff strength combined with a high percentage of staff that are inexperienced.  When we were on Explorer back in late June, at Capt's Corner, the hotel manager noted that while the ship was approaching full staffing level, the biggest issue was the inexperience of the crew.  Everyone's learning to sail again.

The pool chairs, unless you're at the pool by 9AM, will always be a challenge.  That has nothing to do with staffing levels.

Hopefully this is just a one off for you and the next cruise will be a better experience.

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17 minutes ago, PatsFanBrian said:

You're describing some of the more common complaints these days, although lack of pool chairs is an age old pain point.

I believe the unusual lines are due to the ships still working to get back to full staff strength combined with a high percentage of staff that are inexperienced.  When we were on Explorer back in late June, at Capt's Corner, the hotel manager noted that while the ship was approaching full staffing level, the biggest issue was the inexperience of the crew.  Everyone's learning to sail again.

The pool chairs, unless you're at the pool by 9AM, will always be a challenge.  That has nothing to do with staffing levels.

Hopefully this is just a one off for you and the next cruise will be a better experience.

I'd second this. I was on the Oasis back in May and there were clearly staffing issues and some folks who didn't quite know what they were doing. Disembarkation was a disaster every time. Everyone lined up, but the crew were not making sure passengers were lining up the correct way. There were no indicators of where the line should flow. People just ended up cutting and forcing their way in. No fun.

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22 minutes ago, PatsFanBrian said:

You're describing some of the more common complaints these days, although lack of pool chairs is an age old pain point.

I believe the unusual lines are due to the ships still working to get back to full staff strength combined with a high percentage of staff that are inexperienced.  When we were on Explorer back in late June, at Capt's Corner, the hotel manager noted that while the ship was approaching full staffing level, the biggest issue was the inexperience of the crew.  Everyone's learning to sail again.

The pool chairs, unless you're at the pool by 9AM, will always be a challenge.  That has nothing to do with staffing levels.

Hopefully this is just a one off for you and the next cruise will be a better experience.

I’m not so sure that is it.  The staff always seemed to be working incredibly hard and knowledgeable of their tasks.  I think it’s simply the boats have reached a point of being too big/crowded for their own good

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I don't understand this. Is it a staffing thing? I've been on Symphony at 100% capacity and it never felt overly crowded or full. Something is going on right now that suddenly people are complaining about the crowdedness on the ships when it was never a major complaint in the past. 

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32 minutes ago, jeffmw said:

I don't understand this. Is it a staffing thing? I've been on Symphony at 100% capacity and it never felt overly crowded or full. Something is going on right now that suddenly people are complaining about the crowdedness on the ships when it was never a major complaint in the past. 

I agree with this 100% and dare I say...I think it may be us the passengers (general terminology not every single person) 

This is our 5th Oasis class since the Royal come back. Everyone has spent the money they want to do everything..   now. Sad to say common courtesy for others has all but disappeared. People are only concerned mostly for themselves, no one is patient and as the week goes on it gets worse. 

In line somewhere? Well the one person in front of you is just holding the spot get near the action (park Cafe make your salad for example) the rest of the party show up. Did you push the button for the elevator? The doors may open but the people who are closest have pushed in and now it's packed....wait for another. And these are adults, the children are watching learning these bad habits. In the Suite Lounge there are teenagers every night half naked, bikinis or trunks for boys with no cover ups traipsing all over. Wait, mom dad is this okay with you?

I know capacity is crazy but cruising etiquette has pretty much disappeared right now and the crew still masked is working hard and is tired probably instructed to just let things be. Who throws food over their balcony, smokes on the balcony? The customer is changing thus the experience. 

It's time for my Royal break, I'm going to reset and rethink sailing in the future. Even if just for a minute. 

Yes less entertainment and quality offerings as well. I agree this is something so apparent definitely impacting the experience as well.

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18 minutes ago, jeffmw said:

I don't understand this. Is it a staffing thing? I've been on Symphony at 100% capacity and it never felt overly crowded or full. Something is going on right now that suddenly people are complaining about the crowdedness on the ships when it was never a major complaint in the past. 

Maybe the feeling comes from waiting longer in lines than expected. Like, we all know there will be lines, but should I need to wait 20 to 30 minutes for a coffee at Cafe Promenade? If lines continue moving, then things tend to not feel quite so crowded, in my experience. Another thing I noticed is on Oasis in May there were fewer events than I expected (likely due to things not back up to full speed in the entertainment department), so people had to make use of fewer events and venues than normal, which also leads to the feeling of being crowded. For example, they didn't do an aqua show. They only had two "previews" because the people were new, so that's one venue that never had passengers in it.

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11 minutes ago, Neesa said:

I agree with this 100% and dare I say...I think it may be us the passengers (general terminology not every single person) 

This is our 5th Oasis class since the Royal come back. Everyone has spent the money they want to do everything..   now. Sad to say common courtesy for others has all but disappeared. People are only concerned mostly for themselves, no one is patient and as the week goes on it gets worse. 

In line somewhere? Well the one person in front of you is just holding the spot get near the action (park Cafe make your salad for example) the rest of the party show up. Did you push the button for the elevator? The doors may open but the people who are closest have pushed in and now it's packed....wait for another. And these are adults, the children are watching. In the Suite Lounge there are teenagers every night half naked, bikinis or trunks for boys with no cover ups traipsing all over. Wait, mom dad is this okay with you?

I know capacity is crazy but cruising etiquette has pretty much disappeared right now and the crew still masked is working hard and is tired probably instructed to just let things be. Who throws food over their balcony, smokes on the balcony? The customer is changing thus the experience. 

It's time for my Royal break, I'm going to reset and rethink sailing in the future. Even if just for a minute. 

Not to get into a complain-fest about this, but yeah...just one anecdote. Husband and I were trying out the mini-golf course on Oasis and we're not even through Hole 1 when a bunch of kids run up to play on one of the golf decorations. This girl runs past and just kicks my ball. Not intentionally, but like...it was like they didn't even notice us there whatsoever. I get that they'd kids, but still. I also experienced what you described where one person would hold a place in line and their friends who show up and just cut. Not even a "hey, do you mind? They're with me", just pushed right in.

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2 hours ago, Mikei31 said:

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.  But I just returned from Oasis-OTS..  it was a little disappointing.  The boat felt crowded.  There were long lines for the main dining room every night,  the 2nd day there was a huge line  for breakfast at windjammer.  Also was difficult to get chairs on the pool decks sometimes. People everywhere in the walkways on the pool decks.  It’s not just the lines but it also felt chaotic.   I don’t remember this on other cruises.

 

I don’t want to complain too much, but this was my least favorite cruise.  Have Also been on anthem, freedom and a competitor.

 

I do want to say every single employee we encountered was beyond amazing,  but I will be rethinking future cruises on the mega ships.

I have to agree with this assessment.  Our very first cruises were all on a Freedom class ships and they were beyond superb.  We ventured up to Quantum class and Oasis class and we were somewhat disappointed but still had a great time.  We got away from the Freedom class but bigger is not always better. 

We are looking forward to Freedom OTS again in October but it is a 4-Night cruise.   We have never been on anything smaller than Freedom class.  We are looking forward our the Panama Canal crossing on Serenade right before the Freedom cruise.

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2 hours ago, Pooch said:

Hit WJ at the most popular breakfast time?

 

This will be my first time cruising, and I've been following the boards for a while, ,but never saw reference to there being long lines at WJ. How long should I expect to wait at popular times? And what are considered the popular time frames?

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I would think (and referencing no experience but my own) 8-10am on sea days, 7-9 on port days.  You know, the time people actually want breakfast.  IMHO a better strategy than what time to go is to keep walking.  I think most people stop at the first set of stations they see.  If you walk further around, you’ll find more tables & less crowds.  I found this especially true when everyone is funneled through one entrance.  I learned to walk past that crowd almost to the other (closed) entrance.  Practically no one there!

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13 minutes ago, ShugrGrl55 said:

This will be my first time cruising, and I've been following the boards for a while, ,but never saw reference to there being long lines at WJ. How long should I expect to wait at popular times? And what are considered the popular time frames?

If you wait more than a couple of minutes to wash your hands, I think you are at the wrong time, or it is embarkation day.  We always go to WJ before 8 AM, and on Harmony, we tried the Solarium Bistro instead. 

On the Mariner this June, we always saw empty lounge chairs on the top deck.  I even scored a lounge in the 2nd row by the pool, but it was mid-afternoon.

On any ship, we get seats at shows 30 minutes early, but we noticed on Mariner you could cut it to 15 minutes and still get a decent seat (June).

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1 hour ago, Lexster said:

Maybe the feeling comes from waiting longer in lines than expected. Like, we all know there will be lines, but should I need to wait 20 to 30 minutes for a coffee at Cafe Promenade? If lines continue moving, then things tend to not feel quite so crowded, in my experience. Another thing I noticed is on Oasis in May there were fewer events than I expected (likely due to things not back up to full speed in the entertainment department), so people had to make use of fewer events and venues than normal, which also leads to the feeling of being crowded. For example, they didn't do an aqua show. They only had two "previews" because the people were new, so that's one venue that never had passengers in it.

So true about cafe promenade.  At least 3 times I went and then just continued to walk by because the line was 20+ deep and I wasn’t gonna waste more of my vacation time standing around.

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Came of Wonder of the seas last weekend. Sometimes it felt pretty overcrowded. Seemed like there was to few staff to sort of have good enough "crowd controll / events / happenings" to make passengers spread across the ship. On the last day (day at sea) ....you could forget getting a poolchair after 8:30....
An example....Me and my kids went 10 minutes prior to Laser tag event opened........we still had to wait 1 hour and 50 minutes in line to play.....

However......we had a fantastic cruise. The ship is awesome.

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40 minutes ago, Summer Bee Sweet said:

The most terrible, horrible, overcrowded cruise experience hasn’t returned. The mass exodus from muster drills on Vision, Radiance, Voyager & Freedom class ships.I would always hang outside for a good 30 minutes and let the crowds disperse 

So true! What a horrific experience that was. I used to feel the vacation didn't start till after the muster drill, now it starts the second I step on board.

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4 hours ago, Mikei31 said:

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.  But I just returned from Oasis-OTS..  it was a little disappointing.  The boat felt crowded.  There were long lines for the main dining room every night,  the 2nd day there was a huge line  for breakfast at windjammer.  Also was difficult to get chairs on the pool decks sometimes. People everywhere in the walkways on the pool decks.  It’s not just the lines but it also felt chaotic.   I don’t remember this on other cruises.

 

I don’t want to complain too much, but this was my least favorite cruise.  Have Also been on anthem, freedom and a competitor.

 

I do want to say every single employee we encountered was beyond amazing,  but I will be rethinking future cruises on the mega ships.

I agree. I just got off Mariner in July and had the same experience. Royal is clearly booking ships over max capacity (which I guess is understandable given how much money they lost during the pandemic) I have never seen crowds like this even before the pandemic. We r trying Celebrity in December and hopeful it will be better. If not we may not be cruisers anymore. 

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We were on the Harmony last month and we were 100% capacity.  However, we had early seating for dinner and walked right in every night. When we would leave the dining room the line for MTD was insanely long!  We also used the solarium and there were lots of loungers to choose from but out by the main pools it was hard to get a lounger by mid-morning on (sea days).  We had breakfast in the dining room every morning and did not have to wait.  We aren't buffet people unless we have no other choice. 

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2 hours ago, Pooch said:

I would think (and referencing no experience but my own) 8-10am on sea days, 7-9 on port days.  You know, the time people actually want breakfast.  IMHO a better strategy than what time to go is to keep walking.  I think most people stop at the first set of stations they see.  If you walk further around, you’ll find more tables & less crowds.  I found this especially true when everyone is funneled through one entrance.  I learned to walk past that crowd almost to the other (closed) entrance.  Practically no one there!

I don’t think you understand.  When I say lines,  I’m not talking about walking around looking for an open table.  Im talking about their being 200 people in the hallways outside the elevator just waiting to get inside the windjammer…. Being held outside by staff.  
 

I will say the line moved rather reasonably but the chaos of it is very unpleasant.

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3 hours ago, Neesa said:

Sad to say common courtesy for others has all but disappeared. People are only concerned mostly for themselves, no one is patient and as the week goes on it gets worse. 

Yup, and not just cruising, but everywhere.  

I see it at work…not just how people treat retail workers, but how they treat each other, too.  
 

Society has made a huge shift over the past 2-3 years, and it’s sad in a lot of ways…..but this is definitely the wrong forum for this topic.  😉🙂

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26 minutes ago, Mikei31 said:

I don’t think you understand.  When I say lines,  I’m not talking about walking around looking for an open table.  Im talking about their being 200 people in the hallways outside the elevator just waiting to get inside the windjammer…. Being held outside by staff.  
 

I will say the line moved rather reasonably but the chaos of it is very unpleasant.

I get it - I was on Oasis in June and the lines for Windjammer were the same. They were funneling people in very slowly. It seemed to be in part because of the hand washing stations - making sure people were washing their hands (yay), but not sharing sinks or smooshed up in the sink area.  Honestly, I would see the lines and just leave to go somewhere else or do something else for a while, but I was solo on that trip and had more flexibility than a family. So yes, it was more that you couldn’t even get IN to Windjammer to have the chance to go to a further station…. The employees guarding the entry seemed immune (or resigned at this point) to the frustration, but I do have to say, once inside, staff was hustling big time to keep tables clear and keep the food out. And strange, because the ship did not seem overcrowded in general.

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28 minutes ago, Mikei31 said:

I don’t think you understand.  When I say lines,  I’m not talking about walking around looking for an open table.  Im talking about their being 200 people in the hallways outside the elevator just waiting to get inside the windjammer…. Being held outside by staff.  
 

I will say the line moved rather reasonably but the chaos of it is very unpleasant.

Yes, the lines can get long and if people aren't adhering to the handwashing, it becomes chaos. Not just for the staff but for guest as well. 

With capacity increasing and the ever present "me, me, me" attitude, things will feel cramped and chaotic. I sailed earlier on the beginning on 3 different classes of ships. My last cruise was a 2N on Freedom, during the week and it was chaotic, even with reduced capacity. WJ always had a line, and it was due to people not wanting to wash their hands.

Oasis has the space that even at 110% capacity it shouldn't be felt. But you add in entitled and rude behavior and the general lack of awareness, and it feels cramped.

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2 hours ago, Mikei31 said:

I don’t think you understand.  When I say lines,  I’m not talking about walking around looking for an open table.  Im talking about their being 200 people in the hallways outside the elevator just waiting to get inside the windjammer…. Being held outside by staff.  
 

I will say the line moved rather reasonably but the chaos of it is very unpleasant.

So what time did you go?  On Harmony in March at 75% capacity, never saw anything like that!  Wow! 

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On 8/5/2022 at 1:30 PM, Neesa said:

I agree with this 100% and dare I say...I think it may be us the passengers (general terminology not every single person) 

I know capacity is crazy but cruising etiquette has pretty much disappeared right now and the crew still masked is working hard and is tired probably instructed to just let things be. Who throws food over their balcony, smokes on the balcony? The customer is changing thus the experience. 

 

  I understand that cruise ships, airlines, hotels, dining establishments, etc. are all dealing with labor shortages.   I think @Neesa locked in on one of the main issues......customer expectations and behavior.    In the days of 15 minute pizza delivery, next day amazon, and instant streaming movies and shows on your TV, people seemed to have forgotten the lost art of patience and how to wait their turn.   

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We are on the Voyager OTS in October (23-30).  Per the RCCL website, all suites and balconies are sold out.  Costco Travel and a few other sites show that Ocean View are gone as well (Still available on the RCCL site). RCCL newbie - I was hoping to try for a Royal Up from our existing Balcony cabin, but it looks like a no-go.

I am a little worried at this point about the crowds, but what can you do.  Also, we grabbed the Key when it was on sale so I hope it will help with getting seats for shows and such.

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1 hour ago, FSUFAN said:

We are on the Voyager OTS in October (23-30).  Per the RCCL website, all suites and balconies are sold out.  Costco Travel and a few other sites show that Ocean View are gone as well (Still available on the RCCL site). RCCL newbie - I was hoping to try for a Royal Up from our existing Balcony cabin, but it looks like a no-go.

I am a little worried at this point about the crowds, but what can you do.  Also, we grabbed the Key when it was on sale so I hope it will help with getting seats for shows and such.

We have bids in on a JS and a GS for the same sailing, but I doubt we’ll get one….even if one of those becomes available, we didn’t move the meter much on our bids. 
 

This is a “forced vacation” for my wife and I, so if the crowds are crazy, we’ll sit on our balcony and get room service. 🙂

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17 minutes ago, teddy said:

We have bids in on a JS and a GS for the same sailing, but I doubt we’ll get one….even if one of those becomes available, we didn’t move the meter much on our bids. 
 

This is a “forced vacation” for my wife and I, so if the crowds are crazy, we’ll sit on our balcony and get room service. 🙂

How did you get a chance to bid this early?  I get an error message stating that it is not possible until 30 days out to even try.

 

image.png.5659881432f8bd7d0d6e812259ab7702.png

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2 hours ago, FSUFAN said:

We are on the Voyager OTS in October (23-30).  Per the RCCL website, all suites and balconies are sold out.  Costco Travel and a few other sites show that Ocean View are gone as well (Still available on the RCCL site). RCCL newbie - I was hoping to try for a Royal Up from our existing Balcony cabin, but it looks like a no-go.

I am a little worried at this point about the crowds, but what can you do.  Also, we grabbed the Key when it was on sale so I hope it will help with getting seats for shows and such.

Yes the crowds & the behaviors are somewhat daunting, but please don't let that hamper YOUR cruise vacation. You saved (or allowed Royal to keep your monies for 2 years) take a deep breath, accept what you can't change & navigate it.  Just like @teddysaid, even #CK was ridiculously crowded (but it was a peak summer sailing) we ordered amazing room service a tea kettle added to my cabin and had lovely meals on the balcony, after I cleaned it and gently spoke to the lovely family next door about please not feeding the birds, but that was only in port. To be honest they didn't seem to realize that was an off limits kind of thing, they loved that it gave their kids the giggles, so there's that. The lack of mutual respect by fellow passengers was tough sometimes but we tried to look inward and let it pass....

Coco Cay was a nightmare as far as bodies, I'm sorry the Island was kind of gross I wouldn't dare go into the Oasis Pool BUT when the Freedom left the waterslides did open up a bit. What saved us there was that water park cabana, but again it's summer school is out sailing when school is in session should be much better. Maybe the Island can "handle" over 10,000 people doesn't mean it should, it took FOREVER to get off the ship and we thought we waited for the mad rush to subside, no spacing protocols there that's for sure. But again while I waited I repeated my morning prayers, we were off eventually. 

If there are desired cabins you may be interested in place yourself on the waitlist one may just open up, you never know. Happy Sailing 

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13 minutes ago, FSUFAN said:

How did you get a chance to bid this early?  I get an error message stating that it is not possible until 30 days out to even try.

 

image.png.5659881432f8bd7d0d6e812259ab7702.png

Not all reservations/rooms will qualify for an upgrade offer.

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2 hours ago, FSUFAN said:

How did you get a chance to bid this early?  I get an error message stating that it is not possible until 30 days out to even try.

 

image.png.5659881432f8bd7d0d6e812259ab7702.png

You’re right. 
 

I’m confusing it with our upcoming sailing on Liberty. 
 

I need a day off. 
 

Sorry about that 🫣

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I've been on two Oasis class ships in the last three years. I was on the Allure OTS pre pandemic and Oasis OTS this past June. Both ships were at similar capacity when we were on board. I will agree with the post above that there is a difference. I think some definitely can be attributed to the staffing levels and also the newer staff trying to learn. On the Oasis I did see staff from many departments training new employees. Also some issues just arise due to the demographics of the passengers. Sometimes some sailings have more passengers elect for MTD which will mean alot more waiting for prime MTD times. Or some times you have a sailing where passengers just gravitate to a certain area of the ship. For example on my Allure sailing, the casino was packed anytime it was open which worked out as it made the pool deck alittle less packed. I think that as staffing levels and staff experience improve, I am optimistic to see improvement in some of the onboard experience. However as RCCL tries to pack their ships to the brim (which I don't fault them for as they are a business and also want to recoup from the pandemic), I expect some experiences to suffer. 

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