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HELP... food cost? Oasis of Seas dept May 13.


LaBay0715
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Where can you eat for free?  It appears everything I look at costs money.  I am confused and never been on a cruise.  Also, drink packages?  I am trying to justify the value and can not seem to find it.  How do they keep track of who bought what?  We are family of 4 (teen girls).  My girls were excited about the hot dog and hamburger place and now it looks like it costs.  The website is not very direct for new cruisers.  I attempted to call and the representative was not helpful at all.  Kept telling me I would have to find out once aboard the ship and could only go over dining / drink packages.  Please provide your insight.  Thank you.

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@LaBay0715...relax ?

Oasis is a great ship!  You will have a great time.  Have a read through this by @Matt for starters:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/01/31/first-time-cruisers-guide-royal-caribbeans-oasis-of-the-seas

Drinks are tracked on your seapass card.  It's basically like a credit card on the ship.  All your purchases go on the seapass card.  Whether or not a drink package is worth it is your call.  Here's another link to read through on the basics of a drink package:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/royal-caribbean-beverage-package-costs-info-tips

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13 minutes ago, LaBay0715 said:

Where can you eat for free?

This post has a listing of complimentary and additional cost dining venues on Oasis: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2017/01/31/first-time-cruisers-guide-royal-caribbeans-oasis-of-the-seas (Thanks to @Lovetocruise2002 for also mentioning this post).

13 minutes ago, LaBay0715 said:

Also, drink packages?  I am trying to justify the value and can not seem to find it. 

If it doesn't make sense for you to drink that much that a drink package "is worth it", then don't get one.  I know drink packages get a lot of attention, but you don't need to get one, so don't feel like by not getting one you're missing out or something.

14 minutes ago, LaBay0715 said:

How do they keep track of who bought what? 

Each drink order is a separate transaction and your SeaPass card is how they track it all.

14 minutes ago, LaBay0715 said:

My girls were excited about the hot dog and hamburger place and now it looks like it costs.

I think you're referring to Johnny Rockets? If so, yes, that has an additional cost to it.

You can get complimentary hot dogs down the Boardwalk at the Boardwalk Dog House.  You can also get complimentary burgers and hot dogs in the Windjammer.

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Guest toodle68
34 minutes ago, LaBay0715 said:

It appears everything I look at costs money

You can make a cruise as cheap, or as expensive, as you want.  About the only food item we purchase on a cruise is the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and occasionally we might have a cocktail.  We could easily walk off having spent next to nothing and not feel like we missed anything. 

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Just now, toodle68 said:

You can make a cruise as cheap, or as expensive, as you want.  About the only food item we purchase on a cruise is the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and occasionally we might have a cocktail.  We could easily walk off having spent next to nothing and not feel like we missed anything. 

Ditto.  We rarely pay for specialty restaurants or extras.  We're still happy.  There's still way more than enough to eat.

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2 hours ago, toodle68 said:

You can make a cruise as cheap, or as expensive, as you want.  About the only food item we purchase on a cruise is the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and occasionally we might have a cocktail.  We could easily walk off having spent next to nothing and not feel like we missed anything. 

Did you purchase a drink package? if so which?  

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20 hours ago, LaBay0715 said:

And does anyone know if you can take anything on board?  ie preferred water brand, vitamin water or gatorade.   Thank you all for your input.  

Officially, no, you can't bring any of your own drinks on board.  The only official exception is two bottles of wine per stateroom.

That said, most people report being able to carry on a case of water or soda (or put it in your luggage) without being stopped.  Any alcohol beyond the wine limit will be confiscated and returned at the end of the cruise.

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   The hamburgers and hotdogs are free in the windjammer.  Are they as good as Johnny Rockets?....probably not!  You can also eat all the hamburgers, fries, and onion rings you want at one sitting at Johnny Rockets.  The hamburgers are big so I would doubt you can eat many.   Johnny Rockets charges one fee for everything.  The milkshakes might be extra.

  A good alternative to the hamburgers is the Park Cafe in Central Park on deck 8.  They have a wide variety of good sandwiches and its free.  Its open on embark day.  Good salads also.

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There is plenty of free food on the ship for your kids to enjoy!  They do have many items for purchase, but what I did with my teens is determine a set amount of $$ that they each could spend on board for the extras - like frozen "virgin" drinks, ice cream (but they always have soft serve for free) etc.  They could then decide what they want.  I was able to go to guest services and have a specific amount put on each of my kids sea pass cards so they could not overspend.  If this is their first cruise they will go crazy over all the free stuff and probably won't mind not having the items that are offered for a fee. Also they will be so busy with all the activities they won't have time to eat so much.

 

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Drink package is a splurge item. It is well worth it if you drink a lot or like to try drinking different drinks. My wife and I get the drink package because its nice being able to pay for it months in advance then once on the ship not have to keep track of how much we are spending. Nothing is better than not having a sea pass card bill at the end of cruise. Look at some drink menu's to see prices before you go so you can decide if the package is worth the price to you. 

Free food is everywhere and most is really good. Johnny rockets on the boardwalk has a cover charge for lunch and dinner and shakes are extra. But they are open for breakfast and it is free! The park cafe in central park is free at all times of day and has the coveted kummelwick (sp?) sandwich and great salads. This is our go to spot for a quick lunch. Especially on embarkation day because the Windjammer is crazy busy. 

Windjammer is all free but can get crazy busy at times. If you go here either go a little early or a little later than typical dining times and it will help. 

Sorrento's pizza is free and has pizza and a few other items that change daily.

Cafe is free and has coffee and pastries and sandwiches. 

Dog house is free but seems to have wierd hours. I don't think I've ever actually seen it open. 

Main dining room is free for breakfast lunch and dinner. 

And there are many more specialty restaurants that have a charge. 

 

 

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 Nothing takes away from a vacation worse than worrying about how much you are spending.

My first few cruises in the 80's they didn't offer drink packages except soda for the kids and it wasn't uncommon to see huge bar bills at the end of the cruise.  The night before the cruise there was a mandatory meeting for everyone on how to disembark and one line stuck 'Remember the card you've been playing rich with.  They must be paid before you can leave the ship.'  We were slightly delayed getting off because they couldn't find one passenger to settle his bill.

People we knew who normally didn't drink were drinking.  Even if it's just a soda or juice, depending on where you get it, it will add up and since you aren't paying cash, it's worse than a credit card because it's hard to keep up on what you are spending.

Good thing is you can see how it is going the first day or so and if it seems to make sense, I believe you can buy the drink package on the ship.

 

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On ‎4‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 1:09 PM, LaBay0715 said:

Where can you eat for free?  It appears everything I look at costs money.  I am confused and never been on a cruise.  Also, drink packages?  I am trying to justify the value and can not seem to find it.  How do they keep track of who bought what?  We are family of 4 (teen girls).  My girls were excited about the hot dog and hamburger place and now it looks like it costs.  The website is not very direct for new cruisers.  I attempted to call and the representative was not helpful at all.  Kept telling me I would have to find out once aboard the ship and could only go over dining / drink packages.  Please provide your insight.  Thank you.

As @Toyman55 said, every purchase on the ship is on your Seapass Card.  You can track what you have purchased (your account) on the TV that is in your cabin.  I recommend checking it periodically and most definitely toward the end of your cruise. 

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Also remember that the food from room service is free. You will pay the $8 for the delivery only. Order as much as you like each time. In our  cabin we drink mostly water from the water package we pre-buy but I do believe that room service will charge you for any soda's you will order. Someone else with more experience here can chime in with details on that. I am not sure if the drink packages cover that or not.

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it has been my experience that even if you have the deluxe drink pkg if you order room service and include drinks you will be charged bar prices for the drinks and I have just been told no alcohol drinks with room service they have milk and similar drinks for free with the 8.00 delivery charge and yes the hot dog and sausage place is a weird one rarely open and sells out quickly the one time I caught it open wasn't impressed at all WJ were just as good and hotter 

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It has been mentioned, but don't overlook the MDR (Main Dining Room).  Its "Included" (not free, cause you paid for it in your cruise price).  You probably selected a dining time preference (My Time Dining- flexible, or Fixed time, as in 5:30pm or 8:30pm).  Note - if you have "My Time dining", you will need to make dinner reservations for the MDR.  The MDR is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (sometimes it is closed for lunch on port days).  Breakfast and Lunch in the MDR are casual dress (no swim suites, but shorts are fine) and Dinner is just a bit less casual (long pants for men, but they won't throw you out for under dressing).  Breakfast and Lunch have a nice buffet (smaller, not like WindJammer), or you can order off the menu.  For Dinner in the MDR it is a cloth napkin, order from the menu, table service kind of experience.  You and the family should give it a try.  We like the atmosphere in the MDR, and the wait staff will cater to the children. Order 2 entre's or extra deserts, its "Included".  NOTE - for the 7 day cruise, there will be 2 formal nights.  But "Formal" isn't really formal in the old sense.  You will see a few men in sport coats and ladies in dresses, but you hardly ever see many suites any more.  You will be fine with Kaki pants and a shirt, the old "Business Casual" will work fine.

The Windjammer Cafe (Huge Buffet) that has been mentioned is "Included" (no extra fee).  It has a great variety of food served on several buffet islands (massive amount of food).  There are actually 2 of them, one of either side of the elevators close to the top of the ship.  Great views!  You and the family should try it, and decide if you like the MDR or Winjammer better. 

Find the several "neighborhoods" on the Oasis.  The Promanade neighborhod is where you will find the "Included" pizza.  As much as you (or the kids) want!  Also Promanade Cafe is "Included", so have  an "Included" dessert with great coffee (no fufu, just good coffee).  There is a starbucks there as well - "NOT Included".   The Central Park neighborhood is where you will find the "Included" Park Cafe, have one (or 5) if their roast beef sandwiches with a fresh made salad, and/or ready made side dishes, all "Included".  To Die For!  Keep looking during the cruise.  You will stumble on other "Included" dining experiences.  The daily Cruise Compass, which is delivered each evening to your room, will itemize all of the dining opportunities.

What you have probably been looking at on RCI's website is the Cruise Planner where they are trying to sell you "Specialty Dining" packages.  There are a number of these "upcharge" restaurants that are "NOT Included" in your cruise price.  They have a reputation for great food, but we have never even darkened the door of one of these.  Its up to you if you want to pay extra.  For my family, the "Included" food is very good.

As for the drink packages, to each his own.  My wife and I don't purchase the alcohol drink package.  It would not be cost effective for us.  One time we purchased the upgraded non-alcohol package that included upgraded coffees, juices, etc.  What we found is that we didn't use it enough to justify the cost.  We had "Included" juice with our breakfast (MDR and WindJammer), and I just used the "Included" coffee at the Promanade Cafe. 

We do buy the basic drink package, which get's you a souvenir insulated cup that you can refill at the Coke Drink Stations (one price gets you Unlimited Refills all week).  They have the usual Coke products, PowerAid drinks (sugar free as well) and lots of others.  There are Coke Drink Stations in the Promanade Neighborhood, and at the WindJammer, and and other locations.

We like to have bottled water in the room.  You can of course tote you own case of water, or purchase one in the Cruise Planner and they will deliver it to your room. 

Hope your family has a wonderful time on the Oasis!

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