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Old 12-02-2009, 05:48 AM
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Who said the Oasis didn't rock in choppy seas? We've been in what look to be 7 to 10 foot seas since around midnight and there is a bit of motion. More like being in a car than on a ship. My cabin has a window facing the bow and I could hear a very strong wind during the night. Also lots of banging from along the sides of the bow. It isn't at all terrible but it is noticeable.

Okay, let's look back at the previous day. Embarkation was perhaps the smoothest I've ever had on any cruise. It really was 15 minutes (or perhaps a couple less) from front door of the terminal until I was standing in the Promenade. I was starving and Sorrento's was right there on my left so I went in for a couple of slices. In the past I have not been very complimentary of Sorrento's pizza, lamenting it's cardboard crust. At least yesterday it was quite good - very good really. Hot right out of the oven vegetable pizza! You can also create your own from a variety of ingredients.

Cabins opened at 1pm. I had barely sat down on the sofa when a knock came and there was my checked suitcase. It took a little over an hour for it to go from pier to cabin (and yes, the tag was still attached).

After unpacking I set out to explore. My continuing impression is "overwhelming". The Promenade runs underneath Central Park with overhead windows. Climb some steps at the back of the Promenade and you enter the Boardwalk which I have found to be very charming and fun.

The pool area is broken up into several small pieces so you still get a sense of intimacy for the area you happen to be in.

This is an amazing piece of marine engineering but it will wear you out walking around it. It definitely isn't going to suit everyone.

Muster drill was at 4:15 and I was assigned to the health spa. No life vests. Just make sure you always have your cruise card out because about every 10 feet someone asked to see it. I finally got to the person with the scanner and they checked my card. The spa only had a couple of small TVs so everyone huddled around and viewed the emergency video. Start to finish it was 17 minutes.

Okay, first problem. When I boarded yesterday I was encouraged to make my "My Time" dinner reservation while still in the terminal so as to avoid lines on the ship. I picked 5:30pm. When I got aboard I realized that I'd reserved a seat for the AquaTheater show "Oasis Of Dreams" for 7pm. Not wanting to hassle with the dining room I decided to simply eat some snacks at the Diamond Lounge (which there isn't one, by the way - it was set up in the Blaze nightclub). I did so and went to the AquaTheater. It worked well with their scanning my card to verify my reservation and off I went to sit down. About 15 minutes before show time a man next to me waved over someone from the production staff who appeared to be a relative of his. Bad news. The staffer said the show was about to be canceled because of hard drive problems for the music. Indeed, a moment later it was announced that the show was canceled, but no problem, we would be automatically rebooked for a replacement show on the following night at 7:30pm. Well, it could be a problem for those who had other reservations for the new show time, such as dinner or another production show. And thus I see one glitch which comes with having so many reservation requirements for this and that - if one domino falls then it could cascade and affect other reservations which could upset a person's plans. So off I went to explore some more, this time finding the Windjammer. Surprisingly, the Windjammer is quite small. They had half of it open for buffet dinner so I went in and had some stir-fried vegetables and rice. I noticed bussing of tables was quite slow and had to hunt for a place to sit even though it was only half full of guests.

I then went to the Globe & Atlas Pub for a pint of Murphy's ale and listened to the bagpiper play. Given I had been up since 3am that morning, I then trundled off to the cabin for the night. Speaking of the cabin - I am not especially impressed by it. Since it faces the bow the outer wall is at a steep angle so a third of the room is not usable other than it having a big window. There is a striking lack of drawer and shelf space. The closet is also hard to access since it 1) had those maddening sliding doors which only allow access to half of it at a time, and 2) it is less than a foot from the sofa. The lack of storage is reminiscent of the small cabins aboard the Sovereign class. The safe is in the closet and takes up one of the desperately needed shelves, but then the safe isn't bolted down so I supposed I could move it. Why isn't the safe bolted down??? It is a good thing I kept paper copies of my reservation confirmations, otherwise I'd not know where or when. You'd think the cabin interactive TV could pull down a list of things you have arranged but it doesn't. There was also no way to reserve things on the TV. TV channel selections are quite spartan and I found nothing worthy of watching.

My cabin attendant has not introduced herself. She also didn't leave today's Cruise Compass for me last night. I had to come down to the desk this morning to get one.

This morning I am sitting in the Cafe Promenade typing this update. It is 7:20am now, and the place is mostly empty. Not too many people walking around either. Lot's of late nighters perhaps?

Wi-fi is working fine for me. I get a good signal everywhere. Oh, another thing. It was previously announced that the Oasis bars would use paperless systems for drink orders. I used it once, at Sorrento's and the bar tender did offer me a paper receipt if I wished. Everywhere else I went they are still using paper receipts only, and it might be a problem since a couple places ran out of the rolls of paper and waiters were sent to other bars pleading for the rolls.

Bear in mind this is the first revenue cruise and thus there are some issues the ship and crew need to hone. Please don't let them reflect on the ship or crew. The ship is most definitely "WOW" and the crew has been mostly quite engaging and helpful.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:17 AM
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Thanks for the update. I hope the seas, and the kinks, smooth out for you. Are you getting whiplash from looking at everything?
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:08 AM
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Sounds like for the most part you're having a good time.

I hope you meet your attendant and get your compasses from now on. It's strange that she didn't leave them. On Serenade one night the compasses had to be reprinted, but our attendant informed us of this and he came by later with them.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:09 AM
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I hope you get to see the Aqua Show!
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:12 AM
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Great review, Dave, and very honest. I have heard that storage space was a problem, on the Solstice, too.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:18 AM
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Quick updates:

The reason the Compass wasn't delivered last night was because of a printing problem. Nobody got them until this morning.

Also they re-rescheduled the Aqua show for those of us who had it canceled yesterday to 5:30 today, so I'll get to see it and not miss the ice show 'Frozen In Time' at 8:30.

Had the newly featured "diamond and diamond plus" breakfast in a reserved area of the dining room this morning. Open faced omelet with mushrooms, potatoes, and onions. Quite good. Service was a little slow though.

One thing about this ship: perhaps it is my sense of remembering things well but despite it's size I know where I am going without having to look at a map or the interactive screens located in various places. It is quite easy to get from place-to-place, it's just that it takes a while!

BTW, I am at 3.2 miles so far on the pedometer.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:25 AM
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Dave - A great first look-e-look at the Oasis! Keep "em coming! Also keep on walking-you don't have enough miles for anyone of us to win!!!

Several years ago a retired Cruiseline Exec told me it takes about 12-14 cruises of a new ship to work all the bugs out both crew and equipment wise- that means you need to stay aboard at least three more months!!!

Bon Voyage,

BillyBuzzy
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
BTW, I am at 3.2 miles so far on the pedometer.
You better get walking!
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:45 AM
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Thanks Dave, It's almost like we're all there with you. I don't know what we're looking forward to the most...getting the ship reports or learning how many miles are on your pedometer.

Sonny
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
One thing about this ship: perhaps it is my sense of remembering things well but despite it's size I know where I am going without having to look at a map or the interactive screens located in various places. It is quite easy to get from place-to-place, it's just that it takes a while!
I found it helpful that I could see where I wanted to go from various places on the ship, because of the open design. If I was on one deck and wanted to go to Boardwalk, I could often see the entrance to it from where I was. You can see the Promenade from various places on the ship, too, and those things helped keep me oriented.
 
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