Hi again, ok this could be long and boring and I'll probably forget things but I will write them up as I think of them,
May I start off by saying a huge Thank You to Dave whos opinion I really trust, I booked into the Hilton on his recommendation and I must say I felt like a celebrity for that one night! The place is amazing the staff treat you like royalty, people opening doors for you all I was short was the papparazzi taking photos! The room was gorgeous overlooking the sea, (to the right) and I couldnt have been happier with the choice, it was very luxurious compared to the hotel we stayed in last year in miami which was not a patch on this, old fashioned and with floral bed clothes and rock hard beds this has restored my faith in American Hotels for sure!!
Ok so on to the Oasis -
Things were busy in Fort Lauderdale as the Superbowl was going to be on in a two weeks and apparently (sorry) this is huge! Probably our equivelant to an All Ireland Hurling or Football final here!
We went to a fab restaurant called the Casablanca which came recommended, it was fantastic and the place had a great buzz about it, and was busy.
So next morning we headed for the Oasis at about 12 noon!
Embarkation was pleasurable, very well organised and speedy, we were on the ship in no time! And like others said it was hard to tell where the ship began and the terminal ended! It was that professional!
First impressions HUGE, HUMUNGOUS, OVER SIZED, actually I never thought I would say it but I honestly think its Too Big, dont get me wrong its fantastic and I would definitely sail on Oasis again but its crazy crazy big, I just cant explain it. People who have been on it will know what I mean. There were parts of the ship we were still discovering on our last few days!
where to start, ....
I dont want this to be taken up the wrong way and I dont mean any disrespect whatsoever but we found (along with many others who had been speaking to bar staff) that the age group on the oasis on this trip was a much older cruiser, I mean I would say that at least 75% of people were over 60, which is great and I hope Im cruising at that age, but it meant that some of the night activities and discos were quieter. Some bar staff said it was the first cruise that they noticed it and that alot of the public had said it to them, they of course were not making as many tips either because the older people are not up late drinking mudslides! The bar staff maintained it was because the older generation wanted to get the holiday in early before peak season and Spring Break etc. It didnt interfere with our holiday whatsoever and we met some lovely people from every generation. I hope people dont start slagging me off for saying that now its just something that I noticed having been on two previous cruises, as my friends are always saying to me cruising is for old people Im like absolutely not its for all ages which of course it is!
Ok lets go through some of the areas on the ship -
The Solarium - Without a shadow of a doubt the most relaxing and welcoming place on Oasis, I adored this place and spent every day here sunbathing relaxing reading my book and for those of you who like a little shade the little basket thingys with the pull up hoods (thats not a great way of explaining them) are amazing, they are of course extremely hard to come by as there are only maybe 6 in the solarium but they're amazing and comfortable.
The food in the solarium is really healthy which we noticed Royal Caribbean really were playing on this time, the healthy option. They served amazing salads and healthy stuff, like nuts and dried fruit etc.
At night the solarium changes into a 'paying' restaurant like the others on board, they cover the chairs with covers and its lit up very romantically however I didnt see many people availing of the menu or eating here as in my opinion when you've eaten there during the day for free you're wondering if your getting the same thing 'dressed up' on a nice plate for dinner! Maybe Im wrong but thats how I saw it. But the peace and tranquility of the Solarium was just great. Nice to get away from the hussle and bustle of the main pool areas where they were playing different music etc.
This place disappointed me somewhat, when I saw it first I thought it was amazing but having been back throughout the week, it lacked atmosphere. I expected a carnival atmosphere here and there wasnt any. Its like it was too far away from every thing else, just didnt work, apparently other bar staff said its not a success and i would think they should rethink it for Allure, the bar apparently during the day only sells a handful of drinks and is only busy when there is a show in the Aqua Theatre.
There were not many children availing of the Bordwalk either, and when the carosuel was in full swing there were only a handful of people on it. Apparently the weeks before when drink was free on the inaugural sailings there was a much better buzz about the place, but things soon changed when the 'regular' cruisers boarded! The rock climbing walls are also in this area and I didnt see one person using them. They're just in the complete wrong place, I understand they fit into the design of the ship, but no kid or adult is going to travel from the sports court on the top deck to the boardwalk to climb a wall, not when there are two flow riders in full swing!
I expected there to be a real childlike feeling about the boardwalk and there wasnt, a man we met who was staying in a room overlooking the boardwalk said its great its really quiet nothing happening in boardwalk!
Ok ill sign off for a little while to let that digest and I'll fill you all in a little more later on! For anyone going on Oasis, you should be really excited its a fantastic ship Im just trying to give my opinion on how we felt the ship was comparing it to Voyager and Liberty! talk soon!
Hi all, just giving you another instalment, as there is just so much to write about -
so here goes -
The Dining Room -
We dined in the Opus dining room and I had emailed the dining room diretly and asked for a table for two near the window. Whatever about near the window I really wanted a table for two as I think its nice not to have to make small talk every night as it can get quite hard, I find its nicer to meet and chat to people at the bar or while around the ship. But thats just me other people absolutely love meeting up with others at large tables of 8 but its just not for us.
The opus dining room on deck 4 was lovely. Much the same as on the other ships we were on (Freedom Class) Voyager and Liberty. After boarding it was one of the first things I did was to check what our table was like and more importantly if it was a table for two. My little heart skipped a beat when our waiter led us to a beautiful large table for two by a window! Fair enough it was night time when we dined but it was lovely really nice. I remarked how some of the other tables of two were very very close to other tables where every single word of your conversation would be heard! So thrilled with the table.
Now on to the staff -
our head waiter was fantastic, usually I find these guys a bit of a pain to deal with as they tend to be all talk and let the waiter and assistant waiter do all the work, (past experience) but not on this cruise, the guy was fantastic, because I had a dietary requirement, (gluten free) he had a fantastic knowledge of my 'condition' and assured me that I need not worry about anything.
Our main waiter was not so good, in fact very poor he had a bad command of English and he constantly conflicted with what the head waiter would say, for instance one thing that i ordered the waiter told me it was not gluten free that he asked the chef, while the head waiter said It is absolutely gluten free I've spoken to the chef. Turns out the waiter was mixing up gluten free with sugar free, and unfortunately he continued to do this for the whole week, so I dreaded ordering in case there was some mix up. But the head waiter was great, every night he gave me the menu for the next night and told me what they could do for me and what sauces could be adapted to gluten free. This was reassuring to say the least!
I think our waiter was just 'off the boil' he just didnt deliver and it wasnt as if the others were the same we actually had a great laugh with other staff members as we were in a 'walk way' where they were bringing dishes from the kitchen to various parts of the dining room. They were all very very pleasant and funny. I think the language barrier was the main problem Im not sure what nationality he was but he really didnt have good enough English to be a waiter, if he was assistant waiter it would have been perfect.
Moving on to our assistant waiter, what a dote!
Such an attentive guy from Bulgaria. He treated us so well making conversation offering us water and bread a million times during our meal, just very attentive and nice a total Gem! I loved him. Pity he was not the main waiter!
In his defence our waiter did mention that they were under pressure that on the Oasis they had a new ordering system, they dont physically go into the kitchen any more they order on a computer system. One night I asked for saute onions he looked and me and said, 'saute onions' ok. And of course they never arrived because he clearly didnt know what I meant, but there were saute mushrooms on the menu so I thought he would know. I didnt want to complain him to the head guy, I just felt that every night he might improve or that he was a little shy, we all cant be bubbly all the time!
On to the food, I was very impressed with it! Thought it was better than other cruises.
Food was delivered promptly to the tables and because we were on our own we often had dinner finished within the hour which was great, we ate one night in the windjammer as we were running late and that I must say was gorgeous too for a quick evening meal!!
Great choice on the menus too with a 'healthy option' menu separate.
Over all lovely dining experience, just a little bit disappointed with our waiter, I suppose in the past we were very lucky to have had such bubbly bright and interesting waiters who spent ages talking and joking this guy just wasnt one of those, we were spoilt in the past!!
Just goes to show though that a dining room team could in fact make or break your holiday if you were in there for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Welcome back, Corkgirl Sounds like you had a marvelous time. I really appreciate reading your reviews, they are honest and very detailed. I totally agree, the crew has a HUGE bearing on your cruise. I look forward to reading your next installment Did you book the Oasis again?