Got back home an hour ago. RCI Luggage Valet service delivered as promised and our luggage was on the carousel by the time we got there. It is free for suite guests so why not use it?
This was our first cruise as D+ members and we were treated like royalty. Very few D+ members on this cruise. I was told by one of the bartenders (he worked the D lounge in the evening) that there were around 35 D+ and about 170 D members aboard. With a full ship of ~6200 passengers that is a bit remarkable. Lots of first timers and people from Europe and Australia.
Both the Diamond and Concierge lounges were never more than half full for cocktail hours. Same for the morning breakfast in the CL. Not sure why more suite guests didn't use the lounge perks.
Booked the Serenade for January 4 out of New Orleans while aboard.
I've got to put my thoughts together for the review. Had the best waiter ever. Vien from India. This guy was on another level compared to the other waiters. He got Wowed!
Only 35 D+ is a rare occurrence. Were there any Pinnacle? Haven't ever used the Valet Service - it's something new and not available on all the ships. I heard that it will be a perk for Pinnacle Club Members also. However, I also heard it won't be a perk. I really don't think there's enough incentive for people to try to become Pinnacle. Except for a couple of minor perks, you get just as much being a Diamond Plus Member.
We just left the Allure a few minutes ago. We did the express departure and it was really easy. We walked out of our stateroom at 6:20 and were at the airport at 6:45. We never had to wait in any lines anywhere. Quite smooth.
I will likely submit a review as well, however, I don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said about this amazing ship.
I think there were 5 or 6 Pineapples aboard. I know of two couples who were making Pinnacle when the cruise ended and the points issued.
On Saturday they only had four Customs officers on duty to process 6000+ passengers. They were moving people pretty quickly though and not asking a lot of questions. Still, we left the ship at 7:15am and it took us 45 minutes to get outside the terminal. Those who had to claim their luggage probably took 60 minutes. Self-debarkation was the way to go but we brought along too much luggage this time. Not sure why that happened.
I am currently using the wifi on the plane on my phone so my post may be shorter than usual.
I know what you mean about packing too much. We learned our lesson about 7 or 8 cruises ago and do much better now. I limit everyone to one suitcase that they can manage themselves plus one garment bag for all to share, which I end up carrying. After being stuck behind several thousand other people trying to get through customs, I insist on the self debarkation option. I could not believe that we walked off and got all the way to the taxi stand without ever waiting on anyone. I think it helped that we went to the gangway before they made the first announcement.
To answer your question, Sonny, I did purchase two future cruise bookings while on board, but I have not made any specific arrangements yet. Since my oldest daughter is going off to college, we don't know when she will be available yet. Of course, we know when the scheduled breaks are, however, she is running cross country, indoor track and outdoor track at a division I university, so she will not be completely off during the usual breaks. We may end up having to go without her, but I am not sure if she could forgive us for that!
We have cruised on the Freedom and the Navigator over Thanksgiving the last two years and may consider something like that again. I would love to go back on the Allure again ASAP.
I'll admit I live a charmed life when it comes to our cruises. Rarely has anything gone wrong, and the Oasis cruise was no exception.
The biggest 'problem' was when the tour tickets and platinum member coupon books were delivered to our suite for the people who were originally booked into it, and our stuff was sent to our original cabin - this all due to the suite upgrade RCI gave me just two days before the cruise so it was understandable and we were not at all angry about it.
We called the desk to tell them we had somebody else's tour tickets and wanted our D+ coupon books and within an hour they had it all straightened out, and really, we were not upset in the least but still they sent us the special 'VIP Show Access' stickers for our cruise cards (these allow you access to all shows with no need for a reservation), a bottle of expensive champagne, a huge tray of pastries and snacks, and a personal visit from the Housekeeping Supervisor to apologize. The next day the Hotel Manager called to check up on things. They definitely went above and beyond on this. I was actually a bit embarrassed by all the fawning.
The Oasis crew was really amazing. Everyone seemed on top of their game at every moment - and happy!