So my vacation finally came and went. I was on the ship with my parents. The rumor on the ship was that we were the first cruise to sail at full capacity. I loved the big ship. However, it was almost too big. Now, I am not one to sit by the pool and relax. That's not what I like to do on vacation. My ideal vacation is getting up early every morning, and exploring the country I am in. So sometimes it is hard for me to relax on a cruise...I like to go, go, go. That is the main reason why I like the big ships, more for me to see and do. The embarkation was a breeze, on the ship by 11:45am. Our room was great, but it could use more storage space for clothes/stuff. The service in the dining room for the first night was pretty bad. Our waiter, who was Jamaican had a thick accent, as he tried to explain "there are too many people on the ship", and that they have a "new system", where the assistant waiter is in charge of getting the food. He was difficult to understand, but that is what I got out of it. Anyways, after 1.5 hrs, we still had our appetizer on our table. After the dinner my dad complained to the head waiter, and all the rest of the nights the service was great. Moving onto the spa! Now, I really enjoy using the sauna and steam room when I cruise. It has always been free and single sex on every cruise I have taken before. Well not anymore, , it will now cost you $30/day or $150 for a week pass to use a sauna and steam room with the opposite sex sharing your experience with you. Yep, it now cost and is coed. So I was in the spa, and saw an advertisement for the "Thermal Suite", with the cost $30/day, $150 week pass. I asked for a tour of it, not realizing it was coed. There are heated slabs to lay on, "rain showers", and then the steam room and sauna. There were only 2 people there, a man in speedos and a lady, they were lying on the heated slabs. I filled out a comment card on the front and back, explaining my displeasure at the steam/sauna now being charged for, and especially coed. I was more upset about the coed aspect, than the price. I asked what the muslim, and women from more culturally timed countries, and all the women who don't want to share that intimate environment with men are supposed to do? I thought it was very geared toward the europeans. I then formally, verbally, complained to the staff at the spa. They said there was "not a day that goes by that someone doesn't complain about the fee and being coed". They even get complaints from men, because "they can't be naked in there anymore". They said once again, that because "there are so many people on the ship", that they decided to charge for it, to cut down on the number of people that would use it, therefore, making it "more exclusive". Whatever!!!! I'm sorry, but it really me off, that is the best way I can describe it. The spa staff said that "every ship" built from now on will charge for the coed steam/sauna room. Other than that the ship was AWESOME. We saw Hairspray, and it was a top notch show, I highly recommend it. Also enjoyed the show "Come Fly With Me", it think that is what is was called. It had lots of aerial stuff. Getting on and off the ship was also a breeze, at the ports. The "resident bagpiper" was also there. He starts at 5pm, up on the pool deck piping, and makes his way down to the promenade on deck 5, piping all the way as a call to dinner. Then he also played a few nights in the Globe and Atlas Pub. He also gave a 1 hr talk on bagpiping, and its history. FYI-the first bagpipes were discovered in Egypt, in the year 1200-1500 AD, there are arguments about the year. Who would of thought... Central Park is very pretty and a nice calm area, compared to the promenade. The Coach store, did not have a big selection in my opinion, and the glasses I almost bought were the same price on Coach website, so I guess you just don't pay tax on the ship. We walked our luggage off the ship, and were off by 6:45am. Taxi ride from ship to Fort Lauderdale airport was almost $8. The ship is obviously bigger than any other ship in port next to it, it is almost comical, how it dwarfed the other ships. Well, I think I am done ranting now. Just wanted to get this down, gotta work on dinner now. Any questions just ask, I'll do my best to answer them. Thanks, Lil' Lori
Welcome back, Lil' Lori and thanks for the review.
I was curious to hear from someone who sailed Oasis when it was full. I'm happy the dining room service improved after the first night. How did the rest of the ship feel with a full passenger load? Were there lines to do things like the FloRiders, buffets, etc? Were there enough deck chairs?
I sailed Holland America's Eurodam in December, which also had a coed "thermal suite." This was my first time using that kind of facility, so I don't know if that was unusual for that cruise line. It's nice for couples who want to experience the heated chairs etc together, but I certainly can see your point about disadvantages to having it coed. I wonder if the new trend is to have spas and similar facilities coed?
The bagpipe talk must have been really interesting.
Welcom back Lil' Lori Sounds like all in all you had a great time. I guess they're trying to get more couples into the spa areas. I'm sure you were impressed by the size of the ship and the ammenities she had to offer. Do you think you'll book her again? I guess she'll be limited to the ports of call, though, due to her size. What have you booked for your next adventure?
I was on the Oasis when it was full, and never had a bad experience....Of course there will be things to find faults with on any ship...this is a new ship, new crew, new everything...there were things that needed work on, but overall, after 23 cruises, it was the BEST cruise I've been on...the service, entertainment, food, but it was the SHIP that made it the BEST....but I do hope, they don't try to build any ship that is bigger...except for the Allure....the Oasis was a Hoot....
Thanks Lil' Lori for your comments and welcome back to Cruise Chat. It does appear that many cruise lines are looking for ways to add to the bottom line and things that may be a little extraordinary will cost now. I think that RCI does a pretty good job of keeping the extras under control. I guess If I like the sauna/steam rooms on a regular basis it would be a little upsetting to me..My brother took Princess in Feb and his ship was dwarfed in ports by the Oasis..Hope to hear more general comments as you have time.
Sandy-the lines for the Florider seemed shorter, than when I was on the Freedom. Probably because there are 2 Floriders on the Oasis, and just 1 on the Freedom. The buffet never seemed too crowded in my opinion. We were always able to find a table for us 4. None of the bars, stores seemed too crowded. With all those people on board, we kept running into the same 3 couples on board, at various places on the ship. The deck chairs did seem to be in hot demand, I didn't see too many empty. You said you used the Thermal Suite on the Eurodam, did they charge for it?? Penny-I think our next cruises will be based on itinerary, however, I do want to sail on the Radiance class, that is the only class we haven't been on yet. I think I would book the Oasis/Allure if it did different ports. But, I really think our next cruise will be driven more by the ports and not the ship. Our next vacation...hum...my husband and I take turns picking places to go. Last year I picked a land tour of Vietnam. So, he now wants to go to Spain, and I think we will throw in Malta and Carthage in Tunisia. However, if I get my wish, we'll go to Bali. Gonna pay my car off first, before we book anything. I'll have it paid off by the end of the year, so I'll have lots of time to plan. Lil' Lori
Forgot to mention-they are having problems with the "Rising Tide Bar", not working good. Also, they were having problems with the water fountains that spout up as the bar rises. The water was spouting a little too much, and hiting the walkways on the promenade. They were working on the bar quite a bit while we were on it. We meet a mechanic from Norway that was working on the bar from 1am, till the morning. He said that everynight, he was calling the Allure crew back in Finland, and telling them the problems with the bar, and what not to do with the one they are building on the Allure. Lil' Lori