We had an evening flight out of Atlanta, Friday night, and arrived at FLL at about 9:00PM. Went out of the terminal and got a Taxi, ($18.00,) to the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. I booked the hotel online through lastminutetravel.com, for $189.00. I requested a King size bed, and when we arrived, we had been upgraded to a Jr suite, with a King, on the fourth floor. We had a nice size balcony with a view of the marina, the city, and the cruise port. It was a great room, so too bad we would only enjoy it for such a short time.
We walked across the street to a Hess gas station, and purchased a bottle of wine and some beers, for our pre cruise party. Returned to our room, and ordered Pizza from a place I found on line, that was located not far from the hotel. It was very good. After a few drinks, and enjoying looking at the city lights, we went to bed around 1:00AM.
At some point during the night, I guess around 5:00AM, I went out on the balcony. and saw the Oasis had just arrived, along with an MSC ship. I grabbed the camera, and took a picture, then returned to bed until around 8:00AM.
I still had to get my Asti Spumanti for sail-a-way, and some flavored creamer for my coffee, so I took a walk over the causeway bridge, and got some great pictures of all the ships, that were now in port. I walked another few blocks, until I arrived at the Harbor shops, where there was a Publix and a wine shop. There were also lots of places to dine like, 5 Guys, Carabas, and several local places.
Publix had everything I needed, so I made my purchases, and headed back to the hotel.
The morning started out on the cool side, but by the time I finished my walk, it had warmed up to a comfortable temperature, some where around 70 and sunny. It was about 9:00AM by then, so there was time to take a shower and go back to bed for a nap.
About 10:30, we were up and ready to leave for the port. We had intended to take a taxi, since it was just across the street, but the taxi wasn't a set rate, and went up 40 cents every minute that you waited for traffic to move, or if we traveled 1/4 mile, so we went with a shuttle that was waiting outside the hotel, and had a set fee per person, of $7.00. We waited just a few minutes, and then we were off.
When we arrived at the drop off place for the Oasis, it was still busy with those who were leaving. We went inside the terminal, checked in with no waiting, and sat in the Diamond area, until boarding started at about noon.
We had our picture taken and then headed up to the Windjammer for a bite to eat. We were one of the first passengers in there, so we got a table by the window, and enjoyed a nice buffet lunch. After lunch, we got a cocktail, and walked around the ship a bit, and then headed to our room just after 1:00PM, to drop off our carry on luggage. Our welcome drinks and gift were already in our room, when we arrived.
We had room 7206, an ocean view with a balcony, on the end of the forward hump, Port side. The room was "cozy", but big enough for the two of us. Lots of shelves, and space in the closet. We actually only used about half of the storage space. Our suit cases went under the bed, so that left room for shoes in the closet.
There was a small couch, table, flat screen interactive tv, chair and desk. There were also two pieces of art work, with accent, lighting above them. The couch was next to the closet in this room, which was nice because it gave us a little more walking space in that area. The outlets were by the desk, and behind the bed, so there were plenty of outlets, unlike what I had read on the CC boards.
We met our cabin steward, Fnu Krismas. He was another very friendly person, who was always smiling, and very accommodating. I requested ice in our cooler, for the wine, and we never had to ask again. He kept our cooler iced down all week, and our room nice and neat.
About the time we were ready to head out again, our luggage was in front of our door, so I quickly unpacked, and then we were off to take many pictures.
Muster was held at 4:30PM, and went fine until we all were trying to leave the area, and get to a top deck for sail-a-way. It got kind of scary, just too many people in a bottle neck.
We walked up the three flights of stairs to our room, to get our Asti for sail-a-way, and could see that the ship was already leaving. We rushed to the elevators, and they were still full, and not stopping. After waiting for a few minutes, we decided to just go back to our balcony, so we wouldn't miss the ship going through the channel. That was a little disappointing, since I had arranged for my family to watch for us on the port camera. I called them to let them know that we weren't able to make it up on the top deck.
We had first seating for dinner, 6:00PM, so we dressed for dinner, and went down to the dining room. We realized we didn't have a table number, so we had to wait in a line to get an assignment. We were assigned a table for 4, near a window, in the VIP section, but we couldn't sit there that night, since there was some confusion with table numbers. So for the first night, we sat near where our table would be for the rest of the week, with another couple who also had no table assignment. The VIP section was a nice location, we just couldn't see anything going on in the main dining area. That was fine, since we have been on 33 cruises, and had had that experience many times before.
Dinner was excellent, as were most all of our meals. I had the seafood spaghetti, which I didn't think I would like that much, but it was so good! Bill, my DH, had a Marinated pork chop, that was also delicious. We shared bites of each others food, every night. I also had a scallop appetizer, made like Escargot, (which wasn't available on our cruise).
After dinner, we went to the Diamond lounge, which was open from 5:00 PM until 8:30 PM. They had a full bar set up, including beer and soft drinks, and very nice hot and cold appetizers, including chocolates. I was full from dinner, but couldn't resist the bacon wrapped scallops in the lounge. I thought that the concierge, Francis, did an excellent job, along with Dennis and Goody the bartenders. They always greeted us with a smile, when we came in, and left the lounge. There was also someone in there at breakfast, who did a very nice job, but I never got his name.
After a few drinks, we did a little shopping. I bought the ship model, to add to my collection. The model was huge, just like the ship itself. We then purchased the "Beer Bag", and went back to drink and enjoy our balcony. The deal with the beer bag is you purchase this cooler like bag, with an opener, for $9.95. Then every time that you buy 5 beers to fill it, you get 10% off the price of the beers. We refilled it on several occasions throughout the cruise.
Day 2 - Sea Day
I started most mornings with breakfast in the Diamond lounge, since it was so close to our room. It consisted of pastries, donuts, fruit, muffins, juice, and a toaster, along with bagels, and bread. It was a very nice set up, and the food was always fresh.
After breakfast this morning, was the Crown and Anchor event, held in the Aqua theater. We went and had mimosas, and listened to the Captain for a while. They recognized a person who just reached Pinnacle status, by giving them champagne, flowers, and a gift. They also brought up on stage, a couple other Pinnacle tier people, and took some pictures.
This strange woman dressed in red leotards ran down to the stage, to have her husband take her picture with the captain, while he was making his presentation. It was like it suddenly became a comedy show, and I think some people thought it was all a joke. The woman happened to be sitting right behind me, so I knew it wasn't an act, just some weird twist, to the event. The Captain tried to tell her that he couldn't pose for a picture at this time, but the woman wrapped her arms around him, and the picture was taken.
Anyway, we left right after that, so that we could go to the meet and mingle at 11:15AM It was nice to meet everyone that I had been chatting with, on our roll call. RCI also gave some very nice gifts, to about 5 people who won the drawling, for showing up. They also gave us all a note pad and pen, for attending, and had available some pastries, water, and juice.
After all the morning activities, we decided to have lunch in the Opus dining room. A lot of people on the boards had talked about a Tuti salad, and until I had it, I thought how good could a salad be? I mean good, but... It was very good, and turned out to be one of the highlights of my day. I really enjoyed these salads! I also had a caramelized banana, with butter pecan ice cream. It was so good, I ate almost every bite. They also served olive spread in your bread basket at lunch, which was very good.
We decided to walk around, and enjoy the first sea day. I noticed that the zip line had a short line, and since I was looking forward to trying this, I did. It was such a thrill, and really got my adrenaline going. I loved it!! We had a cocktail after that, to celebrate the ride, which then lead to the purchase of our future cruise credits.
Tonight was our first formal night. We got to meet our waiter for the week, Alfredo, who was excellent, along with his assistant, whose name was too hard to ever learn. We also met our table mates for the week, who were very nice. It was a lady who decided to bring her Grandmother-in-law on a cruise, for her 90th Birthday. They were both very nice, and we enjoyed dining with them for the week.
My dinner was scallops gratin, Banana soup, shrimp ravioli, and a lemon meringue tart, which is called mile high lemon meringue pie. It was very good, even if the pie was a tart I was the only one at the table who had the cold soups every night, and they were so delicious! The rest didn't know what they were missing! Don't think of it as soup, but as a palate cleanser, and give them a try, you won't regret it! We also had a delicious white Moscato wine, but when we looked at the bottle, and saw it was only 5% alcohol, we didn't order it again. Then we finished the meal with an after dinner shooter, in the collectible glass. Always a crowd pleaser.
We went to the show tonight, which I reserved our seats for, pre cruise. It was the Oasis of Dreams, and was excellent! We don't care to go to the shows usually, but this was a high dive, water show, and really set the tone. It was so good, that we actually decided to check out some of the other shows, which were also excellent. I have been using that word a lot, and that is because this was the most excellent cruise! It was absolutely perfect!
Day 3 - Labadee
We didn't rush off of the ship, because our plan was to snorkel, and we wanted the water to warm up a little, before we went a shore. So we had lunch at the Park Cafe. The roast beef sandwiches really are that good! They also have the Tuti salad, even if they don't call it that, the best potato salad, fruit cups, soups, and other pre made sandwiches. I love that they serve flavored water here, and in the Windjammer. Very tasty.
We then went ashore, and the water was very cold, but once submerged, it was bearable for a little while. We tried snorkeling, but didn't see many fish, so decided to get warmed up with a stop at the bar, for a Labadoozie. Mine was kind of a grapefruit flavor, which I would have preferred a strawberry one, but I didn't think to ask what flavor he was serving. We then decided to go for a swim on the ship, while most people were on the Island. It was a nice temperature, and not crowded.
Sail-a-way was at 4:30PM, with a champagne top tier event, on the helipad, complete with the bagpiper. She did an excellent job, and I really enjoyed it, being of Irish decent.
Dinner was smart casual dress, and Italian fare. I had shrimp cocktail, strawberry soup, chicken Marsala, sticky bread pudding. Bill had the tiger shrimp, and again everything was excellent! We spent the rest of our evening walking around, and then relaxing on the balcony.
Day 4 - Falmouth, Jamaica
We decided to try breakfast at the Wipe Out Cafe, since Bill likes fried eggs. It wasn't impressive, but was ok. We got there not long before they were closing, and maybe that was why it was just ok. Anyway, almost everyone was getting off the ship, so we decided to go to the solarium hot tub, and the pool for a while, until the crowd was gone. That was very enjoyable! We have been to the other ports in Jamaica, several times before, but never to this one, so we thought we would look around the new dock area, and dry off, in the sun, while looking in the shops. The new Margaritaville was open! The people at the shops here weren't pushy at all, which was very nice. We only stayed in side the fenced area, and there were lots of shops to look in, even though not everything is open yet. They are doing a good job here, and it was worth taking a look, I thought.
Later, we decided to try the Seafood shack for some appetizers. We had the calamari and crab cakes. Both were good, but if we had waited, we would have had the same items for dinner one night, instead of spending $10.00 for them. We were ok with that, since we would have paid that much or more, at home.
We had a relaxing day taking pictures, a nap, lunch in the Windjammer, drinks, and then a casual dinner. I had ceviche, spinach dip, mango soup, and Chinese dumplings. Bill had veal scallopini. We then went to the Headliner show, which featured a group of guys singing songs, with out instruments. One of the guys actually made the sounds of instruments. It was really something! It doesn't sound like a good show, but you have to see it, to enjoy it.
Our first towel animal of the cruise, was in our room, when we returned this evening. We also had received a tray of sweets, during the afternoon, which included a little Red Velvet cupcake, delicious!
Day 5 - Sea Day
There are so many choices for dining on this ship. Here is a list for breakfast and lunch:
Breakfast free at: Wipe out cafe, omelets and fried eggs made to order, french toast, waffles, bacon sausage, potatoes, toast, pastries. Park cafe - breakfast sandwiches, cereal, fruit, pastries. Solarium - I never went, but I heard it was a light and healthy fare. Windjammer - you know the set up, everything. I never went for breakfast though. Diamond lounge - yummy pastries, donuts, fruit, toast, bagels, special coffee. Cafe promenade - coffee, pastries, donuts, muffins. Dining room - I never made it there. Johnny Rockets - never ate there. Donut shop - coffee, donuts. Breakfast was free every where.
Lunch Park Cafe - Roast beef sandwiches, other wraps and pre made sandwiches, fruit cups, bagged chips, Doritos, and a salad bar that you told them what you wanted, and they mixed it up for you. They also had deserts and flavored water. Windjammer - flavored water, lemonade, iced tea, and buffet. Dining room on sea days - salad bar, (they mix it for you,) lunch meats, and some buffet stuff, plus off the menu. Sorentos - Pizza, Cafe Promenade - snacks Sandwiches made to order on the Boardwalk Those were all free. Seafood shack - ala carte pricing. Giovanis - Italian, cost. Johnny Rockets - $3.95 cover charge. Solarium - light food Not sure if there was a charge.
This morning, like most, I ate breakfast in the Diamond lounge, and had lunch in the dining room. We shared a steak sandwich, tuti salad, and a mushroom cheese burger. All were very good! Then we went to the Boardwalk and rode the Merry-go-round, and I signed up for the "wishes at sea" walk. For a $10.00 donation, you got a tee-shirt, and a chance to help a sick child and their family, enjoy a cruise vacation. We then watched the Belly Flop contest, which is always amusing to me. We decided to watch the sea go by, from our balcony, this afternoon, and we got to see some Dolphin and flying fish. This is why we spend so much time on our balcony. We just love seeing the wild life, that live in the sea!
Tonight was our second formal night, so we decided to have some pictures taken, before dinner. Some of the poses they have you do, are really stupid, so after the ones we feel are right for us, we just say no more, and walk away.
This was our table mates 90th Birthday, and she was very happy, as were we, that it was lobster night. I had ordered a bottle of Asti spumanti, for the occasion, and her granddaughter ordered a chocolate cake. Dinner started off with crab claw salad, peach soup, shrimp cocktail, and large lobster tails. Dessert was baked Alaska. It looked really good, but I had the Baily's and Banana creme brulee. So good! We also had a couple shooters to end this excellent meal.
Day 6 - Cozumel
After breakfast, we went snorkeling right at the end of the International pier, where we were docked. We bring our own snorkel and mask, so we can just walk right out and snorkel, where ever we want, and on our own time. The water was so clear and beautiful, and there were lots of fish to see here. We saw a brown and white spotted eel, Parrot fish, a black and yellow Angel fish, and lots of other fish swimming around. The water was cool, but not as cold as it was in Labadee. After we finished with our expedition, we went back on the ship, and had lunch at the Park Cafe. By that time, we had been joined by 4 other ships in port. The Crown Princess, Carnival Paradise, Celebrity Constellation, and the Disney Magic which was docked at the downtown pier.
We had received a voucher for a free Taxi ride to the shopping area in town, so we decided to use it, and look around a bit. We ended up buying a couple Mexican Rum cakes. They taste like they have more rum in them than the Tortuga ones, and are just as good. We walked around town some more, and then stopped in a place for some guacamole, chips and salsa. We were serenaded by a Mariachi band, while we enjoyed the view of the water, and our snacks. I don't drink in Mexico any more, since I don't know when I have had enough Margaritas, until it is too late, so we just had soft drinks, and then headed back to the ship.
We decided to go swimming again, while most of the passengers were on shore, then played some mini golf, and I went for my second ride on the zip line, since there was no one in line. It was even better the second time, since now I knew how to do this. I even looked down this time! We then went and ordered some pictures at the photo gallery, got some envelopes from the Diamond lounge to leave extra tips for all of our favorite crew, who were helping to make this such an excellent vacation, and all the crew in the lounge. They also had forms that you could use to add them to your sea pass account, but it was easier just to give cash.
Dinner tonight was casual, and we had crab cakes, honey dew soup, shrimp cocktail, steak, and cherries jubilee. We then went back to the cabin to watch sun set and sail-a-way, then off to take night shots around the ship. Late that night, we tried the pizza at Sorrentos, which was ok. We also stopped at the Promenade cafe for a treat, as we did on many afternoons, while out exploring the decks.
Day 7 - Sea Day
I knew we wouldn't be up in time to get breakfast tomorrow, so I got breakfast for both days today. First I had my usual breakfast, than I went to the Park Cafe, and got breakfast sandwiches, and fruit cups for the next day. I put them in our cooler, to keep them fresh. The sandwiches were very good, even the next morning. One was a muffin with an over easy egg, and ham, the other one was scrambled eggs and spinach, on fecatch bread. After breakfast, I sat on our balcony, until Bill got up around noon. He missed seeing all of the Dolphin that were out there today! I tried to get a picture, and a movie, but I don't think that I captured the dolphin. At least I got to enjoy seeing them!
We had breakfast in the Windjammer today. I had some really tasty eggplant parmesan. It didn't have much sauce on it, like I like, so I added some sauce that they had for the spaghetti, which made it just like I like it. We also had mashed potatoes, and pork schnitzel. It was all very good! We then went to a water show, and picked up our pictures that I had ordered during the week. We looked around at everything again, trying to make sure we didn't miss anything, then had a drink on the Rising Tide bar. That was neat. When the bar is rising, they have a fountain underneath it.
Dinner tonight was casual, and I had scallops, pineapple soup, feta & clamote olive salad, and Turkey. The turkey was juicy, and served with an apple stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Bill had the Fried Fish Plate, which he liked. We then gave out our envelopes, like we used to on earlier cruises, and it was nice doing it that way, and saying good bye to everyone. We had left our tips on our sea pass, but all of our wait staff, cabin steward, and concierge staff, deserved even more than the recommended amount, so we got to use the envelopes for that.
We went to the raffle in the casino, (I had won a ticket for this, earlier in the week). It was a nice package of gifts and money, and they awarded two prizes. I didn't win. We filled the beer bag one more time, walked around, and then went back to the cabin and packed. We had our suit cases out by 11:00PM, and so stayed on our balcony until we went to sleep.
The next morning, Bill slept until 9:00AM, then we had our breakfast from the cooler, and headed to the Opal theater, to wait for our tag number to be called. At 10:30AM, they called our number, we were number 65 out of 77, and just after that, they called all numbers to leave the ship. We had asked for a late departure, since our plane wasn't scheduled to leave until 2:30PM, and I was glad we stayed as long as we did. Our flight was delayed five hours, total, but only an hour at a time, so we never could actually leave the terminal, and go do anything fun.
Everything about the Oasis, we loved, and we can't wait to go again, or to try the Allure!