Our family left a day ahead of time in case weather held us up. We stayed at our favorite place – Bahia Mar in Ft Lauderdale. This hotel is right on the beach. I had booked and paid for 3 rooms for 1 night. When we got there The Bahia Mar only had 2 rooms booked. When we checked my confirmation it said three rooms but only gave me 2 confirmation numbers. Thankfully, the Bahia Mar said since the body of my confirmation said three rooms they would give them to me. I would suggest NOT booking through Hot Wire, who made the bookings. Two days after booking with Hot Wire I went back into Bahia Mar’s site and I could have gotten an ocean view and breakfast for the same price as a marina view. Oh well, we always learn.
The BIG news. The day before we left I received a phone call from Royal Caribbean asking if I wanted to be upgraded. I of course said YES! We were upgraded to a Loft Suite. What a thrill! It was a beautiful room and our Room Steward Cherry and her assistant Dwi were awesome! More on them later.
Accommodations: We originally had a Jr Suite booked and as I said earlier we received a call from Rosie asking if we wanted to be upgraded. After some hemming and hawing I said yes. We went from a 9th floor Jr Suite to a Loft Suite on the 17th floor. I loved the room, except for one tiny little problem. It is very much out of the way of everything. Elevators are a rarity during the busy times. Thankfully, we like walking stairs. When you walk into the room there is an entry way with a place to put your room keys (at least that’s what we used it for), next is a guest bathroom (husbands), then the living room with a sleeper sofa and windows from the upper floor to the floor. Way impressive! Go up the stairs and the bedroom is right by the upstairs railing, next is a dressing area and master bathroom with a shower that had…count them three shower heads! Different types of shower heads, a massage, normal, and last but not least a rain shower head. I used this bathroom, so we had a his and a hers. Downstairs was a walk in closet across from the guest bathroom and a normal closet upstairs. The curtains were automatic – hit a switch and they opened or closed. The lights had a master switch console that dimmed and brightened the lights. I felt very spoiled – oh wait I was very spoiled this cruise!
Dining: I never went hungry and the seven pounds I was so proud of losing before the cruise? Well let’s just say they found their way back to me. We ate in the Main Dining Room on this cruise because we brought our children and their spouses to help us celebrate our wedding anniversary and we told the kids they could have the days to themselves and the only request we had was to eat dinner with us. The food in the MDR is standard cruise food. Anyone reading this and if you have been on a cruise knows what I am saying. Cafeteria cuisine or just a little better. You have to give them credit thought they are feeding between guests and crew around 9,000 people a meal. Johnny Rockets should only be eaten if you are planning nothing for dinner or just a salad. Way too filling. Character Breakfast is wonderful! You get your picture with the DreamWorks characters that are scheduled and we got lucky and had Alex the Lion, plus two of the penguins. I got my bacon and cheese omelet. We did do the Seafood Shack Party and actually was bored silly. Last year we went on the Allure and did the Rita’s Cantina, which is the same party theme and had a blast. The room was full and it was a riot. This year I think we showed up and another table of four. We were so tired from our day in Cozumel we did not want to do anything. Will never plan anything like that again after a day at the beach. The donuts at the donut shop were great. We loved the key lime pie donut.
Service: This is the first cruise where I was actually disappointed in our concierge, we actually had two of them in the lounge and all they did was sit at their computers. We talked to someone who complained to guest services about them. Twice during our cruise they asked my husband to show his ID. They actually asked him what he was doing in the Lounge….okay maybe we didn’t belong since we were in a loft suite and are Diamond Plus, they could have pretended like we belonged. Towards the end of the cruise they did warm up and smile at us when we went in and mind you without getting up from their seats…they asked us how our cruise was and wished us a good night!
Our room steward Cherry and her assistant Dwi – we could not say enough good about them. My daughter – this being her first cruise – did not listen to me and in Labadee she way over did it in the sun and had a horrific sunburn on her back. Her room steward Patricia was helping my daughter the best she could and our room steward suggested a home remedy she knew about and I had heard worked and I told Patricia that it was coming. Cherry ordered it up for my daughter then called my daughter a couple times a day until she knew my daughter was feeling better. Between the two of them I cannot say enough about the service we received. Dwi was always waiting for my husband and me to come out of the room and asking if we needed anything. When we would get back to our room whatever we asked for was there. Our dining room waiter, Marvyn on deck 4 was awesome. The first night he asked our names and then he never forgot them. Always, always called us by our name and made sure we had everything we asked for. Joined us in teasing each other and he got teased himself. We had a fun table and great service. Our headwaiter came every night I think to see what we were all laughing about and joined in the fun.
The Ship: The Oasis and the Allure are two sisters that are unique. I love the Central Park Mall, Boardwalk, Promenade Deck, and the track that 2 and a half times around equals a mile. Every room I saw was clean and outfitted perfectly. I enjoyed both of them immensely and am looking forward to the Quantum next year.