Day 1-May 29th (embark):
Security lines in the Check-In Terminal. One of the guards apologized for the long lines because two security scanners were sent to Mexican ports. We got stuck in a security line that joined up with another one at the machine - we received bad direction from the security staff and had to physically squeeze our way back into the line with no help from the security personnel.
Once through security, the lines to check-in by deck were mostly empty, except for the Diamond/Diamond Plus lines. We stood in one of two Diamond/Diamond Plus lines and waited our turn. For some reason our line moved faster. When we reached the front of the waiting line and the attendant at one of the 3 counters in front of our line signaled us to proceed forward, the lady in the next line was obnoxious and wanted special treatment because she was a Diamond member and had waited longer than we did. We let her go. When it was our turn again, the next lady played the same game and convinced the assisting staff that she was there before we were and should go to our open window. What a bunch of stuck-up Diamond members -thank goodness the ship was so big we never ran across them again. All in all, it took us 21 minutes to check-in and started boarding the escalators to board, at approximately 12:45 pm. Not bad but many friends told us it only took them 15 minutes before they were actually on the ship.
Once on board, we were directed to the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was packed, crammed and the tables were so close together we had to move our chair every time some passed behind us. It was also very small compared to other smaller RCCL ships. But we do give credit to the staff for the wide variety of offerings, and all served so hot and attractively! The Windjammer sitting area was smaller than any Royal Caribbean ship that we have sailed on and very uncomfortable.
We were able to get into our cabin at approximately 1:30 pm and the room was warm. We turned the air conditioning down to the lowest possible setting and felt only a little bit of cool air coming out of the small vents. We called Guest Services and they said they would send someone; no one ever showed up. When we met our cabin steward, he immediately called it in. To our knowledge, no one ever came. We checked out the ship and returned a couple hours later and the room was still warm. We called Guest Services again and they had no record of our calls. The cabin steward came by and he called again. The electrical switches were not marked and the cabin steward had to explain which switch controlled which light. We kept the curtains closed whenever possible and were very careful to keep the balcony door closed because of the whistling sound it made when it wasn't in the locked position. The door was poorly designed for comfort and noise.
Throughout the week, the reading light over the bed near the balcony would blink on and off repeatedly. We called that in and the cabin steward also called it in but by the 6th day it was never fixed and was still blinking periodically. The cabinets in the cabin were poorly designed. The delightful wooden cabinets on the dresser were great for storing toothpicks - but nothing else. All week we heard about the $10M spent on art on the ship - wish they had spent the money on better air conditioning in the cabins!!
MAIN DINING ROOM. The wait staff consisting of Ruivah and Haye was an outstanding service team that met all our needs. Their service made us go back every evening instead of finding alternative dining. However, our table, #244, was stuck against a column and it was a very crowded area (2 tables from the entrance). There was also some miscommunication with the other 6 people assigned to the table. We dined alone 3 nights at a table for 8. The other family had 2 18-month old twins and English was not their first language. They were a nice family but it was impossible to enjoy dinner as family members kept leaving the table to care for the twins - yes, the twins were also at the table in strollers. It was not a pleasant dining experience but we didn't want to hurt that family's feelings by seeking another table.
Spa Cafe. Hours posted on the computer screen just outside the Cafe on deck 6 indicated the cafe was open till 11:00 pm on the first day, and 9:00 pm every night after that. We arrived at the cafe before 10:00 pm and there was no one there. The Spa Manager was nice enough to answer our questions and direct us to the Food and Beverage staff. When we called, the Manager said they close at 9:00 pm - a time not consistent with the computer information screens. Guest Relations arranged for my wife to meet the Director of Food and Beverage to discuss the situation. He contended that the screen did not say that but was still defensive when shown that the screen had incorrect information. He also said he would review video to confirm my being there but never got back to us.
Aqua Water Show. It was terrific and amazing - the performers were so skilled and perfect. It was great to see the last show of the cast before the new cast took over during the next cruise. Congratulations on a fabulous show in fantastic surroundings! The only problem with the show is that 4 different scanners did not read our SeaPass cards correctly and we had to wait in line at the laptop before we could gain entrance.
Day 2-May 30th (at sea): We enjoyed meeting other Meet & Mingle passengers and spent time checking out different parts of the ship. The huge solarium was disappointing with the limited shaded areas. The Solarium Bistro had very tasty food. We found the offering of so many eating places discombobulated. We seldom knew whether we were paying for food or not!! The Daily Compass was often wrong with events that were not held. We realize that this was printed daily but the information had not been changed in a long time. We showed up for 3 events that the staff was not prepared to host - amazing! And the lunatic staffer who wouldn't let us take the scrapbooking project out of the room until we finished it? How would we finish a "picture frame" of our shipboard memories until after the cruise when we had pictures printed? (She had NO scrapbooking knowledge nor experience!!)
Day 3-May 31st (Labadee): We spent the morning ashore and the afternoon on the ship.
Day 4-June 1st (at sea): We tried to enjoy the Solarium but it was too crowded and there were very few shaded areas. The cantilevered hot tubs were wonderful but there were no comfortable seating areas because it was located at a major thoroughfare between the pool and the solarium.
Day 5-June 2nd (Costa Maya): We stayed on the ship to enjoy the amenities.
Day 6-June 3rd (Cozumel):
Ice incident. We were standing at the railing of our balcony and trying to converse with the crew of the Grandeur of the Seas across the pier. As we stood there, water and ice came tumbling down from above. I called Guest Relations who sent a representative immediately and saw the water on the railing and a couple ice cubes still on the floor of the balcony. He suggested that window cleaning was going on but there was no one above. The cabin was 2 decks below the back of the outside of the Windjammer Restaurant. I don't believe that your window-washing crews use ice cubes in the wash water!
Elevator lunch incident. We decided to go to the Windjammer for lunch. Of course, there was no available seating, even sharing a table with other guests, so we took our lunch back to our cabin. In the elevator, a couple came in a deck below and forced his way toward the back of the elevator and swung his backpack around him and knocked most of my wife's lunch off her plate. She looked at the food on the floor and said, "We can pick it up and put on your plate before you eat it!" I said, "Lady, that isn't even funny!" As the elevator door opened and we left, they yelled as us: "You ugly Americans!" The caliber of guests was certainly the worst we've encountered on any ship.
Accosted in Main Showroom Theater incident. I was accosted in the main theater by a drunk passenger who couldn't wait for my wife and I to stand up to let him pass and accidentally stepped on my wife's foot. He continued to the end of the row, circled the front of the theater and ended up behind us. I calmly asked him to apologize to my wife for stepping on her foot. He leaned forward from the row behind us, grabbed the back of my head, and told me "that's bullshit, bullshit, bullshit." Others around me said he also slapped the back of my head but I was so stunned I didn't know what was happening. I went to the theater entrance and asked for security. They finally showed up and asked if I wanted to press charges. I had no idea what that meant. Security personnel didn't explain that by pressing charges I would put him in jail and he would be put off the ship at the next port - meaningless since we were returning to Ft Lauderdale. They finally escorted him out of the theater as the performance was starting.
Day 7-June 4th (at sea): We stayed in our cabin except for dining and couldn't wait to get off the Oasis!
Day 8-June 5th (disembark): Disembarking was relatively easy. However, there were LONGER LINES for U.S. residents in the Immigration section than other foreign residents!! Not as many windows were open for U.S. residents.
How could this cruise be improved? Watch out for people who are getting too much to drink. Selling drinks is great, but when their behavior interferes with other passenger, then that's certainly a situation the staff should be available to handle. Honestly? We don't care. We will never sail on the Oasis nor the Allure and it will be a long time before we return to Royal Caribbean. The ship was wonderful nd the activities were fine but the caliber of other passengers was just disgusting!! We've already been on another cruise line and have already booked a second cruise at Christmas.