EMBARKATION: We had a 3 day Alamo rental dropping it at FLL & discovered they have a free port shuttle for Alamo/National customers. Arrived at the port terminal at 1050am,and by 1130am were on the ship. Directly to windjammer, found a table & had lunch. Room available at 1pm, luggage arrived 2pm.
OUR ROOM: Large interior--small but had nice bath & shower, large very comfortable king bed. Many mirrors. Nice feature--in bath bathroom light stayed on all the time at low wattage. Closet space adequate, storage for suitcases under the bed. Approximately 26" Samsung flat screen TV, limited programs but useful for reviewing sea pass account and information & messages.
RESTAURANTS: PARK CAFE: our lunch favorite-great salad, variety of sandwiches & desserts, not a lot of seating, best used when ship is in port. JOHNNY ROCKETS: free at breakfast only, nice experience, outdoors & limited inside (A/C) seating, loved the oldies while eating breakfast. SOLARIUM: "healthy" menu, none the less good food, selection, a good alternative. WINDJAMMER: Frequently busy but waiters assist in finding open tables. Quality & variety fine, not the horror show I read about or expected to find. SORRENTOS: in the promenade--coffee & water & pizza here and was good, handy to use. MAIN DINING ROOM: we had assigned seating at 6pm, table of 4 and we liked that, same waiters, same table mates every evening, seated 6-610pm, finished by 730pm without rushing. Variety & quality of food good, no reason to pay to eat elsewhere.
ENTERTAINMENT: This is where the huge ship excels. Make sure you reserve prior to boarding, your reservation is held until 10 mins prior to showtime then standbys are admitted. Sea pass card is scanned for entry. The song & dance shows are outstanding, the divers & acrobats outstanding, the bands, the comedy. Do not miss any of the shows, never had we experienced this level of talent on prior cruises. Our favorite; the diving show in the aqua theatre. One note: Cruise Director Richard Spacey (outstanding as we were told)finished his tour on our cruise--his will be big shoes to fill. SHIP THOUGHTS GOOD & BAD: love the welcome feeling from the staff. Ship is very clean to include the public bathrooms. Always something to do, all ages, all interests, could not do it all. Love the way events/activities always start on time as scheduled. One big plus: interactive TV screens throughout the ship, shows you where you are & "map it" button to find how to get to destination. Also there are screens that dispaly restaurants-locations, hours open, and occupancy percentage in real time. Amazing, a great feature for a huge ship. We took two very enjoyable tours--the landscape tour by the manager and the art tour; both were very interesting. BAD: the ship is huge, plot your route or you will walk your legs off. Internet--65 cents/minute; drinks - alcohol,non-alcohol - expensive plus the mandatory 15% tip, watch for 20% off sales to save, they are frequent. The casino--1/2 is non smoking but we found machines tight. Bingo - $32.00 for 4 games, $8/game, nope, too expensive. Promenade-can get crowded, lots of sales, if you ever needed a watch this is your chance. PASSENGERS: Estimate a median age of 50, percentage of children 5-10%, people from all over on this cruise, many different languages being spoken.
DISEMBARKATION: We elected the express departure. On Saturday, our last day, the ship had docked by 515am when we awoke. Breakfast at the windjammer (opened at 530) 545-610am. Not too busy or crowded. Left our room with luggage at 625am on deck 7, wound up in a long line on deck 5 but within 5 minutes the line began to move and we were off the ship, through customs at 650am, cab to the airport, arriving FLL at 705am. 40 minutes from leaving the room to being at the airport. REMARKABLE !! Credit to RCL for placing their people to keep the lines moving. Arrived too early to check our bags, (Southwest allows 4 hours early maximum for bag checking), our flight was at 1150am, through security and at the gate by 805am. One note if going to the airport; you may elect to pay a flat rate (I think $11 each) or the cab, I had read $10 to the airport for 2 people so we took the cab. Our driver missed 1 light & that added $2 to the meter before we moved. Our total $16.90+tip & we were dropped at the nearest FLL terminal so consider the flat rate option. Really enjoyed the appearance & amenities of the huge ship, feel it is worth doing one time but probably will not do again as it is limited to the Caribbean and 7 day sailings. Being from Phoenix we prefer cool weather itineraries. We took this cruise only to experience the Oasis. We did book our next cruise while on board to get the on board credit and reduced deposit, did it on day two of the cruise, if you wait until the end there are lines.