Our first cruise was so exciting! We chose one of the largest cruise ships on the planet to try cruising and we are so glad we did! While Liberty Travel was the worst agent ever, Royal Caribbean made up for that and then some! We will book all future cruises with RCI and have already booked another cruise for 2012. If you know you can afford it, do all that you can to rebook while on board your boat. Labadee is a hidden gem, get off the boat as early as possible. Make sure you hit the roller coaster and the zip line. This place is magnificent, more than enough to do. Falmouth Jamaica, we did not think was so good. Chukka Zip Line and Dunn's River Falls fell short of our expectation. Water shoes must be closed toe, we wont ever forget that again. The Zip Line was ok but not as exciting as it is portrayed. Dunn's River Falls is ok, very small compared to any photos we saw. Friends went on a guided river tour and had a much better day. We won't go to Jamaica again. Cozumel, we had a great time on the ATV tour - excellent excursion with good price. DO NOT SHOP NEAR THE SHIP IN COZUMEL! They all set their own exchange rates and will try to rip you off! Go to the shops the cruise line recommends. We had a balcony room port side 12322. The best thing was being able to walk out the cabin door, turn right and head out about 15 steps to a back deck overlooking the Aqua Theatre - AWESOME place to be when the show is on and when leaving ports. We found the best place to eat is the Solarium right when it opens. Also when you board the ship head to Central Park Deli and get that roast beef sandwich - OH MY GAWD WHAT A GREAT SANDWICH. Chops is a must do! Also we absolutely loved Quest - be prepared to see anything happen there! HA HA!
Our room attendant was Rudy, that man was so wonderful. He took care of everything. Out table mates, we got lucky were awesome people. We will, however, do MY TIME dining on the next cruise. This allows for more freedom on excursions. We learned the hard way to avoid the Windjammer unless you can get in there immediately when it opens. The windjammer was crowded, hard to find a seat and noisy. I will say this, there are computer touch screens near the elevators which will tell you how busy areas of the boat are - VERY HELPFUL! We used the stairs more than the elevators which was faster especially on Port Disembarkation and around meals at the Opus dining room. Also, we did not know that passengers are ALLOWED to smoke on their balcony. That made me angry, I had to put up with the carcinogens and couldn't enjoy my balcony as much as I liked. Next to us were two fellows from Europe who chain smoked 24/7 - so gross. RCI should outlaw smoking on the balconies so everyone is safe from second hand smoke. When cruising it was lessened but if someone up wind was out smoking, you get a face full of it. GROSS and UNHEALTHY. I urge you to take as many photos as you can, the cruise ship photos are very expensive. We did buy some - cost us $195.00 Toiletries on the boat were limited. I also learned that you can get 11.00 nail polish on the pool deck shop but the woman in the Promenade shop tried to tell me she had the only polish at $26 a bottle! WHAT!? Make sure you bring the little things.
Things like nose spray, allergy medication, Tums, nail polish remover are not in abundance. In fact there was Drystan but I wanted nose spray. The first two days my allergies were awful and my meds were only a partial help. Don't over pack. You will spend a lot of time in bathing suits and sarongs. DO make sure you bring enough nice outfits for dinner, business casual. Also, I was worried about formal dinner, but I got a nice long black cotton dress and it was fine. No need to treat it like a Prom - overkill to me! Also Did you know you can eat with the Captain? We heard you can buy a seat as his table, wonder if its true, we saw people eating with the Oasis Capt. Every morning about 11 am boat time the Captain addressed the boat - very nice. On the TV is a channel to see where the boat is and the statistics. We caught amazing photos off our balcony of thunder storms and amazing sunsets and sunrises. MAKE SURE YOU ARE UP AND SEE THE BOAT COME INTO PORT! AMAZING!Oasis is so huge and to watch the docking and get early morning photos of port is fun. The staff was pretty friendly, hard to get near the Cruise Director... funny guy but did not seem too approachable as he walked the ship. We got more interaction with an internal IT officer - very nice young man. We never had to fight for a deck chair, rarely saw kids and rarely felt crowded. Smoking on pool decks is limited to Port side - avoid that side if you want to breath! Above all HAVE FUN! WE LOVE RCI! Cant wait to get on the Allure in 2012