We booked this cruise thinking that if we were going to do this once, then do it on the biggest.....We now know this is probably the BEST, even though we have no other experience to go by. We would not want to try any other cruise at the moment. I have spent MANY hours reading reviews and tips before setting sail. Some reviewers here must have nothing better to do than bitch and moan! It was the BEST time myself and Margaret have EVER HAD on holiday!I work in the leisure industry, and this was by far the best service we ever had.Many a 10am Saturday morning was spent on www.portevergladeswebcam.com watching Oasis sail into port, and 10pm for the sail out. We 'requested a wave' months before we left home!
We booked back in January through a local agent. Would deffo book myself in future for what little they did! The flights changed several times, the last being THREE WEEKS before departure! It was decided to go a day early from the start as we were due to land 21.35 on the Friday and we wanted to spend a day in Fort Lauderdale before boarding.Got to FLL to be met by one of the RCCL meet and greet. They had a bus on standby that we did not know about as we were told by the agent it was our problem to get to the hotel!! I told him of the original plans and he even trollied our bags up to the Hertz counter and stood with the wife while I sorted the car! Great service. Hire car through Hertz was changed from a Ford Mustang convertible, (Gutted!) to a top spec E Class Mercedes... (better than a kick in the gonads I suppose). First night (at our expense) was spent at the Best Western Oceanside on Holiday drive. Great value for money and breakfast thrown in! Was booked it without realising it was next door to the Sheraton beach, Our room booked for the Friday by RCCL. VERY handy!!!! Top Tip. DON'T bother going to the Sheraton, Waste of money! I got up at 4am to walk down the beach to video the ship sail in. Had been watching it sail in on webcam, so wanted to see it in the flesh!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXdZgGC8Hf0
We went back to the Best Western for Saturday breakfast at $10 a head.Brilliant service by the western staff. Even the meet and greet guy recommended it.
Transfer to port very smooth and we were on board from getting off the bus within 15 mins! Was on board shortly after 12 noon.
Lovely air conditioned atmosphere as soon as you board and the wow factor hit us straight away! First stop was to drop the carry on in the room. What a great room and a decent view to the rear of the ship and boadwalk area. Very little noise through the double glazing,even when a show is in full swing! Then up to the wipeout cafe for a little bite. Not fantastic fayre, it could of done with a soda fountain and not the 'tinted water', but more than adequate. Back to the room for a few hours before making our way on top deck for the sail off, with a drink in hand, Union Jack tied to the rail by the Flowrider for the 'wave' at the port everglades webcam for all at home to see ;-). It was probably due to us being VERY tired, but the main dining room (my time dining) menu did not tempt us,so we asked if it was OK just to leave it. Andie the head waiter was very accommodating and was trying to offer something off the menu and the waiter Alvin and assistant waiter Roy were great. These guys bent over backwards for us and never disappointed! They were worth the extra tip we put into the envelopes at the end. Food was absolutely fantastic for the rest of the cruise. Another one worth the extra tip was Frederick the room attendant. Treated the wife like a princess!
Sunday sea day was spent touring the ship. We had breakfast at the Windjammer every day as we ate very well and rarely needed to go for lunch. Some days when we had a late evening meal, we would snack at wipeout and once had lunch at windjammer. I went on the Zipline. A comedy show was booked for the evening but we decided to cancel as we were still tired and had Labadee in the morning.
Labadee was good. I took part in the seadoo excursion. the beaches were nice, though the Artizans market people were VERY VERY pushy!!!! One tied a bead bracelet round Margaret's wrist so tight she could not take it off so she ended up paying for it! RCCL really need to stamp on these hustlers! It sort of spoilt the day somewhat. I know the islanders have had it tough, but surely more stuff would sell if there was a more relaxed attitude! In the end, we went back to the ship earlier than expected! Would not be disappointed if we went again and it was cancelled!
Falmouth Jamaica was next. Nothing planned, so left the port for a stroll round. Met a taxi driver that had some good reviews on here, BABA. for $120 (all day!) he took us on a sight seeing tour on the way to Montego bay through a plantation where Johnny Cash had a house. Then to White Witch golf club for photo session. Onwards to Mo'bay to a hillside hotel/function place for more views/photos and some Red Stripe;-). Then to Doctors cove beach for an hour or so, (as long as we wanted) for a nice swim and several more Red Stripe! Back to port, some shopping and a soak in the Jacuzzi! Wonderful people, want to go again.
Another sea day. Some bingo played and the headliner show was good. We don't do theatres or such as a rule, but this was good. The Oasis of Dreams was viewed several times from the balcony.
For Cozumel, We did the Jeep/Snorkel safari. Snorkeled near port, then on to the jeeps to El diablo, a little bar on the beach, then to a Tequila Hacienda, followed by a poolside lunch before heading back to port for some shopping. 5 1/2 hours of fun and would not do again, simply because we have done it! The guides were great!
Another sea day with bingo, shopping etcc and the final evening meal/waiter cabaret act. A drink on the rising tide bar and a water show rounded off the evening. Then back to port Saturday for the rough trip home.
Sorry there were no reviews of other resturants and such, WE DID NOT NEED TO TRY.If they were better than the ones we went, then ou are in for a treat!
Please do take the negative reviews on here and elsewhere with a big pinch of salt. Do plenty of research before you go. We did not see as much of the ship in a week as we thorght we would. Two weeks would be better. I did not think I would enjoy cruising, am now considering selling the caravan to do it once more!!!!!