Super week at sea with RCI Oasis of the Seas: Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by Vistar

Oasis of the Seas 4
Member Since 2012
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Super week at sea with RCI Oasis of the Seas

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
First, the cruise was very relaxing and stress-free. It did wonders for rejuninating our spirits.

A few notes: stateroom 8286 with sea balcony was in great shape and the view is unobstructed. Our stateroom attendant "Kennie" provided great service.

Since we were seeking relaxation as far away from the action as possible, we appreciated the 8th Deck location with easy access to the Central Park restaurants and bars. Marvin at the Trellis Bar in Central Park was a wonderful bartender and Howard in Rising Tide was an all-pro waiter.

On the first night we enjoyed dinner at the Chef's Table (with Chef's Table Package) the first evening. This small portion "tasting" experience with pared wines turned out to be the best meal of the trip, shared with 11 fellow passengers. We were given an autographed cookbook after dessert that made a nice souvenir. Dinner with Chef's Table package includes a free dinner (no surcharge) at two of three specialty restaurants. We More selected Chops and 150 Central Park. Both were okay, but the eating spots seem to be more about "positioning" than real food quality.

Chops was quiet and the side dishes were the best parts of the meal. These were portioned "steakhouse" style, with one dish serving up to three people. The filet was flavorful but tough. The NY strip was both tough and poorly flavored as if it had been tenderized.

The team at 150 Central Park was a bit aggressive pushing specialty martini's ($30 surcharge for a shaker full), another cookbook (unneeded), exotic waters (ship's water is fine), and a gift box paring of bottles of French wines - a good deal at $25 for two bottles, but we had no way to bring them home in our luggage.

About wines: we purchased the diamond 7 bottle wine package and this was an excellent purchase. Be sure to ask for the wine and dine brochure and look for the wines on the diamond list that do not appear on lesser packages. These are all good wines and make the diamond package worthwhile. We found the Conundrum white to be a good value, as well as the Charles Krug Merlot. Both were priced at about 120% over retail - very reasonable for restaurant pricing. Another good wine buy was at Vintages. Although not part of the wine & dine package, the Tuscany Marchesi de Frescobaldi ( dry red that came out "tight" but opened nicely) at $49 USD was a good value - retails at about $29 and it can be hard to find in many parts of the US.

Dinner in the main dining room was by far the best approach when compared to the specialty dining options we tried. We wound up without a table assignment and the dining room staff was more than accommodating setting up a table for two at the from of the main floor next to the piano riser. The wait staff could give lessons to finer restaurants. As my wife observed, they were attentive, enthusiastic, well informed and willing to assist at 110% levels. We wished we had used the main dining room more. A total of 4 meals wasn't enough.

Regarding entertainment: The Hairspray show as very well done. Some who saw the musical in theaters commented that this version was condensed, but as a first experience, we were very impressed. The "headliner" show started out without much energy and them took off like a rocket. It was one of the best one-man-shows we've seen in a long time. I have no idea who the feature performer was, but I'd pay to see him again.

By far, our favorite evenings were spent at Jazz on 4 - a quiet club that featured a Canadian quartet led by Bruce Gordon. The band performs covers from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and other great jazz club singers. Gotta tell ya, Bruce's rendition of "The Shadow of Your Smile" may be better than the original I heard sung by Tony Bennett in a Chicago club years ago. Jazz on 4 is really hidden away and is wonderful place to relax in over-stuffed upholstered chairs and be taken back to a time when you could understand the words to songs that had meaning.

Regarding drinks: The Wine & Dine package with 7 bottles provided wine for our lunches and dinners. We used the complete package and bought two more bottles "Ala carte". Cocktails varied in price. Be sure to ask the cost if you do not see your drink of choice on the cocktail menu. Planters Punch was $6. Dewers and soda $5.75. White Russian w/ extra vanilla $6.50 and a basic Mojito $6.00. Pretty reasonable. But go a little astray and the price can jump. The basil and herb Grey Goose martini at 150 Central Park - $30. And a muddled bourbon Old Fashioned with Makers Mark was $12 - go figure. Ask first and avoid surprises. Overall, we thought the prices of what we enjoyed were reasonable - exclusions noted. Less

Published 08/21/12

Cabin review: D88286 Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Our cabin provided an unobstructed ocean balcony view of the deep blue about 80 feet below. It was very quiet. You can barely hear waves lapping (or crashing) against the hull. During storms, the balcony "howls" softly. The outlet is under the desk. Bring a power strip. Bed is comfy and sheets are fresh daily. Our attendant "Kennie" provided "advanced" towel art every-other night. WE brought a few ounces of powdered Woolite, did laundry in the steel wastebasket and hung to dry on the balcony using a 12 ft cord we brought for that purpose. By dinner, we made it all disappear for nightly room check and turndown. It is non smoking. No sign or odor of any previous violations was detected. Supposedly, you can smoke on the balcony, but no ashtray was provided. We saw no evidence of this ever taking place.

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Port and Shore Excursions


This was a large group experience. Our group was combined in the water with another 30 or so snorkelers and that made the water crowded over a small reef. It would rate as a good first time experience. There is a changing room/head available on the dive boat. Be sure to check out a pool towel from the ship before leaving. Take this with you unless you want to air dry. Good quality mask, snorkel and fins are provided. Some brought their own equipment, but this was unnecessary. An inflatable vest is provided for bouancy. You can deflate and dive if you wish. The reef depth is 12 feet. It's not much of a reef.

Booked through RC this was called the "downhill mountain hike". This was exactly as described - and we got more than we paid for. The description advised the approx. 2 mile hike required hiking boots or sturdy tennis shoes. Good advice. It promised downhill all the way with scenic views. It was all of that and more. My wife and I are in reasonably good physical shape and 2 miles, straight down hill, with a steep slope and narrow trail filled with rocks and vines was plenty of challenge. After it was over, our thigh muscles felt like we had spent the first-day of the season on snow skis. The views were incredible and our guide Claudine was well-informed, educational, entertaining and looked after the safety of the group. We learned a lot about the island's history and thought the approx. 2-1/2 hour hike was worthwhile. But, please take the precautions seriously. If you are not able to negotiate a steep downhill path with loose rocks, don't try it. (It's a lot harder than hiking uphill.)

Island Tour

Skip this tour. It's a crowed open sided truck/taxi that takes 30 people up a winding road to a tourist trap at the top where you can buy a banana daiquiri and pay to look through a telescope to the harbor below. Our guide was disinterested and bordered on rude. He didn't speak well for the US Virgin Islands that looks pretty run down in St. Thomas.

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