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45 Royal Caribbean Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

Hi everyone, I was on the Anthem of the Seas last week. For months and months I have read horrible reviews about everything on this ship, from slow service to the food being bad to the people not knowing whats going on. I am sure you ... Read More
Hi everyone, I was on the Anthem of the Seas last week. For months and months I have read horrible reviews about everything on this ship, from slow service to the food being bad to the people not knowing whats going on. I am sure you can read the other reviews. I can tell you one thing which was the worse thing about this cruise: The passengers. Not all of them but the loud, frustrated individuals who come on the ship as if they are the queen and king of England. They were so rude and loud and obnoxious. So let me say something to all the people who are reading these reviews. They are lying. The ship and staff are awesome and it was a great cruise! When you drive to the area to drop off your car at Bayonne, they tell you where to drop your car, $20 per day, but well protected and clean. Rooms are super clean and proper. Boat is gigantic and absolutely beautiful! I wont go on and on about the small details, but here is one thing: You wont be disappointed, if you do your research about what to expect on the boat. We,my wife and I and 2 small kids, ages 3 and 5, went to dynamic dining at the grande , Chic and American Icon. All the were awesome, food was good and the head waiters, servers and everyone were always asking us if everything was ok and to our liking. Kids had a great time! It is worth the money and worth the trip, and no, I dont work for the cruise line. The frustrated people should just call Dr. Phil and get on his show. He will never be out of work.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part ... Read More
Here is our opinion of this fabulous ship: LIKED+ • LOVED the ship itself. It’s new and beautiful so what’s not to love. • We had a D7 balcony cabin which was great. Lots of storage closets and drawers too. The best part was the balcony: nice and large with 2 chairs that reclined and footstools (that stored under the chairs) to make it into your own lounger. LOVE THAT. These balconies beat the newer ships on both NCL and Princess as most of their balconies are tiny. • Nightlight in the bathroom and the lighted circle on the cabin mirror • We found the food to be good in the dining rooms and Windjammer. Always could find things we liked and I can’t think of anything we didn’t. Very happy lobster was served in all dining rooms the last night; it was delicious. Café 270—their stuff was just ok. We winged it with dining (I didn’t realize set timing was an option but that’s ok) and we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes to be seated for lunch or dinner. • Coconut ranger cookies. Even the chocolate cupcakes in the Windjammer were fabulous. It is rare I find a dessert on a ship that is so good I want more than one. • Solarium. LOVE this space and its location. • Tequila tasting was fun and the host was entertaining. He also makes fabulous drinks in Bolero. • Different drink menus in various bars. I like variety. • Two70. Awesome multi-purpose, three decks high room at the stern of the ship with many windows. • The café in the Promenade that had drinks (water, coffee, tea) and snacks. The pizza place was busy. • If you upload your credit card and photo, check-in is really a breeze and there are lots of check-in agents with their devices as soon as you enter the terminal. Present your pass and passport, answer the health questions, and you’re done. The longest line was after check in at security, and even that wasn’t long. I’d say it was 15 minutes tops from the time our feet entered the building to the time we boarded the ship. Great process once in the terminal (but not up to that point; see below) DID NOT LIKE • ONE dining room open for breakfast! Come on. You need TWO open. Didn’t make it there because both mornings we stopped down at 9am and since they stopped seating at 9:30 some RC guy told those of us beyond a certain point in the line that we needed to go elsewhere. Not sure if this is the case on longer cruises, but it needs more than one dining room open for breakfast on a ship this size. • Didn’t find a lot of the staff to be warm and friendly, though our cabin stewardess was. • The port! The long road into the port had horrible traffic. If you arrive between 11 and 1 you will wait in a long line of cars. The wait in the port was longer than our ride to the port. They need to separate those who don’t want to drop off their luggage first. This would make things move quicker. Even on longer cruises I can cart my luggage from a parking space to check-in. We got to our cabin around 1 and when I looked out over the port roads at that time there was no longer a line. So if I sailed from here again, I’d aim to arrive after 1. Others from the roll call arrived very early and had no lines, so that’s another option. • $30 and $40 for wine tasting? Really? Four two-ounce servings of wine (I checked to see what this included). Way too much $. • Guest Services only has 4 stations (with a human) for a 4,000 pax ship. Not sufficient. NEUTRAL • North Star was awesome. If you don’t have a reservation though, don’t bother. The standby line hardly moved as everyone who had a reservation seemed to show up. Even with a reservation I’d say we spent an hour there from start to finish. It was worth it to do once. • We Will Rock you was just ok, and I found it to be too long. They had technical difficulties about ¾ through the show so we left when it stopped at that point. Spectra was cancelled one night too for technical difficulties. • A lot of TV channels (not just news) which led the boyfriend to view TCM channel’s movies from the 40s and then try the (lame) pickup lines from those on me. Amusing at first, but then not. Other: Why do people have to be told to wash their hands often. Sad! Wish their deck plan indicated whether the bed was by the slider or by the bathroom. I think someone has started a chart on this so I can add my two cents for the cabins we had on this cruise. I would sail on Anthem again. While some things were a slight annoyance, I did like the ship a lot and would love to hang on my balcony again. You can always find things to pick on I think; I prefer to focus on enjoying my time on a ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We did the three night sampler cruise out of Sydney 11-14 February 2016 on Explorer of the Seas. We booked a Junior Suite, 9568, which was large and had heaps of storage, a bath, walk in robe, extra large private balcony, a three seater ... Read More
We did the three night sampler cruise out of Sydney 11-14 February 2016 on Explorer of the Seas. We booked a Junior Suite, 9568, which was large and had heaps of storage, a bath, walk in robe, extra large private balcony, a three seater lounge plus two armchairs plus two other chairs - one at the 'desk' and one at the 'vanity'. We slept well in the comfortable bed and the room had no ship movement noise. Our steward Francis was friendly and attentive and always remembered us by name, and the room was clean and well equipped. Francis was also the master of towel animals, very talented. The shower was good, plenty of towels, nice toiletries, large vanity and mirror. The wardrobe was huge, lots of hanging space and shelving options. Room also had a kettle with tea and coffee, coffee maker, fridge with mini bar, hair dryer. The TV had a message function, Bill viewing etc. We are Elite Status with Celebrity so we become Diamond Status on Royal Caribbean. And Royal excel here, the Diamond Lounge was wonderful - accessible 24 hours with breakfast and light snacks available at different times, and a coffee machine providing a range of hot drinks available all day. In the evening alcoholic drinks and snacks are supplied. The barman on duty for two of the evenings was Ketutt, who looked after everyone so well. The other server was good too, friendly and efficient. Great service. We ate every night in the main dining room, we had My Time Dining so can go whenever but after having such great service on the first evening we ate in the same area the following two nights as well. Our waiter was Ricardo and along with his assistant provided excellent service, food was really good and there was a large choice of options every night. I really love the pumpkin bread on Royal too - yum! The ship is in really good condition, there are heaps of sun chairs everywhere so if you want to just lay around and read there are heaps of places to do this. The pool areas were crowded as we had excellent weather and calm seas every day. The bars were very busy, with many people waiting for service. There were numerous activities on every day as well, outdoor stuff by the pool, there is a rock wall, mini golf, basketball court, wave rider, table tennis - heaps of stuff like that. We enjoyed the video trivia sessions which were hard! Also the ice show which was really wonderful and several movies were shown - one in the afternoon in the theatre and one in the evening on an outside screen. The highlight of the entertainment was the Queen Tribute band - they were absolutely fantastic. This was our 20th cruise and we have never seen an entire audience demand an encore of a band before. Amazing! We are booked on Ovation of the Seas in December so looking forward to experiencing another new Royal Caribbean ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I was a bit wary of cruising mainly due to seasickness experienced on car ferries from UK to France. I decided to take the plunge with my experienced cruiser family. To my delight, I didn't feel nauseous at all. We had a great cabin ... Read More
I was a bit wary of cruising mainly due to seasickness experienced on car ferries from UK to France. I decided to take the plunge with my experienced cruiser family. To my delight, I didn't feel nauseous at all. We had a great cabin on deck 6 which was quiet and well appointed with a cheerful steward looking after us. The ship was very clean and hand sanitizer is used in every food area. The crew members are helpful and enthusiastic. We lounged in the adult only pool with the cocktail of the day, ate tasty meals in the dining room and the Windjammer cafe. We enjoyed the dance show and the ice show was fantastic. I tried ice skating and rock climbing and danced the night away poolside. It was a brilliant introduction to cruising and I will definite be back for more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have just returned from a 3-day ‘taster cruise’ on the brand new Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas! If you’ve seen any of the advertising, the word ‘WOW’ features heavily. We can honestly report that it is an apt description ... Read More
We have just returned from a 3-day ‘taster cruise’ on the brand new Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas! If you’ve seen any of the advertising, the word ‘WOW’ features heavily. We can honestly report that it is an apt description of the incredible ship, its features and the service onboard. We had completed the online checkin process at home (including ‘uploading’ a photo) and printed our SetSail Passes before arriving at Southampton. At the dock, someone with a tablet computer completed the process in under 3 minutes and we proceeded to Security, from where we were asked to sit for a few minutes (after being informed the disembarking guests had all gone and the ship would be ready for boarding shortly – this was 10:30am). We boarded at about 10:45 and were immediately handed a glass of ‘bubbly’. We boarded straight into the Royal Esplanade where we first went down to Guest Services to set up our internet account. We are considered Platinum in Royal Caribbean’s loyalty programme due to our frequent sailings on Celebrity, so received a discount on our internet package. It therefore cost us $15.15 for unlimited high speed access for the entire 3-day cruise!! WOW! We used the Royal iQ app to check (and change) our restaurant reservations when we discovered that for this cruise only the four MainDiningRoom options (Silk / Chic / American Icon and Grande) would all be serving exactly the same menu of an evening … although a different version was created for each of the three evenings. Our cabin was lovely, the bed extremely comfortable, the balcony huge (with two chairs, two footstools and a table). The cabin furniture did not include a coffee table – however, we discovered that the dressing table was movable and was designed to be used as a breakfast/dinner table in the cabin. Excellent idea. There is a kettle with ample supplies of tea and biscuits, and on the last day a plate of macaroons magically appeared. The bathroom is quite large with an excellent shower. The toiletries are very pleasant. We soon discovered the lounge at the back of the ship called Two70! It became our favourite place. There is also a café there with excellent breakfast and lunch choices. For dinner, we ate in American Icon (as the menus were identical, we chose not to wait in the Silk queue where we had been booked). The décor is wonderful and the food and service were both excellent. The other two evenings we ate in Wonderland and in Chops Grille – they were both outstanding, but in Wonderland we probably had our best meal ever on a ship. UNIQUE and FABULOUS!! (We have completed about 40 cruises, and our preferred lines are Seabourn and Azamara, so that is saying something.) We were more than a little apprehensive about the size of Anthem of the Seas (considering we prefer 200 – 600 passenger ships), however, the ship handled the number of passengers extremely well. This is partly due to the fact that there are two main shows each evening – one at the front of the ship in the Royal Theater (We Will Rock You which lasts 2 hours and is excellent) and another at the back of the ship in Two70 (Spectra’s Cabaret which is PHENOMENAL!!!). Between those two venues there are three others with live music, as well as numerous other bars and restaurants (and of course, the obligatory casino). Charging onboard is done with your SeaPass card or your WOW bands (rubberised watch-like straps with an embedded chip). These bands can be used anywhere you can use a SeaPass card. There is a FlowRider, the NorthStar aerial adventure, the SeaPlex (which can either be rollerskating, dodgems, a basketball court, a DJ booth or a circus school). Overlooking that are Xbox rooms and table tennis areas. There is a rock climbing wall as well as RipCord where you can experience skydiving while at sea. The Bionic bar is interesting and the selection of eateries incredible. Everywhere there are smiling and helpful crewmembers – all very well trained and beautifully groomed. We were truly WOWED! It was an incredible introduction to Royal Caribbean and we will certainly be back. If you have a chance to experience this – DO! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were very excited when we booked the holiday, it was the first time on a cruise for us and there was soo much hype surrounding the cruise, Anthem of the seas, we couldn't wait to get on-board. However, there were soo many negative ... Read More
We were very excited when we booked the holiday, it was the first time on a cruise for us and there was soo much hype surrounding the cruise, Anthem of the seas, we couldn't wait to get on-board. However, there were soo many negative reviews on its sister cruise, Quantum of the seas, actually negative reviews on cruises in general that it was surprising. People were complaining on everything form check-in times, luggage arrival to food, service, etc. it was really off-putting especially when we were travelling with a 2yr old. But, thankfully, from he moment we stepped in, until the time we got off the Anthem, it was an experience like no other... It one word, it was Awesome!!! It was soo good that we didn't want to get off the cruise!! Ours was a 3 nighter, so maybe longer duration ships might have issues, but our cruise, everything was as smooth as butter!! (Apart from the British/EU weather) Check-in was super fast, we already did it online so the whole process took like 5 mins. We made it to the cruise terminal in our selected time during the online check-in so as soon as we got there, we went straight through after an immigration check. Once one board, the first feeling was walking up to this huge chandelier and huge hall room decorated with big LCD screens depicting the fall season. It was simply overwhelming!! We were then directed to our staterooms through the many super-fast elevators. At the door of our stateroom, our room key was waiting stored in compartment beside the sign board. They call this the sail pass, which is very important and you should carry this while debarking the ship for shore excursions. The stateroom was spacious, sparkling clean and was maintained at the right temperature. The balcony was spacious and was the best part of the room. We spent hours in there, despite it being freezing cold, wrapped up in blankets. It was just a marvel watching the waves, watching the ship dock and un-dock, seeing it make a 180-degree turn and just lying there listening to the sound of the waves. We soo loved the balcony stateroom. As we were checking our room, we heard and knock and our luggage was waiting for us along with our stateroom attendant. We were a little worried as online reviewers complained that they did not receive their luggage until late night. so once again, RC nailed the whole service of collecting our bags from the car park, to getting them to our doors and then when we disembarked, they were waiting for us in our designated zone. Super Smooth, once again!! We were on deck 12, room 12212 right in the middle of the ship. I really had huge concerns about deck 12 as after looking at the Anthem's design, we found out that there is an over-hang which extends from the 14th floor so the middle part is indented, then there are struts, these long poles extended from the over-hang which are placed right into the balconies! I was worried for this, thinking that it will reduce the space in the balcony and obstruct the view. I couldn't find anything online about this so hopefully this will help other cruisers. The poles do end up in your balcony but the are merged into the side dividers in the balcony. So you hardly notice them and they do not take up any extra space in your balcony. The over-hang does block the sky-view a little when you are standing up near the edge of the balcony, but you hardly notice this whilst sitting down, so you do get a full view. Check the pictures which will give you a better understanding of this: http://i60.tinypic.com/uv7us.jpg http://i60.tinypic.com/334i1ef.jpg http://i61.tinypic.com/mlsduc.jpg Plus, all thro the middle of the ship, when you look directly down from the balcony, you don't see the water, but you see the huge life-boats. The indented design of the ship in the middle was to accommodate these life-boats. These 2 are minor points, but the huge plus is that you are located close to the elevators/stairs and more importantly, it rocks lesser in the middle of the ship, so for all you guys with motion sickness, this is the ideal place. And trust me, this is soo true, when it was very windy, I did check the front and the back of the ship, it felt as if I was on a swing! I never felt motion sick in my life and on day three, it was really rough weather and I felt the ship was stirring my insides over and over in a circular motion. This really did give me a little sick feeling so had to sleep it off! So middle of the ship, very good for people who suffer with motion sickness. Now, back to the stateroom, there is a nice huge comfy bed, a sofa-bed for the little one, ample cupboards every where, so you have enough storage, a digital safe and there is a mini fridge stacked up with snacks and drinks which cost extra if you use them. There is under bed storage as well, this is really good as we could store our huge suitcase and stroller under it. Our stateroom attendant Mailene was simply awesome. She was very friendly, gave us lots of tips/info and every time we used to leave the stateroom and return, she made sure that we felt as if we were walking into our room for the very first time!!! It was that clean, soo much that we felt bad for leaving our stuff around as she even sorted those too! We stopped doing this after the first time :) The washroom has a capsule shower, is nice and spacious and very functional. Coming back to the ship, not sure where to start...everything is soo good, actually Grande is the word!! Since it is new, the ship is sparkling clean, with really a huge staff, looking after each and every section! Every part felt like it was a 7 star hotel. The top decks were excellent, a huge jogging/walking strip that spans the entire ship, then there are outdoor/indoor pools. The main star attraction, the North Star, a London eye shaped capsule that takes 14 at a time and lifts high up in the sky giving you an awesome areal overview of the ship! Note though on shorter cruises, it doesn't move-out 90 degree into the ocean, this one is reserved for the larger ones as the attendant said, it will take more than 30 mins and not sufficient time for all passengers on short cruises. Also note, there was heavy wind when I took the capsule so besides up and down, we also had rocking motion :)) again something to consider for the motion-sick/vertigo sufferers. Then there is the Solarium, an adult only retreat zone. This was really calm and peaceful, you can retreat here quietly with a nice book and a drink... Very relaxing! Then the giant giraffe, our little one loved this and played with it for a long time :) Then there are the flow-rider, virtual flight simulator and rock climbing. Guess on longer cruises all this is plenty of activity to keep guest entertained. On the shows/movie front, there is a royal theater, 3D cinema plus the Two70 which has these huge robotic screen as it transforms from a cafe into entertainment center. Coming to the other main aspect, the food...one word again "Awesome".., it's clean, hygiene, tasty and loads of variety...especially for a short cruise, there was ample choice.. So much that we couldn't find time to eat in all of them. On the first day, we tried Sorrento for a quick bite and the pizza which they served was hot and fresh! In the evening, we reserved for a fine dining experience at the Silk and the food was decent. Next day, we went to the Wind Jammer for breakfast and it was brilliant...lots of choice and the dishes were tasty... It's such a shame, that we pay almost £20 per head at our local garden center and the food is not half good as in the Wind Jammer!!! Really sad when you pay premium price in Britain and its no where nearly as good as on the RC!! For lunch, we went back to the wind jammer and once again there was ample choice and really tasty food. No wonder it was always soo packed with guests! Dinner was at Chic and the ambiance was really posh!! For the third night, we were supposed to go to the Grande, the only restaurant where you need to wear a jacket but the menu at Wind Jammer was soo tempting that we skipped the grande!! We felt that two nights to fine dining was enough and wanted to enjoy the more casual approach at WJ :) Main thing regarding food is, round the clock, you will find someplace open serving food...even in the wee hours...there is still plenty choice to grab a quick bite! So all in all, this was a wonderful trip and we became huge fans of the Anthem and Royal Caribbean that we will surely return and try longer duration!! There is absolutely no negative points which I can think of, it's such a brilliant experience and I think here in UK, we will have to wait for few months as the Ship is heading for America for summer... So all you guys in the US, you will really have a great time!! Here are a few tips for first timers and cruisers in general that might help: - Check in online and print off the sail passes, this saves soo much time and makes the whole process quicker - upload pictures of all those who are travelling with you when you complete the online check-in, this will speed up the process even further - setting a credit card on your account is helpful, you can buy stuff directly with the smart band, this sports strap wristband which they provide for you and all your guests, including children - Wind Jammer is the place to go for food, they serve this round the clock, but they do follow timing correctly, so check breakfast, lunch and dinner times and make sure you fit into the correct slot so you can enjoy the food thoroughly! - Drinks and water are expensive if you buy them on board, so I do suggest buying these packages before hand. We got the suvernor Coca-cola cup which costed £6 per day (per person) and this gave access to soda machines which are located at various places on the cruise. You can use that to fill up with water at these thirst stations at Wind Jammer, alternatively, you can drink water from normal tap in your room. - Make reservation before hand if you wish to enjoy fine-dining experience. There are several complimentary restaurants plus a few which you have to pay extra. - Same goes to on-board activity like flow-rider and rip-cord flight. Pre-book them as they are popular and fill up quickly - You need to carry the sail passes (not just the bands) of all your passengers if you wish to disembark the ship and go for shore vacation - There are several photo points where they take pictures for you, you can buy them at the information points on the cruise. You can buy digital prints or order them printed off but make sure you do this before the last night as we thought they would offer online service to purchase these later on, but turns out they do not offer this facility! - Finally, children who are not totally potty trained will not be allowed into the swimming pools. Also, those who are under 1mt will not be allowed in the North Star. I do apologise for the rather long review, but hope you all find this useful! This cruise was definitely one of the best vacations which we took and the quality, level of service and care which Royal Caribbean provided was unbeatable! Thank you RC for providing such an amazing experience!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation on the Anthem was really quick. Very impressed with the size of the ship. Cabin was lovely and spacious, plenty of cupboard space. We had a balcony which was great. Room attendant was excellent. Food and service was ... Read More
Embarkation on the Anthem was really quick. Very impressed with the size of the ship. Cabin was lovely and spacious, plenty of cupboard space. We had a balcony which was great. Room attendant was excellent. Food and service was excellent. All the entertainment onboard was fantastic. Spectra show, We Will Rock You. Rock the Boat excellent music rock group. Plenty to do onboard Northstar, roller skating, bumper cars etc. Disembarkation was the only problem. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
WOW first cruise for 25 years and what a trip. Visited some magic destinations and experienced the South Pacific culture. entertainment was great a credit to the staff on board. Food was amazing as were our waiters in the main restaurant. ... Read More
WOW first cruise for 25 years and what a trip. Visited some magic destinations and experienced the South Pacific culture. entertainment was great a credit to the staff on board. Food was amazing as were our waiters in the main restaurant. We travelled with a group of 10 (5 adults and 5 kids) which the kids just had a blast meeting new friends and enjoying the activities and pools. Overall this was one of the best holidays I have been on and enjoyed it that much we rebooked with RCI on board for 2016. Can't wait let the countdown begin. All staff were exceptional from cleaning staff to waiters to bar staff and the cruise director. Well done RCI, thanks for the happy memories. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Fantastic: wifi - It's amazingly fast everywhere and I couldn't get over how well it worked. The wrist bands than allow you to shop, drink, and open your cabin doors , get into shows etc. I mean you get a cabin key and you simply ... Read More
Fantastic: wifi - It's amazingly fast everywhere and I couldn't get over how well it worked. The wrist bands than allow you to shop, drink, and open your cabin doors , get into shows etc. I mean you get a cabin key and you simply have to tap it to the lock to open but you also get wristbands that do the same thing. Truly game changing two70- It's a lounge it's a lobby it's a show place I don't know what to call it but it's flippin amazing! I could sit in here all day and read lounge drink, chat , I can't say enough about this room. PS the DJ in here that played at night was SO GOOD! The show they do in here- hard to describe but saw it twice it was THAT good! Mama Mia- No watered down Version here this is the whole enchilada complete with an intermission- think of it this way you booked a cruise and got tickets to a hot Broadway show as well. Yes, it's that good! Cabins- Really nice and comfy and tons of storage - well done! Pretty Decent: Food- Overall I was pretty impressed, Had a great meal in silk- ( Get the Asian Flank Steak)- Loved the hot cookies at the Windjammer- nice touch- Was impressed with the buffet in general. Lots of for fee places to eat but trust me- you'll never go hungry. Loved the Starbucks like venue outside 270- Just OK:No Main dining room- I kind of miss that and if leaving a show you will have to wait to check in at your restaurant. BE SURE TO BOOK RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE. The public spaces are amazing. Now I'm totally pumped for Anthem! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My most important recommendation for one traveling on Quantum of the Seas is to make sure you get all your reservations (dining and shows!!!) done PRIOR to your trip. They just introduced the "dynamic dining" which means that you ... Read More
My most important recommendation for one traveling on Quantum of the Seas is to make sure you get all your reservations (dining and shows!!!) done PRIOR to your trip. They just introduced the "dynamic dining" which means that you can have dinner in any restaurant (paid or not) IF YOU HAVE A RESERVATION. You need to have a reservation to all restaurants!!! If you wait to make the reservations at the ship most likely it will be impossible and you will get stressed and frustrated and may end up at the Windjammer every day.Not a nice way to start a vacation. Not that I don't like Windjammer which is a beautiful self service restaurant. We had done only one reservation and were able to get into Silk and American Icon Grill by arriving at 5:30pm. This was a stress that we didn't plan to go through. Make sure you also make ALL YOUR SHOWS RESERVATIONS or you may end up again, very stressed and frustrated. I had a drink at the Bionic Bar and I have to say it was the best vodka and tonic ever!!! One of the main attractions of this ship is North Star, a capsule that ascends over 300 feet above sea level. It is indeed one of the most anticipated features on this ship which we were not able to go into. On the first day we were on a line (it was freezing!!!) when there was a problem with the system and they had to stop. I suggest that this should be the very first thing you do in this ship (if you have already all your reservations!!). We did the sky diving simulator (reservations required!!!). I am 59 and didn't enjoy the experience as much as I thought I would. But a lot of people had a lot of fun with the experience and my husband was one of them. I thought I would feel a soft flying sensation which is not true since very strong and unpleasant winds are necessary to make you fly. Broadway show - Mamma Mia - actually had Broadway artists and I could recognize a woman, from Les Miserables (or was it from Once?). My husband, who doesn't like Broadway musicals, loved it! The ship is beautiful, I loved the decoration which is very tasteful. First time I see a ship that is not tacky. I was told there were just 3700 passengers on our trip. It was perfect and we have never had such an easy disembarkation. Stores are expensive and I was told they plan to send Quantum of the Seas to China in May/16. Dont think twice, make your reservation to the Quantum. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I had to write this review because of all the prior negative reviews of theis wonderful ship. This was my 36th cruise. We sail all of the major cruise lines. It took about 10 minutes in total to check in and get onto the ship. The ship is ... Read More
I had to write this review because of all the prior negative reviews of theis wonderful ship. This was my 36th cruise. We sail all of the major cruise lines. It took about 10 minutes in total to check in and get onto the ship. The ship is absolutely magnificent. The layout is superb. So simple to get around. No getting lost, ever. Nothing every felt crowded. The artwork is simply spectacular. Everywhere you look there is something new and amazing to see. My cabin, a standard balcony was so well laid out. Felt very roomy. The bed near the balcony which was nice and left lots of room to move around. Two closets, lots, of drawer space. Tv recessed so takes up no room. Large balcony compared to some of the other new-builds we have been on. The public rooms, in particular the 270 and the Music Hall are truly unbelievable. In addition, the huge solarium was a wonderful place to relax plus has a healthy smoothie bar. The food was delicious. We ate in Wonderland, which was one of the best and most unique dining experiences of my life. Also Silk, gorgeous decor, great service, delicious food. We ate in Chic. Service was fair at best but the food was wonderful. We had breakfast once at Devinly Decadence. Very yummy healthy food and not crowded. Other breakfasts and lunches were at the Windjammer which I found to be a great experience. So so many choices and very well laid out. Did not feel crowded at all. And plenty of seating. Never had to search for a table. Lots everywhere. Of course we also ate at the Cafe 270, Cafe Promenade and Sorrentos for snacks. Did a whole lot of eating in 3 days! The Bionic Bar was very cool and seemed to always draw a crowd. I did the IFly and loved it. They give you and appt time so no wait. We went on the Northstar and waited an hour but the next day they were giving out appt times so no one had to wait. The Northstar was a really fun experience. Do it!! Did the bumper cars the first day when there was no wait and got to stay on to do it twice! Really fun! The entertainment was top notch. Especially Mamma Mia! What talent! We went back the next day to watch the last half hour again because it was so amazing. The live bands were great, all the entertainment we saw including an A Cappella group and the piano players were wonderful. Starwater was pretty strange but very impressive. I spent alot of time in the casino which was only really crowded and smoky from about 10PM. Some really cool slots including a 3D one that was mesmerizing. I really do not understand the negative reviews of the ship. Everything worked well for us. No issues at all. Our wow bands worked fine and were really convenient. The staff everywhere was so friendly and courteous. Bottom line, we loved the ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Quantum of the Seas: B2B Sampler Cruises 18-23 November 2014 In my opinion Quantum is an amazing and very beautiful ship. I was a bit scared after reading some very negative reviews, but I take things like reviews with a grain of salt. ... Read More
Quantum of the Seas: B2B Sampler Cruises 18-23 November 2014 In my opinion Quantum is an amazing and very beautiful ship. I was a bit scared after reading some very negative reviews, but I take things like reviews with a grain of salt. So, despite some not so pleasant reviews from the maiden voyage, I remained extremely excited and optimistic. And I must say Quantum did not disappoint. Pictures do not do her justice. The minute she came into sight, with Felicia Bear standing proud next to the Sea Plex I knew that any fears were unfounded. She stood majestic and grand next to the new Cape Liberty. The décor is very elegant, sleek and carries the futuristic theme well. It is made for relaxation. The brown, blue and silver tones are lovely. The furnishings, a Danish Modern style, also convey the theme. They do not look cheap at all to me. They are not tropical or festive, but that is not what I expected from this ship. Although I can see the Royal connection, it is not like any other Royal ship, so those people that expect such may be disappointed. Quantum…this changes everything… Things worked very smoothly for us, from embarkation, to dining and show reservations, to on board activities, B2B transfer to disembarkation. That being said, the ship is a technological marvel and still experiencing some growing pains. We had a few minor problems. And I am listing them so you can see how minor they were. They made no difference at all in our cruise enjoyment. •WOW bands worked less than more in the shops, although we had no problem with room access •The B2B switch was a bit confusing and no one seemed to know how it would work, because it changes all the time. BUT it did go relatively smooth even though they put all our cards and bands in the room and none on the door, LOL. •I like dynamic dining in concept very much but the menus are a bit limited in each venue. I only eat shellfish and not regular fish. There were no shell fish entrees in Chic, American Icon, or Silk and my choices were a bit limited in terms of chicken or vegetarian. I found something every night, but it could be difficult on longer cruises. •There was no plain cream cheese in Café Two70 and my husband likes a bagel with plain cream cheese for breakfast. He does not do flavors. •No towel animals, not a one. I love them and missed them. •No Royal IQ for Android Embarkation/Cape Liberty: We live 35 minutes from the port, so this was really easy and nice not to have to fly. Cape Liberty is definitely improved. The new terminal is not elegant, but it is functional. The parking deck is not built but parking is convenient right across the street. We took the shuttle when we arrived, but it is just as easy to walk across the street. When we arrived, they did not ask if we wanted to check our luggage and just waived us in the building, so this took us more time as we had to back ourselves through check point and into front of building to check our luggage. It only took us an extra 10 minutes so it was not a big issue. They should ask when you arrive rather than just waive people in. Other than that minor issue, check in was quick and smooth. They have guest service people with tablets to check people in. They do have a few counters but we used an agent that was walking around. It took less than 10 minutes. We were early so waiting until they called diamond boarding, but that was not long either. It is nice that they you can get right on the ship via escalator and gangway now. All in all embarkation at Cape Liberty is very quick for Quantum. We arrived at 10:15 and were on the ship by 11:00am. Bravo to the hard working Cape Liberty staff and Royal. This is a new terminal and process and everyone worked hard to make it as pain free as possible. RoyalIQ: Not available for android yet, unfortunately. We didn’t use it on the ship since I had all the shows and dining booked before arriving. RFID: There is a card on the door that can be used prior to rooms being opened and then another card and wristbands were in the cabin. The bands are still not perfected. They rarely worked in the shops, and we had to use our cards or if they did not work either they wrote a check. This is one of the few things they we had any consistent issue with. It was not a big issue, just a tiny annoyance. I am sure it will be worked out with time. Royal Esplanade/Via: I liked the look and feel of the Esplanade. It is more intimate feeling than the royal promenade, but have the same character but on two levels rather than one large space. Some old favorites like the Shop, Port Merchants, Sorrento’s, Guest Relations, Café Promenade. There are more high end shops. For me these were a waste. I don’t go on a cruise to buy expensive jewelry or handbags, or clothes. Not a big deal, we just walked passed them. I would like the Shop to be bigger. It seemed like the most popular shop with the least amount of space.The Via is gorgeous elegant space. I love the beige and pale green tone, the beautiful sculpture and the comfy chairs along the windows. Very nicely done. I love all the places to relax on Quantum. Two70: This is fabulous space. There are so many comfortable seating areas with a view to die for. It is nice to be able to get food from the café and sit and relax in Two70 to eat. It is very popular place to hang to out. A definite winner. SeaPlex: A fun place. We loved the bumper cars. We saw people roller skating, playing basket ball, playing ping pong, air hockey and video games. A great, fun indoor space. We did not see the circus school in action. North Star: One word, incredible. The view was breathtaking. It goes up very smoothly; it was not scary at all for me. It feels very secure. They were having technical issues, I think due the hydraulic fluid not being designed for cold weather. It is just something else that needs to work itself out. We got to go on it and it was great though. Yes, the lines were long due to the issues they were facing, but for us they were very fare. We waited on line and while we were on line it has issues and stopped for the day. They took our names and put us on wait list for the next day. The thing is you have to be willing to wait it out and not walk off if it stops. Wait till they take names. We got on the second run the very next day. I know it was cold and the lines were long, I was cold and tired, but there is a lot of technology here. Give them a break, it is all new stuff. It needs to be beta tested. I’m ok with it. I got on, it was amazing, I’m happy. IFly: It looked very cool and we signed up for the last day, but under estimated the time for the All Access Tour so missed our slot. People we talked to said it was great fun and not all that hard. You just have to stay relaxed and don’t tense up. Guess we have to go back. : ) Vitality at Sea Spa/Gym: I had a nice facial and my husband a Swedish massage. Both were nice. It is typical cruise spa, although they did not give us the option of using other facilities such as sauna or steam room like they did on other ships. No pressure to buy products which was nice. Gym is nicely appointed and I love having the treadmills along the large windows. I missed the windows on Oasis. Glad to see they are back. Seems to be plenty of equipment and it was not overly crowded even at 7am in the morning, which is usually prime time. Pools: Outdoor: Loved the look of the outdoor pools. It was too cold to use them, but they are very well done. I love the main pool that has the chairs in the water. The H2O zone is cool with a zero entry pool and also a current pool. The outdoor movie screen is very cool. I think it looks fine on the side. The area is bigger in person than it looks in pictures. Indoor: This is great space. Plenty of chairs and well laid out. Again, love the chairs in the water. It is warm, but not as warm as the solarium Solarium: This is my favorite place on the entire ship. It is drop dead gorgeous. I love the multi-level pools and the huge hot tubs. There are so many lovely areas to sit and relax. It reminds me of Oasis but nicer. Oasis Solarium on steroids! It is just breathtaking when it is lit up at night. Dynamic Dining Overview: I actually like the concept very much. It feels more like an elegant hotel than a cruise banquet. I can see people that like the banquet idea and having the same wait staff for the entire cruise, not liking it as much, but for me the concept worked. We asked for a table for two every night, but most nights ended up chatting with our neighbors. We socialized more with dynamic dining than on a traditional dining cruise. On traditional cruises we always asked for a big table and ended up a alone. This time we ended up talking to our neighbors most nights. People just seemed more sociable. I feel like the social experience is not as forced and people are more relaxed and talkative. The only thing I was not totally happy with was the entrée selection in the “free” restaurants. I felt they were limited. I eat mostly shell fish, chicken and vegetarian. I don’t eat regular fish. Every “free” restaurant offered 2-3 regular fish dishes, chicken, beef and vegetarian. No shell fish entrée at all. So every night I was stuck with only 2 selections and if I did not care for the way chicken or pasta was prepared it left me wanting. The food all tasted excellent, it is just the limited selection that concerns me. I know there are alternative menus in all venues, but I have never before had to resort to asking for one and this is my 11th cruise with RCI. American Icon: I like the décor and general theme of the restaurant. The appetizers were excellent. I had the Ruben turnover and my husband had the clam chowder and we both loved our choices. I did find the entrée selection lacking in this venue. I don’t eat fish so I was left with fried chicken (which I don’t care for), turkey (which is not my favorite) or fettuccini (a bit heavy for me). I went with fettuccini, and it was tasty, but I felt like I was forced it into it, by lack of choice. My husband had turkey and it was good. The desserts were excellent. We did not return here for dinner due to lack of entrée choice. We did eat breakfast here one day. It is important to note they stop serving breakfast at 9:30am. Chic: My favorite of the three “free” restaurants that we ate at. The décor is light and pleasant. I loved the crab cake appetizer and the chicken dish and prime rib were outstanding. For me it had the best selection of entrées Silk: We ate in Silk the first night. It is PanAsian cuisine. The décor is lovely and exotic. I really liked it. My husband is traditionalist so it was a stretch for him. The appetizers were outstanding. I had a shrimp appetizer that was amazing. My chicken dish was Indian and very delicious too. My husband had Hibachi Steak that was good too. Café Two70: This is a great place to grab a quick bite. We liked having breakfast here. Here is where I get my café mocha. I like it better than from Starbucks. Our only complaint is that they only had flavored cream cheese and my husband likes plain. Johnny Rockets: Johnny Rockets has changed its concept for the Quantum of the Seas. It is now an 'a la carte' take away restaurant. While they still have table seating, they do not offer table service. Orders are placed at the counter and taken by the guest, cafeteria style. Although I missed the table service a bit, I honestly felt it was a better dining alternative for us. The only thing I did not like was the outdoor seating, since it was cold we could not use it. Windjammer: The Windjammer is another standard item on Royal Caribbean. It is very much like every other Windjammer. Did not have trouble getting a seat even during busy times. There was always something toward the back, even if the front was full. For lunch, they have a Mediterranean station, Pan Asian, grill, salads, hot entrees, a small selection of pre-made sandwiches, fruit, desserts and the best cookies anywhere. I absolutely love Royal Caribbean cookies. Patisserie: Starbucks is located here. They also have candy, macaroons, pastry and cupcakes. All items here are for charge. Dreamworks Character Breakfast: We did this the second day and it was great fun, even without children. We were seated with a big family with two young children. After a brief awkwardness we all relaxed and had a blast. They do a nice job with the Dreamworks experience in my opinion. For the breakfast each character comes out, does a little dance and then everyone gets to have a picture with each. We had three, Shrek, Fiona and PussNBoots (my favorite so I was a happy camper). There were also Characters in the Esplanade frequently. They are there but not intrusive. Very nicely done. D2Balcony: This was my first time not in a suite and I was a little nervous. The cabin was fine. It was extremely well laid out with lots of storage. I pack heavy and we had no trouble with our clothing. We were in 11172 and 12164 and had the bed by the door arrangement. We also did two cabin crawls and I don’t think there is a rationale to whether where the bed/couch are located. At least we could not see a pattern. The bath was also very functional. I like the curved shower door. Although the shower has a couple of chrome shelves, be advised the slats are very far apart and smaller items (razors, small bar soap) fall through often. The shave bar is a nice touch. I liked the furnishing and room colors. Soothing and again simple and elegant to match futuristic theme. The balcony was a nice size and because we were on the edge of the bump was larger and one side. There were two chairs with foot stools and a small table. Note: You can not only use your key card or a credit card in the light switch by door, but any flat object that fits will keep lights working. Shows: This is the area that Royal Caribbean really stands out. They are heads above anyone else. Mama Mia!: This was the full length Broadway version and absolutely fantastic. It was the best show I have ever seen anywhere on land or sea. The acting, music, choreography was all top notch. The cast were phenomenal. At the end the entire audience was on our feet singing and dancing. It is not to be missed. Starwater: Another winner. The special effects were just amazing. The costumes, the acting, the acrobatics all add up to a great show. Bars/Diamond Club: The Bionic Bar looked very cool, but unfortunately it is another area where some of the kinks need to be worked out. It was working on and off. It was very cool to watch when it was working. I will definitely try it the next time we are on board. The Schooner Bar is always very popular. The Music Hall had tribute bands and the décor and atmosphere look very cool. There are pool tables on the second floor. It is also the overflow room for the Diamond Club next door. That was nice because the Diamond Club is nice but too small for the number of Diamond guests and it gets very crowded in the evening. All Access Tour: This was my favorite part of the entire trip. Getting to see the inner workings of this amazing ship, was a real treat. It was well worth the money we paid for the tour. We saw the kitchens, storage areas, recycling, laundry, control room, bow (crew deck), crew galley and night clubs, and my favorite the bridge. The captain is such a sociable gentlemen. He made time to speak with us, answer our questions and even take pictures. He is approachable and witty. We received champagne and mimosas at the crew bar and got nice commemorative gifts. Seeing how hard the crew works and all they have to deal with and how much pride they take in what they do has given me new appreciation for this ship and its crew. It was such a great tour. Summary: Quantum is an amazing and beautiful ship with a hard working crew. I love everything about it, even Felicia Bear! We had a great time! I would love to go back, but not sure we have time before it leaves for Canada. I am looking forward to her sister Anthem.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I had the privilege to spend a week-end on Royal Carribean's new ship, Quantum of the seas. The registration process is mainly handled online. They take your luggage, just make sure you tagged with the printed tags you ... Read More
My wife and I had the privilege to spend a week-end on Royal Carribean's new ship, Quantum of the seas. The registration process is mainly handled online. They take your luggage, just make sure you tagged with the printed tags you got online. When you walk into the cruise terminal, an attendant scans your printed registration and asks you a few questions. 10 minutes later we were walking to the ship. The Royal Esplanade is not as striking as the one on the Oasis. Still, you are greeted by butterflies which is relaxing. The rest of the Esplanade is very similar to one on the Oasis. The Vintages is located in the Esplanade. For a quick snack, The Royal Esplanade has everything you can wish for. Desserts at the Patisserie, Pizza's at Sorrento's, Sushi at Uzumi and the very upscale Wonderland. There's also Jamie Oliver's Bistro. So plenty of choices if the ship is not too crowded. There's plenty of dining options as well. You can go downstairs for traditional dining at the "Chic" or "Grande". There's always the "Windjammer" for buffet style dining, but we opted for the Asian fusion "Silk" for which we'd made a reservation online a week earlier. The Silk has a very pleasant atmosphere. We were quickly seated. The menu has a wide choice of appetizers. The nice thing is that you can order as many as you want. We tried everything except the spring rolls, the papaya salad and the crab rangoon. Everything was delicious. The shrimps were exquisite. My wife skipped the rest of the meal as she was full. I pressed on with the Hibachi steak which was excellent as well. For dessert, I had the chocolate lychee tart which surprised me. The texture was great and chocolaty at first, then an overpowering spicy taste makes it really distasteful, unless you like spicy chocolate, which I don't. So, all in all a great experience at the Silk. Great service and great food. We heard a lot of good things about the sea bass from other cruisers... The ship is a mix of Celebrity's Solstice and Oasis of the seas. There's plenty of activities and places for families and teens and you get the Solstice decor and dining experience. Perfect for the internet generation who loves staying connected 24 hours a day. You'll see plenty of cruisers taking pictures with their tablets and cellphones, texting or updating their Facebook timeline. So, the Quantum has something for everybody. The Adventure club is very similar to the Oasis, There's bumper cars and roller skating. There's an Xbox room and plenty of table games all around the rink if you want to call it that way. For thrill seekers, there's iFly and a climbing wall. Oh, and the North Star if you want a 250ft view from up the ship. My wife twisted my arm to try the iFly with her. Stay away if you have a bad back or knee problems. You get a nice 15 minute course and get to dress up in a suit with helmet and goggles. The time in the tube is about a minute. My hemlet strap was not tight enough, so as I made my entry in the wind tube, the strap was slapping my lower chin making it really painful. I could no nothing but wait 'till my turn was up because the instructor cannot hear anything. There's not much to do but follow your instructor's signals and wait for him to gently push you through the door when your turn is up. It was fun, except for the pain... There's plenty of entertainment in the evening. There's the Bionic bar with robot making cocktails, there's a real lounge with a pianist, there's Star Water, which we only saw a few minutes but was really impressive and there's Mamma Mia for your classic theater at sea. My wife loves Mamma Mia so we went. Don't expect a watered down version of the show. You get the full show. I must say the main actors and singers were excellent. Even if musicals are not my thing. If you want to relax during the day and take a dip, the Solarium is really the ideal place. Nice palm trees, a bar, multi-level pool and whirlpools make it the perfect place to relax with a book. Glass all around to let the sun in. We had a nice dinner at the Devin Decadence on our last day. We could not have wished for a better dining experience. John, our waiter was very attentive and explained every aspects of this special restaurant. He filled us in on Devin Alexander's menu and special attention to her creation. We really enjoyed our dinner and wish we had more time to experience the other venues. My wife and I really enjoyed the Quantum of the seas. For us the internet access is really not a priority. So, if we were to choose a cruise with our kids, we would probably look at the itinerary first before making a choice between the Oasis and the Quantum. Because the kid's have everything on both ships. But my wife and I would probably book the Solstice for ourselves.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We went on a 3-night sampler cruise out of Bayonne, NJ. This was a short getaway for my wife and I (millennial age) to check out this magnificent ship. Our overall impression is that the ship was amazing and we are excited to go on a ... Read More
We went on a 3-night sampler cruise out of Bayonne, NJ. This was a short getaway for my wife and I (millennial age) to check out this magnificent ship. Our overall impression is that the ship was amazing and we are excited to go on a Quantum class ship again in the near future! The check-in process was simple. A staff member greeted us as we entered the terminal, checked our set-sail pass and passport and we then proceeded directly through security (a process that totaled 5 minutes at most!). We were then seated in a holding area of the terminal until our boarding time was called. We arrived early, so this wait was about 20 minutes for us until our 10:45 boarding time was called (on-time). Once on the ship we were amazed by everything we saw. Our plan was to head directly to the seaplex to hop on the bumper cars, but we kept getting distracted by the beauty of the ship along the way. Walking through the esplanade, going to 270, we just kept stopping to take pictures! Once at the seaplex we hopped right on the bumper cars (no wait) and then proceeded to the windjammer for lunch. We checked in our room after 1:00 when they said the rooms would be ready. We had an interior virtual balcony room. We had the lowest cabin category yet the room was spacious. We were most impressed by the size of the bathrooms compared to other cruise ships. The showers in particular were very classy with a nice glass door and a little more space. The only thing with the room that was a little disappointing was the virtual balcony. We were excited about this feature however it was frozen for a little over a day and at night time it becomes useless since it turns into a black screen. Otherwise, the virtual balcony did add a feature that other interior rooms lack, and that is the ability to see what is going on outside (however, we're hardly in our room). Highlights of the rest of our trip included: - There are two indoor pool areas which made the 30 degree temperature outside seem like an afterthought. The solarium (adult pool area) was very warm and simply beautiful. The indoor main pool area had a Caribbean style band playing and a bar that was open. A great feature about these indoor areas is that even on windy/cold/rainy days, the pool is still a great option! - The seaplex was exceptional! The variety of activities kept us going back there throughout the day. Bumper cars, roller skating, trapeze school, xbox stations, and the hot dog house provided a lot of entertainment and refreshment. - The shows were excellent, highlighted by Starwater (a must see!). Mama Mia was also very good. - We were skeptical about the dynamic dining concept since we thoroughly enjoyed the traditional dining style. However, we were quite impressed. We ate at Silk (wonderful appetizers), Grande (enjoyed the entree), and American Icon (superb service from our waiter). While reservations can be a hassle, we took the time before departure to reserve our dining times and we were sat right away. I even changed a reservation to an earlier time for American Icon, again no issues. - Cafe 270 was a pleasant surprise. On other royal caribbean vessels we usually ate at the windjammer for both breakfast and lunch because we enjoy the variety. However, on this cruise we found ourselves eating at Cafe 270 because of the simple, light meal options (salad, soup, sandwiches). Plus the advantage of eating in 270 which has great views of the ocean and very comfortable seating. - For debarkation, we were off the ship in 10 minutes as well! (although sad) A few (small) complaints: - When we first arrived to our room, our key didn't work and we had to go to guest services for a new one. - Our dining experience was excellent, however wait times between the entree and dessert could be improved. - We waited 2 hours to ride the north star. It seems as if Royal Caribbean has started making adjustments as I have heard they are now using a reservation system for this attraction. I would like to point out that others who have written complaints about this ship is that many of the issues are fixable and have already been addressed. This is a brand new cruise ship, it's going to have growing pains, but don't let these pains keep you from experiencing a ship of a lifetime. There is a vast array of things to do, lots of food and great entertainment. I highly recommend Quantum of the Seas and I look forward to cruising on her (or her sister Anthem) many times in the future! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I wish I had a nickel for every time I caught myself saying "WOW" while exploring the ship after boarding. Before our cruise, we saw all the pictures and read all the information provided by CruiseCritic members on the boards. ... Read More
I wish I had a nickel for every time I caught myself saying "WOW" while exploring the ship after boarding. Before our cruise, we saw all the pictures and read all the information provided by CruiseCritic members on the boards. We followed the construction, float-out, sea trials, and the live reports from the Trans-Atlantic crossing. The pictures do not do it justice. It is so much nicer when you see it in person. Even as we drove up to the terminal in Bayonne and saw our first view of Felicia, the magenta Bear standing guard at the Seaplex entrance, we were "Wowed". We arrived 30 minutes before boarding started and went through luggage drop-off, check-in, and security in less than 3 minutes. It all worked as promised. It could have taken less time if we did not stop to take some pictures. The ship decor is elegant. No bright colors, lots of artwork, well done. Dynamic Dining worked out well. We made the reservations in May, shortly after they were opened. Dinner at American Icon Grill, Grande (twice), Silk, and Chic. Grande was our favorite with Silk a close second. Jamie's Italian was a real gem. We did it for lunch and the meal was wonderful. As good as any Italian restaurant in North Jersey (real Italians - ask Tony Soprano). The pulled pork sliders at Michael's Genuine Pub are not to be missed, along with his Genuine Home Brew. Also, do not miss the Kummelweck sandwiches in Cafe270. Did the Bumper Cars and Northstar. Both were great. Got lucky with Northstar and got there shortly after it started. Only waited 30 minutes. Since then, they implemented a ticket (fastpass?) system to avoid the long lines. They announced on Friday that the tickets would be available starting at 9 AM Saturday morning. Arriving just before 9 (to go on it a second time) the line for the tickets stretched nearly to the bow! Talking to a Northstar crew member around noon, she said people started lining up at 7:30 and all 500 tickets went fast. The line now was only about 10 people long (they take 14 per trip) and she pointed to a standby line where there were a few people waiting to fill unused spaces. Did not try the iFly or the Flowrider but there were some hardy individuals using the Flowrider. The shows on-board were absolutely fabulous! We saw Mama Mia twice! Mama Mia was the full Broadway production with identical sets and costumes. The cast was great. If we saw this on Broadway, the seats would have cost $300 each. Danielle Black, who plays Sophie, is a rising star with a fantastic singing voice. In fact, all the cast members were fantastic. Could not ask for a better performance. We also saw Starwater twice. It is a show somewhat like a combination of Cirque and song and dance. Hard to describe but very entertaining. It takes place in Two70, and uses the 18 projectors on the window screens along with the robo screens. Get there early to get a seat where you can see the show floor. The technology worked well, even though some crew members appeared to struggle some times. The Bionic Bar drinks were free as they worked the bugs out of the software. The robot bartenders were entertaining and they mixed strong drinks. We did not purchase an internet package but used the free Royal IQ App to view our schedules, reservations, and track our luggage along the way. There were a few loose ends and rough edges around, and if you were about after midnight, you would see the technicians out fixing and repairing. There was one elevator that seemed to have a mind of its own and changed directions before getting to the right floor. The elevators also have weight sensors and they will bypass people waiting if there is no room left. The LCD screen in the elevator displays a little red icon when the elevator is full. The RFID wrist bands were a real convenience. Better than expected. You can swim with them on. No need to even bring your SeaPass card to the pool. Doing the B2B, we did not have to get off the ship between cruises, and were invited to a consecutive cruiser luncheon in the American Icon Grill. There were about 100 people there. Don't know what else to add. Loved the ship, the technology, the food, and the shows. The only real complaint was having to get off when the cruise was over. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We all love to cruise and getting a good deal is an important part of the process. On a dreary Super Bowl Sunday (2/5/2012,) getting the best deal on our cruise ship was not even an issue. We were about to experience the most expensive ... Read More
We all love to cruise and getting a good deal is an important part of the process. On a dreary Super Bowl Sunday (2/5/2012,) getting the best deal on our cruise ship was not even an issue. We were about to experience the most expensive staterooms on board the Freedom of the Seas and we were all excited. On arrival at Port Canaveral, we easily found our assigned complementary parking lot. We walked the short distance to the terminal and joined the rest of our group waiting to board the ship. At 11:00AM there were basically no lines. The grumpy employee stationed just outside our entrance was the only unsmiling employee we encountered the whole day. Soon we cleared security, proceeded upstairs to check-in with our group leader & received name tags. We then relinquished our drivers license to RCCL personnel in exchange for SeaPass cards on lanyards. After settling into comfortable seating, we were greeted by a most pleasant & informative RCCL representative Joanne (Jo) Cotterman, Business Development Manager. Exactly at 11:30, Jo led our eager group of 34 for quick ID photos and then we all boarded the ship. For the next hour or so we viewed most of the ship's deluxe suites. We viewed Junior Suite-1544, Grand Suite-1548, Owner Suite-1620 and Royal Suite-1640 and others located on Deck 10. We also viewed a very roomy (handicap) Accessible Junior Suite- 1628. Jo showed us the more standard inside Staterooms (Cat. L) which were very lovely but it was the luxury suites that all of us were interested in seeing - staterooms that most of us would never get see otherwise. They are gorgeous. If you can afford one, what a way to cruise! How nice that all mattresses are rounded to give even more space & maneuverability. Later we rode the elevators to Deck 6 and viewed the unusual Promenade Staterooms. These inside cabins have large windows that look out on the Royal Promenade below. One unusual Promenade Stateroom-6305 is called The Ben & Jerry Suite. It is an inside room that faces the backs of the cow sculptures over the Ben & Jerry Store. To compensate for this view, the ship offers you free Ben & Jerry Ice Cream throughout your cruise. What fun! The Promenade Staterooms cost more than regular inside staterooms but I think that they are worth it as they offer a more open feeling. Of course, when you turn on lights you lose privacy unless you close the drapes. The Promenade Staterooms also give you an excellent view of the parades & dance shows that are staged during your cruise. The spacious Presidential Suite-6414 received the most accolades from us. It sleeps 14 passengers - this is not a typo - for $80,000. All of us were wowed by what we saw - spacious luxury. Book a suite larger than a Junior Suite for 4-nights or longer on RCCL & receive extra special amenities. You'll have priority check-in, departure & tender boarding, complementary Concierge Club Service plus luggage valet service including free pressing service on the first formal night. You have use of luxury Spa bathrobes & slippers and even get to choose your own type of pillow. Receive VIP pool deck seating, reserved seating in the theater & private breakfast & lunch seating in specialty restaurants. Complete breakfast, lunch & dinner menus are available for your in-room dining. Ghirardelli chocolates will greet you at turn down service. You can wave around your special Gold SeaPass Card to impress the rest of us onboard. There are other perks and upgraded amenities too numerous to mention. After an hour of viewing the many spacious staterooms & the awesome main public areas, we had lunch in the beautifully appointed Leonardo Dining Room Deck 3 AFT. I dined on Seafood Salad (shrimp, scallops, salmon,) Roasted Duck and Sky High Lemon Meringue Tart. In addition, I also sampled the Garlic Tiger Shrimp entree. Oh my! My husband had Caesar Salad & a very different tasting Eggplant & Roma Tomato Bake - he loved it. At the large windows where we sat, we had a perfect view of the Disney Dream docked right next to us. Our service was attentive, efficient and unobtrusive. After the delicious lunch, we were free to further explore the ship until 3 PM. It wasn't just the gorgeous staterooms or scrumptious lunch that wowed our group but also the many unusual extras available on this beautiful ship. One that I especially want to try (someday) is the ice skating rink. Be sure to pack casual comfortable long pants for this one. The ship provides the skates. You can take lessons, too or watch the ice shows that are a combination of dance and athletics. Another unusual amenity is the 3D indoor theater showing first run 3D movies. There is also a large poolside outdoor TV screen showing first run movies and sporting events during the day & under the stars. After food & entertainment, the cruise industry knows that passengers are very interested in the pool areas on board. Freedom of the Seas has 10 pools and whirlpools. Two huge pools & 4 whirlpools are right on the pool deck. Although none of us on the tour travel with children, we were very impressed with the innovative H2O Zone Water Park. It contains colorful fountains, geysers and water guns plus shallow water to keep kids safely entertained all day. We all enjoyed the complementary soft ice cream cones available on the pool deck. I loved the 2 large cantilevered whirlpools in the adults-only Solarium that extend 12 feet over the water. For males, there is a regulation-size boxing ring in the large fitness center. Ladies you, of course, can use it also. The most unusual amenity is the FlowRider. Watch brave passengers ride the waves on body boards & eventually wipe out. Padding prevents anyone from getting hurt. Stadium seating around the attraction permits you to be entertained for as long as you like or why not try it yourself? Another exciting venue is the Royal Promenade. The centrally located 4-story Main Street on Deck 5 is named after a street in Milan & it is the hub of activities - boutiques, pubs, eateries, dance shows, parades & Meet the Captain events,. We spent lots of our free time here tasting the complementary goodies. My husband is still raving about the pizza he sampled at Sorrentino's. I loved their Chocolate Moose and the Amaretto Cookies. Cafe Promenade has delicious Starbuck's coffee and complementary cookies and confectionaries of different types. We sampled several of them. At Vintages you can self-pour a glass of wine to sample for a fee. Or, take a decorating class at Cupcakes Cupboard. I saw on display giant cupcakes decorated in Giants & Patriots themes for Super Bowl Sunday. Children as young as 6 months are entertained in the colorful, cheery Royal Babies & Royal Tots Program. Older children have special activities through the day in the Adventure Ocean Youth Programs: Aquanauts 3-5, Explorers, 6-8, Voyagers, 9-11. Tweens & Teens have their own disco with more independence. There is Challenger's Arcade to keep the kids occupied also. Children as young as 1 yr. old can be babysat in either a group situation or in your own stateroom at additional charge if parents need more free time. Puppet shows and Dreamworks Character Parades also keep the kids happy and engaged. The facilities & activities are first rate. Of course, the ship has the more typical amenities such as a challenging rock climbing wall, basketball court, ping pong tables and a mini golf course as well as the large Shipshape Fitness Center. The Skylight Chapel on Deck 15 is available for weddings or to renew your vows. We saw two brides getting married the day that we toured the ship. I checked out the Day Spa and found that you can choose from over 100 different treatments including tooth whitening & acupuncture. I could spend more time talking about the theater, buffets, casino, hair salon, lounges, library, specialty restaurants, nightclubs & bars but I think that you get the idea that this ship is a destination in and of itself. If you think that this ship is just too large for you to navigate, think again. Throughout the ship there are innovative signs called "Cruise Compass" - directional aides with interactive touch screens that tell you the location of rest rooms, your stateroom, public areas - in fact every place on the ship - plus give you the route to get there. In addition, they list the daily activities. You won't be roaming the halls aimlessly. I was so impressed with everything that I purchased a voucher for a future cruise. The offer never expires and gives us back our $200 on our next deposit plus up to an additional $200 shipboard credit depending on the length of our new cruise. This is a better return on our money than we receive at the bank. Freedom of the Seas cruises the Eastern & Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral. The Independence of the Seas (Western Mediterranean) & Liberty of the Seas (Western Caribbean, Western Mediterranean & Transatlantic) are also Freedom Class ships with similar amenities. As we left the ship, the sun was shining and we all hurried home to warm up our TVs for the Super Bowl Game. Perhaps I'll see you on my next cruise aboard the Freedom of the Seas. It can't be soon enough for me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveledged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude ... Read More
We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveledged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude and ugly but not at all. We felt that the Allure of the Seas is an attractive, well designed and spacious ship that has something for the whole family. In fact we thought it was a destination in its own right! Public Areas Location finders - The decks have touch screens showing where you are on the ship. You can select a cabin or entertainment venue and it will show you how to get to your chosen destination. It also provides information such as the Cruise compass. The Boardwalk. This a social area where you can ride the carousel, enjoy a show at the AquaTheatre, listen to the brass band and look up and see the adrenaline junkies on the zip line (yes that includes me!) The lamp posts have flags hanging from the top and circlar seating at the base which makes a great place to people watch. It is also here that you will find Johnny Rockets, the Dog House (with several varieties of sausages from around the world for hot dogs), Rita's Cantina (a Mexican restaurant)and the ice cream parlour and donut store and as well as shops including Pets at Sea (opening soon) and Pinwheels a sweet shop. Access to the climbing wall is from the back of the Boardwalk and there is a rock climbing wall on the port and starboard side. Central Park. A quiet peaceful area covered in vegetation which makes it very relaxing. Central park is the area where most of the speciality restaurants are located, as well as the Park Cafe a complementary cafe with cakes, pastries, muffins, salad, sandwiches as well as tea and coffee. There is seating inside and out as well as some comfy sofas in the middle of Central Park under a covered glass area. The Britto gallery is a retail gallery with some colourful items for sale and there is also a photographic studio. The Rising Tide Bar is a cocktail bar which moves up and down from the Central Park on deck 8 down to the Royal Promenade on deck 5. The Royal Promenade. This is bright and airy unlike how I remembered it on the Independence. I think that the extra width on the Allure and the light from the Central Park both contribute to the ambience. Here you will find many shops including Guess, the Cupcake cupboard, the champagne bar and complementary eating venues, such as the Promenade cafe for breakfast, sandwiches and cakes and Sorrentos a pizzeria. The Lifts - There are 24 guest lifts 12 at the front and 12 at the back. I loved the lifts at the back of the ship as they had beautiful sparkly ballerina dresses that turned as the ship moved and twinkled in the sunlight and lights. There are also glass lifts at the front with different decorated disks as you speed through the floors. The Sport Deck - The zip line is excellent fun as you fly above the Boardwalk. There are two flowriders on the port and starboard side. The operator was happy to ride alongside and give hints and tips as you ride the waves and I really enjoyed it. However, the sensor has not settled yet and he had to keep hitting the emergency cut off switch when it bubbled out of control. Fortunately I had seen it happen to someone else before it turned into a whirl pool for me and I was fine but it would have been very frightening for a nervous swimmer who does not go out of their depth. The mini-golf is a good little course and the miniature clubs and big balls for small children were great. There is also a basketball court that was very popular with Hollywood actor Adam Sandler. The pools - the H2O zone on the starboard side was a hit with my two children again. They love the water cannons, the Jacuzzis and the self serve ice-cream! On the starboard side of the H2O zone there is a normal pool and another Jacuzzi. Beyond the bars there is a beach area with more pools and beyond that are the cantilevered whirlpools (with TV screens) and the Solarium which are adult only areas. The cabin - This is the one area that let the Allure down compared to cruises on other cruise lines and Indy. We had a balcony cabin and when the sofa bed was made up you hardly had any floor space left and it was very difficult to get to the balcony. What made it worse was that our steward didn't put the sofabed away on the first day and we could barely move in our cabin. If there had been a bunk and a single sofa bed there wouldn't have been such a problem. Even when we got the steward to put the sofa bed away the cabin was still tight on space. The wardrobe is so close to the bed that you end up leaning backwards over the bed in order to get clothes in and out. We had just come back from a cruise on the Costa Serena and although the cabin was only an outside on the Serena it was much bigger than the cabin on the Allure which was a disappointment. One nice touch however was the dual ipod / iphone docking station. The entertainment The AquaTheatre was a real highlight for us and the high diving show is not to be missed. This is also the location for one of the sailaway parties which is a fantastic celebration with Dreamworks characters who invite everyone on stage to dance. The Ice show - How to Train your Dragon. Fortunately I watched the film on the flight over so it made perfect sense (they simultaneously play extracts from the film on a screen behind) and even if you haven't, the costumes and characters are very visual. The Move it Move it Parade - The Dreamworks characters are superb and the children absolutely loved the parade. Characters on board include the Penguins, Alex and Gloria from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek and Fiona. The theatre - our headline act was Ronn Lucas the ventriloquist who we have previously enjoyed on the Royal Variety Show in England. He was very entertaining although I admit I was familiar with quite a lot of his material. It may be because he wasn't expecting anyone from the UK in the audience. Our son was blown away with his act and it made an excellent end to our cruise. Food and Drink - As this was a preview cruise all the food and drink was complementary. The film crew for Jack and Jill block booked the speciality restaurants so we ate in the Main Dining Room and the Windjammer most of the time. The food in both was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the Windjammer as I hated it on the Independence but the food quality and choice was excellent. In the Main Dining Room we enjoyed escargots, lobster bisque, beef fillet, lobster tails, rack of lamb and scallop risotto. A word of warning for UK travellers, if you like your steak rare order medium on the Allure as the cuisson was always under what we were expecting. We were lucky enough to win this preview cruise as the UK winners of the Reporters of the Seas competition and felt priveleged to experience such a wonderful ship. I must admit I had wondered whether the ship being so large would be crude and ugly but not at all. We felt that the Allure of the Seas is an attractive, well designed and spacious ship that has something for the whole family. In fact we thought it was a destination in its own right! Public Areas The Boardwalk. This a social area where you can ride the carousel, enjoy a show at the AquaTheatre, listen to the brass band and look up and see the adrenaline junkies on the zip line (yes that includes me!) The lamp posts have flags hanging from the top and circlar seating at the base which makes a great place to people watch. It is also here that you will find Johnny Rockets, the Dog House (with several varieties of sausages from around the world for hot dogs), Rita's Cantina (a Mexican restaurant)and the ice cream parlour and donut store and as well as shops including Pets at Sea (opening soon) and Pinwheels a sweet shop. Access to the climbing wall is from the back of the Boardwalk and there is a rock climbing wall on the port and starboard side. Central Park. A quiet peaceful area covered in vegetation which makes it very relaxing. Central park is the area where most of the speciality restaurants are located, as well as the Park Cafe a complementary cafe with cakes, pastries, muffins, salad, sandwiches as well as tea and coffee. There is seating inside and out as well as some comfy sofas in the middle of Central Park under a covered glass area. The Britto gallery is a retail gallery with some colourful items for sale and there is also a photographic studio. The Rising Tide Bar is a cocktail bar which moves up and down from the Central Park on deck 8 down to the Royal Promenade on deck 5. The Royal Promenade. This is bright and airy unlike how I remembered it on the Independence. I think that the extra width on the Allure and the light from the Central Park both contribute to the ambience. Here you will find many shops including Guess, the Cupcake cupboard, the champagne bar and complementary eating venues, such as the Promenade cafe for breakfast, sandwiches and cakes and Sorrentos a pizzeria. The Lifts - There are 24 guest lifts 12 at the front and 12 at the back. I loved the lifts at the back of the ship as they had beautiful sparkly ballerina dresses that turned as the ship moved and twinkled in the sunlight and lights. There are also glass lifts at the front with different decorated disks as you speed through the floors. The Sport Deck - The zip line is excellent fun as you fly above the Boardwalk. There are two flowriders on the port and starboard side. The operator was happy to ride alongside and give hints and tips as you ride the waves and I really enjoyed it. However, the sensor has not settled yet and he had to keep hitting the emergency cut off switch when it bubbled out of control. Fortunately I had seen it happen to someone else before it turned into a whirl pool for me and I was fine but it would have been very frightening for a nervous swimmer who does not go out of their depth. The mini-golf is a good little course and the miniature clubs and big balls for small children were great. There is also a basketball court that was very popular with Hollywood actor Adam Sandler. The pools - the H2O zone on the starboard side was a hit with my two children again. They love the water cannons, the Jacuzzis and the self serve ice-cream! On the starboard side of the H2O zone there is a normal pool and another Jacuzzi. Beyond the bars there is a beach area with more pools and beyond that are the cantilevered whirlpools (with TV screens) and the Solarium which are adult only areas. The cabin - This is the one area that let the Allure down compared to cruises on other cruise lines and Indy. We had a balcony cabin and when the sofa bed was made up you hardly had any floor space left and it was very difficult to get to the balcony. What made it worse was that our steward didn't put the sofabed away on the first day and we could barely move in our cabin. If there had been a bunk and a single sofa bed there wouldn't have been such a problem. Even when we got the steward to put the sofa bed away the cabin was still tight on space. The wardrobe is so close to the bed that you end up leaning backwards over the bed in order to get clothes in and out. We had just come back from a cruise on the Costa Serena and although the cabin was only an outside on the Serena it was much bigger than the cabin on the Allure which was a disappointment. One nice touch however was the dual ipod / iphone docking station. The entertainment The AquaTheatre was a real highlight for us and the high diving show is not to be missed. This is also the location for one of the sailaway parties which is a fantastic celebration with Dreamworks characters who invite everyone on stage to dance. The Ice show - How to Train your Dragon. Fortunately I watched the film on the flight over so it made perfect sense (they simultaneously play extracts from the film on a screen behind) and even if you haven't, the costumes and characters are very visual. The Move it Move it Parade - The Dreamworks characters are superb and the children absolutely loved the parade. Characters on board include the Penguins, Alex and Gloria from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Shrek and Fiona. The theatre - our headline act was Ronn Lucas the ventriloquist who we have previously enjoyed on the Royal Variety Show in England. He was very entertaining although I admit I was familiar with quite a lot of his material. It may be because he wasn't expecting anyone from the UK in the audience. Our son was blown away with his act and it made an excellent end to our cruise. Food and Drink - As this was a preview cruise all the food and drink was complementary. The film crew for Jack and Jill block booked the speciality restaurants so we ate in the Main Dining Room and the Windjammer most of the time. The food in both was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the Windjammer as I hated it on the Independence but the food quality and choice was excellent. In the Main Dining Room we enjoyed escargots, lobster bisque, beef fillet, lobster tails, rack of lamb and scallop risotto. A word of warning for UK travellers, if you like your steak rare order medium on the Allure as the cuisson was always under what we were expecting. Overall impressions - a beautiful ship that surpassed all our expectations. The staff were really friendly and helpful throughout. We were kept pretty busy recording our two videos for the Reporters of the Seas competition win, but we left the ship wishing we could stay on as there was so much more we still had to do (Blue Planet and the Ice games show) Jack and Jill filming took over large areas of the ship during the cruise making some areas out of bounds at times but for no longer than a day. Our highlight was going on the bridge and our 8 year old interviewing Captain Zini. I thoroughly recommend this ship, just make sure your cruise has lots of sea days!!! If you would like to see some pictures of the Allure of the Seas we have posted a selection on our thread on the Allure site: http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1311013 Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
I must confess to have been stressing big time prior to my cruise. Due to work circumstances I had to fly out the same day from the UK (something which I absolutely hate doing) on a flight that arrived in Miami at 520pm for a 0900pm ... Read More
I must confess to have been stressing big time prior to my cruise. Due to work circumstances I had to fly out the same day from the UK (something which I absolutely hate doing) on a flight that arrived in Miami at 520pm for a 0900pm departure. Did not leave much room for error, especially as we had to get across from MIA to FLL in the rush hour, nevertheless thanks to Virgin, RCCL and our coach driver we made it with time to spare...........PANIC OVER. First impressions from the outside were the sheer size of the ship compared with the Freedom and other class ships and its absolute beauty. Once inside, the vastness absolutely overwhelmed us. I say this not as a complaint, but to explain that we were so tired having already been awake for almost 24 hours, we found our way to our cabin which was a fairly typical Balcony cabin in size and lay out. Exactly what we were expecting. Effectively I will ignore any thoughts relating to the first night and start my brief story on the following day. (including our first night meal) #awake at 0630, brief walk around the Promenade/Broadwalk/Central Park area with no one around. Absolutely stunning architecturally and aesthetically. What struck us was how wide the Promenade was compared with other ships and how much more it had to offer. A brief lift up to the Windjammer where we were seated immediately. We were surprised at how small the Windjammer was as I guess we expected it to be a lot bigger. In truth was not overly impressed with the breakfast. We were in at opening 700am, the food was beautifully laid out, however, all the "hot" food was dry, and quite frankly not at all hot. I guess this was initial teething issues, and I am sure it is an issue that will be resolved........at least I hope so. After breakfast we waited about 15 minutes for our food to be digested (any longer than that would have been just plain daft) before embarking on our visitation to as many jacuzzis as we could manage in 2 full days. Temperature and everything was perfect, and it felt kind of decadent being in a jacuzzi at 0745 in the morning. After a period of sunbathing we thought that a proper exploration of the ship might be in order, and it was a true revelation, the casino was superb with a great variety of games, machines and a superb bar in the middle. Broadwalk was fun, and it was deemed absolutely necessary by Mrs House that we had a ride on the Carousel. Then had a wonder through to the Promenade to find and purchase the obligatory fridge magnet. Was a bit of a shame that cigarettes and alcohol could not be purchased on board due to Customs regulations, but hey ho!!! can't have everything. We wanted to go to Johnny Rockets for lunch but were told there was an hour wait (I guess that was due to the fact that it was free) so we decided to lunch in the Windjammer which was very nice with a great selection. More Jacuzzi's in the afternoon with our particular favourite being the one which has TV screens around it and sort of hanging out over the ocean. We were eating in the Main Dining room, and whilst I enjoyed the food (I had duck) it was not in the same class as the duck I had eaten on the Adventure one week earlier. The ambience of the MDR was very nice, with burgundy being the main colour and matcking carpet and plates, HOWEVER for me I prefer the Voyager/Freedom style dining rooms which are more traditional and more to our taste, however I guess it is a case of horses for courses. One thing they really will need to get right is queueing/planning/organising for the MDR. The ship was only 1/2 full but:- People were leaving the MDR after the time that we should have been seated, and we, along with many others we queueing right round by the elevators and potentially with a full ship problems could certainly have occurred. I guess that this is, in part the purpose of a pre-inaugural to iron out any of the minor glitches before it is actually "open for business". After dinner we discovered Rising Tide. What can I say, innovative, inventive, clever, exciting, brilliant in concept and design. Absolutely loved it. What is so clever is that once the bar rises to a certain level a mini-Bellagio type of display occurs where the bar had been. We then made a brief and relatively small donation to RCCL in the casino which was really busy considering the ship population. The following day we spent, at various times observing the sports deck, sampling more jacuzzis, sunbathing and generally enjoying ourselves. One clever thing is the location of some extremely high powered binoculars variously positioned around the ship. Got an absolutely stunning view of the moon. CONCLUSION As a travel agent, this ship is very easy to sell. It has something for everyone. As someone who appreciates cruise ships. It is stunningly beautiful with so many innovations it is impossible to think of them all, and I am sure that as soon as I press the SUBMIT button I will think of things I should have said. As a paying customer. This is not a ship I would cruise on. Personally I would find it too big, too impersonal and I guess I would best describe it as a Las Vegas hotel on the oceans, which is fine.......... if I am in Las Vegas, but a cruise is a different type of holiday. One thing that is a pity is that we did not go far, or at speed of any sort which meant it was difficult to actually feel any motion. The problem being I am unable to actually judge whether the lack of motion is because of the ship's size, or because of the lack of actually "sailing" that it did. One thing that was kind off cool was the following morning. We looked out on the balcony and could see the Equinox directly behind the Masdaam with another HA ship to the side. Made you realise how vast the Allure actually is. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Wow! Where do you begin? My pre cruise expectations were that Allure would just be an overhyped, scaled up version of RCL's other ships I had experienced (Mariner, Explorer, Independence). How wrong I was. It is as if RCL has taken ... Read More
Wow! Where do you begin? My pre cruise expectations were that Allure would just be an overhyped, scaled up version of RCL's other ships I had experienced (Mariner, Explorer, Independence). How wrong I was. It is as if RCL has taken all the best bits from the development of resort size ships and enhance them in a more sophisticated setting (I never imagined referring to Allure as sophisticated!). Allure has everything you expect but with the size and class to separate the varied areas making it a ship for a very broad range of customer. Everything was very tastefully presented and not as "tacky" as I thought it could have been. If you can't find your personal niche on this ship you should avoid taking a cruise altogether. Generally the organisation, given the sheer scale of things, was amazing. Prebooking for shows and activities works better than the free for all you can find on other ships and the wide range of such entertainments allows freedom of choice. Food, whilst not gourmet, was fine given the typical cost of a cruise but unfortunately I was afforded the opportunity to sample the numerous upscale restaurants - which looked fantastic. I would recommend that you try Allure - Whilst you may still have other personal favourite ships you will come away from this experience in complete awe. Allure is magnificent! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Beyond her sheer size, there were many attributes to this ship that I found impressive - and some that I was surprised by. For example, I expected to be overwhelmed not only by the distances that would have to be covered in moving from ... Read More
Beyond her sheer size, there were many attributes to this ship that I found impressive - and some that I was surprised by. For example, I expected to be overwhelmed not only by the distances that would have to be covered in moving from place to place, but just in trying to remember where all the points of interest - restaurants, lounges, showrooms, shops, rides, activity areas - were located. However, I found the arrangement of the ship to be logical, which made navigation relatively easy. Furthermore, the flat screen navigation aids on each floor were quite helpful whenever I wasn't sure exactly where a particular destination was. Also, with our cabin being near mid-ship, the distances we had to cover were not as great as I had expected. I found the elevators to be (1) conveniently located and (2) adequate for the volume of traffic, at least on this particular cruise. So getting around was surprisingly quick and convenient for a ship this large. Following are some specific comments - positive and negative - about certain aspects of the ship. Since we were on board for just two days, we were unable to avail ourselves of everything the ship has to offer. Accordingly, these comments are limited to what we personally experienced. Our cabin We had an outside cabin with a balcony. Though rather small, we found it to be comfortable and well designed. The beds were the most comfortable we have slept in at sea. The balcony was spacious enough and private. We liked the solid see-through panel railings bordering the balcony (as opposed to pickets). Good for families with small children. We liked the glass door (vs. curtain) in the shower. In-cabin internet access (via TV) is an excellent idea, as it eliminates the need to lug my laptop onboard or to have to go to an internet cafe and perhaps wait for a terminal. Public Areas and Attractions We found the Central Park, the Boardwalk, and The Royal Promenade areas to be very well designed with lots of fun things to do. They clearly helped bring a sense of energy and liveliness to the ship, and we enjoyed the time we spent in each of them. Getting coffee in the morning, for example, was quick and easy when going to a cafe in the Promenade vs. having to go up to Lido. Even though the ship apparently wasn't full, we saw long lines at some of the establishments (such as Johnny Rockett's and the Seafood Shack). Also, there were too few chairs at some of the bars and cafes in Central Park. The main dining facilities were excellent, as was the service and the quality of the food. While there is an impressive array of alternative dining options, we are concerned that some passengers might have difficulty booking reservations, as the restaurants appear to be rather small. The lunch food stations in the Lido didn't make sense to us. The lite-bites station, for example, had some lite selections, but you couldn't build a complete salad there. There were several stations that had international cuisines, but we found no particular logic to the way the stations were set up, so we didn't necessarily know where to find Italian vs. Asian, for example. The Wipe Out Bar was the only place to find pizza. We felt that pizza should be available somewhere closer to the Lido. The pizza was not to our liking...dry and flavorless. The main showroom was excellent. We had no problem getting a good seat. The seats were comfortable and easy to get to - even middle seats. Also, even the seats in the very back of the balcony offered good viewing. We also liked having reservations for the bigger shows. The procedure worked quite well and surely will help with crowd control when the ship is full. Some comments about the entertainment on this particular cruise: Of the nearly 30 cruises that I have been on, Abba Cadabra was the finest show I have ever seen on a ship. And it was easy to tell from the audience's reaction - from the opening number until the encore - that they enjoyed it as well. I have never seen a livelier, more appreciative audience. Royal Caribbean would do well to book that act as often as possible. They are the kind of entertainment that one would expect on a ship as spectacular as the Oasis. Ditto for the HC Anderson Ice Show. The choreography and costumes were very creative and the talent was extraordinary. Absolutely tremendous! The Aqua Theatre performance was still in rehearsal and still being refined, but we were quite impressed with the acrobatics and athleticism of the performers. On this particular cruise, the Zip Line wait was too long for such a short ride. The Fitness Center was extremely well equipped and spacious. I also liked the track, which was clearly marked so that distance covered could be easily calculated. Also, it was for joggers and walkers. No railbirds and loungers to have to dodge, such as when walking or jogging on Promenade decks of other ships. The basketball court was easily the best I've seen on any ship. Being new, it was in excellent shape. Also, I liked that it was full length, was in a great location, and was well shielded from the wind (which has always been an issue on other ships). The elevator lights were difficult to read. Often, we couldn't tell whether a light for a particular deck was off or on. Other Observations The lifeboat drill was well orchestrated. Quick, convenient, comfortable (we were seated during the entire presentation) and informative, and we didn't have to drag our life jackets along. Great idea! We especially liked the procedure for viewing the photographs that were taken onboard. It eliminated the confusion and frustration that normally go with finding one's photos on ships. Very innovative idea. We noticed that many of the ship's amenities (e.g. alternative dining options) have a fee associated with them. We will be interested in hearing how passengers feel about having to pay for these, as they can make the total cruise cost quite high. And if there is a wait involved, this could negatively impact the overall cruise experience. Summary This is a truly magnificent ship...not simply because of her size, but because of the overall planning and physical design of the vessel. We found the layout to be logical and well thought out. And, as pointed out above, we were especially impressed with the many innovations that have been incorporated. We are grateful that we had this experience and we eagerly await our next opportunity to sail on her. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We arrived at Port Everglades around 11am. The new terminal 18 is nice, wide open spaces, plenty of room to accommodate the number of guests that will be sailing on Oasis. Layout is more logical than in some other terminals I've ... Read More
We arrived at Port Everglades around 11am. The new terminal 18 is nice, wide open spaces, plenty of room to accommodate the number of guests that will be sailing on Oasis. Layout is more logical than in some other terminals I've been in. We began boarding Oasis around noon. Boarding is done on Deck 5, the Royal Promenade deck. While boarding the first thing I noticed is that the outdoor space on deck 5 is limited to the jogging track, and is barely wider than the 2-lane jogging track. No deck chairs or space to enjoy the outdoors on this deck. There are no muster stations outside that I could see, apparently all muster stations are inside the ship, so no more baking in the afternoon sun during muster! As we walked onto the ship we entered directly in to the Royale Promenade. Very wide, spacious, and beautiful, but I'll write more about the promenade later. We wanted to head to our cabin to drop off our overnight bags. Our cabin was 9156, port side, forward so we headed to the elevators towards that end of the promenade. We were pleased to see there are 6 elevators on port side, 6 more on starboard, so 12 elevators at that end, and same at the other end, so 24 elevators that we saw, there may have been more. We got to deck 9 quickly. One cool feature at each elevator bank is an interactive screen. You can touch the screen to "Find your cabin" (enter your cabin number and it shows you on the map where you are, where your cabin is and how to get there), or you can view that day's Cruise Compass, or find a restaurant, etc. It's a very cool, and very handy feature! We had to use it more than once to find our way back to our cabin! LOL Once at the cabin the first thing we noticed is that the cabin doors are offset from the hallway a bit further than on the Freedom or Voyager class ships, and that is to allow room for the door to open out, rather than in. What genius! This small change seems to make a big difference inside the cabin. We entered the cabin and it seemed basically the same as any other standard balcony cabin on a Freedom or Voyager class ship. Right away we also noticed that the bathroom door opens out into the cabin, rather than into the bathroom - what a difference that makes! The bathroom, while probably the same physical size as those a Freedom or Voyager class ship, just seems larger since you don't have to deal with the door opening into the bathroom. It may be an optical illusion, but the bathroom counter seemed narrower and the sink smaller, but it was adequate. As on other ships, very limited storage space in the bathroom. It also has the same basic curved shower stall, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is a little bigger - not by much, but a little bigger. That may not mean much to some, but for a "fluffy" guy like me, every little bit makes a difference! On Freedom if I dropped the soap I had to open the shower door to bend down and pick it up, not so on Oasis, so it is definitely a little roomier. (And the ladies may be happy to learn that there is a foot bar towards the bottom where you can rest a foot, presumably that will make it easier to shave the legs - like I know anything about shaving legs! My only disappointment is that the shower head, while basically the same style as on Freedom or Voyager class, no longer slides up/down on a pole, it is at a fixed height. But, still very adequate, and the hot water definitely gets hot. The cabin itself has the same basic layout, it seems to be slightly longer but also narrower than Freedom or Voyager class balcony cabins. A carry-on size bag on wheels barely, and I do mean barely, could be pulled through between the foot of the bed and the wall. The closets definitely seem smaller, so for all those who like to take lots and lots of clothes (pointing at myself for one, took over 20 shirts on Freedom at the end of October!), be forewarned, there is not as much closet space here! The closet doors slide open, rather than bi-fold out into the cabin, so I found that to be nice. But, the closet doesn't seem to be as deep so there is definitely less storage space there. There is also less drawer space in the vanity area where the desk, TV and such is located. On Freedom/Voyager class you had drawers on either side of the desk, here there is only 1 set of 3 drawers. I was shocked to find that electrical outlets are nowhere to be seen on the desk area. But, after some searching, we finally found them hidden under the desk, which I felt was very inconvenient. You had to crawl up under the desk to be able to see what you're doing to plug something into an outlet. Bad design choice in my opinion. But, at least there are outlets that are functional, just a little inconvenient. Our balcony was nice sized, seemed comparable in size to the one we had on Freedom 2 weeks before, but a little narrower since the cabin itself is narrower. Was pleased to see 2 comfortable chairs and an actual patio table on the balcony - not a cocktail table, a regular height table you could actually eat at if you ordered room service and wanted to eat on the balcony. Kudos on the balcony table! When we boarded they handed out a booklet on the features of the ship, and it was a "walking tour" type booklet. First was to make your way up to the Solarium on deck 16, forward. So off we went. The Solarium is on 2 levels and very nice! Lots of open space here, a bar and a bistro cafe as well. They had these large "cabana" type covered chairs, very cool. We next made our way to the open deck where we could look down onto the pool deck. Plenty of deck chairs on 2 levels. However, space seemed cramped. There aren't wide walking paths like on Freedom/Voyager class, so it seemed a little cramped, but still comfortable. On 16, mid-ship, there is the Mast Bar on Port side, and the Sky Bar on the starboard side. Windjammer is on 16 more aft, and behind the Windjammer are the basketball courts, mini-golf, flow riders, and the zip line. The zip line just crosses the Boardwalk area, so it's a very short ride. While there we stopped in the Windjammer for some lunch. Very nice, but it is definitely laid out differently than we're used to seeing on the Freedom/Voyager class ships. Honestly, it felt rather cramped, not as much open space or seating area. However, there are many dining alternatives on board so hopefully it won't be an issue. The food was good, basically the same type of food as we've had in Windjammer on any other RCCL ship. The Viking Crown Lounge is on deck 17 directly above the Windjammer. It looked nice, but didn't seem to have that intimate feeling as in the Viking on other ships. It also was not quite finished, men were still busy doing tile work and touchups in a couple different areas there. The main pools are on deck 15 - I lost count of how many pools there are! One has a "beach" area where you can sit in lounge chairs in the water. The adult pool areas and kiddie pool areas are on opposite sides of the ship. Those without children may appreciate that more than those with children. On deck 15, mid-ship, is the Sand Bar and Pool Bar. More aft is the teen's area, Living Room, Challengers arcade, Fuel disco, etc., and behind that is the sports courts and Dunes golf. We went down a deck or two so we could see a Crown Loft Suite and a Royal Loft Suite. Both are very nice! The Royal suite is HUGE! Very large, wrap-around balcony with a hot tub. Master bedroom upstairs is very nice, large projection screen TV. Master bath is very large, I think I counted a dozen of us in there at the same time and there was still room for more. Words of caution ... don't shower in the master bath of the Royal Suite while in port! There are windows floor to (almost) ceiling, overlooking the aft end of the ship. If at sea, no big deal, but if in port you'll be giving a free show! Work was not quite finished in some areas, and the Royal Suite was one of them. I opened the door to the downstairs bath and there were 2 men installing tile and fixtures. On deck 10 (and 9) is Dazzles, a 2-level dance bar, and very nice! Dazzles has very large windows that overlooks the Boardwalk so it has a great view. Central Park is on deck 8, very lush. There you will find Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, Park Cafe, Vintages, and more! My only complaint is that it seemed cramped. The sidewalks are narrow and this could limit the amount of traffic that could walk through at the same time. Deck 6, more forward, is the upper level of the Royal Promenade, and here you'll find the Diamond club (but we didn't get a chance to go in), the Schooner Bar, Focus (the photo gallery - where it appears all pictures will be in binders for viewing), and the Loyalty Ambassador/Future Cruise booking office. Note on the pictures ... I can see this area getting very crowded with people wanting to find/purchase their photos. This makes the option of using your Sea Pass when photographers snap your pic even more important - that way you can go to Focus, put in your Sea Pass card and pull up all the photos associated with your cabin and have them printed. Deck 6 aft is the Boardwalk, with the Carousel, donut shop, Seafood Shack, Johnny Rockets and the Aqua Theatre. Very nice area with lots to do for kids and adults alike. We got to see some exhibition diving in the Aqua Theatre pool at one point during the day, it was cool. I heard there was a synchronized swimming performance, but we didn't catch that. Deck 5 is the main Royal Promenade - very nice and spacious. The layout is definitely different from the Freedom/Voyager class. Bolleros is on the Royal Promenade, as is the On-Air karaoke bar. Schooner bar is on the 2nd level of the promenade. Champagne bar, also on promenade, seems rather understated as compared to other ships, but is still nice. The Rising Tide bar is cool and we did ride it up and down once, but there were some hiccups with it ... when we first boarded the ship and watched it go up it made all sorts of unnatural noises of metal scraping against metal. A couple hours later and they had that resolved and no more worried looks on people's faces from the noise! LOL The Cupcake Cupboard was a popular spot on the Promenade, but we never got a chance to do a taste-test for ourselves. Cafe Promenade and Guest Services are large areas and seem to work/flow well with the volume of traffic. The Opus dining room spans decks 3-5 (aft) and is very elegant. However, it is not as open and airy as the dining rooms on the Freedom/Voyager class ships. It felt a little cramped as compared, but still very elegant. The Opal Theatre is on the same decks 3-5 (forward) - we never got a chance to go in, but I'm sure it's nice. Deck 4 is the "Entertainment Place" - lots of cool places. There are several clubs (Blaze, Comedy Live, Jazz on 4 club, etc.), and Studio B is mid-ship on this deck. On the Freedom/Voyager class ships, at Studio B you can't get from one end to the other, have to go up a deck to get past it, not on Oasis. A large hall on either side of Studio B to go around it, and that is entrance to Casino Royale. Casino Royale is easily twice, if not 3 times, as big as on the Freedom/voyager class ships. Plenty of room for lots of people in Casino Royale! After our tour we had to sit and rest for a bit, so we went to Bolleros on the Promenade for a cocktail. On Thursday night Rhianna was to perform at 6pm, and the ship was scheduled to depart at 7pm. Well, not sure what happened, but I guess Rhianna did not perform until closer to 7pm, so our departure was delayed. We went to dinner around 8pm. We had the shrimp cocktail and escargot for appetizers, and for entrEe we had the filet of beef with asparagus and mashed potatoes, it was excellent! I had the strawberry cheesecake for dessert ... and a piece of coconut layer cake, but it was sugar free so it doesn't count! LOL The service in the dining room was impeccable, the wait staff very attentive and prompt. After dinner we still had not left port yet, so we met up with some folks in Bolleros, visited with them and enjoyed cocktails. Around 11:00pm I looked at one of the gals and said I think we're moving. She stopped for a second and said, "Nah, I'm very sensitive about these things, we're not moving yet." I needed to run back to the cabin for another no-doze (so I could stay up later), poked my head out the balcony door, and sure enough ... Ft. Lauderdale was in the distance, we were at sea! We never felt a thing as the ship moved along! All I had felt earlier was a slight vibration that made me think we could be moving, and we were! After meeting back up with Rick and the others in Bolleros we decided to hit the Casino since it was now open. We tried our luck at a couple slot machines, but, no big winners here. Oh, well. We finally headed to bed around 2am. Friday morning we got up at 6am since everyone was supposed to be in certain areas of the ship by 7am for the live broadcast of Good Morning America (GMA). But, we had "motivational issues" and didn't get out of the cabin until after 7:30am. Unfortunately, they closed all the dining options from 7am to 9am due to the GMA broadcast, they wanted us all to be out and about. We hung out at the Mast Bar up on deck 16 for a while, then went in to the Windjammer to wait for them to start serving breakfast again. If you watched GMA and caught the gal doing the zip line, we were standing at the window in the Windjammer directly above where she landed! The Windjammer started serving again around 8:45am so we had a good breakfast, after which we headed back to our cabin to get our things together to disembark. We arrived back in Ft. Lauderdale around 10:30-11am, and they started disembarking at about noon. We can't wait to sail on Oasis when we have a full week to explore and enjoy the ship! Being on board barely 24 hours was just a tease for us, but I'm very glad we had this opportunity. My overall impression is that Oasis is phenomenal and amazing ship with lots to see and do. Based on my 24-hour experience, I'm thinking that I might prefer the Freedom or Voyager class ships, but I'll reserve final judgment until we get the chance to actually spend a week on Oasis in October, 2010! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
I cannot begin to tell you all how much I loved the ship. It was even better than I possibly could have imagined. We quickly decided to go right to touring the cabins first since it was only open until 4. Some of the suites are beautiful ... Read More
I cannot begin to tell you all how much I loved the ship. It was even better than I possibly could have imagined. We quickly decided to go right to touring the cabins first since it was only open until 4. Some of the suites are beautiful and I would be happy to stay in any of them!!! The other rooms were to me just like all our other cruises. We were assigned a D8 and I know on their website it says it is the same size, but we all agreed that they appear much smaller...and there is definitely less drawer space. Don't get me wrong they are still great, but as girls..well we use that space!!! The closets now have a new self closing feature so no more banging in the middle of the night, they soft shut themselves, its kind of cool! And to be one of the best improvements was the cabin doors now all open out!! No more slamming the bathroom door into the front door. I loved the setup of the new balconies, you now have to really comfortable chairs and a nice table, a regular one not the short ones they have always had...in all my cruises I have rarely ordered breakfast to the cabin because there was really no comfortable place to enjoy it..but now you can take it out to the balcony on that table and really enjoy that ocean. The coolest thing we all agreed on was the new interactive sign on each floor. Get off the elevator..press find your cabin, enter the number and it tells you how to get there!! They also added a small arrow on each door right next to the number..all the arrows point to the front of the ship..so you will always know you are headed the right way. The sign is good for more things than finding your cabin though. Its basically the cruise compass. Ask it where to eat, where the shows are and it tells you what times and where to go and how to get there...It was the coolest thing, I have a video I will post soon. Personally I thought central park was nice, very beautiful and relaxing..it was a great place to go and read, relax and just spend some quiet time....unfortunately too quiet for me lol! I am sure many will love it though and use it just for those reasons! Now the boardwalk was simply amazing!!!! It was so lively and fun, I know its mostly for kids but its a great place to hang out if you really want to hang out because its just so upbeat all the time. Didnt care for the donuts...thought they were kind of bland..but thats my own opinion. Loved the aqua theater and the show was fantastic too, you will not believe what they can accomplish in that small space! The carousel was great and there is so much for kids to do there, I just loved the upbeat atmosphere of all of it. The windjammer was different than you are used to, you walk right into the serving tables which are in circles all around then you have to go past to get to the tables...my own personal opinion is that I did not care for it, but I also believe we are creatures of habit and do not like change so probably after a few cruises I would be used to it and like it more. The new restaurant additions are the best!! If you like seafood you are going to love the seafood shack! Wait until you see the selection. Honestly my group decided to forgo dinner so we could go to all the venue choices and try them instead. We figured we have all been to enough dinners since all but one of us was DP. It was a great choice. The new cafe has the BEST panninis...I can definitely see myself skipping the windjammer and going there for lunch...well there and the seafood shack. The pool area was one of the best I have seen. The two pools on either side, they have done away with the risers and no one will be complaining about the suite guests getting their own area, they are now on a different deck with their own private bar so the pool area is open to all!!!! The pool bar was great, was rounded and went around both sides, much larger with stools going almost to the center but they leave a large area in the center with no stools...much nicer for people walking up wanting a drink and now not having to ask other people to get thru them. I usually love the sky bar, but not so crazy about this one...now that's a personal issue because its mostly in the sun and I usually go to the bar for some sun relief...others may love this for the exact opposite reason. I have always been a schooner bar person..and I really did love the new schooner bar...but miss the old one. The one feature I do love about it is that it now overlooks the royal promenade so it is really nice and tends to keep it more lively. We went on the bar that goes up and down...its totally cool...but I will tell you what would keep us off of it is that it only serves champagne and soda...so bring the drink you want with you or you wont get it. But if you like champagne its a great place to be. Love the new boleros, it was so pretty and upbeat and its right in the middle of the royal promanade...the disco is down one floor and honestly the best setup of any disco I have been on...I have always hated the seperation of the dance floor from the rest of the place...now you can pretty much see everything from where ever you are, and they gave the smokers their own little section off to the side that is still a place where you can see everything but not close enough to bother you if you do not smoke. The on air club was amazing and again right on the royal promenade...I guess I keep using the word upbeat but honestly that is how they designed so many of these places. We did try the cupcakes friends on our roll call asked us to do it for them...and to be fair...it wasn't just me..there were 5 of us. We got the red velvet and the chocolate one...the frosting was super delicious...but none of us cared for the cupcakes...now with that said we ran into several people who loved...so its going to be subjective to your own likings. I am happy to say we made the new Oasis commercial! The camera guy just loved us...I had made us all rhinestone shirts and we could not have been stopped enough asking where we got them. We also had a couple of other items I had made when I post my pictures you will see them..I could have made a fortune selling lol. Ken Rush as always was a great as ever...you can tell me anything you want about cruise directors, but I love that you will see ken all over the ship. I have been on many cruises where you do not even see a CD...yet ken is always out and about. I also liked that I saw Adam Goldstein too...again I just feel that it is nice that the executives can come out and enjoy their own ship..he was up on deck with us when they were filming the zipline spot and had his kids there with him...I personally think it shows the customers that he cares too...I hate when people in charge are never seen..just my own personal opinion though I did go to the casino but only to see it, we got a very late start so they didn't even allow you to start gambling until pretty late and by that time we were so busy with other things I didn't have time to go back. We know people who did though (and won lol) and said they loved the new slot machines. I never found the internet cafe..but I meant to see it...and I also cant believe I never got to the concierge lounge, although we did find francois on the ship and talked to him for a bit. The staff were about as excited as can be..they all had such great attitudes and lucky for me several of them I knew already from other ships! I think they were all excited about bringing this awesome ship over. Oh yeah and in case your all wondering who I am...we were the girls holding the sign that sam champion came over and talked to! He loved us...we were told by all the GMA people to put the sign away they didn't want signs...and then we went up to the pool deck and he saw we made a sign and was so excited they asked us to move just to be there when he came on! Couple of other things I thought of, watch out for those light switches in the cabins. They have now apparently put one master light switch by the bathroom door and it controls all the lights in the cabins..now this is a good feature except for one thing....when my roommate went to bed the only light on was the light above her head when she hit the master switch...I could not for the life of me figure out how to turn the darn lights on, there were so many switches and the only one I could consistently get turned on was the one above her head since it was the one on when she hit the master switch...I talked to a few other people about this who had the same problem..most of us thought we lost power in our room because it even controls the bathroom light so as long as the master switch is off you cannot use any other switch in the rooms. If you are looking for plugs they are now under the desk, took us a while to find those too. They also put a small bar outside the main dining room so while you are waiting you can get drinks. Along with that they put a self serving wine bar where you can swipe your card and get some wine, prices started at $2 for an 2 ounces this way if you wanted to just taste the wine before getting a full glass you knew if you liked it or not. Then you could choose 4 or 6 ounce glasses and the prices varied according to the type of wine you were choosing. My overall impression of this ship is "WOW" I honestly loved every second on it. I didn't feel like it was hard to navigate or that it took a long time to get anywhere. So many new and exciting features it made me feel like I was new to cruising again. Even if you prefer the smaller ships (which I personally do sometimes) there is no way you cannot enjoy the time you spend on this wonderful ship and all that it has to offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Off the Oasis yesterday(Nov 29th) and would like to add my input to the many reviews and comments out there on the internet..For the most part, every venue and area of the ship has been addressed and by now most of you know what to ... Read More
Off the Oasis yesterday(Nov 29th) and would like to add my input to the many reviews and comments out there on the internet..For the most part, every venue and area of the ship has been addressed and by now most of you know what to expect.This is just my personal opinion of my short time aboard. We woke up Friday morning and looked out at the port from our hotel(Hilton Marina--from our tower room).My first impression of Oasis was it looked top heavy.Almost like it could tip over.. We arrived to the port around 10:30am Friday .It was really confusing where we were supposed to park.Went to two different gates and were told two different things.Each one sent us back to the other!! After a few minutes, we finally parked.I was surprised it was all open air parking.Maybe I'm just used to covered tier parking that we have had at that same port and others,but it wasn't a big deal.Went into the terminal to check in and the WOW factor began! I can honestly see how it may take a very short time from curbside to the ship.I have never seen so many check in agents.We got checked in(and had our seapass pic taken right then at check in) and had to go sit in the D/DP area to wait(since we weren't supposed to be there that early anyway).***note here,I did not see any priority check in area for D/DP--just suites,but I'm thinking you probably don't need it since there are so many check in lines.....we went upstairs to the D/DP area,which is near the nice "suites" area with the comfy chairs and sofas.D/DP area is nothing special,just place to wait.(that's ok,by me) They started boarding around 11:30,starting with the "suites" and then followed by sections 1(our area) and 2.........we used 2 doorways to get in.The ramps go on an incline so I can see where someone who has some mobility issues might have a hard time,but soon enough we were on board. You enter on deck 5 right into the Royal Promenade.When you remember to close your mouth(from a jaw dropping expression),you think say "oh,look at this, look at that".........this ship is NOTHING like any other.We started off by going to deck 16 to the Windjammer.My first impression was IT'S SMALL(considering how many people will be on board.There is another section of the WJ, which was closed to us at first,but opened later.Food was all the same typical food for the first day,inc the infamous honey stung chicken!! By now,we could drop our luggage off in our cabin.We had an ocean view balcony(#9182).Kinda small ,if you ask me,but good enough for 2 people.I really can't see more than that in one cabin. Storage was sufficient for 2 nights,but might get kinda tight for 7.The weirdest thing was the outlets.It was UNDER the counter.You literally had to kneel down to plug anything(inc the hairdryer) in and do it blindly because the outlet was on the side wall underneath.I don't know what they were thinking! Time to go back and explore........we started on the top and worked our way down. Deck 17----The Viking Crown Lounge...very pretty and hopefully will be a place where they will have entertainment at night.There was a piano so I'm thinking they might.This VCL does not have a 360 degree of the water like most VCLs,you see on other RCCL ships. Deck 16--Pool and Sports Zone--Windjammer.....Sky Bar,Mast Bar,Solarium Bar(see a pattern here?? haha)and the FloRider,ZipLine Deck 15--Pool,Sports and Youth Zone(for teens)--here is where all the pools are(21 of them!!). mini golf,etc........I think the mini golf area is kinda small.I like how it wraps around more on the Voyager class ships...The Solarium on this deck is really pretty and would make a nice relaxing place to spend time(which we didn't have).....we did eat in the Solarium Bistro for breakfast on Saturday and they offered healthier choices than the WJ. Didn't' look into the Teen area,but I imagine it would be a fun place for themDeck 14....Youth Zone(sorry didnt get in there either).This weekend was a case of so much to see,so little time...also located here is the Card Room.. ****NO DECK 13**** Deck 11/12...two deck concierge club with views of the Boardwalk down below.Bet this will be an amazing place to sit and enjoy a drink at night.The upper deck will be where they have the Chef's Table.The Library is on deck 11. Deck 10---just staterooms Deck 9--Dazzles--truly a fav place of mine,.They compared it to the Rainbow Room in NYC.It is 2 deck live entertainment night club.The band plays right in front of a ceiling to floor window that has an amazing view of the HUGE Crown and Anchor that sits above the Aqua theater.The room is full of twinkling lights,crushed velvet furnishings,mirrored ceiling and chandeliers.It's really nice! Deck 8--Central Park.LOVED IT!! I could spend a lot of time in here.All the foliage was something to see.I would have no idea I was out at sea if someone just transported me to the middle of Central park. The specialty restaurants and Vintages are here and it is like you are walking thru the park..We sat outside on a park bench and enjoyed some wine at night and had breakfast Sunday morning in the Park Cafe.Truly reminded me of my days when I lived in NY.We had espresso, fresh bagels and cream cheese.Like I said,I could spend the week,just hanging out in this area.Coach also has a shop here,but even though we looked,I am not one to go buy a Coach purse on board a ship. Deck 6--Boardwalk,Vitality at Sea,Schooner Bar,Diamond Club,Atlas Club.....When entering the Boardwalk area,again,you have to remind yourself you are on a ship.The Carousel is the first thing we noticed(and took a ride on!).....then checked out the venues in this area.Lots of yummy food.The ice cream shop where you can have them create your own flavor(think Marble Slab).....Candy Beach(lots of old time favorite candies in here).......Smile(portraits in costumes)..........Mark of a Sailor(temporary tattoos)..........Rock walls................didn't do this,but they sure look bigger than any ones I have seen on other ships.Pets at Seas(think Build a Bear)...........Seafood Shack(VERY popular place that filled up ASAP!)......food was ok,but nothing I would wait in line for again.Lots of fried items...............snack booths with corn dogs on a stick,nachos,chicken nuggets,etc................trust me,you will never go hungry on Oasis. and right at the end of Boardwalk was the Aqua Theater.Didn't get to see a full show.They were still working out some kinks.We did see some rehearsal acts and it was impressive,as was the water show with lighted water shooting up like you might see in Vegas.. Deck 5--Royal Promenade--You could spend a whole day here going thru all the shops and bars.....Liked Sorrentos where you could custom order a pizza and have it to go(and enjoy it on your balcony!!)...The Rising Tide bar was here too,but it wasnt working the first day(did the next but we never got back there).It will be a martini bar for the revenue cruises. Deck 4--Entertainment Place--The Opal Theater(we saw Abbacadabra here --BEST SHOW EVER)--it was like having ABBA preform.Also saw Hairspray(had to believe we weren't at a Broadway show)....also on this deck was the casino(HUGE)..........lots of new slot machine games(at least to me) and it looked to me,like they had quite a few gaming tables...................outside of the casino was the Jazz on 4,Comedy Live,Blaze(nightclub).......to me these venues look kind of small,but I didn't get down here at night to check it out more.............Studio B(ice show)...... Can't comment on the dining room because we didn't want to take 2 hours of our time out to eat there at night.I'm sure we missed other places too.One really needs a good week or two to see it all....... Truthfully,I am not 100% sold on whether or not,we would go back for a week.I like being a ship because of the ocean.More times than not,I didn't even see the water.You really forget you are on a ship.It is truly the destination(not the ports it is going to).However,Im sure families will have a fabulous time on it.There is so much to do for all ages. I wonder too,how the disembarkation process will go.While they had a lot of check in agents,it didnt seem(to me),that there were that many custom/immigrations booths when we got off.It will be interesting to read the reports when the ship is 100% full. I'm glad I got to experience Oasis,just prefer something smaller.Love the Radiance class with the all the glass......to me that is what cruising is......seeing the water! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
I love small ships and had sworn I would never sail on the Oasis of the Seas. But, when "Make-A-Wish" offered us to sail with them on the inauguration overnight cruise, we relented. Wow, what a ship! The Oasis is like no other ... Read More
I love small ships and had sworn I would never sail on the Oasis of the Seas. But, when "Make-A-Wish" offered us to sail with them on the inauguration overnight cruise, we relented. Wow, what a ship! The Oasis is like no other ship ever created. My overall impression is that RCCL does not want you to know you are on a ship. The seven "neighborhoods" create towns, parks, shopping malls, water parks and outdoor fun centers without you ever knowing that you are on a cruise ship. It is generally modeled after Las Vegas and Disneyworld, and you have to make an effort if you want to see the ocean. The cabins are outstanding. The spa is reminiscent of Canyon Ranch or any other large, luxurious spa. The gym is as large as LA Fitness and packed with tons of brand new weight machines, treadmills, ellipticals and other assorted goodies. They did not scrimp on cost anywhere on the ship. We arrived at 11AM at the port. It was myself, my wife and my son. Check-in was a little disorganized, but then again we were among the first travelers on this ship. Although we were guided to the "suite" check-in, it still took over ten minutes for our attendant to check us in and get our card keys. After that, we were given cards with a "group" number on them and then guided to that group before boarding the ship. There were only two gangways open and they were filled to capacity. After a few minutes our group was taken to the gangway, where about a hundred other people were waiting to board. In all, we finally stepped on the ship at 11:25AM, and this was before the big crowd arrived. There were only two gangways boarding 5,000 people. We had a Junior Suite with ocean balcony. It was a very large cabin, and larger than Junior Suites we've stayed in before. The walk-in closet was almost bigger than some cabins we've been in before! Another couple we were traveling with had a regular cabin with ocean balcony. Their cabin, contrary to the junior suite, was smaller than most regular cabins we've been in before. We ate lunch at the Solarium and it was delicious. They serve healthy and vegetarian food at the Solarium, including sugar free desserts. Very tasty and a great way to eat! We then went to the Windjammer Marketplace buffet for some regular desserts. We also had breakfast the next morning at the Windjammer. This is the main buffet restaurant for the ship, and it is huge! Very reminiscent of Las Vegas style buffets, with all sorts of salad, meats, vegetables and desserts. Excellent food and plenty of tables. There were pools and Jacuzzis all over the ship. We counted six large pools and at least ten Jacuzzis. They were not busy on this cruise but I'm sure they'll be busy on the week cruises. The Aqua Theater also becomes a pool during the day. They were supposed to have a show at the Aqua Theater in the evening but it wasn't working so that was cancelled. Dinner was served at the Opus Dining Room, which consists of three separate dining rooms, one above the other, with an open area between them. The service was excellent and the food was amazing. They had a very limited selection since this was a special cruise, but the presentation and taste was wonderful. The Boardwalk is a new concept on a ship. It's totally "outdoors" and designed like an old fashioned pier town, complete with a carousel. About 4 or 5 decks of cabins with balconies overlook the Boardwalk, and it all gives a very homey feeling. There are a bunch of restaurants, ice cream store, donut store, bars and games. At the end of the Boardwalk is the Aqua Theater and two, 200 foot rock climbing walls. I wish we had time to climb. They sure looked like fun! "Central Park" is a few decks above Boardwalk, with the same type configuration of cabins overlooking the park. RCCL says there are over 10,000 plants and trees in the park, and I believe it. The park is lined with more stores, bars, restaurants and fun shops. Overall, this is an amazing ship! If you are expecting anything close to any other ship you've traveled on, be aware - this is different. RCCL tries hard to make this ship a land-based destination rather than a sea-going cruise ship, and you have to work hard if you want to see the ocean. (except for your cabin, if it's ocean side). I still prefer a smaller ship, but I'm glad that I had the opportunity to spend an overnight on the Oasis of the Seas. It's a ship that has to be experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
I was one of the lucky travel agents that won the booking contest which gave us one night on this marvel of human engineering on November 19-20 before she goes into service for real on her inaugural voyage December 12, 2009. The new $75 ... Read More
I was one of the lucky travel agents that won the booking contest which gave us one night on this marvel of human engineering on November 19-20 before she goes into service for real on her inaugural voyage December 12, 2009. The new $75 million pier built exclusively for this event delivered. 60 agents got us on board pronto. The experience reminded me of black and white movies when people were riding in a car and the backdrop was pasted and cut into the scene. It felt like the Atlantic Ocean was pasted and cut into "some" scenes and that is the only way you could ever possibly know you were on a ship! It truly was a city unto itself. Upon arrival into the Royal Promenade, way bigger than any promenade on other classes of ships, you really felt the elegance and luxury that money can buy and knew you were in for a really really big treat! With a vintage boat tailed Auburn greeting you, followed by a dedicated cupcake shop, I was in no hurry to find my way to my cabin. One venue was more special than the next, for instance, Sorrento's Pizza now has a dedicate station so you can make your own pizza; On Air, the karaoke bar has layers of neon ticker tape motif at the entrance that makes you feel like a star the minute you walk in; Boleros lounge is designed to be hot and magical; Dazzles nightclub is exquisite with a two story view outside behind the bandstand that is breathtaking. Ladies, what does over a billion dollars buy? Attention to detail for half the humans on the planet...Finally, in those bank teller canister shaped showers the expanded the shape and built in a bar so the ladies can have a ledge to shave their legs! The suites were over the top incredible. I think my favorites were the Aqua Suites, only 6 on each side, facing the Aqua Theatre and ocean like private balcony booths at the opera with lots of room and chairs for friends. The two story suites were elegant and a unique experience. Although beautifully appointed, the balcony staterooms were smaller than freedom class ships. I love the new color scheme with aqua everywhere. The marble surrounding the carpet at the entrance to the three story dining room was an exquisite aqua color shimmering in a way I have never seen before. The dining room had great artwork and it was a thrill having dinner when no one had ever used a fork or spoon or glass in that dining room previously. All was pristine and the staff was so gracious. I thanked them for showing up for work today! The specialty restaurants were surprisingly small. I take large groups on ships and with my Italian background, dinner with 20 is usual. They are not designed for groups at all, unless you are happy to be in the same dining room at the same time. Most tables were for two or four. 150 Central Park was elegant to die for, Chops Grille was very spacious, Giovanni's Table was quaint and I was flipping over the prosciutto slicing machine from Parma! They were not open for dining while we were on board, so I will have to wait until I take a week long trip January 2 with a few friends. The Solarium Spa was beautiful and the whirlpools outside the most incredible I have ever seen. Huge double whirlpools, overlooking the ocean with flat screen TV's to relax with. The gym...state of the art. Some machines looked they were from NASA...I have no idea what they are or how you use them, but you could get a private fitness consultation in two dedicated booths at any time. Vitality Spa? It's own restaurant and so zen sprinkled with aromatherapy you know no matter what service you get, you won't want to leave when it's over. Children and their families from Make A Wish Foundation were on board with us and a private concert for them by Rianna was wonderful. We watched from the Aqua Theatre on huge screens that did the job. I don't know what the noise level would be in the balcony staterooms over the Boardwalk, but that is where the action is. The balconies over Central Park are the "uptown" staterooms and look over the specialty restaurants in quiet elegance. If you have been on Voyage or Freedom class ships, you would probably expect one long promenade..this had one on top of the other on top of the other. Rising Tide bar, a marvel of design; Technologically more advanced than even the Navy, near every elevator is a huge touch screen so you can see what is happening on the ship, where you are, how filled up the restaurants are, and it gives you directions to where you want to go. I could go on and on, but that's enough for now! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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