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Old November 29th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Exclamation back to oasis I go

I will be flying Monday to join Oasis of the Seas again on Tuesday in order to take my wife and to see the ship as it will be conducted with a full contingent of regular cruisers onboard.

This is not be a media cruise or a travel agent fest - it is the first revenue cruise for the ship, which Royal Caribbean chose to make into a regular revenue cruise. I expect to see full prices on all the drinks, full menus in all the restaurants, I expect to see Hairspray and the AquaTheater Show, the Ice Show, several funny comedians and more.

I am booked at 150 Central Park - th first cruise ship restaurant to have a name chef who not only create the menus but will also be there in person to supervise the food preparation, just like Gordon Ramsay in Hell's Kitchen.

For those of you who do not know - KeriAnn Van Raesfeld was named the "Best Young Chef in the World" and the last world culinary convention in Dubai, and she is the first American and the first female to have ever snagged that particular honor. For me to say I am looking forward to her meal is a bit of an understatement. I feel more like a 1950s teenage girl would feel if she heard Elvis was coming over to sing "Happy Birthday" directly to her.

The point is that this will be my first experience where a world-class chef will actually be cooking my food - so I know they not only created the recipe, but that nothing will go wrong to prevent me from experiencing exactly what she created in every single bite I have. That level of culinary expertise is extremely rare unless you live in Lyon or Possibly New York and spend $500 for dinner every night.

In our case, dinner is $35 per person, so I am actually treating a friend of mine. David Beers, editor of Cruisereviews.com (our sister site) will also be on the ship so we can compare notes - he will be my guest. I would have taken my wife but she is currently on a very strict vegetarian diet - related to a health issue.

Another important aspect of this trip is that we will be going to Labadee, and so we are looking forward to seeing the beach with its roller coaster and zip line. I expect it to be on par with Oasis itself, and I hope I am not disappointed.

In any case - please watch this space for open blogs about Oasis starting Tuesday.

Paul Motter and David Beers. - and by the way, since I am paying for this cruise and not working, if I don't feel like updating the page one day, I just might skip it - too bad for you

Last edited by Kuki; February 3rd, 2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Oh darn - I was looking forward to minute by minute. Oh well, my loss. Have a great time - I'm very anxious to hear your report on a full paying cruise. Somehow I don't think you'll have much time to do any posting.

Please take a peek at the parking as you go through the area. Thanks.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Default Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage Paul,
It should be interesting to see how one of the regular cruises are, have a ball!
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Old November 30th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Have a GREAT time! I just flew back in from this second weekend of T/A and Diamond Plus hoopla and found it to be fascinating (and much easier to manage than I had anticipated but used the shuttle bus so no insight into car parking). Head still spinning so off to relax on the "Radiance" in a couple of hours (the things I do for my trade ;>)

For those monitoring our initial experiences, I don't have much to add to what has already been posted. We did get to see "Hairspray" and "Abbacadabra" (Abba tribute group that really rocked it) in addition to the ice show (WOW, not a single fall in a very physical show and the sand artist was the special guest there). Also had a dress rehearsal of the Aqua show that was an excellent preview of what's to come.

I wholeheartedly agree that this ship/experience is not for everyone and I don't think "RCI" is even trying to force a square peg into a round hole, Robbie
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Old November 30th, 2009, 05:10 PM
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I am as excited as Paul is about this cruise, and also delighted to be his guest at 150 Central Park. I admit to being a foodie.

Maybe between the two of us we might be able to post an update each day, although as most experienced cruisers know a 4-nighter goes by pretty fast.

I've been told the Labadee pier is indeed ready and so the prospect of tendering 5400 or so guests ashore will not happen. In a way I wanted to see that happen. I'm certain it would have been a spectacle.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 06:43 PM
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What Diamond Plus event? I'm a Diamond Plus member and was not invited to any special event during the past weekend, did I somehow miss out? If so, I can't wait to put a call into the Diamond Plus desk....
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Old December 1st, 2009, 06:00 AM
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Paul..don't forget to visit Bolero's and try the onboard zipp line andtake pictures so CQ can plan her activities and visit the Jazz club and let me know how the music is
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Old December 1st, 2009, 09:51 AM
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Default Ready to board

I will go to Boleros and do the zip-line, I proimise. I even plan to do the zipline in Labadee. good news that we will not be tendering there (glad to hear it even if the lifeboat/tenders DO have bathrooms).

We are in Ft Lauderdale this morning and plan to leave for this ship in a few hours. I didn't sleep well last night - but that too shall pass. I am glad to hear the stage shows were good. I had predicted they would be, and I am guessing the AquaTheater show will be the best as long as all the video technology is working.

I saw La Reve at the Wynn in Vegas last year - same concept and same producer, and we had premium seats that they normally charge $150 apiece for because they have individual TV screens for video cameras backstage and underwater to show how the swimmers do the show (there is a fair amount of use of underwater breathing apparatus in these shows so they can "disappear" underwater and reappear later). On Oasis they plan to show that stuff on the side monuted large video screens.

Plus we have an "ocean view balcony" cabin this time for all the detractors who say it doesn't feel like a cruise ship. You know, those folks completely disavow how nice it is to have balconies overlooking the inside areas even if you aren't seeing the ocean. It was just a very pleasing experience overlooking Cantral Park and the only time worried about looking in was when I was fressing after dark. With the sunlight outside it isnt as mandatory to keep the curtains closed all the time. I doubt many regular cruisers will come home from a 7-day cruise and say "I forgot I was at sea the whole time."

Anyway, more pics & video to post later today.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 02:03 PM
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I want you to know we are onboard - boarding was breeze - faster than media day. I would say no more than 20 minutes from the time the bus dropped us off.

They have water packages available - 750 ml bottles, 8 of them for $22.50 (about $2.75/bottle) but they are not very big.

So far I am n0ot sure about wireless. I set it up and it did not work so I am typiin at a worksta5ion. You DO need to brng a laptop here as there are only 10 workstations for the entire ship.

More later , bye4now!
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Old December 1st, 2009, 05:03 PM
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I am aboard too. Took about 15 minutes from my shuttle to walking aboard. Very efficient. I got to the terminal around noon and was aboard and eating pizza at Sorrento's just minutes later. My luggage arrived at 1:15, with a knock at the door and the crew member brought my bag inside.

I haven 't run into Paul yet. Paul, I am in cabin 9506.

All I can say for my first impression is "overwhelming". This is a remarkable feat of marine engineering. Like many, I had thought the whole middle of the ship was open to the skies. It isn't. The Promenade is below Central Park and totally enclosed. The open areas are broken up with closed ones.

They are still finishing up on installing things aboard the ship. Tiles by the aft elevators on deck 15, boxes of lighting fixtures piled outside Bolero's. Other similar things.

The Boardwalk is so far my favorite place. Very much like a fun park at the beach. And, as big as Oasis is, I've already run into two crew members I've known from other RCI ships.

More later.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 06:55 PM
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I finally found a way to connect to the wireless Internet. I had to go in from our TV Internet system and change my username and password. It did not give me an error message from before so I have no idea what the problem may have been with what I previously set up.
I was also unable to set up show reservations on my TV set, so I had to go downstairs and book the Labadee zipline. All I can say is this, so far it looks like everyone is using the reservation system, so if you book Oasis, use it.
In any case, the ship is still magficient, but guest services was super crowded tonight just after boat drill. No surprise, every ship is. But in this case they had about six lines each with 10 people. I will gfive them credit and say the lines were getting processed quickly, however.
Unfortunately, I had to figure out my own wireless web problem and fix it myself. But I can be pretty self sufficient when I have to be.
They are still doing odds and ends work – adding new tiles in some hallways, etc. But for the most part she is a done ship. The sailaway was magnificent with people onshore waving flags that say “OASIS” and such. The excitement is still here for this ship. I guess maybe if you are not a cruise enthusiast you don’t get it, but for those of us who are its like the Red Sox wining the World Series, you juts have to see it to believe it ;-)
Dave Beers, I will be looking for you man. I am in cabin number 12580. Anyone else out therwe who knows me call me and chat, or leave a voicemail or email me. I will be online a lot more now.

Regards from Oasis ;-0
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Old December 1st, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Wonder what the computer problem is, let us know when your wireless is working so we can hear what all your are doing onboard Oasis of the Seas.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 09:55 PM
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Hi Guys.........Paul, your enthusiasm is catching...I sure wish I could dip my tootsies in the pools onboard.....Now don't anyone laugh.. I would try the zipline myself! I am waiting patiently for any word from the 2 of you..pictures too...have a ball!
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Default end of day one update

Oasis Day 2
Last night was a fine dinner at Johnny Rockets and ion the Windjammer, followed by hanging out on the boardwalk, riding the merry-go-round, and also visiting the Windjammer café.

My wife is on a very strict vegan diet right now for medical reasons, and so we had to research the possibilities. The Solarium Bistro has all kinds of salads and it is totally possible top eat a vegan diet on board. You can have a great salad, but also veggie crepes, East Indian dishes, stir fried vegetables. They even have flax seeds and other things nutrition advocates know and care about. This I free buffet for breakfast and lunch, but costs $20 per person for dinner. I am not sure what the dinner cuisine is like, but it is not a buffet.

The Windjammer Cafe (buffet) has all kinds of vegetarian dishes, including Indian food and steamed veggies like broccoli and carrots.

Johnny Rockets is where we ended up, strangely enough, because it even has a soy-based vegetarian hamburger that comes in sautéed onions and wrapped in lettuce. It is not a “Boca-burger” like many that are made of a combination of different vegetable matter. It is made of soy and tastes so much like real hamburger my wife almost sent it back. She had to ask the waiter “are you sure this isn’t meat?” I would say that is a pretty good substitute if you happen to be a vegetarian who has been craving a real hamburger.

Now, another subject – the onboard reservation system:

My personal on-TV reservation system didn’t work the first day – but just this morning it decided to allow me to make reservation for two shows.

As we have already noted, there are but two small web cafes where you can either get online at one of only 10 workstations (five on deck seven and five on deck nine) or set up a wireless accounts from those workstations.

BUT you can also use your in-stateroom television to access the web – and even better – to set up a wireless acct. You WILL want to bring a laptop on this trip in my opinion. Using the in-room TV-Internet is very difficult and slow, and with only 10 workstations for 5200 berths you are not likely to find a free workstation – even if you can manage to find the rooms where they are located.

The internet access has been especially troublesome for me. I tried to create an account on the first day, which it allowed me to do, but it also asked me to “pick a package” so I chose the best deal, the $55 most expensive package. The problem was that when I tried to use the same account on my laptop it said “invalid username – your account have been disabled” BUT it didn’t take the $55 charge off!

After some frustration I noticed the in-stateroom TV comes with a keyboard with a built in mouse, so it also has Internet access something like a workstation. But it is more like Web-TV from 1997; slow, cumbersome and limited in capability.
So, I tried using this Internet on my room television. The keyboard is clumsy and the interface is very slow. I guess I racked up $17 in charges just trying to post one message to this board, and it was SO full of typos and CAP-LOCK characters it was un-readable. (I deleted it). That was a totally wasted session that cost me $17.

So – for the entire first day I pretty much had NO worthwhile Internet access. Then it hit me that I should try a different username since the first one was saying “invalid username” – so I set up a new wireless acct- from my state-room television, with a new username and now it works, but I had to charge another $55 to my acct for the best-priced session. So I all together I already have over $127 in Internet charges and have barely even used the web on the ship.

Obviously, the problem is that they need a web manager who can sort out problems when they occur – not leave you wondering what went wrong when they do (frequently). As far as I know, there is no web manager onboard but if I find one I will let you know.

The Reservation System
They said they would have reservation kiosks for shows and show excursions all over the ship. But I only see one in the Royal Promenade and the line gets enormously long (50 people). My interactive TV system seemed to be down all last night - always failing at the last step when you actually tried to book a reservation but it I was finally able to book some shows on today.

It is a confusing system, I am sorry to say, and if this ship is going to have show times booked so not enough people can get in then making reservations must be made easier to do than it has been for us. It was VERY easy to do it online before we left for our cruise, but I wanted to leave some things open and wait and see how the cruise went for getting into shows without pre-planning. So far, on this 4-day cruise, the shows seem to be filling up. Plus the truth is that all of the shows are not completely ready. The AquaTheater show was cancelled last night no warning, but they have added another show today to make up for it. If the shows are not ready for this cruise I will personally be very upset since that is why I wanted to book this cruise.

I was finally able to make the TV reservation system work this morning, but it is not intuitive. I was told “an error has resulted being unable to process your request” at least twice, but when I went in and changed the times for the shows I wanted it went through. I can’t say you have to try different times to make the system work, because it was able to show me which times were already sold out. I guess you just have to keep trying until you get a confirmation – but I am not sure.

By the way – the shows that were already “sold out” appeared to be the ones today, the shows later in the cruise all seemed to have availability. That is a good sign that the reservation system may ultimately become more of a convenience than a required part of the cruise..

What else? I do not see a shore excursion desk on the ship. It appears they expect you to book everything at the one reservation kiosk they have in the Royal Promenade, or else on your interactive TV.

The phone system in the rooms is not set up yet. The phone works but there are no pro-programmed buttons for room service, etc. Basically, you have to hit 0 and listen to the options. Room service is “3”.

And now for the Good News:
I called room service this morning because I forgot to put out my breakfast card. Yes, it took about three minutes on hold before they picked up (at 8:00 am what else do you expect?), but once I put my order in (coffee and OJ) they told me to expect a 30 minute wait, but it arrived within 10 – 15 minutes; A big plus for a 5200 passenger ship.

I truly did not see much crowding anywhere at dinner, but we also did not try the dining room. There were plenty of people in the Windjammer. This is a little weird; Johnny Rockets closed the outdoor service at night (why? It’s the best time to dine outside) and the Sea Shack closed completely for dinner. I do not know why.

Anyway – that’s our report for day one. Stay tuned!
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 12:17 PM
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Paul,thank you for your report.

And I hope you and your wife enjoy the rest of the cruise.

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Old December 2nd, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Oasis day 2 more
I just quickly want to write that this morning I had to address some service issues 9as note4d above) and I truly found the staff to be exceptionally helpful. Honestly. No one on here knows who I am (in terms of being with the press) but everyone O talk attempts to solve any issue I have immediately. There has been no “that’s not my department,” or any such services. It truly appears that everyone onboard is well-trained with factual knowledge about the ship, or has the ability to get on a walkie talkie immediately and find out an answer.

Such personalized service for a ship this size is truly amazing. The lines at guests relations are far shorter today, and every line has a service representative walking down each line trying to answer the easy questions when possible, so people with a simple issue do not have to wait while someone in front of them in line tries to sort out an overly complicated problem.

In addition, they have the doors to the promenade deck – which is right outside the Royal Promenade, open so you can have sea views from the main atrium today. And I also found deck chairs on the deck four promenade deck. I will have pictures later.

I just wanted to write in an report that whatever issues I had when I woke up – have all been resolved satisfactorily this morning – even the $17 internet charge for trying to use the web n my TV. I went to the front desk and said it was a waste of money and he took the charge off. We also have a “sea-view” cabin and it is nice and roomy.

I will say that towards the bow, where we are, you do feel some more motion than we did on the media cruise, but it is a good motion, nothing outrageous at all.
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Paul, it's allways good to enjoy the motion of the ocean.

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Old December 2nd, 2009, 09:42 PM
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Curious to hear about the entertainment, ice show, water show, etc. I hope you are able to get reso's for those without too much difficulty...
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Were you able to check these two place out. I assume they are nice
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Please know that if the shows in the Aqua Theater are cancelled, it is for the safety of the cast. The venue itself is still working out the kinks, not the show. The cast cannot perform if the water temperature, level and clarity is compromised, along with a myriad of other safety issues RCCL was clueless about until the show installed. Once they work out the venue's kinks, Oasis of Dreams will raise the bar for entertainment at sea and every other cruise line, Disney included, will be hard pressed to top it!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 02:57 AM
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I have to apologize - the internet on Oasis went down for the entire day of Tuesday. We were stuck giving you NO information for an entire day,. It was very stressful for us, believe me. It seems to be working somewhat now, but not perfectly.

Tomorrow will be a lot better, but obviously, Internet is one thing they really need to work on on Oasis, I am just personally livid with what I went through myself trying to upload files for work. not to mention this message board. This was RCI's fault and it was BAD. We had no web access for nearly 12 hours and that is a crisis in my business.

It is now 2:00 am and things seem to be somewhat normnal. We'll talk later ;-). Bye for tonight.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
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Wow, a whole day without internet access, sure hope they address that problem and get it fixed...Get some sleep so you can enjoy another full day, keep us posted.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:56 AM
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So far, there are issues with Oasis (and I realize it happens with all new ships) that would/will keep me off. The lack of an internet is certainly one. I am available to my clients every day even when I'm out of town and that just isn't good enough.

Also, although I completely understand the reasons for cancelling the aqua show, I don't find it acceptable. RCI has had to do what is necessary and should have listened months ago. They have had a couple of weeks since they have been back to work on this issue. It will be an ongoing one because the pool is outside and open to the elements. Surely they knew that prior to putting it on the ship. It I'm paying, especially the rates the Oasis has, I expect as a paying customer to be able to avail myself of all they advertise - my choice not theirs.

I have to say - I'm not impressed enough yet to give it consideration. I still need to hear that all kinks are worked out and so far there are enough kinks to keep me off.
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Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 08:17 AM
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It's 7am at Labadee as we tie up to the pier! No more tendering!

I went to the re-scheduled Oasis Of Dreams water show last evening. I was surprised when CD Ken Rush announced it would be an abbreviated show since they still had not had enough rehearsal time. He blamed it to the lost two days at sea during the transit when weather was bad. Not sure I buy that since it was a couple weeks ago and they should have had time by now. Regardless it was 20 minutes long and highlighted by dives from way up high which made the crowd gasp.

I also attended the new ice show "Frozen In Time". It was absolutely wonderful and blew the crowd away. By far this exceeds any previous ice show RCI has presented.

One note I can't hold back on: the Oasis has sound control issues with the forward cabins. I am in 9506 and it is quite impossible to sleep when underway. Every toilet flush from cabins above and adjacent resonates through the walls. Worse though is this non-stop banging which I think is water hitting the bow. It is awful. Like someone hitting a barrel with a hammer sometimes, and others it is like hitting a pot hole in a car. The cabin shudders - literally. And this is in seas that were 6 feet or so. It isn't just me. I overheard two other people complaining about it and they are in cabins near me.

I'll go ashore this morning to assess crowd control, then it's back to the pool area from some quiet time. Paul, I'll be in a white Margaritaville t-shirt and blue shorts.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:08 AM
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As to the Aqua Cast not doing their complete show because of the two days at sea, that is so not true and an odd statement. RCCL didnt give enough time to tech and safety certify each moment in the show due to many things including boat drills where the cast was gone for hours each day, parade and mob dance rehearsals, environmental training, HR training, photo sessions, commercial shoots, even Capt Bill's many interviews. But the two things that robbed the most time were GMA and the naming ceremony. These two events alone took 4 days of rehearsal away from the cast and crew. The Aqua Theater is a beautiful venue and everyone wants to be there. If Royal Caribbean Productions had made the Aqua shows a priority, both shows would be up and running by now as the safety trainer has been onboard since Turku. That said, it is all still a safety issue. This is the first show for RCCL where at any given moment, a death could occur. I am sure the passengers of Oasis would rather RCCL err on the side of caution than risk a performers life.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Older Party,

I didn't mean to offend you. I don't have the benefit of the inside details, as you apparently do. All I have to go on is what Ken Rush said at the start of the show last night...that it would be shortened because the rough crossing cost them some rehearsal time. He didn't mention training, sign-offs, GMA, or the other items from your list.

I certainly wouldn't want anyone pushing something and creating a safety hazard. As I said, what we did see was good.

However, I also want to point out that I am paying for this cruise (a lot) and therefore the expectation is that the shows would be ready. If they aren't then a more substantial explanation should be provided by the cruise line, and not from someone with insider knowledge posting it on an internet forum.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Oasis Day 3…
It’s hard to describe in words just how frustrating a single mishap can be on a ship, but when it comes to Internet access my entire day yesterday went something like this: I spent the good part of an hour trying to figure out why a perfectly good internet account that had been working suddenly stopped working.

When I had exhausted my knowledge I went to guest relations who looked into my accounts and saw that I had used sometime but that account was now “dead” and so I had created a new account. Plus I had spent 17 minutes on the TV-web system that was just a joke (the keyboard was impossible to use).

So, when I returned to my room, I started writing my newsletter for today. The web works perfectly for a few hours. The very moment I was done, I prepared to upload my document and so I connected to the Web and a split second later I got the message “your session has ended.” What?

I tried again, and could not get on at all. Finally I message popped up that said “The Internet Link is Down,” Please try again in a few minutes. I kept trying every few minutes for three solid hours. After all, I had a deadline assignment due for my job, and I truly rely on web access on ships or otherwise I cannot travel on them (yet another reason to love cruising)
Finally I went to the front desk where a nice person told it was down but should be up within a few hours. In the end it did not come back until about 2:00 a.m. I tried uploading my files last night, but some of them just never went through. I am still not sure my workplace has received everything it needs from me for this assignment due to time zone differences, etc. In the end it was a VERY frustrating experience.
I must say, however, that the people onboard the ship could not be any nicer. They listen to your problems, they take action and they truly do the best they can to solve them. They were missing their web as much as I was. It seems to be connecting now, but I am still not sure if I can send files or not. Once I wake up a little more I will try that.

AquaTheater Show…


Last night were the two first ever showings of the AquaTheater show. What an impressive venue and what a lot of potential talent in the cast, There is high diving and extreme choreographed high diving. That’s the good news… the bad news is that it truly appears to my trained eye that this is only half of a show we are being treated to, that the rest is not yet ready to show to a live audience. I just talked to David Beers on the phone who saw the show at 5:30, just before ours at 7:30. Each show was only 20 minutes long. David says at his show that cruise director told the audience the entire show was not ready, due to high seas inhibiting rehearsal schedules during the Atlantic crossing. Well, last week during our interview with the captain he was bragging to us that the ship handled so well that no rehearsals were interrupted. I can’t say what the truth is, I heard someone from the ship made a comment which I will see after I upload this comment.
Anyway – what we saw of the show was very impressive; Impressive dives and acrobatics. A little bit of cheesy synchronized swimming, but they were so cute doing it (the gals who do it are like Swedish Bikini Models, scrumptious) you don’t mind that it is synchronized swimming.
But last week on my media cruise I saw parts of the show being rehearsed which were definitely not in the show we saw last night. This means there are big chunks of the show that are not ready yet. That’s OK, but as Dave pointed out, we are paying a lot of money to be on this cruise and if the show was not going to be ready, the company should have told us in advance, because it is an advertised part of the attraction of the ship. I enjoyed what I saw, but it is so short that it is almost as if you think they are joking when they come out for their bows.
Another complete letdown was the non-use of the stage-0side cameras. At the end of the show the scxuba divers came out of the water for bows. I had told you previously they use scuba to help actors breath underwater so they don’t have to get out of the pool between entrances. It is fascinating stagecraft, but there was nothing being shown on the side screens that was relevant to the show. Most of the time what we saw looked like a ‘60s light show – melting images similar to my Windows screensaver – which is actually more interesting than what they were showing.
This will be a great show someday – probably within a month or two, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t the big “wow” I was hoping for when I booked the cruise.
So, other than spending the day battling the Internet and then rushing to see a show (I arrived an hour early for the best seats) that didn’t thrill me, my third days on Oasis ever was a bust, I have to say. The Internet being down for 10 hours is really just inexcusable in this day and age. Then the show, then a rushed dinner at the “Seafood Shack” which is also venue I would not recommend.
But this is a testament to how nice and truly wonderful the staff onboard is. My wife is on a VERY strict vegetarian diet, so while I was eating she walked across to Johnny Rockets just to ask them about their delicious “Boca-Burgers” (they are not actually that brand – they are soy-based protein made to taste just like hamburgers). She just asked if it would be possible to order on in the dining room given enough advance notice.
At the time, I was paying the $8.95 service charge to eat at the Seafood Shack, but she was just sitting there. The staff at Johnny Rockets offered to bring her a Boca Burger to eat with me at my table – at no charge (JR usually charges $4.95 pp). They cooked it up and carried it across the boardwalk and served it t her so she could eat while I was eating. That is just wonderful, thoughtful service.
And that truly is the kind of service we have received from almost everyone onboard, truly. They are warm, helpful and they get personally involved in your problems. And for that I have to give RCL a HUGE THUMBS UP. They have really got a great team on this ship. As soon as some of the technical details are sorted out this will be an over-whelmingly great cruise.
Everyone has a bad day – yesterday was Oasis’ bad day. It wasn’t all bad, I stayed up far too late watching the Mike Record, the comedian, in the main lounge (he was hilarious) and I watched Karaoke and ate pizza until nearly 2:00 am. This is an active ship.
One thing that surprised me was that Dazzles was hopping last night, while it was dead on the media cruise. Oh well. The comedians were a riot, and David said the Ice show was spectacularly great. Tonight Dave and I eat in 150 Central Park. I have been looking forward to this moment for months now, KeriAnn (she is the executive chef), so I hope you are ready for me.

Tomorrow night we see Hairspray. I have not heard any reports about it yet but I believe it does show tonight so we should get our first reports soon. That’s it for now, until next time!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:45 AM
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Oasis Day 3…
It’s hard to describe in words just how frustrating a single mishap can be on a ship, but when it comes to Internet access my entire day yesterday went something like this: I spent the good part of an hour trying to figure out why a perfectly good internet account that had been working suddenly stopped working.


When I had exhausted my knowledge I went to guest relations who looked into my accounts and saw that I had used sometime but that account was now “dead” and so I had created a new account. Plus I had spent 17 minutes on the TV-web system that was just a joke (the keyboard was impossible to use).


So, when I returned to my room, I started writing my newsletter for today. The web works perfectly for a few hours. The very moment I was done, I prepared to upload my document and so I connected to the Web and a split second later I got the message “your session has ended.” What?


I tried again, and could not get on at all. Finally I message popped up that said “The Internet Link is Down,” Please try again in a few minutes. I kept trying every few minutes for three solid hours. After all, I had a deadline assignment due for my job, and I truly rely on web access on ships or otherwise I cannot travel on them (yet another reason to love cruising)


Finally I went to the front desk where a nice person told it was down but should be up within a few hours. In the end it did not come back until about 2:00 a.m. I tried uploading my files last night, but some of them just never went through. I am still not sure my workplace has received everything it needs from me for this assignment due to time zone differences, etc. In the end it was a VERY frustrating experience.


I must say, however, that the people onboard the ship could not be any nicer. They listen to your problems, they take action and they truly do the best they can to solve them. They were missing their web as much as I was. It seems to be connecting now, but I am still not sure if I can send files or not. Once I wake up a little more I will try that.


AquaTheater Show…


Last night were the two first ever showings of the AquaTheater show. What an impressive venue and what a lot of potential talent in the cast, There is high diving and extreme choreographed high diving. That’s the good news… the bad news is that it truly appears to my trained eye that this is only half of a show we are being treated to, that the rest is not yet ready to show to a live audience. I just talked to David Beers on the phone who saw the show at 5:30, just before ours at 7:30. Each show was only 20 minutes long. David says at his show that cruise director told the audience the entire show was not ready, due to high seas inhibiting rehearsal schedules during the Atlantic crossing. Well, last week during our interview with the captain he was bragging to us that the ship handled so well that no rehearsals were interrupted. I can’t say what the truth is, I heard someone from the ship made a comment which I will see after I upload this comment.


Anyway – what we saw of the show was very impressive; Impressive dives and acrobatics. A little bit of cheesy synchronized swimming, but they were so cute doing it (the gals who do it are like Swedish Bikini Models, scrumptious) you don’t mind that it is synchronized swimming.


But last week on my media cruise I saw parts of the show being rehearsed which were definitely not in the show we saw last night. This means there are big chunks of the show that are not ready yet. That’s OK, but as Dave pointed out, we are paying a lot of money to be on this cruise and if the show was not going to be ready, the company should have told us in advance, because it is an advertised part of the attraction of the ship. I enjoyed what I saw, but it is so short that it is almost as if you think they are joking when they come out for their bows.


Another complete letdown was the non-use of the stage-0side cameras. At the end of the show the scxuba divers came out of the water for bows. I had told you previously they use scuba to help actors breath underwater so they don’t have to get out of the pool between entrances. It is fascinating stagecraft, but there was nothing being shown on the side screens that was relevant to the show. Most of the time what we saw looked like a ‘60s light show – melting images similar to my Windows screensaver – which is actually more interesting than what they were showing.


This will be a great show someday – probably within a month or two, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t the big “wow” I was hoping for when I booked the cruise.


So, other than spending the day battling the Internet and then rushing to see a show (I arrived an hour early for the best seats) that didn’t thrill me, my third days on Oasis ever was a bust, I have to say. The Internet being down for 10 hours is really just inexcusable in this day and age. Then the show, then a rushed dinner at the “Seafood Shack” which is also venue I would not recommend.


But this is a testament to how nice and truly wonderful the staff onboard is. My wife is on a VERY strict vegetarian diet, so while I was eating she walked across to Johnny Rockets just to ask them about their delicious “Boca-Burgers” (they are not actually that brand – they are soy-based protein made to taste just like hamburgers). She just asked if it would be possible to order on in the dining room given enough advance notice.


At the time, I was paying the $8.95 service charge to eat at the Seafood Shack, but she was just sitting there. The staff at Johnny Rockets offered to bring her a Boca Burger to eat with me at my table – at no charge (JR usually charges $4.95 pp). They cooked it up and carried it across the boardwalk and served it t her so she could eat while I was eating. That is just wonderful, thoughtful service.


And that truly is the kind of service we have received from almost everyone onboard, truly. They are warm, helpful and they get personally involved in your problems. And for that I have to give RCL a HUGE THUMBS UP. They have really got a great team on this ship. As soon as some of the technical details are sorted out this will be an over-whelmingly great cruise.


Everyone has a bad day – yesterday was Oasis’ bad day. It wasn’t all bad, I stayed up far too late watching the Mike Record, the comedian, in the main lounge (he was hilarious) and I watched Karaoke and ate pizza until nearly 2:00 am. This is an active ship.
One thing that surprised me was that Dazzles was hopping last night, while it was dead on the media cruise. Oh well. The comedians were a riot, and David said the Ice show was spectacularly great. Tonight Dave and I eat in 150 Central Park. I have been looking forward to this moment for months now, KeriAnn (she is the executive chef), so I hope you are ready for me.

Tomorrow night we see Hairspray. I have not heard any reports about it yet but I believe it does show tonight so we should get our first reports soon. That’s it for now, until next time!
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
Older Party,

I didn't mean to offend you. I don't have the benefit of the inside details, as you apparently do. All I have to go on is what Ken Rush said at the start of the show last night...that it would be shortened because the rough crossing cost them some rehearsal time. He didn't mention training, sign-offs, GMA, or the other items from your list.

I certainly wouldn't want anyone pushing something and creating a safety hazard. As I said, what we did see was good.

However, I also want to point out that I am paying for this cruise (a lot) and therefore the expectation is that the shows would be ready. If they aren't then a more substantial explanation should be provided by the cruise line, and not from someone with insider knowledge posting it on an internet forum.
Oh I totally agree with you. Both Splish Splash and Oasis of Dreams should be up and running for the paying customers...besides, the cast so wants to show the world their marvelous bag of tricks! :-)
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 11:25 PM
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Thank you Paul for your updates, sorry to hear about your internet problems and the shows which are not complete. Sounds like ship is not totally ready for prime time.
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