H and I went on our first cruise last year despite my battle with motion sickness. I spoke with several people who overcame this so I thought, maybe I can too! To be honest, I never imagined us as cruisers!
There are numerous cruise lines and the choices can be overwhelming. We finally decided on Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas.”
I wrote a detailed food review when we returned, and thought I’d share some pictures here on my new blog. Incidentally, I took about 3,450 pictures in total during our 2 day pre-cruise in Fort Lauderdale, and our 7 day cruise of Eastern Caribbean! The editing alone was mind-boggling.
Looking back, we have so many fond memories, as well as cravings of the amazing food.
Our first glimpse of Oasis of the Seas (from our shuttle bus) was so exciting! After months of research and planning, we finally arrived! I’ve seen dozens of pictures, but nothing prepared us for how gigantic the ship was!
Despite one of the heaviest port days (7 ships in port) and immense traffic, the cruise forums were spot on in terms of timing. It took 20 minutes from stepping out of our shuttle to curbside, transferring our luggage, checking-in, passing security, and finally stepping foot on the Royal Promenade of Oasis of the Seas. AMAZING!!
After checking out our stateroom, and dropping off our carry-on luggage, we headed straight to the Park Café. The Roast Beef sandwich is very popular and has a lot of cruisers salivating, and making it their very first choice the moment they set foot on board. We had to try this over the much debated Windjammer Buffet’s “Honey Stung Chicken.”
The server slices the beef in front of you, with your choice of mustard. The roast beef was tender and flavorful, with just the right amount of au jus on the weck bun.
The complimentary bags of chips and flavored waters hit the spot. I found myself drawn to the unsweetened iced tea. H “liked it not,” and stuck to the mango flavored water.
After more exploring, we headed to the Windjammer Buffet to try the popular “Honey Stung Chicken”. It’s only available on day 1, according to what I read on the forums, so how could we possibly say no.
H’s favorite turned out to be the Seafood Paella. The Honey Stung Chicken was quite average, but we’re glad we tried it.
Oasis is ginormous! We had no idea where to go next! Trying to take it all in was overwhelming. To be honest, H and I are directionally challenged! We never figured out aft from bow, starboard from port, and therefore we spent a great deal of time walking from one end of the ship to the other, and then crossing over!
The maps and interactive guides near each elevator helped. I think we figured everything out on day 7!
I had a list from seasoned cruisers on what to accomplish on day 1, so we decided to check our dining room seat assignment before the line ups started.
I requested months in advance, a table for 2 by the railing, on deck 4, for 6:00 p.m. seating. I actually saw a picture of the table on the Internet and thought, “What a great view!” I couldn’t believe it when we were given the exact same table! Thank you Royal Caribbean Guest Services!
Next, we made our way to the Boardwalk and Aqua Theatre. We had a reservation for an after dinner show and wanted to remember our route. The Boardwalk is an outdoor area, designed to look like a seaside pier complete with a full-sized carousel. The carousel music and outdoor sea air reminded me of a traditional beach boardwalk! It’s also home to Johnny Rockets and the Seafood Shack.
We took a look at the Boardwalk Donut Shop, but decided to save our appetites for dinner.
We headed back to our stateroom to check on our luggage. We read horror stories about delayed or lost luggage, and I practically jumped up and down with joy when we saw our luggage outside our door!!
After a delayed sail away, which we missed, H and I headed to the main dining room for our first sit down dinner, and met our head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter. The same team served us throughout our cruise. They were all super friendly and we felt like royalty! The service was second to none. Our head waiter always checked in with us, and took note of any special requests. By the end of our first night, our head waiter and assistant waiter knew all of our likes and dislikes. I don’t know how they remembered all the guests’ preferences!
Our waiter was very helpful in pointing out popular items along with his own recommendations. We chose the Vidalia Onion Tart as an appetizer, as we read it was a favorite amongst seasoned cruisers. We were not disappointed! I wish I had tried a second piece! What a wonderful sweet onion flavor combined with Gruyère cheese. The pastry was flaky and buttery. We also loved the thin slivers of sautéed red peppers.
Royal Caribbean serves cold fruit soups each night, and I was intrigued to try one. I decided on the Watermelon Gazpacho. It was very refreshing and not too sweet. I think I would have preferred it for dessert though.
For our entrees, we both ordered the Slow Roasted Prime Rib which was very tender, but as we previously read on the cruise forums, quite bland. Salt and pepper didn’t help; the sauce was underwhelming, and did nothing to compliment a nice cut of beef.
We decided to share the Truffled Wild Mushroom Linguini Alfredo. Mmmmm, the sauce was so creamy with a generous portion of mushrooms; very decadent.
For dessert, I ordered the Strawberry Pavlova. I’d like to say this dessert looked nicer than it tasted. The meringue was overly sweet.
H’s Savarin was awful, it was soaked with Grand Marnier syrup, and I mean that in a bad way. Sadly, being a dessert lover, this was not my night. No worries, there’s always tomorrow!
After dinner, we headed to the Aqua Theatre. We had a 9:00 p.m. reservation for “Oasis of Dreams,” a very popular show set in a deep saltwater pool. The theater seats 700 guests and has a day time and night time show. It’s one of seven neighborhoods on the ship. On each side of the theatre are two, 43-foot high rock climbing walls.
The show was outstanding, and a great way to end our first day on board!
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