Tag Archives: 150 Central Park

Oasis of The Seas Days 5 and 6: St. Maarten and Dreamworks Parade

4 Aug

Ahoy Fellow Cruise Enthusiasts!

I decided to combine days 5 and 6 because we mostly spent day 5 relaxing on the beach without our camera.  We chose to do the 4 X 4 St. Maarten and Beach Escape for a couple of reasons: First, I love Jeeps and second, we wanted to just relax on the beach for most of the day.  We had a great time and actually got to see a lot of St. Maarten and spend some nice time on the beach.

Here you can see me plotting out our course for the day…approximately.

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When we got back to the ship we were scheduled for our only return to the Main Opus Dining Room for dinner.  As discussed in previous posts we were not very happy with our first night in the main dining room and decided to visit the 150 Park Central specialty restaurant the next night.  We were so happy with the experience that we dined at the other specialty restaurants the following nights. But the customer service on Royal Caribbean lived up to its reputation and they followed up with us to see why we were not happy with the main dining room.

The Maitre’D promised to improve our experience by giving us a table that was separate from everyone else.  It was definitely an improvement but the service was still a bit slow so we decided to return to our beloved 150 Central Park on night 6.  It worked out great because they change the menu for 150 Central Park halfway through the trip so we were able to try a whole new menu and it was just as delicious as the first menu!

The chandelier is the highlight of the Main Opus Dining Room.

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But our love of the specialty restaurants is old news from previous posts.  The main purpose of this post is to tell you the importance of arriving early to the Dreamworks Parade on the promenade!  The Dreamworks Parade only happens on the days at sea.  On the first day we showed up about 30 minutes before the parade was going to start and we could not even see what was going on.  There were so many people in front of us on the parade route that we could only catch glimpses of the performers, but we knew from the little bit that we could see (and from the applause and cheers) that we were missing an incredible show.  So we vowed to show up early for the next parade.

We decided that arriving almost two hours early for the parade would ensure us a front row seat.  And luckily we were right!  But not by much because we got one of the last front row seats on the route.  You might think two hours is a bit excessive but if you want a seat instead of standing it is worth it.  The time waiting for the parade passed quickly, as I grabbed a couple of beers and watched the people while Jany went to check out some of the awesome shops on the promenade.  Her favorite was a cupcake shop where she bought a couple of books and a few cupcakes for us.

They started setting up for the parade about an hour before it started and we could tell it was going to be incredible.  This is also when the rest of the passengers started showing up and I had to do the old “Sorry this seat’s taken”.  I was only defending one seat so I didn’t get much argument but there were a few people that were defending multiple seats and there were some minor arguments…enough to keep me entertained.

The parade was so worth the wait.  All of our favorite Dreamworks characters were there, including the crazy lemur from Madagascar and the whole cast from How To Train Your Dragon!  Yes we are adults but we love the modern computer animated features…who doesn’t?

It starts with an incredible acrobatic display.

oasis-of-the-seas-acrobatThen the lion from Madacascar shows up with the scheming secret service penguins!

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oasis-of-the-seas-parade-penguinsThen Puss in Boots makes an appearance on the Rising Tide Bar!

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And finally the family from How to Train Your Dragon shows up!oasis-of-the-seas-parade-dragon

The show lasted around a half hour but it was full of fun and entertainment and it is one of our best memories from the cruise!  Remember the early bird gets the front row!

Below are links to the other posts in the Oasis of The Seas series…

Oasis of The Seas Pre-Cruise Planning
Oasis of The Seas Boarding and Day 1
Oasis of The Seas Day 2: Atlantis and 150 Central Park
Oasis of The Seas Day 3: Central Park, Rising Tide Bar and a Bow for the Bow
Oasis of The Seas Day 4: Sort of Alone on the Ship

Oasis of The Seas Day 4: Sort of Alone on the Ship

1 Jul

Hello Again!

Today I am going to tell you about our time exploring the (mostly empty) ship while the rest of the passengers were away on excursions in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.  It may seem like a strange idea to skip out on a chance to visit an island that you have never been to but we were so fascinated by the ship that we really wanted some “alone time” with it.  Since it was our first time on the ship and since we had already decided we would definitely be back we wanted to get a chance to take some pictures without many other passengers around.

One of the best things we  did (and by we I mean Jany) for this vacation was to bring a tripod for our camera.  Since it was just the two of us, the only way we could get shots of us together would be to ask someone to take a picture of us and we are not big on bothering people so we knew that wouldn’t happen much…or at all.  So Jany brought her tripod and it leads to this…Tip: Bring a tripod for your camera so you can take some shots of yourselves around the ship without having to bother anyone.

The first couple of days we tried to take a few shots but since there are approximately 3,000 passengers on board there was always someone walking in and out of our shots.  So we decided to forgo Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas because we knew most of the passengers would be off the ship and we would have some privacy.  It definitely paid off as we were able to explore the ship by ourselves with nobody else around…it was great!

Here is the first shot we took in front of our favorite restaurant…there is a waiter attempting a photo bomb in the window if you look closely!

Oasis of The Seas Josh Jany 150Here is another shot in fabulous Central Park, none of this would have been possible without the tripod…did I mention I love my wife?  She thinks of everything and she’s smoking hot!

Oasis of The Seas Josh Jany ParkAs we made our way to the Boardwalk at the back of the ship the doors opened in front of us and we were treated to this spectacular display of how the carousel animals were made!  Being a big fan of woodworking I was totally fascinated by this!  Here is one of the first stages…

Oasis of The Seas Horse1And here is the next stage where the carving is happening, notice the hands with the chisel showing exactly how the artist made the cuts!

Oasis of The Seas Horse 2And here is the finished product on the actual carousel, this carousel was so cool, it had so many different animals and the work was so intricate!  Notice the rabbit behind the horse, one of my favorites!

Oasis of The Seas Horse 3Here is another one of my favorites: The Lion!

Oasis of The Seas LionAs we left the carousel we were greeted by a very old friend…it’s Zoltar from the movie BIG!!!  Seeing this guy just brought back so many childhood memories because BIG was one of my favorite movies as a kid…wasn’t it everyone’s?

Oasis-of-The-Seas-ZoltarWhen we got to the end of the display we turned around to take in what we had just seen and I snapped this shot of Jany taking a couple more pics, notice the tripod that we used for so many of our great shots.

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Jany-CarouselThis little monkey was so perfect we just had to take a shot of him, just one of the countless details that Royal Caribbean has put into the Oasis of The Seas.

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Dancing-MonkeyHere is another awesome character, this bear looks like Teddy Ruxpin, is Royal Caribbean just extracting memories from my childhood and manifesting them before my eyes?

Oasis-of-The-Seas-BearAs we left the carousel and headed out to the main boardwalk we had to turn around again and take it all in.  Look at the staterooms that look down on the boardwalk, I was still happier with our ocean view balcony but these were cool also.  You can see the Johnny Rockets to the right of the crazy guy with the balloons.  Overall it is made to look like a street with the lamp posts and banners…amazing!

Oasis of The Seas Jany Boardwalk

Our tripod took another picture of us at the mechanic this time, now this is a memory of my adulthood that I would rather not have been reminded about but at least I got the girl!  Why is there a moose crossing sign?

Oasis of The Seas Josh Jany CarHere is the rock climbing wall that scaled in 46 seconds flat!  Wait was that in my dreams?

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Climbing-WallHere is the famous Aquatheatre where they have an awesome Swimming and Diving Show that you have to see!  Notice the diving platforms all the way at the top by the crown on the Royal Caribbean logo, they actually dive from those!  There are also two giant screens where they play movies for the kids and the kids at heart.

Oasis of The Seas AquatheatreAfter a long day of hardly working we decided to relax at the mini golf course, you can see that the guy on the right is marveling at my skills.  You can also see the basketball court on the other side of the ship.

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Josh-GolfSo that was our wonderful day alone with  Oasis of The Seas, I know we would have enjoyed St. Thomas but I am so glad we spent a day by ourselves on the ship.  That night we went to Giovanni’s Table, the last of the three premium dining restaurants on board and it did not disappoint, even though it was the lowest price of the three.  Next trip we will probably do premium dining every night, although we may spend one night at the main Opus Dining room because or second time there was not as bad.  I will tell you about our second night in the Opus dining room on the next post.

All in all I continue to be amazed by this ship, even now writing this post I am in awe of the amount of detail that was put in to every corner!

Below are links to the other posts in the Oasis of The Seas series…

Oasis of The Seas Pre-Cruise Planning
Oasis of The Seas Boarding and Day 1
Oasis of The Seas Day 2: Atlantis and 150 Central Park
Oasis of The Seas Day 3: Central Park, Rising Tide Bar and a Bow for the Bow
Oasis of The Seas Days 5 and 6: St. Maarten and Dreamworks Parade

Oasis of The Seas Day 2: Atlantis and 150 Central Park

20 Jun Oasis-of-The-Seas-Atlantis-Paradise-Island

Ahoy mates!  (Jany is really getting tired of that)

Today I am going to tell you all about our first full day of vacation, our trip to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and the grand finale of the day dining at 150 Central Park!

So the day started very early because for some reason the Oasis of The Seas leaves Nassau at 2pm.  This is probably because of the long distance to the next port of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, because you actually spend Day 3 at sea as the ship chugs along at a pretty good pace.  The early ship departure time leads to the following Tip: On Day 2 you need to get up and off the ship by 7-8am at the latest or you will not have much time at all to relax in Nassau. It also means that to be safe you will want to already be on your way back to the ship by 1pm and even earlier if your excursion is farther away.  This fact did not bode well for us because neither of us are morning people and we both tend to procrastinate, which is why we are perfect for each other…awwwww!

Anywho, we knew we would not be up at the butt crack of dawn to get breakfast and get off the ship so we opted for a basic, and relatively inexpensive excursion which was the Discover Atlantis Tour (Code NS03).  We had never been to Atlantis Paradise Island so we wanted to check it out and figured this would be a good way to see it.

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We could have also just gotten a taxi and explored on our own but we figured the cab fare would be about half the cost anyways and this would be a good way to get a tour of such a huge resort.  Many people, especially families, opted for the Atlantis Aquaventure which gives you access to the waterpark but since we are well past our water sliding days we decided to spend $59 per person instead of $165 per person.  Unfortunately, the trip did not start out great and we were not very happy with the boarding of the boat that would to take us over to Atlantis.   For some reason they did not have a complete ramp from the dock to the boat so we actually had to step on a couple of rocks to get to the boat and Jany almost slipped and broke her ankle…that would have been no fun at all.  I think it was because the water was very choppy so they didn’t want to use the full ramp but still they should have come up with a better solution!  But once we got to Atlantis things went much better, the inside of the resort is beautiful and the tour started out great.  However, once we finished the bigger sights they wanted to take the entire tour group through the aquarium and the tour guide was kind of rushing through things.  We wanted to take our time and take some pictures so we abandoned our tour group and set out on our own.

The aquarium was awesome, it was so cool seeing such huge creatures through floor-to-ceiling windows so it felt as if you were standing next to them in the ocean!

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Atlantis-Aquarium-1

My favorite part was probably the tube that you walk through that is on the bottom of the aquarium so all of the sea creatures are swimming around and above you!

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We headed back to the ship relatively early so we could get a good seat near the pool, but most people seemed to have the same idea because it was somewhat crowded by the time we got there. But there was still basically no line at the pool bars, probably because there are a few main bars and then several satellite mini bars as well as many servers stopping by to make sure you were filled up.  The ship started to leave around 2:30pm as it was waiting for the last stragglers to show up.  We enjoyed our time at Atlantis and took a few parting shots on the way out, as well as a great shot of the lighthouse and all of Atlantis Paradise Island!

Oasis-of-The-Seas-Atlantis-Paradise-Island

We hung out for a bit and had a few more drinks and decided we would start getting ready for our much anticipated dinner at 150 Central Park.

Since we were going out to the fanciest restaurant on board we decided to get all dressed up for the occasion.  When we got to 150 Central Park we were treated with first class service from the moment we walked in the door.  Their idea is to have a 5 star restaurant at sea and the entire staff was amazing!  We knew we were in for a treat when the multiple types of bread were served with multiple types of butter and even several varieties of salt!  The server was so attentive, he knew what we wanted before we did!

He recommended an excellent wine for us and you can see the beautiful container with the six types of salt!

Oasis-of-The-Seas-150-Central-Park-Wine

Now I must tell you that you do not have a choice on the menu, as is the case in many 5 star restaurants the chef sets a 5 course menu that is out-of-this-world and slight modifications can be made.  This was a concern for me because I am a very picky eater, I’m not a fan of nuts (except salted peanuts to Jany’s amusement), mushy things, beans and many other things, but I loved every single thing that the chef put on my plate.  Jany does not like red meat, although she is not a full vegetarian, so the chef was able to substitute thinly sliced chicken for the meat.  So you can ask for modifications which they are incredibly receptive to and you will be amazed at what lands in front of you.  The Florida Lobster Salad in particular was…shut-the-front-door-good.  And everything else was excellent, we were probably full by the third course but we could not stop.

Here is what we looked like after the dinner!  Tip: Ask for the sweet giant green chairs only a few tables have them!


Oasis-of-The-Seas-150-Central-Park-Josh Oasis-of-The-Seas-150-Central-Park-Jany

In the end we agreed that it was one of the top few dining experiences of our lives, it was well worth the $35 per person charge and we would recommend it to anyone and everyone who sails on the Oasis of The Seas!  Bonus Awesome 150 Central Park Tip: They have two menus, one for the first few days and then another for the last few days, we went back for the second menu and were blown away again!!!

So ended our Day 2 on Oasis of The Seas, we had full stomachs and happy hearts and went to bed with smiles on our faces looking forward to the next 5 days! 🙂

Check back next week for Day 3 at Sea and more tips!

In case you missed them here are the links for the other Oasis of The Seas Posts:
Oasis of The Seas Pre-Cruise Planning
Oasis of The Seas Boarding and Day 1
Oasis of The Seas Day 2: Atlantis and 150 Central Park
Oasis of The Seas Day 3: Central Park, Rising Tide Bar and a Bow for the Bow
Oasis of The Seas Day 4: Sort of Alone on the Ship
Oasis of The Seas Days 5 and 6: St. Maarten and Dreamworks Parade

Oasis of The Seas Boarding and Day 1

18 Jun Oasis of The Seas Kids Pool-2

Welcome to the 2nd in our ongoing series of posts about our trip on Oasis of The Seas…if you missed it here is a link to Oasis of The Seas Pre-Cruise Planning

After one year of planning the day was finally here!  We were so happy on our way to Port Everglades (which is not in the Everglades but in between Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood) that we could barely contain our excitement.  We had packed everything we could think of and triple checked our list because on our last cruise we had forgotten our big camera and the only pants I took were jeans.  Jany basically took everything she had, which is a ton of stuff, I was actually worried her luggage would take up the entire room and might cause the ship to capsize!

The only bad thing about planning so far in advance is that it feels like your departure date is never going to arrive…but then…finally…it does!!!

We called ahead the day before and were told that the soonest we could board the ship was 2pm.  For some stupid reason we listened to them and so we took our time finishing in the morning and left Miami around 1pm to get to the port which is about 45 minutes from our house.  It took us about 30 minutes to go through the boarding process which included checking our bags, passing through metal detectors, getting our pictures taken for our SeaPass (onboard credit card) and confirming our passports.  By the time we actually got on the ship it was around 2:45 and we were very unhappy to see that we were one of the last ones to board and most of the passengers were already in their bathing suits enjoying the pool or a drink at the bar!  This was the ONLY negative part of boarding so I wanted to get it out of the way first so I can tell you about all of the good stuff but this issue is very important because it is almost as if you lose a half day of your vacation if you don’t board as soon as boarding is possible!

General Cruising Tip:  Call the cruise company several times and speak to several different people to gauge exactly when you can get on the ship because it may be earlier than they say.

Oasis of The Seas Specific Boarding Tip: The ships seems to board around 10-11am, even though it was still hard to get a direct answer, this seemed to be the consensus from the many people we spoke with.

Here is a pic of us at the passenger registration inside the port terminal, the process was very smooth and you can see the cameras that they take your picture with.  They also issue you the SeaPass which is basically an on board charge card since… Tip: There is no cash used on board except when gambling your savings away in the casino this is the same for every cruise ship.  So make sure you bring enough cash to gamble and to use in the ports of call when you get off the ship but you won’t need any on the ship.

Oasis of The Seas Check In This is a shot of the inside of the port terminal, it is decorated very nicely and really sets the tone for the awesomeness you are about to experience on board The Oasis of The Seas!!!

Oasis of The Seas Check In Building

Here we are at our first official photo spot (there are many throughout the cruise) where they have professionaly photographers pose you so that they can sell you the pictures later on.  Even if you don’t plan to buy any (we didn’t at first) go ahead and take the shots, because during the cruise they will display them in a special section of the ship where you can go and look at them, and you never know you might love the shot like we did and go ahead and purchase some or all of them!  Can you see the happiness on our faces?  I don’t think I have ever smiled that big!

Oasis-of-The-Seas-All-Aboard-Picture

As you walk across to board the ship you are (once again) amazed by the impressive size of the ship!

Oasis of The Seas Boarding

This will be your first experience on the ship, although it seems somewhat anti-climactic a closer look reveals that this is also a running track that goes around the entire ship…of course we are currently going the wrong way but who cares we are on the ship!!!

Oasis of The Seas Boarding Runway

Okay so this is how cool the elevator shaft is…let me repeat that…this is the ELEVATOR SHAFT!  Isn’t it awesome?  At this point I am like on cloud 9…hundred!

Oasis of the Seas Elevator Sculpture

A closer inspection reveals that these sculptures are actually seagulls with a variety of scenes painted on them…altogether now:”Cooooool!”

Oasis of the Seas Elevator Sculpture Close UpAnd then you get outside to the top deck and an explosion of fun and color awaits you.  This is the kids pool and boy did I want to be a kid again but it’s OK because I already feel like a kid again on this ship!

Oasis of The Seas Kids Pool-2

On The Oasis of The Seas even the smallest kids get a special pool, this one swirls!

Oasis of The Seas Kids Pool-1

This is the Sports Pool, it is where they host volleyball and water polo matches for the passengers as well as other events.  Check out the incredible architecture and the floor-to-ceiling windows!

Oasis of The Seas Sports Pool

Here is yet another pool, this is a standard pool for everyone (we will discuss our favorite later: the Adults Only Pool!) this pool was always a little crowded but it was also closest to one of the main pool bars…I wonder why it’s so crowded 😉

Oh yeah, and check out the bottom right of the photo for a view of the on board Park!

Oasis of The Seas Pool Deck

Here is a better view looking down at the park, I don’t even know what to say I am speechless at this point, somehow I feel we will be spending a lot of time at this park over then next 7 days.

Oasis of The Seas View of Park Ah yes I wouldn’t be a good Irish-Italian-German-Russian if I didn’t stop at the first bar I passed and make an order.  This is also where I noticed the “Beer Bag” which is insulated and filled with ice so it acts as a mini cooler.  You can buy the bag and then they refill it for relatively cheap compared to buying one beer at a time.  So I bought it 🙂 🙂 🙂

Oasis of the Seas Pool BarTime  for a quick break from pictures and a return to some good tips.  I already mentioned the need to arrive early, but there is another very important First Day Cruising Tip:  You may not get access to your room and your luggage until a few hours after you board the ship, they are still cleaning the rooms from last week’s guests.  Our solution was to take a big back-pack, it had room for cameras, sunblock, and even bathing suits even though we decided not to use them.

So after checking out the ship for a bit and having a couple of drinks (Jany loved the Frozen Pina Colada) we headed down to our room to see if we could get in and sure enough it was ready and our luggage was inside, below is the view right after we walked in, Jany is already on the phone calling to tell her Mom how amazing the ship is!

Notice how spacious the room is when the balcony is added, it was also great to have the flat screen TV that gave you the ability to not only watch TV and movies, but also to keep track of your account and even reserve dining times and excursions.  The TV also had a live view of a camera on the front and back of the ship and a GPS screen that showed the location of the ship on a map!

The couch was also a great feature because it meant we could actually relax inside the room sometimes.  We would often leave the door slightly open so we could hear the waves while we relaxed and watched some TV after a long day…but this backfired one time in a spectacular way.  I guess because of the on board park there are actually birds that go with the ship and one night one of the birds flew into the room!!!  We just watched it and waited and after about 5 minutes of checking out our room he flew back out the balcony door, maybe he had gotten food this way before!

Oasis of The Seas CabinThe bed was very comfortable and spacious and had reading lights for both sides of the bed, I slept closest to the balcony since Jany did not want any more birds landing on her!  You can also see the bathroom in this shot, which was a decent size for a cruise ship, slightly bigger than a closet.  One of the things we liked most about the bathroom was that the shower was a glass enclosure so you did not have a shower curtain rubbing up against you.  Overall we loved our room!

Oasis of The Seas Cabin2And now on to departure from the good ‘ole US of A.  You can see that the South Florida summer weather pattern was starting to set in with clouds and overcast skies but we were leaving all of that behind!  You can also see the Jacuzzi that sticks out over the water with more floor-to-ceiling windows.  Being able to experience the departure from our very own balcony is something we will never forget!

Oasis of the Seas Leaving FloridaNotice how the skies are clearing where we are going Bon Voyage!

Oasis of the Seas Leaving Florida 2

To finish up Day 1 we headed to dinner at 6pm because Tip: It is usually best to book your dining early because most of the shows start around 8pm or 10pm and 10pm can end a little late when you have had a long day of awesomeness! On our way to the main dining room we passed this awesome alligator coming out of a manhole cover wearing a fedora, just another nice little touch that you will find all around the ship.  Now dinner was another story read on to hear why…

Oasis of The Seas Alligator

So Royal Caribbean has always had great dinners, with exceptional food and superior service, which is why we prefer them.  But the dining in the main dining room was a bad experience and I have a couple of theories as to why.  So we were able to get our own table (I discussed our aversion to group dining in the previous post) but the problem was that we were very close to the tables next to us, I mean if somebody wanted to pass between us we were getting a part of their body way too close to our bread.  I think because there are sooooooo many people on the ship they have to cram everyone in very tight, this is actually one of the only times on the ship where we really felt it was too crowded.  We waited a very long time for our bread and then for our wine and then for our food to finally arrive and our server was usually nowhere to be seen or pretended to ignore us when we were trying to signal him.  This was so not the dining experience we had grown accustomed to on Royal Caribbean.  But I have another theory as to why the service was poor…they want to push you to the premium restaurants on board where you pay anywhere from $10-$40 per person.  I cannot confirm it but having been on a few Royal Caribbean cruises I can tell you that this is what it felt like.

So we complained to the maître d’ after our dinner and he apologized profusely and assured us that he would contact us to make things right for our next dinner.  That was nice and what we have come to expect from a top shelf cruise line, but we were still very doubtful that we would enjoy our next dining experience no matter where he sat us so we made one of the best decisions of our trip when we got back to our room.  We turned on our TV to look through the premium dining options and decided to go all out and go for the most expensive one at $40 per person for a night at 150 Central Park.  OH MY GOD I cannot tell you how much my mouth is watering just thinking of the food and the overall experience that we had on Night 2 at 150 Central Park.  I will tell you all about it in the next post but at the risk of being excessively hackneyed in my praise it was…literally…to die for!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to writing about Day 2 (and 150 Central Park!) for you on Friday!

Here are the links for the other Oasis of The Seas Posts:
Oasis of The Seas Pre-Cruise Planning
Oasis of The Seas Day 2: Atlantis and 150 Central Park
Oasis of The Seas Day 3: Central Park, Rising Tide Bar and a Bow for the Bow
Oasis of The Seas Day 4: Sort of Alone on the Ship
Oasis of The Seas Days 5 and 6: St. Maarten and Dreamworks Parade

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