July - September 2014
  • Day60

    Southampton Port

    September 11, 2014 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    This being our first trip on either the Allure or the Oasis, I must admit I'm very pleasantly surprised.
    They are not "to big" as some people say, yes the are huge vessels, but they are surprisingly easy to navigate.
    One of the big plus points to me is the amount of places to eat, they are scattered throughout the ship, from the Wipe Out cafe on deck 15, The Park Cafe on 8, through to the Cafe Promenade on deck 5, and not forgetting the good old Windjammer Cafe on deck 11, which on both ships has been excellent.
    They are just the "free " eateries.
    There are 3 or 4 pay restaurants with cover charges, not that Mr tight wad tries them very often.
    I almost forgot to mention the normal restaurant which we rarely use on any ship, but on these two I heard nothing but good reports.
    Bars and lounges there are too many to mention individually.
    The other fantastic thing on the two ships is the entertainment, the variety and quality of which is fanatic, from the Aqua shows to the Ice shows.
    It's all been superb, the guest artists and production shows are top notch.
    My personal favourite the Comedy Club shows, which are brilliant.
    They are held in a small intimate venue, holding only about 30 or so people, making the atmosphere cosy and fun.
    I would think the comics love it to, being able to bounce off and also terrorise their audience, especially the knobs in the front row, which always includes me lol.
    To sum it all up, the ships are brilliant, with so many things to do and I've not even mentioned the zip line, the carousel, the TWO flow riders, the Ice skating, the kids arcade and the numerous pools and Jacuzzis around the ship, oh yes and the gym and spa, did I mention the Aqua theatre with the amazing divers and acrobats.
    God I could go on forever.
    Royal Caribbean can like any company get things wrong, but with these two ships they've got an awful lot right.
    On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give them a good 9.
    Also over the next 4 years there are 5 new ships planned, and if they are anything like these two, we're in for a real treat.
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  • Day59

    Lunch at Chops Grill

    September 10, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    For a change we went to Chops Grill for lunch.
    This is normally reserved for suites guests at lunch time, but with so many Diamond pluses on board they're using it instead of the concierge lounge for lunch, and what a nice touch it is.
    It was packed, as people had found out it was available.
    Everyone was informed about it by letter in their stateroom on the first day but, as usual no one reads them, so by word of mouth it has got busier as the cruise has gone on.
    I must admit that the staff handled the packed restaurant very well.
    In fact except for the first couple of days when the staff in the concierge lounge didn't know what had hit them with the masses of diamond plus and pinnacle members on board, they have coped very well.
    As this was the very first transatlantic for this ship and its crew, who obviously didn't know that diamonds do transatlantic crossings because they are bargains, and usually the seasoned cruiser is not bothered about ports of call and just enjoys the relaxing sea days.
    I suppose the main problem is the guys in the Miami office who coordinate the crossings and must know how busy it can get, also the management on board ship should have known, but as I said the staff have handled it well.
    I am expecting the return crossing to be better for the crew as they will know what to expect.
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  • Day58

    Meal with an officer

    September 9, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    Yesterday afternoon we got an invitation for a meal with an officer.
    All members who have over 350 cruise points get this invitation.
    Now normally there are maybe two tables full, which would be about 16/18 guests, well this time the was about 10/15 tables which meant about 100/150 guests.
    Never ever seen so many, but as with Chops Grill the other night, this was one of the best meals we've had, the food was excellent, but the company was better.
    Once again we've met so many nice people, quite a few are old friends from other cruises, and a few new friends.
    My email contact list is growing fast, as I get more and more people to send my silly jokes to.
    Changing the subject slightly.
    About these massive ships, I really wasn't sure if I'd like them, but I must say I've been pleasantly surprised.
    Yes they are big and can be a bit difficult to navigate sometimes, especially when you first board them.
    But over all a ship is a ship, and they all have their plus and minus points.
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  • Day57

    Brain teaser quiz

    September 8, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    For a change we decided not to start the night in the concierge lounge, but to go to the Schooner bar and do the quiz.
    Not only would it make a change but we could use our 3 drinks on our sea passes.
    There by taking full advantage of our "diamond plus amenities " lol.
    Anyway we turn up at the schooner bar for the "brain teaser quiz" and my god did it tease or brains...
    It was one of those riddle type quizzes, where there was a lot of play on words.
    The young lady doing the quiz would ask things like what is the average weight for a human baby?
    Most people had put things like 8lbs 6oz, when the answer was 9 months.
    The twist being the word wait not weight, well all this along with the young quiz master being Spanish and although speaking decent English, her actual pronunciation left a lot to be desired.
    So this all made for a rather unusual quiz, which I personally found good fun, and a bit of a laugh.
    But some people who take these quizzes far too seriously, said it was stupid and didn't like it at all.
    But hey ho, such is life lol.
    After the quiz we all trooped off to the concierge lounge and finished the night off there.
    Which was good, because the Ebb and flow of different people in our company was constant and varied and made for another interesting and pleasant evening.
    I've said many times in the past that the people you meet in the concierge /diamond lounge are interesting and in the main friendly and nice, and this cruise are no exception.
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  • Day56

    Anniversary update

    September 7, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    We started the evening in the rising tide bar, which is a feature bar on the ship.
    It's a bar that travels between decks 5 and 8, but it moves so slowly that you don't notice it moving.
    But it's a fun thing to do and it's only found on Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships.
    Later on we went to Chops Grill for our meal and to be honest it was wonderful, everything from the company, the food and the service was brilliant.
    It really was the best night we've ever had in Chops Grill.
    Normally there is something that is not right, like last time we went, I'm not sure on which ship it was, but Mazens main meal arrived at the table, just as the rest of us where finishing our deserts.
    But this time as I said was brill.
    The only criticism I have, is the extra charge for certain things.
    Maz and I usually order the Porterhouse steak when we go to Chops Grill.
    But now even after putting the cover charge up to $35.
    If you want a porterhouse steak it's an extra $19 which to me is a rip off, but hey, that's Royal Caribbean for you!
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  • Day55

    Anniversary meal

    September 6, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    Last night's ice show was one of the best ice shows I've seen, and one of the good things about it was the guy doing sand drawings on a light box which projected on to the big screen, he was amazing and so talented.
    Today is Sheila and I's wedding anniversary and six of us have booked Chops Grill for dinner, so fingers crossed that it will be good.
    Because the last few times we've done Chops, the experience hasn't been brilliant.
    Having said that we've never done Chops Grill on this ship, so I'll hold off on any preconceived opinions and give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
    But if it's no good, this will definitely be the final time in Chops Grill.
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  • Day54

    Why not try the Diamond lounge?

    September 5, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    5am and it was disco time again in the concierge lounge.
    Couldn't be bothered with the security trick again so instead I took a walk down to the diamond lounge.
    That was much better, it did have some background music, but it was extremely low, as background music should be.
    Even had coffee, woo hoo!
    Also discovered that the Wi-Fi is faster in the diamond lounge.... Wait a minute, did I say FASTER? I meant not as slow as the rest of the ship 😄
    So I'm quite a happy bunny this morning but as you probably know, that can change lol.
    George and James came up to the concierge lounge last night for a chat, they really are two nice blokes.
    Mary and Elaine also dropped by for a chat, they are also really nice people.
    It would seem that all my friends on board are gay, but I do have straight friends too lol.
    As with every night up to now the company has changed though the evening, with people going to and coming back from dinner.
    So with us four not bothering with the restaurant and always going to the Windjammer later on for our evening meal, we get to chat to a lot of different people during the evening, which is brilliant.
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  • Day53

    Loud music and early mornings

    September 4, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    I get to the concierge lounge about 5.30 for my usual coffee, read of my book and to do my blog, god I'm a busy bee.
    Anyway as I walk in it's like a disco, the so called background music is blasting out.
    I'm not sure who they've got the volume turned up for?
    So I get on the telephone to guest services, but the girl I speak to us not brilliant with English, I suppose they give the graveyard shift to the non English speakers, or the poor English speakers, lol.
    Anyway I have no joy, but I do know how to get someone in authority to turn up, i start to look for the volume switch, behind the concierge desk and behind the bar where they have the spirits locked up.
    After a couple of minutes an officer turns up and asks if I'm Ok?
    I explain that I want the early morning disco music turned down, and he duly obliges.
    It's handy knowing about the closed circuit TV sometimes, and it's oh so easy putting the knowledge to good use.
    It's a bit like the old joke about the guy in prison who's old grandfather needed his garden dug over.
    Well he couldn't do it from prison, so he phoned his Grandad and said that all the bodies are buried in the garden, twenty minutes later a team of police had done the job for him.
    I'm not saying I've buried any bodies in the concierge, but if you want something done and you can't get it by asking, big brother is always watching, especially in the concierge, LMAO.
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  • Day52

    Comedy Club and old friends

    September 3, 2014, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    Comedy club, it's one of the best things Royal have put on their ships.
    Last night another two great comedians, Phil Tag, who we'd not seen before and Aj Jamal, who we'd seen last week on the Allure of the seas.
    Both as I said, brilliant comedians.
    But the best thing up to now is seeing lots of old friends from other cruises,Tayna & Jerry, Steve & Brenda, Roman & Jean, to name but a few, as there are at least 10 others.
    But the biggest surprise was George & James who snuck in the comedy club to say hi to me. They were among a big group of friends I'd emailed to say I was on this trip, but George being George, the sod never said they were coming on this trip too, anyway it's great to see them as they are great guys, as are most of the people I meet on these cruises
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  • Day51

    First night on Oasis

    September 2, 2014 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 88 °F

    Well last night went well in the concierge lounge considering how many diamond plus members and above there are on board.
    The service was a little bit slow because the staff had never done a transatlantic before and they are so busy with all the seasoned cruisers.
    But it was no real problem and no doubt things will start to slow down over the next few days. After drinks we went to see Hairspray on the theatre and what a show it was.
    It was brilliant and nothing like I expected.
    It's actually very moving about racism in Baltimore in the sixties.
    Some of the songs where so powerful and moving, and some, well most of them were energetic.
    The finale was wonderful and the whole audience where on their feet, singing and clapping along.
    My problem if you can call it a problem, is that I love all live performances, so me saying how good it was, doesn't do it justice.
    But honestly it was one of the best shows I've seen on board any ship.
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