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5lilfish
12-21-2010, 11:14 AM
I know a lot of people ask for reviews from RCI..especially in comparison to DCL. We were on the Oasis of the Seas for Thanksgiving. It was me, DH, my parents and our 5 kids (DS 13, DD 12, DD 10, and twin DD's 3). All of us have cruise many times so we are familiar with how things work. We've cruised Carnival, DCL and RCI (Explorer, Independence, Liberty and now Oasis).

First, and most important, we had a great vacation. We rebooked on the Allure for April 2012. We were going to look into doing the Allure in August, but we decided to wait the 1 yr plus, because I don't think RCI is great (compared to DCL) with toddlers/young preschoolers. In April 2012, our twins will be very close to 5 yrs old.

ROOMS: We had connecting staterooms. One of our rooms was a regular inside room and the connecting room had a Promenade view. This room was slightly larger and we really liked the extra space. It's amazing how a small difference in sq footage can make sure a big difference in space. I think the biggest point that I want to make here...RCI was not cheaper than DCL. I see so many people say how they saved by going on RCI over DCL but that has never really been the case for us. Maybe because we are forced to go at peak times. One thing that is a little less convenient on Oasis, than on DCL...no midship elevators. So you often have to walk the length of the ship to get where you are going. On the plus side...I love their Royal Promenade so I usually went to deck 5 and walked through the Promenade to get where I was going (often grabbing pizza or a hot chocolate on my way).

FOOD: I was disappointed in most of the food this time. Some items were great, but many were not very good at all. In past RCI cruises, we enjoyed their lunch buffets, but not this time. On the plus side, Oasis has some wonderful off-the-beaten-path food options. Central Park had a place that had amazing salads and the best roast beef sandwhiches that we had ever eaten. My kids loved the donut shop. The ice cream place, while not free, was great. Our dining experience was shaky this trip. First...they split all 3 of our staterooms up to 3 seperate tables. The way they divided us, my table was about 3 tables away from my husband's table and my parents were behing him (with another couple). Obviously, this was not going to work. It took the head of the dining room 3 nights to get us settled in to a table together. When you have little kids, this is a royal pest. As was the case on a couple of our other RCI cruises, our dining team was not very personable. In my opinion, RCI does not do a great job with young guests in the dining room. There are only glasses..no kid cups and no lids. They have kid menues (same every night) but they do not have crayons. One of my 3 yr old's was very recently put on a more restrictive diet. When I asked my server if they had any gluten free pasta, he looked at me like I had 2 heads. he was not happy to go find out for me...eventually, I was told that they had gluten free rice pasta that they could dig up for my daughter on the following night. We never did get that rice pasta.

KIDS: My son was in the tween club. It is probably the most involved he has ever been with the clubs. He enjoyed it. We kept my 12 yr old down with her 10 yr old sister. We knew they would stick together if they checked out and my 12 yr old really wanted to stay down and do more activities (rather than hang out). They enjoyed the clubs at night but didn't spend a lot of time there during the day. This was not necessarily because they did not like the clubs...it was more due to the fact that there was so much for them to enjoy on the ship. This ship rocks for tweens. My kids loved the zip line, rock climbing, mini golf and especially the Flowrider. We even did a family private lesson on the Flowrider (myself included) and it was a big highlight of our trip. My tweens/teen were in heaven on this ship. My little ones are definitely better off on DCL. They did like the carousel. They had activities on the Boardwalk. The twins enjoyed the activities but they were just a touch young. They also enjoyed getting donuts. We had some issues with the clubs for 3-5 yr olds. Being a young 3, the twins weren't as good at staying tuned in to the activities and the councelors were actually a bit annoyed at them for it. Also, my one DD is lactose intollerant. When I registered the twins, I was wrongly told that I could send this DD in a pull up if she went for a meal (to ease my fear that they would feed her something she shouldn't have). She is fully potty trained. It turns out pull ups are strictly forbidden. Well, they never marked the allergy on her record. The one time I sent her to lunch with them (in a pull up...only time she ever wore a pull up all week), she ended up having an accident. First of all, they marked the wrong twin as having had an accident and gave her a "strike." Then they were extremely rude about the pull up (which I had been wrongly told was ok). As I said, this was the only time my DD wore one all week. Well, they told me, "We will have to personally check her to make sure she isn't in a pull up whenever you drop her off now." This was before I realized they marked the wrong twin as having had the accident so I was confused...because Bailey did not have a pull up. Then I figured out they had the wrong kid, so I reminded them of Taylor's GI problems with her allergy. They had to go dig up her registration form because nobody entered the info. So, I asked what they fed her for lunch. They assured me that she ate no dairy. They were even sure that everything she ate was fine because, get this, they asked my 10 yr old daughter if it was ok for her to eat this and that. Seriously...they counted on a 10 yr old. I made sure Taylor was not given food by the club for the rest of the week. Ultimately, the twins had fun in the clubs and we made it through the week.

SHOWS/Entertainment. We loved the trivia. We enjoyed Hairspray, the ice show and the aquatheater show. We also had a great time in the casino.

Like I said, we had a great trip and we look forward to being on the Allure in 2012. Our next cruise in the Disney Dream. I know this will be a better fit for my preschoolers. My older 3 have always loved DCL, but I have to admit I am a little nervous now. They had so many options on The Oasis of the Seas. I hope DCL didn't drop the ball when it comes to entertaining tweens/teens.

Jess

Edd
12-21-2010, 11:40 AM
I have priced out the Allure and the Oasis and found them to be $20000 to $400.00 more per person than the RCI Freedom of the Seas. That does make them comparable to DCL prices. That was my first thought. However I am kind of hooked to Port Canaveral for cruising as it only involves 60 minutes of driving and no flying. There is a great line up of cruise ships at Port Canaveral so I haven't seriously thought about driving 4 hours to Port Evergalades for a cruise. Horrors, FOTS will be getting a Donut shop when they come back from Drydock in February.

5lilfish
12-21-2010, 11:47 AM
I have priced out the Allure and the Oasis and found them to be $20000 to $400.00 more per person than the RCI Freedom of the Seas. That does make them comparable to DCL prices. That was my first thought. However I am kind of hooked to Port Canaveral for cruising as it only involves 60 minutes of driving and no flying. There is a great line up of cruise ships at Port Canaveral so I haven't seriously thought about driving 4 hours to Port Evergalades for a cruise.

We drove 23 hrs to get on the Oasis of the Seas (with 5 kids, no less).

Our experience.....We paid a very comparable price for our 2 Freedom Class cruises. They were certainly not much cheaper than DCL. I also liked our DCL rooms better (although our Promenade View room was very close to our regular DCl room)and we didn't have to pay for a soda package. Both lines have their good points.

Jess

kcashner
12-21-2010, 12:06 PM
rice pasta.

I hope DCL didn't drop the ball when it comes to entertaining tweens/teens.

Jess

Actually, DCL has been increasing the activities and options for tweens and teens recently, and this is even more obvious in the new ships.

My experience with DD's enjoyment at this age group depended more on making a connection (or not) with other kids on the ship; that's not something DCL can really control.

5lilfish
12-21-2010, 12:16 PM
Actually, DCL has been increasing the activities and options for tweens and teens recently, and this is even more obvious in the new ships.

My experience with DD's enjoyment at this age group depended more on making a connection (or not) with other kids on the ship; that's not something DCL can really control.

Oh I know. My oldest 3 kids love DCL. They have been on many times and they are great at getting involved. Up until the Oasis, they would definitely say DCL was their favorite...but Oasis has some amazing ammenities. The current 2 ships do not have anything that competes with the Flowrider..or even mini golf, rock climbing and zip lining. I just hope that the Dream/Fantasy can compete because I want all 5 kids to continue to enjoy DCL.

Jess

ducky_love
12-21-2010, 12:17 PM
We drove 23 hrs to get on the Oasis of the Seas (with 5 kids, no less).Jess

WOW! :eek: I forget how spoiled we are living in Florida!!

KSDisneyDad
12-21-2010, 02:03 PM
We drove 23 hrs to get on the Oasis of the Seas (with 5 kids, no less).

Our experience.....We paid a very comparable price for our 2 Freedom Class cruises. They were certainly not much cheaper than DCL. I also liked our DCL rooms better (although our Promenade View room was very close to our regular DCl room)and we didn't have to pay for a soda package. Both lines have their good points.

Jess

Thank you so much for your review!!

And it would be a 32 hour drive for us!! :scared1: That's why we really don't have much of a choice other than to fly. By the time we add 5 airfares to our trip, transfers and a hotel night the night before, we want to know that we will enjoy our trip.

I am glad that you posted that the Oasis is more expensive. I've priced the Oasis three times as I read so much about RCCL being so inexpensive. Each time, I found it to be more expensive than Disney. If we could save a lot of money, I thought we would try it. I too found the RCCL Freedom to be fairly close in price to DCL (it's even more expensive in June 2012 by the time we consider our 10% discount and OBC). We also booked the first day and the price of our rooms on the Fantasy has gone up by more than $700.

I do enjoy reading the reviews and know that we'd probably like it. However, because of the cost and trouble of getting to Florida in the first place, I'm still not sure we're ready to sacrifice what has been consistently excellent vacations for an even more expensive roll of the dice that we'd like the Oasis. Our kids are looking forward to the Fantasy in 2012. If we lived closer and could try it out ourselves without the kids, we'd probably give it a chance.

5lilfish
12-21-2010, 03:00 PM
One other thing that I do not like about the kid clubs on RCI. I hate how they break the hours up....9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm, 7pm-10pm and then pay per hour after 10pm. It's not that I want my kids in the club all day. It's just that I don't like being locked into those hours. For us, we often sleep in on sea days. So if we wake up at 9:30/10am, by the time we feed the twins (3 yrs old) it is after 11am. Why bother taking them to the club if it's closing at noon. So we entertain them (swim, boardwalk) until 2pm...no problem. Then, if we put them in at 2pm, we need to pull them for a nap before dinner. Once dinner ends, it's close to 8pm. We do get 2 hrs to do something adult at that point and them we have to pay after 10pm. Plus I had to pay per hour for my 10 and 12 yr old. That seemed a little crazy since they could check out and be fine on their own (but I didn't want to give them as much freedom to wander at night).

In contrast...our day on DCL: sleep in, feed the twins a brunch and then let them go play int he club. At that point, we enjoyed a quiet adult lunch. We'd pick them up after lunch or after a little time in the adult pool. We'd grab them some fresh fruit and then go back to the room for a nap. A plus, DCL has free kid shows/movies on the TV. RCI only has pay per view if you want anything kid-friendly (and not cheap). After nap time, we'd eat dinner, go to the show togehter, and then put the twins into the club around 9:15pm. We've raised night friendly kids so they are capable of staying up later. Keeping them into the club until 11-11:30pm is not a problem. We don't have to pay extra for this on DCL.

Jess

woody73
12-22-2010, 06:14 AM
We were on the Oasis of the Seas for Thanksgiving. . .

I think the biggest point that I want to make here...RCI was not cheaper than DCL. I see so many people say how they saved by going on RCI over DCL but that has never really been the case for us. Maybe because we are forced to go at peak times.
Jess: I think you're right about cruise prices at peak times.

In my experience, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years cruises are the most expensive on any cruise line. Also, fares are higher on newly introduced ships.

We sail on DCL, RCCL, and others. I find there are some good values on RCCL at non-peak times. For example, in 2010 we sailed on the Disney Magic EBTA (14 nights). The total fare for two adults in a Cat 9 oceanview was $2,997.

For 2011, we have booked an EBTA on RCCL (14-nights). The total fare for two adults in a Cat. E2 balcony cabin was $1,738. Plus we'll get a $300 onboard credit.

YMMV.

Woody

mommy_grrl
12-22-2010, 08:32 AM
When I registered the twins, I was wrongly told that I could send this DD in a pull up if she went for a meal (to ease my fear that they would feed her something she shouldn't have). She is fully potty trained. It turns out pull ups are strictly forbidden. Well, they never marked the allergy on her record. The one time I sent her to lunch with them (in a pull up...only time she ever wore a pull up all week), she ended up having an accident. First of all, they marked the wrong twin as having had an accident and gave her a "strike." Then they were extremely rude about the pull up (which I had been wrongly told was ok).
Jess

My DD is 4, and while she is potty trained....she gets, well, focused on her play and does have the occasional accident. (She can hold her wee like a camel).

Is the "strike" thing something I need to be concerned about on DCL? She'll be fully warned that she needs to go or they won't let her come back, but she's pretty intense!

ga9497
12-22-2010, 08:41 AM
I am glad that you posted that the Oasis is more expensive. I've priced the Oasis three times as I read so much about RCCL being so inexpensive. Each time, I found it to be more expensive than Disney. If we could save a lot of money, I thought we would try it. I too found the RCCL Freedom to be fairly close in price to DCL (it's even more expensive in June 2012 by the time we consider our 10% discount and OBC). We also booked the first day and the price of our rooms on the Fantasy has gone up by more than $700.



the Oasis and the Allure are up to DCL prices or sometimes more depending on room, date, etc. The reason is that these are brand new ships where the ships are the destination more than the ports they visit. Since they are so large they are limited on where they can go. For example they will not go to any port where they have to tender simply because of the amount of people onboard

I had the opportunity to visit the Oasis and sailed on the Allure for a travel agent preview cruise. I can honestly say that before I saw / sailed on these ships I had no desire to go on them because of their size. After being on them I cannot wait to sail on them. They were amazing and have so much to offer.

The teen area is great, which my DD would love, and my DS who isn't into the kids clubs would love all of the activities available outside of the clubs

Price is the only thing that is keeping me from booking at this time as we can only travel during summer. In a couple of years the prices will come down a bit. In the meantime if we decide to sail with RCCL I would go with the Freedom, beautiful ship with plenty of activities and priced lower than the Oasis and the Allure

KSDisneyDad
12-22-2010, 10:27 AM
the Oasis and the Allure are up to DCL prices or sometimes more depending on room, date, etc. The reason is that these are brand new ships where the ships are the destination more than the ports they visit. Since they are so large they are limited on where they can go. For example they will not go to any port where they have to tender simply because of the amount of people onboard

I had the opportunity to visit the Oasis and sailed on the Allure for a travel agent preview cruise. I can honestly say that before I saw / sailed on these ships I had no desire to go on them because of their size. After being on them I cannot wait to sail on them. They were amazing and have so much to offer.

The teen area is great, which my DD would love, and my DS who isn't into the kids clubs would love all of the activities available outside of the clubs

Price is the only thing that is keeping me from booking at this time as we can only travel during summer. In a couple of years the prices will come down a bit. In the meantime if we decide to sail with RCCL I would go with the Freedom, beautiful ship with plenty of activities and priced lower than the Oasis and the Allure

Thanks! Is your son Anthony from the 2008 PC cruise?

I think it'd be fun to try out the ships, but price is keeping us from it as you mentioned. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than 2 years for prices to come down. We booked for 2012 and DCL was less expensive than either of the ships you mentioned for us. I don't think it's that way right now because our room prices have already increased by over $700 from when we booked two months ago. We can only sail in the summer months now. Even that's hard with football & baseball seasons, but we just do it anyway. Since we booked on Day 1 with a Gold level OBC ($275 per stateroom) and 10% discount, the Fantasy in 2012 came out to be about $200 less than the Freedom for similar staterooms and itinerary. The Oasis was $1,100 more the day we booked for the exact same itinerary (not counting the $550 OBC for our two staterooms)! I was not going to pay an extra $1,600 to visit the same two ports & swap Nassau for Castaway Cay!

It's hard to pay more for an unknown. Even though I think we'd like it, I think we'd regret not trying out the new DCL ships. We can only afford to cruise every other year so it's a big decision each time for us. Our first DCL cruise was off-season and we got a great deal on it. I was so nervous that first time that we'd be wasting money on a boring vacation. :goodvibes As you can tell, we're not much into risk taking!

ga9497
12-22-2010, 10:39 AM
Thanks! Is your son Anthony from the 2008 PC cruise?

I think it'd be fun to try out the ships, but price is keeping us from it as you mentioned. Unfortunately, I think it's going to take more than 2 years for prices to come down. We booked for 2012 and DCL was less expensive than either of the ships you mentioned for us. I don't think it's that way right now because our room prices have already increased by over $700 from when we booked two months ago. We can only sail in the summer months now. Even that's hard with football & baseball seasons, but we just do it anyway. Since we booked on Day 1 with a Gold level OBC ($275 per stateroom) and 10% discount, the Fantasy in 2012 came out to be about $200 less than the Freedom for similar staterooms and itinerary. The Oasis was $1,100 more the day we booked for the exact same itinerary (not counting the $550 OBC for our two staterooms)! I was not going to pay an extra $1,600 to visit the same two ports & swap Nassau for Castaway Cay!

It's hard to pay more for an unknown. Even though I think we'd like it, I think we'd regret not trying out the new DCL ships. We can only afford to cruise every other year so it's a big decision each time for us. Our first DCL cruise was off-season and we got a great deal on it. I was so nervous that first time that we'd be wasting money on a boring vacation. :goodvibes As you can tell, we're not much into risk taking!

Yes Anthony is my son - how are your boys doing? I think John changed his email and they have lost touch but he always talks about your boys and the fun they had on the ship. If he wants to get in touch again let me know and I will pm you Anthony's email

I completely understand where you are coming from with the prices as I feel the same way. When are you planning on sailing on DCL in 2012? As much as I love Disney destinations and DCL the newer ships have so much to offer teens that it is hard to go back to the Magic and the Wonder. I am super excited about the Dream and Fantasy. I will be on the Dream in January for the Christening of the ship and then again a few days later for a travel agent conference

Anthony loves to do the rock climbing and inline skating on the Explorer and Freedom class ships on RCCL along with ice skating, flow rider (Freedom), etc.

NancyIL
12-22-2010, 10:42 AM
Jess: I think you're right about cruise prices at peak times.

In my experience, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years cruises are the most expensive on any cruise line. Also, fares are higher on newly introduced ships.

We sail on DCL, RCCL, and others. I find there are some good values on RCCL at non-peak times. For example, in 2010 we sailed on the Disney Magic EBTA (14 nights). The total fare for two adults in a Cat 9 oceanview was $2,997.

For 2011, we have booked an EBTA on RCCL (14-nights). The total fare for two adults in a Cat. E2 balcony cabin was $1,738. Plus we'll get a $300 onboard credit.

YMMV.

Woody

My DH and I just returned from a 14-night WB Transatlantic on Royal Caribbean, and our total price for an OV cabin (cat. I) was $1170. :woohoo: My in-laws booked the cruise first, but after seeing the price and itinerary, we invited ourselves along! :teeth: Transatlantics are usually a great deal - if you can stand 5-7 sea days in a row. I would book another TA cruise if it had a really great itinerary.

After 4 cruises on RCI's Voyager-class ships, I would prefer to cruise on their smaller ships rather than the larger Freedom or much larger Oasis-class ships.

KSDisneyDad
12-22-2010, 10:48 AM
Yes Anthony is my son - how are your boys doing? I think John changed his email and they have lost touch but he always talks about your boys and the fun they had on the ship. If he wants to get in touch again let me know and I will pm you Anthony's email

I completely understand where you are coming from with the prices as I feel the same way. When are you planning on sailing on DCL in 2012? As much as I love Disney destinations and DCL the newer ships have so much to offer teens that it is hard to go back to the Magic and the Wonder. I am super excited about the Dream and Fantasy. I will be on the Dream in January for the Christening of the ship and then again a few days later for a travel agent conference

Anthony loves to do the rock climbing and inline skating on the Explorer and Freedom class ships on RCCL along with ice skating, flow rider (Freedom), etc.

I thought that was you, but couldn't quite remember your DIS name.

We're cruising on the Fantasy leaving on 6/2/2012 for a 7-night Eastern itinerary. The Oasis has a cruise leaving the same day for a nearly identical itinerary. I so wish it was less expensive than Disney. I had the boys watch the Making of the World's Largest Cruise Ship special on the National Geographic channel and they still didn't ask to go on the Oasis. However, they have been watching youtube for any updates on the Dream and Fantasy. As we can't cruise that often, it will be hard to fit in. John will be graduating in 2014! Perhaps we can make that a graduation trip for him.

I'll ask John to check his email. He is very bad about checking it as he seems to think that texting is enough. I will have him contact Anthony.

ga9497
12-22-2010, 11:01 AM
I thought that was you, but couldn't quite remember your DIS name.

We're cruising on the Fantasy leaving on 6/2/2012 for a 7-night Eastern itinerary. The Oasis has a cruise leaving the same day for a nearly identical itinerary. I so wish it was less expensive than Disney. I had the boys watch the Making of the World's Largest Cruise Ship special on the National Geographic channel and they still didn't ask to go on the Oasis. However, they have been watching youtube for any updates on the Dream and Fantasy. As we can't cruise that often, it will be hard to fit in. John will be graduating in 2014! Perhaps we can make that a graduation trip for him.

I'll ask John to check his email. He is very bad about checking it as he seems to think that texting is enough. I will have him contact Anthony.

We can't cruise until later in June as the children don't get out of school until mid June. We have the June 23rd Western currently booked on the Fantasy in 2012. DD is graduating HS in 2012. I will make sure Anthony checks his email, he doesn't check it daily either

5lilfish
12-22-2010, 03:15 PM
My DD is 4, and while she is potty trained....she gets, well, focused on her play and does have the occasional accident. (She can hold her wee like a camel).

Is the "strike" thing something I need to be concerned about on DCL? She'll be fully warned that she needs to go or they won't let her come back, but she's pretty intense!

The last time sailed on DCL, the twins had just turned 3 yrs old. I opted to keep them in the nursery because I knew they would be overwhelmed by the club and they were not fully potty trained. I was told, since they were 3, they could go into the club even if they were not fully trained (which surprised me). As long as I checked on them and was available to come change them if I was paged, they had no problems with them being registered for the club. I still kept them in the nursery...they were/are small for their age and on the more timid side, so I was worried about how they would manage in the club.

Jess

5lilfish
12-22-2010, 03:17 PM
the Oasis and the Allure are up to DCL prices or sometimes more depending on room, date, etc. The reason is that these are brand new ships where the ships are the destination more than the ports they visit. Since they are so large they are limited on where they can go. For example they will not go to any port where they have to tender simply because of the amount of people onboard

I had the opportunity to visit the Oasis and sailed on the Allure for a travel agent preview cruise. I can honestly say that before I saw / sailed on these ships I had no desire to go on them because of their size. After being on them I cannot wait to sail on them. They were amazing and have so much to offer. The teen area is great, which my DD would love, and my DS who isn't into the kids clubs would love all of the activities available outside of the clubs

Price is the only thing that is keeping me from booking at this time as we can only travel during summer. In a couple of years the prices will come down a bit. In the meantime if we decide to sail with RCCL I would go with the Freedom, beautiful ship with plenty of activities and priced lower than the Oasis and the Allure



I was very surprised that such a huge ship did not "feel" too big. Also, I was happy that we never felt crowded. We never waiting in a long line for anything (Flowrider, zip line, buffet, etc).

Jess

ga9497
12-22-2010, 05:03 PM
I was very surprised that such a huge ship did not "feel" too big. Also, I was happy that we never felt crowded. We never waiting in a long line for anything (Flowrider, zip line, buffet, etc).

Jess

I agree - the flow of the ship / crowds is very well done
Kudos to RCCL they really thought about these two ships and everything it would entail and they have done a great job. Check in was a breeze as well as getting off the ship