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Old 04-17-2013, 09:06 PM   #46
linkandclover
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We did the Oasis a few years back ( kids were 11 and 14). They actually complained about the kids clubs and really did not like being there at all and would instead walk around the ship. They were looking forward to ice skating at sea only the rink was never really open for more than a few hours at odd times. They really do nickel and dime you with everything (a good cut of meat is an extra $15). To this day (13 and 16 now) they prefer Disney. To me they feel more comfortable and at home there. It isn't about a rated G environment either. If anything my kids feel more able to act their age and be seen as mature and responsible on board. I think people see Disney as being very sheltered for children and that parents choose Disney for that reason. (A friend of mine was actually shocked to hear we prefer Disney because he knows how not sheltered my kids are). The truth is my 16 year old can walk around all night, hang out with kids till 4 or 5 am and just have a good time enjoying his freedom. On Royal it was clear he was expected to be in bed and that it was time for adults to play.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:54 PM   #47
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We were on the Allure in 2011, and we've done the Magic and the Fantasy. Our experience on the Allure was much like the PP who had been on the Allure. We loved it as did our son. DS is hit or miss on the kids' clubs, but that is true for DCL, RCI, and CCL. He enjoys hanging with us. We saw a huge amount of characters on the Allure and found plenty of things to do as a family. Each line has pros and cons. Johnny Rockets has a $4.95 surcharge per person for lunch and dinner and some drinks are not included (for those of you not familiar with the set up). Food quality has declined on all of the cruise lines in the last year or so. I actually want to go on the Oasis so I can see Hairspray. We did not see Chicago on the Allure because I did not feel it was appropriate for DS; however, we did do other things. Many cruise lines, RCI included, have family-appropriate comedy shows. BTW, I am not an RCI cheerleader. As I have alluded to, I have cruised on several lines. DCL and RCI tend to be our favorites.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:19 PM   #48
dunnhorn
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I think when our kids are older, we will try the Allure. Every single person I have talked with who has been on both has liked the Allure better. Also, as between the Dream and the Fantasy, we really loved the Fantasy more, so maybe it's a second ship thing? Maybe there are "tweaks" that were made between the ships - I also like that there is a Mexican restaurant as well.

I have really been thinking about my experience... "Did I miss things on the Compass? Were we in the right place on the ship?" I carried the Compass with me in my purse everywhere we went and we looked at it after dinner every night and I promise I just didn't see any live music from 8:30 - 10 p.m. and the adults were shocked at the lack of things to do from 8:30 - 10. We just ended up sitting in the promenade with a drink. After about the 4th night of that, it got a bit old.

In looking at the ship deck plans, I'm thinking the next time we go maybe we should switch from the forward of the ship to the aft of the ship. The more I look at the plans, the more I think that family/kid oriented things are in Aft, and adult things are in Forward. We were Forward, so it seemed like we were ALWAYS schlepping across either the Promenade or central Park or pool deck, several times a day to go to the rock wall, zip line, Wipeout cafe, diving pool, Boardwalk, Dining Room, etc. The only real thing we did forward was eat at the Solarium, go to the spa, put the kids in the kids club and go to the Opal Theater. The only "family friendly" one of those was the Opal Theater. We hardly ever went to Windjammer. The one time we went I thought the food was barely edible. Hated the Wipeout cafe as well - loved the Solarium... but I would have been OK shlepping across the ship to go there. Perhaps we would have had a different experience (and I wouldn't think it was so adult-centric) if we had stayed aft. Who knows.

I do see us booking the Allure one day when the kids are older. Our 11 year old really liked the ship - I know he would only enjoy it more as he got older. I think the jist of the review is that I was disappointed. However, if we sail on it again - I'll be more mentally prepared. Won't get the soda plan, will have a better located room - probably would skip the massage in favor of eating at more of the paid restaurants for better food. I was really disappointed in the food. If we cruise when the kids are older, the kids club will be a non-issue. We'd probably watch more of the shows in the 8:00 hour.

I'm not nixing RCL as a line... If the Quantum was stationed out of Florida, we would likely try that as well. We just didn't have nearly as good of a time on the Oasis as we did on the Fantasy last May, and to be honest - that surprised me. The Fantasy Western Caribbean trip we had in May 2014 was the best vacation we have ever had, hands down, bar none. I was expecting to be blown out of the water with the Oasis and I wasn't. I thought it would be superior in every way to the DCL ships... and it wasn't. The pool decks WERE superior. The shows WERE more adult (this could be a positive thing or a negative thing depending on your point of view.) The entertainment was top notch, just had a more adult slant. Our kids were OK with it - but I was just surprised, and a tad disappointed. There were some sexual overtones - it was a little more edgy. (Again, this may be a plus to some.) Regarding the casino - I was so excited to go to one --- it had been years --- and I had been boning up on blackjack and craps strategy for months. I wasn't looking to hit a big jackpot, but after losing $50 in 10 minutes, I was done. One of the comedians at the comedy show asked how the audience was doing at the casino, and the entire room groaned - so it wasn't just me.

All that said, I'm sure we'll end up cruising Royal again in the future. I really wanted to put my initial review out there so others who were going or considering going could make that "mental adjustment" as well. All other comparative reviews I had read of DCL vs. Oasis/Allure said that Royal was equal or better... and I just don't think I could say that. I didn't think we had a better time than we had on the Fantasy. In fact, we passed the Fantasy in St. Thomas and I longed to be there instead of on our ship.

Anyway - looking forward to our next adventure! Never been on the Magic, and I'm hoping that after we've been on the Fantasy and the Oasis that we won't be disappointed with the smaller Classic ship. Here's hoping!
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DVC Homes: SSR, HH, BLT, BWV, VWL
Resorts visited: Every WDW resort except for Coronado and Art of Animation. I am boycotting the Poly due to lack of hot tub.

4 day Disney WONDER May '09.
4 day Disney DREAM April '11.
7 day Disney FANTASY Western May '12.
7 day RCCL OASIS OF THE SEAS Eastern April '13
4 day Disney MAGIC March'14

Looking forward to the DVC MEMBER CRUISE on the Disney DREAM in 8/14, and a 7 day ALASKAN cruise on the Disney WONDER in June '15.

Last edited by dunnhorn; 04-18-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anna08 View Post
I really feel quality lessens when things ( in this case, a cruise ship) get bigger. It's just so hard for management to really have a grip on all those employees, and they are often the difference in one's cruise experience. You can have all the amenities you want, but poor service, whiny stateroom hosts, lack of communication with excursion companies all speak loudly about the company and their priorities. Not saying you couldn't have all these things on any cruise line, but all of them together on yours, I imagine will not have you clamoring to get back on the ship.
Anna, I think this is so true. This is basically what our stateroom attendant was saying. He had worked for Royal for 16 years and he hated the bigger ships - much preferred the smaller ships where he could devote more attention to the rooms. He said he worked the smaller ships for Royal for years and then they switched him to the Oasis, and he couldn't request a change. He really was disenchanted, and it came through. I really couldn't believe it when I asked if it was ok to have towel animals every night and he said no, we didn't get that for our class of room (and we had an ocean balcony!) I could imagine if we had an interior room or something, but I thought we had one of the higher classes of rooms. Wow - I would have certainly tipped him more - !!! But, I think that is the exception. I don't know if folks tip more there - in fact, he was going on about the # of people who go and take the tip off their accounts. He said people do it all the time. I was floored - I didn't even know that was possible, would never consider doing that - in fact, we always give extra. However, this time we didn't. I made a couple requests, he either said no or didn't do it, plus we didn't get that "WOW." So - at the end I told him to consider switching lines to Disney. He sounded interested.
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Me, DH, DS 12, DD 10

DVC Homes: SSR, HH, BLT, BWV, VWL
Resorts visited: Every WDW resort except for Coronado and Art of Animation. I am boycotting the Poly due to lack of hot tub.

4 day Disney WONDER May '09.
4 day Disney DREAM April '11.
7 day Disney FANTASY Western May '12.
7 day RCCL OASIS OF THE SEAS Eastern April '13
4 day Disney MAGIC March'14

Looking forward to the DVC MEMBER CRUISE on the Disney DREAM in 8/14, and a 7 day ALASKAN cruise on the Disney WONDER in June '15.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:37 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by SeaNana View Post
Thanks for the great review. DH and I have only cruised Disney, but want to try something else - just don't know what. We've been with and without grandchildren and had fun experiences both ways. We may be considered "boring" as we like good, clean fun, though we like the night life on DCL. Thus far we have eliminated more cruiselines than added.
SeaNana, I have heard really great things about Celebrity. I have heard the food is excellent and it is a beautiful ship - and there are very few kids.

My parents (age 72) are avid cruisers. I think they went on 4 or 5 cruises last year. They love Holland America. Also, one of their favorite ships is Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas out of Tampa. Mom says its a beautiful ship - she never detected that "party atmosphere" that I saw on Oasis. (Now, when I say "party atmosphere" - take that with a grain of salt because from what I understand, Carnival REALLY has a "party atmosphere!")

So, I would say to start exploring Jewel, Holland or Celebrity. I also talk with the technicians in the spas of each of the ship - my masseuse on the Fantasy said her favorite line was Crystal. (The same spa company staffs the spas on all of the cruise lines.) I think Crystal is ULTRA exclusive.
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Leslie Ann
Me, DH, DS 12, DD 10

DVC Homes: SSR, HH, BLT, BWV, VWL
Resorts visited: Every WDW resort except for Coronado and Art of Animation. I am boycotting the Poly due to lack of hot tub.

4 day Disney WONDER May '09.
4 day Disney DREAM April '11.
7 day Disney FANTASY Western May '12.
7 day RCCL OASIS OF THE SEAS Eastern April '13
4 day Disney MAGIC March'14

Looking forward to the DVC MEMBER CRUISE on the Disney DREAM in 8/14, and a 7 day ALASKAN cruise on the Disney WONDER in June '15.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #51
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OP were you on a 7 night cruise? The reason I ask is because a shorter cruise could account for the party type atmosphere you encountered. I've also read that some of the cruises out of Florida can have more of a party/club type atmosphere. They may have just been catering to a party clientele while Disney caters more to families.

It definitely had more of a party-type atmosphere than DCL. (Although I would say DCL has a "family party" atmosphere.) We had a group of old teens or young 20 year olds across the all from us on the Oasis. The last night, one of the girls was passed out drunk in the room and the kids were running around in and out wondering what to do about it. So - you know, that could have tainted our experience as well.
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Leslie Ann
Me, DH, DS 12, DD 10

DVC Homes: SSR, HH, BLT, BWV, VWL
Resorts visited: Every WDW resort except for Coronado and Art of Animation. I am boycotting the Poly due to lack of hot tub.

4 day Disney WONDER May '09.
4 day Disney DREAM April '11.
7 day Disney FANTASY Western May '12.
7 day RCCL OASIS OF THE SEAS Eastern April '13
4 day Disney MAGIC March'14

Looking forward to the DVC MEMBER CRUISE on the Disney DREAM in 8/14, and a 7 day ALASKAN cruise on the Disney WONDER in June '15.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:57 PM   #52
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We've never really encountered the party atmosphere on RCI. All but one time has been 7 nights or more from FL or San Juan. We did the 3 night from Port Canaveral once on RCI. The Jewel from Tampa is outstanding. That ship will be moving to San Juan and will be replaced by the Brilliance this summer. Adventure Ocean on the Jewel (the kids' club) was by far DS' favorite of any cruise he has ever been on. He has been on 11 or 12 cruises and he is barely 9. The longer cruises has less of a party atmosphere for the most part. As a PP pointed out, the size of the ship may be the problem. I have never seen what dunnhorn described. As far as removing tips, RCI has now made tipping mandatory, and cruisers can no longer remove them from their bills.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #53
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Senor Frogs

It's been 10 yrs since I did RCCL, and I wasn't old enough to drink, so i can't specifically comment to that. However, I do think that they generally get a similar crowd for the most part as CCL...

I'm pretty sure CCL and Senor Frogs have a mutual agreement...jk I'm sure they don't. But being a gold CCL member, and having done quite a few of their ports, there is always a Senor Frogs right off the ship and I think that is where half of them end up. Belize, the line to tender, well that was...interesting...

Oh yeah that reminds me. We literally JUST checked into our CCL rooms when security is literally on each side carrying this women to our rooms. They ask if she is with us...um no... we had literally JUST BOARDED and she was so drunk they had to escort her to her room and they turned of her key card for the day... yay.. she was literally the next cabin to ours...

No one in our group quite knew what to say until one of our goofy friends said "Alright, we have cool neighbors" just to break the ice.

So yeah, it's not an exaggeration. That line also caters to and pushes the drink sales and polices your bags. That is just their policy. I think that's why i found DCL so relaxing and fun...
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaNana View Post

. . . DH and I have only cruised Disney, but want to try something else - just don't know what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnhorn View Post

SeaNana, I have heard really great things about Celebrity. I have heard the food is excellent and it is a beautiful ship - and there are very few kids.
I sailed on Celebrity last month to Hawaii. Yes, excellent food and very few kids. I was particularly impressed with the lobster tail (on formal night) and prime rib -- two entrees that can be disappointing on other cruise lines.

My DW and I pick cruises by itinerary first. While we have done multiple Hawaii cruises, we chose this one since it had a Mount Kilauea evening sail to see the lava flow into the sea. That was a spectacular sight that ranks right up there with seeing calving at Glacier Bay.

The activities on Celebrity are geared for adults, rather than for families with children. So, for example, among the various activities, there were three enrichment lecturers. One was a University of Hawaii professor who spoke on Hawaiian history, language, culture and religion. The second was a naturalist and marine biologist who spoke on marine animals (whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions) and coral reefs. The third was a Smithsonian Journeys speaker who is an astronomer and writer, who did research at the Mauna Kea observatory. All three lecturers were excellent.

There was various live music and entertainment every evening from 5:00 pm to at least 11:30, and a DJ from "10:30 until late" (meaning the disco would stay open as long as guests were there).

Not a cruise for families with children. Nor does it try to be.

Woody
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:48 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by TwinPrincessMermaids View Post
It's been 10 yrs since I did RCCL, and I wasn't old enough to drink, so i can't specifically comment to that. However, I do think that they generally get a similar crowd for the most part as CCL...

I'm pretty sure CCL and Senor Frogs have a mutual agreement...jk I'm sure they don't. But being a gold CCL member, and having done quite a few of their ports, there is always a Senor Frogs right off the ship and I think that is where half of them end up. Belize, the line to tender, well that was...interesting...

Oh yeah that reminds me. We literally JUST checked into our CCL rooms when security is literally on each side carrying this women to our rooms. They ask if she is with us...um no... we had literally JUST BOARDED and she was so drunk they had to escort her to her room and they turned of her key card for the day... yay.. she was literally the next cabin to ours...

No one in our group quite knew what to say until one of our goofy friends said "Alright, we have cool neighbors" just to break the ice.

So yeah, it's not an exaggeration. That line also caters to and pushes the drink sales and polices your bags. That is just their policy. I think that's why i found DCL so relaxing and fun...
Was that a 3 or 4 night cruise or was that a longer cruise? Not a CCL cheerleader, not even a fan, but we have only seen one cruiser that drunk on CCL and it was a teenager left with his friend in Cozumel without his parents' supervision. His parents and friend were helping to carry (drag) him back to the ship to make it appear that he could walk. When I say teenager , he was 16 - 19 years old. He was not drinking on the ship, and I am surprised the crew let him back on board. We didn't stick around to find out. We didn't want DS to witness that.

I do feel that there is a greater push on som ships, not lines, to purchase alcohol. We don't drink. In our recent sailings, we haven't noticed it. We haven't seen as much. It used to be more of a pain to get drinks on the soda cards. Now the bartenders and drink guys are just as quick to do those as anything else. Maybe it's a change in the industry as a whole. Maybe it is because two of our last cruises were out of San Juan.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #56
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Thanks for the review. We have sailed once on Carnival (Fascination), once on Royal (FOS) and twice on Disney (Magic & Dream). We leave on our third Disney cruise on Monday (Wonder) simply because they are so kid friendly. We don't drink, don't gamble, and don't do the night time party scene. It is nice to know we can let the kids go to the club and they will have a GREAT time, and it is nice to be able to go to a show and not worry about what someone on stage might say that I don't want my children hearing.

Disney is more expensive, and unfortunatly, seems to get more expensive every year, however, I think in many cases you get what you pay for.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #57
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I think you are exactly right about this! There was this one other passenger who saw me writing a ton on the end of cruise survey card and she came up to me pretty much to strike up a conversation and to ask my thoughts on the cruise because she was curious as to what I was writing. I told her pretty much what I said in this review, and she became very defensive about cruising Royal. She had gone on like 15 cruises and when I mentioned that Disney was better for families, her response was "Oh, I would NEVER cruise Disney." There was another passenger I was talking with in the baggage line and she said the same thing. Our friends think that Royal positions itself to be the "anti-Disney line." It is not as family-oriented as Disney; it may specifically not want to be as family-oriented as Disney. (that said, I thought that DCL ships actually have more adult activities like alcohol tastings and things like that - there was nothing like that on the Oasis.)

At any rate - I was just putting it out there for anyone weighing options. Just another review, just another perspective.
I hear this all the time when I talk about Disney now "I wouldn't ever cruise Disney!" LOL They say because of all the kids and no casino but I tell them we had the best time and they know we don't have kids and are shocked. I don't let preconceived notions keep me from trying a new line as Disney was my 4th cruise line to try but so many won't sail just because they picture something that isn't true. Most people that know me though are now at least curious about Disney as we loved the cruise so much and they know we cruise a lot. Also you will find MANY cruisers are loyal to one line. We are not as all have something to offer but so many are loyal and won't think of cruising anything else...
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #58
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To answer the previous question, it was a 7 Carnival as all my Carnivals have been, not a 3 or 4 day (where the drunkie was delivered to our door.) She was also not what one might deem particularly young (although no offense is meant to our mid agers and up) just didn't want you to think we were talking about a 22 year old bimbo here... just maybe a 55 yr old bimbo... (well anyway if she was younger, the years haven't been kind, but one never knows...)

Ok, so to the people who think RCI or CCL aren't overrun with kids...well that is silly. There are kids EVERYWHERE. Just try getting an icecream or hotdog off the grill and you will know what I mean. There are plenty of kids on them, its just that those lines don't have nearly as good family programs as DCL.

And our entire family and cruising group have zero kids. DCL was the best entertaining cruise I have ever had. For all the reasons discussed...
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #59
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You're review is interesting. I've cruised RCCL twice and DCL 5 times. I've been on the Allure and to this date it is my favorite ship. When on the Allure we had my 3 y/o girl, 11 y/o boy and 10 y/o girl.

I've got a couple of responses to some of your review:

Roast beef sandwich- They will always give you more Roast beef if you ask. The paninis and salads at the Park Cafe are great too.

Character Breakfast- They actually have three during 7 night sailings. They have Shrek and Friends at least one of them. We went to 2, one with Shrek and one with Madagascar.

Nickle and Diming- These are optional features. You don't have to go to Rockets, Chops, Starbucks, etc... I personally like having extra options that I can pay for if I choose to. Soda... well I wish it was included like Disney, but my kids and wife enjoyed the ice tea and flavored waters. We also brought 2 cases of soda on board with us.

Shows- The shows are geared towards a more mature audience than Disney, but my family loved them. They are PG rated, not G. I'm alright with my kids seeing PG. Shrek is PG. The shows are much better produced than Disney. It's not that Disney's shows are sweet and fun, Royal's production value is just better.

Character Availability- We were able to get to all the characters several times for photo ops. You have to search them out in the compass. There are a lot of activities going on so you may have to hunt down those times. All the characters are in the parades.

That's about it... It may sound as if I'm not a DCL fan, but I am. I like variety... I'm sorry the Oasis didn't live up to your expectations. Different strokes, right?...

Ron
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #60
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Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise. After I booked our DCL Fantasy cruise in October 2011, I did price comparisons with 3 other non-DCL ships for 7 day cruises out of Florida. The Oasis of the Sea was one of the ships I looked at. The Oasis of the Sea was approximately 20% less than the price of the DCL cruise. I didn't try to take into account onboard costs, or differences in airline flight costs. My gut tells me that flying into Ft. Lauderdale or Miami would be more expensive for us than flying into Orlando, but I don't know for sure.

However, in that we have 3 children ages 14, 12, and 8, my feeling is that if we are going to take a cruise, it is going to be with DCL.

Mike
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