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Oasis of the Seas 2015 pre-cruise blog

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Pre-cruise report #4 from the Oasis of the Seas

Oasis Blog Part 4 Jan 6, 2015

Exhausted from our first few days on the ship doing nothing but sleeping, enjoying shows, eating, people watching, I (Jan Fisher) am taking a stab at writing more info for you about the Oasis cruise, what to expect, what not-to-miss, and some helpful hints. While I’m no Linda Johnson, I trust you’ll enjoy my tidbits from a little different point of view!

We have thoroughly enjoyed the first half of our FAM (familiarization) trip and know we’ll not only enjoy the remainder, but that we will have things set up and ready for you. Our ports are different this week than next (Western vs. Eastern Caribbean) but the ship remains constant as do most of the onboard activities and entertainment. We got off the ship in Falmouth, Jamaica, today and had a great lunch at Margaritaville. The temperature was a warm 87 degrees but the nice breeze kept us feeling comfortable.

Our cabin is very comfortable. The Oasis was in dry-dock recently for a complete renovation and they upgraded lots of public rooms and staterooms. We are trying our best to store up extra sleep now, before you join us. Once the poker action begins, we will be spending most of our waking time in the poker room! We love the poker action and our customers, and are eager for you to join us.

We have yet to leave the cabin before 2 p.m. - our cabin steward probably thinks we died except that we do have our room made up at night and are likely his biggest ice connoisseurs. One of the first things we do when we get to our cabin on day one is to make room for the inordinate amounts of iced tea we consume. We bring a pitcher with us and make iced tea several times a day, either in our room or at one of the public facilities. If you’re an iced tea drinker, likely you’ll prefer to make your own using a real tea bag. Anyway, since your cabin steward may be your best ally on the ship, here is what Linda and I do: We always tip $20 the first time we meet him, again a few times during the week, and have the automatic tips at the end also included, of course. He brings us as much ice, as many towels and blankets, and whatever else we ask for. He also observes our do not disturb sign. That is paramount when you want to sleep!

Here are some of my best cruise tips to add to Linda’s tips.

  1. As mentioned above, get to know your cabin steward and tip him in advance. He’ll be your best friend all week for sure!
  2. Don’t panic upon entering your cabin. They call them staterooms because you may be in a state of shock when you see how small some of them are. If your beds are together and you don’t want them that way (or they’re separate and you want them together), just let the cabin attendant know and it’ll be fixed when he or she does turn down the first night. If you don’t see your steward, leave a note.
  3. Dry-dock seems to have “fixed” any air conditioning problems they may have had in the past. Once the conference room/poker room gets full of people, it will be warm. In the meantime, pretty much every area on the ship can be cold. Bring a sweatshirt, jacket, sweater, or whatever. Also, the A/C in the room is amazing. Usually I have it on max cold. This is the first cruise where my room actually can get too cold! It’s good, much better than the alternative!
  4. For your comfort in the poker room (and maybe on your flight in and out), you may want to bring your cushions from home. Being so short, I always have my cushions with me and find that this enhances my poker time a lot. Also, bring back wedges or whatever it takes to make you comfortable. We transform the conference room into a poker room, but it was made for seminars, speakers, and other types of events. The chairs weren’t made for poker so plan ahead to prevent being uncomfortable.
  5. The cabins are dark, great for sleeping. They don’t, however, have clocks. Bring one from home if you want, but note that the time is on the phone (once you pick up the receiver). Also, wake up calls are easy to make through the automated program on the phone and they are dependable.
  6. You will have ample pillows for sleeping, but if you prefer a specific type ask for it (or bring it from home). I always ask for down pillows. They always tell me they don’t have them. When I specify that it’s a feather pillow, I get what I want. Again, making friends with your cabin steward will make him want to accommodate you in every way!
  7. The gym is outstanding, and especially on port days it is nearly empty. Towards the end of the week/cruise it also will be less crowded. Be sure to bring your music (with earphones) and a refillable water bottle. The tap water is fine but without a bottle, you’ll have to buy at least one onboard and they’re pricey!
  8. Linda’s excursion to the beach in St Thomas will fill up quickly. You are not confirmed for this trip until you have registered with her or one of the cashiers in the poker room. Also, my dive trip is getting large and maybe one more certified diver will merit our group two dive masters. To dive, you must have a current C card and have made an open-water dive within the past two years. Linda’s trip will leave at 11 a.m. (St Thomas day/Jan 13) and will include approximately three hours at the beach. My dive trip goes to the same beach, but we’ll leave at 10:15 a.m. Linda’s trip is $25 for transportation, plus $10 for a beach chair. The Sunset Grill at the beach has a limited lunch menu; entrees are $8-$16 plus gratuities. Please plan to have lunch or drinks at the beach since we are not charged an admission fee as is customary at most of the St. Thomas beaches. My trip has the same $25 charge for transportation plus $119 for 2 dives including all equipment plus tips. You can always get small change at the front desk on deck 5. Be sure to bring your sunscreen, hat, water shoes, snorkel equipment, and anything else that will make your beach day nice (and pain free!)
  9. The front desk has stamps for sale and can mail your postcards for you. They may not go out until you’re back in Ft Lauderdale (the front desk can give you specifics), but your loved ones will know you thought of them while on your vacation! While at the front desk, you also can view your onboard sail and sign account at anytime and ask for a printout.
  10. The venue for our welcome aboard party has been changed to Studio B (the ice rink) located on deck 4. It will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, shortly after the mandatory fire drill. Please come watch Linda fall on the ice and hear her comments and info to help make your cruise easier.

That’s it for today. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at pokerfish@gmail.com or contact Linda at cardplayercruise@aol.com. We will get right back to you with answers to your questions and are eager to help in any way to make your poker cruise vacation the best ever!

Jan Fisher

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