1st RCCL cruise following 8 on DCL - thoughts and comments

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by iambrink, May 14, 2018.

  1. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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    We just returned from a 7 night Eastern on Oasis in a Grand suite. I spent hours reading through reviews and tips before the cruise as i am admittedly an obsessive planner! Our previous cruises were all on either Disney Fantasy or Dream, so we were very familiar with the layout, food, entertainment and kids clubs. So here are random thoughts, and yes, because we upgraded to a suite, some thoughts are a comparison to Disney concierge. ok here we go!
    • my first thought is really the main point: i wouldn't hesitate to do RCCL again, but Disney is still my favorite. I will probably have a very hard time convincing DH to ever sail DCL again given the price difference.:sad1:
    • Food: I thought Disney was better but we are not foodies...DH's first question was "do they have hot wings?"...and yes they do, but we only found them on room service menu (these were actually better than on DCL, but still not the best). We did my time dining which was both overwhelming and relaxing. It was nice not to be tied to a time, but I also didn't like deciding what to do every night despite the planner in me! I didn't like figuring out which restaurants are free and which ones are not...by the end of the cruise, we had it down pat, but it took a while. I liked the Disney Cabanas buffet better than windjammer, but it still served a purpose. We did eat at Chops which we all thought was the best meal. Did i mention that DH says "I've tasted all the foods i need to taste"! yes, he's funny! We ate in the main dining room on 2 nights and we enjoyed the atmosphere. I think i would actually do set dining next time. I still didn't like the menu selection, but we managed. We all missed the Disney theme restaurants. I did feel like i was on the Love boat at times, but that's still fun! For those sailing in a suite and going to Coastal Kitchen...again not the place to take a man who has tasted all the foods he wants to taste...OMG he's funny!. This was a one time visit and then i canceled the rest. I'm sure most other people would love it, but not for us.
    • kids activities: both kids said it was the best cruise they ever did. I think partly it was their age and increased independence. They still hang out and "play" together, so they hung out the entire time with a couple of new friends. I liked that the tween club was right by the activities and food area. DS loved the flowrider and DH did it too...Thank god he didn't break anything. I hate natural athletes! DS and DD spent all their free time in the club hanging out doing the planned activities, going to the pool (which are far better than anything Disney), playing basketball or other sports; did the ice skating, the minigolf...i don't know what else, but they loved it. DS is sold, but still likes Disney. DD loved the cruise (could be the guy she met!), but she is like me and still has a Disney heart!
    • entertainment: oh my I wish I had a video of DS's face when we went to one of the shows. It was so funny. I can't remember which one it was, but there was an airplane...he didn't make it through it! I felt like I stepped back in time. I didn't think the entertainment was bad, but was more adult than the Disney productions. I felt there was no comparison. We went to the ice show and diving show; those were ok, but the production and logistics of them is mind boggling! We went to the family show for the comedian; everyone enjoyed that one. The other shows were barely OK. DH and I stopped by many things at night which we never did on Disney, but there was much more geared towards adults which we don't really care about, but it was fun.
    • embarkation: one of the biggest disappointments. we didn't even know where to go. we ended up somewhere on the ship and just kept asking for directions. Nothing will ever be as breathtaking as entering the atrium on Disney...and there was no announcement as we entered...I don't even know if anyone noticed...we joked about all the names we have used on previous cruises...not sure why we just can't use our own names, but oh well! We were in a suite so we were one of the first ones on the ship, so that part was easy.
    • disembarkation:this was easy, but again we were walked off and sent through a different lines because we were suite guests...glad i couldn't feel the daggers!:rolleyes1
    • pools: I really missed the Disney movies, but the pools were much better. The adult area always looked busy, but i just stayed on the pool deck or the suite deck. Can I just say that one of the best suite perks is not having to check out and in your pool towel. That would drive me crazy! pool towels were available by the stack on the suite deck so it was so much easier.
    • staying suite level: i would definitely do this again for the right price. the perks were well worth it to us. Loved Jude in the suite bar...he got the biggest tip! But the concierge food offerings on Disney were way better and the hosts were also better...Better may be a strong word, but there was no sit down with your itinerary upon arrival (not that i need that!). I had ask them to look up my dinner reservations and they wrote them on a card...really! not even a printer, but it just seemed odd! I also wouldn't have times for other activities i booked if i didn't write them down. the extra room in the cabin was nice. room enough to have a roll away cot for my son. i did miss those split baths though!

    i know i have more thoughts, but that's it for now. If you have any questions, i will try to answer. Bottom line is we will do RCCL again and will probably have an easier time talking others into joining us. I will try to do a suite again, but it's not the be all end all! I will also do Disney again, but probably not as frequently as we have been sailing over the past 6 years.
     
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  2. starvenger

    starvenger DIS Veteran

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    This appears to be a common comment. DCL is pricey, and people will move to Royal, Carnival, Princess etc because of that. But others will fill the void, so I highly doubt that DCL is too concerned.

    This, honestly, is pretty funny. Did you keep a running count of how many times he said this?

    I think the only proper comparison points are the Broadway-style musicals and the featured performers. Disney does a great job here, but then again am much more familiar with Aladdin than Cats or Mamma Mia, so perhaps that is a factor as well. Headliners I've found to be hit or miss. Only way to know is to watch them for a bit and maybe you'll like them, maybe you won't.

    This is one of the things that DCL does much better than other lines. Their M.O. is to make you feel special, and just the act of announcing your group makes it feel like "Mission accomplished". I might be theorizing too much here but on Royal's Oasis class they're trying to let the Promenade speak for itself. And I don't know that it does - being in the Promenade instead of a centrum still feels disorienting to me.

    I've seen a lot of chatter on CC about chair hogs on Royal. What was your experience here? I mean the good thing about Oasis class is that you can almost always find a spot. But there's nothing worse than seeing a chair ostensibly "occupied" but the owner of the towel/sunglasses/whatever never shows up.

    How did you find breakfast? I always try to steer people away from the WindJammer for breakfast/lunch. Curious to see if you were able to try other venues.
     
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  4. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    You say:
    • my first thought is really the main point: i wouldn't hesitate to do RCCL again, but Disney is still my favorite. I will probably have a very hard time convincing DH to ever sail DCL again given the price difference.:sad1:

      Welcome to my world! :rotfl2:

      And I couldn't convince my friends to pick DCL for a Girls trip because it was 1000$ more to sail with them. :sad2:

      Other cruise lines don't announce you. I'm fine with it. We don't appreciate that kind of attention as much as others do, I think.
     
  5. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    And the other cruise lines could grow on them as well. It's what happened with us. DH doesn't want to sail DCL again as he loves Carnival 10 times better. It was 50-50% in my case yet I still had hope to sail with my friends at some point. We originally had our heart set on DCL... But after pricing it in order to have an idea of the costs, everyone was shocked about how expensive it was and my two other friends opted for RCCL instead.

    You'd think I would be disappointed...

    I am... But not as much as I thought I would be. I think sailing with Carnival made me realize that other cruise line have a lot to offer too.

    And even though it's just perception for now, I have a feeling that I might end up liking RCCL as much as Carnival, if not more.

    So from now on, unless there's a major change in princing, when I'll want Disney, I'll just stick to WDW. And I'm supposed to visit WDW for short stays in 2019 and 2020 so...
     
  6. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    @iambrink , did you try any of the drink packages? Did you think it was worth it?

    Overall, how was the cleanliness of the ship?

    And how was the staff?
     
  7. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

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    I enjoyed your review! We have only been on one Disney cruise and fell in love with them. It's impractical for our anniversary so DH and I will be sailing on Oasis for our 25th anniversary in a Grand Suite in November and I am pretty excited! I have a few questions that I hope the OP or anyone else does not mind answering for me.

    1. Can you give me a little more detail about why you were one and done with Coastal Kitchen? My plan is to have most meals in CK instead of the dining room with Windjammer as a back up.
    2. Can you give me some more detail on your dinner at Chops? We have it booked for our anniversary dinner but I have heard not so great things about this restaurant and I am considering cancelling.
    3. The suite deck sounds like where we will spend a good deal of time. Did you have a drink package? We bought the refreshment package so hope the bar staff won't get tired of us ordered non-alcoholic drinks there lol!
    4. Did you spend much time in the concierge lounge? Was it a pain making your way up to the lounge from other areas of the ship for happy hour?
    5. We are not foodies either, especially DH, he is a meat and potatoes guy, so can I ask, did you utilize room service much? I think we might be doing that quite a bit.

    Any other tips, especially making the most of the suite life that you would like to share? Thanks in advance!
     
  8. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    Very nice review. Our first cruise on Oasis was an Eastern in a Jr. Suite and booked second cruise in a Grand Suite which is nice but not a DCL 1 Bedroom Cat. T. Concierge Lounge on Dream is IMO better than on Oasis. We were NOT ANNOUNCED when boarding Dream last November and not escorted like first Concierge Dream cruise in 2015. No sit down assistance when entering lounge either.

    DW and I are also November Oasis doing the Western. I originally had a Grand Suite but watching the email specials CONSTANTLY SENT by RCCL I was able to get a Crown Loft for less than our Grand Suite was. We will be utilizing CK for dinner. On Dream we ate dinner every night in our 1 Bedroom dining room-----FANTASTICALLY PRIVATE.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your 25th and ENJOY!!!!
    p.s.- Will be on a Norwegian Alaska for our 45th anniversary VERY SOON. :love::yay:
     
  9. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

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    John VN - Congratulations on your 45th anniversary! An Alaska cruise is on our bucket list one day. We do plan to enjoy dining on the balcony one night. That should be fun. Hot wings and nachos at sunset will be a perfect dinner for us - lol!
     
  10. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    THANKS!! Hot wings and nachos at sunset, simple but OH SO GOOD!! Are you Eastern or Western? We did Eastern 1st and the upcoming Western will be neat since one port is Falmouth, Jamaica. Funny thing is that our honeymoon was in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and we wanted to try for an Oasis for the 45th but the way things are working out, it's even better. I believe we will be bringing school supplies to students on our Falmouth excursion.
     
  11. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Nice review and we agree with pretty much all your points!

    We've now sailed on the Oasis 2 or 3 times (just can't recall) with another scheduled for October so yes, we do enjoy that ship. We also sail in a Grand Suite and love the room and the suite perks, especially dining at Coastal Kitchen!

    I certainly agree about the need to have somebody on the ship directing guests to where they should go. The first time we sailed on the Oasis we had the exact same problem. Its like "OK I"m now on board, but where to I go next?"; and the answer to that was "do you want to buy the drink/meal package"? Not terribly helpful at that point. ;)

    The price difference between DCL & RCL is pretty significant. We're Platinum on DCL and Diamond on RCL, so we've spent a lot of time on both lines. We love, love, love Disney. But for our cruise money its been pretty much all RCL recently.
     
  12. MissDaisyofTexas

    MissDaisyofTexas DIS Veteran

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    Nice review. We are going on our 7th DCL cruise in January, but I've booked a 4-night on Mariner of the Seas to test the waters. I'm also curious if you had a drink package.
     
  13. ZerasPride

    ZerasPride DVC Member Since 2001

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    We are on the Western route. Looking forward to it! Enjoy your cruise.
     
  14. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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    This, honestly, is pretty funny. Did you keep a running count of how many times he said this? I couldn't possibly count the times, but every time it's still funny!


    I've seen a lot of chatter on CC about chair hogs on Royal. What was your experience here? I mean the good thing about Oasis class is that you can almost always find a spot. But there's nothing worse than seeing a chair ostensibly "occupied" but the owner of the towel/sunglasses/whatever never shows up. I did notice this happening, but really still didn't have a hard time finding a spot. If you really want a specific spot, it may be more difficult.


    How did you find breakfast? I always try to steer people away from the WindJammer for breakfast/lunch. Curious to see if you were able to try other venues.[/QUOTE] We did Windjammer most days and thought it was OK and always managed to find something. I did like that they tried to "seat" people, so that helped with the time you could spend looking for a table. We did try the Coastal Kitchen one morning, but OMG it was so slow we couldn't take it!
     
  15. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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    All the staff we interacted with were personable, but I did notice that miscellaneous staff walking by wouldn't say hello or make eye contact. I'm a "hello" person to everyone, so i noticed this to be a big difference from Disney, but didn't bother me, just an observation.
     
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  16. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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  17. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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  18. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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    we did not have the package and wouldn't with a suite...even before we upgraded, we knew we wouldn't drink close to what the difference was in sailing Disney, nor to break even with the cost of the package! Although there is a convenience factor to it too!
     
  19. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

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    iambrink........

    We booked the Grand Suite Western cruise during our Jr. Suite Eastern cruise. RCCL had an email that had the Grand Suite cost reduced and I took advantage of that by calling RCCL. THEN they came out with a further discount where the Crown Loft was less than the Grand Suite we had so I called and upped to the CL. ONE MORE EMAIL with a slightly further reduction in price so another call to RCCL. NEVER A PROBLEM with customer service.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 8:48 PM
  20. iambrink

    iambrink DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! That is interesting. I was not fussy on the whole travel agent thing...so many unnecessary phone calls and emails, so i think next time I'll go back to dealing with the cruise line directly...I love upgrading!
     
  21. frank808

    frank808 DVC Member

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    1. CK is great if you do not want to fight the crowds for breakfast and lunch. Others have said it is slow but I have not had that problem. It does take about 30-45 min for breakfast. I am on a cruise and not in a rush. After dinner, wife and I always walk down one deck to the windjammer and look at their desserts. There is usually something different every night.

    2. In 30+ cruises with royal we have eaten at chops 3 times. The steak is usually very good. Just have not found the need to pay extra for a specialty dinner. We have found CK and main dining room to be fine. But do not miss the tenderloin the first night in CK on oasis. It is as good as the chops tenderloin.

    3. The suite sundeck is across the way of where CK and the suite lounge is located toward the front of the ship. You get drinks (water, soda, wine and beer) from 1130am to 11pm(on oasis, allure it was 11am to 11pm) from the suite lounge bar. Have only bought the drink package my first two cruises on royal. I do not drink enough to make it worthwhile for me. For other people a drink package makes sense, especially if you hang out at the suite sundeck you do not want to walk back to the SL to get a water or beer.

    4. The suite lounge is great to read a book and just relax. They put out continental breakfast in the morning, a light lunch such as sandwiches for lunch and have appetizers out for happy hour. During happy hour (430-8pm on oasis) you can order simple cocktails from a list. No frozen blended drinks though.

    5. I do not order room service much but the royal burger and chicken wings are good. Also you are able to order from the MDR menu when dining room is open. I have only done it for dinner but I believe that you can also order breakfast and lunch from MDR menu.

    Make sure to make a reservation for the comedy show online before hand. The rest of the shows there is a suite seating area. Make sure to show up at least 20min before the show starts as they open up the seats 10 or 15 minutes before show starts.

    If you have any questions that need a trip to guest services, skip the line and ask the suite concierge. Also sign up for the crown and anchor loyalty program.

    If you have any other questions post here or PM me. Have sailed oasis class 8 times and will be back on allure in oct in my favorite crown loft.
     
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