Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Friday and I am Feeling Lazy
Oh I feel lazy today! Bernie decides to head out to get breakfast in the Solarium buffet again. I take my time getting ready.
For my breakfast I go to the Park Cafe and have a breakfast burrito and take it down to Starbucks where I meet up with Bernie.
It is noisy on the Promenade though as Zumba is going on, again the crowds doing the zumba cause a bit of a traffic jam as others try to maneuver past them to the other venues on the Promenade.
Bernie goes back to the cabin to read. I head up on higher decks to see the ocean and read. It is very very windy out. Lots of people are out getting their last chance of some sun.
I also go out with my camera to get more shots. I come across the Captain giving his talk in the Opus Theatre. It started with a very well done professional video showing the behind the scenes like the crew area, engine room, bridge. I like the video and especially liked that the Captain was the one that offered commentary throughout the video. After the video he took questions and that lasted for 45 minutes. That impressed me, he was very personable and funny.
I head up to the Windjammer for a small bite to eat at around 2 pm and it was busy but definitely not crazy. Food was good but definitely not great.
I am back in the cabin and I need a nap. Now we were suppose to see the show Come Fly With Me at 5 pm but we are too tired and the nap wins out. Of course one down fall of being overly scheduled with shows and dinners is you sometimes have to forgo a nap or a show for every one's sanity. I would of loved to have seen the show, I heard great things about it, but again this trip was just all consuming with events planned.
Oh in our cabin was a paper survey. Surprised since RCI seems so much more tech savvy and they do everything else has been done electronically which impressed me they still are in the dark ages when it comes to surveys. I am surprised we don't get an email with a survey attached or at least the option. We fill it out and have to drop it off at guest services.
We also got our luggage tags. A few days into the cruise we were given a form asking us what time we would like to get off at, and we selected 9 am. But today when we were given our luggage tags it was set for 10:15. Again why ask if you aren't going to give us the time we request anyways. Now sure I could of gone and gotten earlier tags, and many people did but after discussing it we agreed that 10:15 would be fine as we are only going to a hotel anyways.
Dinner tonight is one of my highlights that I was looking forward to. Tonight's dinner is at 150 Central Park.
We are sat at a quiet table and we are given the choice of color napkin, white or black.... okay I pick black and Bernie picks white - that is a first.
Then we are asked if we want their signature Martini which sounded great so we each get it. Yes it was darn good, but we later see it was a $15 Martini for each one! I figured it would of been more in line with other Martini prices on board, maybe a bit more but no.... okay we drank $30 and it was just a glass. I would definitely pass on this the next time.
We order a bottle of our wine from our wine package, although the wine pairing option looks good too and our waiter worked very hard trying to get us to get the wine pairing. When I said we had one bottle left in our package, he said you could take it home with you, or you could get one of the pairings. We said no again and I think he finally got the hint... again more up sell.
We start with a roast vegetable appetizer. Butternut squash then a wonderful salmon dish (our favorite of the meal). Then a serving of pork, which was our least favorite and didn't finish. To the final main which was lamb. I am not a huge fan of lamb but Bernie loved it.
We loved the variety of salts at the table and the bread was very good too. The chocolate dessert was also to die for and small amount of salt on it only intensified the flavours.
We are presented with a personalized menu to keep as a souvenir - actually I was waiting for him to say here you go and that will be an added $5 for the personalize menu but no it was free.
The waiter then comes and brings us the chef's cookbook and asks to look at it and also the wine decanter (which has been pushed on us at every meal) and then comes back and asks if we would like to purchase them. Sadly this last part put a real damper on a top notch meal. It made the whole experience kind of cheap. Another sales push and after we had spent money on the specialty meal and that pricey drink.
Our evening here was the best all week. Service was the best also. Our waiter was very attentive and informative explaining each course. We are glad we decided to do it on the last night so we left with on a high note. I would highly recommend dining at 150 Central Park on your cruise, but don't bring kids (they will get bored very very easily), and forgo the martini.
Also one thing we noticed, other waiters helped each other here. Other waiters cleared and severed our food even if it wasn't in their section. This is the first time we have seen this all week, and something we are use to. Glad to see it here.
We decided to tip extra and that shows how impressed we were about the whole experience.
We return to the cabin to change and pack up the last of our clothes and put our bags out. The halls are full of bags and they don't start collecting them until after midnight for some reason. Which really created a lot of noise and hard to maneuver down the hallways. Wonder why they can't pick up the bags throughout the night as people put out.
We head to Schooners to meet up with Fran and Curt for one last drink together. It was lovely seeing them again and getting to know them better. They are a lovely couple.
Sadly the bar staff have a hard time with Bernie drink of vodka, soda and lime cordial. The first attempt is just lime juice we ask for them to put some lime cordial in the glass. The second attempt is some red liqueur added to it. Finally the third attempt is done right. Now I will say the lounge was noisy and they may of had a hard time hearing.
The next morning we take our time and we head to get breakfast in the Solarium Buffet and after reviewing our bill we see the only error was late last night in Schooners. Bernie was charged for his drink twice and only a minute apart. I guess when they remade the drink they charged him again. We went to the Guest Services and was impressed to see lots of staff addressing issues and we were dealt with efficiently and it was corrected no questions asked. Something we sometimes have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt with Princess that we did not make that charge to the point that they have to go thru each bill from that venue to find. Every time we have had an error it has been corrected but it is often a pain. This time it was very smooth and easy, way to go Oasis.
We hang out in the Solarium until around 10 am and then make our way to the Opus Theater and sit for about 10 minutes when our number was called.
Oasis has disembarkation down pat! I always thought Princess' was good but nope, Oasis was much much smoother. There were almost 80 numbers and the first few numbers were off very early like around 7 am. The screens throughout the ship identify what numbers have been called so you just have to hang out and relax and then proceed to either the Theater or the dining room just before your scheduled departure. Once we were called there were no stairs involved, no long walks thru crowded corridors, no elevators just a flat walk to one of the two gangways and then you are on shore. We quickly found our bags (thanks again to huge signs identifying your number) and then thru customs to a waiting taxi all within 15 minutes. This is probably the smoothest disembarkation we have every experienced.
My next report will be a final summary and comparison.