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Old December 5th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
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Oasis Day 5
NO t much new to report. Today was another sybaritic day at sea. There were a LOT of people in each “neighborhood” of the ship so crowding really does not seem to be a problem here. The pool area was particularly crowded ae people worked on their last-minute tans before returning to points East.

We had lunch in the dining room, which involved the typical community seating where everyone was guided to a table already containing other people. But there was a delicious salad bar with plenty of choices. This was not only great for my wife’s vegan diet, but there were also choices for me to enjoy, like brie cheese, shrimp, etc and several hot buffet entrée items.

All of this was in addition to a large lunch menu which I here they server every day. It was two-dozen selections including my turkey burger and “catch of the day” which was catfish today. In other words, you can eat quickly or leisurely at lunch in the dining room, almost as quickly as the Windjammer if you just go to the salad bar-buffet, or you can order a full lunch and take your time. Looks to me like yet another way to make sure a shipload of people can get served in as little time as possible.

Here is another drawback which we are finding a bit confusing – they keep changing the show times around. Now, we made all of our reservations for shows before we boarded, so Hairspray and the ice show have been moved several times, and we were not notified. For example, our reservation for the Ice Show was last night at 7:30 so we booked an additional reservation for the Hairspray at 9:00 on the TV system the night before which was confirmed. Later that day, we saw in the Compass a note that said Thursday was the last day Hairspray would be shown, so we decided to go see it. Good thing.
Friday at dinner we were eating when someone told us the ice show had been moved up to 7:00, so we ran out to see it, missing the first 10 minutes. It also turned out they changed the time for Hairspray to 8:00 instead of 9:00, so there was no way to see both as we planned.
Fortunately, we saw Hairspray the night before on a whim, so we are OK, but we were never notified of our scheduling problems in any way. We read about the time changes in the daily “Compass” – so unless we had been paying attention we would never know. The reservation system was a joke. People are telling me they had no idea they could make reservations on the online TV system, and that is why the line in the kiosk was so long every day.
It seems all of the show times for every show got changed several time during this cruise, and when you have a reservation system that allows you to pre-book and plan before the cruise- it just isn’t right to change all the times once the cruise starts – especially without notifying they had remade the reservations for the people who already made them in advance. For example, if I was booked for the only showing of Hairspray on Thursday at 7:30 – and they then decide to have an 8:00 and an 10:00 show, which one did my reservation go to? They didn’t tell me. It turned out I had a res for the 10:00 show, and possibly the 8:00 as well, but I didn’t ask about that.

Furthermore, when I made the reservation for 150 Central Park I remember being notified it would be re-confirmed once we got onboard – it never was, nor were we told about the smaller menu until we arrived. For $35 per person, little things can make a difference. I loved the food, but I would have waited until a later voyage if I had known how limited in servings it was going to be.
This ship still gets a 95% right now, but as someone said, it is not quite ready for primetime. I asked someone who has been onboard for the past 50 days and he said the Internet problems were fairly common. He also said he heard the problems with the AquaTheater show may be deeper than a need for more rehearsal time, that it may be “political.” I have some verification on this to be announced later, but right now I have to get this online and get home to sort out all my pictures and video.
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