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The Almost Complete Food Lovers Guide to the Oasis of the Seas

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The Almost Complete Food Lovers Guide to the Oasis of the Seas

 

Part 1: Day 1 Lunch at Park Café

 

Here is my almost complete guide to the food on the Oasis of the Seas. Why is it ALMOST complete? Well, there are a few places that I never ate on the ship. Most notably, I never ate in the Main Dining Room and I never ate at Windjammer. However, I did ENTER both places, so I can tell you what they look like. J But that’s about it.

 

Another place I never ate was the Seafood Shack. I love seafood, but I try to stay away from the fried stuff and previous reviews were mixed. Also, my only opportunity to eat here would have been lunch. I try to eat lighter meals for lunch. I’m sure I’m not always successful, but I do try. I did try because I knew that my dinners were generally going to be eating fests. And I have to say that on the Oasis this was the case.

 

First, a disclaimer, I do not claim to be a FOODIE, perhaps an amateur foodie at best. I know a decent amount about food. I do some cooking for my family. I have eaten at some of the finest restaurants, especially in New York City, which is 16 miles from my house and where I work every weekday. I know what I like and I seek out good food. There aren’t many things I won’t eat, but one of them is cheese. I will eat some mild cheeses, but I hate American cheese. I don’t like dairy products in general and I’m a little lactose intolerant. However, that doesn’t stop me from eating ice cream. Sorry, I love the stuff.

 

Why did I include this disclaimer? Because reviews are subjective to our own experiences. If I walk into a cheese shop, I may not be happy, but you may be in heaven. So take this review as a guide, I even called it a guide. As I read reviews before my cruise, I was able to pick out the information I knew was valuable to ME. Everyone has their own idea of a, “perfect cruise.” I know yours is different from mine. But here is a slice of mine, mostly the eating part, but other information also, and I hope you enjoy it.

 

On Day 1 we boarded the ship at 11:15 and took a quick tour of the Promenade, Boardwalk and then headed to Central Park. I told my Roll Call that I’d be at the Park Café in Central Park eating a roast beef sandwich around noon and that any that would like to join me should do so. Two people did, Brad and Erica, and two others were there but didn’t recognize me, Rachelle and Jackie.

 

So, how was this famed roast beef sandwich? Well, it was good! I love sandwiches. I could eat sandwiches all the time. I probably eat sandwiches too often. I have a turkey sandwich at least three times a week for lunch, but NOT on this cruise. J Sorry, back to the roast beef. Yes, it was good. It was not GREAT. It was good. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. It was a perfect lunch. They also give you a bag of chips of your choice. I had the Sun Chips. I had it with the horseradish. I like horseradish, but I like mustard more. However, it was yellow mustard, not a spicy mustard that I prefer. Later in the week I had it with mustard and I liked that better than the horseradish, though either way was fine for me. By the way, I dislike ketchup. My wife LOVED the flavored waters here and generally speaking, all the food was very good. I’ll get to breakfast here later in the week.

 

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Not a bad pic of the roast beef sandwich with horseradish.

 

Next - Part 2: Day 1 Dinner at Izumi

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After a lovely leisurely lunch with Brad and Erica, we continued our tour of the ship. We stopped by the stateroom to put some things down. I checked the TV to see if I could make reservations at Izumi, but I couldn’t. My wife called the automated reservation system and that didn’t work either. So we headed out to walk around and went to the pool deck. I said we could stop at Izumi while we’re up there. So we walked around the pool deck, I took pictures. It was generally empty there, so it was a great time to take some pictures.

 

Here is the Beach Pool, as an example:

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Izumi was a little hard to find, but we finally found it tucked away next to the Windjammer. We stopped in and the Maître d’ was excited that we found them, telling us several times that it gets much more crowded later in the week when people find out about the restaurant. We were able to get a reservation easily, because as the Maître d’ said, it gets much more crowded later in the week. And from what I saw, it gets much more crowded later in the week. Get it? Okay.

 

We continued walking and spent some time in the Solarium where we enjoyed our first drink. More about that in my more formal review. Some have asked what beers are on the Oasis. Well I took a picture of the regular bar menu. I think the pub has some other choices, but these are the beers you will find at every bar.

 

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Then we headed over to the Sports Deck. We came up to the Wipe Out Café. If you’re looking for it, just find the colorful surf boards outside of it. c5f886ef.jpg

I should have grabbed a pretzel dog while I was there, but I didn’t. I never got back there and I heard that midday the Wipe Out Café was kids ONLY, but I never verified that. We didn’t eat here, but what a GREAT concept. You can walk in and grab a few things to eat and walk out. Small place, but not tiny.

 

Soon it was time for our Muster Drill which for us was in the Champagne Bar. How odd sitting in there with our wet bathing suits since we just came from the pool. Since we were there on the Royal Promenade we decided to stop by the Cupcake Cupboard and have a little snack. We had the Turtle cupcake and it’s as it sounds, chocolate, caramel and pecans. It was very good. I’m not a huge lover of frosting, but the chocolate frosting had caramel swirled in it which made it VERY tasty. Only complaint? It was cold. The cupcake should have been room temperature. Since it was cold it was a little hard. We shared the one cupcake and then headed to my Flow Rider lesson. After that we headed back to the cabin to get ready for dinner.

 

So dinner was at Izumi above the Pool Deck as I had planned in my pre-cruise planning. When we walked in they asked if we would like to eat at the bar or at a table. The bar was less than half full and the restaurant was less than a third full. We asked for a table and we got one by the windows that overlook the pool deck. My wife faced into the restaurant and I looked out at the pool deck which included the Windjammer entrance. Many people passed by in my view coming and going to the Windjammer. The sun had not yet set even though it was nearly 8 PM, so I could clearly see outside. Honestly? It may have been a better view if it was dark outside. I didn’t love my view of the pool deck. Maybe it would have been better if the restaurant was turned a little so that it was mostly facing the ocean.

 

Our initial waitress was not very engaging. She mostly spoke directly to my wife and didn’t make any suggestions and generally wasn’t very helpful. Halfway through we were changed to a male waiter without mention. I have no idea why she switched tables. He was more engaging, even though his English was poor and broken. We laughed a little with him.

 

I decided that I wasn’t much in the mood for sake, so we each ordered a glass of white wine. My wife ordered a Riesling and I ordered a Chardonnay. Both were fine and nothing really special.

 

We ordered the Premium Izumi Combo. It cost $23. My wife saw it on the menu and suggested it. It included Tuna Wasabi Carpaccio, Deluxe Sushi plate, your choice of any of the Hot Rock plates and a dessert sampler. I had heard mixed reviews on the Hot Rock, so I wasn’t too keen on it. But the combo sounded good, so I agreed to it. We chose the Beef Tenderloin.

 

They brought over the complementary Edamame which is one of my wife’s favorites. Edamame was standard to my experience, which is to say it was good and salty. Then they asked if we wanted the complementary Miso Soup and we said yes. The Miso was better than I usually get. The broth was a richer light brown color than what I usually see when it is much more yellow. It was tastier than my usual experience.

 

The Tuna Wasabi Carpaccio was very good: thin slices of tuna with VERY thin slices of jalapeno on each slice and very small pieces of roasted garlic. It was delicious and spicy. It was a little too spicy for my wife and she was glad to let me have the 5th slice.

 

The Deluxe Sushi plate was nice with pretty standard pieces of sushi. The octopus was a little chewy. Since there was one piece each of each type of fish, we had to figure out who was having each piece. The fish was all tasty, but I’ve seen better sushi visually. It included a salmon roll that was cut into around eight pieces.

 

At this point we were concerned that we would be hungry at the end of dinner. It’s easy enough to order another roll, so I didn’t worry too much about it. I also said that we could always go next door to Windjammer if we were really still hungry.

 

Then the Hot Rock came out. WOW it is SERIOUSLY hot. 575 degrees is nothing to sneeze at. It comes with tongs that you use to put the meat and vegetables on the stone. It was easy enough to keep the meat to a medium-rare, my preference. The meat was DELICIOUS! It was so tender and tasty. It was completely opposite of the reviews I read on here. Maybe we just got some nice pieces of steak? It comes with three sauces, a ginger sauce, a soy-based sauce and a Thai chili sauce. My wife and I agreed that the Thai sauce was the best. The other two were the standard Japanese steakhouse sauces.

 

Desert came and it was three samples of their desserts: Green Tea Mousse, Ginger Scented Flan and Asian Fruit Salad. All three were fine. I probably enjoyed the mousse the most, but I greedily downed all three in competition with my wife. No, not really, we shared equally. J

 

We agreed we were definitely full at that point. However, the restaurant was definitely NOT full, it was maybe half full at that point. Our reservation was at 8:00 PM and we were out of there by 9:30 PM, plenty of time to get to our show by 10:30 and walk around a bit beforehand.

 

Next - Part 3: Day 2 Baking in the Solarium and Giovanni's with New Friends

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Thanks for taking the time to write all of this!

 

I look forward to reading the rest!

 

Thanks! :) I'm planning to have it all done by Thursday or Friday.

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From someone who hasnt been on Oasis, I cant see anywhere in your review if the roast beef and sun chips was free or you paid for them or the cost.

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From someone who hasnt been on Oasis, I cant see anywhere in your review if the roast beef and sun chips was free or you paid for them or the cost.

 

Free! Everything at the Park Cafe is free. Except maybe the specialty coffees? But I'm not a coffee drinker, sorry.

 

Thanks for the question, good point of clarification.

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really appreciate this thread...going on Oasis in November and can't decide what to do about meals. I want to try the best specialty restaurants, but do not want to pay tips to the main dining room staff when I am not there. I am still concerned about the etiquette of this on RCCL. We had very rude and aloof wait staff on Navigator and I still regret doing the advance automatic tipping. If we go to 3 or 4 specialty restaurants, I do not want to tip for 7 nights! Sorry to vent, but need some advice...

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BrianAlt,

 

My kinda review,:D:p keep it coming.

We are going to be doing this too, no Dining Room or Windjammer this trip, can't wait for the rest:D

 

Krickett

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I want to try the best specialty restaurants, but do not want to pay tips to the main dining room staff when I am not there.

 

This is a conundrum! As I said we did not eat in the MDR. Actually, that was a LIE! We ate there for lunch on Day 7. With My Time Dining you MUST pay tips in advance. So we did. We had NO waiter, no assistant waiter, and no head waiter. But we had these tip envelopes. I tried giving the waiter envelope to the waiter we had at lunch, but he wouldn't take it. It seems they are already earmarked for someone else. Actually, he agreed to take all three and pass them along to...someone... I don't know who and I don't really care. I paid them, someone might as well get them.

 

Interestingly, we tried to pass them to the Matire d' and she wouldn't take them! There is no box to drop them and I didn't want to wait in line at Guest Services to hand them in. I would have if I had to, but I didn't want to. The waiter was nice enough to take them and I hope someone enjoys them.

 

But it does pain me a little that I had to pay them even though I never ate there.

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Thanks for the very informative posts. Did you by chance eat at the Solarium Bistro? Thanks.

 

Patience, my almost flightless avian friend, patience. ;)

 

Ok, yes. But it's going to take a day or two to get there.

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Patience, my almost flightless avian friend, patience. ;)

 

Ok, yes. But it's going to take a day or two to get there.

 

No problem I can wait. Thanks.

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Thanks! :) I'm planning to have it all done by Thursday or Friday.

Just in time for us. We leave on Saturday for our cruise! How were the desserts? Any favourites? Thank you for taking the time to do this. Very kind of you!

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Thanks Brian for the review. We will be going on Oasis in three weeks with good friends and looking forward to reading more of your review. :D

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Thanks Brian for the review. We will be going on Oasis in three weeks with good friends and looking forward to reading more of your review. :D

 

Wow! I remember when it was far away. Chef's Table is coming up soon on Day 3. Spoiler? Wonderful!

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Wow! I remember when it was far away. Chef's Table is coming up soon on Day 3. Spoiler? Wonderful!

 

I have been anxiously waiting for you to start posting something of a review and was thrilled to see you started with food :) Becuase we are traveling with our small children we are planning on spending a some nights in the MDR to eat as a family, however one of our 3 specialty nights is the Chef's Table, so I cant wait to read all about it! I was hoping that you werent going to say it was awful.

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BrianAlt: Please promise that all of your reviews will be completed by the time I am allowed to reserve my specialty restaurants online for me Thanksgiving 2010 cruise. I can tell I am going to rely on your experiences more than any others!!! Thanks!

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Becuase we are traveling with our small children we are planning on spending a some nights in the MDR to eat as a family, however one of our 3 specialty nights is the Chef's Table, so I cant wait to read all about it! I was hoping that you werent going to say it was awful.

 

If I had been travelling with my children, a perfect break one night would have been the Chef's Table with my wife.

 

BrianAlt: Please promise that all of your reviews will be completed by the time I am allowed to reserve my specialty restaurants online for me Thanksgiving 2010 cruise. I can tell I am going to rely on your experiences more than any others!!! Thanks!

 

My goodness! Thanksgiving? I hope so! I hope it's more like this Friday. :D

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BrianAlt: Please promise that all of your reviews will be completed by the time I am allowed to reserve my specialty restaurants online for me Thanksgiving 2010 cruise. I can tell I am going to rely on your experiences more than any others!!! Thanks!

 

Oliviaonthebeach - looks like we are on the same sailing :) You should come over and check out our roll call...

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1092637&page=29

Also, the specialty restaurant booking (and excursions booking) is already open, I booked Chops and Giovanni's Table last week.

 

If I had been travelling with my children, a perfect break one night would have been the Chef's Table with my wife.

 

That is what I want to hear :D

 

Melissa

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Part 3: Day 2 Baking in the Solarium

 

The next morning, Day 2, I woke up early and headed to the gym. I told my wife I would meet her back in room and we would go to the Solarium for breakfast. We planned on spending most of the day in the quiet solitude of the Solarium. My first impression of the Solarium Bistro for breakfast was that it wasn’t too different than the Windjammer. Except for one thing, the crowds! And a second thing, the food! Okay, actually the food isn’t that different. Sure they have turkey bacon and turkey sausage and granola and dried fruit and fresh fruit and nuts and hot cereals and I can go on and on. But the Windjammer could have a “healthy” corner just as easily and I think usually does. It’s really very difficult to know how “healthy” any of the food is. Was it cooked in oil? What kind? How are the eggs different? Is there any sugar in this granola? How much salt is added? On and on. But it does seem healthier and it’s foods I enjoy, so this is a good place for me to have breakfast. And I did so most days of the cruise. You can also sit by the window and there’s some running water between the pool area and the eating area. It’s very nice there unless it’s a very hot day. Then sit close to the AC, cause it does get hot in there! Especially later in the day.

 

After breakfast I took a short break just outside the Bistro to relax:

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Between breakfast and lying out in the Solarium we decided to do a little more exploring. Plus we had the Meet and Mingle and I had signed up to meet with a representative to book our next cruise (see the sig). At the Meet and Mingle we met Rachelle and her mom Jackie. They came a little late and most people had left, but we hadn’t, still standing around and talking to anyone that would talk to us. We started talking about our plans and we realized that we both had reservations at Giovanni’s that night! Theirs was at 6:30 and ours was at 7:00. So I suggested we all go together and they agreed. Dazzles is right across from Central Park, so I suggested we just walk to Giovanni’s and see if we can combine. They said 7 PM was fine for them. (I had posted my itinerary ahead of time, so I secretly wondered if they had planned that all along – just teasing ;) ). So we walked over and they said they could take us all at 6:30. We didn’t mind only a half hour early and I said we can always just eat slowly if we wanted anyway. :D

 

After running our errands we got back to the Solarium to lie out and get some sun and some swimming. So we figured we’d just get a quick bite in the Solarium Bistro for lunch. Lunch was very nice; they have fish crepe wraps and nice salads, lots of colorful foods, but my comment from above holds, not anything you CAN’T get at Windjammer, just a nicer setting to do it in. Several sugar free dessert choices are here. They also have the sugar free flavored water here that I mentioned above. My wife loved that and it was great that it was so close to where we’d be spending most of our time.

 

Then we came across Amanda and Ed from the Meet and Mingle in the Solarium. They sat down next to us. Then they started talking about the fabled Roast Beef Sandwich. They decided we each needed one! I was thinking, “well, there goes trying to be good…” They came back with what I think was a half dozen sandwiches and we downed them very quickly.

 

One sort of food related note…on our previous cruise, my wife decided that 4 PM was BBC time. What is a BBC and why does it get its own time? Well, a BBC is Baileys, Banana liquor and Colada mix, blended and frozen. She “discovered” it on the Explorer of the Seas. Every 4 PM we would saunter over to the Solarium Bar and she would order her BBC and I would have a Margarita. I’m not big on banana as a flavoring. As we made friends, we introduced them to BBC time. It’s not surprising that one of those friends became the bartender. Well, we decided that on this cruise the tradition would continue! 4 PM was STILL BBC time! As the cruise went along, we turned many people on to the BBC and the bartenders, Turnip and Ivan, encouraged us to bring fresh bananas that they would put in the BBC. My wife said it was delicious!

 

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My wife enjoying her BBC.

 

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Turnip and Ivan at the Solarium Bar. Tell them we said hello if you see them!

 

Next Part - Part 4: Day 2 Giovanni's with New Friends

 

(It's getting too long so I'm breaking this part into two)

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Sorry if this is repetitive, but the flavored waters that your wife Loved, were those also free?

 

Free! Next to the water and ice. Perfect place. Three flavors: Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon Lime and Mango Peach. Personally, I just drank the water.

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