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BrianAlt

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

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Brian,

 

I have to say this is a great guide. I am a bit of a novice foodie. Love to cook and eat well so this is just what I was looking for! I cannot wait for our cruise now even more!

THank you so much for taking time to do this.

Sue

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Thank you all for the kind comments. It certainly does encourage me to keep going. Part 5 coming up soon.

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Part 5: Park Café and Labadee

 

Day 3 started out very well and possibly ended better. The forecast was for 100º in Labadee, so we knew it would be a real scorcher of a day. We had an early Dragon Tail Coaster appointment, so we wanted to get some breakfast and get off the ship. I figured Park Café in Central Park would fit the bill. Park Café has a lovely breakfast. When you enter, to the left is a bagel bar and straight ahead is the hot food station. There they serve a few different breakfast paninis and a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese and tomato. I went to the bagel bar and asked for an onion bagel. The man behind the counter asked if I wanted it toasted and I said I did. These were the smallish bagels you see in hotel continental breakfasts, they need to be toasted. Then they had a choice of three or so spreads. If I remember correctly they were regular cream cheese, maybe a walnut cream cheese and definitely a lox (smoked salmon) cream cheese. On the other side of the bar were smoked salmon, onions, tomatoes, and some other vegetables. After it was toasted I asked for some lox, onions and tomatoes. I went to the other side and got a burrito. I wanted to taste it.

 

Behind some cabinets were cut fruits in cups like watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. There are also loose fruit on a table when you first enter with bananas and apples. You can just grab one and go. I stopped by here one morning when I wanted a banana before my workout. On the opposite side of the burrito and paninis is a coffee station. I think that’s where the specialty coffees were. You can also get something sweet there like cakes and such.

 

My wife and I took a far booth and relaxed to eat our breakfast. You can see from this picture how crowded it was:

 

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The mostly empty Park Café.

 

We got ready for Labadee and headed out there. Our Dragon Tail Coaster ride was for 10 AM, but we got on by 9:30 without a problem.

 

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Then it was time to relax on the beach. At noonish we decided to go to the pavilion to get some lunch. This lunch was exactly as I remember it more than four years ago when I was here. Chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, that kind of thing. The chicken was listed as Jerk Chicken and it looked like Jerk spice on the chicken. But you know what it tasted like? NOTHING! It had no flavor at all. The rib was okay, nothing special and I ate a hamburger because I was still hungry after picking at those things. It was pretty tasteless too. If you want to eat real food, go back on the ship. Labadee has a pier now, no more tendering. So going back and forth is actually pretty easy as long as you want to walk. By the way, the suite cabana area looks very nice. The food looked the same, but I bet it tasted better. It was at least presented better, that I could tell for sure.

 

Next: Part 6: Chef's Table

 

I decided that Chef's Table needs it's own part. Too many pictures and too long overall. Chef's Table will be coming up soon!

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Loving the review so far. I was hoping to see more food pics before lunch today, but I guess it won't be posted until dinner time! Darn! I think that's a great idea to go back to the ship for lunch when in Labadee. My husband and I have been to the BBQ several times in Labadee and we are always disappointed in the food, not to mention the flies landing on everything. I forgot that the pier is there now and no need to worry about tendering. Was the coaster a long ride?

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Part 6: Chef's Table

 

We spent the rest of the day relaxing. Chef’s Table wasn’t until 7:30, but we were pretty much ready by 7 PM. We walked over to the Library at around 7:10 after starring at each other, trying to figure out how to waste some time. For the Chef’s Table you first meet in the Library and the Concierge takes you into the Concierge Lounge after all have arrived. When we got to the Library there was one family already there. The adult daughter said ‘hello’ and her parents ignored us. They were speaking to each other in a foreign language, French I believe. Others showed up and the Concierge said we were still missing a family of 6. It was 7:30, so he took us into the lounge and then upstairs to the Chef’s Table. Thankfully, the French family was at the other end of the table. The family of 6 sat at the opposite side from me and I had a very nice conversation with the father who was around my age. He was one of the people we introduced the BBC to at the Solarium Bar.

 

When you first come in you mingle near the table, looking out at the spectacular view of the Boardwalk from the picture window on the other side of the room. Soon everyone finds their seats and the dinner begins. It is difficult to tell you all the details of the food. The Chef, Sous Chef Maarten Smeets, tells you every detail of every dish. This includes the time he starts to prep the dishes and every single ingredient he uses and how he prepared each ingredient. I’ll share with you as much as I remember.

 

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Smoked Duck Salad

 

The Smoked Duck Salad was served with orange confit, baby lettuce, green asparagus, and zesty Cointreau dressing and accompanied with Mer Soleil Chardonnay. The Chef described the confit with amazing detail. He described how he baked it and what kind of salt he used on it and how he sprinkled it in specific places for the taste and texture. He described why he used green asparagus versus white asparagus and told us that white is underground while green is over ground. He was VERY detailed. The duck was delicious and the confit did add the taste and texture the Chef was looking for. The Chardonnay was fine, if not slightly disappointing. I found the taste to be a little dull. There was nothing wrong with it, just not as lively as I had hoped it would be.

 

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Trio of Soups (sorry it's a little blurry)

 

The Trio of soups were sweet garden pea veloute, duck and vegetable consommé and truffle scented mushroom cream. The pea soup was delicious! The pea flavor just explodes in your mouth! I’m not sure if you can tell, but the color is such a beautiful green. And the Chef describes all he did to keep that color, from blanching to a little lemon juice. The consommé was downplayed by the Chef. He said that this was more of a palate cleanser than anything else. It included vegetables in the tiniest dice I had ever seen. The Chef told us what that dice is called, but I forgot. Perhaps the chef on the thread here can tell us? It was fantastic! And I told him that he shouldn’t downplay it so much. It stands on its own. However, the last soup was the one that took everyone’s breath away. The richness of the truffle was superb! The mushroom flavor was AMAZING! And the presentation? 5 perfect dots of truffle oil sitting on the top in a pentagram. It might be hard to see that in the picture (I think you can see it). I was the last one done with my soups. I was savoring them. They come in small cups that you pick up and sip. No additional wine is served with this course, but the Chardonnay continues to flow. Russell, the waiter/host, makes sure to keep pouring so the temperature of the wine doesn’t fall too far.

 

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Pan-fried Scallops and Crab Cake

 

I have to say, this was my least memorable course. Pan-fried Scallops and Crab Cake with lobster-flavored tartar sauce, cilantro oil and balsamic drizzle. You can see the three sauces covering the plate. The tartar sauce was good, the balsamic drizzle was tasty, but I couldn’t make out the cilantro in the oil at all. The scallops were delicious, perfectly cooked and the crab cake was nice. It was served with a Belle Glos Pinot Noir. I remember discussing with Brian across the table with me how we both often drink red wine with seafood. The wine was very nice.

 

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Grilled Beef Tenderloin

 

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with whipped potatoes, wilted spinach, tomato onion jam and aged port win veal reduction. WOW! Just WOW! Everyone at the table just LOVED this dish. The jam was amazing! I dislike ketchup. If ketchup tasted like this I would eat it all the time. The reduction was fabulous and the potatoes and spinach were perfect. Everyone’s beef was cooked to order. They suggested Medium Rare, but they would cook it differently if requested. The Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon was bold and held up to the meat perfectly. So delicious!

 

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Passion Fruit Crème Brulee

 

I enjoyed the dessert, but not everyone did. Passion Fruit Crème Brulee with crisp caramelized sugar tuille and strawberry ice-win jus. The caramelized sugar was thick, very thick. It was hard to break it was so thick. I ate it all anyway. J The custard underneath was very tasty. It didn’t have a strong flavor of the passion fruit, but it was very nice. It was served with Errazuriz, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Most at the table agreed that the wine did not pair will with the dessert. I think the problem is that I think there are only two bottles of dessert wine on the ship and this is the better one. I had this bottle at Giovanni’s and enjoyed it very much. I agree that it did not pair all that well, but drinking the wine on its own was just fine and a perfect ending to a fantastic meal.

 

At the end the Chef came back out and socialized with us all. He was sooo amazingly friendly. I told him I was sorry about his team’s loss in the World Cup the day before, yes he’s from the Netherlands. He joked that it was convenient that I mentioned that after the meal was over. I said that I really was sorry and I was rooting for them from the start. We had a nice conversation about the tournament.

 

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Sous Chef Maarten Smeets from Netherlands.

 

Next : Part 7: Johnny Rockets, Solarium and Vintages

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Was the coaster a long ride?

 

Pretty short, but you control the braking and it was lots of fun. Try to brake as little as possible.

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You can only post six pictures per posting, so here are a couple of additional ones:

 

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The view of the Boardwalk from the Concierge Lounge at night.

 

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All five plates in one picture. (Eh, blurry...oh well.)

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Brian your info is great-we are looking at an Oasis/allure Cruise in the fall of 11 (just off a Navigator B2B in the med -i havent even written my reviews yet)

Im curious tho-what was the surcharge for chefs table-this menu-down to the wines-is the one we had for the Chops wine pairing dinner on Navigator-i had thought that Chefs Table would be a must do-but i will spend the money else where if its going to be a repeat experience. The food and wine were quiet good-the company was excellent and we very much enjoyed it-i just like NEW things not repeats.

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Im curious tho-what was the surcharge for chefs table-this menu-down to the wines-is the one we had for the Chops wine pairing dinner on Navigator-i had thought that Chefs Table would be a must do-but i will spend the money else where if its going to be a repeat experience. The food and wine were quiet good-the company was excellent and we very much enjoyed it-i just like NEW things not repeats.

 

$75 per person at Chef's Table.

 

150 Central Park also offers a wine pairing, but I won't be discussing that in detail until Day 7. But I will tell you that the dinner is $35 per person there and the wine pairing is $75 each, but can be shared (making the total price for 2 very comparable).

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Chefs table looks great. Looks similar food to what we had recently at a local restaurant with a famous chef. Very good.:)

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Brian - thank you for finally getting to the Chef's Table! I am soooo looking forward to it! Keep the reviews coming, I am taking notes! So far it seems like you and your wife had an excellent time. Now that you have been without the kids, will you go back on Oasis or Allure with them?

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Now that you have been without the kids, will you go back on Oasis or Allure with them?

 

I'd love to! They're currently 14 and 11. But I have no idea when that might happen.

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By the way, for any that want a complete list of eateries, prices and those that cost and those that do not, you can check the official list from RCI.

 

That can be found here: Oasis Restaurants This list is also provided in your Day 1 Cruise Compass.

 

Enjoy! :D

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By the way, for any that want a complete list of eateries, prices and those that cost and those that do not, you can check the official list from RCI.

 

That can be found here: Oasis Restaurants This list is also provided in your Day 1 Cruise Compass.

 

Enjoy! :D

 

Brian,

 

Looks like y'all had a great time and I want to hear about your Flowrider lessons :) Did you end up competing in the best of the best at the end of the cruise :) Are you going to post pics and video?

 

Edna

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Part 7: Johnny Rockets and Vintages

 

On Day 4 we woke up “late” (after 8 AM! :p) and decided that we would go to Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk for breakfast. Then after that we could go up to the sports desk and do the zip line when it opened. Johnny Rockets is a GREAT place to have a traditional breakfast. There is LOTS of outdoor seating, more than there is indoors and it’s just very comfortable. The waiters and waitresses dance and we even had one patron get up and dance with them. I ordered a very basic breakfast, scrambled eggs, bacon and rye toast. It was perfect. The home fries are GREAT! They’re like diced shaped French fries. Others said they were disappointed in the breakfast there, so maybe it’s hit or miss. But my breakfast was perfectly cooked and it was cooked to order, unlike the eggs you get in any of the buffets.

 

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Me completing my zip line run.

 

For lunch we went to the Solarium, and it was the same as the other day so I won’t waste any more space talking about it. Details of what’s available there change on a daily basis, but it’s the same concept any given lunch.

 

For dinner we went to Vintages in Central Park. But before I get to that, a little on what happened before dinner. I had Oasis of Dreams scheduled for the first night, but it got halfway through and it just stopped. Then they announced that the show couldn’t continue and would be rescheduled. So it was rescheduled for 7:30 and my wife really wanted to see it. I wanted to see it too, but it looked like it would bump our other plans. Plus the Quest was late that night and we weren’t going to miss that. So we waited to go to Vintages till after 9 PM. I was a little hungry so I grabbed a Corn Dog at the Boardwalk Bar. The bartender took one out of the heater and turned to me and said, “5 dollars.” I knew they were free so I gave him a high five instead. All of the bartenders laughed and he handed me my Corn Dog (so this is free too, for those keeping track). It was a nice snack while waiting for the show to start and satisfied until I could eat something better. It wasn’t overly bready, which was nice, but the hot dog itself was so-so. But, like I said, it was a fine snack.

 

So we headed to Vintages, stopping at all the photo spots along the way. It was really a beautiful night. Several pictures from that night made it into our picture book. I found the list of wines and tapas at Vintages a little overwhelming. I was trying to do some matching, but found it nearly impossible to do so. Eventually I just ordered 2 glasses of a decent Chardonnay and 2 glasses of a very nice Cabernet and figured we’d see how it went. My advice? Don’t order any white wine. Even the seafood and vegetable dishes are bold in flavor and often have chorizo or smoky cheeses with them.

 

Unfortunately I don’t have the names of the dishes, but I can describe what we ate. First we ordered a dish that came with sourdough bread and grape tomatoes with a garlic olive oil over them. We thought this was going to be like bruschetta, but it turned out to be just whole grape tomatoes. They were tasty, but it was an odd way to serve them. We tried to slice the tomatoes to put them on the bread, but that was clumsy while sitting on the comfy couches. So this dish was disappointing. Thankfully, it was the only time we were disappointed.

 

Next we had artichoke hearts, marinated grilled eggplant and mild cherry peppers that were stuffed with cheese. This was delicious! I even enjoyed the cheese in the stuffed peppers. Next came what was essentially a paella dish. It was saffron rice with seafood, chicken and sausage and some vegetables mixed in. Sounds like paella, right? It was called something else, but it was paella. Last for dinner we had skewers of chorizo, shrimp and scallops. YUM! They were delicious.

 

We ended with lollipops. We ordered the vanilla lollipops AND the chocolate lollipops. The chocolate were chocolate fudge with a dark chocolate coating. The vanilla were a vanilla, ummm, cake like, almost like marzipan in consistency, but tasted like vanilla, not almond, then covered in white chocolate. I hope I explained that well enough.

 

I highly recommend Vintages for a more casual, leisurely, non-structured, informal dinner. It’s a great thing to do one night of your cruise.

 

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Self taken picture of us in Vintages.

 

Next : Part 8: Chops! (can you tell I'm excited? :D )

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Brian,

 

Looks like y'all had a great time and I want to hear about your Flowrider lessons Did you end up competing in the best of the best at the end of the cruise Are you going to post pics and video?

 

Edna

 

I do plan on doing a more traditional review after I'm done with this. I suspect it will be shorter than this. I'm typing this review into a Word document along with posting it here and I'm up to page 11 already! :eek: And I'm not including pictures in the Word document! :eek:

 

I'm posting some pictures here and I'll post more pictures in the other review. I have NO pictures of my Flowrider lesson. :( That was due to an error on my part that I'll talk about in the review. I have ONE video of my wife on the zip line. She'll probably kill me if I post it. :o

 

What's 'best of the best'? Oh no, you're going to tell me I missed something? :eek: I guess I'll just have to go on again! :D

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I do plan on doing a more traditional review after I'm done with this. I suspect it will be shorter than this. I'm typing this review into a Word document along with posting it here and I'm up to page 11 already! :eek: And I'm not including pictures in the Word document! :eek:

 

I'm posting some pictures here and I'll post more pictures in the other review. I have NO pictures of my Flowrider lesson. :( That was due to an error on my part that I'll talk about in the review. I have ONE video of my wife on the zip line. She'll probably kill me if I post it. :o

 

What's 'best of the best'? Oh no, you're going to tell me I missed something? :eek: I guess I'll just have to go on again!

 

That is the Flowrider competition they have on the last sea day where passengers compete to see who is the best on the Flowrider. Obviously, I have never done that competition but we always watch it. Maybe this time around I will get good enough to at least enter the competition. :D

 

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Can you please give us some prices for Vintages?

 

I'd be glad to! The dishes are grouped on the menu by price. There is a page of items that are $2.50, there is a page of items that are $3.00 and there is a page of items that are $3.50 or $4.00. I believe that the tomato dish was $2.50, the stuffed peppers and the paella were $3.00 and the skewers were $3.50. I believe a set of 2 lollipops were $3.00 each and we ordered 2 sets. The Chardonnay was $12.00 a glass and the Cabernet was $19.00. I had 2 for 1 coupons that I used for the wine. Soooo...

 

Food:

2.50 - tomatoes

3.00 - peppers

3.00 - paella

3.50 - skewers

3.00 - chocolate lollipops

3.00 - vanilla lollipops

18.00

 

Not too bad.

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That is the Flowrider competition they have on the last sea day where passengers compete to see who is the best on the Flowrider.

 

Ha! Ummmm, noooooooo way!

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Wow Brian. Now I want to do Chef's Table AND Vintages! Question, if it's not too personal - I know gratuities are included with the price at Chef's Table, but did you tip extra?

 

I love your sense of humor (ex: "it was paella")

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Post #68....OOOOOOOOooooooooo..your wife looks like she got a bit crispy in the sun!!!:eek:

 

but she doesn't look like she is in any pain...:)

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