Category Archives: Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas – Service Review

Let me start by reiterating that service, top quality service, is first and foremost for me in everything in life.  I expect companies and employees to give 110% as the norm.  Average isn’t good enough.  I recognize that some people aren’t as particular as I am, so I’ll preface this review with “mileage may vary”.  I think this would be a great ship and great line for many people.

I have been on two previous RCCL cruises and I have to say, I was not impressed with them.  Granted bother were on smaller, older ships on shorter sailings, but I felt the food was not to my liking and the cleanliness was an issue.  I vowed to keep an open mind and try a longer cruise on a larger ship.  I had the chance to tour Oasis of the Seas in September 2011 and felt this should be the ship!

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Are The Oasis Class Ships Too Big?

As you may know, I was on the Oasis of the Seas last week with a group of ToaDers.  We had a fantastic time, as is usually the case with ToaDers.  We created lots of memories that will last forever!

I had always said that I wouldn’t want to cruise on a ship as large as Oasis of the Seas.  It’s HUGE!  But when I toured the ship in 2011, she didn’t feel like a huge ship.  It wasn’t overcrowded and that was on embarkation day.  I decided to give it a try.

I don’t think I would have been as happy had we booked this cruise alone without friends.  It was great meeting up with people for activities and meals.

If I were to ever sail on the Oasis or Allure of the Seas again, I would definitely select a different room type.  I missed the ocean view.  I also didn’t like being so far back on a deck.  It wasn’t the motion (though surprisingly I did still feel motion even on such a large ship), it was the distance to everything.  Just getting to the nearest elevator was a hike.  I would likely select a room closer to the forward stairs/elevators.

One of our travelers clocked the distance from our room to the forward beverage machine on the Promenade.  Roundtrip it was 1/2 mile.  We got into the habit of combining trips and carrying more stuff with us on each trip to avoid the lengthy walks.

I never felt that things were worse at the elevators or getting out of shows or dinner seatings because of the number of people onboard.  It was pretty much the same as any other ship.  Yes it took time and there was waiting involved, but it wasn’t any worse than other ships with half as many passengers.

The biggest issue I had was with customer service, which indirectly was related to the size of the ship.  I did have an officer blame the customer service on the size of the ship itself (fewer crew to handle the ship), but the problem I had was most responses to inquiries was “you need to go there” to take care of anything.  It was never a simple phone call.

To set up the internet access in my cabin, I needed to go to the aft elevators, up to deck 14 to the card room and sign up.  But I had a discount coupon so I had to go to deck 5 after signing up and turn in the coupon.  Then finally I could go to my cabin to use the internet.  Only problem was, I couldn’t send emails from Outlook so I called for help.  Can’t do that, have to go to Guest Services, who then directed me back to the card room where they gave me a different outgoing server name.  I asked about the port number to use and was told that didn’t matter “if it did matter, the IT department would have told me what to tell you”.  It did matter.  For the duration of the cruise, I had to go to my web client and send all emails, requiring considerably more time on the internet and less time available to post pictures and blogs.

I did enjoy the extra space available though.  We never felt crowded in any area or venue, except on formal night or when they were giving away something.  The Promenade did tend to fill up then.

Other than these few issues, I didn’t feel that the Oasis of the Seas felt too big.  I don’t think you should be intimidated by the size of the ship when selecting a cruise.

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Has It Really Been Two Years?

It was on my first Celebrity Cruise that my friend and I booked future sailings using Travel On A Dream as our travel agency.  And so Travel On A Dream had its first bookings.  That day was two years ago on Wednesday.  I can’t believe how time has flown by!

Two years ago, I had a vision of opening my agency to be able to help others plan their dream vacation.  While for many of my potential clients, that was a Disney vacation, but it wasn’t everyone’s dream.  When I opened Travel On A Dream, I intended to help with any type of vacation – any destination – and we have done that!  We have helped clients with a variety of cruise lines from Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian and of course, Disney.  We have helped our clients travel all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.  We will be sailing our first of hopefully many group sailings in October on the Disney Fantasy.  Our next group sailing will be in April 2013 on the Oasis of the Seas.  Watch for our announcement on an Alaskan Cruise sailing shortly!

We started with one agent, me, and have grown to eight agents today – Tracy, Deb, Rhonda, Debbie, Nicole, DJ, Therese and Erin.  Our goal is always to help you to plan the best vacation ever, each and every time with each and every client.  We take an interest in our clients’ plans and in their lives, which is why most of our agents are active on Facebook and other social media sites.  It’s not good enough that we are available only by email, though you can reach any of us that way (our email addresses are all first name @travelonadream.com).  You can find us by email, phone, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, just to name a few.  Whether you have a group of 100 or one, we are here to make planning your dream vacation as seamless as possible.

It makes us very happy to hear one of our clients say they plan to tell all their family and friends about us or to read about it on Facebook and Twitter.  When I get a call from a potential client who says “so and so referred me to you”, the first thing I do is smile!  That’s why we have a referral program.  Some agencies will give you a gift card for your referrals.  While I think that’s great, I like our referral program just a bit more.  For each referral you send our way who books and travels, we give you 1% of the total amount of the vacation (based on the components on which we receive commission).  That means if you refer your friend who is planning a group sailing and spends $20,000, you will receive $200!  We pay the referrals in either gift cards or onboard credits and are not paid until your next travel date after your referred friend travels so this amount can really grow!

As a bonus for our two year birthday, we are giving double referral credits!  Double credit will be available for all bookings held through June 30.  Tell all your friends and family about the great service you have received from Travel On A Dream, but also tell them to say you sent them.  It’s a win/win situation!  They get the benefit of our service to help plan their dream vacation and you get some extra spending money on your next one.

Next we wanted to announce that we will be starting a monthly newsletter.  We don’t intend for this newsletter to be full of advertisements about why you should book with us or what the latest travel special is (there are plenty of those around if you want them).  We intend to bring to information on some of our favorite travel destinations, travel tips, cruise comparisons.  You should know that if we are writing about something, we know about that subject and are qualified to help you with it should you have any questions or wish to explore further.  Just drop us an email or give us a call!  Initially we will send out the newsletter to all of our clients and anyone who has signed up for our mailing list.  You will always have an opt out option, we do not want to send you spam. Just email us at info@TravelOnADream.com if you are not a current or past client to get the newsletter. Or you can click on the Welcome tab on our Facebook page.

Each month we will also be looking for your favorite vacation photos.   Submit your favorite photos to info@TravelOnADream.com and if yours is chosen, you will be highlighted on our Pinterest board for the Photo of the Month.  Email us also if there is something you want us to feature in the newsletter.

Of course, we can’t have a birthday celebration without gifts right?  In addition to our double referral credit promotion for the rest of the month, we will also giving away some cool gifts, .  We have some Travel On A Dream tote bags plus a variety of cruise line merchandise for you.  We’ll even give away a $50 onboard credit/gift card to one lucky person.  How do you enter?  Sign up for our newsletter!  All of our current clients will be automatically entered into the drawings, plus anyone who signs up through our Facebook wall or by emailing us at info@TravelOnADream.com.  The drawing will be held on June 30 at 5:00 pm EDT.

So who thinks $50 is not enough?  Me too!  We are just shy of 600 fans on Facebook.  Let’s get the numbers up!  For every 50 new fans, I’ll increase the prize by $25.  That means if we get to 700 fans by June 30, the total prize will be $100, 800 fans – $150.  Share our wall with your friends and watch the total go up!

Thank you all for helping us celebrate our second birthday!  We look forward to many more years of helping you make your vacation dreams a reality.

Is The Biggest Always The Best?

Last week Norwegian Cruise Line announced that they would be building an Aqua Park on top of the Norwegian Breakaway.  This park will be the first one at sea with five multistory waterslides including Free Fall and The Whip.  They will also have a three story sports complex with the largest ropes course at sea, including The Plank where a section of the ropes course extends eight feet over the side of the ship.

We have ships right now that have ropes courses, multiple water slides, character meals, fireworks at sea and water coasters.  There are others with rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, water theaters, surfing, ziplining and a grass lawn!

When Oasis of the Seas came out, she was the largest cruise ship in the world.  Allure of the Seas though was built just a slight bit larger so she could have bragging rights.

The question that comes to mind is if it is best to be the biggest, longest, tallest or first to do something in the cruise industry.  What are the drawbacks?

The Carnival Dream has had large waterslides on the ship since she began sailing in 2009.  How has that affected the ship?  I hear a number of complaints about the movement of the Carnival Dream, that it rocks side to side more than expected.  This indicates to me that the slides are acting like a sail.  Our course not everyone who cruises this ship will say this, but it is worth noting.

Why do you go on a cruise?  Do you go to get away from it all or do you go to be entertained?  If it is the later, many of the newer ships will give you lots to choose from.  If you want to get away from it all, some have fabulous spas and solariums, relaxation rooms and therapy rooms to enjoy. You can pretty much get exactly what you want out of a vacation by going on a cruise with all that the ships today have to offer.

What is the next thing we will see on a cruise ship?  A roller coaster?  A motion simulator that recreates the sinking of the Titanic or a pirate’s battle?  I can’t wait to see who comes up with the next latest and greatest in the industry, but will still question if it is best.

Come Cruise with ToaD!

Want to Cruise with ToaD?

Editor’s Note:  We ran this blog last fall, but wanted to bring it back to you today with some new information.  We hope you’ll join us!

Cruising is a very popular vacation “destination”.  Some cruise by themselves, some with their extended family or friends, but you can also cruise with Travel on a Dream!

First and foremost, we deliver top quality customer service to help you with all steps of planning from choosing the right itinerary, right cabin and right ship to questions about documents, carry ons and shore excursions.

On select sailings you can truly go “Cruisin’ with ToaD”!

We currently have two sailings set so you can cruise with ToaD. On October 20, 2012, we will be cruising on the Disney Fantasy, the newest ship in the DCL fleet, on an Eastern Caribbean sailing with stops at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Castaway Cay. On April 27, 2013, we will be cruising on the Oasis of the Seas, one of the two largest cruise ships in the world, on a Western Caribbean sailing with stops in Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. We’d love to have you join us! There will be extras on these sailing which are included in your cruise fare. For more information on these or other sailings, please email info@travelonadream.com or check us out on Facebook for groups on each of these sailings.

The Disney Fantasy began sailings just a couple weeks ago with her Maiden Voyage.  Since then we have been seeing an increase in interest for booking this ship.  If you want to join us before prices keep increasing, now is the time!  We’ve got some great activities in the works.

Our group space for the Oasis of the Seas sailing will be reduced on Monday.  We still have a few staterooms at great prices available.  Starbucks, the Cupcake Cupboard, ziplining, surfing and even an aquatheater are on this amazing ship!  Won’t you join us in the fun?

The Eighth Day of ToaDmas

Today we go to another very popular cruise destination – Western Caribbean.  Many cruise lines have sailings to the Western Caribbean with stops in Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize and Jamaica.  You can cruise from embarkation ports throughout Florida but also from the Gulf Coast in New Orleans and Galveston.  From the western side of Florida and the Gulf Coast, sailings can be as short as 4 nights for this cruise usually with stops only at Cozumel or Grand Cayman.  The most popular cruise length for this itinerary is a 7 night cruise.

The atmosphere on a Western Caribbean cruise is different than the Eastern Caribbean.  While the Eastern Caribbean is more tropical, the Western is a little more arid until you get further south.  Shore excursions on this itinerary can take you to beaches and snorkeling but you can also visit Mayan Ruins at many of the ports of call.  In Grand Cayman you can do everything from snorkeling and kissing a stingray to going to Hell or a turtle farm.

For the eighth day of ToaDmas, we are going to go on a Western Caribbean sailing with Royal Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas.  We visited this ship in September and found out first-hand how much she has to offer.  There are many entertainment options, dining venues and sports activities for everyone.  You can even take in a water theater show or ice show in the same night!  This ship is a small city of its own.  Zipline, rock climb or even learn how to surf, you can do it all on Oasis of the Seas.

There is a wide variety of room types on this ship.  Of course there is the usual inside, ocean view, balcony and suite, but on Oasis of the Seas, you can also get a Boardwalk or Central Park view with either a window or a balcony, numerous family suites with different views and even a loft!

For pricing purposes, we selected the Cruisin’ with ToaD sailing on April 27, 2013.  Pricing starts from just $829 per person plus tax for a large interior room.  For two adults in a Central Park View with balcony (category C2), the total price would be $2267.74.  A deposit of $500 would hold the room until February 11, 2013.  All payments would be fully refundable until that date.

Won’t you join us?