Western Caribbean Deck Gazette
August 29 - September 5, 2015
Senior Poker Tour event
On August 29, you will begin your exciting, fun-filled vacation to the Western Caribbean sailing on the amazing Oasis of the Seas! This Deck Gazette will give you valuable tips and information that will make your cruise more enjoyable.
When you come aboard, please proceed directly to the poker room (Conference Center on Deck 3) to meet our staff and pick up your nametags between 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. You will not be allowed to go to your staterooms before 1 p.m. A free lunch will be served in the Windjammer and in the Park Café (yummy!). Giovanni's is open for lunch for a small fee, but it is well worth the money! There will be a mandatory fire drill at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00 p.m. there will be a Welcome Aboard party in the Studio B Ice Rink on deck 3. Please plan to attend to learn about our poker procedures and plans for the week. The drinks and appetizers are on us!
The poker room is located in the Conference Center on Deck 3 and will be open for play at 9:00 a.m. on sea days and every evening after first-seating dinner. The staff will be happy to spread any game and limit that enough players want to play. If the game you wish to play is full, give your name to the brush or board personnel and they will put you on the waiting list. If the game or limit you wish to play is not in progress, we will be glad to start an "interest" list.
Our cardroom has the same rules as most poker rooms in a casino.
Some specific rules to our cardroom at sea include the following:
  • A no-abuse policy is strictly enforced in the cardroom.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the cardroom.
  • When re-opening the cardroom after dinner, names will not be put on the board until the games are full. Please take a seat in the game you wish to play; a waiting list will be started if the game you wish to play in is full.
  • In order to accommodate everyone, players will only be allowed to be away from their table for 15 minutes. Please pick your chips up when going to eat or to attend a ship activity. No personal checks will be cashed in the cardroom.
Important: You must wear your name badge at all times in the cardroom in order to be identified as a Card Player Cruises guest.
All passengers are required to carry a passport valid for six months after disembarking the ship. Expired passports are not acceptable. In addition, non-US citizens who have previously been admitted to the United States for permanent residence must carry their Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a Green Card. Aliens should contact the appropriate consulate to inquire about necessary travel documentation. Each passenger will need a photo I.D.
It is important to know that while U.S. currency and travelers checks are accepted in most ports of call, Royal Caribbean employs a sign and sail format. In order to purchase beverages, photos, shore excursions, or other incidentals on board, you will need a shipboard account. You will be asked to register your credit card or make a cash deposit with the Front Office personnel on sailing day, at which time you will be issued a shipboard account card. Your MasterCard and VISA are accepted in the duty-free shops on board.
Please note that Card Player Cruises is unable to cash personal checks.
The Oasis of the Seas is so large that it is hard to feel the motion of the ocean; you may have to actually look outside to see if the ship is sailing. However, if you are of the “better safe than sorry” mindset, Card Player Cruises has found Bonine to be very helpful in combating seasickness, and it does not make most people sleepy. Bonine can be purchased without a prescription at most drug stores. Free seasick pills are available onboard at Guest Relations on deck 5.
Gratuities for shipboard personnel (waiter, busboy, and cabin attendant) will be automatically charged to your SetSail pass during your cruise. These gratuities cannot be reversed so please be sure to let Jan, Rita or me know immediately if you have any service issues. A 15% gratuity will automatically be added to your bar bill or wine check when you are served.
The poker room will be closed during first-seating dinner. Unless you requested otherwise, you will have early seating at 6:00 p.m. for dinner in the Adagio Dining Room on Deck 3. Card Player Cruises uses open seating. Please note that although your ship card will have an assigned dining table, you may sit at any table that has a 'Reserved for Card Player Cruises' table tent on it. If you want to sit at the same table each night, simply write the table number and your name on the table tent so that others will know the table is reserved for specific people.

You will be able to eat at virtually any time of day on this cruise. The food in the Adagio dining room is terrific; however you may wish to try one or more of the pay restaurants. Please note that it is advisable to make reservations online for the specialty restaurants. My favorite pay restaurants on the Oasis are Giovanni's Table (great Italian food) and Chops (outstanding steakhouse). My favorite spot to grab lunch is in the Park Cafe (great salad bar and you MUST try the roast beef sandwiches.)
If you pack certain restricted items in your luggage such as irons, knives, weapons, liquor, etc., your luggage will be taken to security and you will have these items confiscated during the cruise.
Room service is complimentary except during the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. during which a late night service charge of $3.95 per delivery will apply. You may choose to tip room service personnel.
T-shirts and shorts are not allowed in the dining room at dinner time. There are two formal nights on this cruise: Ladies usually wear evening gowns, fancy pant suits, or cocktail dresses; gentlemen may wear suits or tuxedos. (Note: Formal nights are not as formal in the Caribbean so a jacket or very nice button-down shirt will do for men.) Alternative restaurants are available for those who do not wish to dress up.
Royal Caribbean's award-winning shore excursions offer something for every interest and passion. Card Player Cruises recommends that you book your shore excursions through Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for this trip. This is the safest, most hassle-free way to go and the ship won't sail until you return. When you receive your eDocs (electronic documents) you will be able to view and book excursions online at the Royalcaribbean.com website. You may also book them onboard, but please remember that some excursions are limited and sell out quickly.
Guests are requested to complete Online Check-In no later than 3 days prior to the cruise in order to expedite the pier check-in process. You won't have to fill out any forms at the pier. When you and your party arrive, you'll just need your signed SetSail pass, identification documents, and credit card that you registered online.
First, gather the following information for all the guests you're checking in:
* Ship, sailing date, and Royal Caribbean reservation number
* Passport or appropriate proof of citizenship and identification
* Home address
* Emergency contact name with phone number
* Travel plans before and after your cruise
* Credit card for the Onboard Expense Account
Important: You must complete and print your SetSail Pass no later than 3 days prior to your sail date.
The suggested arrival time at the cruise ship terminal is generally 3 to 4 hours prior to the ship's scheduled sailing time. If you get to the cruise terminal before 1 p.m, you may experience long lines waiting to board. We recommend that you sleep in and get to the terminal about 2pm to avoid waiting to board the ship. Please refer to your eDocs (electronic documents) for more details.

The Oasis of the Seas gets underway at 5:00 p.m. but you must check in by 3:30 p.m. Directions to the pier in Ft. Lauderdale are included with your eDocs. Curbside porters are available at the pier to take your luggage to the ship. From there, it will be delivered to your cabin by the ship's personnel. Sometimes it takes a while to arrive, so please carry on valuables, necessary medications, and clothes for the first night, etc.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Please feel free to write to me with any questions you might have.
Safe travels,
Linda Johnson
Card Player Cruises