My family sailed out on March 31, 2012 from Port Everglades. We stayed over Friday night at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale so we would be able to board the ship early on Saturday morning. We boarded the ship at 11:30 am no problems and our check in took about 10 minutes. I first want to say that we were so amazed by this ship. Everything you read about it is true. My family would love to go back on it and hopefully see everything. The size of the ship is so big that you have no possible way to experience everything in 1 week. We had two connecting ocean view balcony cabins on deck 8. They allowed you to get into your staterooms at 1:00 pm, and luggage showed up around 2:00 PM. We went up to the pool area and encountered our first surprise. The pool area was amazing but in ordering our first drink we find out that a gratuity is already put onto our bill. Most people are unaware of this since they put your sea pass through to pay and fold over the bill for you to sign. For the first day we paid additional gratuity until we caught on. I would have given them a dollar per drink but was annoyed that they put gratuity on there, so they only got the gratuity they put on. The cupcake cupboard also put a gratuity on. The spa puts a gratuity on. Any place where they can add a gratuity they do and it really feels like you are getting taken advantage of.
My children are 11 so they were looking forward to Adventure Ocean. First Adventure Ocean is great for the kids. Unfortunately on the Oasis of the seas the staff seemed overwhelmed. My children thought some of the staff were mean. My one son kept complaining that they would do one activity (gaga ball) for 1 hour and if you got out in the first 5 minutes you had to sit for 50 minutes until the next game started. I would be annoyed and bored as well. They did not seem to have enough staff for these kids. Many times they only had 2 staff members to handle what looked like 40 plus kids. Another annoyance was that after 10:00 pm they charged $6.00 per child per hour. Not such a big deal but when I would drop off my kids at 11:30 and picked them up at 12:30 they would try to charge me from 10:00 PM - 12:30. This happened every single time. I was getting annoyed having to correct them. You really have to watch your bill.
Lets get to food. The food was a big let down. I have read reviews and people always say the food is not that great. I would have preferred not that great. The food was Disgusting. I can't even begin to explain it. The cuts of meat, the seafood just disgusting. The veggies and deserts were fine the meat was gross. We had amazing dining room staff. I felt so bad not eating my plate every night, I think they took it as a personal insult. They always want to get you something else. We did my time dining. It was nice to be able to eat at different times but you still waited on line for a table. I think it's better to book the traditional way and if you miss your dining time just go up and wait in line for my time dining. We did eat at Chops Grill one night. I ordered the 18 ounce porterhouse steak. When my steak came it was thin and maybe 7 ounces if even that. Needless to say a disappointment. The side dishes we ordered were cold. My husband and son ordered Fillet Mignon and thought it was OK.
The layout of the ship is amazing. I have sailed the Freedom class before and find it hard to get around. The Oasis everything is laid out perfect. You can go straight across to the other side of the ship no problem. Even thought the ship is large most of the clubs are not filled to capacity. I think that there are enough places to go that the crowd spreads out. The Comedy Show was great try to get reservations for that. The casino was a typical cruise ship casino.
All in all the cruise was great fun for my family. I wish that the staff was more friendly. Maybe taking care of 6000 per week is to much. I missed the smiles and dancing pool waiters. Not one waiter walked around with drinks on the head singing. The entertainment staff was very nice but I felt you had to find things to do. If you lost the cruise compass you had no idea what was going on.
Our ports of call were Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel. Labadee was fun. The beach was beautiful but be warned bring a pair of water shoes. My husband stepped on a sea urchin and he was not the only person. Luckily he only had a few pieces in his foot. Other people were not so lucky. The barbecue was great. When we got to Jamaica we got off the ship for 1 hour. The shopping was OK. Most people we talked to did not bother to get off the ship. In Mexico we went to the Mayan ruins. First bring water. Second bring water. We were so hot. The sun is very strong and we had to wait in line for 45 minutes in the sun to get to the ruins. By the time we got inside we were so hot everything the guide told us we can't remember. They gave us a box lunch and a water bottle when we got back to the bus. If I went to Cozumel again I would book a beach experience. The water and beaches were beautiful.
Would I go again. Yes. The ship is amazing. The food not so great but the ship was amazing.
Would I go on another cruise on the Oasis. Yes, even though the food was lousy and the staff was OK the boat itself is amazing.