If the first cruise ship you ever sail on is the Oasis, it will ruin you for all other ships! This ship is every other ship on steroids. You have to experience it to believe it.
This is our 8Th cruise trip and our first on the Oasis of the Seas. We were a party of seven, one Central Park Balcony stateroom and two 10Th floor ocean view staterooms.
We arrived a day earlier in Fort Lauderdale because we like to visiting Ft. Lauderdale. We stayed at Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Beach because we have had great experiences with this hotel and it is close to the beach, shopping, and restaurants. We used taxis to the port. Embarkation was a breeze, they really have that part down pat. We spend most of the afternoon exploring the ship, which may take a few days to do since the Oasis is so big and there is so much to see! Be sure to make use of the the digital info boards located in the elevator areas, they not only tell you where to go, but what activities there are available at that time as well as how congested the various eating venues are.
Both the balcony and ocean view staterooms were bigger than any we have ever been on. I've been in suites much smaller than these! Our steward, as well as all the staff on board were awesome. We had no complaints about any of the service we received. Our balcony stateroom was handicapped friendly which was a real boon to my elderly mother. The ship was very clean and has many interesting art exhibits that you don't find on many ships.
I've found most cruise ship food is pretty much the same, not bad, but not outstanding either. However, the desserts on this ship are some of the best I've ever had. We chose a 6 pm dinner dining time, we were very pleased with the service and food. I did hear there was some problem with the My time Dining so I was glad we had gone the traditional route. Of course, the Oasis is more like a city than a ship. Many eating venues are more like restaurants or bistros, which was refreshing. We didn't use many of the for fee restaurants except Ben & Jerry Ice Cream and Starbucks. Some of our party went to a wine and tapas place and loved it.
I was so glad I had made online reservations for the entertainment. We literally had something every evening or afternoon. You won't find this caliber of entertainment on other ships. It's really more like Vegas, Broadway and Cirque DE Soleil! It is incredible.
Some of our party tried the Flow riders, rock walls, ice skating and zip lines and had a great time!
The casino has a non smoking area which we really appreciated and we participated in a few of the trivia and bingo games.
The are quite a few pools and hot tubs, and awesome sports deck area. Again, the best we've experienced. There is so much to do.
There is a huge adults only friendly area at the front of the ship, the Solarium, which was great!!!
We chose to disembark in the traditional way since we had an elderly relative with us. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, but wasn't exactly streamlined as well as embarkation. We chose to go back to Ft Lauderdale for an extra day, this time staying at the Westin on Fort Lauderdale beach.
My only complaint was that with around 5,000 people on the ship, it can get a little crowded at times, especially with the elevators and events on the Promenade deck. But Royal Caribbean does a fairly good job of spreading everyone out with the ship's layout. If you want to attend any of the Promenade Deck events,or Aqua theatre events not requiring reservations, it would be a good idea to go very early if you want to secure a place to sit down. Also,since we had a balcony overlooking Central Park, we found that it could be pretty hot, as well as on the Boardwalk area and Aqua theatre area. They don't get a lot of sea breeze.
In summary, this is an awesome cruise and terrific experience!