(I am a Diamond Plus Member under the age of 30 and took my girlfriend on her first cruise. We are a very active couple. This was the first time I have been on the Oasis class ship. for a little background so you might be able to relate)
Little things I wish I knew before the cruise:
1.Specialty Dining package. We booked the Central Park Package, it was great. You have to eat somewhere the first night of the cruise. -Wish I knew that the coupon book you get for DP/Pinn members had a buy one get one free for specialty dining in it. However, this was still a good deal if booked before the cruise if you plan on eating fine dining.
2. IF YOUR DP/Pinn. you dont need to pre book all of the shows. I have never been on this class ship, so pre booking shows was new to me. I booked them in advance anyways but realized I didnt need to.
3. EAT AT THE CHEFS TABLE!!! before I left I read some mixed reviews on it, didnt really know what it was. its $95.00 per person wine included. You eat in the Concierge Room upstairs at a table of 16 that is done once per night. The menu is pre-made and the chef explains all the dishes to you. Richard is in charge of organizing this, he is GREAT! you also get a cookbook and apron. Way better deal than 150` in my opinion. I will not go back to 150'. (i almost don't want to tell people how much I liked chefs table because I enjoyed it so much!!! i want it to be my secret, but it will get out sooner than later anyways!)
Boarding: As I read in other reviews, the boarding process was great. No problems for us! we stayed at the hyatt regency pier 66 which I also recommend. It was very close to the ship! I woke up and saw it from my room in the morning. We arrived at 11 and had to wait for about 30 minutes. We were on the ship in no time and went straight to the park cafe for a quick snack for the roast beef sandwich I heard so much about. It was very simple but really good, we went there often throughout the trip.
We were among the first group of people on the ship and we were really trying to get some sun so we were at the pool for the majority of the day. The drinks were great! we really just took the time to enjoy the ship... It is amazing how wide it is! Our room was done by 1pm and the bags were in there by 2pm. Pretty amazing they can do this better than the smaller ships. Overall, I was very impressed with the whole boarding process and room/bag process on this ship!
Almost every night we would go to the concierge room before dinner. THE WORST CONCIERGE I HAVE EVER HAD! the assistant was very nice though. I spoke with Richard about this, he works the Chefs Table and said the concierge was new. Seems odd to me they would put someone so inexperienced on the worlds largest/ newest ship. I have had some great concierge's on recent ships!
We only had dinner at the Main Dining room 2 times. Which was very abnormal for me. I like the big table feel and meeting new people. This ship does have the best Head Waiter I have ever had. I really want to list his name here, but I cant find his card at the moment. He came everyday and really cared about his job and Royal.
The Raising bar was great! Jennefer the waitress was amazing, we came to her daily after dinner for a drink just to say hi!
In all, I felt this cruise was amazing. Its great for kids, families, couples, and singles! I never felt crowded, Royal does a great job. I love the new technology they offer as well. The only thing I would say was different was I missed the old cruise feel. I had an Boardwalk room for the first time having an "inside room" and did miss seeing the ocean from the balcony. I feel like there is too much optional dining. I loved it! but just include it and I will pay more upfront! It just gets annoying having to pay for more and more. THIS SHIP DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. You will enjoy it! what other ship can the captain ride his Harley down the boardwalk!?!?!?! pretty amazing shows too! I will definitely be cruising on this class again, there was so much that I didn't get a chance to do! Have a safe Trip!!!