My husband and I are under 50 and have done around 30 cruises. This was by far the best ship in all of our cruises from Princess, Celebrity to Holland and NCL.
We drove to the port as we are only 2 hours away from Ft. Lauderdale. We dropped off our bags with no waiting. We parked across the street which is open parking. We arrived around 1:30 and found a spot right up front. This terminal was built just for the Oasis and Allure and they have it running
very smoothly. Upon entering the terminal there was no line at all. They have more counters than any airport I have seen. It was impressive! We are diamond members with Royal and got in the Diamond line and walked right up to the counter. But there was no waiting in the regular lines either.
We were on the ship within 10 minutes! Went straight to our cabin and walked out on the balcony on the boardwalk (B1 #10723) and said wow this is awesome! We love amusement parks so the setting is just like one. The view of the Aqua theater could not have been better. We were able to see all the shows, fountain shows, movie screens, rock climbing wall, zip line
and the view of the ocean was really beautiful. All activities going on below as if we had an expensive aqua suite. It was that good and half the price. Actually the aqua suite can't see much of the boardwalk as the rock climbing wall obstructs their view of it. So we were actually able to see the same as them plus a lot more!
After exploring our cabin we were off to lunch to the Windjammer. There was a great selection and not very crowded. The food was to my liking and I am a very picky eater. We usually don't eat in the buffet but this one had some very good food. We had my time dining and went to dinner around 6:30 and found it to be overly crowded. They sat us at a little table for 2 back in the corner and felt like a sardine. After we already moved from our first table because we were not happy with it. When we left the line to get in was
unbelievably long. So go early. Needless to say we didn't return to the dining room the rest of the week. There are to many other choices to have to put up
with crowds like that.
We booked the Central park dining package for $65 per person which included 3 specialty restaurants, Chops, Giovanni's and 150 Central Park. There were 2 other packages that were also available. We thought is was a great deal!
We have eaten at Chops before and it is always good. We ate on the outdoor patio and it was really nice out there! Very relaxing doesn't even feel like you are on a ship. Birds piped in singing and at night the crickets are out. A really nice touch! Our waiter Shubert was A+. Made it even a better experience. You won't get better service except if you go to Giovanni's.
At Giovanni's the food was excellent and probably was my favorite of the 3. We ate there twice. Our waiter there was Joselito and he was also A+. The best service we have had in a very long time! And always smiling. Just an excellent
experience all the way around! We also ate outdoors and just loved it!
At 150 Central Park the menu is very different. The chef prepares dishes and pairs them with wine. It is a 5 course dinner already set menu. You just sit and be waited on. It is very nice not to have to think about what to order. There are 2 menus first half and second half of the week. We preferred the 2nd half of the week. We were leary of not liking the food and were
almost right about it. If you like very small portions which didn't bother me. I must say it is not a place if you like to eat a lot. The
dishes are sophisticated. It is something to try and was on our dining plan but we won't be going back.
The Solarium Bistro is also a great place to eat. For breakfast and lunch it is free. For dinner they turn it into a formal all white dining room very pretty! There is a fee for dinner but we really enjoyed it. The foods are so fresh and breakfast and lunch the best fruit and yogurt. They also have a nice choice of items. After eating breakfast we would head out and grab a nice comfortable chair in the solarium. What a beautiful place we spent a lof of time there. Loved it!
The Central Park Bistro was another of our favorite spots for breakfast and lunch. Freshly prepared bagels and fresh salads prepared exactly how you like them. Cafeteria style. We spent a lot of time in this area as well. Another favorite spot. Central Park!!
We had breakfast at Johnnie Rockets not to great but the hamburgers and fries are always the best! Service very good too!
Other places to mention: Donut shop on boardwalk-ok. Cafe Promenade always fresh sandwiches and desserts, coffee and teas. Great place! Sorrentos pizza in the promenade very good! The Cupcake Cupboard - ok. Maybe another flavor
would have been better. I had the choc/vanilla.
The last place I want to mention is if you are a diamond member they have a nice diamond lounge with a balcony off of the promenade in front of Starbucks. This was a great place for after dinner drinks-cappuccinos - light snacks. But the best part was this is where you can watch all the activities in the promenade and not have to be down in the crowd. The concierge Hayley is the best!! She was happy to do anything for us made dining and show reservations and offered her help when we had a problem with our cabin. She really went above and beyond and made our time very enjoyable. You are the best Hayley!
We saw most of the shows they were all excellent! Hairspray is the real deal! Oasis of Dreams even though we saw the first show from our balcony we made a res to see it from the theater and glad we did it was really excellent. The divers are experts and the show was top entertainment. It sort of reminded me of a Cirque show on water. Come fly with me was another favorite. So good!! The headliner show was cute as their tribute to the Beach Boys. The comedy shows were great as well! I don't think there was any bad entertainment on the whole ship. Casino was really huge, very nice but slots a little
tight. Flow rider watched lessons looks like a lot of fun will try it when we come back in November. As well as the zipline. But once you have tried one you have tried them all. Oh one more thing to mention the internet (cafe) was speedy fast every time I logged on. Doesn't take forever to sign on anymore.
Debarkation was fine there was a little hold up when getting in line to get off because people were cutting in line and nobody was there to traffic them for a few minutes. But once we got off the ship the porters were waiting at the bottom of the escalator and grabbed our luggage and got us right off bypassing the long line. Get a porter it is worth it. Tip him $10-20 They will
bring the luggage right to your car. So worth it!
All in all if you like the Freedom/Voyager class ships this is a much better version!!! Everything is bigger and better!!
If you plan it right you can do the opposite of what everyone else is doing as we did and we never experienced a crowd anywhere except the dining room which we totally avoided! This was our best cruise yet!!