Perhaps I had overdone it on the research but when we actually got on the Oasis it was all so familiar it was almost something of an anticlimax!The last ship we sailed on was the Celebrity Constellation back in 2010 and I was keen to see how they compared!
We stayed a few nights at the Hilton Fort Lauderdle pre cruise and I cannot recommend it enough. Absolutely stuaggering customer service, cleanliness and luxury, it exceeded our expectations and was really excellent value for money. Please just go there!
We got to the port at approximately 11 am and, as we drove up past the ship my othr half commented that it wasn't 'that big'.I must have talked up the size a little bit too much!Check in was organised and we were onboard a little before noon. And, suddenly there it all was....The Globe and Atlas, Sorrentos, all so familiar to me!
I found the stateroom to be a big comedown sizewise after the spacious luxury of the Hilton but it is a ship cabin afterall. That said, the cabin was definately not as spacious as its counterparts on both the Constellation and MSC Splendida.'Crazy', I thought that tis is the biggest ship in the world with the smallest cabins, almost like they are trying to screw you!?'And trust me that was to become a very familiar feeling for the rest of the week!
I had prebooked my speciality restaurants weeks earlier but was accousted by 3 different employees trying to get me to reserve more within the first hour of being on board!Politely explaining that and declining did notseem to work and I had to be very firm with one employee in particular!A very stressful experience when the trip was just beginning!The single worst thing about this ship which would dissuade me from sailing on another Royal Carribean ship was the hard upsell on everything. From the drink of the day to the awful tables of absolute tat on the Royal Promenade(cheap watches, baskets of plastic rubbish), they wanted more and more and more and would shout to let you know. It was really very offputting. Personally, I felt that really cheapened this lovely ship.
I love my food and looked forward to that element above all others and that on the Oasis was really only average overall. We ate in the Main Dining Room on three evenings and found it varied widely in quality. The first evening, we were served very rare pork which I was afraid to eat. (The American lady beside me also expressed concern to the waiter)However, we had a lovely lamb dish and very good crab cake starter later in the week so I was glad we returned after all. Giovanni's and 150 Central Park were both unremarkable and Johnny Rockets pretty good. I would advise you, however, to avoid the Seafood Shack. My Chowder starter was good but the crab legs were s dry as a bone and the calamari pale, greasy and limp. The pizza in Sorrentos was decent. The best meal I had on the ship(and also throughout our entire 2 week holiday to the States was in Chops Grill. This is well woth the cover charge. We had gorgeous hot crusty bread with butter, crab cakes and spectacular fillet steak. It would have been perfect if it hadn't been for the OTT waiter requesting bigger tips and asking to be mentioned by name on the feedback forms......Ammmm, let me think.......No!
The ports wre surprisingly good. much better for me than often described here. Labadee was beautiful and Jamaica spectacularly so. We did the tubing excurion there and would highly recommend it. The guides were great fun and kept us entertained with Usain Bolt stories(he was born in a nearby village.)
The entertainment was just ok for me with the exeption of the really excellent comedy and ice shows.However, it wasn't just money RC seemed to be begging for at every opportunity but claps!I found it so tiresome that Amy the Cruise Director pretty much repeatedly telling us to applaud the performers before and after some of the shows!Maybe its just me but I hate that. If they're good, I'll applaud, I don't need to be told!!Amy is accompanied a lot in her tv appearances etc by the Activities Manager whose name escapes me now. In my opinion, he is a lot more personable, professional and natural than her who just struck me as somewhat insincere and loud!That may seem harsh but that was my perception of the situation.
Though I enjoyed some elements a lot, what I will stay with me most about the Oasis is what you Americans call the 'nickle and diming' and for that reason I will not return.