Here is my review of the Oasis of the Seas for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise (my review is longer than I expected). I will comment on the common areas of each deck and the three Ports of Call. I hope this review answers any question you might have before you depart or book your vacation.
I traveled in a group of 10, five couples, ranging from age 25 to 42. I was the elder statesman of the group and have spent the last 18 years in the Prime Beef Steak business (8 years with Ruth's Chris Steak House and 10 years with Malone's in Lexington, KY). This was my seventh cruise, but first on Royal Caribbean International.
I will describe each deck in detail, trying not to be redundant to past reviews and touch only on the key points that stand out.
Deck 3: Main Dining Room Entrance, we came here for breakfast in the MDR (Opus Dining Room) on one occasion (very good and French Toast was awesome, but it took longer than we wanted). Never was on this floor again except to More
get to gangway when leaving the ship.
Deck 4: (Lot going on this deck) - Main entrance to Opal Theater (Come Fly with Me, Hairspray, Headliner) and this was a nice facility. Be sure to pay attention to the poles in the Opal Theater, the obstructed view only affect the back portion of the theater, but beware when looking for seats. We could have gotten into ANY of these shows without reservations (place is huge). Blaze (dance club) is next door and it was hit or miss. One night it was hopping, but most nights it was a ghost town. Jazz on 4 is nice. Great spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. Comedy Live is TINY and you will need reservations (10-20 from walk-in line make it per session, but they start showing up early to get in line). MAKE reservations as soon as you can for the Comedy Show. It got GREAT reviews from everyone that I talked to who attended. Studio B is the Ice skating rink and where they host other shows outside of the Ice Skating show. We did not go to Ice skating show, but attended Quest (adult game show -- fair and better on other ships) and the Improv Comedy show (great). The Casino is also on this floor and hallways down the side of the ship connect the front portion of the ship to the casino and the MDR. Casino was big and had all major games. There was a poker room, but I did not attempt the computer generated Hold'em tables. The second floor of MDR was also on this floor. We ate every dinner in MDR and loved it. Steaks were good (not great), but the lamb shank, lobster tails, starters made up for any overcooked steak. Order steak one temperature lower than normal, they continue cooking on the plate with the steam covers. Overall, we were VERY happy with the MDR experience, food, and service from Godofredo (our MDR server) and his assistant, Louis. We did not choose a wine package, but did order bottles of wine. I saw more value in the bottles NOT offered in the wine packages. The wine package wines were the glass wines throughout the ship. With wine, typically, you get four glasses per bottle (6 fl oz), but if you multiplied the glass prices by 4, the price was better to order 4 glasses on many of the wines, instead of the bottle. This is how they offer the 25% discount on these bottles. We preferred ordering obscure bottles like Tempranillo, Carmenere, and Primitivo at the $40 range than going with wines offered in the wine packages. My wife did enjoy the Conundrum for $10 glass on more than one occasion (we sell by the bottle for $56). If you have more questions about the wine, please let me know and I will do my best to answer them.
Deck 5 (Promenade): (Lot going on this deck too) Balcony to Opal Theater and entrance to fifth floor of MDR. The Mondo Coffee Bar labeled on many cruise sites' webpage is actually Starbucks (pay for coffee on sea pass card as if it was cash). Boleros (tapas food with a la carte pricing) are where they held art shows and Latin music. Never went in there. On Air is the so-called sports bar. All TVs were always on the same game, but did have all night games including World Series. This was venue for karaoke (too small) and one of the girls in our group won the competition, which was cool. The watch, jewelry, etc. sales, and most of the shops were on this floor. I did not attend any sale nor do any shopping - my wife attended the One Day $10 Sale and it was chaotic, tons of people trying to get to small display tables. Guest Services is on this floor and I never saw many people in line. Most info or actions is done via the phone or on your TV. Sorrento's (no extra cost) had good pizza and there was hardly ever a line (open until 3:00 am). You could take a spiral stare case down to the Casino or up to Focus from this floor as well. You can catch the Rising Tide Bar here and take it to deck 8 (it was rather boring, IMO). We did like the Champagne Bar, it was a cool place for a drink prior to dinner. GREAT drink list (no beer here) and they had caviar available to taste as well. The Prosecco by the glass for $7 was VERY good. Good prices on half bottles too. This deck is a zoo during formal nights with all the places to take pictures. In addition, it was a zoo during parades and dance parties (frenzy). The Cafe Promenade (no extra cost) was on this deck as well, but I never went there. The Globe and Atlas Pub was really cool and had a great selection of beers (Boddingtons's on draft). They had a decent singer in there one night, but he tried to be a comedian more than a singer. The Running Track around the ship was on this floor, with 2.4 laps around the ship equaling a mile. It was an amazing surface to run on as well.
Deck 6: Was more like a second level to the Promenade deck than its own deck in the front portion of the ship and the Boardwalk was located on the back half of the ship. The Diamond Club (not a member) was on this floor and you entered from the front of the ship above Boleros. Focus (Picture Center) was located on this floor, they have mastered the picture business. Guests have the choice of viewing photos via computers located outside of Focus by scanning your Sea Pass card or seeing a printed copy in their own portfolio folder in Focus (your portfolio number is on your Sea Pass Card) from a face recognition system. Very cool! The Schooner Bar (Piano Bar) was nice, but had a different feel than previous piano bars in the past. You could book future cruises on this floor. The Spa and Fitness Center was located on this floor as well. I think the Spa was actually downstairs on deck 5, but you entered through deck 6. They had the Vitality Cafe to order protein shakes, drinks, etc at an extra cost (protein shake was $5). I did not use the spa, but the gym was good. Our group was able to hold our own CrossFit workouts there and they had needed components for a good workout. The Boardwalk was nothing what I expected; it was an open-air area that never had any traffic except when the Oasis of Dreams or another show in the Aqua Theater let out. It had five specialty shops, an ice cream parlor (a la carte pricing) and a donut shop (no extra charge, but they were the same ones you get in the Windjammer Cafe and were fair at best, IMO), Carousel and the Boardwalk Bar. The Boardwalk Bar had corn dogs and chicken fingers in a hot box, but the appearance of the corn dog did not indicate that they were rotated often. They had a few salads, parfaits, etc at that location as well, but it seemed to be an afterthought. This is where Johnny Rockets was located ($5 gets you sandwich and fries and milk shake is another $5) and we had a great lunch there after we got back from Nassau, the rest of our group went for lunch later in the week and none of them were impressed. The Seafood Shack (a la carte pricing) was just fair, but the prices were nominal. I never saw this place have more than six tables in it all week. The Aqua Theater was located on this floor and this was a cool spectacle.
Deck 7: Rooms occupied this entire floor except this is where the Rock Climbing walls were in the back of the ship.
Deck 8 (Central Park): Neat area for sure and home of several restaurants and shops. 150 Central Park was enjoyed by a couple in our group one night and they raved about it; it was a 5-course meal ($40 per person) with wine pairings ($75 for five 4 oz pours, but server allowed them to split the pours). Chops Grille ($30 per person), Vintages (held wine tastings throughout the week in the afternoon), Giovanni's Table ($20 per person) and Park Cafe (no cost) are all on this floor. The Rising Tide Bar stopped at this deck in Central Park, also in Central Park was the Trellis Bar (great service and neat spot) where we had pre-dinner drinks one evening. Towards the back of the ship is Dazzles. We went a couple of times and it was okay. A two-story bar that held shows with a small band (fair, IMO).
Deck 9: Second story to Dazzles and Internet Sign up (I tried to read emails one day and quit after experiencing long delays)
Deck 10: Rooms
Deck 11: The Library with a good selection of books to read while you are on the ship. This is where the Concierge Lounge is as well.
Deck 12: Second floor to Concierge Lounge
Deck 14: There is an awesome Observation Deck (front of the ship) you get to from this deck on the portside of the ship. It is worth seeing and it is a great spot to watch the disembarkment from any port. There is the Kids Area in the front of the ship. The Card Room was in the back of the ship that had place for you to play games and some computers to surf the web.
Deck 15: The Pool Deck and entrance to Solarium. The Beach Pool (chairs were partly in water and it sloped towards the pool) was awesome, but you have to get there early to get a chair (EASY to get a chair elsewhere). Sports Pool is where they do volleyball, but it is only at set times and it is usually a tourney, not open play. Pools are rather small, but they were never overcrowded. GREAT hot tubs and they are spread out amongst the deck. Bars are cool, but nothing fancy. Teen Area is towards the back on this deck. There were 6 ping-pong tables, a putt-putt course, sports court, arcade, the surfing FlowRider, and the boogie board FlowRider. Lines were never crazy long. The Zip Line was cool, but it is short. The Wipeout Cafe is next to the arcade and its snacks were good (pretzel dog was good). Typical pool deck of a cruise ship. I had read that the Solarium was awesome and that the food was great. I did find the area cool, but I did not enjoy the food. Typically, I like to eat healthy, but I did not find the food options enjoyable for lunch or dinner. For the record, the RCI Beer Coolers are provided with 8 beers and a 10% discount for ordering 8 beers. This is no different from a bucket except you get the cooler. I never saw any refill for $25 (read about this pre-cruise) and neither did anyone else in our group (SEVERAL refills on the cooler throughout the week). This was apparently a promotion that is no longer in effect. We did take the coolers to the beaches. It helped there.
Deck 16: The Windjammer Cafe was on this deck and we ate all but two breakfasts there. It was perfect for a group our size and the food was solid. They did cook eggs to order at the side grill if you asked. They did omelets on the buffet, but there was not a station. Good variety of food. A couple ate here for lunch a couple of times and they were happy with variety of selections. I preferred Johnny Rockets and I would have gone to MDR more if I had to do it again. The Solarium Bar is located on this deck at the front of the ship. Never busy and went for one drink there. The Izumi Asian Cuisine is located next to the Windjammer and the ambience had a Windjammer feel. It cost $4.95 to eat there and then you paid a la carte pricing for the sushi. I never ate there. There were a couple outdoor bars (open during normal pool hours), but they were not a place to hang out.
Deck 17: The Viking Lounge was up there and we went there on two occasion's pre dinner. It had decent spot with little traffic. They seemed to appeal to a more relaxed guest who likes classical music.
I never felt the ship was crowded except on deck 5; getting on and off the ship was seamless; there is an outlet towards the floor at the front of the bed (bring a power strip for here and place on top of the couch) AND there are two outlets UNDER the desk below the mirror. No iron anywhere, but pressing costs is cheap (never had to do this), the clothes pins to keep curtains closed in AM was great idea, ALWAYS keep top "master" switch turned on in the room (keeps circulation moving in the room) and keep balcony door shut at all times if you like your room cold. Elevator lines were not that bad, but we took stairs often (we were centrally located on 10th floor). Room service was typical of other cruise ships, but coffee and fruit on the balcony was nice. No way to see into other Central Park Balcony rooms unless all curtains were open and it was a certain time of the day. Just keep sheer blinds closed. Bar service was SLOW in every bar except for the Champagne Bar, so be aware that going for a "quick drink" at most bars is not going to happen.
This cruise was awesome and I am thankful that we went, but the trip without trying, was expensive. We never went to any specialty restaurants for dinner, did not book an excursion through the ship, or make any extravagant purchases. We did drink throughout the day and at night, but it was never excessive. I never felt like we were missing out on anything except the Chef's Table or 150 Central Park. Either of those would have been a special treat.
Overall, it was a great trip on a great ship. Less
Oasis of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean
We were there from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. Not much time to do anything and we went to town to shop for a bit. We fell victim to the $16 Bahama Momma Yard at Senor Frogs (we knew we drank something afterwards), but it was good. With the limited time, I would stay on the ship the next time.
We chose to go in a cab to Pinel Island (about 10 minutes past Orient Beach and there was no nudity, which was a plus). The island was a grand slam. Leave the ship, no later than 8:45 (takes about 30 minutes in a cab), to insure you get to the island before the first ferry ride ($7 pp-roundtrip) at 10:00 am. The ferry runs every hour unless they need to make a run on the half hour. Some of us took the kayak over for $10 pp, but I would take the ferry next time. I will go back to this port in my lifetime because this place was PARADISE. Bring some crocs or shoes and walk to the other side of the island (awesome); it only takes 10 minutes to get to the other side. The food was outstanding and the service on the beach was awesome. It is not cheap (10 people with beers, 6 chairs, 3 umbrellas and lunch was right at $600, including tip). The cab fare for groups is much better than a cab for just two. Try to recruit some people going there at the cab line; this will help reduce the costs. This was a high point on the trip.
Great place to catch up on emails and phone calls if you live in the USA. We went to Emerald Beach (Lindbergh Bay) for a relaxing day. It was quiet, quaint, and very pretty. Not enough action for the five guys and I wish I would chosen Coki Beach (more action). The one good thing about Emerald was the proximity to the ship. We saw SEVERAL crewmembers hanging out there and the cab ride per person was $4 each way. We had a taxi for the 10 of us and the cabbie pulled over to a grocery store right by the ship and we picked up two styro coolers and some beer. This came in handy. We rented some floating mats for the bay and they were awesome. Tony (rental guy) at the Best Western was great. Oasis has their own dock and the cab line is efficient.