The Oasis of the Seas was a pleasant surprise, a lot of family fun for everyone! My wife and I have been going away the beginning of December to celebrate our anniversary for as long as we have been married, and that did not stop when we had kids. Now instead of just the two of us it has become a family adventure, our children now 10, and 6 have been are very well traveled but to this point we have taken relaxing island vacations with one Disney World trip thrown in the mix. We have been thinking about a cruise on and off for years but always backing out so we can lay and play and relax on a beach all week. Well, we finally decided to book the Oasis and experience something brand new.
Wow, was it fun! We did play, we hit 3 beautiful beaches, but lay and relax (that did not happen too much on this ship). That's not what this trip was about and you know what, that was fine!
We Flew from Philly to FLL, landed at 10:50am and was on the ship by 11:50am. It would have been a lot faster but getting in that long line to get a taxi to the port from the airport was the only holdup.
Once on board we headed right to Parks Cafe for the famous Roast Beef sandwiches and salads. The sandwiches were great but the salads were even better! It wasn't a salad bar but more like (The Salad Works) you pick what you want from a glass case and they prepare a fresh delicious salad. I was impressed. The place was crowded but that was to be expected, everyone was getting on the ship and everyone was hungry. (To tell you the truth that might have been the only time the ship felt crowded for the entire week).
We than checked out the ship for a little and then was able to get into our room and it was only 1:15pm. Vacation had begun and all was good.
The pools were never as crowded as I expected, always able to get in and always able to get a chair. My favorite two pools were the Beach Pool which is a salt water pool, and the Main Pool, it seem like those two pools were centered on the ship and got less wind.
We loved the flowrider, we were on it everyday and again no lines. The beginning of the week maybe 5 people in front of us and by the last two sea days the most ahead of us maybe 10. The Zip line was great, Mini Golf was a blast, Rock Climbing to the top of a 43ft wall, wow! I think the only sports activity we missed was ice skating not that we didn't want to but ran out of time. The activity staff were all very helpful, very nice, and really funny.
For the first 2 days we had smooth sailing, never knew we were moving, well that ended on night 2, the ship was rocking and rolling for the next 3 days or so but by the time we left St. Martin it calmed down. I couldn't believe that a big ship like that would be effected so much by the waves.
Food on the ship was really good, so much better than I expected from an "almost all-inclusive". Giovanni's was the Best! Service and Food could not be beat! Our waiter that night set the bar very high, so did the manager. The rest of the week some service was close but those guys at Giovanni's could not be beat. Solarium Bistro for dinner was Outstanding, The Atmosphere was tops, Candle lit, and the sounds of water running. So much space,it was very peaceful, it was really nice and felt like you were at a 5 Star Resort restaurant. The food matched the feeling. I had the Bison, it was Great! Chops on the other hand could have been Great but the Service was horrible, everything seemed rushed, busy, and the filet's that were suppose to be medium well all came out pretty rare. After sending it back to be cooked some more they still came back a little bloody. You would think the signature steakhouse would have top notch service and be able to prepare a steak to your liking. Izumi was another really good choice, they start you off with complimentary edamame and miso soup,everything else is al carte with a $5.00 per person enterance charge. We ordered some sushi and the hot rock dinners. It was fun cooking the dinners on the hot rocks but a little tricky to know when everything was completely done, we kinda over cooked everything to play it safe but it was a very enjoying meal. We only ate in the MDR twice being on both the formal nights. The service was not the greatest and the food was nothing like the Speciality restaurants. The whole feeling in the MDR was a disappointment compared to the atmosphere of the Specialty Restaurants. Though the second formal night we did enjoy the lobster tails! We did eat casual one night at Sorrento's Pizza, it was Great. We had the make your own personal pizzas and they were tasty. It was nice to people watch on the Royal Promenade while talking and eating.
Each show was better than the next, but our favorite of the week was Hairspray, I was nervous that the kids would not be able to sit through a 90 minute Broadway show but they did and loved it. All the other show were about 45 minutes and all were really good. We reserved our shows 90 days in advance to make sure we would be shut out but it looked like there were plenty of seats open 10 minutes before the shows when they opened them up for people without reservations but better safe than sorry. It was nice that they had the Comedian do a show open for everyone including children in the main theater the last night of the cruise, it was really funny. We also all enjoyed the Throw Me A Line improve show. Don't miss the Dreamworks Parade, or the 70's Party at the Royal Promenade it was a fun, with or without kids. The best spot to watch these events is across from the Cupcake shop, get there early,grab a chair form Sorrento's and enjoy.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Amy Fickert our cruise director for the first couple days, but after I got over "I'm Amy and You're Awesome", and realize she is everywhere, has energy and is really working hard to make sure everyone has a great time, I began to really like her.
Our 3 stops were Nassau, were we bought a day pass to the Sheraton ($30 for adults, $15 for children), about a 20 minute ride from port by taxi. Really nice beach and pools. The day we went was very windy but it was nice and still well worth the money. St Thomas we took a taxi to Emerald Beach, a nice beach with calm waters, with a restaurant and bathroom on site. It was a good choice and we did see some of the talent from the ice skating show beaching and eating there as well, always a good sign. *Our favorite beach we hit was Le Galion, on the French side of St Martin, if you really want to get away from the crowds and have a beautiful beach, calm waters and palm trees,this is the place, and yes this is the place I did get to finally do a little relaxing:) They also have a beach bar that serves food, drinks, and a bathroom. Almost everyone getting off the ship was heading to Orient Bay, might be fun but Big waves, and Big crowds sounded like a big waste. Le Galion was just what we needed, a couple hours to rejuvenate and feel like we were really in the Caribbean, away from it all.
There is so much to do on this ship, something for everyone. We didn't want to miss a thing so we set our alarm early, and stayed out late. Our inside cabin was a little cramped but the only time we were really in the room was to sleep, change and shower. The money we saved by getting the inside room more than paid for all of our specialty restaurants and mostly everything else we charged on board. Our Cabin attendant Ferdinand was EXCELLENT, always greeting us with a smile, and doing a great job with our room. The ship was so clean, all day and all night we always saw people cleaning all parts of the ship, these guys and girls really take pride in there job.
The best deal on board, especially if you have children with you is the soda cards, $35 for all the soda you want for the week, you can get the sodas from the bars, restaurants, or even the cool new Coke machines where you can mix about 100 flavors and I know that is true, I watch my kids do it throughout the week, lol.
It was really a great week, one my family will never forget. Sure it wasn't as relaxing as some of our island trips but every once in a while you need one of these nonstop action, nonstop eating, nonstop fun vacations. And I am sure this will not be the last of them.