Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by pilot123texas: Worth it just to experience the ship
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Worth it just to experience the ship
When we are traveling without the family, we prefer the all inclusive lines like Regent. But we were intrigued by the "world's largest cruise ship". This is an incredible ship. The atmosphere on the ship is more like that on a Carnival ship as opposed to Holland (as just an example). While it might not be for everyone, if you are cruisers like us, it is worth it one time just to experience the ship. We probably won't do it again, unless the whole family with grandkids is along. This is a great ship for families with lots of venues for kids and the children's programs seemed very well managed.
Ship/Cabin: The ship truly is amazing. We were there during a holiday week, with every cabin booked and lots of families but the only night it actually felt a bit crowded was Thanksgiving night. For such a large ship, is actually very easy to get around. Keep in mind, however, this ship is huge and it is a quarter mile from bow to stern. If walking is a problem for you, More consider booking a cabin near one of the two elevator banks, which are at opposite ends of the ship. We had an oceanview/balcony cabin. Nice, but nothing fancy. The bathroom was small, but functional. Don't expect any extra amentities. Shampoo and soap was all that was provided. The closet, however, was very spacious with lots of hangers. Balcony cabins open either to the outside or to an interior "Central Park" area. We were glad we had a seaview balcony. There didn't seem to be a lot of privacy for the cabins with interior balconies and after the first couple of nights, you rarely saw anyone sitting on their balconies and most cabins kept their drapes closed for privacy. Internet is available throughout the ship and was the best we have ever seen on a ship. And there was always someone available to help. In fact, staff throughout the ship was very helpful and exceedingly well trained.
Embarkation/Debarkation: We checked in on line, which undoubtedly helped. But from the the moment the cab dropped us at the curb to the point when we actually stepped foot on the ship was no more than 15 minutes. Tip: We got there about an hour after they started embarkation and that may have helped miss the first rush. If you can carry your luggage off, you can debark between 6 and 7:30 a.m. They mean this literally - don't ask for help with your luggage. None is available and there are no luggage carts available. But with even large bags on wheels, many families, including us, took advantage of this option. We had a leisurely breakfast, collected our bags from our cabin, and 15 minutes later had cleared customs and were in a cab headed for the airport
Luggage: It is tempting to leave your bags with the porters, but make sure you have a carry on with the clothes you plan to wear the first evening. We saw many people at dinner still waiting for their bags to be delivered.
Dining: We skipped the regular dining rooms and ate in the specialty restaurants every night, so I can't comment on the dining room food/service. Tip: Make the reservations on line before you leave, particularly if you want reservations the first night of the cruise. This is true even if you are eating in the regular dining rooms but have anytime dining. The lines on board to make reservations were quite long and tended to stay that way all week. We had made reservations in advance for the entire week and were glad we did. The downside of that is your credit card does get charged as soon as you make the reservations. But we didn't have any problem changing reservations once we were on board for later in the week. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants, but did have a couple of favorites. The Chop House was very good and service was outstanding. The overlooked jewel is the Solarium Bistro. This is a free restaurant in the Solarium area (see below) for breakfast and lunch. At night, there is an extra fee. Other reviews tend to pan this restaurant as not being elegant enough, but we found it delightful. At night, it has an open kitchen/bistro concept feel and a romantic atmosphere. The menu is designed to be healthy (which might turn off some people), but we found it quite sophisticated and on a par with the other speciality restaurants. A side benefit is there were always tables available so we never felt rushed and the service was outstanding. Best kept secret on the ship. There are lots of casual free restaurants on board for those who want to steer away from the formal dining room and specialty restaurants. There is even a Johnny Rockets on board - for a fee of course.
Solarium: The solarium is the adults only deck area and is by far the best we have seen on any ship. We were always able to find a chair and the over 16 years rule was actually enforced. It was a delightful area to relax with a book and a drink.
Bars: There are lots - just depends on what you enjoy so check them all out before you settle in on your favorite. But watch the bills carefully. We had an incident with a deliberate overcharge one evening that required a bit of work to get resolved. But once we took it to the main passenger desk area, it was immediately resolved.
Shore Excursions: We've have cruised the islands many times so didn't take any of the excursions. Less
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