My thoughts on our Oasis cruise. We like many others wanted to experience the worlds largest cruise ship. I like aft cabins so I thought a balcony cabin overlooking the boardwalk neighborhood would be good good idea. I picked the highest deck under the flow rider last cabin on the end.
Pros/cons: Pros; Great views of the ocean, the boardwalk area & the aqua theater, no vibration or noise from the engines, no wind and nobody looking onto our cabin from above. Cons: cabin was not a suite so it was just the average size, noise from the aqua theater were LOUD (even with the doors closed), aft cabins are nice but you do walk more to get to the back, very little sun on the balcony and I had booked 11 months in advance to get this particular cabin. So bottom line would I book this cabin again, yes I think I would. If you want a quiet peaceful experience most of the interior balcony over broadway are going to be loud but it was not a deal breaker and I knew it may be a problem. As other reviewers noted interior cabins do lack privacy as they face cabins on the other side. Cabin was small but had adequate storage space. I liked that under the bed it had enough height to store luggage. The only plug is under the mirrored desk so ideally you will need plug cord long enough to reach the top counter. My travel one is short but I managed. If you have allot of electronics it could be a problem. In my carry on I had a 18 bottles of water and 2 rum runners. I did not have any problems from security.
The first thing we did once on board was confirmed our traditional late seating dining assignment. It doesn't matter what cruise line these days you use they don't honor any requests for seating for traditional dining. It took about 10-20 minutes to speak with maitre de. They take your sea pass and you take a seat and wait and they have refreshments available as well a nice touch. We asked for a 8 or 6 top and were happy to have met a wonderful couple from California. We also purchased the Oasis dining package which includes, the Solarium, Giovanies, Chops and Izumi. Solarium was very intimate and good food. Giovanies probably the best meal of the cruise. Izumi was ok but we had the idea of of going for lunch and I guess that screws everything up (we ended up going twice for the same price). The quality was good but the menu is limited at lunch time so check it out for dinner for the full experience. Chops was a disappointment. It is just plain loud, kind like eating in a sports bar. Tables are tight, ceilings are low and service was spotty. I had the oysters, house specialty salad and the porterhouse. The oysters had bbq sauce on them and I am sure that is a crime in some states. The salad was mixed greens and 2 full strips of bacon and oil and vinegar on the side. The menu says vinaigrette I didn't realize I was mixing it myself odd, very odd. The steak was just perfect. This was our first attempt at specialty restaurants on a cruise and I understand the idea but I can't say it was far superior then the main dining room. The main dining room was not very consistent but I am odd duck and always order 2 entrees and my chance of getting something exceptional goes way up. I have always had waiters accommodate the extra plates. Winners: seafood pot stickers, lamb chops, duck, avocado pasta and prime rib. Losers: lobster tail and strip steak. We ate most of our lunches and breakfast in the main dining room. They had buffet setup for both meals so if time was an issue it could be as quick as the Windjammer. If at all possible avoid the Windjammer it was the worst consistency, that is no exaggeration. Park Cafe has exceptional salads, paninis and of course the roast beef sandwich. I recommend ordering 2 with extra au jus and a little horse radish. The guy carving the beef is probably the hardest working man on the ship!
The salads made to order on this cruise are hearty, fresh and consistently well done.
Service was very good, cabin steward very friendly and upbeat dining room busy but competent a seasoned pro. In general staff were friendly and were willing to please.
Went outside the box for me and booked a private lesson on the Flowrider. Late in the day they closed it off for me and 3 other passengers and gave us allot of attention, instruction and encouragement. Not being the most coordinated person I still had lots of fun and it was a highlight of my trip. Next time I will probably skip it, my 50 year body doesn't roll with the punches like it use to!
Excursions: Labadee; did the dragon tail it was OK short-ride don't sweat the hand break (we shared a car together and it was fine), it was exceptionally hot day for December. It was pretty crowded on the beaches they are better at the back side of the complex. Take the free tram running full time and tip the drivers at some point. Food is fine but the
flies were bad! Bought a few souvenirs but Mexico was a lot cheaper.
Jamaica, I have been here quite a few times and my past experience is the people just don't appreciate cruise passengers. I even considered not getting off the ship. We did the Irie Mon beach break with lunch. The beach is small but the day we went we had maybe 30 other people and it was great. Lunch was exceptional and people were friendly, just a
pleasant day. Open bar wow!
Cozumel we booked the bottom fishing trip and it rained the whole trip. Not just a caribbean shower, a constant shower. Oh well guide was great and the fish were small but thats fishing. Our plan was to go to the beach after (a restaurant beach called the Money Bar its very close to port, clean, lockers, quiet, great food) but it was still raining so we
took a nap and went back out for souvenirs in the late afternoon.
I hope my review revealed some good tips. In conclusion, I would recommend this cruise to most anyone. With 6,000 passengers if you look you can see how they are very efficient in so many ways. I made a point of checking out the entertainment, more so on this cruise and I think of what I saw it was top notch, kept moving and geared to a younger crowd. Food overall more good then bad, but I have to say consistently the worse coffee ever. Service good overall but the marketing was overkill. I work in advertising and love to cruise but phone, electronic messages, fliers, it was just too much. Not unique to RCCL but it did seem worse, slicker but still bad.
One more thing the TV allows you to reserve your dining reservations but its lot easier and more accurate to do it on the phone. The TV account management software system is a little daunting so if your monitoring your spending it may be clearer to just go to guest services and get a print out. I went twice and they were very busy but friendly. They have a staff person at the back of the line answering questions. Smart, very smart.
Embarkation and debarkation, just plain exemplary.