We were on Oasis February 2-9, and enjoyed the cruise very much. We are late 40's and have been on many cruises (Carnival -- ugh, Celebrity -- great line and many RCCL). This was the first time we cruised with a large group, a total of 16. We had 8 balcony rooms liked up in a row, and our room attendant was kind enough open the partitions between balconies. It was truly a great experience.
We flew in on Friday and stayed at a LaQuinta about 8 miles from the cruise terminal, the cab ride can cost $40-$50 each way, and we thought that was a little pricey. We had a great time with all our friends, and the hotel turned out to be very comfortable.
Saturday morning we were all up and ready to go to the terminal. I believe we arrived around 10:30 and were able to get right on the ship! Immediately, we went to the pub just through the doors for a drink of the day. We were met with a very enthusiastic server! After that we attempted to eat at the Windjammer, which was in total chaos! There are not enough seats for this size ship! We ended up at Johnny Rockets for lunch.
After lunch we were grateful to get into our balcony room, it appeared smaller than on other ships, but was efficient. We brought along an extension cord as recommended by others and that was a great tip! Some from our party brought along surge protectors, but they were confiscated and were inconvenienced for a bit to pick up their luggage. So don't bring surge protectors and you'll be all set.
The ship is very beautiful, and we had a great itinerary. We have been to Labadie before and it was just ok. It was a dreary day and the snorkeling was bad. This time our group all went on the adult sandbar get away and that was a lot of fun! It was relaxing and if we go back, I would likely want to do that again. Second stop was Falmouth, Jamaica -- we have been all over Jamaica and where we had a great time, never really found a spot where we were comfortable unless in the protected areas. Falmouth was a very clean port, lots of shopping, and only ran into a few really pushy people. We went on a river tubing adventure. It would have been great if we could have floated at our own pace, but there were 8 in our group and we have to hold on to each other the entire time. I would not do again. In Cozumel we have always booked shore excursions and this time decided to just go with the flow. We had so much fun just shopping around, popping in here and there for a beer or snack. A lot of pushy sales people, but never felt unsafe. Great time!
Stateroom attendant: Avalino was our attendant, very efficient, kind, attentive, just did those little extras that make you feel special. You can tell he enjoys his job and guests. He was getting ready to go on vacation to see his family. Wishing him the best!
Food: Reading reviews I realize that some people have really high expectations when it comes to the MDR so I never take them to heart. I must say I was very displeased with the menu and quality of food. It was just ok. My favorite was the herb crusted cod, and my husband had a duck dish he said was exceptional. The appetizers were pretty good, the desserts were just ok. Everything was just ok. Our MDR staff was Manuel and Rose and they were just terrific! Manuel showed some magic tricks at the end of our meals, and Rose is just incredibly sweet! The other half of our group had lousy service, we were very fortunate!
Specialty restaurants: My husband and I broke away from the group one evening to have a romantic dinner together to celebrate a special occasion. We went to Chops and had a great meal and waiter. I believe it was worth the $40/pp, but certainly wouldn't go back if they increased the charge. My husband had a trio dish of veal, duck and chicken sausage. The chicken sausage was disgusting! I had the filet-mignon and it was cooked to perfection, but didn't have much flavor. The side dishes were excellent. Dessert -- my husband had the red velvet cake and loved it. It was HUGE. I had the crÃ¨me-Brule and it was pretty good. They fire it up right at the table. I wish I could remember our waiters name, he was terrific!
Our group went to Giovanni's and on the second formal night. The appetizers were exceptional! The pasta dishes were above average. For the life of me I can't remember what I had for my main course, it was good though, and my husband loved his meal. Dessert - I had an almond gelato with a shot of espresso. That alone was the most outstanding thing I ate this entire cruise. I wish that was available everywhere!
Note: we never felt like we were being rushed out of any of the speciality restaurants.
We only had lunch in the Windjammer once -- good variety, nothing to write home about.
Solarium: we had breakfast here once, it was pretty good. We had lunch a there a couple of times and enjoyed it very much.
Johnny Rockets: additional charge -- typical Johnny Rockets but without the singing.
We loved Central Park and had breakfast three or four mornings at the Park Cafe.
Room service: limited for breakfast, and would order coffee (just ok), cereal and fruit. We did order toast one morning and it was cold, but that didn't surprise us. It's hard to keep toast warm. One thing to note, if you order RS, expect it to be delivered at least a half hour earlier than you plan. They do call first and it's usually about 5 minutes after the call before it arrives.
Entertainment : Water show -- wonderful, Ice show was incredible: they have sand art performers that are just amazing, my favorite. We caught most of Hairspray and that was great. Was disappointed we couldn't get into the Comedy Show. Marriage show was hysterical, although was bummed with the winners. They asked for all newlywed couples to compete to get on stage. The couple that won had been married 8 months, versus the real newlywed couples. A couple that had been married 60 years was so entertaining. Another couple who had been married 28 years should have been the winners though (my opinion).
Show reservations: You really should make them! We didn't, and one of the reason we will likely not sail on a ship this size again. Not enough seating for the size very disappointed. The concierge was able to book us for three shows, and we enjoyed them. Speaking of her, Carolina (I think that was her name) in the Diamond Lounge was by far the best one we have ever come across. She was mingling with the guests, had an outgoing personality. She treated everyone like royalty!
Diamond Lounge: It was great! Best one yet! Never had a problem getting a seat, Anthony our waiter was terrific, and I already mentioned Carolina. Best experience yet!
Elevators: We had read about long waits at the elevators. We never experienced a long wait (more than 2 or 3 minutes). What was frustrating was the rudeness of some people! There could be 8-10 people waiting and then a couple/family would walk up when the elevator doors were opening and literally push to not only get on that elevator, but to be the first ones on.
I have to say, with the large capacity of travelers, came a large number of rude people, and there was equally sweet people!
Pool area: This was the first ship we have ever been on where we didn't have a hard time finding deck chairs, whether it was at one of the main pools or in the solarium. Great job! They were also enforcing the 30 minute rule! If the chair was unoccupied for 30 minutes they would remove the towel(s)! There were plenty of signs around the pools displaying the rules. Kudos to the staff!
We zip lined on the ship and that was a lot of fun! Never long lines! Flow riders -- didn't get to do, there were often lines and just didn't feel like waiting around, and didn't try on port days -- that's probably a good day to do them. They had parades that were a lot of fun, a super bowl party with retired NFL players who we saw many times throughout the cruise and they were very nice. A lot of activities! The belly flop contest is great!!
Sorry I skipped around, and I'm sure there is a lot I didn't write about. But I think this gives you a good idea what to expect. I would likely not sail on this size ship again. Just missed the little things the smaller ships have to offer.