After seeing the Oasis in port last year after getting off the Navigator, my boyfriend and I knew we had to try out one of the biggest ships in the world! We decided to book the week of April 27-May 3 as we thought that would be a good gap between spring break crowds and summer crowds, and it was also the week of my 26th birthday! Overall we had a fantastic time but it was a very different experience than being on a smaller ship. A few things:
Pre-cruise: After reading on this board, we did all of the pre-cruise planning that we could. It was slightly frustrating to have to pre-plan what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, but it was an easy process that made the whole trip much easier.
Embarkation: As easy as promised. We were a bit concerned about possible airline or port delays because of the furloughs since we were flying the same day. However, the process was smooth and easy. In fact, our flight landed at 11:40 and at 12:30 we were eating lunch and drinking our first cocktails in the solarium.
Crowds/Lines: As others describe, the only time we felt crowded was the first day, specifically upon embarking and during the drill. I was really overwhelmed when we first got onto the ship by the number of people and for a while I though we had made a big mistake. But by Sunday it seemed that people had settled in and we never really felt crowded again. I also don't think we ever saw any big lines, aside from the windjammer the first day at lunch. Even when getting on/off in port we never waited in line. The only time we were ever "in line" was when we showed up early to the shows. The bigger issue for us was that there seemed to be a lot more rude people and people that lacked common sense on this ship since it is a tourist attraction by itself. It was just annoying to have to deal with but we don't let others ruin our vacation.
Entertainment: The variety of entertainment options on this ship were nice. Hairspray was okay. We loved the Aqua show and enjoyed the ice show. The best entertainment, in our opinion, had to be the comedy club. The comedians and the MC were hilarious. I wish we could have booked that every night. We also enjoyed the entertainment in the jazz lounge and the regular band in the Viking Crown lounge. Another entertainment option was the Broadway night in the Viking Crown lounge where some of the Hairspray cast sang broadway songs- it was a real highlight for me. The only issue we had with the entertainment was that there seemed to be constant issues with the sound for various shows/events, but it didn't impact the experience overall.
Pools: We never went to the main pools but instead enjoyed the sun in the solarium. The solarium on the Oasis was incredible! There was so much space, places for shade, places for sun, a good breeze, good bar service, and we were able to get to the solarium bistro for breakfast and lunch if needed. We were surprised though that they only had the one tiny pool, it often got too crowded to even get in despite a mostly empty solarium. In fact, the best part about this solarium was that it didn't fill up fast. On the smaller ships, we have gotten up before 7am to start the day in the solarium to get seats in the sun. On the Oasis, we never had a problem grabbing the same prime seats as the solarium didn't start to fill up till almost 10am.
Activities: We choose to do the zip line and the rock wall while the ship was in port in Jamaica. It was the best time because there was no line for either. The zip line was fun, though scarier than I thought it would be after doing the big zip line in Labadee previously. I was really excited for the rock wall but I found it a lot harder than it looks. I think I'll have to go on another cruise just so I can conquer the rock wall, haha.
General Dining: Overall we enjoyed the food on this cruise. For breakfast, we liked the Solarium Bistro best, mostly for convenience and a bit lighter fare in the mornings. We also really liked eating at Johnny Rockets for the included breakfast one morning, very good! We ate almost everyday for lunch at the Wipeout cafe. It seemed like a lesser known venue but they had all of the food we wanted for lunch so it was perfect for us. It also got us away from the main lunch crowd and we could eat outside while watching all of the fun activities. We did try the Windjammer for dinner one night when we were exhausted and we didn't care for it. We ended up having to find snacks later that night and wishing we had gone to the dining room.
Main Dining Room: The first night we hated the main dining room. We thought we had made a terrible mistake coming on this ship when we were rushed through dinner and didn't enjoy the food. However, it got a lot better during the week and our waiter warmed up after the chaos the first night. We always like the appetizers more than the entrees so we really appreciated them always accommodating those requests. The new menu is okay and overall we were pleased.
Specialty Dining: We decided before the cruise to book a night at 150 Central Park. I was very anxious about this as I am slightly picky eater but it was AMAZING! Best decision that we ever made this cruise. We had the wine pairings too which made it even better. I ate some of the best food I have had in my life and ate things I didn't even think I liked. It was almost worth the going on the whole cruise just to eat there. I would highly recommend it.
Bar Service/Drinks: We decided before the cruise to buy the premium drink package. While we don't think it was necessarily worth it financially, it was worth it not having to worry about our bill all the time and being able to buy drinks whenever we wanted. We thought we got the same great service as everyone else did at the bars and we were able to get just about everything. I was concerned initially about the wine in the package after reading such negative reviews but we both thoughts it was completely fine. There are a lot of bars on the ship but our favorite was the Trellis Bar in Central Park and the pub. We also went on the Rising Tide bar, which was a neat experience.
Room: We had a D1 balcony room on Deck 9, which meant we were on the hump. The room was big and well organized. They must have previously fixed the issue with the outlets because there was an outlet right on top of the vanity. We really enjoyed having the large balcony as it was very quiet and private, so we could read there in the afternoons without hearing any noise but the waves. Deck 9 was also very nice and quiet and conveniently located.
Ports: We went to Labadee, Falmouth, and Cozumel. We had been to Labadee before and we really enjoyed just relaxing there on Nellie's beach. It was especially nice since the drink package still applied. We only walked around the port in Falmouth and then decided to take advantage of the mostly empty ship. We did a wonderful excursion in Cozumel where we swam with dolphins and manatees, which made that a great port for us. Like may people, we picked this vacation for the ship-not the ports.
Overall: We had a great vacation on this amazing ship. We were able to have the best of both worlds on this vacation, lots of entertainment and activities, but we were still able to relax, take naps, and enjoy some peace and quiet. However, it was definitely a different feeling than on a smaller ship. We felt that the service was overall adequate but not as personal. We may go on another Oasis class ship in the future with family but for now we are going to go back to smaller ships. We are glad though that we took this cruise on the Oasis and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone thinking about cruising on this magnificent ship!