Oasis of the Seas -- WOW!
Sail Date: May 11, 2013
Cabin: D4, Superior Ocean View with Balcony
Cabin #: 9562
Master: Tryn Selvag
Cruise Director: Ricky Matthews
Hotel Director: Martin Rissley
Food & Beverage Director: Gianluca Corneli (there are 20 chefs)
Ship's Stats: 225,000 gross tons, 22 knots cruising speed, 1,187 feet long, 208 feet wide, 2,196 crew members, over 71 nationalities
Staterooms: 2,704 total, 6,296 guests @ full occupancy
Cruising Experience: 26 total; 4th with Royal Caribbean
I won't bore you with minute by minute, play by play details of how we got there and everything we did each day. Instead I've broken this into sections: The Ship, Ports, Entertainment, Food, etc. Are you ready? It's long, here we go...
The Oasis is, as everyone knows, a huge ship. It is also an awesome ship. Central Park is beautiful with its plants and trees and brick paths around the plants. Although we could hear birds chirping, we never saw any. I think it was sound effects. Boardwalk is just as neat with its carousal, and yes, I wanted to ride it! Along Boardwalk are boardwalk-type restaurants like Johnny Rocket's, a seafood restaurant, Sorrento's Pizza, the Cupcake Cupboard and many more.
Solarium: We spent our sea days tanning at the Solarium, the adults only area. It has a beautiful pool, hot tubs and even a Solarium Bistro with healthier options.
Main Pool: We spent a little time here one afternoon on a port day when it wasn't crowded, but most days it was packed. The deck around the pool is painted to look like sand and there is even water from the pool in that area. Kinda protects your feet on a hot sunny day!
Kiddie Pool, Miniature Golf, Basketball Court: These were all available. We did not visit the teen area.
Lounges: There are so many lounges I can't begin to name them all, but we went to Dazzles and The Viking Crown Lounges just to relax and hang out when no one else was there.
Observations: 1) If you are not very mobile it may be difficult for you. The Oasis requires a lot of walking and you will have to go from one end to the other to get to where you need to be. 2) The only time you know there were 6,000 passengers aboard is when the shows let out and everyone was trying to get an elevator or get to another show. Otherwise, it's really not that bad.
Our cabin was nice, but very small. We were so cramped. There was very little room between the bed and the closet. You could barely get the closet doors open which slide, and there is not much shelving. The bathroom is very small and the shower is round with sliding doors. You could barely turn around in it. I don't think a hefty-sized person could shower in it. Our balcony was typical with a small round table and two chairs. It was big enough for the both of us. The safe is one that you program with a number. One positive is that you have three outlets on top of the dresser and two underneath it.
Our Cabin Steward, Richard from Trinidad, was outstanding. We met him the first day and requested our glasses, ice, extra towels, and amenities. I didn't like having to do this, but that's the way it's done on the Oasis. He kept us stocked with amenities and always came through with every special request. We did tip Richard extra on the last night and he was very appreciative. We also turned in a WOW card for him.
OMG...there is so much to see and do on this ship. We literally left one show and headed to another, left that one and headed to another every night, all night. I don't want to give away too much info here so it won't be spoiled for those who will be sailing on the Oasis soon. Before I get into all of the ones we saw, I need to mention that you must pre-book your entertainment. Keep checking and as soon as reservations open up, book that day. These shows get booked very quickly. We booked the first day reservations opened up on line and thought everything was good. A few days later I was looking through my Spam folder and found a confirmation e-mail from RCI. Only Hairspray was confirmed. I immediately called and discovered that all the others did not get reserved for some reason. They were very helpful in getting them all booked for me. We were unable to get the Standup Comedy Show when we initially wanted it because there was only one seat left, but she worked on it and got us booked on the same night as the Headliner show.
Hairspray: It is the same as the Broadway version movie, and very well done. The actors are all excellent and of top quality. You may remember Jim J. Bullock from Too Close for Comfort. He plays the mom and we got to meet him at Meet the Stars one afternoon. It wasn't a backstage tour like we've had on another ship, but we got to meet the main stars of Hairspray and see some of the props close up from Hairspray and Come Fly With Me. The cast is all topnotch with wonderful credentials. You are not allowed to take videos or pictures even without the flash so I have none of this show.
Come Fly With Me: Another out of this world show. The lead character literally "flew" right over our heads. I looked up and could see his feet inches above my head! There was also an aerialist who is excellent. She also performed during the parade we saw in Central Park one afternoon. You are allowed to take photos with the flash turned off, but no flash photography or video.
Oasis of Dream: Another OMG! This show is held in the Aqua Theater. These performers are also some of the best. Most are Olympics divers and swimmers, and gymnasts from the US, the Ukraine, and Russia. They dive from super high dives, they do stuff on a trampoline, they do so much it was hard to keep get pictures! I really didn't quite get the story they were telling, but just to watch it was awesome. On another night, we watched it from the 11th deck and it was a quite different perspective.
Frozen In Time: I did understand these short stories! They were stories by Hans Christian Andersen. I didn't recognize the first one, but I did recognize The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and the Emperor's New Clothes. The skating was wonderful and so beautiful. Again, the skaters are Olympic skaters or ballet dancers from the US, Russia, and the Ukraine. A Sand Artist did the story of Thumbelina. She did such an awesome job! I have never seen anything like this before so I have nothing to compare her work with, but it was absolutely wonderful.
Headliner Showtime: Another great show. It was a concert by a group called ABBAcadraba. Imitating the group ABBA, they sang all of ABBA's songs and did a very good job. At the end the guitarist said, "That's it, we've done all of ABBA's songs, show's over." Everyone yelled that they didn't do The Dancing Queen. He said, oh, Queen! You want us to do a Queen song. They did a great job of a Queen song, and then, with the entire audience on its feet and joining in, they performed Dancing Queen.
Standup Comedy Show: There were two comedians in the Comedy Live venue, Jim Davis and I can't remember the other one's name, but both were funny. I liked Jim Davis a little better. The show in Comedy Live does have adult language and situations so if you don't like this, you may not want to book this show. Both comedians gave performances later in the week in the Opal Theater for a more family oriented crowd. The jokes were the same, but without the vulgar language.
Jerome Bell Concert: Jerome Bell, who also has a lead part in Hairspray, gave a concert one afternoon. You may remember him from Season 10 of American Idol. He is very good and I enjoyed his concert.
Summer Breeze Concert: This was a concert by the main guys and a couple of the girls in Hairspray. Very nice.
The Quest: Ohmigosh! Hilarious, that's all I can say.
Love & Marriage Show: This is like the ones on all other cruise lines, basically same questions, but they are all always funny as you never know what will be revealed!
Zip Line, Rock Climbing Wall, & Flow Rider: We didn't try these, but it was fun to watch those who did. Some people got pretty good on the Flow Rider and Rock Climbing Wall.
MDR & Windjammer: We booked My Time Dining with a 6:00 reservation so we could make the shows on time. The first night our waiter was Francisco and asst. waiter Robert, both from India. They did a great job and we asked to be seated in their section every night. We thought the food in the main dining room was pretty good. There were a couple of nights that nothing appealed to us and we ordered from the everyday dishes. The prime rib, lobster tail, and shrimp cocktail were very good. I got the linguini pomodoro three nights as nothing else appealed to me. One night our waiter brought me the chilled honeydew soup even though I didn't order it. It was very good. On lobster night, our asst. waiter got tied up with other guests who were rushing him and forgot to bring the melted butter for my lobster and horseradish for my husband's prime rib. We mentioned it to our waiter as we were leaving and he spoke to Robert about it. He asked us to give them another chance. We asked for them the next night and they over did it on service. Collectively, they asked us about 20 times if we wanted more bread. Service was very good from them all in all and we gave them an extra tip as well.
We normally prefer breakfast and lunch in the MDR, but after the first day of this we opted for the Windjammer for the remainder of the cruise. The food in the Windjammer was actually very good at both breakfast and lunch, and better than on other ships we've been on. It can be difficult finding a table here, however.
Chops Grille: Our travel agent had paid for a dinner for two here so we tried to make reservations for the last night. We were told that that was only good for port days, so we had to book it on Labadee day to get the time we wanted. So take note of this if your TA gives you a complimentary dinner here. I ordered the 7 oz filet mignon and my husband ordered the 10 oz. They bring out mashed potatoes and green beans family style. All of the food we ordered was very good. For dessert I ordered the crème brulee which was served blazing! My husband ordered the mud pie and said it was good.
Johnny Rocket's: Johnny Rocket's is along Boardwalk, and there is a cover charge. We had a coupon book with a buy one, get one free milkshake coupon. We both got hamburgers which were very good and the onion rings/French fries appetizer. I got a chocolate milkshake that was very good. I have to say that although the hamburger and milkshake were good, I have had better right here at home.
Cafe Promenade: This little cafe has cookies and other pastries and little croissant sandwiches. Pretty good for a quick snack. I must say that Princess' International Cafe is better.
Sorrento's: We got pizza here every night around 11:00 or after as the Windjammer is not open in the evening. The pepperoni pizza is pretty good, greasy, but good.
Labadee: Labadee is really pretty. We took the tram to the far end of the island to Columbus Cove. We were able to get lounge chairs under a nice shady palm tree by the ocean. It was so peaceful I slept almost all day. Lunch was not very good to me there, but I didn't go hungry. Tip: I would not get the hamburger...have never tasted a burger like this; I'm pretty sure it was not ground beef... On the "main" beach area closest to the ship, there was a zip line that went over the ocean and a roller coaster on the top of a mountain. As we were heading back to the ship, we noticed an overlook. As we climbed to the top, I got some great pictures along the way.
Falmouth: We went into the shopping area and walked around there for a while and went back to the ship. This is the time I got some pictures around the ship with little or no people.
Cozumel: We love Nachi Cocum in Cozumel. We go here every time we are in Cozumel. It opens at 9:00 Cozumel time which is one hour behind ship's time. You will always stay on ship's time, so don't forget this when in Cozumel. It looks like a dump when you drive up, but once past the door you will be escorted to your very own chairs under a palm tree with your own waiter for the day. The price includes one appetizer, one entree, one dessert, and whatever you want to drink all day (soft drinks, water, or alcoholic drinks). It has a hot tub and a pool. It's not designed for children, although people do bring children there. It has an open air massage which is wonderful, jet skis and parasailing. There is an extra charge for these.
We enjoyed most of the day lounging in the pool. A group from one of the Carnival ships arrived around eleven o'clock and stopped immediately at the bar and loaded up. Fortunately they stayed on the beach most of the day. Their waiter stayed busy taking drinks to them. Around 2:00 they decided to join the rest of us jumping the pools with their drinks and cigarettes. They were very loud and vulgar. Even though there is a sign saying they don't allow a "spring break party atmosphere" I don't think anything is ever said to anyone. We went back to our chairs on the beach for a while and left around 3:00. I think I enjoyed watching a male bird wooing his "woman" as much as I enjoyed Nachi Cocum. I noticed this bird kept looking up in the tree chirping. I could hear the female answering. Then the male would pouf out his chest and spread out his tail feathers and dance, all the while looking up in the tree. This guy had no clue how close I was to him, but I don't he would care even if he did -- he was on a mission!
Please do give the waiters and bartenders an extra tip if you use them; they do work hard.
Cruise Director: Ricky Matthews is great. That's it, he's great.
RCI Meet & Mingle: This was scheduled for the second day. Not many people were mingling, but we had met a few members of our Roll Call at an informal meet on the first day.
Platinum & Above Extras: Of course there was the Past Guest Party, but we also had a special invitation to tour the helipad. We were given some interesting facts and champagne was served to those who wanted it.
Formal Nights: On this itinerary, formal nights were on Sunday and Wednesday.
Embarkation and Debarkation: We arrived at the terminal around 11:00 and only had to wait about an hour before we boarded. We were checked in within minutes and were escorted to the Platinum waiting area. Once on board, we headed to the Windjammer for lunch and then walked around until the cabins were ready at 1:00. We unpacked our carry-ons and since I pack all of our clothes in our carry-ons, I got them hung up right away. We then, headed out to do some more exploring. Our big suitcase arrived while we were at dinner.
Our flight home didn't leave until 2:45 so we were in the last groups to get off. We found some comfortable chairs in one of the lounges and waited until around 11:30 or so and got off very quickly. We found our luggage right away and actually got through Customs quite quickly. RCI is very organized with the way they handle both embarkation and debarkation.
I loved the Oasis and would definitely sail on her again. I was not impressed with the food in the MDR for breakfast or lunch and have to give the nod to the Windjammer on these. As far as food and menu choices in the MDR, I have to give the nod to Carnival.
Service was very good and comparable to other lines we've cruised on. As far as entertainment, I don't think any other line can touch the Oasis, with maybe the exception of Disney, and we have never sailed with Disney so I can't really compare. The performers were all very quality, topnotch actors, skaters, and swimmers. The shows are so professionally done and with high quality as well. We are spoiled now and will expect this on every cruise from now on!