...it's really a one-of-a-kind multi-generational experience with something for everyone. There are many detailed reviews out there, so I’ll keep this basic and let this whet your appetite for more.
If you are an experienced cruiser (say more than two cruises), you will be amazed at how this ship feels more like a land-based resort with more amenities than you could imagine. The service is top shelf, meaning any issues or concerns we had were handled quickly and professionally (and there were only a couple). The staff and crew are always friendly and helpful, and this is what you notice more than anything if you have cruised on either budget lines or even smaller RCI ships. The designers did a great job on layout as you never feel that you are on the largest ship in the world with 8,000 other people (6,000 passengers and over 2,000 crewmembers). You will notice that the quality of the food is exceptional, but the drinks are standard (pricey and portion controlled) in your souvenir glass. Because the ship is so big, and having the latest stabilization technology, only once in rainstorm did I feel the ship rock a bit in the waves, which I kind of like on smaller vessels because it makes me feel like I am at sea. Finally, the entertainers on board are at the top of their field – the jazz band, comics, singers, dancers, and the orchestra, along with the piano bar guy and steel drum band all do not disappoint. We were on Deck 14, one deck below topside, which was great because we were only one flight away from dining, swimming, and sports – but, we did get some deck noise in the evenings and mornings. Both embarkation and debarkation is a breeze –they have a great system and our wait time for both was no more than 15 minutes.
1. The shows in the theatre – we saw Hairspray which was outstanding.
2. Jazz Club
3. Adult comedy club
4. The main show in the Aqua Theatre
5. Dinner at either Chops or Giovanni’s (no need to do both unless you really want to because the MDR food is great)
6. Flowrider and Sports Court
7. The best roast beef sandwich ever at the Park Café
8. Coffee with pastries at Promenade Café
9. Headline performers popping up in the smaller venues for intimate performances and meet and greets
10. Breakfast in the Solarium Bistro (Better food, nice atmosphere, and never a wait)
1. Sail-away party – it’s not like the other ships as its held aft and lacks intimacy with the crew
2. Windjammer for every breakfast or lunch (Crowds, noise, crazy buffet experience)
3. Comedy show for kids at the Aqua Theatre if you are an adult
4. Current ice show (summer 2013), we have seen better
5. Sidewalk (deck) sale – the same stuff will still be on racks on your last day
6. Johnny Rockets ($5 cover pp to buy burgers and fries, really?)
7. Arcade (what a rip-off!)
Experienced cruisers will appreciate the Oasis experience, but may miss some of the more intimate and nautical feel of ships like Radiance. Oasis is more expensive, but it is not to be missed.
New shipmates will be wowed at what is possible at sea, and the quality of service and cuisine that is available. A caveat – not all ships are like this, so taking a cruise on a smaller vessel or a budget line may mess with your expectations.