I was hesitant about this cruise, having sworn off cruising last year because of rough seas and overall lack of quality of ship, food, entertainment, and unfortunately people. I admit that my husband and I had taken less expensive cruises in the past, and now I know that cost does matter. Our trip with the Oasis did cost quite a bit more, but it was reflected in our overall experience. I would highly recommend this cruise and would not hesitate to cruise with them again. However, I would like to make some suggestions.
We traveled with my mom (in her late 60s), my sister and hubby (40s), and two teenage kids. It was their graduation cruise.
Embarkation went very well. We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale the night before at the Comfort Suites Airport and Cruise hotel and took the shuttle from the hotel to the airport the next day, as it was free. The shuttle from the hotel to the port did cost.
It's true that RCCL is good at getting you through the embarkation process quickly and efficiently. When on the ship we were overwhelmed at the size. Loved the atmosphere, and the only time I really felt it too crowded was upon arriving. Seems like everyone went to the Park Cafe immediately. I would recommend finding your room first and then just looking around.
Room: We were on deck 6 with an outside balcony facing port side. We had our 17-year-old son with us in the room. It had a queen sized bed and sleeper sofa. It was a bit crowded at night, but then we were only in there for bedtime, so it worked just fine. The balcony is worth the money. Plenty of storage and room under the bed for shoes. Only two outlets at the desk beside the balcony. The bed was very comfortable, and we all slept very well.
Food: MY TIME DINING: In our opinion, dinner time was our favorite time on the ship. We quickly came to love our waiter and assistant server (Valentino/Sergio). They immediately remembered our names, wanted to know our favorites right away, and recommended based on our responses. Amazing how they can keep up with all of it. They went above and beyond what was required to make us enjoy our meals. If we didn't like something it was no problem, and we received no flack whatsoever about the fact that we don't drink and wouldn't be ordering wine with dinner. I miss them both. We ate in Opus every night, and we began eating lunch there, too after the second day. We were able to be served by our favorites each time. PROMENADE CAFE: The best coffee, if you need it in the mornings or whenever. Couldn't understand why people went to Starbuck's, when the coffee tasted just a rich and strong in the Cafe there. PARK CAFE: Loved snacking there, and the steak sandwiches are great. VITALITY SPA: Don't go there. The guy making smoothies told my sister one day that she could only pay with cash, only to find out she was charged AND he took her cash. Not good, and the smoothies weren't that great. SORRENTOS: Wonderful pizza JOHNNY ROCKETS: Great breakfasts, and FREE.
Entertainment: Again, you get what you pay for. All so excellent! Please go to them all, and include the belly flop contest. It was a lot of fun. The captain's question and answer time is also highly recommended. I really came to realize how competent Captain Selvag is, and funny.
Cruise Director: Amy Flickert. She was energetic. I'll give her that. She was condescending to the passengers, though, which turned a lot of people off. During the belly flop contest, she compared one overweight contestant to a manatee. Really felt sorry for the guy and his family. Also, she kept talking to this little boy who was somewhere around six years old. A little cutie with glasses who gave funny answers. After a while she said, "And people ask me why I don't have children." Not only did her comment not receive laughs, but it illicited some ugly comments afterwards among audience members. Again, I felt for the boy and his family.
Crew: We loved how the crew members were so friendly and helpful (aside from the photography staff - horrible). They were organized and knowledgeable.
Ship: We had a couple of nights/days with rough seas and felt it somewhat, but nothing too terrible. I'm pretty sensitive, too, about ship movement. Even with strong, gusty winds I was surprised at how smooth the ride was.
Excursions: Nassau - Blue Lagoon, hands down. St. Thomas - ferry ride to St. John and then Trunk Bay. St. Maarten - segways, then rent a car. We found Oyster Bay Resort and enjoyed iced tea by the water. Such a wonderful place and amazing beach.
Suggestions: (1.) Pay with cash. My mother was charged twice for her onboard expenditures, as was my sister. RCCL isn't the best at getting back with you re problems after you've cruised, either, we've found. My husband and I had a credit which we chose to get out in cash the night before. At 2:37am we received a phone call from the attendant who gave us the cash back afraid that he had given us 100.00 too much back. I mean, really? Calling passengers at 2:30 in the morning for a mistake you might have made is unacceptable. Completely. We were shocked. Not only did he not give us an extra 100.00 back, he also didn't seem to believe us when we told him. He was so distraught that it sounded as if he would cry. I understand this is no small matter to him or the security of his job, but I think the matter should have been handled better. (2.) Have alternate plans in case of rain on port days. (3.) Don't miss "Guitar Selections with Pedro" in Central Park at night (4.) Best place to sit and watch the water, with the best view is Deck 5 in the very back of the boat. Prime real estate there that is a secret until the last couple of days. Great place to sit before or after dinner in Opus.
Would like to take the Western Caribbean cruise on Oasis eventually. Now if I can just get used to making my own bed again :(