We booked our seven-night Western Caribbean cruise almost a year in advance. Following so many weeks and months of anticipation, I started to wonder and worry, "Will this ship live up to our super-high expectations?"
In a word: YES. None of us left disappointed!
Our family of four stayed in two staterooms (hubby and I had an ocean view with balcony; our girls shared an interior stateroom). But we didn't spend much time in the rooms. We were far too busy enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Oasis.
For me, the entertainment was a major highlight. Following the advice of the Cruise Critic Community, we were quick to make show reservations (it was all booked by April 1 for a June 21 sailing). That planning paid off, and we were able to enjoy just about every show the ship had to offer. Hairspray was phenomenal (the eight-year-old was thrilled when her Adventure Ocean group got to interact with the actress who portrayed Tracy Turnblad). The aqua theater show was spectacular. The ice skating show was breathtaking. And the headliner, Earl Turner, had us all cracking up and on our feet clapping and dancing. We also enjoyed the comedians; I was able to catch the adult show one night as well as the family-friendly acts the last night of the cruise.
We had all but one dinner in Opus Dining Room. The four of us agreed that we never had a bad dish--everything was served promptly and accurately; the taste and presentation were fantastic; and the service was impeccable. We booked through AAA and received a voucher for one of the "upgraded" dinners, so we tried Giovanni's Table one evening. It did not disappoint, either--phenomenal Italian cuisine and equally attentive service.
We didn't love the Windjammer buffet, but that has more to do with our general distaste for buffets. We had breakfast several times in the Opus Dining Room and enjoyed those, as well as two breakfasts delivered by room service. We loved dining on the veranda while enjoying the ocean view.
It was great having a Starbucks on the ship, too. The drinks are not included in your cruise fare, but I was able to use my Starbucks Gold Card (and earn "stars" for free food/beverages).
We had two different cabin stewards, both of whom were excellent. In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of any RCCL personnel who did not provide pleasant and quality service.
A FEW 'OTHER' NOTES
If I had to think of any negatives, it would be these:
1) The hard selling on the Royal Promenade. We took a Disney Dream cruise in 2011, and I don't recall there being much, if any, "hard selling" on the ship. On Oasis, the salespeople were everywhere--handing out annoying little slips of paper about bogus "prizes" and "contests" in the on-ship jewelry store, etc. My husband and I both found this to be highly irritating. Would it keep us from coming back? No, absolutely not. But we'd sure like to see it go away! :)
2) The long and somewhat stressful disembarkation process. I suspect that US Customs & Immigration had more to do with that than the cruise line, but it was an unfortunate end to a wonderful week at sea.
3) Finally, this is nitpicky, but three of us bought the soda package. When you purchase the package, you receive a cup with some sort of "chip" or "sensor" that activates Coke "Freestyle" machines on the ship. (The machine will not dispense soda to a "regular" cup.) Even with our official cups, we often had difficulty with the Coke "Freestyle" machines. First, there simply are not enough of them around the boat (quite intentional, I'm sure! LOL). Second, they were often malfunctioning or out of ice. On several occasions, the machine denied me a refill as if I had just gotten more...when I hadn't. That was a bit frustrating considering the cost of the soda package.
CONCLUSION: Eight thumbs up!
All in all, though, we would DEFINITELY cruise again on Oasis or its sister ship, Allure of the Seas. If you are traveling with your family, you simply can't go wrong with Oasis. It's a memorable experience well worth the time, trouble and money. With a little planning ahead, you are sure to have the time of your life!