We were totally WOWed last year with our first cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. The crew members we made friends with last year (Hilda and Rey as well as Cruise Director "Amy") were terrific and we really enjoyed seeing many of them again this July 13-20, 2013. The Oasis continues to WOW each passenger as they board the ship... my new son-in-law literally dropped his jaw in amazement as we first stepped into the Promenade!! My wife and I were onboard to celebrate yet another anniversary and we brought our two adult children with us. Our daughter was celebrating her Honeymoon and her very first cruise onboard with us and our son enjoyed a wonderful cruise on the world's largest cruise ship, his third cruise with Royal Caribbean.
We were on Deck 10 this year and it was every bit as wonderful as Deck 9 last year. Avelino F. was our stateroom attendant and he provided excellent service throughout the entire week. Our room was decorated with four delightful "towel animals" that he made for us during the week. We particularly loved the hanging monkey he left for us on Thursday evening. The room was immaculate and again we had no trouble with unpacking everything into the closet and the drawer and shelf spaces in the room and the bathroom areas. We brought some folding containers that we used to help us organize things in the closet which made it easier for us to "save space" and find just what we needed each time we prepared to dress for some event on the ship or on our shore experiences.
We "did our own thing" this year, not buying any of the shore excursions that are available. In Nassau we just walked around the shopping district and enjoyed buying special things to bring back with us. We found several handmade pieces of jewelry which were very reasonably priced and made for wonderful items for us to remember our day in Nassau. The island had just celebrated their "Independence" and the banners and remants of their celebration still hung on the official buildings. It made for great pictures with all the colorful banners and such. In St. Thomas we were able to shop in the downtown area for a few hours before catching a tour of the island and a beach experience that "Maynard" offered to us... it only cost $25 per person and made for a great "excursion" that we all enjoyed. We got lots of great pictures from all over the island, some with beautiful views from high places looking down at all the ships and small boats in the bay. With our stop in St. Maarten, we again took a cab and went ot Maho Beach, famous for the airplanes that fly directly overhead as they land and take off from the shortest runway in the world... it was really fun and exciting. We had a delightful lunch at The Sunset Grill that is right on the beach at Maho. Leaving Maho Beach, we took a cab back to downtown and again enjoyed a few hours of shopping and picking us many of the "free items" at various shops for which we had coupons from having attended the onboard "Shopping Talk" that was offered by the Shopping Guide (James) on the Oasis. It was then just a short walk back to the ship. Each "day trip" at each of our ports of call was memorable and enjoyed by our entire family and did not add much in the way of expenses.
There are many eating venues on the Oasis which makes for great dining experiences. We again enjoyed our evening dinners in the My Time Dining Room on Deck 5. Carlos and Orlando were our servers and they were outstanding in seeing that we really enjoyed each evening meal in the dining room. I can still taste all that wonderful food... chilled "fruit" soups, shrimp contail, specialty breads, beef, pork, fish and other seafoods!! Paulo, the Head Waiter for our section of the dining room, came to the table each evening and took extra special care of my daughter's dinning needs as she has a food allergy. Paulo made sure that her order for the next evening was taken before we departed the dining room and it was always ready and exactly as ordered when we arrived for dinner the next evening. He truly took care of our every need!! Again, we enjoyed many breakfasts in the Windjammer Marketplace where there is a large abundance of choices of items from which to choose. Lunch was equally enjoyed in the Windjammer as well as at the Wipe Out Cafe on Deck 15 and at the Park Cafe located in Central Park. The "signature roast beef sandwich" at the Park Cafe was delicious and they even make you a salad to your specific order!! Pizza from Sorrento's, pretzel hotdogs from the Wipe Out Cafe, donuts from the Donut Shop on the Boardwalk were enjoyed as our "mid-day" and "late night" snacks. Our son and daughter also ordered Room Service several times and said that was equally great.
The shows were again OUTSTANDING displays of talent. The cast of "Hairspray" also performed special concerts and at other fun entertainment venues during the week including the 70's Disco party in the Promenade. We particularly enjoyed seeing "Edna" and "Tracy" from "Hairspray" when they performed several songs from other Broadway shows in the Viking Crown Lounge one evening. The dive show performers are even better this year than the cast from last year... they thrill you with each high dive! "Frozen in Time", the ice show, was again terrific and offered many visual effects to enhance the experience in Studio B. "Come Fly with Me" again was very entertaining and thrilling as you watch these performers complete many arial and acrobatic feats. The music and dancing was also tops. As you can see, there is never a dull moment on this ship and Cruise Director Amy Fickert sees to it that each and every passenger has a fun filled week with so many diffent things to be a part of and to see and enjoy.
My wife and I "auditioned" for the Love and Marriage gameshow this year and we were thrilled to be included in a "scream off" with one other couple to decide who would be chosen by the audience to participate in the game on the stage. We "lost" the final scream off but we were cheering for our competitors who were wonderful. I am sure it was a "first" for Cruise Director Amy who did not skip a beat during the game... it was great as "couple number two" were two delightful men who had been married for 33 years. Ted and Sam made us all proud even if they did not win the game, ...they did add to our enjoyment of the evening and the cruise and we think they were the celebrity couple for the remainder of the trip. It was such fun!!
I decided to do some things that I did not do last year... the Zipline was exciting even though I felt like I would not be able to "hold on" to that bar as you fly over the Boardwalk below!! I was told not to worry, that if I let go... the safety ropes and other gear would keep me flying without difficulty. Happily, I hung on and enjoyed "the ride". Royal Caribbean should place a camera there so that each person can be certain to get a professional shot of their trip across that line... a camera like they use at many amuzement parks that is set to take a picture when the person reaches a particular spot on the line would do the trick and would not require any additional photography staff. I found that riding the Flowrider was more difficult than I had imagined. My fear that I could fall and break a bone was proven not to be the case... the Flowrider is well-padded and safety precautions are taken seriously by the staff.
Looking back on this cruise, I must say again that the Oasis of the Seas is a DREAM vacation trip and one that I recommend to anyone and everyone. The entire crew and officers truly go all the way to see to it that you enjoy your time on the ship and they are always there with a big smile on their faces. If they are tired because of the long hours that they work each week, you would never know it... they are always delightful and spread cheer everywhere.
My only complaint about a cruise vacation is that the week goes by so quickly that it is already time to get off the ship just as your getting started!! I recommend that you watch some of the videos that are available on-line and to "study" the deck plans available on the Royal Caribbean website prior to going... it makes it a lot easier to learn your way around the ship quickly. I did not get turned around or lost a single time this year!!
So... treat yourself to a very special experience of lifetime and take a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. Then you too can be "awesome"!!