Having just returned from our two week cruise on the Oasis of the Seas through both the East and West Caribbean, I can best describe the experience as having a glimpse of how it must be to be treated like Royalty! There are so many aspects of this cruise that you would put into the 5 star category that I don't have enough power left on my iPad to list them all but the pleasant and helpful nature of all staff on-board is worthy of first note.
I'd love to tell you about the many speciality restaurants but the food in the Opus dinning room was of such quality with a variety of choice every night that I've never experienced before, we never wanted to change and go anywhere different.
Our Balcony Stateroom was more spacious than we've experienced before on other cruises and we were impressed with our very comfortable king sized bed and large bathroom and shower compared to other ships we have sailed on.
Labadee, Haiti - if you want a great beach day then turn right out of the port gates and follow the signs for Columbus Cove. It's a 10 minute walk but you get the best beach and sea. Sun loungers are free. Hire a water mat for the sea, only 12 USD and great fun!
Falmouth, Jamaica - We went horse riding and loved it, particularly taking the horses into the sea. Long trousers a must when riding horses and plenty of sun cream.
Cozumel, Mexico - if you've not been before then Chaakanen Park is great value. Excellent beach sun loungers and snorkelling with lot's to see and walk around including a sea lion show, iguanas, crocodiles and botanical gardens. Also there is a guided tour around the dolphin pens and sight of a Manatees. all this for 21USD. you can also pay extra if you want a close encounter with a dolphin.
Nassau, Bahamas - if you want to go the Blue Lagoon which is supposed to be better than Atlantis, (which is where most people go), then you need to get a water taxi from the pier as you can't get to it by road. To get to Atlantis itself is 4USD per person in a taxi. We just jump in a taxi and said takes us to the best public beach and sea and he obliged. We gave him 10USD for the 2 of us and had a great 3 hrs there with powder white sand and turquoise seas, beautiful!
St Thomas - we went to Megan's Bay by taxi, 10USD per person. This bay is included in the top 10 beaches in the world and it didn't disappoint. Get there early and enjoy this tropical paradise as by 1pm it get's a little crowded. There is a 4USD entrance fee to Megan's Bay.
St Maarten - in the morning we did the Rhino Riders tour which was the best. It was 99USD per person including all transfers. A Rhino is a small 2 person motor boat that is safer than a Jet Ski and much more fun. In the afternoon we stayed close to the ship around the shopping area and beaches. No problem getting sun loungers and umbrellas in the afternoon. There are water taxis close by to take you back to the ship for 5USD per person.
My top ten tips would be;
1. Book all your shows and dinning times before you arrive on-board ship as this save valuable sunbathing time and is far less stressful
2. Bring a lanyard (neck tie)with you to fasten your Sea Pass to. (This is the plastic credit card size pass that allow you access to the ship on port days and allows you to charge any extras to your room account, etc.) When you first board the ship you will be on level 5, Royal Promenade. Look to your left and forward and you'll see Guest Services. They'll punch a hole in your Sea Pass to attach you lanyard to.
3. Seek out the frozen yoghurt machines on Deck 15 by the children's pool. Opens at 11.30am and is self service with cones. Tasted like ice cream to me and it's free, unlike the ice cream on Deck 6 Boardwalk at the Parlour which is an extra charge. There are also machines in the Wipe Out Cafe on Deck 15.
4. If you don't drink alcohol all day, then buy a Soda Package. Fantastic value and over a 100 different variations of non alcoholic drinks, Water, Coke, Fanta, Sprite, etc. Your Card also gets you Sprite or Coke in all the bars and restaurants on the ship.
5. Go to Deck 5 and go out to the running track and walk towards the back of the ship. There you'll find some chairs where you can relax, read a book and watch the sun set. Makes a change from being around the pools.
6. On sea days you'll always get a table in Windjammers for breakfast if you get there before 9am. On port days you might want to get there earlier as everyone is looking to eat before getting off the ship. Use the the TV in your room to check how busy each of the complimentary eating venues are before leaving the cabin. If there is a queue at Windjammers then just drop down to Deck 15 and go to the Wipe Out Cafe or the Solarium Restaurant.
7. Don't miss the National Belly Flop Competition at 1.45pm on one of the sea days. Aqua Theatre Deck 6.
8. The best sun loungers with the only umbrellas on ship are next to the sea water pool on deck 15. This is ideal for those wanting the best sun tans as a regular dip in the sea water pool helps. Get there for 9am for the best spots and beds normally available until about 10am.
9. Take plenty of sun-cream with you as very expensive on the ship. We used 5 bottles between 2 people over the two weeks.
10. Try and get to the Zip Line and Flowrider (Deck 15) at 1pm on the first day when you board. This will be the quietest time in the whole week and you'll get plenty of opportunity to ride the waves and hang in the air. Very busy the rest of the week.
If this review has been helpful then also check out my video montage of the Oasis of the Seas ship on YouTube using the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rcpwn_9FDg
Also if you have any specific questions feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org