Before embarking on our recent Oasis honeymoon, I utilized many of the reviews on CruiseCritic, so thought I would return the favor for others looking for an honest, unbiased opinion.
To start, I followed the suggestions of past cruisers and pre-booked all our dinner reservations and shows for the week. That's a must. We saw most shows with the exception of the comedy show. In hindsight, I wish I would've booked that in advance because there was no chance of getting in without reserving your spot. Sure, you could wait in a line of 30 people in hopes someone didn't show up, but no thanks, right? All the shows were great, you cant go wrong.The ship is very impressive and really has so much to offer. The food is fantastic. I've been on cruises in the past, and remember the main dining areas (for dinner) just being so so, nothing great. Not the case with the Oasis. We purchased a dining package which allowed us to eat at 3 of the specialty restaurants : Chefs Table, Chops, and 150 Central Park. (The Chefs Table was by far the best of the three). I must say, although we had the specialty package, our dinner in the main dining room was equally impressive. I was shocked how good the food was. Maybe my expectations were low but whatever the case, you cant go wrong with your dining decisions.
The service was top notch. I must give Royal Caribbean credit where its due for their exceptional staff. They truly go out of their way to ensure your vacation is everything you had hoped for. I also appreciated the overall cleanliness of the ship. Kudos for that as well.
Dining suggestions: (Breakfast , Lunch, and Dinner)
Breakfast: Johnny Rockets is the only spot for breakfast where you can order from a menu and be served. Menu is limited but nice change of pace from the other breakfast options which are serve yourself buffet style. The breakfast buffets were great and offered everything you could possibly imagine and more. For the most part we ate at the WindJammer, Wipe-out café, and did Johhny rockets once. I personally would've done Johnny Rockets more often but unfortunately they close earlier than the other spots and we enjoyed sleeping in. Beware: Windjammer is always packed. Wall to wall. I didn't care for that but it seems to clear out quickly.
Lunch: We usually did Park Café in central park., They have create your own salads which were delicious and a lighter option from the usual! Yes, I followed suggestions and tried the roast beef sandwich. Must try!
Snacks (not like you need any) but can always try Café Promenade and Sorrentos. We often skipped lunch and would just grab something to hold us over until dinner.
Dinner.: I pretty much covered that above but definitely do My Time Dining. We loved the food. Everything was great.
The Not so Great:
When you first get on the ship, the "extras:" are very overwhelming and this is where the nickel and diming begin. From soda packages to water packages to juice to alcohol.... you basically end up buying some form of beverage package, although not required. We purchased water and soda. I suggest getting it out of the way. As for the excursions, wait. Yes, there are some that will sell out, so for those certain activities, obviously don't take my advice, but those are the exception, not the rule. You never know what the weather will bring and honestly you don't know how you'll feel come that port day. Take your time. Don't feel pressured to buy something just because 18 people are standing in line for 45 mins.
As I said before, we were on our honeymoon. Here's what bothered me. Royal Caribbean specifically asks on their website once you've booked, if your celebrating anything. You can choose from various options, one being honeymoon. I guess my expectation was that because they asked, they would naturally acknowledge or do something considering they inquired. Not the case. Not even a card or something in the room. Not one staff member acknowledged us as honeymooners (Not that I'm blaming them because naturally, they didn't know but I'm just presenting my case) So, towards the end of the cruise I nicely inquired at Guest Services. I was basically told that it was just for survey and internal purposes. But, she did mention that of course I could pay for some additional honeymoon/ romance package if I wanted such acknowledgement. I thought that kind of stunk. It would've been nice to hear congrats or happy honeymoon, etc Maybe I'm making something out of nothing buy hey perception is everything.
Long story very short, our weather was horrible. 7 day cruise and had sunshine for 2 days. Every port was grey and black skies or pouring rain. To give you a better idea, we had booked excursions in Mexico. When we walked up to the assigned excursion, we were informed it was canceled, as were most that day due to such terrible weather. I get that. Its a liability and not safe. Of course we were refunded our money, no problem there. Here's my constructive criticism, considering 75% of the cruise was ruined by rain and thunderstorms, I thought Royal Caribbean should compensate someway to make up for it. Not that its their fault or they're responsible for the weather, but when you have 1000s of let down passengers, do the best to make them happy. I thought some kind of Rainy Day credit to be used on board or a credit towards a future cruise, etc. Something!
We definitely didn't care for the special jewelry sales and other cheap merchandise that were displayed at certain times at discount. If you made the mistake of walking through the Promenade during such times, you would feel as though you were at a SWAP shop. But that's my opinion. Most people like that stuff, but I personally think its junk with a great marketing strategy.
Final and last criticism. When you stay at a hotel, whether it be a Ritz or Holiday Inn, you receive the basics in terms of toiletry type items; soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, etc, You get it. I was shocked to find the only "complimentary" item in the bathroom was a bar of soap! Yes they provide shampoo but its a dispenser attached to the wall. Maybe shampoo only works for men, but shampoo with no conditioner will leave us ladies with a bad hair day. Of course the average traveler knows to pack their own shampoo and conditioner, but I thought that was quite cheap of RC considering you have to pay for everything not included, which ends up being more than you think. Buyer beware.
Despite my above "not so greats", I would consider traveling this ship again. I always appreciate the good with the bad and I figured the average consumer would too. Enjoy your vacation.