We just returned from 7 days on the Oasis of the Seas.
Would first like to mention that Springhill Suites in Dania Beach is a great place for pre-cruise lodging. Free shuttle to/from the airport and cruise port. Free breakfast, free wi-fi, and very affordable. And I believe you can leave your car there during the cruise if you drive to Fort Lauderdale.
I was worried about such a big ship, so many people, etc, but had a great time. Embarkation was well organized despite the throngs of people. Ship is beautiful and the staff couldn't have been better. But it is BIG, and walking from one end to the other is a hike. We had an outside balcony on deck 9, and it was quite adequate, although a bit smaller than on other RC ships. We were on the starboard side, and were always on the "view" side when entering each port. I would suggest a cabin mid-ship to avoid too many long hikes.
Labadee and Falmouth weren't our cup of tea, although most people loved these ports. More
Lots of great beach activities. RC has apparently spent a lot of money building up the areas right by the piers with shops and restaurants. On Cozumel we did an excursion to the Mayan ruins which was very interesting, despite the rain. Our guide, Mimi, was of Mayan descent, and did an excellent job. At all the ports, the vendors were extremely annoying! I would have like to purchase some items, mostly to support them, but their tactics were way overboard. On our Cozumel tour, we had a stop at a beautiful beach, which would have been wonderful except there where shacks set up with junk to sell. Vendors were literally right at the bus door as we got off and immediately started pestering us. Really spoiled it for us, even though the scenery was spectacular.
The shows on the ship were all excellent. We saw a different show(s) very night, and were never disappointed. We especially enjoyed Hairspray and the Comedy Live shows. The comedy improv was our least favorite. The only comment I would make is that sometimes the orchestration is SOOO loud. It's sometimes hard to hear the singers because they are overpowered by the orchestra. The entertainment staff works very hard, and all were terrific. Top notch. We especially loved all the venues of "oldies but goodies" music. Parades on the promenade were such fun. But get there early or you won't be able to see anything.
Food in the Opus was excellent, and our waiters (Jose and Tricia) were the best. We were a bit disappointed in the location of our table. It was far from the window, back in a corner behind the service counter. As frequent Royal Caribbean cruisers (and Crown and Anchor members), we felt this was inappropriate. We did have great table companions, so that made up for it. Windjammer food was mediocre. This is the one place where the crowds were noticeable. We liked breakfast at Wipe Out Cafe near the sports court. Quick, easy, eggs prepared as you like, uncrowded, and you could sit right at the railing outside if you chose to. Rarely ate lunch because of the big breakfasts and dinners. But we heard that Promenade Cafe was very good.
The pool areas seemed uncrowded, and there were lots of empty deck chairs and chaises. There were also many hot tubs, and we liked the big ones on deck 15. They were located on the sides of the ship, so you could enjoy the water while soaking. Great spot. There was one family who brought their infant child with a diaper on into the hot tub, which is prohibited, and the staff didn't say anything -- and there were 3 staff standing right there. The child made a messy diaper while in the hot tub, and after changing it, the mother brought the baby right back into the hot tub. I do wish the rule had been enforced.
We enjoyed the $6.00 blackjack. I had never played before, and the dealers at this table were very patient and helped me learn. Great fun! However, smoking is permitted in half the casino, and of course the entire place smelled like smoke.
Our room steward, Anthony, was quite good. He kept the cabin tidied up at all times. The only negative thing I can say about the staff is that they were constantly asking us how their service was (which was good), and asking us to give them a good review (not so good). The last couple days, they laid it on pretty thickly. We did give each of them a generous additional gratuity. I had heard if you don't give it to them directly, it all goes into a big pot, so we handed them out personally.
We had purchased a shuttle ride to the airport on the internet from Ace Tours before leaving home. When I initially booked it, I indicated late departure as our flight wasn't until 3:00. But the confirmation email said 8:00, which I didn't notice until the last day. So we were out on the curb by 7:45, and they didn't show until after 9:00, and then only after we called. Then we sat and waited in the bus for another half hour. Annoying. There were a bunch of other (nicer) buses we could have got on without reservations, or we could have grabbed a taxi for half the cost of our shuttle. Lesson learned for next time.
Overall we loved the cruise. Some days we were busy with activities, and other days we just lounged around. Very relaxing. Ship was fantastic, but the itinerary not so much. Less
Oasis of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
The cabin was typical of RC outside balconies. Not sure why is was labeled as "superior". It was a tad bit smaller than the same room on other RC ships, but was quite adequate. I liked that it was on the starboard side as this was the "view" side of the ship at all our ports.