This was my first cruise. Ever. I have read so many "happy reviews" by people who seem clueless about what the term "critic" actually means. Worse still, look at how many of these folks love to list every single cruise they have taken. Some must think they are some sort of "Cruise Admiral" in their own mind - wearing every cruise "badge" as some sort of medal. The term "critic" rarely seems to occur to them.
So I'll skip most of the happy talk and just get to some REAL issues experienced during my Dec 14-21, 2013 cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. I was in stateroom 12594 with my best buds and we were celebrating the years it took for one of my mates to get his VA disability benefits for a serious brain injury incurred during his service to America. This trip was for him and he deserved better. We deserved better.
HIDDEN DANGER IN THE FOOD
We were eating a white cake dessert in the Park Cafe when I discovered something in the cake. It looked smaller than an eyelash and was obviously baked into the cake. I teased it out with my fork and when I tried to pick it out, it went straight into my finger, causing bleeding when I removed it. I took it straight to the restaurant "officer" to report this dangerous small piece of metal shrapnel. Having eaten 2/3 of the cake, I was scared that I may have ingested one or more extremely sharp shards of metal such as this. When the restaurant officer also got stuck, he realized that small dangerous shards of metal could be in the food. He was very concerned and asked if I was OK. Yes, I replied - but I was scared. I am still dealing with my medical clinic over this issue since returning home.
GUEST SERVICES AND MEDICAL ON BOARD IS A JOKE
I reported the possible ingestion of sharp metal fragment(s) to Guest Services, who simply told me to call Medical. Since this was in the food, I asked if medical would charge me for the cost of the consult. They said that Medical could answer that and that I call the Nurse of Duty.
I went to the Medical Department and they were closed until 4 PM. I returned to my stateroom and called the Nurse on Duty. She was Chinese and after explaining the situation I expressed my concern regarding the dangers of ingesting sharp metal objects from the Park Cafe dessert. She said she would speak with the doctor and call me back. About 2 hours later she called with the question "how you feeling?". I felt OK, but I didn't know how long that would last if I had ingested sharp metal object(s) that could perforate the digestive system. Clearly, the onboard medical help wasn't much help at all. And, by the way, when you read your "ticket contract", you might want to pay attention to the language that disclaims any malpractice of the onboard medical folks by the cruise line. Given my experience, I wonder if these "medical" folks are as qualified as Royal Caribbean claims - I seriously doubt it.
Lots of friendly people who don't speak English as a first language. They spent lots of time looking down and typing into their computer yet couldn't "find" the incentives offered by our travel agent for this trip. We spent time every single day at Guest Services. One issue was NOT properly resolved: we were promised a bottle of champagne in our stateroom but Guest Services denied it. I had to call the travel agent while at sea through their "courtesy phone" (which they dial). When Guest Services finally received the approval on their computer, it was the last day of the cruise. I asked them to deliver it to our cabin late in the morning and they REFUSED! They insisted on delivering the champagne "Tonight". We were getting ready for bed between 8-9 PM the champagne arrived. We told them to keep it - we needed to get up early the next morning to disembark.
THE HAPPY NEWS
The Ice Skating show was great. Dive show great. Hairspray blah-boring. Casino was smoke-filled, even at off-times when there were no smokers around. The food in the Main Dining Room was meager, minuscule and often mediocre. The Chops Grille was the BEST FILET MIGNON ever. The food servers were all outstanding. The Windjammer buffet restaurant food was just OK - it was overcrowded at times as there were not enough tables available for a cruise of 6,000 passengers. The best food in the Windjammer was on Friday night - the Mahi Mahi Tempura was outstanding. Except for metal shrapnel in the dessert, the Park Cafe was excellent for Cuban and roast beef sandwiches as well as vegetarian quesadillas. The Wipeout Cafe "omelets to order" were just OK - they simply have a checklist of ingredients and didn't know what a Spanish Omelette was. They also lost track of our omelette orders and served them to the wrong passengers.