We just got off the Oasis of the Seas doing the Eastern Caribbean Cruise
My wife and I stayed at our favorite hotel before the cruise – Embassy Suites 17th street in Fort Lauderdale. It is next to the cruise port, but has many restaurants nearby (easy walking distance). The hotel also has a shopping center with a grocery store behind it. What makes this hotel so great is the free cooked to order breakfasts, its large suite rooms (great for families), the free happy hour from 5:30-7:00 pm, the large swimming pool with great lounge chairs, and the $8.00 per person shuttle to the port. This hotel is so nice we arrived two days before the cruise to get into the relaxation frame of mind.
We had a group of 10 going to the port at 10:30 AM for the 15 minute ride to the ship. We were checked in immediately and by 11:30 we were boarding the ship.
The Oasis is huge and magnificent. This was our 34th cruise of which it was our 27th on Royal Caribbean.
1. The ship is beautiful. Nicer than any other ship I have been on. Breathtaking and better than WOW as Royal Caribbean states in their ads.
2. The shows were an 11 on a 1-10 scale. Make sure you pre reserve the shows on the website before you arrive to the ship. Only one show was just OK. The main show had 5 people who sing the bass and drums – the other 3 just sing. I had heard the same type of show on previous cruise, and I felt they were much better than this group. Some of our group left early after they started getting the audience to sing. We were not there to hear the audience,
3. Giovanni’s is a family style Italian style meal that was off the scale. Book this before the cruise. Excellent Meal. All 10 people raved about this meal and the service.
4. The main dining room meals were the best I have ever had on any cruise. Maybe it was our 5 star waiter team -- Sakda Paipan and his assistant Sebin. Our meals were cooked perfectly and served quickly. If we had to finish early because of a show, they accommodated us.
5. Our cabin steward, Derlen kept our cabin (10698) spotless and always would know what needed replacing before we asked. He was the first Cabin Steward my wife hugged because of the great service!
6. The Solarium Pool on every other ship was packed with old people. Not on this ship. It was very nice to get sun and shade with a great mix of young and older adults.
1. The ship was always late leaving and arriving based on the latest internet schedule. (Keep this in mind when you book any private excursions.) At the special Crown and Anchor Sail Away Party in Nassau we were supposed to leave at 1:45. We ended up leaving at 2:30. It was so hot we left the special outside location at 2:00. On other ships when they say we leave a 1:30 we leave.
2. Chops was a huge disappointment. We had been on other cruises and loved this meal so I booked it again on this cruise too as a gift to the group. As our group of 10 ordered we were told by the waiter several times he was going to bring ALL the sides for each end of the table. He brought out the steaks two at the time and then started with the sides. He only brought onion rings, broccoli, and mushrooms. I had to ask the manager for more mushrooms. By the time I started eating my steak it was cool. He never brought the other sides as he promised. I went back the next day to discuss the service and he said he brought all the sides. I guess all 10 of us just imagined the potatoes missing, the green beans missing etc. I quickly realized he was not a waiter that deserved to be in Chops. When we left we all said a meal in the main dining room would have been better. The head waiter in the main dining room heard our comment and passed it on to the Manager of Chops. We each received four chocolate covered strawberries from Chops as an apology. Sorry, but the poor service was a huge disappointment for all of us.
3. Johnny Rockets – My wife and I were seated outside at 11:45AM for a nice lunch by the Host. We never saw a waiter for 20 minutes. We just got up and walked out. I guess 11:45 - noon is not a good time for lunch there.
4. Debarkation – NEVER again will I go through this nightmare on this ship. As a Diamond Plus Crown and Anchor Member we normally are given a little special treatment. Just before we got on the ship I changed my 12:25 flight to the 10:20 AM flight. I had read we would arrive about 6:00 AM and be off at 7:45 AM. We were given #7 debarkation tags that were scheduled for 7:45 AM but was moved later to 8:30AM. At 8:30 I was getting concerned I was going to miss my flight so this nice RCCL lady agent at the door said for us to get in line behind these people next to get off so we could get off to make our flight. As we were waiting a curly haired RCCL man said we needed to go to the very back of the line. The lady was taking care of someone else and he was being forceful and very rude. I told him we were Diamond Plus members and we may miss our flight, but he could care less. By the time we picked up our bags we were herded into a Disney ride like queue line that was quite long for a Custom Inspection. There must have been over a thousand people in line ready to go through Customs. We missed our flight by 15 minutes. Had I gotten his name I would have done everything in my power to have him fired. In fact because of all the hassle the last day, it ruined my attitude about this ship. I HIGHLY recommend you walk off with your own bags. This was the first Debarkation I have ever done on a Royal Caribbean ship that was so late and backed up.
Because of the Chops, Johnny Rockets, and Debarkation experience it ruined a great vacation. I love Royal Caribbean, but I would never feel comfortable in going back on this ship.