We are a young minded couple, age 38 and 42. We have cruised on Celebrity, Carnival and Royal before. As a matter of fact, we gained Platinum Crown & Anchor status after this cruise! Our most recent cruise before this was on the Liberty of the seas in Barcelona just 10 mths ago and was AMAZING!
Having previously sailed on the Freedom/Voyager class, we had high hopes for the Oasis.
Embarkation/disembarkation was smoooooth! Even the safety drill was much smoother and quicker than in the past.
The pools: The pools were hopelessly full during peak times, however I did like that the kids water park area was separated from the other pools. The Solarium area was beautiful, however the large amount of glass created some sort of strange greenhouse effect that generally made it unbearable to be there in the day even for the sun worshipers in our group. On freedom/voyager class I have never felt this way in the solarium.
One of the things we liked about Royal in the past is that they don't really nickel and dime you, however it seems they are changing. Don't get me wrong we spend plenty on the ship and understand that some things just cost more, but some things are over the top. Like on the pool deck we noticed they were selling popcorn for 2.00 plus Gratuity? Really? I don't know whats more offensive, the fact that they are selling it, or the fact that add gratuity.
Dining: The ship itself was beautifully maintained. However, my entire family agreed that the changes to the windjammer were not good. The windjammer often had a line to get in, lacked the variety and quality of food we have experienced on essentially every other RCL ship we have ever been on. We generally felt packed in like sardines in the windjammer, perhaps due to the pay restaurant taking up an entire corner of it. On voyager and freedom class ships we NEVER felt this way, even during busy times of the day.
Breakfast service in the Main Dining room was ridiculous unless you ate the dining room buffet, but who comes to the main dining room for buffet food? Twice we waited almost an hour for our omelets and then had them arrive cold. On a good day, the wait for our breakfast in the dining room was 25minutes. Hey at least there were seats available, unlike in the windjammer. Dinner was better than breakfast. The main dining room dinner food was served hot and was good. Our waiter and assistant waiter was of course pleasant, however they seemed overloaded and unable to operate like the finely oiled machines we have experienced on every other royal cruise I have been on. I must stress this is not by any fault of the waiters, this is I think just the nature of the beast.
On previous boats the center of the dining room was wide open across all three floors, with a grand staircase. However on the oasis they have only left a small partially open area and it has lost the "wow factor" feel of previous ships. This lack of openness left you feeling generally disconnected during performances in the dining room. The one reason we have always come back to Royal was because of the dining room experience, it was truly special. I suspect Oasis in its attempt at greatness has sacrificed this special experience. Perhaps they are just trying to drive us to pay for specialty restaurants.
A nice surprise on the oasis was the complimentary Park cafe located in Central Park. It turned out to be a lunch favorite for our family.
Nightlife; As far as the nightlife goes, everyone claimed the comedy show was the best show on the ship. We however, didn't get to go due to lack of reservation availability. Hairspray was well done, as was the Aqua show. The ice show was impressive as well. We decided that Dazzles should have been called Drizzles as it was generally a guaranteed snooze fest.The nightclub Blaze WAS THE WORST! i know that the ship discos are never going to be playing today's latest hits, but this was pathetic.It's not like they were playing to the crowd either. It was generally populated by early to late 20 somethings and they seemed bored too. Setting the music choice aside, It was small, dank and underwhelming. The dance floor was miniature and generally the whole placed looked like an afterthought! Perhaps it should have been a teen club and it certainly lacked the WOW factor of the disco on the Freedom/Voyager class ships. As a matter of fact I cant think of one ship i have been on that DIDN'T have a better looking disco including the older Carnival ship Destiny.
Our experience was that service in general is inferior to the freedom and voyager class ships I have been on. On other ships when someone had a special request, I was always floored by the attempts to somehow make it happen. On this ship the running theme was no, that would require extra effort. I will never sail on the Oasis or any other mega ship in Royal's fleet again. I will stick only with voyager and freedom class. I urge anyone who has cruised with royal before to think twice before buying into royal's latest oasis size ship. I think Royal has forgotten what kept people loyal to RCL and has sacrificed service/function on the oasis.