Great boarding. Great overall condition. Clean. Great stateroom. Great food. Great entertainment. But service is lacking that personal touch. Even though there are 6000 people on board (more or less, including crew) it really never felt like it. In fact, often times my wife and I found ourselves in the Viking Lounge (and similar areas) where there was nobody else to be found! It was amazing to be so alone on a ship with so many. Other areas like the pools, however, were packed. Never did we stand in long lines to wait for anything... except for help with Excursions. The only other lines we saw were people waiting to get into Windjammer. But frankly those same people could have eaten better food at Solarium with no waiting. Anyway, the ship is huge with so much to offer. We really liked most everything but found ourselves wanting better, more positive, more proactive, more personal customer service. Instead, it seemed the staff was overworked and really only looked at us as "just another bunch of customers."
My complete report as sent to RCI via their online survey is:
Be more personal. On our last RCI cruise, the stateroom attendant and the waiter knew our names and preferences.
Be happier. On our last RCI cruise, staff seemed happier and glad to be there. This time, staff seemed uninterested, perhaps overworked, and not proactive, etc.
Clean up. Multiple times we saw plates, glasses, and trays of old food laying outside of staterooms for more than 12 hours. In common dining areas, clean-up was happening regularly. But in stateroom hallways, you are failing on this.
Offer more to do. Yes, there's a lot of activities on board Oasis. But honestly, we found ourselves bored often for 3+ hours in a row... waiting between the major events. On past cruises, we've enjoyed attending seminars, workshops, movies, etc. And Oasis has plenty of space to host these kinds of activities.
Break out the zoo. People love the bedtime animals and you only did it twice. It's expected nightly, by most people. We also missed having chocolates on our pillow.
Cool it down! The fake wood flooring in the Solarium literally burned my feet. It wasn't enough to go to Medical, but it was very uncomfortable for at least an hour. And this was following a very short 15-foot walk from my chair to the pool. The sun really heats up that flooring material, and I wasn't the only victim talking about it.
The Solarium poolside bartender is slow. And when I brought his slower-than-average service to his attention, he could not have cared less.
Again, at no time when we were on the ship did it seem like one employee was going out of their way to help. Each time, a request of them felt like it was just more work for them. Never was there a "my pleasure" in their voice.
Food / cafe hours. We were never quite sure when food spots were open. Maybe we didn't read the Compass enough, but it never felt like we just knew when places were open.
Dinner seating flaw. We booked out tickets long ago, yet your system did not have a spot for us to sit and eat. We booked 6PM dining and on night #1, it was like a surprise to you that we showed up. Even though 6PM was printed on our seapass cards. We were given temporary seating which made us feel very second class. Then I asked to be seated with a large group going forward. (We have always enjoyed cruising with a large dinner group --- that's where we meet the most long-term friendships.) The next night we were placed with one other couple at a small round table. And once again, the female dining employee who had to deal with us was not very friendly about it.
Ports of greed. The visits to Labadee and Falmouth felt very much like we were at the mercy of RCI and this comes across as greedy on your part, while also not giving us much freedom to roam around. Granted, Labadee is your baby, and it would be un-safe to travel in Haiti. But Jamaica... well, there too, you pretty much can't do anything unless you book one of your excursions.
We wanted to celebrate Catholic Mass on Sunday. At the very least we would have attended a non-denominational service to celebrate Jesus. Surely you are aware that most people are Christian. Most of THEM are Catholic. And with 6000 souls on board, you could offer a service.
For the most part, the food was very high quality, delicious, and impressive. We also really enjoyed the variety of food offered between the different establishments and really appreciated that most of these were free / included. We do not like to go to the specialty restaurants on ships. The "healthy" food in Solarium was outstanding for breakfast and lunch and we very much appreciated / enjoyed that food.
Entertainment was great except for at least three "technical difficulties" which we later found out were due to the computer crashing. Maybe time to upgrade your computer?
Thanks for having LOTS of pools and hot tubs. On other ships, there are too few pools. Granted, your pools were usually packed with TOO many people... but I am not sure where else you would add more pools.
The stateroom was spacious (inside balcony facing central park). We loved having all of the storage, the giant closet, etc. Plus you did a great job taking advantage of nooks to add a drawer, etc.
The price to have that balcony room seemed very reasonable. Usually we have to choose inside staterooms, but we could afford your balcony.
In the dining room, Dexter was good. He's a little soft-spoken and it's hard to hear him sometimes (I have perfect hearing). But he's attentive and friendly.
We liked that the tips were added to the bill daily, rather than in one lump sum at the end of the trip. That way it's not a giant surprise.
We did not have our two little kids with us (they are 5 and 9), but we admired and appreciated all that you had to offer to kids. We know they would have had a good time on board.
Central Park is a nice touch. It was nice to see the live plants. We hope you don't take them away when you rehab in October.
It seemed like the cruise director wasn't seen too much except to close out a show. But his cohort supplemented very well and did a great job, maybe even a little better. However, and this is a biggie, the assistant (larger white guy) was a little too colorful during the Friday night comedy show. Yes, it was funny, but in hind-sight, he's still an employee and should keep things classy. Let the hired comedians use foul language and talk about sex. But make sure your staff members are upbeat, clean as a whistle and professional at all times. Know what I mean?
Everything said, good and bad, my big bottom line is this... We had VERY high expectations going on board a gigantic, fairly new RCI ship. Boarding was easy. Our room was great. The food was great. Entertainment was really good. Unfortunately we were bored at times for a few consecutive hours each. And general staff experience fell WAY WAY below our expectations.
To be completely 100% honest with you, my wife and I have often told friends that after sailing Celebrity, RCI, Carnival, and NCL, we easily put RCI at #1, Celebrity at a very close #2, Carnival a distant #3, and NCL a terrible 4th place. After this cruise, I still like RCI, but would have no problem trying another line / ship to see who else might fill the top spot. Had the personal service been on Oasis, with a few extra things to do to fill in the daytime gaps, I would be one of your number one fans.
P.S. The day before checkout at the Guest Services desk I had to figure out a discrepancy between (our agent) and our RCI bill / ship credits. made an error and had not sent the correct credit to us. Your staff member Mr. ?? Joel was very helpful in helping me contact and make arrangements