Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by MizS: Gorgeous, spacious ship!
Overall Member Rating
Gorgeous, spacious ship!
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was my 2nd cruise ever (first was on Freedom of the Seas two years ago) with extended family. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale and visited Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico).
OVERVIEW: This ship is simply immense and gorgeous. Spacious and immaculate--crew members were cleaning constantly, but not so much that it interfered with daily activities. The stacked neighborhoods--Promenade, Central Park, Boardwalk, etc.--were awe-inspiring. I loved riding the transparent elevators just to watch the various decks pass by. Besides the new additions to the Oasis-class ships, many of the sights, such as the Schooner Bar, the Viking Crown lounge, the specialty restaurants, the casino, and dining room, and the theater, will be familiar to Royal Caribbean cruisers, though some are in very different locations with different atmospheres.
- We were gold members, so we got priority check-in, and it was seamless. We went from terminal to ship More in less than 10 minutes. Disembarkation was also fairly painless--we were early walk-offs in order to make our flight.
- Most staff were very friendly. If you find yourself on Deck 8 with stateroom attendant Jairo, you are lucky--what a kind, lovely person! Our head waiter, Anthony, was also very nice; once he realized that our party really enjoyed table games, he gave us a new one almost every night.
- Central Park is beautiful, especially at night. Vintages, the Coach store, most of the specialty restaurants, and the Park Cafe are located here. The Park Cafe was a great complimentary dining spot, with fresh fruit, build-your-own salads, sandwiches, chips, etc.
- The Solarium on this ship is large, gorgeous, and beyond compare; our party spent a lot of time there. I highly recommend swimming in the morning (6-9) and evening (after dinner until 10). During these times, we were virtually the only people there, and the temperature was cooler.
- The music and entertainment were excellent. My favorite show was Hairspray; the other shows were good, but I really liked the narrative aspect of a Broadway show that is usually lacking in cruise ship entertainment. Two of the main actors broke character on stage in the showing of Hairspray that we saw (because they couldn't stop laughing), and it was quite delightful. The calypso band, the jazz band, and the band that played in Dazzles were all excellent. The comedians were funny, and the aqua show was entertaining.
- The food in the MDR was, on the whole, very good. All of the pasta dishes were particularly good, and the best desserts were the Chocolate Sensation. the dessert sampler, and the key lime pie.
- I could go on and on with pros on this cruise...these were just some of the highlights!
CONS (please take with a grain of salt--these experiences IN NO WAY diminished my enjoyment of my vacation--they are more observations than true cons):
- On Freedom of the Seas, the Schooner Bar was a nice, quiet place to sit and enjoy reading or music, but on Oasis, it's located directly above the Promenade, so it was much noisier. The only really quiet lounge was the Viking Crown.
- Seating in the Aqua Theater could be more closely staffed and monitored; it was a bit chaotic.
- Room was very clean, except inside drawers, which had dust and hair in them.
- Seating in the MDR was fairly cramped, which created a busier, noisier atmosphere.
- I really don't find the spa very relaxing, and my experience was the same on Freedom and Oasis. I was treated to a mani-pedi this time, and the spa staff are always trying to identify a problem so they can sell you a product as a solution. Your relaxation is not a priority--the opening of your wallet is.
- Swim EARLY or LATE to avoid hot sun and hordes of people. SO much more enjoyable.
- Get to all shows at least 20 minutes early; your experience will be much less stressful.
- Pre-book an excursion in Falmouth, whether privately or through the ship. The port is large, but there's very little to do unless you love to shop, and you can't get a private taxi unless you venture into town, which we weren't willing to do because of the sketchy reviews. When we asked if there was a way to get to Red Stripe Beach, we were told we needed to purchase the ship's excursion for $28/person. We got back on the ship and enjoyed the empty pool instead.
- Consider booking a day at an all-inclusive in Cozumel. We used resortforaday.com and booked at El Cozumeleno. Best decision ever! We spent the day drinking in the pool--it was bliss.
- Be friendly to the staff, and be willing to have a conversation with them; they usually enjoy talking to guests, and you get a glimpse of their lives on the ship.
- Don't expect that mixed drinks will be prepared as they are described on the cocktail menu. I found several of my drinks to be too full of simple syrup or sweetened sour mix. Ask what goes in the drink, and don't be afraid to ask for it to be customized--they're already getting an automatic tip from you on the bill. I wouldn't be so bold as to ask for more alcohol, but at least you can find out if you're getting a pint of sour mix, or just a nice, simple drink. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Cozumel is beautiful. We didn't walk around the port, because we had already booked a day at an all-inclusive resort through resortforaday.com, but the town looked fun. The beach at the resort was lovely.
Pre-book an excursion! The port is large and nice, but unless you like shopping, you will likely be disappointed. There is no way to get a taxi unless you venture into the town itself, or you're willing to pay for a cruise excursion. That being said, the shopping was nice. I bought mostly edibles--Blue Mountain coffee, jerk seasoning, and a beef and cheese "patty" that was quite good.
Beautiful! I prefer the huge, sandy beaches in Coco Cay, but Labadee was very scenic, and we didn't find it to be overly crowded. The attendants who place your beach chairs will expect tips, since they don't work for the cruise line. The Labadoozie drink is delicious--try one.
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