Normally I haven't liked the larger ships - too crowded, too impersonal, and as I stated before, the Radiance class was "just right". However, I must admit that I loved the Oasis. Tons of things to do, lots of food options, and I never felt crowded. Even the zip line and the flow-riders never were too busy. The crew had the scheduling of events almost down to a science. I especially liked the pre-booking of on-board activities, but that fits my personality where other who my want to fly by the seat of their pants may find that disturbing. Technically speaking, the Oasis was marvelous.
From the beginning - Check in was great. As a diamond member, we were met outside of the check-in area and escorted to a separate area for priority check-in. There was a separate area for suite and diamond members, but we chose to mingle with the “Critter” group from CC. Once on board, we were greeted with champagne, and the promenade was so phenomenal, that we simply got lost in it all. I don’t mean lost in the sense of not knowing where we were, the interactive maps outside of most elevators ensure that no one could get lost. What a technical advance over the other ships. NO LIFE JACKETS for the muster drill. We mustered in specific locations such as the Aqua Theater, or one of the cafes, and assuming you got there early enough, you could sit during a video presentation of emergency procedures.
Event Scheduling – We had booked many of our on-board events prior to embarkation. Highly recommend that everyone plan to do that as well as many event booked up quickly. However, the event scheduling ON-BOARD was handled very efficiently. The nightclubs were used by the staff during the days to handle to reservation requests. Additionally, one could use the interactive TV to set up events. One drawback was when a show was canceled and you tried to reschedule it, the interactive TV thought that you had already attended or still had one scheduled for a future date. While on the interactive TV system, it was very convenient to be able to look at your personal schedule each day. Unfortunately, you could only ADD activities, not cancel them. On the Oasis, they changed the format of you daily compass. Now the compass had a separate afternoon and evening schedule. Again a nice feature. They also published on Day #1 a daily planner for the entire trip. This was great, especially if you wanted to plan your schedule so that you didn’t miss a particular event such as the Quest or the Love & Marriage game. 5 Stars to event planning.
Central Park – we had a cabin on the 8th deck and every evening my wife and I would stroll through the park. AWESOME. They even piped in some bird and cricket sounds. My DW doesn’t want to stay on any other deck now. The only downside of Central Park is that some of the vegetation is not being maintained as well as it should. Many of the poinsettias were brown and needed pruning, but aside from that, the flowers and plants were lovely.
Boardwalk – I yearn for one of the AquaTheater Suites. Their balconies are amazing, and the entire boardwalk area was fascinating. However, I understand that the ATS pale in comparison to even a Grand Suite insofar as the living space.
The entertainment was the best I've seen on RCCL, though I must admit that the Nelson brothers were a little weak. "Hairspray" was super, the aqua show, though compressed due to equipment issues, was very good, and show "Come Fly With Me" was out of this world. Another plus was NO PARK WEST AUCTIONS. There was an art store on board, but that was very low key. Also BINGO was not over played either. All-in-all the cruise director’s staff was great. However, the cruise director himself, Ken Rush, was very disappointing. Talk about a narcissistic personality - it was the “all about me show” anytime he was around. I’m glad he won’t be on board when we sail on the Oasis again in April – yes we’re sailing on her again.
I do not recommend "My Time Dining" due to the fact that there are so many alternate food options, you almost feel that you're throwing your gratuities away. Out of the 12 days aboard, we only ate in the dining room 3 times.
Rooms were a bit smaller. We were in a GS for the first 4 days, and then in a JS for the last 7. The GS was very nice, and the balcony was well appointed. Whereas the JS was very tight in the bath area and the balcony was bare. The room steward for the GS was great, but the steward for the JS was one of the worst we've had. As a side note, the service we received as a diamond member of the C&A Society was significantly different when we were in the GS as compared to when we were in the JS. While not quite a 2nd class citizen, I certainly felt that we were not given the level of attention that was warranted or expected when booking a suite while in the JS.