We sailed during the cold wave that Florida so on the day we left is was very cold and raining. What that meant was once on the ship we, like almost everyone else, wondered around the promenade and did not get to see the exterior public areas until later in the cruise. The promenade is like the Freedom class ships only wider and longer with the Rising Tide Bar at one end. Even full with people because of the weather it was crowded but not packed, we were able to get around and sight-see.
We booked a Central Park view balcony room and here is my one major complaint on this ship. The cabins are smaller and in the case of the Central Park staterooms you have a view of the park which gets old after a day and across the way are other cabins. Beware you don't have privacy on your balcony and be sure to draw your drapes because everyone across from you can see into your room! We always book ocean views but because it was Oasis tried something new for a change but it was a mistake and would never do again.
My wife likes the Freedom class ships better than Oasis because you don't get as much views of the ocean on the Oasis as you do on Freedom, etc. For instance at Chops, the steakhouse, which is in Central Park there is no views of the sea. What was a romantic dinner with a view of the ocean on Liberty becomes just another nice dinner in a decent steakhouse on Oasis. Also you don't have much view of the waterr from the sports deck. You have to go out of your way to enjoy a ocean view in the public areas.
That said the Oasis is a amazing ship. Central park is pleasant to stroll through and Boardwalk is great. I have a eight year old son and we spent time on Boardwalk with the shops & attractions.
When I was on the Liberty I was amazed at the ice show as it was the first time I had seen one on a ship and I wondered if anything would ever top it. The water show (Oasis of Dreams) on Oasis more than does that. It is unbelievable. I think it was my favorite moment of the cruise. Your in the middle of the Caribbean watching swimmers and high divers! Here's a tip: when they say splash zone they mean it; we went to the show on formal night at it was fun to watch men in tuxedos and women in gowns sit there in the zone and get soaked.
The entertainment was first quality everywhere. "Hairspray" was as good as any road show of a Broadway show I've seen. We could have lived without the Abba tribute but the majority of the crowd seemed to enjoy it and the theater was packed.
Here is another hint: If you go to the Aqua theater at night when there is no Oasis of Dreams show there is a not-publicized dancing water show! Another great use of the public areas on this amazing ship!
We were lucky to have a table in the dinning room near the Captain's table and service was as good as on any cruise we've been on and the food was excellent. In fact we could have skipped Chops and just eaten in the dinning room every night! Overall the food was very good and tasty at every venue including the Windjammer which on other RCI ships we've been on has sometimes not been up to standard. The one exception was the Wipe-out grill, frankly is was pretty bad, skip it.
This was Captain Bill Wright's last cruise as captain of the Oasis and we had to chance to meet him a number of times on board. He always took time to greet us and was very friendly. He's not as outgoing as Capt. Johnny on the Mariner (and I hear soon the Allure)but it was a real honor to meet him.
I've heard Ken Rush has taken some hits on this board as cruise director. He was our director on the Mariner when it changed from Mexico to Pacific Northwest and handled that situation very well and was up to form here as well. We think he did an really excellent job at every show & venue we saw him at.
The crew was professional and friendly. Our son goes to the Adventure Ocean and one of the crew there remembered our son from the Mariner in Oct! This is a great ship for kids as all RCI ships are. What we couldn't believe was that one of the waiters at Johnny Rockets (on the Boardwalk, again no ocean view)remembered us from being on the Liberty two years before!
Being on the Oasis of the Seas was more than a cruise, it was an experience and one I will never forget. I'm trying to talk the family into the Allure but that shouldn't be too hard to do based on our time on the Oasis. It's a big ship but you never feel overwhelmed and your never bored. It became my favorite cruise ever.
It was my wife's birthday and we went to a beachfront bar/restaurant in port and sat on the patio enjoying the musicians and watching the beach goers, it was great.
Next time we want to get out of the city and tour the island.
Here's a tip if you want attention wear an Oasis shirt in any port and cruisers from other ships will stop you and ask what it's like on "the big ship."