Royal Caribbean does an excellent job of getting passengers on and off the ship, including at ports of call. There are several security checkpoints each time, but everything ran smoothly, with no real waits in line. Just be prepared for airport-level security, and don’t forget your Sea Pass card and photo ID, especially in Nassau.
We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking Central Park. In retrospect we should have chosen an ocean-view cabin. While a park on a ship is a novelty, I can see trees anytime in Ohio; I can’t see an ocean or tropical islands ! The stateroom was very nice, not as small as I thought it would be (though the bathroom is tiny!). I thought there was plenty of closet space too. Soundproofing is excellent. Even though the Oasis is huge, you WILL feel the ship moving in the water; staterooms on lower decks have less movement. The movement was never enough to be a problem, though, even with ten-foot swells.
Note to first-time cruisers: In the stateroom there is a small step up to the bathroom, which can take some getting used to. For the first couple of nights, I put a white washcloth on the floor in front of the step, to remind me it was there.
The Solarium area at the bow of the ship on Deck 15 is the “adult” area, with the pools and whirlpools there reserved for adults only. There are lots of deck chairs, but if you want a good spot, get there before 9 am ! You cannot just claim a chair with a towel and leave it unattended for hours, however - a “deck patrol” comes around every 30 minutes to make sure all the chairs are actually being used. There are shady areas near the restaurant with comfortable chairs.
A good place to watch the ship come into ports is the forward area of Deck 14. This deck is accessed through the stateroom corridors, so it is not immediately obvious as an open deck area.
Booking shows: Try to avoid booking a show for early Sunday evening. That is when the Captain greets the passengers in the Grand Promenade. Be sure to take your Sea Pass card with you to the shows; they are your ticket to get in, if you have made reservations.
DO book ahead for the “Headliner” show that is done later in the week, which has no specific act named ahead of time. On our cruise, it turned out to be Beatlemania, which sold out soon after it was announced during the cruise. We were able to get stand-by seats, but it is best to just automatically book this "headliner" show before the cruise to ensure the best seats.
Our favorite show was “Frozen in Time”, the figure skating show. It is NOT a “kiddie” version of skating, despite the fairy tale theme; this is a top-notch skating show. Two of the acts are child-oriented but overall this was as much or more of a treat for grown-ups who enjoy figure skating. “Oasis of Dreams“, the aqua theater show, was good - but basically just a demonstration of diving, synchronized swimming, and gymnastics. There was a vague attempt at a storyline but I don’t think anyone in the audience could figure out the plot ! The other big show on board, “Come Fly With Me”, has excellent musical numbers and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics. We did not go to see “Hairspray” but heard it was good.
In the Opal Theater, there is excellent seating in the front row of the first “balcony” (NOT the upstairs one; the one at the back of the main floor). You are about halfway back but up high enough that a tall person in the rows ahead of you cannot block your view. You don’t want to sit too close to the stage for Come Fly With Me or you will be craning your neck to see the aerial performances. Also, on shows like Beatlemania, when the performers are imitating famous people, it is easier to keep up the illusion if you are NOT seeing them close up !
If you want to do the Zip Line, be sure to bring good walking shoes to wear. You are not allowed to ride it wearing sandals or flip-flops.
Don’t miss the two parades done at the beginning and end of the cruise, in the Grand Promenade ! Get a viewing spot early. A good place to watch is in the area in front of Sorrento’s Pizza.
Try to attend the Captain’s Talk in the Opal Theater. You will learn interesting facts about the ship, and he has an excellent sense of humor! You can also ask him questions about the Oasis.
Dining The food is excellent ! If you choose the “My Time” dining option, you will be given the same dinner table at the Opus dining room for the entire week, so you get to know your waiter and assistant waiter. There is also a breakfast buffet at the Opus, but the Windjammer buffet has a much larger selection.
We ate a lunch at the Wipeout Café in the Sports Zone of the ship; it has pizza, hamburgers, etc. Be sure to try the pretzel hot dog !
The restaurant at the Solarium offers health food selections at its buffets. Interesting, but again not nearly the selection as at the Windjammer.
The few negative comments I have about the Oasis are minor issues: We were disappointed with the Guest Services desk, as they seldom answered a question clearly, and while most employees speak good English, the accents can be so heavy that they are difficult to understand easily.
I was disappointed to hear that Oasis’s sister ship, Allure of the Seas, will apparently have the exact same "theme" of Central Park and Boardwalk. I would have preferred a tropical theme, or at least something a bit more exotic than another representation of places in New York and New Jersey - which are nicely done, but frankly not all that exciting a concept. Also, much of the photographic artwork on our Deck (Eleven) had a winter theme, which seemed odd on a Caribbean cruise - unless they are trying to remind you of what you are escaping in winter by cruising in the tropics?
I do wish the food selections at the Windjammer had included a short description of the food; some of the international dishes were a mystery to us, with only the name given.
This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean, and it will not be our last. We were very impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the overall quality of the cruise.