Day 1 Everyone talks about how quick the check-in process is for the ship. And it is, but you have to get through the security check first. It is just as convoluted as the airport security check and takes just as long.
Everyone also talks about how good the roast beef sandwiches and brownies are at Promenade Cafe - and they are. But before you choose that over the Windjammer, note that they don't have any sides for the sandwiches, and no drinks except coffee and water. A better choice upon arrival to the boat is the Park Cafe - they have some chips and other drink options.
Also, if you are on deck 8 around 8682, note that your boat drill station is G1 will be at the Aqua Theatre. The sun was beating down on us and we had to listen to the captain issue a message, listen to it in several other languages, then watch a video. GET THERE BEFORE the drill sounds over the PA - then you will be in the shaded area, not the sunny area.
I've heard the rooms are smaller on the Oasis than on other RCCL ships, and that may be true, but the layout is better. It's easier to get around. But this is probably because there is less storage space. This included some almost useless cabinets that were only between 3-5 inches deep! We had to be very creative in unpacking. On the plus side... the fold out couch is bigger, and folds out into a full bed rather than a twin bed. Since it is a new boat, all the beds are comfortable, if a bit stiff.
On the Promenade, there is a really cool bar, Rising Tide, that elevates up and down between decks 5 and 8. We will have to try that next.
The tables in the Opus restaurant are all smaller. Each party can have their own table rather than be forced to a table of 8 or 12 or more. My husband really liked that. Never the less, we became good friends with the table next to us - Hi, Mary and Ed!
Day 2 - Nassau We did the Segway excursion. That was lots of fun! They taught us several things on the all-terrain Segways, and took pictures of us with our own cameras.
The Spa on board is huge! My daughter and I did a Mother-Daughter massage. It was probably one of the best I've ever had. And I managed to cut off the spiel for the products without too much trouble.
The Rising Tide bar (the one that goes up and down between 2 levels) was cool. We didn't get to stay long though, because they tossed us out to prepare for the Captain's reception.
We enjoyed a really excellent dinner at Chops and went to the show, "Come Fly with Me". There were some really excellent numbers in this show: some popular songs from several eras, acrobats, gymnasts, people walking up walls, some creative video. My husband and I both enjoyed the show, and believe our 11-year old daughter would have too. But she was having a good time in Adventure Ocean and didn't want to leave!
Day 3 - Day at Sea
Late in the day, our ship was turned around to head back towards Nassau. Apparently we have a missing crew member. The ship is cooperating with the US Coast Guard in a Sea Search. Can't help but think that if anyone went into the drink hours ago, they'd be gone now. Have to search though. Not sure what effect this delay will have on the remainder of our trip.
Things we did today: Improv Comedy Show (good), lunch at Johnny Rockets (burgers were a bit burned), couple of hours at the pool (ships movement made them all wave pools - fun!). DD and I took the Michael Jackson dance class. I'm sure we looked like complete idiots, but it was so much fun! We learned Beat It and Thriller. I just wish there had been an inside venue to learn in, as the sun was beating down on us again at the Aqua Theatre.
One thing to note: Prior to your sailing, you can make your show reservations online for the shows with a cast of RCCL singers, dancers, gymnasts and acrobats, but you can't make reservations online for the comedy shows featuring comedians which are brought in just for the week. The Comedy shows are held in the Comedy LIVE theatre, which only holds 120 people. So, if you don't have a reservation, you are most likely out of luck. Be sure you make your reservation for those shows on board! To me, it seems odd to put such a popular show in such a small venue.
Day 4 - Day at Sea
Our day in St. Thomas was cancelled due to the search for the missing crew member. So today was a day at sea.
DH and DD did the zip line (8 stories above Boardwalk). DD really enjoyed it and did it twice. She also did the flow rider. We have 2 more days at sea, so maybe I will try it one of those days.
DD and I also did the cupcake decorating class. We made a dog. The class was lots of fun, and the cupcake quite tasty when we were done. I'd recommend that class.
Tonight, the Headliner show was Kenny James. I was expecting a variety show, but his entire act was singing. I think he should have been in the Comedy LIVE Theatre (small venue), and the 2 comedians from last night, Rick Corso and Phil Tag, should have been in the Opal Theatre (large venue).
Day 5 - St. Maarten
We did the Afternoon Beach Break at St. Maarten. This was a very popular excursion. We enjoyed the 2 hours at the beach, and DD and I got sunburned. Just a reminder, when it is your turn, be sure to replace sunscreen often!
DH and I went to Giovanni's for dinner. This dinner and the one at Chops have been my favorite so far. I recommend the upscale restaurants on the ship.
We saw "Frozen In Time" in Studio B. Great show. All of the skaters are quite talented, the costumes were fabulous and the guest artist was great.
Day 5 - At Sea We finally decided to try the Seafood Shack. We ordered 3 of the Fish and Chips and 1 appetizer. The appetizer came out at the same time as the food, and when it came out, it was 2 of the Fish and Chips and 2 appetizers. How could the waitress think that was right? DD finished her beverage before the food came out, but the waitress never brought her any more. And the fish was underdone. There should NOT be a charge for this restaurant! If RCCL is going to charge for this restaurant, the service and food should at least be on par with the Dining room! Instead, it was the worst meal we've had all week. We did complain, and they took care of the meal for us. But thought other cruise critics might like to know our experience with this restaurant so you can make your own decision.
DD decided she would be in the Adventure Ocean Talent Show, but showed up 5 minutes late and they had already left for practice. I guess we have gotten used to a more relaxed attitude on the other ships because 5-10 minutes of tardiness would not have caused her to miss it on other RCCL (or Disney) ships.
Went to play Bingo and found out that my 3 cards were competing against players with 100 cards on an electronic hand-held device. I had no idea until the game started. Lesson learned - if you want to play Bingo on this ship, spend the $$ for the electronic hand-held device!
This was formal night (Lobster night) in the dining room, and food and service was good as always. Thanks Jasmine and Ramon, and Dani, our head waiter!
Tonight's show was the "Oasis of Dreams" in the Aqua Theatre. It was rained out and re-scheduled for tomorrow night, same time. Very frustrating day. Guess I will be packing EARLY tomorrow so we can see the last 2 shows and get the luggage out before midnight.
Day 6 - At Sea
I finally tried the Zip line and the Flow Rider this morning. At the Zip line, I tried not to look down, and it wasn't too difficult since the ride is quite short! The Flow Rider is so much fun! I wasn't able to sit on my knees, but I think with a little practice, maybe one day... After that, I found a nice breezy spot by the pool to catch some rays for my last day on the cruise.
After some lunch at the Park Cafe, we packed our bags because tonight was busy!
DD and I went to see "HairSpray" before dinner. It was one song after another. All of the cast performed almost the entire 90 minutes. Quite a talented group. Several of the cast members performed at the Comedy Improvs during our at the days at sea.
After dinner, we saw the "Oasis of Dreams" show at the Aqua Theatre. Besides being trained in high diving, two cast members were also in Cirque du Soleil Mystere. So the show was Cirque-like, with music, only without the singers.
Shows If you don't want to see every show and want to pick just one or two, here's how I would rate them (1 being the best):
1) Come Fly With Me 2) Frozen In Time 3) Oasis of Dreams 4) HairSpray
The above list only includes the shows you can reserve online prior to your sailing. We didn't get to see any of the Comedy shows (Rick Corso and Phil Tag), so those are not included above.
Restaurants Windjammer - The Windjammer is quite busy for lunch on the first day of the cruise, and also for breakfast every day. It took a few minutes to find a table at breakfast, but we did manage to find one each day. I would like to see Oasis add an "Egg Man" - someone to make fresh omlets and other eggs, like they do on the Mariner and the Jewel. There were premade Omlets there, but they were not fresh. On the plus side, the Oasis had biscuits - my Mom would have enjoyed this, as that was one thing she missed on the Mariner.
Promenade - I would like to see Iced Tea made available at the restaurants on the Promenade. And maybe some other food options, like bar food/appetizers at one or more bars.
Boardwalk - You can already get doughnuts and ice cream elsewhere on the ship. I would like to see those replaced with maybe Aunt Annie's Pretzels or something Mexican.
Workshops There are several workshops for adults only (Jewelry making and Scrapbooking). Adults only = 18 and older. I would like to see Oasis hold some Mother-daughter classes, as my daughter is 11, and that would have been something fun we could do together. Come to think of it, some Father-son basketball or table-tennis games might be fun, too. Just some ideas for Oasis to consider.