Boarding the ship was painless, although there was some clogging at the initial card-reading machine. Once on the ship, we asked who the cruise director was. The answer was "Richard Spacey". Yes! This was going to be great. Richard Spacey is the best cruise director in the business. Minutes later we found out Richard Spacey was on vacation and wouldn't be cruising with us. No! We were disappointed, but Ken Rush did a nice job filling in for Richard during the week.
We managed to drop our bags in our room before 1PM and headed to Windjammer for lunch. I had heard it's very hard to find a seat in Windjammer, but I didn't believe it. Now I do. I was shocked to discover that RC built the Oasis' Windjammer smaller than Freedom of the Seas'. After 20 minutes, we found a seat. Needless to say, we didn't eat there very often after that.
When we got back to the room, we took a look at the cabin. We had a balcony, which seemed a bit more private than the one on Freedom. I also liked the chairs over Freedom's and the shower in the bathroom seemed a little larger as well. The big problem was the closet. It was placed alongside the bed, which made getting into it awkward, especially when several people needed to use it.
We then went out to explore.
Several improvements were made around the elevators. There is a light over the elevator when it arrives telling you if it's going down (red) or up (green). Each direction has it's own audible tone as well. I like that. In the elevators, there is a button named Gangway. When you want to get off the ship for an excursion, hit this button and it will take you to the floor you need to go to.
Also near the elevators is a computer display showing you an outline of the ship and where you are. You no longer have to wonder which direction to go to get to your cabin. These displays have other functions, such as telling you what activities are going on at the moment.
Scattered around the ship are little viewports. You look inside them and see something having to do with nature. They have kind of a 3D effect. Nothing spectacular, but I think they're nice. The ship is filled with beautiful artwork and decor throughout.
Central Park is really amazing. It really feels like a park, with walkways, trees, and plants all around. There are even chirping birds, electronic of course, and live butterflies which add to the ambiance. It was nice to get breakfast at the Park Cafe and eat it while sitting on a bench in the park. Very relaxing and a completely different kind of environment than any other place on the ship.
The Royal Promenade blew me away. This is where the shops and snack places are. The size of the Promenade makes you feel like you're in a mall. Literally. It is noticeably bigger than Freedom's. Sorrento's Pizza is here and the pizza is very good. The cookies at the Promenade Cafe are delicious too. They also serve milk. I liked the On-Air venue, which has big screen TVs inside and also outside facing the Promenade. I could eat a snack in the "mall", watch the people go by, and at the same time watch the French Open on TV.
The Boardwalk is right in back of the Promenade. I rode the Carousel, which was fun, and got a caramel sundae at the ice cream shop. The sundaes they make are huge, so I had the girl make mine smaller. It was scrumptious!
The pool deck is beautiful. Some pools are salt water, and others fresh. One side is smoking, the other non. I think the chairs in this area are the most comfortable of any cruise I've been on.
RC moved the jogging track from the upper deck (on most ships) to its own deck on the Oasis. A lot of joggers and walkers made use of it. The only chairs on this deck are at the very rear of the ship, which is kind of a secret. The engine noise may be a bit loud, but I found it great for reading at night.
The shows aboard Oasis are the best I've ever seen. "Come Fly With Me" showcases performers with outstanding gymnastic skills. The ice show, great on any RC cruise, did not disappoint. "Hairspray" was very well done. The show in the Aqua Theater was amazing, with world-class divers and acrobats executing all kinds of stunts. They did things I had never seen before.
The Aqua Theater is a great place to hang out during the day. They have huge TVs with trivia questions and, on our cruise, we got to see the performers practicing their show.
The food on-board is very good overall. We ate in the dining room every night and thoroughly enjoyed the meals. The staff was very attentive and did a great job of taking care of us. Same goes for the stateroom attendant.
The activities on the ship are pretty much non-stop. I did the zip-line, which was a little scary, the Flow Rider (boogie board and surfing), ice skating, and climbing wall. I never experienced a long wait on any of these. If you are going to do ice skating, make sure to wear long socks or you will get a welt on your ankle!
Getting off the ship for our St. Maarten excursion was a breeze. See my excursion blurb below for details on that.
At the end of seven days, my family and I didn't want to get off. Granted, we didn't get to go to St. Thomas because of the incident with the overboard worker, but we enjoyed our vacation very much and will be talking about it for a long time to come.
We got to the Hut in about 10 minutes. The Tiki Hut floats on the water and is divided up into sections like a pontoon bridge. The main area is under a roof and contains several tables shielded from the sun. Outside, you have lounge chairs and umbrellas. There is a restroom, but you have to swim to get to it. My best advice is to go before you leave the ship.
The people on the Tiki Hut are very friendly and will explain everything you need to know about snorkeling. I spent about 45 minutes snorkeling around and saw quite a variety of fish.
After that, we relaxed at the Tiki Hut and caught the return water-taxi back to the ship. You can spend as long as you like at the Hut. The water-taxi returns every 45 minutes to take people back to the dock.
If you like snorkeling, I would recommend this excursion.