My husband and I had cruised five times prior to this cruise (on Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Holland America), both as a couple and with groups. Each time has been wonderful. After much anticipation, we flew into Ft. Lauderdale from Milwaukee (via Atlanta) on Friday, May 21st. We settled into the newly-remodeled Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hotel, where we enjoyed a pool-side lunch at the Baja Grill before heading to Waxy O'Connor's Irish Pub to meet our new Cruise Critic friends. (Good time!)
On Saturday, we made our way to the Port to board the Ohhhhh-asis of the Seas. Check-in was quick and painless, and before we knew it, we were on board. We enjoyed welcome-aboard drinks in the Pool Zone. I surprised my husband by upgrading to an ocean-view balcony cabin, and he was delighted! Our comfortable room was in great shape, thanks to our lovely cabin steward, Marta Ortiz. Throughout the week, we treasured many moments on our balcony communing with the ocean and the sky. We also saw flying fish, which was a real treat. The full moon on Thursday night was magical.
We so enjoyed exploring the ship and people-watching, and the ONLY time all week we really noticed any kind of a crowd was immediately following the mandatory drill. The ship itself is everything you can imagine and more: it is impressive, beautiful, and surprisingly easy to navigate. The experience as a passenger is both exciting (the music, entertainment, casino, and more), and relaxing (Central Park, the Solarium, and many quiet corners throughout the ship). We are big fans of Paul O'Shea (the piano player), the house band, and Carlos and the SP3 Showband (who were on board especially to entertain a large group from Brazil). We participated in a few trivia contests and thoroughly enjoyed the ice show, Hairspray, and the "Oasis of Dreams" aqua show (all without reservations, I might add). You wouldn't catch US zip-lining or rock-climbing, but we certainly had a good time watching other people participating in these activities!
Without exception, the service was stellar. We can't say enough about the many crew members who added to our enjoyment of our week at sea, such as Alana in the Windjammer, Ruby & gang in the Schooner Bar, and Ryan in the Boardwalk area. (They do need to schedule additional help in the Royal Caribbean logo shop during peak periods; the one person working the register was always overwhelmed.) [Note: On Monday, we thought the captain and staff handled the very unfortunate loss of one of the crew members tactfully and compassionately. We are satisfied with the future cruise credit offered by Royal Caribbean to make up for missing our stop in St. Thomas.]
We chose "My Time Dining," which suits us beautifully. On the two formal nights, we chose the Main dining room, and the meals and service were very good. On other nights, we opted for the Windjammer or another casual venue, such as Sorrento's pizza. Meeting the fellow passengers from all over was great. We truly had some memorable moments and made some lasting connections. When my husband turned to me on the last day and asked if I'd sail on the Oasis again, I answered without hesitation that I would, and he agreed. Disembarkation, while not quite as smooth as embarkation due to a few bottlenecks, was still quite efficient. We left our cabin, and within one hour, we disembarked, cabbed back to the Sheraton, and were checked into our room. Not bad!
We enjoyed a great weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, taking in a side trip to the Everglades and shopping and dining along Ft. Lauderdale Beach. We certainly recommend cruising aboard the Oasis of the Seas if what you're looking for is an exciting-yet-relaxing cruising experience!