We (my partner and I) are experienced cruisers (60's-Platinum members) and have cruised RC and other lines many times and just had to experience the Oasis of the Seas..and we were DELIGHTED with her !!!.
We drove to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and stayed at the Hyatt Place North on 10th st. and loved it. They offer a shuttle in the morning to get you to the ship by 11am.
We will give you brief descriptions of our impressions of the ship and then some suggestions to make your cruise on this incredible ship even better.
First of all...the Oasis raises the bar on cruising to a very high level as their customer service, attention to detail and offering amenities unmatched on other ships made our cruise one to remember and it will be hard to settle for anything less. So here are some short comments:
Embarkation: Arrived at 11am, on board at 11:20am..incredible ease. One of the first ones at Windjammer...loved the food..toured the ship until room ready at 1pm. Luggage was at room door when we arrived. Cabin: We had a Boardwalk Balcony cabin on the 14th level and this became the ONLY disappointment on our cruise: The cabin was fine but the NOISE level was awful. You felt like you were in a canyon and all the screams, music and crowd noise was amplified..and when the parties continued after midnight..it became a real problem especially if you are a light sleeper,also bring earplugs. We strongly suggest that you select either a Central Park balcony or especially a sea-view balcony cabin to eliminate this problem. BTW: the Beds were wonderful.
Entertainment: Best we've seen on all our cruises. Definitely book your shows when you make your reservations for the cruise as they fill up fast. If you miss out, you can wait in a standby line and they will let you in 10 min before showtime if there are empty seats.
Food: We ate in the Opus dining room at the 6pm serving and LOVED the food and service. The selection and quality of the food was the best we have experienced while cruising and our head waiter 'Sylvester' and his assistant 'Roger' were fabulous. We only ate in the Windjammer on our first day as we heard that finding seating was a problem, so we ate our breakfasts and lunches in the Solarium and found the food wonderful and seating was always available.
Debarkation: We would suggest doing the early "walk-off" with your luggage if you want the quickest debarkation. We opted for an early time and packed our luggage the night before and found some congestion at the luggage pickup area, but overall we were off the ship and back to the hotel in one hour. Some suggestions: -Look for a great viewing area off the fantail of the ship at the end of the 14th and lower levels. Very private with nice lounge chairs for romantic viewing. -Explore ALL areas of the ship early on...as we missed some great areas until ready to leave. -Bring some of the 3M peel off hooks as there seemed to be a shortage of places to hang clothes, etc..especially in bathroom. -Bring a 2-3ft elec powerstrip as the Elec outlets are very inconveniently placed under the desk requiring you to be on your hands and knees to find the outlets.
-Definitely plan to spend time in the Solarium area (adults only)as it is so beautiful and peaceful with great hottubs and pool. It became our refuge. -We only ate at one specialty restaurant (The Solarium Bistro)and we were VERY impressed! The food was incredible and our server Ruivah from India was the best server we've EVER had. -DO NOT bring an iron..they will find it while security scanning and you will not get your bags until you go to security later and open your bags for inspection and they keep the iron until you debark the ship. -On sea-days, get up to the pool decks early as prime location seating fills quickly, although there are PLENTY of lounge chairs around various locations on the ship. -Elevators: RC figured it out..no waiting, plenty of elevators and their electronic maps next to the elevators were fabulous to figure out where you needed to go..and what was going on. -Shore excursion: Definitely do the helmet dive in St. Maarten with SeaTrek. Great staff and a neat experience. -Ships Internet-was very slow and ate up most of our minutes just trying to get our email and favorite sites. TV was also problematic (no volume and channel glitches). -Jogging track was great..walked 4 miles each day. -Artwork around ship was wonderful and worth the time to look for. -Did Wine tasting at Vintages...loved it and learned a lot. -Dancing venues were all good, especially loved 'Dazzles'.
Overall Comment: This ship is AWESOME!!! especially if you have kids (we didn't), but were prepared for them...and found a strong international "flavor" of the guests with many from Latin American countries..and they were all so delightful to interact with. For such a large ship...we were rarely inconvenienced because of it's size..in fact..the "extras" were worth it. We congratulate RC on this ship as their attention to detail showed. Hopefully, other ships will raise their quality to the Oasis level and we will ALL benefit. It was our BEST cruise yet!
You will LOVE the OASIS!!