Prior to our July 3-10 2010 cruise we read all 150+ reviews. Most were detailed, interesting and informative. Three stood out to me as just plain silly and I'd like to respond to these just to clear them up. #1 " We were bored and couldn't wait to go home". What ship were you on? #2 "I couldn't sleep 'cause the ship didn't rock". Then move to a houseboat. #3 My all time favorite..."I couldn't believe we weren't escourted to our cabin". HELLO!!! We sailed with 6238 passengers & 2158 crew members who had specific jobs to do to turn the ship around in less than 9 hours. The crew consists of Hotel staff, provisions, food & beverage etc. Sorry no escourt service so find your own cabin.
We sailed with our dear friends from Cal City, Ill..our third cruise with them all on RCCL. We flew to Lauderdale from Pittsburgh on July 1st and our friends came in on the 2nd. We stayed at the Embassy Suites (free breakfast & nightly cocktails). Left for the pier via the hotel van around 11:00am and were onboard the Oasis within 20 minutes due to a painless and swift embarkation at the terminal. Knowing that the cabins would not be ready until 1:00 we went to the Cafe Promenade for the famous roast beef sandwiches and salads.
The ship is truly an amazing engineering work of art. After lunch we just toured the ship then found Boleros bar for a bon voyage beer and survey for a perch for the sail away parade. At about 1:00 we went to our adjoining cabins on deck 11. Our bags had just arrived so we settled in to unpack.
Cabins: From the previous reviews we knew to take a power strip and to expect a tight squeeze. The bed was next to the closet but there was ample space to maneuver around. The large suitcase fit under the bed with room to spare. From past experience we knew not to over pack and found adaquate storage space. The bathroom was not designed for big people. There was a small trash can located under the sink. The shower reminded us of a cocoon so don't drop the soap.
We met our steward who was one of the best we've had. Asked him if he could open up the plexiglass divider on the deck. After he opened it we doubled our deck/balcony size.
Dining: We opted to pre book dinner at Chops Grile for Monday night dinner. Went there to check on our reservation an sure 'nuf there we were. Had heard too many stories about messed up reservations but not to worry. Ate dinner in the main dining room all other nights. The food and service were really good except for one night. Two large tables next to us had several latin families who dined at their leisure sometimes as late as 9:45 which threw our wait staff off their timing.
The Windjammer was crowded especially during at sea days. One morning after standing for several minutes waiting for a seat I saw one man reserving 3 tables of two seats each with his "wing span". I sat down anyway only to have him cuss me out in some language. When he left to have a staff member remove me the other seats filled up quickly. Really funny. That was the start of the rude/obnoxious behavior that we experienced many other times. I'll expand on this later.
The only other time we ate at a per-fee venue was at The Sea Food Shack. Very good fish & chips and well worth the price. Had room service on our balcony for breakfast a couple of days. The menue was limited but fit our tastes very well. Eggs,bacon, sausage, coffee, milk & juice.
At Chops the steaks were the best we've ever had but our waiter, Pretisch from India, was fantastic! He took our drink and dinner orders without writting anything down. Everything came out perfect. He and his assistant waited until we cut into our steaks to make sure they were perfect-they were.
The public areas were amazing. There was something for everyone. Music ranged from Latin to Jazz and all in between. The casino was very large with over 450 slots and numerous table games. One problem in the casino was the lack of security. Children were everywhere just running wild. Even with numerous announcements they just kept coming. One lady had her toddler on her lap while playing the slots. Vegas security would be pulling their hair out.
Entertainment: The best shows at sea and maybe on land. As mentioned in many reviews do reserve your shows well in advance as we did. Never had a problem. Not being a musical fan I didn't care for Hairspray and we left in the first 15 minutes. Come Fly With Me was fantastic-makes Cirque look like rookies. The ice show was well done with a fantastic sand artist during a break in the skating action.
The service was great as well and the entire crew greeted everyone with hellos and smiles.
On to the rudeness. Ms. Manners' book must have not been sold outside of the US. Children as well as adults thought they were on their own, private yachts. Adults hogged the aisles in the public areas and the casino. After several excuese mes my 5'2" wife had to physically push a woman out of the way. Many tried to get on elevators before we got off. As one child was going to exit an elevator he pushed every deck button. I blocked him in so we rode to deck 17. When we got there I asked him which deck he wanted. He said "6" so I hit every button and told him to enjoy the ride and learn some manners. Made my day.
In closing, we sailed on The Oasis just for the ship not the islands as we've been to all of them. We'll be sailing on a Voyager class from now on but The Oasis is not to be missed. There is a lot of walking which is great if you are younger. Again thanks for all of the CC reviews and enjoy The Oasis. Any questions you have just e-mail me at email@example.com. I'll be glad to respond.