We were a group of 4 and began our adventure on the Oasis of the Seas as if this was our first cruise. We have been cruising since 1978 and remember the times when everyone was dressed in their finest and waiters served us with white gloves and family style!
Prior to our sailing on June 5th, I scanned through all the member reviews of past Oasis cruises and took note. They were so helpful in giving hints to the ship which enabled us to know our way around very quickly. So I would advise every reader to take some time and read through member's reviews.
Embarkation was a breeze and we were onboard in approximately 20 minutes.
As we entered the ship on the Promenade Deck we just stood there in awe! We then made our way to Central Park to have the famous "roast beef sandwich" at the Park Cafe which lived up to its reputation - delicious. Also the salads were very good. During the week we ate there several times. We then went to the Trelis Bar and had mud slides made by Carlos while waiting for our cabins. They were very good and was a favorite stop of ours throughout the cruise. At 1:00 p.m. we left and went to our cabins. One day while we were sipping our mud slides we spoke with the horticulturist who was tending to the plants.
Staterooom - We were in cabin 12288 which had an ocean view and an outside balcony. Our cabins were very close to the elevators mid ship which saved a lot of walking. So before you book your cabin check the location in relation to the elevators. Overall the cabin was tight, even for two people. Only one person could be by the closet at a time and it was very tight to pass from the end of the bed near the sofa to get to the bathroom. The bathroom had a nice circular shower and great water pressure. We found it spacious and liked the cubby holes to put your toiletries in but our only complaint was the sink - why so low?
Photographers - From boarding the ship to formal nights our pictures were not well taken. Whose mouth was open or who was turned the wrong way seemed to be in every picture, The new face recognition and folders are great improvements from the past but due to the number of people looking to have their pictures taken, we felt there were not enough photographers on board. They just snapped and went on to the next group. We usually purchase 4-5 pictures each but not this time.
Entertainment - RCI has raised the bar on ship entertainment. We pre-booked all our shows prior to sailing. We saw Hairspray, Come Fly With Me, the Aqua and ice show. What amazed me was how comfortable the theater was during the ice show. All the shows were fabulous. The headliner show was a tribute band to ABBA which was great. I cannot comment on the comedy show since I went star gazing on the helipad with Mitch which was an awesome experience.
Food - We had second seating and our waiter, Wilmer and assistant waiter, Leilani were excellent. They always greeted us with a friendly smile and a warm hello whenever we came to dinner. I personally did not like the table we were seated in. We were on the 4th floor dining room all the way in the back and on the starboard side of the ship. Our table had a banquette seating so that when you sat in a chair your vision of the dining room was limited.
We had a problem with breakfast on Sunday. The male member of our group had a tank top on and they would not let him in the dining room. We tried to say that it was 9:50 a.m. and the dining room was scheduled to close in ten minutes but they would not let him stay and they kept insisting about the dress code. However, the group in front of us had a teenage boy who had a tank top on and they let him in. When we tried to question them why he was allowed, their answer was that 150 people lost their luggage, etc., etc.
When we came to dinner that evening, which was the first formal evening, we took note of the "dress code" in the dining room. There were men with shorts and flip flops, as well as tee-shirts (with no collars) on. When we questioned our Head Waiter as to the dress code, he kept repeating about the 150 passengers who lost their luggage. Is this the standard RCI answer used?
We all felt that the dress code should be enforced, whatever it may be, and if you want to wear shorts at dinner, go to the other food venues which have a "casual" dress code.
In reading other member reviews, this lack of "dress code" has come up many times and RCI should pay stricter attention to what people are wearing in the main dining room and enforce the dress code for everyone.
We ate in two specialty restaurants, Giovanni's and the Chop Grill which everyone enjoyed. We also had lunch one day at Johnny Rocket's (fries and onion rings were delicious). Had lunch at Windjammer one day - no problem in getting a table but some of us didn't like the food selection. Overall, the food in the main dining was nothing extraordinary. Customer Service Desk - We had a problem with our onboard credits which took a day to resolve. It was hit or miss at the desk in getting a representative who spoke English which we could understand.
Cruise Director's Staff - Great cruise staff, from Ken Rush, to the bingo man - Elvis from Chile, We enjoy doing daily trivia contests, but had a girl who had problems with her English. She was difficult to understand, but nevertheless we had fun and almost won one day.
Activities - On our last day at sea we bought the book, "Live the Oasis". Unfortunately we did not participate in this activity but recommend it since we met several people looking for the points of interest during the cruise and looked like fun.
The pools were very crowded on our days at sea so we went to the solarium - adults only area. The glass enclosures made the area too hot and I was unable to take sun. It felt like a greenhouse. The pool in the solarium was small and the water very warm. It had sprays of water in the middle but the water was not cool. Keep your shoes by the entrance because the top gets so hot you can burn your feet if you go barefoot! Bingo has become very expensive and it seemed everyone who was winning had the electronic version at $55 per session. We took turns at buying it but we still didn't win!
Didn't try the flow rider nor the zip line but we played miniature golf. A suggestion for miniature golf, purchase different color balls to make it easier to know which one is yours. The parades on the Royal Promenade were very colorful and the crew who participated made everyone have a great time. One girl dancing on stilts was great! She never missed a beat.
Since we are beach people, we didn't purchase any shore excursions and found our own way. We felt the time in Nassau was too short since we had to be back on the ship by 1:30 p.m.
Disembarkation - Being platinum card holders we were directed to a special designated area. We were not even seated when our number was called to leave the ship. We left the ship, retrieved our luggage and went through customs in twenty minutes. The fastest ever! Hats off to the RCI staff in the terminal. They did a great job and added to the overall cruise experience!
Summary - It was a great cruise and we hardly felt like we were moving. The ship is beautifully decorated and the Captain's Talk should not be missed. During the talk they showed a video on the birth of Oasis and her maiden voyage to Ft. Lauderdale. Too bad RCI didn't sell the video - I am sure it would have been a huge seller. Almost forgot to mention the technology which enabled us to find our cabin, see how long the waits in the restaurant were and our individual calendars. Just amazing!
Can't wait to see what the Allure has to offer.