Who we is: Old folk (David 71/Jackline 67). Retired and live full time in Mexico.
From the day I (David) read about the Oasis, I wanted to go on it. Mainly, I wanted to see the ship and if I could have taken a "cruise to nowhere" for one night, I would have done that (price was a consideration). But finally we couldn't resist.
Started cruising in February, 2008 and this was our 12th. cruise. Started with Princess (Jackline is a former employee) but when David found RCI, he was hooked. He loves the "life" on RCI ships; especially the rock wall, flowrider, parades and ice shows.
Fast Forward to our Oasis cruise.
As for the ship, "AWESOME PLUS" only half says it.
Lots to do and while we would have preferred "Chicago" over "Hairspray," the production was GREAT!! Same for the ice show and "Fly With Me."
Best cruise director going.
Service, across the board: on a scale of 1 to 10 was a 12, but that's pretty much the standard with RCI.
Very nice cabin and no problems with the noise level, though we overlooked the park; might have been different if it was Broadway.
Good value for the ship/cruise experience. We have done this itinerary several times so destinations mean little.
The average age seemed to be in the 40s with many children, some "old farts" (I'm the leader of the pack in this area) and some of the younger set. Jackline would prefer the more mature and "sedate" group but I don't want the what seems to me to be the "sedentary" groups you find on the more "formal" lines. Everything is a trade-off.
There were mechanical problems with the water show but what they did put on was great. We don't fault the Oasis since nothing is perfect and I'm sure there is some law of physics that says something such as "All functioning systems tend to break down." So it happens but everyone did their best.
Much more "pay" places than I would have liked to see, but considering the great deal "basic" cruising is the best vacation deal going. And of course, RCI probably loses $$ on us since we don't drink (alcohol or soda), and our onboard shopping in nil.
There was/is a problem with some of the automatic sliding doors from inside to the outside (several of the doors). The doors only open half-way causing us to hit our shoulders since we are use to walking in side-by-side; should be fixed.
There was a strong "sewage" odor in the hallway near our cabin and at other random places on the ship for the first few days.
At breakfast time, the Windjammer was packed to the gills and lots of high-level noise. A high noise level was more the norm than in other ships we had been on. Saw lots of people who could not find a seat that filled their plates and took them outside (deck or cabin?)
MAJOR DOWNSIDE: There was a group of about 6-7 children (7-12 years) who were constantly running down the halls, jumping down the stairs and sliding down the handrails. I finally stopped one (male, about 12) and did my "grumpy old man" routine and told him if they didn't cool it, I would get them a tour of the brig (they don't know there isn't one). No problem I saw after that encounter. But seriously, I fault the parents or adults who should control their charges.
Lots of people can create bottlenecks, but we knew that would/could happen and so it's not a major downside.
REQUEST(S) TO RCI (applies to all ships): Get more closed caption movies/shows on the TV. If that isn't possible, please let us use the HDMI input on the TV so we can see our own videos from our computer that have subtitles/closed caption. We're adults and are not going to harm the TV.
SUGGESTION TO RCI.
You have a beautiful car parked right by Guest Relations without not only a rope around it, but not even a sign saying not to climb on it. I saw one instance of a woman/mother with 3 children talking on a communication device for 2-4 minutes while her kids climbed on and over the car. Maybe she was blind; I don't know. I reported it to Guest relations but they didn't seem to care. Being a (former) car collector, I appreciate the cars on the RCI ships and hate to see damage to such a beauty. Just my thoughts.
COMMENTS ON FOOD:
For the most part, the food in the dining room was excellent. We had read a lot of reviews that really derided the food (on cruises generally) but we had no problems with the food.
With the above said: The windjammer is another story. First, we totally understand having to cook for a massive amount of people where things are made in advance. We also know that tastes in food vary so "industrial" cooking has to be very middle-of-the-road.
For the most part, the desserts overall were, IMHO, poor; bland and often more crust than substance. There was occasional good stuff, but that seemed the exception, and I know these things are very subjective.
Most of the Windjammer meats were overcooked and dry and often had what I describe at being like jerky without the flavor. We have learned to choose dishes with sauces that will add flavor and moisture.
Loved the ship and the experience, and looking forward to being "Diamond" in a few more cruises.
Would I book the Oasis/Allure in the future? Probably not. A few too many people for me and for a lot less cost, I can have the things I like on a Freedom or Liberty Class RCI ship. BUT, if there is going to be a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," well,