My wife and I have just returned from a long awaited cruise on the Oasis. Had an exhausting week in Orlando and drove down on Saturday morning to join the ship.
Shuttle bus from FL airport was quick and from then we were on the ship within 15 mins. Everything that is said about embarkation is true and unbelievable considering the numbers involved.
Cabin was fine and Dexter our steward was superb and very friendly and helpful.
In fact if that it one thing we take from this cruise more than others was the friendliness of the staff. Everyone without exception was friendly and keen to ensure your experience was positive.It seems a lot of the staff were transferred from the Independence and there were a few familiar faces.
We were on "my time dining" with reservations and as we were used to eating at 8.30 or later, we had a small wait most nights which was not a problem. The MDR was excellent and we never had one complaint in respect of the food or the service. I frequently asked for 2 starters and this was never any problem to the waiting staff. Windjammer for lunch was our other normal routine and again we never had a problem getting a table or finding something to eat.
Only experience of the speciality restaurants was Chops Grille and for the 2nd cruise running (Independence of the Seas last year) we suffered our only disappointment. My wife insists on her steak being well done and I mean well done. Yet again it had to be returned for further cooking which resulted in the side orders getting cold. To be fair, the waiter brought fresh side orders after we complained but it seems that they can't grasp the concept of a well done steak. We will not trouble Chops again on any further cruises.
As far as the entertainment is concerned, the shows we saw, Aquashow, Ice show and Come Fly with Me were all absolutely superb and performed faultlessly (2 stumbles on the ice apart) Cruise Director Richard is absolutely brilliant and a real asset to RCI.
Apart from the emergency drill, I never found the ship's population to be overwhelming and there were times my wife and I felt we were the only passengers in some areas. I was constantly caught thinking how they deal with the logistics of keeping the Oasis ticking along, but the best thing to do is just immerse yourself in the atmosphere of truly well designed and organised ship.
The direction finders and ships maps all over the ship are perfect for keeping your bearings and ensuring you don't keep walking the wrong way. There were a few glitches with the stateroom interactive information on the TV but on the whole no real technical problems.
We had a slight issue with avoiding the hurricane and the post visits to St Martin and St Thomas were reversed, but again the efforts of the excursions department to amend everything need to be acknowledged.
Entertainment in the lounges was OK but On Air does get very busy and could do with more seating. The pub was great and Schooner bar was also (once you get over the smell of the treatment used for the "ropes") The neighbourhoods are incredible and extremely well laid out and the pool area, although busy, was still not too crowded that you couldn't get a sun lounger. I did not see any evidence of the pool staff clearing loungers after 30 minutes and I know there were a few instances of abuse of the reserving of loungers.
We decided to carry off our own luggage and did so at 9am and not the time as stipulated in the Cruise Compass instruction leaflet. If you are able to manage all your luggage by yourself, I would recommend doing so as it gets you moving quicker.
All in all a great experience and one I would have no problem recommending for people considering a cruise on the Oasis.