We recently returned from our Oasis sailing which sailed October 30 to the Western Caribbean. We flew day down a day early and stayed at the W Ft. Lauderdale, GORGEOUS hotel, would stay there again in a heartbeat. Had dinner at one of the best restaurants I have ever dined at, YOLO(you only live once)...about a $15 cab ride from the hotel but VERY worth it (Meatball slider, chopped salad, steak, carrot cake and bread pudding(don't miss this). Walked about half way back to the hotel to burn off some dinner and caught a cab the rest of the way back. Next morning had some coffee and pastries at the hotel and off to the pier...
Check-In...arrived at the pier at 10:15...I can see how this system would work well if you were not arriving early but if you are, not the best system I have seen. There are 2 sides for check in...goes according to deck number...you go through security and then onto check in. You stay on the same side for check in as you do for security...this is where it went down hill. I do not remember the exact number but there was about 5 check in desks for each deck...that was pretty good, or would have been pretty good if there had been more than one open. So, now we have 3 or 4 lines for our deck with 10 or so people in each line and 1 check in desk open...woman directing people from each line skipping over one line a few times, etc...some very unhappy people with that. Finally after about 20 minutes they brought in more employees and the lines started to move. From there we went upstairs to the waiting area to meet some very pushy and rude employees at the pier who told us we could only sit here, not there, etc. We are platinum and had a group of 19...we wanted to sit in the 2 rows facing each other but they were just totally rude about it. Anyway, we waited about a half our and off to the ship we were HERDED...I mean someone should have really had a cattle prod here! I will rate things on a scale of 1-5, 1 being really needs improvement to 5 being amazing. Check in to on the ship: 3 1/2
About the Ship...first impression is not that different than others...just walking into the Promenade you don't see the magnitude of this ship. Once you get down the hall and you need to walk all the way to the other end is where you see how large it is. Try to get a room in the middle if you can. The ship was very nice, although being so large it made it hard to find people if you were looking for them. Loved the boardwalk and central park, great ideas for something different. Zip Line was OK, but you will spend more time in line, taking off all jewelry and being harnessed in for that 15 second ride than it is really worth. Carousel was fun but only needed to do it once. Pools were never too crowded, I was surprised by that...our favorite was the Beach pool, but people LOVE to save those lounge chairs all day! Everything was clean and in place and as is expected. Ship: 4 1/2
Cabin...we had a balcony cabin on Deck 10...all the way forward...this is where you see how large the ship is. What we did was go down to deck 8 and walk through Central Park and then down to deck 4...broke it up a bit and didn't have to walk through the smelly casino...even though I never saw much smoke, it just reeked of old smoke. Anyway, cabins are smaller, at least narrower. I like the closed not in the hall as I am not standing there while hubby is in and out of bathroom. The balcony was fine and the room was nice, but as others have mentioned the storage in the room, except for the closet is a joke and the placing of the outlets is ridiculous...I hope they don't ever rehire that engineer! The bathroom counter is the equivalent of a 2x6 with a chip in it for the sink with no storage...rest of bathroom was fine, oh except for my only real complaint about the room...no cold water in the sink so I got to brush my teeth in warm water all week...gross! Cabin: 4
Dining...Dinner arrangement: we had a group broken into 3 tables...one for a table of 8, another for a table of 4(2 in our group, 2 not) and a table for 9. Our 2 larger tables had a different set of servers than the table of 4...our servers were very kind and very sweet but could not get it together. Every night multiple orders were wrong and every night we were the last 2 tables out of the dining room...to the point that our other table that had different servers were leaving before we even finished our main course. And we did not order a lot of multiples so don't think that was the issue. We did not complain as they were very nice and did not want to get them in trouble it just made the dining experience not as good as it could have been. The food for the most part was OK...some very good some not so good but nothing that any of us had was excellent. We did eat in Chops one night and the food was wonderful but the service there was VERY slow...took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get through...after 2 hours we JUST got our entrees. We did Johnny Rockets once night at 11:30 after a few drinks and food was very good and hot and fresh but too much food! We did the Seafood shack for lunch one day, food was very good and the service was fine and you got a lot of food for the money. Park Cafe had to be my favorite...ate lunch there a few times and breakfast there all but 2 days, food was simple but excellent and the lines moved quick and was easy to take to go if you couldn't get a table (best experience on the ship) we did the windjammer for breakfast and lunch one time...never again, can't stand that many rude people at once(actually had a girl combing her hair in front of me with hair going everywhere). We did the Wipeout cafe for lunch one day, the pretzel dogs are all that and then some and we did the dining room for lunch one day, very good and service was excellent but I just don't like to spend that much time at lunch. Overall Dining Experience was a 4, would be a 3 if not for the Park Cafe and the 2 quickie specialty restaurants.
Shows...this was the highlight of the ship, but I HIGHLY recommend making reservations, especially for the comedy shows. We had almost 6,000 people on our sailing and I would say the comedy show only seats 100...people would line up for standby-by and hour early and only a few would get in...and it was FUNNY! Rating: 5 All the girls enjoyed Hairspray, all the men fell asleep. Rating: 4 Come Fly with Me...never got the whole story behind it but great to watch. Rating: 4 Diving Shows, we saw 2, the main show and then a comedy one, both were great...Rating: 5 We did not see the other shows but heard they were OK. The Promenade Parties were GREAT! Don't miss the 70's one if they have it...tons of music and fun!
Our itinerary was reversed and changed due to a tropical storm near Haiti...no worries...any island is better than home! Cozumel was first, went to Isla Passion via Twister...what a blast, AMAZING boat ride along with your own tropical island for a few hours...free food and drinks and not too expensive, will do again. After that we hit Senior Frogs right on the pier...HAD A BLAST, drank too much and staggered to the ship! Next up was Costa Maya...not too much there, a few shops and a huge pool with a great bar and decent food. Spent the entire there and staggered back to the ship again. (I am seeing a pattern here : 0 ) Last stop was now Nassau instead of Labadee...we weren't really sure what we were doing until that morning and that is VERY unlike me because I like to have it all planned. We first stopped and the scooter rental place and rented a scooter for a few hours...I wanted to go to Atlantis, hubby did not as we had been there twice already this year but I did not just want to go sit at a beach so Atlantis was the best bet...he didn't want to ride the scooter over the bridge but I finally convinced him to go to Atlantis for a few hours...rode over with no problems, went to Atlantis, got a wristband and locker, rode the lazy river and a few slides and just swan in a few of the pools and relaxed. Rode back and took the scooter back and went to meet our friends at Senior Frogs...no one really wanted to drink so we shopped a bit and went back to the ship and had a snack and relaxed until dinner.
Disembarkation...took forever and was very slow. Once off the ship you were good but they kept stopping and starting the process to clear out the terminal...they need to figure this one out...it shouldn't take an hour to get off the ship...if you call our number it should be time for us to get off the ship... Rating: 2
Overall it was a good cruise because we traveled with so many of our friends and made a lot of our own good times. The drinks were good for the most part but certain ones I would not get again. Things to note I did not see too much mention of was: at the boardwalk bar near the Aqua Theatre they had sandwiches, salads, chicken nuggets and corn dogs there throughout the day that made a great snack...the milkshakes are better in Johnny Rockets than the ice cream parlor...don't wait until after the farewell parade to go to guest services or you will wait in line forever, go in the afternoon if you have a problem...book in room babysitting as soon as you board or you may not be able to get it (the people that they sent were actually housekeeping staff for the ones that our friends used) and check out every area of the ship...there are some neat things to see...Central Park at night is awesome, and don't forget to visit my favorite waiter Rohan at the Rising Tide bar for a drink and a ride...cool bar and STRONG martinis!