Previous Oasis reviews didn't do justice to the great experience of sailing on this awesome ship! First let me give you some idea about the makeup of our group. I am a full time power wheelchair user who celebrated my 60th birthday onboard. The age range of our group was 24 - 69, with 2 others in our group celebrating 60-something birthdays during our sailing. Seven in our group flew in from Germany joining 4 of us from Florida.....3 of the German family members had never cruised prior to our Oasis cruise. We had first-time cruisers, 4 Gold C&A members, 2 Platinum members and 2 Diamond members. By the way, if you are a Diamond member don't miss the Diamond Club on Deck 6....very well located and very nicely set up.
A big part of the Oasis experience is not only the great attention to detail that went into building this amazingly fun ship, but also the thought and planning that results in not feeling there are 6000 passengers onboard.
We all made our own hotel and travel reservations prior to our cruise. The morning of departure we all arrived for check-in at 10:30 am. True to others check-in reviews, it was fast, friendly and efficient. We were onboard by 11:05 am. It's a nice touch having your SeaPass card photo taken as you check in. Note, remember to have your "Welcome Aboard" photo taken just prior to boarding so your ship photos will be filed using the face-recognition system. That means all your photos taken by ship photographers will be in a personal binder that is easy to find and view your pictures. FYI, there were at least 6 ship photographers taking "Welcome Aboard" pictures before you physically board the ship which was quick and cut down on congestion.
We took the first couple of hours to explore the ship. Jaw dropping from the beginning. We had our first of many great meals at the Park Cafe....and yes, we loved the roast beef sandwiches. Spending time in Central Park throughout the week was always a treat.
Entertainment: We made reservations for the production shows prior to sailing. I can't encourage you enough to do this. It saves you missing other things to enjoy onboard if you are trying to make show reservations during the cruise and perhaps finding shows sold out. I would give the shows we attended all 10s, using a scale where 10 is the best. We attended Hairspray, Oasis of Dreams water show, Come Fly with Me aerial acrobatic show, the Comedy Club and the ice skating show. Performers are top-notch in all shows and costumes and sets were great. One BIG tip, to get the best seats even with reservations, show up at least 30 min. prior to show time. The only down side for us was our early dining room seating for dinner ran too close to some of our show reservations that started at 8:30 pm. You don't want to rush your evening dining experience by hurrying off to a show. Due to a change in itineraries, some show times were changed, but all the changes were automatically changed for us and a message about this was on the Interactive TV messages area. Make sure you use your Interactive TV system throughout the week for checking messages and your onboard account plus a large number of other Interactive choices.
Activities: Six in our group used the zip line, 4 used the Flowrider for boogie boarding and surfing, several used the exercise/workout area, and several walked daily. The walking track on deck 5 away from the pool areas is an improvement. The pools and hot tubs were also used and enjoyed by most in our group. A surprise to me was the lovely 2-deck solarium has a round small "pool" that is really not suited for swimming. However, with all the other pool options, it makes sense not to waste this great space with a large pool. As for the casino, most in our group didn't spend too much time giving Royal Caribbean our money :o) Oasis has lots of activities.....just enjoy and don't try doing them all.
Staterooms: Our group occupied a variety of stateroom types. My husband and I enjoyed a Jr. Suite and loved the balcony, the walk-in closet and the in-room coffee and tea set-up. The balcony area and furniture were very nice. Remember to keep your Master Switch turned on if you want your A/C to stay on. Watch the "Welcome" message on your stateroom TV for this and other information. We had plenty of storage space and suitcases fit under the bed easily. Two others had balcony rooms and were very satisfied. One couple had a Central Park balcony and enjoyed it especially watching activity in Central Park. The last room was an interior that slept 3. There was a pull-out couch for the 3rd bed which was made up each evening by the room steward. Everyone seemed very pleased with the staterooms.
Dining: With 24 eating options on this ship, it would be hard NOT to find something to eat. We ate at Johnny Rockets for breakfast and would recommend it. Two things....make sure to order "The Works" in addition to your breakfast order, and arriving for breakfast when it first opens is a good idea. We ordered room service once for breakfast and it was good. Nice touch that you simply order using the TV. We loved Park Cafe....my favorite for quick and yummy food selections. The Solarium Bistro is a buffet. We ate there once but since I'm in a wheelchair getting around and being able to see and read the food labels wasn't the easiest. Promenade Cafe and Sorrentos Pizza are still good choices for light fare or pizza. New addition at Sorrentos is a "Create Your Own" pizza area where the choices are plentiful and interesting. In addition, there are 4 ready made pizzas to order by the slice. We never went to the Windjammer because there were so many other choices. We ate at Chops and Izumi as the 2 per-person charge restaurants. We give both 2 thumbs up for quality of food and service. If you go to Izumi, do a combination dinner that includes hot rock cooking. We love Japanese food and it was outstanding, to include soup, sushi, hot rock and dessert sampler! We agreed as return cruisers and with so many food venues, the main dining room was fine but not over the top. We had 3 different evenings where service was extremely slow and uneven plus a couple hiccups by the waiter seemed surprising since they were so basic. No biggie though since we had so many other choices of places to eat.
Ports of Call: We did some birthday shopping at St. Thomas and Crown Bay has a nice selection of stores. My wheelchair prevents us from doing excursions or going downtown. Everyone who went ashore in our group went shopping and enjoyed it. St. Maarten was a quick on and off the ship for my husband and me because we can only shop at the port. Others took the water taxi into town for some shopping and got a few small souvenirs. We didn't get off the ship in Nassau for the same inaccessible transportation reasons as the other ports. Also, in Nassau, the stores within walking distance of the ship mostly have at least 1 big step at the entrances. So we spend days at ports like these enjoying the ship almost by ourselves.
Service: We have noticed in the past couple years that RC service has really been great and we never thought it lacking before that. The staff on Oasis really were great, friendly and seemed to go out of their way to assist the passengers. The service overall ran like a well-oiled machine.
Disembarkation: Disembarking the ship at 7:05 am was as smooth and quick as it was for our embarkation. We walked right off the ship, got our bags and a porter, quickly cleared customs and were at our car by 7:30 am. Amazing!
Summary: Do not stop, do not pass "Go," and do not collect $200.....BOOK a cruise on Oasis at your earliest convenience. It is the quintessential cruise vacation! We definitely plan to go on another Oasis cruise or an Allure cruise. Nothing compares to a week on Oasis of the Seas....except maybe a back-to-back cruise!