Having spent a "MAGICAL" Christmas on the Freedom of the Seas 2 years ago, we saved our pennies long and hard in order to spend what we anticipated would be an "Exceptional" Christmas aboard the OASIS of the Seas only to find our expectations flopped!
As has been stated numerous times, the ship is beautiful and despite being full we would agree with previous reports that you do not get the impression that the ship is full i.e. Sunbeds,Pools, Hot Tubs, Bars etc... are plentiful.
The price paid for the cruise did not in our opinion represent value for money and we would not encourage anyone to travel (pay the extra for the holiday season) on OASIS as you will be disappointed.
Had we travelled at any other time of year, we would no doubt have a different opinion i.e. Paid a little extra for OASIS but it was worth it because it was OASIS... we came away feeing RIPPED OFF!!!
OASIS is a ship that we have now sailed on but would not be encouraged to sail with again. We much prefer the atmosphere of the 'smaller' ships within the RCI fleet.
And that is what was missing on OASIS... "ATMOSPHERE!!!" no "CHRISTMAS CHEER" oooppsss "Holiday Cheer." You can only surf or watch surfing for a short time, zip wire once or thrice, rock climb, etc... During the day there was not much in the way of alternate entertainment available.
In our opinion, the Cruise Director and his Team were VERY DISAPPOINTING and should/could have done ALOT more for a Christmas (ooops, sorry...) Holiday Cruise.
Ooooooppppsssss did I say the word "Christmas" - Effectively BANNED on OASIS as we were informed by numerous members of the crew "incase they offended anyone." We were told that they had been instructed by the Management (Including the Crusie Director!! to avoid reference to Christmas.)
During the afternoon Trivia, the Cruise Directors Representative mentined the word Christmas by accident, was applauded by many in the Schooner Bar and subsequently apologised to anyone in the room that he may have offended!
For goodness sake... How to BLOW the Christmas Cheer!!
We are very 'Open' and celebrate numerous festivals with our many multi-faith friends at home. On the Freedom of the Seas, the Cruise Director and his Team scheduled celebrations for all faiths (Happy Holidays!!!) and everyone participated which made the entire cruise so "Magical" as we all shared and experienced eachothers festivities.
On Freedom they held: Christmas Carol concert in the street led by the Greek Captain, Santa arrival, Gift giving with a Christmas ice skate taking place in Studio B, the technicians had arranged Santas front room in Stuido B complete with log fire, arm chair... it really demonstrated an effort had been made to create an atmosphere that would enthrall all concerned.
Snow fell all day in the promonade, the crew did everything they could to ensure that the "Magic" of Christmas/'The Holidays' was extended throughout the ship. Despite having also paid a premium for our Christmas cruise on the Freedom, we all agreed that it had been worth every penny!
The OASIS didn't even schedule a Carol Concert, the closest we got was 3 members of the Choir on Christmas Day night singing next to the fountain (so you couldnt hear them) in the street!
Following a series of requests, the Cruise Directors staff made an un-advertised effort to perform 'carols' in the Rising Tide Bar. Nobody knew about the event, it was not in the Cruise Compass, no music, no hymn books... a waste of time on Christmas Eve.
Even the decor of the ship was very 'basic' for a "Flagship" we expected alot more. The Freedom of the Seas was decorated throughout and represented multi-faith celebrations in order for everyone to enjoy "The Holidays" and get into the spirit of this time of year.
We concluded, that of all the Cruise Directors we have experienced on RCI, we had never experience one that was so absent from his guests or worked with such a de-motivated Team. I was informed by a Senior Officer that a new Cruise Director would join the ship in the New Year.
You often see reference on Cruise Critic to the Captain on your cruise and their schedule. I wish they did the same for the Cruise Director. We have never forgotten Richard on Freedom of the Seas, by far the best Cruise Director of any ship, any line we have travelled with.
One would have expected that to be on OASIS of the SEAS the Team would have been top notch. We heard that many of the staff had been transferred to Allure from all areas of the ship. Questions should be asked within RCI regarding the Team onboard OASIS (including the Captain who was also absent from his guests) they do not do justice to the the vessel or the rest of the crew.
So... MOANING OVER... Christmas is gone, Happy New Year !!!
The following is what we DID like about OASIS of the SEAS:
A BEAUTIFUL SHIP, cannot deny that - Lived up to our expectations.
Dining Room Food - Very good
Stateroom - Very good, larger than expected, excellent service from Jose!
Getting on/off - Very easy, Very suprised, less than .15 mins on/off at FLL.
High Tec Computer Touch Screens for Info - Very useful, great idea!
Central Park Cafe - Everything you hear about the beef sandwich is true YUM!!!
Boardwalk - Nice idea, enjoyed the experience, get rid of the Fish Shack.
Ice Show - SUPERB!!!!!!
Hairspray - Excellent, just as good as the West End Production in London.
Splish Splash - Aqua Show (Daytime) Great FUN, we really enjoyed it.
COMICS - Were okay
Temptations - Were okay, suprised they were on OASIS of the SEAS though.
Laberdee - Great FUN
Cozumel - Been it, seen it... not alot to say... but was an enjoyable day.
And this is our list of what we DID NOT LIKE about OASIS of the SEAS:
Kids Club for 12-14 year olds was VERY poor. RCI need to understand that they have a gap in the Kids Club for this age group. 15 onwards okay, almost adult, spending all day going up and down the elevators!!! BUT... 12-14 still need organised events. Our youngest daughter loved cruising because of the Kids Club, on OASIS she was bored, fed up and concluded that the Kids Club Team Leaders were not interested.
COLD swimming pools!!!! (Hot Tubs were okay)
Sewage Smell that came and went each morning around our balcony (Deck 10)
Service in the Dining Room - WORST EVER on RCI, dirty crockery, poor English, long waits for food (The quality of which was very good when it arrived...)
Days 1-3 took 2hrs .30mins to have dinner (6pm sitting) we improved toward the end of the week but never got under 2hrs and the Restaurant was not that busy.
OASIS of DREAMS - Night Aqua Show: A complete FLOP!!!! We watched it twice just to see if we had witnessed an 'off night' alas, just as terrible.
Lack of events during Sea Days - Not alot of 'interesting' things to do, 3 days at sea.
COSTA MAYA - WHY... on EARTH does RCI take the OASIS of the SEAS to this DUMP!?
Even the comics made jokes about Costa Maya, we were SHOCKED and would never bother to return.
Deck Paint - VERY SLIPPERY, especially when WET. Several accident and injuries around the pool deck. Those concerned spent the remainder of the cruise in wheel chairs with broken legs, ankles etc... RCI take note, the deck is VERY DANGEROUS around the pool area.
Overall we had an enjoyable holiday, not a memorable cruise for the reasons stated above (quite the opposite...)
I would not book to sail on OASIS of the Seas again based upon current price listings however, we enjoy the RCI product overall and will no doubt sail again with them at a future date.
DUNKINDONUT and HALF-PINT 007