Overview: This was our 4th cruise on Royal Caribbean and our focus was to experience the Oasis – so we did not do much site seeing on any of the ports (did some shopping) as we spent the majority of our time experiencing the many offerings on the ship. We had a blast experiencing the oasis – everyone should cruise this ship at least once. The ship is huge and a wonderful feat of engineering, entertainment and comfort – we truly enjoyed the ship, but have decided that the smaller ships (Voyager) offer a bit more intimacy and personal touch. When we sailed we had 5800 on board and the following cruise was going to have over 6400 – there are over 2000 crew and the majority of the crew stated the ship was “too big” and liked the smaller ships for the same reason mentioned above.
The food was good in the main dining room (we had My Time Dining) and we asked to keep the same wait staff – we were accommodated almost every evening. Entertainment of Hair Spray, Come Fly With Me, Water Show and the Salsa Band (Royal Promenade) were super – rest of the entertainment was very good also. Tip: We booked our show tickets online before departing and this worked very well – recommend you do too as well. We were able to set our dining times and schedule our shows/entertainment via RCCL website…saved time and made our trip that much better.
Embarking – best I’ve seen. We were on the ship in less than 25-minutes from the time we pulled up and were dropped off. We flew into Miami airport and took the shuttle to the ship ($58/one way for two persons) and arrived by 1030 and were on the ship by 1100.
Ship – HUGE and wonderful, so much to see….the two Flow Riders; over 20 bars (one that goes up and down like an elevator between Central park and the Promenade). The boardwalk has Johnny Rockets, Seafood Restaurant, Donut Shop, Merry Go-Round…..and big water theater…..
Cabin – very nice and spacious; we had a cabin overlooking the Boardwalk so we could watch the water show from our balcony (tip from previous reviews) and also see the people at night on the boardwalk. Worked out very well. Our cabin attendant was Zerwin and he was super – always with a smile and always took good care of us.
Food – ate in the Windjammer; food was good but filled up very fast in the morning for breakfast. One great aspect of the Oasis is the numerous Touch Screens (one in room via TV) around the ship that allow you to see the various wait times for the restaurants. We used these a lot and allowed us to quickly navigate to a place that was not very crowded. The dining room had what I’d call above average food and we were never disappointed…however, it does seem that the quality of food (for a large ship) had gone down given how many folks had to be fed. But still we had great meals and were always accommodated if we wanted to change plates. Only disappointing meal we had was in Chops’ (Steak Place) as my steak was actually very bad….when I complained I simply got a “yep, we know and the waiter went on his business. I did write this up and actually sent a personal e-mail to RCCL on this. Other places – there are soooo many places to snack & eat…..
Ports – recommend you read another review to get great info on the ports…we went for the ship.
Ship – the gym has to be the best I’ve seen on any ship. Size and amount of equipment made were very nice and there were a lot of classes to participate in. The pool areas are many (up front Solarium for quiet and relaxing) and the two huge hot tubs that hang over the ship on both sides are no to be missed. There are two flow riders and two rock climbing walls – on days that the ship is in port there are no lines and even while we were at sea the lines were not too long. Where we did notice the crowds, were in the Royal Promenade (during the Captain’s Reception) and days at Sea by the pool. We never felt that we were in a huge crowd – but you did notice that there were lots of people on the ship. But for the most part RCCL did a great job in making sure the flow of folks worked around the ship.
Tip: Set up your cruise and book your shows and special dining experiences before you get on-board (the lines at the Guest Relations were super long on departing) – you can always delete/change if needed. We never did. And then use your TV and calendar to manage your day (very nice touch). Also you can sign your Zip Line and other waivers before getting on the ship.
Disembarking – we were off the ship in 20-minutes after they called our number. Very easy.
Experience – we had fun experiencing all there is to do on the Oasis…you don’t know how big the ship truly is until you park next to a ship in port and then you experience the true size. We will now go back to the smaller class ships to get the more personal and smaller experience…we are sailing on Voyager in two days.