Background Info: My wife and I traveled with my 6-year-old daughter as well as my parents and my brother and his family. In total, we were a group of 9 who liked to do different things. My brother’s kids are 15 and 17.
Stateroom: I have only been on two cruises and they stateroom seemed typical size. It was immaculate as well as simple. What is nice is for my daughter, there was a bunk bed that comes down from the ceiling. She loved sleeping in the bunk bed which was over the sofa, so it saved space. In addition, if you missed any Dreamworks movies, there is a channel dedicated to it. The only complaint have about the stateroom was the shower. The problem was water temperature, it would not stay consisted at all. Sometimes it would go from almost scalding hot to lukewarm and vice versa.
Ship Info: We were on the Oasis of the Seas. My daughter was very excited about it being the largest cruise ship in the world. A crew member told us as we were walking back to the ship that the Allure is technically 3 inches longer, but the Oasis gross tonnage was bigger. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I can tell you my daughter was singing about it being the biggest ship. When we arrived at the port, it took no time at all to get on the ship. They were EXTREMELY organized. From the time we hit the terminal at 1:00 pm till we were on board could not have been more than 10 minutes. Hard to believe they can process 6,000 people that fast. We were having lunch in the Windjammer Café in no time.
Dining: Our waiter was Jacques and he was exquisite. I cannot say enough about how the impeccable the service was. The menu was a variety each and every night. They also offered a kids option when you didn’t went to eat off the menu. Jacques went out of his way as well as the Assistant Waiter. If you wanted small changes to the order, he made sure it happened.
Activities: There seems to something for everyone on the Oasis whether you be at sea or in a port. The ship has a miniature golf course (9-holes) as well as ping pong, basketball courts and the florider pools. The ship also has several different pools and spas. One pool is a round circular pool, it is very small but with a strong current that can take you round and round in it. The kiddie pool is also a lot of fun because it has pressure water guns that you can shoot one another. One of the highlights of the cruise is that it’s a Dreamworks cruise. You could end up dancing with Shrek in the main promenade or Alex the lion from Madagascar. They also have character breakfasts on at sea days. One side of the dining area is just for that. You get to meet and greet 3 characters at the breakfast The nice thing about it, they stop at every table and you can get photos with them. You don’t have to pay for pictures like you do at other venues on the ship. I recommend the character breakfasts so your kids can get up close, but make sure you make reservations. Again, they only use half the dining room for the character breakfast. If you get your picture taken by a professional, you will have to pay for those. My wife and I also used the spa for a couples massage. We have done many of them over the years, and they really were very good.
Children’s Clubs: The children’s clubs were great spaces. Though my daughter wasn’t too into the club. The problem is she just turned 6 and she was in with 6 – 8 year olds most of them closer to 8. They do some fun things, and it’s worth going to the black light puppet show at the end of the week. That was a lot of fun.
Service: The service was incredible. The staff was always attentive and first-class all the way. Our room steward also took care of our room even when my daughter left 6 stuffed animals lying around. They would find their way neatly sitting on the sofa.
Dining: As state earlier, our waiters were terrific. Now with a small child, we didn’t eat at too many of the other restaurants. I can only really refer to the Opus dining room and the Windjammer Café. The Windjammer is typical it seems of most big ships. It was good but nothing special. The Opus delivers on the meals.
Entertainment: The ship also has an aqua theater, a main theater plus an ice rink theater as well as several “clubs” on it from jazz to comedy. As for entertainment most was very good. The aqua theater show was very good as well as the headliner show which featured Mosaic. A group that creates all the instruments they need with their own voices. It was fantastic. Also in the main theater, they had a show called Come Fly With Me. It was very good.
Port & Shore Excursions: The ship made three stops (Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico). The first stop was Labadee, Haiti. It has a lovely beach, and other things to do there. But if you’re looking to play in the waves, that really isn’t going to happen. Most of the main beach is either in a cove where it is calm or an area you have the beach but really can’t go deep in the water because of rocks. Though if you are looking for something fun to do in Labadee, try the zipline. It’s a wild ride. Both my wife and I did it. Also, if you have young kids steer clear of the aqua park. You have to have some strength to be able to get up on the trampolines and slides. It is definitely for older kids, I would say 8 or 9 and up. My 6-year-old struggled to get on the different things. She needed a lot of help which can make it very tiring for you. In Jamaica, the ship stopped at Falmouth for the very first time. Situation between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Again, there was nothing spectacular about the port. You can go shopping at Rose Hall but that is 30 minute drive. Oasis does offer a shore excursion to some beaches at private clubs, but it will cost you. Our last stop was in Cozumel. We did the dolphin encounter. It was a lot of fun and you spend a lot more time in the water with the dolphins than you can imagine. It’s great for little kids as well cause you stand on a platform in the water, and the dolphin comes up to you. Also, they have a little beach there as well, not much but it’s something.
Disembarkation: It wasn’t quite a smooth as getting on the ship. That is not the fault of the crew but more customs. At one point, they held the line for about 15-20 minutes, before letting anyone off the ship. When we did get off, it was very quick. The process was easy to find your luggage and we were through and outside in about 10 minutes at most.
Summary: I would definitely recommend the Oasis. Just be wary that you might have to take the stairs sometimes. The only time I felt there were 6,000 passengers was waiting for an elevator at times. My daughter loved the cruise so much she started crying when we were in the terminal because she wanted to get back on the boat. She is already asking when we’ll take our next cruise.