This was our first experience on RCCL. Having only cruised with Celebrity we found ourselves constantly comparing the Oasis to the ships we previously sailed on. For us, Oasis was the destination. We had read so much about this ship we were looking forward to our experience.
Embarkation was a little difficult, (though no fault of RCCL). We arrived at the port at 11:00 AM but could not board the ship until noon because the Coast Guard was performing drills on the ship. We checked in and were guided into a large room with thousands of other people. Members of the Crown & Anchor Society (we were Platinum level because of our cruise level on Celebrity) and were permitted to board the ship first. I felt so badly for the employees of RCCL as they tried desperately to keep everyone in order. It was a madhouse. I missed the nice little touch of being met on board with champagne that Celebrity does. We attempted to get lunch at Windjammer but like everyone advises it's a big mistake. Too many people and too few seats makes this a bad choice for lunch. Instead we went down to Central Park to the Park Cafe for roast beef sandwiches. It too was crowded but worth the short wait in line. They are great!
By 1:30 pm we had not heard any announcement regarding whether our cabin was ready or not. My husband decided that we should just go to it and see for ourselves. It was ready. We thought it was strange that no announcement was ever made. We were in cabin 12676, oceanview balcony which was on the starboard side aft very close to the elevator. Starboard side is definitely the way to go as every time we docked we had a great view of the port. The room itself was wonderful. Plenty of room for storage of your luggage and clothing and lots of nooks and crannies to store things. I thought that the balcony and the room itself was immaculate. A word to the wise, please remember to make sure that your balcony door handle is in the locked position when you go to bed at night, otherwise the air conditioner will not work. First night we missed that little detail and it got up to 80 degrees in our room.
With one exception we ate dinners in the MDR. The food varied from excellent to fair. The food on Celebrity is hands down much better. But then again they aren't feeding 6,000 people either. A few times my husband had to send back his meal because it was inedible. Our waiter was wonderful and very understanding. We had the Select or My time dining but had made reservations months in advance usually about 6:30 pm. Of all the places on Oasis we found that the MDR is the least spectacular. It is dark and the windows are shuttered and the space itself is lacking that giant staircase that most ships feature. One night we ate at 150 Central Park. We found it good but not fabulous and definitely not exactly what we expected. You know you're in trouble when the waitress spends 5 minutes explaining away the shortcomings of the lobster ravioli before she even sets it in front of you. The wine paring is very good but it's a lot of wine. Two people can actually split the wine paring and it still more than enough. There are a lot of good choices for breakfast. We did try Windjammer a few times early for breakfast and had no trouble at all getting a good seat. Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk also offers breakfast which is very good also. We also enjoyed room service breakfast on our balcony several mornings which was wonderful.
My husband and I really enjoy good wines and visited Vintages a few times. We enjoyed the quiet environment but the selection there is limited to only American, (mostly California) wines. I think that RCCL misses their Sommeliers on Oasis. We purchased a Diamond wine package before we boarded the ship and it too was limited although several bottles were quite good.
The entertainment on the Oasis is outstanding. Better than anything I've experienced on any previous cruise. It is top notch. We especially enjoyed the Spectrum headliner show. We made reservations months in advance for all the shows. I recommend you do this. Unfortunately this is part of the problem I have with Oasis. You have to do so much work prior to cruising and them you end up with an itinerary with dates and times that control your life for the 7 days of your vacation. We enjoy a more relaxed vacation where we can walk into dinner whenever we want, walk into a show whenever we want, etc.
On the other hand, if you can't find something to do while on your Oasis cruise then there is something wrong with you. There is something going on all the time. On sea days the pools were crowded but you could always get a chair. I did find that checking in and out for beach towels a little strange. We especially enjoyed Central Park which was a little more peaceful and the Royal Promenade our least favorite because it was too crowded.
Towards the end of the week we found ourselves a bit overwhelmed with sensory overload and longed for a cruise a bit more quiet and peaceful. We missed the feeling that we were outside on a ship as opposed to being on a floating hotel. Never thought I would miss the Lawn Club of a Solstice ship, or a stern bar of a Summit ship but by weeks end we missed both of these things. For us, Oasis was a once in a lifetime experience, but we will never do it again.
We had a wonderful time here. We did both the Zip Lining and the Para sailing. Awesome time. Well worth the price on both.