* First of all, anyone who is booked in a Grand Suite or higher aboard the Oasis of the Seas, take advantage of all the perks & services offered! Utilize the Concierge Lounge Deck 11!
Family of 3: Dad (38), Mom (38), Daughter (5)
Previous Sailings: Majesty of the Seas, Carnival Destiny, Carnival Elation, Explorer of the Seas, & the Star Princess
Embarkation: Arrived at Cruise Terminal 18 a little bit after 10am. Gave luggages to porter. Entered the terminal through a special SUITE entrance. After going through security, we were personally escorted to the check in counter, received our (gold) Sea Passes, took the traditional family picture in front of the ship backdrop and then waited in a (more comfortable) designated area only for Suite members. After waiting about 20 minutes, we were the first to board the ship around 11am. By the way, the entire check in process lasted about 10 minutes. Very fast & efficient as long as you have the necessary forms signed & documents ready to go!
All cabins including suites are not available to the passengers until 1:00pm due to cleaning! All fire doors are locked preventing any passengers from getting into their rooms! Just kill the time by either eating lunch or roaming the ship! (We went up to Windjammer for lunch, which quickly filled up!)
Cabin: We stayed in a Grand Suite, Deck 9 on the Port Side! Spacious with a lot of drawers! Luggages can actually fit underneath the bed! Sofa converts into a full bed at night. Mini fridge in the room! Check out videos of the room on You Tube! Shout out to our cabin steward Vincent from the Philippines!
Ship: Enormous! Takes a couple of days to get used to the layout and main areas such as Royal Promenade Deck 5, Boardwalk Deck 6, Central Park Deck 8, Sports Court Deck 15, Opus Dining Room Decks 3,4,5. Definitely utilize the Touch screens near the elevators not only for directions but to see the MENUS and the SEATING CAPACITY of all the dining areas throughout the day. Warning: Anticipate long waits for the elevators except early in the mornings on sea days! Be ready to use the stairs instead on many occasions! Otherwise, all the public areas throughout the ship looked great as advertised! Note: Go to Deck 14 and walk all the way down the hall to the front of the ship to get to the "hidden" location --- a great view from atop the bridge!
Entertainment: Be sure to book/reserve your shows online prior to your cruise! We booked & saw the Oasis of Dreams (Aqua Theater show), Come Fly With Me (Opal Theater) & Frozen in Time (Ice skating show in Studio B). Nice shows. Suite members get preferred seating 30 minutes prior to show time! Just show you Gold Sea Pass! Karaoke nights for both family & adults were truly fun & entertaining! Bingo was fun as well! Be sure to volunteer to be the honorary Bingo commisioner in the beginning to receive a couple of free prizes (by doing the Bingo Boogie)!
Food: Opting for a more traditional dining format, we did not go to any of the specialty restaurants except Izumi for lunch! Sushi was good! Be sure to book/reserve this & all other specialty restaurants prior to your cruise date! Windjammer typically was crowded & the buffet food was okay. We primarily ate breakfast at Park Cafe. Less people and very quiet. Located in Central Park. Johnny Rockets also serves (complimentary) breakfast! Pretty good! Not that many people in the morning. However, they do charge at lunch & dinner. A couple of times, we did eat breakfast & lunch in the Main Dining Room where they both served a buffet as well as a well portioned menu. We also ate a few times in the Concierge Lounge (only for suite members) for breakfast. Again, less people and very quiet! Finally, the Main Dining Room food was good. Portions were a little bit smaller than usual but the service was excellent. Shout out to our waiters Jose from the Philippines and Desmond from India!
Ports: Labadee, Haiti - We booked (through concierge) a private cabana at Barefoot Beach. This area is exclusively for Suite guests which includes our own private cabana, beach, concierge service & lunch buffet away from the masses! Check it out on video on You Tube. You should book these cabanas, whether hilltop, on top of the water or in the rear early on in your cruise through concierge (deck 11). Suite guests get personal "transportation" aboard golf carts arranged by the concierge at Barefoot Beach to the pier or around Labadee such as the Artisan Market. Be sure to tip them for they will reject the other guests who will try to get on the cart along with you. The masses either must walk or wait for the trams. Falmouth, Jamaica - The port is almost done with all of the construction. Looks really nice and "colorful." We booked the Good Hope Estate Tour with Horse Carriage. This tour has great views of Jamaica from a hilltop. Cozumel, Mexico - We docked alongside the Carnival Inspiration & Carnival Elation. Both Carnival ships looked like dwarfs compared to the Oasis. We booked the Chankanaab & Mexico Magic Tour. We went to Discover Mexico Park which gives a great history of the country via video presentation and miniature models. Then we went to Chankanaab Nature Park where we walked through its (insect infested) nature trails & watched a sea lion show. Note: Next time, we have decided that we will spend most of our time exploring & utilizing the ship on port days! It's pretty empty since everyone goes off shore! Can you say Sports zone?
Debarkation: Since we chose Luggage Valet, we left our luggage in front of our rooms on Friday night by 11pm (with the attached tags) & would not see them until our final destination airport (LAX). On Saturday morning, we were assigned to meet in a designated area at 7:45am with our carry ons. When the time came, we were escorted off the ship by one of the crew members, got in line & turned in our Customs form, went out to a waiting bus (with our ground transportation voucher) which took us straight to the airport! The entire process once again went very smoothly!
Overall: Mike, the cruise director was young, hip & funny! His sidekick, Amy, was very "perky!" Be sure to watch Channel 14 and 40 on your flatscreen TV regarding cruise/port info. The "bridge information" is pretty cool to keep track of. Take advantage of the washing, pressing, & dry cleaning service form in your stateroom. Irons, ironing boards & self laundry are NOT AVAILABLE on this ship! The prices are reasonable though and they do provide Express Same Day service as long as you have it outside of your room (in the provided bag) before 9am. You'll get it back after 5pm the same day although you have to pay 50% more. Ultimately, we enjoyed our stay aboard the Oasis of the Seas and we look forward to trying her sister ship Allure of the Seas in the near future! Speaking of the future, look out for Project "Sunshine" in 2014!
I hope this review helps! Please feel free to ask any further questions!
To all of our fellow cruisers, we wish you calm seas and clear horizons!