My wife and I have cruised many times and decided to give Royal Caribbean and try. We picked the Oasis of the Seas 7/16/2011 cruise. We are NOT complainers and look for the good and positive all around us which makes writing this critique even more difficult.
There is no doubt the ship is beautiful on the outside and the "neighborhoods" are a sight to see. Other than that, there was nothing else positive for us to comment on and we hope we can share our experience to you for what it's worth. We do not blame the staff as the issues we believe we encountered are managements responsibility.
We arrived at the terminal at 10:15 and there no porters or cheerful staff awaiting our arrival. Something we have grown accustomed to at every port, including Port Everglades.
Nice waiting area in the terminal.
No welcome aboard when boarding. This is the first impression for guests and all it takes is a "Welcome Aboard!" from your staff. Instead we walked into the promenade deck with no one to greet us..
Dinning room staff were obviously rushed beyond the ability to serve properly. The Rolls were cold and the staff ran to our tablet so fast we didn't understand what they were saying regardless of language differences. Drinks were poured as they were running. No personalized service at all. I understand they are busy, but it is obvious they are stretched too thin.
Silverware was dirty at several locations. There is no excuse for that.
Food was sub-par as well as presentation.
Room service eggs were cold, not just warm, cold. When room service was incorrect even when the paperwork stated correct items they came back 30 minutes later with. Incorrect items. The room service selection was poor.
The Windjammer was always too crowded and dirty. Once again, staff seemed stretched too thin. Your own electronic boards would show the Windjammer full but pay-for restaurants available. That alone should be a clue.
We gave the Opus room a try for breakfast and once again were rushed to a table, bacon was cold and I could not believe when I was offered orange juice I was told it would cost extra? It's not the amount. Of money that concerns us, it's the principle that you would even ask for more $.
Understanding what was open to eat, and when, was not easy, even with the electronic displays. Hours should at least be posted on the restaurant doors. We saw many people going to places that were closed.
It seems the system on this ship is setup that if people want to grab a burger or something to eat they either have to fight the Windjammer crowd or wait for-pay food locations to open.
When people return from Ports searching for something to eat, there were few to no options to eat.
There were not many announcements other than about two bingo shows. I understand some people complain about too many announcements but there should be a happy medium.
No cruise ship horn to announce arrival and departures at each port. This is part of the excitement.
We had nice balcony however the room was smaller than we have had on other ships. We did not like the idea of life jacket not being in the rooms. Our muster station was in the Opal theater. What if the problem was in the Opal. Theater?
The elevators were crowded and the ship designers should have thought about something in the middle. I heard a lot of people complaining to have to go from one end of the ship to the other for food, etc.
Several pop places didn't work through the whole trip. We had places tells us their carbonation didn't work and tell us the next "open" place was the other end of the ship, only to find issues with theirs as well. Staff didn't seemed conceded or caring.
The pizza was sub-par.
We are used to being able to get hamburgers and/or pizza 24. Hours a day without charge.
The few ice-cream places never worked completely and were closed at hours they should be open. This was unbelievable. The staff member standing next to the machines showed a lack of caring.
The liquor drinks on the Solarium pool-side were obviously made by non bartenders.
The announcement system (public address system) was terrible. No matter where we were on the ship is sounded like cartoon characters from a foreign country. Test them out and listen yourself.
The material used on the decks had people slipping left and right? That makes no sense.
Smoking being allowed on balconies was not fair to guests that paid extra for balconies to enjoy fresh air...and we almost were burnt by flying cigarettes.
Lack of guest laundry services and irons forced guests to pay once again for amenities . Guests pack for formal dining yet have no access to irons.
Would you believe laundry was lost as well? More the reason to allow guests to do their own.
Chops was in no way a fine dining experience. From the lack of attention to the Luke warm food. The first thing we were asked is if we wanted to pay for water? Unbelievable.
The photo area was a nice idea however if guests want pictures you should warn them it will be ready after 11pm on the last day otherwise we would not have selected any as our luggage will already be out the door.
My wife asked to take a food tray to help her carry food to our room and was told she couldn't.
Why not supply beach towels in the rooms?
I will say this evening the wait staff went above and beyond to serve us and we appreciate the effort.
I will also say the lobster was unfortunately overcooked in a "mush" state. On the TV show for the Oasis it showed the Chef sampling the food; I don't believe this could have been the case.