This was my 10th cruise 6 with RCL, 1 Norwegian, 1 Carnival, 2 Princess
My wife and myself (active middle agers) were part of a large group of insurance professionals who earned our way to the Oasis. The theme of the conference was "find your place".
Finding your place on the Oasis is easy and if like me your place has a lot of variations, this is great cruise.
Yes there are 6200 other passengers on the ship with you. Yes there were times the crowds were excessive (parade in the promenade, elevators after shows, entering the dining rooms, the aqua theater area, flow riders and sports courts) BUT if you are adventurous and creative there are ways to avoid/beat the crowd altogether.
Any event in the promenade be there early and people watch, An outer table at Sorrento's is a great place to set up camp (make sure you can see the globe toward mid ship from schooners. Elevator issues take the step one or two floors up of down (the opposite of the general flow). We had late dining in the Opus deck 4 (use the side doors instead of the main doors).
The aqua theater seating is not large enough for some of the events (Splish splash, belly flop, Oasis of dreams), so we went to the rear of deck 15 on the public balcony a great place to not only see the show, but the crowd as well.
Do the flow riders immediately on day one and anytime before noon it is open (also after 5pm when open). The sports court/ping pong...no solution to avoiding the crowd, just wait for your game, play, then go swim or something else and come back to wait again
Most other times the ship did not seem crowded at all. The pool areas were not ever crowded even on sea days. The Windjammer lines and seating were tight at peak times, but adequate. The service staff were always available to help find you a seat and assist you with your tray/plates.
Food is good cruise food no better (except the filet of beef day2 was awesome (so tender I cut with my fork) , no worse (the prime rib was awful night 1). Our waiter and assistant waiter Ronald and Gordon were awesome! Ronald would make "his" recommendation and even give feedback as to what to avoid on each nights menu (avoid the beef stroganoff). The presentation of all the dishes was very appealing.
Windjammer is typical cruise buffet food some good some not so much, but plenty of choices so why complain!
We only ate at the free places. Remember this is a cruise and cruise food is good not great! The wipeout cafe has frozen yogurt (bad design for the lines here), nachos, Tacos, burgers, dogs, and FF.
The park cafe has sandwiches (including the famous roast beef sandwich) (I felt was average) make your own salad, fruits and deserts. This is a very peaceful area of the ship and surprisingly not ever crowded. The promenade has Sorrento's pizza, a cafe with sandwiches, cookies and desserts. The solarium is open for breakfast and lunch and offers some healthier alternatives and seems to be just a little better quality.
The entertainment on this ship is incredible! All the shows were above average for anywhere....not to mention on a moving ship!
Make your reservations in advance and get there 10-15 minutes before the show.
Come Fly with me show is a must see if only to really appreciate the magnitude and capabilities of the theater!
This ship leverages technology very well. The touch monitors by the elevators makes navigating and scheduling very easy! The in room system through the tv is also a valuable tool.
I enjoyed sitting quietly in the corner of the schooner bar people watching from above, The casino is huge for a ship and offers "win cards" on day 2 ($20 get you $30 in chips and cheat sheets on the rules of the table games limit 2 per sea card) a great value!
The cruise director is excellent. The cruise activities staff is engaged and there to serve you. The crew were all very helpful, kind and ready to do what ever needed done to make the cruise enjoyable.
Embarking and debarking was absolutely the easiest ever! 15 minutes after walking into the check in building we were sitting in Central Park eating our lunch. We debarked as part of group 45 around 8:15 and were on our way to the airport by 8:35 (about 2/3 thru the ship emptying process). The bags are all separated in nice wide rows and only about 50 bags in each section. I remember my first cruise 3 colors and 1000 bags for each color (what an improvement)
I have read a lot of the negative comments on the reviews.
Some people are determined to be miserable, some have legitimate bad luck with an individual or situation (it happens everywhere), BUT this cruise and the ship specifically is a MUST DO one time for everyone.
We had a wonderful time, sometimes we were very active, other times we just chill laxed.
Will it be the best experience ever? I do not know, but I guarantee you it will be memorable and worth while if you remember this is a cruise and you are getting exceptional value for your vacation dollar!
I have been on the voyager class ships 3 times,Personally I prefer that size ship to the Oasis. I would like to try a Freedom class ship next time. Maybe that is the best of both worlds.