As we boarded directly onto the Promenade I noticed a D.J. above the cupcake shop and energetic music playing. It was a fun atmosphere. I think I would say I find this ship was a lot of fun! The Promenade is vast and outside the On Air bar is a ticker like for the NY stock exchange with the facts about the ships, things like how many pools etc. You will also find this on the t.v. when there is a brief period to load. We decided to go to Giovanni's Table for lunch the first day to avoid the buffet crowds. I think this was a great idea. Lunch is $15 a person and was fabulous! And a nice quiet way to start our cruise! The antipasta was fabulous, they used a old hand crank slicer for the prosciutto. They had really good pastas and my partner got the stuffed chicken, it was really good, I had shrimp that was the largest I had ever seen. Dessert included hazelnut canoli and taramisu. I would highly recommend this restaurant. It is really worth the extra money!
While we are talking about food I will go through all the food places I did try. We only tried one for fee restaurant so I cannot rate the others. We went to the dining room once for lobster night. The lobster was HUGE. I would say they were about twice the size of usual lobster tails. The dining room staff was great and it was beautiful. I especially loved the asparagus soup.
The WIndjammer buffet was o.k. I have been on Royal Caribbean ships and usually love the windjammer. They need to improve the flow, the round stations leave people in long lines and it seemed most of the time the food was not quite as good. My companion wondered if it was because of all the other places the food had to go. Not sure. It was always very very crowded and although they had 2 sides only 1 was open at a time even though it was overflowing with guests.
A nice find was the Park Cafe in Central park. They have this amazing salad station. They have all the ingredients in front of you and you pick what you want. Then you pick your dressing and they toss it for you. Very good. I found it to be larger then I needed so I asked for a smaller one and they did not have a problem with it. And they had the most amazing roast beef sandwiches! Also, soups, fruit, desserts, etc. Plus they have take away containers with sandwiches, salads, etc. All the restaurants had infused waters also, mango, lemon lime, and strawberry kiwi. They were a nice touch.
The Solarium Bistro was free for breakfast and lunch. We went one day for lunch and they had amazing healthy food. They had savory crepes made into sandwiches and miso soup. Even though it was a healthier place the food was really good. Had breakfast the last day and it was really good also and a lot less crowded then the windjammer.
The boardwalk bar had fresh fruit cups (my favorite), salads and fun fare like corn dogs and chicken nuggets. And do not miss the donut shop on the boardwalk. Free donuts, really good! Loved the nutty one and the filled ones are fabulous, but go fast so go early!
On the Promenade, they have the Cafe Promenade which is a 24 hour spot to get sandwiches, desserts and drinks. They have some unique sandwiches and they were all good. Sorrento's Pizza is different then other ships with a make your own pizza option. They have these personal size shells that are more deep dish then the traditional ones. I had one with pine nuts, fresh mozzarella, and pesto. Really good option! There is another coffee bar The Mondo Coffee bar here and they had different sandwiches or desserts sometimes. The fruit tart we found there once was huge and really good. And I did try one for fee cupcake, really interesting flavors! The Vitality cafe in the spa has sandwiches, salads and fruits and the for fee juices were really amazing!
And we did get room service once. I finally tried to honey stung chicken I have been hearing about. It's pretty good and the sweet potato fries that came with it were really good. Room service was really fast. Maybe because of other places for people to eat!
The room we had was an inside room. While I hear that they are smaller then most, they did an excellent job and making space. Like under cabinet storage in the bathroom and deeper shelves on one side that were more useful. They are not huge rooms, but well done and we had a full size couch in our room and didn't feel crowded. And a 32 inch flat screen. What is really cool is you can check out what's happening on your t.v. The feature I liked the most is my calender. It shows what I have booked on what day and what time. This is really helpful. We had one show we had to re-book and it was simple, go to the guest service desk and they will change it for you. What's really neat is if you look up a show and it's sold out the time that's old out is not listed! And they had these screens posted throughout the ship. You can find out what's going on or see the cruise compass. And it will map how to get there. Really neat!
Features galore on this ship. One really great one is the photo gallery. This ship was full, somewhere around 6,400 passengers! So it would be a nightmare to find your photos. So they have a number on your card, mine was 9-69. I would go to #9 on this round station and look in my file #69. This makes finding your pictures much easier! Now it was interesting that this ship did not feel overcrowded most of the time with a large number of people onboard. I think it's the different places to be. The only time it felts nuts to me was when they started the $10 sale on the Promenade. We were stuck trying to get across to go to our room it was a mob! They had a lot of elevators for escape though. 12 on each end! This really helped!
Now about the spa and activites! We decided to buy a thermal suite pass. They only sell 40 each cruise so it's never crowded. They have heated lounge chairs, 2 steam rooms, 1 dry heat chamber, and two showers with large shower heads. The showers had neat settings like thunderstorm, ice fog and waterfall. The day pass is $30 a person, or $99 for 1 for the week and it's $179 for the week for a couple. We opted for the week and it was well worth it. They also have a quite seating area that has teas and waters and is lovely to just get away from it all and read a book. One interesting treatment we found out about but did not get was the the bathing ritual. This room has different masks you can apply on eachother and then use the hot tub for 2. It is a private treatment and they told me it was $60.
The dreamworks characters made this ship fun. The character breakfast was really fun and who doesn't like a milkshare for breakfast?! This is free, but you gotta sign up for it! They have a few of them throughout the cruise. The parades had all sorts of characters from Puss and Shrek to Kung fu panda and Madagascar characters! The parades were huge and had lots of surprises. We only made one parade but loved it!
The pools, all I can say is lots of them! I think they said 22 pools! Kids section, adult section, hot tubs and what I thought was neat is the beach pool where the loungers with umbrellas were in the water! The Solarium I only have one complaint about. It did not have any shade except in the cafe. I am a very pale red head and burn very easily. I really couldn't use it except after the sun went down. But the hot tubs right before you go into the Solarium were infinity hot tubs! And they were enclosed in glass, so you are looking at the sea! Really amazing!
Now the issue about smoking. The pool area had two sides, one was smoking, one non-smoking. They had two sides of the casino smoking and non-smoking. Interestingly we were told that on Royal Caribbean there is no smoking in the rooms but smoking on the balcony. It seems one of the discos Dazzles is half and half. Lower was not smoking, upper was. Unfortunately I did not realize this and we went up to find seating and I ended up having an asthma attack by the time we came down. Glad I had brought my inhaler. My poor partner had to run and get it though since I was not having any issues I had left it in the room. I found the splitting areas to be an interesting way to handle it. I think they can only do that because of the size of this ship. But being an asthmatic that smoke is one of the main things that causes an attack for me, knowing where smoking areas were was helpful for me.
The gym was quite large and if you go down a set of stairs from the gym you will find the jogging/walking track. This is mostly enclosed which is nice. They have motivating writings on the beams as you pass. On one end of the track is a lovely spot to rest and look out at the sea. One of the best views of the water that we found.
The neighborhoods were unique and had a lot of fun touches! Boardwalk has a carousel which is really beautiful and fun for all ages. The water theater was incredible in this neighborhood. The zip line is above boardwalk. Promenade has shops and not the usual ones only. Willow is a very unique shop. And the rising tide bar rises from the Promenade to Central park and fountains spurt up underneath so there is not a gap when it has gone up. One night I saw a wedding party rising in the bar, I thought that was pretty neat! Central park is beautiful and has lovely nooks to sit and relax. I would have probably used it more but in September it was really hot! The Park Cafe and other eating areas have outside seating also which is lovely.
Now my favorite part is always the shows and the Oasis did not disappoint! We had the water show scheduled the first night but had mild rain and some lightening so they cancelled it till later in the week. This was where we had to move another show around but had no problem doing it. The water and dive show was incredible! Later in the week they did a water comedy show which was wonderful also. Amazing dives, especially those really high dives on a moving ship!
The ice show was phenominal! We loved it, so we went stand by later in the week to see it again and got in without a problem. I have seen other ice shows on other RC ships, but this one I found to be exceptional! They worked really well together and it was seamless!
Hairspray was really amazing! We loved it! The music, the sets, everything was amazing! And the comedy show. Really small groupings which was nice and we found both comics to be really funny! Now, one thing this allows this ship is interesting activities, like they had a improv class with the comedians! Now, I really loved the fly away show. Just a great combination of music, and suspension. It was really amazing, I would not miss that one! We did however miss the headliner show, but heard it was really good!
The sports deck had a lot of fun things also. My partner enjoyed the zip line that goes above and across Boardwalk. 2 really tall climbing walls down by Boardwalk. Full size basketball courts and 2 flow riders. My partner enjoyed trying the flow rider while the seats are great for watching! They should have a sign to warn the young boys to tie up their shorts! We all saw more then one very pale bum as shorts were pushed back from the strength of the water!
One thing we literally found out about as we were getting ready to leave was they have these statue looking binoculars. We thought they were just statues but were told they all have pictures or objects in them! Will have to check them out next time! And they do have chocolates on your pillow at night, a nice touch! I think besides being a fun ship I think it's one you have to go back to and discover more about it! I will be happy to go back and enjoy another cruise on Oasis in the future!