Big Ship Big Fun: Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by balconies4me
Overall Member Rating
Big Ship Big Fun
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Another reviewer suggested bringing a power strip and I'm happy we did as this made charging things and using the hair dryer much easier.
My biggest tip for anyone taking this cruise is take the time to sign up for all the shows, shore excursions, and specialty restaurants online before you get on the ship. You don't want to spend your precious vacation time waiting in lines to get to do these things only to find that the show you want to see is already booked.
About the shows, SEE THEM. They're worth it. "Come Fly With Me" was great. "Frozen in Time" was so entertaining. The comedians we saw had us laughing hysterically. "Hairspray," while my least favorite was really quite good.
There are so many activities planned all over the ship. We went to a few of the trivia contests and some of music games and they More were a lot of fun. The piano bar was hopping on some nights. There is a guitar player who takes requests in the Globe & Atlas that had people singing and was very upbeat and fun.
You have to choose to be bored on this ship. There are so many things to see and do. Cruisers looking for physical activities will enjoy the basketball court, the rock climbing walls. The fitness center is great. There are lots of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and free weights. There is a two lane track, one lane for joggers and one for walkers that is quite nice. There are ping pong tables which are fun on cooler days. The miniature golf course is cute and we had fun playing it. The Flow riders are great and I highly recommend the lessons if this is your first time trying to "surf." For the women trying the Flow rider wear a T-shirt, preferable one that dries quickly, not cotton. There is the zip line which I would say that if you have to wait in line, don't. There are far better things to do with your time.
Another suggestion for those who like to be physical, take the stairs. You can justify eating all the great food and won't waste precious vacation time waiting for elevators.
We ate at most of the specialty restaurants and they were all great. Let me say that Royal Caribbean hasn't given the Solarium Bistro enough attention on their website. I didn't expect much from the Solarium Bistro and the food absolutely blew me away. It was beyond fabulous. The food was delicious, artfully presented, and HEALTHY (but you won't feel like you were deprived). Our waiters (we had dinner there twice) were the right amount of attentiveness and very knowledgeable. I cannot possibly say enough about the food at Solarium Bistro. From the bread to the entrees it was my hands down favorite. (I have to give the best dessert to Chops) You must try it for yourself. If you only go to one specialty restaurant go to Solarium Bistro.
Giovanni's was fabulous. We had lunch and dinner there and both meals were great. They have a great menu and the staff was very nice. Get the chocolate torte and you won't be disappointed.
Chops was delicious. As I've said their dessert was the best. Their "outdoor" eating area is somewhat enclosed and since it can be quite windy in Central Park this makes their outdoor area the best. If you are looking for a serious steak it is the place to go.
150 Central Park gets the intimate atmosphere award.The food presentation is beautiful. You won't find more artistic plates anywhere. The food was prettier than it was tasty. It is a set menu except you do get to choose between two entrees. You are introduced to six different kinds of salt. That doesn't happen everyday.
We only had two meals in the dining room. The food was good but the atmosphere was chaotic and the service was lacking. You're best off taking the buffet route.
Solarium Bistro is a buffet for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is great there but it is healthy. Ask for butter if you want it and be prepared for turkey bacon. For lunch check out Park Cafe. The roast beef sandwich is a MUST and they make a great salad. You pick out the ingredients and dressing and they toss it all together for you. Very nice.
The free doughnuts, PASS. Not worth the calories. But the Cupcake Cupboard is worth every penny and every extra bit of weight gain.
If you want a peaceful deck experience try the Solarium pool. It is adults only. From there you can see the deck on 14 and there were hardly any people there. There are lounge chairs you can put anywhere you like and a nice view of the helicopter pad plus two viewing stations with telescopes that you could have all to yourself. You have to walk through the cabin area to get out on the deck on 14. I think that is why there were hardly any people there. Well that and no bar service. It was very nice.
My one big complaint is how Royal Caribbean deals with the smokers. They don't. People are smoking everywhere. I was not happy that I couldn't enjoy the balcony of our room because of the smoke from balconies more forward. Before I'd go on another cruise I would want some assurance from them that I will be able to enjoy the balcony that cost a lot extra without having to breath in second hand smoke. As for half of the casino being no smoking forget it. The smoke fills the whole place. They probably would have gotten more of my money if I had been able to enjoy some fresh air. The Royal Promenade is full of smokers. You have to make a conscious decision not to let the smokers ruin your day.
We enjoyed all of the shore excursions with the exception of Labadee on Hati. At Labadee the beach was so crowded. You are better off getting a raft and floating in the water. The lounge chairs are packed together right up to the hammocks there's barely room to walk. (And people are smoking everywhere. The beach is really just a giant ash tray now isn't it?) We paid to ride the jet skis. This was a total waste of time and money. We had to ride "follow the leader" style never being able to to have any free time to have fun. Speed was totally controlled by the person in front of you. Then we were led to a place where while we had our engines off local men came up to each jet ski on kayaks and tried to guilt each person into buy local crapts. It was hard sell tactics and we were basically hostages there until our guide would let us start up our engines to crawl away. Less
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