It will be hard to cruise on any other ship after experiencing a week on the Oasis. From start to finish it was a great vacation. Our group of four (two married couples) sailed on the Oasis from October 29 -â€" November 5, visiting Haiti , Jamaica and Cozumel . The sun was shining, the cold drinks were flowing and the memories were wonderful.
First tip: Make reservations for the shows before you board. By doing so, you'll be guaranteed a seat as long as you show up at least 10 minutes before the show starts. We tried to catch the Comedy Live show twice before our reservations, but were not able to get in either time. The Oasis had 6 different options -â€" Hairspray, Frozen In Time, Abbacadabra, Oasis of the Seas, Comedy Live and Come Fly Away. Don't miss any of them. The Opal Theatre (Hairspray, Abbacadabra and Come Fly Away) is a gorgeous venue with very comfortable seats and great sightlines. Also of note: bar service is available at all venues.
The timing of our cruise enabled us to enjoy a Halloween Monster Bash on the ship. I was worried that others wouldn't dress up, but was amazed to see hundreds of people decked out in costume. The Oasis entertainment staff went all out to decorate the Promenade Deck for the event. At least two members of the Hair Spray cast roamed the area dressed as zombies. They were very convincing.
Other celebrations on the ship included a '70's themed dance party and a Farewell party that featured an opportunity to applaud the casts from all of the ships shows.
Tip #2: Enjoy the character breakfast and then head straight to the zip line or flow rider.
Character breakfasts start at 7:45am and end around 8:50am. The menu is fun and includes a chocolate shake. Yummy! The zip line and flow rider/boogie board attractions open at 9am. If you go straight from breakfast to the activities, you'll beat the crowds. Do the zip line first (you must be dry to ride) and then go straight to the flow rider/boogie board attractions. Also, be sure to fill out the necessary waivers before you sail to eliminate having to do it on the ship. Go to the flow rider station and get your wristband the first day so you can go directly to the attractions. They are a lot of fun.
Regarding the Dreamworks characters, they appear throughout the ship numerous times. Be sure to check the Compass each day to see when and where they will appear. Gettiing pictures with them is a breeze.
Tip #3: Don't worry about arriving at the exact reservation time for dinner. We had the 8:30pm seating and arrived at about 8:25pm on the first night. Bad idea. They didn't open the doors until 8:30pm and it was quite crowded. Plus, the first night, everything is kind of slow, so there is no need to rush. We found that arriving about 8:40pm -â€" 8:45pm each night thereafter made for a much smoother dinner. We still finished in time to enjoy the 10:30pm shows we had booked on most nights. We informed our waiter that we would enjoy a fruit plate and cheese plate at each dinner, and they brought us them each and every night thereafter without having to ask. The waiters were also great about remembering our drink orders (tea or lemonade) and brought them without asking each night. PLEASE do yourself a favor and try the chilled fruit soups. They are fantastic!
Tip #4: Specialty restaurants are nice, but not a necessity. There are several specialty restaurants on the ship, offering numerous options. We never felt the need to try them as we the main dining room food was very tasty and the other options during the morning and lunch time were more than sufficient. From the delicious roast beef sandwiches and salads at the Park Cafe in Central Park and the pizza at Sorrentos, to the myriad of options at the Windjammer, along with breakfast at Johnny Rockets, the Wipeout Cafe and the Solarium restaurant, plus breakfast at the main dining room and room service, there really is no need to pay for the specialty restaurants. I think the only reason to try them is to get away from the crowds, but we sailed on a sold-out cruise and never really had a problem with the crowds when eating. Save your money on the eats and use it to treat yourself to a tropical drink at one of the shows.
Speaking of drinks, there are many ways to avoid going broke buying drinks. If you are a beer drinker, consider buying the Oasis soft cooler with 8 beers for $40. You can refill the cooler with another 8 beers for $25. Your stateroom attendant will refill it with ice for you at any time. This brings me to another tip.
Tip #5: Drinks can be expensive, but you there are options. The onboard soda option is between $40 and $50. However, we packed a 12 pack of Pepsi (they only sell Coke products on the ship) in a small checked bag and we were not questioned. I also saw a guy carry on a 12-pack of diet Pepsi and he was carrying it around the ship, no questions asked. There were also people on the ship who brought on canned beer packed inside of soda 12-packs. They then bought an Oasis soft cooler of beers and kept their smuggled cans of beer cold in the bottom of the soft cooler. The ship will constantly warn of rule against bringing alcohol on the ship, but I think a lot of people do it. It doesn't stop them from buying liquor on board, as a week is a long time and the drink options are quite tempting on the ship.
Final thoughts: There is so much to do on the ship, it's impossible to do it all in a 7-day cruise. We can't wait to go back and see what we missed the first time. The crew was friendly, the food fantastic and the entertainment first rate. If you have a chance to curise on the Oasis -â€" Don't miss it.