Having read some reviews that stated this ship was too big, we found this NOT to be the case for us. My husband & I arrived at the ship terminal at 10 AM and the embarkation process began shortly thereafter. It was a very well organized procedure that went quickly & efficiently. Although our suitcases would not be delivered to our stateroom until around 1 PM, we were free to walk about & dine anywhere. After enjoying a little lunch at the complimentary Solarium Bistro,we toured the ship from 'stem to stern'.We were amazed at the beautiful garden setting in Central Park. Here,there were seating areas & benches nestled among tree-lined walkways and statuary among lush planted areas. Park cafe is another complimentary lunch area found here offering custom-made salads and various panini sandwiches--yumm! Specialty restaurants in this area had alfresco dining options with a tropical view. The glass-domed seating areas were amazing architectural structures. This whole park setting is transformed in the evening with garden lanterns & other lighting offering a serene place for a moonlit stroll.
For a complete change of scenery, the Boardwalk neighbourhood offers something for all ages & is especially family oriented. The focal point at the entrance is a beautiful Carousel.Surrounding this are various eateries and carnival-type amenities.There are also rock-climbing walls, a Zip-line and the Flo-rider for the more adventuresome.At the far end is the Aqua Theater offering impressive entertainment performances. Oasis of Dreams is a breathtaking Cirque-du-Soleil type performance with professional high-divers & acrobatics.The fountain show is OK for on a ship, but cannot compare to the one at Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The Royal Promenade presented more 'eye candy'. It has an alternating light canopy creating an ever-changing atmosphere. The Rising Tide bar was another unique attraction here among others.There are plenty of venues for the shop-aholic in every price range. Various sales throughout the week were fun for the bargain hunter. However, we were quite disappointed with one experience in particular. This was a 1-hour special on boxed watch sets by Cote d'Azur. They were marketed as $100. watches on sale for $20. Soon, there was a crowd of hundreds of people who shoved & trampled over others, grabbing armloads of boxes. We managed to get one, but soon discovered that,'You Get What You Pay For'.These are very cheaply made watches, some with non-functioning buttons & no instruction manuals. Beware of this!!! Other kiosks on the promenade were selling quality watches at higher yet affordable prices.
Our dining experience in the Opus Dining Room was very good. We sat at a table for two near the back wall. It was much quieter there, yet we were surrounded by larger groups, which kept it interesting. Service was impeccable. At times our server even encouraged us to choose more than one appetizer or dessert.
The evening entertainment was top-notch! We especially enjoyed the upbeat music,costumes and ice skaters in 'Frozen In Time'.The Comedy Show was a great laugh! The Hairspray musical and 'Come Fly With Me' productions were well done & did not disappoint. Because these productions are offered more than once during the week, the venues were never crowded.However, we recommend booking these online prior to your cruise & arriving 20 min. early for a good seat.
Oasis of the Seas is a magnificent floating resort and is absolutely astounding in its design and amenities. The size of this ship was the most enjoyable feature of all, as there were so many interesting areas to walk about & experience at any time, without feeling crowded.The only times that we were aware of the crowds were at the Windjammer Cafe for the breakfast buffet.This can easily be avoided by consulting the inter-active screens which indicate how busy each dining venue is at any given time. The Opus Dining Room also has a decent complimentary buffet or a la carte option for breakfast.On a side note, we were impressed with the hand-sanitizer offered to each guest before entering the buffet areas.Although there are abundant seating arrangements on the Pool Deck, the pools do get crowded on Sea Days as well.The infinity whirlpools overhanging the ocean on either side of the ship or the pools in the Solarium are other great options.Our stateroom had abundant storage and a fabulous oceanview balcony.We enjoyed sunrises,starry nights,balmy breezes and the sound of ocean waves from our balcony. We would not recommend an inside balcony facing the park or boardwalk as the view is very limited there. The bathroom shower would be a bit of a squeeze for a larger person but otherwise is quite serviceable. Note that the port (left) side of the ship is the smoking side. This applies to pool areas and stateroom balcony areas.
Our first stop was in Labadee,Haiti. This private area is far removed from the devastated 'real' Haiti and is a tropical paradise.This was a great beach day for us.We recommend the Zip-line here, as it is the world's longest one over sea.Travelling at 40-50 mph. for 2600 feet at 500 feet above the sea does not even compare to the mini zip-line on the ship, which is OK for the novice.We also enjoyed a wonderful complimentary beach barbeque and some photo ops. at Nellie's Cove.A market area is also available with Haitian souvenirs.
Our next stop was in Jamaica.We went to the world-famous Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios.Climbing this waterfall, was a unique experience and fun too. Highly recommend having water-shoes for this activity. Those with sandals really struggled with the force of the water and the slippery rocks. You cannot take your camera with you-- if you are doing the climb in the falls.If you want to take your own pictures, you are limited to climbing the stairs along the side of the falls,without experiencing the water. The other option is to hand over your camera to one of the guides, who assists those doing the water climb and have them take your picture.This activity will at times require both hands for balance and you will get soaked if you want to really enjoy the full experience!There also is a videographer on site who will film you during the entire climb for a fee of $40. Although a little pricey, we chose this option and were not disappointed with the CD that we received.
The last stop was in Cozumel where we booked an island tour. This included a stop at a Tequila factory where we were given free samples to taste and an opportunity to purchase some top quality Tequila. Then we went to a seaside stop for some fabulous photo ops. of the ocean, and then on to the requisite tourist marketplace. Our guide was quite informative, although the tour was not that spectacular.Later, we had the option of taking a taxi into the town of San Miquel for some silver shopping,which we declined. Instead, we went back on the ship where we were able to enjoy the almost-empty pools as most people were still on excursions.
The de-embarkation process now offers you a choice. You can leave the ship early (7 AM) with your luggage in hand, or leave later (up to 9:30 AM)having placed you luggage outside your stateroom on the evening prior and pick it up at the ship terminal. We chose the latter, as we could still have a relaxed morning on the ship,a great breakfast buffet and a last stroll around Central Park until our luggage number was displayedd on the inter-active screens on every deck. After a brief line in the terminal, we were on our way home.
Somebody pinch us please, because this cruise felt like a dream! If possible, it should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.