Sail Date: April 2010
The saddest part about this ship was that we had to leave. My husband and I truly enjoyed and appreciate the royal Caribbean treatment onboard. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning in anticipation of stepping on board. We booked the ... Read More
The saddest part about this ship was that we had to leave. My husband and I truly enjoyed and appreciate the royal Caribbean treatment onboard. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning in anticipation of stepping on board. We booked the cruise on July 5, 2009. Pulling up to the terminal you could clearly see that she was making her mark. Embarkation was a breeze. At the terminal by 11:00 am and onboard the ship at 11:15am. We stepped on to the promenade deck which is on deck 5 and was blown away. WOW, WOW, WOW, is all that I can say. We found a seat at Cafe Promenade and waited til the rooms were open. We enjoy one of many cupcakes and signed up for the cupcake class. We watch the fountains under the rising tide bar dance to the music, enjoy a slice of pizza and then it was time to go to our cabins. Our stateroom was 11319, which is an inside balcony. The room was spacious for both of us. The bathroom was a little small, but we did not plan spending much time there!! The balcony overlooked the boardwalk with an incredible view of the ocean and aqua theater. We went to the sports deck to sign up for the zip line which was surprisingly no line. We also sign up for an excursion in st. marten. The muster drill was at 4:15 pm and consisted of us walking down 6 flights of stairs to the dining room and watching a video about the evacuation procedures. We ate at various venues such as Johnny rockets which is free for breakfast and all you can eat for lunch and dinner for only 4.95, the seafood shack which was great as well. Park cafe not only have good roast beef sandwiches but also really good salads and they are free for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We has reservations at Giovanni's for lunch on Sunday. It was 10.00 per person, but there was a lot of food, which as awesome!! The main dining room was outstanding, the food was superb and service was top notch. Windjammer was good, not a lot of selections, but with soo many restraints on board, you don't have to worry about eating there every day!! We love the nachos from wipe out cafe and the pizza was good from Sorrento's. The cupcake cupboard has interesting flavors. I dined in coca cola, red velvet, root beer, and bubble gum cupcakes!! I love the ice cream shop with the fresh baked waffle cones. My husband stayed at the donut shop which serves free doughnuts all day long!! The room service was great. You can order from your tv in your stateroom and have varieties from the different restaurants around the ship!! The shows are a do not miss!!! My husband thought hairspray was for women, but he was into it more than me!! The aqua show was amazing, and we fell in love with the Frozen in time show. Another show that was awesome was the Come Fly with Me show!!! We participated in the men's sexy les contest where I was a judge and my husband was a participant. I felt like a kid again on the merry go round!! There was a lot of activates to do on board so you never could say there was nothing to do. I love the fact that with 6200 people on board, you never felt crowded unless a show was ending which is typical any where you go. We also took a break and soak up in the hot tubs and relax and napped in the solarium. Drinks were very plenty and there was not an issue with finding a bar, since there is one everywhere you go on the ship as well as servers!! From time to time we donated to the casino and I am sure they appreciated it!! The stops that the ship made were to st Thomas, st marten, and the Bahamas. We got off in St. Thomas to look around but stayed close to the ship. In st Maarten, we went to orient beach which was nice!! We got off for thirty minutes in Nassau but quickly got back on the ship. Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on the ship. There were plenty of taxis there to take you where ever you needed to go. We stayed two days at the Atlantic Hotel on the beach and enjoyed the hotel as it rained our stay there. A couple of tips that I would give for going on this ship is to make sure you pack smart and pack a travel iron to knock out wrinkles. Also bring a surge protector so that you can have multiple outlets as there are only two outlets total in the room. Make reservation for the dining room even if you will not eat there every night. We did and there was some nights where we decided to go and had the reservation there just in case. There is line for guest without reservations, but you are not guaranteed a seat, many people were upset but it could have been resolved if they made the reservations online. The same goes with the shows, even if you think you are not going to see it, still reserve a spot, because you may change your mind later. If not, you may be left standing for the entire show. The only down side we experience on the cruise was not from the ship and crew but form the other passengers. We got a lot of stares as if we were weird from foreigners. Not that I have anything against them, but they always look like they were upset and looked at you crazy if you smiled or looked like you were having a great time...so we stared right back at them!!! Overall, we had an awesome experience. We are planning to go back in January on the sister ship!!! If you are thinking about...just do it!!! Just let go and enjoy yourselves!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Embark and Disembark - Royal Caribbean handled both these aspects of the cruise very well. Once we arrived at the terminal, we had our sea pass in hand and walking into the ship within 40 minutes. Very streamlined processes. Upon ... Read More
Embark and Disembark - Royal Caribbean handled both these aspects of the cruise very well. Once we arrived at the terminal, we had our sea pass in hand and walking into the ship within 40 minutes. Very streamlined processes. Upon disembarking, our number stated that we would leave at 9:10 a.m. The Opal Theatre was very congested and not enough seating to handle this process. People were sitting on the ground waiting for the number sequence to be called. Very hot and they seemed to be delayed. Once outside we had no chance of calling our shuttle service. The RC workers we hustling people into cabs and getting them out of the terminal so there would be no lingering. Staterooms - Very well laid out and lots of storage in cupboards, drawers, closets and shelving. Empty suitcases were able to fit under the bed and out of the way. The little table in front of the sofa was a nuisance and took up too much room, but we were able to slide it to the side between the sofa and the closet otherwise you would have run into it. Cabins were beautifully decorated. Bed linens were lovely. LCD TV on the wall was able to be pulled out a bit and turned to watch it in the bed. Balcony area was more than adequate and was kept very clean by the stateroom attendant. Food - All no-fee areas had plenty of food choices. Meals were hot and fresh. Opus Dining Room food was excellent with wonderful choices of low fat entrees and a wide variety of other entrees. The Windjamer Cafe (Buffet)was very busy, but once you were in the food lines were not crowded and the variety of food was great, however, trying to get a alcoholic beverage in the cafe was very poor. Some of the waiters did not know what a "Mimosa" was and had to call in another waiter to handle the order. Fee restaurants were easy to get into, but you felt very rushed. Service - Our Stateroom Attendant was excellent. He kept our room clean and attended to any of our requests. Our Poolside Waiter was great. For the amount of people he served in the time we were there, he never forgot to come back to make sure we were satisfied with the drink and whether or not we needed another. The Waiter and Assistant waiter in the Opus Dining Room were great. Made our dinner time very enjoyable with joking around. One night we were going to a show and told them the night before that we would not be in the next day. The waiter said it was lobster night the next night and that when the show was over just to come in and he would save us dinner. When we got to our table each of us had two or three tidbits of the appetizers on a plate; they saved us two lobster tails each; and for dessert they gave us a little tidbit of each that was on the menu. Very thoughtful. Entertainment - Very good choices. Comedy show; Headliner show; and Aqua Show were great. Just remember to book the times and day you want on the RC website before you go on the cruise otherwise you would not be able to get in. Activities - Lots to choose from. A "must do" is the Zip Line. It was a blast however due to the number of people wanting to do this you were only allowed to do it once. When you first arrive on the ship make sure you book your Zip Line time near the Wipeout Bar. There was a line up, so be prepared to wait. We arrived on the ship on the Saturday and our time was booked for Thursday. You were not allowed to pre-book this on the internet before leaving for your cruise. Many other activities like the mini-putt were not busy so there was not problem in doing that. The Flowrider was another activity where line ups were deep. Very busy. Lots of other daily activities to choose from on a day to day basis. Pools/Hot Tubs - For the amount of people on the cruise there were plenty of loungers to sit on and the pools and hot tubs were not overly crowded. There was alway RC staff checking chlorine levels and doing clean up around these areas. Shore Excursions - These are best to book via the internet before you go on the cruise as many of them were booked. The ports were very well organized getting on and off. The down side....do not get involved with "Shopping Shelby"....it is like taping an commercial for the ports. You had to clap when she told you too and laugh when she told you to as the promotion was being taped and put on the cruise TV for others to see!!! They offer you a coupon book to buy for $25.00 which they say includes many coupons for the ports you are stopping in. It was a rip off.....you would have to spend days in one port to take advantage of the coupons for that particular port and the coupon book included coupons for ports in the Caribbean you would not even be docking at. They do not tell you that when promoting the book. Friends of ours cornered "Shelby" later in the day and told her what they thought of the get together....she got very defensive and walked away. Vitality At Sea - The GYM was state of the art and we never had a problem getting on any machine. The SPA facilities we did not use due to the cost (a couples massage $300.00+ U.S.). The SALON was very expensive and although I used it personally I would never use it again. My stylist "Malcom" did nothing but complain how much he hated working there and couldn't wait for his contract to be up in four months. He washed and trimmed an inch off my long hair for a ridiculous price of $75.00. I signed for that service which went on our sea pass account, however, the next day when checking our account there was another charge for $55.00 one minute after my charge of $75.00 went through. It took us hours to get this straightened out, but had we not checked our sea pass we would not have known that they ripped us off for $55.00 plus the automatic gratuity. Not very happy with this service and would not do it again. Summary - The "Oasis of the Seas" was absolutely breathtaking. You did not want for anything and were treated like Royalty. Most of the staff were very accomodating. There was plenty to do and for the number of passengers on the ship it really did not seem crowded. Unfortunately the "Boardwalk" area was not busy at all. All the food areas charged a fee and basically the areas was used to walk through to get to the Aqua Theatre. I am sure parents found it a little expensive to take their children there. The carousel was beautiful and was used by children and adults. The Rising Tide Bar is a must. The Focus area to pick up photos taken on the ship was very well organized. Would definitely take another RC cruise on the "Oasis of the Seas" and cannot wait to see its sister ship "Allure of the Seas". Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
My wife and I just returned on April 17th, 2010 and I thought I'd share our experiences. This was our Fourth Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Ships and we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. 1. Ship Review Significantly larger ... Read More
My wife and I just returned on April 17th, 2010 and I thought I'd share our experiences. This was our Fourth Cruise on the Royal Caribbean Ships and we were celebrating our wedding anniversary. 1. Ship Review Significantly larger than the "Freedom Class" ships (i.e. freedom of the seas, liberty of the seas, etc.) but overall looks the same. Has a Central park and Extended Boardwalk and is much wider. This ship has TOO MUCH MOTION (i.e. listing from side to side). And this may cause you motion sickness so be prepared to bring medication. We did NOT experience this much rocking on the other RCL ships. 2. Embarkation Took the RCL shuttle from the FT Lauderdale Airport to the cruise terminal. It cost us $15 per person which I found to be a bit expensive since the taxi ride is only $15. We were met with very friendly staff and we boarded the ship within 15 minutes 3. Disembarkation Had our breakfast in the Windjammer Buffet restaurant and then waited in the designated area inside the ship until our TAG# was called and then we left the ship for US Customs. The whole process took about 45 minutes until we boarded the bus outside. 4. Room Location OUTSIDE CABIN in the Front of the Ship. This is the WORST location since we could not sleep the first 2 nights out at sea. The high waves were banging against the ship and we could hear a loud bang every 20 minutes. We complained to Guest Services and they moved us to the back of the ship to a new cabin. 5. Room Size Much smaller than other RCL ships. There is little space to move around room without tripping over the luggage. Shower stall is a round-shaped TUBE which makes you feel like you are in an MRI machine. Other than this, the furniture had pleasant colors and everything was stocked up very well 6. Dining We had our dinner in the OPUS Dining Room on our first night and the food was okay. So we decided that we would spend our time our next 7-days in the Windjammer Buffet restaurant which had extensive variety and very friendly staff. The restaurant had THEMED islands where food was placed according to the cuisine (e.g. PASTA island, Hamburgers island, Greens island, Asian Hot island, etc,). The choice of desserts was also very good although it was the same every night. 7. Food Quality Excellent in the Windjammer Buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner 8. Activities/Entertainment Saw all the shows which were truly amazing. We saw the Aqua Theatre show, Broadway Show Hairspray, Frozen in Time, Come Fly Away, and Beatlemania. We also saw the Comedy show which was very funny. 9. Guest Services Excellent staff all over the ship who were always available. We had A/C problem on day 1 and day 2 which were promptly fixed and were followed up by a phone message from Guest services 10. CROWDS Did not experience the crowds despite 6000+ passengers being onboard. We did find ourselves waiting for an elevator for over 10 minutes occasionally, however we decided to use the stairs for a bit of exercise. 11. St Thomas Island Tour We took a shared taxi ride to the TOWN centre in the morning (a $4 ride) where we went through as many shops as we could looking for bargains. We took the Afternoon Tour which started at 1:15pm and which cost $42 per person. This tour lasted about 2-hours and there wasn't enough time to see many things. (Verdict: tour operator can do a better job) 12. St Martin Island Tour We took a water taxi ride to the TOWN centre in the morning (a $6 ride) where we went through as many shops as we could looking for bargains. We took the Afternoon Tour which started at 1:15pm and which cost $24 per person. This tour lasted about 2-hours and took us to the DUTCH and the French sides of the island. There wasn't enough time to see many things. (Verdict: tour operator can do a better job) 13. Nassau Island Tour and Atlantis Photo Stop We took the Afternoon Tour which started at 1:30pm since we arrived at 12:30pm. This tour which cost $35 per person, lasted about 2-hours and took us to the Forts, the Queens 100 Stairs and a 20 minute stop at the famous Atlantis Hotel. (Verdict: tour operator can do a better job) 14. Post Cruise Sawgrass Mill Shopping Mall Tour & Drop off at Airport After we disembarked from the ship, we boarded the bus for the Sawgrass Shopping Mall tour. The cost for this tour was $39 per person. This tour was supposed to allow us a 4-hr stop at the mall and then drop us off at the airport. However, we were dropped off at 10:00am and picked up again at 12:30pm (2.5 hrs only). This was a disappointment, although we did purchase many dresses and shoes at extremely low prices. So it was still worth it. We could have taken a taxi to the Airport (a $15 ride) and then dropped off our luggage in storage ($6 per piece) and then taken a taxi to Sawgrass ($25 on-way trip) and then we could have spent more time there. These are the main highlights of our trip and I must say we had a wonderful trip, although we will not choose the OASIS again but instead go on the Freedon class ships. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Well, I guess we should have chosen a week other than Easter and Spring Break week for our vacation. It was noted that this particular cruise on 4/3/10 had the most boarded passengers EVER of any cruise...over 6,000 guests (including 1,900 ... Read More
Well, I guess we should have chosen a week other than Easter and Spring Break week for our vacation. It was noted that this particular cruise on 4/3/10 had the most boarded passengers EVER of any cruise...over 6,000 guests (including 1,900 kids!!!) and over 2200 crew members. wow. It really is a floating city. I think it would have been better and obviously less crowded on a different week. The only times it felt TOO crowded was: (1) that time where people are leaving 1st dinner and people are arriving for 2nd seating of dinner- during this time, around 7:30 the Royal Promenade is CRAZY crowded. (2) lining up for shows in the Opal Theater and leaving the show at the end, (3) Pool decks on sea days, especially the kids zone area and main pools, the solarium was not too bad, and (4) the sports zones, flow riders/sports court area was constantly full of teens, crazy! We did not even go to the Windjammer buffet together, I went one time for lunch while my husband saved our pool seats and it felt pretty crowded there. He did not visit the buffet at all as he hates crowds like that. The lunch that day was very good and I managed to get a table but there were not enough tables there for everyone. If you want a good pool chair, you need to be out there by 10am! I will try to cover everything so I will start from the beginning now. Sorry if this is lengthy but if you're like me, I enjoyed reading all I could about this ship before I left so I'd know the best things about it. Day 1: Left our home in Jacksonville, FL around 6:30 and arrived at the Port around 12:00. Dropped off luggage and parked the car right across the street there at the Port Parking lot which is very convenient..$105 for the week but I think the safety and convenience was well worth it. Checking in for the ship was amazingly quick! We walked right up to the check in agent with no wait and it only took about 5 min to check in and we were on the ship by 12:30!! They won't let you up to your rooms before 1:00 so we went to the Park Cafe in Central Park and ate lunch which was fantastic. They have these awesome carved roast beef sandwiches and they make a great salad for you. This became our favorite breakfast spot as it was right around the corner from our room on deck 8 as well. (free restaurant). We walked around this amazing ship after we checked out our room as our luggage did not arrive until later. This ship is amazing..very big and beautiful...it is an engineering marvel. I like how they do the safety review now, our group met at Studio B (ice rink) and they show you a video of life boats, life vests, etc. You no longer have life vests in the room as they would distribute them as necessary at your station. Much better than standing outside in the heat with a life vest on! Safety drill was at 4:15 and we got back to our cabin shortly after and our luggage was there so we unpacked. We had a D1 ocean balcony with large balcony deck 8. I have had a similar category room previously on Freedom and Mariner and those cabins were a bit larger than these. It seems as though R/C has made these cabins smaller in order to accommodate more people which is not such a good thing for us passengers! The previous cabins had more drawer storage and bathrooms were larger too. I did not care for the decor in these bathrooms, ugly in my opinion. 60's chic decor? The shower has a little bar at the bottom which makes shaving legs easier. Lots of hooks to hang up wet swimsuits in there. Also has automatic night light which was great!! The cabin was pretty and nice though. Bed was very comfortable, by the balcony door. I wanted to bring that bed home with us!! I did notice that our room NEVER got cool. I called maintenance and they said you have to make sure your MASTER switch is on and that the balcony door was closed and LOCKED...this is an inconvenience as you want to spend time on your balcony...the door has to be locked from the inside in order for the a/c to work so when you come back in from relaxing on your balcony the room is warm! Even at night with air all the way down it never felt cool, probably got down to 78 at lowest. The TV's are nice and big, flat screens that swivel and the computer on there is cool as you can view your account balance, check out restaurant menus, wait times, etc. DINING: Night ONE - we ate at the MDR, we had My Time Dining and ate at the same table with same waiter (who was awesome, Adrian) every night. The table was for 2 and close to other tables but we really enjoyed the 2 couples in the tables next to us and became friends with them. I had the Prime Rib the fist night which was my favorite meal of the trip. It really is good. Hubby had the sea bass which was good also. We did not have any shows scheduled for this night so went to bed early as it was a long day since getting up at 5am and with the long drive. Wish we could have gone to Ft. Lauderdale the day before but DH had an event he had to attend the night before. DAY 2: EASTER: We ordered room service and had b'fast out on our balcony which was nice. Room service for b'fast is very limited. No omelettes! Only scrambled eggs or cereal. It was good though. Love their croissants. Huge improvement from our last 2 R/C cruises.. The Orange Juice actually tastes like Orange Juice, not orange water! Great improvement R/C!! The table on these balconies is larger than past ships which is much nicer! I went to the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet at 10:30 which was nice. They had some free gifts and lots of door prizes, unfortunately I did not win any :( Hubby went to save us a pool chair so I met him topside after the meet & greet. He grabbed some lunch at the Solarium Bistro and brought it up to the chair and ate there in the solarium. I did not care for the food there at all, mostly healthy stuff, lots of Salmon dishes which I don't like ( he liked it) so we took turns eating and I went to Windjammer. Food very good there but a bit crowded. Solarium area is really beautiful and peaceful. DINNER: We had reservations at Chops for 6pm. ($25 pp) We have been to Chops 2x previously and let me tell you this was the worst experience ever. We have always had great service there before. It took a long time to get seated and 10 min went by before anyone acknowledged us. I noticed a server for the table next to us motion to another server to take care of us b/c he was too busy or something to that affect. He finally came over and took our drink and dinner order at the same time and was very rushed. It took over 15-20 min in between each course and we sat for sometimes 30 min w/ finished plates in front of us and no drink refills. I noticed this poor guy was running all over this restaurant waiting on tables on both sides that were far away from each other. It took over 3 hours to complete our dinner!! We don't even drink wine and ordered quickly! The food was good but with the slow service and their attitudes we will not go back. Service in MDR was much better and food almost as good for free! I complained the next day to guest services and the chops manager called us to discuss and credited our account for the meal. SHOW: That night we saw a show in main theater, Hairspray which is a Broadway show. The music and dancing was great however I did not care for the storyline. Very corny and dated...out of all the good shows out there makes you wonder why they ever chose this one?? We also hit the DAZZLES night club that night as they had 80's night which is my thing since I graduated h/s in the 80's. This is a beautiful club, great 2 story window w/ great views of pool area. DJ was great. This was FUN!! DAY 3: Another day at sea. Ate breakfast at the Park Cafe...Very nice and relaxing, we like this place. They have great egg sandwiches, fruit and cereal. Perfect. Sat outside in Central park and ate. We loved Central Park!! Spent most of the day in the solarium pool area. Hubby worked out in gym and later I checked out the jogging (walking for me!) track on deck 5. This is GREAT!! A whole deck with jogging track all around it and you don't have to worry about running into people. Very Nice!! DINNER: Back at MDR. Very good. Had the shrimp scampi, large prawns, awesome. SHOW: We went to the Comedy Live Show. It was great...DON'T miss this one. The first guy was funnier IMO than the main guy but both were awesome. We laughed for an hour. I was so pleased that their material was not dirty or raunchy...They were perfect. DAY 4: St Thomas...We ate b'fast at Johnny Rockets. Very good, I loved their french toast. B'fast is free there. We had booked a sailboat charter/snorkel day before the cruise with Rumbaba Charters. His boat leaves out of red hook which is a 30 min cab ride. We were to be there at 9:45 so we got off the ship around 8:45. The cab drivers here are not very accommodating or nice. They kept pushing us aside making us wait to fill up a cab to get over there and we waited 30 minutes! I kept telling them we were going to miss our charter but they did not care. Finally they put us in a cab with a family of 4 who were going somewhere near where we were. Traffic was bad and we finally got to American Harbor Marina at 9:45. Cab ride is supposed to be $22 for 2 people and my DH gave the guy $44 not thinking...I got the driver's number and he said he would pick us up at 4pm. The sailboat day was awesome. Great snorkel spots at Christmas Cove. Rumbaba owner, Bobby cooks you a fantastic lunch right on the grill hanging off his boat! Best Mahi I have ever had. It was great. We docked back at 3:50 and no cab...we called him many times and he kept saying he was on his way. He finally arrived around 4:30 which left us an HOUR to get back to the ship. I don't like cutting it that close. Normally Rumbaba leaves from 9-3 but the other couple booked w/ us were on a different ship that did not arrive until 9 so he called me to say we would be from 10-4 which I was not real happy about. Luckily we got back to the ship at 5:25 just in time as we sailed at 6pm. Traffic on cruise days is crazy there. I highly recommend Bobby and Rumbaba Charters. They have a great website w/ photos if you google them you can find them. Price is reasonable and much better than the cattle car cruise excursions!! DINNER: We ate at Giovanni's Table ($15 pp). Service was great. Food just OK...I prefer Portofino's on the previous R/C ships. Funny how I ended up ordering the Prawns and they were cooked exactly the same as the night before in MDR! SHOW: We had reservations for the Aqua Show Oasis of Dreams at 10:30 however I got way too much sun that day and with all the stress of getting back and forth to the ship I was completely exhausted and fell asleep at 9:00! I really hate we missed this show as it was the LAST ONE for the cruise, which I did not know!! I hear it was amazing...Will do next time for sure... DAY 5: St. Martin...Had b'fast at Park Cafe again. Very good. Left ship around 9:45 to meet our driver from Bernard's tours to take us to Orient Beach. Bernard is an awesome guy. Last year we took his complete island tour and it was great, however this time we just wanted to go to Orient Beach. He was right there waiting for us, took us to the beach and picked us back up at our arranged time of 2:00. VERY relaxing day esp. compared to the day before!! I love this beach, It is my favorite, very beautiful water and the sand is so soft!! I could stay there ALL day. You can get 2 chairs with cushions, an umbrella and restroom pass for $15. My hubby is NAVY and there is a retired navy guy who owns a bar/restaurant right there in the middle of this beach called "string beach" so we had lunch there and a few drinks. Very good..ask for Rick and tell him Lisa from JAX , FL sent ya! We feel that out of all the islands we have been to, the people we have met here in St. Martin, Including Bernard have been the nicest. :) Last year we also visited Maho Beach to watch the planes come in with I liked too but not enough time to do both and really have enough time to enjoy both places. DINNER: MDR...great meal. Food here is the best we have ever had on any R/C ship MDR. Dining room is beautiful also. We were on the top deck, 5 and there are these flat screen tv's that scroll beautiful photos, I enjoyed watching them as I ate. SHOW: Headliner show was the Osmond Brothers and we did not care for them so we skipped it. DAY 6: Can't believe day 6 here already. Week goes by so fast. Spent another day by the pool and then gym/jogging track. Also viewed the Men's Belly Flop contest at aqua theater from above on deck 15 looking down. You can see on the big screens from there. Funny, We ate lunch at the seafood shack after that ($8.95 pp) Appetizer of calamari was great but main entrees, fish & Chips, Fish Sandwich just OK. Desert was great...Key lime pie and Banana split. Don't think I would pay to eat there again. Did some shopping on Royal Promenade. Got a good deal on a Citizen Echo Drive watch, they were 40% off that day! DINNER: MDR, Lobster night..very good... SHOW: Come Fly With Me...AWESOME, Great show, Don't miss this one! Also, the Love & Marriage show at 11:15. This is usually great and hilarious however the contestants obviously did not want to participate so made for a lousy show. Richard did his best but the asst. C/D who picked these contestants really screwed up. NOTE: If you WANT to be a contestant on THIS show, Be FUNNY and don't act like your feelings are getting hurt. You should know what it's all about and go with the flow. DAY 7: Nassau...We have both been there many times before and elected to just get off briefly to go to the market, had a drink at Senor Frogs and back to ship. We docked at 12:00 and there were 5 other ships there. VERY crowded!! Long line to get back to ships, so keep that in mind if you get off here. Water is beautiful here but don't care for this place. DINNER: MDR, first time of cruise that we did not enjoy dinner. I had the NY strip (tough) and DH had the recommended mahi and shrimp tempura. He said the fish was very salty. HOWEVER...the desert was the best Key Lime Pie we have ever had! Delicious!! Now to stressful part of cruise...PACKING..As usual, I packed way to many clothes for us. I promise myself next cruise #4 I will get this right as I think I know what I really need now!! lol We packed our stuff and set the cases out by the door around 10pm. I had bought a bottle of mango rum (special kind you can only get in St Martin) and the ship put it in holding until last night, so they say. I started calling around 8pm asking about my bottle of rum...after 3 calls and now 11pm they tell me that it was mistakenly delivered to the wrong cabin! They sent it to 8124 not 8194! Good luck getting it back right? So they tried to get in touch w/ those folks but no answer. Finally at midnight I demanded them to bring me a bottle of their ship's mango rum for replacement which they delivered around midnight. What an ordeal. The next morning at 8:00 I checked at Guest services and they made some calls and found out that Housekeeping had retrieved my rum and would bring it up. I waited about 20 min and they finally brought it up to guest services. Now why did they not just bring it to my room w/o my having to go through all this? Bad customer service all the way around on that one. Guess I won't be purchasing any more liquour for gifts again off ship. LAST DAY: We checked the box on paperwork for Late Departure so we would not have to be off the ship so early. They have a good system on this ship for departing with Numbers vs. Colors. We were the last set of numbers, #81. We were supposed to depart at 9:15 and got off at 9:30. Not bad. Our luggage was already in a holding area and we went right to it, got a helper and were through customs and in our car by 10:00. Not bad at all. You can carry off your own luggage starting at 6:30 and the first luggage call is around 7 or 7:30. FINAL: We had a great time on this cruise, our best yet. It was a bit crowded at times but other things made up for that IMO. I feel that R/C should have not compromised on cabin sizes and offered a few less cabins with a few less people b/c the main common areas seemed the same size as the smaller ships! This ship is truly beautiful, esp. Central Park section. Did not care for Boardwalk section as much but I guess it works for this design. The ship is Beautiful and amazing. I kept asking myself how they built such a ship and how does it float?? I love the cantilevered hot tubs! I used those a lot. Great views from there. Food was great as well as shows. We will definitely go again. I hope they get some new port calls. I also feel that they should not charge so much or at all for the extra dining venues. You're already paying so much anyway, it's bad enough to have to pay for sodas as well as extra restaurants. We did not try the 150 central park as it was $35 pp! A/C system in cabins needs to be improved. No vent in bathroom either. Computer screens all over ship make it easy to navigate and see what's going on at the present time, loved those. They need to get more up to date Headliner show also, we did not want to go hear the Osmonds! One more thing...R/C makes you give them your sea pass card (charge card) to get a beach /pool towel and charges you $20 per towel if not returned. I feel this is unnecessary. I have cruised on Disney 2x and towels are plain white and plentiful all over pool deck, even at dock on their private island. No pressure. R/C acts like these towels are made of gold and WILL NOT give you one w/o running your card. Very inconvenient. I always bring 4 of my own beach towels so I don't have to worry about this or someone taking a $20 ship's towel from my seat. Comes in handy for going to beaches on port days as well. All in all..fun vacation, I love cruising. Never a dull moment unless you want one! I recommend this ship, enjoy!! One more thing...Cruise Director Richard Spacey is awesome. He was on Freedom last year w/ us and we loved him back then too. He's perfect for this ship. He just left for vacation to fly back to UK but hopefully he will be back onboard Oasis again soon. He has a very quick wit about him, very funny. You can find him on youtube. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Lots to do on the ship......it really feels like you are not n a ship at all.....unless of course you did not feel the movement.....there was a lot more ship movement that I thought there would be. Food......the roast beef on a bun at ... Read More
Lots to do on the ship......it really feels like you are not n a ship at all.....unless of course you did not feel the movement.....there was a lot more ship movement that I thought there would be. Food......the roast beef on a bun at Park Cafe is....well, fantastic...stay away if you are on a diet as I bet you can't eat just one! We went back several times. Deserts and sandwiches at the Mondo cafe are great as well....no charge! My wife was very happy to see the chocolate cake and eclairs they offered, as one of her previous complaints about the RC line was a terrible lack of chocolate! The Food Crammer (The Windjammer)was good! Breakfast was as per usual and lunches and dinners had many choices. The main dining room is beautifully done....the meals were fine and again as per usual. Service in the Windjammer and the main dining room was fantastic. Drinks on board were on par with other ships.....hint - tip the waiter in advance cash and your drink will be well worth it! The Room was fine.....only complaint was where the TV was located.....in our room in was not at all in a good location. The amount of available channels could be improved, although we didn't do much more than sleep in the room. The shows on board were all professionally done. Do you need to advance book them?....well we did, and a couple got canceled and re-booked during times that did not fit our schedule so we went and got seats at a show that was more convenient for us. Hairspray had technical problems midway through, and we were never able to see the end - my wife was disappointed. Embarkation is a breeze......departure is as well...hint they give you a number for your bags and an estimated departure time for same. We just stayed in our room until we were ready to go - and left. This was not an issue; we left before our number was called, but this was no problem - and no crowd around our bags! TIP! - Free shuttle from FLL to the cruiseport - just board the rental car shuttle from the car rental return and get delivered to your ship! No questions asked. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
I cruised with my DB and DSIL who are Diamond Members. I am Platinum. The excitement of finally going on the cruise peaked as we embarked onto the Promenade. Entering and going thru the process to get on board was seamless and quick. ... Read More
I cruised with my DB and DSIL who are Diamond Members. I am Platinum. The excitement of finally going on the cruise peaked as we embarked onto the Promenade. Entering and going thru the process to get on board was seamless and quick. This ship is gigantic and it is difficult to see everything in 7 days. However, we gave it our best try. I ate in the Solarium every morning that was just up from my Central Park room. The food was healthy, fresh and delicious. I also ate at the Windjammer for lunch and dinner. It was confusing at first because it doesn't resemble the other Windjammers. The food is mixed together and in categories such as Asian, Lite Fare, etc. No special fried eggs or build an omelet. It was good once I got used to it. We also ate at Giovanni's Table which was superb but too much food. Central Park where all the pay restaurants are is lovely and I had a room overlooking CP at night it was just beautiful. I used the pools, they were good and chairs were easy to find. Also did the zip line, but beware, you have to book early in order to get a reservation. I booked on the 2nd day and couldn't get on until the 6th day at sea. Spent a lot of time on the Promenade, seeing parades, modeling show, etc., from the 2nd floor of the Schooner bar, people watching and making plans. The new layout for the photos is very good and photos are easy to review if you aren't wearing sunglasses in the pics because it's done by facial recognition. I ate cupcakes (the turtle one was very dry but the coca cola one was fine), did a bar tending lesson and took in most of the shows. Couldn't get into the comedy club and was the only venue we didn't make pre-reservations. Comedy club is a don't miss. Hairspray is an abbreviated version and just okay; the "air" show with the high fliers above our heads was spectacular. We never made it out to the Aqua Theater. Boardwalk was another area that was a pay as you go area. Johnny Rocket's, the Seafood Shack, clothing stores, picture store and the like. Didn't spend much time there. The Diamond Club was small so all the nightly events had to be held in Blaze. They wouldn't let anyone in that wasn't "dressed" which caused quite a stir by members. Nor, would they let you bring in your wife or husband who had not made Diamond yet. Again, this cause quite an issue because we've always gone into the DC on other ships without problems. I could go on, but all in all, this is a nice ship, albeit too large for my liking. The crew is good, but the personal service isn't there due to the volume of people. This is a ship you should go on at least once. However, I'll stick to my favorite ships in the Freedom class and the Voyager class. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
For those of you that have not heard, Royal Caribbean's 'Oasis of the Seas' entered service in December 2009 and is the world's biggest cruise ship. She's not just a bit bigger than the previous incumbent; ... Read More
For those of you that have not heard, Royal Caribbean's 'Oasis of the Seas' entered service in December 2009 and is the world's biggest cruise ship. She's not just a bit bigger than the previous incumbent; she's significantly bigger, in fact 45% bigger (based on gross tonnage). She has sixteen passenger decks and can carry a staggering 6,296 passengers (max) and 2,165 Crew. She is more than twice as big as many of RCI's competitors' ships, 3.25 times bigger than the legendary QE2 and almost 5 times bigger than the Titanic. The ship should have just been named "Wow". The hardware really is 'amazing', 'breathtaking', 'awesome' and 'astonishing' or any other superlative you choose. There are 15 passenger decks labelled 3 to 18, but there is no deck 13. However the 'software' (service, food, entertainment etc.) also determines the quality of your experience. The 25,000 dollar question is how does the enormous size of this ship enhance or detract from the on board experience? How do the ports handles so many people embarking and disembarking? Is the ship just 'too big' for its own good? All will be revealed: General Overview There is a danger that reviewing the biggest ship in the world could result in the longest review in the world. However in order to make matters more manageable, I will only dwell on the important public rooms/spaces and those aspect of the ships design that are different from other Royal Caribbean ships. She is not just another cruise ship; her design goes far beyond traditional maritime concepts. She is a floating resort. Her public areas are even divided into seven 'neighbourhoods' and she even has a 'park', such is the scale of the vessel. RCI have taken all of the innovations featured onboard their 'Freedom Class' vessels (the former biggest cruise ships in the world) and greatly expanded upon them. Oasis's competition is not other ships; it is Disney World, Las Vegas and South Beach etc. Embarkation at Port Everglades was one of the fastest I have ever experienced at any port and that includes smaller ships which only carry 800 passengers. I went from 'kerb to ship' in around 15 minutes - quite remarkable. (My cruise was carrying 5,900 passengers of whom 900 were Brits.) Oasis is designed to spend her life undertaking one week cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Caribbean islands. She offers two alternating Eastern and Western itineraries, each with an ideal balance of three ports of call and three sea days. The three sea days are essential to explore the ship and take advantage of the facilities on such a big ship. In fact I would suggest that there is actually more to see and do on board the ship than there is in the ports of call. Two weeks, not one, would be required if you want to attempt to experience everything this floating resort can offer you. As a foot note, I would not be surprised if we do not see Oasis (or her sister Allure) operating in the Mediterranean in maybe a few years time. Onboard Experience 'Oasis' makes more use of new technology than any ship before her. In fact the 'Oasis' experience starts long before you board the ship. On-line registration of your personal details and the ability to print out your boarding-pass helps speed up the embarkation process. Many aspects of on board life can be booked on-line, in advance, from the comfort of your own home. These include excursions, entertainment, alternative dining, wine/soda packages and flow-rider (surfing) lessons, etc. Booking the entertainment in advance is a very wise choice. Passengers who book get priority over those that have not, to attend the major shows. Once you are onboard, your various bookings are all held on your Sea-pass card, which is also you cashless account card and room key. Crew members stand at the entrances to each show and use hand-held card readers to confirm your bookings and allow you in. Ten minutes before the start of each show, passengers who have not booked are allowed to fill any remaining seats in each venue. These may of course be limited, so In short if you have not booked in advance, you may not get to see the show you want. The smallest show, the comedy show, which is held in the intimate 'Comedy Central' lounge, definitely required booking. Onboard photographs are also linked to your sea pass card as well. You can put your card in a machine, in the photo gallery and view your photos and order them if required. You can even buy them on a CD for a mere $350 (yes, that's not a typing error). Strangely some photographs taken by the RCI 'paparazzi' are still printed out in the old manner and displayed on the wall and/or stored in one of hundreds of folders. You Sea-pass card has the number of your personal folder printed on it. Design The dEcor on board Oasis is the typical RCI mix of tastefulness and glitz, but never as over the top as Carnival. Many of the public rooms have familiar RCI brand names to make regulars feel at home. Much of the 10,000 items of art work onboard are contemporary in style (i.e. odd) with a '"wonders of our world" theme. Oasis is traditional in the sense that it has one main dining room, with two fixed sittings although 'any-time' (flexible) dining is also offered. There are also a number of alternative dining venues, some of which carry a surcharge. There is one large theatre, the Opal, but some additional entertainment venues including Studio-B (ice show) and the Aqua-Theatre (water show), plus a range of smaller lounges many featuring live music at times. Surprisingly many of the public rooms are quite small, with the exception of the Theatre and Main Dining Room. Unusually for a big ship, there are only two stair towers and banks of elevators. However the elevators are big and fast, with most being glass offering scenic views of their respective atriums. I did not have any problems getting around the vessel, but those passengers with limited mobility are bound to find the distances between the various decks and public rooms' changeling. The entire ships design is based on the premise that not every passenger will want to be doing the same thing, at the same time, in the same place at once. This concept largely works, except during the Royal Promenade street parties/processions when you quickly become aware that the ship holds a hell of a lot of people. The first night queues for the 'Opus dining room' were also enlightening, but by the second evening they were non-existent. However at other times I found myself wondering where all the passengers were. One evening I went in the Jazz club and there were only six people watching the band (and they were good). There was a Scottish Piper, Larry Lindsay, aboard who gave a lecture about making and playing bagpipes which was attended by only ten people. (This also indicates that RCI clientele are not big on enrichment). The different 'neighbourhoods' successfully divide up the passengers, who require different experiences, between the various public spaces. For example Central Park tends to attract adults and is quite tranquil, as of course does the 'adults only' solarium. The sports court with it's Zip Line and Flow Riders (surf simulators with real water) and H2O zone (children's water park) keeps the kids and energetic adults busy. Families enjoy the board walk together. The teens are well catered for with their 'youth zone' facilities housed under the Viking Crown complex on deck 15. Public rooms and Spaces Central Park may sound like a gimmick but it is unique and wonderful space. It contains 12,000 real plants and 56 trees. It is complete with pre-recorded bird sounds. I spoke to the gardener who told me that the automatic under-soil watering system was so efficient that they had to turn some of it off as some plants don't like too much moisture. Central Park is longer and wider than it looked in the original renderings. It is quite a tranquil area, mainly attracting adults, but was never over crowded. It is also illuminated very attractively. I found myself being drawn back to it time and time again. Quite a breeze can blow though the park at times; even though it is an enclosed space with just an open roof. Central Park is overlooked by many balcony cabins, giving the occupants a man-made vista opposed to a sea view. The park contains a number of shops and surcharge dining options: Chops Grille (steak house) Antonio's Table (Italian Dining) 150 Central Park (exclusive dining) and Vintages (wine bar). However there is also the relatively intimate 'Park cafe' a non-surcharge venue. This was my favourite dining venue for a healthy breakfast and lunch. The freshly prepared filled bagels along with fruit, cereals and yoghurt made a lovely breakfast. The 'choose your own salad', toasted sandwiches and soup made an excellent light lunch. Frank Sinatra and other smooth music was regularly played at a sensible volume and the staff were very efficient and friendly at all times. The Cafe was uncrowned for the first few days of the cruise then the secret got out. The 'Rising Tide bar' is a bar on hydraulics which travels between 'Central Park' and the 'Royal Promenade' directly below. As it is doing so, coloured fountains dance below it. Personally I think it is the one silly 'gimmick' on board the ship. It only travels once every an hour or two and on occasions the departures are cancelled (why?) It is not a thrilling ride and it's not particularly scenic one. I think the space would have been better used for a Park cafe and/or a Promenade bar that did not elevate. RCI's 'Royal Promenade' concept first appeared on board the 'Voyager' class ships in 1999. Essentially it is an enclosed street down the middle of the ship featuring a range of cafes, bars and shops. However Oasis's 'Royal Prom' is longer and wider than ever before. It also has an upper level of public rooms such as the 'Schooner Bar' and the 'photo gallery' which look down onto it. Perhaps the most striking improvement is that there are a number of giant skylights situated above it in Central park which allow sunlight to spill into it. This is unlike the Voyager and Freedom class 'Proms' which rely on artificial light to illuminate them. There is a vintage car in Oasis's the Royal Prom, occupied by two teddy bears (I'm no idea why) which I'm told is a 1936 Auburn Speedster. Shops/bar of particular note in the 'Royal Prom' were the cute 'Cupcake shop' which sells, you guessed it, pretty cupcakes. Sorrento's Pizza Cafe was ideal for a quick slice a fresh Pizza. Then there is the 'Globe & Atlas' British style Pub which was about as British as 'Disneyland' and lacked a decent draft ale. It was always very smokey. There was 'On Air' (karaoke and video games). And 'Bolero's (live Latin American music) which was also smokey at times. Replacing the tradition Captain's cocktail party, the Captain makes a welcoming speech from the 'Royal Prom'. He appears to hatch from what looks like a giant egg (O.k. it's a giant globe above the pub) which splits in two and grows a bridge, so he can walk on in out above the assembled masses below. It's almost a St. Mark's Square type experience and quite surreal. It's worth noting the acoustics in the Royal Prom are not at all good for amplified speech. At times during the week pop music was played so loudly in the Prom it was painful. This also happened on the sundeck, occasionally. The music was so loud that I even saw teenagers run for cover. The 'Boardwalk' is an area which appeals to families and has a 'Coney Island' feel. It was shorter than I imagined but impressive, nevertheless. At the end of the 'Boardwalk' is the 'Aqua theatre', providing a unique entertainment venue which cannot be found on any other ship. As you enter the 'Boardwalk' you are greeted by three full-sized wooden carved horses in different stages of carving and paint work. These act nicely as a visual introduction for the Carousel which is fun and frequented by more adults than children, including me. There is 'Johnny Rockets' (Hamburgers) the 'Sea food Shack' the 'Dognut shop' (yummy) and some shops. It makes feel as if you have wondered onto a set of movie about a fairground. Like in Central Park, many balcony cabins overlook the boardwalk. I must say that I was disappointed that the 'Boardwalks facilities shut early evenings. I would have been fun to explore the facilities after dark. I was quite surprised to find that the 'Boardwalk' is on deck six, where as 'Central Park' is on deck eight. I had mistakenly assumed from the original ship design/artists renderings that they were on the same level so you could walk through Central park and continue into the boardwalk. In fact they are two decks apart, although this is not a problem as the rear stair tower and elevators are between them. The Aqua Theatre is an open air amphitheatre at the stern of the ship with a kidney shaped pool of a depth of almost 18ft (the deepest pool afloat) and high diving boards. It is overlooked by two very scary looking 'rock walls' which are available for brave passengers to climb. The Aqua-Theatre hosts the regular 'Oasis of Dreams' show, which is a diving/ acrobatic/ synchronised swimming show. It also has coloured fountains which dance to music at times. However on my cruise (April 2010) there were some technical problems with the Aqua-theatre. The show was delayed for an hour when hydraulic platforms descended into the pool and the water cascaded out. The first three rows of seats (designated the splash zone) were flooded to above shoe height. Technicians struggled to drain the pool, but after an hour the show was able to commence. I must say once it got going, it was excellent show. Later in the week the 'Dancing fountain' show was cancelled for technical reasons. Originally RCI said that Aqua-pool would be available for guests to use for swimming and scuba lessons. This did not happen on my cruise. I noted that there was actually a shuffleboard area behind the aqua-theatre which is currently a restricted area. The Aqua-theatre has two enormous video screens. These are used during the shows and occasional to show children's movies in the afternoon. However they do not work well in bright sunlight. It would make more sense to use than after dark. It's a pity such a big ship does not have a dedicated movie theatre. Opus dining room The Opus dining room must be the biggest dining room at sea. It has three levels, the second and third being balconies looking down onto level one. As a centrepiece it has the RCI signature 'giant chandelier' above the captain's table and a very large avant-garde mural. The dining rooms levels are not linked by an internal staircase, but this is not a problem as outside each level is a main stair tower and elevators. However this does effectively make it three different restaurants, with the illusion of it being one. The opus is cleverly designed so that you are only really aware of the tables around you and not the entire 3000 or so other diners. The noise levels can get quite high, but this may be as much to do with the clientele than the acoustics of the room. I experienced several teams of waiters and all were very experienced, efficient and generally worked in a 'seen and not heard' a style which I prefer. Maybe because our table was all Brits, there were no long speeches or magic tricks etc. (I prefer my entertainment to take place in the theatre and not over diner). The food was generally served hot although I did send one lukewarm entrEe back. The changing daily menu had plenty of choice. Along with American standards (prime rib, Lobster tail etc.) is also had some quite exotic choices including Indian vegetable curries. Chicken and steak was always an option along with some healthy choices. The red meats were particularly good. However the fish was very disappointing. For example, the lobster and tiger shrimp were rubbery and lacking in taste. The portions were very large making it difficult for the average Brit to eat all courses. However the food was as good as you should reasonably expect from a large mass-market ship and better than many. Let's not forget that this is assembly-line food with much being prepared well in advance. The Windjammer Buffet The Windjammer buffet was surprisingly small for the size of Oasis and probably smaller than similar facilities onboard the Voyager and Freedom class ships. The thinking behind its small size is that there are other dining choices onboard. However passengers naturally gravitated to the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch, especially on the first few days. In addition it is the main restaurant which serves the sun deck, its pools and sports court. Most of the other dining choices are many decks below. The windjammer does offer some nice views of the sports court area and the boardwalk. However it does not have a 'lido' (outside) dining area. The food is displayed on various 'islands' and was of the normal buffet standard, although I did feel the choices were a little more limited than some other ships that I've been on. Lounges The Viking crown observation lounge is located on deck 17. On many RCI ships this is one of the highlights of the ships design, but on 'Oasis' the lounge only occupies a small part of the 'crown'. It is smaller that the equivalent lounges on some of the other RCI fleet. The views are more of the pools and Central park than they are of the sea. I rarely saw this lounge more than half full, as I think it gets forgotten being so high. It does have a stage which often host more 'laid-back' live music, with 'Dazzles' often having the more up-tempo music with dancing. 'Dazzels' is the most attractive lounge on the ship. It is on deck six and is has largely white dEcor with a mirrored ceiling. It has a large dance floor in front of a stage and behind the stage a large windows overlooking the boardwalk. It has an upper balcony lever with tables and chairs and smoking. I was impressed by the battery-illuminated drinks menus. The lounge is a more attractive alternative to the 'Viking Crown' and more conveniently located for many guests. Louder music takes place here in the form of a DJ or live pop band. At times this venue can get packed to capacity. The impressive Casino also allows smoking in one half. It also had a very curious display of colourful 'growths' in petri-dishes on the wall of an entrance corridor. It is probably one of the strangest items of art at sea, yet quite attractive. The Wrap around promenade deck was very sheltered by lifeboats (the biggest of any ship) and has a tunnel at the bow which you pass through to make a complete lap. The deck is marked-out with a jogging track and overhead signs display encouraging 'rhymes' to spur you on. It was not a good space to take an evening stroll and admire the sea view, but it was very good for exercise. There is no 'peek-a-boo' bridge viewing window; I suspect the various ships Captains have not been very happy with that concept. There is also no access for passengers on the bow, like there is on the Voyager and Freedom classes. There is no forward observation lounge as such, although there some nice views to be had from the 'Solarium' located high at the bow. The 'Adults only' solarium is a large glass panelled space, which has a partially open glass roof. It has a round swimming pool and its own bar and a bistro. Unfortunately, It is not a 'tranquil' area as you might think, it could be quite noisy and echoey. The four cantilevered whirlpools which are perched on the ships port and starboard sides offering great views. They are very popular, but the sound of their occupants laughing and talking is amplified by their shape reminding me of a 'roman Orgy' (but without the sex). Below the Solarium, there is an open air viewing area above each of the bridge 'wings' on deck 14. Although it is of course an extremely windy spot to be at, while at sea. Pools: The Pool and Sports Zone is found on decks 15 and 16 and includes four large pools and numerous whirlpools. The Beach Pool is saltwater and features a gently sloping sandy shore that leads to the pool. The Sports Pool is for lap swimming and water-based games. The H2O pools are for families. Entertainment Oasis must have the biggest entertainment budget and the biggest cast of any ship afloat. With the exception of the 'Headliners' show, which was the excellent Beatles tribute act 'Beatlemania', all the big shows are in house productions. The international hit musical 'Hairspray' is offered and is a full length (1 hour 40 minute) production with a cast of around 20. It is one of the few shows that I have ever seen onboard a ship theatre really is 'Broadway' quality. The singing in particular was good, which is not always the case onboard some ships. The Opal theatre and its scenery, lighting and sound supersede the quality of many theatres on Broadway and in the West End. 'Studio B' was almost identical to facilities on the voyager and Freedom class ships. It is an ice rink, although not full sized, with tired seating. It is used for passenger skating and performances of the ice show. The ice show, 'Frozen in Time' which is very loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales was spectacular, as RCI ice shows always are. 'Come fly with me' was essentially a theatre show featuring much aerobatics a hot air balloon and a aeroplane. Yet again it was light years ahead of what is offered on many ships. curiously the intimate 'Jazz on 4' and 'Comedy Live' lounges in 'Entertainment place' (deck 5) have minimal soundproofing between them. It is possible to hear the jazz band quite clearly through the wall while you are listening to the comedy show. One simple solution would be not to use both rooms simultaneously. Across the way is the 'Blaze nightclub (the dungeon like disco) who's sound can also filter into 'Jazz on 4' of an evening. In fact it is not uncommon to be able to hear several sources of music at once, in various locations onbord the ship, such as piped music in one public area and a live band filtering through from another area. RCI need to be more aware of volume levels and noise pollution. Cabins There are 37 different grades of cabins, many of which are similar to cabins on other Royal Caribbean ships. The cabin and corridor dEcor is rather 'understated' (bland) although this is preferable to 'garish'. The standard cabins are comfortable but not over generous on space. A small sofa is proved with a small table. The wardrobe space is adequate but not over generous. The wardrobe door is a rather poor design. It has a sliding door which covers half the storage space at any one time. There is little room to access the wardrobe door between the sofa which in our cabin was only a foot or so away from the wardrobe. The LCD TV's are interactive allowing you to check your onboard account and book certain cruise enhancements such as alternative dining. The cabin doors open outward (like those on the Celebrity Solstice class) into a recess so not to obstruct the corridor which gives a little more room in the cabin. The shower had a shower-head on a flexible hose, although the water pressure was quite low, and glass doors. The chocolates on the pillow commence several nights into the cruise (well that's 5,900 chocolates saved per night) and towel animal in the cabin were epidemic, but cute. There are some new cabin grades not been seen on any ship before? There are window cabins overlooking the 'Royal Promenade' as on the 'Voyager' class, but in addition there are window and balcony cabins overlooking Central park and the Boardwalk. For those with a big budget, the 'Loft suites' have two floors, with a living-room downstairs and bedroom upstairs. They offer the highest accommodation afloat. Having looked in one they are not worth the exorbitant fare in my opinion. Life Jackets A new innovation is that Life Jackets are no longer stored in the cabins, but on deck somewhere? Passengers now just watch a safety video en-mass in one of the lounges (their muster station) and are not required to even put a life-jacket on. Your compulsory presence at the safety drill is no longer recorded by the archaic method of crew members with clipboards and shouting out the passengers names. This is now done with portable bar-code readers and your Sea-pass card. My main concern with this procedure is that the passengers actually watched the video in silence but the crew members at the back of the room were laughing and talking. Ports of Call 'Oasis' does not tender and she is unlikely ever to do so, given the high number of passengers onboard. She if designed to embark and disembark passengers from her starboard side only. Much o the security functions like x-raying bags of passengers when returning to the ship in the ports of call is done on the shore-side rather than in the ships gangway hatches, reducing congestion. The ship makes extensive use of technology to assist passenger flow. The elevators have a 'gangway' button. If you press this it will take you to whatever deck the gangway for the particular port is located on, you do not need to know in advance. Interactive touch-screens around the ship display deck plans and the cruise compass (what's on information). They also display arrows pointing the direction of the gangway when in port. Too big? So is 'Oasis' too big? It is worth recollecting that five years ago, 90,000 gross tons was regarded as 'too big' by many of the cruising public. However this size and it is now regarded as a 'medium size'. Interestingly 120,000 gross tonnes then generally became regarded as too big. Personally I feel that the number of people onboard a cruise ship is largely irrelevant. What is important is how much space the people have each. There are ships that carry 800 passengers that feel more crowded than ones that carry 2,500 passengers. However passenger numbers do become very relevant during embarkation and disembarkation when every passenger is doing the same thing. Although I never tried to be the first off of the ship in port, I never saw any long queues to get on or off 'Oasis'. RCI's design clearly works very well. Each port of call also had a number of other large ships docked, as well as Oasis. The local towns were quite busy, but not unbearable so. You only had to travel a few miles from the ship to leave the masses behind. On disembarkation at Fort Lauderdale all passengers were off the ship by 9.30am - which is quite remarkable. I even got a taxi with ease - and no major queues. As for stability, surprisingly I did feel 'Oasis' roll a little (or to be more accurate: 'judder') in moderate seas, probably due to the high winds. The motion was of course was most pronounced on her uppermost decks. Irrespective of her size and the 'hype', she may be pretty stable, but she's no 'Queen Mary 2' in terms of sea-keeping. In conclusion, Oasis is a remarkable 'floating resort'; her design truly takes her beyond that of just another cruise ship. RCI entered service almost faultlessly. RCI have ensured that the crew are all excellent, unlike some new builds which enter service were a very high proportion of inexperienced crew. Her size and innovations means that she offers everything that the 'Freedom Class' ships do, plus many groundbreaking additions such as 'Central Park' , the 'Boardwalk' and 'Aqua Theatre'. These are not gimmicks; they are charming, exciting and very well utilised spaces. The different 'neighbourhoods successfully create different experiences for the different passengers needs. However just like a real neighbourhoods, on a ship this big you may not get to know your neighbours on first name terms. The ship is does NOT generally feel crowded, in fact I have been on many smaller ships that feel more crowded. Embarkation, disembarkation and the ports of call went remarkably smoothly with minimal queues. The food and service were as good as you could reasonably expect on a big mass market ship. The quality and consistency of the entertainment is some of the best afloat. There really was very little to criticize about the entire cruise experience. Although I did leave away with feeling that I had 'missing out' because I simply did not have time to see, do and eat everything on offer within one week. So is Oasis too big? My answer is a definite "No". Like Mount Everest, she's supposed to be big. I'd strongly recommend 'Oasis' to anyone that wants the ultimate floating-resort experience. Malcolm Oliver Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
my husband and i booked our cruise on the Oasis of the Seas over a year ago. A very anticipated cruise. We had cruised RC last year and had the vacation of a lifetime everything was perfect. We only imagined that this would be bigger and ... Read More
my husband and i booked our cruise on the Oasis of the Seas over a year ago. A very anticipated cruise. We had cruised RC last year and had the vacation of a lifetime everything was perfect. We only imagined that this would be bigger and better! I will say that the boat was amazing and there was always something to do. The service was awesome and central park was really something to see. I think the boat itself was everything we could of ever wanted. The thing that amazed me the most was the fact that people could smoke in almost every bar. It was awful the smell was terrible and if you went to a bar that was crowded and with many smokers you had to leave. I was amazed we don't ever remember smokers on our last cruise so this was a big NEGATIVE! One other issue i had was that the bars seem to have no set age group. I have children and although i did not travel with them I feel there is a time and place for kids! i was in the dancing bar at 2.30 am and on the dance floor with me where three small children all under the age of 7. Now were they cute sure they were but to be honest i booked a vacation without my children i no more wanted to be in a bar at that hour with them!! I felt that the staff should of said something to these parents ( who were not even on the dance floor with them these kids were running wild). It was not appropriate for the ones who were there and wanted to enjoy some adult time. The adult pool also was not kept for adults only. There were people with their children in that area also. If you are going to title a pool area "adult only" then that is what it should be. Once again i felt it was up to the staff to enforce the policy and it was not! The dinning room was beautiful, and the service was amazing. Once again the policy was not enforced on Formal night the man behind me was seated wearing nylon gym shorts and a cut off t shirt! NO one said anything to him. When i cruised Mexico my husband went to a casual night in dress shorts and was sent back to change. Here we were prepared for the policies on the dinning area and once again no policies were enforced. to me this was a let down ! I loved the look of this boat but really felt that they need to enforce the policies that they have in place. I will say i am glad i went and saw this amazing boat but will be honest in saying i will never do it again. i will stick to the smaller ones where i feel they have more control over what is happening and keeping their policies in effect. Bahamas was nice did some shopping in the downtown i did not do any excursions on this stop St thomas. we booked Saphire beach. the beach was beautiful the water was beautiful but the beach set up was AWFUL bathrooms were discusting! ST marten loved it went thru the downtown shopping, did a tour bus to the dutch side and a glass bottom boat tour that was amazing and well worth the money we paid! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2010
Please note that I do not work for RCI, and I have sailed on many Cruise Lines, and many ships. These are my opinions, and I urge you to read many reviews about Royal Caribbean International, and Oasis of the Seas. I did not pay much ... Read More
Please note that I do not work for RCI, and I have sailed on many Cruise Lines, and many ships. These are my opinions, and I urge you to read many reviews about Royal Caribbean International, and Oasis of the Seas. I did not pay much attention to the kids programs or excursions that are available on Oasis of the Seas, so I did not give that aspect a grade. Embarkation: As I entered the massive Terminal 18, I was processed with the normal security check. It appears that I misread the boarding requirements, as I thought that I was allowed to bring a bottle of wine. Ooops. . . . I was wrong. No Alcohol of any kind may be brought on board. Luckily, we had our car parked in the lot at Terminal 18, and we just placed it in our car. Just past the security check I noticed just how big this new Terminal was. There were 90 Check in stations. . . Wow. Check-in stations were arranged by Deck number, and there were several Diamond Plus check in counters to be seen. The check in process was fast & efficient. RCI has taken an idea from Holland America, and takes your boarding card photo (A-Pass) at check-in. This really speeds things up. I then was guided upstairs and boarded immediately. Be sure to get your Deck Plans from the Check-in Agent. We did not, and were surprised to hear that there are No Deck Plans once onboard the Oasis of the Seas. We were told by several people that they are only available in the Terminal. ReportCard: A Cabin: We had a standard D6 Balcony Cabin on Deck 14 FWD. The cabin had a large Samsung Flat Screen HD TV even if it did only have an analog (Non HD) signal. This included only 29 channels of programming (7 Ship channels, 22 Cable channels). The storage area at first seemed to be much smaller than Freedom or Voyager class ships, but there was room for everything. There was much less closet space, and there is no drawer space under the night tables. The room seemed a little smaller than Freedom or Voyager class, but we fit in nice and found a space for everything. The sink was much smaller than we were used to, but the bathroom appeared to be about the same size as we were used to. The Balcony was very nice with a large table and 2 chairs. The design of the room is similar to Celebrity Solstice Class. ReportCard: A- Dining: We were assigned to the Opus Dining Room, on Deck 3 AFT, and were very pleased. We only ate there 3 times, as there were many choices for dining on board. We also had dinner at Giovanni's Table, Izumi, Windjammer, and the Solarium Bistro. All of the meals were good, but not great. The service everywhere was very good, and the presentation was very good as well. I think that as the Oasis staff becomes used to serving so many guests, that the dining will improve. The wait staff was very friendly in all of the dining areas we visited. ReportCard: B+ Entertainment: I thought the entertainment might have been the best that I have seen on any Cruise Line. "Hairspray" was a hit, as well as "Come Fly with Me" Production Show. The production value was above average though and the sound quality very good. The Aqua Theatre shows were very good, and I would suggest going at night, as the lighting effects were strong, and the setting is beautiful at night. There seemed to be "Live" music everywhere, and I think that they were all very talented. All of the live venues seemed to attract a large crowd of passengers. We were unable to attend all of the shows, and would like to sail on Oasis again, just to see more shows. ReportCard: A Public Areas: The Public Areas were clean & comfortable. There was alot of walkong to see everything that Oasis has to offer .From the Small Wonders, to the Art onboard, I felt that there was so much to see. RCI has a book onboard about all of the Art and sculptures that are on Oasis, and that is a great guide to read about the artists and the meaning of the art that is displayed. I really loved Central Park and the Solarium. From the reviews I read, I expected to feel crowded during the week. That was not the case in most areas. It will always feel crowded after a show, or the first day at the Windjammer. Avoiding the crowds can usually be done through timing, and patience. ReportCard A Debarkation: Debarkation process was really helped by being at Terminal 18. Passengers started to leave very early. I was one of the last ones off at 10AM. The terminal was still very busy then, and we waited about 20 minutes in line waiting for customs. The Debarkation was good, but not the best. I think the process will improve as there are more sailings. ReportCard B+ Overall Grade: A Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Tenth cruise. RCCL, Princess, Holland-America. All wonderful. Travel to and from was good. Busses proviced transportation to the Miami airport. Previously the Miami airport was in tne midst of additional construction and with all the ... Read More
Tenth cruise. RCCL, Princess, Holland-America. All wonderful. Travel to and from was good. Busses proviced transportation to the Miami airport. Previously the Miami airport was in tne midst of additional construction and with all the folks from cruise ships, it was a madhouse. Now, the construction is done and it was easy. Stayed at Bahia Mar in Ft. Lauderdale the day before sailing. Found the Pier 66 hotel folks mentioned, looks like a better bet with great view of the harbor. My reason for this cruise was to see this huge, technically advanced ship with all the ballyhooed features. Mission accomplished. Truly a marvel. As advertised, embarkation was a breeze, the 15 minute target was met. Disembarkation also a breeze. The cabin flat screen TVs are also good for finding out activities currently offered, what eating venues are busy or not, your shipboard account, Internet, and the bridge camera. Regular channel reception could be spotty occasionally. Without exception, the staff was friendly and helpful. We chose "My Time" dining, but got to the dining room at the same time each evening, got the same table, and the same wait staff. Just like assigned seating. Really liked the guys and had a great time with them. Had several issues with shipboard charges, went to the guest services desk, and they were promptly resolved. We do have a small issue with RCCL for what we called the "nickel and diming" us with on board charges. Save your Internet time for ports of call. Ten cents a minute ashore versus $0.55/minute aboard. At Chops Grille, we were presented with choice of two kinds of bottled water, both pricey, only to discover later that we could have had "tap" water out of a pitcher, as in the dining room. That was one of the charges that got removed from our account. On the other hand, the meat at Chops was about the best we ever had. Wine by the glass is quite pricey also, about twice what we would pay at a good restaurant at home. Ports of call were all places we've been to before, shore excursions about the same. At St. Thomas, the ship docks at Crown Bay, where the shopping area has been completed, and is quite nice. Still a cab ride into town. No tendering at any port. Entertainment was quite good at all the shows we attended. Well worth booking. Glad we did it. Read Less
Oasis of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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