1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2009
Sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport after just disembarking Oasis of the Seas 4 Night Labadee trip..... More later, but here are a few things you will like to know.... The ship is definitely extremely impressive, R.C. got it right ... Read More
Sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale airport after just disembarking Oasis of the Seas 4 Night Labadee trip..... More later, but here are a few things you will like to know.... The ship is definitely extremely impressive, R.C. got it right with this one...the different neighborhoods are all beautiful...Very nicely organized, easy to find your way around, lots and lots to do on this ship....not enough time in 4 nights to take advantage of everything..... The food was pretty good, however the 1st nights dinner was probably one of the best on the ship...unfortunately we missed the lobster evening as it was our anniversary we chose one of the many many "pay for chew" restaurants....this ships capacity is 6100, and we were glad that they only had 4800 on this 1st cruise, I can't imagine that many people in the cafeteria, as it was pretty crowded with just our group....I was a little disappointed over all the pay restaurants, I have a feeling this is where they are headed eventually with every meal being a fee, except perhaps the cafeteria and the main dinner area. The service was awesome, the staff was very helpful and very friendly (as most cruises with R.C.) Our cabin was very spacious and had lots of room for all clothing, etc. This was our 1st cruise as Diamond members and I was a little annoyed that we were not able to use the official Diamond club Member lounge as this is not only available for Diamond Plus and Suite members...however we were offered free cocktails nightly in the Blaze located on the 4th level....Our room was on the 11th floor as is the Diamond Club, however we were able to use it for reservations and coffee in the morning. I definitely DID NOT like the fact that you have to reserve EVERYTHING!!!!! and i do mean EVERYTHING....every show, including the nightly one that cruisers are use to attending before or after dinner. A lot of cruisers had already reserved a lot before entering the ship...definitely the way to do it...even all the "pay per chew" restaurants were booked before the ship set sail, we were lucky enough to get into the Italian Restaurant, thanks to the very nice man making the reservations....Glad we used the concierge to make our reservations 1st think on the ship...for all the shows.....ALL THE SHOWS!!!!! The ship is amazingly beautiful....as soon as we entered we were handed a complimentary champagne and or wine....which was a very nice surprise coming from R.C. The Sorrento's Pizza was also up and running as were the main cafeteria, however we couldn't not enter our rooms until 1:00, boarding was a piece of cake as was our disembarkment.. Very easy to find your way around this beautiful ship...maps everywhere...I was surprised just how many people were staying on for the 1st 7 day trip..we definitely wished we were one of them... I would recommend this ship to anyone, however definitely to 1st time cruisers, especially any one who complains about "sea sickness"...this ship is solid as can be and there was very very little movement on this ship...I kept reminding myself we were at sea.... All the shows were spectacular...Hairspray was amazing, except for the screaming child sitting behind us and the inconsiderate foreigns talking throughout most of the show.....grrrrrr....The Agua show and the Ice Shows were equally amazing.... I will post some pictures of this beautiful ship when i get back home....enjoy my fellow "floaters".... Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we were on deck 10, they could not tell us why, and as it is Royals Rules, that childrens cabins are next to or across from parents cabins, they moved them back to the original cabin, this caused much confusion and soda package stickers were not transferred with the move. Sea pass pictures are now taken at check in, although the agent had difficulty using the camera. After check in was taken care of, a 25 min process, which exceeds their goal of 15 mins from door to ship, we went upstairs to await boarding. Once boarding was started it was a very quick process to finally be aboard Oasis. We boarded on the Royal promenade, deck 5, and looked around, very much like the Voyager / Freedom class ships, although bigger and more impressive. We wandered around the RP, waiting for the rest of our party who were late getting to the port, when they boarded, we went to check out the cabins, Our ocean view balcony was basically the same as the Freedom class, although the layout was a little different and the cabin seemed smaller, went across the hallway to check out our daughters interior and our friends interior that was next to theirs, imagine our surprise when our daughters cabin was full of boxes and our friends cabin had a man laying on the bed looking at a laptop!! Time to visit guest services!!, we now know why the cabins had been changed at check in. Guest services could not explain what had happened, and tried to find them alternate cabins, that matched the parent/child rules, they could not. After a lot of checking and trying to move people around the only thing they could come up with was an Aqua Suite, very nice, on the same deck, but all the way aft, when we were all the way forward, while this was very nice for our friends and our daughter and her friend, it meant that our group was now split up, and the guest service supervisor would do nothing for the remaining people in the group to get us closer, when we tried the, "but we booked 11 months ago, to be together", we were told that they guarantee us cabins, but not specific cabins and they could put us where they wanted!! During this time, we had also noted that although the whole party was dining at the same table, half had early dining and half had late dining, when we questioned this, we were told that we all had late dining, it didn't matter what the sea pass cards said! Once again, we all had confirmed early dining and this was not acceptable, we were told it was late dining only, and even if the passengers who had early dining times on their sea passes, went to the dining room at 6.00pm they would be refused service!! They did go as far as to say that they would try and get us early dining and would leave a message on our phone if they were successful. Spent the rest of the afternoon looking around this amazing ship. As there was no message on our cabin phone we decided to have Dinner in the Windjammer, this is laid out pretty much like the Voyager/Freedom class, with different stations, but seemed to have less stations with a much smaller selection of food. Used the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch as well, and found the same thing. One guy cooking eggs to order, but a 20 min wait for 2 sunny side up, fried eggs. Never found any hotdogs or French Fries, the entire cruise. There was a message left on 1 cabin phone when we returned giving us early dining at 2 adjoining tables We did eat in the Dining Room, on the second night, and it was a disaster, we arrived at 6.00, and asked that they hurry service as we wanted to watch the aqua show at 7.30, no problem we were told, bread arrived at 6.20, orders were taken at 6.30, starters arrived at 6.45 and entrees, in stages starting at 7.10, after rushing and finishing dinner by 7.35 we left, without dessert or coffee to catch the end of the show, the table next to us, who arrived just before us and also wanted to see the show, had not even got their entrees. Needless to say that was the last visit to the dining room! Ate the last night in the Sea Food Shack, once again service very slow, drink order messed up, Fish and Chips, was actually Fish and French Fries, and English people will know the difference!, baked beans, served with the baby Back Ribs, which were regular ribs not baby backs, looked like they had been microwaved 3 or 4 times, and were very dried out. Bars and Lounges. I will state here, and wait for the flaming, that we are smokers. On Voyager and Freedom class ships, we spend a lot of time in the English Pub on the RP, listening to the singer, smoking has always been allowed at the bar and down one side of the ship, and the pub is normally packed, and I'm led to believe a major revenue center for the ship, on Oasis, the pub is non smoking and was empty all cruise. The other bars that were smoking, Schooner and Boleros, were packed in the smoking section and empty in the non smoking section. Seems to me that RCI needs to rethink their policies on this one. Rising Tide bar was cool to try, but had very limited drinks available. Labadee. What a change since we were last their in July. Obviously the pier is now used, and that gives the peninsula a totally different feel, tried the Dragons Tail Coaster, which is now priced at $15.00 for 1 ride, $25.00 for 2 riders and $40.00 all day, these prices are per car, so for one or two people, a really good ride, although it can be slow depending on the speed or the person in front of you. No ribs on the BBQ, but did have grilled lobster tail, don't know if this was a special for the first cruise, or if this will be an ongoing thing. Overall a decent cruise, people will say that all new ships will have "teething problems", but it seems to me that the systems are in place on all other ships and therefore should transfer seamlessly, but that is not the case. Oasis, at the moment, is a work in progress, that hopefully be finished soon Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Expectations were high, but I have to say that this ship doesn't disappoint. I really think this ship is a first class engineering marvel. It doesn't have the glass of the Radiance class or the intimacy of the smaller ships, but ... Read More
Expectations were high, but I have to say that this ship doesn't disappoint. I really think this ship is a first class engineering marvel. It doesn't have the glass of the Radiance class or the intimacy of the smaller ships, but it surpasses any other cruise experience we have had. The ship is truly amazing, and worthy of the title "a destination in and of itself." DW & I sailed on the 4 night Labadee Extravaganza, and our overall experience was excellent. Royal Caribbean has really made tremendous efforts to control overcrowding, and I think for the most part, they have been successful. I didn't feel any more crowded on this ship than any other we've been on. In fact, embarkation and debarkation were a breeze -- probably the best we've ever had. You basically check in with no lines because there are so many counters and then just walk on the ship. Another effort to control over crowding was the pool areas. I wasn't sure that I was a fan of splitting up the pool areas, but after being on board I think it was genius. Parents with kids can hang out around the H20 zone. The Sports Pool, Main Pool, and Beach pool all feel like their own area, and there are deck chairs literally everywhere. There were only about 5000 pax onboard, but I never felt crowded at the pool, and if you're just wanting to lay in the sun (or the shade) there are options everywhere. Furthermore, the Solarium was a pleasant surprise. As it was one of the last areas to be completed, I didn't know that much about it going in, but it is truly a beautiful area. The ship is just so wide that it allows for plenty of space inside. There is a nice stream of water running throughout the Solarium, and there are three extra hot tubs in the Solarium, not counting the large cantilevered ones that are just outside the Solarium entrance. This area also includes a Bistro (actually enclosed by glass and air conditioned), and a second level where the bar is. Loved the Solarium, and while it wasn't completely covered, it was a big improvement over the Voyager/Freedom class Solarium IMHO. And while I'm on pools, the new towels are nice, and I actually think it was very convenient to "rent them out" with your seapass. There wasn't a line and they were happy to let you have more than one if you needed it. Of course, there is a $20 charge per towel if you don't return them, but we changed them out every time we went to the pool, and also when we went to Labadee. Speaking of using the Sea Pass. There is a concerted effort to make better use of the Sea Pass. Along with it's traditional uses, it is also scanned at the Muster Drill, at each show you've reserved, and it can even be scanned in the photo gallery and you can see all your pics on a computer monitor. (In most cases, we presented the card to the photographer.) As an additional note on crowd control, RCCL is to be commended for separating your photos for you into an individual folio so that all you have to do is look in your binder to see all your pics. Another effort to control crowds. The Muster Drill is fantastic. Instead of having a heat stroke standing beneath the life boats on the promenade deck, we sat comfortably in the theater and watched a safety video with all the same info you've heard in the past. A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT, and a big plus as far as I'm concerned. The ship is just fantastic. It exceeded our expectations in so many ways. Central Park was lovely, and a perfect spot to sit and have a drink in the evenings while listening to a violinist or guitarist. Boardwalk is a neat area with a lot to offer. The carousel is fun, and the aquatheater is brilliant. Not quite as big as I had imagined, but certainly large enough to hold the number of guests expected at each show. The Royal promenade is a gem, and while it is not quite the "heart of the ship" as on Freedom/Voyager class, it is still probably the most active area on board. There are just so many other similar spots that again, it keeps crowds down. Another effort the cruise line has made to keep crowds down is the reserving of shows. Now the system is not perfect yet, but overall it was a success. We booked online before sailing, but once onboard we saw other things we wanted to do which conflicted with the shows we had booked, so we went to switch a couple of dates. Be advised that as early as the morning of the first full day, all shows for the aquatheater were sold out and so we had to keep what we had. Also, we did not see the "full" show due to the lack of practice during the Atlantic crossing, but what we did see was impressive and the light show was very enjoyable as well. The ice skating show in Studio B was fabulous, and at least as good as the others we've seen on board, if not a little better. In one portion of the show, there is an amazing sand artist who will dazzle you with her abilities. I won't spoil the treat of getting to see her, but it really is a highlight of the show. The performance was top notch and very impressive. Not just a couple of jumps and a lot of skating around, mind you. There were some pretty challenging feats, and I personally thought it was the best show all week. The headliners were okay. We've certainly had better, but we've also had worse. Scott Record was pretty funny and the comedian from the first night with the duck was all right. Audience participation certainly made his show a lot better in my opinion. Hairspray was very good, and even though it was probably about an hour and half show, I enjoyed it most of the way through. It was an impressive production with some talented performers. The dining room was beautiful, and actually looked nicer in person than the pictures made it appear. The chandelier was really beautiful in person, and looked much nicer to me than in the photos I saw before sailing. Dinner was good, but not innovative. Every meal I had on board, I had had before. But they were good. The Mahi Mahi had changed a little bit, but it was basically the same. The fisherman's plate was good, but frankly, the grilled lobster on Labadee was much better, the Prime Rib was fantastic and I would have ordered it again if it were on the menu. Windjammer food was good, as was Johnny Rockets, Sorentos, and the various cafes we used. There were a few dishes that were excellent, and many that were very good. I guess the main result is that food quality didn't really suffer as a result of more passengers being on board. My wife's favorite was an egg salad roll they had in the Cafe Promenade the first day, but it was never served the rest of the cruise. Being able to dock at Labadee was a huge improvement, and again Kudos to RCI for helping with the crowd by spending the money to complete this endeavor. The pier wasn't even that long, and it was so nice to have the convenience of being able to go back and forth any time we wanted. While Labadee lost one of its beaches to the dock, it was worth the sacrifice. Not quite the island paradise I remembered with all the improvements but still a great stop and a nice beach day. It was even rockier than I remembered on the far side, but there was still a nice beach near where you used to tender in that was much easier on the feet. There was very little sensation of movement, and our stateroom accommodations were nice. We had an ocean view balcony, which was adequate. I had the option of booking any balcony we wanted, but I felt from the artist renderings and later everyone's photos that I wouldn't enjoy the lack of privacy. Seeing it in person makes this even more true. While walking above the boardwalk, you could easily see right into passengers' cabins if they didn't have the curtains pulled, and even if they did, you could see their balconies clearly. Now I'm no peeping tom, but it was hard not to notice, to be honest, and I would say that it's an exhibitionist's dream. Now I'm sure some people will love being able to overlook the Boardwalk, Central Park, etc, and will love this type of stateroom, but for me, I think I'll stick to an ocean view for the privacy. Without question it was a great cruise. My wife did the zip line, and enjoyed watching the Flowriders. The ship has a great deal to offer and it's design and layout make it very easy to navigate. It doesn't feel too big, and even waiting for an elevator is no worse than normal. That being said, there were minor problems including some technical glitches in some of the shows, and one set of lights on the Promenade that seemed to be hung in one mode and never changed with the rest of the lights. They got our reservations mixed up for our shows, and had to get approval to see our show on the last night. And the biggest thing for me personally was the dining room service. In the past, we have really enjoyed the experience of getting to know our waitstaff and interacting with them nightly. On this sailing, there was very little personal contact or interaction with them. They were very nice and very friendly and always got our orders right, but the personal touch simply was not there. I was really afraid that this was due to the size of the ship, but it did not appear that they were waiting on any more tables than normal. I know that the crew were "hand picked" for their experience and work ethic, but I was not overly impressed with them. An example is that each night our waiter was visibly taking notes, which was something we've never seen before. I'm not sure how much of this was still learning the new ship, but I overheard our Maitre 'd saying that this was their first time being waiters, and that they used to be galley workers. This fact surprised me, but explained a lot. I feel that our experience was probably personal, and may not have represented the service everyone else received. DW & I shared an intimate table for 2 by the window, and so this still made for a very special dining experience. I always go with a positive outlook, and I always take the best and try to ignore the worst, but this honestly was a great cruise. My wife even said one time that she thought this was "the greatest vacation ever," while sitting in a hammock on Labadee. While sitting in the hot tubs overlooking the ocean, it all came back to me why we love to cruise so much. There's just nothing else that we can do where you get so much for your money. We have to save and work pretty hard to get to go, and when we do it's nice to have such a rewarding experience for your hard work and sacrifice. Thank you Royal Caribbean. It would have been EASY to drop the ball on this one, but I think even the harshest critics would be impressed IF they would go with an open mind and not have a preconceived idea that they wouldn't like it. It may not be for everybody, but I don't think it's too big, and contrary to what some have said, it certainly felt like a cruise to me. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria ... Read More
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria in Dec. 2007). RCCL has been our favorite line due to the large passenger demographic and their focus on family cruising. We booked this one in May 2009 and received two upgrades from the line. We originally had an inside and wound up with a D2 Superior Ocean View Balcony amidships. This cruise had 4,800 guests which was short of capacity by 1,500 guests. RCCL said this was by design for the first cruise. They are getting a premium cruise rate for this ship, so expectations are high. Embarkation - A breeze. The new ship terminal (Terminal 18) built for Oasis is huge and can easily handle the passenger load. I was suspicious when RCCL announced that this terminal will allow passengers to go from the curb to ship in 15 minutes. We did it in 10 minutes. WOW!! Accommodations - The room was a good size and the storage space was adequate. The bed is too close to the closet and blocks some of the storage space. RCCL needs to address this on Allure of the Seas. The balcony was 40 sq.ft and had a nice view of the ocean. The bathroom was bigger than I expected and met all of our needs. Public Spaces - BIG!! BIG!! BIG!! Every space was elegantly designed and exceeded our expectations. Our favorite space is Central Park. It is so beautiful with the real trees and shrubs. We really enjoyed Vintages Wine Bar in Central Park. We sat outside in the park drinking wine and eating tapas. It was great!! This is the best designed ship I have ever been on in my life. It was easy to navigate, had superior design and was elegantly appointed. RCCL spared no expense. Everything was done first class. We missed not getting to the Solarium. We only walked through it and it is wonderful. The stability of the ship is incredible. It virtually did not move in the water. One little lerch leaving Labadee was all I felt. Dining - We had the main seating at the Opus Dining room at 6pm. The food was average which is expected from RCCL. The service was under stress given the enormity of the passenger load. The line fell down a bit here, but I excused it due to it being the first cruise. Our waiter, Igorce, was very attentive and treated us well. He had too many tables to wait and therefore was running around all night. He had a really tough job. I am not one to spend money on alternative restaurant cover charges. This ship has plenty of complimentary locations other than the main dining room and Windjammer. We really liked Sorrento's Pizza for lunch and the Park Cafe for breakfast. We only went to Windjammer buffet once for breakfast. It was nice with good food, but too crowded. Go to the Park Cafe for breakfast. The food is good and eating in Central Park is wonderful. Activities - Too many to mention. Flow Rider (2), basketball (full court), mini-golf, table tennis, zip-line, sports pool, kids pool (H2O Zone), sand pool, main pool, solarium pool, spa, gym, carousel, rock wall (2), ice skating, jogging track (deck 5), comedy club, jazz club, Theater, Aqua Theater, etc. We saw the ice show, Hairspray in the Opal Theater and the Aqua Theater show Oasis of Dreams. They were all very good. Hairspray was the best. The Comedians were average, but not great. There is also a huge casino on board that rival some Atlantic City Casino Hotels. It is huge with two craps tables. My wife and I don't gamble, but we like to watch others. Ports - Labadee, Haiti is a resort owned by RCCL. It has recently been redone. There is a brand new pier that opened on 12/3/09 that allows all ships to dock including Oasis. There is the Dragon's Breath Zip-Line and the Dragon's Tail Coaster. Both alot of fun. The beach is nice and vendor free!!! The resort is clean and the lunch buffet they serve is good. Adventure Ocean has activities on the resort, so the kids can go there and the adults can enjoy the beach or other activities. I was pleased with the changes on Labadee and would go back there again.  Adventure Ocean - Wonderful!! It is a great space and our 6 year old really loved it. The have their own theater and also A science lab and art studio. It was terrific!! Top of the line and, of course, BIG!! Diamond Club - We are RCCL Diamond members. The Diamond Club is a nice space, but it was never used. The Concierge was there each day from 10am to 12 noon, but breakfast was served at Park Cafe and cocktail hour was at the Blaze Nightclub from 5pm to 8:30pm each night. Good drinks!! Really good drinks!! Debarkation - A breeze. Off the ship, through customs and at the airport in less than 20 minutes. Overall - A really good cruise, but not great. The computer glitches and dining room service knocked the total cruise experience down a little. The ship is the most beautiful I have ever seen and the options for dining and entertainment are virtually limitless. The on-board charges for drinks, apparel and gifts are higher than other RCCL ships, so watch what you spend closely and have a good time. We certainly did. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We just returned home from the first cruise on Oasis of the Seas and, even though the ship is very beautiful and state of the art, we are disappointed and a little angry. The cruise was billed as a "Diamond Celebration"; however, ... Read More
We just returned home from the first cruise on Oasis of the Seas and, even though the ship is very beautiful and state of the art, we are disappointed and a little angry. The cruise was billed as a "Diamond Celebration"; however, unless you were booked into a suite, you were treated like a second-class citizen. We were... told "NO" more times than I can count, and "that is only for suite guests." We are only two cruise credits away from Diamond Plus status, but, after the poor treatment by many of the staff, it will be a long time before we book another cruise with Royal Caribbean. I was a raving fan. Not any longer. What a shame! Getting to Oasis was easy, but parking was not covered. We check in online so we were on the ship in about 15 minutes. We walked on directly into the Promenade. What a wonderful first impression. The ship is incredible. The Diamond lounge is one floor up and has a balcony overlooking the Promenade. It's a great view. And the super-automatic espresso machine did a wonderful latte. Oasis is big, beautiful, and wide open. I never felt crowded throughout the cruise; even the theatre was not the problem that you have on smaller ships. The bars are spread around the ship and cigarette smoke was a problem even in the dining room and many common areas. I was unable to hang in the casino because it was such a problem. Also, the air conditioning was pulled out of many areas because of all the open doors and the ship stayed hot. Strangely enough, Central Park always had a breeze, even though it is in the middle of the ship. The first night in My Time Dining was a bit comical and chaotic, but the second night we had a great team that we were able to reserve for the rest of the cruise. We ate in the Solarium for lunch most days, which is were spend most of our time on all the ships. Giovanni's was good, but they fail to provide the dessert that had been ordered two days earlier. Room service did a great job each morning for breakfast. We had a great wait staff in My Time Dining and the Head Waiter made arrangements to have a Gluten free pizza available in the dining room the last day of the cruise. It arrived quickly but was floating in onions... twice. I really think the second pizza was the first with more cheese... and onions. However, the steak and egg sandwich came hot, was cooked like ordered, and was very good. One of my favorites. All the lifeboats on deck 5 block the view from My Time Dining. The best view is from deck 4 in the dining room. Oasis also moved the track from the top deck down to deck 5, so, during dinner you get an occasional jogger by. Be sure to check out the concierge lounge, unless of course you're just a Diamond member. RCCL took that privilege away in September. Not just on Oasis, but fleet wide. Most of the venues on Oasis no longer have an ocean view. Almost all are interior to the ship. Thanks to our cabin attendant, Head waiter and waiter in My Time, Johnny Rockets staff and the team at Mondo's coffee bar for making my wife great mochas... I used the Diamond lounge super-automatic espresso machine for lattes. New machine. Perfect grind and shot. Just a note: the Cafe Promenade serves StarBucks and the other shops are serving Seattles Best... which is StarBucks, too. We didn't use the Windjammer much because of all the different venues available. The Solarium Bistro was convenient and overall they did a really good job with different salads, and a fair selection of hot items... and they guest to have an extra glass of lemonade. We were unable to get a reservation at Chops (our favorite), but, we did order a filet from Chops and had it delivered to My Time the last night. It was great. Thanks. Giovanni's on Oasis replaced Portofino's. It was good for lunch, but the tiramisu was runny and unappetizing. They did a better job at the coffee shop in the Promenade. There is not much that compares to Portofino's in the evening on the Freedom. Floor to ceiling windows and an incredible view of St. Thomas. The best tiramisu in the fleet. And that seafood skewer... the best of the best. You won't get any of that on Oasis. The headliner the first night was bad (second night was tolerable). We left early and went to the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a great place and hard to believe it's on a cruise ship. You step into a carnival atmosphere complete with photo booths and ice cream shops. We ended most nights on the Boardwalk having a milkshake at Johnny Rockets(two-for-one for diamond members), and then a leisurely walk back to our room through Central Park. This was one of my favorite parts of the ship. It's has a wonderful living atmosphere. The ice show was the best we've seen on the ships. Royal Caribbean really goes all out with their Broadway style of entertainment. Most of their shows run about 50 minutes, but Hair Spray ran an hour and forty minutes including the ten-minute technical break. Theme of the cruise, "blah, blah... technical difficulties." As far as the Aqua-shows, the stunts were good and the tech is high, but it still needs something. We had a balcony room and the captain gave us a great view of a lagoon style beach with wooden cabanas. Turns out it was gated and available to only the suite guests. They did allow us, with an escort, to walk down to the beach and take a picture of the ship. Labadee overall is a great little beach break, complete with roller coasters and zip lines, but the temperature hit 97 degrees and was almost unbearable. We did have a nice afternoon walk down the beach watching the zippers come down off the hill across the water. Much of the technology was having major difficulties, especially the shows. The interactive TV in the stateroom was still not working well by the end of our cruise. Many of the TV feeds had video but no audio. There was only one free movie channel and it didn't work most of the cruise. I gave up on Pay per view altogether. They have added the ability to surf the Internet from the TV in the rooms, but it was not working either. The computer rooms on Oasis are small, crowded and uncomfortable, however, the speed was fast and I didn't even use all the free time I get as a Diamond member. The equipment in the gym is high tech, but the TV feeds were still not working at cruise end. We like to work out everyday of the cruise and the gym is an important part of our cruise experience. On the Oasis, they have moved it down to the sixth floor and separated the wet area from the workout area. The wet area is now part of the spa on the fifth floor. It is now available to suite guests and spa patrons. We spend our afternoons in the Solarium. We love being able to stay through the day with food service just steps away. There are fewer shady spots however, and when I find one, I like to have an extra towel to throw on the chair someone else has been sweating in the for the last couple of hours. On the first day I asked for an extra and the attendant refused. I walked across the deck and got my towels at a different stand. That afternoon, only the first stand was open to turn in the towels. The attendant apologized, as did her supervisor. On the last day of the cruise, the same two staffers refused me an extra towel due to the same suite rule. My wife had to get a customer service manager to contact the pool deck supervisor to get uss extra towels. We ended up with all the towels we wanted, and then some, thanks to the staff in Guest Relations. We did ask GR to give us a room tour and was told nothing was available to see. Too bad we missed the tour organized through CC. We heard it was great. We were booked on Oasis again in March 2010 to celebrate my 50th birthday. It has been cancelled and we will cruise with one of the other lines. We were on the Freedom in March 2009 and they stated the same towel policy as Oasis this past week. When we returned in May 2009, they had changed the policy because of cruiser dissatisfaction. They scanned your seapass card and charged you if you failed to return them. We went back again in September 2009 and had a wonderful time. Oasis was our fifth RCCL this year. I was blindsided this past week on the Oasis with the return of limits and hardnosed staffers, even thought they still scan your seapass card. Doesn't make sense. I expected a no hassle cruise with high tech that worked and a crew with good manners. The hype is that this ship had all the best crew. We've been on twenty-one cruises, and Oasis is our least favorite for customer service. Oh, and the bingo wasn't working either. LOL With all the hype and promises of Paradise and merry-go-rounds, I left very disappointed. "New" is not an excuse to give mediocre service. Big is no reason to cut Diamond benefits. The cruise was only four days long. And I was mad most of the last day, so, I should run out of personal experience tales soon. My wife did find a lady trapped in an eighth floor restroom near Central Park. She had been in there for about thirty minutes locked in one of the stalls. That was kind of funny. The lady and her husband thought it was too. What do you get when you mix a bad old COMPANY policy with two numb minded contract employees and an aggravated Diamond member on the Oasis? Eyes wide open. In September 2009 RCCL stripped Diamond members of many of the perks we were used to. One of which was no longer having access to the concierge lounge. We did slip in the first night to get a look. WOW! Two floors high with windows looking out over the Boardwalk. Because of the number of D members on board, we were stuck using, or not, one of two bars on the Promenade. Not near as nice as the concierge lounge on Oasis or the Diamond lounge on Freedom. The biggest part of the Viking Crown is now for suite guests. It seems to me that bigger is not always better. Freedom has my vote for best, and friendliest ship at Royal Caribbean. I do have to thank a thousand times the Guest Relations staff on Oasis for their help on Saturday morning. At seven am, when it was time to go to breakfast, my wife informed me that I had packed all of her jeans and put them out the night before. Thanks to the team from GR and retail, she was able to disembark in more than her Victoria Secret's. Freedom hit the mark with us three times this year. It's... like they got it right. In May and September, we didn't even get off the ship. She is my favorite RCCL ship. Oasis falls short in service and satisfaction as the biggest ship in the world. I just realized that we used 50,000 Rewards Points on the Oasis cruise. They took $1000 off the final bill. Now I'm feeling a little better. Wish I had used the points toward a junior suite on Grandeur. She's in Tampa through spring. 45 minutes and valet parking. My favorite port. Radiance will be there next fall. The overall Oasis Experiment... poor. Many of the D member benefits were stripped back in September on all the ships, which I am still unhappy about. Oasis is a ship with class... first class and coach class. If you book a ride on, book a suite, or take your own towesl. I walked on the Oasis like a kid on Christmas morning. I walked off realizing there really isn't a Santa Claus. I walked on the Oasis a "Royal Loyal" Diamond member. I walked off a dissatisfied customer. I did get to meet Lisa Bauer, Senior VP of Hotel Operations, in Central Park one night. She was very charming, and made me a little giddy. I did enjoy that. I sure hope she is not the author of the towel policy. We spent over $10,000 with Royal Caribbean on five different cruises this year alone. Next year... we won't. stbrown frequent cruiser Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Royal Caribbean really served up the WOW as promised here on Oasis of the Seas. I'm still in WOW mode and I have been off the ship for almost a week now. Embarkation was a breeze great direction throughout the terminal we got into ... Read More
Royal Caribbean really served up the WOW as promised here on Oasis of the Seas. I'm still in WOW mode and I have been off the ship for almost a week now. Embarkation was a breeze great direction throughout the terminal we got into Terminal 18 around 10:45am was on the ship shortly after 11:00am. Got Sea Passes in short order then went to a holding area then was pointed toward the ship you come into the ship on the Royal Promenade where unlimited free champagne was waiting for everyone. Went to the Windjammer to get something to eat after meeting with the Critter Clan. Let me say something about the Windjammer here-best service I have ever received in a buffet situation. Great service great food. They really stepped it up here on Oasis. Good flow in lines and it rarely felt crowded. Sadly this could not be stated about the dining room where in my experience service was poor and impersonal. We had My Time Dining and it felt like Their Time Service. Poor service and food in Opus got a better steak in the Windjammer. But again this was just my experience. We dropped off our carry on in our cabin and went out to the pool deck. Our room was ready around 12:45 Chen did a great job as our room attendant. Very nice young man and left treats and surprises in out room every night. Muster drill was really a breeze. Sit down and watch a video. Then go. The Oasis in spite of its size was the easiest ship to get around in my experience as a cruiser. By every elevator was a touch screen that had any and everything you could do on ship, dining, things to do, shows,shops every venue on board listed. You just touched the screen on the venue you wanted to go to and then touched MAP IT and it would give you exact directions on how to get there from where you are at. On deck 7 though where our room was you would have to drop one floor or go up one to get back and forth if you come in on the port side. Shows were world class. Saw them all. Ice show was the best and family friendly. Aqua Theater show was also very well done. Hairspray was well done but not really family friendly in my opinion. Scott Record was great as the headliner. Ken Rush as cruise director though I thought did a really poor job. Serious lack of communication on what was going on activity wise. We had a invitation to a past cruiser event on board ship. But our invitation stated this was for Diamond members which we are not. It was not clear that all past cruisers were invited to this event. Felt kinda ripped off on that one because of lack of clear communication. Captain Bill was the one giving out most of the communication on board ship did not hear Ken at all. Cruise Compass was delivered mid afternoon on that day not night before. Printing problems were blamed on this. Hey its a new ship I understand But that also doesn't excuse a cruise director for not being very personable when every deck hand and regular staff say hi to everyone passing. Again that's just my opinion your experience with Ken Rush may have been different. Captain Bill Wright is really the heart of this fine ship. Great presence on board very friendly and approachable. All the neighborhoods was great and it was really like being in another world. Take a walk with the one you love through Central Park at night for a great experience. Music was great on board the Austarlian jazz group was exceptional every group booked on board was top notch at what they did though. Opportunity here would be this-we were up on the pool deck (which was great and never felt crowded) the DJ started to crank it up and was shut down after five minutes because the music was drifting down into Central Park and bouncing off the walls which interfered with the string quartet playing for around 40 people down there. They really need to schedule the music so it doesn't conflict with what is going on in another venue. No way acoustically they will be able to have music on the pool deck and Central Park at the same time All in all a great experience lots of freebies including Inaugural Oasis beach towels as well as a Collector Coke Bottle and lots of other freebies. The ride on this ship was great did not have the usual sway feeling once we got off ship. Last thing I want to say was even with the ship booked with over 5000 people plus crew it never felt crowded. Went to a parade in the Royal Promenade and actually could see the parade with a ton of people gathered around. They really did a great job with using the space to make things flow here. Debarkation was well organized and we were off the ship within 1/2 hour after going to our station in the dining room Great ship you really need to go on it just once for the experience Labadee looks great but it was my first time there. Other I traveled with stated it had changed greatly. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Beyond her sheer size, there were many attributes to this ship that I found impressive - and some that I was surprised by. For example, I expected to be overwhelmed not only by the distances that would have to be covered in moving from ... Read More
Beyond her sheer size, there were many attributes to this ship that I found impressive - and some that I was surprised by. For example, I expected to be overwhelmed not only by the distances that would have to be covered in moving from place to place, but just in trying to remember where all the points of interest - restaurants, lounges, showrooms, shops, rides, activity areas - were located. However, I found the arrangement of the ship to be logical, which made navigation relatively easy. Furthermore, the flat screen navigation aids on each floor were quite helpful whenever I wasn't sure exactly where a particular destination was. Also, with our cabin being near mid-ship, the distances we had to cover were not as great as I had expected. I found the elevators to be (1) conveniently located and (2) adequate for the volume of traffic, at least on this particular cruise. So getting around was surprisingly quick and convenient for a ship this large. Following are some specific comments - positive and negative - about certain aspects of the ship. Since we were on board for just two days, we were unable to avail ourselves of everything the ship has to offer. Accordingly, these comments are limited to what we personally experienced. Our cabin We had an outside cabin with a balcony. Though rather small, we found it to be comfortable and well designed. The beds were the most comfortable we have slept in at sea. The balcony was spacious enough and private. We liked the solid see-through panel railings bordering the balcony (as opposed to pickets). Good for families with small children. We liked the glass door (vs. curtain) in the shower. In-cabin internet access (via TV) is an excellent idea, as it eliminates the need to lug my laptop onboard or to have to go to an internet cafe and perhaps wait for a terminal. Public Areas and Attractions We found the Central Park, the Boardwalk, and The Royal Promenade areas to be very well designed with lots of fun things to do. They clearly helped bring a sense of energy and liveliness to the ship, and we enjoyed the time we spent in each of them. Getting coffee in the morning, for example, was quick and easy when going to a cafe in the Promenade vs. having to go up to Lido. Even though the ship apparently wasn't full, we saw long lines at some of the establishments (such as Johnny Rockett's and the Seafood Shack). Also, there were too few chairs at some of the bars and cafes in Central Park. The main dining facilities were excellent, as was the service and the quality of the food. While there is an impressive array of alternative dining options, we are concerned that some passengers might have difficulty booking reservations, as the restaurants appear to be rather small. The lunch food stations in the Lido didn't make sense to us. The lite-bites station, for example, had some lite selections, but you couldn't build a complete salad there. There were several stations that had international cuisines, but we found no particular logic to the way the stations were set up, so we didn't necessarily know where to find Italian vs. Asian, for example. The Wipe Out Bar was the only place to find pizza. We felt that pizza should be available somewhere closer to the Lido. The pizza was not to our liking...dry and flavorless. The main showroom was excellent. We had no problem getting a good seat. The seats were comfortable and easy to get to - even middle seats. Also, even the seats in the very back of the balcony offered good viewing. We also liked having reservations for the bigger shows. The procedure worked quite well and surely will help with crowd control when the ship is full. Some comments about the entertainment on this particular cruise: Of the nearly 30 cruises that I have been on, Abba Cadabra was the finest show I have ever seen on a ship. And it was easy to tell from the audience's reaction - from the opening number until the encore - that they enjoyed it as well. I have never seen a livelier, more appreciative audience. Royal Caribbean would do well to book that act as often as possible. They are the kind of entertainment that one would expect on a ship as spectacular as the Oasis. Ditto for the HC Anderson Ice Show. The choreography and costumes were very creative and the talent was extraordinary. Absolutely tremendous! The Aqua Theatre performance was still in rehearsal and still being refined, but we were quite impressed with the acrobatics and athleticism of the performers. On this particular cruise, the Zip Line wait was too long for such a short ride. The Fitness Center was extremely well equipped and spacious. I also liked the track, which was clearly marked so that distance covered could be easily calculated. Also, it was for joggers and walkers. No railbirds and loungers to have to dodge, such as when walking or jogging on Promenade decks of other ships. The basketball court was easily the best I've seen on any ship. Being new, it was in excellent shape. Also, I liked that it was full length, was in a great location, and was well shielded from the wind (which has always been an issue on other ships). The elevator lights were difficult to read. Often, we couldn't tell whether a light for a particular deck was off or on. Other Observations The lifeboat drill was well orchestrated. Quick, convenient, comfortable (we were seated during the entire presentation) and informative, and we didn't have to drag our life jackets along. Great idea! We especially liked the procedure for viewing the photographs that were taken onboard. It eliminated the confusion and frustration that normally go with finding one's photos on ships. Very innovative idea. We noticed that many of the ship's amenities (e.g. alternative dining options) have a fee associated with them. We will be interested in hearing how passengers feel about having to pay for these, as they can make the total cruise cost quite high. And if there is a wait involved, this could negatively impact the overall cruise experience. Summary This is a truly magnificent ship...not simply because of her size, but because of the overall planning and physical design of the vessel. We found the layout to be logical and well thought out. And, as pointed out above, we were especially impressed with the many innovations that have been incorporated. We are grateful that we had this experience and we eagerly await our next opportunity to sail on her. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if I'm too long winded. We just came off the maiden voyage (so to speak) of the Oasis of the Seas yesterday and were so disappointed that we wanted to share our experiences with ... Read More
I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if I'm too long winded. We just came off the maiden voyage (so to speak) of the Oasis of the Seas yesterday and were so disappointed that we wanted to share our experiences with everyone so they don't make the same $17,000 mistake that we did. Fair warning...this is a long post, but one I hope you will find a good read. We are not new to RCCL. In fact, we are Diamond (almost Diamond plus) members of C & A. RCCL is the ONLY cruise line we have sailed with since a Sovereign of the Seas in 1988. We have three children, ages 6, 9, & 13, and have not sailed since 2005 on the Jewel which was a wonderful cruise. Our two boys were simply too young to enjoy cruising the past few years, plus I've had some serious medical problems that made it unwise for me to travel. We were really looking forward to the Oasis and booked this "maiden voyage" within 7 minutes of reservations opening for C & A members in Aug, 08. This is where the problems began! Within 7 minutes all of the suites were booked, so we had to settle for connecting balcony staterooms and be wait listed for a suite. Fourteen months went by and our CVP from RCCL changed four times. The initial sail date was moved up a week, My Time Dining was introduced, our suite request was lost and they kind of screwed us with the Labadee extravaganza. For our family it took something off of the special feeling of being on the real maiden voyage. I'm sure that RCCL wanted a few lab rabbits to test this mega ship before taking it to sea for a full 7 day Eastern Caribbean run, so I guess that's a good thing. The real fun began when final payment was due. In a conversation with our CVP, I had said "it's a shame we couldn't get the suite we wanted". She replied that there were plenty of suites available, and I asked why we didn't get a phone call since were supposedly wait listed for one. She said there were no notes in the reservation showing that we wanted one. With a family of 5 we jumped on the chance to have a suite. We opted for the family suite with 500+ sq./ft. of space. Our package was cruise only, and pre-paid gratuities were required with My Time Dining. All said, with cruise care insurance the total package maxed out at a little over $17,000. Let me advise you that $17,000, plus another $2,000+ for enhancements (excursions, gifts and gear and the ultimate romance package) buys you nothing but disappointment. I've read many other posts on this forum about others who had their share of disappointments in non suite rooms. I assure you that I really don't think it mattered. RCCL seemed oblivious to the concerns of the guests, and there was no shortage of excuses. Not one single employee provided the level of customer service that we grew accustomed to receiving from RCCL. Our room steward Lenworth and our waiter Richard and his assistant Rohan were the only people we grew to trust, appreciate and thank over seven nights. Lack of customer service was just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). The real problems began when we arrived a Port Everglades. The new terminal lacked staff and appropriate signage. Our private shuttle driver dropped off us at the curb with our ten bags and my blood pressure began to rise. Keep in mind that I'm a FireFighter/ Paramedic with over 30 years in the business, so I tolerate very little incompetence and have a very short fuse. In my job I have to perform at 100% all the time, so I expect others to do the same. Also, I generally hold people to there word whether it's spoken or written. RCCL said there would be special agents available and special check in for both suite and Diamond C & A guests. We got a gentleman who said we were in the wrong area and that I needed to bring my party and all of my bags to the other side of the terminal. It was only after I complained about lack of assistance and poor instruction that he found two other persons to assist us. Okay, we were finally in terminal 18 and to the counter for check in without any waiting. We were greeted with a smile and had all of our documents completed and passports ready. The paperwork shuffle was done in a matter of minutes, but it took 15 minutes to get our Sea Pass cards. Then when we proceeded to attempt to go up the escalator to the Suite guest waiting area we were stopped and told we were not permitted. When I asked why I was told that it was for suite guest only. I advised that not only were we suite guests, but also Diamond members. Believe it or not, the agent actually questioned "are you sure you booked a suite"? That was the wrong button to push! I demanded to see a supervisor immediately, because we were now in the terminal over 30 minutes. (Keep in mind the RCCL's target for the new terminal as seen on their website video clips was 15 minutes from curbside to gangway). It took us that long just to get the first set of Sea Pass cards. The request for a supervisor went unanswered, but a more experience agent advised that we had the wrong color cards. We were now sent back to the check in desk where there was now a line of guests. I was visibly ticked off, and again asked for a super. She advised the agent who check us in that she made a mistake and to stop what she was doing and fix it. We're now pushing 45 minutes and our 6 year old was spontaneously combusting because he was hungry and tired of being herded around. We were given new "silver cards" that had Diamond printed on the bottom and allowed access to the VIP waiting area. Once allowed on board we thought the worst was behind us. We were greeted on the Royal Promenade with champagne and smiles, but unlike other cruises no one asked us if we need assistance finding our cabin. I figured that they just wanted you to hang out on the Royal Promenade for awhile, but we had other plans and proceeded to an elevator to head to our suite. We got there and found the cabin steward still doing prep work, so we briefly introduced ourselves, dropped off our carry-on's and headed for a quick, light bite in central park at the Park Cafe. We knew the Windjammer was always a zoo, so we tried another venue. Park Cafe was really nice. They had a wide variety of salads and simple sandwich items. Good food and great service....my BP was finally within normal limits and I had a smile on my face. After two hours of exploring this amazing ship (our nine year old kept referring to it as ridiculously huge), we returned to our cabin which was now stocked and ready for occupancy. Our cabin steward provided us with a brief synopsis of our room and how to contact him. It was the typical banter we've all experienced when we board a ship, but what caught me off guard was that he came right out and said that some of the problems he encountered during the Labadee extravaganza was that the ship was not seasoned. I knew he wasn't talking about a steak, and that what he really meant was that the ship was as new to the crew as it was the passengers. One thing I learned from doing a great deal of instruction and public speaking is to NEVER tell the audience in advance that they might be disappointed by your presentation. I don't know if RCCL advised the crew to use this excuse or if it was just a conscientious steward wanting to tell us the truth, so that we would not receive a poor evaluation due to the influence of other factors. I'm inclined to think that there was some formal communication from RCCL to the crew about the "newness of the ship" because I heard similar jargon from others on the crew including the cruise director Ken. Needless to say, day 2 (a sea day) was no better. My wife and I both had spa appointments. We arrived 20 minutes early to check in and found 1 person working the desk. She had a long line of guests waiting to check in , scheduling appointments, and on top of that she had to answer the phone. It took 15 minutes to check in for our spa appointments. These two particular appointments were included in our Ultimate Romance package that we pre-paid two months prior, and I made it a point to advise her of that fact. She, too, communicated that to the secondary check in desk via telephone while my wife and I stood before her. Well somehow the ball was dropped and our room charge soon reflected both of our spa visits. I gave it a day and found that when I checked our folio activity from the interactive in-room television that both appointments were reversed. Well 2 days latter they reappeared along with a bunch of other charges that were bogus. Suite guests were entitled to complimentary pressing services, 2 items per guest, for the first formal night. Well, we got charged for that. We pre-purchased a case of water for the room and kept it in the fridge. Unfortunately, every day that we used our water the mini-bar dude charged us or it! We took RCCL's four bottles out and set them on the counter and kept ours cold. It didn't matter because he saw a specific number of waters missing and charged us for them. It took until the final night of the cruise to have all of the charges reversed that were supposed to be covered by a package or part of the suite benefits. The real kicker was that on day 3 we decided to use the private, VIP, sunbathing area for suite guests and were denied access because we did not have the right color card. 3 days into this cruise we finally got the right color (gold) card for suite guests but only after complaining to the concierge. We new cards meant new folio numbers which further spelled disaster. Our two sons no longer appeared on our in room TV, and we could not check their individual charges or appointments with the personal calendar feature. This debacle caused my son's Flowrider lesson to mysteriously disappear, and when I called guest services to inquire about it they blamed it on two different computer systems. Now halfway through our cruise, I had spent every day fighting about something, or for something, that we were supposed to be entitled to as a suite guest. I asked to speak to an officer in charge, but never heard from anyone. Our concerns went unanswered. I also experienced a problem with the in-room TV system and could not register my computer to use the Wi-fi system and was told that someone from their IT department would be assigned to take care of it, but it never was. The bottom line...guest services couldn't care less about your disappointments. Other problems included the supposed VIP seating at entertainment venues for suite guests. Even when we had reservations, there was no special seating. It was not until the final night of our cruise that one person checking us into the Oasis of Dreams show said they were aware of the problem and were working on it. Suite guests were also entitled to a full dining option from their suites, but there were no menus in the suites to choose meals from. We didn't care about eating dinner in our suite, but we did want to eat breakfast several days. Room service was terrible. The person taking the call was not sure if we could get what we ordered because they didn't know what suite guests could get and what they could not. The eggs were often overcooked by the time they reached you, and some food was cold. Orders were mixed up. Not a good experience. Our ultimate romance package was supposed to include breakfast in bed on morning. We never received it, nor did we receive our formal portrait and frame. I had to fight to get the portrait cost refunded as part of the package, and they had no frames on board but took your name and address promising to mail you one. (I'll believe it when I see it.) Our family suite had a very nice layout, and could sleep 8 if necessary. We had plenty of drawer and closet space. It was impeccably clean and well maintained by our cabin steward and the balcony was huge with 2 loungers a large table with four chairs, and exterior lighting. There were two bath rooms that were nice, but a little small. The bathroom off of the master bedroom included a single sink, a commode and a bathtub/shower. I'm 5'7 and barely had enough headroom. The 2nd bath had a single sink, commode and glass enclosed shower (poor design, it leaked terribly). I do think the suite was well designed, and sized well, but it was quite pricey considering that we did not get all of the perks promised to suite guests on this cruise. We were also showered with gifts every evening. Beach bags, Beach towels, snacks, cruise in review DVD's and much more. Unfortunately, we did not get 1 item for everyone. Some nights we did, other nights we didn't. Our cabin steward said that he could only give us what he had assigned for us, but there was no consistency. The other thing was that they rationed toiletries. If you still had even a small quantity of shower gel left, you would not get a new one unless you asked. Then if you thought that RCCL could not get any cheaper, our cabin steward advised us not to expect a towel critter every evening, and that he was only permitted to give them on certain nights. While we could care less about a towel critter, I cannot believe that these poor cabin stewards have the job of explaining what you won't get because RCCL has cheapened it's product. Oh, and those little chocolates you used to get on your pillow every night...you only get those on certain nights too. The themed dining room menus and activities we enjoyed so much on our last cruise are now gone. The food quality was decent, but not what it had previously been. We saw our head waiter only once, but we were grateful to have the same waiter, assistant waiter and table for the entire cruise. Breakfast was also just not the same in the dining room. Menus varied, and the food was slow in coming. I guess if you want high quality food you have to pay for it in one of the specialty restaurants. Lastly, I really think RCCL dropped the ball with the entertainment. The Nelson brothers for an inaugural cruise? They could have done better considering that we paid so much more for this cruise than other cruises. The rates dropped precipitously after the maiden voyage. Sure we could have waited, but we wanted the maiden voyage, and we wanted something special. This cruise was certainly not worth the price paid. The shows were not ready. Come Fly With Me, while excellent, was considered a full dress rehearsal, and was actually stopped in progress for a set reset! This ship has been coming for over two years and they could not have the entertainment fully ready for the true maiden voyage? Oasis of Dreams also had technical problems and the full show was not ready due to the inability of the cast to practice due to the rough seas during the crossing according to Ken the cruise director. Now who in their right mind would expect high divers be able to perform in the North Atlantic in late November. I give these performers credit because no amount of money would make me jump from a 70 foot platform into a moving target. The winds on the back of the ship were horrible due to its size. I hope that someone doesn't get killed doing this show. You can't even play golf without the ball blowing around. They don't use real golf balls anymore, but rather the practice type balls that are greatly affected by wind. I'll shut up for now even though I have a lot more to say. Having sailed with RCCL so many times, I truly expected something special. If this ship was to set a new standard in cruising it has not, or maybe it has. It would appear that RCCL has cheapened its product and lowered its standards. We had planned to book an Alaska Cruise while onboard, but have chosen to spend our vacation dollars elsewhere. When you start counting towels, toiletries and towel critters something is definitely wrong. Oh, and by the way we own a decent amount of RCL stock...that didn't make a difference either! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
'Midnight on the Oasis' ~ My Inaugural Cruise Review This was my Lucky 13th cruise on RCI and my second inaugural sailing. The other one being Freedom of the Seas in 2006. I am going to use a rating system of 1 - 5 ... Read More
'Midnight on the Oasis' ~ My Inaugural Cruise Review This was my Lucky 13th cruise on RCI and my second inaugural sailing. The other one being Freedom of the Seas in 2006. I am going to use a rating system of 1 - 5 WOW's 5 being highest :) Embarkation ~ 5 WOW's ~ as we approached the pier by taxi from a distance Oasis did not appear overly large. It was not until we got closer up that her massive size became apparant especially her width. Her baby blue hull also sets her apart from the other RCI ships. We arrived at the pier about 10:20 am anxious to begin our turn on Oasis. Dropped off bags with the friendly and upbeat porters. That 15 minutes from curb to check in was true in our case. By 10:35 am we were all checked in, seapass photo taken at the check in desk and with our yellow souvenir Inaugural Season bag in hand we made our way to the Diamond/D+ waiting area. The check in agent was friendly and helpful. This is where things got a bit slow. With over 500 B2B cruisers from the Dec 1 sailing they were waiting to find some people that had not gotten off. About 12:10 or so the B2B'rs made their way back onto the ship followed by Suite guests and then about 12:30 Diamond and D+ guests. Were on the ship about 12:35 pm We entered on Deck 5 at the Rising Tide Bar that was up on Deck 8 but they had the water and light show going. We were greeted with glasses of champagne. Many of the Dec 1 cruisers were there to greet us as we walked beneath the archway of brightly coloured balloons. First Impressions ~ 5+ WOWs ~ This ship is such a beauty. We walked and checked out the promenade first running into past cruising friends and new ones. There were a lot of press on day passes on this day. With pink boas around our necks we were approached by our first press and asked if they could interview us. It was Inside Edition and we did make a clip on the show on the Monday evening. We proceeded to make our way to the Boardwalk area. There we said hello to Ken Rush who was being interviewed. We checked out the Aqua Theatre and we were approached by another news team who asked if they could interview myself and friend Janice. He told us he was with Australian news. Since my daughter is married to an Aussie I asked him where in Australia and he said Sydney News. I told him about my connection with Sydney and he seemed happy to have found two people who had actually visited his part of the world. He said we would be on the 6 pm news in Sydney that night so I had to rush to send off an email to my daughter so she would catch it and she did. That was cool and a special memory for me on the ship. The ship was carrying about 3700 passengers as reported by Captain Bill and was nicely decorated for Christmas with garland, Christmas trees and poinsettias. Cabins ~ 3 WOW's ~ I was in a D4 Oceanview balcony cabin deck 6. cabin 6570. They are definitely smaller than the other balcony cabins on the other ships. It appears to have less storage space although I managed to find a place for everything without too much effort. Shelving in the closet appears much deeper although the safe is smaller. Deck 6 cabins (some of them) are right above the lifeboats. When standing at the railing you do not look directly at the water like the hump cabins do. This might bother some but it did not for us If you are sitting on the balcony you do not see the lifeboats.We never sat on the balcony once this cruise..just too much to see and do. The major difference is the configuration of the cabins. The balconies either have the bed located by the closet or by the window. Ours was by the closet and if my DH was sitting on the bed his knees almost touched the closet. Not much walking space there. We did do a cabin crawl and I personally liked the bed by the window configuration better. The bed was very comfortable. Not sure if there is a way when you are booking to know what configuration you have. Many would write about how they loved their cabin to be near the elevators to eliminate walking. I found out how important that is. This was the first time I had a cabin so close to the elevators/staircase and on this ship saw the advantage of that. With only two sets of elevators one very forward and one aft if you have a cabin in between you have a long way to walk. Now walking is good to burn off those extra calories but it also takes extra time so if you want to see as much of the ship as you can in 7 days those extra minutes come in handy :) LOL Deck 6 I found was a good location as one flight down to Promenade still a great place to hang out in and two walkable flights up to Central Park with more venues to grab a drink or bit to eat. Also for any Diamond or D+ members my cabin was just around the corner from the Diamond Club. Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre was right at the stairwell so close by for those that like to visit this area. It always smelled so nice at that stairwell cause of the spa . You have a computer keyboard in the cabin to use on the tv to access internet. We tried to use it but was unable to all cruise long. Had to go to the very small area on deck 7 all the way forward just off the elevators to use a computer terminal. I thought that internet access/speed was much better than I have experienced on other RCI ships. Diamonds in December Event ~ 5 WOW's RCI had announced not long before the cruise that they would be holding special events and special gifts for the inaugural sailing and the other sailings in December. They did well on this one. They did much better than the Freedom inaugural where they dropped the ball on that one with no special recognition. They had a list of special sailings where you could choose on a 7 day cruise either $300 balcony discount or up to triple onboard credit (max $600 per stateroom) on these select sailings. Loyalty Ambassador was very busy and were doing bookings as late as 10 pm the last night onboard. Some of the gifts we received were commenorative bottle of champagne, commemorative coin, inaugural fleece blanket, pens, Savor Cookbook, Artbook and Cruise in Review DVD and tote bags. The repeaters party was held on one evening at 5:15pm in the Opal Theatre for all Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Plus members Staff ~ 5 WOW's Some of the best staff I have experienced on a RCI ship. Very friendly, eager to please and serve. One of the best room steward and waiter I have had in a long time on RCI. Great Guest Services staff especially Hayley who helped me out a few times. Ken Rush and his staff do a great job. They sure have their work cutout for them on this ship with so much going on. Quest for instance was at 12 midnight. At midnight Ken asked everyone to stand a raise their glass and to take a moment to celebrate with family and new friends on the incredible time you have had...to life :) thus Midnight on the Oasis Entertainment ~ 5+ WOWS Without a doubt in my mind some of the very best entertainment I have enjoyed. The entertainers are top notch from the amazing divers, skaters, singers and aerealists. Aqua Theatre show took my breath away with the high dives. We were lucky and the show we watched went on schedule. Some were canceled because of technical difficulties. Hairspray totally enjoyable and very professional. We were the first audience to see the full Come Fly with Me show. I was very impressed with this production show especially the special effects. Best ice skating show I have seen on RCI ships. I had pre booked my entertainment and had no problem when I showed up and they scanned my seapass card. We noticed that if you did not have a reservation a few minutes before the show they would allow those without reservations to enter. There is a desk/box office to book onboard in the Royal Promenade. I only saw the one parade Lollapolooza parade on the last day at 12 noon. It was a fantastic parade full of colour and fun music. Best spot for watching this is in front of Focus the photography shop or Sorrentos. Dining Venues ~ 3.5 WOWS I dined main seating in Opus Dining room deck 3. The food was excellent some nights and just okay other nights. I did find though that it was always hot and we were served quickly. We dined in the main dining room on 5 evenings and did not see any singing or parades by the wait staff. The wine dispensing machines were only available on deck 4 & 5. I liked the idea of small bar areas as you enter the main dining rooms. We tried Johnny Rockets twice for breakfast and this is complimentary. It was good with a nice menu made to order and served to you. We ate outside on the Boardwalk both times. I do not think people realized it was a comp breakfast and there was hardly anyone there so it was a quick and relaxing place for breakfast. We did not even get to the Windjammer Marketplace until Day 5. We had breakfast there and found a great spot looking aft right out to the Aqua Theatre and breakfast was good and we were served our juice and coffee table side very quickly. I actually like the Windjammer Marketplace. If you go all the way aft in the seating area you will be away from the hectic food serving area. Our first morning we went to the Solarium Bistro for breakfast with lots of healthy choices like turkey bacon, sausage, granola and fresh fruit. Very peaceful and quiet area to enjoy breakfast. One of our favourites was the Park Cafe in Central Park..on recommendations from friends Tobi and Phil we tried the delicious roast beef sandwich. We went twice to enjoy this and also they have a great salad bar that they will toss the ingredients for you. Did see a few RCI employees including Adam Goldstein having his lunch there. Great place. Of course enjoyed a slice of pizza at Sorrentos and the made to order pizzas looked very good as well. Sandwiches from Cafe Promenade and Mondo Cafe were fresh and good for a light lunch. The Cupcake Cupboard was one busy place and I enjoyed some Red Velvet Cupcakes that a friend sent to the cabin as an onboard gift. I also went and tried a Turtles cupcake which was so yummy. They were also running a cupcake making class and had a friend do that and made a cupcake that looked like a hamburger and fries and saw one class making a lion cupcake. Not sure of the price but I thought it was about $10. but don't quite me. We dined at Giovanni's table and I was disappointed in parts of it. We had received a bottle of wine from my travel agent in the cabin. We decided to bring it to the restaurant and fully expected a corkage charge. The waitress was not sure how to proceed so she went to the manager to question him. He came over to our table and in an accusatory voice asked us how we managed to bring a bottle of wine from home. He said that it is not allowed and we should not have done that. I told him that I am well aware of the rules and we would not do that and that the wine was a gift from their wine selection for us from a TA. He then said he would have to charge us a corkage fee of $12.00 The menu is served family style here. We selected the antipasto plate, focaccia bread and a caesar salad. There were 3 of us dining. We then chose two pastas to share and both of these courses were very good. I chose the garlicky shrimp which was very mushy and the potatoes undercooked. When asked how our meal was I did tell the waitress but she basically said nothing...onto dessert.. DH picked the best IMO the tiramisu. We dined inside the restaurant not outside and found it very noisy and difficult to have a conversation and very dark. We all had trouble reading the menu in fact we watch a gentlemen stand up and go to the brightly lit hall by the kitchen to read his menu. As we left the restaurant the manager was at the front desk and did not even lift his head to say goodbye, or hope your meal was good and /or thanks for coming. I will chock it up to inaugural glitches to work through but this manager did not impress me at all with his impersonal style. This is the point that I really missed Portofino and the reason I only gave dining a 3.5 WOW Chef's Table ~ 3.5 WOW Not something for everyone. First the cost is $75.00 per person which includes wine pairings along with a signed cookbook from the Chef and an apron. It is a multi course dinner paired with 4 wines including a dessert wine. I have the menu list if anyone is interested but I am sure the menu changes. This venue seats only 14 people at a large table and has to be reserved ahead of time.I managed to email the Specialty Dining at RCI and got a reservation for Day 4 of the cruise. It was confirmed via email and of course I brought the hard copy with me. When I was on the ship I went to Guest Relations for another matter and asked about the Chef's Table and if I simply show up at 7:30pm at the Concierge Club. She checked for me and a good thing she did cause they were not showing me with a reservation. I went to get the confirmation I had and it was taken care of. I received the invite in the cabin and it said to meet in the Library at 7:15pm. The sommelier came to meet us and asked us what we would like to drink and then we were escorted into the Concierge Club to the second level up the winding staircase. A very nice venue. The table is set for 14 and has a very interesting piece of artwork over the table that also doubles as the chandelier. It has forks, knives and spoons on the fixture. The sommelier comes out to the head of the table to tell us about the wines he is about to serve. The chef also does this to explain the different courses and how he has prepared them. The dinner was very good. I am not sure if it is worth the $150. I have done other similar dinners one was a Savor Lunch on Explorer which was in my opinion the best out of the 3 I have done. I also tried the wine pairing dinner in Portofino on Mariner this past April. I just found the experience a bit too formal. Glad I tried it though and so far my favourite has been the Savor Luncheon on Explorer in Portofino. I think you are better off to dine at 150 Central Park and order a couple of bottles of wines that you like. There was another couple who had booked it and their name was not on the list so I think they are still working out the kinks as far as bookings go for this. New Things ~ 5 WOWS Of course the wayfinding is a great feature. This touch screen not only can help you find your way to your cabin but to a venue, shows the compass and also the availability of restaurants telling you how full they are at the moment. Also loved the new Photo section and the way to claim all the photos on board. On your seapass card is a photo #. They have about 26 or so towers and a binder in that tower that is your binder and it is indicated on the seapass card. They use photo recognition to print out the photos and simply slot your photo into the binder. No searching for hours for photos. They did have a few photos on the wall to look through like the zipline photos since you have a helmet on and you must take all eyewear off and all jewelery when ziplining. Some of our photos ended up in our friend's binder. When we boarded we took a group photo so I am thinking that is how it got slotted into their binder. You can also view your photos on the computer screen by swiping your card. Very good idea and saves more precious time so you can see more of this amazing ship. On the TV in your cabin you can also view your calendar as to what you have booked for a certain evening and of course the usual your seapass account. Live the Oasis GAme show is a new game show and you get to solve clues and play the game. You are tested on trivia and your knowledge about the Oasis and learn insider secrets. They sell a Live the Oasis guide book which helps you explore the ship. Live the Oasis is a brand new activity that helps you explore the ship, solve clues and enter the game show on the last day. I just bought the book full of facts about the ship as a souvenir. They are sold at On Air Live in the Royal Promenade just before 10;30am. Ports of Call/Itinerary ~ 4 WOW's Did not like that the last day on the ship was a port day. We did not arrive into Nassau until 1pm and sailed at 7pm. This meant that I spent a couple of hours doing some packing in the morning. It also means that if you have not purchased souvenirs and gifts by now the shops are closed during the time in port. It meant alot of last minute stuff for passengers to do in the evening hours. St Thomas was a good day as we decided after some research to check out a different place. Having been to St Thomas numerous times we took a ferry to Water Island the smallest of the USVI. Since we were docked at Crown Bay the marina to take this ferry is a 5 minute walk away and the ferry ride is $10. return pp. We rode over with awesome view os Oasis from the water. We then walked to Honeymoon Beach about a 10 minute walk. The water there was so calm and warm and crystal clear. It was a very enjoyable 3 hours. Here is a link http://www.vinow.com/waterisland/ Also here is video of what it looks like http://www.jxym.com/node/1062 I had a very interesting experience in St Maarten. As I got off the water taxi in the centre of Philipsburg I was greeted by a local school boy in uniform asking if I was on the Oasis of the Seas. I told him I was and then the rest of his grade 6 classmates with paper and pen in hand ready to ask me all about the amazing Oasis of the Seas. They wanted to know what there was to do and when I started to mention surfing and ziplining they just ooohed and aaahed. They took notes and I stood with them all around me asking questions for about 10- 15 minutes. The 3 teachers were with them and then they asked if they could look at photos on my camera. I asked for their emails and I plan on sending them some interior shots of the ship. Many expressed a desire to go on such a ship. Their last request was to have me take a photo of the whole class with the Oasis of the Seas in the background. What a delightful experience and a wonderful memory I will take with me. Their smiling faces and enthusiasm was contagious. I wanted to take each of them with me to show them the ship in person. Disembarkation ~ 5 WOW's you now disembark by numbers not colours. I happened to get #58 one of the last numbers to be called. My flight was not until 1:30pm out of FLL. I watched from my balcony many cruisers using the Express departure and I could see them leaving at 6:15am. My number was called at 8:50 and in 25 minutes I had left the ship, collected my luggage and was in the shuttle on my way to the airport. The luggage is now piled under the number sign in the terminal. After you have collected your luggage you line up in between the yellow divider tape and realized as NON US citizens we could stay to the left and walk right on through to special agents for the non US citizens. The signage in this new terminal is very good in pointing out which way to go for shuttles, taxis. It was a breeze for us. Lots of direction too when you got outside. Some random thoughts & things I wrote down ~ Casino has non smoking sections. Also only bar in the Royal Promenade that had smoking from what I could see was Boleros. ~ only one zipline per cruiser (for the time being) best to sign up for you time early in the cruise Yes I tried the zipline and it was a blast :) ~ as a Canadian I highlighted my Setsail pass to have my credit card company do the conversion and for the very first time in all my cruises they got it right....yippeee ~ Security in St Maarten did not allow my husband to bring his half empty water bottle back on the ship. He either had to drink the rest of it or get rid of the bottle. Many security check points and were asked 4 times to see our seapass card. The only time we were asked for photo ID was in Nassau. ~ Beach pool had salt water and the rest had fresh water. ~ you have to check out the cantilevered hot tubs...loved those ~ okay for you Henry lovers..he is alive and well and living on Oasis ~ ride on the carousel was enjoyed. ~ no issues with crowds and lots of availability of deck chairs. I am sailing on a B2B in October on this incredible ship and happy I will have a second chance to check out all the things I did not get a chance to experience. I will be in a Boardwalk balcony close to the aft. I still liked the Royal Promenade the best followed closely by Central Park. Central Park was so nice and quiet and serene. Many times I asked the older more experienced and mature cruisers who perhaps had been cruising for decades how they liked this ship. All of them said they loved it not one of them saying it was too big or did not have a ship feel to it. This surprised me and is testament to the innovation and the amazing things RCI has put on this ship. No crowds and yes we were not at full capacity so will be paying attention to that on my October sailing which is almost sold out. That will be a good comparison. I never said WOW so many times in my whole life as I made my way around this ship. Well done RCI If you have any other questions just ask away. I am more than happy to answer them. To those going on Oasis in the coming months I hope you have as good a time on this beauty as I did Happy Cruising :) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive ... Read More
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive maps located throughout the ship. • The pool deck was nice, there were plenty of pool chairs available, and the pool area was not overly crowded. • Embarkation and debarkation were both easy. • There were more free dining options compared to the Liberty of the Seas, such as the Park Cafe, which I enjoyed. Things that I did not like: • The layout of the room was akward; the room seemed smaller than to comparable rooms on the Liberty. • While there was plenty of storage space available in the room, it was hard to utilize. The closet space was hard to access. • Some of the shows were canceled, and it was very difficult to change reservation times/days once on board due to many shows already being booked up. Embarkation was great. It went very smooth and quickly. We boarded deck 5, Royal Promenade, which was was very impressive. It is similar to Liberty of the Seas' promenade, but larger. The rising tide bar looks very neat, although I did not try it. The ship is beautiful. Public spaces were gorgeous, and I enjoyed the many art pieces. It was very easy to get around with touch screen computers located throughout the ship. The computers provided cruise compass info, maps, and directions to your stateroom, among other things. Muster Drill The muster drill took place in a lounge. It was great. No more wearing life vests. Central Park Central Park is quiet. It really is beautiful, and the plants are lovely. Boardwalk Boardwalk is very lively. There were several family activities that were hosted by Adventure Ocean staff which took place here, such as face painting and games. Cabin We had an inside L cabin. The configuration of the closet was a little weird. The sofa sleeper was right in front of the closet door which made it difficult to access the closet, especially with the sofa bed out. Bathroom I really liked the bar in the shower; it makes shaving legs so much easier. I did not like the soap tray in the shower, shampoos and things kept falling out of it. There are several hooks in the shower; a hanging shower organizer would have been helpful here. Activities- Zip Line I did the zip line. It was very difficult to get a reservation. I had to sign up several days in advance, in order to go the last day of the cruise. I noticed people being turned away at desk as there were no more spaces available. I probably would not do the zip line again. It was a unique experience, but not worth the lengthy time that it takes to get harnessed and ready to go. It lasts maybe only 30 seconds or so. Flowrider I used the flowrider several times during this cruise, and also did private lessons. There were never long wait times when I was at the flowrider. One Flowrider was used for surfing and one for boogie boarding. Private lessons were great. The sports staff was very helpful. Entertainment I had reservations for all of the shows prior to boarding, but wanted to change some of the times. I found it very difficult to change my reservations once on board, as many of shows were sold out for the entire cruise (such as the Aqua Theatre show). I originally had Oasis of Dreams booked for the first night, but it was canceled due to technical difficulties. They offered a show the next night, but I could not attend due to a Flowrider lesson. The show was completely booked for the entire cruise, so I did not get seats. Many people, including me, watched the show from the deck above (in front of rock wall). There were so many different entertainment options that I was not able to see everything that I wanted to see in the 4 days. I did manage to see the Ice Show and Hairspray. Hairspray was good. The ice show was similar to the one of the Liberty of the Seas. Dining Dining Room I had My Time dining, and ate in the dining room every night. There were often lines to make reservations. It would be nice to be able to make reservations before the cruise, similar to how reserbations can be made for the speciality restaurants, but I did not see that option available. With the exception of the last night, I thought that the quality of the food was quite good, it was better than what I expected. I had different waiters each night, and some of them were really good, while others were not so good. Park Cafe was very good. They had made to order sandwiches, salads, and Panini's, all at no additional charge. I did not eat at any of the surcharge restaurants, so I cannot comment on those. Crowds The Oasis did not feel crowded at all. I found that the lines were shorter on the Oasis compared to the Liberty of the Seas, probably due to the many options available on the Oasis. The Windjammer was small but did not feel crowded, and it was easy to find a table. Pool Deck The pool deck was nice. It was not crowded. H2O Zone was nice, again no crowds (although I did not see many kids on board, probably due to the time of the year). The solarium was great. I enjoyed the cantilevered whirlpools, and liked the fact that there were now flat screen TV's above them. Labadee I have been to Labadee before but not after the renovations. It is great. The pier is very nice, no more tendering! It was a breeze to get on and off the ship. Several areas were expanded, and there were additional areas to eat. Debarkation I choose late debarkation, as I had a late flight. I ate breakfast in the Windjammer before leaving at about 8:30. It was not crowded, and debarkation was prett 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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