797 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Cruise Reviews

My boyfriend and I cruised on Royal Caribbean for the very first time in 2010 on the Freedom of the Seas traveling the Eastern Caribbean. We loved it so much, we wanted to experience the Western Caribbean side on the larger ship - Oasis of ... Read More
My boyfriend and I cruised on Royal Caribbean for the very first time in 2010 on the Freedom of the Seas traveling the Eastern Caribbean. We loved it so much, we wanted to experience the Western Caribbean side on the larger ship - Oasis of the Seas. We booked our cruise through Royal Caribbean and our cruise agent took good care of us. He helped us make many decisions that helped to make our cruise experience on Oasis of the Seas a greater experience. First of all, when booking on Oasis, it is important to make sure you select the stateroom that best suits your needs. My boyfriend didn't want to experience turbulence or the feeling of seasickness, so we requested a room in the middle of the ship, mid ship level. Our agent recommended room 6668 on the 6th floor. We also were very particular about having a balcony. When we sailed Freedom, we had an interior room and it was nice, but dark. Not necessarily a place you want to spend much time. So we were willing to spend a bit more to get the balcony so that we could spend some quality private time throughout the trip on our own private balcony. And it so was worth it. Take my advice and spend the extra money for the balcony. You won't regret it. We had the option to purchase an Oceanview balcony, Central Park balcony or Boardwalk balcony. We personally like privacy and the view of the ocean so we went with the Oceanview Balcony. Good thing we did because when we got on the ship the Central Park balconies and the Boardwalk balconies were very public versus private and not something we would have been happy with. The agent also assisted us with booking the flights - however, just to be safe we made sure better options were not available online. We found the best prices and the agent took care of the final details. As for gratuities, last year we paid upfront. We found that this was not the best idea because you did not get to choose who received what portion of your gratuity. It was evenly distributed. This year we elected to pay the gratuities at the end of the trip to ensure the proper persons were recognized for great service. I highly recommend you book the transfer busing that takes you from the airport to the boat and back. It cost 30 per person. This makes things VERY convenient. We booked Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean. Destinations included Labadee,Haiti; Falmouth,Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. We arrived at Fort Lauderdale Airport on April 30th and easily found our way to the transfer station. We were greated by Royal Caribbean transfer agents that helped us with our luggage onto the bus. The transfer was a bit hectic as there were buses awaiting various cruise lines and hundreds of passengers for each. Nonetheless, we arrived at the dock within 45 minutes of arriving at the airport. We initially thought boarding the Oasis was going to be chaotic due to the volume of passengers (over 5000). However, it was a seemless process that took literally 10 minutes. We were on the boat around 1pm. This process was almost an hour faster than the Freedom and that boat had half the passengers. Upon boarding we got our photo id's and had our onboarding pics taken. Rooms: Our room was everything we expected. It was beautiful and the balcony was breathtaking. The set up of the room was pretty standard. The bathrooms were small, as on many ships, but the shower seemed to be a little more spacious than we remembered. The only negative was the outlets that were under the vanity and a bit hard to reach. Otherwise, the room was great. The best part about our room was that we were LITERALLY right next to the elevator. Not only that, most activities and places that we would spend most of our time were on floors 4 through 8. Our room was smack dab int he midst of all this. Food: The food on the ship was great. When we were on the Freedom, we spend a lot of time eating at the Windjammer because it was convenient and had a lot of options. However, on the Oasis, we spent very little time eating at the Windjammer. Yes, it was still convenient, but we found many hidden little treasures on the Oasis that provided for a great dining experience. Our favorite place to eat breakfast was on the balcony of our own room by ordering room service. The windjammer was the second place we frequented most for breakfast due to the variety of options. We spend many afternoons eating at the Park Place Cafe where you can get salads, fruits, and many specialty sandwiches to include the infamous Roast Beef which my boyfriend LOVED. As well as the, Tuna Melt Panini's which I LOVED. It was quick and delicious and NEVER a crowd. Another favorite lunch spot was the Seafood Shack where they had the best fried SCALLOPS I ever ate. There is a small charge for the Seafood Shack; however, if you love seafood it's a must try. For dinner, we dined in the Opus Dining Room on floor 3. We had a table of 6 and met some amazing people that we keep in touch with even today. The food at the Opus Dining Room was splendid. They had something for everyone. I am more adventurous with food than my boyfriend but even he was able to find items that he loved each night. The Surf and Turf night was my favorite. Our table guests raved nightly about the Tiramisu! Our head waiter - Ian, was great. The others were just OK. We made sure to tip Ian graciously. We also tried a couple specialty dining options. One night we dined at CHOPS with friends. My boyfriend and I had Filet Mignon and it was to die for. Very well prepared and GREAT service. The restaurant provided family style accompanying sides so we got to try many side dishes. The desserts were very eye appealing as well as tasty. The creme brulee was good but the Red Velvet Cheesecake was amazing. We also at a Giovanni's Table. This was the Italian dining option. I really enjoyed the italian style dining and the flavors but my boyfriend was disappointed. The restaurant had very little on the menu that he was willing to try. It's not like a typical Olive Garden menu by more specialty plating true to italian food. Both specialty restaurants had a small fee. Chops was $25 per person and Giovanni's was $15 per person. The service was impeccable at both restaurants. Other places to try for snacks - the Donut Shop - tasty free treats, and the Cupcake Cupboard (small fee). We heard raving reviews and had to try the cupcakes. They were good, but not great. Excursions: In Labadee, my boyfriend booked the Zipline which is the longest zipline over water in the world. This was one of the reasons we booked this particular cruise to Western Caribbean. The day of the labadee port, it was a bit rainy and windy out. Not the most pleasant weather. It got so windy that they lowered the weight limit on the zipline. My boyfriend is 6ft 5 and quite thin, but he was over the new limit. An hour later they said the winds were so high they were cancelling all the ziplines for the rest of the day. Had we been there one hour earlier he would have been able to participate. He had his money refunded. The beach at labadee was beautiful and we took some great pictures. Had the day been sunnier, we would have enjoyed it more. This is a great excursion if the winds are not high. In Falmouth Jamaice, we booked the Dunns River Falls excursion. I had heard so many great reviews about this that we HAD to do it. It was cost effective and so much fun. We boarded a bus that took us on a 45min ride to Dunns River Falls. We had a guide on the bus who reviewed landmarks and the history of Jamaica along the way. This excursion requires water shoes. Rather than pay $6 in Jamaica and risk not getting a pair that fits, buy them before you leave. They can be found reasonably at Walmart and Target. Once there we were escorted up the falls by a tour guide in groups. It was not overly physical but you had to be careful because it was slippery. All the way up the fall a cameraman followed the group and video taped the adventure. They also took pictures. You could purchase the video for $40. We decided to purchase the video and we are glad that we did. It was an amazing experience and we highly recommend it. You will however, go through a walkway ont he way back to the bus where you will be hounded to purchase items. Everyone in Jamaica also is very expressive about tipping. The tour guide, cameraman, and bus driver all follow you back to the bus awaiting their tips. They are well deserved tips but a bit uncomfortable nonetheless. In Cozumel Mexico, we booked the Dolphin Push, Pull and Swim. This was our favorite excursion. We recommend buying a water camera cause the pictures here are expensive to buy. Water cameras run about 20 dollars. They take professional pictures of each interaction with the dolphins that you can buy at the end. We had the opportunity to pet the dolphin, swim with the dolphin and be pushed on a boogie board by a dolphin. At the end of the swim, we also got to swim with a Manatee and baby sharks. At the end of our excursion it started to downpour. We were lucky because it was beautiful throughout the excursion. We had lunch at a local outdoor restaurant in cozumel. The food was ok. As I mentioned the pictures here are expensive. It is $25 per picture or you could buy a disk for $100 per person. Nonetheless, we loved this excursion and would highly recommend it to anyone even families with smaller children. Entertainment I highly recommend booking your entertainment in advance as recommended by Royal Caribbean for the Oasis of the Seas. We were able to see every show that we prebooked. If you don't prebook, it is likely you will not be able to attend the viewing of your choice. My favorite shows were in the Aqua Theatre. The divers and entertainers were world class olympians and entertainers from all over the world. The comedy shows and the comedy headliner show was funny but not gut busting. I've seen better comedians in Pittsburgh. But it was definitely entertaining and well worth the time to go. We highly recommend getting involved in the activities on the ship to include the "Quest" show (which we WON!!!), the Love and Marriage Show, the Battle of the Sexes - just to name a few. My boyfriend spent a lot of time int eh Casino in the later evening hours playing poker. This boat has a huge casino but not as many people playing poker as he had hoped for. He won a final seat int he Poker Tourney where they were giving away a free cruise on the Allure of the Seas in December to the winner; however, they were six players short to give out the cruise. They ended up playing for cash and he was the overall winner :) Spa The spa is quite expensive but I was able to get a discounted spa service by booking the "HAPPY HOUR" massage the day we were at port in Jamaica. If you book a happy hour massage, you get a 1 hr massage for $99. I was able to upgrade to $119 and get a Hot Stone Massage. This was a great deal and I enjoyed the massage. My only criticism is that they made an error in my billing. She added more to the tip than I gave and I definitely tipped graciously. This was the only billing error on the entire cruise. Other recommended activities on the ship: The zipline on the ship was fun. I cried for about an hour before doing it, but in the end I conquered my fear and it was fun. We never tried the flowriders because they looked like it could be a painful fall, but a friend of ours swore by it and said it was such a thrill to try it. Pictures This ship has many professional photographers that document your time and fun throughout the cruise. We had so many pictures taken that we decided to purchase the CD package which was 299 for ALL rights to EVERY picture taken on the cruise. We ended up with 89 professional pictures that we could have printed at our leisure. Otherwise, it costs $20 per 8x10 picture. They have a gallery where your pics are displayed and stored throughout the week for your viewing as well as an electronic kiosk to view your pics daily. Departure Departure was as easy as boarding. We did early departure which is at 6am to ensure you get to the airport in time for your flight. You basically depart the ship with your bags and board the bus to transfer back to the airport. We grabbed breakfast in the Windjammer before departing and we were on our way. This is the saddest time of the trip...and the hardest to leave. We got to the airport and couldn't remember our flight number and what airline because it was different from the trip to. We finally reached Royal Caribbean and an agent verified the correct info. The only negative piece here was that our flight didn't leave until 1:30pm and you could not check your bags at the airport until 3hrs before your flight. Therefore, we had to wait there with our bags from 8am till almost 10:30am. So you definitely want to verify this upfront. I know this is long, but I hope you find this information helpful in your planning of your cruise. This was a great experience for us on an amazing ship. We loved the Oasis of the Seas. We now have visited both Eastern and Western Caribbean. We are open to recommendations for our next cruise. Thinking Alaska at this point. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We've sailed on several different cruise lines but the majority of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean beginning back in 1981. We took this sailing mainly to experience the Oasis of the Seas and overall, we were ... Read More
We've sailed on several different cruise lines but the majority of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean beginning back in 1981. We took this sailing mainly to experience the Oasis of the Seas and overall, we were pleased.Embarkation was easy as has been described by many. The baggage porters at Fort Lauderdale seemed a bit miffed that I only tipped them less than $10 for the few bags they had to handle but I ignored that "gesture" since I tip based on the quality of service I receive.We were booked into an Owner's Suite on Deck 11 just a few steps from the elevators and the concierge lounge which we used frequently. Due to our Crown and Anchor Diamond status we received and participated in several events during the cruise; some were enjoyable; some not so much. More on that shortly.The ship was in excellent condition and as usual very clean. Staff were for the most part friendly and helpful. There is much to see and do aboard and I don;t quite undertstand the complaints from some about how they "couldn't see the ocean" or how they "didn't think they were on a ship," etc. Hey, if you want to see the water then book an appropriate cabin. As is the usual with Royal, decoration was somewhat understated and elegant without being too garish. Art aboard was extremely interesting and unusual.The ship was TOTALLY sold out and beyond mere double occupancy. However it never felt crowded; we never had to wait long for anything INCLUDING elevator rides. As to the whines about the Windjammer not having any tables available, even though we ate there several times and it was BUSY we never had to look far for a table.The cabin: big as one would EXPECT and there was PLENTY of storage space. The bathroom had a separate jetted tub and shower plus two sinks, lots of hot water, and everything else one really needs. Only one electrical outlet (for razors). And despite the cabin size, the only electrical outlet in the bedroom was 220 V. Had I known this I would have brought an adaptor but had to get one from the Concierge.Food: sorry, but we thought the food in the main dining room was mediocre at best and we had the BEST-located table (#135) which is right next to the Captain's Table on the lower level. Service: TERRIBLE, unfortunately, and this is the one time I wish we had not opted for pre-paid gratuities. They "warn" you that you should expect the meal to take at least an hour and sometimes it was longer than that. Our waiter was poor at best and we were several times given the wrong menus, were the last table to be served, etc. As a result we took several of our main meals in other venues including the Windjammer where there was a much larger variety of food available. Yes, the breakfast was "the same every day" but that "same" included a lot of choices I rather doubt most people get at home so that frequent whine eludes my understanding.Many pools and never a problem finding a place to lounge.Entertainment: "Hairspray' was very well done; "Come Fly With Me" somewhat less so. Comedy venue was good and the ice show was even better than the one we saw on "Freedom" our last cruise. The aqua theatre shows were entertaining but if you've seen Cirque du Soleil then some of this seems a bit less than great BUT they did a good job overall and folks seemed to love it.Lots of shopping opportunity on board, mainly watches and the usual "sales" which reminded me of a feeding frenzy with plenty of pushing and shoving by folks looking for Walmart-level merchandise.Ports: Nassau...the usual attitudes by some store workers and the downtown area hasn't changed much...gritty and peeling around the edges. At the comedy club one night the biggest laugh came from the statement: "I think the most exciting thing about Nassau was returning to the ship!" St. Thomas and St. Martin seemed the better choices for shopping as they have in the past.Concierge Lounge was excellent with served breakfasts and lunch plus the early evening canapes and cocktails; airline boarding pass printing and last-minute access to "sold out" shows. Yes, folks, you GET what you pay for and more and more it seems like the "extra tariff" revenue production is gaining the upper hand.Overall, we enjoyed the ship with the exception of a few niggles and we would cruise on it again if it were on a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We sailed Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas May 14-21, 2011, Western Caribbean itinerary from Fort Lauderdale with ports of call in Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our 12th cruise: 5th on Royal ... Read More
We sailed Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas May 14-21, 2011, Western Caribbean itinerary from Fort Lauderdale with ports of call in Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our 12th cruise: 5th on Royal Caribbean and we have also sailed 5 times on Norwegian and once each on Celebrity and Carnival. On this cruise we had my husband and me (53 and 60 respectively), our 3 youngest kids, aged 21 and a pair of 19 year olds, my mother (age 83), and a friend along as her roommate. PRE-CRUISE:We live in South Carolina and will usually opt to drive to embarkation ports in Florida rather than flying. Parking cost us $15/ day for our minivan, which is a bargain compared to 5 airline tickets. We spent the night before our cruise at the Days Inn Bahia Cabana at Fort Lauderdale Beach and I heartily recommend this motel. The rooms are spacious if not glamorous for a family-friendly price, with good air conditioning and free wifi available for Internet access in the rooms. Best of all was the open-air restaurant overlooking the marina with a live band at night. It was also incredibly convenient to scoot over to the port in the morning as we were able to take a short-cut from the 17th street causeway, and never had to get back out to the main roads ... sweet!THE SHIP: OASIS OF THE SEAS OVERVIEW:Our entire family found Oasis of the Seas to be a mixed bag, and in the end I would NOT rate this ship as my favorite Royal Caribbean sailing experience. On the one hand, the ship itself is nothing short of amazing, and it was worth it to take a cruise on Oasis ... once ... just to see the ship because there is nothing else like it on the high seas. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze moving thousands of people on and off the ship at a remarkably fast clip. We also found that despite only having forward and aft elevator banks (no centrum), we never waited for elevators and people were easily whisked up and down between decks with no muss or fuss. Many of the public spaces like the inside Promenade mall seemed graciously grand and open, and my husband noted that the spacing of seats in the theater was more generous than on other ships, with more leg room than he usually finds. We also had no trouble whatsoever getting our bearings and finding our way around after a few hours onboard. It may take a little longer for somebody unfamiliar with the Voyager or Freedom class ships; Oasis is much bigger, but once you figure out what is stacked on top of what, for example Central Park is on top of the Promenade, it makes easy sense. Also, as an aside, the week we sailed we had Richard Spacey as our cruise director, and he has to be the most hysterically funny cruise director we have ever encountered; his quirky good humor with goofy body language and always those crazy socks was a joy.We had Central Park view staterooms which were both comfortable and very spacious, especially with the bay window with a window seat added in. I chose this type of accommodation to get the most of the unique Central Park; we could look out on the park both morning and night which was lovely. We also ate breakfast most days at the Central Park Cafe which was quick and easy so long as you can be happy with an extremely limited menu and paper cups for your coffee. If nothing else, it was better than coping with the Windjammer Cafe which seemed too small (always people wandering around looking for a place to sit - it didn't have the panorama open feel of other Windjammer Cafes) and it seemed poorly organized compared to Windjammer Cafes on Freedom Class and Voyager Class ships.In addition to the one-of-a-kind Central Park there are other remarkable properties of Oasis of the Seas, and most readers will already know the list, especially the outdoor boardwalk with its magical carousel (although I rarely saw anyone on it) and the incredible Aqua Theater which was well attended for both the water shows and also smaller venue outdoor theater. Beyond that, however, most of the bells and whistles like the interior Promenade with its tasty pizza parlor, cafe, English pub and more, or Studio B offering ice skating for the guests and a fabulous ice show can be found on Freedom class and Voyager class ships too, so for our family at least, these "perks" would not be a draw by themselves to sail Oasis or her sister ship, Allure of the Seas. So beyond what can gleaned from reviewing deck plans, how did the actual experience of sailing Oasis of the Seas compare to sailing other Royal Caribbean ships?STATEROOMS:We have always found the staterooms to be comfortable on Royal Caribbean. Our cabins on Oasis of the Seas were larger than industry standards, the beds were comfortable and there were plush bathrobes in the closet - a nice touch. We were able to access the Internet on our laptop from the stateroom which was super convenient for checking in on work back home. One thing I really like about Royal Caribbean (really really really like) is their policy for booking families. Many cruise lines have their computer systems rigged so that it is difficult or even impossible to book a stateroom without having somebody over 21 in each cabin. This places a particular hardship on large families with 2 parents but several children, more than 2 cabins worth of warm bodies. On Royal Caribbean, if Mom and Dad say that the kids are old enough to have their own bedroom, then Royal Caribbean says okay too. Children need to either be next door or across the hall from Mom and Dad, but that is usually easy enough to arrange. So when we sail Royal Caribbean, our two 19 year old daughters can be booked into their own stateroom and it's no hassle. On many other cruise lines we still have to split them up on paper with my husband listed in one cabin and me in the other, then we swap rooms onboard so the girls are together and so are my husband and I ... a senseless charade which is a nuisance ... and it's nice to skip the hassle on Royal Caribbean.DINING:We did not visit any of the specialty restaurants for dinner so I regret I cannot comment on these. We did have lunch at the Seafood Shack one day. It was tasty but I am not sure it was worth paying a surcharge for fish and chips. We'd planned to get a burger at Johnny Rockets at one point but didn't realize we'd have to pay extra for that too, which seemed even less logical given that we could get a burger up by the pool for free (I knew there was a charge for the milkshakes, but didn't realize the hamburgers carried a fee too). We were not impressed with the layout of the Windjammer Cafe on this ship, although my husband sometimes braved the crowds to find some light fare on days when we were out by the pool because the food was nevertheless delicious (especially the curries!). The food in the main dining room at dinner was also very good, and the service was excellent. Our waiter (Fajar) and assistant waiter (Alvin) were entertaining as well as conscientious to do a good job. We also had no trouble picking up a quick lunch on the Promenade at Sorrento's or the Cafe Promenade. In any event, it's impossible to go hungry on a Royal Caribbean cruise! There is always a variety of food available.ENTERTAINMENT AND ONBOARD ACTIVITIES:This is where it gets sticky. Was the entertainment good? YES! It was the best we have ever seen on any Royal Caribbean cruise bar none. I still maintain that I have seen some better shows in the past on Norwegian Cruise Line, but this was the best ever on Royal Caribbean. BUT - and this is a really big but - kudos to Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure - the way entertainment is "administered" on Oasis of the Seas is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. I was so fed up after the first two days I was ready to jump ship, and I love cruising and am pretty good about rolling with the punches. The funny thing about Oasis of the Seas is that it is a gargantuan ship with some very grand public spaces, but most of the ship is filled with itsy little cabaret-sized venues ... dozens of them. Just when you are expecting to enjoy a nice relaxing cruise, where dinner is served and you expect to enjoy some interesting entertainment after ... you discover that it doesn't work that way on this ship. Nope, everything is scheduled and I mean scheduled in advance of you even showing up to board. Everything is by reservation, and because the venues are mostly small and there are thousands of people competing for seats ... well ... it's mayhem. I tried to make some reservations before we left home (although I really didn't want to have to do this - it's a pain to have to schedule your onboard "vacation" hour by hour weeks before you travel) but found the online booking wasn't working. I was told no problem, just take care of it from the convenience of your stateroom after you board.Okay. We got onboard and my husband pulled up the screen on the television in our stateroom but alas ... the reservation function was not working. We later learned that as far as we could figure it out, we would only have been able to book our stateroom anyway, so would have had to go door to door to book the kids and grandmother's reservations from their television screens - an incredible nuisance. But because the screens were not working the day we boarded, we were instructed to go down to Studio B (where the ice arena is located) to make our reservations. So I trooped down there, and after an hour of waiting in line it was my turn to request reservations. Naturally some of the shows I had penciled in were already closed, so after more time spent working with a staff person rearranging everything, I got as decent a schedule (and it very much IS a schedule) as I could get and he keyed it into the computer. Good to go, right? Not so fast.That night we showed up early for our first show (Hairspray) only to discover that our reservation was not in the system. In fact, they checked, and only one of the reservations I'd made for the entire week actually had registered in the computer. And I stood in line for an hour and worked with a staffer to piece together a week-long itinerary for THIS? So we waited in the stand-by line and at the last minute were able to get in for some lousy seats way off to one side.The next morning I marched down to customer relations to try to sort out the "reservations" but of course was told that everything was booked up, which was phenomenally irritating given that we were supposed to be among those who had gone to the trouble to make reservations. To make a long story short, we DID wind up seeing all the shows, but sometimes we had to see what I would expect to be an after dinner show during the afternoon, but then had nothing to do after dinner, and in every case except one we had to stand in the stand-by line to wait to see if somebody with reservations didn't show up so we could get in. Mind you, it wasn't much better for those who did have working reservations because if they didn't get there early, the staff started letting in the stand-bys to replace those who were presumed to be no-shows. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that with rare exception, most of the shows were not even full. My guess is people got so frustrated with the annoying system that they gave up on seeing the shows at all.Royal Caribbean needs to SERIOUSLY rework the entertainment venues on Oasis of the Seas. A ship this size needs to have AT LEAST 2 large theaters and there need to be shows going in there - 2 or 3 a night - every night of the cruise so that everyone has the option to see a show after dinner - or before if you prefer to catch a late dinner after the show instead. No guest should be expected to stand in line for 45 minutes to an hour every single night - and sometimes twice in a single night - to see if maybe they might be able to enjoy some entertainment that evening - that's nuts and completely unacceptable. They also need to get rid of their crazy reservation system, which apparently doesn't work very well anyway. Instead, have a couple big theaters - at least two - with shows running at different times each night and with first come first served seating. Readily visible electronic boards can tell passengers which shows have seats remaining, and there can be smaller shows (Aqua Show, Ice Show, other performers in clubs) on the boards too so guests can plan their time day by day instead of weeks ahead. If the big theaters ran different shows for a few days on alternating nights, it would be possible to catch each show, but as it was, some nights nothing was going on in the large main theater at all. The whole entertainment scene was very badly managed and it cast a pall on the cruise experience - not just for our family but for lots of others who were complaining too.Outside of the main theater most of the venues were quite small, I suppose to alleviate the sense of being on a huge ship, but the odd thing is most of them were nearly empty most nights. The comedy club was an exception - always stuffed with long lines of people trying to get in (hint to Royal Caribbean - the comedy show needs to be one of your headliners in the big theater!), and the trivia games were well attended and the occasional karaoke did okay, but more often than not we'd pop into a bar and 8 people would be there, go to another and see 5, and a third pub to find a dozen people. It was very odd really - where WAS everybody? Our kids found the same. Instead of having one main nightclub catering to the young adult all night disco crowd, they were always running back and forth up and down elevators between multiple clubs all on different decks trying to find their friends and make connections. At the end of the day, I suspect fewer clubs a little larger in size would serve everyone better. I felt so sorry for the large number of excellent musicians scattered throughout the ship that were putting on their shows for half a dozen people, who might wander out for no reason other than wondering where their friends were.Special mention goes to the combo playing in the Viking Crown Lounge, the Standard Time Trio. We found them to be engaged with the audience (which was usually disappointingly small; I suspect many people had no idea that club was even there way up on deck 17). The vocalist, Melanie, would visit the tables on their breaks, and she also took requests from the audience. It was a pleasure having a lounge that was glamorously appointed where you had entertainment but could also carry on a conversation with others at the same time. For Royal Caribbean regulars, the Viking Crown Lounge on Oasis was much smaller than on other RCCL ships - really only a high ceilinged bar overlooking a couple of the pools but no 360 view like on Sovereign class or Vision class, and not even a 180 view like the later generation ships, with another bar and card room located behind. Instead, most of the deck was suites, with the Viking Crown Lounge occupying a sliver overlooking the pools (forget seeing much of the sea - this ship is so huge the water is often way far away and what you see when you get a vista view is the boat and more of the boat).Another special mention goes to Katia Labozzetta and her superb jazz quartet that played most evenings in Jazz on 4. We thoroughly enjoyed their music and again found them eager to play requests (the "boy" from Ipanema was especially good). But again, very few people were in the audience, and in this case I attribute that to the venue itself. Frankly, Jazz on 4 was an unpleasant space. It was small, decorated as if to serve as Dracula's lair (and this has what to do with jazz one might wonder?), but worst of all, there was a constant flow of staff coming in and cutting in-between the audience and the band on their way to a door on the far side of the room. I have no idea what was behind that door, but bar servers and officers alike were continually trooping in and out (sometimes chatting as they went by), which was distracting. It's a pity that Katia Labozzetta and her jazz quartet were not offered the On-Air Club on the Promenade which as often as not was also mostly empty, and the stage in there wasn't even being used except occasionally for karaoke or music trivia.PORTS OF CALL:Our cruise had only 3 ports of call, which suited us fine as we enjoy at sea days.LABADEE, HAITI: We had been to Labadee less than a year ago on Liberty of the Seas, so we limited our stay onshore to the barbecue lunch which was delicious, and some lollygagging on the beach accompanied by the local rum cocktail beverage, the Labadoozy. FALMOUTH, JAMAICA: Although I have spent time in Jamaica, this was the first visit for everyone else, and since I knew the port was barely opened - it's still under construction - I booked a shore excursion here. We did the Mountain Rafting which we all thoroughly enjoyed! My one caveat is this: this is a new port and my guess is Royal Caribbean is dealing with a variety of new shore excursion vendors. I lived and worked in Jamaica years ago so I should have been better prepared, but these folks, while warm and friendly, are also very entrepreneurial and for better or worse, when they see cruise ships their assumption is that everyone on board is made of money and it is their sovereign duty to relieve each of you of as much of it as they can. We were presented with preprinted forms from the Jamaicans informing us what they expected as a customary tip for the rafting - a hefty sum I might add - and at every turn in the excursion we were reminded that if we enjoyed so-and-sos presentation that we should show our appreciation and a basket or bucket was prominently displayed for us to pony up more tips. I reported this to Royal Caribbean and my guess is it will be addressed with the locals, BUT just the same, be smart and take plenty of small bills with you so you can appear to be generous should you be so inclined, but not lose your shirt with only $20 bills in your wallet! And PLEASE remember, the rate of exchange on the US dollar to Jamaican dollar is US$1 = J$84.65 at this writing. They do not NEED a US$20 tip at every turn in addition to what you already paid for the excursion - this coming from somebody who worked down there as an archaeologist and dealt with the locals in their own local economy. Buyer Beware.Aside from that unpleasant tidbit, I highly recommend this tour! The river rafting was splendid - very scenic and relaxing. The river tour was followed by a presentation on Jamaican liqueurs - with tastings - and a demonstration on making pina coladas from scratch starting with a coconut and pineapple - and we got to sample that too. A tasty barbecue lunch followed (expect to buy your drink however - US$2 each), and then a demonstration on how coconuts can be used, and then a jaunt up to see a "banana plantation" which was actually not really a plantation at all but rather just another demonstration in a slightly different location, this time on all the uses of banana plants, which was fascinating.COZUMEL. MEXICO: We were just down here over New Year's Eve on another cruise, but honestly, it's hard to not enjoy Cozumel as many times as you return (this was our 4th visit in 6 years). We had planned to hit the beach (any one of many - they are all lovely), but we were already extra crispy after too much sun the day before at sea, so elected to do some shopping in San Miguel instead, especially since our plans to buy souvenirs in Jamaica were squelched by spending all our souvenir cash on tips! We ended the day with cool beverages at Carlos and Charlie's.Please feel free to contact me directly (JBFLeBlanc@aol.com) if you have any questions about Oasis of the Seas, or about cruising in general.Janet LeBlanc Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This was our first experience on RCCL. Having only cruised with Celebrity we found ourselves constantly comparing the Oasis to the ships we previously sailed on. For us, Oasis was the destination. We had read so much about this ship we ... Read More
This was our first experience on RCCL. Having only cruised with Celebrity we found ourselves constantly comparing the Oasis to the ships we previously sailed on. For us, Oasis was the destination. We had read so much about this ship we were looking forward to our experience.Embarkation was a little difficult, (though no fault of RCCL). We arrived at the port at 11:00 AM but could not board the ship until noon because the Coast Guard was performing drills on the ship. We checked in and were guided into a large room with thousands of other people. Members of the Crown & Anchor Society (we were Platinum level because of our cruise level on Celebrity) and were permitted to board the ship first. I felt so badly for the employees of RCCL as they tried desperately to keep everyone in order. It was a madhouse. I missed the nice little touch of being met on board with champagne that Celebrity does. We attempted to get lunch at Windjammer but like everyone advises it's a big mistake. Too many people and too few seats makes this a bad choice for lunch. Instead we went down to Central Park to the Park Cafe for roast beef sandwiches. It too was crowded but worth the short wait in line. They are great! By 1:30 pm we had not heard any announcement regarding whether our cabin was ready or not. My husband decided that we should just go to it and see for ourselves. It was ready. We thought it was strange that no announcement was ever made. We were in cabin 12676, oceanview balcony which was on the starboard side aft very close to the elevator. Starboard side is definitely the way to go as every time we docked we had a great view of the port. The room itself was wonderful. Plenty of room for storage of your luggage and clothing and lots of nooks and crannies to store things. I thought that the balcony and the room itself was immaculate. A word to the wise, please remember to make sure that your balcony door handle is in the locked position when you go to bed at night, otherwise the air conditioner will not work. First night we missed that little detail and it got up to 80 degrees in our room. With one exception we ate dinners in the MDR. The food varied from excellent to fair. The food on Celebrity is hands down much better. But then again they aren't feeding 6,000 people either. A few times my husband had to send back his meal because it was inedible. Our waiter was wonderful and very understanding. We had the Select or My time dining but had made reservations months in advance usually about 6:30 pm. Of all the places on Oasis we found that the MDR is the least spectacular. It is dark and the windows are shuttered and the space itself is lacking that giant staircase that most ships feature. One night we ate at 150 Central Park. We found it good but not fabulous and definitely not exactly what we expected. You know you're in trouble when the waitress spends 5 minutes explaining away the shortcomings of the lobster ravioli before she even sets it in front of you. The wine paring is very good but it's a lot of wine. Two people can actually split the wine paring and it still more than enough. There are a lot of good choices for breakfast. We did try Windjammer a few times early for breakfast and had no trouble at all getting a good seat. Johnny Rockets on the Boardwalk also offers breakfast which is very good also. We also enjoyed room service breakfast on our balcony several mornings which was wonderful.My husband and I really enjoy good wines and visited Vintages a few times. We enjoyed the quiet environment but the selection there is limited to only American, (mostly California) wines. I think that RCCL misses their Sommeliers on Oasis. We purchased a Diamond wine package before we boarded the ship and it too was limited although several bottles were quite good. The entertainment on the Oasis is outstanding. Better than anything I've experienced on any previous cruise. It is top notch. We especially enjoyed the Spectrum headliner show. We made reservations months in advance for all the shows. I recommend you do this. Unfortunately this is part of the problem I have with Oasis. You have to do so much work prior to cruising and them you end up with an itinerary with dates and times that control your life for the 7 days of your vacation. We enjoy a more relaxed vacation where we can walk into dinner whenever we want, walk into a show whenever we want, etc. On the other hand, if you can't find something to do while on your Oasis cruise then there is something wrong with you. There is something going on all the time. On sea days the pools were crowded but you could always get a chair. I did find that checking in and out for beach towels a little strange. We especially enjoyed Central Park which was a little more peaceful and the Royal Promenade our least favorite because it was too crowded. Towards the end of the week we found ourselves a bit overwhelmed with sensory overload and longed for a cruise a bit more quiet and peaceful. We missed the feeling that we were outside on a ship as opposed to being on a floating hotel. Never thought I would miss the Lawn Club of a Solstice ship, or a stern bar of a Summit ship but by weeks end we missed both of these things. For us, Oasis was a once in a lifetime experience, but we will never do it again. Labadee:We had a wonderful time here. We did both the Zip Lining and the Para sailing. Awesome time. Well worth the price on both. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We have been on 20+ cruises and chose Oasis of the Seas for the ship itself and all the activities that are offered to young and older adults. Embarkation and disembarkation were quick, easy and efficient. We were on ... Read More
We have been on 20+ cruises and chose Oasis of the Seas for the ship itself and all the activities that are offered to young and older adults. Embarkation and disembarkation were quick, easy and efficient. We were on the deck 7 with inside cabins. The cabins were small, closet doors stuck on its track a few times. The drawers and closet space were sufficient for our needs. We had one large luggage which fit under the bed (two large ones can fit under the bed) and two carry on's which fit in the closet. There were plenty of small neck hangers for your clothing. The socket under the desk bureau was sufficient for hair dryer and recharging the camera. Sofa was small. It will fit two small people. The bathroom is small. It was nice to have circular shower doors instead of the curtain ones which clung to your body at times. Shampoo is dispensed from a container, soap is not, and there are no lotion, cottons, and etc. which is all good. It keeps the waste down. There is a cord in the shower for bathing suits. The location was great! It was quiet from entertainment area and ships's engine. Activities were excellent. Our adult children enjoyed the rock climbing, flow rider, and zip line. The older adults enjoyed the zip line and carousel. We did not get around to miniature golf and ice skate. The younger kids enjoyed visiting Shrek, face painting, circus games, and etc. These activities were in the Boardwalk area. Promenade area is noisy like a mall. Quiet places could be found in the library on deck11 or Viking Crown Lounge on deck17 or some of the small club areas during the day. At night, the Viking Crown Lounge is a good quiet area. The entertainments or shows are outstanding. Be sure to make reservation. If you reserve on line before you board the ship, print out your confirmation because it may not show up on the ship's computer. When you attend the shows, bring some cotton ball or tissue for your ears. The acoustic is hard on the ears. We saw all of the shows and even attended the comedy act twice. Our favorite was Come Fly With Me. Production was very refreshing and creative. We were pleasantly surprise to have the Texas Tenors who won America Got Talent star in the Headliner. They were great and their harmony was superb. Their songs included, country, pop , and opera. Their art at sea needs to be improved. The auction went slow and personnels need to be more knowledgeable. Dining: If you are with a large group, go to the dining room area as soon as you board and check with the person who is in charge of table arrangement. Check your table arrangement because our group was separated and not near each other. Food was fair, and we found the vegetarian curry meals to be descent, but the flat breads were stale and hard. Desserts were not to good. Stick with the ice cream. For a good healthy breakfast and lunch, go to the Solarium. They serve fresh salad, asian noodle with shrimp or chicken soup, and wraps filled with tofu, fish, spinach, chicken, curry lamb. For a variety of food, go to the Windjammer. Park Cafe offers fresh salad, and roast beef sandwich and panini. The cookies served are too sweet, hard, and not too buttery. Service: Dinning room staff and cabin steward were good. Staff on Windjammer, Solarium, and Park Cafe were good. Some smiled, some did not ---after all, they serve thousands and thousands of people. Public area: Good. Bathrooms were clean and papers were stocked as needed. Children area: NA This cruise was all about the ship, and it did not disappoint us. Would we go with RCI again? yes Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The Oasis of the Seas is a marvelous ship. We've sailed with RCCL before, with our first cruise being almost 16 years ago, and have always thoroughly enjoyed each sailing. We had not been on an Oasis class ship before, so we eagerly ... Read More
The Oasis of the Seas is a marvelous ship. We've sailed with RCCL before, with our first cruise being almost 16 years ago, and have always thoroughly enjoyed each sailing. We had not been on an Oasis class ship before, so we eagerly anticipated this sailing. For the most part, Oasis delivered. We had a wonderful time. However, there were some issues regarding this sailing, which I will do my best to summarize: The Good: 1. Embarkation was excellent. RCCL has this down to a science. We were on the ship within minutes. We were allowed to proceed to our room, however, we may have been a bit early (approximately 1:30p). I ordered a "Happy Birthday" package for my spouse, and upon arrival, our very kind housekeeping attendant was in the process of setting up our room, so there was not much of a surprise. This was not her fault. In the future, if I were to order such a package, I would either come to the room later, or discreetly attempt to find out if the room was ready. As far as disembarkation, we utilized the early, self-service. Very efficient until we reached the customs area. Take note, if you have more than one bag (each person will need one hand free to hold on to the escalator), you will be forced to wait for the elevator. So, naturally, a long line formed to board two elevators. I have no doubt this unfortunate circumstance was the result of a lawsuit. Other than that, the self-service disembarkation option is much appreciated. 2. The concierge lounge and amenities were wonderful. We were truly appreciative of the all of the services, as well as the staff's attention to detail, and their consideration. RCCL's upgrading of this service is definitely a plus. 3. The cruise director, Mr. Spacey, is the funniest and most joyful cruise director that I have ever encountered. We had the pleasure of Mr. Spacey being our CD on the Freedom, so to encounter him again on the Oasis was fabulous. It cannot be easy for him to be "on" all the time, yet he proceeds vigor and humor. 4. Along that same tangent, the majority of Oasis' staff is magnificent. Again, this is such hard work for most of them. What is a vacation and a week of paradise to us, is yet another day of strenuous, tedious work for them, and most of them do this work with courtesy and a smile. They deserve every dollar they make, and much more. 5. Our room was spacious and beautiful. Storage capacity is excellent. The balcony is very large. The only downside of the balcony is something that cannot really be controlled by RCCL unless smoking is banned on balconies. Unfortunately, we were situated next to a cigar smoker. Cigar smoke is very pungent, so we knew full well when our neighbor was on his balcony...which was often. It is unfortunate to want to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful view only to have to deal with heavy smoke and ashes, but these are trifling matters. We were fortunate to have a balcony at all. 6. The food at Chops and Giovanni's was exceptional and of good value. I highly recommend these restaurants. 7. Central Park was my favorite area on the ship. How lovely. I truly enjoy sitting on the comfortable chairs and enjoying the evening breezes. Gorgeous and beautiful. I cannot compliment this peaceful venue enough. The Not So Good: 1. Okay, here go. With thousands of people on the ship, this is to be expected, but I must begin with a scolding to the parents of unsupervised children. There were so many unsupervised children that even my husband, who is not easily bothered, was slightly disturbed. Mind you, the children, for the most part, were NOT ill-mannered. No. What we were bothered by was the fact that many of them were so young, but seemingly left to their own devices. One night, we saw a large group of young children, where the oldest (I guess, the "senior" of the group), could not have been older than nine. She tried to corral the younger ones for the elevator ride. It is a credit to the children that they kept themselves safe. We saw children roaming the ship at all hours of the night. Children dragged to shows designated as 18+. Children allowed to run rampant during lounge shows. Tired and cranky children who clearly needed a nap, or needed to be put to bed...and so on. Unacceptable and unfair. This is flat-out laziness and selfishness on the part of the parents. When we cruised so many years ago, it was considered primarily an adult activity. Guess what? It really still is. Now, before I get torn in half by the parents (I am one, by the way), hear me out. The managers of cruise lines are very smart, and they know where the bread is buttered. There was almost a 12 year gap in between our first cruise, and our second. During that time, I watched as many ships were built, and as the industry changed...to one that marketed itself to families. Why? You know why. Money. And families are where the money is. For all of the "Adventure Ocean" and "Club Carnival" pits on cruise ships, cruises (save for Disney, which is all about the children) are still venues for adults to have fun. However, the cruise lines need the parents to come aboard if they hope to increase revenue, and that means appealing to families with young children. The problem is if you appeal to selfish instincts, chaos may ensue. Many parents come on the ship, dump their children at the daycare, and then proceed to have fun. Fine, however, they should not fool themselves into thinking that they booked the cruise with the children in mind (in terms of having fun). Children don't need to go on a cruise ship to do coloring pages. As far as the educational value...I fail to ponder what lessons can be learned while riding a mini-roller coaster at Labadee, which is essentially a gated community on the island of Haiti. RCCL can solve this problem (and protect the children) by not charging (or charging much less) for the babysitting. Essentially, parents want to dump the kids so they can have fun, but they don't want to pay for it. It's easier and cheaper for them to have the kids run around. This is so wrong on so many levels. If such irresponsibility continues, it's not a question of if a tragedy is going to happen, it's a question of when. I beg of RCCL to reconsider its children's services. The area for the children is beautiful, I'm sure, but it won't be patronized if parents are forced to pay a lot of money. Taking care of young children is hard work, but if you market aggressively to families, you must then assume partial responsibility, as a corporation, for the livelihood of the children in the families. And to the parents: your children are young but for a brief moment in time. Put their vacation needs before yours once in awhile: Go to Disneyworld or do a Disney cruise. Finally, we should all be thankful that we get to vacation at all. 2. Activity Venues: It seems as if the Oasis was designed with compartmentalization in mind. For example, the comedy club is smaller, but there are more shows. This works for some things (such as the comedy show), but for other activities, this "smaller is better" idea, failed. For example, one of the activities that I enjoy (viewing) is karaoke. On the Freedom class ships, this popular activity usually took place in a very large lounge/mini-theater designed with an Egyptian motif. It was the perfect size, and a very comfortable, fun place to be. However, on the Oasis, karaoke is crammed into a much smaller lounge called "On Air" located on the Promenade. The venue was so packed that the audience regularly spilled onto the Promenade. We did not get to enjoy a seating for a single karaoke show. I truly missed watching this activity. Karaoke is so popular that it deserves, and needs, larger accommodations. Also, there should be a separate time (or venue) for children to participate. Having young children and adults participate in the same karaoke show changes the entire dynamic. 3. The complaints about the food in the dining room are somewhat valid. I did notice a decline in the quality of the food in the main dining room, however, such occurrences are not surprising. Again, money is a factor. Think of RCCL's point of view: If the free food diminishes in quality, then it is quite possible that more people will pay for food in the specialty restaurants. I get it, but it's still somewhat sad. I so enjoy the dining room, and it would be a pity if this activity is slighted in order to shift business to more lucrative venues. 4. There are dozens upon dozens of onboard activities. The cruise compass is great, but can be overwhelming. Perhaps one of the responsibilities of the activities manager, should be to create "suggested activities" lists for certain demographics, such as families, singles, and seniors. That is, choose specific activities from the daily compass that may appeal to specific demographic groups and create customized activities lists for them. 5. It seems that while the Oasis (and the Allure) are the world's largest cruise ships, the size of the Windjammer is the same. Utter madness. The Windjammer is where you truly feel the full impact of being on a ship with over six thousand people. The food is very good, but the area is akin to a gladiator fight. Extremely overcrowded is an understatement. This is a pity. That's all and enough. I'm so thankful and grateful to RC for accommodating us for a week of escapism. We had such fun. I do not know if I will sail again on an Oasis class, ship. If I do, it will certainly be during a time of year that may not be as busy. However, these ships are so popular that they seem to be full all time. The Freedom class might be more for me. I just wish that I could transplant Central Park onto Freedom class ships. Either way, we'll be back, and I am hopeful that any changes will be for the better. Happy sailing, everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I know many people review so i will try not to be reduntant and put my spin on it. We flew in the Wednesday before so we missed irene but felt some of her effects on Thursday I was with my mother (77) and son (16) Embarkation: very ... Read More
I know many people review so i will try not to be reduntant and put my spin on it. We flew in the Wednesday before so we missed irene but felt some of her effects on Thursday I was with my mother (77) and son (16) Embarkation: very easy on ship by 11:15 had to wait in their waiting area about ten minutes very organized. Highlight for me Secruity officer looking at my passport and saying how much weight I lost and that was before the cruise When you go on early ship empty gets fuller around 1. ate in Park cafe great roastbeef sandwish and quiet, My mom complained why we did not go to buffet We went to windjammer and I showed her what a mess very crowded and no seats avoid Room : we has a central park balcony room small for three people especially when couch out. noisy only during day when heard band play from pool, lots of storage We did manage and did not kill each other Food: i thought the food was good, only ate in windjammer twice for lunch Mom wanted to try did not like too crowed did not like choices For breakfast solium on 15 deck good healthy food fruit eggs veggires for breakfastdifferent salads fish for lunch Ate at Giovanni's table awesome lots of food but great experience, Chop's Grill also awesome had the petit mignon like butter mudpie best dessert ever. i sugesst you try to go to dining room for breakfast and lunch at least once went to the character breakfast my self thought it was cute chocolate waffels dissapointed soggy with chocolate on them. lunch was good they have a make your own salade which was very fresh. If go to dining room on day of leaving ship get there early after 8 very crowded. Plenty of food all the time you will never go hungry Pizza not so good, Johnny Rockets lots of fun and food after the meal one sundae was enough for the three of us Waiters great we did my time dining but pretty much sat in the same place every night so got to know the staff Venues: Ship set up with main thing s on each side of ship can walk thour deck 4, 5 8 and 15, 16 Boadwalk: okay rode the carosel once central park nice Ladies wait till Friday to go to coach where they have a sale Park caffe there and your main paying restaraunt Pool area- hung out at solariuim pool very crowded first at sea day crowdede then not so bad, main pool areas crowded Shows only one did not like hairspray oasis of dreams my favorite and also the ice show Tibits At Nassau do NOT go to Atlantis with plans to walk around they do not not let you very limited must pay to see the good stuff guards at every door so do something else Son liked teen area won a massage doing teen bingo gave it to Grandma thoght that was nice Mom - went to spa expensive but nice Me - did gym not too crowded yoga extra machines adequate but like my gym at home better Crowds- The ship was full and there were times you felt it crowded at elevators after shows pushy at times They had a sale of wwatch ets for $20 thought they were giving away free money the way people acted very disorganized people were rude and disrespectful stay away plus sets not really worth it Crowd::Very diverse lots of asians canadians, Spanish , familes couples , looking for love not on this ship too impersonal but met some nice people We did have richard Spacy as cruise director who I thought overdid it a little but otherwise his staff was good Lots of young people on staff many did go to the quest I guess popular with staff Hightlightfor me meeting the second in command the staff captain the man who really runs the ship and makes the decidsions Met him while getting coffee Disembarktion we took the excursion to Sawgrass Mills as plane later in pm very organized overall had a great time awesome ship something people should do once, next cruise probaly radiance class as more doable for Mom Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Route: Seven day cruise starting in Fort Lauderdale - Nassau - St Thomas - St Maarten - Fort Lauderdale. 1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise and our first one on this class of ship. The ship was full with around 6,150 passengers ... Read More
Route: Seven day cruise starting in Fort Lauderdale - Nassau - St Thomas - St Maarten - Fort Lauderdale. 1. General Comments: A pleasant cruise and our first one on this class of ship. The ship was full with around 6,150 passengers (including around 1,500 children) and around 2,200 crew. We were part of a group of 25; my wife and I had visited the ports of call several times and were not interested in them. Our purpose for this cruise was to see how such a large ship functioned. We have compliments for everything about the ship except one item: 6,150 passengers are just too many. No matter how large the ship and efforts to disperse the passengers, you will still run into crowds. My wife and I had a "regular" cabin with verandah on the 8th deck near the aft elevators. Our group dined at 6PM. We had three tables near each other. 2. Embarking: Amazingly quick and efficient. We left our room at the Embassy Suites, 17th Street, at 11AM. With checking out, using the hotel shuttle to the ship, and checking in with RCL, we were sitting down to lunch in the Park Cafe at 12 noon. After eating, we wandered around a bit and went to our cabin at 1PM; our suitcases were sitting at the door. 3. The Oasis of the Seas: What a monster! And it works! Our cabin was small, but it was OK for the two of us for a week. A larger cabin is definitely in order for a longer trip. Not many drawers, but plenty of shelves for our stuff. The closet was adequate for the week. The bathroom is also "compact" with the round shower. You quickly learn how to avoid banging your elbows while showering. Shelves in the bathroom are also adequate for the week. The cabin has the usual small safe and refrigerator (we did not use). The TV is not only for TV shows (CNN International, Fox, ESPN International, etc), but also for reviewing your account, daily schedules, and even messages. You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are few announcements on the PA system. There is no newspaper; you need to watch TV for news. It took us a week to get a handle on what is where on the ship. There are maps at each elevator bay. There is a huge childrens/teens area and programs for them. I defer to others with children to comment on this part of the ship. 4. Meals: You have a variety of complimentary dining options besides the main dining room and the Windjammer. It is important, though, that you check out the restaurants on the computer screen at an elevator lobby. The screen will show you the crowd status of each place. In other words, why go to the Windjammer if the screen shows it is full and there are no seats? Our routine for meals was: Breakfast in the Solarium Bistro. Lunch varied: Pizza in Sorrentos, burgers in the Wipe Out Cafe, salads or sandwiches in the Park Cafe, etc. We only lunched in the Windjammer once, and that was in St Maarten when the Windjammer had very little business. Dinner in the main dining room. We did room service breakfast once. It was fine, but space for it in our cabin was a bit tight. Food portions at all locations were of respectable size, and if you don't try to eat all the courses every day, you should not do bad weight-wise. Even the lobster tail at the seafood dinner was of a good size. Our waiter even brought around extra tails without our table asking for them. The wine list is respectable, and wine is available by the bottle or glass. We had made reservations on-line for the Izumi specialty restaurant. While the food and service were very good, this was not the Tokyo-style Japanese meal that we expected. It was very California. Besides all the food outlets on board, there are also plenty of bars. We settled on the Viking Crown Lounge on the 17th deck. It was never very busy and had a good group of musicians who rotated through there. 5. Dressing for meals: For this seven day trip it was two formal and five casual. To the men, this meant everything from tuxedos and suits to t-shirts and tennies. The same variety applied to the ladies. If there is a dress code in the main dining room, it is not enforced. A pity... 6. Shore Excursions: We have visited the three ports - Nassau, Charlotte Amalie and Phillipsburg - before, so we booked no shore excursions. It was clear that one should book his excursions on-line before boarding the ship. There were quite some lines at the shore excursion booking area on board. We were five ships at Nassau, but only two each in the other two ports 7. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes: it is all there, including the zip line, which we both did. One observation for ladies who want to try out the Flowriders: The signs at these two venues recommend ladies wear a tank top over their bathing suits. Do it! When you fall off your board, the force of the water can very possibly result in you having a "wardrobe malfunction." I recommend you make your reservations for all shows on-line before you board the ship. We saw one of the aquatic shows ("Oasis of Dreams"), "Hair Spray," and "Come Fly With Me." All were great! Musicians rotating through the bars were also very good. We noted three: a solo guitarist, a jazz trio playing a la Santana, and another jazz troupe with singer a la Ella Fitzgerald. The casino was of good size and the payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. Duty-free liquor on board was reasonable; you order your liquor and it is delivered to your cabin the night before disembarking. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship's photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts (for cabin steward, waiter, asst waiter, and head waiter). The amounts are charged to your shipboard account; you receive vouchers and envelopes before the last night on board. Put the vouchers in the (pre-addressed) envelopes, and hand them out. You're done. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service breakfast. Your bar bill automatically adds 15 percent. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your cruise, anything you purchase on board is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. You can track your account on the ship's TV channel. On Saturday morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 10. Disembarking: The ship promotes carrying off your own luggage - if you can. You get off the ship first (6:15 - 7:30), go through customs/immigration, and you are on your way. For regular disembarkation, bags go out the night before between 7 and 11PM. Regular disembarking is from 6:50 - 9:30AM. While you can stay in your cabin, you will not know when your number is called; thus, you will have to wait in a designated holding area. We recommend you use the Luggage Valet service. To qualify, you have to fly home on one airline, fly within the US, and your flight must leave Fort Lauderdale after 11:30AM. RCL charges you $20 per bag on top of whatever the airline charges. You get special tags for your luggage. You put your bags out the night before and do not see them again until you arrive at your destination airport. We have used this system twice, and it works perfectly. For this service, we gathered in our own holding area. We walked off the ship at 7:45, boarded the shuttle (extra charge if you use the shuttle) at 8, and arrived at the airport at 8:20. The only real glitch of the cruise appeared at the end. When you use the Luggage Valet service and pay for the transfer to the airport, you receive NO tickets or vouchers for the shuttle bus. Apparently other people do. Fortunately, the bus driver has a roster of all passengers who have paid for the bus. If your name is not on the roster (ours were not), the driver will ask to see your ship's bill to prove that you have paid for the bus. This does need to be improved by RCL. 11. Conclusion: A pleasant cruise, except for the crowds. We recommend everyone take this ship (or the Allure) to see what this is all about. We are glad we did, but "been there, done that." This was our sixth cruise with RCL, and we will continue to sail with them. However, we will stick with the smaller class ships. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com. Fred Groth San Antonio, TX Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Sailed 9-10-11 / 7 days Eastern Caribbean on the Oasis / Balcony Cabin 6612. This was my 19th cruise and I have sailed many RCCL ships. This ship is amazing and has so much to offer! We literally couldn't get it all done in just 7 ... Read More
Sailed 9-10-11 / 7 days Eastern Caribbean on the Oasis / Balcony Cabin 6612. This was my 19th cruise and I have sailed many RCCL ships. This ship is amazing and has so much to offer! We literally couldn't get it all done in just 7 days. We saw most of the shows, did most of the activities and overall thought it was a good cruise. Exceptional service by EVERY team member!! Having been on a lot of ships I did think overall the friendly attitude by all team members was great but there were some areas the ship fell short. Here are a few special highlights: One thing we would highly recommend is the CHEF's TABLE for dinner. It was an expensive extra at $95 pp but worth every penny. Just the amount of wine you get served covers that expense. The service, food was superb. Also appreciated the extras sent to our cabin before hand and the cookbook gift given after. Aqua Dreams Show & Come Fly with Me was very good. Giovanni's Table for Lunch Cabin beds were very comfortable and better than any other ship I have sailed Wonderful dEcor, very clean and many choices What we didn't like: It is very crowded and tended to be a lot of lines Overall the food quality was FAIR. Seemed to be very hit or miss in the main dining room, buffets, etc. It almost seemed like they have downgraded the food in the main dining rooms to get you to pay extra for the specialty restaurants. They are charging extra for most of the restaurants. Johnny Rockets used to be free for food on other ships now it is a charge. We did have some good meals in the dining room. We did do Giovanni's for lunch and paid an extra $30 for this. Very good food but then at the end of the meal they came to sell us a cookbook. ARGH! The Windjammer Buffett and Park Central Cafe are HORRIBLE! It is very congested, very hard to find a table and overall food selection is poor. In Park Central they don't even have guest trays so you can easily take your plates. Cabins - Our balcony cabin was very nice and very comfortable bed and beeding. In our cabin the electrical plugs in were UNDER the vanity cabinet and you had to crawl on the floor to get to them. Even the comdeian in the comdy club joked about how stupid this design was. TIP: Take an extension chord with a multi plus to use. The Spas - we didn't do spa services because I have had enough sales pitches by Steiner Spas over my years. (if you have had a massage on a cruise ship before you will know what that means). We did use the fitness center which is nice and I took a yoga class. We did purchase the weeklong pass for the Thermal Suite. This was $179 per couple so it was not included and we even found on our bilk they charged us 15% grat bringing it to $205. When I questioned the 15% grat they did remove it right away. There are no attendants in the Thermal Spa so you are on your own. My advice is to SKIP the spa and all services. It is very overpriced, and all they try to do is sell you more services. Bottom line...would I do this cruise ship again? Maybe, if I was taking family I think it would be good because there is so much to do. If we are going as a couple then I would go back to a smaller ship and avoid the crowds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We traveled with our family since it was our 40th wedding anniversary. This included my son and his wife (their 15 mo old son) and my daughter and her husband. Everyone had cruised before but my daughter-in-law and my grandson. We ... Read More
We traveled with our family since it was our 40th wedding anniversary. This included my son and his wife (their 15 mo old son) and my daughter and her husband. Everyone had cruised before but my daughter-in-law and my grandson. We flew in the night before with Delta and there wasn't any problems. Taxi to the Embassy Suites on 17th St. My family loved this hotel. My daughter & her husband had been there for the manager's reception and enjoyed the free drinks. We decided to eat at the hotel since it was late and way past my grandson's bed time. The food was actually better than most hotel food but pricey. My daughter-in-law loved the 2 room suites. This gave them a bedroom and the crib was put in the living room area. The only problem was when I requested the crib when I made the reservations, I confirmed 3 days before arrival, and asked it to be put in the room when we arrived. When we got back from dinner it still wasn't there. I am on vacation, it is late, I am tired and don't feel like tearing into the staff for incompentantcy. Come to find out they delivered it to the wrong room! We took a taxi to the port we had arranged with the cab driver from the night before. This must be very competitive, we were confronted by the hotel staff when we went to exit and wanted to know what we were paying! None of their business, it is free enterprise! The cab driver took the 7 of us and our luggage to the port for $20! The hotel wanted $6. per person. You do the math! Checked in very quickly, we had a Jr suite and I had taken care of all the reservations, so they let us check in together. We were there maybe 15 minutes for the 7 of us. We entered in the promenade area and stopped at the pub and hung out there until lunch. We went to the Park Cafe and had the roast beef sandwiches, they are good. But this area is crowded, noisy and no trays to carry your food! We then took our thing up to our rooms and the rooms were nice. This is the 1st time we had a Jr Suite and with the family with us we were very glad we did. We hung out there on several occasions, kept the grandson a couple of nights and bathed him in the tub! It was definitely worth the extra money. Our room steward was great! We ate mostly in the main dining room. The first night was a circus. Problem being the Royal Babies Program is not available the first night! A 15 mo old can not do the dining room. Most children can not sit through a 5 course, 2 hr meal. The first night I talked to the dining room mgr. Sat for 40 minutes with no water, wine serve or assistance with the baby. The dining room mgr assured me they would have their act together the second night and he did deliver. I thought the food was better than average. We did the Chef's table and loved it! It is definitely worth the money! We actually tipped extra due to the excellent service! And this is not the norm for us. The wine flowed freely just like everyone talks about, the food was great and the company was very nice. Yes, I would do it again. I would just have to make sure it was a different menu. The ship is huge. The water in the hot tubs and pools were way too much chlorine. My eyes burned even without getting water in them just the fumes. The ship is way too permissive with the smoking than any other ship I have been on. The Casino is a joke. The bar is in the middle and they are allowed to smoke. There are no walls or ventilation systems. It is unbearable! They smoke in the pool area, balcony everywhere! I shops were probably the worst I have seen. No bargains not even the liquor. The different neighborhoods are not air conditioned and very close & hot. We did not spend very much time there because it was so hot! The only place you can get cook to order eggs is the dining room. They give you a restaurant guide when you get on board, this describes which dining rooms charge and which don't. You need to keep this the week so you know how to get around. We usually enjoy Johnny Rockets however this one was greasy and was not worth the extra money. Go the the Cafe by the flow rider, they have great burgers for nothing. The Diamond Club has been drastically downsized. You have to swipe your card to get in (even with a bouncer at the door) You have been put off the side of the sixth floor. Not even a room but a balcony off the promenade. If you have a Suite or you are a Diamond Plus you get the concierge lounge access. This is where RCCL has decided to put their money. It is looking over Central Park and is a beautiful lounge. The only reason we saw it was due to the Chef's Dinner. We were not invited to any repeaters party and Diamond Pary and all the other previous cruises. Is this another RCCL cut!? The Royal Babies is top notch. The staff and facilities is great! The problem is 1.) they are not open the 1st night 2.) They charge $8./hr. I paid $842 for my 15 mo old grandson. Just what is this paying for?? He slept in the Pack N Play. They should give cruisers 20hr free and then charge if the cruiser wants more. My husband & I went to all the shows. The aqua show and Ariel show was top notch. The rest were good just not out of this world like the other two. Making reservations for most the shows is necessary if you don't like waiting in line. We did and everything went well. Overall my family enjoyed the cruise. Would we go back on the Oasis class ship? No, it is just not for us. The service, facilities and food is better on the Freedom class ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Sailed on Oasis leaving September 17th. I was a little concerned with the size of the ship thinking everything would be a mob scene but I prepared my best prior to the cruise. Based on the member reviews here I decided to avoid the ... Read More
Sailed on Oasis leaving September 17th. I was a little concerned with the size of the ship thinking everything would be a mob scene but I prepared my best prior to the cruise. Based on the member reviews here I decided to avoid the Windjammer and we never set foot in the place. We also reserved all our shows, specialty restaurant dinner times, and shore excursions before we left home so we did not have to wait in any of those lines on board the ship. While Oasis is huge the ship is easy to navigate with only 4 main passenger areas (Royal Promenade, Central Park, Boardwalk, & Pool decks)and with the interactive video information screens at the stairwells on each deck finding something is as simple as pressing a button. The elevators were very busy and this was one place where you had an idea how many fellow passengers were aboard. At times the waits for elevators were long. We almost always took the stairs. The only other time I felt the sheer number of passengers aboard was when there was a "sale" on the Royal Promenade. The sheer number of wild-eyed bargain seeking women was soccer hooligan like and can best be described as a vultures on a carcass feeding frenzy, truly frightening. The speciality restaurants are, in general very good. We tried them all except for the Chef's Table. I'll list them here in the order I think they ranked in terms of food and service; Solarium Bistro - We had dinner here on two evenings, we canceled our dinner reservation at Izumi in favor of a second dinner here. The food and the service were wonderful on both nights we visited and the restaurant was never very busy. The spicy Pumpkin soup was out of this world good. They also do a "healthier" breakfast buffet here which is quite good. Chops Grille - Dinner here was very nice, we chose to eat "outside", here you are in Central Park but in a glass enclosure, this is important as Central Park can get quite windy at times. The entrees were delicious and the mud pie was an awesome way to end the meal. Giovanni's Table - They serve good Italian fare here and the service is good. Restaurant is a little noisy and the tables for two are quite close together so you're gonna here your neighbors conversation. The chocolate torte is fabulous. 150 Central Park is a very elegant restaurant which is billed as the "best" on-board. To be honest I think it fell short of this title. First off you only get to choose your entree everything else is fixed, add to that the $15.00 signature opening cocktail and your starting out with two strikes. Don't get me wrong, the food is good but it is of the artistic variety and the flavor doesn't match the pretty plate presentation. The spicy crab appetizer looked amazing but tasted like tuna fish from a can. I honestly would not return to this restaurant if I cruised on Oasis again. Main Dining room - We only had dinner here the first evening of the cruise and breakfast here on day 6. The anytime dinning option seems to keep the servers in a constant state of chaos. On both out visits it seemed like the wait staff was in a complete frenzy mode. Not a relaxing way to have a meal so I am glad we did not visit often. Izumi - I love Japanese food and was so excited about this restaurant that I made dinner reservations for two nights. Based on the experience the first night I opted to cancel the second night and return to Solarium Bistro and that was a very good decision. Izumi is confusing and very pricey. The food was good but it is not worth the ala-carte pricing. Other Eats Park Cafe - This casual complimentary restaurant is in Central Park directly across from Giovanni's and they make very good salads and mouth watering carved roast beef sandwiches. Johnny Rockets - They serve complimentary breakfast here but lunch is a set $4.95 per person and this is the same menu and food you'll get at any land-locked Johnny's good burgers and good service with nice outdoor tables on the boardwalk. Cupcake Cupboard - The cupcakes are delicious and innovative with flavors like the "Manly Breakfast" that has cream cheese frosting with chopped bacon on top..need I say anymore. The cupcakes cost extra but they are worth every penny. Boardwalk Donuts - I tried donuts here twice and they were terrible both times. They tasted old and stale, not worth the calories. Boardwalk Ice Cream Shop - The ice cream is good with lots of tasty choices, this is ala-carte and worth the extra $$ in my experience. Sorrentos - Pizza shop, this pizza is a bit better than what I've had on other boats, fresh and very tasty options. Shows and Such- Hairspray - well done show. Lots of laughs Come Fly with me - Amazing show Frozen in time - very good fun Headliner - this was an ABBA tribute show, it was fun even though I am not a big ABBA fan. Comedy show - Both comics were awesome - very funny Jazz on Four - Very talented quartet, toe tapping good times. Globe and Atlas - Guitar player - Jimmy Buffet style sing along stuff. Good times. Schooner bar - Piano man entertainer For some reason the piano man changed up all the timing of the songs making it almost impossible to sing-along? Activities Flowrider - This is great fun. It's hard to relax but once you get over the initial fear you can have a blast. Did not do the rock climbing wall, never had socks with me! The zip line takes all of eight seconds to complete so we concluded that this wasn't worth the wait in line. Mini-Golf - Course is nice and in good shape Pools - Didn't use the main pool but we did use the adult pool and hot tub area in Solarium and it was very nice, including the cantilevered hot tubs - great view of the ocean Fitness Center - large and very nice but it is strange to not have a view towards the front of the ship. Photo's The ship uses facial recognition software to file all your pictures into a personal folio that you can find referenced on your room key, or you can slide your room key into a kiosk and view your photos electronically. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Okay, here goes....I will not go through all the other review information like embark and debark. It was just as people have described already. Tip #1 - You will save yourself time, money and major headaches if you bring your very ... Read More
Okay, here goes....I will not go through all the other review information like embark and debark. It was just as people have described already. Tip #1 - You will save yourself time, money and major headaches if you bring your very own big beach towel. We had two excursions where towels were promised and not delivered! Also, you have to scan in and out for towels and risk a $25 charge if you forget to return their towels. Tip #2 - Extension cord is invaluable. The plug placement is ridiculous and you have to get down on your hands and knees to find it under the desk. Tip #3 - Book your own excursions when you get off in port. Both excursions through the ship were AWFUL. Blackbeard Beach Cay was a joke, shabby, mildewed lounge chairs, no towels (see above) BUT there were some for sale - a recurrent theme through our cruise. St. Thomas (St. John on your own)was also a joke. The ferry designed to hold 86 held at least 300 people...jammed together. Instead try and take Island Venture (Clyde) not crowded and free rum punches....fun!! The third excursion we did on our own and it was great, cheaper and much nicer. Tip #4 - Avoid the Windjammer if at all possible. Room service breakfast is quite nice and prompt, most venues are crowded for breakfast. Solarium is a nice peaceful lunch spot. Tip #5 - Skip the restaurants that charge extra!! We spent $30 to get into Chops and it was our WORST dinner of the cruise. Tastelesss filets, slow to non existent service and I had an upset stomach the whole next day. The MDR is very good food and service, honestly! Also good for breakfast and lunch as not too many go there. Tip #6 - If you dont sign up ahead for shows, you will be in triple lines around the block as 'standby' to get in to any of them. They are good shows, especially Hairspray! Comedy Club also very funny. Tip #7 - Check your bill constantly on TV. I was doublebilled right off the bat and am still dealing with another double billing. The Royal Promenade is what our group called "The Mall" - no water views, strictly retail opportunities. Noisy and unappealing. Like your local mall at home, who needs it! Central Park was beautiful and we tried to walk through here on our way everywhere, it was quite spectacular. Cabins are small and poorly designed in my opinion. We could barely get in our closet and the shower is tiny. For the money we spent on the balcony room, I was disappointed compared with other lines balcony rooms. Balcony was okay though, decent size with two chairs and a table and we did move (per another review) the coffee table out there to get more space. In summation, I would say that there are some nice things about this ship, but it is not an experience I will do again. Give me a nice Freedom class (3000) ship any day. So far, of all my cruises, I prefer Carnival line for good and reasonable excursions, roomy cabins and good food. Size does matter!! :-) Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Oasis of the Seas is a fabulous ship. It was beautiful and clean. The crew were pleasant and helpful. My over all review is very positive. Another reviewer suggested bringing a power strip and I'm happy we did as this made ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas is a fabulous ship. It was beautiful and clean. The crew were pleasant and helpful. My over all review is very positive. Another reviewer suggested bringing a power strip and I'm happy we did as this made charging things and using the hair dryer much easier. My biggest tip for anyone taking this cruise is take the time to sign up for all the shows, shore excursions, and specialty restaurants online before you get on the ship. You don't want to spend your precious vacation time waiting in lines to get to do these things only to find that the show you want to see is already booked. About the shows, SEE THEM. They're worth it. "Come Fly With Me" was great. "Frozen in Time" was so entertaining. The comedians we saw had us laughing hysterically. "Hairspray," while my least favorite was really quite good. There are so many activities planned all over the ship. We went to a few of the trivia contests and some of music games and they were a lot of fun. The piano bar was hopping on some nights. There is a guitar player who takes requests in the Globe & Atlas that had people singing and was very upbeat and fun. You have to choose to be bored on this ship. There are so many things to see and do. Cruisers looking for physical activities will enjoy the basketball court, the rock climbing walls. The fitness center is great. There are lots of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and free weights. There is a two lane track, one lane for joggers and one for walkers that is quite nice. There are ping pong tables which are fun on cooler days. The miniature golf course is cute and we had fun playing it. The Flow riders are great and I highly recommend the lessons if this is your first time trying to "surf." For the women trying the Flow rider wear a T-shirt, preferable one that dries quickly, not cotton. There is the zip line which I would say that if you have to wait in line, don't. There are far better things to do with your time. Another suggestion for those who like to be physical, take the stairs. You can justify eating all the great food and won't waste precious vacation time waiting for elevators. We ate at most of the specialty restaurants and they were all great. Let me say that Royal Caribbean hasn't given the Solarium Bistro enough attention on their website. I didn't expect much from the Solarium Bistro and the food absolutely blew me away. It was beyond fabulous. The food was delicious, artfully presented, and HEALTHY (but you won't feel like you were deprived). Our waiters (we had dinner there twice) were the right amount of attentiveness and very knowledgeable. I cannot possibly say enough about the food at Solarium Bistro. From the bread to the entrees it was my hands down favorite. (I have to give the best dessert to Chops) You must try it for yourself. If you only go to one specialty restaurant go to Solarium Bistro. Giovanni's was fabulous. We had lunch and dinner there and both meals were great. They have a great menu and the staff was very nice. Get the chocolate torte and you won't be disappointed. Chops was delicious. As I've said their dessert was the best. Their "outdoor" eating area is somewhat enclosed and since it can be quite windy in Central Park this makes their outdoor area the best. If you are looking for a serious steak it is the place to go. 150 Central Park gets the intimate atmosphere award.The food presentation is beautiful. You won't find more artistic plates anywhere. The food was prettier than it was tasty. It is a set menu except you do get to choose between two entrees. You are introduced to six different kinds of salt. That doesn't happen everyday. We only had two meals in the dining room. The food was good but the atmosphere was chaotic and the service was lacking. You're best off taking the buffet route. Solarium Bistro is a buffet for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is great there but it is healthy. Ask for butter if you want it and be prepared for turkey bacon. For lunch check out Park Cafe. The roast beef sandwich is a MUST and they make a great salad. You pick out the ingredients and dressing and they toss it all together for you. Very nice. The free doughnuts, PASS. Not worth the calories. But the Cupcake Cupboard is worth every penny and every extra bit of weight gain. If you want a peaceful deck experience try the Solarium pool. It is adults only. From there you can see the deck on 14 and there were hardly any people there. There are lounge chairs you can put anywhere you like and a nice view of the helicopter pad plus two viewing stations with telescopes that you could have all to yourself. You have to walk through the cabin area to get out on the deck on 14. I think that is why there were hardly any people there. Well that and no bar service. It was very nice. My one big complaint is how Royal Caribbean deals with the smokers. They don't. People are smoking everywhere. I was not happy that I couldn't enjoy the balcony of our room because of the smoke from balconies more forward. Before I'd go on another cruise I would want some assurance from them that I will be able to enjoy the balcony that cost a lot extra without having to breath in second hand smoke. As for half of the casino being no smoking forget it. The smoke fills the whole place. They probably would have gotten more of my money if I had been able to enjoy some fresh air. The Royal Promenade is full of smokers. You have to make a conscious decision not to let the smokers ruin your day. We enjoyed all of the shore excursions with the exception of Labadee on Hati. At Labadee the beach was so crowded. You are better off getting a raft and floating in the water. The lounge chairs are packed together right up to the hammocks there's barely room to walk. (And people are smoking everywhere. The beach is really just a giant ash tray now isn't it?) We paid to ride the jet skis. This was a total waste of time and money. We had to ride "follow the leader" style never being able to to have any free time to have fun. Speed was totally controlled by the person in front of you. Then we were led to a place where while we had our engines off local men came up to each jet ski on kayaks and tried to guilt each person into buy local crapts. It was hard sell tactics and we were basically hostages there until our guide would let us start up our engines to crawl away. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
First the cabin - the slider closet doors are terrible, next to the couch. Hard to get into. Who designed the bathroom, a midget? My DH is over 6 foot, had to sit on the toliet to brush his teeth. Loved the beds and linen. Loved the TV ... Read More
First the cabin - the slider closet doors are terrible, next to the couch. Hard to get into. Who designed the bathroom, a midget? My DH is over 6 foot, had to sit on the toliet to brush his teeth. Loved the beds and linen. Loved the TV BUT - they don't even put a menu outside the main dinning room, we were told - it's on TV, however, because we had an itinerary change due to weather, didn't happen until the 3rd day. Technology is not so wonderful. Computer speed was pretty good. Food was terrible, worse beef I have ever had in a dining room, ever. Fish seemed to be the one thing ok. Central Park was amazing, they really got that right. Water Show - canceled, canceled, canceled. Boardwalk - nickel and dimed you to death. Waste of space. Loved the non-smoking side of the casino. Happy Happy Solarium - beautiful and loved the hot tubs ALWAYS OPEN, good move RCCL Reservations, reservations for everything. Only by day 5 we figured out you could go to shows without them, a real waste of time. Spend 4 hours learning to used the stupid tv to make them, I really hate technology now. Good mapping around the ship. Liked the signage for directions. Lots of stuff to do, lots of stuff to interact with other people, lots of activites. Great gatherings in the middle of the ship. "Hairspray" was awesome, a must see. Guest Services were great, always busy, but amazingly seemed to take care of everyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Embarkation was a breeze. Separate entrance for the Suites made it quite easy to get on board. Getting off we carried our own luggage and we were off the boat by 8:30. Well organized and very efficient. The public rooms were amazing and ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze. Separate entrance for the Suites made it quite easy to get on board. Getting off we carried our own luggage and we were off the boat by 8:30. Well organized and very efficient. The public rooms were amazing and there were enough of them so that you didn't feel crowded. Inside along the promenade or outside on Central Park and the Boardwalk each had their own special ambiance which made for a pleasant day or night at sea. The cabin was the best I've ever had. It was a junior Suite on Deck 11. Nice size. Nice location. It took a few days for the in room reservation system to work so I just gave up on that. There are not many plugs so bring a power strip. FYI minibar is not complimentary and the bottled water is extra. There was nothing wrong with the filtered ice water. The turn down service great with some of the most creative towel animals I've seen. Now we get to the confusing part. The entertainment venues need to be reserved in advance. You're best bet is to do this when you book your cruise. RCI has a section on the website that allows you to book a time and day when you would like to see a show. You just walk up to the theater and show your room key they scan it and in you go. It makes life a lot easier since the ship can't accommodate all passengers in one spot at the same time. There were a few people who felt they were above this system and it caused some minor delays. We were able to see everything we wanted and it was really grand. I especially enjoyed the ice show and the Aqua Theater. The Jazz club that did not need a reservation had some talented people as well. I have mixed feelings about the Dining Options. There were so many places to eat some are included in the cruise cost and some had cover charges. I expected the main dining room to offer some decent food selections but I was disappointed. The overall service and quality was poor. Our waiter was not the most friendly we've ever had. He looked nervous and scared. He kept giving us wrong information regarding the dinner being served and which night was formal and casual. The steak was a little tough and a very poor cut of meat. I know for $20 more I could have ordered from the Chops selection on the menu but I didn't really want to. CCL offers a better meal and selection. The Windjammer which was as crowded as people stated did have a great buffet for Breakfast and Dinner. We ate at Johnie Rockets for lunch $5 cover good food selection and great customer service. My advice is to check the location of all the included food venues before you get to the ship. You can then select the places with the cover charges after. I've read some are good and some overrated. The Customer service was labored. The staff tried to be helpful but they seemed to be very nice until you asked a question and they couldn't give you an answer. Their might have been a bit of a language barrier or perhaps the ship is so big that they just didn't know how to answer. We did find a few individuals that did stand out so there is hope. In Conclusion this is a Great Ship which everyone should experience once. It was a bit more costly than any other cruise I've been on but I wanted to get on this boat. I had a great time. Labadee was a pleasant surprise and Cozumel was fun. Falmouth, Jamacia was too far away from anywhere which gave us a good chance to explore the boat and enjoy the pool. I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. It was a bit overwhelming with all of the food venues and all of the activities spread out over the boat. I might want to take another cruise on her just to see what I missed the first time around. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We flew in the day before our cruise on Oasis with several people going on a Holland America cruise leaving that day. As you can imagine, we felt their pain when the flight had mechanical problems and was delayed in New York. We will never ... Read More
We flew in the day before our cruise on Oasis with several people going on a Holland America cruise leaving that day. As you can imagine, we felt their pain when the flight had mechanical problems and was delayed in New York. We will never know if they made it. Our rule number one is fly the day before, and in winter three days before. As everyone says embarkation was a breeze, we arrived at 11am and were allowed into rooms at 1Pm, luggage arrived in a timely fashion, no problems there. What we noticed when we tried to have a lunch in Windjammers was that the ship had 6000 passengers but some areas had roughly the same room as Voyager which has half the passengers. Windjammers is one of those places. With an army of people trying to help you find a seat, even that was mission impossible. The idea was to ask you to try other venues for food. We checked out our room, loved the inside balcony over the Boardwalk. We are never in our room until after midnight, it was always quiet. The closet is odd and hard to get to but you get used to it. I prefer the setup on Princess as you have a dressing room. The lifeboat drill was a breeze, did not have to drag the life-jacket with you, it is already there. Good job with that! We were happy with the room. Room steward was great. Dinnertime was standard 8:30 every night. We asked for a table for eight and got a six tucked into the back corner of the dining room next to the waiters huge station. This was a major disappointment because the dining rooms are so beautiful elsewhere. We were seated with a couple in their thirties, we are in our early sixties. Usually cruisers are matched with same age people so this was unexpected. When you cruise with Celiac Disease the first night is hit and miss but I never left hungry. Bread was not worth eating and I asked them to heat it and it would be better, the next night it was. The staff was eager to please and very good. The entertainment on this ship was terrific, make your reservations and there will be no problems. It was the best entertainment we have ever seen in 17 cruises. The food in the dining room was generally very good for my husband. In no way does Royal Caribbean compare to the gluten free experience on Princess. Princess has figured this out and is working on the gluten free areas that they are lacking. I see improvement every year. While I saw individuals who wanted to help me find food I can eat, generally on this ship there are too many people to feed to care about those of us with food issues. I will use Emerald Princess as an example. In the buffet at any time of day I can find a chef willing show me what I can have to eat. On Oasis it was such a zoo that the chefs found the gluten free question irritating. And I knew they were irritated. I can also get some gluten free breakfast cereal and pancakes on Princess. I do bring my own cereal and bagels. On Princess I can find a dessert or snack in the International Cafe anytime. On Oasis, on the promenade deck, including the Cafe, pizza was the only gluten free food available. Why is that important? The buffet and most other restaurants are CLOSED between 3 and 6PM. We had never seen that before. There seemed like armies of people walking around looking for an open restaurant during those hours. Even the hot dog, hamburger and ice cream place is closed. I would tell someone with food allergies or Celiac Disease to go with a smaller ship. I have had much better experiences on Carnival and Princess. When I asked for a pasta dish in the dining room the head waiter said " our guests usually bring their own gluten free pasta and we cook it" I was blown away! It is available in Walmart! The casino on this ship is great, it is huge, one side is smoking and the other side is non smoking. The entertainment was wonderful. This ship also had all the bells and whistles that young teenagers love. It also has very little outside space, something I knew, but when I realized how little I decided it was not a good Winter vacation spot. Disembarkation was a zoo, nothing like embarkation, be prepared to wait in lines. We really wanted to try this ship once and now that we have we know a ship that size has very little ambiance, guests are not as friendly and the staff is being driven nuts. It is more like the real world. We usually spend February on Emerald Princess, this year we have booked Celebrity Equinox and Emerald. We are really looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Having booked our 19th cruise, I thought I wanted to try the Oasis after hearing so much about it. Many reviewers have said on this board that it was fun to try this ship, but next time a smaller ship. I agree; Also, DH & I agree; no ... Read More
Having booked our 19th cruise, I thought I wanted to try the Oasis after hearing so much about it. Many reviewers have said on this board that it was fun to try this ship, but next time a smaller ship. I agree; Also, DH & I agree; no more Caribbean. Next time maybe Azamara to Scotland, etc. if we can afford it. Easily the best embarkation & debarkation. Going right onto the Promenade is a great idea. Also, opening other restaurants other than The Market Place (buffet) is also good. The Park Cafe became a favorite of ours; very convenient (except when it rains) and the variety of food, especially the salad you design was great. DH said it was the best roast beef sandwiches he had ever eaten. I loved the flavored waters which I wished they would have had in other parts of the ship other than the buffet and this restaurant. PS - the donuts were not worth cheating for. Pizza was good. Good idea w/ the buffets option for breakfast & lunch in the dining room. We spent very little time in Boardwalk. The Seafood shack & Johnny Rockets was not open when we wanted to go (port day) (inconvenient). Speaking of eating venues, the dining room food was a disappointment to me compared to other RCCL ships. Had two meals I didn't eat - steak and their fish entree one eve. DH hated his prime rib - he eats it medium rare, but they could never cook it past the rare stage & ran out of it one time & had to go upstairs for it. I am a foodie so I know food. My fish was better at home. Even desserts were not that appealing. My homemade WW desserts were better & tasty. Chops was good, but they need some Montreal seasoning on the fillets. Pure meat doesn't mean no taste. DH wasn't overly impressed w/ his T-Bone's quality. Chops was better than the dining room, but the best was Giovanni's Table. OMG...Both had great service, but Giovanni's was incredible. I hated leaving for a show w/o dessert (no cannolis). Do Giovanni's when you don't have a show to get to. Chops also had the most incredible chocolate cake. One eve the dining room had a 3-sample dessert w/ a chocolate mousse cake that was great, but was never seen again! One out of three isn't too bad!!! I resisted the cupcake venue because I can made a cake for the same charge of one cupcake ($2.50), but gave in one evening. It was incredible. The icing's the thing! The ship itself is beautiful and relatively new. The rooms are well designed except for the closet & safe right next to the bed which allows only access to one person at a time. Compared to NCL's inside, this is a luxury room. Room steward was excellent and others working nearby very friendly and helpful as was most workers on the ship. Except for a lunch where they were short handed and basically ignored us, they were incredible. This time, the maitre'd helped out and served food. The maitre'd's in this dining room actually worked & helped which says much for their work ethic. On this cruise, we tipped them. Hey, the room & wait staff make very little and work their tushies off! Some issues...much wasted space on this ship. Bathrooms breaking down & having to leave the dining room to go up or down to another floor's bathroom when you sometimes can't wait. Cramming in more passengers to a regular sized dining room. DH said they had a large any time dining room. Why not make that smaller? Cramming larger amounts of passengers into spaces not designed to accommodate these numbers (same size rooms as on smaller ships, but not enlarging the room size). Putting a dance class in the middle of the promenade. Also, my first cruise where shops had no interest for me. Not enough public bathrooms for this size ship. Several bathrooms were broken in public areas. Also went to 'meet & mingle' in Cascades - no meeting (there was a dance class). Also, they should consider putting in a handicapped elevator as many passengers ignored the passengers in motorized carts and walkers. Entertainment was good. Shows were good and rooms could accommodate the numbers of passengers with the exception of the Aqua Theatre and Cascades. Two leads from Hairspray were doing a Broadway review in Cascades (they were phenomenal) which was scheduled at 7:30 (we had to leave dinner to attend). This room is not designed for this as much of the seating faced the back of the room and most passengers saved seats for their spouses. DO MAKE RESERVATIONS AHEAD OF TIME ON THE COMPUTER IF YOU CAN AS IT WILL PAY OFF & GET THERE ABOUT 15 MINUTES EARLIER TO INSURE A GOOD SEAT! Thanks cruise critics for that bit of info! The comedy was great, but they need to change the shows during the week or use different routines. Got to speak with Doug and his wife; they are very nice and accommodating! He and the other comedian were very funny, even seeing them twice. A good idea would be having a roped-off waiting area to get into the show so some people can't cut in front of the line and start world war III! A very sore point for our DH's were where they were relegated to for smoking cigars. None of the bartenders wanted to be up there (tips), and most evenings (smoking under the stars????), it was so windy, they could have 'clicked their heels 3X and would have been in Kansas!' We can't understand the cruise line's not understanding that this is recreational, & many, many cigar smokers have "much" disposable income. It is not a cheap one, & usually smokers order expensive drinks to go w/ the cigars. They had small venues that could easily had been used for cigar bars & would have generated huge amounts of $$$$ from it. Some bean counter thought no one smokes any more. Even Cascades allowed cigarette smoking in their 2nd level. I am more offended by cigarette smokers (never smoked). Though, the Casino had two sections & wasn't too bad. The Schooner Lounge seemed to be a popular venue - doing trivia contests and a great piano bar - very comfortable, accessible lounge. A hint, to the Scandinavian girl who did 50's Music Trivia. Don't believe everything written on your cheat sheet; When five or more baby boomers give you the correct title to a song they have been listening to for about 50 yrs, don't argue w/ them! A big problem for me was the very high chairs in the casino (4 11 1/2). A wonderful casino worker (from New Orleans) finally showed me how to lower it, but what a pain. Also, in the Market restaurant upstairs, signs showing the individual dishes were so high, I had to remove them to see what I was eating. Subsequently, not a good experience except for the waitstaff who were very attentive. Also, very poor signage for finding cabins. Half the time my friend and I were having to go down a floor to get to the side our room was on and then go back to the 7th floor. I was like "Charlie on the MTA (Kingston Trio)!" Also, seemed to be constantly looking for the room. Elevator signs seemed to contradict the signs near the room which was misleading. I worked off every piece of dessert & bread I ate, but I have mobile problems. My legs ached at times. Also, very few pass through levels to get from one side of the ship to another. Ports - DH went to Labadee - said it wasn't much! Falmouth - okay, but not finished. Basically a big flea market. Cozumel - shopped near the pier; it was enough. Do bargain for your purchases. Got a different slider at a good price & purchased some tee shirts, necklaces & earrings for the kids. Missed St Maarten which we love. Oh well!!! A plus was meeting two nice couples. They made the cruise more fun. The ship has its definite pluses and minuses. If you are seasoned cruiser and looking for the quality of cruise you had ten yrs ago, you will not find it. Cruise lines are cutting back on any where they can, especially food quantities and quality. I am glad I got to try it, but not again. Comparisons among passengers seem to like the Allure a lot better. Like a lot of us, saving and planning for a cruise is a big thing. Definitely will not get on a ship again unless it has a really great itinerary (w/ a cigar bar). I knew going in the itinerary wasn't great; the ship was the destination. I don't necessary feel bigger is better! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We just got back from our 7 day cruise to Caribbean. The ship is just massive. So big. That is good, and not so good. The elevators are packed, and the wait is sometimes long to get one. There are no quiet secluded type areas where you and ... Read More
We just got back from our 7 day cruise to Caribbean. The ship is just massive. So big. That is good, and not so good. The elevators are packed, and the wait is sometimes long to get one. There are no quiet secluded type areas where you and your honey can just be quiet and chill out, the main areas are just jammed. Embarkation/debarkation went fast. Very well organized. Took less than 15 minutes and we were on the ship. Our room was nice, The housekeeping guy ( Albert) was very nice and very efficient. Things I liked; Choppes Grill- although it was a bit crowded. Second time we ate there the waiter made some comments I thought were not appropriate since I couldn't finish my meal.. he said something like 'what happened?' and another comment I cannot recall exactly which made me most uncomfortable regarding my not being able to finish the dessert. Dining room- had pretty good food, and service was good. Our assistant waiter ( Juner) was very nice and brought us extra shrimp on a plate when I made a comment about liking shrimp but not liking the fish it was served with. Our waiter (Miller) was good as well Corn Dogs Park Grille roast beef sandwiches. Heard so much about them, had to try them. They were good, nothing fantastic, no goofy conga lines that the waiters do in dining room or other things like that. Rising tide bar. novel thing to do. that is about it. Cleanliness of the ship, staff was great all around. Things I did not like; Ordered fresh squeezed O J. didn't realize at the time that that was an extra charge. Be forewarned. 2 glasses of O J with the included tip was 9 bucks. Sorrento's- pizza is eehh. Seafood Shack- did not like at all. Clam chowder was OK, but I felt lousy that night. They put it in a sourdough bowl that did not appear/taste fresh. My husband had no complaints about his meal. Johnny Rockets. pretty much as above. I did not care much for the hot dog/fries/ onion rings. Did not think they tasted OK. Hubby liked his burger. Glass of wine at many of the bars was around 12 bucks. Pina colada I ordered had almost no rum. Watched him make it and there was almost none in it. It tasted fine, but no rum, no buzz.. boo.. cost of photos. Renting a locker on Labadee is 4 bucks. Since we did the coaster and zip line, we needed to rent lockers at two locations. 8 bucks for lockers you use for maybe 1 hour each time. Went on an excursion in Jamaica, the catamaran/ Dunn's river falls one that the ship has. The boat guys will charge you for water and beer. They will try to get you to buy hair braiding and jewelry. I thought that was inappropriate.The hotel they stop for lunch at is nice, the food was ok. not great. The weird bugs that make that constant electrical buzzing sound. We heard them at the solarium. I have heard the same insects when I went to the South. bug bites. The massive congestion on the boardwalk and at the buffet. no midnight buffets, no ice sculpture, not enough of the trivia goofy games. Ports Labadee. The coaster and zip lines were good. The port was nice. The labadoozy drink they had was most tasty. Falmouth. I already mentioned the catamaran thing. At Dunn's river. I was unable to climb the falls so I went up the stairs. Be forewarned. If you choose this option there are a ton of stairs to climb. You must wade through one part of water that will go up to your knees to get to the stairs. Then a 'guide' helped us to get to the stairs and walked up them with us. He had us stop a few times and took photos. When we got up to the top he was waiting for a tip. well I only had a couple of singles and a ten. he told me to 'give me something good' So he said he had change. I gave him the ten, he gave me back a five( I told him to give me back a five) Cozumel. did the swim with rays. I recommend this. Fascinating creatures. I wanted to go to this restaurant which had this crazy coffee drink. They light the thing on fire and they pour from one cup to another with about 2 feet between. looks like a giant blue waterfall. It is called 'sexy coffee' (see the you tube videos) . It has 4-5 types of alcohol in it.It is at 'la mission' ( pronounced miss e on) Well, they only serve it at night when you can get the full effect of the fire. Huge let down. Food was OK there. Most disappointed about no sexy coffee.It was the only reason we went there to eat. When we got to Cozumel we were one of 6 other cruise ships there. 6 ships. Personally, I like a quieter ship with a lot less people. The ship is very good. If you like a ship with a lot of action this is more for you. I conked out at 10 or so. Hubby said the shows were good. I didn't get to most of them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Actually, one could spend a month on the Oasis and never see the ocean. It really is a floating city, to the extent that you rarely realize you are on a ship. One should view the video on the Oasis construction to really appreciate the ... Read More
Actually, one could spend a month on the Oasis and never see the ocean. It really is a floating city, to the extent that you rarely realize you are on a ship. One should view the video on the Oasis construction to really appreciate the design and assembly of these monsters. We had one of the "Inside Balcony" cabins, overlooking "Central Park". Don't bother. Since there is nothing to look out on except a few trees and a few folks strolling along the sidewalks, it becomes boring after about 3 minutes. And, the view never changes! The cabin appointments were OK but the cabin itself was a little small, compared to other ships we have sailed on. The Shows are, for the most part, terrific, almost Broadway quality. However, the methodology for getting in to the shows, making reservations, standing in line for everything, not knowing were to line up for standby makes the entire process terrible. RCCL needs more signage and a better method for show access. While, in the end, everything seemed to work out OK, all the show entrance processes are a mess. The Wi-Fi arrangement is not as good as some of the other ships we have been on, either the network capacity is commonly exceeded or the RCCL setup arrangement does not work as well on such a large ship. Watching an outdoor movie in the sun is a waste of time, even if the movie is a first run hit. The food was fine, not exceptional, the buffet area upstairs is way too crowded and laid out very odd. The doughnut shop served the worst doughnuts I have ever eaten. A complete wast of time. The Roast Beef Sandwiches in the Park Grille were outstanding. The water shows were wonderful, the Aqua Theater is amazing. Again, difficult to believe you are on a moving ship. All in all, we much prefer a smaller ship, with more traditional arrangements.With regard to the ports, a common T-Shirt says "Same Crap, Different Island" and I paraphrase the saying. That about says it all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We were invited to cruise with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. We had taken a RCI cruise in 1992 and were not impressed. The pluses - the ship is magnificent, clean, well run, and well staffed. Cabin was adequate with an ... Read More
We were invited to cruise with my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. We had taken a RCI cruise in 1992 and were not impressed. The pluses - the ship is magnificent, clean, well run, and well staffed. Cabin was adequate with an outside balcony. Cabin attendant did a great job and was rewarded for same. MDR service was excellent and the waiter/assistant waiter did a very nice presentation. Food: For the most part the food was good; not excellent, and not up to my expectations. The buffet had overcooked and old food on display. One day I selected an egg salad sandwich that, apparently, was a bit old. I paid for it by running to the toilet all night. MDR food was OK, some not hot enough or undercooked. I was greatly disappointed in the room service offerings. Very limited breakfast, very unhealthy dinner and lunch selections. Like the reservations get seated first for the shows policy, but do not like choice seats saved for gold or diamond members or whatever they are. I also did not like the photographers bothering us every night at dinner to take photos. Very annoying as they wanted to rearrange the seating for the shot. I finally told them to get lost. Overall the staff was very congenial and friendly, did not meet a nasty one in the bunch. Embarkation/debarkation was a snap and went smoothly. A nice surprise. We all had a good time and would consider going again. However I would prefer driving through Austria in a rented Audi. I believe that the cruise was a bit pricey and would look for a more reasonable alternative. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise Jan. 21 -- 28, 2012 Each January Vincent books our anniversary cruise and this year was no different. We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary aboard the Oasis. The same ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise Jan. 21 -- 28, 2012 Each January Vincent books our anniversary cruise and this year was no different. We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary aboard the Oasis. The same time last year we cruised on the Allure of the Seas, in a wheelchair accessible cabin with a balcony overlooking the sea and we thought it would be interesting to try a different cabin site -- so this time we booked a wheelchair accessible cabin over looking the Boardwalk. Well, there is an old adage: "Never leave the true and tried road for a new one." Or as the Italians say: "Chi lascia la via vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia, ma non sa quel che trova" (Who leaves the old road for a new one knows what he leaves, but not what he finds). Just a word of advice: If you want a restful and relaxing cruise book the ocean view cabin! This week the Oasis was fully booked with 6380 passengers (approx. 75% from USA) and 2200 crew members -- On the Royal Promenade at times it was like being in a busy airport or train station -- However, we always managed to escape the crowds by walking to the most peaceful place aboard: Central Park, where the many plants, flowers, and the soft background music and sounds of chirping birds and water falls evoked in us a sense of pastoral relaxation. Due to logistics, Captain Thore Thorolvsen remained a remote figure; we did not have a chance to meet him: The Oasis is too big and too busy for anything else! But we did have the opportunity to meet again Hotel Director Martin Rissley, whom we had known from past cruises. He gave us a warm welcome back to the Oasis on which we had spent 12 wonderful days during her inaugural cruise in December of 2009. It is amazing to see that everything in this huge floating resort runs perfectly: From stateroom to dining room, from casual dining to specialty dining, from entertainment to passenger service, etc., etc.... A lot of credit for the successful outcome of cruising on this behemoth floating city goes to the great experience of our friend Martin. We were so happy to see him again. EMBARKATION Considering the huge number of embarking passengers, RCCL has adopted a well oiled check-in process, a large number of check-in booths where passengers are directed by their cabin deck. In addition, priority is given to people in wheelchairs, Suites and "Frequent Floaters" (Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members of the Crown & Anchor Society). So our check-in was expeditious and in minutes we were in our cabin. Here was the first "wow": A telephone call notified us that Vincent had left his wallet at the check-in booth. He went back to retrieve his wallet, thanked the kind lady that found it, but, due to the crowding, did not ask her name, so later he could not mention her for the "wow" employee who made the difference in our cruise! To the special lady: We wish we could have thanked you more appropriately. We are sorry we did not. SHIP The Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship afloat, was launched the fall of 2009. She was the first of an innovative class of RCCL ships. The second ship of this class is the Allure of the Seas, which was launched a year later. Needless to say, no other existing cruise ship matches this pair in size, shapes or innovations. For a detailed review of the Oasis we refer the readers to the one we posted on this web site in December 2009. This review will be confined to the impression of our return to the Oasis and the difference of our balcony exposure. CABIN Our stateroom was a wheelchair accessible cabin with balcony, # 14303, on deck 14, the top deck with passenger cabins. This cabin was similar to the one we had the last cruise on the Oasis, #14166. The major difference between the two cabins was that the first one overlooked the ocean and this one was above the Boardwalk. Needless to say, it lacked privacy since it was facing the cabins on the starboard side and the Sports Court on deck 15, with constant passenger activity. The first time out on the balcony, Mary was startled by two dangling legs whizzing by. Yes, the Zip Line went right by our balcony. The balcony was a bit smaller than the one we had before, thus we did not ask the steward for a chaise lounge for Vincent. No matter, we soon realized that for privacy we would have the drapes closed during most of the voyage and the use of the balcony was limited to very little time, since Vincent could not enjoy relaxation due to the noisy activities on the Boardwalk below, nor could he be lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean's waves. Moreover, he could not stargaze during clear nights. Don't let us deter you from booking a cabin overlooking the Boardwalk, since your preferences may be different from ours and you might enjoy looking at the Aqua Show or watching the people having fun below. Wheelchair accessible cabins on this ship have no automatic door openers, which facilitate the handicapped passenger to enter and exit the room. On a few ships we have enjoyed the automatic openers (see the Solstice class ships), thus we suggest that such convenience should be used on all ships. However, on the Oasis the wheelchair accessible bathrooms and most of the doorways are equipped with automatic door openers. SERVICE & FOOD Despite the high number of cruisers, service is excellent under H.D. Martin Rissley. In the Opus Dining Room, Head of Restaurant Operations Oliver Dzalevski, gave us an excellent table near the entrance. Head Waiter Jay was on the ball and our waiters were terrific: James Francis, Michelle Edwards and MacArthur couldn't have been sharper! As usual RCCL has tremendous portions and excellent meats. We feasted each and every meal. We also enjoyed Giovanni's Table, the upscale Italian restaurant and its special atmosphere, music and service. We lamented the absence of Chef Marco Morrama, whom we met on the previous cruise, but now he is on the Allure. He has an exquisite touch with authentic Italian cuisine. The abundance of venues for food and the hot cookies and scones are still very popular and much appreciated on RCCL ships. The Concierge Club Lounge is unique to RCCL and it is a positive perk for Suite passengers and Crown &Anchor advanced members: Complimentary specialty coffee (Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, etc.), pastries, juices and fruits are available for breakfast and through the day; and hors d'ouvres and drinks are offered before dinner in the evenings. This cruise Ricardo Mock and Allan Fajardo shared the duty of Concierge and were very helpful to us regarding reservations for shows and specialty dining, etc. The Concierge Club Lounge is also a nice place to meet people and make new friends. We were fortunate to befriend a couple of very interesting people from California, Sandy and Dennis, with whom we spent some nice time conversing about the cruises and other topics of common interest every evening during our pre dinner cocktail hour. We promised to keep in touch with each other, but have not yet been able to do it, first due to a computer problem and then to some health problems that afflicted us. We promise to get in touch with them as soon as possible. ENTERTAINMENT Amy Fickert from Springfield, Ohio is the youngest Cruise Director of the RCCL fleet. Attractive and outgoing, she rallies the passengers for the many venues on board: sports, exercise and poolside activities. She introduces the major theater shows and she hosts "The Love and Marriage Game Show" on Monday evenings in the Opal Theater. There are several shows performed in the Opal Theater which require reservation. Some shows are presented several times, so if you miss them on the first day of the performance, you can catch them on the second or third time. The Headliner Showtime "Mosaic" and the production shows "Hairspray" and "Come Fly with Me" are currently shown in the Opal Theater. A stand up comedy show is offered every night in Comedy Live, deck 4. In Studio B there is an Olympic quality ice skating show, "Frozen in Time" which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's tales, just fantastic! Don't miss it. At the end of the ice show there is an interesting attraction: A young lady and her assistant who tell stories using sand painting or sculpturing -- unbelievable, touching the sand on a screen with rapid motions of her hands and fingers she created numerous changing scenes with characters and animals, etc.... There is live entertainment all over the ship, including classic string music, jazz and dancing. Go out and find your favorite entertainment. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Depart 5:30pm Day 2. At Sea Day 3. Labadee, Haiti Arrive 7:00am Depart 4:30pm Day 4. Falmouth, Jamaica Arrive 10:00am Depart 6:30pm Day 5. At Sea Day 6. Cozumel, Mexico Arrive 8:00am Depart 6:30pm Day 7. At Sea Day 8. Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Arrive 7:00am DEBARKATION Debarkation was just as efficient as embarkation. The passengers in need of wheelchair assistance met in a designated area on deck 5, where a coordinator indicated the order of debarkation according to the passenger's luggage tag color. In less than fifteen minutes we collected our luggage and went through customs. Within half an hour we were on our way home. CONCLUSION This was a good cruise, but not as great as the last one on the Oasis. The big disappointment was the selection of our cabin with the balcony facing the Boardwalk, rather than the ocean. However, Oasis and Allure offer alternatives that other ships do not have, most of their inside cabins have balconies or windows on Central Park, Boardwalk or the Royal Promenade. Our next cruise will be on the MSC Poesia, a new cruise line for us, and on March 17th we'll return to one of our favorite ship, the Grand Princess. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Seven day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel, February 18 through 25, 2012. 1. Embarkation/debarkation at Fort Lauderdale was quick and easy. We arrived at FLL on Saturday about 1:30PM, after baggage claim we ... Read More
Seven day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel, February 18 through 25, 2012. 1. Embarkation/debarkation at Fort Lauderdale was quick and easy. We arrived at FLL on Saturday about 1:30PM, after baggage claim we were in our cabin within an hour. Leaving the ship the following Saturday, we left one the ship's restaurants at 7AM, we were at the airport at 7:45AM. 2. The ship was great, the shows were impressive. The Aqua Theatre and Come Fly with Me were my favorites, Hairspray was good also. There is always something going on, the Promenade and Boardwalk were great. 3. Ports- Labadee was just beach. There were things to do and a bunch of small shops, but I wasn't too impressed. Falmouth- our stateroom attendant was from Jamacia; we were signed up to see "Historic Labadee" but he told us that there wasn't much to see there. We did a bus trip to Dunn's River Falls and Montego Bay instead. The tour and tour guide were great, but the bus driver drove very dangerously and recklessly. You are a long ways from good medical care there, a big wreck wouldn't have been too good. Cozumel was Cozumel, we had been there lots of times, so just did shopping there. If I had any complaint on the Oasis itself, it would be that the chair hogs on the decks around the pools are alive and well, even in the Solarium. I also requested an accommodation for a CPAP, but this was never addressed or asked about, so I figured out things myself. We were on Deck 6, port side near the rear elevators. Lots of door slamming that shook our cabin walls throughout the day and evenings, may have been the utility/janitor spaces across the hall. Overall, these are just minor issues, we didn't allow the cruise lines to nickel and dime us to death and avoided swiping the "Sea Pass" card at all the shops and venues. I think we may have put around $100 on the Sea Pass card overall. Would I go again? Very possibly. I'd love to take the grandkids. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
I was recently on the Oasis of the Seas for a corporate event. I usually have cruised on smaller ships so was a bit uneasy going on such a huge ship. I read the reviews before boarding and they helped very much. Many of my friends are ... Read More
I was recently on the Oasis of the Seas for a corporate event. I usually have cruised on smaller ships so was a bit uneasy going on such a huge ship. I read the reviews before boarding and they helped very much. Many of my friends are "cruise snobs" and only like the smaller luxury lines and turned up their noses when I told them I was going on the Oasis. Upon boarding, I quickly laughed at them all! This ship was truly magnificent! I am not afraid of large groups, as a matter of fact I like a larger group, more to look at and you don't have to see the same people over and over again! Reading the reviews and ship information was very helpful before I set sail. I learned about the dining options and entertainment and lots of tips from previous travelers, so thanks! I have to say, this was a fantastic cruise ship. The ship is the destination as the ports are really nothing to write about. From the moment you drop your luggage off at the curb, everyone was helpful, nice and welcoming, it was great. I really didn't know what to expect with such a huge ship, but everything about it was great! Passing through security was a breeze and boarding was delightful. Upon entering the ship, it is a bit overwhelming as it really is BIG. But so well laid out and planned it was a pleasure. I had booked a balcony ocean room which was very nice on the 10th deck. It was well appointed (smaller than a ship like Regent) but adequate. The bathrooms are really small and storage space is pretty limited. The bed was very comfortable and the cabin service was excellent, anything I needed was there as soon as you asked for it. Dining on the ship was fantastic. There are so many choices and the food everywhere was excellent. I was very surprised that on a ship this big and with this many passengers that the food was SO good. Fresh choices and lots of them, all served in a beautiful presentation with very friendly staff. I tried many of the dining venues including a few of the extra charge places and they were all good. The Windjammer cafe was always excellent with so much to choose from. The Park Cafe was delightful and there was always something to eat somewhere. The snack bar on the youth deck was always pretty crowded but other than that the dining places were great. The cafe in the spa was excellent with wonderful healthy choices every day. The entertainment was some of the best I have ever seen at sea! Hairspray was terrific, Come fly with me was great, the Aqua Theater presentations fantastic! Even the comedy club and improve places were fun, there was always something to do. What I liked best about this ship is that there were always so many choices of things to do and places to be. You could walk around, watch a show, eat something, choose from so many activities, all were great! Disembarkation was SO easy also! I actually carried my luggage off myself and left the ship at 7AM and was in the parking lot at 7:20, so easy and problem free. All in all this was a terrific cruise and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to do many things and always have something to do. Even if you want to do nothing at all, there are great places to be. I did book the ships tour ($150) and it was really fun and for me, well worth it. I enjoyed seeing all the "back rooms" of the ship and the bridge, etc. It was a great tour and fun to see how such a big ship runs. Now, just a few comments of "less than perfect". The WiFi was really bad on the ship and was very expensive. Actually a rip off! It often didn't work and the charges really added up very quickly because it was so slow. It almost seemed like they did it on purpose to add to your charges. For such a modern ship in the 21st century, shame on Royal Caribbean! The room service menu was pretty limited (only omelets for breakfast, no choice of eggs) and the food was pretty much always cold. That was a big disappointment as I enjoy a nice breakfast in my cabin in the morning. My last negative comment is the 100% single supplement charge. I enjoy traveling alone and you have to pay for 2 so that was a huge annoyance. I understand the business side of having passengers but I found that really just gouging. This would be a great ship to take a big family group on or a reunion group as there are so many things for everyone to do! All in all a fantastic ship (not so great ports), great staff, great entertainment and great food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
pre-cruise we stayed at Hilton Marina which was filled to capacity as there were 4-5 ships leaving Ft. Lauderdale that day. We arrived at 1:30 pm and notified the hotel of an early arrival but our room was not ready until check in time, ... Read More
pre-cruise we stayed at Hilton Marina which was filled to capacity as there were 4-5 ships leaving Ft. Lauderdale that day. We arrived at 1:30 pm and notified the hotel of an early arrival but our room was not ready until check in time, 4PM. Great hotel and great location. We could see the ships from our room facing the causeway. Because things seemed so chaotic, and we couldn't wait to get on board the oasis, we left our room around 10:15, shared a van ($6.pp) to the port. the process was extremely fast and we went to inquiry with port coordinator to see if any upgrades were available. everyone on that line was told the same thing. they wanted $2,000 for an upgrade to a jr. suite, which was more than if we had arranged it on line.by 11:20 we were sitting at the Park Cafe eating the famous roast beef sandwich, which was very good. We then wandered around the ship and checked our room at 1:30 which was available. The room was very nice and the ship was amazing. Entertainment - the best of any cruiseship. You could be in las vegas with what was offered. My favorites were Dream (the aqua show) Hairspray, comedy club (very politically incorrect) beatle show, come fly with me, and edna and tracy live. On a scale of 1-10 I would give a 15, although this is subjective, as my husband would give an 8-9 Food- We never ate at the Windjammer. Most meals were either the main dining room (my time dining)Park Cafe, or Solarium buffet. I thought lunch and dinner in the dinning room were very good, breakfast all around was not great. eggs were awful. My special request for berries at breakfast was mostly ignored. We ate at one specialty restaurant - Chops and service and quality of food was very good. Fitness- i took one spin class $15) and one "gravity" class ($30) which is similar to pilates. both were good not great. the machines could be crowded at times, and even though they had windows looking at the sea, they didn't give a great view. We enjoyed the gym on the Epic more. For so many people on the ship it was not very large. after the first day I didn't have trouble finding an eliptical to work out on. Pools/recreation- the zip line was a disappointment, but the flowriders looked really cool and there were tons of things to do. Things disappointed with: The solarium was beautiful but it was always chaotic in there, noisy and busy. We looked for a quiet place just to relax or read but on seadays this was difficult. Our large balcony - the chairs were very hard and uncomfortable plus since RCI allows smoking on the balcony there were many times we couldn't use it. Worse coffee and eggs The best things on the boat were- Entertainment, thermal spa, staff, room, activities.  The "secret" balconies on 11, 12, 14 (aft) These areas overlook the back of the ship and there are comfortable lounges and chairs. Unfortunately, sometimes it is "noisy" due to events going on in the Aqua theater. ports- we did not pick the ship for the ports. Labadee - turned out better than anticipated. vendors were pushy, and we had fun watching folks use the zipline over the water. Jamaica- went on Chukkah beach excursion (no lunch) which can only be booked on board Unfortunately, it was overcast and drizzling, but i'm still glad we went. Cozumel- Went to Nachi chocum an all inclusive (booked on line $55pp) including lounge, all drinks (including alcohol) and lunch. It was our best day. I got a 1/2 hour massage (40.00) there is also a pool/hottub the stores in falmouth were not impressive. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have been on family cruises once a year since we started having kids 7 years ago. We love Disney but also REALLY like RC and since RC is usually cheaper, we have cruised them more often, always on the Freedom Class ships. This time, we ... Read More
We have been on family cruises once a year since we started having kids 7 years ago. We love Disney but also REALLY like RC and since RC is usually cheaper, we have cruised them more often, always on the Freedom Class ships. This time, we decided to try Oasis and found that it was just about as expensive as the (old) Disney ships, but we went with it anyway. Embarkation was smooth as silk because our plane was late, so we didn't arrive at the port until 3pm. You could have heard a pin drop, it was deserted! We will probably intentionally show up late from now on! Our cabins were nice (2 connecting balcony on 8 foreward) but they are smaller than the same cabins on FOS. Our room steward, Kathyann, was FABULOUS!!!! She really went above and beyond, and was always smiling and laughing. We had "My Time" dining and we won't ever do that again. I suppose if you were going to be eating at vastly different times each night, it might be beneficial. For us, we always ate between 6 and 7 and would probably have been fine with the 630 seating. I have always liked having the same staff each night and so missed that aspect. In addition, some nights there were LONG waits even with reservations (made them online before the cruise) On our last night, our server was awful and we actually saw the next table over get up and leave because they weren't getting waited on in a reasonable time. The food was the same as it is on every RC cruise. Nothing was terrible and nothing really stood out. We did dine at 150 Central Park one night and it was a very nice dining experience. I particularly liked the flavored salts that they served with the bread. The food was good, but not to-die-for good. I can't comment on the shows as we never went to one. The ports are the same old, same old. Labadee was nice, DD7 went to the kids club for the morning and I hung out on the beach. We skipped Jamaica (DD3 was not feeling well) and in Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach Club which was really nice - great beach, nice facilities and great customer service. The food was good but overpriced and the drinks were weak AND overpriced! LOL Both kids loved the carousel, DD7 climbed the rock wall and loved it. Both went to the kids club and we were very happy with the staff and activities there. The only thing that was unique about this ship was the Carousel and Central Park, both of which I really liked. But the ship was huge and it was kind of a pain to get to the kids pool from our cabin, then have to hike back across to the kids club, then hike back across to the buffet, then back across to the adults area (you get the idea). And with the slightly smaller cabins, I don't see any reason why I won't be returning to the Freedom Class ships for future cruises. Of note, Ft Lauderdale airport IS NOT equipped to deal with the crowds from these huge ships and it was a nut-house on Saturday trying to leave. HUGE lines at checkin and security. I won't fly through there again unless they expand. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Oasis of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 3.8

Find an Oasis of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click