Sail Date: October 2012
This was the 3rd cruise for my husband and me. The first two were on Norwegian, the Epic was our first cruise. We were not disappointed. Embarkement, we arrived from the FLL airport at 10:45/20th via a taxi, this is the cheapest and ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise for my husband and me. The first two were on Norwegian, the Epic was our first cruise. We were not disappointed. Embarkement, we arrived from the FLL airport at 10:45/20th via a taxi, this is the cheapest and quickest way to get to port. We were able to board by 11:30, it was fairly quick. We were allowed in our rooms at 1:00 pm. Our room, an outside balcony, was spacious enough for two with plenty of storage. Our balcony was huge. Our room attendant, Linda was great. The room was always clean and the bathroom set up was practical. We enjoyed the pool bar and the wait staff was terrific, very friendly. I've read a lot of reviews stating the staff is less than friendly, we did encounter this twice, once at Sorrento's and once in the Windjammer. My husband was waiting for another passenger to finish up because he didn't want to be rude and the person serving the ice cream sniped at him. But this was not typical behavior of the crew. Most are friendly and pleasant and eager to assist you. The Windjammer was usually crowded, but not early in the morning or on "off" times, and we really didn't have a problem getting a table. The food was mediocre and the selection was not very good. No omelet station? The Dining Room was excellent and I would definitely recommend. Chops was delicious and did not disappoint (we pre booked our reservations for specialty restaurants). Giovanni's was good, but did not have a lot of traditional Italian dishes. The menu needs tweaking. Central Park and the Solarium were pretty good if you are looking for a more healthy bite to eat. Sorrentos', well if you are from the Northeast, or Chicago, chances are you are not going to like this pizza. Unless you are really into cardboard with cheese. And don't be surprised if you are glared at for asking for extra sauce. I would not recommend. Elevators, yes, you will wait, they are sometimes pretty slow. Sometimes even when there was not a show just letting out. Aqua Show, great, highly recommended. Hairspray, do not miss this. Very talented people in both shows. We were disappointed that there was not more entertainment on the pool decks and we never saw the cruise director there. With Norwegian, it was more of a relaxed atmosphere, the cruise director was always on the deck motivating passengers to participate in contests and activities. There was always a live band playing Caribbean type music. On St. Thomas we did the SeaBlaster Snorkel with sea turtles and stingrays. This was a lot of fun. Rum punch on the relaxing ride back. On St. Maarten, we took the $7 ferry to the beach, did some shopping and then found Art in the orange shirt, we rented two lounge chairs and an umbrella, got 5 beers for only $20. This was a great morning-afternoon relaxing on the beach, well worth the money. Art was bringing me Mango Daquari's all day (for a fee). Yes, there were a lot of ladies parading their goods in front of us, but this is their lively hood. As it has already been stated, 6100 passengers on board, but it never really seemed crowded. There are plenty of places to go and things to do. On Thursday/25th, we found out about Hurricane "Sandy". Our Captain expertly guided us along the northern coast of Cuba to avoid the more rough seas. There were constantly updates on the TV to keep us informed. The weather did get very windy on Friday/26th, there was a lot of "motion in the ocean", but it was not bad and I didn't see anyone that looked seasick. We arrived back at the port in Fort Lauderdale about a 1/2 hour late, but with plenty of time to disembark and make our flight home. All in all, my husband and I had a great time and I would like to book for next year on a ship in the Freedom class. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We had this cruise planned a year in advance. I am a planner, so I did as much research as I could and I think it helped a lot to know the different opinions before getting on Oasis. As first time cruisers, we really had no idea on most ... Read More
We had this cruise planned a year in advance. I am a planner, so I did as much research as I could and I think it helped a lot to know the different opinions before getting on Oasis. As first time cruisers, we really had no idea on most of the stuff others would know from cruising before. We booked our cruise thru a travel agency which did nothing for us. Not sure if this is how everyone books cruises, but knowing we were first time cruisers, she took our money and never made any effort to talk to us again. She will not get our repeat business. At the airport, we had set up a transfer with RC thru our travel agent. I don't think we would do this again. We ended up having to push, pull and drag all of our luggage several terminals down to catch the bus they wanted us to board. The driver of the bus was a very disgruntled employee who insulted other employees and said he was quitting, as well as had several comments about other drivers (he was a scary driver himself). We chuckled about it, but it still left a negative impression. Boarding the ship was as easy as everyone has stated. We got on and went to our room to check out the view and leave our carryons. Room was small, I didn't find much space for clothing. Bathroom was ok, shower big complaints overall. We had lunch at Park Cafe. Pretty warm in the sun, but we managed. We walked around some and then headed back to the room to see if our luggage caught up with us. We found our luggage sitting with a few other suitcases in a room, so we just took them to the room ourselves. We unpacked and then headed to the muster drill. As a first time cruiser, I didn't know the Sea pass card always needed to be with me. Oops. We ate dinner in the main dining room every night. The food was ok. I do not eat fish, so the choices for me were sometimes a challenge. Mostly impressed with the dessert presentation. The service staff was wonderful and very personable. We ate breakfast at Johny Rockets, the dining room, the solarium, room service and the marketplace. I think the breakfast was best in the main dining room and Johny Rockets. Getting a freshly made omlet in both places, was great. The solarium is good if you want to eat healthy. Lunch in the main dining room was the best. They have a salad bar and several different dishes (warm). Saw the captain at lunch here, only time we saw him other than on the tv. Marketplace was ok, I didn't think selection was that great at breakfast or lunch. The pizza place was just ok. Cupcakes were stale. Donuts were not thrilling. Free yogurt was nice on a hot day. We spent less on alcohol than we expected. We bought a wine package, and honestly that could have been enough. We did a few other drinks and a few beers. Love the drink of the day, and the cabana boys walking around selling them. We only had one day at the pool, thanks to Sandy. Pools and hot tubs are nice. Plenty of chairs! We did a few shows. I am not a big entertainment person. I like the sunshine and relaxing. Comedy show was very good. Come Fly With Me was also. We attended Holy's shopping seminar and got a free coupon booklet for the ports. This is a good idea if you plan to shop for jewelry. We only stayed at Nassau for 2 hours. Really is a dump. Nothing was open (Sunday) at 7am when we docked. The people who live there are very aggressive and it just wasn't relaxing. Most people stayed on the ship if that tells you anything. St Thomas was great. Took an excursion on Bones. Highly recommend this, the people were so friendly. St Maarten we did our shopping. Could of used more time in the ports. The last two days it rained and was so windy. Tried to get sun on Friday, and it was funny seeing all the deck chairs flying around. Worse night was Friday, we had closet door slamming around, hangers banging, etc. I wish the end of the cruise would have been different. Overall, I am ready to cruise again! I will go to better ports next time, and try a smaller ship. I hear from most they like smaller better. We never were bored on Oasis, I did find many of the people around us were very rude. They don't like waiting in lines, so they cut. Lines and waiting are a huge part of this ship! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We are seniors (early 60s), traveling without children, who booked 2 ½ weeks out because our planned cruise on another line was cancelled. We quickly chose between Oasis, Freedom. While Freedom was less expensive, the plane fare and ... Read More
We are seniors (early 60s), traveling without children, who booked 2 ½ weeks out because our planned cruise on another line was cancelled. We quickly chose between Oasis, Freedom. While Freedom was less expensive, the plane fare and logistics to Freedom just didn't work out from NJ at the last minute. Part I -- Booking last minute - We had limited choice of cabins at the last minute and we ended up choosing a unique ocean view all the way at the front of the ship overlooking the helicopter pad. We had a choice between this and boardwalk balcony right next to the arch on deck 14 and an OV on central park. Inside guarantees were more expensive. 3 days later only a few suites were left. Since DH values quiet over anything else we chose the forward OV. The cabin had the obvious disadvantage of the long walk to the forward elevators but we like to walk. We loved the cabin. It probably had 10 sq ft of empty cabin space near the slanted window wall. There were 2 full length windows with some OV if you stand or sit by the window. It was very quiet. Cruisers have no access to the helipad except for the one C&A party which we attended. Great deck if you hate elevators. We could walk down to deck 5 to the promenade and deck 6 to Central Park & the fitness center, or across the ship to the Boardwalk. When we booked, early seating was waitlisted so we took My Time Dining. As it turned out, we cleared early seating immediately, so the only thing this changed was that we prepaid gratuities. We found this out when we went to book dinner reservations on line and it did not let us. We immediately tried to book shows. We got 2 shows at a desirable time and 2 during the afternoon. The only Comedy Shows were late night so we did not book. We took the advice of fellow Cruise Critics and got to the ship at 10:30, embarked at 11:15 (we are platinum) and went directly to Studio B where they gave you a list to circle all the shows you were interested in. We then got on a short line to have our requests entered into the system. We left as happy campers, only to discover that the new reservations did not make it onto our cards. Guest services was able to get us all our reservations. This was just one of many times we had to visit guest services on this cruise. I spent more time waiting on line for guest services than I did for elevators. Except for the Aqua Show and the Comedy Show, there were empty seats for all the shows in the theatre. We chose the 8:30 time and even went to one of the shows a second time, waiting on no reservation line for 15 minutes. Part 2 -- No denying it, the ship is unique and beautiful. DH even did ziplining and flowriding twice. Since we are early birds there was not a big line early. We spent many hours walking back and forth across the ship but we would have been just as happy walking on an outside promenade. I did like walking from dinner to shows across Central Park. It gave a nice upscale feel to the evening. -Activities were geared to children and families. -No destination lectures or enrichment lectures -No formal bridge lectures or games -Fewer trivia than on most cruise ships (or else they were so far away, not worth going to) -Solarium had no shaded area so it was worthless to us. -We struggled to find things to do on sea days that interested us. -3D movies in theatre were geared to children. We watched Men In Black III which was fine. However we skipped Puss and Boots and the other animated movie. On other ships there is usually a movie in the afternoon, especially on sea days or unpopular port days like Jamaca. RCCL-please take note, more movies would be so inexpensive to add. We went to a Celine Dion music/movie in the aqua theatre and the acoustics were terrible. Maybe there were other shows of interest in the aqua theatre but they were not advertised in The Daily Planner and we were not in a cabin where we could just drop by the Aqua Theatre multiple times a day to see what was playing. The schedule is filled with photo opportunities with Dream Works characters where other ships would have adult geared activities. -Food was good. We ate all dinners in MDR and we were more than satisfied with food and service. There were also many food venues around the ship. We eat a light lunch and we were happy with the Solarium. No problem getting seating except on the day when it started to drizzle. We ate breakfast in the MDR. -Shows were good, especially enjoyed Hairspray. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much in the afternoon. Also liked the aerial show and saw it twice. -Music was way too loud in the pool areas, so we often had to move around. Wish there was shade in the solarium. -Large hot tubs with ocean view were great. -Great ship for people with children using strollers. There are a lot of sensory experiences in different neighborhoods. -Debarkation was one of the easiest ever. Wish RCCL could do this for other ships. We usually take self debarkation but were afraid of the elevators with luggage. So we chose an early time for debarkation and walked down the steps and out to the terminal. Found our luggage and it was a short wait to get through customs. We then grabbed a taxi to our hotel (about 8:45). -Because I had to prepay gratuities when booking, and also prebooked excursion, I had leftover $100 non-refundable OBC. Fortunately I went to Guest Services and asked for cash back or I would have lost the $100. I had to get the money from casino and pay the $3.00 fee (no big deal). -Ports - Always like Labadee. We had a great day where we walk off ship and to beach. Did the Chitza Nitza tour in Cozamel. A long day with 6 hours of bus and the ferry rides to/from mainland but the few hours in Chitza Nitza are a once in a lifetime experience and worth the drive. Food and drink on this $110 excursion was unacceptable. If they can't give you choices they should either put more pressure on the tour operators or let you take box lunch off ship. In Falmouth we walked around outside the gated port area. We did not feel unsafe, but it was probably the poorest place we have ever visited, and we've visited some poor places. Nothing of interest to see. Next time I would either go to a beach or stay on the ship. Personally, we will not cruise on Oasis again, unless we are with grandchildren. However, we are glad we did it once. It was a unique bucket list cruise and we enjoyed the 'ship as the destination'.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Ok, to start this review I'll tell you about the makeup of this party of four cruisers. Myself and my hubby are in our early 30s, with two toddlers (who stayed at their grandparents home for the duration of this cruise) and we're ... Read More
Ok, to start this review I'll tell you about the makeup of this party of four cruisers. Myself and my hubby are in our early 30s, with two toddlers (who stayed at their grandparents home for the duration of this cruise) and we're celebrating our 5yr wedding anniversary on this cruise. We sailed with my hubby's brother and his wife, who are newlyweds (ages: mid-to-late 20s) on their very first cruise. We sailed on the 03Nov -10 Nov Oasis of the Seas Eastern Itinerary. Embarkation: Easy, no worries there. I will say that if you are renting a Budget car, know ahead of time where the turn-in point is at the cruise pier. We still have no idea where it was located, so we wound up having to use the airport location and grab a taxi since they do not have a shuttle from their airport location. Day 1: Sea: After boarding the ship and gawking at the magnificence of this awesome ship, we ate at the Windjammer... crowds weren't too terrible, and it was about 1pm-ish when we boarded. The Windjammer wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be, considering the things I had read from other reviews. After the Honey Stung Chicken Burgers at the Windjammer, we split into gals vs. guys. I have no idea what the guys did, and when I asked my hubby at the end of the cruise, he claims he can't remember what he did the first day (go figure!). We ladies went to Guest Services to book the All-Access Tour and place a space-available announcement in the Cruise Compass for our Anniversary. My sister-in-law and I then proceeded to the 14th deck Card Room (Seven of Hearts/Internet Cafe) to reserve our iphone rental. At $30 per iphone, it was well worth the money, and not near as obnoxious as those much-debated walkie-talkies I saw people screeching into! The neat thing about the iphone is it has the day's Cruise Compass loaded into it, as well as many other numbers (the other iphones it's connected to, maintenance, room attendant, medical, specialty restaurants, etc). Oh, and there is a cool function for parents: you can view location of the other iphones (ie: your kids) as well as the history of where the phone has recently been -- so if you want to stalk your kids, you can! My kids were safely home with their grandparents, but I remember thinking how handy that will be when my boys get older. But, I digress. Ok, we check out the ship and do the sail-away wave on our Junior Suite balconies (with the divider and adjoining room door open, thanks to our suite attendant! Later, we have a delicious dinner at 1830 at Giovanni's Table as part of our Central Park Dining package. At first, during the start of our meal at Giovanni's, there was confusion when we tried to order from our Platinum wine package as we didn't have a sticker on our Sea Pass Card since the MDR puts the sticker on your Sea Pass, and we hadn't been to the MDR yet. But, they figured it out eventually and we were well on our way to boozing it up! We had such a good time with the booze we decided to forgo our Hairspray reservations that night and just chill in our respective rooms. Good times! Day 2: Nassau, Bahamas: We ordered room service by filing out the breakfast request card the night prior and hanging it out on our door, and ate breakfast in our bathrobes on the balcony. It was pretty good, and made it pretty easy to get ready for the day, eat fast, and get down to the pier by the required time for our excursion. We chose the Blue Lagoon Sea Lion Encounter, and it was pretty special. We caught a 30min ferry ride to Blue Lagoon and had a blast getting to see and interact with Sea Lions. They do an informative spiel on Sea Lions prior to your interaction and then you get to see the Sea Lions do tricks such as kissing you, barking at the trainer, clapping, all kinds of fun stuff! I'd recommend this to anyone. Most people going to the Blue Lagoon chose the Dolphins, but I think the Sea Lion excursion was where it was at! Later that evening we ate at the MDR, and as other reviews have done such a good job with posting menus and food porn, I'm going to bypass that part of my review but I will suffice it to say that we NEVER had a bad experience with the yummy food available at ANY venue on this ship. It was really good, hot, and I didn't have to cook it or clean up afterwards, so it's a winner in my book. We decided to see the Oasis of Dreams show after dinner, and it was a really good show. Finding out all the behind-the-scenes of what's involved in producing such a show was really fun at the All-Access-Tour we had at day 7... it clarified some of the questions we had about what went on during the show. That night, between the food at the MDR and the Oasis of Dreams show, we somehow missed the Capt's Welcome Aboard Reception. But, throughout the week I noted that Oasis' Captain was a young (36yrs old -- youngest Captain ever when he sailed a Royal Caribbean ship at age 29), dynamic, charming and witty guy, and it says something, considering that he's risen in the ranks as fast as he has with Royal Caribbean. Day 3: Sea: We began the morning with a breakfast in the Solarium Bistro. Yummy, and yet healthy. ? Then we scrambled over to the Flowrider for our lessons and met up with my hubby's brother and wife as they had lessons with us. It was lots of fun, and I'm proud to say my hubby was super-good at the Flowrider. I need some work, though! Afterwards, both couples split up to do our own thing; it was mine and my hubby's anniversary, after all! We ate lunch at the MDR, which is like having dinner at the MDR in the quality of food and level of service. We decided afterwards to make up for that lost Hairspray show we didn't see the first night, and waited for 20 mins in the no-reservation line for the show. We were allowed in right when the show was about 5mins from starting and still managed to get good seats. After that show, we checked out Frozen in Time, for which we had reservations. It was just as good as everyone makes it out to be, and the sand artists were also my favorite! After completing the show, we came back to the room to dress for our Anniversary dinner at 150 Central Park to find our stateroom decorated in Valentine Cupid "Celebrate Love" decorations ... for our Anniversary Package. No "Happy Anniversary" to be found anywhere. Ok. Whatever. Shrug and go on with life. Our champagne and heart flowers are there, so that's nice. We were missing the cupcakes, and we had to call and ask for them when they still never showed up a couple of days later. And, the last night of the cruise, I had to fight with the Focus photo people to get my freebie keepsake portrait, and got it only after TWO visits to Guest Services. Ugh. I don't recommend bothering with a darn package -- too much trouble for the amount of money you spend on it. Just not worth it to me. Now, onto dinner at 150 CP. 150 was delicious. I didn't realize (since no reviews specified it on CC that I could see) that the Royal Pairing price $75 per person was IN ADDITION to the $40 cover charge, and so I was expecting since we had the Central Park Package, we would just get billed $35 extra. Not so. Learned this the hard way and felt like an A$$ for questioning the final bill. But, hey -- live and learn... and next time we'll go without the Royal Pairing and just stick to our wine package. But, we got REALLY sloshed from all that wine, and we found out we REALLY love the Elk Cove Pinot Gris. Gotta find some more of that stuff, and buy it by the case! ;) We went to the Love and Marriage Game Show and I'm quite sure we had even more fun and laughter since we were still hammered from the wine pairing at dinner. Yay! Then we fell into bed and I remember waking up with a slight hangover, lol! Day 4: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas: Best. Excursion. EVER. Yes, it was epic. What was it, you say... Royal Caribbean calls it Schooner Sail to Christmas and Honeymoon Cove... I call it RUM PUNCH PAINKILLER GOODNESS!!! We sailed on the Silent Lady with our Capt Dave, Gabe, and Christy. They were funny, engaging, and energetic. They started out by telling us all the safety measures in place for the vessel and why they don't start serving Rum punch till AFTER the snorkeling is done (drunk people see double, and it's not fair to see more turtles and stingrays than the rest of us!). On the way over to the cove, we were pleased to have some groovy beach-inspired relaxing tunes piped through the speakers on the Silent Lady. You feel like you're really on vacation! Closer to the cove, Gabe passed out the complimentary snorkeling gear (dive masks, snorkel tube, fins, and a life jacket) that was included in the excursion price and sanitized prior to our use. The first cove they took us to was Christmas Cove, which they've nicknamed Turtle Cove due to all the juvenile sea turtles hanging out, eating the grass on the seabed. We weren't lacking for scenery and Christy was great at guiding us around the cove to show us the reef and turtles. After the allotted snorkeling time was complete, we began our sail to the other cove which had our beachside BBQ waiting for our arrival! And, out comes the bottomless Rum Punch. Apparently, it only counts as one drink if you never get to the bottom, and Christy made it her personal mission to see that nobody met with the bottom of their plastic cup! Now, with some alcohol in our systems, we were a big time partying crowd! Once we got to the beach, we dropped anchor and had an interesting (if zig-zagged) swim to shore. But, with the delicious scent of tantalizing barbeque we made record time in getting to the shore. We were richly rewarded with BBQ chicken wings, ribs, baked beans, potato and macaroni salads, coleslaw and breads. And beer. Can't go wrong there. For those not wanting to partake of the libations, various sodas and bottled water was available. After the beer and BBQ there was beach volleyball, swimming and laying out on the beach. Gabe played football by tossing cans of beer into waving hands, and those who were uncoordinated enough as to be unsuccessful at interceptions had to fish their beer can out of the ocean next to them. Salty beer - No biggie. Now all good things must come to an end, and this excursion was no different. On our sail back to the Oasis, the Silent Lady left her mark in the form of a temporary tattoo of a Jolly Roger pirate flag. You could tell how much beer and/or rum punch a person had by where they chose to apply their temporary tattoo. One gentleman had them placed on his nipples like little Pirate Flag pasties. Another guy had several of them lined up in a row on his bald head, making for a killer Pirate mohawk of sorts. A creative bunch, that's for sure! Anytime we'd see someone walking around with these, we'd all holler greetings at each other. Those temporary tattoos take weeks to remove unless you scrub your skin red and raw with alcohol pads! I wish I could tell you the Headliner (who I heard was a comedian) Show for which we had reservartions was great or that the Battle of the Sexes Game Show was epic... but, we were full from dinner and still buzzed from the copious amounts of liquor coursing through our systems that everyone stumbled back to their respective rooms to do boring things that married couples do such as read the next day's Cruise Compass. ;) Next up: The Harley Ride from Hell... oh, I mean -- "Harley in Paradise". Day 5: Philipsburg, St. Maarten: Worst. Excursion. EVER! This one was epic, too -- but not for the same reasons as the Pirate Ship Sailing. Just to give you a little background on the group's riding history: My husband and his brother have been riding dirtbikes and other various motorcycles since they were 6 years old. This is not an exaggeration; I have seen the videos. We have ALL taken the MSF (Motorcycle Foundation Safety Course) both the beginners and advanced courses. Heck, my hubby was offered an instructor position during the course at one of the bases he and I were stationed at! I, myself, am an intermediate motorcycle rider with several years under my belt, and I used to ride a sportbike (2005 Yamaha R6) prior to having kids. I had the kids and gave up my own motorcycle in favor of occasionally riding the back of my hubby's bike on the rare occasions that we have a babysitter. My hubby traded his R1 sportbike for a cruiser -- a Victory Vegas, after we had our kids. My brother-in-law rides an R1 (with his wife on the back, bless her adventurous soul). So, we're not all a bunch of newbies. You should have seen us- we were the only ones getting off the cruise ship in full length jeans, Harley shirts (ok, none of us owns a Harley, but our family members do!), and helmets. Ok, I was the one who didn't have a helmet in my hand as I failed to borrow one from my mother-in-law since mine is in storage right now (long story). I figured I would just use a loaner helmet. Ugh. Unwise decision -- those things have seen lots of wrecks; I was impressed there weren't still blood stains on them. So, we get off the ship, meet with the excursion greeter who has us sign release forms (to include our credit card info should we wreck and they have to claim a $2,000 deductible on the damage, and on the back of the form is the incident card where they list the info on the wreck. Hmmm... had a lot of wrecks, have they? Interesting...) As the forms are finalized, we meet with the tour leader who drives us to the location of the bikes. He tells us about the history of the island and shows us various points of interest along the way, which was nice. We could barely understand his thick island accent, but he seemed pleasant at first. Then we see the bikes. They are in very questionable states of repair, or should I say disrepair. My hubby wanted me to choose the bike we'd be riding, and I told him that since he has to operate the thing, it's HIS choice. Lol. He picks the one with the passenger seat hanging on by a rusty bolt. I remember the infamous shirt "If you can read this, the B*tch fell off". I held onto my hubby for dear life, because my butt would sway with the slide of the seat if I didn't! My brother-in-law unknowingly picked the motorcycle that later in the ride started stalling out in mid-ride. He had to keep over-revving the engine to keep it from dying. The tour leader was left with the bike that had a problem with acceleration too fast for a group ride, talking on cell phones while riding, lane-splitting, and riding down paths with construction, dangerous traffic jams, potholes, and tons of unmarked speed bumps. Of course, the bike is not to blame for these faults, it's the rider. Yep. The leader was doing all this during the ride, making for a very unsafe group ride. I almost wondered if the leader was TRYING to get us to wreck based on the dangerous riding conditions he was intentionally putting his group in. Judging by the battle scars on each and every one of the loaner helmets I had to choose from, he was successful with previous tour groups at collecting that $2,000 deductible. We decided on one of the frequent market stops the tour guide took us to that we were tired of such risky riding, and we ended the ride 2hrs early. On a good note, I decided to follow up at Guest Services about the dubious riding conditions on this tour in the hopes of saving future riders from this same experience and they told me they would forward the info to the Miami hdqtrs and do an investigation into the tour operator. As an unexpected bonus, RCI told me I would get refunded the money spent on this excursion. After that disappointing endeavor, we went back onto the ship to change into shorts and tshirts, as the riding gear was very hot and uncomfortable! We decided we'd seen enough of the town earlier, and stuck to the shops lining the port. Our hubbies treated us gals to some nice jewelry purchases, so the port went from being a bust to being freakin' fantastic! Lol! We checked out the not-to-be-missed "Belgian Chocolate Box", which sold yummy chocolates. We also discovered they sold more than just your dark chocolate covered pralines or cherries... on the top shelf (out of sight of the little kiddos) are blocks of chocolate that are imprinted with various karma-sutra-esque images. Yep, adult novelty chocolates are sold there, folks. I'm not making that up. I didn't remember that mentioned in any Cruise Critic reviews I read, so now it's documented for posterity (unless the forum moderators edit me!). Our plans later that night were to see the Comedy Live show, and our comedians were AJ Jamal and Joe Yanetti. AJ Jamal was first up, and he was my favorite. He had me in stitches; he was awesome! The second comedian did more of the insult comedy, and I felt bad for the little 17yr old chick (and her mom) sitting in the front row that he was badmouthing. I still laughed at the jokes, as did the 17yr old and her mom, as we were all drinking (even the 17yr old) and everyone knows things are way funnier after you've had a few mojitos. Never made it to the disco inferno... as me and the hubby had better things to do around 11pm, so we missed a lot of those types of things. I'm sure it was fun for those party-goers. Day 6: Sea: If my failing memory serves me correctly, this is the day we decided to try the MDR for breakfast. It was pretty good. I was seriously missing my babies by this point and my hubby was rolling his eyes at me wistfully cooing to the baby at the table next to us. I might have been one of the few people speedwalking off the ship at debarkation because I was so eager to see my children... nothing like a vacation from your kids to make you appreciate them! ? That day, we played mini-golf on the ship. Ok, I cheated a little, and STILL lost to my husband. That's ok -- I bought him lunch at Johnny Rockets with my SeaPass connected to his credit card. ;) Also, I did have the chance to check out the medical facilities on the ship, and since I haven't read anyone's review detailing their experience I will tell you mine. Ok, I'm allergic to hazelnuts. Don't worry -- I didn't eat any that I knew of (despite 3 near-misses at Giovanni's Table, 150 Central Park, and Chops on the last night), but I broke out in hives somehow anyway. They were quickly alleviated with a super-sized shot of some kind of cortisol/steroid junk in my arm. It was good stuff, because by dinner the spots had disappeared! I can tell you right now, the ship doesn't take your insurance - even if it's Aetna. They charge at least $162 for a simple office visit like mine. My visit totaled $170, which means they gave me the shot and pills for a bargain. It was worth it, because I got to see the Come Fly With Me show that night. Nice show, and not to be missed. JJ's brother and sister missed it, since they are newlyweds... they spent a lot of time during the cruise in their stateroom reading the Cruise Compass! ;) Even though we had reservations, we made the mistake of showing up only 15mins prior to the show (which is too late for good seats) and we got great seats with a premium view of a fat pole. Ugh. So, we were the goofballs leaning left and right to get a look at the stage during the show. Oh well. Too bad I didn't take a picture of how spectacular our view wasn't. Sorry, guys. "Epic fail", as my 3yr old would say. Day 7: Sea: We began the day by eating breakfast at Johnny Rockets. Buyer beware: Orange juice at this venue is not free for breakfast, despite the Windjammer and MDR offering it up for free (I think I remember it being free at those venues in the morning -- correct me if I'm wrong). After eating, we met at the Aqua Theater with our brother and sister-in-law for our All-Access Tour. Like in other reviews, I will say this was well worth the moolah, and try it if you feel it is something you would like to do on vacation. What other time will you get to hang out on the bridge of the world's largest cruise ship? It's not for everyone, so skip it if you feel it would not be your thing. The ship was rocking a bit during our tour, and my sister-in-law got a bit sea sick and retired to her room afterwards with a Dramamine. Hubby, his brother, and I all tried Izumi for lunch, and it was fairly good. They do an abbreviated menu for lunch, consisting of the sushi/nigiri and we each had two rolls. My crispy shrimp and rainbow rolls were wonderful. I can certainly recommend this venue. But, if you try the edamame, eat just the little peas inside, not the shell on the outside. Brother-in-law and I learned this the hard way, while my hubby (who'd been stationed in Korea and had extensive knowledge of Asian food of all varieties) cackled evilly at us chewing and chewing and chewing! After lunch, I checked out the Captains Corner and my hubby went to blow all $900 he was up on black at the roulette table. It hit red... way to go. My hubby and I spent some time together in the solarium pool while his brother went to check on his wife. We later turned in our iphones and made sure we got any other end-of-cruise business settled. Later, my sister-in-law was feeling better in time for us all to enjoy a scrumptious steak at Chops. The filets were wonderful, and the last bottle in the wine packages was good to the last drop! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
OASIS OF THE SEAS Dec 1 -- 7, 2012 Cabin 10724, CAT D7 Veranda BACKGROUND A little background to set the stage for this review. I'm a long-time cruiser that has sailed six different lines over the past 20 years. We primarily ... Read More
OASIS OF THE SEAS Dec 1 -- 7, 2012 Cabin 10724, CAT D7 Veranda BACKGROUND A little background to set the stage for this review. I'm a long-time cruiser that has sailed six different lines over the past 20 years. We primarily alternate between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity although since Celebrity introduced the S Class ships, we sail Celebrity more. I prefer smaller ships over megaships but have always wanted to see the Oasis class. I vowed not to sail them until pricing became reasonable. RCI's December Celebration sale earlier this year finally brought balcony cabins below $1,000 per person so we decided to give it a try. Keep in mind that this was our experience and may differ (in fact, I'm sure it will) from others. I'll do my best to present a balanced review to help future cruisers. PRE-CRUISE & EMBARKATION We stayed at the Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port the night before the cruise even though it's only a three-hour drive to the port we still like arriving the night before and begin our pre-cruise ritual. We enjoyed dinner at Il Mulino on Sunrise and an early departure for the port on Saturday morning. We booked the Port Everglades package which allowed us to park at the hotel while we cruised and with our package we got roundtrip transfers to the ship with Avanti Transportation. We booked the 10:00 AM departure and arrived at the cruise terminal about 10:20. Check in was quick an efficient. We were escorted up to the waiting area by 10:45 which was divided into Crown & Anchor sections and general passengers. About 11:25, the boarding process began and we were in the first Crown & Anchor group called (Diamond Plus) after suite guests were called. By 11:45 we were on board. DINING Since we were cruising alone and Oasis offered so many specialty restaurant options, we decided to try two dining packages and forego dinners in the main dining room. I had pre-booked two dining packages -- The Oasis Package which included Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, and a choice of Solarium Bistro or Izumi. I also booked the Chefs Package which included the Chef's Table, 150 Central Park and Chops Grille. When I made the booking on-line, we were required to book Chops on the first night and the Chef's Table on night 2. All other reservations had to be booked once on board. The first thing we did upon boarding was head to Central Park to make the remaining reservations. We were told there was not one central location to make all the reservations but rather we'd have to visit each restaurant to book each reservation. We were unaware at the time that as Diamond Plus members (this was our first cruise as Diamond Plus), the Concierge in the Diamond Plus lounge could have made all the reservations. Most of the restaurants were located close to one another in Central Park so it wasn't a big deal to walk from one to the other. The only challenge came when we tried to change some reservations. You cannot call one number to make changes; you must again call each restaurant individually or revisit them and sometimes it is difficult to understand them on the phone. Be sure to check our Daily Personal Calendar on your TV to ensure your reservations were made correctly so you can correct any that have an error. CHOPS GRILLE We were familiar with Chops from other Royal ships and knew we'd have a great dining experience here. With our packages, we dined here the first and last night. All the food was very good. It can be very noisy at times (see my note later about the design of Central Park restaurants) but both evenings were lovely. CHEF'S TABLE Without question, this was the best food and dining experience on the ship. This is offered every night of the cruise and is held in the upstairs area of the Concierge Lounge on deck 11. A long table that seats 16 is the perfect setting for this tour of wonderful wines and foods. The evening is hosted by a wine sommelier that introduces each wine prior to the course. As he pours the wine, the chef appears and describes the accompanying dish in detail. I can be a picky eater but all five courses were fantastic. The appetizer included shrimp, lobster and scallops. The soup course consisted of three different delicious soups served in espresso cups (no spoons provided); the fish course was a citrus marinated salmon and the meat course was veal served two ways with one of the best port wine reduction I've ever had. Dessert was a scoop of lemon sorbet accompanied by a XXXX. One of the soups, a French onion, was so good that I met with the chef later in the cruise to get the recipe. The evening concluded with a presentation of the SAVOR Royal Caribbean cookbook and apron. Overall, one of the best evening dining experiences we've had in all of our 50+ cruises. Kudos to Chef Dario! GIOVANNI'S TABLE This is not what you'd consider a typical American-Italian restaurant. Don't expect lots of pastas with red sauces. No problem with that at all. Just be sure to review the menu before dining here. Our appetizer of mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto on a crostini was dry and cold. Our pasta course was much better. My husband's pappardelle pasta was delicious and if we had returned I would have ordered a double order for my dinner. I had the gnocchi and while the flavor of the blue cheese sauce was yummy, the gnocchi was overdone and mushy. For entrees, my osso buco entree was good but my husband's stuffed veal dish was on the dry side. Service was good and overall we enjoyed the evening but not enough to return. We considered coming back for lunch but found the $15 lunch cover charge to be a bit high when there were so many other great options for food at lunch 150 CENTRAL PARK This was by far our biggest disappointment of the cruise. I had read so many wonderful reviews of this restaurant and was looking forward to another wonderful dinner. As we were waiting to be seated, we noticed that you could hear a lot of noise from the kitchen area. Clanking of dishes, rattling of silverware. For an uber fine dining restaurant, the noise coming from the kitchen was surprisingly loud and distracting. Once our waiter introduced himself and the menu (it is a pre-fixe menu and your only choice is with or without the wine pairings), he strongly encouraged us to purchase the wine pairings. We had just done the chef's table two nights prior with five glasses of wine and limoncello and didn't want another evening with even more wine. We just wanted to purchase individual drinks. Our waiter immediately expressed surprise at our decision and explained that the food was designed to match the accompanying wines and that we should really do the wine pairings to experience the complete dinner. I politely smiled and thanked him but that I didn't want that much wine this evening. He then offered their signature martini which sounded good so we each ordered one of those. We'd now been seated more than 25 minutes. No water service offered yet because our waiter was so intent on getting us to purchase the wine pairings. Once the martinis arrived about ten minutes later, he once again encouraged us to reconsider purchasing the wine pairings. By this point, between the noise coming from the kitchen (there is no door on the kitchen to diffuse the noise) and his instance that we purchase the wine pairings, I really just wanted to leave. We were beginning to feel that pushing profits was now more important than the service and food. But the biggest disappointment of the evening was the food. Since everyone we talked to raved about the food, including others in the restaurant that evening, we were really confused. Our pasta, fish and duck confit courses were all extremely dry. While the pasta dish had good flavor, it appeared sauce less (it was supposed to be a brown butter and sage sauce). I don't know if it had sat too long in the kitchen but it wasn't nearly as good as the pasta dish in Giovanni's the night before. While the fish also had great flavor (it was pompano with a Meunière sauce), it too was very dry. The duck confit was beyond dry and flavorless. Finally, the beef tenderloin, while cooked to proper temperature (medium rare) was the oddest beef tenderloin we've ever had. It didn't look nor taste like beef. If someone had put it in front of us and didn't tell us what it was, we would have guessed it was a loin of venison or other wild game. I understand it was an organic beef so perhaps that was the difference but again, no comparison to the beef filet we had in Chops. I don't know if our late seating (8:30 PM) had anything to do with the preparations we received but something wasn't right. So many people give 150 such great reviews that something had to be amiss. Fortunately, we were finding plenty of great things to eat around the ship so one disappointing meal didn't affect us. LAYOUT OF CENTRAL PARK RESTAURANTS One thing I noticed about the layouts of 150 Central Park, Giovanni's Table, Chops Grille and Park Cafe -- all run along either side of Central Park and are essentially rectangular boxes, long and relatively narrow. This makes all of them tight (tables close together), noisy, and impossible to get away from the kitchens which add to the overall noise levels. Park Cafe doesn't matter too much, but for the other three restaurants, the design definitely takes away from the overall atmosphere. Maybe I'm the only one who noticed this but it would have been nice if they could have somehow added a bit more creativity to the overall design of these specialty restaurants. One of the really nice things about the Solarium Bistro is that it wasn't a box layout. I realize space is very limited on ships but when I compare these restaurants to the overall design and food of the specialty restaurants on the Celebrity S-class ships, Celebrity wins for us (and the costs are to dine on both lines are pretty much the same). Considering how lovely Central Park itself is, it would have been nice if the restaurants themselves had more personality. SOLARIUM BISTRO Probably our best specialty dining restaurant experience took place in the Solarium Bistro. One of the prettiest spots on the ship, they turn this area into a lovely evening dining venue with white chair covers and candlelight. Open for breakfast and lunch as a buffet, the Solarium turns into a sit down restaurant in the evening. My sashimi tuna appetizer, chicken minestrone soup, veal scaloppini with tomato barley risotto and chocolate pane cotta dessert was all wonderful. My husband enjoyed a chipotle shrimp bowl (salsa instead of cocktail sauce), salad with poached egg and the basa fish. He said all were very good. Raspberry mojitos rounded out our meal. Making the evening perfect was the fantastic service with had from our waiter, Rico. It was the exact opposite of our Park 150 experience. Rico was friendly, genuine and didn't try to push anything. IZUMI Since our dining packages included six nights in specialty restaurants, we had one additional night to eat wherever we chose. We decided to try Izumi, the ship's Japanese restaurant located just next to the Windjammer cafe on deck 16. Another great choice! Service was friendly and the food was great. I had a chicken appetizer with a sweet chili sauce and my husband had a sushi roll. For our entrees we each went with a 'hot rock' dish. I had the beef medallions and he choice the mixed seafood. The waitress delivered the entrees on a large white dish that had the vegetables on the left and meat/seafood on the right. In the middle is a VERY, VERY hot rock about 4 x 4 inches and an inch thick. When they say hot, they mean hot....575 degrees F. When she set it down, you could get a quick facial just sitting there. You do have to be very careful to ensure you do not touch the rock as you cook your own meat or seafood but the concept was fun and the food was great. It came with three distinct and flavorful dipping sauces. We were really glad we tried Izumi. One thing that is different is that there is a $5 cover charge and then individual charges for the other items you order. My appetizer was an extra $4 and my entree was $10 MAIN DINING ROOM The main dining room is beautiful. We only ate in here once for lunch. You have an option of a nice buffet or ordering from a menu. I had a wonderfully prepared orange chicken. Other guests throughout the week said the food in the main dining room in the evenings was very good. WINDJAMMER I debated where to eat on embarkation day. Cruise Critic members suggested Park Cafe in Central Park but by the time we made our specialty restaurant reservations, the line here was out the door. Since RCI's honey stung chicken has been an embarkation day ritual for years, we headed to the Windjammer. A member told me it wasn't the same as it used to be and they have changed the breading (it's not a batter any longer) but it was still a real chicken breast and tasted fine. I was surprised at the size of the Windjammer. I realize that there are lots of other venues on the ship to eat but for the number of people that typically visit here on a given cruise, the Windjammer is pretty small. While the island stations instead of lines help, the islands are placed too close together and it quickly becomes difficult to walk through the Windjammer let alone try to get food. We ate several breakfasts here and the food was good both times. Even the coffee was OK. PARK CAFE I had read lots of reports on how good the roast beef sandwiches were at Park Cafe and I agree....they were very good. I enjoyed them twice for lunch. Freshly sliced prime beef on a great "weck" roll with au jus. We also enjoyed breakfast here on two occasions. Had a breakfast sandwich one day and a banana pecan muffin another. Both very good. The only thing I found lacking here was the complimentary coffee. If you want decent coffee here, they offer a variety of coffees for a fee. Many loved the salads here. The food is complimentary making it a nice stop. It is not open in the evening. SORRENTO'S Decent pizza day and night and the individual pizzas made to order looked good, too (we didn't order any of them). JOHNNY ROCKETS We only ate breakfast here once and it was fine. Basic breakfast food fast. There is no charge for breakfast. VINTAGES This was a pleasant surprise that we didn't know about. It's a wine bar located at the end of Central Park. It too had the long rectangular box design but because it had a bar and a varied seating area it didn't come across as boxy like the others. They have a huge wine list and some great wine flight tastings (prices are reasonable) and a very nice tapas menu to go along with the wines. Tapas were not free but it was very, very good. Items ranged from started at $2.00 and went up. Most were in the $3 - $5 range. We didn't stop here until the second to last day of the cruise. Wish we had stopped sooner. They are open for lunch on sea days and from 2:00 PM on during port days. They are open all evenings as well. MISCELLANEOUS - When dining in the finer restaurants, you are offered your choice of Pellegrino sparkling water or Evian water (extra charge) but no mention of tap water. Regular old tap water is available if you ask and actually, the plain old tap water on Oasis is very good. - Please centralize reservations to make it easier to make and adjust reservations all at once. - Advise guests as they arrive that all of their dining reservations will be posted to their PERSONAL CALENDAR found on their television in their stateroom. - The restaurant availability option on your TV and on directional screens around the ship is a great touch. You can quickly see how busy each restaurant is. CABIN We were in a CATEGORY D7 balcony cabin, aft on deck 10. Quite honestly, there are too many categories of cabins on this ship. If you look at the deck plans, it's a rainbow of colors intermingled. Very hard to decipher what makes five cabins side by side different values when they are all standard balconies. I'd call our cabin a basic balcony cabin, slightly smaller than our cabin on the Freedom class ships. Bathroom is pretty small and basic but was fine. The couch was nice and comfy and the deck chairs and round table were of good quality and comfortable. Storage was adequate but I sure wish they'd go back to little nightstands that had doors instead of these little narrow open-shelved tables that everything falls off of. Loved the nightlights over the artwork in the cabin. VERY nice touch. Also, our robes were left in our bathroom on the last night, unlike other lines that collect robes at turndown on the last night. NOTE: the electrical outlets are UNDER the desk where your mirror is located. Many people had problems locating them. Our cabin attendant, Merlin, was one of the best we've had in a long time. He knew our names immediately, was friendly and always available. We didn't have any special requests but he always took a moment to chat when we left our room, our cabin was always clean and tidy, even the veranda (which can often be overlooked). Kudos to Merlin! PUBLIC SPACES Overall, Oasis is a very nice ship. Some spots, like Central Park, the Solarium, Vintages, and the Concierge Lounge were terrific. Some were a bit "Las Vegas" (Blaze, Viking Crown, Dazzles). Many were fun (Schooner Bar, On-Air, the Pub, Comedy Club, and Boardwalk). No matter what your taste, Oasis has something that will appeal to everyone. ENTERTAINMENT One word: FABULOUS!!! With one exception, the entertainment on Oasis is the absolute best. From the cast of Hairspray (who performed in smaller venues like the Viking Crown later in the cruise) to the incredible aqua show Oasis of Dreams, to Tommy the piano player in the Schooner, to the steel drum band, the band that played in Dazzles, the bag piper (she was adorable), to the classical guitar player, the ventriloquist and the comedians, I was amazed at the terrific talent that performed onboard Oasis. Of the entertainment we took in, only the trio M&M were subpar (sorry but they couldn't hold a tune). Considering all the entertainment options onboard, Royal Caribbean gets a huge congrats for offering such high quality entertainment. CROWN & ANCHOR ACTIVITIES Another area where Royal Caribbean shines is their Crown & Anchor loyalty program. A separate Concierge Lounge for Diamond Plus and Suite Guests was wonderful. Breakfast and lunch were served in here along with evening hors d'ourves and drinks. Coffee drinks were available all day. There was a great view of the Boardwalk towards the Aqua Theater from here and the upstairs where the Chef's Table was served was beautiful. This was also the place where we met some great passengers, always one of our favorite parts of cruising. There were plenty of activities throughout the cruise for Crown & Anchor members. As Diamond Plus, we were offered a Sailaway on the helicopter pad; tours of the bridge, main dining room kitchen and behind the scenes of the theater. The Diamond Plus coupon book offered some nice amenities such as 45 minutes of internet service, a bag of free wash and fold laundry, a free photo from the photo gallery, a buy one get one wine/beer/soda, etc. These are the nice benefits that keep cruisers coming back. THANKS, RCI! DISEMBARKATION For a ship of this size, they have disembarkation down to a science. They call two or three numbers every 15 minutes or so. Getting off and to the luggage area took about five minutes. There were plenty of porters waiting to help passengers in the luggage area (of course, we didn't need one for this cruise!) and getting through US Customs was less than five minutes! From the time our number was called to the time we were in the van back to our hotel to get our car was no more than 20 minutes. I think that's a new record. FINAL IMPRESSIONS Here are some final observations about our experience: There is so much focus on the "inside of the ship" (Promenade, Central Park, Boardwalk) that it's easy to lose connection with the sea. It's easy to feel like you are in one of the big Las Vegas hotels. This was the most diverse cruise we've ever been on. It seemed like there were as many or more foreign guests from a wide range of countries on the cruise. It was great to hear all the different languages and seeing families enjoying themselves from all over. This was also apparent when leaving the ship and the US Customs lines were far longer for foreign guests than US guests (much more noticeable than the typical cruise out of south Florida). Despite what you might think, this ship rocked and rolled pretty well on our way from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Thomas. I happen to like ship movement and one thing I was concerned about was that it wouldn't feel like we were at sea. But you could definitely feel movement (nothing terrible) so I was pleasantly surprised. There are plenty of pool options for everyone. Saw lots of kids enjoying their pool. I'm still not wild about checking out towels and having to check them back in but at least on this cruise there were no lines at the towel exchange locations. The majority of the crew was friendly and helpful but due to the ships size, it doesn't seem like you have the chance to really get to "know" crew like you do on a smaller ship. It's also tough for the Cruise Director and her staff. Amy, the Cruise Director on Oasis seemed to be 'everywhere' (I'm not sure how she did it) but she wasn't anywhere 'long.' I was really impressed how many things she made it to (she even ran from one event to be sure she greeted the Make a Wish Walkers on our journey). Kudos to her and her staff as well. I wish Royal Caribbean would put an end to smoking on balconies. Several times I had to close our balcony door because smoke from neighboring cabins made its way into our cabin. If I'm going to spend the extra money for a balcony, I want to be able to enjoy it without having to deal with smoking and you simply cannot get away from it. There were plenty of places for people to smoke (and they did). Please stop it on the balconies. We were happy that we sailed Oasis. It's amazing to see what they've done and how this behemoth was built. There are many aspects we really enjoyed (Central Park, Solarium). But our preference is still smaller ships. If we had a group of friends or family, we'd sail Oasis or Allure again but they aren't ships we'll regularly sail. They are just too big. But we are grateful we had the chance to experience the ship, have a fun week and meet new friends. That's what cruising is all about! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My wife and I have been on many cruises and we went with friends on their first cruise. The ship was fantastic. The entertainment was top notch. Broadway quality. The service and friendliness of the staff was extraordinary. He ... Read More
My wife and I have been on many cruises and we went with friends on their first cruise. The ship was fantastic. The entertainment was top notch. Broadway quality. The service and friendliness of the staff was extraordinary. He number of venues and things to do was impressive. Although the ship was sold out, we never noticed overcrowding Now for the downside I had read many reviews over the 3 to 4 months before departing. I couldn't believe the reviews which denigrated the food in the main dining room. After all I have been on several royal Carib. Cruises and always looked forward to the dinners in the main dining room. Unfortunately the food in the mdr was worse than I could have imagined. The shrimp cocktail ordered by my friends and my wife was embarrassing. The shrimp were tiny and not crisp, as I'm told they should by. The steaks were grizzly and fatty. The menu was quite limited. All his left us feeling depressed, since I had told my friends to look forward to these meals. We had reservations at 2 of the specialty restaurants, and ate at chops a second time, because we were so disappointed in the food in the mdr. Another problem with the food, was windjammer buffet. It was smaller and was not as well laid out as other buffets on other ships. Not enough choices and the quality f the food was not up to par. Also, most other cruises had some sort of grill near the pool area so that you could get a freshly made chicken sandwich, hot dog, hamburger, etc., for lunch. There was no such grill on this ship. All they had was a cafeteria style eatery where burgers and hot dogs were placed in pans for the taking. Not the same and again t was far below our expectations. Some suggestions. Breakfast at Johnny rockets. At least you can get an omelette which you can't get at windjammer. if royal Caribbean wants repeat customers on his ship they must rethink and improve the food in the mdr and do something about the windjammer. Omelet stations and more fresh fruit would be a good place to start Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
My thoughts on our Oasis cruise. We like many others wanted to experience the worlds largest cruise ship. I like aft cabins so I thought a balcony cabin overlooking the boardwalk neighborhood would be good good idea. I picked the highest ... Read More
My thoughts on our Oasis cruise. We like many others wanted to experience the worlds largest cruise ship. I like aft cabins so I thought a balcony cabin overlooking the boardwalk neighborhood would be good good idea. I picked the highest deck under the flow rider last cabin on the end. Pros/cons: Pros; Great views of the ocean, the boardwalk area & the aqua theater, no vibration or noise from the engines, no wind and nobody looking onto our cabin from above. Cons: cabin was not a suite so it was just the average size, noise from the aqua theater were LOUD (even with the doors closed), aft cabins are nice but you do walk more to get to the back, very little sun on the balcony and I had booked 11 months in advance to get this particular cabin. So bottom line would I book this cabin again, yes I think I would. If you want a quiet peaceful experience most of the interior balcony over broadway are going to be loud but it was not a deal breaker and I knew it may be a problem. As other reviewers noted interior cabins do lack privacy as they face cabins on the other side. Cabin was small but had adequate storage space. I liked that under the bed it had enough height to store luggage. The only plug is under the mirrored desk so ideally you will need plug cord long enough to reach the top counter. My travel one is short but I managed. If you have allot of electronics it could be a problem. In my carry on I had a 18 bottles of water and 2 rum runners. I did not have any problems from security. The first thing we did once on board was confirmed our traditional late seating dining assignment. It doesn't matter what cruise line these days you use they don't honor any requests for seating for traditional dining. It took about 10-20 minutes to speak with maitre de. They take your sea pass and you take a seat and wait and they have refreshments available as well a nice touch. We asked for a 8 or 6 top and were happy to have met a wonderful couple from California. We also purchased the Oasis dining package which includes, the Solarium, Giovanies, Chops and Izumi. Solarium was very intimate and good food. Giovanies probably the best meal of the cruise. Izumi was ok but we had the idea of of going for lunch and I guess that screws everything up (we ended up going twice for the same price). The quality was good but the menu is limited at lunch time so check it out for dinner for the full experience. Chops was a disappointment. It is just plain loud, kind like eating in a sports bar. Tables are tight, ceilings are low and service was spotty. I had the oysters, house specialty salad and the porterhouse. The oysters had bbq sauce on them and I am sure that is a crime in some states. The salad was mixed greens and 2 full strips of bacon and oil and vinegar on the side. The menu says vinaigrette I didn't realize I was mixing it myself odd, very odd. The steak was just perfect. This was our first attempt at specialty restaurants on a cruise and I understand the idea but I can't say it was far superior then the main dining room. The main dining room was not very consistent but I am odd duck and always order 2 entrees and my chance of getting something exceptional goes way up. I have always had waiters accommodate the extra plates. Winners: seafood pot stickers, lamb chops, duck, avocado pasta and prime rib. Losers: lobster tail and strip steak. We ate most of our lunches and breakfast in the main dining room. They had buffet setup for both meals so if time was an issue it could be as quick as the Windjammer. If at all possible avoid the Windjammer it was the worst consistency, that is no exaggeration. Park Cafe has exceptional salads, paninis and of course the roast beef sandwich. I recommend ordering 2 with extra au jus and a little horse radish. The guy carving the beef is probably the hardest working man on the ship! The salads made to order on this cruise are hearty, fresh and consistently well done. Service was very good, cabin steward very friendly and upbeat dining room busy but competent a seasoned pro. In general staff were friendly and were willing to please. Went outside the box for me and booked a private lesson on the Flowrider. Late in the day they closed it off for me and 3 other passengers and gave us allot of attention, instruction and encouragement. Not being the most coordinated person I still had lots of fun and it was a highlight of my trip. Next time I will probably skip it, my 50 year body doesn't roll with the punches like it use to! Excursions: Labadee; did the dragon tail it was OK short-ride don't sweat the hand break (we shared a car together and it was fine), it was exceptionally hot day for December. It was pretty crowded on the beaches they are better at the back side of the complex. Take the free tram running full time and tip the drivers at some point. Food is fine but the flies were bad! Bought a few souvenirs but Mexico was a lot cheaper. Jamaica, I have been here quite a few times and my past experience is the people just don't appreciate cruise passengers. I even considered not getting off the ship. We did the Irie Mon beach break with lunch. The beach is small but the day we went we had maybe 30 other people and it was great. Lunch was exceptional and people were friendly, just a pleasant day. Open bar wow! Cozumel we booked the bottom fishing trip and it rained the whole trip. Not just a caribbean shower, a constant shower. Oh well guide was great and the fish were small but thats fishing. Our plan was to go to the beach after (a restaurant beach called the Money Bar its very close to port, clean, lockers, quiet, great food) but it was still raining so we took a nap and went back out for souvenirs in the late afternoon. I hope my review revealed some good tips. In conclusion, I would recommend this cruise to most anyone. With 6,000 passengers if you look you can see how they are very efficient in so many ways. I made a point of checking out the entertainment, more so on this cruise and I think of what I saw it was top notch, kept moving and geared to a younger crowd. Food overall more good then bad, but I have to say consistently the worse coffee ever. Service good overall but the marketing was overkill. I work in advertising and love to cruise but phone, electronic messages, fliers, it was just too much. Not unique to RCCL but it did seem worse, slicker but still bad. One more thing the TV allows you to reserve your dining reservations but its lot easier and more accurate to do it on the phone. The TV account management software system is a little daunting so if your monitoring your spending it may be clearer to just go to guest services and get a print out. I went twice and they were very busy but friendly. They have a staff person at the back of the line answering questions. Smart, very smart. Embarkation and debarkation, just plain exemplary. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Friends had sailed on the Oasis, and not as experienced cruisers as we are, so we were a little hesitant to believe their accolades when they returned. But, they were right! Easy embarkation. Hard to believe with so many passengers, but ... Read More
Friends had sailed on the Oasis, and not as experienced cruisers as we are, so we were a little hesitant to believe their accolades when they returned. But, they were right! Easy embarkation. Hard to believe with so many passengers, but it was simple, easy. Security was less than easy and searching our carry-on was careless, almost rude, by the officer. Nothing found other than the allowed 2 bottles of wine and shrink-wrapped 12 bottles of water, carried on by itself. Our cabin was available so off we went. It was what was expected. Nicely appointed, nothing luxurious but typical. The closet is very close to the couch and with the bypass doors, it's impossible for two to access clothes, shoes and shelves at same time. Princess has much better layout of closet area as does Celebrity. One of the best mattresses we've slept on while cruising. Tons of hot water, sometimes had to turn to cold so could use sink. Oh....the sink! What a joke. Teeny, tiny! Shower was nice and the "tube" wasn't claustrophobic. The balcony was fine, but miss the high back chairs to relax in. The food is ok, some nights better than others. Don't miss lobster night, since the tails are nice sized, not as small as what Princess serves. We ordered more since they were so good. We did dine at Chops and thought it was wonderful...pretty close to a Ruth's Chris experience. Now the find of the ship, if you like roast beef, is the Park Cafe located in Central Park, deck 8. They have a wet roast beef sandwich served on a crusty roll with caraway seed and sea salt to knock you out! Rare, tender and flavorful. Top with choice of horseradish or mustard. NOT TO BE MISSED if you like a good roast beef sandwich for lunch. No matter where we were on the ship, lunch was roast beef. By last day my husband had 4 slices and I had 3 on mine. Good coleslaw and nice selection of other pre-dished items. The Windjammer dining needs better management as far as training the staff. Servers have a handiwipe under their tray and after clearing a table, they use the same wipe for table and chair. Never do they use a spray cleaner or move the salt & pepper or sugar container. Just wipe around it, and a poor job, too. Passengers are almost accosted when entering about sanitizing their hands. What a joke! The tables must be a breeding ground for bacteria! If you are the type of person who needs to be entertained, then this is the ship for you. Always activity and great shows. Yes, what you see on the TV ads is true. But, the zip-line lasts 9 seconds at best. Fun to watch though. Enjoy the short but energetic parade on deck 5. We loved the Solarium. Unfortunately our weather wasn't as great as we hoped, so during the showers and winds we found this the perfect place to relax. Guests under 16 not allowed and only on the last afternoon did I see a boy under that age with his parents. The crew must enforce this rule, which is wonderful! Princess & Celebrity should follow through and enforce the adult only policy in designated spots. Loved the 2 huge whirlpools that hang over the ship and enjoyed mornings before beginning our port shopping. Being Diamond level, we loved the cocktail hour at Blaze. Molly is the perfect hostess and thank you for getting my onions for my vodka/rocks. D-Bomb, our bartender, rocked! We gave him that name, so he knows who we are. Easy off and on during ports. Escalator after re boarding was cool. Guest Services personnel are one of the most helpful and thoughtful staff we've ever come across. They listen and go beyond your expectation! If the size of the ship and capacity has stopped you from booking on the Oasis or Allure, think again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Whoever said you don't feel the crowds, was way wrong. If you stayed off the elevators,yes. The ship has a lot of good points ,but we got tired of being nickel and dimed to desth. Even fresh squeezed oj was extra and $20 for their ... Read More
Whoever said you don't feel the crowds, was way wrong. If you stayed off the elevators,yes. The ship has a lot of good points ,but we got tired of being nickel and dimed to desth. Even fresh squeezed oj was extra and $20 for their new slide on Labadee. It was a nice resort and we picked out a nice shady spot to enjoy the beach. The best beach as someone said was the furthesxt away. The shows were really the best and service was very good. Do not tey to bring a travel iron or power strip aboard, it will be confiscaed. Had to pick it up in security after passing customs and dinding the Visitor area. I bet a lot od people just forget to get their things. The Cenral Park area was the best. Always quiet and just beautiful. Boardwalk area always crowded and was ver glitzy. Too manyRCL programs on the tv and programming was just pitiful. Renting movies was very expenive. Dining room service was first class and the gym was the best we've ever seen in 18 cruises, Disembarking through customs took a very long time, but that is understandable with that many people. Too manydining options were fee based. The experience reminded us very much of a Carnival ship. There were lots of rowdy, loud people. Security did nothing about people dancing with drinks in their hands and spilling all over the dance floor. It became so slippery, we stopped dancing. On HAL they don't care if they hurt your feelings, they just don't let people do it. Hint---Pinnacle Lounge next to Viking Crown Lounge is a beautiful spot and totally absent of people unless booked for a meetimg. There was absolutely no non-denominational service on Sunday, not to mention Mass. Was glad we tried it for the experience, but would not do it again.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We went with a large group of 43, including adults and children (about 12 families). We had planned this trip 8 months in advance, which gave us ample time to reserve shows and land excursions. We had "My Time Dining" which ... Read More
We went with a large group of 43, including adults and children (about 12 families). We had planned this trip 8 months in advance, which gave us ample time to reserve shows and land excursions. We had "My Time Dining" which means that you have to reserve a time to have dinner every night, and it can vary from night to night. I recommend this option for large groups like ours, because if a certain nigh one of the families was going to one of the specialty restaurants those spaces weren't just left empty at the dinner table. The waiters were very accommodating, letting us have separate tables for the children, tweens, teens and adults. On the first day my friends with children in carriages who needed to use the elevators to go from place to place were frustrated because the elevators were packed and they had to wait a while to catch one. We didn't have that issue because we used the stairs all the time. By the second day it seemed a lot of people had found their way around using the stairs and the elevators were less crowded. If you have "my time dining" it means that in Oasis you have dinner every night on deck 5; if you have a specific sitting then your dinner may be on either deck 4 or 3. However for lunch the only one of the dining rooms open is the one on Deck 3. Other options for lunch are the Windjammer, Park Cafe, Cafe Promenade, Solarium Bistro and Johnny Rockets. There is also a seafood place, an italian restaurant, etc. There are so many different places to eat that we weren't able to try them all in a week. Some of these are included and some are not. If you stay in a suite you can order from room service the same items that they have in the main dining room. If you are not staying in a suite you have a reduced menu for room service. For breakfast Johnny Rockets is an excellent option serving eggs a la carte. The concierge lounge in Oasis is very big, and serves breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. If you get the Coca Cola package you will always be served from the soda fountain machines, never from a can. If you have a fridge in your room and you take a can of coke you have to pay 2.56 for it even if you had the soda package.Entertainment was great in this ship. Oasis of dreams is a show with professional divers and acrobats. Hairspray is a Broadway quality production, and Frozen in time has professional ice skaters. I didn't see the comedy show but I heard it was really good too. My teen aged children enjoyed The Quest which is a game show. And the "love and marriage" game show was also very entertaining. The land excursions that we went to were good, except sometimes we had to wait about 20 minutes for the ride to arrive to go wherever the activity was taking place. We particularly liked the Segway tour in St Maarten, and it was right there close to where the ship was docked. In St.Thomas the majority of activities are very far from the ship. My son was a big fan of the arcade at Oasis. He spent almost $200 in the week. We went to customer service on day 1 and ask for a restriction on the amount he could charge the ship card and that "stop" did not work. He knew we had done this so he kept using his card allegedly thinking he hadn't arrived at his "limit". Internet is super expensive. Try not to use it at all if possible. Each of my two daughters spent more than $100 on internet service. One word of advice, if you think you might purchase photos at the ship, let them take lots and lots of pictures of you because the better deal is just getting the CD with all the photos that costs $350.00. If not you have to pay like $20 for each photo and if you have a family like I do each person wants three or four. So it's better to just go with the flow and have tons of pictures taken and at the end just get the CD and ask for it early, the photo people are very disorganized, they made me go three times for my CD. If you're going to choose one of the specialty restaurants to go to I'd recommend Chefs Table or Izumi if you really like sushi. The food at the main dining room does become boring after a while. In our trip the second formal night was the lobster night at the dining room. So don't go to the specialty restaurants on formal nights. You'll miss the best dinners of the main dining room. We had radios with us to communicate but they weren't so effective because the ship was so big. They rent phones in the ship for $30 each you can use during the trip. I highly recommend the "All Access Tour" where they take you behind the scenes, it is very interesting. For example, in this tour we learned that the ship has two engine sections so if one catches fire, the other half of the engines can still be used. The times when I felt there was a lot of people were when we had to stand in lines for X rays before re-embarkation at ports and for disembarkation. The rest of the time it wasn't crowded.There is one bad experience we had and this was that my daughter who is studying music and is a wonderful singer enrolled in the "Karaoke Superstar Competition" on board which was open to young people her age and adults. She was among the finalists and at the final round on the last day of the crew they announced that the prize was a bottle of champaign, and my daughter got eliminated from the competition. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Here are just some general observations about our western Caribbean cruise last week on the Oasis of the Seas. For a little background, we are a family of four (kids 12 & 14), this was our 8th cruise (7th on RCI), second time on ... Read More
Here are just some general observations about our western Caribbean cruise last week on the Oasis of the Seas. For a little background, we are a family of four (kids 12 & 14), this was our 8th cruise (7th on RCI), second time on Oasis, and second time to these ports with the exception of Labadee which we've never visited. Embarkation went very smoothly, even though the computers in the terminal were down when we checked in, no issues. Boarding began around 11:30. Once onboard we went directly to the Card Room/internet office to rent iPhones. It had sounded like a great idea, so we could text each other about locations, but after the 3-day trial period we returned them (at no charge). The kids didn't want to carry them around, particularly if they were going to the pool or to play on the sports court, and we often weren't able to "connect to the server" anyway. I liked the feature that showed each phone's location on the ship's map, but it wasn't enough to warrant keeping them. We reverted to using the room's voicemail system to leave each other messages and it worked just fine. DH & the kids all got the soda package, and loved the freestyle machines... when they were working. We had two connecting D2 oceanview staterooms with balconies on deck 9. One had the bed next to the closet, the other had it next to the balcony. Consensus in our group was that the one with the bed next to the closet felt bigger, although I preferred the other configuration. Our stateroom attendant was very pleasant & helpful, and made towel animals probably 3-4 times during the week, but didn't put the same creature in both cabins, so I felt like he was doing double duty. We kept the door between the cabins open and requested that the balcony divider be opened as well. Since this was our first time with two balconies, I was surprised to find that they don't actually completely open up into one large balcony when the divider is removed; instead, the front half of the divider folds back, but there is still a ~3-foot section of the divider that remains. It was fine, just not what I expected. We did request and receive a lounge chair for our balcony, although I've heard this can be hit or miss. We made the request of the housekeeping supervisor for our deck (walks around with a clipboard usually) rather than the stateroom attendant, but I can't say whether this played a part in the response -- we were just grateful for it! Our Roll Call had an informal gathering at the Sky Bar Saturday afternoon which was a lot of fun, we had a great turnout. We had our actual Meet & Mingle on Sunday morning, which was also well attended. Weather was fine on Saturday, but Sunday was cool & overcast as we were sailing through a cold front. Instead of being able to sail out of it, the front actually caused rain & 50 mph winds in Labadee on Monday, so the port call was cancelled. We were pretty disappointed since I've heard great things about it, but you can't control the weather. The Captain & his Officers were more "visible" on this cruise than on any I've taken in the past. He was quite personable and was a good sport about participating in onboard activities. The cruise director, Amy Fickert, was good -- she was always around, but not enough to get annoying. In Falmouth we went to Red Stripe beach for a few hours. It was very laid back, barely 10 minutes from the port -- a small beach with changing & restrooms, small bar & grill, DJ playing music and games. It was just what we were looking for. We were invited to a Crown & Anchor champagne sail away party on the helipad just before leaving Falmouth (originally scheduled for the Labadee day) that was very nice -- again, the Captain and his Officers were there. It was cool to get out onto one of the "forbidden" places, but it was incredibly windy. In Cozumel we did the Amazing Race excursion and had an absolute blast. It was hot running around, but we had so much fun! Entertainment was generally very good; the ice show was spectacular, as was the show in the Aqua Theater (Oasis of Dreams?) and Hairspray. The comedians were good; I know those shows book up fast, but we went to the midnight show and the place was barely a third full. The headliner, Scott Record, was okay, but the "Unexpected Boys" (a Four Seasons tribute) were terrific; we actually went to their show in Dazzles and again in the Crown Viking lounge because they were so good. DH and DS both went for a group lesson on the Flowrider (they both had done it before but wanted a refresher) and had a great time. The first afternoon, just before/after sail away is a great time to book this. The "best of the best" competition at the end of the week was very entertaining and quite impressive! DD and I had mani/pedis done in the spa; it was ridiculously expensive, but I considered it a splurge, and used the $$ that we would've used on excursions in Labadee. As is always the case in the spa, they tried to sell me a bunch of expensive products, but I expected that. On the flip side, my DS decided his buzz cut was just a smidge too long, so I brought him in for a haircut -- they did a great job and it cost less than it does at home! My kids were pretty underwhelmed with the teen club (they are both in the 12-14 group); they said the staff was barely noticeable and activities weren't organized. Both ended up hanging out either together or with us instead. My Time Dining was a bit of a disaster the first two nights, with lines running out to the elevators, for both people with reservations and those without. Whatever the glitch was, it seemed to be worked out by the 3rd night and things went much more smoothly. We had a terrific waiter/assistant waiter pair, so we requested their section each night, therefore any delay at that point was of our own doing. The food was generally good -- I wouldn't call it 5-star, but certainly 3.5- and even 4-star on some nights/dishes. Aside from the dining room, we ate in the Windjammer a few times (everyone was happy with the food there), had lunch at the Solarium Bistro the first day, Park Cafe almost every morning for breakfast, and Wipeout Cafe for a couple of the kids lunches. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants this cruise. Snacks were generally from Sorrento's, the Promenade Cafe, the Donut Shop, and the candy store :) For the most part, the only food-related complaint I had was the coffee -- yuck! I couldn't get a decent cup of coffee anywhere (not a Starbuck's fan, but Seattle's Best is usually good). In the grand scheme of things, even for someone with a caffeine addiction, that was a pretty small complaint. We had one "Wow" card in each cabin that is supposed to be used to recognize a crew member who goes above & beyond and makes a positive impact on your cruise. Unfortunately we had two cards but three staff who we wanted to recognize (good problem to have I suppose). We tried to get an extra one from Guest Services, and even from the Diamond Concierge, but no dice -- they all said, "just put it on your comment card, that counts more." However, when we did give out the two we had, the crew members were very grateful and said the cards are entered into a drawing for $1000 or an iPad, etc. We mentioned all three on our comment cards as well. We used the luggage valet and will definitely use that again -- put the bags outside the door on Friday night & didn't have to deal with them again until we arrived back home at Logan Airport -- it was very nice to go through the customs line with just our carry-ons. Disembarkation was smooth & uneventful. We grabbed a cab and went to the Sawgrass Mills mall to kill time until our 5:30 flight home. All in all, it was a terrific cruise, and while we love the Oasis class ships, we're thinking our next cruise may be on something smaller, just so we can see different ports -- our last 3 cruises have been either Eastern or Western Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
First and foremost a huge thank you to all the fellow cruise critiques who answered my many questions prior to sailing on The Oasis and with RCI for the first time. I will endeavour to give the best review of my trip that I can. ... Read More
First and foremost a huge thank you to all the fellow cruise critiques who answered my many questions prior to sailing on The Oasis and with RCI for the first time. I will endeavour to give the best review of my trip that I can. First of all, there really is no point in getting to the port at 10.30 am like we did. The check in process is really quite simple, quick, and once checked in we were unable to board until after 12 noon. The departure lounge is really quite dull. Once on board, we headed straight for the 'Solarium Bistro'. Given the fact that everyone had just got onboard and hed to wait until after 1pm before we could go to our cabins, the bistro was really quite busy. We did manage to get a table relatively quickly however, have a feed, and were then set for the day. Having reserved a Grand Suite, we were keen to get to our room as soon as we were allowed. The suite was fantastic and a wonderful size, and large bathroom. There was more than enough storager for both of us to hang all our clothes (we took three suitcases) and hide our suitcases out of the way for a week. The location, deck 6 in the middle of the ship was perfect. You are near to pretty much everything, the Royal Parade, the Boardwalk, Central Park etc etc. Going back to the luggage, we were warned that due to the sheer number of passengers onboard, we could possibly have to wait until up to 8pm to receive our cases. Maybe we were just lucky, but we had our three cases by 2.30pm. However, one of them, a large, hard case, quite expensive Samsonite had been damaged quite badly. We reported this to Guest Services who said that they could repair it onboard, and we were to leave it in the room with a report form attached. However, ther next day, two members of crew came to our stateroom the following day saying that it was too badly damaged to repair. The offered a replacement, although this was quite a lot smalled than our original.. They said that we could choose either the replacement, or to be financially compensated. Given the fact we would need it once our cruise was over, we had no choice other than to accept the replacement. The first night we went to see Hairspray. This was a fantastic production, and the storyline was only very slightly changed from the original West End version. As was all the shows that we saw. Frozen in Ice and Oasis of dreams were just spectacular. In fact Frozen in Ice I went to see twice. The only problem I had with any of the shows was when the cruise director, Amy Fickart, made very inappropriate comments, which I reported and complained to guest services about, and as the complaint is still with RCI, I shall keep the comments to myself. Outside, there are four pools and an abundance of whirl pools. I have never seen as many whirlpools on a boat before. Days at sea, the pools obviously did get very busy, although we never had trouble finding a sunbed. My top tip here to any suite guests is to to to deck 17, above the solarium which is open to only passengers with a gold coloured seapass. This was quiet, and sheltered from the winds of the sea, very close though to the pools, and has it's own bar. I did not have a go on tthe flowrider though it did look like a lot of fun, and it was fun to watch all the other budding surfers. As for the zipline, I had p[romised myself that I wanted to try it during the cruise. I had however read on cruiise critic that it costs $92 a ride, and takes something like 1.5 hours in total. I realised by the Friday however that it was free, and as it was almost 5pm, there were very few people waiting to have a go. I registered, got my harness on, and had two goes withing the space of 15 minutes. Wonderful. The MDR was very impressive, and set over 3 floors. We had made our reservations to work around the show reservations we had made, and we never had a problem getting a table. The food was good although the menus tended the repeat themselves, and there was little variety. Our waiters each evening were very pleasant. Thankfully, we had only plannned to eat at a speciality restaurant, and thankfully not more as we were very unimpressed. We ate at 150 Central Park and were very unimpressed with the hard sell on the wines. We explained that we had already purchased the premium drinks packagae for $385 each, and were happy with house wine. After desperatley trying to persuade us to go for a "very nice red" for $500, he explained that they do not have house wines in that restaurant, and that he would had to go to a different venue, which would take time. I was happy to wait. Then however, our six course tasting menu was so rushed, I think the whole meal took no more than 45 minutes. Not exactly a speciality, and I will not be repeting the experice with RCI. The other venues for eating during the daytime, Windjammer and Solarium Bistro were mediocre at best, with the latter being the healthier option. The waiters however always seemed busy 'doing something else' and we found it difficult getting drinks. In the way of nightlife and bars, there is plenty going on on this ship. The pub in the Royal Promenade was a popular venue. I found both Blaze and Dassle nightclubs lively and fun, and the solarium actually hosted two party nights also. We were not too impressed with the excursions we chose, although maybe we just had bad luck. The trip in St Maartens seemd a bit of a watse considering the ship was in port from 7am to 5pm, and yet we only went for a excurions at 2pm. Having said that, the ship was a very pleasant place to be when most others were onshore. I guess I can only compare this cruise experience with the one other I have done on Princess. All in all the food, and service were better on Princess by quite a way. However, this is a fantastic boat, with fantastic facilities, amazing show productions, and perfect for the late night boogey. Would I do RCI again? Absolutely. We booked Allure for Western Caribbean next year whilst we were onboard. Any questions please feel free to ask. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Upon arrival & check-in,in Ft. Lauderdale, several things went wrong. First, it wasn't our names printed on our room sea-pass card. Reissued but then didn't have the drink package sticker attached. The photo equipment quit ... Read More
Upon arrival & check-in,in Ft. Lauderdale, several things went wrong. First, it wasn't our names printed on our room sea-pass card. Reissued but then didn't have the drink package sticker attached. The photo equipment quit working. Finally told to go upstairs for holding. Several rows of seats were empty close to front but staff told us to start filling up the back of the room. Before boarding started, those who arrived after us were allowed to take the seats in front which we weren't allowed to take. Therefore, when boarding started, I saw their section start to line up to board. I mentioned it to the staff that we were here before that section but they ignored me and proceeded to let them board. When disembarking, the staff member organizing the Opus dining section said that the hold up was due to customs. Several people standing with us had NO luggage as they had paid to have it transported to the airport. They were told to wait in line with everyone else. There were NO announcements of sections & of times. The cruise, food & entertainment were good. A few shows were postponed due to weather but were rescheduled. Sometimes they conflicted with other event times but we worked it out. All in All, we enjoyed it. Just don't expect embarking & disembarking to go smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
The entertainment on the oasis was fabulous. This is our sixth cruise and the ship singers and dancers were the best we've ever seen. The aqua theater production was excellent, as usual. The beatle maniacs were actually pretty good. ... Read More
The entertainment on the oasis was fabulous. This is our sixth cruise and the ship singers and dancers were the best we've ever seen. The aqua theater production was excellent, as usual. The beatle maniacs were actually pretty good. Both comedians were pretty good. Didi heavyset guy, I think his name was Dan Wilson, or something like that, I would Consider seeing again, if he came to my town. My family and I ate at the formal dining room most nights, and we all rate the food as good, but not excellent, With the exception of lobster night. We only went on one excursion, two stingray beach, in Cozumel. It was very fun. The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. It was well worth the $60 or so we paid, per person. We kind of had bad luck in the dining room. We got two brand new servers, that were still a little green. We had to ask for many items two or three times, and they always seem to be in much more of a hurry then servers on past cruises. In contrast, our head waiter was fabulous. It really pays to get to know your head waiter well. They have the power to make things happen. After serving us decaf coffee, after dinner, every night, the assistant waiter managed to serve us regular coffee On the very last night. I was wondering why I felt so perky at midnight, but started to feel the real joy when I could not sleep all night as I Was thinking about the 18 Hour drive ahead of me!! This also happened to us, on the Freedom, two years ago, but fortunately, it was not on the last day. Please excuse my yelling in the next sentence. ROYAL CARIBBEAN, SPEND THE EXTRA NICKEL AND BUY THE COFFEE CARAFES WITH ORANGE LIDS FOR THE DECAF COFFEE!!! Ricky, the cruise director, was so-so, in our opinion, but Patricio, Activities director, was very good. I hope he gets Promoted to be a cruise director soon. We really enjoyed meeting the Santos, and fam planner families, On board the ship. Our daughter, Lexi, did quite a few activities with their kids and also had a lot of fun. Also, we never got your names, but we really enjoyed the company of the Cruise critic family we met at the stingray beach encounter. All in all, we had a great time, and would do it again, but we will never order coffee in the dining room again! Cruiser Lou and family. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
This is our twelfth cruise but first time I have decided to be a reviewer. Time to give back for all the help that other cruisers have provided me. Most of our cruises have been over our kids spring break or Thanksgiving. No exception ... Read More
This is our twelfth cruise but first time I have decided to be a reviewer. Time to give back for all the help that other cruisers have provided me. Most of our cruises have been over our kids spring break or Thanksgiving. No exception with this one. Arrived on a direct flight from Los Angeles the night before. We got in around 10pm and went straight to our hotel by taxi. Stayed at the Tropi Rock Resort. Super clean, decorated nicely, with comfy beds, good a/c and easy on the wallet. Walked to a pizzeria called Primanti Brothers for for a late night dinner. Embarkation : Still on California time, woke up around 11 and went straight to the pier. Check in was fast, I guess a little faster for us because we are now platinum and moved ahead on a line or two. There was a lot of this on the cruise based on your room status and membership level. It reminded me of Las Vegas. RCI saved several rows of seats in the ice show for suite guest. Seriously... show up on time like everyone who made a reservation months in advance. Entertainment: The shows were the best we've ever seen in 12 cruises. I didn't like having to book them in advance but I do understand why RCI does that. Zip line was fun, didn't make it to the rock wall or flow riders due to lines. Ice skating was good only because how often can you say you have done that in the ocean. Line for that was also long. Only 50 people per session and apparently you can pre reserve that as well. Our room was on deck 14 overlooking the boardwalk. It had an amazing view of everything, ocean, shows in aqua theater, activity on boardwalk, zip line. Great to people watch. We had the Best room steward ever !!! Beds were comfy and we slept well. The 3rd bed in the room was a fold out futon single. Very uncomfortable. Our room steward but a single mattress on top of it and made it better than home. For those of you bothered by noise, This room is noisy. It is directly under the zip line landing. Even with the doors closed the boardwalk was loud. On the map it looks like it's just a walkway over head. I think the Teen lounge is also close by. It didn't bother us but if you are a light sleeper it might. Service: Overall Terrific, Dining: Food was good not great. Only selected included options. Would have like to tried Chops but all the dining times except 530pm and 9pm had been booked well before the cruise started. We didn't find the buffet crowded, and service there was excellent. Ate breakfast 1 morning in the main dining room. Service was painfully slow. Another morning we tried Johnny rockets. Service was fast and friendly but menu was limited. I really enjoyed the Park Cafe. Wish it didn't close at 6pm. They had better stuff than the promenade cafe. Got stuck with MTD. Even though we had made our reservations we still waited 15-20 minutes each night to get to the podium to check in for dinner. We did find a waiter we really liked and had them add that to our reservation early in the week but even so once we checked in we waited additionally. I've decided that with set seating times the wait staff has a better handle on the timing of courses. 15-17 Year old kids club : Fail. My kids went the first night and said everyone in there seemed very young. The counselers said no need for introductions since everyone is already talking. The counseler told my daughter and her friend that they were to old for the 15-17 year old club and asked for their sea pass card. Then when they found out they where both 17, told them they would have more fun in the 18- 20 club. They tried but were denied. They ended up in the casino playing blackjack every night. Neither one of them drink and no one ever checked their ID. They managed to win about 100 dollars a night. Ports: Labadee- Still on California time, we woke up late got to Labadee about 12 noon. RCI out of beach towels on board before leaving. Good thing I had packed some. Once on land, Found chairs no problem but unable to get the beach mat I had reserved and paid for the day before. They were out. The beach was nice. Not sure why they close the the buffet and drink area down at 1:30pm. Not everyone wants to drink alcohol or soda. We did sign up for the water play area. It was okay. Trying to climb on water toys with a bulky life jacket on is difficult. Taking it off was against RCI rules. Jamaica : Our favorite port. Did Dunn River Falls and Green Grotto Cave through the ship. Had a great time at both places. Wish we could have stayed longer at the falls. We found the people of the Jamaica to be the the warmest and friendliest of any Caribbean island we have ever visited. We had heard the vendors in the craft market at Dunn River where very aggressive. We did not have that experience at all. We found them to be candid, funny, and enjoyed speaking with them. Can't wait to go back to Jamaica for a land based vacation Cozumel : We've been here many times before on cruise ships and land based vacations. We choose to do a ship excursion to Xcaret over on the Playa Del Carmen side. This would be an easy trip to do on your own if you didn't have to worry about catching that ferry back to Cozumel and catching the ship. We have been to Xcaret before. It was fun but due to the time of year. It too was more crowded than I remember. Gym seemed a little smaller than other RCI ships I've been on but had all the same equipment. The one 17 year old used it twice a day. He said it was crowded in the morning but the afternoon was fine. Several afternoons he ended up lifting with some of the guys from the Aqua show.Disembarkation was a breeze. We did self carry off. We were down on the promenade deck at 6:15 am and in line. Ship started to unload at 6:40am. We were through customs by 7am and at the airport by 7:15 am for a 10:20 am flight. I had read other's complaining of slowing in the terminal and almost missing their flights, so maybe there is a window before it gets busy. We had a fun vacation. I probably would not book this ship again during a holiday. It was just to crowded. RCI did there best to manage everyone. Just seemed like there was lines everywhere... Elevators, restaurants, shops and entertainment. Last but not least the people who clean this ship are nothing short of amazing. It was squeaky clean despite the masses of people on board. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We have cruise before but this was our first time on RCCL. We chose the OofS since we wanted to try a mega-ship, , get some much needed sun and also try RCCL to see if it was something we may want to try again.see what the rave was about ... Read More
We have cruise before but this was our first time on RCCL. We chose the OofS since we wanted to try a mega-ship, , get some much needed sun and also try RCCL to see if it was something we may want to try again.see what the rave was about It was big. Very big. Too big.Too busy. Like an amusement park that floats. It is easier to say what we didn't like rather than the other way round. First, being charged for every thing that on other lines are normally included. A $5.00 fresh OJ. Only did that once. Some coffees and water. Nickle and dime to the Nth degree. Second, smoking in some of the lounges. Dazzles comes first to mind. As an ex-smoker, the idea of smoking/non-smoking sections in an area with no specific ventilation is ridiculous. Same as having a peeing corner in a public pool. It goes everywhere eventually. Also smoking areas next to the pools. Stupid comes to mind there Third. RCCL says safety is a major concern. I say a ship crew member on the after crane mount there with no harness,no railings around the crane and no sentry. Remember, the employer should practice due diligence regarding workplace safety for passengers and crew. Will we return to the OofS and RCCL ? Most likely not. Am I being picky, possibly. Other than some WOW factors, I'll spend my money elsewhere. We liked the MDR. Food was not as good as our last cruise lines, but the hardworking staff made up for it and so did our tablemates. The Windjammer was good too though at times very crowded. The cabin was fine, nothing special. The attendant,Freddy from Columbia was excellent. Central Park is truly a sight to see. The specialty restaurants, 150 Central, Giovannie's, Zumi's and Chops are all worth a visit. The shows are OK. Just OK. However, the aqua theater is something that is a must to see. These are jut mu opinions. I suggest anyone thinking of going on the OofS, read about the ship and talk to people who have been on it first. Not all is as in the brochures. I must mention that for such a large ship in fairly calm seas, it moves. Not a lot, but as much as ships much smaller than it. I could feel it. Maybe just me. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Oasis ship is just fabulous! Our family recently returned from a Western Carrib cruise for Easter break. It was our first cruise ever. I spent nearly 2 years researching the possibilities here on CC and want to return the favor of all ... Read More
Oasis ship is just fabulous! Our family recently returned from a Western Carrib cruise for Easter break. It was our first cruise ever. I spent nearly 2 years researching the possibilities here on CC and want to return the favor of all those travelers who have shared their experiences before me. First off, a little background, I'm 43, my DH is 43, my DD is 14 and my DS is 12. All have agreed that this was one of the greatest trips we've gone on and we travel a lot. At no time did any of us think the ship was too big to manage. I walked back and forth across the ship almost constantly and no one would ever accuse me of being athletic (heh-heh!). We arrived in Fort Lauderdale Thursday night for a Saturday sailing. It was great to be there with a few days to explore Fort Lauderdale. We went on an amazing Segway tour in Birch State Park. We stayed at the Springhill Suites in Dania. This was chosen mostly because we had free Marriott points and they offered free shuttle to the port. I recommend reserving a spot on the shuttle as soon as you check in. On Friday, we went to the local supermarket and bought a case of water and 4 bottles of wine. According to RCI, each cabin is allowed to bring aboard 2 bottles of wine. We just stuck them in our suitcases that we checked at the port terminal. No problem. I also taped a luggage tag to the top of the case of water and checked that at the terminal. (the site says that you can't bring on your own water/pop but I figured it was worth a try since we drink a lot of water and wanted bottles for the excursions). Whaa-laa! It showed up in our stateroom, no problem. (The price we paid at the local grocery store ($4) for 24 was the cost for 1 bottle on the ship). We were on the 10:00 shuttle for the port. As everyone has mentioned that the process was smooth and quick. I would not get there as early next time. I figured we'd have a better chance of getting on first if we check in first. WRONG. The way RCI does it, those that check in AFTER you actually get on first. Weird but true. You are placed by row in the terminal and they fill from the back. Those who just arrived before boarding got to enter the ship first because they were seated closer to the gangway. The problem is that you don't know exactly when they will start boarding because it depends on when the ship is clear of previous passengers. We boarded at 12:00. Having done my research on CC, I quickly made my way to the card room on Deck 14 aft for the WOW phones and sent the rest of my family to Park Cafe for the Roast beef sandwiches and a table. (More on the WOW phones later). Roast beef sandwiches were good as hyped but surprisingly had a lot of fat on them. They were more like Prime Rib sandwiches with a salted bun. My husband went to find a place to watch the Marquette NCAA game (On-Air, deck 5) and the kids explored the ship while I struggled with Customer Service and Sea Pass issues. I really couldn't relax and enjoy until I resolved our problems. The worst part was that at the Guest services is very busy on the first few days and they don't have one feeder line. If you pick a line behind someone with a complicated issue, you are stuck there while other lines are moving along. (RCI please take note!) STATEROOM: We had connecting Oceanview rooms 8102/8104. They are in the very front of the ship overlooking the helipad. There was plenty of room for us 4. (can't imagine sleeping 4 in a room although the couch pulled out to a bed). It was invaluable to have 2 bathrooms, 2 TVs, and a quiet place if someone wanted to take a nap. I think we'd get similar rooms next time. We didn't miss having a balcony. And Deck 8 is a great location. There was a bit of movement of the ship when we were out in the ocean on the first 2 days. You could especially feel this while lying in bed but can't imagine anyone getting sick from the subtle shift. We loved how the stateroom tv had your ongoing bill. I could verify every night with the kids what they were buying. I think this kept them more conscious of their spending. I think our on-board bill at the end was $1200, which included 4 additional excursions not book ahead of time. WOW phones: don't bother. They did indeed sell out in the first hour and we were able to get 3 for our family. Basically, they rarely worked. They continued to read NO SERVICE. I rebooted like I was shown but it happened so often to all our phones that the kids stopped bringing them places and just left them in the stateroom. By day 3 if you bring them back, you can get a full refund which is what we did. We resorted to post-it notes on the mirror. That worked fine. The cruise itself was a whirlwind of fun activities. We saw Oasis of Dreams, Come Fly with Me, Frozen in Time, Throw Me a Line improv show (family appropriate), Comedy show (just parents), played bingo, zip-line, ice skating, rock climbed, did the Flowrider, went to a napkin folding class, watched the Belly Flop contest -- everything gets an A+ from our family. My husband and son went on the All Access Tour of the ship and it was a great highlight for them. You need to sign up at Guest Services for this on Day 1 or 2 otherwise the tours fill up. They are offered on Sea Days. My daughter and I attended at yoga class at dawn on the helipad. That was spectacular! We also participated in a Flashmob. Lessons were earlier in the week and the performance was on the last sea day. So fun! Ricky Matthew's was a barrel of energy. We enjoyed watching him at the parades and at the shows. By the end tho, we did get warily of hearing "CAN SOMEBODY SCREAM?!" DINING: Fabulous! We did traditional dining at 8:30. Our waiter was Memett from Turkey. He really made our family feel special. He remembered the kids favorite drinks by the second night and had them waiting when we were seated. We loved the MDR experience. I contacted the dining room by email 3 weeks prior to sailing to request a table for 4 by the window. I got a reply back within days that our request would be honored and it was. We did try 2 specialty dining restaurants but if we had to do it again, I think we'd eat in the MDR every night. It was so wonderful. They brought my son as much shrimp and lobster he wanted. When I couldn't decide between 2 entrees they brought me both. Really really great service. The other restaurants were Izumi -- which had excellent services as well. And we enjoyed the hot rock cooking and sushi. Giovanni's was okay. The service was mediocre and the food was fine, but we found ourselves wondering what we were missing out on in the MDR that night. The other places we tried were Windjammer -- horrible. It wasn't crowded at the time we went for a late lunch but the food choices were disgusting. I left there hungry. The Solarium Bistro was surprisingly good. My husband and I ate lunch there one day. My husband and son ate at Johnny Rockets for breakfast and said it was good. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the MDR and loved it. You can order off the menu or buffet. They bring you chocolate covered strawberries which was a nice surprise. We also ordered room service several times in the late afternoon and late night. They were slow but good. The choices were limited but we could find something we liked. You order thru the TV which the kids thought was fun, then they call to confirm the order to make sure it was intentional. Also we got the kids the soda package. This is a must. They now have the free-style machines to get any combination of pop you want but you need the special cup that comes with the package. Also, they kids could just go up to any bar to get a soda. They just showed their sea pass with the coca-cola symbol on it. SERVICE: Exceptional. RCI must have turned a new leaf here based on past reviews. Every worker we encountered was friendly and helpful. Our stateroom attendant was Omar. He responded to our needs promptly. Ask for robes right away as they will provide them upon request given availability. I also asked Omar to make towel animals every night for the kids room (and skip ours). They are only supposed to do towel animals 3 times during the cruise so he had to check with his supervisor. He honored that request and I compensated him nicely for it because the kids were so excited to see what new animal was created when we returned from dinner. EXCURSIONS: In Haiti, my DD and I went on the Cultural Experience. We took a boat to another side of the island and really got to interact with some Haitian people. The village we went thru was staged tho and not authentic. The beach we relaxed on was gorgeous! We had chairs, floats, and a bartender all to ourselves. We were stunned when we returned to Labadee for the rest of the day and saw the beaches crammed with people -- not relaxing at all. My DH and DS went on the Jet Skiing tour. They loved it. We met up for the BBQ lunch and went to the AQUA PARK afterwards. That was a lot of fun for all of us. They manage the AQUA PARK well with life guards and only let you play for the hour you paid for (wristband). An hour is enough. We were tired and took the tram back to the ship around 3:00. In Jamaica, DH and DS went on the zip-line and tubing tour. They took a bus and had a lot of fun with their group and guide. My DD and I stayed back and shopped at the port. In Cozemel, we all went on the Dolphin Swim, Pull and Push excursion at Channabb Park. That was well organized. They sent us in Taxis, organized us in smaller groups. We had a lot of time in the water with the dolphins. This was a highlight of our trip. I hear that Channabb park is beautiful and I wish we had more time to explore but it was hot and we all wanted to head back after our experience. Departure day we did express walk-off and that was a breeze. Just went to the gangplank at 7:15 and walked right off. Were thru customs by 8:00. We rented a limo back to the Miami airport which was waiting for us. This was great because those waiting for the cruise shuttle were delayed. We had a 12:00 flight so really needed to leave quickly. The cruise shuttle to MIA was $30 pp. The limo came to $35 pp. No brainer. What else can I say? We will definitely be cruising on this ship or the Allure again. There were a few things I would suggest to bring and some things I brought that I didn't need. Bring: highlighter, post-it notes, tons of $1 for tipping (I ran out), tons of sunscreen (our family went thru about 8 spray bottles), case of bottled water, mailing tape to secure ship's luggage tags after you fly in, watershoes for everyone, goggles for the kids. Brought but didn't need: the over-the-door organizer (there was plenty of room to store things, this never came out of the suitcase), extension cord (they fixed the outlet location problem, it now sits on top of the desk. 3 outlets). Before you go: Don't forget to call your credit card company to tell them you'd be in these other countries during the cruise. Luckily we did that, but the couple in front of us trying to depart was not allow to leave the ship because their CC company thought their card was stolen. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Although it's basically the same ship, I tend to like the Allure better than Oasis primarily for the entertainment. Oceanaria is a much more exciting show in my opinion compared to Oasis of Dreams and Blue Planet the same versus Come ... Read More
Although it's basically the same ship, I tend to like the Allure better than Oasis primarily for the entertainment. Oceanaria is a much more exciting show in my opinion compared to Oasis of Dreams and Blue Planet the same versus Come Fly with Me. I will give the Oasis Frozen in Time ice show some props against Ice Games on Allure but Allure has the How to Train your Dragon ice show as well and it's very good. What makes Frozen in Time a winner to me is the part where the guy creates images in a sand box which are projected on a big screen. That saved the show from boredom as I'm not a huge fan of ice shows in general.Itinerary is as follows: Depart Saturday at 5pm and have the next day at sea before arriving in Labadee Monday AM. After a full day in Labadee, you leave and dock in Falmouth the next day. After leaving Jamaica, you have another day at sea until you get to Cozumel. After leaving Cozumel, you a final day at sea before arriving back in Ft. Lauderdale. This itinerary is very attractive for me. I liked the days at sea spread out throughout the voyage versus the clumps of sea days during the Eastern itinerary. Good places to watch the sail away is the area over the bridge in front or the public aft aqua theater viewing decks located on decks 7,11,12, or 14. The ship docks most often with the starboard side facing the port and always on the Western itinerary. Other points to note:Oasis doesn't offer a Cruise in Review DVD but Allure does. This DVD has content from all of the major events during the cruise (Belly Flop Contest, 70's Disco Party, Love and Marriage and Quest shows). I bought the DVD on Oasis thinking I was going to get this but all I got was a DVD with general information on the ship. I called in they said that they tried to do it on Oasis but they couldn't keep up or something. However, they do produce it on Allure. Go figure.Another thing that nagged me during the whole cruise was one of the Flow Riders had only half of it working. It was the boogie boarding one on the starboard side and I heard it was down the previous cruise and was going to be down for another week after our cruise. Made for very long waits to do the boogie boarding. Had a hard time understanding how a main attraction could be half way working for 3 weeks.Food was pretty good in my opinion for all meals. We only ate in the MD room once and I enjoyed it. I suggest visiting a variety of places when cruising on Oasis. Some suggestions are Johnny Rockets for breakfast (fee free). Solarium Bisto and Central Park cafe' for both breakfast and lunch. The Windjammer is almost always very crowded and at times hard to find an open table. If you go to Izumi (sushi specialty restaurant), they offer you Avian or sparkling water to choose from but I didn't know they charged you $4 for it until we got our bill. We bought the premium drink package and it paid off for us. Was able to try a greater variety of drinks knowing that if I didn't like it, I could just order something else after 5 min elapsed. The drink of the day almost every time was way too suite and I could barely detect that it had booze in it.Stateroom: We had adjoining Jr. Suites on deck 8 starboard mid-ship and the location was great. Our rooms were on the bump of the ship (8642 and 8644) thus had a larger balcony than the advertised 80 sq ft for the JS. I estimated that it was more like 120 sq ft so when we opened the divider, we had 240 sq ft of balcony to enjoy. Those rooms also had an adjoining door located near the balcony side of the room and a walk in closet which was a nice feature. The bathroom was a bit larger than the regular one and had a shower tub which really great water pressure. Deck 8 gives you quick access to Central Park providing enjoyable scenery as stroll to another area of the ship. There are only 2 outlets located on the vanity across from the bed. The way they are located, some things could not be plugged in but we brought a 3-way outlet splitter and that helped. HOWEVER, at the end of the cruise, I found another outlet behind the bed that could have been used for chargers, CPAP, hair dryers. You might consider bringing a 6 ft extension cord to utilize that outlet and be able to sit at the vanity.Port of Call: Labadee - Always enjoy going there. It's been built up a lot during the last several years. The Dragon Coaster is a good thrill and $21 for the first ride (up to 2 riders) and $10 for additional rides. The zip line is too expensive to me but a big thrill if you don't mind dropping $89pp for a short training rider and the main attraction one. There are several beaches/coves. Adrenaline Beach is good if you want to stay near the shops and their biggest bar. Much of the beach has a lot of rocks and slimy yuck under the water but they profess that if you go way over to the right, you don't have as much. We visited Columbus Cove for the first time and found that to be the best virtually rock free area with ample shady spots. It's a bit of a hike to walk there but there's a ferry that you pick up from the pier next to the ship that takes you across the bay close to the spot. Lunch as bars are spread out so each main area offers both food and drink. Falmouth: The port shopping area is nice and clean and has plenty of shops. There are some places to eat but not the local type food you would hope for. If you venture just outside the port compound, there are a bunch of local jerk chicken etc. vendors just across the street. You may get pestered to buy stuff but you just have to press through that. We did the Dun's river tubing, boat cruise, and Dun's River Falls climb combo ($139pp). This included a nice buffet lunch and the took the entire day (7+ hours). We didn't have time to shop before and had only 10 min when we got back before the all aboard. The cruise part of it was something I could have done without but the cheaper version that didn't include it was all booked up. BTW - it's said that the ship won't leave without you if you booked the excursion through the cruise line. Cozumel: Port shopping area has plenty of souvenir shops. You can bargain heavily at some of them especially the ones upstairs above the duty free ship. Those vendors up there will have guys at the bottom of the stairs trying to entice you up there. They are desperate so you will be surprised at the hard bargains you can drive up there. We bought a hand made leather purse for $70 that started out at $120. I probably could have gotten it for $50 if I held out a little more. Take their price and offer half and negotiate from there. Start to walk away and they almost always drop the price more. You can get a voucher on the ship for a free taxi to the downtown shopping area. Cost you about $8 to get back. Loads of shopping and restaurants down there. Be careful of the sometimes confusing currency conversions as they are often in Pesos or may try to hide high prices with a free appetizer. There's a Senior Frogs place at he port shopping area. Real fun and energetic place with games, and music. You can rack up a huge tab in almost no time there. A girl came by and offered some weak shots at $7 for two. The next thing you know, she's pouring 6 shots between you and yours and you're $21 in the hole without even blinking an eye. The giant funnel drinks are very expensive and you would think one would get you buzzed but it's very weak. You could drop well over a $100 easily. Food is decent. Disembarkation: Always slow and depressing. I highly suggest paying the $20pp for the luggage valet service. They take your bags the night before return and you don't see them again until you reach your home airport. They provide you boarding passes and everything. Just remember that the deadline to register for it is by the end of day 4. They will provide you the form in your day 2 Cruise Compass pack. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
The oasis is a very big ship. Our cruise had 6200 guests on board and at times the elevators and public decks were jammed with people.Room: We had connecting 8682 and 8684 balcony rooms. It was a perfect spot. The Central Park was right ... Read More
The oasis is a very big ship. Our cruise had 6200 guests on board and at times the elevators and public decks were jammed with people.Room: We had connecting 8682 and 8684 balcony rooms. It was a perfect spot. The Central Park was right around the corner and most of the things we did were on our end of the ship. 8682 had the couch by the door to the balcony and 8684 had the bed by the door. It was quiet and we felt no ship movement. We opened the balcony to connect both balconies. The divider only opens half way. We did have a smoker a few rooms down but the smoke never came our way. We loved that at all the ports our room faced the port so we could watch the comings and goings.Food: This is where we were disappointed. The ship brags about having many places to eat. I am looking a the ships planner and 13 of the places that are open most of the time are fee for service !!! Even room service has a charge for late night service. There is a pizza place open until 12 AM and a deli type place open 24 hrs. but the sandwiches are the type with cucumber . I think there was 3 choices at this cafe.. We booked by Central Park because I thought the kids could get food at all hours. No, the only free food place on Central Park has limited hours so you will have to pick pizza until 12 am or a cucumber sandwich and head to deck 5.! The windjammer gets so busy that all but one time a recording was playing asking you to vacate your table after you are finished to allow other guests to sit!!! The taste of the food on the ship was standard cruise ship food -no better or worse.Entertainment: We loved the dive show. It was so different then most cruise shows. 'Hairspray" was done very well also. We did reserve ahead of time but every show you can do standby and everyone got in as long as they were there by the start. You can reserve the shows in your cabin on the T.V. without a problem. There is a long line by Studio B to reserve shows and we asked the staff why people didn't just go to their TVs ? They laughed and said they hadn't a clue! Things to do: Rock Wall is higher then most but plan on spending 30 minutes in line. We had planned on doing it and flow rider in port as suggested by past cruisers but they are closed until 3or 4pm and by then a lot of the 6200 people are back on the ship. Flow rider line is shorter for the board but very long always for surfing. The zip line only had a line the first two days . My kids still loved doing all of them. The pools are many. We made the mistake at the beginning to go to the pool by the kid area not realizing the other pools are half as full.There always were plenty of chairs and the adult only place is beautiful . Our favorite thing was that some pools were open 24 hrs. Favorite port was Cozumel . The place where the ship docks is 3 miles from town but it has now built up to resemble town so we didn't need to get a taxi. We just shopped right at the dock. They are giving free passes to get to town now which they weren't before. I am guessing a lot of people just stay at the dock now. For our shore excursion we did the push and pull.dolphin/manatee encounter at Chankanaab. They are very strict about "no Cameras" .One man tried anyway and security came and asked him to leave in a bin by the dock. There seems to be security just to monitor camera use! The pictures they took were amazing . They cost 200 dollars for the disk and it had 125 pictures of the 5 of us. So very expensive but worth it. The park is beautiful and it has a pool and the kids snorkeled afterwards. We bring are own walmart gear but they do rent it there. We were told the sea lion show was extra?Many of the people we met were on the oasis for the 3rd or 4th time. I think we will stay closer to home and do a ship with only four thousand people!Conclusion: Staff wonderful but too much nickel and diming. A cruise is supposed to be a one fee event. They were even charging 24 dollars if you didn't return their pool towel? Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
My two daughters, 18 and 21, and I had a wonderful time on Oasis of the Seas. There were more activities than we had time for and there were entire areas of the ship we never even saw. We loved the shows and saw every one of them because I ... Read More
My two daughters, 18 and 21, and I had a wonderful time on Oasis of the Seas. There were more activities than we had time for and there were entire areas of the ship we never even saw. We loved the shows and saw every one of them because I made reservations in advance. People who waiting until they got on the ship weren't able to see everything because the shows were already booked. If you want to see the shows, make your reservations early. My girls are picky eaters so we mostly ate at the Windjammer. The two dinners we had in the main dining room were good. We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants. Our category D cabin was roomy enough for the three of us to be comfortable and the balcony had room for a table and three chairs without crowding. The service we received from our room steward was exceptional. The bathroom was bigger than ones on other ships I've been on and the shower, while compact, was not uncomfortable. If you want to feel the movement of the ship, this is not the ship for you. It is so big that most of the time all I felt was a slight shimmy, if that. I love to feel a ship roll so I was disappointed to miss that. Oasis of the Seas is truly remarkable. The different neighborhoods, the entertainment venues and the activities are all amazing. My daughters felt the entertainment for their age group was not very good but they enjoyed themselves without organized activities. The ports were standard Eastern Caribbean fare and are similar to any other cruise line in the area. The features which make Oasis stand out are the shows, the sheer size of the ship and the huge variety of activities the ship has to offer. The ship is the destination.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Embarkation was a breeze,we were on the ship within a half hour.Our bags showed up by 2:00 p.m. We were unpacked and on deck before 3 P.M. THE PROS There was so much to do and so much to see , you really need more than 7 days to see and ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze,we were on the ship within a half hour.Our bags showed up by 2:00 p.m. We were unpacked and on deck before 3 P.M. THE PROS There was so much to do and so much to see , you really need more than 7 days to see and try everything. We pre-booked all the shows and got the times we wanted, they were all great , and the diving show at the aqua theater was one of the best. Central Park and the beef sandwhiches at the Park Cafe are to die for. The parades and all the activities kept us busy.The ship overall was well designed and the food was for the most part very good. THE CONS Bought a coke card and found the machines empty a lot of the time. A machine on every floor near elevators would be a great idea. Received a coupon book from the cruise line and most everything in it was worthless unless you bought something.i.e. a free milkshke when you buy one at Johnny Rockets, but after you pay the 4.95 per person cover it's not much of a deal.Wow $4.95 cover to have a burger and fries!! The Promanade cafes' snacks were pretty poor as well and the charges for cupcakes and some other things kept us out of a lot of these shops. The supermarket type lines at the customer service counter were poor substitute for the snake lines they should replace them with. Internet was slow and expensive and check your room charges daily as we as well as others we talked to found mistakes in the ships favor. All in all we would cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Just got back from a week on the oasis mega ship for one week to the eastern Caribbean. The size and beauty of the ship is unparalleled by anything we have ever seen before in a ship. We did feel some movement a few times but not much ... Read More
Just got back from a week on the oasis mega ship for one week to the eastern Caribbean. The size and beauty of the ship is unparalleled by anything we have ever seen before in a ship. We did feel some movement a few times but not much which surprised me. We were a group of 11 and raced to get the deck phones which helped us keep track of each other really well- we would have been lost without them- the down side of those were that I had to go 3 times to get a replacement battery when the phone went dead- bummer. Guest services was great and very efficient. We used room service for breakfast twice and that was wonderful and worth the tip you gave them. We spent a fair amount of time at the pools and because there were so many of them, sometimes you had a hard time getting back to the one you left, or trying to find someone at one of the pools. Sme sort of flag high in the air at each pool would help that situation. The pools were all very nice and the kids pool was very busy, as to be expected and the music was louder than the kids so we found that a little annoying.we waited longer than expected at the elevators- a few more would have made a huge difference. I will give the oasis pkg specialty restaurants a 4 out of 5 stars- good food but even in the main dining room, the minimum you must allow for your meals is 2 hours- just seemed too long for us....the casino was beautiful and easy to navigate but the machines were pretty tight. There are too many activities to do but the ones we did were all lots of fun and worth the wait ( zip line and flow rider)the shows are all great and well worth going, very professional. Getting off and back on the ship at the ports was easy and disembarking and finding luggage was effortless. Glad we went on the gorgeous oasis but will try another ship the next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
We flew in from Australia and stayed at the Lago Mar for 3 nights before our cruise. The Lago Mar was wonderful to recharge our batteries before the cruise. Our room was old, but very clean and huge. It even had a kitchenette which was ... Read More
We flew in from Australia and stayed at the Lago Mar for 3 nights before our cruise. The Lago Mar was wonderful to recharge our batteries before the cruise. Our room was old, but very clean and huge. It even had a kitchenette which was totally unexpected. We were travelling with another party of 8 Australians who had a beachfront suite. They loved their accommodation too. Boarding the cruise couldn't have been easier. We left the hotel at12pm. It took us about 20 minutes from the time the shuttle dropped us off until we were onboard. Our cabin was ready about half an hour after we boarded. We booked a Central Park View stateroom on deck 9 to be close to our friends who were in a Royal Family suite. Our cabin was similar in size to the other cabins I have cruised in, except no balcony. The window seat was really a waste of space though it seemed like a good idea when we booked. The shower was TINY! A little circular thing that if you dropped the soap, you couldn't bend over to pick it up. Other than that, the cabin was fine. Our friends were very disappointed with the size of their suite. It was much smaller than it appeared in all the brochures. The master bedroom and ensuite were great, but the second bedroom had barely enough room to walk around the bed, and the 2 bunks were right over the top of the bed. They also had to use the sofa bed in the lounge as there were 8 of them. Luckily they had 3 kids, as there was no way 8 adults would have fitted comfortably. There was also very little storage space for prams, suitcases etc for 8 people. Their balcony however was huge and they would have slept out there except that people above vomited over the side, threw drinks over, cleaned off shoes etc and everything seemed to land on their balcony. Anyway my biggest gripe with the cruise was the number of people. You had to queue for everything. Their venues were no bigger than on smaller ships but they carried 3 times as many people. You had to book to see shows, which I've never had to do on smaller ships.We were not allowed into one show because according to the rude woman on the door we were late, and even though the standby people were not allowed in, she said she would put them in ahead of us, even though we had a booking. The food was ordinary compared to other cruises, but I guess it's hard to cater for over 6000 passengers. We did eat in the Italian restaurant one night and that was very good. The service was very good in all the bars and restaurants and the staff were extremely good, except for the woman on the door of the Comedy Club. One thing that people may like is that the ship hardly moves. You don't even feel like you are on a ship most of the time, so no seasickness. I personally prefer the rolling of smaller ships, it's part of the fun of cruising. I was also upset when I found out how much we Australians paid compared to US passengers. Exact same cabins, service, food but for more than double the price! In summary, Oasis is a beautiful ship with lots of wonderful features, but it's just too big for me.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We were celebrating our last family summer vacation before our son goes off the college in August. We asked our two kids what they wanted to do and they said go on a Caribbean Cruise and we want to go on that large ship (Oasis) we saw in ... Read More
We were celebrating our last family summer vacation before our son goes off the college in August. We asked our two kids what they wanted to do and they said go on a Caribbean Cruise and we want to go on that large ship (Oasis) we saw in port when we cruised 3 years ago. So Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas it is. The embarkation process was seamless. We stayed at Rennaisance, and took the shuttle to port for $6 per person. We arrived at port about 11 and we were on board a little after 11:30. Rooms weren't ready until 1:00. I brought one carryon aboard which had swimsuits and change of clothes for all. Our luggage didn't get to our room until about 8PM. We headed for lunch as soon as we got on board and beat much of the croud aboard (since a few days before we received an email that said don't come to the port before 12:30. The fitness center was incredible. I was able to work out 4 of the days of our cruise. I believe this helped me only put on 4.5 lbs. during the cruise vs. an average of 10 lbs per person on average for Oasis we were told. It was great to see many of the cast members of Hairspray and the diving show working out at the Fitness Center. They were very friendly to talk to. We rated the Dining overall a 4. We were a bit disappointed by private dining. So much so that my wife and kids wanted to eat at Windjammer. We did eat at private dining for the two formal nights. Our service team was just ok, maybe that was the disappointment. We had such a great dining service team on our other (Princess) Cruise, maybe that was the disappointment. We would ask for suggestions from our wait staff, but that was not his strong point. On our last cruise they would encourage the kids to try different foods/multiple dishes. Windjammer had much better service, but the food is "buffet style", so it was ok. We did enjoy the pizza restaurant (5th), and Park Cafe (on 8th)and the kids enjoyed the free yogurt in the Wipe Out (15th)We did not try the "premium" eating establishments, so I can't review those. They really tried to selling premium dining packages on the first day we boarded, but we didn't "bite". The Entertainment as fantastic. Most of the shows we went to (and we hit them all)were a 5. Hairspray was overall our favorite, even for me and I really don't enjoy going to broadway plays. I would maybe give the ice show a 4. It was very good, but the ice rink is just so small, kind of hard for them to move around and do their most difficult moves. They even showed Turbo (3D movie) on the day after it first premiered in the U.S. Very cool. Overall it was a very good cruise and the family really enjoyed it. Cost wise it was about twice what we paid to go on Crown Princess 3 years ago, but Oasis was quite the overall vacation experience. I would say the extra money for Oasis was worth it. For those that fear getting sea sick while at sea, the Oasis sized ship is perfect for you. Majority of time I could not tell that I was on a ship. That even included one evening when we experienced 10 foot swells (captain said ship is designed to take up to 40 foot swells). The only time I could tell I was on a ship is when sitting on the balcony watching the water go by or when on 15 or 16 and looking over the edge. A very smooth sailing vessel she is. Disembarktion was smooth as well. We had pre-assigned departure time between 10:30 and 10:45 (assigned earlier in the week). We were off the ship at 10:47. Our waiting room was Studio B (ice arena). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Ok....I guess I wanted to try something different, I haven't cruised in 10 years and that first cruise was a great experience. The Oasis is a big and beautiful ship, but I was only really impressed when I drove up and saw the ship ... Read More
Ok....I guess I wanted to try something different, I haven't cruised in 10 years and that first cruise was a great experience. The Oasis is a big and beautiful ship, but I was only really impressed when I drove up and saw the ship from the outside. Cruising is not for everyone. 7 days made me feel trapped, 5 days would have sufficed. The food was ok, the service was excellent! People seemed very gluttonous with the soda packages and the buffets, but I guess that's the idea:) I also feel this should be all inclusive and there are so many extras, what's the point? Our room was fantastic and very comfy beds. The balcony over the ocean was magical. Our room attendant, Ciao, was fantastic! We were near Central Park, which I think was a great location. We ate regularly at Park Cafe. Food was good, better and less crowded then the Windjammer. Our waiter in the main dining room, Walter was amazing! We made reservations for all the shows and they were ok. The main comedians were horrible, I wish I would have heckled them then it would have been funny. The opening comedian was fantastic, he should be the main event. All the other shows are worth seeing, good not great. There was a cabaret with 2 of the Hairspray actors and that was fabulous. I barely saw the cruise director Amy and when I did she just seemed fake. I still remember the cruise director from my cruise 10 years ago and he would have blown her out of the water. I cruised with girlfriends and although there were other single guys on the ship, they kind of sucked, but I know that's not RC's fault. It was mostly families, tons of family oriented events that we avoided. We spent our days at the Solarium to avoid the kids, it was very pleasant. The night life was ok, there was an 80's night which was great, but other then that it was top 40 music, which was boring. Tons on teenagers, maybe cause we went in the summer? Not sure, but they ruled the ship. There were honeymooners, but they seemed bored with each other after 7 days. I got a massage at the spa and it was superb! I really thought this experience was about the cruise and not the ports, however I found the ports to be the best part. Labadee was gorgeous, and I am from Miami and the water was perfect we just spent the whole day in it! Falmouth was ok too we did a zip lining and tubing on the Martha Brae River excursion. Zip lining was fun the river was nice, but a little boring. They provided us with lunch, jerk chicken and some kind of bread and juice-best meal the entire trip!!!! In Cozumel we went snorkeling. This was magnificent! Clear, warm blue water, gorgeous fish and coral reef, we loved it! Overall a very relaxing vacation, u are forced not to use your phone or the internet. Great for families, especially of all ages. You are forced to spend time with your families cause u cannot escape! I would only cruise again with a significant other or family. Not a single girls trip. I also got sick when I got back. Use the anti-bacterial soaps they have everywhere!!!! Any questions feel free to ask:)   Read Less
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

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