Sail Date: January 2010
I am a Diamond Plus member and my last 25 cruises have all been on Royal Caribbean. This cruise was by far the best one I have ever been on. I booked Oasis on the first day bookings opened. I have read every review. every news article and ... Read More
I am a Diamond Plus member and my last 25 cruises have all been on Royal Caribbean. This cruise was by far the best one I have ever been on. I booked Oasis on the first day bookings opened. I have read every review. every news article and watched countless videos but nothing can prepare you for this ship. Oasis is simply amazing. I have met people who have said that they would never go on Oasis because it is too big and has too many people. Well, with respect I totally disagree. That is a little like saying you would never go to Hawaii or Vegas because they are too big or crowded. Oasis is like a resort that happens to float. There are just so many separate areas on this magnificent ship that you never feel crowded or overwhelmed. There is such a great choice of activities that you can make this vacation into what ever you desire. Below are my random comments: 1. Check in, departure and getting on and off the ship in port was the easiest I have ever encountered. Royal Caribbean has improved the process tremendously. I arrived at 11.00am and my luggage was outside my cabin when they opened them up at 1.00pm 2. You must plan your cruise schedule in advance. Sign the waivers of liability and book all your shows in advance. Book the zipline as soon as you get onboard - go to Studio B to make your reservations. You may well have decided not to do the zipline but later on change your mind after seeing everyone else doing it. If you have not booked it early, you may well not be able to go. 3. There are changes to the cabins. Doors open outwards which is more convenient. I was in an inside L cabin and was very happy with it as I was rarely actually in the cabin. Shower cubicles are a lot bigger and now have a foot rail. Shower head is fixed and is very high. No clothes line so bring your own. Fridge actually keeps things cool. Seems that Beverage Dept looks after mini bar and not the cabin Steward. If you want to use the fridge for personal items, keep the RCL stuff visible on a shelf. 4. The shows are wonderful. Hairspray is as good as any Broadway production. The Aqua show and Ice shows were amazing. "Come fly with me" was the best RCL production I have ever seen. Comedians were great. I loved the quartet in the Jazz Club. 5. I had breakfast and lunch in the Solarium Bistro every day. The food there was way better than I have had on any other cruise. I generally ate in the Windjammer at night. No sushi there in the evening. 6. The Spa and Fitness Centre were the best of any ship I have been on. There is no free sauna or steam room. $30 per day or $150 per week to use the spa facilities. Perhaps Crown & Anchor could include a free pass in their booklets or allow Suite or Diamond Plus members access. 7. Concierge lounge on Deck 11 was beautiful and you could watch the Aqua shows from there. 8. Life jackets are no longer worn at the drill. In fact, the jackets are not even kept in the cabins, 9. There is no access to the bow so no more Titanic impressions. Best place to go is outside above the bridge. Go to Deck 14 (Port side) and you have a wonderful view from there. My inside cabin was close to it so I used this area as my balcony! 10. Television Channel 40 shows the bridge camera all the time. 11. Park West is not on Oasis. Art Actually has replaced them and I really liked the refreshing change. The art on Oasis is superb. 12. Captain was Bill Wright. I feel very privileged to have had him on board. He is a true professional and really is what Royal Caribbean is all about. 13 Ken Rush was the Cruise Director and was everywhere. He must have an identical twin brother. 14. I loved having a bagpiper on board. It was magical hearing him play the pipes when we departed port especially at night. I hope RCL continues that tradition on Allure. 15. Central Park in the evening is just wonderful. You do not feel at sea at all. 16. The interactive television is much improved. I especially liked the excursion information 17. Although bigger than any other cruise ship, Oasis is not actually much longer than the Freedom Class. It is much wider which creates a lot more space. This one week cruise went by way too quickly. I spent far too much time on the Flowriders but it was so much fun. I cannot wait to come back onto Oasis. andrew Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
As I have cruised a lot of times with RCCL especially on their bigger ships we thought that Freedom class ships would be impossible to live up to,or how could they be better. Well when we got on board it was awe inspiring. Let me first ... Read More
As I have cruised a lot of times with RCCL especially on their bigger ships we thought that Freedom class ships would be impossible to live up to,or how could they be better. Well when we got on board it was awe inspiring. Let me first start with the process of getting aboard, it was so good and virtually hassle free. Then when we arrived on the Royal Promenade we could not beleive our eyes. it was so different than Freedom class I think a lot wider. We can all complain about statrooms/cabins but ours overlooking the Boardwalk was as good as anything else(inside)we have had. The food was second to none and the service on all parts of the ship was outstanding.We were very impressed with the standard of the diamond service on board thi new Genisis class ship. RCCL seem to have taken note of the fact that returning customers are just as important as new. The diamond concierge Ricardo was very helpful with any queries we had or. The diamond breakfast area which was part of one of the main dining rooms was also a great idea. The entertainment was exceptional,whether it was the Osmonds, or the Seventies party on the Royal Promenade. Oh yes and for Hairspray, the Aqua theatre and the Ice show I cannot even start to say how good these were. I cannot wait for Allore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2010
Our vacation on the 'Oasis of the Seas" was all that we had hoped for and more. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. We arrived at about 11:00 AM and there were still people leaving the ship. It also was cold and damp. Our cab ... Read More
Our vacation on the 'Oasis of the Seas" was all that we had hoped for and more. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. We arrived at about 11:00 AM and there were still people leaving the ship. It also was cold and damp. Our cab driver told us that Floridians don't do well in this weather and many will stay home. Thus porters would be a bit scarce. She was correct. We schlepped our own luggage to the terminal where we were directed where to leave the larger bags. I tipped the porter we did find who had to bring them to another person in the terminal 10 ft. away. We were not permitted to give it to him directly. After that everything went very smoothly with only a brief stay in the waiting room. We were allowed on board a bit after noon even though rooms would not be ready until 1:00 PM. We went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. It was very crowded as I expected it would be as everyone seemed to end up there. The food was actually very good with a nice variety. Subsequent visits to were not a hectic as people became more familiar with the ship and alternative dining options. Our room was ready on time a Boardwalk balcony on Deck 10. The room was a bit compact but comfortable. One criticism noted by my wife and echoed by several ladies at the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was that storage was very, very limited and, as my wife noted, "this closet was not designed by a woman". With a bit of creativity, it was doable. One minor thing I noticed was that there was no indentation in the bathroom sink to keep the bar of soap from sliding. It just struck me as an odd thing to eliminate. The shower enclosure with it's sliding curved double doors was a great improvement over those clinging curtains. I am about average height at 215 lbs. and had sufficient room in the shower. My brother, however, is a bit taller and about 300 lbs. found it tight. The joke was that he enjoyed his shower and tomorrow he would do his back. Junior suites have bigger baths and closets as well as a higher cost. While you could here the sounds of the Boardwalk during the daytime, at bedtime the balcony door really muffled any sound quite well. We could hear more of the bass beat from Dazzles nightclub at night rather than from the Boardwalk. The view from our balcony which was seventh from the back afforded us a good view of the Aqua Theater and the Ocean. It was just as I had envisioned it when I booked. We watched the show for a second time from our room. While on the subject of shows. Go see them all. RCCL has raised the bar on shipboard entertainment on this ship. You will be doing yourself a disservice to skip any of them. The casts work hard and deserve our support by attending performances. Food was better on this cruise than on the Grandeur of the Seas last January. We did My-Time dining and it was great. We were 3 couples most of the time and asked for the same waiter. While it is not required to make a reservation to go in to eat, the wait staff does recommend it. We had a reservation at 150 Central Park on the Sunday. It is an indulgence but worth it for the experience. Only 80 guests are served per night so book early. Our favorite place for a quick snack was the Park Cafe. You can have a salad custom made for you there. Once the Roast Beef sandwiches were discovered, there was a constant line for them. They are served with 'au jus' on a Weck, a roll I remember having in Buffalo many years ago. Add a bit of horseradish and some mustard and you will be in sandwich heaven. Other sandwiches are offered, but this was the most popular for good reason. The ship never seemed over crowded, at least no more than any other large ship. The Promenade was like being in the center of a mall with a light show and entertainment. The casino was quite large with a smoking and non-smoking area. I did not have any luck this trip, my brother did OK though. We had an appointment to do the Zip-Line on Thursday. It was great fun, for me anyway, my wife reluctantly did it and said never again. I strongly recommend you make your appointment early as the last two day were completely booked. We had not been to St. Thomas or St Maarten before. We did shopping and the Sky ride in St. Thomas. Nice view. On St. Maarten we booked the 4 x 4 Jeep Tour with our neighbors. I was a 6 and ½ hour drive around the island. It was to include a stop in the French capital for lunch and shopping. We parked on the edge of the marina, on the edge of town, given 25 minutes and told not to eat as the next stop would be better. It was a 10 minute walk just to get back to the shopping area. No one went. We had time to take a couple of pictures at the marina and pick up a can of soda. The next stop was at Friar's Beach where we were guided to a part of the beach in front of a particular restaurant. There were two on the beach but were told we needed to stay on this side. Later I realized that this was untrue, and I believe that we were just 'kidnapped' to give this restaurant business. I was not impressed with the cleanliness of the place and we did not eat there. The beach was a bit stony and the water a cloudy blue. Two of us went in and had fun. We spent 1 ½ hours there. We were supposed to go to Orient Beach not Friar's Beach. Well, to cover himself, the tour guide did take us to Orient Beach. We drove into one entrance of the parking lot and out another, barely seeing the water between buildings. I strongly recommend that you think twice before booking this tour as it is not as described. I did file a complaint onboard. Hopefully others did also and RCCL will have corrections made in the tour or it's description. Nassau was very busy as there were 5 ships in port. If you count the Oasis as 2, it would be 6. We only went in town to do some quick shopping. We has visited there before. Even disembarkation was unbelievable. From the time our group number was called to the airport was 25 minutes. The airport, on the other hand was incredibly congested. An hour and a half to check-in. I recommend that you consider using RCCL airport bag check-in service for $10.00 a bag. They take you bags to the airline for you and check them in. In summary, we went on this cruise for the ship, not the ports. The Oasis of the Seas was a wonderful experience. The dining, the entertainment, the interactive directories and the cupcakes. Any other ship we may cruise on will be compared to this one. We are spoiled I fear. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We booked this cruise when the open booking began in September of 08. Watching the progress of the building of the ship, and the subsequent sailing updates from Captain Bill, only psyched us up all the more. The ship and its staff did NOT ... Read More
We booked this cruise when the open booking began in September of 08. Watching the progress of the building of the ship, and the subsequent sailing updates from Captain Bill, only psyched us up all the more. The ship and its staff did NOT disappoint!! I did extensive research on Trip Advisor, as we planned on staying 3 days prior to our cruise, in the Ft. Lauderdale area. We chose the Napoli BelMar hotel(Summerland Suites/Birch Patio)on Orton Ave. Walking distance to beach, shopping, restaurants and the water taxi. ($130.00 per night for efficiency with stove/fridge/microwave, king size bed) Angela DeSanto was very good to us, gave us great recommendations for dinner. I look forward to staying there again. We rented a car at the airport and were able to go to Everglades National Park for an Air boat ride ( Contact Capt. Greg at... )we ate Alligator, little bit chewy, but was tasty! The time we were told in our cruise documents said to be at the ship no sooner than 2pm. We did what other cruise critic members said, and we were at the port at 1230pm, and on the ship, eating lunch at the Solarium Bistro, shortly thereafter. THE SHIP!!!! What can I say? The first walk onto the Promenade was awe-inspiring. Absolutely beautiful. Be prepared to be just simply happy to be there. Even though there were so many people getting on board at the same time, it did not feel frenzied or disorganized. Royal was doing the best they could to move the crowds in the proper direction with as little discomfort as possible. Note to the unwise.... Bring alcohol on the ship in your bag, and you will find that those suitcases will not appear in your stateroom... You will have to claim them and explain why you brought it on the ship. Our friends bought wine in Ft. Lauderdale, just wanting to get it home after the cruise... He had to go identify his case, along with about 100 other people!!!! He said that one lady was arguing (loudly) about having her liquor, said it was her right, had this many sailings... blah blah. Well, he said they told her they could escort her off the ship if she desired... Bad idea.... The stateroom was adequately sized. Very quiet overall, you can hear your neighbor's toilet flushing and muffled conversation, however, it was clean and had the most comfortable beds! We slept like babies! Not that the Coconut smoothies, or Mango Margaritas had anything to do with it.... (try a Lemon Drop Martini!!! in Dazzles) Our steward was Angela. I hope you are lucky enough to see her smiling face each day, as we were. The whole ship is CONSTANTLY being wiped down clean, hand sanitizer everywhere. Nice Rusk products for the bathroom, really neat shower design. Endless hot water. We had some pretty awesome towel animals. Our favorite was a bat, hanging from the light over the bed. Dining room. Well The Opus dining room is just lovely, 3 floors, nice comfy seating. Our table was 265, tucked in a nice area that was out of a great deal of main traffic. Yousef(from Turkey) and Raj(from India) were our waiter/assistant waiters respectively. They were so awesome, by the second day, they called us by name and had our favorite drinks ready to go. The English language was a bit lost on them, so we had a pretty good time busting on them. They were good sports and were very gracious. Yousef dropped some plates one night with a BIG crash!! We did "The Wave", and cheered for him!Great food choices, nice flavors. Excellent headwaiter as well. Solarium Bistro- AWESOME for breakfast or lunch... healthy, yummy choices. Windjammer is your buffet-everywhere-for-everyone kind of place. Lots to choose from. Chops Grill! Best Filet Mignon I ever ate!($25/pp well worth it). Park Cafe in Central Park... outstanding Roast Beef sandwich and great soups. Most awesome nacho chips with fresh guacamole and salsa in The WipeOut up on deck 15. Mondo Coffee bar! Great Expresso. Tooooo many choices to discuss here! Put on your appetite and have a stroll around! If you are hungry, something is wrong with you! DO NOT MISS THE DRINK OF THE DAY!!!! You are on vacation!!!!! Get yourself to the area up by the Flowriders to sign up for the Zip Line ASAP! Sign up for the Flowriders, take a lesson! It is a lot of fun. If I can do the "fall of shame", so can you! It is like falling on a watery trampoline and then getting flushed uphill! Too Funny!!! The shows... Hairspray. Great acting and singing, not to be missed! Frozen in Time... This is an ice show, we laughed so hard at one part that I was crying! Come Fly With Me is very entertaining, and the Aqua theater is great and the show was excellent. Headliners was a group called ABBAcadabra. They did a very good job of playing ABBA music. Didn't see the comedian show... Don't have anything to report on children's clubs or teen activities... Left those people home!!! However, those that did participate looked like they were having a great time. Ken Rush, cruise director, very good guy. Saw that man everywhere, very involved, easy to talk to. Sorry to say, that Capt. Bill is leaving the ship after the cruise we just left on Jan 16th. He is going to be with Marine Operations, and will take out The Allure, when the time comes. What a kind, gracious man. He also was everywhere, ready for a photo or just a friendly chat. All the customer service on the ship was excellent. Never had a problem of any kind. Shopping Shelby has a "talk" on the islands and where to shop. Supposed to be an hour.... Was over an hour and a half, was redundant... I wanted duct tape. Or at least a margarita of some sort... We did express for check out/disembarkation. I tell you what, we were out of our stateroom and in the taxi in under 15 minutes! No joke! We loved every inch of this ship. can't wait to sail on it again... 2 things to not miss, no matter what... #1 Get yourself a spot in a Cabana in The Solarium for a sea day. The early bird gets the worm, we were there at 6am to claim ours for the day. We slept, ate and read ALL DAY! The sound of the water, the soothing music. Ahh, a piece of heavenly Oasis. #2. When the boat sails away, instead of hanging out waving to no one... Grab your bathing suit and a nice tropical drink and watch the sail away from one of the beautiful Jacuzzis on Deck 15... Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Oasis of the Seas Review A New Ship for a New Decade I can remember first hearing about this ship 2 years ago, and thinking that there was no way it would be as big or as beautiful as it was described. I remember looking at the concept ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas Review A New Ship for a New Decade I can remember first hearing about this ship 2 years ago, and thinking that there was no way it would be as big or as beautiful as it was described. I remember looking at the concept drawings and following the progress of the Genesis being built in Turku, and avidly searching out information and rumors about the final details of the ship. I remember the contest for the ship naming, and that I thought the name "Oasis" was stupid at the time. As soon as the bookings opened, I was on the phone and secured a reservation on the very first day. As the months and days progressed, I habitually logged onto Cruise Critic, sometimes multiple times during the day, in order to get the most up to date information. The days slowly passed, and soon the ship was fully built. I remember avidly watching the trans-Atlantic crossing of the Oasis, and anxiously awaiting each new update from RCCL. When she finally arrived in Ft Lauderdale, I got up extra early just to watch the arrival via Inlet Cam. I enviously read the posts from the first cruisers, and most reviews were positively glowing. Soon enough, it was our turn to sail, and I wondered if the ship could live up to all of the hype and expectations of the past 2 years. I am happy to say that the Oasis did indeed live up to my expectations, and actually surpassed them in some instances. As with any vacation, it wasn't perfect, but it was by far my favorite cruise vacation yet. Below is my review of our recent sailing aboard the beautiful Oasis. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did... Hotel: We booked our hotel on Priceline over 6 months ago, and were able to get the Renaissance for $85 plus fees, an excellent value. This is a great way to get cut-rate prices on 4-star properties, and I highly advise it's use. The Renaissance is located on 17th St, very near the Cruise Port, and is in very close proximity to a multitude of restaurants, bars, and stores. Taxi fare from airport was $15, and took all of 10 minutes. There is a 24-hour Walgreens right across the street for last minute items. There is Crown Liquors 1 block west of the hotel, and a Winn-Dixie right next door to that. As far as dining options, Bravo Ristorante and Bimini Boatyard are just across the parking lot from the Renaissance. We opted for Giorgio's, which is a half block west, and located next to Einstein bros Bagels and Starbucks. Giorgio's is a typical strip mall cafe, but the food is fantastic and reasonably priced. We had a crispy Marguerita pizza, lasagna, and 2 glasses of Sangiovese for about $45. Excellent bread and hummus appetizer...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The hotel is only 2-3 blocks from the bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway and the Cruiseport. We took a walk over the bridge and had some nice views of the blue moon and the dock. For breakfast, we opted for Einstein's. Quite popular and a bit of a wait, but again reasonably priced and good food. We spent $17 for 2 bagel and egg sandwiches, OJ, and coffee. We got checked out of the Renaissance and there are numerous cabs available for a $10 trip to the Cruiseport. Very convenient location and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Pier 18 Cruiseport: RCCL has been advertising a curb to check-in time of 15 minutes, and it took us all of 10 minutes to get checked in at 1030. Very efficient, and the employees were exceedingly friendly and helpful. They knew our Diamond status without us saying anything, and we were directed upstairs to the Diamond waiting area, which had water, tea, and coffee available. There are also similar waiting areas for Diamond Plus and Platinum, and a nicer area for Suite guests. Their area had nicer seating and couches, and I personally applaud RCCL for acknowledging the extra money that these folks spent. There was a Coast Guard inspection scheduled, so we were told that it would be "a while" before we could board. As it turns out, we started boarding by 1130, and were onboard by 1145. They start the boarding process with Suite guests, then wedding parties and day visitors, then Diamond Plus, Diamond, Platinum, and finally new cruisers. It all goes very quickly, and only takes a few moments until you are walking onto the Royal Promenade for the first time. The Planner: Upon check-in, you are given an overview of the week's activities, known as "The Planner", as well as a map and an information brochure discussing dining and entertainment options. This is quite informative, and a nice primer to this week's activities. Some have asked which dining venues are open upon boarding, and here they are: Cafe Promenade 11:30am-3:45pm Mondo Cafe 11:30am-3:45pm Sorrento's Pizza 11:30am-3:45pm Johnny Rockets ($) 11:30am-3:30pm Seafood Shack ($) Noon-3:30pm Boardwalk Bar 11:30am-3:30pm Park Cafe 11:30am-3:45pm Giovanni's Table ($) Noon-2:00pm Vintages Tapas ($) 1:00pm-3:45pm Windjammer 11:30am-3:45pm Solarium Bistro 11:30am-3:30pm Wipe Out Cafe Noon-3:30pm Here's a brief overview of the week's activities (final details in the daily Compass): Saturday: Noon-3:30pm Oasis 360 Planning Event Entertainment Place 11:30am-3:45pm Day Spa Tours Oasis Day Spa 3:00pm Adventure Ocean Welcome Aboard Show Aquatheater 4:15pm Guest Assembly Drill Various Locations 4:30pm Welcome Aboard Party Boardwalk Welcome Aboard Party Royal Promenade Welcome Aboard Party Pools 5:45pm Rockin Rhythm Parade Royal Promenade 7:45pm Welcome Aboard Show Studio B, Aquatheater 9:15pm-10:00pm Family Nightclub Blaze Sunday: 7:30am Yoga ($) Fitness Center 9:00am-6:00pm Flowriders Open Sports Deck 10:00am Bingo Opal Theater 10:30am Live the Oasis trivia On Air 10:30am Meet and Mingle Dazzles 10:30am Art Walk Central Park 11:30am-1:00pm Family Festival Boardwalk 2:30pm Art Walk Central Park 3:45pm Bingo Opal Theater 7:30pm Captain's Reception Royal Promenade 8:00pm-9:00pm Family Karaoke On Air Monday: 8:45am Spin Class ($) Fitness Center 9:00am-6:00pm Flowriders open Sports Deck 10:15am Bingo Opal Theater 10:30am Art Walk Central Park 10:30am Live the Oasis Trivia On Air 11:30am-1:00pm Family Festival Boardwalk 2:30pm Art Walk Central Park 5:00pm Love and Marriage Show Opal Theater 11:45pm The Quest Studio B Tuesday: 7:30am Pilates ($) Fitness Center 8:45am Gravity Group ($) Fitness Center 5:00pm Meditation ($) Fitness Center 5:00pm Live the Oasis Trivia On Air 7:45pm Family Quest Studio B 8:00pm Name that 8os Tune Schooner Bar 8:00pm-9:00pm Family Karaoke On Air 10:15pm Battle of the Sexes Game Show Studio B 11:30pm 70's Disco Street Party Royal Promenade Midnight Comedy Improv: Throw me a Line Comedy LIVE Wednesday: 7:30am Yoga ($) Fitness Center 3:30pm-5:00pm H2O Zone Family Party H2O Zone 5:00pm Bingo Opal Theater 5:00pm Live the Oasis Trivia On Air 8:00pm Family Karaoke On Air 10:15pm Finish that Lyric Dazzles Thursday: 7:30am Yoga ($) Fitness Center 8:00am-6:00pm Flowriders Open Sports Deck 10:30am Live the Oasis Trivia On Air 10:30am Bingo Opal Theater 10:30am Art Walk Central Park 11:30am Men's Belly Flop Competition Poolside 2:30pm Art Walk Central Park 4:15pm Bingo Opal Theater 11:30pm twenty Nightclub Solarium Friday: 7:00am Early Morning Stretch Fitness Center 8:00am-6:00pm Flowriders Open Sports Deck 10:30am Bingo Opal Theater 10:30am Live the Oasis Trivia On Air 11:30am Family Festival Boardwalk 11:45am Lollapalooza Parade Royal Promenade 2:30pm Art Walk Central Park 4:15pm Bingo Opal Theater 8:00pm Live the Oasis Game Show On Air 8:00pm Fountain Show Aquatheater 10:30pm Fountain Show Aquatheater First Impressions: Walking aboard the Oasis for the first time is a jaw dropping experience. You enter directly on the Royal Promenade, and are struck by how much it looks like any mall at home. It feels so wide open because of the skylights above, and is very bright and cheery, yet elegant at the same time. There are the typical Royal Promenade venues, such as the Champagne Bar, Pub, Sorrento's, Cafe promenade, and RCCL logo shop. Now, however, there are higher end stores, as well as the Cupcake Cupboard, Mondo Coffee, and the On Air Club. It was nice to see Boleros take it's place front and center as well. The Royal Promenade never felt crowded, even with the throngs of people embarking for the first time. It really does a good job of dispersing the crowds, due to it's extra width and length, as well as the addition of a verandah with Schooners and the Photo Gallery, and the Diamond Lounge. We explored the ship stem to stern, top to bottom, over the next few hours. I will detail each section later in the review, but suffice to say that the first impression of this amazing ship is a good one. One thing I want to really emphasize is just how different each neighborhood is. You really do get a different vibe in each neighborhood, and it's like you have 7 different ships to explore. I was wondering if the size of Oasis would make it seem impersonal and cavernous, but it's just the opposite. Oasis WOWs you at every turn, and the neighborhoods feel intimate and separated from the rest of the ship. As a result, it just doesn't seem crowded, and you would never know that you were sharing this ship with 6000 other passengers. The Accommodations: With all of the different categories of staterooms available, it was hard to make a choice. We love our balconies, but wanted to try something different. Suite costs were too much for us, so we decided on a B-1 Boardwalk Balcony. We love being aft, so we chose 9729, which is the furthest aft B-1 on the starboard side. We reasoned that this room should give us some ocean views, as well as a nice view of the Aquatheater and Boardwalk. Those thoughts turned out to be correct, and we were delighted with the location and view that this room offers. The room has the couch closest to the balcony, and I like that set-up very much. I will echo some previous complaints about the closet and electric outlets. The closet is a sliding door type, located right next to the bed. It is very difficult to get things in and out of the closet, and there is not much storage space, although a bit more than usual because there aren't any life vests taking up room. The electric outlets are indeed under the desk, very inconveniently located, and requiring a lot of stooping down and looking for the outlet. This is a very poor design and I hope it changes on the Allure. There is a very nice flat screen interactive TV, with internet keyboard, and the TV swivels which allows viewing in bed. Kudos to RCCL for making such technologic advances. It's awesome to be able to pull up the daily planner, daily menus in ALL restaurants, and your own personalized schedule. It is also possible to book excursions and order room service from the TV...very nice indeed! I didn't use the keyboard, because I signed up for wiFi and used my own computer. Just an aside on signing up...What a hokey experience! We had to find RCCL Online, which was located in a converted cabin all the way forward on deck 7. There were about 8 computers in the room, it was stifling hot and crowded. It was easy to swipe my Sea Pass card and sign up for WiFi, but I sure wouldn't want to be stuck in that room trying to access the Internet. This was a very poor location, and I can only hope that it is temporary...OKAY, rant over...back to the cabin...The bathroom in the stateroom seems bigger than on previous ships, although counter space is more narrow. They supply you with various bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap...a nice touch! The shower is the revolving phone booth type, which is leaps and bounds better than those nasty curtains way back when! The balcony is quite nice. It has a rounded shape which seems to make it bigger, and I really love the larger table which allows you to eat outside if you so desire. The view to the Aquatheater is indeed fantastic, and we had a front-row seat to the fountain show last night. It's fun to people watch on the Boardwalk, and you get some very nice sea views and wake views from this location. As a trade-off, you are directly across from others, and you do have to remember to keep your curtains closed for privacy, but all in all I think it is a great location, and would book it again in a heartbeat. The noise is negligible from outside, and the doors really do make it quiet in the room. Finally, I am pleased to announce that bedtime chocolates and towel animals are back! We had chocolates and towel animals every night! I know it's not much, but we really enjoy this part of the cruise experience, and it was nice to see them return. Crowd Control: We sailed very near capacity, with 5800 guests. I was worried about crowds, but these fears turned out to be unfounded for the most part. As mentioned earlier, embarkation was quite smooth and not huge crowds. Ordinarily when you first board, everyone tends to rush to the Windjammer and it gets very crowded. On the Oasis, there are many different venues open for lunch, and this tends to keep the crowds at a minimum. I would also like to mention the excellent use of interactive dining TV screens as well. These screens show the availability of each dining venue around the ship, as well as how busy each venue is. This is an excellent way to choose where you eat, and really helps with crowd control. That's not to say that it wasn't busy in the Windjammer, because it was at times. The Windjammer seems smaller than on other ships, and most people are accustomed to going straight to the Windjammer upon embarkation. I would recommend one of the other venues, including the solarium Bistro, Park Cafe, or Sorrento's. All of them were easy to get into upon embarkation. Sailaway: There are many different choices for Sailaway on this ship. Most people chose the pool decks or Boardwalk, but we found a great site over the bridge. This area was originally going to be for the Adventure Ocean guests, but apparently RCCL has decided to use it for adult guests instead. It is easily accessed by going all the way forward, port side, on deck 14. There are great views, and you can move out on the wings to get an even better vantage point. We took our bottle of champagne and toasted each other as we left Ft Lauderdale. Navigating the Ship: One would think that a ship this size would be difficult to navigate and find your way around. Surprisingly, that is not true. There is a lot of walking getting from one point to another, but the areas are logically laid out in different neighborhoods, and there are numerous interactive signs throughout the ship that allow you to type in your goal, and they will map out a route for you. These machines are multilingual and plentiful, usually located near elevators and hallways. There aren't any decks that become dead ends, and once you figure out aft and forward, it's quite easy to get around. If you are unsure whether you are port or starboard in the hallways, just look at the color of the carpet. Red carpets indicate starboard and green carpets indicate port. Another cool observation is with the elevators. When an elevator arrives, a red light indicates it going down while a green light indicates it going up. Similarly, there is one ding for up and 2 dings for down. And another thing regarding the elevators: there was never more than a few moments wait for an elevator the entire week. We tend to take the stairs most of the time, but when we did call for an elevator, it arrived promptly. One final piece of advice is to go to deck 5 (Royal Promenade) or deck 8 (Central Park) if you need to get from one end of the ship to the other. It is a much more pleasant and scenic way to traverse the ship, instead of trekking down the LONG hallways. The Neighborhoods: By now, most people know that the Oasis is divided into 7 different neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are grouped together throughout the ship, and are different than anything RCCL has done in the past. By doing this, each area becomes separate and distinct, and to me it really made this ship unique. By going from neighborhood to neighborhood, it was like experiencing 7 different ships. Each area had it's own vibe and personality, and you could match them with your owns wants and desires. Boardwalk: This area is located on deck 6 all the way aft. It is modeled after various seaside communities, and truly evokes a festive and laid-back feeling. Front and center is the beautiful hand carved carousel, which offers complimentary rides for young and young at heart. Before you get to the carousel, you walk down a hall of fun house mirrors and get to see each stage of the carving process for the beautiful carousel menagerie. There is a free donut shop, as well as an ice cream shop that serves reasonably priced treats. There is also a fun photo shop, a Build-A-Bear shop, a candy store, and a sundry store available. Restaurants include Johnny Rockets and the Seafood Shack, both of which charge an extra fee (except for free breakfast at JRs). At the end of the Boardwalk is the Aqua Theater. This is the home for fantastic diving and synchronized swimming shows, and is not to be missed. The quality of the show is similar to a Las Vegas production. This area was also used for the Sexy Legs contest, and they also showed some football games and a movie as well. On either side of the ship are the two rock climbing walls, both of which are higher and wider than anything RCCL has had before. Waits for climbing during our sailing were only 15 minutes or so. I think that they did a great job with recreating the ambience and energy of a real boardwalk, and really enjoyed this area. It seemed to be quite popular with families and children. Pool and Sports Zone: I must admit that I was worried that the design of the ship would make the pool areas crowded and non-functional. Because of the design, the center area is open and the pools are placed on the sides of the ship. My fears were unfounded, however, and there was plenty of room in and around the pools all throughout the week. There are PLENTY of sun loungers around the deck area, and it is very easy to get one, although it might not be right next to the pool. The Deck Crew is in full force, and they were removing items left unattended for 30 minutes...Kudos to them for this action. With 6000 people aboard, there is no room for chair hogs! You have your choice of the main pool area, beach pool, sports pool, or kids pool. There are also multiple hot tubs scattered about the area, including the infamous cantilevered hot tubs that stick out over the ocean. These tubs have an infinity ledge and 2 large TV screens above them, and are actually divided into 2 areas to allow a larger number of users at one time. They were in full use most of the cruise, but were nearly empty late at night, which is a nice experience with the mood lighting and relaxing atmosphere. I was surprised to find out that these hot tubs are NOT considered part of the adult Solarium, and as a result there were young children in them a lot. Unfortunately not all parents are willing to discipline their children, and there was a lot of splashing and horseplay at times, including splashing water on the TV screens...Not cool! We also really enjoyed the aft end of the ship with the 2 Flowriders, Zipline, basketball court, and mini golf. The zip line is fun, but it is over very quickly. Sign up as soon as you board (at Oasis 360 in Studio B), because times go fast. By Day 5, there were no appointments available. The 2 Flowriders were very fun, and they have them separated for stand up surfing on starboard side and boogie boarding on port side. The lines moved quickly, and I never had to wait longer than 15 minutes. It is busier during sea days, so keep that in mind. Another piece of advice is to do the online waivers for activities before you leave. This saves a lot of time in line, and allows you to start having fun sooner! The aft area is also nice for ocean views and relaxing, and there are loungers available back here. Very uncrowded and accessible. Entertainment Place: This area primarily consists of Deck 4, which includes Jazz on 4, Comedy Club, Blazes nightclub, Studio B, and the casino. It also includes the beautiful Opal Theater, where production and headliner shows are held. We are not big jazz fans, but this venue was quite popular with others when we walked past. The furnishings and ambience were quite nice. We did go to the Comedy Club, and it's design is based on a New York subway, including a subway map on the ceiling. It was really a lot of fun, and you should book early for this event. Get there early and sit up front if you want to be razzed by the comedians. One more note...there were always plenty of seats left right before showtime, so if you want to see the show and don't have reservations, head on down 5-10 minutes before showtime, and you will probably get in. Blazes nightclub is similar in design to the dungeon dEcor on many Freedom and Voyager class ships, except it is all on one level which is a much better design, in my opinion. This is also where the Diamond Happy Hour was held during our sailing. They had a full bar and hot/cold snacks, and it was fairly well attended. Studio B looks the same as on Freedom and Voyager class ships, and is where the wonderful ice show is held. Honestly, this particular ice show is the best that I have seen. Get there early for seats in the front, although just about every seat has good sight lines. Finally, the casino is absolutely huge. There are a multitude of slots, table games, and interactive electronic poker, blackjack, and roulette machines. They have a smoking and non-smoking side, and as long as you stay away from the middle section, it is usually pretty good smoke control. The casino has their own version of Lotto, and for $2 you pick 5 numbers...if you get all 5 in the nightly drawing, you get $10,000. Pretty bad odds, but for 2 bucks we tried (and failed) nightly. The Opal Theater is just gorgeous, with excellent sight lines in every seat. This is where Hairspray, Come Fly with Me, Headliner show, and Bingo are held during the cruise. Again, get there early for the best seats because it fills up quickly in the front. There are usually seats left on the sides and in the back, so even if you don't have tickets you will probably get in anyway. Royal Promenade: This is very similar to Freedom and Voyager promenades as far as general design, but that is where the similarity ends. The Oasis Promenade is wider and longer, and is broken up in the middle with different kiosks, as well as the excellent Mondo coffee shop, which serves Starbucks coffee (for a fee) and awesome baked goods (free). As mentioned earlier, Boleros has a spot on the Promenade, and is a beautiful well-done venue. However, the smoking was extensive and it was very uncomfortable to be in for a non-smoker. Too bad because that is usually one of our favorite places to hang out. On a positive note, the pub is entirely non-smoking, which was nice. There are LOTS of stores scattered around the Promenade, with an excellent selection of high quality items. A lot of people were buying things, but it was out of our price range, so we just window shopped. I'm guessing that Oasis is pursuing the international customer here, who might have more disposable income to spend on shopping. The RCCL logo shop is indeed quite small, and was always crowded. They had an extensive selection of Oasis-related items, including the oft mentioned ship models. Hopefully this store size increases on the Allure. The Cupcake Cupboard is located front and center, and also incorporates a staircase that goes up to the mezzanine level. There had been a lot of grumbling about charging for cupcakes, but I don't see what the problem is. These are gourmet quality cupcakes, and at $2.50 each, they were a bargain. We didn't try one of these until the last day, and I'm sorry that we didn't do it sooner. They were that good! We tried to sign up for a cupcake decorating class, but by the time the schedule was released, we already had other things scheduled. If you are interested in one of these classes, head over there right away and sign up. Even if there isn't a schedule yet, the manager will take your information and call you when the schedule is finalized. Other places to grab a bite to eat include Cafe Promenade and Sorrento's, both of which are complimentary. An interesting option at Sorrento's is the "Make Your Own" pizza station where you pick out your toppings and they make you your own personal pizza. You can also order a pizza for takeout and take a slice or a whole pie back to your room with you. We did this on a sea day and had pizza and a bucket of beer while sunbathing above the Aqua Theater! The mezzanine level is an excellent improvement to the Promenade. Located on Deck 6, it houses Schooners, the photos shop, and the Diamond club. Schooners is where most trivia games are held, and is the same nautical theme as other ships (including the fake gunpowder smell). Smoking is permitted near the bar, but again the ventilation is not good and it tends to waft over much of the common area as well. It wasn't as bad as Boleros, but still needs improvement. The photograph area is a huge improvement over past designs. Because of the sheer number of guests, photos are stored in numbered binders and not out in the open. You Sea Pass card will have your binder number on it. Just find that binder, and all of your pictures will be in there for your review. Oasis uses facial recognition software for sorting and storing pictures, and it seems to be quite accurate. You also have the choice of finding your pictures on a computer kiosk if that works better for you. There is an option for getting all of your pictures on a disk for about $250...a pretty good deal if you have a lot of photos. Finally, the Diamond Lounge is located at the opposite end of the mezzanine, all the way forward. There is a gate that you must slide your access card in order to gain entry. Once in the gate, there is a large patio that overlooks the action of the Promenade, and this is fun for people watching and relaxing. The room itself has multiple seats and couches, as well as the cappuccino machine that everyone loves. Happy Hour drinks were served in Blaze nightclub during our sailing because of the large number of Diamond members. I'm not sure if this will change as time goes on. I hope so, because the room itself is beautiful, and it seems like a waste of space if it isn't used. Most of the cruise it sat empty. I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the Rising Tide Bar. This is a moveable bar that moves between decks 5 (Promenade) and 8 (Central Park). It holds about 30 people and is a wonderful place to relax and have a drink, or just people watch. I must admit that I didn't think it would be a big deal, but I was pleasantly surprised. The bar itself is located right in the middle of the action at the aft end of the Boardwalk. Not only does it transport you from the festive atmosphere of the Promenade to the serene atmosphere of Central Park, but it also serves as part of the decoration and ambience. When moving, there are multiple color effects and a water fountain show underneath the bar, and it is quite magical. It's hard to explain, but very cool to experience. It truly adds to the overall feel of the ship, and I can't imagine the Oasis without it. I applaud the Oasis designers for their forward thinking on this. Adventure Ocean: I did not get a chance to explore this area since it was only my wife and I on this cruise. However, the facilities are extensive, and they take care of all ages from infant to teenager. The rooms looked colorful, and there was an extensive list of activities for each age category. We did get to see the teen area at the aft end of the ship, and it looked real fun! There were bean bags, computer stations, video game stations, foosball, smoothie bar, dance floor and a DJ. The arcade was also in this area, and had a large selection of video games. We were treated to a "Pirate Parade" made up of Adventure Ocean children, and it was cute. They all appeared to be having fun, and the staff was very interactive with them. From past cruise experience, I will say that RCCL has the best kids programs that I have seen (although I have not sailed on Disney). Spa and Fitness Zone: I have heard a lot of grumbling about the "poor design" of the gym on Oasis, but I don't agree. There is an extensive amount of machines, including treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, and weight machines. The aerobic machines are very modern, allowing IPOD hookup for monitoring and saving your exercise routine and playing your own music. Each machine has a TV screen as well. There are the usual exercise classes (for fee) available, and the Spin class in particular is very large. I will agree that the color and dEcor are Spartan, but this is a gym...not a social club. You will not find a better stocked gym at sea, in my opinion. One shortcoming is the loss of public steam/shower rooms and public whirlpool. These were available in the past, and I could not find them on the Oasis. The spa is serene, and they have done a good job with the ambience. It is a beautiful area, and easy to navigate. There is an excellent health food and smoothie bar (for fee). There are multiple treatment areas for any conceivable spa treatment, and you can purchase a Thermal Suite pass for the week if you wish. The prices are typical for a cruise ship, and there is the inevitable hard sell for products after your treatment. Another innovation is the ability to prebook your spa treatments prior to embarkation, although there seemed to be plenty of availability early in the cruise. Central Park: Finally, there is Central park. This area is probably the most mentioned innovation on the Oasis. They have successfully incorporated a living park in the middle of the ship, replete with open spaces, serene atmosphere, and wonderful dining venues. Even though you know you are on a ship, when you step into this area you feel as if you have been transported into a real park. This is where 150 Central Park, Chops, Giovanni's Table, Park Cafe, and Vintages are located. Each and every one of these venues is wonderful, and you also have the option of eating al fresco, if you so desire. The lighting at night is spectacular and not to be missed. It is a wonderful and peaceful place to have a drink at night, while toasting your good fortune to be sailing aboard the Oasis. The area is completely alive with various plants, shrubs, and trees, and it is fun to wander and look at the work that has went into creating it. We were lucky enough to meet Llaszlo, the chief landscaper, and he gave us a personalized tour of the area. This was an unexpected and welcome surprise, and his pride and dedication was readily apparent. It is this personalized level of service that keeps us coming back to Royal Caribbean. For those of you with money to burn, there is also a Coach store in Central Park, as well as an extensive art gallery. They offer twice-daily Art Tours from here, which is informative and interesting. We absolutely loved this area, and found ourselves here on a frequent basis. Entertainment Without a doubt, Oasis has the highest caliber of entertainment that we have experienced on any cruise. Because of the large number of people aboard, it is imperative that you prebook your entertainment in order to get the times that you want. Some people have complained about this, but I thought it was a great idea to have everything pre-planned. I understand that some people are very spontaneous and just want to relax while on vacation, and that this change may be hard for them. I, however, love to plan every detail of my vacation before I leave, and this is perfect for me. I will admit that there were some conflicts with my pre-booked shows and the daily Oasis schedule, but they were few and far between, and I was usually able to switch things around to accommodate my wishes. I would also recommend My Time Dining in order to get the most out of your scheduling. There are some copies of the Compass floating around now, which may help in the scheduling department. For those of you reluctant to prebook your entertainment, you will have the opportunity to book once you board, either through the Box Office, Oasis 360, or your interactive stateroom TV. You may not get your first choice, however, so just be aware of that. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, you can just show up at the desired show 10-15 minutes before showtime. There will probably be seats available, albeit not in the best locations. Oasis of Dreams: This is the Aqua Theater show, and is simply not to be missed. It consists of synchronized swimming, diving, and aerial acrobatics that take place all around the theater. Keep your eyes open because you never know where the action will occur. The show incorporates the large TV screens that flank the stage, and they serve to further the story as well as showing the action from different angles. The athleticism and energy level of the performers is palpable, and it is on par with a Cirque de Soleil show. Hairspray: This show takes place in the Opal Theater, and is based on the Broadway show of the same name. It is actually a truncated version of that show, and most songs and scenes are present. Again, the energy level of the cast is fantastic, and the singing and choreography are top notch. You can also see the professional quality of the sets and scenery, and the orchestra does a great job with the music. We sat in the front row, but I would recommend sitting a few rows back in order to see all of the action on stage. This production was on a par with some Broadway shows that I have seen in New York City, and again I say it is not be missed. Frozen In Time: This is the ice show that takes place in Studio B. Briefly, it is an interpretation of the stories of Hans Christian Anderson set to an awesome soundtrack with superb skating. The skaters were quite energetic, and there were multiple jumps, spins, and moves incorporated into this show. The sets were very colorful, the choreography was flawless, and the degree of execution was top notch. It truly looked like the skaters were having fun out there, and it definitely reflected on the quality of the show. It was hands-down the best ice show that I have seen at sea. Come Fly With Me: This show takes place in the Opal Theater, and was also quite entertaining. It really shows off the stage's capability, and involves a lot of aerial activity taking place overhead. There is a high energy level throughout the show, and again the choreography is top notch. The use of trampolines in this show is unique! To experience the best of this show, sit in the middle of the theater about 5-6 rows back from the stage. As with the Aqua Theater show, keep an eye out all around you for different things happening. The show itself was entertaining, and if it were the only show that I saw, I would say that it was the best. However, with all of the great shows available, I would rate it #4. Still, it is not be missed. In fact, try not to miss any of the shows. They are that good! Parades: Just a quick note on the parades on Oasis. There were 2 parades, as on the Freedom and Voyager class ships, and they are held on the royal Promenade. Both parades were high energy, frenetic, and visually stimulating. The best place to watch is in front of Sorrento's or the pub, which is where most of the action takes place. It is real cool seeing the globe above the pub "crack open" and a walkway emerges with performers. We also had an aerialist performance which took place toward the Rising Tide Bar, so keep your eyes open all around you. Hits and Misses: Hits: 1. The professionalism and pride throughout the ship is widespread. Every staff member that we came in contact with was universally happy, smiling, and eager to assist. 2. The technology available on the Oasis improves your experience immensely. From the ability to prebook specialty restaurants and entertainment to the interactive stateroom TVs to the interactive signage in the public areas, everything ran quite smoothly. The elevators were quick and efficient, and lines were few and far between. 3. The neighborhood concept effectively divides the ship into different experiences, depending on your mood and desire. It also serves to keep crowds at a minimum, and allows concurrent activities in different areas. 4. Terminal 18 is just fantastic. Check-in occurs rapidly, and by taking care of the photographs early in the process, you literally walk right on the ship without muss or fuss. In the event that you check in early, there is a large and comfortable waiting area available, including separate areas for repeat cruisers and suite guests. 5. Getting on and off the ship at port areas is quick and efficient. Simply hit the "Gangway" button in the elevator, and you are whisked to the gangway level. Once there, an escalator takes you down to the exit and there are multiple machines available to swipe your card in order to leave. Similarly, doing the security screening off the ship allows quicker boarding when returning to the ship. These changes remove known bottlenecks and make it very easy to debark and embark the ship. Misses: 1. There were actually very few misses on this ship, and most of them are related to simply "growing pains" associated with the rollout of a new ship. Some employees didn't know particular answers to questions, but even then they were polite and quick to find an answer for you. 2. I realize that smokers have just as much of a right to experience the Oasis as non-smokers, and that there should be places set aside for smokers. It is hard to do this fairly, and no matter what is done, not everyone will be satisfied. I'm not sure what the answer is, but better ventilation in smoking venues would be a start. I do applaud RCCL for having a smoking AND non-smoking side of the casino, which makes it easier for both groups to enjoy the area. 3. The shops on board are numerous, although overpriced in my opinion. This is a mass market cruise line, and I felt like the shops were a little high end and expensive for a mass market line. However, if full shopping bags are any indication of success, I may be in the minority on this one. For sure, the logo shop needs to be enlarged on the Allure. 4. I was sad to see the cantilevered hot tubs being overrun by unruly children during the day. These are such a nice experience, and I really wish that they were adult use only. 5. This next statement is not necessarily a complaint, but more of an observation. This is the first cruise that I have gone on that I have heard so many different languages spoken. According to the CD, Americans and Canadians accounted for just over half of the population, which left about 3000 others of different nationalities. Every time I entered an elevator or different venue, I was bombarded with a multitude of dialects and languages. Most of them were travelling in extended groups, and at times I felt like the outsider. On more than one occasion, that group took over the area and we ended up leaving. I'm guessing that RCCL is marketing to a worldwide crowd, so maybe this is a harbinger of what the future holds for further cruises. I would expect this from a foreign port, but was not expecting to see it out of Florida. Again, this is not a complaint but an observation of sorts. Final Thoughts: Hopefully, I have not bored you with my review. There is so much to see and do that it is nearly impossible to describe every aspect. This ship is unlike anything that you have ever sailed on before, and the experience will be entirely different as well. Some will like it and some won't. I absolutely loved the experience, and it was hands-down the best cruise vacation that I have done. Of course, I love the big ships and the multitude of activities that they offer. I also love the technological advances that this ship offers, and applaud RCCL for it's forward thinking when designing and building it. They have done a great job of creating a ship that offers different experiences for different moods, and of dispersing a huge number of people throughout the ship so that it doesn't feel crowded. Even with embarkation and debarkation, the traffic flowed smoothly and efficiently, and we rarely found ourselves waiting in line. Bravo, RCCL, for creating the Oasis. She is truly a new ship for a new decade, and you should be proud! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
I had seen the adverts on the TV and Royal Caribbean ships looked amazing. Neither of us had ever been on a cruise so I thought it best to take myself off to the locally travel agents rather than book something on line. The agent had ... Read More
I had seen the adverts on the TV and Royal Caribbean ships looked amazing. Neither of us had ever been on a cruise so I thought it best to take myself off to the locally travel agents rather than book something on line. The agent had suggested that there was a new ship that would be launched dec 09 and at that time there was only computer generated pictures which is always a bit hard to envision that when you get there it will look actually look like it does in the brochure. I was told my options for January as that was when I wanted travel we choose and it all sounded just perfect and with a 3 day bolt on trip to Miami I was all set Perfect............... Sure enough the ship was exactly like the computer generated pictures if not better. This ship is just out of this world it is enormous!!!!!!!! There is so many places to eat and drink and just so many activities happening on a daily basis. The shows are spectacular and we were surprised how many different shows to choose from. From comedy and west end shows to acrobats and water shows. If that does not tickle your fancy then every bar and club that you visit on the ship has live bands and singers from jazz music and moody blues to pop and salsa a little something for everyone's taste. Our favourite was dazzles and music express were fantastic. The range of restaurants that you can eat for breakfast and lunch is quiet extensive and the food is fab in all of those places just depends on what you fancy our personal favourite was park cafe in central park. For breakfast you can make your own bagels, muffins or burritos and for lunch make your own salad bowl, sandwiches, toasted Panini's and of course the very nice cake selection of sugar free, low fat or full fat or maybe just a piece of fresh fruit everything is lovely and fresh and really tasty where ever you decided to eat. In the evening you can eat in the main dinning room complementary. This is where you will meet the captain 2 out of the 7 nights for the formal evenings. You will get your chance to meet and greet captain bill and have your photo taken with him which is cool. The food in the dinning room is lovely its like eating out at a really fancy restaurant every night. They change the menu every night the menu is extensive non the less including a vitality range of healthier options. From the moment you are sat at your table, ordering a drink, reading the menu to finishing dessert you won't be sitting no longer than half and hour the service is world class. Anyway I could go on all day about this ship. To sum it up if you have a chance to sail with RC on the oasis of the Sea then DO IT!!!!! its awesome. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the RC staff for such fantastic service and a wonderful stress free holiday and we can't wait to travel with you again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2010
Oasis of the Seas Sail Date: January 16, 2010 Ports of Call: St Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau The following is my experience of a recent sailing on Royal Caribbean's newest ship Oasis of the Seas. Much of this is opinion based ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas Sail Date: January 16, 2010 Ports of Call: St Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau The following is my experience of a recent sailing on Royal Caribbean's newest ship Oasis of the Seas. Much of this is opinion based and may reflect differently than others that have cruised on this ship. Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday to have a few days to relax before boarding the Oasis. We stayed at the Hilton Marina which is located directly across from Pt. Everglades. This is the former Marriott that was sold after major damage from Hurricane Wilma a few years back. A major refurbishment was done on the hotel. Overall they tried to give this hotel a "W Hotel" feel but failed in some areas. Overall the public areas are very nice but the rooms are another story. Not very large and the bathrooms are awkward. In place of a normal door that closes, they use two 14 inch panel doors with glass inserts that slide to meet each other. Not only do the doors not close well, they also have about a ¾ inch gap between the doors and the wall leaving an area that anyone in the room who wishes can look into the bathroom leaving little privacy. The balconies are very nice but I would choose the Hyatt over this hotel in the future when staying near the port. On Saturday we arrived at the port around 10:15 via taxi and dropped off our luggage. They have two areas to enter the terminal. One for suites and one for general boarding. I assume that Junior Suites are included as I saw nothing stating any different. There were plenty of RCI agents to guide guests to the check-in counters of which there are many. They also take your security photo at the time of check-in. After check-in, you proceed directly to the waiting area if the ship is not boarding. The wait area is broken down by Suites, Diamond Plus, Diamond, Platinum and general boarding. They also have refreshment stations set up throughout the terminal. Once they started to board (11:15 AM) it was also done by the same order with the exception of weddings which were added in before general boarding. From the time that we entered the terminal, checked in and were seated it totaled ten minutes. The quickest and most organized embarkation ever for RCI and this port for me. By the way, you are not allowed to take photos of the inside of the terminal. Some did but I also watched as security went after the ones that they caught. Stepping aboard for the first time is a huge WOW. You enter on deck five Royal Promenade which is wider and longer than the Voyager and Freedom class but also has many more venues including the Rising Tide Bar which was very popular on this sailing. The Royal Promenade also has a mezzanine which houses the Schooner Bar, Diamond Club lounge and the second level of Focus the photo area. Overall the Royal Promenade is very impressive. By the way, RCI finally got it right with the elevators on this ship. 24 that are larger and much, much quicker than those on the Voyager and Freedom class. The Oasis is very much a ship for all nations. According to Ken Rush the Cruise Director, there were 5610 guests on board. The ship was over 100% capacity once again this week. Out of that amount, just a little over 3000 were U.S citizens. Large groups on board from Brazil and Canada. Overall a very mixed group. A lot of senior citizens on board. I have to say that I was surprised by the large amount due to the ship of this size. Very few kids on board and the ones that I did see were very well behaved. Not the same could be said for some of the adults but nothing that would take away from ones cruise. Overall I thought that it was a good crowd on board. To me the ship never felt crowded. The neighborhoods seem to spread people out and also helps in a good traffic flow. Of course, when there are things like the parades and dance parities held on the Royal Promenade, there will be more than the usual amount of guests but this is no different than the Voyager or Freedom class. There are three small Internet lounge areas on board. They are located on decks 7, 9, 14, two in the Concierge lounge and I believe that there was a couple in the card room on deck 14. The cabins also have internet capability though the in cabin TV but I found the keyboard to be a hassle. Trying to navigate with the lack of a mouse took forever and ate up minutes. They need to work on this. It could be a great tool if it worked better. Loved that they moved the Schooner Bar out of the hole onto the mezzanine of the Royal Promenade. It is more open and not closed in like the Voyager and Freedom class. Great views down on the Royal Promenade. Dining - We mixed it up a little and tried a few different venues on the Oasis. *Giovanni's Table - Dined here for lunch and dinner. The cost was $15.00 for lunch and $20.00 for dinner. Lunch was not crowded on the day that we chose which was Sunday, the first sea day. Dinner was another story. Very popular and sold out most evenings. Not like Portofino but more of a rustic Italian restaurant. We thought that the food and service was very good. Would do it again. *Chops - Just like on the other RCI ships but we chose to dine outside overlooking Central Park. Very nice setting. Service was rushed and I would consider the food good but not great. We had the filet and it was not as tender as one would expect. Cost was $25.00 per person. *Park Cafe - Very popular venue. It's located in Central Park and there is no cost to dine here. They serve breakfast and lunch. We decided to have breakfast here before leaving the ship in St. Maarten. If you sit outside in the park area, it is much nicer. Seemed a little noisy inside for me. Food was very good for being quick serve. *Main Dining Room - Used "My Time Dining" and only ate here once which was the first night. With so many other venues to dine, it makes it hard to dine here as much. By the way, MTD was very popular on this cruise. One entire deck devoted to MTD. Food here was good but again service was rushed. Seems that they have stretched out the wait staff to handle more tables. I got tired just watching our server try to keep up with so much to do but in the end, he provided great service and we dined in about an hour and a half. *Windjammer - Much has been written about the WJ being too small for this ship but that was not my experience. The times that we ate there, no crowds or waiting but I do think that old habits are hard to break. With so many other non fee dining venues on board, it seemed that many still gravitated to the WJ. Food here was okay. Typical buffet food but a good variety. You can tell that RCI is trying to serve something for everyone considering the number of non U.S citizens on board. *Johnny Rockets - It is located on the Boardwalk on Oasis. More outside seating than before and the interior is smaller. Open for breakfast which is no charge. Lunch or dinner is $4.95 per person plus the cost of beverages. Overall, typical JR fare. *Seafood Shack - Cost to dine here is $8.95 per person plus beverages. For the cost you receive one appetizer, entrEe, and dessert. Food here was good but not great. I think that they need to revisit the menu. Why have wings in a seafood dining area? Key Lime pie was very good though. Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade area very similar in size to that of the Freedom class ships and were very popular. Pizza in Sorrento's was very good. Room service worked out great. Full dining room menu service for suite guests. Also, the standard room service menu was different on Oasis than we had on the Adventure back in May. Not sure if this is fleet wide. We did not try Central Park 150, Wipeout Cafe, Solarium Bistro or Izumi. Entertainment - This is where there is a major difference in the Oasis and any other cruise ship that I have cruised. Head and shoulders better on the Oasis. Starting with Hairspray, a 90 minute show that goes nonstop. The level of the entertainers is top notch. "Come Fly With Me" was awesome. The title of the show states it all. A lot of aerial acts in this show. Not your typical cruise ship show. Not to be missed. RCI did a very good job in the design of the Opal Theater. Makes for a great place to watch the shows. "Oasis of Dreams" is the Aqua Theater show and again very good. I understand that this is still a work in progress as the show is currently 30 minutes long but will be adding more. They are also working on a second show called "Splish Splash" We saw them working on this a couple of times during the cruise. They also have a fountain show that was pretty good. Warning that if you sit in the first six rows or so, you will get soaked. Most learned quickly and moved back. Even further back will get you a spray from time to time. Ice Show was called "Frozen in Time" and again IMHO the best that RCI has produced. Do not miss this show. There were also other entertainment venues such as the Comedy Club, Jazz on Four, Blaze, Dazzles and a few shows shown in the Aqua Theater such as Summer Breeze and the Aqua Fountain Show. If anyone claims that they were bored on this ship, then it was their own fault as there are more things to do than time on the ship. Stateroom - We had stateroom #10730 which is an Aqua Theater Suite. This became available about two weeks prior to the cruise and we decided to move from a Sky Loft Suite to the ATS due to the unique location of this cabin. The results were a mixed bag. The cabin has two bedrooms. One is the master and sleeps two and the second bedroom sleeps up to four by using the two uppers. There are also two bathrooms. One is the same as a JS bathroom and the other is about the same size as a standard cabin bathroom with an upgraded glass shower. The tub in the master can be an issue if you are over 6 ft tall. Your head will hit the ceiling. There is a living/dining area but the selling point to this cabin is the balcony. It is HUGE and has views of the Aqua Theater, back and side of the ship. Awesome views from all angles. Right now there is a design flaw with the Oasis. She likes to spew out a lot of soot and it falls not only on the Aqua Theater but also on the Aqua Theater Suites. RCI has known about this issue from day one and is currently working with the shipyard to remedy the situation but it made our balcony unusable most of the time and we had some head butting with Guest Relations over this. We felt that RCI should have had a cleaning schedule to come and take care of the balcony several times a day. The cost of this cabin is not cheap and when you cannot use the best part of the cabin, it becomes a waste of money. We also had a horrible raw sewage smell in the master bath. After four calls to maintenance and several visits to Guest Relations to try and get the smell handled, an email to Miami took care of it. Guest Relations on this ship left a lot to be desired. Neighborhoods - Very smart move on RCI's part. IMHO this makes a large ship feel small in many areas. It does a great job in keeping the guests spread out throughout the ship. Wasn't sure how I would feel about Central Park but it was my favorite place on the ship along with the Royal Promenade. It was nice being able to sit and relax at times with a slight breeze blowing through the park. Also, dining or having a cocktail at night while sitting in the park is very nice. The Boardwalk is nice but to me it was missing something. It needs more of a boardwalk feel with games. The Solarium is beautiful and was in full use during this cruise. I expect by summer that it will get a little warm here as it was toasty at times on this cruise. The Aqua Theater was really nice. There are still plenty of places for one to connect with the sea on this ship. Ports of Call: Not going to spend a lot of time on the ports of call as they are the run of the mill eastern Caribbean stops. It was stated by Adam Goldstein that the Oasis would only dock on the Starboard side. This is not the case. We docked Port side in St. Maarten so that the crew could lower the rescue boats and take them out for the safety drill. The only port that seemed crowded was St. Maarten. There were five ships in port and four of them were very large. The lines for the water taxi were long. Prior to the Oasis entering service, there was a lot of conversation on Cruise Critic about how getting on and off this ship in port would be a nightmare. Actually this ship was easier than just about any other ship that I have cruised. RCI thought this one out in design. When you enter the elevator, just touch the "gang way" button and you are dropped off on the gang way deck. No worry about trying to find out which deck is for debarking the ship in port. Also, when getting ready to board the ship in port, RCI required the ports to have a security office set up with six security screeners. You are completely cleared to board the ship before leaving the security office. Really makes boarding process easy. They also have certain elevators set aside in each bank for express use. The "express" elevators only go up to drop off guests returning to the ship. Once it reaches the top, it goes straight back to the gang way deck. Very nice. Overall I loved this ship. It has to be experienced to really appreciate what she has to offer. Photos and videos cannot do it justice. She is not for everyone. She is large and requires a lot of walking if you want to see the different areas of the ship but she is also one of the easiest ships to move around on. You cannot get lost as there is great signage around the ship to help guide you to your destination. It was amazing to walk around and see the attention to detail that RCI put into this ship. The lighting of the public areas at night really make the Oasis come to life. If you're the type person that loves to sit all day and just look at the sea then I would suggest taking a different ship as you will not get the traditional experience from Oasis. Getting on and off this ship was much easier than I have experienced on ships much smaller. I was not worried about this in the port of calls but had my doubts when it came to the actual embarkation/debarkation in Ft. Lauderdale but the worry was for nothing. We used self debarkation and from the time that we walked off of the ship to curb side at the airport was twenty minutes. Outstanding. We chose to take the Oasis again in May. For me it will be hard to go back to another ship for the Caribbean route. So much to do and see on the Oasis. She also was popular in the ports as folks on the other ships wanted to see and hear about this ship. I feel that RCI has a winner on their hands with Oasis and Allure and judging by the amount of people booking both ships, I don't think that we will see any types of discounts anytime soon. She's not perfect but pretty darn close. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2010
I sailed Jan 16 - 23rd. I just got back yesterday so the Oasis is fresh in my mind. My wife and I are in our mid-thirties, and we have 2 kids: a 34 month old daughter, and an 8 month old son. This is our forth cruise overall, first on ... Read More
I sailed Jan 16 - 23rd. I just got back yesterday so the Oasis is fresh in my mind. My wife and I are in our mid-thirties, and we have 2 kids: a 34 month old daughter, and an 8 month old son. This is our forth cruise overall, first on RCL, and the previous three were all with Disney Cruise Line. We have always cruised with our kids and have previously only gone on Disney because it was the only cruise line with a nursery, which gives my wife and I some time as a couple without the kids, but can still enjoy brining our kids along. When we found out Oasis had a nursery, we signed up in October 2008. I want to lead off by talking about the Royal Babies and Tots area as I have not seen much in the way of reviews about this program. It is FANTASTIC. Disney has a real competitive problem on their hands with Oasis. First, the area is large, very clean, uncluttered and spacious. Also, there was nearly a 1-1 and at times a 2-1 ratio of staff to kids in the Royal Babies & Tots room. The girls in this room were super sweet and very caring. They are highly experienced and certified in child care through the state of Florida. My daughter is very clingy and at first was not happy at all to be left in this room without mommy and daddy. By the third time she had no problem going there and looked forward to playing with the other kids. When you register your child for Royal Babies and Tots, they give you a cool wireless cell phone (not a beeper like on the Disney ship) which they can call you directly with if you need to pick up your child. Also, if you want to call and check on your child, for example to see if they are napping and you can get another hour child-free time with your spouse, you can easily do so. My wife and I were actually using the phone eventually to just keep track of each other when we split up with the kids. From the phone you can just dial your room number, and from our room, we can dial the cell phone. You can also call any of the other ship numbers. There are phones in the hallways all over the ship as well. You do sign an agreement that they can charge you $300 if you lose the phone. For all kids in the Adventure Ocean program, there is a large open area in the middle of the facility with toys and things your kids can crawl around on. Also, every other morning, they had special toys laid out for babies and toddlers from Fisher-Price which was neat. On the last day of the cruise, they had a blacklight puppet show in their Adventure Theater for little kids, and it was a serious production with original music and dialog produce by a company. I was impressed as I was expecting some lame sock puppets or something like that. They charged $6/hour/kid in Royal Babies and Tots and we used it for a few hours nearly every day. We were really impressed with the nursery, and so impressed we booked two more cruises on the Oasis. I really doubt we'll go back to the older Disney ships and we hope the upcoming new Disney ship, the Disney Dream, is up to par with the RC Youth Area. Of course the killer in brining your kids on a cruise is they are charged not a youth/infant rate, but the rate for a 3rd or 4th person in your stateroom. So, my 34 month old daughter and my 8 month old son cost us an extra $750 apiece to come cruise with us. Of course for my infant son, we bring all the food for him with us. So, I just hope that enough families bring their babies on cruises in the future to ensure the Royal Babies and Tots program stays as high quality as it was when we were there. As far as everything else on the ship... Flew in from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest, and Southwest was great as always. Stayed the night before the cruise at the Embassy Suites Ft. Lauderdale. Avoid this hotel. Paid nearly $320 for a suite and port transfers, and another $50 for dinner at their restaurant. The room was so/so, dinner and service wasn't good. I was annoyed considering what we paid for all of this. The plus side was a Publix grocery store was just a few minutes walk behind the resort and we didn't have to cross any big roads. Embarkation: we left the hotel at 11am, were at the Oasis pier at 11:15, and on the ship in the Promenade looking around for a place to have lunch at 11:40. Boy was I impressed how smoothly that all went. The Royal Promenade was huge, wide, and very cool. For us it became the place to walk around after dinner, like a little downtown area in a beach resort town. We loved it. Every night they would lay out something different for a special sale in the middle of the Promenade, and man, did that create a swarm of ladies around those tables looking at purses one night, watches the next, jewelry the night after that. My wife loved it and I thought it was neat. I loved the feel of the Promenade and there was food everywhere. The Promenade Cafe had awesome brownies and cookies, and little sandwiches. We did have, and paid for, a Red Velvet Cupcake at the Cupboard. The cupcake was great, but not worth paying an extra $2.50 for. The Boardwalk was cool. We went on the Carrousel a few times with my daughter. I had a burger, onion rings and shake at Johnny Rocket's before the AquaDreams show, and the food was really good. I HATED the Seafood Shack. The only reason I went there was because they had BBQ ribs, which were gross, unless you like overcooked, mushy, fatty rib meat. My wife got the calamari and it was a joke..again, unless you like so much fried batter around your squid meat that you can't even taste the squid. Just thinking about that meal grosses me out. My wife said her fish entrEe was bland, and I after two bites of my ribs, I sent it back and ordered a burger, which, I would have just preferred a Johnny Rocket burger and saved $3. I have seen so many bad reviews of the Seafood Shack, that they really need to work on it. My bad experience here turned me off from being interested in the other for-fee restaurants. There was a "family event" at the Boardwalk one morning. Basically some very unenthusiastic Adventure Ocean staff laid out fairly lame games for toddlers to play with. There was no energy put into the event, and this is again, where Disney shines. Which brings me to the Main Dining Room - FANTASTIC. Oh my god, the food here was heads and shoulders above the Disney ship. The options were many, and the quality was superb. People that talk down the main dining food..I just don't get it. My wife and I ate there all 7 nights and absolutely loved it. We saw no need to upgrade to the specialty restaurants. Did we adore every single entrEe? No, of course not, as not everything was to our taste, but we could definitely see care and quality were put into the food - even the ones we didn't like, which were very few. I gained 4 pounds on this trip and much of the damage was done in the main dining room. Our service was really good, not outstanding, but really good. Our waiter was personable and very service oriented. We also always had breakfast ala carte in the main dining room as well. Great service, great food again. One day we did eat at Windjammer for breakfast before a shore excursion, and for the life of me, I don't know why anyone would even bother with that place when you have so many other excellent places to eat on the ship that are massively crowded. For lunch, Park Cafe was the place to go, and the roast beef sandwich is just awesome. I usually ordered two. That place is so popular that seating is often hard to come by, especially after you come back from shore excursions. We also at Brasserie 30, which is what the main dining room becomes for lunch. Again, really excellent, interesting, high quality food. Pools - we only used the family pool at the H2O zone and it was excellent, again putting Disney to shame. The pool area was never crowded (but I realize after school is out, that will change). The infant pool was a temp of warm bath water - THANK YOU RCL! How many times have I walked into a baby pool or a kiddie pool that was unheated and unusable. All the pools were heated to a nice temp. This also meant that the water sprayers/sprinklers didn't hit you with ice cold sprays of water while you are in the kids pool, again MUCH appreciated. My daughter and son played together in the infant pool. My son crawled around the 2 inch water and loved it. My daughter would want to move from the family hot tub, to the main kid pool, to the "cyclone" pool. Awesome pool area. We used it often. I want to say a special thanks for the huge shades above the whirlpools too. Our room - this is where Disney was better. We had a category D2 stateroom midship on deck 14th which ran us around $5,000 for the 4 of us. The bathroom was small and the circular shower stall pretty tight and I'm a fairly average size guy. We had a lot of luggage to bring into the stateroom: 2 car seats, 2 strollers, 2 large suitcases, a large garment suitcase, and a duffle bag (the joys of traveling with an infant and toddler). All the luggage fit under the bed, the strollers we put on the balcony, the car seats we put in the closet. Initially we were concerned we would not have room for everything, but we got it all settled. So, I say if we can fit that much stuff in a standard balcony room, everyone else should have no problem. The balcony was a very nice size, and very comfortable, definitely much nicer and bigger than Disney balcony rooms. Even with the strollers out there, we still had plenty of room to sit down. Also, having a view on the 14th deck, was very cool. I want to point out that the balcony door curtains were on separate runners, which meant you could FULLY close the curtains and weren't left with a gap that allows the bright sun to shine through when you are trying to get your kids to take a nap. Thank you! Also, people need to quit making such a big deal about the electrical outlets under the desk. I brought a power strip because of everyone's complaints, and after I hooked it up, I thought..this is unnecessary. You won't be "crawling" around under the desk to hook things up. The location is just fine. My wife and I just had to hook up 2 iPhones, but if you have a bunch of other gadgets, then yes, you'll want to bring a power strip. The bed was excellent and easily fit myself, my wife and my daughter..and when my son gets older and not in a crib, it would easily accommodate him as well. The pillows were plentiful and felt great. The sheets and comforter clean, soft and comfy. There were just two news channels on the large flatscreen TV: CNN Headline News and Fox News - GREAT! Fox News is all I need, thanks RCL! I did wish they had Nick Jr. or Sprout for toddlers, and maybe children's cartoon movie channel (that is definitely a plus with Disney). Our stateroom attendant was a super nice guy, took good care of us, and we tipped him well. One thing: my wife found a woman's g-string in a narrow cabinet that hadn't been cleaned out before we got in. My wife was grossed out, but nobody's perfect and except for that our stateroom attendant was great (nobody's perfect). We did have a noise problem on two nights. One night there was a late night pool party on deck 15 (just above us). Luckily we were all very tired from that day's activities and went to sleep with a problem. Also, on the 3rd night, drums and base were coming from somewhere late at night. I was told Dazzles nightclub was open late that night, so I assume it was from there. No huge deal as I eventually got to sleep but I am a light sleeper. One thing that bothered me about the balcony was that you couldn't close the balcony door fully from the balcony. So, when you close it without being able to seal it, you get a howling sound in the room, which can possibly wake little kids up from their naps. Overall, we did like the room and have booked similar rooms on future cruises. It is interesting about this ship. It is the largest cruise ship in the world and it is definitely big, but when you look at it from the shore, it doesn't look crazy big compared to the other ships. It is wide though. When you are on the ship on the 16th deck, you definitely are looking down on the other ships, but it isn't like you are on top of the Sears (Willis) Tower looking down, it just seems you are a few decks higher. Central Park is a nice place to walk around at night after dinner if you are alone with your spouse. Very romantic. Also, this is where all the upgrade dining venues are. We did sit down and have a few drinks at Vintages while a Spanish guitar player was playing. Very nice. The Coach store is there too, but my wife didn't buy anything. Shore Excursions: spent a morning at Saphire Beach in St. Thomas which was nice, but the drive there and back takes too long. Also spent a morning at Orient Beach in St. Martin, which I liked even more, especially since that is the French half of the island and the European flair is very cool. Orient Beach also has a nude beach on it which one can easily walk to, but unfortunately many of the nudists are people that have..well..kind of given up on their bodies. Spa - there is a huge spa, salon, and fitness facility on the Oasis. My wife and I did a couple's massage in the spa, she got a hot stone massage, and I got a bamboo massage. The tips are automatically added, and the final bill came to about $350 for a 50 minute massage for the both of us. Getting a similar massage at Asha near my house would be half that price. I thought the price was a little crazy, but I knew what it was going into it, and excepted that I was on a cruise ship and all the little extras, especially in the spa were going to be pricy, but $350 seemed excessive. The spa is big and beautiful, but it lacks ambiance and that "escape" feeling you want when you go to a spa. I'd say that the spa has sort of a cold feeling to it. Speaking of cold, the shower after the massage would never get hot, just kind of warm, which was annoying. Oh yeah, the vinyl slippers they give you at the spa are very uncomfortable. Lastly, the adults only Solarium is excellent. The food they serve at lunch if really fantastic and different from the rest of the ship, the idea being the food is a lighter fare, but still really tasty. In the Solarium, you get a nice quiet area with tons of comfy loungers, and the sunshine, but without the strong wind around the ship. My wife and I loved it there. Weather - fantastic the whole time. We had about 10 minutes of light rain in St. Martin, but other than that, it was just what we wanted it to be (especially coming from Chicago!). Crowding - NEVER felt crowded, ever. This ship had about 5,700 passengers and huge amounts of room for people to spread out. Entertainment - EXCELLENT! I was really really impressed with the high quality of the shows. Hairspray was so well done. Disembarkation - wow, that gave us some anxiety. We had an 11:25am flight out of Ft. Lauderdale and assume we needed to be walking off the ship by 8:25am. We were scheduled to walk off at 8:10am, but ended up through delays with immigration walking off the boat at 8:45, and they was after they started calling people to walk off the ship 45 minute late. With the delays and not knowing when we would be walking off the ship, I was getting nervous. When we walked off the ship into the terminal to get our luggage, man, it was dog eat dog; tons of luggage and I had to hustle to flag down a porter, and boy was that a good $7 investment. I had a huge rasta looking guy with a serious expression on his face. He grabbed all of our luggage, and to our surprise, sped past a long part of the immigration line. He was huge and burly looking, and nobody said anything to him. We went right through immigration without problem and out to the cab. This may be a slight exaggeration, but I would estimate there were 10 million people outside of the terminal looking for cab/shuttles/buses. I specifically was looking for a minivan cab and the taxi dispatch guy nabbed one quickly for us, and apparently he was doing us a favor. We were grateful and tipped him. Then it was 15 minutes to the airport for ANOTHER LONG LINE to checkin at Southwest. Again, his might be an exaggeration, but I estimate there were 5 million people checking into Southwest that morning. While it only took about 15-20 minutes to go from the boat to a cab, it took nearly 1 hour from reaching the airport to getting to our gate! Crazy. I was told by the cab driver there were 6 ships in port that day. All in all, we loved this ship and its Royal Babies and Tots program, and felt that a smaller/older ship would be a disappointment, particularly with little kids under 3 like we have, and who cruise with us. We realize that to see other destinations besides the typical east/west Caribbean ports we'll need to sail smaller/older ships, but for now we liked this ship so much we booked it for 2 more cruises over the next 12 months. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Oasis of the Seas January 16- January 23, 2010 My husband and I are avid cruisers and we made our reservations more than 18 months before actually sailing on the Oasis. We took the 7 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas January 16- January 23, 2010 My husband and I are avid cruisers and we made our reservations more than 18 months before actually sailing on the Oasis. We took the 7 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. Maarten/Martin, Nassau, Bahamas plus 3 days at sea. We traveled with two other family members and two friends. Here is our review. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 11 a.m. and quickly checked-in with no delay and boarded the ship. Our rooms were not available until 1:00 p.m. so we rolled our carry-on with us as we explored the ship. We embarked right into the middle of the Royal Promenade, which resembles the royal promenade on the Voyager class ships. We began at the top deck and worked our way down. The Oasis is made up of "neighborhoods" which I will briefly describe: Solarium/ Sports Deck: There is a huge partially domed Solarium in the front of the ship. This area has multiple levels, is beautifully laid out, and has palm trees and tropical plants. There is a small pool (3-ft. deep) that is warm, plus two hot tubs. Covered verandas are furnished with large, beautiful "Tommy Bahama" style chairs with thick cushions and matching ottomans--perfect for reading a book or taking a nap. There are 10 cabanas along the very front of the Solarium that are like giant "Papasan" chairs with convertible tops. They are highly sought after and, unfortunately, a few selfish people grab them early and "hog" them all day long, leaving their belonging in them while they go about doing other things on board. There is a policy against such obnoxious behavior, but it needs to be better enforced. Also in the Solarium is the Solarium Bistro, which serves breakfast and lunch "healthy" fare but turns into a chic bistro at night for a surcharge. Located in the Sports Deck area is Izumi, the Japanese specialty restaurant available for a surcharge. We did not get a chance to eat at Izumi but our friends did and said it was outstanding. Adjacent to the Solarium on both sides of the ship, in a part of the ship that cantilevers out over the water, (inside the glass area) are two huge "infinity" style hot tubs with big-screen televisions. You can sit in the hot tub and look at the ship as though you were alongside it. Also on the sports deck are several other pools, including a cute kiddie aqua park that features fun slides, water guns and fun things to entertain them for hours and a "beach" pool plus sun decks and plenty of beach chairs. Beach towels are large and thick and have the Royal Caribbean name on them, which makes it feel like you are at a resort. You have to "check out" the towels and return them to the towel kiosk. The rest of the sports deck contains many amenities such as: full-size basketball court; miniature golf, ping pong tables; shuffleboard; rock-climbing wall; zip-line; flow-rider wave machine for surfing or using the boogie board. Everything is well laid out and spacious. Also on the sports deck is a dining venue called Wipeout Cafe plus a small beach shop that sells beach wear, suntan lotion, and other things. A free soft-serve ice cream machine with cones is located near the pools. Although it can get crowded, there were always lounge chairs available. Vitality Spa and Fitness Center: The spa is huge and takes up 2 floors. There are the usual offerings plus additional special treatment rooms. The relaxation room could comfortably seat 16 people but was never that crowded. There is also a nice salon. I had a massage, pedicure, and reflexology as I am a spa junkie - my guilty pleasure on cruises. Located within the spa and fitness area is the Vitality Cafe where you can get a healthy snack, energy drink, or smoothie, and specialty coffee drinks. Some of the items in the cafe are free and some cost extra. The fitness center was huge. I never had a problem using the equipment, much of which is state-of-the-art. There are plenty of classes and lectures to attend, or you can do your own routine, which is what I did. There are some bikes available (for an extra charge) that have simulated interactive biking courses, which looked interesting. The fitness center has a stairwell that takes you down to the promenade deck, which is essentially a jogging track. Along the way are motivational signs and reminders to stop and stretch, and informational markers to let you track your distance. Boardwalk: The Boardwalk is very cute. There are 2 dining options available for an extra charge: Johnny Rockets diner and Seafood Shack. We ate lunch at the Seafood Shack and enjoyed several different appetizers and entrees. The carousel is beautiful and I was dragged aboard by my Mother in Law --- and have to admit --- it was fun to ride it with the kiddies and their grandparents---very authentic. There are some shops on the Boardwalk such as: ice cream parlor; donut shop; old-fashioned candy store with many nostalgic candies; a gift shop with items for the beach; cute children's beach clothes, etc. Along the Boardwalk are decorative items you would find in a real boardwalk, such as pop-corn machines, 'funhouse" mirrors, and so forth. Even "Voltar" is available to tell your fortune. The Boardwalk has about 5-6 stories of "inside" cabins that overlook it. I would imagine those who took rooms overlooking the Boardwalk would be reminded of summers at the shore, as that is what it looked like to me. Those rooms were quite noisy, however, as I was told by fellow cruisers. At the very end (aft of the ship) is the fabulous Aqua Theatre. This theatre has stadium seating (comfy) and a stage with a 17 foot deep pool --- various diving boards and platforms, lighting, and 2 big-screens for movies and other special effects. The evening performance put on by former Olympic swimmers and acrobats was spectacular. The Aqua Theatre was flanked on either side by the Aqua Suites. I was very enthralled with the Aqua Suites for several reasons. First, the suites were stepped such that the lowest one had the largest balcony and the balconies decreased in size as you went higher. The balcony for each suite was a large wrap-around style balcony that appeared to have built-in outdoor bars. I would guess that the view of the Aqua Theatre, as well as the ocean view on the other side, was stunning; however, noise would definitely be an issue. There is also a 30 minute evening water show set to music (like at Bellagio in Las Vegas) that was very dramatic and well done. Those in the Aqua Suites were on their balconies viewing the water show and appeared to enjoy it. Central Park: This venue was my favorite by far, perhaps because I am a native New Yorker. It was so pretty and peaceful and ...absolutely elegant at night. There are so many plants and park benches that you really forget you are on a cruise ship! There is a winding path that allows you to meander along and take it all in. Central Park has the high end shops (including a Coach purse store) and restaurants. Vintages, the on-board wine bar, was huge. We all met there one afternoon for tapas (small plates of tasty food) and wine flights (3 different glasses of wine based on varietals and/or vineyard) and had a great time. Restaurants in Central Park include: Chops Grille, Park Cafe, 150 Central Park, and Giovanni's Table. We ate at 150 Central Park for dinner and we were blown away! I felt like a judge on the TV show Iron Chef. There are two menus that alternate depending upon the day of the week. One of our table mates was afraid that she would not like the food because she is a rather picky eater; however, she loved it. The ambiance is very elegant, the service is outstanding, and the food just took our breath away! While my husband and I ordered a bottle of wine, our friends selected the wine-parings and really enjoyed it. There is a surcharge for the dinner and an extra charge for the wine and alcohol but this place is on my list of one of the most fascinating food experiences I have had. If you are a "foodie" and love wine, you really need to go to 150 Central Park ($35 surcharge applies). We ate lunch at Giovanni's Table (also a surcharge of $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner) but thought it was "just ok." They serve food family style. We like Sabatini's on Princess better. Central Park is also the final destination of the Rising Tides Bar. The bar is a slow-moving elevator that takes you up two stories inside the Royal Promenade and then ends in Central Park under a glass domed ceiling shaped like a wave and reminiscent of Tavern on the Green in NYC. We went to the Rising Tides Bar twice and really enjoyed it, especially at night, with all the twinkle lights in Central Park. Rising above Central Park are several floors of "inside" cabins that have windows overlooking the park and in fact, the cabins across the hall from us were those cabins. We were told by those cabin-dwellers that it was extremely noisy in those rooms. The Park Cafe was open for breakfast and lunch and was packed all the time. The cafe serves excellent fresh salads that you create and delicious panninis as well as sandwiches and desserts. Also available for really serious foodies is Chef's Table which is available for a $75 surcharge, including wines. We did not have time to try this but it sounds really neat! Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe: The Windjammer is very small. We do like the way RCCL organizes the food stations because it minimizes "traffic jams" and makes it easier and quicker to grab a bite. We enjoyed the variety of food, especially the Asian bar. The Opus Dining Room was elegant and we had outstanding service for the 6 pm seating. We sat next to the Captain's Table and behind it was a stage where musicians played the piano and/or violin during dinner. The menu selections were "good" to "great" and everything as well-prepared and delicious. There is also an anytime dining option, which is a nice alternative. Staterooms: We had a balcony cabin as did our travel companions. It was located mid ship on deck 12 and was very quiet and adequate, but considerably smaller than the same type of cabin on the Voyager Class ships. We were very space-challenged but managed to hang or fold all our clothes and get our 3 suitcases under the bed. The bed was extremely comfortable. We had a nice flat screen TV but there were hardly any programs available. RCCL obviously does not want you to hang out in your room! The TV was connected to a keyboard, which you could use to monitor your account, review all menus for each evening, connect to the internet for a fee, and learn all about what the ship has to offer, plus it had many other features. Our balcony was huge, and we were able to get the glass partition moved so that we could double the balcony size with our neighbors (travel companions), which made it even better. The balcony was covered and yet was sunny if you stood by the railing. The railing was higher than usual so that when you are sitting, the railing does not obstruct your view. We had a table and two chairs and were able to host the sail-away party for 6 in our room. The bathroom was really tiny with just a small corner stand-up shower, which was smaller than a coat closet. The sink and toilet were so close together that one could use both simultaneously! We are both tall and had issues banging our elbows in the shower just trying to wash our hair! If you are of large girth, you would probably have a problem with the small showers. I understand the junior suites have a tub-shower, which is much larger. The Royal Suite was a few doors down from us and it looked spacious and magnificent. There were some traditional inside cabins but most of what would be "inside" cabins on other ships has windows overlooking Central Park, the Boardwalk, or the inside of the Royal Promenade. In addition to the Aqua Suites, there were Sky Suites overlooking Central Park, which I would probably really like, except for the noise factor. The2 -story Loft Suites are located near the Viking Crown Lounge, as is the wedding chapel and Concierge Suite. Our stateroom attendant was excellent and she did a great job keeping our room clean and tidy. We gave her a big tip. Entertainment: The entertainment on board was over-the-top excellent. There are so many shows, you really have to manage your time well to see everything in 7 days. In addition to the Aqua Theatre water acrobatic spectacular, we saw the Broadway musical Hairspray; the aerial production Come Fly With Me (like a Cirque du Soleil show); Frozen in Time (a stunning ice show based on the stories of Hans Christian Andersen), the Headliner (an excellent singer-comedian that took us back to Motown and Rock 'N Roll), and two excellent comedians, who performed in the Comedy Club. There are many venues to enjoy in addition to the theatre, including a sports bar, Boleros night club, Dazzles night club, a karaoke bar, and on... and on. The NFL playoffs were taking place during our first 2 days and you could watch from any of the big screens located throughout the ship, or in your stateroom. Getting Around the Ship: You would think a ship this huge would be hard to maneuver but that was not the case. There are only 2 banks of elevators, and located outside each bank, is a simple-to-read board for each floor telling you what is where AND there is a computerized interactive board that you can use to locate your room or any other place by answering a few questions. The info board also had wait times for the various dining venues so you could decide where to eat based on space available. There were numerous elevators and rarely did we wait long. There were two stairwells (Port and Starboard) behind the elevators. Finally, there were ship's models located near the elevators, (like all RCCL ships have) to help you locate various places by deck. The Ports: We have traveled the Caribbean and been to St. Thomas, St. Martin/Maarten and Nassau many times so we did not take any excursions on this trip. We walked around and did some shopping and then got back on board. You could disembark in 4 different places so you never had to wait on line. Getting back on the ship was a cinch, too: no problems, no wait, and no effort. It was a breeze. Overall: The Oasis was not just a cruise ship; it was a resort on water. We were enthralled with the ship for our first two days (both sea days) and had so much fun exploring every nook and cranny. There are some vestiges of a traditional Royal Caribbean cruise experience on the Oasis (i.e., the "newlywed" game show and The Quest) but there was so much more than anything we had ever experienced before on a cruise ship. It really felt as though we were at a resort by the sea. It was a destination in itself! We loved every minute of it and would definitely cruise again on board the Oasis ... or check out the Allure when it debuts. On the negative side, I would say that sometimes we felt like we were being "nickeled- and dimed" with all the surcharges, some of which are unnecessary in our opinion. Still, even if you prefer smaller, more intimate ships, the Oasis experience is unique and unparalleled at this time. I do not know what RCCL has planned for the future but they have certainly outdone themselves this time and have raised the bar quite high, in our opinion. If you are thinking about cruising aboard the Oasis but worried that a big ship would be too crowded or overwhelming, don't worry. RCCL has done a magnificent job of designing the ship to accommodate large crowds. There are so many different interesting and fun public areas on the ship that you never feel too crowded or overwhelmed. It is well presented and well managed. Go ahead and hop on board and experience cruising at a whole new level. Bon Voyage! E & A Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Oh dear - too many people on a too large ship . We travelled as part of a group all with varying experiences of cruising and various expectations of this ship . Technically a marvel both for its size and variety of facilities . However ... Read More
Oh dear - too many people on a too large ship . We travelled as part of a group all with varying experiences of cruising and various expectations of this ship . Technically a marvel both for its size and variety of facilities . However wether one can use the facilities is another matter as most - both dining and entertainment require booking because of the number of passengers on board - I was under the impression that the price of the cruise included a right to dine wherever I wished without the hassle of pre planning a series of bookings , ditto regarding entertainment . Main dining times were a fiasco with people pushing their way through to both food and any available seating - very frustrating . Food standard was at best moderate , staff generally were excellent albeit overstretched at times - particularly at main dining where wine waiters have been cut leaving the table head waiter to cope with both food delivery and wine replenishment - it didn't work .Too many things 'speciality ice creams , coffees' etc were at additional charge making for an uneasy feeling of being milked . Standard of cleanlines were excellent particularly considering the volume of passengers , embarkation also was very slick . Too many areas of the ship were available for smoking making quite large areas unpleasant . Having whinged on as I have I can also see the market the ship would appeal to which is a younger more family orientated group than I belong to and I can see those being entertained well enough . Read Less
Oasis of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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