Sail Date: November 2009
Went on the 1 night naming cruise/Make-A-Wish fundraiser. We have cruised a ton - both with and without the kids. This time it was just us with another couple. The Oasis is HUGE! But of course, you know that! Overall she is a beautiful ... Read More
Went on the 1 night naming cruise/Make-A-Wish fundraiser. We have cruised a ton - both with and without the kids. This time it was just us with another couple. The Oasis is HUGE! But of course, you know that! Overall she is a beautiful ship, with tons to do for all members of the family. Some overall impressions: 1) Loved the Aqua Theater - while it was broken on our night, I am sure that this will be a major attraction. 2) Central Park - very pretty, but not sure it is needed...overall felt like a waist of space. Perhaps on a full week cruise I would not feel that way. 3) The ship is VERY "self-centric". Everything about it makes you center on the ship itself, as opposed to the sea. For example - when you sit by the pools, you face the center of the ship, and the other pools...from the chase lounge, you can not see the water - at all! While I am at sea, I like the nautical nature of cruising - seeing distant islands, watching the boats go by, etc. On the Oasis, you lose that feeling of being "at sea". Instead, you truly feel like you are at a resort - that just so happens to move. 4) In comparison to it's size - very few windows. Yes, you are outside at the Boardwalk and Central Park - but you feel a little "tunnel like". 5) LOVE the casino - big, roomy...and 1/2 of it is SMOKELESS!!!!! YEA! 6) You can't be bored - comedy club, jazz club, ice skating, casino, show room, karaoke bar, English pub, Latin bar, showroom bar (dazzles),piano bar/Schooners, Aqua Theater ... and I don't think I listed 1/2 of the places that you can get a drink and be entertained.... 7) Nickel here, dime here...multiple coffee bars, cupcakes, ice cream, candy, bears, seafood shack, fancy restaurants, Johnny Rockets....I understand that these are all revenue drivers...but wow..... Overall - this is a great experience. But - I am not sure that it makes a great "cruise". It strives very hard to be a great land based vacation - and if that is the case, are you better off (and is it a better value) to go to a great resort - like Atlantis, Vegas, Aruba, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
The 18 Hour Cruise It's late November and you know what that means - Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and if it's 2009 the World's hugest ship ever is in Ft. Lauderdale preparing for its Maiden voyage. ... Read More
The 18 Hour Cruise It's late November and you know what that means - Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and if it's 2009 the World's hugest ship ever is in Ft. Lauderdale preparing for its Maiden voyage. We were lucky enough to partake in a combination Naming Ceremony/Make A Wish fund raising overnight cruise to nowhere on the massive new Oasis of the Seas November 30 - December 1. Of course I already know of the ship having read much in cruise magazines and blogs, but really didn't know the details until we knew we were going to be on board for a day. Although we have been on numerous cruises we have never been on any of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's (RCCL) ships before. RCCL has a reputation for building big ships, really big ships, with relatively small cabins compared to some other lines although this has changed greatly in the past few years. Their ships also incorporate very innovative and unique features like rock climbing walls. wave riders for surfing and ice skating rinks. They are also into large indoor shopping/alternative dining/bar areas with lots of neon and regularly scheduled parades and interesting entertainment. Sort of similar but in a larger way to Carnival ships. But it is a ship so when the opportunity presents itself go for it! I knew the Oasis was different from pretty much any ship ever built or even conceived before. It has seven distinct neighborhoods, lots of pools, tons of alternative restaurants, a zip line, 2 wave pools, 2 rock climbing walls, a carousel, and even a Broadway sized stage to perform genusine Broadway musicals on. It also has two huge areas that are open to the sky with cabins looking in on both sides stretching 6-7 decks above - one is the Boardwalk with an Aqua Pool at the stern and the second is an area called Central Park. My thoughts were all this stuff belongs in Vegas not stacked on the hull of a ship - it would never work. Well after our 18 hours on board I am forced to admit that is does in fact work! It's nothing short of amazing! We arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale at about 1:30 PM and were immediately impressed with the newly redone terminal. It is huge with what appears to be enough lines and space to actually check in 5-6,000 passengers (there were only 2300 for this Naming Ceremony/Benefit cruise). We breezed right through in about 15 minutes. We boarded a little before 2 in the afternoon. You enter through one of two gangways into the Royal Promenade which is very impressive. We went directly to our ocean view cabin with balcony on deck 8 to drop off our small rolling bag and headed out to explore the ship. The first stop was the Windjammer Cafe (the buffet dining option). There is tons of food from many different cultural backgrounds. Fortified with our lunch we headed out to continue our exploration the ship. We spent the next three hours seeing as much of the gigantor as we could. I actually think that we saw everything except the ice skating rink and the gym but who needs the gym when you walk several miles in a short afternoon. We walked the Boardwalk and had a donut, explored Central Park, wandered through the pool areas and discovered the self serve frozen custard machines with ice cream cones near the kids pools - very cool. The spa is huge as befits the ship. We even found the computer room - a small room with only 6 computers - so we could check email. I know this doesn't sound like much but nothing is close and everything is big, really big so it takes time. We ended up on deck 16 to watch us sail and celebrated with a champagne toast (on this brief cruise everything that is usually charged extra for was free (alcohol, wine, donuts, ice cream, etc.) - a nice extra. Believe me, trying to compact a week's worth of seeing and doing into a few hours is stressful and exhausting. We finally returned to our cabin a few minutes after 5 so that we could wash up and get down to the Boardwalk for the official naming ceremony. In historical nautical terms the there is no naming ceremony, there is a Christening which both names and blesses the ship (traditionally something to the effect of "I name this ship the xxxxx. May God bless her and all who sail upon her." Is said and then a bottle of champagne is broken across the bow). The person who christens a ship is always a woman, always a well known woman. In the case of the Oasis of the Seas, the naming ceremony would be at sea so no bottle across the bow and a ship so large couldn't have only have one godmother, the Oasis would have 7 - one for each neighborhood onboard. The official ceremony took place at the Aqua Pool at the very back of the ship (the stern). Only invited guests could actually get into the ceremony. Not having been one of the lucky few hundred we watched from our designated area in the Boardwalk (right next to the Aqua Theater). We watched on a big screen for a while and then went back to our cabin about 6;30 to watch the rest of it on the television as we changed for dinner. There were many 'by invitation' dinners at the specialty restaurants for the dignitaries and celebrities who were on board one of whom was Michael Jordan (unfortunately we did not luck out and run into him but then again it's a big ship). We dined in the Opus Dining Room - the ships main dining area. It was a set menu for the Naming Ceremony and all in all it was wonderful. We were at a table for 4 with a very nice couple and had an enjoyable dining experience that included the night's free wine. Following dinner we went to the theater to see the Broadway Musical Hairspray. The theater was great and the performance outstanding - the entire audience including Jane Seymour gave the cast an extended standing ovation. It was one of the best performed musicals we have ever seen and trust me we have seen a lot of musicals. Then we were off to the casino where we played video poker for a while. Finally we headed back to the cabin for a few hours sleep before needing to disembark. We could not believe that it was after 1 AM when we finally got back to the room. We chose to have our early morning breakfast at the full service Opus Dining Room again and it was very good, especially the coffee which was hot and strong. At a few minute before 8 we were off the ship and on our way to the car a little before 8 in the morning - 18 hours after walking onboard. It was to say the least a WONDERFUL experience!!!!!! Thoughts on the Oasis of the Seas Pros • It works - yes it's huge but it does work - you can get around and would easily see everything on the ship in a 7 day cruise - we saw most of it in 18 hours! • There's tons of stuff to do • Yes it's huge, but it's still a ship Cons • It seemed crowded at times to us and there were only 2300 passengers on board - what will it be like there are 5-6,000? • Maybe it's us and the cruise lines we have been on but we are used to not smelling any cigarettes anywhere on board - that was not the case in our short visit to the Oasis - you could smell smoke coming from the bar areas in many places Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
First off, this was my first cruise ever...keep that in mind when you read my newbie opinions. The Oasis is a huge ship and we spent a LOT of time walking. Our cabin was the last port aft cabin. I actually lost a few pounds and never went ... Read More
First off, this was my first cruise ever...keep that in mind when you read my newbie opinions. The Oasis is a huge ship and we spent a LOT of time walking. Our cabin was the last port aft cabin. I actually lost a few pounds and never went near the fitness center. And that was on a non-revenue cruise where most restaurants and all drinks were free. I definitely walked off all my meals and other indulgences. The service was excellent. The staff was very courteous and accommodating. The cabin was a little tight but adequate. Personally, I was happy to be ocean-side. Great for quiet and privacy. I don't think I would have enjoyed a room with a balcony overlooking Central Park, the Boardwalk or the Promenade. Those are probably great if you're into people-watching, but you can do that with a better view by joining the crowd and watching from the sidelines. That's such a busy and noisy atmosphere that I needed my ocean-side balcony to unwind. The Aqua Theater's structure was interesting...a pool/dance floor/trampoline/diving boards/fountains. The Oasis of Dreams rehearsals were fun to watch ...there was dancing and diving based on a storyline, then tumbling, then a colored fountain show set to music. It was carefully coordinated between the theater morphing and the performers utilizing the components. It reminded me of Cirque de Soleil. The ice skating show was spectacular. Great costumes and props. They even manage to include a few kids from the audience during "The Ugly Duckling" portion. I don't believe our cruise was full to capacity, but it was still difficult to catch an elevator after shows (and there's 24 of them). There were long lines at Johnny Rockets at times and even longer waits at the Seafood Shack. It was not always easy to find seating for our group at the Windjammer Marketplace (buffet). The food at all three of these were good, but nothing to crow about. Dinners in the Opus Dining Room were good, the setting was classy, and the servers were attentive. I was surprised and disappointed by the way people dressed from the first Smart Casual dinner to the final Formal dinner. Maybe I'm old school, but for those who can't or don't want to dress appropriately for the fancy dinner, why not just go to the Windjammer buffet? I heard from seasoned cruisers that they weren't impressed with the food overall. I never even saw an hor d'oeuvre, but neither did I visit any restaurants other than what I've listed. I was impressed with the artwork on the ship (sculptures, statues, etc.) except for the painters who seemed out of place. I wasn't impressed with most of the framed photos in public areas (mostly birds which seemed to be the overall theme, no focal point, etc.) There are two internet rooms that are very cramped. They have about 10 computers each with barely any room to get in and out. Every time I went, there were people standing outside the door waiting for a chance at a computer (no time limits either) and every screen was viewable from the doorway (no privacy). I did bring my laptop, but to use wireless (free on this trip) you had to first go to an internet room to sign up for it and then the wireless was down almost every time I tried to use it. Some suggestions for those planning to cruise on this ship are as soon as you've booked, sign up online for the shows you want to see and as soon as you embark, sign up for the zip line and surf pools. You have to get on the waiting lists early or your cruise could end before you get your turn, especially in the case of bad weather. Again, it was a big, beautiful ship with lots to do, but even as a newbie, there are some things that could use improvement. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we were on deck 10, they could not tell us why, and as it is Royals Rules, that childrens cabins are next to or across from parents cabins, they moved them back to the original cabin, this caused much confusion and soda package stickers were not transferred with the move. Sea pass pictures are now taken at check in, although the agent had difficulty using the camera. After check in was taken care of, a 25 min process, which exceeds their goal of 15 mins from door to ship, we went upstairs to await boarding. Once boarding was started it was a very quick process to finally be aboard Oasis. We boarded on the Royal promenade, deck 5, and looked around, very much like the Voyager / Freedom class ships, although bigger and more impressive. We wandered around the RP, waiting for the rest of our party who were late getting to the port, when they boarded, we went to check out the cabins, Our ocean view balcony was basically the same as the Freedom class, although the layout was a little different and the cabin seemed smaller, went across the hallway to check out our daughters interior and our friends interior that was next to theirs, imagine our surprise when our daughters cabin was full of boxes and our friends cabin had a man laying on the bed looking at a laptop!! Time to visit guest services!!, we now know why the cabins had been changed at check in. Guest services could not explain what had happened, and tried to find them alternate cabins, that matched the parent/child rules, they could not. After a lot of checking and trying to move people around the only thing they could come up with was an Aqua Suite, very nice, on the same deck, but all the way aft, when we were all the way forward, while this was very nice for our friends and our daughter and her friend, it meant that our group was now split up, and the guest service supervisor would do nothing for the remaining people in the group to get us closer, when we tried the, "but we booked 11 months ago, to be together", we were told that they guarantee us cabins, but not specific cabins and they could put us where they wanted!! During this time, we had also noted that although the whole party was dining at the same table, half had early dining and half had late dining, when we questioned this, we were told that we all had late dining, it didn't matter what the sea pass cards said! Once again, we all had confirmed early dining and this was not acceptable, we were told it was late dining only, and even if the passengers who had early dining times on their sea passes, went to the dining room at 6.00pm they would be refused service!! They did go as far as to say that they would try and get us early dining and would leave a message on our phone if they were successful. Spent the rest of the afternoon looking around this amazing ship. As there was no message on our cabin phone we decided to have Dinner in the Windjammer, this is laid out pretty much like the Voyager/Freedom class, with different stations, but seemed to have less stations with a much smaller selection of food. Used the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch as well, and found the same thing. One guy cooking eggs to order, but a 20 min wait for 2 sunny side up, fried eggs. Never found any hotdogs or French Fries, the entire cruise. There was a message left on 1 cabin phone when we returned giving us early dining at 2 adjoining tables We did eat in the Dining Room, on the second night, and it was a disaster, we arrived at 6.00, and asked that they hurry service as we wanted to watch the aqua show at 7.30, no problem we were told, bread arrived at 6.20, orders were taken at 6.30, starters arrived at 6.45 and entrees, in stages starting at 7.10, after rushing and finishing dinner by 7.35 we left, without dessert or coffee to catch the end of the show, the table next to us, who arrived just before us and also wanted to see the show, had not even got their entrees. Needless to say that was the last visit to the dining room! Ate the last night in the Sea Food Shack, once again service very slow, drink order messed up, Fish and Chips, was actually Fish and French Fries, and English people will know the difference!, baked beans, served with the baby Back Ribs, which were regular ribs not baby backs, looked like they had been microwaved 3 or 4 times, and were very dried out. Bars and Lounges. I will state here, and wait for the flaming, that we are smokers. On Voyager and Freedom class ships, we spend a lot of time in the English Pub on the RP, listening to the singer, smoking has always been allowed at the bar and down one side of the ship, and the pub is normally packed, and I'm led to believe a major revenue center for the ship, on Oasis, the pub is non smoking and was empty all cruise. The other bars that were smoking, Schooner and Boleros, were packed in the smoking section and empty in the non smoking section. Seems to me that RCI needs to rethink their policies on this one. Rising Tide bar was cool to try, but had very limited drinks available. Labadee. What a change since we were last their in July. Obviously the pier is now used, and that gives the peninsula a totally different feel, tried the Dragons Tail Coaster, which is now priced at $15.00 for 1 ride, $25.00 for 2 riders and $40.00 all day, these prices are per car, so for one or two people, a really good ride, although it can be slow depending on the speed or the person in front of you. No ribs on the BBQ, but did have grilled lobster tail, don't know if this was a special for the first cruise, or if this will be an ongoing thing. Overall a decent cruise, people will say that all new ships will have "teething problems", but it seems to me that the systems are in place on all other ships and therefore should transfer seamlessly, but that is not the case. Oasis, at the moment, is a work in progress, that hopefully be finished soon Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria ... Read More
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria in Dec. 2007). RCCL has been our favorite line due to the large passenger demographic and their focus on family cruising. We booked this one in May 2009 and received two upgrades from the line. We originally had an inside and wound up with a D2 Superior Ocean View Balcony amidships. This cruise had 4,800 guests which was short of capacity by 1,500 guests. RCCL said this was by design for the first cruise. They are getting a premium cruise rate for this ship, so expectations are high. Embarkation - A breeze. The new ship terminal (Terminal 18) built for Oasis is huge and can easily handle the passenger load. I was suspicious when RCCL announced that this terminal will allow passengers to go from the curb to ship in 15 minutes. We did it in 10 minutes. WOW!! Accommodations - The room was a good size and the storage space was adequate. The bed is too close to the closet and blocks some of the storage space. RCCL needs to address this on Allure of the Seas. The balcony was 40 sq.ft and had a nice view of the ocean. The bathroom was bigger than I expected and met all of our needs. Public Spaces - BIG!! BIG!! BIG!! Every space was elegantly designed and exceeded our expectations. Our favorite space is Central Park. It is so beautiful with the real trees and shrubs. We really enjoyed Vintages Wine Bar in Central Park. We sat outside in the park drinking wine and eating tapas. It was great!! This is the best designed ship I have ever been on in my life. It was easy to navigate, had superior design and was elegantly appointed. RCCL spared no expense. Everything was done first class. We missed not getting to the Solarium. We only walked through it and it is wonderful. The stability of the ship is incredible. It virtually did not move in the water. One little lerch leaving Labadee was all I felt. Dining - We had the main seating at the Opus Dining room at 6pm. The food was average which is expected from RCCL. The service was under stress given the enormity of the passenger load. The line fell down a bit here, but I excused it due to it being the first cruise. Our waiter, Igorce, was very attentive and treated us well. He had too many tables to wait and therefore was running around all night. He had a really tough job. I am not one to spend money on alternative restaurant cover charges. This ship has plenty of complimentary locations other than the main dining room and Windjammer. We really liked Sorrento's Pizza for lunch and the Park Cafe for breakfast. We only went to Windjammer buffet once for breakfast. It was nice with good food, but too crowded. Go to the Park Cafe for breakfast. The food is good and eating in Central Park is wonderful. Activities - Too many to mention. Flow Rider (2), basketball (full court), mini-golf, table tennis, zip-line, sports pool, kids pool (H2O Zone), sand pool, main pool, solarium pool, spa, gym, carousel, rock wall (2), ice skating, jogging track (deck 5), comedy club, jazz club, Theater, Aqua Theater, etc. We saw the ice show, Hairspray in the Opal Theater and the Aqua Theater show Oasis of Dreams. They were all very good. Hairspray was the best. The Comedians were average, but not great. There is also a huge casino on board that rival some Atlantic City Casino Hotels. It is huge with two craps tables. My wife and I don't gamble, but we like to watch others. Ports - Labadee, Haiti is a resort owned by RCCL. It has recently been redone. There is a brand new pier that opened on 12/3/09 that allows all ships to dock including Oasis. There is the Dragon's Breath Zip-Line and the Dragon's Tail Coaster. Both alot of fun. The beach is nice and vendor free!!! The resort is clean and the lunch buffet they serve is good. Adventure Ocean has activities on the resort, so the kids can go there and the adults can enjoy the beach or other activities. I was pleased with the changes on Labadee and would go back there again.  Adventure Ocean - Wonderful!! It is a great space and our 6 year old really loved it. The have their own theater and also A science lab and art studio. It was terrific!! Top of the line and, of course, BIG!! Diamond Club - We are RCCL Diamond members. The Diamond Club is a nice space, but it was never used. The Concierge was there each day from 10am to 12 noon, but breakfast was served at Park Cafe and cocktail hour was at the Blaze Nightclub from 5pm to 8:30pm each night. Good drinks!! Really good drinks!! Debarkation - A breeze. Off the ship, through customs and at the airport in less than 20 minutes. Overall - A really good cruise, but not great. The computer glitches and dining room service knocked the total cruise experience down a little. The ship is the most beautiful I have ever seen and the options for dining and entertainment are virtually limitless. The on-board charges for drinks, apparel and gifts are higher than other RCCL ships, so watch what you spend closely and have a good time. We certainly did. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive ... Read More
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive maps located throughout the ship. • The pool deck was nice, there were plenty of pool chairs available, and the pool area was not overly crowded. • Embarkation and debarkation were both easy. • There were more free dining options compared to the Liberty of the Seas, such as the Park Cafe, which I enjoyed. Things that I did not like: • The layout of the room was akward; the room seemed smaller than to comparable rooms on the Liberty. • While there was plenty of storage space available in the room, it was hard to utilize. The closet space was hard to access. • Some of the shows were canceled, and it was very difficult to change reservation times/days once on board due to many shows already being booked up. Embarkation was great. It went very smooth and quickly. We boarded deck 5, Royal Promenade, which was was very impressive. It is similar to Liberty of the Seas' promenade, but larger. The rising tide bar looks very neat, although I did not try it. The ship is beautiful. Public spaces were gorgeous, and I enjoyed the many art pieces. It was very easy to get around with touch screen computers located throughout the ship. The computers provided cruise compass info, maps, and directions to your stateroom, among other things. Muster Drill The muster drill took place in a lounge. It was great. No more wearing life vests. Central Park Central Park is quiet. It really is beautiful, and the plants are lovely. Boardwalk Boardwalk is very lively. There were several family activities that were hosted by Adventure Ocean staff which took place here, such as face painting and games. Cabin We had an inside L cabin. The configuration of the closet was a little weird. The sofa sleeper was right in front of the closet door which made it difficult to access the closet, especially with the sofa bed out. Bathroom I really liked the bar in the shower; it makes shaving legs so much easier. I did not like the soap tray in the shower, shampoos and things kept falling out of it. There are several hooks in the shower; a hanging shower organizer would have been helpful here. Activities- Zip Line I did the zip line. It was very difficult to get a reservation. I had to sign up several days in advance, in order to go the last day of the cruise. I noticed people being turned away at desk as there were no more spaces available. I probably would not do the zip line again. It was a unique experience, but not worth the lengthy time that it takes to get harnessed and ready to go. It lasts maybe only 30 seconds or so. Flowrider I used the flowrider several times during this cruise, and also did private lessons. There were never long wait times when I was at the flowrider. One Flowrider was used for surfing and one for boogie boarding. Private lessons were great. The sports staff was very helpful. Entertainment I had reservations for all of the shows prior to boarding, but wanted to change some of the times. I found it very difficult to change my reservations once on board, as many of shows were sold out for the entire cruise (such as the Aqua Theatre show). I originally had Oasis of Dreams booked for the first night, but it was canceled due to technical difficulties. They offered a show the next night, but I could not attend due to a Flowrider lesson. The show was completely booked for the entire cruise, so I did not get seats. Many people, including me, watched the show from the deck above (in front of rock wall). There were so many different entertainment options that I was not able to see everything that I wanted to see in the 4 days. I did manage to see the Ice Show and Hairspray. Hairspray was good. The ice show was similar to the one of the Liberty of the Seas. Dining Dining Room I had My Time dining, and ate in the dining room every night. There were often lines to make reservations. It would be nice to be able to make reservations before the cruise, similar to how reserbations can be made for the speciality restaurants, but I did not see that option available. With the exception of the last night, I thought that the quality of the food was quite good, it was better than what I expected. I had different waiters each night, and some of them were really good, while others were not so good. Park Cafe was very good. They had made to order sandwiches, salads, and Panini's, all at no additional charge. I did not eat at any of the surcharge restaurants, so I cannot comment on those. Crowds The Oasis did not feel crowded at all. I found that the lines were shorter on the Oasis compared to the Liberty of the Seas, probably due to the many options available on the Oasis. The Windjammer was small but did not feel crowded, and it was easy to find a table. Pool Deck The pool deck was nice. It was not crowded. H2O Zone was nice, again no crowds (although I did not see many kids on board, probably due to the time of the year). The solarium was great. I enjoyed the cantilevered whirlpools, and liked the fact that there were now flat screen TV's above them. Labadee I have been to Labadee before but not after the renovations. It is great. The pier is very nice, no more tendering! It was a breeze to get on and off the ship. Several areas were expanded, and there were additional areas to eat. Debarkation I choose late debarkation, as I had a late flight. I ate breakfast in the Windjammer before leaving at about 8:30. It was not crowded, and debarkation was prett Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2009
If anyone says to you - "Wow that is a big ship", well they are right. We don;t want to get too wordy as you know there are alot of critic reviews and the last thing you need is an essay! Here are the pointers: It is ok to get to ... Read More
If anyone says to you - "Wow that is a big ship", well they are right. We don;t want to get too wordy as you know there are alot of critic reviews and the last thing you need is an essay! Here are the pointers: It is ok to get to the port at 12noon ish, we did and we were on board in 10 minutes - no joke. It was smooth and organized. Carry on you own luggage and it is there in your cabin when you need it - don't fall for the bell hops at the port who want to take then for you. If you can do it - carry your own. Book your entertainment on line - you want a guaranteed space. BUT if you find yourself wanting to go another time - stand in the standby line - we always got a seat! Hairspray and Frozen in time the ice show are the BEST!! Go to the Aquatheater on off show times and you can watch rehearsals - fun. Bring LONG pants if you want to ice skate. Remember the specialty restaurants are free for breakfast ands dinner. Go to the Solarium restaurant - absolutely wonderful and the best food (free breakfast and lunch and 20 for dinner. The atmosphere is perfect! Ask for Lorraine the Solarium Officer - she is great! Simona has been promoted to Chops :( The coffee cafes are a fee but the deserts and specialty sandwiches are free Shopping Shelby the port shopping expert is a bit over the top. The lectures are long and repetitive. For a chance at a tossed out gift sit on here right in Studio B. Sit high for Come Fly with Me to see the best view of the aerials. A good view of the parade is the Cupcake Shoppe - get their early for the best seat. Another good view id at the Schooner Bar. Instead of the usual photo shoots - as for a personal photographer to do your pictures - this is worth the extra money. There is a LONG line for the Captain's photo. He is there both formal nights. I noticed more formals and tuxes than previous cruises - perhaps the inaugural season or the holidays. Read the daily Compass fully and use a highlighter to stay organized. Over all the ship was very pretty. It was huge but did not seem crowded. However according to the officers - there were only 4700 on board (holds 5400 double occupancy) Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Scheduled to fly Southwest Airlines, Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We were soon surprised to learn that SWA has a new "Early Bird Program"; allowing passengers to obtain their boarding passes much earlier than the previous 24 hour ... Read More
Scheduled to fly Southwest Airlines, Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We were soon surprised to learn that SWA has a new "Early Bird Program"; allowing passengers to obtain their boarding passes much earlier than the previous 24 hour allowed - at a charge of $10 per person per boarding. Not too bad, especially for people catching flights directly from a cruise. Bussed to a new (at least to us) terminal in Port Everglades from the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We could see the huge ship while flying into Ft. Lauderdale and also while on the ground at the airport. Nice efficient terminal, we were soon aboard in the Promenade. Good planning for embarkation is obvious. Anyone who has been in any RCI ship that has a Promenade would feel instantly at home, but there are differences that need exploring. Forward and aft elevator banks are familiar, but you can't go from one side to the other on odd numbered decks. Thankfully there are very clear interactive directory signs on each deck by the elevators so we couldn't get too lost. Immediately above the Promenade ceiling is Central Park, with trees, shrubs, flowers and I think fountains surrounding skylights. Above Central Park is mostly open sky. Aft of the Promenade is the Boardwalk, with all the usual boardwalk amenities, including a carousel and small shops. Aft of the Boardwalk is the seating for the Aquatheatre. I just realized that I was just repeating what all the literature about the Oasis of the Seas will tell you. Go to http://www.oasisoftheseas.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Oasis_of_the_Seas to see what is what aboard this beautiful ship. In general, I will only write about the things that we didn't like and think need fixing. Obviously, since the cruise we were on was the ship's first, not all the bugs had been worked out and probably what we list, have been mostly corrected. In the dining rooms, large bowls, instead of plates were used for serving meals. The bowls are extremely difficult to eat out of, plus after using a utensil, if you put it on the edge of the bowl, it will soon fall in. This might be acceptable for soups, salads and pastas, definitely not for meats, potatoes and vegetables. We asked the waiter if we could order our meal on a plate, the answer was "I don't believe there are any plates on this ship." The dining menus, particularly the breakfast menus are large and unwieldy. They are too large to hold in the lap and too large to place on the table. The slot machines in the casino mostly would not accept new $100 bills. The casino cashier was only issuing new $100 bills. It was necessary to find a machine that would accept $100 bills, place them in the machine and get a ticket out that was usable in all machines. Alternately, return to the cashier and exchange the $$ for tickets, if they had any preprinted. Obviously the casino cashier always had a long line waiting with people waiting with money problems. If there were no bill reader problems, the cashier might not be overloaded with customers. The air conditioning for the casino did not have enough air exchanges, even though half the casino was no smoking. The cigarette odor was overwhelming at all times. Sewer gas odor existed in many of the aft hallways during the cruise. The odors seemed to move from hallway to hallway. Some of the odors disappeared, only to return a day or so later. I'm sure this is part of the operating personnel learning the systems. The balcony cabins seem to be smaller than the equivalent cabins aboard the other classes of Royal Caribbean ships. Two people cannot pass one another while getting dressed. The circular shower was installed to allow more room than the other classes. A foot rest was included to help the ladies shave their legs. No temperature fluctuations in the shower water is a huge improvement. Another nice detail; the bath towels have a loop to allow hanging up after use. We used the Express Departure at the end of the cruise, carrying our own luggage ashore. There were absolutely no departure slowdowns, including passing through Customs and Immigration. Taxi fare to the airport is between $12.50 and $15.00 depending on the airline. We were at the airport two hours after getting up, including breakfast in the dining room. Not bad at all. Royal Caribbean really did outstanding planning in people movement. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
First and foremost we loved the ship. The different neighborhoods are quite amazing and Central Park gave us goosebumps just walking through it. The Royal Promenade is very nice, too, and felt spacious except on the rainy day at sea when ... Read More
First and foremost we loved the ship. The different neighborhoods are quite amazing and Central Park gave us goosebumps just walking through it. The Royal Promenade is very nice, too, and felt spacious except on the rainy day at sea when all 6,500 passengers seemed to congregate there! Overall the ship lacks the flow that we have come to expect from RCCL ships, but apparently this design was intentional since the massive crowds would be a little more compartmentalized. We were on deck 12 with a balcony room that faced the ocean. Good location and the balcony had a taller table with 2 chairs. The beds were very comfortable with improved linens and pillows. Bathroom and amenities were similar to Voyager and Freedom class ships except that there is less storage. The biggest critique of the cabin was the lack of storage space. The closet seemed smaller (but width, depth, and height). Fewer shelves inside the closet for personal items and the safe was smaller, too. The TV was huge but there was relatively no other space for storage in the room - just 3 drawers and 2 small narrow cubbies. The couch was comfortable. It was difficult to keep the room cool enough for our taste. The food was very good and we loved Giovanni's Table; the pappardelle was amazing and the wait staff was attentive and easy on the eyes. Don't waste your time with the Solarium Bistro. It has "healthier choices" but they come at a price (both $20 per visit as well as in taste and texture). Biggest complaints: (1) The spa area is nice but the steam/sauna areas are co-ed and cost $30 a day! Ridiculous!!! & (2) The rooms are SMALL! We had a balcony room but the closet is significantly smaller and with the European design of the furnishings there are fewer drawers and enclosed cubbies to hide the stuff. Compliments: (1) The staff was very friendly. It was great to reconnect with so many staff members we had met on previous cruises. While we had a wonderful time, it will be a while before we go again on the Oasis. 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
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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