Over the top Oasis: Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by SHIP TRAVELER

Oasis of the Seas 5
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Over the top Oasis

Sail Date: April 2014
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My Husband and I are in our 60s and cruise frequently. We had been looking forward to sailing on the Oasis because it was so different than other ships we have sailed on previously.

We flew to Florida the day before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard Plantation. This was not a new hotel but it offered a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and then a free shuttle from the hotel to the port the next day. It was very near a large mall with plenty of places to eat and shop for wine etc. that we did not want to pack in our luggage on the flight. We took the 12:00 shuttle to the pier Saturday morning. We had read that the Fort Lauderdale port security allowed larger bags than most ports allow as carry on bags. We had a junior suite cabin and walked right through the "suite" doors with no line. The doorman advised us to check our larger rollie bag because we would have to deal with it on the ship until the cabins were cleared at 1:00. We told him that we were OK More with keeping it with us and he let us take it on the ship. We travel fairly light because we like to walk off the final day. There is really no difference walking on with a large and small rollie bag and walking on the ship with them.

Embarkation day was the only time the ship seemed crowded. We were able to get a table at Sorrentos pizza in the grand promenade. We parked our luggage and had a couple of slices of pizza for lunch. We went to the main dining room to check out our table and were able to move to a larger table near the window. The ship a a good system of lining up to see a head waiter for changes that first day The crowd just disappeared when the cabin areas opened a 1:00.

We were happy with our Junior suite on deck 9. There was a very big walk in closet and so much storage that much of it was unused. Having carried on we were able to unpack right away. On of the best features was a very heavy curtain designed to divide the sitting area with sofa bed from the queen bed when the cabin shared. We shut this every night and it totally blacked out light that leaked through around the balcony curtains. Our cabin was as dark as an inside and we slept late every day. The one disappointment was with the in room coffee. We always look forward to having a cup of coffee while dressing without waiting for room service or setting a certain time for delivery. There was a single serve coffee pot designed to use one cup pods. The coffee provided was a 4 cup pack designed for the small 4 cup carafe that we have been provided in most RCCL junior suites. The coffee pack was so big that it forced water out over the top of the pot flooding the vanity. The coffee was absolute sludge of course. The room attendant and her supervisor both swore that this is the only coffee they are provided. Probably true but WHY? At any rate I felt like this was of the perks I paid for that I did not get because after 2 days we just gave up and put the set up back in the cabinet. During the cabin crawl I asked a member sailing in an owners suite what kind of coffee pot she had and she told me she had a French Press which meant she had to boil the water and then pour it into a press over the 4 cup coffee bag, that sounded like a "make do deal" someone had rigged up to me.

The muster drill was unique in my experience with RCCL. We mustered to assigned locations inside the Royal Promenade where we would have been given life vests during a real emergency. I am sure this was due to the size of ship and the traffic problems if a large number of people were all trying to get back to cabins to obtains life vest via the stairs. There was no room on the outside deck for staging and I did not miss standing in the sun waiting for the last persons to clear the bars as in the past. It was crowded with everyone in one place but it did not last long.

We ate in the Main Dining Room every night at the 6:00 traditional setting. There were 6 at our table and we all got along well and enjoyed dining together. We had great service. I thought the food and the service were better than on some other cruises we have been on lately. Our servers got us in and out smoothly. The food was hot and they remembered our preferences. The OPUS in general seemed noisy but we were sort of tucked away by a window and it was no problem in our area. We generally just ate 2 meals a day because we slept late and had the early dining. We had 2 light meals at the Park Cafe and several late breakfasts at the Windjammer. We liked that the Windjammer had hostess seating like a buffet/cafe on land during busy times. It was great to be shown to a table and place your drink order before going to fill your plate. This was a much better experience than on other large ships.

The only new port for us on this cruise was Labadee and I enjoyed it. We docked and I did not miss the waiting for a tender to and from like Coco Cay. We took the free water Taxi (tender boat) right from the pier to Columbus Cove one way and walked back to the pier. There were also free trams to move people from place to place. We enjoyed the white sand beach, the music and the easy ocean access. It was not crowded in this area at all. There was plenty of shade and plenty of free loungers. The free BBQ lunch was just OK but there was lots of fresh fruit and flavored water. We passed several other lunch locations on the walk back to the ship that had lines to eat. Columbus Cove did not have lines probably because it is the most distant from the pier.

The entertainment on the ship was of course the highlight of the cruise. It was all we had expected. We had not expected the comedy improve and improve workshops and they were a nice surprise. Try to see the very good afternoon comedy diving show if you can. There are great views of the aqua shows from the aft deck 11, 12, and 14 public balcony areas over looking the pool. We liked the photo storage system on this ship, so much better than looking for your photos among thousand of others.

We are Diamond members with Crown and Anchor and I was disappointed by the welcome back party and the top tier party. Just letting other C and A people not to expect too much of these two events. The Diamond room itself was top notch with excellent service. The Diamond lounge balcony over looked the Royal Promenade and we had a great view of the Dream Works parade from there.

The ship had good facilities for sports. My DH did the zip line and ice skating. We played some ping pong. We liked the casino but it was smokey.

We felt that there were not enough activities aboard ship on port days. Many people were still on board at ports and there was not much happening for them.

Disembarkation was an absolute dream. We walked off in 5 minutes, did not even have to wait for an elevator around 7:30. The only problem was people in front of you clogging up the ramp trying to walk off with much more luggage than they could handle. Immigration had a line but we only waited about 15 minutes. I think those walking off after us and those picking up their luggage may have had longer waits as the line was filling in behind us.

In summary, this was a different cruise on a different ship. We missed some of the old "crusin" together feeling you have meeting the same people at the same routine events during a more traditional cruise. There were so many innovations and good ideas involved in creating Oasis and I think the sailing resort is definitely the cruise of the future. We talked to many traditional cruisers who were repeaters on this ship and listed the Oasis as their favorite ship. It was a great cruise and we enjoyed it very much. Less

Published 05/23/14

Cabin review: 9632

Nice cabin. Tub. Bigger balcony with 2 loungers in addition to 2 chairs and dining height table. Some extra room on balcony because of slant to the hump. More storage than we could use, 9 drawers, cabinet with shelves, shelves on one wall of walk in closet. Some mystery noise ( stewards, neighbors, deck chairs) starting every morning at 8:00 am. Sofa near balcony, bed near bath. Nice heavy black out curtain between the 2 areas can be used for privacy. Don't expect in room coffee pot to function well.

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