Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by bostonfamily
- Sail Date: December 2014
- Destination: Western Caribbean
Hotel: we stayed at the Sheraton the night before, printed out last minute luggage tags, borrowed their stapler to staple the tags to our luggage, at lunch and dinner at the Sheraton (menu is the same unfortunately) thank goodness for the Sheraton Lounge Access for drinks and snacks, shuttle is not free, parking is not free
Port Parking: we dropped of one group and then we parked our car for the week (FL resident) took shuttle to the dock, the drivers tend to pick and choose who they want to "help" looking for easy big tippers I guess (we overheard a bit of irritated drivers bickering amongst each other about which passengers they were "helping" out of turn) perhaps they are judging by who looks richer ?
Embarkation: group became split up because some of us were on different floors, we met up inside after we received our sea pass cards, some of us received Day 1 print outs indicating what places were open for food and other details for Day 1 (some of us didn't receive this), lady kept calling me by a different name even though my name is clearly in front of her as she was processing my sea pass card (she needs her eyes examined - shouldn't perfect vision be a job requirement when registering passengers ID and credit cards ?), overall pretty steady flow of passengers with the usual team of luggage handlers pressing and begging for tips and the shuttle drivers waiting with open palms for tips. Our rooms were ready around 2:45 pm Cabin 12237 and the room attendant was outstanding with his attention and service. We passed windjammer cafe's long line and visited Park Cafe on Deck 8 and then the Solarium Cafe on Deck 15. Unfortunately food was gone in all those places or declared closed by the staff because the ship was getting ready for the Drill and Sail Away. We had a late breakfast and missed lunch on Day 1. Oh well...however, the children were complaining that they were starving so we purchased snacks on Deck 5 and purchased virgin frozen drinks at 5 dollars each for them. I am certain this was done on purpose because many people were purchasing drinks and snacks during this time period. Drink packages were available all over the ship and a few in our group purchased the all inclusive premium select beverage package. With the Windjammer Cafe closed many people purchased the souvenir plastic cup to obtain drinks from the Coke Cola Freestyle machines. Again, very smart RC. The Drill was different on the Oasis - we were facing the staff,TV monitors and surrounded by shops indoors on Deck 8 - we are used to Drills outside on decks facing the ocean. The oasis of the seas was already feeling like a floating hotel - mall combo.
Main Dining Room: our reserved dining time was 6:00 pm, servers were wonderful, polite, friendly, funny and as we expected them to be after having been on so many cruises, coffee was not very good during the entire week which resulted in several purchases at the Starbucks on Deck 5 ( again very smart RC don't think I didn't notice the constant line and busy baristas all week long swiping those sea pass cards for the 5 dollar plus drinks ), eat as much as you wish in the MDR because some plates were small and if you want seconds they will quickly bring you another, it is amazing how lovely the food is plated and the food is not overly salty ( I hate salty food ) the lobster was acceptable and not any better than any other lobster I've had on a cruise ship ( I understand seafood is difficult to prepare for huge crowds ) I wonder if the suite guests have better gourmet food in their exclusive to suites kitchens. The only place that offers blueberries is the Vitality Spa Deck 5 for about 7 to 8 dollars for a smoothie with extras like fruit, protein powder and a slew of choices. (Again very smart RC to sell these, every day there were guests forming a line to purchase these 8 dollar smoothies ) The only place that offers fresh strawberries (besides Vitality Spa) is the Solarium Cafe during breakfast (sliced into eighths) and occasionally you may find one halfed strawberry in the main dining room on a breakfast plate order or on a dessert order. I could not find dried prunes anywhere and believe me I asked the head dining room waiter in each eatery. Oasis of the seas does have watered down prune juice in the main dining room during breakfast. The only place to order crunchy granola with yogurt is at the adult only solarium or main dining room or do it yourself in the 'super crowded fight your way around trying not to get food spilled on you' Windjammer with a box of Kellogg's granola & container of yogurt. There is no omelet or crepe station in the Windjammer. There is no chocolate fountain unless it is in the exclusive suites only eatery. There is no entertainment during the main dining room meals (no baked alaska dance, no holiday hats, no holiday songs). The waiters will sing Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary Songs and let you blow out a single candle on a slice of cake. My most favorite food on Oasis of Seas: the duck breast appetizer slices, the asian mildly spicy soup, the seafood soup, the generous duck entree, all salads that had baby lettuce, frisee, arugula, spinach, belgian endive, the delicate cod and salmon entrees, any dark dense rich chocolate dessert, the gelato at Giovanni's ( the only good item there sadly ), the ice cream in the main dining room was just okay and the much anticipated baked alaska was too large, over rated and the ice cream was the same ole same ole just more frozen. Again for really good ice cream you have to purchase it for 5 dollars or more at the fee based ice cream parlor on Deck 6 , really smart RC.
Shows: reserve your time otherwise you will stand in lines . We enjoyed many of the shows and honestly you should read up about Cats Broadway show before hand. My young ones actually liked Cats after we explained to them what it was about. Oasis did a great job with this Cats production. The performers are very talented and the sound system, special effects were all amazing. They received standing ovations.
The ice show is wonderfully entertaining as well.
Excursions: reserve early otherwise you will be standing in line or be disappointed when it's sold out
Haiti Labadee: everything for sale by RC and you can pay with Sea Pass, we returned to the ship for lunch, beach chairs cost (5? each )
Jamaica Falmouth: red stripe beach is very tiny, beach chairs cost 5 (?) each, jerk chicken was good, red stripe beer in bottles , beach is quite natural so expect trash along the shore (empty plastic containers, plastic cutlery, plastic lids, plastic caps, plastic chip /candy wrappers) as well as lots of floating seaweed, sea plants all over, sea urchins under the water
Mexico Cozumel: mixed messages were sent out, some people were told the water excursions were cancelled due to the high winds and waves, our group went on the water and waves were a bit choppy but no big deal we still saw quite a lot in the reefs and visibility was clear 30 - 40 meters. Soda drinks were included.
Ship Activities: trivia is fun but conflicted with being so close to 6pm dinner time, scavenger hunt was fun we each received a prize, the floating bar is neat, the rock climbing wall had weird open hours but fun, the zip line is too short but still fun, the flow rider is fun when the line is not too long (we didn't like it when they would divide the flow rider in half to let 2 riders on simultaneously) the carousel is beautiful and classic but never really utilized, casino was tight a bit smoky in all areas and the dealers were dare i say bored ? Mini golf was small cute not as fun as other ships. Shuffle board is hidden. Running Deck 5 with the funny words on the ceiling was great - add more inspirational words ! We jogged there almost daily to soak in the ocean views all around. We were surprised at how sold out the fee based group fitness classes (max 25 people) were every day ! Too much conflicts with many activities - we feel like we missed out on several must see or must do activities because the Oasis is too huge. Normally we could run from one activity to another but this is impossible on the Oasis.
Teen Center: many video game screens, foosball tables, lounge cushions all over, wasted unused outdoor space because it isn't air conditioned, music lounge room, teen counsellors seemed happy, organized, our teens received many prizes for activities such as scavenger hunts. I believe every teen received a messenger bag and a fabric square handkerchief to color with fabric markers. Not many teens went to the holiday teen dances and for some reason the only drinks available were already poured into cups just sitting there on the counter - unsupervised ( not smart ! )
Cabin Deck 12 Category C2 Deck 12 Category D5 Deck 8 Category B1 : The safe is much smaller compared to other ships ( an ipad mini barely fits inside and you can stack maybe 7 ipad mini on top of each other ) Towel Animals in all our rooms hurray ! The boardwalk and park view also offers a view of the sky and Deck 15. Balcony is great for drying wet stuff. Outlet in on top of the desk easy access. Large luggage will slide under the beds. Beds are comfortable enough like Westin Heavenly Beds. Shower water pressure and heat are glorious. The shower has sliding doors and you will need to squat to pick up fallen items. We heard some people having to slide the shower doors open in order to bend over to pick up stuff off the shower floor LOL. A few more metal wall knobs would have been nice to hang stuff up in the bathroom or main room. Too much paper is wasted. Everyone carries a cell phone to take selfies so why doesn't RC offer an app to use on board ? The app can offer the daily activities, hours of operation of the restaurants, the hours of operation of rock wall or excursion desk . Btw we pointed out several mistakes to customer service on the Day planners either wrong location or wrong times bah !
Disembarkation: collect boxed cereal the morning before and bags of chips from Park Cafe because the Windjammer is crazy on this last morning even at 7:30 am. We went to use our remaining sea pass credit at the Starbucks Deck 5 and had major problems with the customer service and finance dept. Windjammer is full of messy rude people who don't leave their tables after eating even when we are standing with trays of food amongst children. Windjammer also ran out of clean bowls & clean cutlery. We felt sorry for the staff trying to keep up. People were unapologetically spilling food and making a mess all over. Walking off the ship and collecting our luggage from the waiting area was easy and the line moved quickly all over. Important Oasis Tip: leave the ship at the earliest time period to avoid the chaos, to get the best breakfast, to get on the shuttle bus first .
Overall the Oasis of the Seas doesn't offer much views of the ocean like on my other 6 cruises. The only time I could sit and enjoy the ocean view was on a private room balcony, on Deck 15 along the sides or in the Solarium along the sides, on Deck 5 where the running track is (wood chairs are not comfortable), the sun deck on deck 14 which is sometimes closed due to the wind. On such a busy populated ship it was not easy to find a quiet place to sit and watch the ocean go by. There is no Viking Crown Lounge. RC replaced that with the exclusive suites only lounge and kitchen. The game room has no ocean views like on other RC ships. The work out room does not have impressive sweeping ocean views like on other ships just a few large port holes. The quieter adult only solarium views are nice but also crowded. The oversized whirlpools close to the Solarium Cafe are nice but very little air flow compared to the medium sized whirlpools near the rectangular small pools. The family had fun celebrating together but we will not be returning to sail on the Oasis of the Seas - it is just too big, too loud, too crowded, too much like a floating mall. This ship is not for us.
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