Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by elevated5301
- Sail Date: May 2017
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Central Park View Stateroom with Balcony
We drove over from Orlando and used Park n Cruise for the first time. It's located on a side road from 528 before the bridge to the Port. It was about $55 for the 7-day cruise, and we asked if we could keep our keys and they were fine with that. It's a gravel lot and doesn't look fancy, but everyone was nice and friendly and it was so easy to park as well as leave. We saved a ton of money parking here and would do it again in a heartbeat.
It was pretty simple getting on and off the ship. No complaints.
THE SHIP, ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES
There was a TON for people to do. If you love walking around and checking things out, this offers a lot of places to visit too. Our cruise was sold out with more than 6,000 guests, but we never felt cramped (except for when there was a parade on the Royal Promenade). We sought chairs to lay out during peek times, and always found some pretty quickly. And there were rocking or folding chairs in hidden locations, you just need to hunt to find them (such as on the track on deck 5 at the back of the ship, or on the SunDeck on Deck 14).
We were amazed how we could practice rock climbing or ice skating on a cruise ship. Same with the surfing, zipline and games that were on board. We never had a long wait to do anything, sometimes didn't have a wait at all. Thankfully these were free, but other things you had to pay for.
The shows were very good, we realllllly enjoyed the AquaTheater shows, Come Fly with Me and the ice show. We also liked the behind-the-scenes tours. We fell asleep during the first act of Cats though. We did make reservations for all of the shows and it's good if you want to get good seats, they scan your card up to 10-15 minutes before the show when they open up the seats to everyone. Make sure to do it for the shows early in the itinerary especially at the AquaTheater.
We were very pleased at how many live music options were available to attend.
The fitness center was incredible, as was the spa. Worth at least a visit if you don't use them.
At night, the top decks were dead except for a smoker's bar that was open. All of the parties and entertainment were on the lower/middle decks.
I'm not a shopper, but there were a lot of shopping opportunities with discounts that had people flooding the stores or displays.
FOOD & DRINKS
We chose My Time Dining and it worked out for us. There was always a line since we didn't make reservations, but they moved people quickly. We waited maybe 25-30 minutes on the first formal night so make a reservation for that, but we didn't wait more than 5 minutes all of the other nights.
The food overall on the ship was average. I think we expected more. We did Giovanni's Table and it was fun to sit outside and listen to the live music it a peaceful setting. A lot of the specialty restaurants are in Central Park. But they can be costly.
Elsewhere, there were a lot of places to eat at, however once it got to 9-10 p.m., those options were limited to pizza and a cafe both on the Royal Promenade. There were a lot of times we simply wanted chicken tenders, a burger, fries, ice cream (that was free, but we bought Ben & Jerrys a couple times instead) or something else at 10 or 11 p.m. and they weren't available while we were seeing shows or listening to music.
As for drinks, we didn't purchase a drink package because it was pretty costly even if it was on sale, and we didn't plan on drinking a bunch. There wasn't a ton on the menu we were anxious to drink either. So we got about two drinks each per day and it was cheaper than the package. There was a great pub on board but the beer selection was just ok. Princess had $5 beers and happy hours on all drinks, but all beers on Royal were either $6.95 or $7.25. Royal had a happy hour with $1 mimosas on sea days so we took advantage of that for sure. But if you do plan on drinking a lot, based on beer and wine prices, it'll be worth it.
We bought an excursion and Giovanni's when Royal had online deals. We simply waited to get the email that there were 10-20% off excursions or dining and that's when we booked.
We also booked the whole cruise and then noticed they had another deal going on a month later, so we called and they lowered our fare to that specific deal saving us about $150 total.
Also, ask your family and friends for Royal gift certificates when it's Christmas time or your birthday. Those credits came in handy in a huge way for us. As much as I don't like giving gift cards as presents, I loved receiving these. We also got surprise presents of champaign and brownies and that made our day, so subtly mention that as gift ideas too!
No issues at all. Everyone was friendly and helpful, and it seemed like there always was a staff member nearby when we needed something.
We would consider this ship again, or any of the mega ships. Personally, I like a quiet, small crowd on a cruise ship, but this has changed my opinion for sure.
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The room was standard. We did appreciate the interactive channel on the TV that had our account balance and anything else we needed. We've been on another carrier where you could only see your balance or reservations by visiting guest services.
We wanted to relax a lot on this cruise, so having this balcony was great because you could hear the trees blow in the wind and they pump in bird and cricket noises. At night, they had a pianist and violinist each night that was very calming and fun to listen to from the room. But you did look right into other people's rooms and that was the only problem we had.
If we were to book a room again, we would go with out outside balcony. The Central Park view was neat but we missed looking at the ocean and ports of call.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Dolphin EncounterWe booked the Balmoral Island Dolphin Encounter since it was cheaper than other options during the cruise. It's about a 30-minute ride to the island. Other people did dolphin swims or stingray encounters or even just a beach break. Our encounter was fun and we certainly will remember it. The problem was that to purchase a photo, you have to pay $89 for a CD of all photos. After getting this excursion when Royal had a 10-20% off sale, we paid $89 each. So getting a photo(s) was just as much as the excursion. We declined. But we also got about 2-3 hours of beach time with free chairs and umbrellas, and the island has great drinks and food. It shares the island with Sandals.View All 110 Dolphin Encounter Reviews
Port Canaveral (Orlando)Park n Cruise off-site parking was great and will do it again. The port was clean and well-organized. The waiting area was packed as expected but we were never overwhelmed.View All 1,859 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Port Reviews
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St. MaartenThe sun never came out while we were there, but we were fine with it. The taxi service was easier than St. Thomas and we got a roundtrip fare for $32 for two of us, and during the drive we were informed of some bakeries on the French side we needed to check out. We went to Maho Beach and the airport first but it was dreary and no planes were around, so we bought a separate cab fare to Marigot and walked the town and had some incredible French pastries. We went back to Maho Beach and it was well worth it to grab some drinks and food, and stand underneath the planes coming in. Since it had rained, when planes took off, they blasted us with the air and water from the runway. So fun.View All 4,132 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
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St. ThomasIt was cloudy and rainy when we got in, and the taxi service was confusing. We went to Sapphire Beach and we had to split a large converted truck with a bunch of people going to other beaches. It wasn't that fun especially since other passengers were annoying or arguing with the driver. We were just fine, paid the $11/per person fare and enjoyed the beach when the sun came out. They had food and drinks and the beach is incredible. It's my wife's favorite place.View All 4,102 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
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