We are a family of four: mom, dad, and our two teenagers. We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas starting on March 11, 2018. This was our family’s 11th cruise, 10 of which were on Royal. Not only was it spring break week for our kids, but our Canadian friends from past cruises were already booked on this sailing.
It’s so easy to love the layout of the Oasis class. The different neighborhoods, the large Promenade, so many venues to eat… there is something for everyone! The ports were not the focus of our vacation, because we had been to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, and Labadee several times before.
We took a shuttle from Orlando International to Port Canaveral. Not really happy with Go Port Canaveral Shuttle. The instructions we printed out at the time of booking said to meet them at space 29 at Level 1 Ground Transportation. Just to confirm, we called that morning and were told the same thing. We found an employee near space 29, and he told us to go to stop # 18 instead, and look for any employee, they were wearing red polo shirts. Guess what we didn’t see? So we sat and waited several minutes. Suddenly, a woman in a red polo shirt appears and starts calling numbers. We look at our printed instructions, and realized we were missing something. We approached the worker, asked about the numbers she was calling. It was only then that we learned we had to check in first – INSIDE the airport. ACK!!! Fortunately, we secured seats on that current shuttle, but two thumbs down to the shuttle company for their poor communication.
When we arrived at Port Canaveral around 11:30 AM, it was quite the mob scene. The lines for check in were long. We found the line for Diamonds, D+, and the suites was much, much shorter. Whew! After check in, Seapasses in hand, we faced another mob of already checked in cruisers, waiting to board. It was very unorganized and chaotic.
Our first stop once onboard was Park Café for their delicious roast beef. Our kids are not very adventurous when it comes to food, so we did not try any of the specialty restaurants on this ship. Of course, we had to eat at Johnny Rockets. It was included because we were staying in a Boardwalk balcony cabin. Sadly, the Johnny Rockets waiters don’t sing and dance any more. That always helped make it a festive atmosphere. But at least they still bring the food to your table. On the Anthem, you stand at a counter and order your food, cafeteria style. Then you wait, and when your food was ready, your name is called. It’s up to you to fetch it.
We usually ate dinner in the main dining room (MDR), and we had My Time dining. Love the flexibility of this, as sometimes we ate early, sometimes late. One change we noticed from past cruises is that you no longer have to prepay gratuities if you choose My Time dining. We ate with our friends most of the nights, but not all. The head waiter in the MDR was Remy, who impressed us with stopping by our table of 14 the very first night, and introducing himself. On so many cruises, we did not meet the head waiter until the last evening.
The Windjammer was great for the quick breakfast or lunch. But it was always busy, and not as large as Windjammers on other ships.
The entertainment on this ship was exceptional, but not all of the 6000+ cruisers on this spring break ship would agree. The Broadway show is CATS. We loved it, but it is different and many people were confused at the story line. One neat thing that is offered during intermission is pictures (with your own camera) with Deuteronomy on stage! That is a nice touch. Everyone that left at intermission missed Grizabella singing “Memories” during the second half of the show. I was moved to tears at the beauty of her voice during that song.
When the kids were younger, they lived and died by Adventure Ocean. So many wonderful memories! Now that they are in their teens, they attend the Teen Club the first night, and it drops off from there. We spent more time relaxing as a family on this trip.
Our cabin attendant was Keith, and he is the best in class. Keith was very professional, hard working, and made sure that all of our needs were met. He was easy to find in the hallway or a nearby room, because it seems he works all the time! We wish we could have Keith always be our stateroom attendant.
We booked the Airport Adventure and Snorkel Cruise through the ship ($73 pp). Unfortunately, rough seas would not allow us to moor near the airport. Two more attempts, we were finally able to drop anchor. I snorkeled but did not see any fish while doing so – a first for me.
No formal excursions at the port. Because we were only in port until 2pm or so, we used this day to enjoy the pool, after some quick shopping in Old San Juan.
Sadly, it was cloudy and drizzly most of the day. We did grab two loungers on the beach, and had a Labadoozie. The lunch they served was delicious, and our wait in line for it was only about 10 minutes.
Wrapping it up, the positives outweighed any negatives. Here are the highlights:
+ Boardwalk area was a hit with my kids. On the last sea day, from 11 to 12:30, they have a Family Festival. It’s a carnival of sorts, and lots of fun for everyone. Plenty of free food, too!
+ There is something about the Promenade on the Oasis class ships. Maybe it’s the layout. We like how Focus (the place for professional photo purchase) is on the open deck right above, on Deck 6. The Promenade is usually bustling with people at all waking hours, enjoying free pizza, free coffee and snacks, music, etc. We also loved Boleros. It’s a neat bar with a fun and relaxed vibe. This is where we met Franz, who is probably the best bartender we’ve ever met on the high seas.
+ Most all of the crew members were very friendly and accommodating. We didn’t witness any crew having a bad attitude.
+ Central Park was very beautiful with a laid back feel, the sounds of birds chirping, and many real plants and trees. I wish we would have spent more time here!
Sadly, we battled with illness during the final hours of our cruise. Not sure if it was noro, other stomach bug, or maybe bad food. It made traveling home difficult and almost impossible. We certainly weren't planning our next cruise on our way home!
Fantastic location on board, great view. Bed was closer to the balcony, not the door. Has a couch which converts to a bed at night, thanks to our wonderful cabin attendant, Keith. The bed is closest to the bathroom and closet, and the couch is closest to the balcony. At night, it's hard for a family of 4 to navigate throughout the room, due to the couch-turned-bed. Fortunately, once you leave for breakfast each morning, the stateroom attendant gets the room ready for the day, and extra bed turns back into a couch..
It really isn't the fault of the tour operator, but we didn't see any fish during our snorkeling. The excursion was also about watching the planes land at the airport in Maho, but the operator didn't announce it when a plane was approaching. We figured out what was happening when we heard the other passengers talking and pointing to the sky.View All 151 Snorkeling Reviews