This is my 3rd time on the beautiful Oasis. I have also sailed on her sister ship the Allure.
As far as ships go, the Oasis is awesome. The Aqua Show and the Ice Show are fantastic. I think the Broadway show Cats the Musical is a poor choice for a cruise and not only was the theater not full but more than half of the guests left mid-show...not because the performers were not talented but because the show is just weird.
As far as my overall experience, let me just share that I am almost a "diamond plus" member for RCCL and I have been very loyal to their brand for almost 20 years. Not any more! I was appalled at the constant "nickel and diming". I knew in advance that for the four cabins I was paying for (3 central park balconies and one junior suite) that with the alcohol package, specialty dining, excursions etc. that I would be paying just about $20,000.00 for the cruise. Little did I know that where popcorn used to be free, they now charge your $2.50 (plus 18% service fee) for a tiny little bag. Room service used to be free - now $7.95 plus the 18% service fee. My spin class had a $20 charge but then they added the 18% service fee (and the instructor was horrible - didn't even stretch us at the end of class. When questioned about not stretching he said that in "boot camp" - which also has a surcharge, they will stretch me!!!). When have any of you ever paid your aerobics instructor a tip? Toooooo Much! Cupcake class - surcharge, sushi class - surcharge, tour of the kitchen (used to be free) - now $30 plus 18%, craft workshop - surcharge, card making - surcharge, body sculpt - surcharge, spin class - surcharge, yoga - surcharge, wine tasting - surcharge - even with the alcohol package!!!!
I would much prefer that I was charged $22,000 (vs. $20,000) and EVERYTHING (with the exception of specialty dining, alcohol and gambling) was included.
On to the never ending service charges.... Years ago, staff members worked very hard to secure their tip. These were the days when service was excellent. The harder the staff member worked to make your vacation as perfect as possible, the more money they made. About 8 years ago, the cruise lines decided to change this and offer prepaid gratuities. This wasn't such a bad concept because it alleviated the need to hand out cash on the last night to all that helped make your trip special. This has completely taken a wrong turn! For this trip, I prepaid ALL gratuities for my entire crew. Because I know that these service fees are shared among the entire crew, I always bring a few hundred dollars in singles to hand out to the staff member that does something "special". I paid so many service fees, I gave up on handing out the singles. My one specialty dining waitress even suggested that I tip her because she will not see the 18% that I prepaid. If I am paying $180 in specialty dining service charges and the waitress is not seeing any of it (or very little), then where is it going? Do I really need to tip her more one top of the $180? The very last night, My cabin steward gave me an envelope that said "tip,tip hooray" for extra good service. Yes, he did a good job but he was already tipped when I prepaid my gratuities. Do I need to give more than the prepaid amount when he was just doing his job - nothing more, nothing less?
You cannot have it both ways Royal - either remove the auto-gratuities - which will promote the excellent customer service you once offered - where your staff earned their tips...or put it in place for your cabin stewards and wait staff ONLY!
My next cruise will be with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I like the concept of FREE alcohol, gratuity, excursions, internet and specialty dining!!!
Ps. I prepaid the arcade card for my teens to get the online discount - at least half of the games were not in working order. Pay a little extra and buy the arcade cards on ship so you don't overbuy like I did.
Cabin was fantastic. TONS of storage. Walk in closet. Bathtub.
Similar to the TV show the Amazing Race. Super Fun. I would recommend for only the able bodied. You are running/jogging on uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets on and off for about 2.5 miles.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Just took a very last minute 1 hour island tour. Very nice. Many tour operators are waiting right off of the port to offer tours. You can definitely negotiate your fare.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Lots of jelly fish but always fun!View All 70 Arawak Aqua Park Reviews