Oasis of the Seas
We have been cruising since 1998. We usually cruise on Princess but have also been on Celebrity and Disney. This was our first time on RCCL. We did not choose anything about the cruise, ship, itinerary or time of year. We were invited to join a group of friends. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and the ports we visited. I research heavily on CC prior to a cruise so I’d like to give back to hopefully help someone else. Here are my thoughts:
Very smooth. I credit this not so much to RCCL, but to choosing to embark in Civitavecchia instead of Barcelona. Only 1/6 of the passengers embarked here which made for no lines.
HUGE! The largest we have been on. Motion was a non-issue. The first few days it did not seem like we were moving at all. The water was like glass. The last 3 days we had higher seas but still a very smooth ride. The ship did not feel like there were over 6000 passengers onboard. It is a beautiful ship. I fell in love with Central Park. Our cabin was on deck 8 so we frequently walked through it to get to the other end of the ship.
We had a balcony cabin 8548. It felt small, but there was plenty of room to stow all of our belongings. I think part of the reason it felt smaller than Princess is because the bed is larger. We really appreciated the larger bed. Much more comfortable. The bathroom felt smaller too. I liked the shower much better on the Oasis. Especially the bar to use while shaving my legs. As far as decor, the furniture was stained and the cushions looked filthy. The ship is going in for an extended dry dock in a few weeks which explains the condition of the furniture. Having said that, it should not be allowed to get to this point before replacing. The balcony was average size with two arm chairs and a table. On Princess this category cabin would have had a footstool. I missed that. The dividers between balconies are not very private. Half of the divider is frosted glass with a wavy pattern. Shapes of our neighbors could be seen.
Wonderful overall. Most were very friendly and helpful. The one negative experience was at the service/pursers desk. On the second day we looked at our onboard charges on the TV. We saw that we had been billed for internet service. This was a surprise because I had purchased internet usage prior to the cruise. When we boarded we followed the instructions on the VOOM card in our room. We went to the the service desk to straighten it out. Fortunately I had taken a screen shot of the purchase. The man “helping” us initially acted like we were trying to get away with something. He kept say you were supposed to use the code that was given to you in your room. To which we kept replying there was no code given to us in our room. Nothing, nada. Finally a supervisor came over and quickly told him to remove it and to give us a VOOM code. Then as I was walking away I turned back and asked for a printed statement showing the removal of the internet purchase. The supervisor had to come back to show him how to remove it. HE HADN’T DONE IT! Thank goodness we didn’t need to return to the service desk again. Our cabin steward was outstanding. Food servers throughout the ship were efficient, pleasant and helpful.
Very good. There is no comparison between RCCL and Princess. Innovative performances - the ice show and the aquatic show were really good. We missed MUTS (movies under the stars) on Princess. We have watched the Academy Awards and football championship games in addition to movies over the years on MUTS. The smaller screens in the aqua theater on Oasis don’t provide the same experience.
Realizing this is very subjective, here is our opinion. The food and dining experience was a big disappointment. Over the years we have seen food quality diminish across the cruise lines we have sailed. I understand trying to keep costs down, but I think there is more than that happening on Oasis. There was lots of pressure once onboard to pay extra to eat in the specialty restaurants. Because the included food was sub-par we were skeptical of paying extra for more mediocre food. Living in Southern California we have great dining options to choose from. In many instances not much more than the extra charge to eat in one of the “specialty” restaurants. We chose to save our money.
The same food was served in every dining venue, with very little variation. The buffet had the most choices and was honestly better than the dining room at some meals. The dining room was in no way fine dining. It was like an average restaurant experience on land. Appetizers, soups and salads were lumped in the same course. We ordered everything at once, including dessert. For breakfast in the dining room we could choose a la carte or buffet. We thought if we chose a la carte the food would be cooked to order. No so! We watched as our server walked over to the buffet and plated our food from the chafing dishes. Bottom line, we did not starve, but we didn’t walk away impressed either.
Because of the size of the ship we had to dock a substantial distance form the port entry in most ports. Only one port had a complementary shuttle service.
We did our own tours in every port and had amazing experiences.
It was difficult to find a quiet spot in the public areas. Because of this we used our balcony more than anticipated on such a port intensive cruise. The volume of the music...even in Central Park was really loud. The overall feeling was like being in a Vegas Hotel...especially in the Royal Pomenade. Lots of noise and sensory stimulation. Primarily for this reason I don’t think we will be returning to RCCL anytime soon. It is aimed at a younger demographic than us. It was fun to try a different cruise line, but for us, Princess is a much better fit.