1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Oasis of the Seas
If nothing else, the Oasis of the Seas is big. From the airport it appears as a massive intrusion to the ocean. At the pier you might begin to wonder if leaving port is necessary. Alas, the unending stream of activities presented onboard reinforces the idea that this is not a cruise ship so much as a floating city. But does that defeat the purpose of cruising? The Oasis of the Seas is not to 2009 as Voyager of the Seas was to 1999. Sure, the idea of a Carousel on a cruise ship sounds impressive, but as it turns out many of the additional features are more gimmick than awe-inspiring. In fact, a good portion of the ship appeals more to the idea of amazing than amazing itself. Two rock-climbing walls as opposed to one, a Central Park which turns out to be more a second promenade with a garden, a bar built on an elevator. Oasis boasts "big", not "bold". The fundamental flaw with the Oasis is that there is no "central point." You might think the promenade is designed to be the focus, when in fact the sports deck is the busiest spot around. The "neighborhoods" on the ship do their part in ensuring that all 5000+ guests don't end up in one spot, but unfortunately it also detracts from congregation and socialization. Another major oversight in the creation of Oasis was a lack of magnitude. The ship itself is huge, it's easy to tire fast from trekking to different spots. But each and every element of the ship lacks impressiveness of it's own. The promenade, while wider than the Voyager and Freedom class ships, is only two stories in height, blocked off by the overhead central park. The theater is relatively small, as more show times lessen the need for big seating. Sadly this also means less variety of shows. The dining room is three stories in height, yet this is barely evident from any seat in the room. Throughout the entire ship it is obvious that the focus in the design was on making the ship big. First impressions are everything, and if a critique were to be based on only that than Oasis would be an A+. The closest feature to the loading bay is the boardwalk, where the Aqua Theatre resides. It is blatant that this is the most innovative new addition to cruising. Though it boasts the ability to serve as another pool, the highlight is the entertainment it provides. Two giant screens welcome guests aboard, while various crew and executives talk about the Oasis and its specs. Shortly after, fountains dance to different songs, akin to the fountains at the Bellagio. The boardwalk boasts a few restaurants and of course the world's only floating Carousel. Somehow RCI overlooked a need to make the boardwalk a more prominent focus. A nightclub nestled somewhere in between the specialty dining might have done the trick, but instead there is a single entrance to this area and the only appeal outside of a need to eat is the single show the Aqua Theatre features. Speaking of nightclubs, the Oasis of the Seas features four: Bolero's in the promenade, the two story Dazzles, Jazz on 4, and Blazes. Once again, while having four options for dancing certainly allows for more variety than most cruise ships offer, it detracts from congregation. None of the dance floors were suitable for a decent sized crowd, even the poor amount of seating offered up the idea that the clubs were not an important amenity. Unsurprisingly the only club which did occasionally fill was the well situated Bolero's in the promenade. On to events. Whether the sheer volume of people made it impossible, or RCI simply mismanaged, there was almost no organizational structure to the events aboard Oasis. A few certain highlights dominated the announcements while cruisers had to fend for themselves in terms of finding activities to attend the rest of the day. A couple 80's themed dance parties attracted a small crowd in Dazzles, while maybe 10-12 people enjoyed the Jazz band at Jazz on 4. Meanwhile at the Blazes nightclub, the dance floor bustled with the approximately 20 people the dance floor could hold, about 25 others sat throughout. Dazzles was evidently designed to be the major hotspot for sincere dancing, yet once again there were no prominent events held there. Of course there was no lack of the usual cruising activities. Bingo, the Art Auctions, and the occasional belly-flop competition rounded out the list of events on RCI's cruise compass. So it is worth mentioning that while lacking in creativity and variety, there were plenty of activities available to attend. This includes the shows. The "Oasis of Dreams" aqua theater show takes on a touch of "Cirque Du Soleil" style with a bit more action. This was easily the best show on board, though "Hairspray" was still the highlight. "Hairspray", the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, was performed with a veracity and talent which proves that RCI was taking their entertainment seriously. If not for the mere fact that RCI did not create the play then I'd recommend boarding purely to see it. "The Headliner Showtime", AKA "Revolution", is a concert style show which failed to emulate concert. A Beatles imitation group performed several Beatles songs which based on their performance and audience reaction could have just as well been listened to on an Ipod. The ice show, "Frozen in Time" took an odd turn halfway through when they stopped ice skating and instead focused on a captivating sand artist. This could have been to distract the audience from the fact that the skaters were operating above their pay grade. It was unsurprising after watching a good variety of mistakes to hear later that a former cast member was injured and taken out of the show. "Come Fly with Me" is the ship's farewell show. It's similar to the "Oasis of Dreams" in terms of stunts and style, though with faster music and slower pace. Neither impressive nor unimpressive, save for a few fancy trampoline tricks. For all the effort RCI put in to entertainment, it was difficult to understand why there was no Magic or Comedy shows. To be fair, they did have stand up performances in their comedy club, but none family friendly. In addition every show save for maybe Hairspray did not appeal to the family scene. Typical of Royal Caribbean, the food was nothing short of exceptional. Their dinners always ended with a want for more, and even their late-night pizzeria never disappointed. Their breakfast buffet could have had a bit more spice to it, but the variety of available food served its purpose. The single dissatisfaction that could be found with their food selection was the lack of a late-night buffet. The Windjammer buffet closed at 9 every night, and even their pizzeria shut down at 3. The single 24 hour venue was the Promenade Cafe, and the late night choices were lacking. Another oddity onboard the Oasis was a lack of a midnight buffet. Traditionally cruises feature one night of extravagant dessert and snack options at their main dining room, complete with ice or chocolate sculptures, but maybe due to the crowd it would generate RCI had none in place for the itinerary. Also disappointing in the area of dining was a lack of an ocean view in the main dining room. Certainly an ocean view can never be guaranteed on a cruise, but unlike many prior class RCI ships there were no expansive windows in place anywhere in the room. A few windows lined the outer walls, but most guests had to look past the jogging track or lifeboats to just glimpse the sea. What the Oasis comes down to overall is a gasp on first sight and a disappointment on board. RCI has failed to deliver on the idea that bigger is better in many regards. To this effect, they also create the conundrum that while the idea of boarding the largest cruise ship in the world sounds ideal, boarding a smaller ship is certainly not a step down. That said, you still might feel a bit bashful if the next time you're in port on another ship the Oasis pulls in next to you. Final recommendation: if this is your first time cruising, the Oasis might be a good place to start. It is in many ways a beginners cruise, with many easy online planning options, and a straightforward guide on the boarding process. If your desired itinerary matches the Oasis', it is likely the best choice. But if you're thinking about revolving your itinerary around the ship, you may want to reconsider.

Oasis of the Seas: Big or Bold?

Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by novelist1985

Trip Details
If nothing else, the Oasis of the Seas is big. From the airport it appears as a massive intrusion to the ocean. At the pier you might begin to wonder if leaving port is necessary. Alas, the unending stream of activities presented onboard reinforces the idea that this is not a cruise ship so much as a floating city. But does that defeat the purpose of cruising? The Oasis of the Seas is not to 2009 as Voyager of the Seas was to 1999. Sure, the idea of a Carousel on a cruise ship sounds impressive, but as it turns out many of the additional features are more gimmick than awe-inspiring. In fact, a good portion of the ship appeals more to the idea of amazing than amazing itself. Two rock-climbing walls as opposed to one, a Central Park which turns out to be more a second promenade with a garden, a bar built on an elevator. Oasis boasts "big", not "bold". The fundamental flaw with the Oasis is that there is no "central point." You might think the promenade is designed to be the focus, when in fact the sports deck is the busiest spot around. The "neighborhoods" on the ship do their part in ensuring that all 5000+ guests don't end up in one spot, but unfortunately it also detracts from congregation and socialization. Another major oversight in the creation of Oasis was a lack of magnitude. The ship itself is huge, it's easy to tire fast from trekking to different spots. But each and every element of the ship lacks impressiveness of it's own. The promenade, while wider than the Voyager and Freedom class ships, is only two stories in height, blocked off by the overhead central park. The theater is relatively small, as more show times lessen the need for big seating. Sadly this also means less variety of shows. The dining room is three stories in height, yet this is barely evident from any seat in the room. Throughout the entire ship it is obvious that the focus in the design was on making the ship big. First impressions are everything, and if a critique were to be based on only that than Oasis would be an A+. The closest feature to the loading bay is the boardwalk, where the Aqua Theatre resides. It is blatant that this is the most innovative new addition to cruising. Though it boasts the ability to serve as another pool, the highlight is the entertainment it provides. Two giant screens welcome guests aboard, while various crew and executives talk about the Oasis and its specs. Shortly after, fountains dance to different songs, akin to the fountains at the Bellagio.
The boardwalk boasts a few restaurants and of course the world's only floating Carousel. Somehow RCI overlooked a need to make the boardwalk a more prominent focus. A nightclub nestled somewhere in between the specialty dining might have done the trick, but instead there is a single entrance to this area and the only appeal outside of a need to eat is the single show the Aqua Theatre features.
Speaking of nightclubs, the Oasis of the Seas features four: Bolero's in the promenade, the two story Dazzles, Jazz on 4, and Blazes. Once again, while having four options for dancing certainly allows for more variety than most cruise ships offer, it detracts from congregation. None of the dance floors were suitable for a decent sized crowd, even the poor amount of seating offered up the idea that the clubs were not an important amenity. Unsurprisingly the only club which did occasionally fill was the well situated Bolero's in the promenade.
On to events. Whether the sheer volume of people made it impossible, or RCI simply mismanaged, there was almost no organizational structure to the events aboard Oasis. A few certain highlights dominated the announcements while cruisers had to fend for themselves in terms of finding activities to attend the rest of the day. A couple 80's themed dance parties attracted a small crowd in Dazzles, while maybe 10-12 people enjoyed the Jazz band at Jazz on 4. Meanwhile at the Blazes nightclub, the dance floor bustled with the approximately 20 people the dance floor could hold, about 25 others sat throughout. Dazzles was evidently designed to be the major hotspot for sincere dancing, yet once again there were no prominent events held there.
Of course there was no lack of the usual cruising activities. Bingo, the Art Auctions, and the occasional belly-flop competition rounded out the list of events on RCI's cruise compass. So it is worth mentioning that while lacking in creativity and variety, there were plenty of activities available to attend. This includes the shows.
The "Oasis of Dreams" aqua theater show takes on a touch of "Cirque Du Soleil" style with a bit more action. This was easily the best show on board, though "Hairspray" was still the highlight.
"Hairspray", the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, was performed with a veracity and talent which proves that RCI was taking their entertainment seriously. If not for the mere fact that RCI did not create the play then I'd recommend boarding purely to see it.
"The Headliner Showtime", AKA "Revolution", is a concert style show which failed to emulate concert. A Beatles imitation group performed several Beatles songs which based on their performance and audience reaction could have just as well been listened to on an Ipod.
The ice show, "Frozen in Time" took an odd turn halfway through when they stopped ice skating and instead focused on a captivating sand artist. This could have been to distract the audience from the fact that the skaters were operating above their pay grade. It was unsurprising after watching a good variety of mistakes to hear later that a former cast member was injured and taken out of the show.
"Come Fly with Me" is the ship's farewell show. It's similar to the "Oasis of Dreams" in terms of stunts and style, though with faster music and slower pace. Neither impressive nor unimpressive, save for a few fancy trampoline tricks.
For all the effort RCI put in to entertainment, it was difficult to understand why there was no Magic or Comedy shows. To be fair, they did have stand up performances in their comedy club, but none family friendly. In addition every show save for maybe Hairspray did not appeal to the family scene.
Typical of Royal Caribbean, the food was nothing short of exceptional. Their dinners always ended with a want for more, and even their late-night pizzeria never disappointed. Their breakfast buffet could have had a bit more spice to it, but the variety of available food served its purpose. The single dissatisfaction that could be found with their food selection was the lack of a late-night buffet. The Windjammer buffet closed at 9 every night, and even their pizzeria shut down at 3. The single 24 hour venue was the Promenade Cafe, and the late night choices were lacking.
Another oddity onboard the Oasis was a lack of a midnight buffet. Traditionally cruises feature one night of extravagant dessert and snack options at their main dining room, complete with ice or chocolate sculptures, but maybe due to the crowd it would generate RCI had none in place for the itinerary.
Also disappointing in the area of dining was a lack of an ocean view in the main dining room. Certainly an ocean view can never be guaranteed on a cruise, but unlike many prior class RCI ships there were no expansive windows in place anywhere in the room. A few windows lined the outer walls, but most guests had to look past the jogging track or lifeboats to just glimpse the sea. What the Oasis comes down to overall is a gasp on first sight and a disappointment on board. RCI has failed to deliver on the idea that bigger is better in many regards. To this effect, they also create the conundrum that while the idea of boarding the largest cruise ship in the world sounds ideal, boarding a smaller ship is certainly not a step down. That said, you still might feel a bit bashful if the next time you're in port on another ship the Oasis pulls in next to you.
Final recommendation: if this is your first time cruising, the Oasis might be a good place to start. It is in many ways a beginners cruise, with many easy online planning options, and a straightforward guide on the boarding process.
If your desired itinerary matches the Oasis', it is likely the best choice. But if you're thinking about revolving your itinerary around the ship, you may want to reconsider.
novelist1985’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email