97 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We chose this ship because we had loved it in 2012, but this time, we were not impressed. The mattresses in our cabin were caving in and very uncomfortable, there were stains on the carpet, holes in the curtains. It seemed like the ... Read More
We chose this ship because we had loved it in 2012, but this time, we were not impressed. The mattresses in our cabin were caving in and very uncomfortable, there were stains on the carpet, holes in the curtains. It seemed like the selection and quality of the food in the dining room had degraded. Eating at the Windjammmer was unpleasant because of the lineups and the crowd. We preferred the Solarium bistro, which had a smaller selection of food, but was less crowded. RCI is supposedly Autism on the Seas certified, but aside from the staff at the kids club, the personnel seemed to know what autism is and what it entices. Our son is 4 y.o. and only drinks apple juice, not even water, and the dining room manager at first wanted to charge us for it since it wasn't a staple at dinner - until I raised my voice (they had provided it for free the first night) - after that, it was brought without any problem. Our waiters were amazing and very accommodating. We soon realized the daily planner contained more sales than activities. Quizzes, art auctions, belly flop contest, a movie here and there. Meet the Dreamworks characters was more like "come take a picture with a character that we'll sell you for $22.95 afterwards". Overall, we just felt like RCI was trying to squeeze all the money out of us, and didn't care so much about us having a good time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (8/20/16), Ft Lauderdale Are you planning to sail on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas? We actually did, our story follows. I hope we can help you make a decision but keep in mind that sometimes ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (8/20/16), Ft Lauderdale Are you planning to sail on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas? We actually did, our story follows. I hope we can help you make a decision but keep in mind that sometimes bigger is NOT better. According to Wikipedia this ship is 1186 ft. long, has 16 passenger decks, and can carry 6300+ passengers and a crew of 2400. We will write you decide! The saga started auspiciously: a sunny Saturday, August 20th, Ft Lauderdale and the majestic ship rising above its mooring. The challenge: two elderly mobility disabled passengers seeking embarkation using their priority status. The problem: No one to help! A third disabled person almost in tears wondered as well. Where is the help? After 10 minutes or so, my wife had the solution: money talks! Boy did it. Waving a $20 bill with the exhortation: who wants $20 dollars? It produced two willing helpers faster than Aladdin exiting his lamp. Unfortunately, they were not from Royal Caribbean but they did go summon two royal Caribbean surrogates brandishing two wheelchairs with helpers. Mission accomplished through economic persuasion. Quick trip through embarkation procedures and on to our room, 14303, where our wonderful attendant, Erica helped us settle. On to Nassau! After a brief stay, departure and a few hours, trouble started. A medical emergency said the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named. In the middle of the night we had turned back to Nassau! Who knew? Why go back for an emergency, Nassau has a specific U.S. representative to facilitate meeting ships and airlifting passengers. Nevertheless, we now had lost 7 hours and the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named had decided that our next port would not be St Thomas (bad weather we were told), but San Juan Puerto Rico. Well, let me get this straight: Isn't Puerto Rico the home base of the Zika mosquito team? Oh yeah, two days later the CDC started an experiment to test people regarding their exposure to Zika. Where? Puerto Rico, of course. Send the spray cans. One patient saved 6300 passengers possibly at risk. But perhaps we should spray ourselves disembark and visit Puerto Rico anyway. Wrong again! There was a parade and most of the businesses were closed: No Bombonera, no Butterfly People Art but we could get a small vendor and take Empanadas to the ship! Wrong again, they were summarily confiscated at the door. Quick: book Central Park 150 (one of the ship restaurants) for lunch. What a surprise, they had multicolored genetically altered carrots at a price, and what a price. Christina, our server from Romania was extremely helpful. For our last gourmet entrée we had a steak worthy of the Lilliputians in Gulliver’s’ Island, maybe 3 by 2 inches; smaller than a Whopper but more tasty and costly (the imitation steak, not the Whopper!). Maybe later at dinner Royal Caribbean would delight us with one of their famous dinners. Unfortunately, because of the weather our Captain-that-shall-not-be-named could not show up for dinner at the Silk (our designated dining room). Not to worry, our wonderful helpers Manuel, Lamar and our maître-d Esteban made our time so memorable that our joyous sharing became objectionable to the elderly couple at the next table (we did not have drinks our elation was solely provoked by the thought of having some lobster in the menu some day). Thus, some of the meal had to be completed church style: no talking and a lot of praying. By the way, the lobster did come the day that Captain-that-shall-not-be-named was supposed to show up (he did not) but I think we got langostinos instead, or maybe under aged lobsters harvested before their early demise. So on we went, drifting at sea for a couple of days eating turkey sandwiches at the Promenade (some of the wait staff would not assist us in taking food to the table) but Andre and Sofia did. Tired of turkey (no, we do not mean the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named) sandwiches? Eat pizza at Sorrento's, great pizza and it is free. Well, at least we would get to St Kitts soon. No, no, no, the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named determined that the weather was still bad so we were going to exciting Labadee, in Haiti. Is that owned by Royal Caribbean? Of course, Labadee is a major money maker for the company who took 260 acres of land from the Haitian dictator in 1986 and pays no rent of any kind. As a passenger, however, you pay $10 to $12 head tax according to www.cruiselaw.com By the way, if you are a Trump fan, a warning! According to www.clintonfoundation.org the Marriott built in Haiti was made possible by a several million grant made to the Clinton Global Initiative. I am just saying! O.K., a few more days at sea and our Captain-that-shall-not-be-named finally honored us with his presence: 30 minutes and you could have a selfie, what a deal. Finally, maybe a few more days at sea in the solitude of our handicapped room? No, no, no again. Do you know where room 14303 is? Right under the table tennis facilities! (According to guest services). Were they playing table tennis or was it an elephant hunt gone awry? Maybe we could relax in our balcony that fronted the Boardwalk? Of course not, they had music, shows and an infernal carrousel that clanged a bell every time it moved. Why was that, were they afraid of a Titanic type collision at sea and thus ringing the bell constantly? I don't know and was unable to ask the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named. In conclusion, if you want to relax and are mobility challenged don't go on Oasis of the Seas without renting an electric wheel chair or scooter. Moreover, in my opinion the food is bad, the ports visited unpredictable, (they have even had small boats demonstrations in Labadee prompting Royal Caribbean to cancel some of their visits) especially during hurricane season (June 1-Nov 30) and the ship is too big to really deliver services to the 6000+ people on board and the 2400+ well meaning, dedicated crew people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our 12th cruise and 3rd with RCCL. Ship was awesome as was the crew. Ship always being cleaned. Oceanview Balcony on deck 12 very quiet and easy access to elevators. Giovanni's was excellent, GO HUNGRY. Chops was just OK as the N.Y. ... Read More
Our 12th cruise and 3rd with RCCL. Ship was awesome as was the crew. Ship always being cleaned. Oceanview Balcony on deck 12 very quiet and easy access to elevators. Giovanni's was excellent, GO HUNGRY. Chops was just OK as the N.Y. strip I ordered was cooked right but was a bit tough. Windjammer was less than great and just a normal buffet. Guest services VERY attentive to issues. Labadee was a great beach day but make sure the waiver is signed prior to going to any of the rides like Dragon's Tail Coaster or Zip Line. We loved the ship so much we just booked again for May 28, 2017. First time we are sailing on the same ship twice!! So much to see and do. Don't miss "Oasis of Dreams" or "Frozen in Time". Both excellent shows. Room service always ontime, hot and they call when the food is on it's way to your cabin. Cabin steward introduced himself to us within 5 minutes of us getting into our cabin. There is wheelchair assistance at every port. Because the elevator banks or at both ends of the ship, and the venues are mostly mid-ship, there was easy access to all. Ship sailed full (over 6000 passengers) but except for after shows, never felt crowded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Let me start by saying that this was our first cruise (my husband, my 30 year old disabled daughter and me!). We booked a handicapped accessible junior suite and I was very happy with the size of the room. It far exceeded my ... Read More
Let me start by saying that this was our first cruise (my husband, my 30 year old disabled daughter and me!). We booked a handicapped accessible junior suite and I was very happy with the size of the room. It far exceeded my expectations! My daughter uses a wheelchair but can walk short distances using her walker and she was able to move around the room with ease using either device. Okay, the food--everyone wants to know about the food. I've had better, I've had worse--just like in any restaurant you go to there are good items and not so good items. However, when you take into consideration that they have thousands to feed, I thought it was pretty darn good. Something for everyone, to be sure. My daughter and I opted for the soda package at $8 a day per person and I am so glad we did. We are big soda drinkers but don't always finish the entire glass, so had we bought sodas every day, several times a day (and tips are automatically included) it would have been a lot more than the $56 (x2-$112) we paid. We went to Sabor one evening and it was good. I had never had a margarita and asked the waiter to suggest one, and he suggested the original one. I took one sip and YUCK! I'm just not a big drinker! He was so sweet and didn't charge me for it. Couldn't believe that! My daughter and I went on the rising bar and I had a glass of wine (which I didn't finish--told you I'm not a big drinker!) and she had a ginger ale--it was worth the $12.98 (that includes the tip) :) We played trivia a lot but never won. My daughter and I played bingo but,, there too, never won. We saw the aqua show and loved it, we saw Cats and enjoyed that. We saw the headliner show which was a ventriloquist and it was just so-so. The comedy show was very good, but had we not booked it in advance, we wouldn't have gotten in. I booked them all way in advance but had I not I think I could have gotten in to see all but the comedy show--and depending on the night, I may not have gotten into the aqua show. My daughter is very involved in an adaptive sports program so she wanted to try all the ship had to offer. Her first stop was the zip line. The staff was soooooo wonderfully helpful. I cannot praise them enough. My husband took her up and got her settled and I stayed at the landing to video tape it. Once at the landing, they helped her get out of the gear there w/o having to trek back up. On the third day, a very strong crew member just picked her up and held her so she didn't have to stand while we waited for her dad to come down with the wheelchair. Next came rock climbing which she has done w/the adaptive sports program and although she didn't get very far, the young man couldn't have been more helpful. Last, but not least was the flow-rider. They were very honest and said that the stand-up one wouldn't be good for her, even if the monitor held her hand b/c her legs are not that strong so they suggested she do the boogie board lying down on the other side. Again, the staff made sure she was safely on and she had the best time thanks to their careful help. As for the shore excursions--I can't say. The only things which were handicapped accessible were city tours and my daughter and husband didn't care to do that. We did get off at each port (Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Martin). In my opinion the first two were just zoos! However, if I could do it again, I'd have taken a city/beach tour of St. Martin. It is breathtakingly beautiful!! I am basically low maintenance so diamonds, gold and silver hold no fascination for me but apparently many people bought lots of things at each port. So I can't say whether the prices for that were good or bad. I suppose that if you know what you are buying you are good to go! Now, had you asked me on day 1 or 2 if I'd ever cruise again, I'd have said NO WAY!! We never got ill to the point of being incapacitated but we all felt a bit queasy. We took a Dramamine (wrist bands and an oil behind the ears for my daughter) and by 3rd day we were fine! As I said, this was our first time on a cruise so I have nothing to compare it to, but the staff was wonderful to all of us, my daughter had no trouble getting around in her wheelchair and the room was far bigger than I thought. I will say, though, if my daughter were not able to stand at all it would be difficult to hang things as there were no lower rods. Oh, and I saw many complaints on here about waiting for elevators--there are 6,000 people on the ship so I fully expected that I'd have to wait for one or two so for me and my family this was no big deal. My one and only complaint is that we were on the 14th floor and we could here chairs dragging, and people running all night long! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Bigger does not always mean better. WalMart is huge with lots of choices under one umbrella of groceries, hardware, getting your nails done or even an eye exam and tires. Oasis provides a similar array of choices. It is a beautiful ship ... Read More
Bigger does not always mean better. WalMart is huge with lots of choices under one umbrella of groceries, hardware, getting your nails done or even an eye exam and tires. Oasis provides a similar array of choices. It is a beautiful ship but customer service and personality is lacking. It is huge, it is beautiful and offers choices but you will wait in lines forever for activities. Sure it has a carousel, but it is only open a few hours a day. Sure it has a zip line, again only open a few hours a day. It is a handicap accessible ship but not handicap friendly. We took my parents for their 50th anniversary as a gift, they had never cruised before. We had been on 2 recent cruises with Enchantment and Allure with good experiences. We were nearly trampled to death with no special arrangements for handicapped individuals to board. The elevators close so quickly that the wheelchair is constantly getting hit with closing doors that do not seem to sense someone is there. Lining up for shows left wheelchairs near stairs with huge potential fall risks. The impersonal mall-like atmosphere has line dancing, zumba, parades and shopping, but leaves no way for those in wheelchairs or scooters to make their way through. It is chaos. Dining was good. The first night we ate at Chops and it was fantastic, but hugely pricey at $268 for a party of 5. They sang happy anniversary and we received wonderful service. Rooms were clean and steward was on top of everything. LONG lines for customer service constantly. LONG lines for everything. The dining area was so noisy it seemed more like a high school cafeteria with people hollering, it seemed uncivilized. The food was good, but the wait staff seemed stressed and pressed for time and it made it impersonal. I felt sorry for them. There was no joy in their jobs. We went to the Prohibition Party, which again at $35 per person seems pricey. Difficult to get a wheelchair in, and due to impatience of staff getting my mother in, one waiter took it upon himself to press the go button on my mother's scooter, slamming her into the wall and break her toes. She then spent the last 4 days of the 7 day cruise in bed totally black and blue and placed on bed rest by the ship physician. It was awful. What was Royal's response? Why did she allow the waiter to push the button. Like she gave him permission? There was no apology, and for her pain, suffering and missing the cruise, she was offered free medical care when we had already paid for the cruise insurance. The whole process was one of indifference, lacked any compassion, and frankly felt it was disgusting. We will never cruise with Royal Caribbean again and recommend anyone with disabilities to avoid these large mega ships. They staff is stretched too thin to be helpful. Waiting in lines at the buffet or finding a table, there is no wiggle room for wheelchairs or scooters and staff do not have the capacity to help. We had really wanted the occasion to be special. It is very difficult to get to shows - all handicap seating is at the back, and late comers and drunkards are allowed to be at the back, so you get nothing from the shows whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My wife and I boarded the Oasis after spending 11 nights on the Legend Of The Seas. To say there is a major contrast is an understatement! Crowd control is non existant until thins settle down the next day. Upon boardin which was a smooth ... Read More
My wife and I boarded the Oasis after spending 11 nights on the Legend Of The Seas. To say there is a major contrast is an understatement! Crowd control is non existant until thins settle down the next day. Upon boardin which was a smooth process we were on the ship but when we proceded to the Windjammer along with 4000 other people it was a nightmare. Finding a table was virtually impossible especially since my mom was in a wheelchair which was the only reason back on the Oasis since the transformation drydock. More on that later. The cabin steward did a wonderful job and had a great pleasant smile and greeting for us each time we saw each other. As usual dining request made prior to getting on the ship from the Diamond Plus office was not as requested so our table for 8 not would have been very hard to access with a wheelchair was changed by the Matredee to our original request for six. Oasis is now using deck five and half of deck four for my time ding so even on deck four there was always lines outside waiting for a table. I guess RCCL is trying to do everything they can to get switched to the Disaster Dining concept. Oh was that supposed to be Dynamic Dining? That' s a bad bad joke ! My sister and brother in law were along also which I figured since that had no kids and only animals they would have enjoyed Cats ! Not ! They said after 30 minutes they left. At least my wife and I made it through till intermission back in November ! The water show, Ice Show ,and other production show was great. The headliner we had just saw him on the Freedom on December so no big deal even though he does a good job. Being a Diamond Plus member my wife and I hate e made to the concierge lounge on deck 11 which is now the Diamond Lounge. Pinnacle guest and suite guest now have an exclusive lounge which was the Viking Crown Lounge. Why would RCCL do away with public access to the signature lounge ? The chapel is now a galley for the Coastal Kitchen in the suite lounge so now any marriages have to take place between the stove and pots and pans. Jewish Mass was held in the Comedy Club back in November so don't know where they go now. My wife had a top tier lunch with the hotel director and three pinnacle members which she said was quiet enlighting. The Pinnacle members said the Suite lounge was very seldom used in the evening and most of their friends which were Diamond Plus members couldn't come since no gold card so they would up going back to Diamond Lounge to be with them. Remember the breakfast and lunch you could order off of a menu in the old Concierge lounge? Well now they only have the continental breakfast. Lunch and afternoon there isn't even a cookie or glass of ice water. Wow is right and tight ! What a let down.Oh by the way the concierge needs to get a job at a prison because you definetly won't get out of that lounge with a drink no matter how crowded ! Didn't make sense especially when you can go to any lounge and get three drinks each without the harassment ! Bottom line I didn't like the transformation in November and hated them even worse this cruise as a Diamond Plus member. My wife and I have another cruise booked from last year again on the Oasis Jan ,2016 which was made prior to the changes. I am cancelling it and if the Allure gets the same transformation we will never set foot back on an Oasis Class ship! Maybe that is what RCCL is wanting because they keep saying the C&A program has been so successful they don't know what to do with everyone. Sounds like repeat business from faithful members would be an incentive to do more for your most faithful cruisers rather than do their best to drive them away which is the exact direction they have gone ! For the sake of time I won't go into the screwup on my mother's cabin so maybe later ! Let's just say Guest Services anf the Future Cruise booking staff have no problem passing the blame to a travel agent who had absolutely nothing to do with the booking. It was made on the ship back in May ,2014 !   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Travelers: me, my disabled quadriplegic husband, our 14 year old son, and my parents. On the way to Oasis: the three of us traveled by car from Raleigh, NC because my husband’s power wheelchair is too substantial to fly. We had a brand ... Read More
Travelers: me, my disabled quadriplegic husband, our 14 year old son, and my parents. On the way to Oasis: the three of us traveled by car from Raleigh, NC because my husband’s power wheelchair is too substantial to fly. We had a brand spankin’ new handicapped converted van to drive there, a Toyota Sienna with a slide out ramp on the passenger side. We had plenty of space for luggage and everyone in the van and the drive was uneventful. We drove almost to Jacksonville the first day (we left after work Thursday) and then the rest of the way Friday, arriving at the Embassy Suites at the Pier (literally ½ mile). Our hotel room was specifically reserved as handicapped accessible … but when we got there, they didn’t have that marked down and they didn’t have a room available for wheelchairs!! ACK! The hotel manager pulled out all the stops though and gave us their “Presidential Suite” which was h/c accessible and was on the top floor with a straight out view of the Pier for no additional cost. The day was saved! On Saturday morning, my parents, who had driven in from Atlanta, and met us at the Embassy Suites too, all piled into our van (THEN it was a little crowded lol) and we drove the 2 minutes to the pier. We all had to show ID to get into the pier when we drove in, so have that ready for all passengers if you park at the pier itself. It felt like manna from heaven fell down because JUST as we pulled in, the absolute number one, RIGHT in front of the boat handicapped spot opened up!!! We parked there!! (I always wonder when I see cars in el primo spots who on earth parks there … now I know! … we do!). It was a good omen that lasted the entire trip. We were whisked ahead of the line because of my husband’s disability and led to a special seating area for h/c persons. We were then allowed to board first, even before the suites (this happened last year on our Christmas cruise too). It was such a delight to walk up the gangway and be WOWED by the splendor of Oasis. It was our second, my parents first, trip on Oasis. My son was SO excited to show grandma and grandpa the ship. He LOVES Oasis! We immediately headed for the Christmas tree for some photos, then to Sorrentos for pizza – we were starving. I am celiac, so I have to eat gluten free and they made me a delicious special order GF pizza. We then went to our room: 10-170, a regular balcony room but handicapped. My parents were down a few doors in the same class of room but their room was MUCH smaller. Ours was bigger to allow for his wheelchair to get in and out of the room. Our balcony even had a ramp to allow my husband to go onto the balcony!!! Very thoughtful touches. We met our cabin steward, tipped him $20 to bring us a ton of pillows and some sheets (for positioning Chad at night – he has absolutely no movement or sensation below the shoulders so he needs extra pillows for propping him up). Then we went back to Deck 5 (where you enter) to the Christmas tree and met some friends. They were all lovely and we ran into them all several times throughout the cruise. We then went straight to the main dining room where we switched our table because we were way in the back corner and my husband’s chair is HUGE and there was just no way we could possibly have made it back there every night without plowing everyone in sight over. So they placed us at the first table right inside the door. Problem solved! At dinner the first night, we ordered a special wine (Opus One for the wine lovers here) to celebrate our trip and thoroughly enjoyed our meal and wait staff, who were genuine, caring and very prompt – and dealt well with my food allergies. We had reservations at 8:45 for Cats, but after all the driving to get there and the long day getting on, we were all just too pooped to go, so we went up to the rooms about 8:30, got into bed and then just listened to the waves and marveled that we were on the ship!!! For the rest of the trip, I visited the spa no less than 4 times (I highly recommend the ginger salt scrub / massage combo, it is delightful), my husband had a deluxe shave there and he LOVED it. The funny part is that he ended up buying more in spa products than I did! And now I give him a mini facial every night with Elemis products, which smell oh so good. My son and I both rode the Flow Rider – I TOTALLY dumped it on the surfing portion of it, but managed to finally get it right with the boogie board. My son was delighted that I tried it because usually I am a total fuddy duddy about trying stuff like that and I didn’t last year. And then to really make his day, I did the zip line!!! I am PETRIFIED of heights, and I mean PETRIFIED. But this mama will do anything for her boy, and so I just put on my big girl pants and did it. For dining, we ate at the MDR every night but two; we ate at 150 Central Park one night and Giovanni’s Table one night. Both were absolutely stellar in terms of food and service. My son and husband ate a lot at the Wipe Out Café on Deck 15, and we never graced the doors of Windjammer this time. We did eat at Sorrento’s a lot and my son and mom ate at the Central Park Café a few times and liked it. I was too busy at the spa to bother eating! Every morning that we were at sea, we had room service – but a tip, be sure to put out your hang tag of your breakfast order the night before (by 3 am) do not try to call in the AM for breakfast. On shore days, we ate at the MDR, which had a fabulous spread and wasn’t busy at all. The staff told us to do this – that room service often ran behind on shore days because everyone wants to have room service on shore days. Entertainment – don’t miss the ice show! It was really great. Another do not miss is the Come Fly With Me show in the Opal Theatre. We also loved the Aqua Show, which you can make reservations for – and I HIGHLY recommend you do this because it fills up very quickly and they turned lots of people away (we knew because the only h/c seating is the last row and there were a lot of unhappy campers that didn’t get to see the show who didn’t have reservations). Be sure to catch Splish Splash, which is another aqua show, but it is first come first serve only, on I think the 5th and/or 6th days. It’s a comedy show and super cute. It’s not even on the online cruise planner, but it will be on your compass they deliver each day to your room – so keep an eye for that and go early. We missed the headliner show (too tired), the comedy show (too tired) and Cats (too tired) …. Sensing a theme here?! My dad and son did the All Access Tour, which they liked alot (and I did it last year and enjoyed it). Shopping was great on board! We bought a RC Special Edition Tag Heuer watch for my husband, a Movado for my son and we bought a sapphire/diamond ring/bracelet/necklace set for me. We also bought a lot of perfume – the perfume prices were quite good on board. And my favorite was a bumper sticker that is now proudly on our car “My Other Car Is a RC Cruise Ship”! Excursions – my son and I went to Atlantis on Day 2. NOT worth it. First, the tour starts at 8 am, so you have to be up with the birds and the boat LEAVES at 2 pm, so you have to be on board at 1:30. But for me, I was going to be ON BOARD at 12 noon sharp because I am UBER paranoid about missing the ship. The water slides at Atlantis didn’t even open until 10 am (with 2 exceptions, but two slides got old after an hour), and the water was pretty chilly because you’re not far from FL yet. This time of year, you need to get further south before the water gets warm enough to be comfortable. And the tour was $165 per person …. It was totally not worth it and not recommended at all. In St. Thomas, my dad, my son and I went on a catamaran boat ride and snorkeling tour. That was half fun half not – it was blazing cold rain on the boat ride out, so we were huddled up, 30 people crammed inside the catamaran, but once we got there, the rain stopped (although the sun never came out) and we were able to snorkel. My son was mesmerized and I got to see it through his eyes – he didn’t mind the cold … he was happy as could be so I took my cues from him. The 3 of us swam as a triad as you have to always have a buddy. My dad is not a good swimmer (at all) so he had a snorkel life vest (everyone did) plus a noodle. That made me feel better. The water was about 16 feet deep where she (female captain, yay!) dropped anchor and then we swam all the way to the beach (a good long ways!). On the way back, they opened a bar with rum punch and champagne, which was fun. We got back on Oasis just after 4 and we set sail at 7. We didn’t do any excursions in St. Maarten, didn’t even get off. Before we knew it, our cruise was over and we were packing up to go home. Our luggage had to be out in the hall at 11 pm or sooner, I put ours out at about 9 pm. STUPID ME, I forgot you need your sail pass to get OFF the boat and packed them!! So we had to wait in a line to use our passports to manually override the system to get off, which delayed us about 15 minutes. Then it took about 20 mins in customs because we had items to declare. But other than that, it was easy to get off and we zipped right over to our car (which, did I mention was parked right in front of the boat! ) and started the long drive home. We dropped my parents back at the Embassy Suites where they had left their car and we headed towards North Carolina. I decided to drive until I got too tired and then we’d stop for the night. But everyone wanted to go home, and so my husband and my son kept me awake in the car, telling funny stories, listening to audio books and talking about our fabulous vacation and somehow I managed to drive 13 straight hours back home. Got in around 11 and by the time I got the luggage in, hubby out of his wheelchair, undressed and in bed, and me ready for bed too, it was 12:30. LONG DAY!!! Can’t wait to go again! I’m sure I’ve left out a million things, so happy to answer any questions.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I'm pretty disappointed in Royal Caribbean. I went with a group of 16 family members (including me), for our second cruise aboard the Oasis. The executive summary: we will not be returning to Royal Caribbean. The pros: 1. THE SHIP ... Read More
I'm pretty disappointed in Royal Caribbean. I went with a group of 16 family members (including me), for our second cruise aboard the Oasis. The executive summary: we will not be returning to Royal Caribbean. The pros: 1. THE SHIP IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Honestly, the ship is just beautiful to look at, it really is. One of my favorite things to do is get up early and walk laps on deck 16. It's gorgeous, really it is. 2. My cabin steward was amazing. The only one of the bunch that blew my expectations out of the water. The cons: 1. The food is horrible. Breakfast consisted of powdered eggs sitting in water, flimsy fatty bacon, waffles that tasted like sponge cakes, and hashbrowns that aren't even half as good as McDonalds. We had to find a place (Wipeout Cafe) that would actually make me REAL eggs, not reconstituted . For the price of the cruise, this fact in and of itself is absurd. But wait, there's more. My mother and grandfather had NY Strip steak the last night of the cruise... appropriate given the bottle of Bordeaux we had. But the steak was flat out BAD. My mom's was rubber, my grandfathers could barely be even cut let alone eaten. They were not grilled - there were no grill marks or seasoning on the meat, but there were plenty of nitrites and chemicals in it to make it tender. It tasted like Applebee's. That experience we had on the last night was typical. When I did have something good, like the rosemary lamb shank, there were 5 or 6 good bites of meat before it was gone. At Giovanni's Table, for the second year in a row, I almost chipped a tooth on something. This year, I had the crab ravioli.. The second bite revealed a nice chunk of crab shell that I thought had cracked a tooth when I bit on it. When I explained this to the manager, I could not believe what I heard: "I'm sorry sir, we can't control that, it's premade for us and frozen, so we can't see the shells." WHAT??? This is the place that charges $25 to eat, and it's premade frozen?? Avoid the hamburgers at all cost. I ate one and was rather nauseous afterwards. Twice on this cruise, while eating in the dining room, we were offered free meals at The Solarium. We accepted the first time thinking "Hey, they normally charge $20, so we're getting a deal right?" WRONG. we had people having pork tenderloin and sending it back as dry and rubbery. I had the "peppercorn seared bison" or something. There were no peppercorns on the entire plate.. I wound up having to pepper the heck out of it with the shaker just to get the flavor. (Deception is a common thread for this cruise). It seemed to us as if they were trying to get people out of the dining room. They offered this to us multiple times during the cruise. The best food I had on the entire cruse was at Sabor, the Mexican upcharge place. The $9 mole short ribs are the best thing on that boat. Honestly, given the cost of that cruise, the food was so bad and so overprocessed it was offensive by the end of the trip. Especially since at the top of the dining room menu they brag about how everything is "freshly prepared on the ship". Again, stop lying to me and then charging me extra for it. I recommend the buffets if you like cold food. In fact, most of the food on the ship was cold. I routinely sent soup back because it was flat out cold. (oh, and the "French Onion" soup.. they claim to have a piece of gruyere on there, when it fact it's a piece of bread with some toasted cheese shreds on it. And no onions. Again, stop lying to me) 2. The service is pretty consistently lousy. Even trying to make friends with the wait and bar staff in the casino was impossible.. they didn't say hi, or even come around all that often. I always was asking the dealer for a bar server, and then they would begrudgingly come over to take my order. The people at Windjammer? Same thing. Cafe Promenade? Same thing. The pool? Same thing. They weren't friendly despite my best efforts. Granted, that wasn't true for everyone, but it was a consistent theme with the staff on the ship. I'm looking straight at RCCL here, it did not seem like their employees were very happy working for them. I almost wanted to ask someone why but I thought the better of it. 3. Where is the fun? Where is the live music by the pool on sea days? The last day of the cruise was a sea day, we were by the pool all day.. and wait.. do you hear that? NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. Despite there being plenty of live music on the schedule that day, none was to be found outside on a beautiful day. (More deception). The "dance parties" on the promenade started at 7:30ish usually, so you had to be sitting for dinner by 5:30 to get to see them. And even then, they lasted less than 45 minutes, so.. what's the point? How about a nice dance party that starts at 9pm on deck 5 and then continues at a club somewhere? Wouldn't that be fun? I guess not. 4. The cruise is half vacation and half sales pitch. They start throwing this "NextCruse" business at you on the second day. They try to get you to pay for everything even though you've already paid through the nose to be on the ship in the first place. Yoga, spinning, laundry, you name it and you can find at least one place on the ship where it's upcharged. 5. It's completely obvious that RCCL has set this cruise up to squeeze every last penny out of you, the cruiser. As an example, they do not allow irons on board as a "safety concern", put formal night on the second night of the cruise, and then charge $25 to press (not clean, just press) my suit/shirt/tie that was ridiculously wrinkled. And then, on day 5, there was a plastic laundry bag with an offer... "Hey look! We'll do your laundry for you for *only* $30!!" GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK. What a deceptive joke this "safety concern" is. 6. Hope you're not a cigar smoker! They have no cigar room and the only place you can smoke cigars is by the pool bar and only after 7pm. Again, thanks a lot RCCL. Really classy not to have a cigar room on the biggest cruise ship in the world. Even Carnival had a gorgeous cigar room. 6. Their "Cruise Compass" had several spelling mistakes including "your vs. you're". Does anyone proofread these things? Does anyone pay any attention to detail on this ship? We're not going back. Forget it.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Background information. We are veteran cruisers in our mid-fifties, no children, and have done a variety of short and long cruises on several different cruise lines, including Disney, Oceania, RCI, Princess, Holland America, and Cunard. ... Read More
Background information. We are veteran cruisers in our mid-fifties, no children, and have done a variety of short and long cruises on several different cruise lines, including Disney, Oceania, RCI, Princess, Holland America, and Cunard. Our most recent cruises have been on Oceania and Disney. We decided to try a cruise on Oasis of the Seas, as we are both engineers by training and we were very curious to see this engineering marvel. Our last cruise on RCI was in 1991, on the old Nordic Prince. The last cruise we took just prior to this adventure on Oasis was an 18-day exploration of Norway and points above the Arctic Circle on the 700-passenger Nautica (Oceania Cruise Lines) in July, 2013 and we sailed on Disney Fantasy in March, 2013. Both of those experiences were excellent. Booking the cruise and flights: Through our TA in February, 2013, we booked an outside balcony cabin on Deck 10 of Oasis, port side, midships, with a larger and more sheltered balcony. The prices were higher for Christmas week, but still quite reasonable. We used miles for our United flights from our home city to Ft. Lauderdale. Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale and transfers to the ship: We independently booked one night at the Hilton Marina. The hotel is convenient to the port and has a great location on the Intracoastal Waterway; the room was acceptable, not great (some wear and tear), but the hotel has a nice pool area and outdoor dining option. We also had free breakfast the morning of embarkation. We used a shuttle service from the hotel to the ship (included in the hotel room rate). The van dropped off passengers at more than one dock. Embarkation: This was extremely quick after passing through security and we were on-board by 1:00 pm and this was, in fact, one of the best embarkation experiences we have had. With 6,214 passengers on our cruise, we were extremely pleased with this efficient process. The luggage handlers outside were amusing (if you can say that) in their attempts to get larger tips. Meet and Mingle: We had a very small Roll Call for this cruise, probably because it was during the Christmas week. The group met in Dazzle's on the first day at sea, almost everyone won something and no one had arranged any private tours. Cabin: As noted above, we were located on Deck 10, port side, near midships (closer to the forward elevator bank). The outside balcony cabin was ready at embarkation, allowing us to drop off carry-on bags and begin exploring. It was about the same size as the one we had on Nautica and smaller than Disney Fantasy, but very clean and nice and would be quite acceptable for the cruise. We like the layout of the bathroom, with the shower enclosure and we also liked the deep, sheltered balcony. There was sufficient room in the closet and drawers for clothing and other items and the room was well-maintained by our cabin steward. Another nice feature were the lights over the pictures in the room, which made for a nice atmosphere in the room. We never watch TV on a ship, but did use the interactive features to view our reservations and shipboard account. The bed was extremely comfortable. Ship information: Oasis of the Seas must be seen to be believed. There are seven distinct neighborhoods on this ship. Our favorite area was Central Park, the beautiful sheltered outdoor zone with almost 12,000 live plants; Central Park is also home to many of the specialty restaurants; I will remember this lovely place for as long as I live. We also enjoyed the ambiance on the Boardwalk and liked the adults-only Solarium (forward pool deck). The main pool deck is utter chaos most of the time and we avoided using the pools and spas. We did enjoy sitting near the Sports Deck area, with the view below of the Boardwalk and Aqua Theater. The Promenade on deck 5 (and a little on 6) is very popular and has several bars, the pizza place and many shops, but I felt it looked too much like an suburban shopping mall. Other than our muster drill, we never did get to the Entertainment zone on Deck 4 and also did not use the vast casino. The art works scattered throughout the ship are very lovely and we especially enjoyed the viewers that had 3-D pictures of flowers, sea creatures and crystals. Guest services were among the best we have ever experienced on a ship, with friendly customer service agents roaming the lines to answer those "dumb questions" and help passengers with their concerns and keep the line moving. The crew was also quite nice and approachable, including the very young-looking Captain Patrik Dahlgren. Public restrooms are easy to find and quite large and the huge elevator banks usually were quick (not always). Activities: We relaxed and did not participate in any planned activities on board, other than the dining options and one show. The internet service was excellent (fast) and we used the unlimited plan for our devices (DH must stay in touch for his job). Dining: Our Opus Dining Room assignment was for late seating (8:30 pm) on the third level. We never made it to the dining room for any meals, so we cannot provide any information on that venue (we didn't even peek inside). We had already pre-booked four specialty restaurants for the week and added one more while on-board and had two casual meals the other nights. Although food experiences are subjective, overall we felt the dining experience on Oasis was very good to excellent (with two exceptions noted later in this section). A few meals rivaled the food experiences we have had on Oceania. The best specialty dinner overall was the Chef's Table. This exclusive evening is limited to small parties and is held in an alcove dining area above the Concierge Lounge. The five-course dinner and wine pairings were superb and so were the explanations by the sommelier and the chef de cuisine. A nice touch for the Chef's Table experience is the program of the meal and a seating chart of the participants, which included one of the senior officers and his wife. 150 Central Park was also superb and has a six-course tasting menu; we added the wine pairings (a bit pricy, but worth the cost). Chops Grille was also extremely good and we both had the 6-ounce filet, cooked to perfection, with excellent side dishes. The other two specialty restaurants we liked were Giovanni's Table and the Solarium Bistro (good meals in both). The only complaint about two of the speciality restaurants was the hard up-sell approach taken by our servers at Chop's Grille and Giovanni's Table. They would not take "no" for an answer on ordering more expensive wine and also tried to sell us numerous other things, including the RCI cookbook (we ended up getting it for free at the Chef's Table). Our two casual dinners were at the Seafood Shack (perfectly acceptable coconut shrimp) and Johnny Rocket's (tasty small burgers). We did room service for breakfast on two days, but found it more appealing to get something on most days from the Park Cafe in Central Park (the Park Cafe also had very good coffee). The pizza in Sorrento's in the Promenade was also quite yummy and you can get custom pizzas. Two dining venues we did not enjoy: We did late breakfast one time at the Windjammer Marketplace, but it and the nearby Wipeout Cafe, were not impressive at all. In fact, the Wipeout Cafe was a complete mess, with passengers handling the food, making big messes and dropping the utensils into food items (no wonder there was a minor outbreak of Norovirus on our cruise). Self-service should be a thing of the past on cruise ships, especially when children are involved and serving themselves. Bars and entertainment: We visited several of the bars on board; our favorites were the Trellis Bar in Central Park, the Schooner Bar (a late discovery), the Solarium Bar and the fun Rising Tide Bar that travels from the Promenade deck to the Central Park deck. Bar service in general was excellent; prices were a little steep for a glass of wine, so we may consider the beverage package the next time. We saw one show on Oasis at the Aqua Theater (Oasis of Dreams). It was very good, but the thrilling high-dive finale could not be performed due to technical difficulties. We reserved this show in advance, which was quite helpful in getting good seats. We are not that interested in shows anymore, having spent many years going to operas, broadway shows and local theater companies, so this was enough for one cruise. We also saw the Oasis of the Seas big band in the Dazzle lounge one evening. The band was superb, the lounge was not (one of the weirdest designs I've ever seen, with lots of bad sight lines). Our favorite entertainment: Good wine and excellent food! Ports: The ports were really irrelevant to this cruise as we have visited them before; the ship was our destination. We booked a cabana on Labadee that was very nice and had a excellent and fun ship excursion in Cozumel (Salsa, Salsa and Margaritas). We canceled out of an excursion in Falmouth and had no arguments about reimbursement, even though that was the same morning as the excursion (I had bad back pains that day). We also did a time-waster in Ft. Lauderdale to get to the airport that was merely ok, but we did see some beautiful homes and the beach area. Disembarkation: Once again, we were very happy with the speed of our disembarkation from the ship. This is a very well managed process taking less than 20 minutes. Summary: We booked this cruise with modest expectations, but were pleasantly surprised by the excellent dining we experienced, the beautiful huge ship and its artworks, and the fact that this ship often felt less crowded than many much smaller ships we have been on, even with the capacity crowd. We look forward to doing a similar cruise on Allure of the Seas, hopefully in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This will be a short review.  We had a handicapped balcony room, and it was very spacious! My wife rented an electric scooter, and the room could have handled TWO of them without a problem! We had an outside balcony--this gives a bit ... Read More
This will be a short review.  We had a handicapped balcony room, and it was very spacious! My wife rented an electric scooter, and the room could have handled TWO of them without a problem! We had an outside balcony--this gives a bit more privacy than the inward looking balcony rooms. It was worth the extra cost. Dining: we only did the Windjammer on a few occasions, and enjoyed the main dining room each evening. The food was good, but NOT exceptional. Nothing compared to what we experienced on Holland America the year before. Service was prompt and efficient. The food was well prepared, and there were good menu options. I just felt that the more expensive fares have been dropped to save a few bucks, and to force diners into the optional restaurant offerings. The shows are tightly scheduled, and I strongly suggest booking showtime reservations as soon as they are available on line!! Once you're on board, you will have to take available seating that is available ten minutes before show times! Don't delay booking show times on line!!! Embarkation and disembarkation were extremely efficient!! Don't let the size of the ship deter you! It is big, but they know how to handle passengers! It is impossible to get lost on the ship once you understand how to navigation the ship using the electronic guides on each floor by the elevator, and the room coding system. Excellent job, RC! Ports: Western Caribbean ports are the same, regardless of the cruise line. At one port there were seven ships docked!!! We didn't bother leaving the ship! Decor: I find RC ships to be rather spartan and bland. However, the ship was well maintained and very clean. I've sailed on RC in the past, and I would look forward to cruising with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My wife has to use an electric scooter to get around the ships that we have cruised on and when the Oasis came out she always said it was too big for her. She was surprised that even with 6,400 cruisers on board the only time it seemed ... Read More
My wife has to use an electric scooter to get around the ships that we have cruised on and when the Oasis came out she always said it was too big for her. She was surprised that even with 6,400 cruisers on board the only time it seemed packed was coming out of the dining room or theater. The elevators were good but the passengers were not helpful when they see someone on a scooter or wheelchair they do not make room for you in the elevator, sometimes we had to wait for over 15 minutes to get into one. It is about time the cruise lines made an elevator strictly for the handicapped using their cabin card. The ship is great with Central park magnificent flowers and plenty of places to sit and rest. We were hoping that the handicapped cabins would be automatic like the Radiance so that when you put in your cabin card the door would open but no luck , that is something that is missing as you cannot open the door and get into the cabin without help. All in all it was a nice cruise staff were the best we have ever had always calling to find out if we needed anything.Room service was excellent call before delivery so fast and hot food, breakfast on the balcony was the greatest. If you want to go on a mega ship this is the one for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
First the positives: Oasis is very interesting. The shows were excellent, with high quality performers. Our room stewardess was excellent and personable. The accessible room was spacious. There are a couple of inherent problems: ... Read More
First the positives: Oasis is very interesting. The shows were excellent, with high quality performers. Our room stewardess was excellent and personable. The accessible room was spacious. There are a couple of inherent problems: bathroom floor slippery on crutches when wet, ramp into the bathroom and opening of door a challenge, no shelves near the toilet. The bathroom was large enough to turn around in a wheelchair, and the shower was a good size. With the exception of our room stewardess, staff seemed to believe that they could not address a person in a wheelchair and talked to my husband and relatives instead of to me. Staff could use some training in this area. Being in a wheelchair does not mean a person cannot discuss their own food order. The ship is noisy and over crowded. Our room was a balcony over the Boardwalk, which was noisy until 11:30 pm most nights, even with the door closed. There was a bell on the Boardwalk that rang about every 30 minutes all day. These rooms are not for people who might want to relax in their room before 11:30 pm. The food reminded me of a college cafeteria. The worst food I have ever had on a cruise line was served in the formal dining room. The dining room is over crowded, with tables crammed together, and extremely noisy. A conversation with table mates sitting across the table was impossible. We ate one night, then began to eat in the pool deck cafeteria. We returned on formal night, to be served tough, tasteless lobster. Park Place had a nice salad bar, which became our lunch venue. Even the pizza, hamburgers, and corny dogs were mediocre. Stops in the Bahamas are dirty, impoverished and all sell the same goods. Beaches are beautiful, countryside was beautiful. So if you avoid the towns, you will do better. This would be a great place to take teens-lots of pool space and activities. We probably will not sail RC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We have been on a number of cruises, have only used Royal Caribbean since starting to cruise in 2008, and up to now -- have always had an outstanding experience. Not so on this January 2013 cruise to the Western Caribbean. We were in ... Read More
We have been on a number of cruises, have only used Royal Caribbean since starting to cruise in 2008, and up to now -- have always had an outstanding experience. Not so on this January 2013 cruise to the Western Caribbean. We were in balcony staterooms on the 6th floor. This was to be a nice family vacation -- for my older parents (dad has not cruised for about 20 years) and the first cruise for my two adult sons. Issues: 1.Prior to the cruise, I filled out the online accessibility form for my parents. The form asked if they needed a refrigerator -- which was confusing to me-having been on Allure twice- I assumed all rooms had the same minibar. When I called the Royal Caribbean help line -- to ask whether handicap accessible rooms did or did not have a refrigerator -- I was told the person helping me could not tell from the room description if it did or not and then only reason they would move in a portable refrigerator would be if my parents had medication that needed to be cold. When we arrived we found that they did have a minibar just like any other room. Since one of the selling points of using the Royal Caribbean travel agents is their supposed intimate knowledge of all the ships -- I was surprised to see they did not really know the details of all Oasis rooms. 2.Knowing from reviews on cruise critic that the electric outlets on Oasis were still in the awkward position under the desk -- I advised my traveling companions to bring along an extension cord or multiple outlet strip. Imagine my shock when my son's bag was pulled aside as we were going through the embarkation scan and his outlet strip was confiscated. I know we are not to bring irons, etc -- but never saw a notation about extension cords. Unfortunately, in the commotion of getting my parents off the ship with wheelchairs and all their luggage -- we forgot to go to wherever the office was to retrieve our outlet strip. I did write to customer service after the cruise was over and their response was that extension cords are allowed, but I should inform the security staff that I have one when going through the security scan. 3.NOROVIRUS -- really unfortunately -- negatively affected our trip. I realize they cannot completely prevent exposure -- but they could improve a number of things about their response to a passenger's illness. a.Turns out there had been several cases of Noro on the ship the week before our trip. We could have been advised of the prior week's outbreak as we were boarding the ship -- not wait until we had been on the ship for several hours and found a warning letter in our stateroom. Yes, I realize using the hand sanitizer, etc is always the rule -- but by the time we read the warning about the illness the week before -- we had already eaten lunch in Park Cafe and touched many items in our staterooms. Since my mother became sick at supper on our second day -- we assume she came into contact with the virus immediately upon entering the ship. My understanding is -- good as the hand sanitizers are for many things -- they do not substitute for thorough hand washing when dealing with norovirus -- we were told this by their medical people. And believe me - I saw plenty of people exiting public bathrooms without washing their hands. b.In addition, once she was sick we did observe her room being "sanitized". Handles, bathroom, flat surfaces were wiped down. But what about things like the hangers in the closet? Even more important -- the items inside the refrigerator. Because that is serviced by the bar staff instead of the room steward -- it appears too easy to leave things -- including germs- behind. My parent's room had a partially consumed bottle of water and a bottle of Ensure food product -- clearly left by the previous inhabitant. What if the person was ill and the fact that my mother touched those bottles to throw them out is what caused her to be the first person to become ill. Maybe this would be too much work -- but particularily when there has been Noro on the ship- the policy should be to remove all items from the minibar and clean them before returning them to a new person's fridge. Also - our room contained coupon books and cruise compass from a previous passenger -- that they had stashed on top of the refrigerator and forgotten. Not sure the room steward even cleans the fridge -- since stocking it is the responsibility of the bar person. The norovirus can survive on surfaces for a long time. c.After my mother went to the medical unit for treatment -- she was quarantined in her room. She was not to leave until she had no symptoms for 24 hours. Insult to injury, it appears to be the policy to clean the quarantined room after all the other rooms are done. This makes sense from a germ spreading standpoint -- but the end result for my parents was waiting hours/days or sometimes needing to call and request clean towels, garbage and room service tray removal. They felt neglected and ignored. d.Again -- when quarantined and actively ill -- instructions from the medical people were to wipe things down with paper towels -- something they did not have access to. My father also became ill two days later -- and although he tried to protect himself -- the reality is it is pretty difficult when you are the roommate of the person who is very ill and their room is not being cleaned and they did not have the tools to clean it themselves. e.Quarantine services -- providing room service, free minibar liquids, and free movies was very helpful. But I had to call customer service and negotiate some laundry service. They did finally agree to do a bag of laundry for each parent. Because they were elderly -- the virus hit them harder, lasted longer, and they had more soiling of clothing than a younger person would. f.No PADS available to protect the furniture and linens. An older person cannot run to the bathroom when having explosive diarrhea. If the person is not already using some kind of "adult diaper" -- they would not have brought this kind of product with them on the ship. The medical staff were able to sell my parents some flat protective pads to use in the bed and when sitting on the couch -- but they were told there was only a small number of pads available in the medical storage and they could not give them many. Falmouth and Cozumel are not the place for someone who does not know the country and language to try to shop for this kind of product. g.There are posted hours for the medical clinic in the cruise compass. But only on a sign outside the clinic does it say there is actually someone on call 24 hours. When my father became ill -- the clinic "posted hours" were over. My parents did not realize they could go anytime- so they tried to hold on until morning -- but my father was so miserable -- my mother finally called at 5 am to see if there was a recording stating how soon they could call for help. Of course, the nurse answered the phone and told them to come right down. My father was so weak by then he could not walk alone -- so my mother pushed him to the clinic using his walker. No one told her she could call for a wheelchair escort. She hurt her foot struggling to push him down the hall (yes I also did holler at her for not waking us up to help!) The next day she could not even stand on her foot. She did go back to medical and have it xrayed. They provided her with a bandage wrap and told her to ice it. But they also told her this was not related to the Noro illness and they would need to charge her. 4.Customer service -- or whatever department handles the distribution of excursion tickets and notices. a.Prior to the cruise, I purchased tickets for a beginner scuba diving excursion for my sons in Cozumel on Thursday. The tickets were not delivered to their room until Tuesday night. For this particular excursion, they had to go to the diving shop and fill out a form -- something that was supposed to have been done before Tuesday during the day. The dive shop people questioned why their tickets had not been delivered more promptly so they could have filled out the form when they were supposed to. b.Mid week -- we received an envelope that belonged to another passenger. Then on debarkation day -- I received a notice about future cruise credit for another passenger on the 6th floor who also was quarantined for Noro -- it did have my room number written on the outside envelope -- but inside the room number was for someone on the other side of the ship. We did have moment of fun - in spite of running interference for parents who were pretty much ill the whole trip. The shows: I liked Chicago (on Allure) better than Hairspray. The ice show on Oasis was better than Allure. Really enjoyed the Improv "Throw me a line" show - don't miss it The Quest game was a lot tamer then previous year on Allure - not sure if that it a cruise director style issue. The comedy club show was only so-so. The emcee was hilarious. The two comedians were not than funny and substituted vulgarity for humor. Not a prude - Allures comedy show was much funnier. Allures cirque style show was better - they have a really impressive tree as part of the stage - Oasis has an airplane. The diving show is amazing to watch - just don't expect to understand the storyline. Go early to pick your seats. Don't understand why they would design the theater with some seats view blocked by poles - its not like a regular theater where you get a cheaper price for obstructed view. Food: do wonder if they are changing the dining room menu to encourage more use of the specialty restaurants. For the most part - the menu was delicious and the ability to try different things by ordering multiple appetizers and main courses is one of our favorite parts of a cruise. As usual - made a number of trips to the Park Cafe for the beef sandwiches and late night snack in the cafe on the 5th floor for their little sandwiches. As usual - embarkation was easy - although the person monitoring the waiting area for emerald was harsh and bossy. Debarkation with two people in wheelchairs was interesting. Rules about having only one companion to assist the person in the wheelchair meant my husband and I went with my parents through a slightly shorter line - but my sons had to go in the longer line and then we had to wait for them. But that is apparently a Customs rule - not RCs fault. I did provide all this feedback to Royal Caribbean customer service. One warning: believe the rule about not drinking water in mexico. We had lunch in what seemed like a really nice restaurant in Cozumel - but my husband foolishly drank non bottled water and by dinner time was violently ill. It only lasted a few hours - but of course he missed dinner and the show we had scheduled for that evening.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
On this cruise, we were a group of 16 people. Our staterooms were Junior Suites, Outside Staterooms with Balconies, a Disabled Junior Suite, and a Crown Loft Suite. The ship is simply beautiful. The cabins were all lovely. There is ... Read More
On this cruise, we were a group of 16 people. Our staterooms were Junior Suites, Outside Staterooms with Balconies, a Disabled Junior Suite, and a Crown Loft Suite. The ship is simply beautiful. The cabins were all lovely. There is a very large variety of different dining options. Large Group Travelling: Royal Caribbean's reservation system is quite simply a mess from a large group reservation perspective. We had 8 staterooms, and each one was treated as a completely separate reservation. Booking shore excursions, spa treatments, and restaurants was nearly impossible through the website. Contacting Royal Caribbean was no help. They told my travel agent that she was not to help us with those things, and that we were supposed to get more excited by booking them ourselves. Most restaurants are unable to accommodate large groups, so it was frequently necessary to break us up into multiple, small tables. If we needed to change a dining reservation, we had to specify exactly which of the 16 people was now not coming. Getting a dinner reservation at Giovanni's (the Italian restaurant) proved to be impossible, despite numerous tries. Dining Room Service: Overall very slow. I had one evening where it took over 20 minutes from the time I arrived in the dining room until I received the Soda I had ordered- 3 times, from 3 different waiters who came by the table. It was not unusual for a meal to last 2-2.5 hours- far longer than I would anticipate, given the number of courses involved. Also, many of the restaurants do not have kid menus, and NONE of them had a kid cup, instead putting the kids' drinks in glass glasses. We experienced multiple spills as the 5 year olds in the group tried to deal with the glasses. Service at time seemed "forced", and they were only stumping for high marks on the bingo cards, rather than focusing on actually providing the best service. Individual restaurants: Chef's table- A highlight of our trip. We had a great time. Our server, Insham, is fantastic. They bent over backwards to accommodate us. 150 Central Park- Lovely dinner. Multiple tables required here. Chops- Fantastic Steaks, and possibly the best dessert of the entire cruise. Solarium Bistro- Good meals, and some interesting low-calorie options. Multiple Tables Required Izumi- The Japanese restaurant. Great Sushi. Multiple Tables Required. Giovanni's table- We only got into this one for lunches. Good food. Generally ample portion sizes. Shrimp was fantastic, but tiny portion size (2 shrimp) Seafood shack- Good lunch choice. My husband ordered the fillet of sole, and they filleted it at the table, after it had been cooked. Quite the fascinating show! Stateroom service: Some of our stateroom stewards were absolutely fantastic. (Mine was one of the awesome ones) Others not so much. I don't know if it's a seniority issue, or luck of the draw, but it seemed that some of them were far more attentive than others. Loft Suite (My brother stayed in 1730): Nice Size. Beautiful Suite. Overlooks the zip line directly, and the back of the ship, so it is not a serene view. He had access to a concierge on the 11th floor, and was disappointed at the lack of service in general. Quite simply, it was just a very expensive stateroom, with little additional service. Spa: Manicure and Pedicure were a universal disappointment, and not worth the price paid. Facial was just "ok", compared to others I've received at other spas. The massages were universally wonderful. The finish level in the salon portion of the spa is a disappointment, especially compared to other ships. It was quite simply, bland- beige tiled floors, and beige walls. No view, no pretty pictures, no interesting details, and plastic carts holding the salon essentials. Fitness Center: Well stocked with machines, and well maintained. My tall husband appreciated that he was able to use the elliptical trainer without bumping his head (which has been a problem on other ships) Embarkation, and Departure: Were lacking. Fortunately, we did not encounter long lines, but it was quite the process to get checked in and took nearly an hour for me to get everyone checked in. In addition, I had given them a credit card for my brother's stateroom (and we had pre-entered it prior to the date), and they still asked him for a credit card. So, I had to go to customer service to fix it. Departure- experienced technical issues with the equipment, leading to long delays in getting off the ship. The entire procedure seemed to be very poorly organized, especially in light of our recent cruise on Disney. Recommendation: Royal Caribbean needs to work on all aspects. The porters were brusque, bordering on rude. The cops out front were a pain, and unfriendly. This contributed very negatively to my experience overall. Kids Clubs: My 5 year old was delighted. The other kids rated the kid clubs a B-, 5/10, and C+, respectively. They were, in a word, disappointed. They were not impressed with the kid clubs, and were quite disappointed with the engagement level of the counselors, the activities offered, and more. Also, my 11 year old observed that the counselors had poor control over the kids, and the age ranges that they specify are too wide (3 years per group, so 9, 10, and 11 year olds in one group, for instance). My 11 year old who will turn 12 in a couple of weeks did not appreciate being grouped in with the fourth graders, as she is in 6th grade, and "above" it. This surprised me given how "kid friendly" the ship is. Shore Excursions: Mixed reviews. Choose carefully. I felt poorly prepared for two of mine- too much time in the sun, and not enough warning that lunch would be extremely delayed. The first experience was the Jamaica Swamp tour - lots of great animals, but I felt captive towards the end of the tour. The kids were hot, thirsty, and there was no way to buy a drink. The Mayan Mystery tour was great, except that there were no snacks or lunch until 4:00 PM. We were starving. My father did the private tour by car in Cozumel with his caregiver, and their assessment was that it was a rip-off. My brother swam with the dolphins, the kids did the zip line/river tubing tour, the extreme sports tour, and those all went well. Size of the ship- The ship generally seemed more intimate than its size would indicate. I did hear the staff members commenting a few times that there were 6000+ people onboard, so we needed to be patient. In my opinion, that is an operations management failure on the part of the cruise line. They need to get over the "size" issue, and work on figuring out the operations kinks. Elevators: There were ample elevators on this ship, and I experienced overall less time waiting for them than I had on other ships. Bonus points for having two very large double banks of elevators. Overall- My father had a blast. My family had an Okay time. Not sure that we'll bother to cruise on Royal Caribbean again, after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Having sailed on the Oasis two years prior my wife and I were excited about the opportunity to sail her again.We arrived at the check in after 12:30 pm so the check in was a breeze . Went straight to the ship and our stateroom to get rid ... Read More
Having sailed on the Oasis two years prior my wife and I were excited about the opportunity to sail her again.We arrived at the check in after 12:30 pm so the check in was a breeze . Went straight to the ship and our stateroom to get rid of luggage. Having dined at the Park Cafe on last cruise we headed straight there for lunch. Everything was excellent as remembered.Having just disembarked from the Liberty the prior week we could sense the spring break crowd had thinned out considerably .This really doesn't bother us since we are disabled anyway so we spend a lot of time at the trivias during the day which gives us an opportunity to meet other guests and learn something new in the process.We are Diamond Plus members with the C&A society so for the evening we headed to the Concierge lounge. This was one of the reasons for our return to an Oasis class ship because of being spoiled on the Allure last year after achieving Diamond Plus status.The staff in the lounge were very friendly and a pleasure to be around all week. Only complaint I had at the lounge was the suite guess had no regard for proper dress code in the evening many coming in their bathing attire with a thin pullover along with their flip flops.I'm sure many were first time cruisers and didn't realize that there was a dress code.They probably only looked at what it cost for the suite so chose to come as they pleased. Only other bad experience was the main dining room in the evening. We had reserved a table for two but as usual our request was not honored. We were seated with four other guest. After getting to know each other that was not the real problem. Our table location was in the middle of the third floor dining crammed against the other tables. I really felt bad for our waiter and assistant waiter because they had virtually no room to maneuver around the other guest. We certainly didn't have this problem at the prior sailing on the fourth floor.Not only was it crowded but you almost had to yell across the table because of the amount of noise! It was definitely a pleasant experience! My wife and were tempted to just go to the Windjammer for dinner after that first night but out of respect for the other guest at our table and the wonderful service from the wait staff we stuck it out.We have a back to back cruise booked at a later date on the same ship so if we see our dining position is similar Windjammer here we come! I would recommend Johnny Rockets for breakfast in the mornings which is complimentary verses having to pay a cover charge for lunch and dinner. The dive show and the entertainment in the main theatre was great as I remembered on the last visit plus we even took in a 3d movie one afternoon. Being such a large ship you would think the disembarkation process would be a hassle but they have it down to a science at this terminal. Having a 13 hour drive ahead of me I got the first tags available for checking luggage which was set for 7:15 am. At that exact time we were allowed to get off the ship for a swift and uneventful claim of our luggage, through customs and to our shuttle service provided by Air & Sea Parking which is located just couple blocks from the port. I was on the road headed home by 8 am ! All in all I am looking forward to going on the Oasis again so I would recommend it to anyone because it is a spectacular ship ! . Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise Jan. 21 -- 28, 2012 Each January Vincent books our anniversary cruise and this year was no different. We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary aboard the Oasis. The same ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruise Jan. 21 -- 28, 2012 Each January Vincent books our anniversary cruise and this year was no different. We celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary aboard the Oasis. The same time last year we cruised on the Allure of the Seas, in a wheelchair accessible cabin with a balcony overlooking the sea and we thought it would be interesting to try a different cabin site -- so this time we booked a wheelchair accessible cabin over looking the Boardwalk. Well, there is an old adage: "Never leave the true and tried road for a new one." Or as the Italians say: "Chi lascia la via vecchia per la nuova, sa quel che lascia, ma non sa quel che trova" (Who leaves the old road for a new one knows what he leaves, but not what he finds). Just a word of advice: If you want a restful and relaxing cruise book the ocean view cabin! This week the Oasis was fully booked with 6380 passengers (approx. 75% from USA) and 2200 crew members -- On the Royal Promenade at times it was like being in a busy airport or train station -- However, we always managed to escape the crowds by walking to the most peaceful place aboard: Central Park, where the many plants, flowers, and the soft background music and sounds of chirping birds and water falls evoked in us a sense of pastoral relaxation. Due to logistics, Captain Thore Thorolvsen remained a remote figure; we did not have a chance to meet him: The Oasis is too big and too busy for anything else! But we did have the opportunity to meet again Hotel Director Martin Rissley, whom we had known from past cruises. He gave us a warm welcome back to the Oasis on which we had spent 12 wonderful days during her inaugural cruise in December of 2009. It is amazing to see that everything in this huge floating resort runs perfectly: From stateroom to dining room, from casual dining to specialty dining, from entertainment to passenger service, etc., etc.... A lot of credit for the successful outcome of cruising on this behemoth floating city goes to the great experience of our friend Martin. We were so happy to see him again. EMBARKATION Considering the huge number of embarking passengers, RCCL has adopted a well oiled check-in process, a large number of check-in booths where passengers are directed by their cabin deck. In addition, priority is given to people in wheelchairs, Suites and "Frequent Floaters" (Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club members of the Crown & Anchor Society). So our check-in was expeditious and in minutes we were in our cabin. Here was the first "wow": A telephone call notified us that Vincent had left his wallet at the check-in booth. He went back to retrieve his wallet, thanked the kind lady that found it, but, due to the crowding, did not ask her name, so later he could not mention her for the "wow" employee who made the difference in our cruise! To the special lady: We wish we could have thanked you more appropriately. We are sorry we did not. SHIP The Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship afloat, was launched the fall of 2009. She was the first of an innovative class of RCCL ships. The second ship of this class is the Allure of the Seas, which was launched a year later. Needless to say, no other existing cruise ship matches this pair in size, shapes or innovations. For a detailed review of the Oasis we refer the readers to the one we posted on this web site in December 2009. This review will be confined to the impression of our return to the Oasis and the difference of our balcony exposure. CABIN Our stateroom was a wheelchair accessible cabin with balcony, # 14303, on deck 14, the top deck with passenger cabins. This cabin was similar to the one we had the last cruise on the Oasis, #14166. The major difference between the two cabins was that the first one overlooked the ocean and this one was above the Boardwalk. Needless to say, it lacked privacy since it was facing the cabins on the starboard side and the Sports Court on deck 15, with constant passenger activity. The first time out on the balcony, Mary was startled by two dangling legs whizzing by. Yes, the Zip Line went right by our balcony. The balcony was a bit smaller than the one we had before, thus we did not ask the steward for a chaise lounge for Vincent. No matter, we soon realized that for privacy we would have the drapes closed during most of the voyage and the use of the balcony was limited to very little time, since Vincent could not enjoy relaxation due to the noisy activities on the Boardwalk below, nor could he be lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean's waves. Moreover, he could not stargaze during clear nights. Don't let us deter you from booking a cabin overlooking the Boardwalk, since your preferences may be different from ours and you might enjoy looking at the Aqua Show or watching the people having fun below. Wheelchair accessible cabins on this ship have no automatic door openers, which facilitate the handicapped passenger to enter and exit the room. On a few ships we have enjoyed the automatic openers (see the Solstice class ships), thus we suggest that such convenience should be used on all ships. However, on the Oasis the wheelchair accessible bathrooms and most of the doorways are equipped with automatic door openers. SERVICE & FOOD Despite the high number of cruisers, service is excellent under H.D. Martin Rissley. In the Opus Dining Room, Head of Restaurant Operations Oliver Dzalevski, gave us an excellent table near the entrance. Head Waiter Jay was on the ball and our waiters were terrific: James Francis, Michelle Edwards and MacArthur couldn't have been sharper! As usual RCCL has tremendous portions and excellent meats. We feasted each and every meal. We also enjoyed Giovanni's Table, the upscale Italian restaurant and its special atmosphere, music and service. We lamented the absence of Chef Marco Morrama, whom we met on the previous cruise, but now he is on the Allure. He has an exquisite touch with authentic Italian cuisine. The abundance of venues for food and the hot cookies and scones are still very popular and much appreciated on RCCL ships. The Concierge Club Lounge is unique to RCCL and it is a positive perk for Suite passengers and Crown &Anchor advanced members: Complimentary specialty coffee (Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, etc.), pastries, juices and fruits are available for breakfast and through the day; and hors d'ouvres and drinks are offered before dinner in the evenings. This cruise Ricardo Mock and Allan Fajardo shared the duty of Concierge and were very helpful to us regarding reservations for shows and specialty dining, etc. The Concierge Club Lounge is also a nice place to meet people and make new friends. We were fortunate to befriend a couple of very interesting people from California, Sandy and Dennis, with whom we spent some nice time conversing about the cruises and other topics of common interest every evening during our pre dinner cocktail hour. We promised to keep in touch with each other, but have not yet been able to do it, first due to a computer problem and then to some health problems that afflicted us. We promise to get in touch with them as soon as possible. ENTERTAINMENT Amy Fickert from Springfield, Ohio is the youngest Cruise Director of the RCCL fleet. Attractive and outgoing, she rallies the passengers for the many venues on board: sports, exercise and poolside activities. She introduces the major theater shows and she hosts "The Love and Marriage Game Show" on Monday evenings in the Opal Theater. There are several shows performed in the Opal Theater which require reservation. Some shows are presented several times, so if you miss them on the first day of the performance, you can catch them on the second or third time. The Headliner Showtime "Mosaic" and the production shows "Hairspray" and "Come Fly with Me" are currently shown in the Opal Theater. A stand up comedy show is offered every night in Comedy Live, deck 4. In Studio B there is an Olympic quality ice skating show, "Frozen in Time" which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's tales, just fantastic! Don't miss it. At the end of the ice show there is an interesting attraction: A young lady and her assistant who tell stories using sand painting or sculpturing -- unbelievable, touching the sand on a screen with rapid motions of her hands and fingers she created numerous changing scenes with characters and animals, etc.... There is live entertainment all over the ship, including classic string music, jazz and dancing. Go out and find your favorite entertainment. PORTS OF CALL Day 1. Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Depart 5:30pm Day 2. At Sea Day 3. Labadee, Haiti Arrive 7:00am Depart 4:30pm Day 4. Falmouth, Jamaica Arrive 10:00am Depart 6:30pm Day 5. At Sea Day 6. Cozumel, Mexico Arrive 8:00am Depart 6:30pm Day 7. At Sea Day 8. Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Arrive 7:00am DEBARKATION Debarkation was just as efficient as embarkation. The passengers in need of wheelchair assistance met in a designated area on deck 5, where a coordinator indicated the order of debarkation according to the passenger's luggage tag color. In less than fifteen minutes we collected our luggage and went through customs. Within half an hour we were on our way home. CONCLUSION This was a good cruise, but not as great as the last one on the Oasis. The big disappointment was the selection of our cabin with the balcony facing the Boardwalk, rather than the ocean. However, Oasis and Allure offer alternatives that other ships do not have, most of their inside cabins have balconies or windows on Central Park, Boardwalk or the Royal Promenade. Our next cruise will be on the MSC Poesia, a new cruise line for us, and on March 17th we'll return to one of our favorite ship, the Grand Princess. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Review Prologue I am Alex and I am currently thirteen. Ever since I found out about the Oasis of the Seas in late 2009, I've wanted to go on that humongous cruise ship. Its features were ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Review Prologue I am Alex and I am currently thirteen. Ever since I found out about the Oasis of the Seas in late 2009, I've wanted to go on that humongous cruise ship. Its features were stunning, nothing that I had seen before. Compared to the only other ship I've taken in Asia, SuperStar Virgo, this is a masterpiece by any aspect - from design to public rooms, from cabins to ceilings, from the four pools to the Central Park - it was all too spectacular. 2010 was a traumatic year for me. But I could put all those sad memories to rest as I was headed to the United States in December, specifically to take the Oasis of the Seas. We were sailing on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, our room being a Boardwalk balcony (we only found that out when we reached there). My family of five, which consisted of my parents, my two younger sisters, and I went along with our maternal cousins, aunts and grandmas. I've decided to sort the contents by category (dining, public rooms etc.) It took about three months to do this review due to work, laziness and stress but nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it! Introduction After our break in Miami following our flights from SIN-LON-MIA, we headed to Fort Lauderdale to board the Oasis of the Seas. The ship was like nothing I've seen before - it was tremendously huge. I was truly overwhelmed. I believe I may have been too overwhelmed, because all my energy suddenly dispersed. It was too great, literally. This may have more or less affected my review. The embarkation process was fairly quick. Some minor problems we encountered here and there, but still quite quick. One thing I've noticed was that those below the age of thirteen would have to wear a wristband. I understand that wristbands are needed for staff to identify children's emergency station in the case of an emergency, however, the wristbands are sometimes a bit of a nuisance. Even though I am thirteen, I got a wristband thinking it would be useful, but it wasn't. As I had said earlier, the exterior of the ship impresses. The inside remains a mystery until I entered the gangway. There, I saw the Royal Promenade and the anticipated Rising Tide Bar. Everything that I originally saw on my desktop was true. After checking-in and settling down in our cabin (I would further discuss on this later), we headed to the Dining Room for our emergency drill. It was awkward having the emergency stations located in areas such as the dining room and the Opal Theater, probably because they needed to use safety instructional videos. A bit disorganized, but the video was useful. After which, we proceeded to do our own activities. From here onwards I shall now sort out my experience on Oasis by aspects. Dining (3) There were indeed a number of dining options onboard the ship, but for some apparent reason did not appeal to me. Maybe I am thirteen, but I have learnt how to appreciate food and I honestly felt that there could be a better variety. We opted for the My Time dining package, in which we could head to the Opus Dining Room, the main dining room, anytime between 5.30 in the late afternoon to 8.30 at night, if I am not wrong. The appetizers were, to say, interesting. Usually there would be a choice of fruits, soups or other simple platters to get the stomach going. Usually I had the fruits, which were fresh and juicy. Most of the soups, like the Onion Soup, tasted nice, too. However, there was one particular dish I would like to mention - the Raspberry and Pineapple Soup. I don't know if the Westerners drink soups that are sweet but shouldn't that be made into a drink? I was truly disgusted at such effort wasted on an idiotic recipe that has the strangest taste. Ever. I had mixed remarks over the main course. Sometimes, it would be lovely, like salmon, but sometimes it was too filling and not delicious. I usually ordered the healthy option, which I would explain later, because its description was better than the others. I guess that was Royal's way of making people lose weight. Amusing. Dessert was probably the best in the three-course meal. Fruits or Ice Cream, they excel in the art of confection. My favorite was the Sponge Cake- my first time ever tasting it. It was mouthwatering. The best food I had tasted on the ship - or maybe during the whole trip! I praise the chef(s) who made this so refined and better than the other cakes. Obviously, we could dine at other locations too. I chose complimentary restaurants that were included in the cruise fare, hoping to not cut my budget. Windjammer Cafe was good, but maybe because I somehow didn't have an appetite when I went there, I was not that pleased with the food. Sorrento's Pizza at the Royal Promenade was splendid - we could mix and match our own toppings for the pizza slices. We could also choose pizza slices already baked and prepared. It was delicious. Sadly, the Italian Sodas I tasted there were the worst I've tasted. I didn't know exactly what flavor it was, but it tasted ridiculously bitter. Maybe I'm young, but I definitely give a thumbs down for that. At Central Park, I would eat at Park Cafe that had sandwiches and desserts. The sandwiches were indeed very crunchy, and for a complimentary restaurant that is a big sandwich compared to what we have in Singapore! Wipe Out Cafe is another restaurant I tried out. It sold casual, American finger food meals. The most filling meal I've ever had, I had to say. The only specialty restaurant I tried out was the Seafood Shack. The Seafood Shack's menu was partially disorganized - the only had daily catches. Well then, I thought, I'd have the Grill Catch of the Day. What was served was good, but could honestly be better. Waiting time for dessert was somewhat long as I ordered it as take-away. At the Pool & Sports deck, they also served free frozen yoghurt. Oh, how cooling, even though it was 20 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I had an average of 2.5 frozen yoghurts a day, taking in the fact that I love it. On the contrary, there were not many beverages. Other than wine, beer and alcoholic beverages, they didn't really bother about non-drinkers that left me unsatisfied. I really wanted a mocktail, influenced by the fact that mocktails are served mainly in hotels and cruise ships. Although The Living Room and Fuel, the teen locations, did have mocktails I believe, they weren't available anywhere else on the ship. What a disappointment. Overall, good but could improve on the variety of food and dining options and the improvement of quality of food in the main dining room. Public Rooms (5) The Oasis is most praised for its state-of-the-art facilities onboard, which I agree with most. All the neighbourhoods were designed to suit their theme, all the rooms clean and well kept, and the facilities high-class and functioning well. My favorite in terms of quality is probably Central Park. Greenery on cruise ships is very rare, and the thought of putting such is not widely considered. However, Royal Caribbean really made a good job - I originally thought there would be air-conditioning, but there wasn't which makes it even better. It is both elderly-friendly and provides a relaxing atmosphere. I've got a slogan for it, too: "A walk in the park at Royal Caribbean". Ingenious. Another neighborhood that I personally enjoy best is the Pool & Sports Zone. I would explain further in the Spa & Fitness section. Small exhibits are also scattered around the ship, known as "Wonders of the World". These exhibits showcase either stereotypic once-in-a-blue-moon images or interesting items. I find this a great addition to the ship. Despite the great features, there is still one small, no, MAJOR problem - the toilets. For some reason, the toilets reek of a certain, distinct smell. Which is why I never use the toilets often on the Oasis. I'm not sure if it is a problem with the pipes or soap, but it still needs to be fixed. The public rooms, overall, are awesome. Cabins (5) I was also quite excited over the rooms on Oasis. There was such a variety. I was not in charge of the booking process, therefore, I did not know which room we were in. But apparently, we were not allowed to choose our type of room, or at least it was said to be, and that Royal Caribbean would give us our own room. It was still not a bother. We eventually got a Boardwalk Balcony. I praise the room. Some complained over the amount of space the bed occupies (which led to a 'conspiracy' that RCI had small rooms). However, this is actually a good thing. The room was well furnished, well kept and nicely organized. The beds were very comfy; maybe because I was tired each night from the activities I had for the day. Many complained on the small toilet. However, I thought it was good, compared to the only other cruise I've taken. It may have been small, in fact smaller than the one at the other cruise, but precisely because of the interior dEcor - bright and lively, instead of dark and uncomfy. Everything worked fine, amenities all good. This toilet is the only toilet that didn't have the distinct smell I mentioned earlier. Lounging at the balcony is also relaxing. One could view part of the AquaTheater from the balcony, but if you do want to get the full view, try the AquaTheater suite or the rooms nearer to it. Rooms in the Oasis, although felt small, are worthy for sleeping and resting. Entertainment and Activities - Entertainment Place (4) The facilities onboard the Oasis would obviously occupy most people's time. I had already discussed on the facilities and will move on to the organized activities and entertainment programmes. The daily newsletter on the Oasis describing the conditions, highlights and activities for the day was the Cruise Compass. The activity planner was the Daily Planner, the evening section separated as the Evening Planner. A bit confusing, but still fair enough. Maybe due to the massiveness of the ship, and my surprising lack of organization during the cruise, the activities seem to be little. There was the usual - art auctions, seminars, scavenger hunts, line dancing, fitness activities, trivia quizzes, parades and entertainment. What I think RCI could include to actually make it stand out include: • More fitness activities involving the use of the Pool & Sport Deck facilities. In which they hold more pool parties, some competitions on the FlowRider, golf course or table tennis courts. • Improve on the "parties". The parties that the cruise organized were horrible. They should have games for children to participate rather than laid-out games to play alone. They should also have some performances. This is for children who did not register for Adventure Ocean. • More social activities, such as handicraft making or "fashion shows" or anything that is active and fun. It seems that the Oasis really lacks D.I.Y. activities that most cruises, or at least what I think cruises should, offer. With the vast amount of space and the Workshop located at Deck 14 vacant for most of the time, it would be nice to hold some free activities to appeal to senior citizens. The activities I praise include fitness-related ones, entertainment that I would discuss later, Bingo and activities for the younger generation. Activities I think they could improve include scavenger hunts (instead of holding it at a remote starting point like On Air, it would be nice to start from the Pool & Sports Deck which could gain more attention. A bigger search area would be nice, too) and parties which I had mentioned on earlier. Now comes nightly entertainment. I would group them into four categories as RCI did: Theater Shows, Water Shows, Ice Shows and Comedy Shows. Spa and Fitness - Pool & Sports Deck (5) Honestly speaking, I have never tried out the spa services onboard nor the fitness center. However, I have seen other fitness options outside the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness. The Vitality at Sea Spa, which is the biggest spa and fitness center at sea, is located on Deck 6 aft, so one may have to accept having to walk for a while. But one thing I could say is its interior dEcor. It was white - and it makes one feel relaxed. The colors blend perfectly, so at leas one thing I know is that the person won't feel uneasy due to the color scheme. There is even a kids and teens' spa called Y-SPA. From what I heard the spa and fitness center was good, but I was sadly unable to try out as I think I was too young (or that I'm just shy, not my usual self). Now, Royal Caribbean has broadened spa and fitness options on its ships. For example, those eating in the Opus Dining Room are able to enjoy a less-calorie selection of dishes. They stated the amount of calories. I don't know if it is accurate or not but based on my primary education, I could tell that slimming down does not mean eating less - it just means, having a lower calorie intake. Also to note is the Pool & Sports Deck' sports area. It is really gigantic and different from other ships. Hailing from the tropics I was not adapted to cold waters. When I step into the small lazy river in the H20 Zone, it seems icy cold. My father told me that RCI probably wanted not to use so much electricity, but a few days later, when I stepped back again, the water was hot and cozy. Strange because, when it was sunny the water was cold, and when it was dark the water was warm. The Jacuzzi is also quite comforting after participating in several activities. It was a really clever idea to have four pools catered to different people - Main for the typical swimmer, Beach to simulate beach waves, Sports especially for water sports and the H20 Zone for children. The H20 Zone is really catered to smaller, younger children. It would be nice for RCI to install better facilities such as, maybe, a water slide? As long as its not more unneeded sculptures that will be fine. That covers the Pool section. The Sports section is even more fantastic. You could really play a number of sports here. You could play football, tennis or basketball in the basketball court, have a round of golf on the golf course, take a jog or a professional run on the walking track (located at Deck 5), play table tennis in the table tennis court, surf on the FlowRiders and even zipline across the ship. It seems as if one could do almost every sport on the ship. I tried out the FlowRider, which was separated into four lanes - two for boogie boarding and two for actual surfing. Boogie boarding is a much easier way in which one lies down on the board and does stunts. I gave it a go and it was truly a lot of fun. The instructors were professional and clearly explained to us what to do. The current of the waves was so strong that it could push you back to the start if you fall off. Fear not, for there is a buffer that prevents any pain. Only one time it seemed as if the surfboard hit my head. Thankfully it wasn't a major injury, and this should be VERY rare because it seemed that the surfboard was thrown back first, then me. It was only minor and was gone soon. But I still can't believe the cruel irony that struck me. Seminars on how to cut down fats, relax and other useful fitness facts are held everyday. I'm not sure if RCI has cycling tours, but I am sure it also brings fitness to shore. All these coupled together makes the perfect fitness cruise. Family, Children and Teens (4) RCI is notable for its variety of family and children activities. Just a recap, children from five to twelve will be under the following age categories should they join the Adventure Ocean youth programme: • Aquanauts (3-5 year olds) • Explorers (6-8 year olds) • Voyagers (9-11 year olds) Toddlers aged three and below are given access to the Royal Babies and Tots community, while teens like myself could go to The Living Room, an only-teens (with the exception of trainers) hang-out spot., and Fuel, a nightclub reserved for teens and also includes a bar. Royal Babies & Tots, Aquanauts, Explorers and Voyagers' clubs are located at Deck 14, or the Youth Zone. Teens' clubs are located at Deck 15, the Pool & Sports Zone. My sister, aged eleven, signed up for the Adventure Ocean programme and commented that it was enjoyable and the staff were helpful and humorous. She praises the Adventure Science Lab, probably since she is a fan of Science. Art and music rooms are also provided. I checked the Adventure Ocean daily planners and I think it needs to have a bit more of outdoor interaction, considering the fact that most sports and games were held indoors. On Day 6, I had a choice between going to the AquaTheater to watch the Men's Belly Flop competition and the Adventure Ocean talent show. Coincidentally, the competition and several other activities were cancelled due to bad weather so I attended the talent show. I would like to note, despite this being a small matter, trying to show off a butterfly tattoo on a five-year-old girl. Otherwise the team of staff was pretty competent in doing the job. When it comes to 'parties', I got a shock. As I had explained previous, the parties were not up to standard. What's more, I don't see the staff allowing children to participate after they perform. It was a bit of a letdown, considering SuperStar Virgo, which had games and fun for all. Now to the Teens stuff. I was shy on the first two days so I didn't really go to The Living Room, the teens hangout spot on the ship. Only on the third day did I enter The Living Room and made some friends. The Living Room consists of nine Wii sets, a Foosball table, a bar catered to teens, a music studio, a miniature cyber cafe and a large television usually showing movies. It was my first time seeing a cruise ship with a teens hang-out, but as eventually I realized all major cruise lines carry such a facility. Nevertheless RCI's take was amazingly modern. The staff were professional. They were friendly and they knew how to take care of problems, although surprisingly, there weren't any. They also organized awesome activities, such as a parody of Family Feud, competitions on video games and sports such as FlowRider and Dodgeball, and other interesting activities. Also, to accompany the Living Room is Fuel. Although stated clearly on the map it is actually hidden deep. Only one door connects to it, which leads to a small room with another door that would be Fuel. Fuel is amazingly colourful. I didn't explore fully but from what I could see, teens must LOVE this place. I stress on the word LOVE, because it was a blend of art and technology. It only opens at night, though, but that's what make it all the more secretive. To conclude, RCI really did well with family activities and teen activities. I only hope they could allow the children to be more involved with ship facilities. Other than that, great I should say. Shore Excursions (4) We took a shore excursion in St. Thomas for turtle snorkeling. Apparently external vendors operate some of the shore excursions, which was somewhat disappointing with the perception that a cruise line so renowned should operate more of its own tours. Nevertheless, the snorkeling trip was fun. One could view my full review : http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147405-d1475074-r95435778-Doubloon_Pirate_Ships-Charlotte_Amalie_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html Embarkation (4) When we first boarded the ship the embarkation process was a bit slower than expected, but probably because of several arrangements in which we placed our sister in our aunt's room (due to the four-pax-per-room regulation) and RCI wanted to confirm the girl was indeed still with her parents. During our stops at the ports, I had no complaints. It was speedy and not stressful; you'd be out in the port by fifteen minutes. When we returned it was also slower than usual but I didn't blame RCI, and simply hope that they could improve on this matter. Service (5) When it comes to service, RCCI definitely excels. Their staff members were extremely friendly. I recall the Filipino waitress who served us during dinner; she interacted with us a lot and was very friendly. The headwaiter, too, was very helpful. They constantly ask us for our feedback, which is really an extra mile put forward. The staff members at the Living Room and at the FlowRider machines were professional; the housekeeper who took care of our rooms was helpful; it was all so amazing. I always love to see the staff interact with each other during the cruise, as that just proves the friendly atmosphere and the dedication they had put into their work. Value and Rates (4) It was of reasonable pricing, and taking in account that this is ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHIPS IN THE WORLD, the rates were actually quite good. Conclusion Disembarkation was swift. The staff at Port Everglades was really helpful in carrying our luggage. That marked the end of the cruise. All in all, maybe I was a bit overwhelmed at the start of the cruise which made the rest not too the extent that I was excited. I was still really pleased with RCI, and I would be glad to go back again. Four out of five. Recommended ABSOLUTELY! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Having booked this cruise two years ago we watched the making of Oasis with anticipation. This ship did not disappoint, never felt crowded, ease of movement for a wheelchair user etc. However RCL fell down with their administration ... Read More
Having booked this cruise two years ago we watched the making of Oasis with anticipation. This ship did not disappoint, never felt crowded, ease of movement for a wheelchair user etc. However RCL fell down with their administration department and the flight arrangements. It took an hour to book in because no details had been passed to the airline about the disabilities or that a child was flying within our group so the five of us were seated separately initially. Before boarding the transatlantic flight this was changed and we had two lots of two seats and one on their own, although from Newark to Miami three had to sit separately. Arriving at Miami no adapted transport had been booked despite assurances that this would be taken care of. Again for the transfer from the hotel to ship and, at the end of the holiday, ship to airport. No departure flight details were issued because of change of departure airport and it took a week of chasing these up on board ship to eventually have some information. Oasis should look at introducing a two week menu - to be served the same for both weeks was not really satisfactory. Staff were always friendly and we received good service apart from guest relations who just wanted to 'fob' us off. Said they would get back to us with the queries we raised but never did. The entertainment staff need to look at policing the rear seats in the theatre and Studio B which are supposed to be for disabled and a carer. We were not able to see a show which we had prebooked because any guestwas allowed to sit there and no spaces had been left for wheelchair users. All in all I am glad we went on this ship, it really was a fantastic experience and quite surreal to be sat in a park with birds and butterflies when in the middle of the sea and also to be riding a carousel while watching the sea at the back of the ship. I would not, however trust RCL to get the details right on another fly/cruise. Because of lack of adapted transport for trips we did not go on any organised ones and just got off at the ports for a walk round. My daughter and family did however do one at every port and had a great time. The computer notice boards were extremely helpful particularly with the ability to bring the operating buttons down to a wheelchair users height. Must agree with another reviewer on here though that the confusion of the time change for Mexico could have been avoided. Even the staff did not know what was happening and several people were having to go to guest relations to find out what the ship's time actually was! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
The whole experience was thoroughly amazing - we checked in, through the new terminal building in Fort Lauderdale extremely helpful staff, we got out the taxi and straight away our luggage was taken, having used the labels sent in our ... Read More
The whole experience was thoroughly amazing - we checked in, through the new terminal building in Fort Lauderdale extremely helpful staff, we got out the taxi and straight away our luggage was taken, having used the labels sent in our cruise booklet.So then we proceeded into the terminal , quickly directed into the disabled line up, where staff were on hand to meet all my needs as required . Then the welcome on board photo shoot we were bowled over by the slick polished performance. Our cabin was outstanding gosh were we excited !! Several tannoys guide us through the first departure - then to play with the interactive tv , booking our trip at each port I was travelling with my brother and his wife so they linked our cabins so we could book our trips together . Then to dinner all the dining experience we did at our time dining when we wanted basically and the longest line up was about 5- 10 mins thevwaiting staff were very attentitive having paid our gratuaties up front we ate , any wine we had left was saved for the next night which amazed us , the food was excellent and very well presented. Away from the restaurents the staff were always on hand to guide you . Next the shows from water, ice , brordway and headliners I went twice to the ice and broadway show brilliant . Guidence for all activites were via a daily newspaper left in your cabin each day , your rooms were cleaned twice a day on the second session your cabin staff made attractive animals with a towel so we found going back to your cabin at the end of the night exciting too just to see what animal you had got . Overall all a six star experience by Royal Caribean !!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We found the Oasis of the Seas to be a magnificent ship with a wonderful, helpful crew. We traveled with my mother and a friend who both needed wheelchairs for embarking and disembarking the ship. From the time we checked in till the time ... Read More
We found the Oasis of the Seas to be a magnificent ship with a wonderful, helpful crew. We traveled with my mother and a friend who both needed wheelchairs for embarking and disembarking the ship. From the time we checked in till the time we left, we had NO problems in this area. The wheelchairs were brought to the check in area in about 15 minutes and within the next 15 or 20 minutes we were on the ship. The crew that pushed the chairs were very nice hard working young people. We had a very nice relaxed lunch in the Windjammer Cafe on deck 16. The food was well prepared for lunch every day. There was always a good choice of food there. The omelets are precooked however and reflected that as they were a bit rubbery. The waffles and pancakes are also pre-cooked. We have been on ships where they make the omelets and waffles to order. We had dinner every night but two nights in the main dining room. We had no complaints with the food or the service. Ricco and Paul were our waiter and assistant waiter and did a fantastic job. The food in the main dining room was wonderful and several times we had a second entree just to taste it. They were very accommodating and I can't say enough for the fine service. We were told that all the crew for this ship was "hand picked" from the best workers on their other ships. I can see why (after only 9 voyages for this ship)everything was working so well. Our room was not overly large for an ocean view balcony room. But it was laid out well. The closet is not in the hallway where it interferes with someone opening the bathroom door or the stateroom door. Smart move putting it away from this area. Suitcases fit under the beds. The cabin steward "cat" was excellent. We didn't order room service so I can't comment on that. The shows on the ship were wonderful. The Aqua Theater show was great, as was the "Frozen in Time" show. My mother and friend saw 'Come Fly with Me" and "Hairspray" and liked both very much. At first I didn't like the idea of having to reserve shows and specialty restaurants ahead of time. But with so many people on the ship I can see why this is necessary. People don't always show up even after they have reserved so there are usually some seats available. We ate at the Seafood Shack one night and my mother said her dinner was very good. Her friend also said his dinner was very good, of grilled Cajun fish. My husband and I got the fried fish basket for two, but I was not wild about it. It was too hard of a coating on the outside and it was tough to chew and I have my own teeth too!! It didn't have much taste either. The Key Lime pie was great and Mom got a banana split which was huge! My husband and I ate at the specialty restaurant "Chops" and the atmosphere as well as the food was superb. The service was also A+. The Solarium was a nice escape, especially at night, with the calming music and the nice ambiance there. My mother had a nice cabin overlooking Central Park. Central Park was my favorite area of the ship. It's just beautiful and at night it's even more beautiful. There was a man playing guitar out there in the evening and it was just wonderful. The plants are beautiful too and it's hard to describe Central Park to someone who hasn't been on the ship. You have to see it for yourself. Magnificent! Boardwalk is more lively with the carousel and the shops and the Aqua Theater. Keep this in mind when booking a cabin in this area as it may be a bit loud. We never felt like we were crowded at all on this ship and there were 5600 passengers on the ship. There are many seats everywhere. If you travel with someone who has trouble walking or can't walk too far, there is always somewhere to sit. My mother had no problem finding places to sit. I only had 3 small gripes on the cruise. You can email from your cabin but when I went to send the mail, I could find no "send" button. I tried everything and to no avail. I went down to Guest Relations and asked them if anyone else was having this same problem. They said, "yes, we've had many complaints and we are sending a ticket to tech support about it." The Internet areas on the ship were obviously an after thought. They have a small and I mean small room on 3 decks. Deck 7 is one deck that when you get off the elevators in the front of the ship you will see a small sign printed from a computer printer with an arrow directing you to the Internet room. 5 small PCs are in there. This is what you have to use if you can't email from your TV in your room. This needs to be addressed. The second thing is there are times when soot shoots out of the stacks and gets on EVERYTHING up on the sports deck as well as the Boardwalk area. My husband was by the Flow rider and he said fist size pieces of soot were all over. People were covering their drinks and some actually sat down and got their pants full of soot like my mother and her friend outside the Seafood Shack in the Boardwalk area. This doesn't happen all the time but I think when we leave a port. So keep this in mind. The other thing is the Windjammer Cafe is closed at night. If you want some coffee or something, you will have to go on the promenade deck to get it. We saw many people going to the Windjammer around 9pm or so to find it closed. We had a nice trip on the Oasis and it's a beautiful ship. I think some will find it too big, but if you don't like huge ships then don't book a cruise on one and then complain it's too big! It's a floating city really. Perfect for someone who says, "I get seasick when I'm on a ship." We felt very little movement if any on this ship and if you didn't have a ocean view cabin then you would not even know you were on the high seas. We loved this ship and the service we had and would go again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
My name is Wendy (aka Capt Data). I am 55 years old and have MS. Due to the MS and a forces injury I use a scooter on board. It is a shoprider Length is 48 inches and width is 22, weight 176 lbs. Traveling from my hometown to our nearest ... Read More
My name is Wendy (aka Capt Data). I am 55 years old and have MS. Due to the MS and a forces injury I use a scooter on board. It is a shoprider Length is 48 inches and width is 22, weight 176 lbs. Traveling from my hometown to our nearest international airport takes 2.5 hrs. I left on the 29 Nov to catch my flight on the 30th. I used my normal shuttle bus to get to Winnipeg, MB and stayed overnight at Four Point Sheraton which is attached to the airport. On my flight down I did not have to pay for my two bags. My scooter and elbow canes of course did not cost anything to fly and received no damage. I asked for gate checking but my scooter was not waiting for me when I arrived for my 5 hour layover in Chicago. They gave me an over sized wheelchair and no help except to the gate. This was very hard on me and as a result I did not make it to dinner with the other Cruise Critic members. For my overnight I stayed at the Ramada Airport/cruise port. It was ok as it had free transport to and from airport and cruise port which I used. They also offered a free breakfast (hot/cold buffet style). I eat a nice supper with King Crab and lobster, my two favourites. I left for the cruise port at 10 am (vis h/c cab). I had tagged my bags with my rm which was 12310 (balcony OV, not H/C). I ask for H/C when I book but the girl said only Gty were available for this trip. I booked at 35 days out. The cab driver slowed down while approaching the cruise port so I could see the ship. I did B2B 1 Dec Labadee and 5 Dec (Maiden Voyage). Because of the B2B I am now Diamond. After arriving at the port I noticed the sign boards above showing people where to go. There is a separate entrance for suite guests. Diamond Plus does not get to go in there you must be in a suite. . I gave my bags over to the porter after tipping the taxi and him. Terminal 18 As you enter the terminal there are signs directing you to your deck check-in. The terminal is fully accessible with no problems at all. This was not required in my case because when I entered on my scooter I was met immediately by a young man who asked my room number. He showed me where to go and moved any offend ribbon for me. I was first in line so it took 5 minutes. They take your pix right there and their camera moves so you do not need to try to stand (which I can do easily). They asked me to fill out the med form which I did with a yes to cough. I have a cough due to taking meds so they let me pass without and problems. The lovely young woman handed me my cruise card and a tote bag. All pax will be receiving one this year for the first season. This bag although very light, fit nicely on my scooter and would be my beach bag for the cruise. Mine was green, other colours were yellow, blue and a reddish colour. From there I was directed by staff to three elevators at the back and would go up to the second floor waiting area. This waiting area is dived by your level and groups. I met the Cruise Critic group up here and we enjoyed and hour or so wait while they cleared the ship for the first time for real (all previous sailing were only out to sea and back). This one was going to Labadee and back. We were informed that they were doing a complete check this time and it was the first real one. So everyone had to be accounted for. While we waited I took a stroll over to the washroom. They have a large H/C washroom and change room (infant). I also noticed a play structure for the kids who might get bored otherwise. It was in use by a few children. There were no staff there so you must watch your own children. The waiting areas are by your C&A level. Starting with those who were on the last voyage , then Diamond plus, Diamond, Platinum, and final gold. We were a group and we boarded at the same time as Diamond Plus as we had several members who were on the last voyage and others who were Diamond Plus. Entering the Oasis of the Seas As reported many times now you enter on deck 5 the Promenade. It had an archway of balloons and champagne or mismos were served as you entered. I also noticed that the Promenade Cafe was opened. There was no large crowds here as you could go in any direction. They also had two entry points so even less crowded. The ship It is hugh so if you have any difficulty with walking get a scooter or wheelchair. Even with a scooter it still took a few minutes to get from one end of the ship to the other. Since it was not quite lunch time I decide to explore a little. I found the Guest Services tucked away near an elevator (very accessible with a lower counter for those who need this option.. Sorrento's was just opening up. The Rising Tide was at the top for now but would soon show what it could do but not serve drinks for the first couple of days. It was nice seeing the show under the Tide play out. It is easy to find things the first days because as you enter or leave the elevators there are computer panels. On the bottom of them you can pick your language but they automatically revert to English when done. They have choices on the first screen I have pica and will post. You can find your room, any restaurant, venue, entertainment or place. It is touch screen so it is easy to operate. I even used my cane on one from a seated position to see if you could use an adaptive device and it worked. When another pax seen me using my cane to reach the top part of the screen he came over to help me. I explained what I was doing and he thought that it was great that someone was doing this as his mother was on board in a wheelchair after a stroke. I decided to start with Central Park as I had heard so much about this place. It was decked out for Christmas. The beauty in this place is some of the little quite areas and the restaurants in the area. This included 150 Central Park which I did go to on night. They have two menus only one with beef only and one with a lobster tail. It was very good. I did have a few problems with Central Park which got addressed within a hour of my observations. I could not get to Park Cafe or the Coach store as tables and chairs blocked the only ramp to the area. I called out to the Head person in Park Cafe and he came out. Showing him what had to be done I left. I came back after lunch and it was now accessible. On my way back out someone had moved their table back to the other place blocking me in. The head guy came out and spoke with the person and they moved the table. The Head waiter said that they were getting signs to be placed there so that it won't happen again. The signs should be there in a couple of months. The Promenade and Boardwalk were easy to get around in with my scooter. You can easily wee the Aqua show while sitting in your scooter or wheelchair too (and you are not in the splash zone of the first three rows). On the promenade there is a Clock tower that if you booked your entertainment on line you have to go here and get your sea pass card updated as this is your ticket into the venues. My table for the Main Dining Room was near the door and easy to get to and leave from. Scooters are parked just outside the Dining Room. The halls are not very wide and there were several scooters parked outside including mine. I could still get by all of them with slowing down (I am a speed demon). There are 24 elevators and none were crowded except the last day. They have a button for the Gangway when you go to ports. Press it and the last stop is where you get off. If you use a scooter or wheelchair once here you look for the elevator that is held by a staff member for you. It will complete your journey to the gangway. This prevents everyone from use the elevator for the H/C. Coming back on you just use what elevator that is available. I found that sometimes this is crowed in that people will push to get on ahead of you after being out for 4 hours they just want to get to their rooms and drop stuff off too. Excuse me worked most times. I have a no salt diet which the first two days was not honoured. I spoke with the Mait'd before hand but the order was screwed up. They finally got their act together. Dinner the first night was very slow and we got cold snails (yucky). We sent them back but the second ones were just as bad. The next night they brought us the snails piping hot even though we did not order them. They did this for many people. By the third day they starting getting their act together for dinner. I always per-ordered my dinner the night before so it started working the way it should. The pool area is easy to get around on a scooter or wheelchair. The Beach pool is easy to get in the water as you can drive to the water. I have a pix of my scooter at the waters edge. They do have the lifts if you require them but you must ask staff for them as none were out the first trip. For the second half of my trip I was in 7100 (OV). The only thing you see is the helo pad. This room is terrible as you can here the waves hitting in the night all night long on the first couple of days. It also has a lot of movement up and down so if you are prone to sea sickness get a different room. This room is right up front of the ship. Disembarking. I went on the excursion to the Air-boats. I went to meet everyone but there was a mix up as I use a scooter. I got separated so I got my bags and found the bus myself. I was the first one there. The excursion was fun and they do lift you in and out if necessary but they will tell you it is not wheelchair friendly for this part. The second part is easier to do but you have to find an area of clear sight. The baggage area is while marked with numbers. It was very easy to find my bags including my canes. I did not have to go to two different areas to pick up my stuff. Customs is split into two parts with several agents on each part. It is broken into US Citizens and the rest of us. I got through in less then 10 mins. I would rate the Oasis as excellent for the disabled. The staff do co-operate and aid you when you need it in the Buffet and at the venues too. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
OASIS OF THE SEAS Inaugural Cruise Back-to-back Dec. 1-12, 2009 by Mary & Vincent Finelli There is an old adage that goes something like this: It's not where you are going, but rather, how you get there. Well, in this case, the ... Read More
OASIS OF THE SEAS Inaugural Cruise Back-to-back Dec. 1-12, 2009 by Mary & Vincent Finelli There is an old adage that goes something like this: It's not where you are going, but rather, how you get there. Well, in this case, the Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has constructed the largest cruise ship afloat, which is a destination in itself. Its home Port Everglades of Ft. Lauderdale had to increase its Pier #18 in order to accommodate this behemoth, as did each of its destination ports. Her 225,282 gross tons, is an increase of more than 65,000 tons over the RCI Freedom Class. It is not just size that is important, but rather the fact that the Oasis has more outdoor space than any other cruise ship: a fact that makes sailing on her so different an experience from sailing on any other cruise ship. Her seven neighborhoods concept makes for a wonder of a cruise --- a vacation like no other. So much has been written in anticipation of the Oasis of the Seas Maiden Voyage, that this review will instead center on our personal experiences while cruising with Captain Bill Wright (a terrific Renaissance man) and our old friend Hotel Director Francois Wache` and the many new acquaintances we made. EMBARKATION We looked forward to Tuesday Dec.1st, 2009 for over a year, having booked this cruise on the first day available to Crown & Anchor Society Diamond Members. As physically challenged travellers, we knew that the ship size and number of passengers (over 5,000) could possibly create chaos. However, this was one of the simplest and most orderly boardings we have ever had. Crown &Anchor members and wheelchair passengers had special lines. Each Deck had a special check-in line, thus, cutting down on the waiting. We arrived in Port Everglades at 12:45pm and had curbside assistance with our luggage, wheelchair and scooter. We were on board and in our stateroom by 1:15pm. There were several venues for Welcome Aboard dining, but we chose the closest to our cabin #14166 portside: the Solarium Bistro on Deck 15 forward. Some good advice is to keep the Oasis Deck Plan handy, which is part of the Cruise Compass' Daily Planner, thank goodness! In the Bistro we had terrific assistance from Manager Melinda. At 4:00pm there was the mandatory Boat Drill which was totally painless: We took the elevator down to Deck 4 and the "On Air" studio, which is part of the Entertainment Place --- comfortably seated, we didn't even have to bring life jackets, since they are kept at the muster stations. We then returned to our stateroom to enjoy the sail away from our balcony. SHIP OVERVIEW The statistics of the Oasis are stunning: 225,282 Gross tons (over four times the size of the Titanic), 208 ft. wide (this is no Panamax ship!) 1,187 ft. long (almost four football fields), 236 ft. high above the waterline, all with a draft of only 30 ft. We were shocked when we first saw her in port, she floats so high. With all her size, her cruising speed is 22.6 knots. There are 15 passenger decks, 24 passenger elevators placed both forward and aft, so they are less than a quarter of the ship's length from anywhere on board. Neat! Guest capacity is 5,400 (double occupancy of its 2,706 guest staterooms), but she can accommodate over 6,296 total guests. Her international crew of 2,165 are all eager to please. The art work on board is so eclectic and numerous (9,800 pieces) that RCI has published a book "Wonder Book: The Art on the Oasis of the Seas." The common theme of this vast collection is "The Wonder of Our World (p8)." There are photographs of everything from tiny micro-organisims to unending fields, all contribute to the wonders we encounter on our beautiful Earth. Larry Kirkland presents 23 pieces of tiny wonders in "hand forged interior-lit bronze microscopic vessels.... placed randomly throughout" (p100) the ship. The Oasis is so full of art that it is obvious that one cruise is not sufficient enough to appreciate it all: An excellent reason for which to return! An overview of the art does make one take a closer look at our world---- the photograph of a volcanic eruption by Ernst Haas (p108) brings this phenomenon to life. Then, an oil and embroidery on canvas by Nikkie le Nobel depicts an obvious sentiment "I'm so Sorry" (p131), and a sunlit Icelandic landscape photographed by Magnus Sigurdarson (pp120-121) reveals nature. Our world with all its life forms past and present makes up the beautiful art work of the Oasis of the Seas. Take time and look closely, you will be rewarded and touched. The Oasis has many innovative venues. She has a Flow Rider for surfers, an 82 ft long Zip Line Ride, an Aqua Theater Pool, a Central Park, a Boardwalk complete with Carousel and a myriad of other attractions in its Seven Neighborhoods. This review will describe the seven areas of the Oasis rather than describing the ship Deck by Deck. It is the open air atriums and split superstructures which mandate this review format. NEIGHBORHOODS One: Central Park is based on Deck 8 with five decks of balcony staterooms opening on to it. It certainly lives up to its name with 2,178 trees, vines and flowering plants, beautifully arranged among winding paths. There are several seating areas - some covered for when it rains (yes, it is open to the sky like a park). There are delightful pergolas covered with blooming bougainvilleas and poles wound with night blooming jasmine. Each type of plant is identified with tags. This is an ideal spot in which to sit and read among the flowers and trees or even dine "al fresco" at Giovanni's Table ($15 fee) for excellent Italian cuisine under the jovial Senior Executive Chef Marco Morrama and friendly Maitre d' Alessandro, or at 150 Central Park featuring celebrity Chef Kerriann Von Raesfeld ($35 fee). There are also fine shops featuring designer handbags, sports wear, etc. However, it is the wonder of sitting in an endless garden at sea, which drew us back daily: no crowds, peaceful with an occasional Strolling Scot bagpiper playing soulfully. In the evening there are moonlight serenades with the "Black Pearl Strings" and guitar melodies with Wilfredo Arca. Two: The Boardwalk is on Deck 6 aft and features a Carousel with 18 hand carved animals; in its entrance are several horses in various stages of carving and painting, both informative and beautiful art. Along both sides are typical Coney Island style shops and stands: Johnny Rockets a 1950's hamburger joint, Candy/taffy shops, coffee and doughnuts and a terrific Seafood Shack ($8 fee). All the way aft is the 600 seat Aqua Theater --- with two shows, one of Dancing Waters (fountains timed to music --- reminiscent of the famous fountains of Lugano, Switzerland). The other show, "Oasis of Dreams," is a water extravaganza of high diving, synchronized swimming, and acrobatic routines: Stunning! This is also the seat of two rock climbing walls. Three: The Royal Promenade on Deck 5 is retained from the Voyager and Freedom classes of ships and features a village center with coffee shops, Pizza parlors and the Globe & Atlas Pub with music each night by Scott Perham. The on board shops located here have the logo wear, perfumes, jewelry, etc. The Promenade is the site of Captain Wright's Champagne welcome on board party and numerous parades and entertainments. The innovative Cupcake Cupboard provides a unique spot for Birthday and Anniversaries. The biggest attraction is the "Rising Tide Bar" an oval shaped spacious glass enclosed elevator which will lift you up three decks to Central Park. The automobile attraction for this ship is a 1936 Auburn Speedster, a supercharged convertible, with four exhaust coils on each side. This sleek sports car is a combo of black and silver with white wall, wire spoked wheels --- an eye-catching feature of the Promenade. Four: The Pool & Sports Zone is located on Deck 15and offers more sports activities than any other ship at sea: The Flow Rider is fun for both surfers and spectators, Mini Golf has real turf and unique bronze statues of golfers and a caddy and brightly colored animals for the children. Take the Zip Line across the ship, Whee! There is a basketball court, and ping pong. The Solarium is Vincent's favorite place: Every morning he relaxes in a whirlpool in the adult only spa among plants and flowers. There are also eight restaurants and bars some catering only to children --- try the serve your self ice cream machines. Five: Vitality at Sea Fitness Center is forward on Deck 6. There is a "Thermal Suite," massage center and gym with over 100 cardio & resistance machines, the longest jogging track at sea (2.4 laps = 1mile). There are classes in yoga and kick boxing and a Health Spa for adults and children with juice and snacks. Six: The Youth Zone is completely dedicated to children and teens with Adventure Ocean Theater, Science Lab, Video Games and even a nursery at sea. Teens are teated to their own area with an out door deck, nightclub, video arcade and even a Hangout spot. We went through this area several times, since it was located just above our stateroom. Seven: Entertainment Place has something for everyone: Cruise Director Ken Rush is an old acquaintance who keeps ship activities humming. This cruise there were three terrific shows --- "Hairspray", and the "Nelson Brothers" in the Opal Theater (seats 1,380, be careful in choosing your seat because there are several poles blocking the view of the stage)and thirdly, "Frozen in Time." The Nelson Twins did a tribute to their father Ricky Nelson of Rock and Roll fame. They also showed clips and told anecdotes about their famous grandparents Ozzie and Harriet Nelson of TV fame. Great selections, great voices, and great stage presence. Excellent! Like the Voyager and Freedom classes the Oasis has an ice skating rink and an Olympic quality ice show: "Frozen in Time" is based on Hans Christian Andersen's tales, "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Snow Queen," " The Little Mermaid," "The Red Shoes," and "The Ugly Duckling." Fantastic! Don't miss it. Within this show there is also a new attraction: a young lady who does sand painting or sculpting to tell stories. Breathtaking is not even adequate ---- with a wave of her hand or touch of her finger, she created scenes with characters and animals, etc. Live entertainment all over the ship includes jazz, comedy and string music in the dining rooms ---- delightful. CABIN Stateroom #14166, a wheelchair accessible cabin on Deck 14, is large, airy and cheerful. However, there is plenty of room to widen the front door to make entry easier, and it would be more helpful if it were an automatic door: Although the stewardess Suleva always helped us if she was in the corridor. When entering on the right there is a large bathroom with shelves for toiletries a bit too high and too deep to locate items. There is ample room to place a wider set of shelves. The same goes for the drawers below. All the hooks on the door were placed too low, some higher hooks for nightgowns and robes are needed. The shower was perfect with safety rails all around. Next there was a king size bed flanked by two sets of very low shelves, but alas, no drawers for medications. The reading lamp was too far from the bed, one had to get out of bed to shut it off. We think the reading lamps should be exchanged (the one on the left of the headboard moved to the right and then the one on the right moved to the left) thus, it places the switches nearer the bed rather than on the far side. Same equipment just better placement, it means a lot to the handicapped. Next, is a comfortable love seat and a tiny coffee table, too small to be useful. When entering on the left there is a double maple wood armoire with a set of shelves and a private safe, a refrigerator, and a 32" wide screen TV, a vanity/desk with three drawers, and a lighted mirror and one chair. The far wall is mainly glass and a door to the nice large balcony, with two chairs and a large table to which the lovely Suleva added a chaise for Vincent. He enjoys sitting on the balcony watching the stars at night. The walls are all beige and the furniture all maple wood. There are two pictures: one of a branch of apple blossoms blowing in the wind, and the other a close up of a green banana leaf with water drops. Both are on beautiful sky blue backgrounds. The carpet is multicolored streaks of blue, green and speckled with pink. Our excellent Stewardess Suleva Bryan-Forbes was not only efficient, smiling but, she also anticipated our every need. Kudos! SERVICE & FOOD On board of the Oasis, under Hotel Director Francois Wache`, the service is top notch. The crew attitude is that it aims to please the passengers. The Opus Dining Room is spread over three tiers (Decks 3, 4, and 5). It has a stunning chandelier set just over the Captain's table. On formal night, we dined with Captain Wright, who enthralled us with stories of the Oasis of the Seas, her sea trials and her Maiden Transatlantic voyage, where she encountered a storm with waves as big as 50 ft high. Great lady that she is, the Oasis sailed safely through it all. He attributes her extraordinary stability to her width and engineering and finds her exquisite in every way. The Captain was born in Miami, Florida and educated in Vestfold College in Norway. He is also an RCI Vice President --- very interesting man. Dinner was Escargot Bourguignonne , Lobster Bisque, Papaya/Pineapple soup, Beef Filet, Caesar Salad, Shrimp Ravioli and a bittersweet Chocolate Souffle for dessert. Wonderful food, wonderful service, and wonderful conversation, all with the best view of the Christmas garlanded balconies of the Opus Dining Room. Head Waiters Roscoe and Melinda secured us table #401 near the entrance. We don't like to go throughout the dining room with the wheelchair and the scooter, since it disturbs so many diners. Our waiter was Agnelo and his assistant was Harley Davison. They were both excellent. We had reserved a table for two near the entrance of the dining room; however, the first night the reserved table was occupied by others and we were taken to another table far away from the entrance and not very practical for the parking of either the scooter or the wheelchair. When, we finally were assigned to table #401, we found that it was a table for four and we shared it with another couple. Fortunately, we met a friendly couple Kate and Charlie from Chicago, with whom we had enjoyable dinners and pleasant conversations. We had breakfast served in our cabin each morning at 7:00am, and it was always on time, hot and delicious (eggs, hash browns, bacon, sweet rolls, jams, fruit, coffee and hot chocolate). There are so many venues at which to eat, plus the Buffet, called the Windjammer Market place. There is 24 hr. room service, a donut shop on the Boardwalk, a fantastic coffee, sandwich, cookie shop on the Promenade and don't miss the delicious pastries at the Mondo Cafe` Bar. And for those interested, the Promenade Bar opens at 7:00am! At night the Solarium Bistro is transformed into an upscale restaurant with lovely table setting of flowers and white linen covered chairs. We dined there with Hotel Director Francois Wache` and three other couples. It was an unforgettable evening. Just lovely with twinkling lights overhead and interesting conversation. Thank you, Francois! The food is great, abundant and everywhere. The service is amiable and the crew as gracious as their Captain. ENTERTAINMENT This ship is an entertainment destination. From surfing, to rock climbing, Spa facilities, sports venues to several shows nightly, the problem is to decide which attraction to attend. We were blown away by the live skating show and the Nelson Brothers, but also enjoyed many music opportunities and the on board comics--- Strolling on the Promenade or spending quiet time in the library can be pleasant too. It is impossible to be bored on the Oasis. Sleepless? Join Cruise Director Rush for "The Quest" an adults only game starting at midnight in Studio B on Deck 4. Our dining partners, Kate and Charlie told us that it was hilarious. There is something for everyone on board. PORTS Back-to-back Cruises (Dec. 1-12 2009) Ft. Lauderdale --- For us this is the closest port to our home, less than half an hour drive. Terminal #18 in Port Everglades has been expanded from 67,000 to 240,000 square feet to accommodate the new gigantic ship. The embarkation and debarkation process has been facilitated significantly by the increased number of check-in desks. Labadee, Haiti --- Oasis has docked here. Until now, in this port, cruise ship passengers had to be tendered ashore. A large pier has been built and this RCI resort has received extensive improvements, including the new Dragon Trail roller coaster, the "Town Square" where local musician and dancers perform, and the "Artisan Market" with the many wood carved souvenirs, pottery and other artifacts that can be bought at bargain prices. St, Thomas, USVI --- One of the best shopping ports of the Caribbean, with a new shopping center built near the new pier. A tour accessible to the handicapped is the "Scenic Island Drive and Mountain Top." St. Maarten --- This island is divided between the Dutch and the French. Many tours visit both sides. Physically challenged guests should consult the Exploration staff before booking a tour. Nassau, Bahamas --- Here a visit to the amazing Atlantis Hotel Resort with Casino, sparkling white sand beaches and a spectacular aquarium on Paradise Island is a must for the first timers. CONCLUSION These back-to-back cruises (Dec. 1st to 5th and Dec. 5th to 12th ) represent the 39th and 40th cruise credits toward our Crown & Anchor Society membership, thus it is evident that RCI is one of our favorite cruise lines. We have had some great cruises, but this one has been awesome, mainly for the extraordinary novelties that the Oasis has brought to cruising: The signature neighborhoods, particularly Central Park, Boardwalk and the enhanced Royal Promenade which are spectacular places we never thought conceivable on a cruise ship. It was an extraordinary cruise, not because of the itinerary, food, service or any other aspect, but for the Oasis herself that offers to the passenger what other ships cannot offer: her grandiosity. We will still cruise on other ships, small, medium, large, gigantic and enormous, since we are addicted to cruising and love them all. However, we know that certain experience we have had on this ship cannot be matched on any other ship until the launching of the Allure of the Seas, which we have booked for our anniversary in Jan. 2011. For the near future, we'll go back to normal having booked the following cruises: Celebrity Solstice, on Jan. 3rd, Liberty of the Seas, on Feb. 7th, Star Princess, from Rio de Janeiro to Ft. Lauderdale, on March 16th, Crown Princess, a transatlantic cruise to Italy, on May 1st, and the return from Europe with the Norwegian Epic, on June 24th. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Oasis of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 5.0 4.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 3.8

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