473 Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Romantic Cruise Reviews

We sailed on Oasis in October during one of our anniversary celebrations. Mostly the ship itself is a marvel and there isn't much one can find wrong with it.The service was good and by and large so was the food. Public areas were ... Read More
We sailed on Oasis in October during one of our anniversary celebrations. Mostly the ship itself is a marvel and there isn't much one can find wrong with it.The service was good and by and large so was the food. Public areas were enjoyable and walking through the Central park area and simply sitting around people watching was an experience.The boardwalk was definitely different from what one finds on other cruise lines and the Aqua Theatre is quite innovative.As large as this ship is, from day one, we never got lost once, which is amazing since on some other ships it takes a couple of days to get one's bearings.We enjoyed most of the shows which we had booked before the cruise together with dining reservations to match the show times.I recommend that everyone does that. RCI encourages it. reservations ahead of time will remove a lot of frustration once on board, especially if the ship is full.The bands on board were very good and since my wife and I like dancing, we had a good time. HOWEVER, there is one place, and this is on the Royal Promenade, which is always full of people walking up and down, it is called BOLERO and unfortunately RCI, decided that this place will be a SMOKING area. It is unfortunate because the music is great but the cigarette and cigar smoke coming out of the area encompasses about a hundred feet outside the lounge which even while walking by, one starts smelling it and the closer one gets to it, it becomes very difficult to breath.I think that it is unfair for RCI to have an area as popular as Bolero a smoking area. This sort of chases away the majority of non smokers from the area and maybe even from the ship(s) Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
We were very excited for this cruise. Overall we were amazed at the size of the ship and the variety for offerings. I will not bore you with repeating the information already covered by so many, I will just hit the highs and lows. ... Read More
We were very excited for this cruise. Overall we were amazed at the size of the ship and the variety for offerings. I will not bore you with repeating the information already covered by so many, I will just hit the highs and lows. Embarkation - Amazing 15 minutes curb to Royal Promenade (about 11:30) - be sur eto get your embarkation picture taken so your picture folio will be populated and you can get all of your pictures without having to search "the wall" FOOD - My wife and i are not like most. food is Fuel, we really do not get all that excited about "good food", etc. We brought formal attire, scheduled MTD and never once ate in the MDR. We loved the park cafe - roast beef sandwiches, make your won salad and breakfasts there as well. My wife also loved the solarium bistro as the healthier choices are what she usually chooses (go figure ) - she was a bit surprised when a man got all upset tone morning when he coudl not find his fired eggs there (go figure again). Vintages was also a fun "picin'" dinner. overall the food and selections were acceptable. SHOWS - highs - Come Fly with me - amazing .. Hairspray - super ....Frozen in time .. pretty good... Comedy show - lots of fun.... Oasis of dreams - OK. however this could be due to the fact that we live in the Orlando area and see this stuff all the time. However we really did not understand the featured character at all - we felt she added nothign to the show. The daytime diving show - Splish Splash _ was much better. we had a boardwalk balcony, so we were albe to watch the rehearsals all week. I was excited to see the show was for us and we really enjoyed it. Also not much publicised fountain shows were also entertaining. Cabin- as stated previously boardwalk balcony - adequate - nothing special activities - my Wife thoroughly loved the scrap booking time offered every day - Joyce was awesome (hi Joyce!!! did you find this board) - every person who shows up aget a free Oasis scrap booking packet with pages, stickers, etc. so she made me come along on day 1. We did the ice skating, zip line and flow riders - empty in the morning. Favorite spot - the Solarium - both my wife and i are early risers so every morning we would go to the solarium before 7AM and just spend some nice quiet time on those wonderful chairs to start our day. Once it started getting busy, we gave the chair to someone else. we were pleased to see the Rafael (crew member) was monitoring those chairs and would remove stuff left alone more than 30 minutes - go Rafael!!!! Debarkation - easy! we did self assist and were on the curb waiting for the parking lot shuttle by 7AM - any questions?? Final thoughts - we completely enjoyed our vacation there were 3 negatives to not though: 1. the front line crew members were all fabulous, however, if you ever needed to speak to a manager, etc. they were not helpful and very dis -engaged - this is not good 2. BE CAREFUL on decks 15 and 16 when they are wet......always... they are EXTREMELY SLIPPERY.. they should be re-surfaced with a better material before someone gets seriously hurt 3. we love cruising and because of the size and design of this ship, we felt the "connection" with the ocean gets lost. You can find it if you really try, but unless you look for it, there is no "ocean experience. This we did not like. We liked it so much , we came home and booked Allure with kids...the countdown begins again!!! Hope this helps. Questions? Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
I have been day dreaming ever since I returned from this cruise. I especially loved sitting on the Promenade Deck, and watching the other people go by. I loved the drinks at the Globe and Atlas especially the BBC, and the pizzas at ... Read More
I have been day dreaming ever since I returned from this cruise. I especially loved sitting on the Promenade Deck, and watching the other people go by. I loved the drinks at the Globe and Atlas especially the BBC, and the pizzas at Sorrentos were great! I was with ten other friends and family and we dined together every evening which made it even more enjoyable. The shows that we signed up for was fabulous and I advise anyone to sign up for the shows prior to going on the cruise as there were lines trying to get into each one. The staff was helpful, courteous, friendly. I was pleasantly surprised by the check in process, I fully expected to wait hours as I have done before with other cruise lines to board the ship. This is not the case with the Oasis. I had a balcony stateroom and it was comfortable and had lots of room under the bed for our luggage. My boyfriend is 63 and this was his first cruise and he remarked," after this there is no going backwards in our choice of cruises and cruise lines." I have been on many cruises but I can with all sincerity say this was the absolute best. I want to now go on the Allure when it is ready. I recommend this cruise with great enthusiasm. There is something for all ages. I was thrilled when I rode the carousel, and it brought me back to my childhood and happy days riding the carousel at Coney Island. This is a precious memory for me now riding the carousel on the Oasis. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We flew in a day ahead of time. Stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th st. Less then 5 minutes from the port. We were on the 6th floor and could see the OASIS in port Saturday morning. We checked out at noon time. Took the hotel shuttle to ... Read More
We flew in a day ahead of time. Stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th st. Less then 5 minutes from the port. We were on the 6th floor and could see the OASIS in port Saturday morning. We checked out at noon time. Took the hotel shuttle to the terminal. Cost was $7 per person. Make sure you have change or it will cost you $20. They won't have change. We dropped our luggage with the curbside porters. Then headed in. We were checked in, on board, in our room, in our bathing suits, and in the pool with a drink by 1:15pm. I was shocked. But officially on vacation. When you get your SEAPASS they will take your picture. They use a photo recognition system. It is amazing. Every picture they take of you will be placed in a file for you to look at when you want. At the end of the cruise you will have the option of purchasing a book with some of the photos taken. You get to choose the pictures you want. The book cost $99. The cd with all the photos on it cost $395. SO if you see a photographer have them take your picture. The book is designed to have photos from certain parts of the ship. If you don't have your picture taken on the boardwalk then it will put in a generic photo in that part of the book. We had formal pictures taken both nights and at three different locations. Get there early on formal night because EVERYONE will get their pictures taken. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THEM. But if you take enough of them you can get them in the book. We had an inside cabin on the 14th deck. Room 14675. Located right by the stairs and the elevators. Close to food, and pools. At the end of our hall is the hidden balcony that over looks the Aqua theater. The room was shockingly comfortable. But we didn't spend a lot of time in it. Just slept. Bed felt almost like home. All the info you need is on the interactive TV. Check dinner menus, how busy dinning places are at that moment. Check you bill, or see what is happening that night. I bought the soda package for just me. I had about 5 sodas every night a dinner. Just show your SEAPASS and you can fill up the cup they give you, or just get a plastic cup. If you don't drink a lot of soda, there is lemonade and some kind of flavored water, or ice tea in the dinning areas to drink. FREE ICE CREAM CONES. I think I had about 20 cones over the 7 days. There are machines in between the four pools and in the wipe out cafe. Yes there is a CUPCAKE STORE. Offering flavors like apple pie, root beer and CREAMSICLE. It you see one you like spend the $2.50 and get it then. They didn't last. I never got to try the apple pie. I got to ride the flow-rider during the ADULTONLY hours. OMG what a blast. I'm 47 and I was like a little kid. No wonder there is always a line. Go early and try it. The supervisors there were VERY HELPFUL in learning how to ride. Now I kinda wish I took the private lessons. Waited about 10 minutes for the zip line. Walk right in for the rock climbing, and walked right out with NUMB fingers. IT IS NOT EASY. SHOWS- all were fantastic. LOVED Come fly with me. Love and marriage show and THE QUEST is a must do. I am still sore from laughing. I only wish they did it more then one night. LABADEE-You can get off the ship and go to the beach at Labadee. Go past the GOLD CARD private beach and take a right. This will bypass the market place and bring you right to the beach. The meal on the beach had a large variety including RIBS. We rented a mat and floated all day. GREAT PICTURES from the beach with the OASIS right behind you. We were the first on the beach due to me riding the ZIP LINE at 8 am. I was told that sometimes they have to close it due to high winds in the afternoon. SO get up early an hit the beach. Take a nap on the hammock or in the SHADE. I didn't listen to my wife and got burned. BRING something for your feet on the decks. The areas around the pool and the solarium get VERY HOT. They offer towels for the pools. You put the deposit ($20) on your SEAPASS card. They take it off when you return it at the end of the cruise. You can exchange the towel as many times as you want. The WINDJAMMER was always packed during the middle of the day. We went twice. Could never find a place to sit and never went back. Johnny Rockets was $4.95 extra for lunch. I thought it was worth it. Breakfast was FREE there. As for the dinning room. We ate at the 8:30 sitting with our group. Three of the nights we were the only couple in our area of 4 tables. The menu had 4 regular items every night. I am a picky meat and potato guy. I had the chefs recommendation 4 nights and loved them all. I even had two entrees a few times. No one can due justice about describing this ship. It needs to be experienced to be believed. I miss it all ready. I thought it was funny that the two magazines in the cabin had Leonardo and Kate on the covers. COSTA MAYA-Didn't do much at this port. Could go to the beach, to rocky. But spent money. We went to Diamonds Internationals. I bought the CROWN of LIGHT. It was a 21 years of marriage gift. I got 68% off the retail value. Plus if I bring it back in a few years they will give me what I paid for it towards and upgrade. The ships shopping expert just happened to be there and helped me buy it. Said it was a great deal. My wife was SHOCKED and thats all that matters. I would have prefered a second day at Labadee instead of Costa Maya. COZUMEL-Here we did THE SECRET AMAZING RIVER. This is a must to do. It was the high light of our vacation. Discovered 4 years ago. Open to the public 2 years ago. This is outstanding to experience. First my wife hates the water if it is over her head and she is not to thrilled with tight spaces. She was skeptical about this trip. SHE WAS THRILLED that she did it. I was proud of her for trying it. You are given a wetsuit, life-vest, water shoes, and a lighted helmet. Then you go into the cave. About 45 feet underground. The water was 75. IT WAS DARK and beautiful at the same time. NO CAMERAS. They take photos for you and offer them for $59. They will give you about 70 pictures on the CD. I thought it was a good value. Great quality in the photos. They serve a small snack. Its not a lunch so don't expect much. If you can't go 6 hours without eating bring a snack from the ship. The total time was 6 hours but we were in the cave for only a little less then 2. You start off walking, at times you are waist deep, and then there is about a 10 minute time where you have to swim, but the wet suits make it easier. I thought it was easier swimming then walking. Walking in the water was the hardest because you could really see where you were putting your feet even though the water was crystal clear. I am a stay at home dad and my wife is a 1st grade teacher. DO NOT MISS THIS EXCURSION. It is something you will never forget. I PROMISE. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
My apologies for posting this review several months late, but with all the excitement over Oasis, and having done a Review for every other cruise I've been on, I wanted to type this up eventually! With the whirr of activity around the ... Read More
My apologies for posting this review several months late, but with all the excitement over Oasis, and having done a Review for every other cruise I've been on, I wanted to type this up eventually! With the whirr of activity around the wedding behind us now, I have time to get around to posting my review. TRIP TO THE SHIP: My wife and I sailed on the August 21-28 Western Caribbean sailing of Oasis of the Seas. We flew down from EWR to FLL and stayed at the Westin Ft. Lauderdale the night before. The service there was incredible. When we told the staff we were on our Honeymoon, they surprised us with a complimentary upgrade, wine and strawberries! EMBARKATION: The next morning, we caught a cab to the ship. Embarkation had a wrinkle - I had a cold in the previous week, and had to declare it on the health form we filled out. We sat for about 15-20 minutes in a designated area of the cruise terminal, until a nurse came over, examined me, and determined me fit to sail. Aside from the wait for the nurse, embarkation was very smooth and efficient - probably due to the fact that the terminal was specifically designed for Oasis-sized crowds. While we did wonder when the nurse would arrive, for embarkation to be this smooth for someone in a special situation was in itself a good thing. SHIP'S DESIGN: Once we boarded, we walked around the ship, taking it all in. This ship was amazing, and I really give the designers credit. The neighborhood design allows for the many features of the ship to be combined into truly grand public spaces. The ships' designers and Royal Caribbean in operating the ship are also very good about s p r e a d i n g o u t the 5,400 passengers by having multiple attractions located in different parts of the ship, at different times. People who want shows can go to the water show, ice show, regular show, etc., all in very different parts of the ship. Casual fare restaurants existed in Central Park, the Royal Promenade, Solarium as well as the Windjammer, spreading out the crowd for such dining that much more. All in all, the only real design deficiency I saw in the ship was vertical transportation. The Oasis has about the same ratio of passengers-to-elevators as other ships I've been on. But with 18 decks, more trips within the ship require elevator use, and the lines and crowds were longer for them than on other cruises I've been on. Of all of the parts of the ship to explore, my wife and I enjoyed Central Park in particular. The walking paths and plants come together to create a wonderful feel both by day and night. We felt nearly no motion at all the entire cruise; both of my previous cruises I felt at least some motion from the waves. FOOD: Overall the food was good, here are the highlights by dining venue: Main Dining Room - pretty good; prime rib was great, as it was on my last cruise aboard Navigator. Windjammer - not bad for buffet food. Solarium Bistro - food similar to the Windjammer, but not as crowded. Park Cafe - food was okay; they served crepes at one point early in the cruise, but my wife missed them and they didn't have them again later on in the cruise. Sorrentos - better than expected pizza, my wife was particularly happy with it! 150 Central Park - this was our big splurge. The food was excellent. The wait staff was excellent. The meal started with an impressive bread course - bread custom made to mimic the flower patterns on the curtains, served with unsalted butter and a collection of seven salts from around the world. Each course was very rich, and portions just the right size so as not to spoil the later courses. Excellent! Izumi - not bad for a "Westernized" Asian place, and it was nice to see an Asian option available on board - although having family from Japan and been raised on Japanese food all my life, the Japanese food on the menu wasn't quite top-tier authentic Japanese by my standards, it's hard to find Japanese food up to my standards outside of a few parts of the US (and of course, Japan itself). Room Service - we did this twice, once for breakfast and once for dinner. Both times the food was great and arrived on-time. ENTERTAINMENT: My wife and I decided to splurge on a couple's massage in the spa, which was well enjoyed. The staff were great. Hairspray and Come Fly with me were both memorable, and both were a notch up in terms of show quality from what we've seen on previous cruises. The Ice Show was great, but the true high point was not a skater, but the sand artist who came out in between skating acts to illustrate an entire story in real-time with sand drawings being drawn on the spot. Due to technical problems, the AquaTheater was closed for the first few days of the cruise. When it did reopen, RCI combined acts from the two shows they present in the AquaTheater (one kids' show and one adults show) into a single "Best Of" show which they presented throughout the remainder of the cruise. The diving acts were impressive, as was the synchronized swimming. While this combined show lacked the "flow" of the regularly scheduled performances, I really give Royal Caribbean a lot of credit for putting something like this together "on the fly" after the AquaTheater was restored. PORTS OF CALL: Labadee was our beach day. We made it a point to buy what souvenirs we could in Labadee in order to help the locals by supporting local merchants, knowing that they are still recovering from the Earthquake earlier in the year. By the way, kudos to RCI for their millions in donations to earthquake relief, delivery of relief supplies, and continued support of Haiti and its people. While some may wonder why cruise ships returned so quickly to Haiti after the earthquake, when one looks at what RCI did and why, I think you see a corporation doing everything it can to help Haiti recover. I stepped off the ship early in the morning and got some great photos of the ship. Later in the day, my wife and I went shopping, had lunch at the giant B-B-Q, and then spent the afternoon on the beach, where we shared "Labadoozy" specialty drinks (which were quite tasty!). One thing we did notice were that as we were walking back to the ship, several local children were hiding in bushes begging passengers for spare change as they walked back to the ship. This is unfortunate, but it does reflect the reality of this part of the world. In Costa Maya, we went to the Mayan Ruins at Chacchoben. Our tour guide was especially funny, and the tour, while hot and sweaty, was enjoyable. There is a lot of walking and climbing steep rock steps with no handrails to reach some of the best parts of the tour - so while the ruins are quite a sight, those with mobility challenges may want to pick another excursion. In Cozumel, we signed up for a Dolphin excursion at Dolphinaris, which was a lot of fun, followed by walking around the town of Cozumel, having lunch at one of the restaurants along the main road from the port, and enjoying some time on the beach. I should point out that while we were in town, Norwegian EPIC, Grandeur of the Seas and two Carnival ships were also there, and yet nothing in Cozumel felt more crowded than it did when I had been there seven months earlier on the Navigator of the Seas. OUR CABIN - our cabin was a D7 (Superior Balcony Cabin) at the rear of the ship. It was well laid out, but a little crowded with the amount of furniture in such a tiny space. As many have mentioned on CruiseCritic, the balcony door and A/C system are interlocked so as not to overburden the A/C by running when the door is open. This wasn't a problem for us, although the humidity of the ocean meant that the mirrors quickly would fog up when the door was opened. SERVICE - the service on the ship was all around excellent. We never once encountered a grumpy employee, an employee "power trip," or the like. One of the evenings I left my camera behind in Sorrentos, and went to the Purser's Desk for assistance. They had the camera - and a procedure in place to ensure it was mine! On another evening, I made some comment to my wife about there being a lot of glare in the professional photos available for purchase. Without speaking to anyone, when I returned the next day to look at pictures, I noticed they had edited out the glare in the same photo. We purchased that picture and a souvenir album frame for it at that moment. DISEMBARKATION - this went a lot more smoothly than either of the other two cruises I've been on, again probably due to the terminal being designed specifically for the ship. After disembarking we went on the Everglades Airboat Tour, which was a lot of fun. We made it back to FLL by 2pm, and waited in the terminal a few hours before our evening flight home. FINAL THOUGHTS - we disembarked from the ship thoroughly impressed. While I know Oasis is captive to the Caribbean due to port facility needs (and the flora in Central Park), I wish I could sail a Transatlantic (or similar) cruise on it, as I'd need 6-7 sea days in a row just to get around to everything this ship has to offer! We never got around to the Zip Line or FlowRider, more so because of running out of time than anything else. The cruise was a good one on a great ship, my only regret was not getting around to everything we wanted to on board! My wife and I hope to return to Oasis or Allure, although it may not be for several years, perhaps once we have kids who are old enough to enjoy RCI's childrens' programs. Oasis of the Seas is an incredible ship for almost anyone, including both us Honeymooners, and the many families we saw on board. And if this is the new "cutting edge" of cruising, I think we - both my wife and I as well as cruise passengers as a whole - have a bright future of cruising to look forward to. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We (my partner and I) are experienced cruisers (60's-Platinum members) and have cruised RC and other lines many times and just had to experience the Oasis of the Seas..and we were DELIGHTED with her !!!. We drove to Ft. Lauderdale ... Read More
We (my partner and I) are experienced cruisers (60's-Platinum members) and have cruised RC and other lines many times and just had to experience the Oasis of the Seas..and we were DELIGHTED with her !!!. We drove to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarkation and stayed at the Hyatt Place North on 10th st. and loved it. They offer a shuttle in the morning to get you to the ship by 11am. We will give you brief descriptions of our impressions of the ship and then some suggestions to make your cruise on this incredible ship even better. First of all...the Oasis raises the bar on cruising to a very high level as their customer service, attention to detail and offering amenities unmatched on other ships made our cruise one to remember and it will be hard to settle for anything less. So here are some short comments: Embarkation: Arrived at 11am, on board at 11:20am..incredible ease. One of the first ones at Windjammer...loved the food..toured the ship until room ready at 1pm. Luggage was at room door when we arrived. Cabin: We had a Boardwalk Balcony cabin on the 14th level and this became the ONLY disappointment on our cruise: The cabin was fine but the NOISE level was awful. You felt like you were in a canyon and all the screams, music and crowd noise was amplified..and when the parties continued after midnight..it became a real problem especially if you are a light sleeper,also bring earplugs. We strongly suggest that you select either a Central Park balcony or especially a sea-view balcony cabin to eliminate this problem. BTW: the Beds were wonderful. Entertainment: Best we've seen on all our cruises. Definitely book your shows when you make your reservations for the cruise as they fill up fast. If you miss out, you can wait in a standby line and they will let you in 10 min before showtime if there are empty seats. Food: We ate in the Opus dining room at the 6pm serving and LOVED the food and service. The selection and quality of the food was the best we have experienced while cruising and our head waiter 'Sylvester' and his assistant 'Roger' were fabulous. We only ate in the Windjammer on our first day as we heard that finding seating was a problem, so we ate our breakfasts and lunches in the Solarium and found the food wonderful and seating was always available. Debarkation: We would suggest doing the early "walk-off" with your luggage if you want the quickest debarkation. We opted for an early time and packed our luggage the night before and found some congestion at the luggage pickup area, but overall we were off the ship and back to the hotel in one hour. Some suggestions: -Look for a great viewing area off the fantail of the ship at the end of the 14th and lower levels. Very private with nice lounge chairs for romantic viewing. -Explore ALL areas of the ship early on...as we missed some great areas until ready to leave. -Bring some of the 3M peel off hooks as there seemed to be a shortage of places to hang clothes, etc..especially in bathroom. -Bring a 2-3ft elec powerstrip as the Elec outlets are very inconveniently placed under the desk requiring you to be on your hands and knees to find the outlets. -Definitely plan to spend time in the Solarium area (adults only)as it is so beautiful and peaceful with great hottubs and pool. It became our refuge. -We only ate at one specialty restaurant (The Solarium Bistro)and we were VERY impressed! The food was incredible and our server Ruivah from India was the best server we've EVER had. -DO NOT bring an iron..they will find it while security scanning and you will not get your bags until you go to security later and open your bags for inspection and they keep the iron until you debark the ship. -On sea-days, get up to the pool decks early as prime location seating fills quickly, although there are PLENTY of lounge chairs around various locations on the ship. -Elevators: RC figured it out..no waiting, plenty of elevators and their electronic maps next to the elevators were fabulous to figure out where you needed to go..and what was going on. -Shore excursion: Definitely do the helmet dive in St. Maarten with SeaTrek. Great staff and a neat experience. -Ships Internet-was very slow and ate up most of our minutes just trying to get our email and favorite sites. TV was also problematic (no volume and channel glitches). -Jogging track was great..walked 4 miles each day. -Artwork around ship was wonderful and worth the time to look for. -Did Wine tasting at Vintages...loved it and learned a lot. -Dancing venues were all good, especially loved 'Dazzles'. Overall Comment: This ship is AWESOME!!! especially if you have kids (we didn't), but were prepared for them...and found a strong international "flavor" of the guests with many from Latin American countries..and they were all so delightful to interact with. For such a large ship...we were rarely inconvenienced because of it's size..in fact..the "extras" were worth it. We congratulate RC on this ship as their attention to detail showed. Hopefully, other ships will raise their quality to the Oasis level and we will ALL benefit. It was our BEST cruise yet! You will LOVE the OASIS!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Embarkation was a breeze. Very well organized. When we got on the ship, my first thought was WOW! This is GORGEOUS. From Central Park to the Promenade to the Boardwalk and other areas, the ship is beautiful. I felt like I was on EPCOT at ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze. Very well organized. When we got on the ship, my first thought was WOW! This is GORGEOUS. From Central Park to the Promenade to the Boardwalk and other areas, the ship is beautiful. I felt like I was on EPCOT at sea. The pool areas were also beautiful. They have a gorgeous children's pool as well as pools for people of all ages. There is an adult only area, the Solarium, which has glass over it, making it unbearable hot in June. Maybe this is a good idea in the winter, but it was terrible this time of year. The fitness center and the spa were fabulous. The first thing we did is try to arrange the shows. We booked late and were unable to book the shows online. Fortunately, we arrived at about 11:30. If we arrived at 2PM (as the cruise line suggested), the line would have been enormous and we would have been shut out of some of the shows. We managed to book everything that we wanted, but the times were not great for us. We booked some things in the afternoon and some as late as 10:45PM. You really have to book the entertainment and then work the rest of your schedule around it. We then got on line for MyTime dining. We managed to get 8 o'clock each night. We also decided to book one of the specialty restaurants (Giovanni's) to see how the food compared. THE CABIN: We were able to get to our cabin at 1PM. We had a Central Park View on the 9th floor. The cabin really had no view. It has a porthole, but when you look out of the window, all you see is a glass enclosure which is over parts of Central Park. If you wanted a Central Park Balcony cabin, I would want to be on deck 11 or higher for any kind of a view. The cabin must have been designed for skinny midgets with little clothing. You were able to slide 2 suitcases under the bed easily. The cabin had 2 drawers, 6 shelves and a few tiny shelves behind doors. Even the nightstands had small shelves instead of drawers. The 6 foot wide bed was very comfortable and dominated the cabin. You also get a couch. The closet has a safe but here comes the problem. Because the safe and shelves take up so much room, the door only opens about 12 inches for you to hang your long clothing. Since they give you two bathrobes, you really only have about 8 inches for long clothing. On the other side of the closet you have two bars for hanging short clothing (shirts, shorts, folded slacks, etc). They give you a desk with a beautiful mirror but the 2 outlets are under the desk. You either have to crawl on the floor to plug anything in (or stand if you are the aforementioned midget) or, if you are smart, plug in the extension cord that you cleverly brought with you so you don't have to do this every time you want to use the outlet. The bathroom has a shaver outlet and everything else you need. Sort of. The sink is about 27 inches from the floor. The 16 inch by 10 inch oval sink was fine for the aforementioned midget, not for full size people. The shower door opened about 20 inches wide. Many people would not fit. There were 2 hooks in the shower to hang bathing suits, not a clothesline which works much better. The water pressure was fair at best. The room came with an interactive TV (no instructions). You could check your folio on the TV (I'm glad I did. I found 2 mistakes. Make sure you check it daily). You can also check the restaurant menus, the restaurant availability and the shows that you have booked. This was a VERY nice feature. There was a master switch in the cabin which must be on before you can turn the other lights on. Again, no instructions. The safe, of course, had no instructions either. ENTERTAINMENT: Even though the scheduling of the entertainment was annoying, the ship had the best and most varied entertainment that I ever experienced. We saw the musical Hairspray, ABBAcadrabra (an ABBA tribute concert), the Frozen in Time ice show, The Oasis of Dreams diving and synchronized swimming show, the Come Fly With Me production show with music and high flying acrobats and a comedy show in a 120 seat comedy club. There was plenty of other entertainment in the many different lounges around the ship as well. With a jazz club, a piano bar, a Latin dance club and other venues, there was plenty to do at night. It was all very well done. ACTIVITIES: Depending on your age and interests, they were either great or awful. They have a camp for children. All of the participants looked like they were having a wonderful time. They have a carousel on the Boardwalk. For active people, they have ice skating, full court basketball and/or soccer, rock climbing, a zip line, 2 flow rider pools, belly fop contests, miniature golf, table tennis and more. For the 50 and over crowd, there were few activities during the day. They had an art auction, bingo and wine tastings. Nothing free. DINING: In general, we were disappointed in the dining. The Windjammer cafe was set up in stations (which I like), but I found quality of the food disappointing. There was a Thai station, a station with mediocre cold cuts, a Pasta station with poor pasta, a station with international food (fair) and an area with poor burgers, hot dogs and french fries and a dessert station. By far the best food in the buffet was the salad bar. The Solarium had healthy food. The Park Cafe was good but VERY crowded. The Promenade cafe had mostly finger food. Sorrento's pizza was supposedly NY style but was much worse than anything I ever had in NY. The toppings were fresh but the crust was poor. If you wanted to pay for lunch, they have Johnny Rockets, a Seafood Shack and several specialty restaurants. That is where people had to go if they didn't want to wait on lines. The prices were fair, but you shouldn't have to pay for lunch. The breakfasts were also not particularly good. Water, lemonade, flavor enhanced water and iced tea and coffee were free. If you wanted fresh orange juice, it was available for $4.55 per glass. Most people found the coffee unbearably strong. I saw them sipping and making faces. Dinners were better. They had two seatings in the Opus 5 restaurants, 6PM and 8:30PM. They also offer MyTime dining where you can eat any time from 5:30 to 9:30. With the MyTime dining option, you had different waiters and different tables each time. I prefer to have the same waiter and table each time, but that was not available for me, as I booked at the last minute. Fortunately, the service at all meals was wonderful. The food was okay, nothing special. The desserts were not too good. We ate in one of the specialty dining rooms (Giovanni's) for the reasonable surcharge of $15 per person. I didn't feel that the food was any better there than in the dining room. Most of the specialty restaurants are in Central Park. If you plan on going to one, make sure you take an umbrella because it is all open getting to the restaurant. If it rains, you will get wet. Free frozen yogurt was available on the pool deck. If you weanted ice cream in the afternoon, they have an ice cream parlor on the Boardwalk where you may purchase ice cream. They did not have a midnight buffet. They did not have baked Alaska. CROWDS: This was the biggest problem. The ship has 2700 cabins. We had 6,093 people on the cruise. There were lines everywhere. Even with dinner reservations, we had to wait for our table at each dinner. One night, we had to wait about half an hour to be seated. They did bring free champagne to the people standing on line. If you didn't have reservations for a show (or dinner), you could stand on a long standby line to try to get in. There were many times you would go to a restaurant or a bar and have to leave because it was so crowded. Many nights, it was tough to walk from one end of the promenade to the other because of the pedestrian traffic. By the pools, chairs were jammed in one next to the other, making it difficult to get up and move around. There were ample chairs in the shade in the morning, but as the day got later, they were few and far between. SUMMATION: As with most cruise ships that I have been on, it has its strengths and its weaknesses. This ship might be right for some people but not for others. I found the crowds unbearable. I didn't like being on a schedule all of the time. One day, we had a 5:00 show, an 8:00 dinner and then a 10:30 show. Some days we had NO shows. You had to plan your schedule in advance and stick to it. If the ship wasn't filled to 113% capacity, it might have been better. If you are looking for a beautiful ship with excellent entertainment and great activities for people in their early twenties and below, this might be for you. If you are older and want better cabins, better food and a less hectic schedule, I would consider something else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Our week on the Oasis was punctuated with the phrase "I can't believe it can be better". Each show was better then the first. From the Aquatheater to Hairspray to the Comedy Club to the "Circque" style aerial ... Read More
Our week on the Oasis was punctuated with the phrase "I can't believe it can be better". Each show was better then the first. From the Aquatheater to Hairspray to the Comedy Club to the "Circque" style aerial show...each was staged magnificently. The ship has so many little places to explore...just finding all of the art and different hidden treasures (scopes with 3D pictures) took more than the time we had in the week. There were over 6,000 people on the cruise, and it never felt crowded. Getting on and off at ports was so simple. No tenders! We were impressed with the improvements at Labadee as well. The food was very good. The waiters were attentive. We ate at Chops (which had good food, but the atmosphere of Central Park is not as romantic as the Chops on ships with the ocean view) and at the Solarium Bistro as our 2 specialty nights. During the day, we fond the Solarium area to be perfect to get lots of space, good food (best breakfast on the ship) and an area for adults. At night, we took advantage of the shows, of the Royal Promenade, and other night-club areas on the ship. I was very pleased to see that 50% of the casino is non-smoking, and is physically separated from the smoking part. The last thing is that there was NO movement of the ship. We did not feel the ocean at all while we were moving...in fact we felt movement more in port than at sea. So, we highly recommend the Oasis of the Seas...it is unlike any other cuise experience you will have had. Rich and Judy Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Arrived in Fort Lauderdale on May 7 and we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in the Tower rooms which was great (12 th floor with view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway and a perfect view of where the Oasis Of The Sea, docks.) We used Starz ... Read More
Arrived in Fort Lauderdale on May 7 and we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in the Tower rooms which was great (12 th floor with view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway and a perfect view of where the Oasis Of The Sea, docks.) We used Starz Limo and Car service for pickup and departure at the airport, to the hotel and the ship. They were very reasonably priced, on time, and we found this to be much better than waiting around to get a cab, especially after you depart from the ship. We arrived at the ship on Saturday about 12:30 Pm and check in was quick and orderly. We walked onto the ship (Promenade Deck) and went right to the Eighth deck to the Park Cafe for those Roast Beef Sandwiches. We did wait about 5 minutes to get a table, but it was well worth it. We went to our Balcony room (mid-ship) about 1:20 Pm and met our cabin steward, Patricia. The rooms are just a little smaller with less storage space for your clothes,etc. A Real Problem here is that it took quite a while for the room to cool properly. Another poor feature is when you open the door to go out on the balcony, the air conditioning in your room shuts off, even when you close the door behind you. The door must be closed from the inside and Sealed shut before your air conditioning goes back on. The ship itself, is just beautiful. Central Park is located on the Eighth deck and is really a sight to see, especially at night. There are a number of pools, a really nice Solarium, and plenty of lounge chairs, but it does get very crowded on sea days aboard the ship. The night clubs were nice and the entertainment was excellent. The food in the dining rooms was really a bit above average than normal, and the speciality restaurants (although somewhat noisy, had outstanding food quality.) I do remember from an earlier posting that Formal night was on the SECOND and SIXTH Night. Most guys were in a tux or a suit, but people are starting to get away from that due to the extra luggage charges the airlines have imposed. If you are interested in eating at any of the speciality restaurants, make reservations about 3 months before your cruise. The shows on the ship were for the most part, were excellent. Again, you must make reservations months before you go on the cruise or there is a good chance you will not be able to see the show. For Diamond and Diamond Plus members there were drinks served on Deck 4 at Blazes between 5Pm and 8:30 Pm daily, which was very nice. On the Fifth day of our cruise, there was a very foul waste odor at the rear of the ship (inside) around the elevator corridors on deck 7 and 8, which lasted about a day and was gone, nothing said. Lower room balconys just above the Boardwalk could get a bit noisy from activity in that area. In summary this ship is really BIG and BEAUTIFUL and is worth experiencing but after this one time we rather be on the smaller ships. Thank you to all our Cruise Critic members who have been updating information on the Oasis Of the Seas, it did help us a lot in our planning of activities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
My husband and I sailed 5/22-5/29. It was our best vacation ever! The ship was gorgeous and there was plenty to keep us occupied. In fact, there was more to do than we could possibly fit into a week. Room As advertised, check in was ... Read More
My husband and I sailed 5/22-5/29. It was our best vacation ever! The ship was gorgeous and there was plenty to keep us occupied. In fact, there was more to do than we could possibly fit into a week. Room As advertised, check in was painless and took under 15 minutes. It was 2pm and we went straight to our room. Our central park view (window) stateroom was small, but adequate, with a couch near the closet and bed near loveseat/bay window. There were only a few feet between the couch and closet, so I used the restricted space side without issue (I'm an average sized woman). Storage was abundant for clothes, sundries and toiletries, and suitcases fit under the bed. We loved sitting on the loveseat and people-watching before dinner. There was some creaking at night, possibly of the window. It didn't bother us enough to call maintenance - the ship's rocking put me right to sleep. Our stateroom attendant was great! She was usually around and said hello morning and evening and fixed up our room as soon as we left, so it was always clean/ready when we returned. Food/Beverages Dinners - We had my time dining 5 nights with reservations for all, but went earlier or later some nights without issue. We only waited about 10 minutes one night, because we requested a specific waiter whose section was full. They gave us champagne while we waited. All nights but one service was excellent (one night was very slow). Food was always very good. We also had dinner at Chops and 150 Central Park and loved both. The wine pairing at 150 CP was $75 each, so we shared it and there was plenty (the equivalent of a bottle altogether). We enjoyed the 150 CP 6-course gourmet meal immensely, but were too full for the cheese and fruit platter at the end (with the bread and flavored salts to begin and cheese and fruit to end, it is really an 8-course meal). Other meals - We had lunch at Giovanni's and were again very pleased. The prosciutto is sliced fresh and the best I've ever tasted. Some have reported very large portions, but we found them reasonable at lunch. The Windjammer was always full and it was very hard to find seats for breakfast or lunch. The food was fine, but there were better alternatives. We had breakfast in the main dining room and Johnny Rockets and enjoyed the made to order eggs and pancakes at both. Lunch in the solarium bistro was our favorite. It was nice to have healthier, lighter meals in the mix. Park cafe was also good for lunch and breakfast (yes, the roast beef is very good). We had made to order pizzas at Sorrento's and they were pretty good, but not our preferred type of crust. There were plenty of other places to get complementary snacks (promenade cafe sandwiches were good, pretzel dogs in wipeout cafe were so-so, corn dogs on boardwalk were tasty but greasy, chocolate covered doughnut was delish, soft serve on pool deck was a nice treat). Wine/soda packages - We got a wine package in advance and had a bottle with dinner each night. It really helped to keep our bar bill down, as did the soda package which we used throughout the day. Shows/Other Entertainment Scheduled shows - We scheduled all shows and dinners in advance to ensure we could do all. It can take a little juggling to fit everything in, so I recommended using the online reservation system. Although not our reserved time, we went to Oasis of Dreams the first night it was performed, because I'd read about cancellations and didn't want to miss it. There was a long line for non-reservation entrance, but it moved fast beginning 10 minutes before show time and we got in with a seat (many were standing for the show). It was absolutely excellent and included a lot of acrobatics I didn't expect, along with high dives and synchronized swimming. Our later scheduled show was cancelled due to rain, so I was glad we'd gone early. They moved our reservation to the following day, but it conflicted with a specialty restaurant we had reserved. Our favorite was the ice show, which we saw twice. Come fly with me was also very entertaining, although I would have preferred more aerial acts and less dancing. The performers in all three shows were true athletes and a wonder to see! Both comedians were very funny. Comedy Live is small and you cannot get in without a reservation (except a few midnight shows), so do it online in advance, if possible. We did not like the Headliner, Kenny James, and left half-way through (many did). We never made it to Hairspray. Other shows/activities - We went to Comedy Live for an improvisation show (cannot be reserved, but there were plenty of available seats), which starred some of the cast of Hairspray. It was a lot of fun. We also went to the 70's party on the promenade and had a great time. The Love and Marriage show and Sexy Legs contest were replayed on the TV and we saw parts of these getting ready for dinner - both were very funny. We rode the rising tide bar once, which was fun. We went to Dazzles, the Viking Crown Lounge (great view of pools), and a pub on the promenade a few times for a drink, but stayed near the doors where there was less smoke. We also avoided the casino due to the smoke (the smell was bad wherever you were). Usually if we went to the boardwalk during the day the performers were practicing at the aqua theater, so we sat and watched them a few times, along with rock wall climbers nearby. It was also fun to watch people on the wave riders, who really got slammed against the padded walls, so we decided not to try it. We also didn't try the zip-line, golf, or table tennis (I wanted to do all, but there was just so much else to do). Common Areas Central Park - this was our favorite place to just sit and relax with some wine. It was usually comfortable during the day, with a breeze and just beautiful to see, with not only trees and flowers, but sculptures and great architecture. The park is peaceful at night and has several specialty restaurants, so you see many people nicely dressed for dinner. Boardwalk - this was mainly geared toward children, but we did try the carousel once, which was fun. We liked the area mainly for the aqua theater. Royal Promenade - this was where a lot of activities were held and was a good place to shop. We saw both parades, which were fun, but people were very rude about getting in your way. Pools - they were crowded on sea days. Even so, we got two chairs together near the main pool most days for a few hours. People did come and go and there didn't seem to be much "saving." The pools were too small and crowded to really swim, but were a relief from the heat and a comfortable temperature. Most days there were not many children splashing in the main pool, so we didn't go to the solarium pool, because we found that area too hot (not much of a breeze with glass panels overhead). One day the ship was really rocking and it was like a wave pool, which was fun. Ports Bahamas - we went on a glass bottom boat ride, which included a tour on the way to the reef and a rum or fruit punch. It was a very pleasant ride and viewing the reef was one of the highlights of our trip. There were hundreds of beautiful fish, many of which we recognized, since we have salt water aquariums at home. At the end we were dropped at the straw market, which did not appeal to us, but I did want a new beach bag, so found a nice, inexpensive one quickly at the entrance and we returned to the ship through a very controlled area where ID was checked several times. St Thomas - unfortunately, a crew member went overboard on this cruise, which caused us to backtrack in a search, missing this port. We were disappointed of course, but it couldn't be helped. Luckily, this beautiful ship is a destination in itself and we thoroughly enjoyed our extra day at sea. St Martin - we booked the afternoon beach break at Orient Bay Beach. The drive over was comfortable on air conditioned buses and interesting. Although not a tour, you did get a feel for the area (plants, people, housing) on the drive there. Orient was a gorgeous, sandy white beach. We were only there a few hours, so did not engage in water sports, but did enjoy the complementary rum punch, swam, and relaxed on our lounges. It was a very relaxing afternoon. Note that there are women selling jewelry and other wares on this beach. A simply no thank you sends them away, but they do come back multiple times. Ultimately, my husband bought me two bead necklaces at a low price. Departure - this was as smooth as embarkation. We were off, found our luggage (easy with number coding), and were through customs in 15 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
My husband and I along with another couple, sailed with Oasis to celebrate our anniversaries in May. My husband and I got a great deal because we booked this cruise a year in advance while sailing Liberty OTS. So not only were we able to ... Read More
My husband and I along with another couple, sailed with Oasis to celebrate our anniversaries in May. My husband and I got a great deal because we booked this cruise a year in advance while sailing Liberty OTS. So not only were we able to book a balcony room, but we were given an onboard cedit for early booking. The Ship: breathtaking, we quickly learned to navigate around the ship based on the promenade,central park, and the boardwalk. We enjoyed taking the stairs EVERY night. There was always something to do every minute. We skipped the formal dinner nights after realizing from previous cruises, that you miss great shows and activites eating for 2 hours. We got dressed for our pictures, hit every last photo stand, returned to our cabin, changed clothes and ate at other areas. We loved the Wipeout, Park Cafe, Cupcake cuboard,Solarium bistro and the multiple areas to get frozen yogurt. The Wipeout had a frozen yogurt area that was away from the dirty hands of children playing by the pool.(thumbs up!)Park cafe had wonderful salads, the cupcakes were delicious,the doughnuts left a lot to be desired. They were dry. The corn dogs and popcorn hit the spot! A Carnival agent told our friends you have to pay for food on RC, Oasis made them into an even bigger liar. If you can't find a free place to eat of 24 dining options then the problem is you, not the cruise line. They even had fruit in the gym and a low calorie menu at the Solarium Bistro. Unfortunately, there were a few downsides. I didn't like the layout of Windjammer, it was too jumbled. We don't smoke and the Casino area was covered in it. We had to walk through it to get to other areas of the ship, and the smoke was terrible. The on air club, should have been built larger. We reserved seats for the comedy show but it was too cramped and small. I had to watch the show in sitting in my husband's lap. Some people did not control their kids. They were everywhere. We tried to find quiet cozy spots to cuddle, but everytime we looked up, someone's kid was watching us. Some people even brought their kids to the Solarium (adult only) area, and despite the warning from the cruise director, some people had their children at (adult only) game shows. People need to respect other adults' privacy. You may love your kids, but they are yours, we shouldn't have to see or deal with them. We met lots of wonderful people and big props to Oasis for candid picture shots. They grouped all our pictures without our seapass cards to identify us. Kudos for the personalized photo albums. I hated looking at thousands of photos of other people trying to find our own. It was wonderful to have all our pictures already in a folder. The photo back drops could've been more scenic. They were really boring. It would be nice to have a self service laundry area, we hate taking dirty clothes home.We loved the chocolates on the pillows and soft comfy bathrobes! Blankets by the pool on windy nights would be a nice add as well. We are Gold members right now, but we are well on our way to accumalating more points. I'm hoping for more perks for Gold members though. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
The saddest part about this ship was that we had to leave. My husband and I truly enjoyed and appreciate the royal Caribbean treatment onboard. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning in anticipation of stepping on board. We booked the ... Read More
The saddest part about this ship was that we had to leave. My husband and I truly enjoyed and appreciate the royal Caribbean treatment onboard. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday morning in anticipation of stepping on board. We booked the cruise on July 5, 2009. Pulling up to the terminal you could clearly see that she was making her mark. Embarkation was a breeze. At the terminal by 11:00 am and onboard the ship at 11:15am. We stepped on to the promenade deck which is on deck 5 and was blown away. WOW, WOW, WOW, is all that I can say. We found a seat at Cafe Promenade and waited til the rooms were open. We enjoy one of many cupcakes and signed up for the cupcake class. We watch the fountains under the rising tide bar dance to the music, enjoy a slice of pizza and then it was time to go to our cabins. Our stateroom was 11319, which is an inside balcony. The room was spacious for both of us. The bathroom was a little small, but we did not plan spending much time there!! The balcony overlooked the boardwalk with an incredible view of the ocean and aqua theater. We went to the sports deck to sign up for the zip line which was surprisingly no line. We also sign up for an excursion in st. marten. The muster drill was at 4:15 pm and consisted of us walking down 6 flights of stairs to the dining room and watching a video about the evacuation procedures. We ate at various venues such as Johnny rockets which is free for breakfast and all you can eat for lunch and dinner for only 4.95, the seafood shack which was great as well. Park cafe not only have good roast beef sandwiches but also really good salads and they are free for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We has reservations at Giovanni's for lunch on Sunday. It was 10.00 per person, but there was a lot of food, which as awesome!! The main dining room was outstanding, the food was superb and service was top notch. Windjammer was good, not a lot of selections, but with soo many restraints on board, you don't have to worry about eating there every day!! We love the nachos from wipe out cafe and the pizza was good from Sorrento's. The cupcake cupboard has interesting flavors. I dined in coca cola, red velvet, root beer, and bubble gum cupcakes!! I love the ice cream shop with the fresh baked waffle cones. My husband stayed at the donut shop which serves free doughnuts all day long!! The room service was great. You can order from your tv in your stateroom and have varieties from the different restaurants around the ship!! The shows are a do not miss!!! My husband thought hairspray was for women, but he was into it more than me!! The aqua show was amazing, and we fell in love with the Frozen in time show. Another show that was awesome was the Come Fly with Me show!!! We participated in the men's sexy les contest where I was a judge and my husband was a participant. I felt like a kid again on the merry go round!! There was a lot of activates to do on board so you never could say there was nothing to do. I love the fact that with 6200 people on board, you never felt crowded unless a show was ending which is typical any where you go. We also took a break and soak up in the hot tubs and relax and napped in the solarium. Drinks were very plenty and there was not an issue with finding a bar, since there is one everywhere you go on the ship as well as servers!! From time to time we donated to the casino and I am sure they appreciated it!! The stops that the ship made were to st Thomas, st marten, and the Bahamas. We got off in St. Thomas to look around but stayed close to the ship. In st Maarten, we went to orient beach which was nice!! We got off for thirty minutes in Nassau but quickly got back on the ship. Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on the ship. There were plenty of taxis there to take you where ever you needed to go. We stayed two days at the Atlantic Hotel on the beach and enjoyed the hotel as it rained our stay there. A couple of tips that I would give for going on this ship is to make sure you pack smart and pack a travel iron to knock out wrinkles. Also bring a surge protector so that you can have multiple outlets as there are only two outlets total in the room. Make reservation for the dining room even if you will not eat there every night. We did and there was some nights where we decided to go and had the reservation there just in case. There is line for guest without reservations, but you are not guaranteed a seat, many people were upset but it could have been resolved if they made the reservations online. The same goes with the shows, even if you think you are not going to see it, still reserve a spot, because you may change your mind later. If not, you may be left standing for the entire show. The only down side we experience on the cruise was not from the ship and crew but form the other passengers. We got a lot of stares as if we were weird from foreigners. Not that I have anything against them, but they always look like they were upset and looked at you crazy if you smiled or looked like you were having a great time...so we stared right back at them!!! Overall, we had an awesome experience. We are planning to go back in January on the sister ship!!! If you are thinking about...just do it!!! Just let go and enjoy yourselves!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Royal Caribbean does an excellent job of getting passengers on and off the ship, including at ports of call. There are several security checkpoints each time, but everything ran smoothly, with no real waits in line. Just be prepared for ... Read More
Royal Caribbean does an excellent job of getting passengers on and off the ship, including at ports of call. There are several security checkpoints each time, but everything ran smoothly, with no real waits in line. Just be prepared for airport-level security, and don't forget your Sea Pass card and photo ID, especially in Nassau. We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking Central Park. In retrospect we should have chosen an ocean-view cabin. While a park on a ship is a novelty, I can see trees anytime in Ohio; I can't see an ocean or tropical islands ! The stateroom was very nice, not as small as I thought it would be (though the bathroom is tiny!). I thought there was plenty of closet space too. Soundproofing is excellent. Even though the Oasis is huge, you WILL feel the ship moving in the water; staterooms on lower decks have less movement. The movement was never enough to be a problem, though, even with ten-foot swells. Note to first-time cruisers: In the stateroom there is a small step up to the bathroom, which can take some getting used to. For the first couple of nights, I put a white washcloth on the floor in front of the step, to remind me it was there. The Solarium area at the bow of the ship on Deck 15 is the "adult" area, with the pools and whirlpools there reserved for adults only. There are lots of deck chairs, but if you want a good spot, get there before 9 am ! You cannot just claim a chair with a towel and leave it unattended for hours, however - a "deck patrol" comes around every 30 minutes to make sure all the chairs are actually being used. There are shady areas near the restaurant with comfortable chairs. A good place to watch the ship come into ports is the forward area of Deck 14. This deck is accessed through the stateroom corridors, so it is not immediately obvious as an open deck area. Booking shows: Try to avoid booking a show for early Sunday evening. That is when the Captain greets the passengers in the Grand Promenade. Be sure to take your Sea Pass card with you to the shows; they are your ticket to get in, if you have made reservations. DO book ahead for the "Headliner" show that is done later in the week, which has no specific act named ahead of time. On our cruise, it turned out to be Beatlemania, which sold out soon after it was announced during the cruise. We were able to get stand-by seats, but it is best to just automatically book this "headliner" show before the cruise to ensure the best seats. Our favorite show was "Frozen in Time", the figure skating show. It is NOT a "kiddie" version of skating, despite the fairy tale theme; this is a top-notch skating show. Two of the acts are child-oriented but overall this was as much or more of a treat for grown-ups who enjoy figure skating. "Oasis of Dreams", the aqua theater show, was good - but basically just a demonstration of diving, synchronized swimming, and gymnastics. There was a vague attempt at a storyline but I don't think anyone in the audience could figure out the plot ! The other big show on board, "Come Fly With Me", has excellent musical numbers and Cirque du Soleil acrobatics. We did not go to see "Hairspray" but heard it was good. In the Opal Theater, there is excellent seating in the front row of the first "balcony" (NOT the upstairs one; the one at the back of the main floor). You are about halfway back but up high enough that a tall person in the rows ahead of you cannot block your view. You don't want to sit too close to the stage for Come Fly With Me or you will be craning your neck to see the aerial performances. Also, on shows like Beatlemania, when the performers are imitating famous people, it is easier to keep up the illusion if you are NOT seeing them close up ! If you want to do the Zip Line, be sure to bring good walking shoes to wear. You are not allowed to ride it wearing sandals or flip-flops. Don't miss the two parades done at the beginning and end of the cruise, in the Grand Promenade ! Get a viewing spot early. A good place to watch is in the area in front of Sorrento's Pizza. Try to attend the Captain's Talk in the Opal Theater. You will learn interesting facts about the ship, and he has an excellent sense of humor! You can also ask him questions about the Oasis. Dining The food is excellent ! If you choose the "My Time" dining option, you will be given the same dinner table at the Opus dining room for the entire week, so you get to know your waiter and assistant waiter. There is also a breakfast buffet at the Opus, but the Windjammer buffet has a much larger selection. We ate a lunch at the Wipeout Cafe in the Sports Zone of the ship; it has pizza, hamburgers, etc. Be sure to try the pretzel hot dog ! The restaurant at the Solarium offers health food selections at its buffets. Interesting, but again not nearly the selection as at the Windjammer. The few negative comments I have about the Oasis are minor issues: We were disappointed with the Guest Services desk, as they seldom answered a question clearly, and while most employees speak good English, the accents can be so heavy that they are difficult to understand easily. I was disappointed to hear that Oasis's sister ship, Allure of the Seas, will apparently have the exact same "theme" of Central Park and Boardwalk. I would have preferred a tropical theme, or at least something a bit more exotic than another representation of places in New York and New Jersey - which are nicely done, but frankly not all that exciting a concept. Also, much of the photographic artwork on our Deck (Eleven) had a winter theme, which seemed odd on a Caribbean cruise - unless they are trying to remind you of what you are escaping in winter by cruising in the tropics? I do wish the food selections at the Windjammer had included a short description of the food; some of the international dishes were a mystery to us, with only the name given. This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean, and it will not be our last. We were very impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the overall quality of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Embark and Disembark - Royal Caribbean handled both these aspects of the cruise very well. Once we arrived at the terminal, we had our sea pass in hand and walking into the ship within 40 minutes. Very streamlined processes. Upon ... Read More
Embark and Disembark - Royal Caribbean handled both these aspects of the cruise very well. Once we arrived at the terminal, we had our sea pass in hand and walking into the ship within 40 minutes. Very streamlined processes. Upon disembarking, our number stated that we would leave at 9:10 a.m. The Opal Theatre was very congested and not enough seating to handle this process. People were sitting on the ground waiting for the number sequence to be called. Very hot and they seemed to be delayed. Once outside we had no chance of calling our shuttle service. The RC workers we hustling people into cabs and getting them out of the terminal so there would be no lingering. Staterooms - Very well laid out and lots of storage in cupboards, drawers, closets and shelving. Empty suitcases were able to fit under the bed and out of the way. The little table in front of the sofa was a nuisance and took up too much room, but we were able to slide it to the side between the sofa and the closet otherwise you would have run into it. Cabins were beautifully decorated. Bed linens were lovely. LCD TV on the wall was able to be pulled out a bit and turned to watch it in the bed. Balcony area was more than adequate and was kept very clean by the stateroom attendant. Food - All no-fee areas had plenty of food choices. Meals were hot and fresh. Opus Dining Room food was excellent with wonderful choices of low fat entrees and a wide variety of other entrees. The Windjamer Cafe (Buffet)was very busy, but once you were in the food lines were not crowded and the variety of food was great, however, trying to get a alcoholic beverage in the cafe was very poor. Some of the waiters did not know what a "Mimosa" was and had to call in another waiter to handle the order. Fee restaurants were easy to get into, but you felt very rushed. Service - Our Stateroom Attendant was excellent. He kept our room clean and attended to any of our requests. Our Poolside Waiter was great. For the amount of people he served in the time we were there, he never forgot to come back to make sure we were satisfied with the drink and whether or not we needed another. The Waiter and Assistant waiter in the Opus Dining Room were great. Made our dinner time very enjoyable with joking around. One night we were going to a show and told them the night before that we would not be in the next day. The waiter said it was lobster night the next night and that when the show was over just to come in and he would save us dinner. When we got to our table each of us had two or three tidbits of the appetizers on a plate; they saved us two lobster tails each; and for dessert they gave us a little tidbit of each that was on the menu. Very thoughtful. Entertainment - Very good choices. Comedy show; Headliner show; and Aqua Show were great. Just remember to book the times and day you want on the RC website before you go on the cruise otherwise you would not be able to get in. Activities - Lots to choose from. A "must do" is the Zip Line. It was a blast however due to the number of people wanting to do this you were only allowed to do it once. When you first arrive on the ship make sure you book your Zip Line time near the Wipeout Bar. There was a line up, so be prepared to wait. We arrived on the ship on the Saturday and our time was booked for Thursday. You were not allowed to pre-book this on the internet before leaving for your cruise. Many other activities like the mini-putt were not busy so there was not problem in doing that. The Flowrider was another activity where line ups were deep. Very busy. Lots of other daily activities to choose from on a day to day basis. Pools/Hot Tubs - For the amount of people on the cruise there were plenty of loungers to sit on and the pools and hot tubs were not overly crowded. There was alway RC staff checking chlorine levels and doing clean up around these areas. Shore Excursions - These are best to book via the internet before you go on the cruise as many of them were booked. The ports were very well organized getting on and off. The down side....do not get involved with "Shopping Shelby"....it is like taping an commercial for the ports. You had to clap when she told you too and laugh when she told you to as the promotion was being taped and put on the cruise TV for others to see!!! They offer you a coupon book to buy for $25.00 which they say includes many coupons for the ports you are stopping in. It was a rip off.....you would have to spend days in one port to take advantage of the coupons for that particular port and the coupon book included coupons for ports in the Caribbean you would not even be docking at. They do not tell you that when promoting the book. Friends of ours cornered "Shelby" later in the day and told her what they thought of the get together....she got very defensive and walked away. Vitality At Sea - The GYM was state of the art and we never had a problem getting on any machine. The SPA facilities we did not use due to the cost (a couples massage $300.00+ U.S.). The SALON was very expensive and although I used it personally I would never use it again. My stylist "Malcom" did nothing but complain how much he hated working there and couldn't wait for his contract to be up in four months. He washed and trimmed an inch off my long hair for a ridiculous price of $75.00. I signed for that service which went on our sea pass account, however, the next day when checking our account there was another charge for $55.00 one minute after my charge of $75.00 went through. It took us hours to get this straightened out, but had we not checked our sea pass we would not have known that they ripped us off for $55.00 plus the automatic gratuity. Not very happy with this service and would not do it again. Summary - The "Oasis of the Seas" was absolutely breathtaking. You did not want for anything and were treated like Royalty. Most of the staff were very accomodating. There was plenty to do and for the number of passengers on the ship it really did not seem crowded. Unfortunately the "Boardwalk" area was not busy at all. All the food areas charged a fee and basically the areas was used to walk through to get to the Aqua Theatre. I am sure parents found it a little expensive to take their children there. The carousel was beautiful and was used by children and adults. The Rising Tide Bar is a must. The Focus area to pick up photos taken on the ship was very well organized. Would definitely take another RC cruise on the "Oasis of the Seas" and cannot wait to see its sister ship "Allure of the Seas". Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
I am 61, and my husband is 55. We are frequent cruisers. We know what we like - we like good service, good food served in a beautiful atmosphere, and nice amenities. Ambience and service are key to us. Embarkation - simple and efficient. ... Read More
I am 61, and my husband is 55. We are frequent cruisers. We know what we like - we like good service, good food served in a beautiful atmosphere, and nice amenities. Ambience and service are key to us. Embarkation - simple and efficient. But this ship is gigantic, and I do believe that once things get this large and confusing that staff should be placed on each floor to help passengers to their staterooms. We spent an inordinate amount of time looking for ours. As for the Oasis of the Seas, I think you can go just so far before you've gone too far, and this size ship may be a stretch for what the crew can handle. We were onboard during Spring Break - I didn't want to go at that time for that reason, but my husband wanted it to include our anniversary which fell on March 18. The ship was filled to capacity which I was told was 6,100 people. Royal Caribbean had promoted making reservations on RCCL's website prior to the cruise for all the shows - for everything. It was a nightmare. I made a reservation at their best specialty restaurant for our anniversary and my husband was told that we didn't have a reservation. I made a hair appointment for the first formal night because quite frankly, the size of the room was limiting. I have fibromyalgia, and I have a seat in my shower at home, so that tiny little cubbyhole didn't inspire me to do my hair in the room. I made the appointment on the phone on the ship on the day we checked in. Anyway, when I went up to get my hair done, the guy at the reception desk looked at me with a smug grin and said, "You're not on Deck 3 - that's not possible." And I said, "I guess I know where my room is - I'm on Deck 3 - it's on my card." I showed him my card. He then looked at his computer, gave me a very SATISFIED smile and said, "You don't have an appointment." So, there I am just before dinner on formal night, sitting in the reception area of the spa after being treated very poorly by this person in the salon. I couldn't take anymore - I just started to cry and cry and cry. (I know - crying seems dramatic, but there had been a lot of other problems prior to this one, and, frankly, I was overwrought.) There was a gentleman sitting across from me who said, "Are you ok - is there anything I can do?" And yes there are a few gentlemen left in this world. I said, "Do you work here?" And he said, "No, but I'll help if I can." He managed to get the spa manager out there. I told her what had happened, and she was absolutely furious. She got someone to wash my hair and blow it dry, but it truly looked worse than when I walked in - I don't think the girl who did it was a hair stylist. I was not charged, and the girl refused a tip. The manager said, "She did the best she could." That remark coupled with everything else sort of told me she wasn't a stylist. We were treated very poorly on this cruise, and I only need one more cruise on RCCL to be a Diamond member. RCCL had me under the impression that the more you cruised with them the better you are treated. I must have misunderstood. The outside cabins are tiny - I mean really, really tiny. They are claustrophobic tiny. The air quality in the ship was horrible - our room smelled like a locker room most of the time because of the air - apparently it's not circulated well. So we had all the smells from the bathroom, from dirty clothes, from me sweating out a horrible infection mingling in the room. I truly could not wait to get out of that cabin. If you should decide to go on this ship, be sure and get a balcony at the very least, and make sure the balcony is next to the water outside so that you can get fresh air. The cabin steward did little - he would not remove used glasses, empty coke cans - nothing from surfaces. Our room was the biggest mess - you really couldn't tell he did a thing except make the bed which I think is all he did. And the one garbage can in the room was tiny and would not hold much at all. There was no garbage can in the bathroom because there wasn't room for one. There was a tiny space for tissues and such behind a small door. The food on this ship was really not appetizing at all. My husband calls it mediocre. I call it just not good. And they repeated courses on different nights which I had never seen them do. I am now talking about what they refer to as the "Complimentary Dining." That means the food in the dining room - the BIG EVENT on past cruises - big beautiful dinners with nice new friends. Oh yes, the dining. I had requested early dining at a table of 10. The larger the table the better we like it. They placed us at a table for two next to a wall in the corner. I told the Maitre D' that I simply could not sit there every night of the cruise - that it would ruin the cruise for me. They took our complaint and said they would get back with us. Night number two came and still no changes. I think it was on the 3rd day that we received a note from the Maitre D' that they could not accomodate us. We also complained to "Guest Relations" with no response at all. We went to lunch that day, and it was on the second level of the dining room. Our regular seating was on the first level. As we left the dining room I told my husband I was going to talk to the person in charge there - it didn't hurt to ask, and it was a different person. This person immediately took care of our request and seated us on the second level at a great table for 6. We did give up early seating for late seating to get the table, but we had told Guest Relations we were willing to do that with no response. Now, here comes the rub. With so many alternative dining selections on the ship, people were running to and fro, so we never really made a connection with our dining companions. None at all. This was one of the most disappointing aspects of this cruise. Now, as for alternative dining selections. This is a thinly veiled attempt to get people's response to paying for meals on cruise ships. We had dinner in the Solarium Bistro on our anniversary which we understood was $20.00 per person, and before we got out of there our bill was $80.00. I don't drink, and I had the Coke package for the week. If this trend continues or is adapted by other cruise ships, the whole concept of cruising will be changed forever. And that concept was always that it was "more bang for your buck" because it's "all-inclusive" except for drinks. I got a cupcake thinking it was free and was charged $2.50 for the cupcake. And it was very dry and not good at all. The best value on the ship was the pizza - there was no charge, and it was always hot, tasty and filling. This ship has as many restaurants or more than a small town, and you have to pay at all of them. "Inclusive" venues were the "complimentary dining room," the Windjammer, Sorrento's (the pizza place,) and the Promenade Cafe where you could get cookies and little sandwiches. Quite frankly, the only thing I could find that was half decent in the Windjammer was the plain old hamburger. The best kept secret on the ship is the Solarium Bistro serving healthy choices which were much more tasty than anything in the Windjammer, and it was a free venue at lunch - a buffet. It was not free at night - that's where my husband and I had our anniversary dinner. Because we were under the impression that we had to have reservations for all the shows, we didn't even attempt the much ballyhooed aqua show because it showed on the website that no seats were available for any nights. Truth be known we could have probably just walked in. I can't imagine that they have anyone on that ship on the ball enough to transfer all those reservations to an actual hard copy on board. We did see a 90 minute production of Hairspray which was well done, but that was the only show we saw. Don't let anybody tell you that you don't feel crowded on this ship - you do. There were just thundering herds of people everywhere we went. It was almost impossible to find a quiet corner. We did like the Solarium area, and it was probably the quietest place on the ship. Let me say this - the dining staff, i.e. waiters, assistant waiters, etc., worked hard and did their best. And the casino staff was for the most part pleasant. I did encounter a blackjack dealer one night who became angry with the reaction of a high strung gambler, and after she had left the table, he said, "Some day I'd like to write a book and call it THAT'S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU GAMBLE, YOU *******." I thought it a highly inappropriate remark for the dealer to make. No matter what these ships do to sanitize, it doesn't seem to be enough. Instead of policing the passengers about sanitizing their hands, I feel there should be more emphasis on policing what's going on with the food, etc. behind the scenes. I stood and watched a bartender squeeze fruit into a drink with his bare hands. That's when I began to note whether or not food service people were wearing gloves - some were, some weren't. All of them should be wearing gloves. They are very thin and should not interfere with their ability to perform their jobs. I was getting sick by Tuesday night. Wednesday morning I had a horrible sore throat, and on Thursday I was developing a respiratory infection and had to see the ship's doctor and get antibiotics. The not-so-perfect end to a cruise filled with problems, hateful staff, hordes of people, terrible food, and what seemed like never ending hassles. If and when I cruise again, I will be backing up in size and tradition. I want a smaller ship (Voyager class was plenty big), I want the traditional dining with multiple dinner companions, and I want to know a few new people when I leave the ship. I usually have a bunch of addresses and email addresses when I leave a ship, but I didn't get the first one on the Oasis. This ship is impressive to look at, and if it was my first cruise, I'd probably be blown away, but if you are a veteran cruiser, I just don't see how you could like this one. Nothing we like about cruising was there. I'll be staying off this class of ship, and I hope they don't go bigger because they can't handle this crowd. Debarkation was handled well, but the nightmare began once outside trying to get a cab. You are much better off to secure transportation prior to your cruise so that it will be waiting for you. The lines were not to be believed - at least an hour long. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
For those of you who do not want a detailed, every day account of everything we did on this ship, skip to the last page, where you will find my summary. This review is 12 pages long and I hope it helps you decide whether or not this ship ... Read More
For those of you who do not want a detailed, every day account of everything we did on this ship, skip to the last page, where you will find my summary. This review is 12 pages long and I hope it helps you decide whether or not this ship is for you. Good luck. Day 1 - Check in was very easy. Luggage did not arrive with us to the room. The room was nice. Small, but nice... you get what you pay for. I don't think the extra 80sf would have made much of a difference in our stay and we weren't about to pay $10k for a loft. The position of the room was just as we had planned it. Near the back of the ship, overlooking the boardwalk and the Aqua Theater. From our balcony, we had a great view of the ocean as well. We went to have lunch at the Windjammer, which is like their buffet/cafeteria. Neither the food, nor the selection were very good. We did have a nice view of the water from our table. Back to our rooms... still no bags. Eventually, we found them in the luggage room but they had not been delivered because apparently the baggage handlers had broken them. When we told the attendant that those were our bags, they brought them out to us and left them there for us to carry to our own room. I dragged a broken 70lb bag with no wheels half way across this huge ship. Then we went on to check our personal calendar on the TV monitor in the room. This would, ordinarily be an excellent tool for the cruise guest, however, ours was not working properly. Our days were all mixed up and, days were skipped, restaurant reservations where up for the wrong date and times. It was a disaster. So much so, that we spent the rest of our cruise utterly confused the entire time. We headed out for dinner at Giovanni's cafe. They could not find our reservation but sat us regardless. The first course was a beef Carpaccio which was quite good. The rest of the offerings were mediocre at best. For a "specialty restaurant," I was very surprised and quite disappointed with the effort put forth on each dish. The crab ravioli was not bad, but it tasted a bit fishy and had very bland overall flavors. The ricotta stuffed chicken was terribly prepared. I would assume that even in the regular dining room they would know better than to overcook chicken, and I certainly expect a little more care in a specialty restaurant. The veal was very nice and soft, but again, it appears to me that there were some very inexperienced cooks in the kitchen because the salt level on this dish was off the scale. I normally don't mind a little extra salt, but this was really excessive. Overall, the food on the first day, in general, was below average. The service in the restaurants were all above average. We then went around the ship looking for something to do but it was surprisingly dead. I went to the casino and blew $200 bucks on roulette in 10 minutes. Oops... Then we got out of there and went to the Aqua Theater to check out the show, "Oasis of Dreams." When we arrived, it was already pretty packed, so we decided to just go up to our room and watch it from our balcony, since we had an excellent view. The show was very good. With the limited sets and space, they put together a very entertaining act that we both rather enjoyed. Then we decided to check out the nightlife on the ship. Our first stop, Dazzler. We walked in, walked through and walked out. There were a few guests in the club, most of them much older than us and the music was extraordinarily lame. We then went to Blaze, which was supposed to be the happenin' club, with their "celebrity DJ???".... lame. We sat down for a couple minutes listening to Reggeton... We wanted to kill ourselves, so in order to avoid a terrible trajedy, we left and headed up to the Viking Crown Lounge on the 17th floor. Much more upscale. Mostly empty. But it was better than what we had seen so far. Almost on cue, right when we sat down, the trio band started playing Drive by the Cars. I immediately said to my wife, "oh, I love this song." I did, until the guy started singing. Let me just say that this is a Phillipino band and they have a bit of an accent. When the guy started singing, "who's gonna pay attention, to yoooooooo dweeeeeaaaamsss." My wife and I just started cracking up. We thought there was a hidden camera somewhere. As it turns out, it happens that it just wasn't his song, because after that, the kept playing and everything was excellent. Very talented band. The pianist, who also sang the first song, was very good and even sang pretty well some other songs. The guitarist had an awesome voice and did a great impersonation of Billy Joel and Joe Cocker. All in all, they were very good. We went home, went to sleep and got ready for day 2. Day 2 I'll try to make this quicker because otherwise I'm going to end up writing a book. We ordered room service which arrived at about 8am and ate the breakfast on our balcony. That was nice... the food, once again, was very ordinary. We ate and went back to sleep. We woke up super late, at about noon. Something we haven't done in years. That was a great feeling to be able to do that with no worries, no phone calls, emails, dogs to take out, cats to feed, etc... We decided to just chill most of the day. The personal calendar was still incorrect, so we had to make some calls and go to guest services to figure out what was on our itinerary. We ate at the Solarium, which is the "healthy food" on the cruise. That lunch was absolutely terrible. I cannot say that I actually liked anything. Wife thought food wasn't too bad, but yes, healthy. Never again. The we went to the gym and got a good shoulder workout. The gym is probably one of the best things on this ship. The best equipment I've ever seen. Great space. Great everything. Unfortunately, they do something very stupid. They charge you for every stupid little class. $12 fee/spinning class, yoga, pilates, etc... all for extra fees. Steam room $35/day. I mean, utterly ridiculous. These classes are included in just about every gym membership out there. And here, after you throw down $5k for a week, they want to charge you these stupid fees. Absurd. But the gym itself is something else. We wish we had a gym like that at home. Not even the Four Season's gym could beat that. After our workout, we went to the sports deck, where I played some basketball on a great court. Very nice space up there too, with ping pong and other games to play. It's necessary for me to point out that this is one of the areas where you don't have to pay for anything. We went back to the room, took showers and got ready for formal night. When we had on our tux and gown we headed downstairs to the photography studio, where we did a photo session for about half an hour before dinner. The photographer, Elaine from the UK, was very good and very professional and pleasant. It felt a bit rushed, but that's understandable because they were on a schedule. Then we went to have dinner at 150 Central Park. So far, the food on this cruise had been well below average. This dinner was a 9 out of 10. I'm not gonna go over every item on the tasting menu, but I can tell you that the only thing we didn't think was that great was the salmon with the fried dill. Could have been much better, but then again, I'm not a fan of cooked salmon. Other than that, everything on the menu was exceptional. No need to go into any further detail, don't ask any questions, run, don't walk there. You will not be disappointed. Service was impeccable as well. After dinner, we walked around a bit and tried to check out a couple of other venues. I was particularly interested in the cigar lounge because I smoke cigars... I was very disappointed. The "cigar lounge," looks nothing like a cigar lounge. It looks like a bar on a deck with a couple of beach chairs. No music, no band, no selection of fine single malts, no nice chairs or couches, nothing to make you feel like you were in a place where you can relax and smoke a nice stogie. Unfortunately, this is the only option for cigar smokers on the ship because at the Jazz club, where you'd think you might be able to light up a cigar, you can chain smoke Marlboro lights till everyone smells like a nicotine sewage, but you can light up a fine hand rolled tabaco. We then went back up to the Viking and had a very nice time drinking some very well priced McCallen 18's and listening to our favorite Philipino band. That's how we ended our night. Day 3 Woke up earlier, at about 9:45am. I had a bit of a hangover, but felt alright in no time. Wife wanted to go down to get a donut at their donut shop. I was surprised to find that I was not going to be charged for this, "specialty treat." However, after trying those donuts, I understand why I am not being charged. Wife thought the strawberry donut was pretty good. I thought they tasted like a wet napkin with glaze. I was hungover, crabby and hungry, so we went up to the Windjammer to try the breakfast. I guarantee that will be the last time I go to the friggin' windjammer. That was some terrible food, once again. I had a fresh squeezed oj, which was good and I also paid $3.95 for it. The we headed back to the gym and got another good workout. Back in the room, we checked our calendar on the monitor and still it was incorrect. They had not been able to fix it and apparently, they would not be able to fix it for our entire cruise. I spent some more time with guest services, trying to figure out what we were doing for the day. Then we tried to take a nap, but the wonderful placement of our room on the ship, backfired against us, because we had to listen to the most annoying and longest dance lesson in the history of dance lessons. They were teaching how to do the MJ Thriller dance and all we could hear was, and 1 and 2 and 3 and hip hip hip, 4 and 5... it was like listening to a rusty nail scraping a chalk board for one hour. No sleep for us. We should have look at the schedule. Our bad. The we got ready for more of the photography session. This time, we did a full hour with Elaine and one extra change of clothes. That was nice and we had a good time. People thought we had gotten married and we were getting congratulations all over the ship. Did pics on the boardwalk and casino and jazz club... very nice. Then we went to dinner at the Solarium. After my experience with the lunch there, I was very, very skeptical. Let me tell you, once again, dinner was magnificent. Yes it was a healthier option, but the food was very well prepared. The service was top notch. The room was beautifully arranged for an intimate dinner, with the exception of the soda fountain, which they had not covered and created quite the eye sore. Then we hit the casino, where I played a much more calculated game of Roullette. Won big on one of the early hands and made back my starting $100 bill. I put that away and then played the rest until I lost. We had a good time. Then we went to the comedy club, where again, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, a comedy show on a cruise ship..??? But it was really really good. Those guys were all hilarious. They picked on my wife and I constantly, but it was loads of fun. The guy called us the Latino Ken and Barbie. Then asked me if I sold drugs for a living. It was great. We called it a night after that because we had to get up early for the excursion in St. Thomas. When we got back to our room, they had given us a new piece of luggage to make up for the one they broke. But only one suitcase was replaced... hmmm... what's gonna happen with the other one... we'll see. I set the wake up call for 7am and we hit the sack. Day 4 I could hardly sleep, thinking about how we had to be up at 7am. I remember at 6:45am, I was awake, but figured our wake up call would come in at 7am. At 8:25am, my wife wakes me up. No wake up call. We had to be with the tour at 8:15am. I ran downstairs to guest services, pissed off beyond belief. I talked to Sam, who was the main person that I was complaining to about the other stuff. The next 20 minutes was a frenetic race to try to get us on that tour. We missed the boat by 2 minutes and watched them sail away right in front of us. We came back into the ship very upset. This was the thing that my wife was most looking forward to on this cruise. They tried to make it up to us by booking us on a scuba tour and refunding our money and whatever, but it wasn't going to make up for it. I didn't even ask what kind of refund we'd be getting. I'm sure they'll take care of us. We decided to make the best of the day. Had breakfast at the coffee shop, where we had these little sandwiches that were pretty decent. I'd rather eat here than at the windjammer any day. We went off on our tour, which was not bad, but it wasn't what we were hoping for. At the end of the day, we had a good time scuba diving in shallow depth. We had never done that before and I'm glad we got to try it. Now we might want to get certified in Scuba for real. There wasn't really a whole lot of fish or nice colors to look at, but I'm glad we did it. The rest of the island of St. Thomas was really kind of a shit hole. I guess the beaches are pretty decent, but nothing we hadn't seen before. The place looks like total crap. We decided to not even bother getting off in downtown and just passed on the island altogether. After Snuba, we came back to the room where a bottle of champagne awaited us, compliments of guest services for our bad experiences. It was a bottle of Korbel... they should have at least sent the Vueve. For lunch, I stuffed my face. Wife had some of those little sandwiches from Mondo cafe and I got some pizza. I had a couple of ok slices, but also had a specially made to order pizza that was really good. We felt pretty fat after that, so we went to the gym and busted our asses. I ran almost 4 miles and wife did a 5k. Then we worked out back. Went back to the room, got ready for dinner and headed out early at about 7pm, to Izumi, the sushi restaurant where they of course, charge a la carte prices. As expected, the food was ok. We are spoiled with incredible sushi in Miami so I understand that we are pretty hard to please. We didn't eat too much. Ordered a tuna carpaccio, which was good, a sashimi sampler, which was also pretty good and a champagne lobster roll which was really a bit sad. Sake wasn't bad. Overall, this is a decent sushi restaurant where, if you don't know any better, you'll probably think it's very good. The dEcor is nice, but as I often found in this ship, they miss little details here and there that should not be over looked. In this case, the soy sauce was on the table in its original Kikkoman bottle. Put it in a container guys... then we went to the Casino, where I did pretty good... by pretty good I mean, I got to play for a very long time and managed to break even. It was fun. We passed by that Headliner show starring a guy name Earl... I can't give you too much of an opinion here because we were there for only 5 minutes or so, but in those 5 minutes, I gotta say, we ran out of there as fast as we could because it looked terrible. Maybe it got better later but were not willing to stick around long enough to find out. Called it a night at a reasonable hour. Wanted to make sure we woke up on time for our tour the next day in St. Martin. Day 5 Sam had promised to make up for our non wake up call by setting up 2 wake up calls herself, one for 8am and one for 8:15am. I slept all night, tossing and turning, because I kept stressing about waking up on time for this next tour. We woke up with our cell phone alarm clocks at 7:30am, which I had set in order to prevent yet another disaster. I'm glad I did because those wake up calls at 8 and 8:15am never came. I went downstairs to get breakfast while wife got ready. Brought back some sandwiches, coffee and fresh squeezed Oj from Mondo and ate breakfast on the balcony overlooking St. Martin. What a beautiful Island and what a difference between this and that dump they call St. Thomas. Right after breakfast, we headed out to meet with our tour guide. The tour was called the Extreme, and it included canopy zip lining, hicking, obstacle crossing, etc... they warned you several times that this was not for the feint of heart, but honestly, I thought they were exaggerating because they always tell you something is scary when it really is nothing but a piece of cake. This was not the case here. The Extreme adventure is definitely extreme and a ton of fun. We were sweating our butts off... dripping in sweat. There were 13 zip lines and most of it was done with almost no supervision. It was definitely worth it, so if you think your legs and arms can take it, go for it. Best excursion I've ever been on. Came back to the ship for lunch, soaking in sweat and decided to try the solarium for healthy eats again. This time, it was very good. They had tacos set up for healthy chicken or steak tacos w/ guacamole. Very good stuff. We ate a lot, but didn't feel disgusting afterwards. Then we hit up the ice cream stand again and some dessert for wife at the windjammer cafe. After lunch, I dropped off wife at Vitality spa for a 75 minute Hot stone massage. Apparently, it was very good, unfortunately, they booked the "relaxing" massage in a room where they weren't supposed to when the ship pulls up anchor. The Spa is on the 5th floor and the Anchor was shaking the room like 10 on the Richter earthquake for about half an hour. Obviously, not very relaxing. I called the spa manager and she knew exactly what I was talking about, apologized and offered to comp our next massage, which was already booked for Friday. Right after the massage, we went down to the photo studio where they were going to show us the pictures from the last couple of days. The point was to take these beautiful pictures and then purchase one of their packages, which we were told "started" at $575. I thought that was a little steep because we take a lot of professional pics at home and pay much less, but I had figured, what the heck, we'll have some nice pics here on the ship. They showed us a beautiful slide show with about 175 wonderful photos of the two of us all over the ship. We loved it. Unfortunately, what they did not mention was the that $575 entitles you to ONE large print of your choice and 4 8x10's. No digital pics. So I would have to pick 5 pictures, of the 175 that we took and that's it. If I wanted something better, then next price point was $1,250. Followed by $2k, $4k, $8k, and finally for the last package you had the choice of turning in your car or giving them $16k. I thought, you know, even if I don't like the $575 package, I would be willing to look at the more expensive options, think that since the starting price point was $575, the next might be $700 or $850.... No... thousands of dollars for a handful of pictures. You have got to have a humongous pair of nuts to take all these beautiful pictures of us, show us a slide show and then tell us that the first decent package will cost me $2,000!!!! Even the $16,000 package did Um... yeah... we passed. Just so you get an idea of what we normally pay. The last shoot we did, we took about 250 professional and gorgeous pictures, paid $299 and received a 25x20 print and a CD with every single picture we took, which we can then print as we desire. For a $1,000 bucks, I can offer this photographer a free cruise, book him on this ship in an interior stateroom and have him follow us around for a week snapping pics. What a rip off. Very disappointing. We got ready to head out again. Went to the Casino, I lost a couple hundred bucks and called it a night. Went to a couple of the clubs. Lame. Lame. Lame. Went back to the room and had our own party. Day 6 Already getting tired of being on this ship. I feel like I'm locked in a giant tourist trap. Everywhere you turn, someone's trying to sell you something. You're working out at the beautiful gym and the whole time you have to listen to a loud, obnoxious seminar about how everything is bad for you and the only way to avoid or fix issue xyz is to buy their product, use their service, pay pay pay!!!! Come attend a jewelry seminar. We'll give you this piece, valued at $50 for freeeeee!!! You'll be so happy that you'll then overpay by 3 or 4 times the regular price for something else we offer you. It's making me a bit sick actually. We went downstairs to the Park Cafe, where we ordered some paninis. Pretty good actually. Sitting at the park and having those sandwiches without someone up my ass trying to sell me something was nice. Then we went to the pool at the Solarium, which is adults only and lounged around drinking champagne and mimosas all afternoon. Tonight was the second formal night. We had the tux and the dress ready to go, but we were just not into it. I think the next cruise we take will be when we have kids or when we are 60 so we can blend in with the rest of the crowd. Being from Miami and going out to South Beach and the nice areas, we are used to, um... let's just say, something else. Being in the regular pool area would mean that we are surrounded by kids jumping and splashing all around us. Being in the adult only area means you have to be retired. There were veeeery few people our age on this ship. Out of 6,000 people... it was amazing. I would love to see what the average age groups are on this ship. And we are here on college spring break, so you'd think it would be a fun party. Wrong. You are either toting around 4 kids, or your are wearing Hawaiian shirts and black socks to your knees. I guess the younger crowd can't justify spending $5k on a ship, when they can go on another cruise for half the price. I know this because we tried to get some friends to come with us on this trip and nobody wanted to spend so much, so we just did it ourselves. I guess that's the general consensus. If you're young (20's and 30's) and want to have fun with people your age DO NOT GO ON THIS SHIP! It was the same with the clubs. Dazzles, Blaze... so friggin' lame. Terrible music. Horrific crowd. So we decided to stay in the room and just avoid the ship all together for the rest of the night. We ordered room service... this was very good. Not because the food was outstanding, because it was not, but because I ordered it from the manager of the main dining room. I went up to him, personally and told him that my wife and I weren't feeling too well and would rather have the food delivered to our room. He called the order in himself and treated us very well. As a matter of fact, he over ordered, not at my request, just as a kind gesture. This was unnecessary because my wife and I don't eat like slobs, but it was kind and gracious of him, nevertheless. He ordered 2 appetizers, 3 lobster and shrimp platters and 2 huge prime ribs, along with 2 dessert sampler trays. I think we would have been find with 2 lobster dishes and 1 dessert. The lobster was not bad... maybe a little tough. The prime rib was decent, not a ton of flavor. The appetizers were not bad either. The dessert was really nice. Overall, it was a decent meal with excellent service... That was the end of our night... hit the sack early. Oh, by the way, we really weren't feeling very well. This ship is a very rocky and shaky ship. I've only been on 3 cruises, but I don't remember any of the others ever moving so much. We were both feeling a little nauseous all day. When I walked down to the main dining room, it was funny because everyone was walking side to side collectively because of the swaying of the ship. Day 7 I'm almost out of here. Really looking forward to my delicious bed at home and a nice, quiet night's rest. I can't say that I've had one REALLY good night's sleep on this ship. Allow me to explain why. The "King" bed is really 2 singles, put together with a mat on top. This mat is higher in the center of the bed then on the sides. The result is, I feel like I'm sleeping at a slight, but very disturbing angle the entire night. The second reason why I can't get some decent rest? This ship is very noisy. By noisy I don't just mean the music and the crowd. I mean, the ship itself. The sound proofing. I don't know if we just had bad luck with the people on the floor above us, but I swear it sounded like these people had 12 kids doing cartwheels at the craziest hours. Boom. Boom boom.... Booooooom. Badaboom. I mean all friggin' day and night. At any time you want to sleep. It was never EVER completely quiet. And forget about trying to take a nap during the day. The carnival downstairs and the aqua theater shows made it feel like you were in a muffled amphitheater in your room at all times. When there was no booming from upstairs or muffled music and people on loudspeakers downstairs, we were treated to a constant creaking sound that I guess stemmed from the fact that the ship was swaying so much. By the way, they still have not fixed our personal calendar. We went out to the main dining room for the "royal breakfast." As we headed out, we noticed that we had been double booked for 2 specialty restaurants so I called the reservations desk to explain to them that we needed to cancel one of them. I cancelled 150 central park, but then they told me I only had that one reservation. I explained that I had a card in my hand that read that we were confirmed for tonight at Chops. The guy told me that he went ahead and cancelled 150 but that there was no other reservation. So basically, now I didn't have a dining option for tonight and he made no effort to fix it... I just hung up and figured we'll just go to Chops and hope for the best. I'll take the card with the confirmation with me. It will be interesting to see, when I get the bill at the end of this cruise, how much of a disaster it's going to be. Looking forward to that. We had the "ROYAL" breakfast with was average, again. I had the crab cakes benedict... not that great. I left most of it on the plate. At this point, I'm pretty used to the disappointing food. Today, we are heading to Atlantis in the Bahamas where we have tickets to the water park. This should be fun, so I'm looking forward to it. I just dropped off wife at Spa for her complimentary massage. Hopefully it will go well for her. Looks like the massage went pretty well... until, of course, they tried to sell her a package that she absolutely MUST HAVE!!!! For only $1,500 they offered her a wonderful detox package. She has had this on other ships before for about 1/3 of the price. She also has had it here in Miami for about $300. It's shocking to me the prices that these people continue to throw at us. I am actually beginning to feel insulted. It's like, "how much is this glass of water?" "well, sir, today, for you only, we have a special. You can take that glass of water home for only $149.99!" It's amazing. My wife and I go through money at a pretty ridiculous rate. We go out to eat several times a week and I'm not talking about cheap places. We go to all the best restaurants in Miami. A typical bill for us on an average night out is $150-200 for dinner and wine... and that's just for a regular week day that we decide we want to grab a quick bite. And to us, these prices are so absurd that we have to really wonder, who in their right mind thinks, "Ok, $1,500 isn't bad for this detox package. Or $4,000 is an acceptable number for these photographs. Am I missing something here? We do very well in our household. Probably in the top 10% of income, but even if I were in the top 5%, I have a sense for the value of money, where I simply do not think I could pay some of these ridiculous prices. So who buys these things? Well, the trip is pretty much winding down. There are some good things and some bad things, but overall, we've had a good time. Definitely not what we expected. We decided to end the night with a bang. Went to Chops Grille for dinner. Chops looks like your typical, cruise specialty restaurant/steakhouse. Despite the confusion earlier with the reservation, they sat us immediately, as has been the case for all the specialty dining. The service was, again, stellar. My wife ordered the sashimi trio, cured in star anise, which was excellent. I had the lobster carpaccio which was, not that great. When the waiter came by to ask how the food was, I told him I really liked the fish trio. So he went and brought me one too, without me asking. Very nice. I almost wish he hadn't because I ended up eating too much. But it was a nice gesture and it really was an excellent appetizer. The waiter continued to attend to us very well, constantly refilling our wine glasses. For our entrEe wife had the filet mignon and I had the short ribs and we shared the mashed potatoes, mushroom and bock choy and potatoes with parmesan and prosciutto, which is one of the best sides I've ever had. Everything was absolutely top notch. Oh, and the desserts were amazing. Chocolate cake was phenomenal and the berry mouse dessert was perfect. We couldn't stop eating it. At the end of the night, the manager came to our table and had a nice conversation with us and then we headed back up to the room. All in all, as has been the case with the specialty restaurants, the service and quality were better than anything else you'll find on a cruise ship. As I said, we went back up to the room and called it an early night. It was a good way to end our cruise and we didn't want to screw it up by visiting another cheesy club. Day 8 We took the morning to pack our suitcases and head out. I had an issue with the bill, as expected, but it was quickly resolved when I went down to the guests services. I don't know if everyone else had as pleasant an experience with guest services as I did because I made sure to speak to a manager every time, so really, I don't know how the rest of the customer service attendants resolved other matters. Unfortunately, I spent too much time down there and there were way too many mistakes for a cruise of this caliber. Exiting the ship was painless, until we arrived outside. We had been dropped off by a friend when we arrived, but we had planned on taking a cab to Miami on the way back because I didn't want to bother anyone with picking us up. I had no idea there would be a line of 200 people to get a cab. It was terrible. I ended up hitching a ride with a van that was headed to Miami Int'l Airport and my wife and I crammed into the front seat together. It was a very uncomfortable ride, but it was much better than standing in line for an hour, waiting for a cab. Summary I've written 8 pages worth of information here that will hopefully help the next cruiser make a decision about this ship. I know these reviews help me tremendously when I'm trying to decide where I'm taking the next trip, so I'm trying to do the best I can. I have complained about a lot of things, but I think I've given credit where it is rightfully due. In this summary, I will rate a few of the major categories and touch upon some of the things I really liked and really hated. Food - B + Average throughout the ship. Fantastic for most of the specialty restaurants. Breakfast was usually pretty average, but there were some good alternatives throughout the ship. Selection was relatively plentiful. Paninis in Park Cafe were good. Mondo Cafe had some nice little sandwiches. Solarium had some good options. We only tried the main dining room food one night and that was delivered to our room... not bad. If I were rating only on the specialty restaurants, I'd give it an A+ (except for Giovanni's, which was about a C) Service - A Excellent service pretty much in every category, particularly the specialty restaurants, but also at guest services, where I imagine they have a lot to deal with. Sometimes the phone service wasn't so great, but I imagine they must have had their phones ringing off the hook with all the screw ups on the ship. Room - C- Nice looking rooms, but way too small. We had our luggage out in the balcony the whole time. If you misplaced a couple of things, the entire room looked like a disaster. Do not over pack. Gym - B+ I would give this an A+ if it weren't for the fact that something as common in a decent gym as a spinning class carried an extra charge. The gym itself is the best gym I've ever used, period. Nightlife - D- Some good musicians throughout the ship saved this from being an F. These venues are all so cheesy and the crowd is a total joke. If you are in your 20-30's you will not find a dang thing to do in this entire ship at night. Your only hope is to get completely obliterated at the bar, then maybe you'll find the nice 60 year old couples dancing to be a pretty good time. Spa - C Overpriced. Spa time is supposed to be relaxing and, although the massages were average, my wife tells me it's hard to relax when you've got the anchor shaking your room like an earth quake. It's also hard to find relaxation when the entire time you are there they are on top of you, trying to sell you other packages, other products, etc... it felt like a used car dealership. Sports zone - B- families might find this to be an A. I could go without watching 200 children running around all day, but that's just me. It was kind of a pain to get to try some of the things that you read about. I'm not on a cruise to make an hour line for a wrist band, so I never tried the flow rider or zip line. Near the end of our trip I could have because the lines had died down, but I still didn't want to make a line to try the flow rider for 3 seconds, then fall on my face and get on the back of the line. I enjoyed the basketball court, the ping pong, the pools were nice, but too many kids pushed me to the solarium. Solarium - B - this was a much nicer space, but again, not our crowd. Nobody our age. I imagine this would have been a great time for us if we had some people in our age group to talk to. Lots of nice Jacuzzis and pool areas, with decent, healthy food. Windjammer - D This was a total cluster screw. Kids running around everywhere. Food was total junk. Not even delicious junk. Just bland, sad, uninspired food. Always jam packed. No thanks. Boardwalk - B Nice space. Even with the kids, it was nice to see them busy doing something. Face painting and other such activities were nice. Carousel was nice enough that my wife and I got on it too. Aqua theater was nice, but I expected something better. It was hyped up quite a bit and really, I was a bit let down. But the reason this space didn't get an A was because all the good stuff, you had to pay for. I thought that the $2k/person price tag for my stateroom should have included the ice cream parlor and something as cheesy as Johnny rockets. The donuts were free, but they were probably the worst donuts I've ever tried. I have never in my life, taken a bite out of a donut and said, "you know what, I don't want the rest of this..." Well, there's a first time for everything. Central Park A - Again, I was a bit let down. The hype surrounding this was pretty out there. When I saw it in person I was a bit disappointed. A couple of hundred feet of park, they had made it sound like it was a tropical paradise on a ship. Not so. However, the space still gets an A because of all the great dining venues on the strip. I'm glad we had very pleasant weather because we were able to comfortably enjoy our time out there. If it weren't for that ridiculous Photo Studio, I would have given it an A or A+. Promenade - C+ I didn't really enjoy it down here too much. I felt the stores were cheesy, the prices were terrible and it was always crowded. I didn't give it a lower score because I did enjoy making my own pizza and the cafes were not bad. But really, you'd think that coffee, being one of the world's most plentiful and cheapest commodities would be free for all guests. I guess Starbucks would never agree to that. Shows - D I suggest you see these for yourself, because I don't trust my own opinion here. If it's not broadway, I probably don't like it. Maybe you will. We tried watching Hairspray, the Headliner and the Frozen in Time show and walked out after a few minutes. So you can compare, we watched Phantom of the Opera and Wicked our last trip to NY and loved every second. So, I don't know what to tell you. The comedy show was an absolute blast and one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. Everything else, I could live without. Ship C+. It's a beautiful ship. I might have enjoyed it more if we hadn't been researching everything about it for 6 months before we boarded. Perhaps we ran up our expectations too highly. I do have a problem with the stability of the ship. I thought this was going to feel like an immovable object because of the sheer size. Instead, it was the shakiest ship I've ever been on and it was a bit nauseating. I thought that for having 6k people on board, the guests were pretty well spaced out. It was rare to feel crowded or to bump into the same people twice. Casino B -. was a decent size and had some good options. I wish they had some more roulette tables. It was above average, nothing spectacular. Price D. Not worth it. Overall, for the 2 of us, we spent about $6k. For $6,000 I can think of a couple of dozen trips I would rather spend a week of my life taking. Other things we enjoyed - Viking Crown Lounge, ice creams at wipeout cafe, make your own pizza at Sorrento's, Wall-E on the big screen at Aqua Theater. At specialty restaurants, you could pretty much order as much food as you wanted and they really didn't give you a hard time about it, even if it was two entrees. Drinks were well priced throughout the ship. Definitely less than what we're used to paying here in Miami. Wine selections were pretty good and you could take your bottle with you when you were done with dinner. Other things we did NOT like - .55/minute for Internet usage. I'm paying $4k to stay in this room, you could give me free internet for crying out loud. Photography, not just at the "Picture This" studio, but all around the ship was annoying and ridiculously priced. $20 for lost towels... come on man... If I lose it, I'm sure it'll turn up somewhere... pick it up for me and put it back. The fact that Johnny Rockets is advertised as something special was pretty disorienting for me. The broke our two pieces of luggage, but they repaired one and replace our largest one with two smaller ones. It was nice of them to replace them, but I've got 10 medium sized pieces of luggage in my house, I really needed that big one. I could not believe that this ship did not have a decent cigar lounge. If you are a cigar smoker, you have nowhere to smoke a decent cigar but you can sit at the bar next to some chain smokers for that oh so good second hand cigarette smoke. Only cigar lounge was out on the deck... and as a cigar smoker, wind is not your friend. Overall Rating - C Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Our winter retreat began with an overnight stay in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hilton Marina. The view of the harbor was spectacular...the hotel beautiful. We ate at the China Grill..it was awesome. The staff was phenomenal (as well as the ... Read More
Our winter retreat began with an overnight stay in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hilton Marina. The view of the harbor was spectacular...the hotel beautiful. We ate at the China Grill..it was awesome. The staff was phenomenal (as well as the food)...we were celebrating my birthday and they truly made it special. Our bell man suggested we get up early in the a.m. to watch the Oasis pull in to port. I am so glad he let us in on the tip...it was wonderful. Our excitement for the ship was already immense but grew even further from that point. We sat on the balcony of our room, and enjoyed the view... Boarding the Oasis was truly a breeze. One step on the ship and you're in awe. We were greeted with Pina Coladas...Get the party started!!! We wandered around for a few hours to get the feel of the ship. It is very easy to navigate...so many things to see and do...I doubt we got to see it all even over a week's time... One of my favorite places on the ship was the Solarium sundeck in the clamshell. I think most people tried to get this hot spot daily. We managed to spend half a day at sea in one...very romantic and relaxing. The last evening, we were the only two people in one of the solarium hot tubs. Not bad for having over 5,000 passengers on board. The shows...top of the line. Cruise ship entertainers...first class. Our wait staff in the Opus Dining Room...attentive, informative, and friendly. Our cabin was always cleaned and tidied each time we ventured about. We enjoyed every piece of our ocean adventure. How could anyone have complaints???? We never felt crowded on the ship...the flow rider line moved quickly, we booked zip line times the first night without a problem. Rock climbing walls were available with little wait. The fitness center was state of the art...the walking track was utilized by many. Too many compliments?...Oasis is well deserving. Undoubtedly, the seven days came and went in a flash. Would we do it again??....Definitely. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
I have been a fan of this website for years, and have found the cruise member reviews very helpful in deciding what cruise line/ship to book. My husband and I are avid cruisers, and we just got off the Oasis. The ship is just awesome. ... Read More
I have been a fan of this website for years, and have found the cruise member reviews very helpful in deciding what cruise line/ship to book. My husband and I are avid cruisers, and we just got off the Oasis. The ship is just awesome. It's very easy to navigate and we never really felt crowded. We had an interior room on deck 11 at the very front of the ship. We found the room to be very spacious and the closet fit all of the extra clothes I always bring along. We had some pretty rough weather the first night which made my husband sea sick. I was surprised at how much movement we felt that night, but the weather quickly turned better the farther we got from Flordia! After that, you easily forgot that you were on a ship at sea. We really went on this ship for the ship itself and not the ports of call. We have been to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the Bahamas before. The ship delivered and then some. The food was excellent. Last year we sailed on the Freedom of the Seas and found the food so bland that we couldn't eat in the main dining room and had to visit the specialty restaurants. That was not the case on the Oasis. We were very pleased with the food in the main dining room and the only specialty restaurant we went to was Johnny Rockets for lunch. It was great to have so many places to choose from to eat that were free! There's Cafe Promenade, Sorrentos, the dining rooms, the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and the Solarium Bistro during the day. The entertainment is the best at sea. Hairsray was the best - even better then when I saw it on Broadway. There are so many things to do, you really have to pick and choose. If you can't find something to do on this ship, then there's something wrong with you! The service was great as well. The only negatives for us have nothing to do with the ship, but rather with the people that we sailed with. There were something like 2,500 Brazilians, 1,500 Asians and the rest were from Long Island, New York. Never have I felt like such a minority as most of our fellow cruisers did not speak english. The Asians were very polite and fun. The Brazilians left much to be desired. They were very rude. They pushed and shoved in the elevators. Every time my husband and I were eating in Sorrentos, we saw them drop the cheese/pepper shakers on the floor breaking it. Accidents happen, of course, but they would get up and leave the cheese and broken glass on the floor without telling anyone about it. The poor young man who works there was very upset with them and he was from Brazil himself!!! My husband and I love to dance and looked forward to dancing in Boleros nightly. We were disappointed to find that the Brazilians took Boleros over as well. Every night, rather than being treated to the smooth stylings of Sol y Arena (They are just fantastic) we heard from Paolo from Brazil who treated Boleros as his personal Karoke Bar. He would get up, take over the microphone and sing the Brazilian anthem and whatever else he felt like - he was also not a good singer at all. It was very disappointing to us, and the lead singers there looked as frusterated as we felt. At the headliner show, the poor guy (I think his name is Dominic Allen) was giving it all he had on stage. He's very talented and can play many instruments. I have never seen so many get up and leave during the middle of a show. The Brazilians were so rude - many started talking loudly during his show and they even started to boo him loudly. I really felt for this guy. We went to the beach in St. Thomas and were stuck in a cab with the biggest bunch of complainers I have ever met. They were from Long Island, New York. When we first got in the cab they were already complaining about the bad service, food and entertainment on their ship. Thinking they were on the Costa docked next to us I asked them what ship they were on. When they said the Oasis I almost fell out of my seat!! From the moment we left the ship to the time we arrived at Meghan's Bay, all they did was complain about their vacation. "To many people, it's over priced, not enough to do, the food is horrible, the service is horrible, the room is horrible..." Then when they found out via cell phone how crowded Meghan's Bay beach was, they were going to make the taxi driver turn around (we were stuck in traffic en route) and go to Sapphire Beach instead - with no regard to my self or my husband who wanted to see Meghan's Bay. We have never been there before on stops to St. Thomas but had heard it was beautiful. Never in all our cruising have I been so disappointed in people!!! My husband and I are very outgoing and look forward to meeting people and making new friends on cruises, but that did not happen this time. Our cruise would have been outstanding had it not been for the people we were stuck sailing with. It left us with the feeling of, "get me out of here and off this ship!!!" We came home and told family that this ship is truly an experience, but that we had sailed with a bunch of barbarians. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
We were on the oasis January 2nd sailing,the 5th sailing.Our group of 20 plus people booked it back in September 2008, so needless to say we were very excited and had high expectations.This cruise was a disappointment compared to our other ... Read More
We were on the oasis January 2nd sailing,the 5th sailing.Our group of 20 plus people booked it back in September 2008, so needless to say we were very excited and had high expectations.This cruise was a disappointment compared to our other ships we have cruised on in the past. We have been on 20 plus cruises with royal Caribbean and 4 with carnival. Always recommended r.c. to everyone but after this cruise may be going back to carnival. We also have been on the bigger ships such as Independence and Freedom with very few complaints. We actually got married on Freedom in 2008 and had a great experience. I will start with some good things about the ship...Getting on the ship was a breeze. we got there early and got on the ship shortly after that. People were all very friendly and helpful. It was a bit crazy outside before getting to waiting area though. The ship is huge and absolutely beautiful. It was overwhelming at first but so amazing. Our stateroom attendant was the best we ever had and also the friendliest.most of the bartenders were great and friendly also.Our dinning room staff was not all that great and slow. We got a couples massage like we do every cruise, this one was by far the best. The spa was amazing along with the solarium area. Peter at the piano bar was great! He loved our big group, we were there every night after we found him at the schooner bar. Sorrento's pizza is always good. The seafood shack for lunch was very cool atmosphere and great food. Too bad it was cold and rainy alot.The shows we did get to see were great,especially the ice show and hairspray!The quest is always a fun game to play, it was a bit different on this ship but you should still try it. You will laugh! Here are some complaints which there are quite a few... The ship was way to big, hard to find people unless you have a plan to meet somewhere. Bring walkie talkies if you can. The ship was easy to find places with the help finders on the walls ,but finding your group was a nightmare. All of the speciality restaurants, shows, entertainment were booked before we got on ship. Who wants to book everything prior to going on ship. You want to relax on vacation not have to book everything prior. We did get to some shows because we went to them at the time and we could still get into a few. We actually skipped dinner 4 nights and that is how we got to go to 2 of them. The food was not very good especially at main dinning. We looked at menu in advance and then decided not to go to dinner that evening, so we thought if it was just 2 of us we could check out some speciality restaurants. But of course booked until end of cruise! This ship offers alot to eat,and to do but if you didn't book it prior to ship leaving everything was booked. That was no fun at all, we want to relax and not have to have all of our plans for the whole week.Also first night at main dinner they had 3 groups of 14 at one table. It took along time to figure it out and dinner was then delayed the first night. Way too many RUDE foreigners! Like 90 percent of the ship.The past few r.c. ships we went on have gotten progressively worse ,but this one was by far the worst. It made our trip aggravating when we are constantly getting cut in front of at meals, bumped in to , over crowed in elevators, bathrooms left dirty(such as paper towels left on counter and not in trash. A woman actually ran over my foot with her luggage and kept moving without saying anything. My quiet husband who never says anything was so mad at this point he went and spoke to her about being so rude.No please,thank you or excuse me!Just plan rude with no manners! We have heard other cruise lines were not as bad so we may be trying another line if we cruise again.Too many smoking areas on ship. Couldn't enjoy areas because of smoke. Especially the casino! The rooms were small,little storage,little balconies, bathrooms were bigger though. You could hear through the walls. Especially from hallways. We could here the rooms next door tvs. luckily they were all people we knew next to us. The boat rocked so much, probably because it was too top heavy and the middle of ship being open. It pretty much moved 24/7. yes weather was not great,but not that bad. We met other cruisers on smaller ships who were not moving all that much.It is not good if people get see sick, Get the prescription patch for the week just in case. The pool areas were packed like usual, you just need to get out there early if you want a good chair.watch on saving chairs,they have pool security who time you if you go away from your chairs. The hot tubs and solarium were great, but never really got to use them because they were always overly packed. The staff was really strict on the ship pertaining to everything. Especially the diamond, plus clubs. They took alot of things away and wouldn't let you leave rooms with drinks. wouldn't let spouses in if they were not members.They always did before. Actually the staff was just really rude when it came to us members. They basically talked and looked down to us. Getting off the ship at the end of the trip was a joke. Not organized at all and again rude staff. We had a member in our group who got interrogated and threatened to get thrown of at next port for buying a drink for a minor. which the bar is 18 and up so if they just met someone and bought a drink how would they know? Especially now a days people do not look there ages. If they are going to let 18 and older in bars they need a wrist band or something. All in all this was the worst cruise our group has gone on. It was not worth the money or the expectations at all. We definitely recommend any ships in freedom class for sure over the oasis. I cant believe i am saying this ,but we are taking a break fro r.c. for a while and checking out another line because of our moderate week of vacation. We need a vacation from our vacation! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Our vacation on the 'Oasis of the Seas" was all that we had hoped for and more. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. We arrived at about 11:00 AM and there were still people leaving the ship. It also was cold and damp. Our cab ... Read More
Our vacation on the 'Oasis of the Seas" was all that we had hoped for and more. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. We arrived at about 11:00 AM and there were still people leaving the ship. It also was cold and damp. Our cab driver told us that Floridians don't do well in this weather and many will stay home. Thus porters would be a bit scarce. She was correct. We schlepped our own luggage to the terminal where we were directed where to leave the larger bags. I tipped the porter we did find who had to bring them to another person in the terminal 10 ft. away. We were not permitted to give it to him directly. After that everything went very smoothly with only a brief stay in the waiting room. We were allowed on board a bit after noon even though rooms would not be ready until 1:00 PM. We went to the Windjammer Cafe for lunch. It was very crowded as I expected it would be as everyone seemed to end up there. The food was actually very good with a nice variety. Subsequent visits to were not a hectic as people became more familiar with the ship and alternative dining options. Our room was ready on time a Boardwalk balcony on Deck 10. The room was a bit compact but comfortable. One criticism noted by my wife and echoed by several ladies at the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was that storage was very, very limited and, as my wife noted, "this closet was not designed by a woman". With a bit of creativity, it was doable. One minor thing I noticed was that there was no indentation in the bathroom sink to keep the bar of soap from sliding. It just struck me as an odd thing to eliminate. The shower enclosure with it's sliding curved double doors was a great improvement over those clinging curtains. I am about average height at 215 lbs. and had sufficient room in the shower. My brother, however, is a bit taller and about 300 lbs. found it tight. The joke was that he enjoyed his shower and tomorrow he would do his back. Junior suites have bigger baths and closets as well as a higher cost. While you could here the sounds of the Boardwalk during the daytime, at bedtime the balcony door really muffled any sound quite well. We could hear more of the bass beat from Dazzles nightclub at night rather than from the Boardwalk. The view from our balcony which was seventh from the back afforded us a good view of the Aqua Theater and the Ocean. It was just as I had envisioned it when I booked. We watched the show for a second time from our room. While on the subject of shows. Go see them all. RCCL has raised the bar on shipboard entertainment on this ship. You will be doing yourself a disservice to skip any of them. The casts work hard and deserve our support by attending performances. Food was better on this cruise than on the Grandeur of the Seas last January. We did My-Time dining and it was great. We were 3 couples most of the time and asked for the same waiter. While it is not required to make a reservation to go in to eat, the wait staff does recommend it. We had a reservation at 150 Central Park on the Sunday. It is an indulgence but worth it for the experience. Only 80 guests are served per night so book early. Our favorite place for a quick snack was the Park Cafe. You can have a salad custom made for you there. Once the Roast Beef sandwiches were discovered, there was a constant line for them. They are served with 'au jus' on a Weck, a roll I remember having in Buffalo many years ago. Add a bit of horseradish and some mustard and you will be in sandwich heaven. Other sandwiches are offered, but this was the most popular for good reason. The ship never seemed over crowded, at least no more than any other large ship. The Promenade was like being in the center of a mall with a light show and entertainment. The casino was quite large with a smoking and non-smoking area. I did not have any luck this trip, my brother did OK though. We had an appointment to do the Zip-Line on Thursday. It was great fun, for me anyway, my wife reluctantly did it and said never again. I strongly recommend you make your appointment early as the last two day were completely booked. We had not been to St. Thomas or St Maarten before. We did shopping and the Sky ride in St. Thomas. Nice view. On St. Maarten we booked the 4 x 4 Jeep Tour with our neighbors. I was a 6 and ½ hour drive around the island. It was to include a stop in the French capital for lunch and shopping. We parked on the edge of the marina, on the edge of town, given 25 minutes and told not to eat as the next stop would be better. It was a 10 minute walk just to get back to the shopping area. No one went. We had time to take a couple of pictures at the marina and pick up a can of soda. The next stop was at Friar's Beach where we were guided to a part of the beach in front of a particular restaurant. There were two on the beach but were told we needed to stay on this side. Later I realized that this was untrue, and I believe that we were just 'kidnapped' to give this restaurant business. I was not impressed with the cleanliness of the place and we did not eat there. The beach was a bit stony and the water a cloudy blue. Two of us went in and had fun. We spent 1 ½ hours there. We were supposed to go to Orient Beach not Friar's Beach. Well, to cover himself, the tour guide did take us to Orient Beach. We drove into one entrance of the parking lot and out another, barely seeing the water between buildings. I strongly recommend that you think twice before booking this tour as it is not as described. I did file a complaint onboard. Hopefully others did also and RCCL will have corrections made in the tour or it's description. Nassau was very busy as there were 5 ships in port. If you count the Oasis as 2, it would be 6. We only went in town to do some quick shopping. We has visited there before. Even disembarkation was unbelievable. From the time our group number was called to the airport was 25 minutes. The airport, on the other hand was incredibly congested. An hour and a half to check-in. I recommend that you consider using RCCL airport bag check-in service for $10.00 a bag. They take you bags to the airline for you and check them in. In summary, we went on this cruise for the ship, not the ports. The Oasis of the Seas was a wonderful experience. The dining, the entertainment, the interactive directories and the cupcakes. Any other ship we may cruise on will be compared to this one. We are spoiled I fear. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We booked this cruise when the open booking began in September of 08. Watching the progress of the building of the ship, and the subsequent sailing updates from Captain Bill, only psyched us up all the more. The ship and its staff did NOT ... Read More
We booked this cruise when the open booking began in September of 08. Watching the progress of the building of the ship, and the subsequent sailing updates from Captain Bill, only psyched us up all the more. The ship and its staff did NOT disappoint!! I did extensive research on Trip Advisor, as we planned on staying 3 days prior to our cruise, in the Ft. Lauderdale area. We chose the Napoli BelMar hotel(Summerland Suites/Birch Patio)on Orton Ave. Walking distance to beach, shopping, restaurants and the water taxi. ($130.00 per night for efficiency with stove/fridge/microwave, king size bed) Angela DeSanto was very good to us, gave us great recommendations for dinner. I look forward to staying there again. We rented a car at the airport and were able to go to Everglades National Park for an Air boat ride ( Contact Capt. Greg at... captgreg@bellsouth.net )we ate Alligator, little bit chewy, but was tasty! The time we were told in our cruise documents said to be at the ship no sooner than 2pm. We did what other cruise critic members said, and we were at the port at 1230pm, and on the ship, eating lunch at the Solarium Bistro, shortly thereafter. THE SHIP!!!! What can I say? The first walk onto the Promenade was awe-inspiring. Absolutely beautiful. Be prepared to be just simply happy to be there. Even though there were so many people getting on board at the same time, it did not feel frenzied or disorganized. Royal was doing the best they could to move the crowds in the proper direction with as little discomfort as possible. Note to the unwise.... Bring alcohol on the ship in your bag, and you will find that those suitcases will not appear in your stateroom... You will have to claim them and explain why you brought it on the ship. Our friends bought wine in Ft. Lauderdale, just wanting to get it home after the cruise... He had to go identify his case, along with about 100 other people!!!! He said that one lady was arguing (loudly) about having her liquor, said it was her right, had this many sailings... blah blah. Well, he said they told her they could escort her off the ship if she desired... Bad idea.... The stateroom was adequately sized. Very quiet overall, you can hear your neighbor's toilet flushing and muffled conversation, however, it was clean and had the most comfortable beds! We slept like babies! Not that the Coconut smoothies, or Mango Margaritas had anything to do with it.... (try a Lemon Drop Martini!!! in Dazzles) Our steward was Angela. I hope you are lucky enough to see her smiling face each day, as we were. The whole ship is CONSTANTLY being wiped down clean, hand sanitizer everywhere. Nice Rusk products for the bathroom, really neat shower design. Endless hot water. We had some pretty awesome towel animals. Our favorite was a bat, hanging from the light over the bed. Dining room. Well The Opus dining room is just lovely, 3 floors, nice comfy seating. Our table was 265, tucked in a nice area that was out of a great deal of main traffic. Yousef(from Turkey) and Raj(from India) were our waiter/assistant waiters respectively. They were so awesome, by the second day, they called us by name and had our favorite drinks ready to go. The English language was a bit lost on them, so we had a pretty good time busting on them. They were good sports and were very gracious. Yousef dropped some plates one night with a BIG crash!! We did "The Wave", and cheered for him!Great food choices, nice flavors. Excellent headwaiter as well. Solarium Bistro- AWESOME for breakfast or lunch... healthy, yummy choices. Windjammer is your buffet-everywhere-for-everyone kind of place. Lots to choose from. Chops Grill! Best Filet Mignon I ever ate!($25/pp well worth it). Park Cafe in Central Park... outstanding Roast Beef sandwich and great soups. Most awesome nacho chips with fresh guacamole and salsa in The WipeOut up on deck 15. Mondo Coffee bar! Great Expresso. Tooooo many choices to discuss here! Put on your appetite and have a stroll around! If you are hungry, something is wrong with you! DO NOT MISS THE DRINK OF THE DAY!!!! You are on vacation!!!!! Get yourself to the area up by the Flowriders to sign up for the Zip Line ASAP! Sign up for the Flowriders, take a lesson! It is a lot of fun. If I can do the "fall of shame", so can you! It is like falling on a watery trampoline and then getting flushed uphill! Too Funny!!! The shows... Hairspray. Great acting and singing, not to be missed! Frozen in Time... This is an ice show, we laughed so hard at one part that I was crying! Come Fly With Me is very entertaining, and the Aqua theater is great and the show was excellent. Headliners was a group called ABBAcadabra. They did a very good job of playing ABBA music. Didn't see the comedian show... Don't have anything to report on children's clubs or teen activities... Left those people home!!! However, those that did participate looked like they were having a great time. Ken Rush, cruise director, very good guy. Saw that man everywhere, very involved, easy to talk to. Sorry to say, that Capt. Bill is leaving the ship after the cruise we just left on Jan 16th. He is going to be with Marine Operations, and will take out The Allure, when the time comes. What a kind, gracious man. He also was everywhere, ready for a photo or just a friendly chat. All the customer service on the ship was excellent. Never had a problem of any kind. Shopping Shelby has a "talk" on the islands and where to shop. Supposed to be an hour.... Was over an hour and a half, was redundant... I wanted duct tape. Or at least a margarita of some sort... We did express for check out/disembarkation. I tell you what, we were out of our stateroom and in the taxi in under 15 minutes! No joke! We loved every inch of this ship. can't wait to sail on it again... 2 things to not miss, no matter what... #1 Get yourself a spot in a Cabana in The Solarium for a sea day. The early bird gets the worm, we were there at 6am to claim ours for the day. We slept, ate and read ALL DAY! The sound of the water, the soothing music. Ahh, a piece of heavenly Oasis. #2. When the boat sails away, instead of hanging out waving to no one... Grab your bathing suit and a nice tropical drink and watch the sail away from one of the beautiful Jacuzzis on Deck 15... Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We were just awed - nothing was left undone - I expected a lot of glitches because of this first sailing but there were none - the food was good - the people and staff were friendly and helpful - the weather was just right - this ship ... Read More
We were just awed - nothing was left undone - I expected a lot of glitches because of this first sailing but there were none - the food was good - the people and staff were friendly and helpful - the weather was just right - this ship lacked nothing - you want to play golf -you play golf - you want to play ping pong you play ping pong and if you want to eat well there is more on this ship to eat than you can imagine. We were just a little disappointed with the Chops Restaurant this time - Mel's steak was tough and he had to send it back - the service in that room was not the best - and this is unusual because Chops is one of our favorite dining experieces when we cruise. But all in all -you go on this ship and you will just enjoy yourself tremendously. We had a balcony where the sun came in the afternoon and you didn't even need to go on the deck to lay out -it was right there outside our room. I do hope we will go again on this ship although the new one which is even supposed to be bigger the Allure will be out I believe by the end of the year..so maybe......we'll go on that one....would be very nice....cruising is the only way to enjoy a vacation. Lillian Hammer a many time cruise on Royal Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Embarkation was so quick and easy we were literally on the boat in 10 mins. We arrived at 11:30 and were in our cabins by 1:00. The ship is amazing with so much to do it was just beautiful. We were upgraded from an inside to a balcony ... Read More
Embarkation was so quick and easy we were literally on the boat in 10 mins. We arrived at 11:30 and were in our cabins by 1:00. The ship is amazing with so much to do it was just beautiful. We were upgraded from an inside to a balcony which was awesome!! Food: loved Johnny Rockets on board. Dining room service was good but our waiter was pretty uptight. Head waiter and drink waiter were great! The buffets were okay. Breakfast was huge disappointment there were no fresh to order omelette stations. No matter what time we got up breakfast was always dried up and cold nothing was fresh to order. Other than that everything else was great. Shows were top notch , loved Hairspray Ports: St Thomas we went to Coki Beach to try something different, big mistake it was very dirty with vendors and shady looking people we will stick to Magens bay or trunk bay from now on St Maarten was beautiful we ate at the blue bitch bar which was great. We took an island tour and the beach on the french side is much nicer. Nassau i really don't like this port we went to Atlantis which was way over priced. Overall Nassau is dirty and seems shady to me. Cruise director was awesome we had him before on the freedom ( Richard) Comedy show was really funny but it was repeated every night that was a let down since we love comedy. Disembarkation was not as smooth customs really held up people giving them wrong directions for lines an baggage Overall the cruise was amazing I think everyone should experience it at least once I think. Read Less
Sail Date July 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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