When we saw CATS was being performed on this ship, we had to book this cruise. It's been 30 years since we've seen CATS on Broadway and in Toronto, and it was every bit as good on the Oasis of the Seas. We saw it twice! In ... Read More
When we saw CATS was being performed on this ship, we had to book this cruise. It's been 30 years since we've seen CATS on Broadway and in Toronto, and it was every bit as good on the Oasis of the Seas. We saw it twice! In general, Royal Caribbean spared no expense--great performers, choreography and technical effects--on all the shows onboard. We also especially enjoyed the ice show (with the Russian sand artist) and the aqua show.
This was our (two adults, late 60s/early 70s) first cruise with Royal Caribbean and we thank all the Cruise Critic reviewers for their input, especially the information that advance reservations are needed for shows and dining. We had most things arranged three months in advance and are glad we did, at least for the peace of mind knowing we would see/do what we wanted. I've got to say we missed the spontaneity of past cruises, however on Oasis-class ships scheduling ahead is a must.
We chose a good time to go--right after the holiday when most school-age children were back in school and not onboard, so we experienced no child-related issues.
The only additional-cost specialty dining we reserved was the $20/pp "First Night Done Right" to ensure we would not run late for our first CATS performance. It was our best meal on board--at 150 Central Park (chosen for us), where we had the chateubriand for two and great service. We ate one night at the Solarium Bistro, where food was good but service was lackluster. Our dinners were rounded out by two nights at the American Icon Grill dining room (one night so bad I ate two bites of the mushy "crab" cake, sent my undercooked ravioli back and ordered a salad instead--though service was great) and a few dinners at the Windjammer (most mediocre, however they put on quite an impressive spread the last night). We also ate lunches and breakfasts at Windjammer, lunch at the Dog House (really enjoyed the German sausage) and breakfasts at Johnny Rockets (good, but slow service) and the Park Cafe.
We purchased online, before we left, a soft-drinks (with Voom internet--pretty good reception and speed, overall) and two specialty-coffee packages. We sure never went hungry or thirsty (bartenders and restaurants were always willing to provide soda if a machine was not readily available). Pizza, pastries and sandwiches were always available at no additional charge.
Service was, in general, excellent. Our steward, servers and all staff we met were pleasant and helpful. We never had to go to Guest Services other than to get extra tip envelopes. Especially impressive was the system used to let passengers into the Windjammer Buffet: if it was busy, a line was formed and we were escorted to a table when it became available. (The line ran smoothly and quickly with staff radioing each other for information--and we did not have to search aimlessly for a table.)
We loved the peacefulness and atmosphere of Central Park (our cabin was on the same deck), as well as stopping to enjoy its solo and duo (piano, string) entertainment.
Activities, of course, were geared to a more-active, family crowd. For that reason, we booked our one excursion through an off-ship source. Labadee, too, did not offer much over a beach chair and barbecue to us (most activities were pay-for). It was necessary to take the tram to get around Labadee (and a map would have been appreciated, maybe included with the Compass newsletter). We were glad a barbecue was set up in each area.
Would we sail an Oasis-class ship again? Absolutely, because it offers entertainment and a visual experience smaller ships cannot. Would we go out of our way to book a smaller Royal Caribbean ship? Probably not, because the food and activities--for us--were no better than other comparable lines. Read Less