We booked Oasis for a 5 night cruise which returned just after refurbishment. We are mid-level diamond members with a 2 year old. We booked an ocean view balcony in deck 8. It is quite evident that Adam Goldstein’s cutbacks are reflected ... Read More
We booked Oasis for a 5 night cruise which returned just after refurbishment. We are mid-level diamond members with a 2 year old. We booked an ocean view balcony in deck 8. It is quite evident that Adam Goldstein’s cutbacks are reflected in the lower level of services on this ship. RCCL seems to come up with a great ideas but falls quite short in execution. Oasis is an interesting ship, but it has the feel of a mall/hotel rather than a true cruise experience. Long time cruisers will miss the quaint areas on this ship as everything has the “open concept” feel. I doubt I would cruise this ship again, and that is the sentiment I got from others as they preferred the smaller ships for their hard earned money. There were sprinkles of some fabulous crew members who went above and beyond, but overall this was closer to the bottom of our experiences with RCCL.
Keep a very close eye on your balance until you cruise. I had called to inquire several times about additional charges on a couple different occasions. Also when booking specialty restaurants if you have a child that is “free” (under 6), don’t add them to the reservation otherwise you’ll end up paying full price and have to rectify it once you get on board.
Check-in: This was a nightmare as nearly the entire ship passengers were held in the pre-board area for nearly 2 hours longer than they told us. We felt like we were in elementary school with the elderly ladies threatening not to board us if anyone was standing up. All the reps had personalities of a rock and couldn’t crack a smile to save their lives. I have never experienced this before. Here is one place RCCL could have made extra money by having kiosks with snacks/drinks or RCCL gear for those waiting and improve a customer’s experience. I would have welcomed a nice smile, but I suspect that must cost more than RCCL is willing to pay for.
Food: Giovanni’s was excellent. Chops was very good, but with a scaled back menu. tip: I suggest sitting outside when at Chops, less stuffy and excellent service. Johnny Rockets was a complete failure in service and food. I actually had to go elsewhere to get my daughter a milk because our server disappeared, and then to add insult, we were served cold food. Sabor had good food overall with friendly hostess and waiter. Windjammer keeps getting worse on each cruise we take, and this was no exception. The Solarium had good healthy food. The dining room was surprising good, just not too inventive for a menu created by a “renowned chef”. I strongly suggest you skip the character breakfast (they now charge $10) and just meet up with the characters during the day for free as you get nothing extra for paying the $10 (our meal was free as I booked before they started charging). Room service was another complete failure, with what should only take 40 mins actually is 120 mins with cold food and no apologies.
Room: We had a ocean view balcony on deck 8 with sofa bed. The bed was the worst we have experienced on any of the RCCL ships (hard and sagging). The pillows were either overstuffed and hard or flat as a pancake. None of us slept very well at all. Our stateroom attendant (Joan) was the best we have had on any cruise. Room size was fine, we were able to store our luggage, carseat, and stroller without any of it protruding into the room. Interesting that the bathroom door does not fully extend to the top, I suspect this is how they keep airflow, but the room continued to smelled like sewer. It doesn’t help that I have an overly sensitive nose, but it was pretty bad on this ship.
Casino: WAY too small for a ship with 6000 guests. They had 2 servers and 2 bartenders for the entire casino. Every single time I was in the casino, I heard nothing but people complaining about service. My husband did not gamble anywhere near as much as he does on the other ships. Probably because he had to go elsewhere for his drinks. Does RCCL not understand that keeping your customers in the casino (and liquored up) brings in more revenue?
Services: I visited the spa for a pedicure and it was near the bottom of any of my pedicure experiences anywhere. Of course they pressure you to buy their product, but once my skin started itching from one of the products (yes, I have overly sensitive skin), she quickly finished up my pedicure. I was out of the spa in less than 25 mins, almost like a drive through spa experience. The exercise area was completely packed. I gave up exercising when I saw the crowds there. I suggest the running/walking track which is open 24 hours a day and has some great spots to stop and relax.
Entertainment: We did not actually make it to a full show since our 2 year old only wanted to ride the Carousel. Everyone we spoke with about the shows were not impressed at all. They were no where near a Vegas or Broadway level and CATS went too long, but some did say that the talent seemed a bit new/young. Some people mentioned that they saw many people walking out after about 20 mins in the shows. We heard the comedian was pretty good, but that was just too late to drop off our child.
Boardwalk: We visited the ice cream/cupcake store several times. The cupcakes were a hit or miss for taste. Ice cream was fine, but the cones were soggy. The Dog house did not have corn dogs, which my husband was looking forward to, and the hotdogs tasted like cardboard. For this being Boardwalk, I am really surprised there was no cotton candy, popcorn, pretzels, etc., but again, short on execution of an idea.
Shore excursions: We did not do any shore excursions since we have been to Nassau and Cozumel many times, but I can strongly recommend the submarine in Cozumel if you are not a diver.
Shopping: I was excited to check out the Coach store, but once inside I did not find any item that was a deal. A few of the items were even of the outlet quality leather . Prices were actually higher than the coach.com website. Even paying “duty” or taxes, you can find a far better deal just waiting for a 20-25% sale. The Michael Kors and Kate Spade shops were the same from my comparison shopping. I do find it odd that they are adding these “boutique” type shops on board, as most people who are able to spend $500 or more, are certainly not worried about duty and tax. I did enjoy watching the frenzy that RCCL can create by putting up dividers on the Promenade and trying to portray the boxes gift sets were such a deal. Perhaps they are for $10?
Nursery: For this being an off season, we had much difficulties getting times in the nursery for our child. I was rather surprised at this as we never had any issues on other ships. Once we tip the nursery staff, we were able to get some times that worked for us.
Disembarking: Surprisingly, getting off the ship was far faster than getting on the ship. Although it was very disorderly and I am sure RCCL will blame Customs and Customs will blame RCCL.
All in all, if you cruise RCCL often, this will be a totally different experience and much less personal. After this cruise, I think I stick to the Freedom ships and also reconsider trying Carnival again and venture to NCL as there isn't much to loose in regards to service and quality from RCCL. Read Less