4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015

I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy with ... Read More

I recently sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. I've been sailing with Carnival for the past ten years because of the price point. However, since Carnival made wholesale changes (Cruise 2.0), I wasn't very happy with either the food or the entertainment. Also, it seemed that other cruise lines were way ahead of the game when it came to Ships and what was on them, even though Carnival was coming out with some larger ships.

The Oasis of the Seas is a gorgeous ship. The seven different neighborhoods were fun. Central Park was amazing. My stateroom was near Central Park and I enjoyed walking through it to get to the back of the ship and looking at the thousands of plants. Above the park there are balcony staterooms. It hard to believe you're on a ship in the middle of the ocean when you walk through central park.

Compared with Carnival, Royal Caribbean has a much more international, more upscale group of guests. With high diving shows, Cirque de Soleil type shows and ice shows, RCCL's entertainment is far superior to Carnival. The food was also superior, but not by that much.

RCCL's onboarding process is a breeze. A few days before sailing, I got an automated phone call requesting that I get to the port at 2:45pm, however since I was staying at a hotel and had to check out early, I got to the port at around noon and was on-boarded immediately. On Oasis, you board directly onto the Promenade deck, which is busy with tables set up on each side where the crew sells drink packages, dining packages, etc. There is a Starbucks toward the front of the ship on the Promenade deck, which I really appreciated. My stateroom was ready at 1pm.

The My Time dining was a complete disaster and I don't believe they offer it on the Oasis any longer. Although I had reservations, several nights I had to wait quite a while and the maître 'ds were rude for the most part. I was ignored on several occasions while waiting for a table, skipped over so they could seat families and couples. After that, they kept calling out in loud voices that I was a "single". I almost cried I was so embarrassed. Being a single traveler, I was hoping for company during dinner, but for some odd reason, they sat me with other people only on the first night. The rest of the voyage, I was seated alone, even if I was at a table for four. The food was good both in the American Icon dining room and in the buffet on 16. I did not try any of the for fee dining, but I recommend making reservations as all venues were well-attended. Be careful when booking reservations for restaurants that say they are complimentary. Izumi and the Mexican restaurant both say they are free when you book them online, but when I arrived, I was told that they were al la carte and the "free" reservations were so they would know how many people would be there. The prices at Izumi were extravagant. I just don't get the for fee dining on a cruise. Shouldn't the quality of the food be the same across all venues, since you are paying for it? There are plenty of places to get great free food on Oasis, including Central Park, where you can beat the crowds at breakfast and dinner. The Solarium Bistro is free for breakfast and lunch, but has a charge of $20 for dinner. You can also grab a bite for breakfast and lunch at the Wipeout Café. I had breakfast there one morning when the Windjammer was full and the selections were sparse and cold. These venues are less crowded than the Windjammer, however. Personally, I loved the Windjammer. It has great ocean and sports zone views.

Any spa is great. However, Carnival has a far superior spa than RCCL. The Thermal Suite on the Oasis is buried deep within the ship on deck 6. It is very dimly lit and small. There are about six heated loungers, two steam rooms and a dry sauna, along with two rain showers. There is a mud bath room and a couple's hot tub. A package for the thermal suite is available for couples which includes a single use of the mud bath and a single use of the hot tub. The area is very small and they only sell thirty spaces for about $99 on the first day of the cruise. Carnival's Thermal suite is huge and faces the ocean. There are many different thermal chambers along with a thalassotherapy pool (a giant mineral hot tub). It's a place you spend all day looking out at the ocean and up at the sky. Otherwise, the gym is great and the rest of the spa is nice. I got sucked in by a very determined aesthetician when I first boarded the ship. She was at a table set up to sell spa services. I went to her for a facial on the second day of the cruise and she was extremely unprofessional, telling me about her love life in detail. When I purchased one of the products she suggested, she kissed me passionately on the mouth. I was so taken aback!! I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing but push her away and act like nothing happened. There was no mistaking that this was something completely inappropriate. I've never experienced such unprofessionalism in all my years of cruising - and I go basically for the spa pampering! It made me so completely uncomfortable. YIKES!! That took a lot from the pleasure of going to the spa. I did not report it because I did not want to be responsible for someone getting fired.

Royal Caribbean does not cater to the single traveler at all. Internet was offered for "$10 per day," but only as a double occupancy package. So it wasn't $70 for the entire week, it was $140 even though I was traveling alone. They wouldn't budge on that and suggested I "share it with someone else." Okay, as soon as I meet them in the dining room where I'm kept isolated. Geez. I wasn't the only person traveling alone, but there weren't many of us. Also, as I said, they didn't sit me with anyone in the dining room so I ate alone while reading. I mentioned that the maître Ds were rude, but I can't say enough about the fantastic quality of the service in the dining rooms. The waiters and waitresses were absolutely wonderful. I've never had such excellent service. On Carnival, you could spend two and 1/2 hours in the dining room the service is so slow. On Oasis, the service is fast, thoughtful and friendly. The wait staff was concerned that I was alone and came to talk to me every night.

I felt a bit adrift (no pun intended) on the Oasis. There was no central meeting place like on Carnival ships; there are large screens on the Boardwalk, but no movies were shown; no Cruise Director talking to me over the intercom like I was part of a huge vacationing family like on Carnival ships. On RCCL, the single traveler is very much on their own and I really felt it! There were informal singles gatherings, but they were held so late that I never made one.

In summary, the Oasis was a beautiful ship and I enjoyed exploring her, the shows were excellent and food were really great, but RCCL really lacks in it's service to single guests and the spa is lacking. The music around the ship wasn't to my taste - it seemed like a ship full of wedding bands. If you're a single cruiser, know that you are completely on your own on RCCL and except for the cabin steward and the people who actually serve the food in the dining rooms, no one cares. Although Carnival is more for "Joe Sixpack," the crew is friendlier and for that matter, so is Joe Sixpack. Not sure I'll be going on another RCCL cruise again.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014

Day 1: Embarkation - super easy. Arrived before noon. Security and check in was very easy. No lines then we were there. We learned they did not let anyone on until about 11:15 or so. We walked onto boat with our luggage. We travel ... Read More

Day 1: Embarkation - super easy. Arrived before noon. Security and check in was very easy. No lines then we were there. We learned they did not let anyone on until about 11:15 or so. We walked onto boat with our luggage. We travel pretty light with carry on luggage. The doors to the rooms were closed because rooms weren't totally ready until 1:00 p.m., but we went through to drop off our luggage and our room was actually ready. We had planned to just leave it outside the door, but our room attendant, Little, had already finished our room and I admit we did surprise him, but he and all the room attendants were very nice. After dropping off our luggage, we decided to explore a little.

Food: We purchased the Chef's Table package because we like to try out the various specialty restaurants. There are many specialty restaurants with surcharges and ala carte pricing. We had a chance to eat at a good number of them and we also ate at the Main Dining room and the Windjammer Cafe. We have had great experiences at specialty restaurants on Holland America, which last we

checked had a surcharge of $25 pp but the food is superb and I always book a reservation at the Pinnacle Grill on Holland America - the $25 is totally worth it.

Main Dining Room: We always choose the 8 o'clock seating because we like more time outside or lounging about and don't like to rush to the 6 p.m. seating. 6 p.m. is early for us and we found that most families with kids tend to choose the 6 o'clock seating. We ate there for breakfast twice (including the last day - disembarkation day). We had dinner there probably 3 or 4 times and we don't miss the lobster night - which is usually the 2nd formal night (I would check with the dining room when making your specialty restaurant reservations). We also had lunch here twice. We really enjoyed the main dining room. Since we booked late, we were put on the 3rd floor in the very back of the dining room, it wasn't the best spot but we had excellent service and also got to sit with a lovely couple from NJ. They were really fun and we enjoyed making friends with them. The wait staff took very good care of us and always brought extra things for us and we could order more than one of each thing if we wanted to. The food was very good in my opinion and for lobster night, the lobster was a good size and fresh. We also liked the steaks here better than at Chops. Lunch was ok, the service is so-so, but not bad. You don't get your dinner waiters, but the food is tasty and you can order off the menu or get the buffet option. Breakfast was pretty good too.

Chef's Table: (I think its about $70-75 pp, but I am not sure I paid around $125 for a package of three specialty restaurants - Chef's Table, Chops, and Central Park). This is an intimate dinner in the loft area of the concierge lounge. I think each night there is seating for about 20 people and you sit at this very

long table. Its a pretty elaborate tasting menu with wine pairings. The Chef comes and explains each dish and the sommelier describes each wine. This was fabulous. The food was fantastic and the wines were excellent. I think its a great deal. The service was very good of course. And you get a nice gift at the

end (I don't want to spoil that surprise for you). We did this for my birthday. They even brought out a birthday cake for me and we made some nice friends at dinner.

Chops Grill: (I think its about $35 pp - it was again part of my package) This was our least favorite dining experience overall. The menu was surprising limited and I was also surprised that their best steaks had an additional surcharge on top of the surcharge, which in my opinion was pretty high for a cruise ship. In Chicago, you can get a very good steak meal at some excellent steak houses for close to that pp without alcohol. Wine was not included in the price. So seeing more surcharges was shocking to me. We each ordered the NY strip steak and asked for it to be cooked medium and the steaks were cooked medium well (we honestly had better steak in the MDR and cooked to order). In retrospect, I wish I had said something, but we were really tired of being in this restaurant so I didn't want to make a spectacle of it. The sides were also so-so - I don't even really remember what we had because it was so unmemorable.

The atmosphere was ok on the inside. I wish I had asked to sit in the atrium part of the restaurant because it was facing into Central Park, which is beautiful at night. Besides the food being ok, the service was interesting. The server was very nice and attentive, but he really was pushing selling stuff, like wine, and things like cook books and wine aerators. I thought that was weird, annoying, and uncomfortable. I don't know if they were required to do that or maybe they get a bonus, but I don't think they should do that anymore. I feel like it adds insult to injury with the expensive surcharge. We won't eat here in the future, however, some people really love it and have had great experiences. In the end, its an average steak house - but you can judge for yourself.

Central Park 150: (I really don't remember this one - I think with our package the Chops Grill ended up being free - so I am guessing about a $40 surcharge). Beautiful restaurant with nice and different decor located in the Central Park part of the ship. Service is excellent and the food again is very high quality -

beautiful, unique and delicious. I suspect the menu changes and I can only say overall we enjoyed this restaurant and there were several courses (a tasting menu style of meal). The food was delicious and rich and we felt pretty full at the end. I really liked the understated and attentive service - the server

explained each dish, which was helpful and added to the experience.

Another kind of Park Cafe here in Central Park - I forget the name, but its another free place to get salads and bistro food - you can also get free water, ice tea, and fruit flavored drinks here. We did not really eat here. Although the food looked good - its small and can get really crowded which turned me off.

Wine bar: There is also a lovely wine bar in Central Park which serves tapas ala carte. We heard it was good, but we never had a chance to try it out.

Seafood Shack: Ala Carte pricing, but very reasonable. This restaurant was located on the boardwalk several stories below our room and I love seafood and wanted to try it. Decor is like a beach side seafood shack. Nice ambience and service was good as well. We went because I heard that they have King Crab legs. So we went for an afternoon stack. I ordered a 1/2 pound of king crab legs for about $15 - I like them hot. They were delicious and I couldn't believe the price. The other things we liked were the coconut shrimp (something like $3 or 4 for a decent amount of coconut shrimp maybe 6 or so big pieces!). We had a major miss with the calamari though - it could have just been a bad batch. It just did not taste fresh to us, so we told the server who wanted to replace it with whatever we wanted on the menu, but we were not hungry anymore, in any event he brought us shrimp cocktail. The shrimp cocktail was ok - they give you a lot and they were a good size, but again, I feel like they weren't very fresh in the sense that the shrimp should have had a nice crunch to it. The MDR on the contrary had very good pieces of shrimp for their shrimp cocktail. Overall, I would come back here for the crab legs. They do have a lunch party with lots of different seafood, but we decided to pass on it - its a good deal, so you may want to check it out.

Johnny Rockets: We had milk shakes and breakfast here. We did not get a chance to eat here because there are just too many choices. But it is a popular place and the surcharge is about $5 or $6 - years ago it was like $2 or 3 I think on other ships. The milk shakes were good and breakfast wasn't bad. They don't

charge for breakfast. This is a combination surcharge and ala carte restaurant.

Solarium Cafe: They have a surcharge for dinner at night, but we only ate here for lunch once which is free. They offer spa food and light healthy food. Its mostly buffet style and it can get busy during the day. They also have a couple of miso soup options. You pick the bowl with the ingredients already in it and

they add the miso. You can also get water, ice tea, and fruit flavored waters for free here. We liked the light fare - its a nice change.

Donut Place: I don't know what the actual name of this place is, but they serve free coffee and a nice selection of fresh donuts for free. Mostly the fluffy yeast donuts with glazing - I did not see any cake donuts, but I don't really like cake donuts. They have regular flavors like chocolate and strawberry glazed

to exotic like passionfruit and key lime. So many flavors and very good. You can also purchase specialty coffee drinks. This place is located near the entrance of the boardwalk.

Ice Cream Parlor: Also on the boardwalk, across from the Donut Place, this is an ala carte dessert place. It looks nice and the ice cream desserts look very good, we just were never hungry enough to stop for a sundae. Maybe next time.

Sorrento's Pizza: Free pizza place located in the Promenade. Pizza is good and fresh - pretty standard. They offer cheese, sausage, pepperoni, and one special pizza that changes. They also have a choose your toppings personal pizza that you can order. I think they are open until midnight - not bad for a snack.

Park Cafe: Free (except for specialty coffee drinks) and open 24 hours. They serve sandwiches, cookies, brownies, and coffee. You can get water and ice tea here too. Its located next to the guest services.

Cupcake Place: A cute cupcake shop next to the Park Cafe. Pretty much small and large cupcakes of all kinds of usual and unusual flavors and decorations. They also have for sail cook books and cupcake themed things. We booked a cupcake decorating class here for about $22 pp. Its an hourlong class and they provide all the materials. We learned how to make a double burger cupcake with fries. Really fun and we got an awesome treat. Did I really learn much? Not sure, because all of the items were prepped ahead of time for us and we basically just put it together, but it gave me some great ideas. We also got a surprise gift at the end! I thought it was a lot of fun and there were a number of parents with their older and teenaged kids at the class (both boys and girls). They limit the size of the class to about 8 people. One beef I had, was that people kept coming in to buy stuff and there was only one employee there and she was instructing us! She said the shop is closed during class, but she had no sign or anything to put in the entryway. They should just have another person working to man the counter. I think having all those people in there taking a class actually draws customers into the shop. Was it worth it? I think so, especially with an older child or teenager, but I think for me once was enough.

Windjammer Cafe: This is their buffet. We ate here for breakfast and lunch. I didn't think it was too small for the size of the ship. There are two sections with the same food items, plus I thought they did a good job of crowd control, which I liked a lot. They actually seated people and made sure that there weren't too many people at once at the buffet. We did not wait long to be seated. I am not sure what all the complaints were because they had a nice international selection of food and its buffet food - so not everything is going to be out of the ball park, but I really thought it was tasty and I liked the

selection. The service was also good. We liked to eat here when we could. Breakfast was also good with decent selections.

There are also some snack places on the pool decks which we never ate at because we just never did, too many choices.

Izumi - a Japanese specialty ala carte restaurant on the same level as the Windjammer. Its lovely and has pretty views, but we never had a chance to eat here. I love sushi and am reluctant to try it on a ship when I have it quite often in Chicago, but the prices are very very reasonable for the sushi rolls and pieces. I would have liked to try it, but we just only have so much room in our stomachs. I think you should try it, if you either have never had sushi before or don't get a chance to have it very often. I watched the ship's cooking channel on their tv and they kept showing the chef from Izumi make food and it looked really good.

I probably missed some other food opportunities, but I think this pretty much covers everything.

Shows: Can I just say WOW! Definitely WOW! Royal Caribbean knows how to put on over the top amazing extravaganzas! We tried not to miss any of the entertainment, including the lounge singers and jazz musicians. Even their standard fair belly flop contests were fun fun. We missed some of the other

standard fare, but not the shows. I recommend making reservations ahead of time, but most shows you can still get a seat - they let people in without reservations about 10 minutes before the show. The only exception is the comedy show. It is a much smaller venue - you will not likely get in standby. This show

you must make a reservation.

Hairspray - this is the broadway musical shown on the Oasis, the Allure is showing Chicago. The lead singer sang and played this part on Broadway for 2 years prior and I could tell. Its a full length Broadway show without any intermission. The talent was top notch, the sets were amazing, and the costumes

were above par. We were amazed and entertained. Don't miss it! They only have maybe 2 showings for the entire cruise. A bonus, we saw the star of the show and the actor who plays her mom sing Broadway show tunes at the Viking Crown lounge one evening (see it if you can).

Frozen: I think this is what its called is there icecapades show and what a show it is! Amazing! Its in the Studio B ice rink. The stunts, routines, costumes and story line are amazing. These are international Olympic skaters - also not to be missed. I don't want to give too many spoilers. Its not the Disney movie

version.

Oasis of Dreams - this is their incredible aqua show - again stunning with high dives, water ballet and acrobats ala Cirque du Soleil. Very much like the Vegas show "O" - this aqua stage is definitely state of the art and custom build costing millions. These are olympic and olympic quality gymnasts and divers. We

were able to see the show from our balcony as well. Reservations are a must - as this is a popular show and get there early (about 30 min) to get a seat. We just brought our books and read. Only thing is the seats can be somewhat uncomfortable.

Headliner - this is a special guest that is brought on for this show. It changes all the time, you probably don't need reservations.

Comedy show: Hilarious! There are essentially 4 comedians and they differ, but the ones we saw were hilarious and many are featured on Comedy Central. I definitely recognized the comedians. MUST HAVE RESERVATIONS. The design was to make it feel like you were in an intimate comedy club and it worked for the most part.

Parades! They have two parades in the Promenade - really over the top and a lot of fun. Great for the kids. Definitely worth seeing at least once.

Various shows and special events - they have a great 70s dance party in the Promenade with singers and dancers all over the place. Lots of fun! There is a glow party in Studio B (they place some flooring over the ice) and its fun, but after awhile it basically becomes a teen party. However, same night they have an adult party in the Solarium with DJ - that was fun too.

Night clubs and Bars: RC has so many bars all over, each one different and separately themed. We liked the one in the middle of the promenade that goes up to the Central Park and down again, there is a hidden one in the Central Park which is nice and we liked hanging out at the Boardwalk Bar. They have

essentially one night club across from the Comedy Club, the music is good and most nights it is really hopping - the decor is kind of weird though kind of like a spanish dungeon or something. I am not too crazy about the design, but they have some fun and cool special effects and we had fun there. The other

place we liked was Dazzles - really beautiful two story club that featured live bands and a lighted dance floor. It overlooked the Boardwalk - when there is a band it is hopping, otherwise it becomes a nice place to read.

Pools: Boy this place has a ton of pools! A freshwater pool, saltwater pool, adult pool in Solarium, kids area pools, and hot tubs galore - I think there must have been like 10 hot tubs all over the pool deck. The kid's area was really cool and people really liked to congregate in and around the pools. We liked being in the shade and spent a couple of days at the main pools in the middle. We did not care too much for the Solarium because it became a sauna and was too hot. I think its the design with the enclosed glass which probably acts like a magnifying glass and traps the heat, plus it was consistently over crowded in my opinion with a number of drunk and sloppy adults during the day - evening it was nice and tranquil. The people were so annoying that I preferred the main pools with kids! The kids were for the most part mainly at the kids area and if a kid wandered to the other pools and acted obnoxious someone would

ask the kid to act appropriately which worked. Most kids had their parents with them, so we never had kid issues.

There were plenty of seats - so we typically were ok finding seats. We liked to go there in the later afternoon when there was less people and the sun wasn't too hot. By 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. a lot of people left for their 6 p.m. dinner, which was fine by us.

One oddity was that the smoking section was in this small part of the pool deck by the bar and I don't get it, but the same people would spend the whole day there and night too puffing away. This was not a pretty part of the ship either. I just didn't get it, but I guess whatever floats your boat.

Activities: Lots of activities for active people. There is a short zip line that went across the top of the Boardwalk, we tried it once and it was fun but short. A good number of people liked the Flowrider, which is the surfing and boogie boarding simulator - they have two of them and its harder than it looks. We did

not try it - we thought about an individual class, but decided to pass because the water jets were very powerful. They have a miniature golf course, a carousel, climbing wall, and ice skating rinks. Of course they have a nice basketball court, which was constantly in use and ping pong tables which were

also constantly in use. I am sure there are other things I am missing, but this gives you an idea. Oh and shopping - there are a number of stores on the ship and they have their specials like all ships. People seemed to like that a lot.

Movies: They show first run movies in the main theater and have 3D capabilities. You won't know what movie is playing until the day of unfortunately and the movies rotate and are never replayed on a single cruise. We saw the last 2/3rds of the latest Thor movie and it was like watching a movie in a theater.

Casino: We don't gamble, but I have to say that this was one of the largest casinos I have ever seen at sea. Its not cheap to gamble here, but people seemed to have a lot of fun.

Guests: I liked the mixture of guests both young and old. It made the ship very lively and the atmosphere fun. The ship was probably close to capacity and I sometimes felt it, but it didn't bother me - there are many quiet spots, but there was plenty of room. A stroll at night in Central Park was one of my

favorite things - its lovely and peaceful.

Loyalty Club: Meh they don't have the best perks for loyalty members.

Ports of Call: Pretty mediocre for the most part, except for Cozumel, but we were in this for the ship.

Day 7 Disembarkation Day. We had breakfast in the Main Dining Room and then had plenty of time before we had to disembark. This was not as smooth as getting on the boat. But this was mainly because of customs. This was not Royal Caribbean's fault. They were very efficient otherwise, but there was a huge back up in Customs. It took us awhile to get off the boat and through customs. We decided

to rent a car (Thrifty is the best deal and closest to Port Everglades) and drive to Ft. Lauderdale Beach. If you have more than 3 hours before your flight, its actually cheaper to rent a car to store your luggage than to store it at the airport through a service - airports typically won't take luggage more than 3

hours before your flight, but double check. We then spent the afternoon at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach and rented chairs, an umbrella, and towels from the municipal employees on the beach - my husband bargained with the guy and got this all for $10. We rented the car for about $25, but I have been able to rent it cheaper in the past.

Overall Summary: Awesome ship, huge, beautiful, and surprising. We had a fantastic time and booked this cruise for the ship rather than the ports. We were not disappointed. You can't help but have fun and it is very easy to meet people. However, its hard to see them again unless you try or are lucky. We were

both lucky and we tried to meet some of the same people on the ship. Great for couples, retirees, families, kids of all ages, I really love this ship. We plan on booking a cruise on the Allure of the Seas in the future.

 

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013

it was my 9th cruise, 7 on NCL, 1 on Celebrity. I came with high expectations to the "world's largest ship".

First let me say, the facilities are amazing! The Shows are worldclass, you just cannot beat the entertainment (water ... Read More

it was my 9th cruise, 7 on NCL, 1 on Celebrity. I came with high expectations to the "world's largest ship".

First let me say, the facilities are amazing! The Shows are worldclass, you just cannot beat the entertainment (water show, ice-skating show, musical, artistics, Dreamworks parade).

I was a bit disappointed however by the service and coordination.

I was traveling with a friend, it was his very first cruise and I kept telling him sooo much about how fantastic it will be. So on embarkation day we toured the ship, we were both VERY impressed by the facilities. A girl from the staff showed us around. My friend told her how impressed he was about the size, cleanlyness and offers the ship has and he was so surprised he cannot feel any movement at all (he was afraid of becoming seasick). The girl just answered "well, thats because we are still in port you idiot!"

we were speechless.

Gym is WAY smaller than on NCL Epic and the Spa way too small for 6.000 People. Only 3 little steam rooms, no windows to look outside from the Saunas, only 4 heated benches for this big ship...

We had late seating 8.30pm. In November it gets dark around 5 in the Caribbean, so another 3.5hrs before Dinner. If I have a snack at 6, I wont be able to enjoy full dinner by 8.30.

The first night we checked out the Buffet around 7 pm just to take a look. First of all - it looked like in a company canteen. No decorations, everything clean but not pleasing to the eye, very sterile. No ice scarvings like on Celebrity, no flowers or animals made of Melons, no Flowers...We went on to our dinner just to find out that EVERY item of the daily specials was EXACTLY the same as on the buffet - just in a better presentation.

We arrives at 8:25 for Dinner on Deck 4 as printed on our roomkey. Waited 15 Minutes to get in as it was very crowded. At the door the guy said "you are on deck 3". We said the roomkey says deck 4. He just replied "well, we have reseated you, now you are on 3". I asked if he expects me to do another 15 Minutes wait on Deck 3 again (it was their mistake after all). He replied "you may as well go to the buffet"...

Our table was party of 4. For 7 consecutive night, the "seasonable vegetable" at Dinner, no matter what we had ordered was Carrots and Broccoli. Our waiter and Bar girl were very friendly and, as I am allergic to garlic, offered me to pick already one day in advance my food for the next day which I highly appreciated!

At formal night tha Restaurant Manager came, as every night, to our table, making honeurs, asking if everything is fine. All of a sudden he took my cuttlery starting to cut the salad on my plate and then started FEEDING ME with the salad in front of all of my friends. "Open wide, here we make you feel like at home with Mama" he said. Every conversation stopped, all eyes on my. I never felt so embarassed in all my life in front of friends and strangers. He certainly had a very strange sense of humor!

Also the organization was far from perfect. With the late seating, you could hardly make any show as they all started at 10pm, so we had to tell our waiter every night that we need to rush and then have our 5 course meal in a hurry in order to get to our show.

One night we wanted to do Karaoke which stared at 11pm. We arrived at 10.45 after Dinner, choose a song and wanted to sign in. "Todays enrollment is closed already" the DJ replied. We asked how can that be as Karaoke will only start in 15 Minutes from now. He said, we have many people who want to join therefore one must register by 10pm. We said, we have late Dinner seating and wont be done before 10.30pm. He said: well, then this is not your lucky cruise...

I went to the Reception Desk asking for a customer feedback form. The attendant said, it will be given to you the last night of the cruise. I asked if I could have it now (3rd night) - he just said no!

There was also very friendly staff too. We loved the Girl in Park Cafe where we liked to grab breakfast as it was not so crowded as the buffet. Our table waiter was very friendly - however mentioned every day that tips and positive feedbacks on the forms provided are highly appreciated...

Resumee: Personally I would always prefer the freestyle of NCL. I liked the staff, organization and food much better there, staff in general much more helpful (even on large ships like the Epic). I liked the free Iphone App on Epic where I always had my bookings, reservations and all the menues for every restaurant always in my hand to choose.

On Oasis, we did not have one single Deck Party the whole week. Not one motto Buffet (on NCL we had the midnight chocolate Buffet for example and on Celebrity the big sunday brunch till 2pm). Also besides the Solarium (which is inside) there is no quiet zone. In the afternoon the Band is playing in the middle of all 4 pools, so no escape, no quiet spot to relax or enjoy your own music with headphones without putting the speakers to a max level.

I liked the variety of drinks in the softdrink package on Oasis and LOVED the touchscreen refill machines with their endless flavors. However, 4 machines (2 in the promenade, 2 in the buffet restaurant) for 6.000 Passengers is way too little. On Pool days, I dont feel like taking the elevator down to Deck 5 just to grab another coke zero... There is lot of things to improve organization wise.

Did we have a good week - yes. The ship and the people we met were great. Would we do RCL again? Possibly, if timing, routing and price is right. If the same price at either NCL or Celebrity, we would certainly go for that again.

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Sail Date: September 2012
Hotel: Marriott Renaissance (across from port and amazing Italian food across the parking lot) Background: Oasis was my 4th cruise. My husband and I have been on Liberty once and Freedom twice. Stateroom: Inside cabin - small, ... Read More
Hotel: Marriott Renaissance (across from port and amazing Italian food across the parking lot) Background: Oasis was my 4th cruise. My husband and I have been on Liberty once and Freedom twice. Stateroom: Inside cabin - small, but exactly what we expected, a bed. Stateroom attendant was not around as much as our other cruise experiences. We had 1 towel animal the whole week. Ship: LARGE. Central Park was very pretty, but there wasn't a breeze. The Boardwalk was very pretty and seemed a bit more open. The carousel was gorgeous. Random note - donuts are free on boardwalk, but popcorn was $2+. Aqua Theater: Amazing. The show was exciting and first of its kind on ship. Talent! The dive team did a tremendous time. Cruise Director: Amy Fickert did not build the excitement that we experienced in the past. The activities manager hosted a lot of events. Past cruise directors that really pumped up the crowd were Richard Spacey, James Andrews & Ken Rush. Chef's Table: Worth the money and experience. Chef Nickolas was spectacular. Food was delicious and was accompanied by wine pairing. 150 Central Park: Good food & service. Chops Grille: Bad experience. Table was next to kitchen entrance and waiters where stumbling over each other to get into it. There was also an exit next to the kitchen for the outdoor tables. The exit door had a loud squeak each time it opened and closed. The manager of Chops explained that they did not design the ship for outdoor seating - it was an after thought with the amount of requests. Because it was in Central Park, the restaurant was very narrow to compared to the Freedom Class with no windows. Steak was well cooked (medium rare and medium) but was tough to cut. I recall being able to almost slice through with butter knife. Main Dining: Delicious and relaxing atmosphere. Waiters were on their game and entertaining. We were seated in Opus 4 dining room next to window with a great group of diners. Entertainment: Enjoyed Hairspray, Belly Flop Competition, Trivia, etc. Disembarkation: The best/easiest yet. The escalators at port are genius and the actual disembarkation was seamless. We choose to walk off with our own luggage to catch an early flight. No waiting lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2010
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Review

Prologue

I am Alex and I am currently thirteen. Ever since I found out about the Oasis of the Seas in late 2009, I've wanted to go on that humongous cruise ... Read More

Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Review

Prologue

I am Alex and I am currently thirteen. Ever since I found out about the Oasis of the Seas in late 2009, I've wanted to go on that humongous cruise ship. Its features were stunning, nothing that I had seen before. Compared to the only other ship I've taken in Asia, SuperStar Virgo, this is a masterpiece by any aspect - from design to public rooms, from cabins to ceilings, from the four pools to the Central Park - it was all too spectacular.

2010 was a traumatic year for me. But I could put all those sad memories to rest as I was headed to the United States in December, specifically to take the Oasis of the Seas. We were sailing on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, our room being a Boardwalk balcony (we only found that out when we reached there). My family of five, which consisted of my parents, my two younger sisters, and I went along with our maternal cousins, aunts and grandmas.

I've decided to sort the contents by category (dining, public rooms etc.) It took about three months to do this review due to work, laziness and stress but nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it!

Introduction

After our break in Miami following our flights from SIN-LON-MIA, we headed to Fort Lauderdale to board the Oasis of the Seas. The ship was like nothing I've seen before - it was tremendously huge. I was truly overwhelmed.

I believe I may have been too overwhelmed, because all my energy suddenly dispersed. It was too great, literally. This may have more or less affected my review.

The embarkation process was fairly quick. Some minor problems we encountered here and there, but still quite quick. One thing I've noticed was that those below the age of thirteen would have to wear a wristband. I understand that wristbands are needed for staff to identify children's emergency station in the case of an emergency, however, the wristbands are sometimes a bit of a nuisance. Even though I am thirteen, I got a wristband thinking it would be useful, but it wasn't.

As I had said earlier, the exterior of the ship impresses. The inside remains a mystery until I entered the gangway. There, I saw the Royal Promenade and the anticipated Rising Tide Bar. Everything that I originally saw on my desktop was true. After checking-in and settling down in our cabin (I would further discuss on this later), we headed to the Dining Room for our emergency drill. It was awkward having the emergency stations located in areas such as the dining room and the Opal Theater, probably because they needed to use safety instructional videos. A bit disorganized, but the video was useful.

After which, we proceeded to do our own activities. From here onwards I shall now sort out my experience on Oasis by aspects.

Dining (3)

There were indeed a number of dining options onboard the ship, but for some apparent reason did not appeal to me. Maybe I am thirteen, but I have learnt how to appreciate food and I honestly felt that there could be a better variety.

We opted for the My Time dining package, in which we could head to the Opus Dining Room, the main dining room, anytime between 5.30 in the late afternoon to 8.30 at night, if I am not wrong.

The appetizers were, to say, interesting. Usually there would be a choice of fruits, soups or other simple platters to get the stomach going. Usually I had the fruits, which were fresh and juicy. Most of the soups, like the Onion Soup, tasted nice, too. However, there was one particular dish I would like to mention - the Raspberry and Pineapple Soup. I don't know if the Westerners drink soups that are sweet but shouldn't that be made into a drink? I was truly disgusted at such effort wasted on an idiotic recipe that has the strangest taste. Ever.

I had mixed remarks over the main course. Sometimes, it would be lovely, like salmon, but sometimes it was too filling and not delicious. I usually ordered the healthy option, which I would explain later, because its description was better than the others. I guess that was Royal's way of making people lose weight. Amusing.

Dessert was probably the best in the three-course meal. Fruits or Ice Cream, they excel in the art of confection. My favorite was the Sponge Cake- my first time ever tasting it. It was mouthwatering. The best food I had tasted on the ship - or maybe during the whole trip! I praise the chef(s) who made this so refined and better than the other cakes.

Obviously, we could dine at other locations too. I chose complimentary restaurants that were included in the cruise fare, hoping to not cut my budget. Windjammer Cafe was good, but maybe because I somehow didn't have an appetite when I went there, I was not that pleased with the food.

Sorrento's Pizza at the Royal Promenade was splendid - we could mix and match our own toppings for the pizza slices. We could also choose pizza slices already baked and prepared. It was delicious. Sadly, the Italian Sodas I tasted there were the worst I've tasted. I didn't know exactly what flavor it was, but it tasted ridiculously bitter. Maybe I'm young, but I definitely give a thumbs down for that.

At Central Park, I would eat at Park Cafe that had sandwiches and desserts. The sandwiches were indeed very crunchy, and for a complimentary restaurant that is a big sandwich compared to what we have in Singapore!

Wipe Out Cafe is another restaurant I tried out. It sold casual, American finger food meals. The most filling meal I've ever had, I had to say.

The only specialty restaurant I tried out was the Seafood Shack. The Seafood Shack's menu was partially disorganized - the only had daily catches. Well then, I thought, I'd have the Grill Catch of the Day. What was served was good, but could honestly be better. Waiting time for dessert was somewhat long as I ordered it as take-away.

At the Pool & Sports deck, they also served free frozen yoghurt. Oh, how cooling, even though it was 20 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit. I had an average of 2.5 frozen yoghurts a day, taking in the fact that I love it.

On the contrary, there were not many beverages. Other than wine, beer and alcoholic beverages, they didn't really bother about non-drinkers that left me unsatisfied. I really wanted a mocktail, influenced by the fact that mocktails are served mainly in hotels and cruise ships. Although The Living Room and Fuel, the teen locations, did have mocktails I believe, they weren't available anywhere else on the ship. What a disappointment.

Overall, good but could improve on the variety of food and dining options and the improvement of quality of food in the main dining room.

Public Rooms (5)

The Oasis is most praised for its state-of-the-art facilities onboard, which I agree with most. All the neighbourhoods were designed to suit their theme, all the rooms clean and well kept, and the facilities high-class and functioning well.

My favorite in terms of quality is probably Central Park. Greenery on cruise ships is very rare, and the thought of putting such is not widely considered. However, Royal Caribbean really made a good job - I originally thought there would be air-conditioning, but there wasn't which makes it even better. It is both elderly-friendly and provides a relaxing atmosphere. I've got a slogan for it, too: "A walk in the park at Royal Caribbean". Ingenious.

Another neighborhood that I personally enjoy best is the Pool & Sports Zone. I would explain further in the Spa & Fitness section.

Small exhibits are also scattered around the ship, known as "Wonders of the World". These exhibits showcase either stereotypic once-in-a-blue-moon images or interesting items. I find this a great addition to the ship.

Despite the great features, there is still one small, no, MAJOR problem - the toilets. For some reason, the toilets reek of a certain, distinct smell. Which is why I never use the toilets often on the Oasis. I'm not sure if it is a problem with the pipes or soap, but it still needs to be fixed.

The public rooms, overall, are awesome.

Cabins (5)

I was also quite excited over the rooms on Oasis. There was such a variety.

I was not in charge of the booking process, therefore, I did not know which room we were in. But apparently, we were not allowed to choose our type of room, or at least it was said to be, and that Royal Caribbean would give us our own room. It was still not a bother. We eventually got a Boardwalk Balcony.

I praise the room. Some complained over the amount of space the bed occupies (which led to a 'conspiracy' that RCI had small rooms). However, this is actually a good thing. The room was well furnished, well kept and nicely organized. The beds were very comfy; maybe because I was tired each night from the activities I had for the day.

Many complained on the small toilet. However, I thought it was good, compared to the only other cruise I've taken. It may have been small, in fact smaller than the one at the other cruise, but precisely because of the interior dEcor - bright and lively, instead of dark and uncomfy. Everything worked fine, amenities all good. This toilet is the only toilet that didn't have the distinct smell I mentioned earlier.

Lounging at the balcony is also relaxing. One could view part of the AquaTheater from the balcony, but if you do want to get the full view, try the AquaTheater suite or the rooms nearer to it.

Rooms in the Oasis, although felt small, are worthy for sleeping and resting.

Entertainment and Activities - Entertainment Place (4)

The facilities onboard the Oasis would obviously occupy most people's time. I had already discussed on the facilities and will move on to the organized activities and entertainment programmes.

The daily newsletter on the Oasis describing the conditions, highlights and activities for the day was the Cruise Compass. The activity planner was the Daily Planner, the evening section separated as the Evening Planner. A bit confusing, but still fair enough.

Maybe due to the massiveness of the ship, and my surprising lack of organization during the cruise, the activities seem to be little. There was the usual - art auctions, seminars, scavenger hunts, line dancing, fitness activities, trivia quizzes, parades and entertainment. What I think RCI could include to actually make it stand out include:

• More fitness activities involving the use of the Pool & Sport Deck facilities. In which they hold more pool parties, some competitions on the FlowRider, golf course or table tennis courts.

• Improve on the "parties". The parties that the cruise organized were horrible. They should have games for children to participate rather than laid-out games to play alone. They should also have some performances. This is for children who did not register for Adventure Ocean.

• More social activities, such as handicraft making or "fashion shows" or anything that is active and fun. It seems that the Oasis really lacks D.I.Y. activities that most cruises, or at least what I think cruises should, offer. With the vast amount of space and the Workshop located at Deck 14 vacant for most of the time, it would be nice to hold some free activities to appeal to senior citizens.

The activities I praise include fitness-related ones, entertainment that I would discuss later, Bingo and activities for the younger generation. Activities I think they could improve include scavenger hunts (instead of holding it at a remote starting point like On Air, it would be nice to start from the Pool & Sports Deck which could gain more attention. A bigger search area would be nice, too) and parties which I had mentioned on earlier.

Now comes nightly entertainment. I would group them into four categories as RCI did: Theater Shows, Water Shows, Ice Shows and Comedy Shows.

Spa and Fitness - Pool & Sports Deck (5)

Honestly speaking, I have never tried out the spa services onboard nor the fitness center. However, I have seen other fitness options outside the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness.

The Vitality at Sea Spa, which is the biggest spa and fitness center at sea, is located on Deck 6 aft, so one may have to accept having to walk for a while. But one thing I could say is its interior dEcor. It was white - and it makes one feel relaxed. The colors blend perfectly, so at leas one thing I know is that the person won't feel uneasy due to the color scheme. There is even a kids and teens' spa called Y-SPA. From what I heard the spa and fitness center was good, but I was sadly unable to try out as I think I was too young (or that I'm just shy, not my usual self).

Now, Royal Caribbean has broadened spa and fitness options on its ships. For example, those eating in the Opus Dining Room are able to enjoy a less-calorie selection of dishes. They stated the amount of calories. I don't know if it is accurate or not but based on my primary education, I could tell that slimming down does not mean eating less - it just means, having a lower calorie intake.

Also to note is the Pool & Sports Deck' sports area. It is really gigantic and different from other ships.

Hailing from the tropics I was not adapted to cold waters. When I step into the small lazy river in the H20 Zone, it seems icy cold. My father told me that RCI probably wanted not to use so much electricity, but a few days later, when I stepped back again, the water was hot and cozy. Strange because, when it was sunny the water was cold, and when it was dark the water was warm. The Jacuzzi is also quite comforting after participating in several activities. It was a really clever idea to have four pools catered to different people - Main for the typical swimmer, Beach to simulate beach waves, Sports especially for water sports and the H20 Zone for children.

The H20 Zone is really catered to smaller, younger children. It would be nice for RCI to install better facilities such as, maybe, a water slide? As long as its not more unneeded sculptures that will be fine.

That covers the Pool section. The Sports section is even more fantastic. You could really play a number of sports here. You could play football, tennis or basketball in the basketball court, have a round of golf on the golf course, take a jog or a professional run on the walking track (located at Deck 5), play table tennis in the table tennis court, surf on the FlowRiders and even zipline across the ship. It seems as if one could do almost every sport on the ship.

I tried out the FlowRider, which was separated into four lanes - two for boogie boarding and two for actual surfing. Boogie boarding is a much easier way in which one lies down on the board and does stunts. I gave it a go and it was truly a lot of fun. The instructors were professional and clearly explained to us what to do. The current of the waves was so strong that it could push you back to the start if you fall off. Fear not, for there is a buffer that prevents any pain. Only one time it seemed as if the surfboard hit my head. Thankfully it wasn't a major injury, and this should be VERY rare because it seemed that the surfboard was thrown back first, then me. It was only minor and was gone soon. But I still can't believe the cruel irony that struck me.

Seminars on how to cut down fats, relax and other useful fitness facts are held everyday. I'm not sure if RCI has cycling tours, but I am sure it also brings fitness to shore. All these coupled together makes the perfect fitness cruise.

Family, Children and Teens (4)

RCI is notable for its variety of family and children activities. Just a recap, children from five to twelve will be under the following age categories should they join the Adventure Ocean youth programme:

• Aquanauts (3-5 year olds)

• Explorers (6-8 year olds)

• Voyagers (9-11 year olds)

Toddlers aged three and below are given access to the Royal Babies and Tots community, while teens like myself could go to The Living Room, an only-teens (with the exception of trainers) hang-out spot., and Fuel, a nightclub reserved for teens and also includes a bar. Royal Babies & Tots, Aquanauts, Explorers and Voyagers' clubs are located at Deck 14, or the Youth Zone. Teens' clubs are located at Deck 15, the Pool & Sports Zone.

My sister, aged eleven, signed up for the Adventure Ocean programme and commented that it was enjoyable and the staff were helpful and humorous. She praises the Adventure Science Lab, probably since she is a fan of Science. Art and music rooms are also provided. I checked the Adventure Ocean daily planners and I think it needs to have a bit more of outdoor interaction, considering the fact that most sports and games were held indoors.

On Day 6, I had a choice between going to the AquaTheater to watch the Men's Belly Flop competition and the Adventure Ocean talent show. Coincidentally, the competition and several other activities were cancelled due to bad weather so I attended the talent show. I would like to note, despite this being a small matter, trying to show off a butterfly tattoo on a five-year-old girl. Otherwise the team of staff was pretty competent in doing the job.

When it comes to 'parties', I got a shock. As I had explained previous, the parties were not up to standard. What's more, I don't see the staff allowing children to participate after they perform. It was a bit of a letdown, considering SuperStar Virgo, which had games and fun for all.

Now to the Teens stuff. I was shy on the first two days so I didn't really go to The Living Room, the teens hangout spot on the ship. Only on the third day did I enter The Living Room and made some friends.

The Living Room consists of nine Wii sets, a Foosball table, a bar catered to teens, a music studio, a miniature cyber cafe and a large television usually showing movies. It was my first time seeing a cruise ship with a teens hang-out, but as eventually I realized all major cruise lines carry such a facility. Nevertheless RCI's take was amazingly modern.

The staff were professional. They were friendly and they knew how to take care of problems, although surprisingly, there weren't any. They also organized awesome activities, such as a parody of Family Feud, competitions on video games and sports such as FlowRider and Dodgeball, and other interesting activities.

Also, to accompany the Living Room is Fuel. Although stated clearly on the map it is actually hidden deep. Only one door connects to it, which leads to a small room with another door that would be Fuel. Fuel is amazingly colourful. I didn't explore fully but from what I could see, teens must LOVE this place. I stress on the word LOVE, because it was a blend of art and technology. It only opens at night, though, but that's what make it all the more secretive.

To conclude, RCI really did well with family activities and teen activities. I only hope they could allow the children to be more involved with ship facilities. Other than that, great I should say.

Shore Excursions (4)

We took a shore excursion in St. Thomas for turtle snorkeling. Apparently external vendors operate some of the shore excursions, which was somewhat disappointing with the perception that a cruise line so renowned should operate more of its own tours. Nevertheless, the snorkeling trip was fun. One could view my full review : http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147405-d1475074-r95435778-Doubloon_Pirate_Ships-Charlotte_Amalie_St_Thomas_U_S_Virgin_Islands.html

Embarkation (4)

When we first boarded the ship the embarkation process was a bit slower than expected, but probably because of several arrangements in which we placed our sister in our aunt's room (due to the four-pax-per-room regulation) and RCI wanted to confirm the girl was indeed still with her parents.

During our stops at the ports, I had no complaints. It was speedy and not stressful; you'd be out in the port by fifteen minutes. When we returned it was also slower than usual but I didn't blame RCI, and simply hope that they could improve on this matter.

Service (5)

When it comes to service, RCCI definitely excels. Their staff members were extremely friendly. I recall the Filipino waitress who served us during dinner; she interacted with us a lot and was very friendly. The headwaiter, too, was very helpful. They constantly ask us for our feedback, which is really an extra mile put forward.

The staff members at the Living Room and at the FlowRider machines were professional; the housekeeper who took care of our rooms was helpful; it was all so amazing. I always love to see the staff interact with each other during the cruise, as that just proves the friendly atmosphere and the dedication they had put into their work.

Value and Rates (4)

It was of reasonable pricing, and taking in account that this is ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHIPS IN THE WORLD, the rates were actually quite good.

Conclusion

Disembarkation was swift. The staff at Port Everglades was really helpful in carrying our luggage. That marked the end of the cruise.

All in all, maybe I was a bit overwhelmed at the start of the cruise which made the rest not too the extent that I was excited. I was still really pleased with RCI, and I would be glad to go back again.

Four out of five. Recommended ABSOLUTELY!

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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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