1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
this ship is very modern, but way too big. the problem is the crowds of people. not so much in the different venues on the ship, but all around the ship. when you get off on the dock, the throng of people is overwhelming. the locals cannot ... Read More
this ship is very modern, but way too big. the problem is the crowds of people. not so much in the different venues on the ship, but all around the ship. when you get off on the dock, the throng of people is overwhelming. the locals cannot handle the masses. all the local stores, tours, & streets are jammed. the situation for dinner was terrible. there were always too many people waiting in line. dinner was like a cattle call! the cabin was always too hot. we complained about the a/c, but never got any satisfaction. the shows were really good & well produced. the other problem we had was the lack of knowledge from the staff. nobody seems to know much of anything on board. when asking directions we got the wrong directions. when asking about internet & phone service we got the wrong answers. when we got the correct answers it took days of persistence. the ports were as lovely as ever. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Our First bad experience was in Florida getting on the ship.. Not like our first experience 2 years ago at all. The workers were pushy and very rude. We were with a fairly large group and we all felt this way. Once on board, the air ... Read More
Our First bad experience was in Florida getting on the ship.. Not like our first experience 2 years ago at all. The workers were pushy and very rude. We were with a fairly large group and we all felt this way. Once on board, the air conditioning in our cabin wasn't cooling. We said something to the room attendant, but never heard back on the air. The room was dusty, the shower had something black in the bottom of it and the closet door kept falling off the hangers. In the dining room our waiter was awesome, however they broke our group up and we weren't all together, the table of family next to us, their waitress was horrible.. we had our desert before they even took their drink order. Our first stop was the Bahamas, the younger people in our group were offered pot and drugs. After the 3rd person asking us about buying or selling drugs we went back to the ship, we didn't do anything there but buy one t shirt. St. Thomas was a nice place. We took a taxi to Magen's Bay and swam all day, Our driver Duncan was back to pick us up at the time we asked him to be there. In St Maarten, we took a water taxi to the beach and swam all day there, the town was right behind the beach board walk so some of us walked through town, collecting charms and seeing the sights, while others hung out on the beach. The food on the ship was ok, Our fist cruise was Allure of the Seas and the food was much better there, they had different menus each day, where as on the OASIS, the menu was nearly the same each night. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our second cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and our 18th with Royal Caribbean. We sailed from Port Everglades on Saturday 9/17 and returned on 9/24. Our room was a Superior Oceanview with balcony room. We were very ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and our 18th with Royal Caribbean. We sailed from Port Everglades on Saturday 9/17 and returned on 9/24. Our room was a Superior Oceanview with balcony room. We were very disappointed when we entered the room as the people that had it the week before us were smokers and had smoked in the room. Naturally the curtains and bedding were permeated with cigarette smoke/nicotine. We tried to get another room but the ship was full and we realized that RCCL could not do too much about the situation. Additionally the folks on the next deck up from us smoked on their balcony! I know that smoking is prohibited in staterooms and on balconies but people just do not care about other folks. We have been on this itinerary a number of times and knew what to expect from Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. One thing that impressed us was the speed at which we were processed for the cruise. It was fast and our luggage arrived at our room before sailing! Well done! When we got off the ship it went just as smoothly..so fast! The crew seemed for the most part to be cheerful and helpful but of course there are a few that are just surly. Our room stewart was great and could not do enough for us. One big thing that we noticed was the quality of the food in the Windjammer was much better than other ships we have recently been on. As for the main dining room, we found the same food to be better in the Windjammer. As repeat cruisers with RCCL we had access to the Diamond Lounge. We were disappointed in the fact that they have changed the house wine to a very sweet red that was horrible! Cant explain why they changed but have an idea it revolves around expense. As usual we were inundated by people/crew trying to sell us stuff. Really a turn off! one final thing, although this ship holds a whole bunch of passengers, we never felt crowded. Also missed the Veterans get together that other ships have for former military mean and women. Sorry this one only gets a 3 Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Overall, the experience was OK...we've been on over 20 cruises, and the ship was great but the food was mediocre at best. The desserts were dry, tasteless and too sweet. The coffee was absolutely horrible. It tasted burnt all the ... Read More
Overall, the experience was OK...we've been on over 20 cruises, and the ship was great but the food was mediocre at best. The desserts were dry, tasteless and too sweet. The coffee was absolutely horrible. It tasted burnt all the time and was cold many times. The service was just ok. We are used to the excellent service that we get from Princess. The entertainment, especially the Broadway show was excellent. This was the highlight of the cruise. They had some great jazz musicians, Jazz and Four that were top notch as well as the string players in the Central Park. There was a guacamole making class with a charge of $30/person. This was beyond ridiculous. We walked out of the restaurant. I also found out that RC keeps the tip money that the passengers pay if the worker does not get at least a 92% rating. Isn't this immoral and unethical? The workers make slave wages of between $500-1000 a month! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this ship because we had loved it in 2012, but this time, we were not impressed. The mattresses in our cabin were caving in and very uncomfortable, there were stains on the carpet, holes in the curtains. It seemed like the ... Read More
We chose this ship because we had loved it in 2012, but this time, we were not impressed. The mattresses in our cabin were caving in and very uncomfortable, there were stains on the carpet, holes in the curtains. It seemed like the selection and quality of the food in the dining room had degraded. Eating at the Windjammmer was unpleasant because of the lineups and the crowd. We preferred the Solarium bistro, which had a smaller selection of food, but was less crowded. RCI is supposedly Autism on the Seas certified, but aside from the staff at the kids club, the personnel seemed to know what autism is and what it entices. Our son is 4 y.o. and only drinks apple juice, not even water, and the dining room manager at first wanted to charge us for it since it wasn't a staple at dinner - until I raised my voice (they had provided it for free the first night) - after that, it was brought without any problem. Our waiters were amazing and very accommodating. We soon realized the daily planner contained more sales than activities. Quizzes, art auctions, belly flop contest, a movie here and there. Meet the Dreamworks characters was more like "come take a picture with a character that we'll sell you for $22.95 afterwards". Overall, we just felt like RCI was trying to squeeze all the money out of us, and didn't care so much about us having a good time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The embarkation and the disembarkation process on the ship was quick and smooth. We received our luggage within an hour or so. Actually the personnell was busy with the luggage and dragged it to our room. The ship in itself is very ... Read More
The embarkation and the disembarkation process on the ship was quick and smooth. We received our luggage within an hour or so. Actually the personnell was busy with the luggage and dragged it to our room. The ship in itself is very impressive, mainly because of the Central Park area. The boardwalk area is really nothing special. The Flowrider was a big hit with my boys. The pool area is nice for the kids but in my opinion nothing special. The cabins were okay, but my rooms on the Carnival Breeze seemed bit roomier. However, we did not have complains on the room. The staff including the room steward, are doing their best, but you notice that they really don't care about you And just about doing their work. Entertainment was very good. I did not see Cats because of the reviews I had read. For entertainment purposes the shows were far better than the ones on Carnival. However, the Carnival is so much more fun. The large part of the crowd on RC was so 'stuffy' that with music by the pool, 15 of the 6000 guests are willing to dance! The cruise Director was not a highlight either. We had the ports Labadee (which is okay if you like swimming and the sun), Jamaica (i did not leave the port, and the Margarittaville was just okay but not fun. This could have been because of the "fun" RC crowd) and Mexico ( fun fun fun and the people were so nice. We went to Mr Sancho's. The coconut shrimps aren't the best...but good enough. The Cozumel breeze is very good!) I was not mentally prepared for the bad quality food on the Oasis. Not much variety, bland taste.......I have never had this bad food on a cruise. I can't say that everything was bad, but that was more an exception to the rule. I honestly don't regret going on the Oasis but I will definitely never do it again. Maybe a smaller RC ship with the hope that the food will be better. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Ship is beautiful, this is our 6th time on this ship, some of the staff was disappointing, some made us feel they were doing us a favor by helping us, pleasant positive staff was rare. We felt something was different in the atmosphere for ... Read More
Ship is beautiful, this is our 6th time on this ship, some of the staff was disappointing, some made us feel they were doing us a favor by helping us, pleasant positive staff was rare. We felt something was different in the atmosphere for this cruise, not as positive as in the previous ones. We still had an overall nice cruise, I rated it poor because we feel it wasn't the usual upbeat experience we usually have, but 1 disappointing cruise out of many does not put us off the RCCL product ...... not yet. Next up is Harmony on 12/3/16. Can't wait! We dIdn't care for new dining room menus but maybe we chose the wrong things. I think they are getting the kinks still out, food was served barely warm. In our immediate area the staff seemed stressed and unorganized. I never got a glass of wine I ordered one night so I started bringing my own into the dining room. Nadine our stateroom attendant was superior in every way, we truly enjoyed her positive greetings and happy attitude. Andrew from India in the Globe and Atlas was another wonderful server, no matter where and when he saw us he cheerfully greeted us by name. We couldn't believe how smooth check in went, was a breeze, last time we went out of port Everglades it was a mess. I complimented them and asked what they were doing different and they looked at us as though we were crazy. Even when our cards could not be found, they made new ones immediately but it was troubling as this was the second time for the oasis it has happened. We are glad the harmony cards will be in our room. The pool in the solarium is badly rusted in spots and fountains do not work anymore, it really need repairs badly. There were no advertised times for the pools, the staff closed them at will it seemed. There were no pools open 24 hours, normally there is one. It stated in the cruise compass certain hot tubs are open 24 hours, I did not use them so I don't know. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we've always wanted to try out one of the mega-ships and came across a good deal but we're pretty sure we won't be sailing one of these type ships again any time soon. More like a floating ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've always wanted to try out one of the mega-ships and came across a good deal but we're pretty sure we won't be sailing one of these type ships again any time soon. More like a floating Vegas hotel than a cruise ship. Luckily we had an oceanview balcony but if you have an inside cabin you might not even know you were on a ship unless you were up top in the pool and recreation area or in the back of the Boardwalk area. There is no promenade deck and hardly any outside views at all in the public rooms. The food was okay in the main dining room, nothing special. The first night the service was chaotic but the servers kept apologizing for the disorganization and it improved greatly after that. Lovely waiter and assistant, too. We had a 3 dinner package one of which was the only memorable one. The Italian was a disappointment although the wine pairing dinner in 150 Central park was the highlight of our dining experiences. We highly recommend that one. We had a wonderful server who's name escapes me, maybe because he poured a full glass of wine with each course and we were seeing double by the time dinner was over. We had to cancel our comedy club reservation that night we were so blotto from the wine pairing and couldn't get another reservation for the rest of the week unless we wanted to standby. Nope. No wasting an hour of my cruise time standing in line for a show I might not be able to see. Who's idea was it to have a comedy club with a capacity of just a couple hundred people on a ship with 6,000 passengers? The shows in the outdoor water theater were fantastic, just beautiful. Very talented artists! We went to see them twice, the first time we had a reservation and the second time we just walked up as we could see they still had a lot of seats available. The ship was full and you had to have reservations for most of your activities including the shows. Sorry, that much planning ahead on vacation is not for us. We did the private island excursion in Haiti which was very nice with not more than 30 something guests and a beautiful beach. You just have to try to ignore the Haitian men that stand on the beach staring and the ones in the boats holding up fish they want to sell. Overall the staff were great except for a couple of frazzled bartenders. Our room steward was top notch. We never had to ask for anything, he knew exactly what we needed and was just a sweet guy too. One tip ladies, they will have 2 Michael kors sales. They're both overpriced you can do much better at Macy's or ebay but if you really must have one (I got suckered into 2) go to the 2nd sale and get there early, better deals but the lines are long. Although they sold me a bag for $159.00 and then came running down the hall saying they charged me the wrong price. What?! How is that my problem? They said they would have to refund me and charge me the correct price $228.00. Now that I look back I should have objected but I felt I was being held hostage so I didn't make a fuss. We didn't have a drink package because we can't possibly drink that much including Diamond lounge complimentary drinks almost every evening. Which reminds me that we both came down with what we suspect was food poisoning. Our Diamond Lounge host came down with the same symptoms a few days before us. Severe stomach pains with headache and fever. It was not noro, no vomiting, etc. Luckily this happened the last 2 days of the cruise so we just stayed in our cabin in quite a bit of misery and had our towels switched out. My husband did not want to go to the medical facility, which I wish I didn't agree to. I had to go to the emergency room a few days after returning home because the pain would not go away. They didn't think it was noro either, did a CT scan and prescribed antibiotics which helped but with my already existing intestinal issues I have not been the same since. Luckily we have insurance because the ER bill was over $8,000.00 but I'm still working out the co-pays. We will not consider doing a ship with over 6,000 passengers again unless they can improve the disembarkation process. What a mess! We were both still feeling weak and felt we couldn't handle all of our bags ourselves to do the self disembarkation so we had to pick them up in the customs area. Big mistake. Our disembarkation time was about 8:15 am but our number wasn't called until after 10:00 and we didn't get out of the terminal until about 11:45 The customs hall is just not equipped to handle that many passengers in Fort Lauderdale. It was hot, with a sea of people in front of us and only 4 Customs windows open for U.S. passengers. Fights were breaking out in line. Where were the cruise line agents? Nowhere in sight. It was every man for himself. Our flight was about 2:00 and we were getting worried we might be too late which added to the stress. We mostly have good memories from this ship (after all it's a cruise!) but some not so good ones as well. A lot of people love the Oasis of the Seas and mega-ships like her but we like a cruising experience where the sea is the main attraction and the ocean views are everywhere. We're also not looking at RCCL for any future cruises. Our business, our countless past cruises or future dollars means nothing to them. Their "customer care" never answered any of my emails. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We previously sailed on Explorer and Freedom class ships. Because of the hype about the Oasis class, we decided to book in February. The ship is very big, however, fairly easy to get around and with the number of people, there was really ... Read More
We previously sailed on Explorer and Freedom class ships. Because of the hype about the Oasis class, we decided to book in February. The ship is very big, however, fairly easy to get around and with the number of people, there was really no problem until it came time to eat or see a show, then, unless you had reservations, you still needed to get in place 45 minutes before starting time to get a decent seat. Dining was our biggest disappointment. The wait staff seemed to be overworked and had too many guests which caused lengthy waiting between courses and the food was not up to standards we had experienced on other RC ships. The speciality restaurants were better but all were small. We ate Italian, Japanese and Steak. Chops was head and shoulders better than the other two. We are Platinum Crown and Anchor members, but did not get the promised bath robes or lapel pins and our state room phone was not working and it took until the last day for a cord to be replaced. It sounds like we only have complaints, but the cruise was very enjoyable. We enjoyed the different areas of the ship (Boardwalk and Central Park). We had purchased a soft drink package, but there are only three places on the ship to get a refill and the machines were constantly out of ice or were broken. As far as the ship itself, it is immaculate and the decoration very modern, however, we both missed being able to access a deck where we could sit and stroll as well as feel like we were on a ship. There was no movement, you might as well be in a mall. I always liked the feeling of being gently rocked to sleep at night. I don't think RC is any different than any other line, but everything except the basics have a cost, even at dinner where you can upgrade your meal for a price. In the future, we will leave the mega ships to others and go back to the smaller ones. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
To begin with this was our 2nd Cruise the first was onboard the Freedom of the Seas in 2014. We chose the Oasis of the Seas for the destination and then the ship...As it turned out it was more about the destinations than the ship! At ... Read More
To begin with this was our 2nd Cruise the first was onboard the Freedom of the Seas in 2014. We chose the Oasis of the Seas for the destination and then the ship...As it turned out it was more about the destinations than the ship! At first sight I was just slightly impressed because of the Apartment like appearance of the ship; Freedom of the Seas comes out on top for eye candy and the WOW factor. I will say Royal Caribbean gets an A+ for the improved check-in and embarkation experience we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes and off the ship a full 1.5 hours before expected. Lines moved fairly quickly. Now the cabin....Ocean View room was noticeably smaller compared to the Ocean View room we had on the Freedom and was severely oversold and under delivered. Room steward was about the same on both ships; great job Derry! The overall decor of the ship was boring and tired in comparison. The Main Dining Room we were told was recently "remodeled" and I was left dumbfounded on who signed off on those designs because I truly believe they are in the wrong business. Now, for those who have traveled on other ships this is supposed to be a big wow factor and it this was a dud! From the first day my wife and I were like how does a ship from 2009 look so worn out already! Now, we come to the food! I honestly have to say the dining experience left me wondering is this the area Royal Caribbean is trying to save money in....That's a big no no; 10 four! Except for the Solarium Bistro and Vintages (tappas) everything else was just sub-par to Freedom of the Seas...Even the dining experience was something to get excited about; on the Oasis we dreaded going and deviated for Specialty that was not part of our initial plan...We were sat for traditional dining at a 8 top table in the middle of our section and we were the only 2 that showed up, like the spot light was on us...it was so uncomfortable...The manager did make other arrangements and we came back 2 more times but the food was yuck! Solarium Bistro for Dinner was the way to go. Just get a reservation or show up and ask if there is an open table and they will try to accommodate you. We somehow missed the 2nd formal night as the ship communications are not all very informative you have to read through the compass and somehow my wife swore it was casual night but it was disappointing because she had this beautiful dress that she was very excited to wear and that was deflated rather suddenly! Now, Entertainment...I would say it was pretty good. "Cats" Broadway production was boring and the singers were ehh! But "Come Fly with Me" and "Frozen in Time" were not bad and actually somewhat entertaining. I didn't hear of the Diving Show on the Stern of the ship every taking place and nobody that I heard talked about that show at all. The ship's event pictures are pretty good but with a lack luster decor finding a good photo opp was hard to come by and oh my god are they expensive. I will thank my wife for the gorgeous Movado watch she bought me a very good price but that was because Movado has discontinued that design...I love it though and she got a very nice Coach purse...Other than that you and your money are soon and deeply separated once you board the ship! Well, either that or you're content to do nothing, see nothing and taste nothing... Overall, I would skip this ship and move on! We are thinking of taking another cruise but it will have to be on the Freedom of the Seas or another Cruise Line altogether. Labadee was a better stop than Coco-Cay was, my wife and I really enjoyed it; the Sales people seem to be aggressive but they are sweet people and are just trying to make a living, we tried to spread the purchases across a few of them! You should negotiate on the prices but be reasonable...PLEASE! Oh before I forget, Royal Caribbean Executive Staff, CIGAR LOUNGE, CIGAR LOUNGE, CIGAR LOUNGE!!! For the size of this ship not to have a cigar lounge just like or better than the one on the Freedom of the Seas doesn't make sense, I must have seen 12 or more people smoking Cigars on the outside deck 15 every day, not that it wasn't enjoyable I just prefer to smoke inside out of the wind. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
T HE OASIS OF THE SEA seems to have fallen in between the cracks. the ship is showing wear and tear we sailed on her 4 years ago. She was spotless and the staff wonderful. This time the pool deck was dirty, ice cream spills were not ... Read More
T HE OASIS OF THE SEA seems to have fallen in between the cracks. the ship is showing wear and tear we sailed on her 4 years ago. She was spotless and the staff wonderful. This time the pool deck was dirty, ice cream spills were not attended to and the plastic glasses were everywhere. Food in the main dining room was good and our waiter Leonardo was great. Our room steward was also very good. We took our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter and she enjoy the kids pool and kids activities in the kids area very much. She was asking to go back even after dinner. she loved the kids splash area. And loved the characters on board and especiall the diving and ice skating show. Overall the ship was a disappointment, We really built it up to our family and it was not as good as it was 4 years ago. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
The more times you cruise, the higher your expectations get - in my opinion. The inward facing balconies and huge size of this ship was a unique experience, and one worth doing. Deck 10, cabin 727, second from the back facing the boardwalk ... Read More
The more times you cruise, the higher your expectations get - in my opinion. The inward facing balconies and huge size of this ship was a unique experience, and one worth doing. Deck 10, cabin 727, second from the back facing the boardwalk was a great choice for viewing the shows, seeing some ocean, and watching the boardwalk. In providing different and unique insight, we discovered that some cabins have the bed nearest the balcony and others have the couch nearest the balcony. They are back to back in pairs, so its a bit hard to figure out which is which, but, of course, 727 had the bed near the balcony, and, of course, we would have preferred the opposite - or was it just that the grass is always greener? - - - . The buffet was not ALWAYS packed, but some planning helped find the less-busy times. The tips and tricks page we compiled before our trip was useful in picking activities, although you have to watch for old, out of date information in some postings. Room service breakfast was a good idea, but one egg gets you one mellon - baller sized dollop of egg, one toast meant on slice - yet on sausage got you two links. Order number of items, not number of people. 2 coffees gets you a tiny pot, so 4 coffees for two people would be wiser. Tipping $4 is likely worth it - although the 30 minute window for delivery was not entirely on-point. The crowd was more mixed age than many of our other cruises, but not any rowdier than usual. All in all, if you feel that this would be a unique and different cruise, do it. We found it to be as interesting and unique as we expected, and, as expected, a one-time treat. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I was very disappointed with the cruise! We previously had been on the Oasis for 44 days. The Menu was very limited with NO cold soups and limited salads. Room Service was inconsistent. Sometime good coffee and sometimes sludge. ... Read More
I was very disappointed with the cruise! We previously had been on the Oasis for 44 days. The Menu was very limited with NO cold soups and limited salads. Room Service was inconsistent. Sometime good coffee and sometimes sludge. Sometimes we got what we ordered and sometimes NOT. We did not know that the Diamond lounge had closed on deck 4 and reopened combined with the Concierge Lounge on deck 11.We did not receive our normal Amenities. A plate of 4 Chocolate Strawberries is it. I was quarantined to my cabin for a couple of days and when finally released, I could not get off the ship in Jamaica due to a miscommunication. The entertainment was great, especially Cats! The Comedy Club acts were fantastic, except for the Headliner named Kennedy who was just horrible. We had a Jr. Suite on the 7th deck and it was amazing. Being in a Jr. Suite gave us the ability to eat dinner in the Coastal Kitchen and we really enjoyed it. The suite and Pinnacle lounge is really nice and it would be nice if Diamond Plus cruisers were allowed usage of this facility. Children, well there were a lot of them Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
. On behalf of myself and 3 fellow passengers, I would like to inform you of some of the positives and negatives of our cruise. The last Royal cruise I sailed on was Liberty of the Seas and loved it, so I was very excited to experience ... Read More
. On behalf of myself and 3 fellow passengers, I would like to inform you of some of the positives and negatives of our cruise. The last Royal cruise I sailed on was Liberty of the Seas and loved it, so I was very excited to experience and recommend sailing on “The Oasis” to my friends to share the experience with me. Unfortunately, it did not turn out as wonderful as any of us had hoped. The boarding process was great, very quick and easy; however, once on the ship there were no handouts available and no one was directing us where to go or could answer any questions. When our luggage arrived at our cabins, one of my companion’s new luggage was delivered missing a wheel (which really wasn’t a surprise after watching how the baggage handlers mishandled and threw the luggage). This was the beginning of our problems and frustration. We were first inconvenienced having to go to Guest Services and fill out a report and then wait in the cabin for someone to come investigate the damage, however, the cruise line made good and replaced it with a new suitcase. On the ship, trying to figure out how to get around and where information was available was very frustrating. We found the TV communication system to be a hassle, frustrating and difficult to find the answers to our questions. When I checked my account on this system, I realized I did not receive the credit I was promised. I went to Guest Services where after waiting on a long line and wasting about 40 minutes working with a rep, I was promised that it had been corrected and would show up in about 3 – 4 days. After waiting a few days and it still not being posted, I went again to Guest Services and a day after that again, total 3 times. Finally, Thursday late afternoon (cruise ended Saturday morning) I got my credit. Furthermore, I had booked the cruise for myself and the others almost a year ago, they all had gotten the onboard credit, the first Guest Services Rep asked to see my booking invoice. Ridiculous! We found the dining room staff and cabin staff to be great, very accommodating, courteous, helpful and friendly, however, no one else seemed to be able to answer any questions, and if they did on a few occasions it was wrong. It seemed to us that they didn’t know their way around the ship, or what was available. All the shows and entertainment were fabulous, so glad we made reservations before boarding. Every show was first class and we always had great seats and enjoyed them immensely. We were very disappointed and surprised that there were so many additional charges and nowhere (not on the TV) could we find these charges posted. Instead, ($) fee applies indicators were shown on many of the daily activities as well as the specialty restaurants. All the specialty restaurants were priced differently and expensively, again not posted unless you went to the restaurant and read the menu (would have been nice to have that information in the cabin). We also found drinks to be ridiculously expensive ($15 a drink), no drink specials. I don’t recall drink prices ever being this high. Unfortunately, due to a medical emergency our itinerary was changed, which was very disappointing, as we were so looking forward to going to St Thomas & St Kitts. We were rerouted to San Juan instead. I had been to San Juan before and had no desire or interest to go back. When we were ready to get off the ship, the safe would not open in cabin 10180. Maintenance was immediately called and we were told someone would be there in 15 minutes. The four of us waited in the cabin and no one showed up. We called back a half hour later and were told by Maintenance that he was there, that we were not in the cabin and no one answered the door. We verified we were in the cabin waiting and no one came, but he insisted that he was there and we were not. This went back and forth with him insisting we were not there and him hanging up on us. We were flabbergasted & offended, he was so rude! We continued waiting and finally went into hallway watching and hoping he would show up. Luckily we saw a guy in uniform down the hallway and called to him. He was obviously at the wrong cabin! He never apologized and claimed he was given the wrong cabin. We arrived in Labadee Thursday morning, getting off the ship about an hour after docking. There were no towels being handed out and we never saw any information saying that we would need to take towels. We assumed they would be available on an island of beaches and water activities. Once on the island, we were told towels were not available; so, we asked other passengers where they got towels, telling us they were being handed out two to each passenger as they got off the ship. Again, nothing was posted and no one told us we needed to get towels. Upon leaving the island we saw how much we had missed, because we took a tram back to the dock. Disappointedly, we never received any kind of handout or saw a map of Labadee; we totally missed out on things we would have loved to do (shopping, zip lining, etc). Ultimately, my travel companions and I were very disappointed with this cruise. We booked almost a year ago, on my recommendation, and we were so looking forward to it. Being that my past cruises with Royal Caribbean have been great, I can’t help but wonder if this cruise was so disappointing because it was the ship itself (“The Oasis”); or, have there been changes that have somehow adversely impacted Royal Caribbean’s standards? That being the case, with all the mishaps, rerouted ports of call, poor communications, recurring disappointments and overall dissatisfaction, I would hope for some type of satisfaction. I wrote to Royal and did receive a call back apologizing and telling me she would pass on the information to the appropriate departments. Very disappointing!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (8/20/16), Ft Lauderdale Are you planning to sail on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas? We actually did, our story follows. I hope we can help you make a decision but keep in mind that sometimes ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (8/20/16), Ft Lauderdale Are you planning to sail on Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas? We actually did, our story follows. I hope we can help you make a decision but keep in mind that sometimes bigger is NOT better. According to Wikipedia this ship is 1186 ft. long, has 16 passenger decks, and can carry 6300+ passengers and a crew of 2400. We will write you decide! The saga started auspiciously: a sunny Saturday, August 20th, Ft Lauderdale and the majestic ship rising above its mooring. The challenge: two elderly mobility disabled passengers seeking embarkation using their priority status. The problem: No one to help! A third disabled person almost in tears wondered as well. Where is the help? After 10 minutes or so, my wife had the solution: money talks! Boy did it. Waving a $20 bill with the exhortation: who wants $20 dollars? It produced two willing helpers faster than Aladdin exiting his lamp. Unfortunately, they were not from Royal Caribbean but they did go summon two royal Caribbean surrogates brandishing two wheelchairs with helpers. Mission accomplished through economic persuasion. Quick trip through embarkation procedures and on to our room, 14303, where our wonderful attendant, Erica helped us settle. On to Nassau! After a brief stay, departure and a few hours, trouble started. A medical emergency said the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named. In the middle of the night we had turned back to Nassau! Who knew? Why go back for an emergency, Nassau has a specific U.S. representative to facilitate meeting ships and airlifting passengers. Nevertheless, we now had lost 7 hours and the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named had decided that our next port would not be St Thomas (bad weather we were told), but San Juan Puerto Rico. Well, let me get this straight: Isn't Puerto Rico the home base of the Zika mosquito team? Oh yeah, two days later the CDC started an experiment to test people regarding their exposure to Zika. Where? Puerto Rico, of course. Send the spray cans. One patient saved 6300 passengers possibly at risk. But perhaps we should spray ourselves disembark and visit Puerto Rico anyway. Wrong again! There was a parade and most of the businesses were closed: No Bombonera, no Butterfly People Art but we could get a small vendor and take Empanadas to the ship! Wrong again, they were summarily confiscated at the door. Quick: book Central Park 150 (one of the ship restaurants) for lunch. What a surprise, they had multicolored genetically altered carrots at a price, and what a price. Christina, our server from Romania was extremely helpful. For our last gourmet entrée we had a steak worthy of the Lilliputians in Gulliver’s’ Island, maybe 3 by 2 inches; smaller than a Whopper but more tasty and costly (the imitation steak, not the Whopper!). Maybe later at dinner Royal Caribbean would delight us with one of their famous dinners. Unfortunately, because of the weather our Captain-that-shall-not-be-named could not show up for dinner at the Silk (our designated dining room). Not to worry, our wonderful helpers Manuel, Lamar and our maître-d Esteban made our time so memorable that our joyous sharing became objectionable to the elderly couple at the next table (we did not have drinks our elation was solely provoked by the thought of having some lobster in the menu some day). Thus, some of the meal had to be completed church style: no talking and a lot of praying. By the way, the lobster did come the day that Captain-that-shall-not-be-named was supposed to show up (he did not) but I think we got langostinos instead, or maybe under aged lobsters harvested before their early demise. So on we went, drifting at sea for a couple of days eating turkey sandwiches at the Promenade (some of the wait staff would not assist us in taking food to the table) but Andre and Sofia did. Tired of turkey (no, we do not mean the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named) sandwiches? Eat pizza at Sorrento's, great pizza and it is free. Well, at least we would get to St Kitts soon. No, no, no, the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named determined that the weather was still bad so we were going to exciting Labadee, in Haiti. Is that owned by Royal Caribbean? Of course, Labadee is a major money maker for the company who took 260 acres of land from the Haitian dictator in 1986 and pays no rent of any kind. As a passenger, however, you pay $10 to $12 head tax according to www.cruiselaw.com By the way, if you are a Trump fan, a warning! According to www.clintonfoundation.org the Marriott built in Haiti was made possible by a several million grant made to the Clinton Global Initiative. I am just saying! O.K., a few more days at sea and our Captain-that-shall-not-be-named finally honored us with his presence: 30 minutes and you could have a selfie, what a deal. Finally, maybe a few more days at sea in the solitude of our handicapped room? No, no, no again. Do you know where room 14303 is? Right under the table tennis facilities! (According to guest services). Were they playing table tennis or was it an elephant hunt gone awry? Maybe we could relax in our balcony that fronted the Boardwalk? Of course not, they had music, shows and an infernal carrousel that clanged a bell every time it moved. Why was that, were they afraid of a Titanic type collision at sea and thus ringing the bell constantly? I don't know and was unable to ask the Captain-that-shall-not-be-named. In conclusion, if you want to relax and are mobility challenged don't go on Oasis of the Seas without renting an electric wheel chair or scooter. Moreover, in my opinion the food is bad, the ports visited unpredictable, (they have even had small boats demonstrations in Labadee prompting Royal Caribbean to cancel some of their visits) especially during hurricane season (June 1-Nov 30) and the ship is too big to really deliver services to the 6000+ people on board and the 2400+ well meaning, dedicated crew people. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Being from Houston, we're used to the convenience being 30 minutes from the port of Galveston. However, destinations and ship choices from there are rather limited. Thus we accepted extra airline travel and decided on Oasis of the ... Read More
Being from Houston, we're used to the convenience being 30 minutes from the port of Galveston. However, destinations and ship choices from there are rather limited. Thus we accepted extra airline travel and decided on Oasis of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale with an Eastern Caribbean route to Saint Maarten, San Juan, and Labadie. With less stops, we could relax more or have more time for all of the amenities on this huge ship. Trying to avoid hassle of flight delay affecting embarkation, we flew into Fort Lauderdale 3 days early. Spent a day in the Keys, a day in South Beach, and a day in Hollywood beach. It was great the morning of cruise as I woke up early and was able to see Oasis arriving in darkness and knew it was coming to "pick us up"!!! We usually want to get on board early so that we can be on the ship as much as possible so scheduled shuttle bus from Marriott Hollywood at 10am. While the port was only 10-15 minutes away, there was extra traffic of people still disembarking so drop off area was extra crowded. At Galveston, this time frame would have been practically empty. Check in luggage drop off was right where the driver let us off so no dragging bags around looking for porters. I'd say we walked in the terminal building around 10:30am. No line for X-ray and taking 2 bottles of wine was no issue. Checking in to get ship ID card took a little extra as we booked 2 rooms with 1 parent with each kid but the kid not in the room with the prime booking parent didn't allow him to be pre-checked in online. Then it was off to the waiting area where there were 300 or so people already there. Area was sectioned off for by Crown & Anchor levels. The left (facing the ship) was Emerald, Gold, and first timers in the back. The right side was Diamonds, Platinum, and first timers. This is my first complaint. There are 2 gangways to board this ship. The right side door was opened first for Diamonds around 11:10am but the first timers followed and were boarded before the left side door opened. Being Gold, we were last to board. Not a giant deal but just being not organized. We set foot on the ship around 11:30am, not too bad. Once on, we stopped by Park Cafe for the infamous roast beef sandwich...certainly lived up to the hype. Next stop was Boardwalk for hot dogs...excellent. Finally to Windjammer where there was a long line just waiting for tables to open up. Kudos to the crew for announcing to the line that Wipe Out Cafe (1 deck directly below) had no waiting line and the crew would escort people there. We were near the front of the line already so stayed with Windjammer. Typical cruise buffet so nothing to write about. Announcement of stateroom being ready came at 1pm and we headed to the room (14327 & 14329) to drop off carry-on. Next was exploring the ship. Muster drill location for us was Aqua Theater. I'd recommend showing up early for a good seat and in the shade. Sail away watching from the forward of deck 14 offered excellent view and not that crowded. We did the early dinner at 6pm in the Grand. Our wait staff were nice but a little slow as tables near us tend to arrive after us and be done with dessert before we even got ours. Don't know if our waiters had too many tables or what. We're usually done by 7:15 to 7:30pm so plenty of time to catch the shows. Second formal night (lobster) was changed from day 6 to day 5 and we were alerted by out waitstaff although some other tables must not have gotten the message and was complaining to their waiters. The formal day change was good as day 5 is San Juan and ship sailed at 1:30pm so lot so time to get dressed up. Dressing up for daily dining is not a big deal nowadays as lots of shorts, t-shirt and sandals on normal days. We reserved the shows 3 months before sailing and luckily didn't have to redo anything as some experienced because of schedule changes. Saw Cats on first night. Seating was very sparce and lots of people left at intermission. I'm glad we stayed as the 2nd act was much better. We ended up liking Cats so much that we caught 2 more showings later in the cruise. The evening show was also impressive. We didn't get to see the day time comedy version of the diving show as it was cancelled due to injury/sickness but we did catch a small portion of it earlier on the cruise when the cast was practicing. Saw 2 3-D movies in the Opal theater that was great. The outdoor movie on the last night was cancelled but no formal announcement was provided so very poor communication leaving many sitting and waiting for nothing. First stop at St Maarten was awesome. If you're o.k. with walking about 1 mile from the pier to Philipsburg then you can avoid paying the water taxi. We walked the town some then got taxi ($9/person for 4) to Maho Beach. Water was excellent, clear with nice sand. Not too much corrals but enough fish to keep you entertained. Best part was the airport. Everyone went wild for arriving and departing planes which was the highlight of the day. 2 chairs and 1 umbrella costed us $20. Don't arrive too late or they will run out of chairs/umbrellas. Only 2 ships were there that day, Oasis and MSC Divina. I can only imagine how much more crowded during the winter season when more ships would be calling each day. Second stop at San Juan was also great. 3 ships in port at Old San Juan which allowed us to walk the town. Did the scenic was along the water front to the first fort. Got to pet lots of feral cats along the way so good if you like cats and avoid if you hate cats. Town looks plenty safe for walking to cemetery and second fort. Being a lover of history, I can only imagine the corridors of the fort that had Spaniards roaming the same spots over 500 years earlier. Third and last stop was Labadie, Royal Caribbean's private area in Haiti. Didn't so the expensive zip line. Lack of communication was bad, had it not been for my research before trip, I wouldn't know what to do there or that there were multiple beaches and lunch cafeterias. Providing map in the previous night's Compass would have been nice. The first 2 beaches we stopped at had lots of rocks and water was not clear for snorkling. We finally wandered on to Columbus Cove which had sand and much less vegetation to step on. We stayed here for the rest of the day. The trams were seldom and took weird routes so we mainly walked. For those who have trouble walking, this would not be a good day. Disembarkation wasn't bad. Our flight out of Fort Lauderdale wasn't until very late afternoon so we chose to sit on the ship as long as possible rather than waiting at the airport. We were ushered off with the final group around 10am and was out of the terminal by 11am. Ship was most stable we've ever been on. I get motion sickness very easily and even with the ear patch, will still feel rocking motion when back on land, but not this time. Heard many people on the ship saying, they forgot they were at sea. My kids take a light dose of Dramamine but only took it on day 1 and 2 and felt good to not take anymore. It is very unfortunate Oasis class ship likely won't fit in Port of Galveston, else I'd sail this class ship every time. Overall, the ship was great with too many amenities so I didn't get to say I experienced all. Having climbing wall, Flowrider and zip line opening longer would have been great. Our sailing had over 6400 guests but we never felt crowded at all so we do love the ship's layout. Our negative has to be with the staff. I can only described it as "they did their job"...kept us fed, delivered us to the destinations, and kept us safe. Other than that, in comparing to our previous 10 cruises, the communication was very minimal leaving us to seek out info. The cruise director staff didn't seem to be going above and beyond to WOW us so had it not been for the ship itself, we might have been very unhappy with our vacation. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Truly amazed how a company with such beautiful vessels in their fleet can completely forget the important part of their future-CUSTOMER SERVICE! The service on this cruise was by far the worst I've ever encountered in 14 of my prior ... Read More
Truly amazed how a company with such beautiful vessels in their fleet can completely forget the important part of their future-CUSTOMER SERVICE! The service on this cruise was by far the worst I've ever encountered in 14 of my prior cruises. All throughout I though they would over deliver especially with the exorbitant prices they charge and I must say from day 1 the level of service received left a lot to be desired. Highly recommend Upper management and entire crew staff attend Disney institute so they can understand how to treat customers on vacation. The vessel is absolutely gorgeous, but the level of service does not match it! Shows are great the food was not as good as promised. To have breakfast at Windjammer ( Buffet) would take approximately 1/2 hour to be seated. Although, I would cruise again because of the beauty of the ship and everything it has to offer, the level of service makes me think twice. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My family and I just got back from our Western Caribbean cruise on Saturday. This was our second time sailing on the Oasis of the seas, having first sailed in June 2010, and our 5th Royal Caribbean cruise overall. Royal Caribbean has ... Read More
My family and I just got back from our Western Caribbean cruise on Saturday. This was our second time sailing on the Oasis of the seas, having first sailed in June 2010, and our 5th Royal Caribbean cruise overall. Royal Caribbean has always been my family's favorite cruise line and we always preferred it over Carnival and Norwegian but this time around there were some noticeable changes that made us question what was going on with RCCL. Let me start with the positive. Embarkation was a breeze, we were on the ship in no time at all. The ship itself is absolutely beautiful, especially the Central park and Boardwalk area. The second you walk in you forget that you are on a ship and feel like you are in a small city. The food onboard was good it had a good variety of food for lunch and Dinner. The activities onboard during the day were also good although, the pool, flo-rider, and zipline were extremely crowded. The most positive feedback I have from my trip is the outstanding service we received. Our room attendant was very friendly from the start. He always greeted us when we walked passed him and he always left our room clean and with an occasional animal made from towels. Our waiters on board could not have been better. Every night they tried to exceed their service from the night before and did anything in their power to provide us with the best dining experience (they succeeded). Our dinner always arrived fast and they were constantly making sure we didn't need anything else. We formed a bond with them and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to them on the last night. Throughout our trip we only book one shore excursion on board the ship, Dunn's River Falls in Falmouth Jamaica, The excursion took us to Dunn's River Falls as well as a private beach and it was well worth the money we spent on it. Another perk, the 24 hour pizza from Sorrentos and the food from Café Promenade that served those who craved a late night snack. Now lets talk about the negative. The ship was crowded. When you go to the buffet area during a busy time you need to make a line outside and wait for a table to be ready. We have never had to make a line for a table and we felt the line just made the ship feel more crowded. As i mentioned earlier the pool was extremely crowded, especially during the days at sea. Next, there were several crew members that were unable to help us with questions. When we first arrived, we asked a staff member if he knew were our muster station was and he said he didn't know, that should have been the first clue that something was off, how are you supposed to help someone in the case of an emergency if you don't know where their muster station is? Furthermore, the cruise director lacked enthusiasm and charisma. When we sailed in 2010 our cruise director was Richard Spacey and he was amazing. This cruise director was dull. There were not enough activities onboard the ship at night and if there were they only lasted like 20 minutes. When my family and I sailed on the Norwegian Getaway in 2014 there were activities every night and the cruise director and staff made the ship fun. Other things missing on the ship were the midnight buffet and the souvenier glasses for drinks. Now they serve your drinks in a plastic cup. I didn't pay much attention to these changes until the last day when I went to use my card onboard the ship and it said it was not active. I waited inline to speak to someone at guest services who advised me to speak to m credit card company. I did and they assured me that everything was fine with my card. The lady from guest services said their was still a problem with my card and said she will activate it so that I could make purchases on the ship but that she would contact the Financials department to see what the issue was. I thought everything was fine until later that night I tried to make a purchase and again I was unable to. I made a line once again at Guest Services this time for over an hour because it was past 12 am and they only have 2 people working past 2 am ( this was said to me by the man working at guest services) The line was full of people with issues on their account, many of them unhappy with the service being provided and the lack of a supervisor. When it was finally my turn the man who was assisting me didn't know what was going on with my card. Frustrated, I asked him if I could just pay off the balance with another card and I was able to pay off the balance. All in all it was a great family vacation with some negatives. I do not think the cruise was worth the money we paid for it. I would cruise Royal Caribbean but on another Ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I went on this cruise with very high expectations... instead, so many disappointments! Good stuff first: Dive Show-terrific! Ice show-Wonderful! The ship is pretty. Bad Stuff: I have never been on a cruise where I have gotten ... Read More
I went on this cruise with very high expectations... instead, so many disappointments! Good stuff first: Dive Show-terrific! Ice show-Wonderful! The ship is pretty. Bad Stuff: I have never been on a cruise where I have gotten hungry. There were times here where you couldn't find much to eat without paying extra for it. There were SO many of the dining options that were an additional charge it felt like Royal was trying to push people into paying. The food in the dining rooms and buffets were just o.k. All the other shows were difficult to get into including the comedy show which they put in a super small room(After reserved seating only about 6 more people get in). Here is the thing about the Oasis... there are so many people, you have to reserve all your show seatings and dinner seatings in advance. After they let in the reserved people then they open the doors... too late! No cruise type shows, only a broadway performance of Cats. Some of you may like that but I personally prefer the cheesy singing and dancing I have come to expect and love on a cruise ship. Zero live bands on the pool deck and the pool games are all removed from where all the swimming and people are! (They are in the back where the dive show is)I'll admit part of this is my fault. I am on vacay I don't want to decide what day I want to see what show a week or two in advance. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
After 15 + cruises on other cruise lines, we thought we would try Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Oasis of the Seas. We were very disappointed with our Balcony Stateroom #14224; it was the smallest room we have ever had; adequate, ... Read More
After 15 + cruises on other cruise lines, we thought we would try Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Oasis of the Seas. We were very disappointed with our Balcony Stateroom #14224; it was the smallest room we have ever had; adequate, but very small for a 'Superior Balcony Stateroom', "D5 CATEGORY (Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony)" and on one of the biggest ships in the industry?? After my wife convinces me to bring/wear my tux for Formal Night Dining 'one more time' I lament and wear my tux and she is of course in her formal wear...WE WERE THE ONLY PEOPLE FORMALLY DRESSED, and people were dining with shorts, swimsuits, sandals and t-shirts - which is fine - but DON'T CALL IT FORMAL DINING. Our service and food in the dining room was barely edible - not adequate, compared from past cruises. My favorite part about cruising are the days at sea; forget about what you hear about the Oasis, "you hardly realize there are that many people on board - it's such a large ship" NON SENSE...BARELY ROOM TO MOVE IN AND AROUND THE POOL AREAS - IT WAS SO CROWDED! Overall the ship is GRAND, the CATS show was great, but that was the high point - overall the 7 day cruise on the Oasis was just average - maybe my/our expectations were TOO HIGH... SO JUST AN AVERAGE RATING FOR THE OASIS... To 'cap it off' we have been trying to get a copy of our final bill for over 10 days now and have still not received it - what a sham/shame? Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
ITINERARY Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Labadee, Haiti; Ft. Lauderdale, FL ABOUT THE REVIEW My husband (John) and I recently took our DS, DDIL and (most importantly!) our 6 and 4.5 year old ... Read More
ITINERARY Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Labadee, Haiti; Ft. Lauderdale, FL ABOUT THE REVIEW My husband (John) and I recently took our DS, DDIL and (most importantly!) our 6 and 4.5 year old DGDs on the Oasis of the Seas. We selected this cruise because of how the timing accommodated our DS and DDIL's work schedule. The itinerary was nice but the ports were not the main selling point. Nevertheless, they were enjoyable. John and I are experienced cruisers, with fifty cruises on Princess including three on Princess's largest ship, the Royal Princess. However, this was only our third on Royal Caribbean (most recently in 2008); we have also cruised with Holland America, Costa, Celebrity and Commodore. Our DS (Elite with Princess) had cruised once before on RCI; he has also cruised with Holland America, Costa, Carnival, Norwegian and Commodore. Our DDIL (Platinum with Princess) had never cruised with RCI; she has also cruised with Costa and Norwegian. Our DGDs have taken two Princess cruises each and have never cruised with any other line. This review will have frequent comparisons between RCI and Princess. The review is divided into two sections. The first contains overall comments about all aspects of the ship and the cruise. The second section is a journal of what we did in the various ports, including web links to tourist information sites and maps. In general, we prefer DIY port tours, independent tours with other Cruise Critic roll call members or shared public tours. However, we will take a cruise line tour when the logistics or cost make that a better option. Tour operator contact information is included in each port review. OVERALL COMMENTS First the obvious: the Oasis is huge! In all dimensions! It seems exceptionally broad and this allows for some interesting ship design. The theater seems to have a much wider stage than any other ship we have been on. They have amazing interior open spaces in both the Boardwalk and Central Park areas. All these contribute to the neighborhood-style of the ship and no area (with the exception of the pool areas) felt crowded. The pools were packed due to the large number of children on board. Embarkation was exceptionally smooth even discounting the fact that we were six among 6500 others. Lines were inside an air-conditioned room and were snaked around by use of the usual retractable belted stanchions. This is in contrast to a recent Royal Princess cruise where we were in a relatively random herd (no belts until very near the entrance) out in the heat. Also, the photo for each person's SeaPass (cruise card) is taken at check-in, not when boarding the ship (as on Princess), further reducing delays. Disembarkation was also fairly smooth and luggage was broken into smaller groups than with Princess, making it easier to find our bags. The immigration line was long but moved fairly rapidly. Those with Global Entry (www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry) had to notice the discreet sign at the far right end of the hall. The ship felt like a nice resort. The basic decor is modern and not really ship-like at all. In contrast, on Princess you definitely feel like you are on a ship. For example, the Oasis balconies have aluminum rails; Princess has wooden rails. Oasis decks are numbered, not named (like Dolphin, etc.). The promenade actually encircles the ship but in a rather bare section with exposed pipes and hardware. On the Grand Class Princess ships, there is an encircling promenade that feels ship-like and has deck chairs. The Royal Class Princess ships lack this nice promenade. The Oasis puts its promenade to good use: it's an actual running/walking track with measured intervals in miles and km (2.4 laps equals one mile). Princess usually has a tiny track and it probably takes 12 laps to complete a mile. This no doubt reflects the age of the typical cruisers on the various ships. Oasis has a much younger, more active crowd. The Oasis promenade has about two dozen teak deck chairs (no padding) at the stern where one can read peacefully. In contrast to Princess, there is no place inside the ship to sit and read or do some other sedentary activity (except your balcony). For the really young (and of course the young at heart!) the Boardwalk area has a working carousel that doesn't see a lot of activity. We booked two adjacent “Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony” cabins: a category D6 for ourselves and a category D3 for our DS and family. Those cabins were aft on the starboard side of Deck 11. Our double cabin was typically small but nicely arranged; it even had a sofa. In our opinion, the bed pillows on the Royal Princess are better than on the Oasis but the beds are about the same. In our DS's quad cabin, the third and fourth passengers sleep on the pull-out sofa. The closets open into the bedroom and their doors are hard to slide. In our cabin, the sofa was next to the closet and the bed was next to the balcony door. However, this was reversed in our DS's cabin: the bed was next to the closet, making it difficult to access the closet. The divider between our adjoining balconies could be opened, giving the six of us a spacious area to relax. Oasis does not provide any sort of skin lotion so bring your own and there is no clothesline in the shower. The shower was excellent and has glass doors instead of a curtain. It reminded us of the Orgasmatron in Woody Allen's movie “Sleeper”. Our cabin steward was not the best and we twice had to ask him for bath soap when ours ran low. He also failed to fill the shampoo dispenser in the shower and clean the ring in the toilet. On two days, our cabin was not made up before noon. Also, we had brought four bottles of wine (one per adult) on board to enjoy on our balconies; I had to call Room Service myself every day to have the dirty glasses replaced. Our steward did make a few towel animals. We have always had excellent stewards on Princess. [Note: Our DS and family had a different cabin steward who was excellent. They gave him an additional tip above the auto-tips.] There are no movies to watch on the cabin TV except pay-per-view. The Royal Princess has many free movies on-demand in the cabin. Oasis does have an interactive system that is outstanding. You can view specialty restaurant menus, show reservations, activities and your ever-increasing bill. Princess has nothing to match this; the Princess@Sea mobile app seems clumsy in comparison. The system to view photos in the Focus Photo Gallery is also far advanced over anything on Princess. Facial recognition software is used and most photos (not random beach shots, for instance) are found in specific binders for each cabin. It's no longer a scavenger hunt! The true highlights of the Oasis for us were the production shows. There was a standard cruise show called “Come Fly with Me” but it was much more elaborate than most other shows of this type. The wide stage of the Opal Theater allows for more dancers, more action and more live musicians This show has a major aerial component with cast members dropping out of the stage ceiling for various acrobatic moves. There was a guest gymnast in the cast named Anton and he did amazing things on stage. It was impressive! Princess cannot match this show and especially not the Broadway scale show. Even the Opal Theater is better than anything on a Princess ship. It has a balcony level with easy access to the lower tiers and is semi-circular so that almost all seats have excellent sight lines. The seats are comfortably padded with more leg space than Princess and with drink holders in the seat arms. The Broadway production on board was “Cats”. Some reviewers have said they did not care for this. However, don't count this reviewer among them. “Cats” was glorious! This was a full-scale two and a half hour production with intermission and used the entire theater with a large cast of singers, dancers and acrobats. The design of the Oasis has incorporated both an ice rink and an aquatic theater; both are put to outstanding use. Princess has nothing to rival those facilities. We saw two different aquatic shows. The first was a nighttime presentation with diving, synchronized swimming and trampoline gymnastics, and was very well done (we went to see it a second time). The second was an afternoon comedy show involving the same activities and was also quite enjoyable. The ice show was amazing! The skaters are skilled and put on an excellent performance based on the tales of Hans Christian Andersen. There was also a guest sand box artist who illustrated the story of the “Princess and the Pea” that allowed the skaters a brief break. This was unusual and unusually good. The Oasis uses a reservation system for most shows that is keyed to your SeaPass. You can make reservations even before you board if you want specific show times but you are not given specific seats. You must show up at least 15 minutes before show time. At ten minutes before each show, people who have been lined up outside the venue are allowed in without reservations. We always seemed to have at least a few empty seats so the lines always seems to be satisfied. Alas, many did not like “Cats” so there was an abundance of seats available after the intermission. Since our grandchildren were aboard, our family took great interest in the children's program, Adventure Ocean. This is available for a much greater part of the day (and night) than on Princess. They will even feed children at night while parents take a deserved rest at dinner as well as take care of children during port calls. All this is included in the cruise price and for a little extra ($7/hour/child), they will mind children until midnight. They divide the kids into fairly homogeneous age groups. We had trouble getting our six-year old away from the program when they were doing science experiments—like making snow. There were a few issues, however. Our DDIL thought some of the entertainment was not always age-appropriate for the younger children. In particular, she thinks Sponge Bob Squarepants is for age six and above and not suitable for a four year old. Kids were also watching “Pirates of the Caribbean” with its skeletons and everything—perhaps a little scary for little ones. Also, she thinks the Pirate Parade reinforced some undesirable gender stereotypes. Fortunately, most of the time, the kids were engaged in more active pursuits. The 3-5 year old group even put on a little skit for parents and grandparents. It's time to switch gears and talk about food, which we acknowledge is a personal and subjective topic. Food is an important part of any cruise for us and the Oasis was a major disappointment. Although we understand that it may be easier to prepare meals for 3600 guests than 6500, Princess is at least two levels above this ship when it comes to cuisine. To stay with the cruise theme, the food consisted of a few good islands in a sea of mediocrity with a few things sinking to the depths. The Windjammer Marketplace buffet was all right but the selections did not seem to change much. The Royal Princess has a much greater selection in the Horizon Court buffet, the selection changes from day to day and there are often theme buffets (e.g., Mexican Buffet, Sushi Buffet). Our main dining room (The Grande) was next to the casino, so we got the usual battering with cigarette smoke as we entered. Fortunately, our six-top was well away from the entrance so that we did not have to smell the smoke while we ate. The menu selections seemed quite limited in comparison to any Princess ship. There are escargots available every night and we love that dish. However, after the first night we decided against making that choice again; the escargots were barely warm and served with some odd white sauce. Other sauces tasted like they came from a packet and the frequently-present mashed potatoes tasted like they came from a box. The two salmon dishes we tried were only acceptable. The Caribbean Chicken was tasty but dry and served on top of gummy rice (probably rice—it was hard to tell). The prime rib tasted like pork. The short ribs entree was the single worst dish we've ever had on a cruise. Two of the three who ordered it returned it to the kitchen for something else. None of the dishes were well presented. Most plates were monochromatic (white or brown) and devoid of even the simplest garnish. The lobster tail was a single and tasty but served with three tiny slivers of potato, a slice of lemon and what was supposed to be some sort of leek puree. This was typical: the dishes had little in the way of sides and the main protein source was always small. To invoke Woody Allen again, "Two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountains resort, and one of them says, 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.' The other one says, 'Yeah, I know; and such small portions.'" Even the desserts were small. At least the soups were decent. The highlights were two lamb dishes: rack of lamb and lamb shank; they were actually excellent. Obviously none of this was the fault of the dining room staff. They worked hard to get us good dishes. However, timing was also an issue. We had a new waiter and presented him with lots of issues initially. We had two little girls who loved bread; one girl wanted a kid's menu, the other a regular menu; we wanted to know about the “Wine and Dine” package; we wanted two bottles of wine every night; we had to leave early on a couple of nights to make our show reservations; we did not care for the food. Poor guy! At first service was excruciatingly slow. After he hit his groove and after our head waiter helped a little, things got much better. Our head waiter was especially nice. One night we had to leave early for a show so she arranged to have our desserts sent to our cabins. She also gave us all a complimentary lunch at one of the specialty restaurants (Giovanni's Table). Unfortunately, even that was just okay. Dining room attire standards were not strictly enforced. There were the occasional people in shorts and there were more formal polo shirts on formal nights than ladies in dresses and gentlemen in tuxedos. In fact most men did not even wear jackets and ties on those nights. Although this is not a big issue for us, we do think that it makes the formal nights more festive when people make a little effort to dress nicely. We had lunch several times at the Park Cafe in Central Park. The signature sandwich there is roast beef on a kummelweck roll. Of the six beef sandwiches we tried, four were excellent and two were amazingly tough due to stringy beef. The three other dishes we tried there were on the level of McDonald's salads and sandwiches. You can get bags of Frito-Lay chips and flavored waters there at no extra charge. There were also flavored waters, iced tea and lemonade in the Windjammer Marketplace at no extra charge. We had an Italian sausage sandwich and a bratwurst at the Boardwalk Dog House and they were both good. Our DS and DDIL said the pizza at Sorrento's Pizza was terrible, with a soggy crust. The self-serve soft serve on the pool deck was not bad but, since it was self-serve, much of it ended up on the pool deck. We thought alcohol prices were exceptionally high. A basic martini was $11 versus $7.95 on Princess. There are beverage packages available for various combinations of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (www.royalcaribbean.com/content/shared_assets/pdf/menus/beverage-flyer-general-v4.pdf). The best deal for our DS and DDIL was a ten-drink card (for beer, wine by the glass and cocktails) that was offered mid-cruise for $79 plus an automatic 18% gratuity (the gratuity is 15% on Princess). The card can be shared with another person and is only good in the bars. Wine prices were bad compared to Princess (and of course compared to retail). Some examples of wines on both lists (prices before gratuity added): Domaine Chandon Brut; Oasis $55, Princess $38; Dazante Pinot Grigio; Oasis $44, Princess $32; Estancia Pinot Noir; Oasis $46, Princess $34. A wine package on Princess allows you access to the entire wine list with discounts; on the Oasis the “Wine and Dine” package limits you to seven whites and nine reds, with no sparkling wines. I call into question their mathematics. The package costs $165 for five bottles and $220 for seven bottles (plus the 18% gratuity of course!). RCI claims that you can save up to 25% with the package. One of the reds on the abbreviated list costs $62 on the regular list (vastly inflated!). If I wanted to be bored and order this wine every time, the $220 package would buy me $434 worth of wine, substantially more than a 25% savings! In summary, this cruise had many outstanding positives and the big negative of the food. It's clear that different lines cater to different clientele with various priorities. It all depends on what you are looking for on the ocean! DAILY JOURNAL DAY 0—FRI JULY 22: RDU TO FLL We flew from RDU (Raleigh-Durham) to FLL (Ft. Lauderdale) nonstop on Southwest. We took the free hotel shuttle to the Hampton FLL Airport North Cruise Port (hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/hampton-inn-ft-lauderdale-airport-north-cruise-port-FLLANHX/index.html) and arrived about 6:00 p.m. Our DS and his family had come in on an earlier flight from DTW (Detroit) on Delta. The hotel was able to assign us to connecting rooms. The Hampton Inn is conveniently located within easy walking distance of the Southland Shopping Center, which has a Winn-Dixie grocery and several fast food outlets. Our DDIL had ordered delivery pizza and walked to the grocery to buy wine, so we did not have to struggle with taking everyone out for dinner. After eating, she and I took the DGDs down to play by the pool while John and DS went back to the grocery to buy wine to take on board the ship. Each adult in a cabin (up to two) is allowed to bring one bottle of wine on board with no corkage fee. Those bottles can either be consumed in one's cabin or in the dining room. Later in the evening, my DDIL and I went down to the lobby to sign up for transportation to the cruise port in the morning. The hotel has an arrangement with All Stars Tours and Transportation (www.ftlauderdale-airportshuttle.com) for shuttles to the port for $6 pp. Our DGDs were free since they sat in their parents' laps. A shuttle to the port avoids the anxiety of sitting in a taxi watching the meter move inexorably up as you are stuck in traffic 200 feet from the cruise terminal. DAY 1—SAT, JULY 23: EMBARK THE OASIS OF THE SEAS (ALL ABOARD 3:30 PM; DEPART 4:30PM) The next morning we partook of the hotel's free breakfast buffet, which had a good selection of options. Last night, we noticed that our DGDs' feet were getting dirty on the bottoms as they walked (ran) around the rooms barefooted. We mentioned this the next morning and the desk attendant said they would shampoo the carpets that day and comp our transportation to the cruise port for both rooms. It was good to see they were trying to address our concerns. We would definitely consider staying there again. There was quite a crowd waiting for the shuttle but All Stars provided two 28-passenger mini-buses with trailers for luggage. These easily accommodated everyone. All Stars also set up a kiosk in the lobby selling transfers from the ships to hotels and either the FLL or MIA airport (FLL was $12 pp, small children free if they do not occupy a seat) after the cruise. This was very convenient. They use the same buses and cycle through the port pick-up areas frequently (wait of no more than 10-15 minutes). A taxi for two would probably be slightly cheaper but we were happy with All Stars and by taking the shuttle, we could help our DS and family with disembarkation. As noted above, the Oasis embarkation process went smoothly except that one DGD had a problem clearing security. When I had checked everyone in online, I had indicated that neither of the DGD's on board accounts should be activated. Somehow, that got changed so that one DGD's SetSail Pass said she would settle her account in cash and the other DGD's said she had no on board account. The latter SetSail Pass was the one that caused the problem. Eventually, security was mollified and we made it to the check-in desk, where I had the other DGD's account inactivated as well. If I ever travel with them on RCI again, I will have everyone's account charged to my credit card when I check them in online and then have the DGD's inactivated when we check in at the port. We saw no one checking for alcohol being brought on board even though we were within RCI's policy. On boarding in the U.S., Princess requires you to sign in any wine being brought onto the ship and pay a $15 corkage fee for any in excess of one per adult (two per cabin). We headed for the gangway, stopping for a group photo. I was not sure whether this photo or the ones taken for the SeaPasses are the input for the facial recognition software used by the Focus Photo Gallery. I later learned that the software uses the photos on the SeaPasses. In any case, all the photos were identified with my DS's cabin. The agent at the check-in desk failed to mention that the cabins were not officially ready yet, so we briefly stopped by the cabins. There was a letter explaining the on board discounts available to Gold members of the Crown & Anchor Club. Apparently, RCI does not deign to welcome back members at that lowly level because we never received an invitation to to any sort of event for repeat passengers. Then we went looking for something for lunch; we heard the announcement that the cabins were ready while we were eating. We checked out the very limited options in the Solarium Bistro, then settled on the Windjammer Marketplace. John and I thought that the Indian foods we selected were tasty, with a nice level of spice; that was encouraging. After lunch, we spent a little time exploring the ship, checking out our table in the dining room and registering the DGDs for the Adventure Ocean children's program. Then came the Assembly Drill. Our station was the AquaTheater, which is not the ideal place to muster (being exposed to the elements). Right after the drill, there was a DreamWorks Sail Away Party in the AquaTheater that John, our DDIL, our younger DGD and I watched. Our older DGD was anxious to see the ship pull away from the dock, so our DS took her to see that. When we returned to the cabins, our luggage was all there and we could unpack. Dinner was 6:00 p.m. traditional first sitting in The Grande. We had a table for six by a window; our waiter was Movino, from India, and his assistant waiter was Lissette, from Nicaragua. As I noted above, this was the first in a series of unsatisfactory evening meals; I was shocked at how the food quality and presentation had declined since we last cruised with RCI in 2008. The food was not the fault of our wait staff but the pace of food service was incredibly slow, which is really bad when small children are involved. There is no breadbasket on the table: the assistant waiter is tasked with doling out each roll individually to one table at a time, which does not help get other food on the table in a timely manner. It took so long for the first course to be served that the girls generally filled up on bread and hardly ate anything else that they had ordered. We had expected our dinner together to be a highlight of each day (as it has been on our two previous family cruises). However, it was not on the Oasis and that was our biggest disappointment with the cruise. DAY 2—SUN, JULY 24: AT SEA Today was the first of two relaxing sea days on our way to St. Maarten. Our usual sea day pattern is this: wake up, shower and get dressed, find a nice spot to read while the steward makes up our cabin, eat lunch, read and enjoy a drink on our balcony, eat dinner, go to a show, read in the cabin, go to sleep. Occasionally we will add a walk, lecture, movie or some other activity to our busy day. John and I made the mistake of attending what was advertised as a “Caribbean Port and Shopping Show”. This turned out to be essentially a repeat of a shopping lecture that I had foolishly attended a few months ago on the Royal Princess. The lecturer's spiel was almost identical: from what incredible bargains we would get on ridiculously-expensive gaudy jewelry to some baloney about a ridiculously-expensive watch that would adjust our body frequency to the natural frequency of the Earth. The only port information we received was directions for how to get to the featured shops. Never again! For lunch, we tried the Boardwalk Dog House. In addition to regular hot dogs, the menu touted several types of sausages, buns and toppings. The sausages were good but there was only one kind of bun available. Tonight was the first of two formal nights. As noted above, very few people bothered to change from their casual attire. Oh well, the six of us enjoy dressing up occasionally and the DGDs were adorable in their long skirts. Our DS did seem a little embarrassed that he and John were among only a handful of men who wore tuxes or dinner jackets. Dinner went a little faster tonight, so we were able to attend the Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception, which was held in the Promenade. We each had a couple of glasses of complimentary sparkling wine while we listened to Captain Per Kristoffersen's short speech. DAY 3—MON, JULY 25: AT SEA For lunch today, we tried the celebrated roast beef on a kummelweck roll at the Park Cafe. I thought the meat had a good flavor but it was so stringy and tough that it was hard to eat. After lunch, we went up to the “Pool and Sports Zone” to pick up some towels for our dive tomorrow. Princess provides pool/beach towels in each cabin and threatens to charge your stateroom account $25 for each one that is not returned to your cabin steward. RCI takes a harder position: your SeaPass is scanned when you check out a towel and again when it is checked back in. If the towel is not returned, $25 is automatically charged your stateroom account. We had warned our waiter and head waiter yesterday that we would need to finish dinner early tonight because we had reservations for our first show, “Oasis of Dreams”, at 7:30 p.m. in the AquaTheater. As noted above, Princess has nothing like this outstanding aquatic show, with diving, synchronized swimming and trampoline gymnastics. We were near the head of the line when guests were admitted to the dining room at 5:50 p.m. Nevertheless, dessert had not arrived by the time we needed to leave the dining room, so our head waiter had it delivered to our cabins. DAY 4—TUES, JULY 26: PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN (8:00AM – 4:30PM) The first port call was Philipsburg, St. Maarten (www.vacationstmaarten.com/#/). The Norwegian Escape was also in port here today. Our DS and his family took a water taxi ($6 pp all day, with a coupon from the ship) from the dock to the pier at the center of town for a nice day at Great Bay Beach. Following online advice (www.calculatedtraveller.com/blog/one-day-in-philipsburg-st-maarten/), our DDIL was able to negotiate two beach chairs, a beach umbrella, two rum punches and a bag of beach toys for the girls to play with for only $15 total. The most comparable RCI excursion was the two-hour “Afternoon Beach Break”, which went to Orient Bay and included unlimited rum or fruit punch. However, the RCI tour was $45 per adult and $25 per child. For their family of four, it would have cost $140 compared to $39 for their DIY beach day. You can buy a lot of rum/fruit punches on St. Maarten for $101! John and I have been to St. Maarten twice previously. On our first visit, we did a boat snorkel and on the second visit, we sailed on an America's Cup racing yacht. Today we walked almost a mile to Bobby's Marina for a two-tank dive excursion with Octopus Diving (octopusdiving.com). The cost was $120 pp, which included tanks, weights, BCDs and regulators. We had brought our own prescription masks, fins and wetsuits. (RCI's two-tank dive was $159 pp.) Our dive master was Evelyn and our captain was Willem. This dive had a mixed group; there were seven in total, which included some people new to diving. We are reasonably experienced with close to 100 dives. Nevertheless, the group worked well together. Unfortunately, we discovered that diving in St. Maarten requires going out into somewhat unprotected waters where the wind whips up some rough waves. This makes for a rather bruising exit from the water up the Little K 's ladder. It also makes for a rocky ride out to the dive sites. One poor young woman got nauseous and lost her breakfast many times over throughout the whole trip. In diving this is called feeding the fish. The two sites where we dove, the Maze and Proselyte Reef, are located in the Conservation Zone of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park (www.naturefoundationsxm.org/parks/sxm_marine_park.htm). The Maze is a coral labyrinth with some fun swim-throughs. The frigate HMS Proselyte ran aground on the reef in 1801. Not much of the wreck is still evident but it is easy to see the interesting coral-encrusted anchors and cannons that were jettisoned in a futile effort to save the vessel. The diving at both sites was nice but the visibility was only about 50 feet. The reefs were fairly shallow and we bottomed out at around 50 feet. The reefs were in good shape but not as colorful as our favorites in Cozumel. The sea life was really good. Evelyn had said that Caribbean Reef Sharks were common in the area and we always seemed to have a small reef shark hanging around at both dive sites. It was quite curious about us and kept swimming among us. We saw sea turtles on each dive as well as barracuda and lobsters. On the last dive, three of us managed to see a really large free-swimming Green Moray Eel. That was an unusual sight! During the surface interval, Willem piloted the Little K to Little Bay, where the water was much calmer. There he and Evelyn set up our tanks for the next dive. Those who wanted could swim or snorkel. In addition to cold drinking water, orange slices were provided. After the dives, Willem was nice enough to drop us off at the water taxi pier near the ship so we didn't have to haul our gear as far on the way back. This is an excellent dive operation. They answered my emails quickly and were prepared for us on the day of the dive. We've been to better reef dive sites than the ones here but the wildlife was outstanding. This evening we had no problem finishing dinner in time to see the “Headliner Showtime” at 8:30 p.m. in the Opal Theater. Despite the fact that I had reserved seats for all six of us, our DS and DDIL had seen part of this show last night and did not want to see the whole thing. The girls wanted to be in the Pirate Parade with Adventure Ocean, so the rest of the family went to that. John and I attended the show and thought the singers were very good. The guest entertainers were the Las Vegas Tenors, who performed in a wide variety of musical styles. After this show, we caught most of the 9:30 p.m. performance of “Oasis of Dreams” In the AquaTheater. DAY 5—WED, JULY 27: SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (7:00AM – 1:30PM) The second port stop was an old favorite—San Juan, Puerto Rico (sanjuanpuertorico.com); the Carnival Magic was also in port here today. It is fun simply to walk around in Old San Juan, which reminds us so much of the Vieux Carre in New Orleans. We have also hiked twice in El Yunque National Rainforest (www.fs.usda.gov/elyunque), kayaked in a bioluminescent lagoon at Laguna Grande near Fajardo and taken a food/walking tour of Old San Juan (www.spoonfoodtours.com). The timing on this port was odd; we arrived at 7 a.m. and had to be back aboard by 1:30 p.m. Our DGDs stayed in the children's program all day, while our DS and DDIL did a short DIY walking tour (www.discoveringpuertorico.com/self-guided-walking-tour-of-old-san-juan-part-1/ and www.discoveringpuertorico.com/self-guided-walking-tour-of-old-san-juan-part-2/). A useful map of the Old San Juan sights is at www.frommers.com/destinations/san-juan/attractions. John and I hiked over to Castillo San Felipe del Morro for a return visit. The ship was docked at Pier #4 and we walked from there along the Paseo de la Princesa to the entrance of the San Juan National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm). There is a path, Paseo del Morro, along the waterfront under the walls of El Morro. On our last visit, this path ended at the mouth of the bay on Punta del Morro. However, there are now stairs and ramps from there up to the grounds of the fort (El Campo del Morro). You can walk up the grassy slope and be directly in front of the entrance to the fort. My America the Beautiful Senior Pass (www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm) gave us free admission to the fort and we enjoyed walking around the battlements. We then walked down Calle del Morro, back through Old San Juan past the cathedral, over to the San Juan Gate in the wall and finally back to the ship. [Note: RCI offered a walking tour Old San Juan that included an interior visit to El Morro for $59 pp.] This was about a five-mile jaunt but fortunately it was very hot and humid. El Morro was striking as we sailed past it on the way out of the harbor. This afternoon, John and I went to the “Splish Splash Comedy Dive Show” in the AquaTheater. This was another great show with diving, synchronized swimming and trampoline gymnastics. Tonight was the second of two formal nights on this cruise. Both my DDIL and I have birthdays in August, so my travel agent had marked on our booking that we wanted to celebrate during the cruise. Tonight we each received a slice of the regular chocolate cake from the menu with a candle stuck in it. No special cake, door sign, balloons or card from the Captain as on Princess. The staff did not even know our names when it came time to sing “Happy Birthday”. At least the girls enjoyed blowing out the candles. We had no problem finishing dinner in time to see “Frozen in Time” at 8:30 p.m. in Studio B. As mentioned above, this was a spectacular ice show based on the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, with a fascinating performance by a sand box artist. DAY 6—THURS, JULY 28: LABADEE, HAITI (9:00AM – 5:30PM) The last port stop was a beach day on the RCI private peninsula at Labadee, Haiti (www.royalcaribbean.com/content/shared_assets/pdf/port_explorer/Labadee_EN_RCI.pdf, www.lavasurfer.com/info/labadee-map.jpg). We had never been there before and thought it was nice (and hot). There did not seem to be may places to set up beach chairs in the shade as there are on Princess Cays at Eleuthera, Bahamas. Our whole gang gathered up our water gear and walked first to Nellie's Beach. It was a little crowded there so we migrated to Columbus Cove. This was a larger area and we managed to find a slightly shady spot under the Dragon's Splash Waterslide to park ourselves. Our older DGD loves snorkeling so John and I went in with her. The area is very shallow and has a sea grass bottom. That means that as people walk or swim over the grass, sand is constantly stirred up, making for poor visibility. Nevertheless she still got to see some coral (near the rocks at the west end), some sea urchins and some small fish. Our younger DGD old loves the sand and the beach (she wants to move to the beach) and so played in the shallow water with her Mom. We all finished up with the requisite sand castle. Mom and the girls headed back to the dock via a tram, while DS, John and I hiked over to the north end of Adrenaline Beach to check out the snorkeling there. There were more small fish and more coral but nothing exciting. This beach is on the ocean side of the peninsula and waves were breaking on the breakwater; nevertheless, the swimming area was very placid. As we retreated back to the ship, we took a short detour to the rock formation known as Dragon's Breath on Dragon's Lookout Point. This is a blow hole where the incoming water causes a distinct whistling sound. Very cool! After they returned to the ship, our DGDs went to the children's program and stayed there until 11 p.m. ($7/hour/child for babysitting after 10 p.m.). Without the girls, dinner progressed more smoothly, so the four adults finished in time to catch the “Come Fly with Me” production show at 7:30 p.m. in the Opal Theater. This was another outstanding show with singing, dancing, acrobatics and aerial stunts. DAY 7—FRI, JULY 29: AT SEA Alas, today was our last full day on the ship. After doing some packing this morning, the six of us went to our complimentary lunch at Giovanni's Table (usually $15 pp at lunch). Although the food here was better than in the main dining room, it was still nothing to write home about. John ordered a bottle of wine using the “Wine Lover's” package, but the waiter brought a lower-priced wine than the one included in the package. When John protested that this was the wrong wine, the waiter brought out the brochure to show him and then had to apologize for his mistake. In the afternoon, all six of us went to a 2:30 p.m. matinee performance of the Broadway musical “Cats” in the Opal Theater. Although the theater was nearly full at the beginning, people started leaving during the first act and about half the audience did not return after the intermission. A feature of this musical is that some of the performers enter and exit the stage via the aisles of the theater. Despite a request before the start of the play to keep the aisles clear, some audience members thoughtlessly wandered around during the performance, interfering with the actors. Perhaps more of the audience should have taken the time to to learn (www.catsthemusical.com/about-the-show/the-story) about the play so they could have been more considerate of the actors and the rest of the audience. Obviously, this play is not for everyone; nevertheless John and I thought it was excellent. Given that the production is 2.5 hours long (including a 15 minute intermission), it is not surprising that our DGDs lost interest and had to be taken to the children's program during the break, where they stayed for the rest of the day. After a final lackluster dinner, our DS, DDIL, John and I met at the Focus Photo Gallery to decide whether to purchase a photo package. None of the photos taken at the beach on Labadee were in the folder. However, once I had found them on the display boards, they could be added to the DVD. There were some really nice photos, especially of the girls, so we finally decided on the ten-photo DVD for $175. Our DS and DDIL greatly enjoyed dancing and bar hopping in the evenings at the many venues on the Oasis. We had been trying to let them have some “couple time” but tonight they insisted that we join them for a few drinks at the Schooner Bar to celebrate the end of the cruise. While we were doing that, the DreamWorks Farewell Parade was taking place in the Promenade. DAY 8—SAT, JULY 30: FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (DISEMBARKATION) We were all in luggage tag Group 5, with scheduled disembarkation at 8:30 a.m. A very nice feature of the Oasis is that there was no set time to vacate the cabins and the cabin TV displays the group numbers that have already been called to disembark. By the time all of us were ready to leave the ship (8:45 a.m.), our group had already been called. We walked off the ship and into the cruise terminal to locate our luggage. Even though the luggage was sorted into smaller sections than on Princess, one of our bags was placed in the wrong section and there was a moment of panic while we searched for it. Next we joined the long line for the customs and immigration inspection. Since John and I belong to the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program, we looked longingly at that line, which was barely being used. We had decided to stay with the family to help with the girls. Nevertheless, it only took about 30 minutes to reach the U.S. Customs and Border Protection counters. John and I were then directed to a line that moved quickly and we were swiftly processed. People in our DS's line had more problems and it took them another 15 minutes to join us outside the terminal. There was already an All Stars bus waiting at the designated pick up point but the need for a DGD potty break kept us from catching that one. Once everyone was ready, the next bus was there waiting; it left soon after we boarded for the short drive to FLL. Southwest is in a different terminal from Delta, so John and I were the first passengers dropped off. We sadly said goodbye and headed to the Southwest counter to check in for our 1:05 p.m. flight back to RDU. Although this cruise did not meet all of our expectations, it was still a wonderful way to spend time with our family. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My first cruise with Royal Caribbean, I was really excited. Once booked we couldn't upgrade our room, even if we were paying. I tried several times. I was also told to check when we were checking in for late cancellations, they all ... Read More
My first cruise with Royal Caribbean, I was really excited. Once booked we couldn't upgrade our room, even if we were paying. I tried several times. I was also told to check when we were checking in for late cancellations, they all said no, didn't even look. We arrived early, to see if any upgrades were available, and learned not to do that again. Lots of waiting. The room and the attendant were great. The fold out bed was not the most comfortable, but we had fun. I think my biggest disappointment was the food. Everyone talks about the food on a cruise. Most of the food was fine, when catching breakfast or lunch around the ship. But when we were dining in the dining room, I really expected so much more. The first night I had salmon dish and it was great. After that.... I tried a few things and they were okay. I had to change my order one night after I tried it. Lobster night was nothing fancy, I could by these little tails in my local restaurant for $4.99 each. I hate complaining, but I feel like they have so many other restaurants on board you can pay extra to eat at now, that is where the quality has gone. One night we paid $160.00 to eat at the Hibachi place for dinner and order some extra rolls, now that was good! One afternoon I had a club sandwich in the dining room for lunch. Seriously the worst club sandwich I have ever had anywhere. I didn't complain. The ship is amazing and we saw some great shows. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was a family celebration cruise. We had four people celebrating birthdays and two graduates in our group. We selected this ship because it seemed to have something for everyone, no matter their age. I want to start by saying that ... Read More
This was a family celebration cruise. We had four people celebrating birthdays and two graduates in our group. We selected this ship because it seemed to have something for everyone, no matter their age. I want to start by saying that absolutely every employee we encountered was amazing. We found them all very friendly and helpful. They truly made up for the shortcomings that we experienced throughout the week. Embarkation was a breeze, and we were on board by 11:15. We headed right to the Park Cafe for lunch which started at 1130. The prime rib sandwiches were as excellent as they were last year. Cabins were ready at 1:00 p.m.. We were in a suite and were fortunate enough to have a real refrigerator (vs. a cooler), and a coffee pot. As soon as we met our cabin steward, Levi, I asked him for 2 egg crates for the bed and for the pillow menu. Unfortunately, my sister decided she didn't want an egg crate for her bed until the 2nd day, and by then there was not another one available on the entire ship. So if you think you want one, ask early! The cabin was spacious and acceptably clean. By the end of the cruise we unanimously decided that the upgrade to a suite was worth the money. Bottled water, excellent coffee--regular and specialty--, fountain soft drinks and juices, beer, wine and call drinks available at no charge in the Suite Lounge. This perk allowed us to be able to skip a drink package. The Coastal Kitchen meals were far better than any other meals anywhere on the ship. In addition, each of us in the suite was given an access code for unlimited Voom internet which we were able to use to watch Netflix. All of these amenities made the suite cost justifiable for us. The only downside to the suite was the doorbell that comes with it. With almost 2800 kids on our cruise, we were subjected to "ding dong ditch" every night between 1:00-3:00 a.m.. One morning our door hanger for breakfast was altered and we had a mountain of food delivered to our room despite the fact that we ordered only coffee. Harmless pranks that quickly grew irritating by day 3 and continued each night of our cruise. The ship itself is extremely large and is in desperate need of a deep cleaning. Carpets in the common areas bear large stains, Furniture in our cabins and in common areas were nasty and dirty. Funky smells were everywhere. Sewage smell in the bathroom in our cabin and especially in the public bathroom on deck 17 was nauseating. There was no air conditioning in the elevators and they were hot, stuffy and smelly. Dining was hit or miss. For the most part, we preferred to have our meals in the Coastal Kitchen because of the consistent quality. The food in the Windjammer was disappointing. Typical buffet food that lacked flavor and the same items were repeated each day. The main dining room was just a no-win situation. Despite a waitstaff that worked their butts off, hot food arrived cold and cold food arrived congealed. The kitchen is just too far from the dining room. Soups were salty, pasta was sticky and steaks were not cooked correctly. We did have a very nice bowl of beef stew with gnocchi and the broiled salmon was excellent. The coffee in the main dining room is terrible but desserts were tasty. The Park Cafe is an excellent alternate venue and it's free. The prime rib sandwiches and pre-made salads are fantastic. The paninis are made to order and arrive at the table fresh and hot. The desserts were very good as well. Hot dogs on the boardwalk were just not good...cold and tasteless. Johnny Rockets was excellent but there is an additional fee for this restaurant. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was Sabor. The last time were were on Oasis we dined at Sabor frequently. The tableside guacamole was one of the things we were especially looking forward to. On this entire cruise, there was no fresh guac available. We were told that the avocados were not ready. Huge disappointment as we had looked forward to meeting here for drinks and apps throughout the cruise. Beware that the prices for drinks at Starbucks are between $3-4 higher than they are on land. In summary, this is not the ship to go on for the food. We encountered many shows throughout the week that were cancelled and had to be rescheduled. The wait time for the rock climbing wall, the Flow Rider and the zipline exceeded 3 hours on sea days. The adult comedy show was hysterical and was the entertainment highlight of the week. Don't miss Frozen in Time...breathtaking. What saved this cruise from being a complete disappointment was the staff of the Oasis. They seemed to know about the ship's shortcomings and tried to move heaven and earth to make guests happy. This cruise may only get 3 stars, but the staff get 5. We won't be returning to the Oasis. Think long and hard before you book this ship during the summer. We noticed a definite decline in quality from the cruise we took on the same ship during the month of May. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The ship is beautiful, the shows were excellent, but everyone in our group felt they had issues managing the quantity of people on this ship. Lines for activities, lines to get on crowded elevators, restaurants running out of food, delays ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, the shows were excellent, but everyone in our group felt they had issues managing the quantity of people on this ship. Lines for activities, lines to get on crowded elevators, restaurants running out of food, delays during dinner... this was the overall theme with our cruise felt by our party of 18. Entertainment and Activities: The AquaTheater Show Oasis of Dreams was a big highlight - a must see if you cruise on this ship! Come Fly With Me, an acrobatics show, was also good. Be sure to make reservations for any shows BEFORE you cruise- shows do have limited seating. Members of our group went to the adult Comedy show and found it hilarious, however, booking this in advance is a must as it was full when others tried to add reservations. Many in our group also enjoyed the FlowRider, Rock Wall Climbing and Ice Skating. However, we never saw both Rock Walls open (the ship has 2) even though there were long lines. The ice skating was only offered on limited days / times and had long lines. My husband loves to run and he said the jogging track was tiny - a lot smaller than other ships. Dining: We did not have a good dining experience. Our table was consistently one of the very last ones to leave each night. Our group had a second table (since we had such a large group we had two large tables) which finished 30-45 minutes earlier each night even though we all sat down at the same time. One night they ran out of lobster, apparently having to "cook more", but our waiter failed to notify our table the reason for the delay (we would have chosen another option) until we had waited for over an hour and a half for our food. The head waiter noticed early on that our table was always behind, and by the last night, completely took over our table. Ports and Excursions: We loved St. Thomas and St. Kitts - we booked independent excursions (not through RC) for our group ahead of time and that worked out really well for us since we had a large group of 18. We felt the layover was adequate to enjoy a day on each island. However, in Nassau, Bahamas, we had very limited time which was a big disappointment. The ship left at 2:00 pm so we had to be back on board by 1:30. We went to Atlantis, booking this excursion through RC as we didn't want to risk being left behind. Although we loved Atlantis, RC pricing was not competitive or in line with what Atlantis charges, and it was a disappointing excursion as we arrived there at least an hour BEFORE they Atlantis allow anyone into the pools / slides, and started leaving by 12:30 to ensure we were back in time. Cabin: We (3 of us) stayed in Cabin 12654, a suite. We loved the room, it had ample space and an abundance of storage for the 3 of us. Full size bathroom with tub. There is a sofa that opened up to a bed which my teenage son slept on. Every night our cabin attendant would fix his bed, and every morning she would set it back up into a sofa. It worked out great. The cabin was quiet, the balcony had great views, and the location was not too far from the elevators and stairs. Having a suite, we had priority access to board and disembark the ship and therefore had no lines. Definitely a great perk. Also had access to a suite lounge and restaurant, however; we did not use it as much as others in our group were not in a suite and therefore did not have access to it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I'm a Crown & Anchor Gold member, which at this point it counts for nothing. With the new system, Gold members are NOT recognized at all. All you get is a letter advising you of discounts. The Oasis is a beautiful ship with lots ... Read More
I'm a Crown & Anchor Gold member, which at this point it counts for nothing. With the new system, Gold members are NOT recognized at all. All you get is a letter advising you of discounts. The Oasis is a beautiful ship with lots of venues such as a boardwalk, aqua theater, zip line, flowrider, wall climbing, central park, ice skating ring, etc. The down side is that these venues are closed on ports of call. So if you choose to stay oboard you have limited choices. Avoid St. Martin by all means. It's filthy, the islanders are really pushy, if you go to the beach you will be harassed by local vendors to exhaustion, the shore excursion RC offers called "St. Maarten Beach Rendezvous" was terrible. The tour reps are rude, have no common sense (force us to stand in line in the pouring rain) which made the bus ride uncomfortable in our soaking clothes and freezing A/C. Ate lunch at the Kakao Beach restaurant in Orient Beach, the waiting staff is rude, treat you like an annoyance, never came back to check on us. You have limited time in San Juan, Puerto Rico (4 hours). I will never do the Eastern Caribbean route again. I have had a better experience in the Western Caribbean which includes Cozumel; Mexico really knows customer service and the locals at restaurants and bars understand and speak English. You can't understand a word in the Caribbean and they get upset about it. Bought the Premium beverage package, it was worth the cost, but did not get the soda cup had to request it three times, the pizzeria never carried bottled water, the food quality at the Windjammer was subpar, the reservation experience at the My Time Dining was the worst - we went three times and they never had our table reserved or ready. The second time we went to the dining room since our table was not ready, they had us walk to the 4th floor for a table. The third time, we were assigned a table right next to the waiter's station so we were literally on their way, so we asked to be seated elsewhere. The hostess took us to another table which was not ready so we were asked to wait. Since they were not going to clean it, she asked us to walk to another section. The waiter took a long time to acknowledge us. When he finally did he said "what is the confusion with the menu". There was no confusion, we were just waiting for him! I asked for a Pellegrino, they charged for it (even though a had the Premium beverage package). The maitre d' asked the waiter to cancel the charge, he did not. Had to called Guest Services to ask them to remove the charge (but had the wait 30 minutes on hold to get through). I always prepay the gratuities, but this time I felt it was not correctly distributed. After all the hassle in the main dining room, we didn't go back. The zip line is fun, however the waiting time is ridiculous. It was opened at 1:00 and there were 3 staff to prepare you. All of a sudden only 1 staff person was left and it made the waiting time 2 hours! Overall, I like the ship a lot and the shows, but the customer experience was not what I expected. Particularly the staff does not understand English, the food was subpar and the shore excursion was a nightmare. Choose another part of the Caribbean to visit. Read Less
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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