2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2009
Like many, we were sucked in by the masterful marketing Royal Caribbean did for Oasis of the Seas -- it didn't take us long to book and once we did, we were very excited to go; we checked out all the ship's virtual tours and ... Read More
Like many, we were sucked in by the masterful marketing Royal Caribbean did for Oasis of the Seas -- it didn't take us long to book and once we did, we were very excited to go; we checked out all the ship's virtual tours and videos that were posted on its website, etc. Our sailing was December 12th. My husband and I (early '30s) sailed with our 4-year old. I think the decision on whether or not to book Oasis depends on what kind of person you are. We are value people. Meaning we're happy if we feel like what we got is worth what we spent. We did not feel like this on the Oasis. So let me give you a rundown of our experience. I am going to try and alternate between positive and negative. GETTING ON THE SHIP Once you got past the craziness caused from lack of signage and direction for the line in unloading your luggage at the port, once you were inside the terminal, getting on the boat in Fort Lauderdale was really simple, quick and easy. STATEROOM I don't remember having to wait to go to our stateroom after check-in, which was nice. We were really happy with our stateroom. We spent more money to have the balcony room and in general I would say RCL did a better job in having more storage spots in the staterooms and also the bathroom was better on the oasis as compared to past cruise ships. For the negative on the stateroom, we thought our attendant was good, but not great like in past cruises. Our room was taken care of really late and while he did what he was supposed to, he didn't seem to happy to be doing the job. I will say that all the stateroom attendants greeted our child every time we were walking through the halls very nicely and she loved that. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment on board the Oasis was the one area where I really felt we were truly getting our money's worth. The Hairspray show was really good - my 4-year old even sat through the whole thing and really liked it. The best show was the frozen in time Ice show -- really really cool! The "Come Fly with Me Show" was good, but not great. The Headliners show for our cruise was "Mosaic" - a group of guys who sang acapella with rhythm and appeared on the "America's got talent" show and nearly won. While they are really good, the songs they performed were quite dated.....mostly 80s and earlier. The water show was really good, too - it would have been better if it was even more action packed, but it was still really good. The comedy guys they had on board were really great, too! Hilarious! Also, Peter in the Piano Bar (Schooner Bar) was the best Piano Bar guy I've ever had on a ship. He could do everything from Frank Sinatra to Pink Floyd. By the end of the cruise, we were among his loyal followers that sat at the piano and sang or played instruments at least for part of each night. For the negatives of the entertainment....the whole reservations concept is ridiculous and unnecessary. There were a couple times we tried to get into a show that we didn't reserve. What they do is they make you wait (supposedly) until 10 minutes before the show to let you in if you don't have a reservation. However, the first show we had no reservations for was only about half full, so there was no reason to make us wait. Then, the second show we had no reservations for had plenty of seats, too but when ten minutes before came, they still wouldn't let anyone in....AND what was really annoying was they only had one line for the non-reservation people and it was on a different floor from where we were....so we ended up waiting in a line upstairs for quite a while before we found out we had to wait in a line downstairs...ridiculous! Especially when it ended up there were plenty of seats anyway! You shouldn't have to be stressed out about something like this when you're on vacation! Also, the way they did the comedy club was annoying. The room was really really small. We went to the show the first night and we really enjoyed the show - both comics were really good and the headliner was hilarious. Well, even though there are more than two showings per night, those poor comedians were told to do the exact same show every single time. RCL's theory is that the room is so small it gives everyone a chance to see the show; however, not all cruisers like to go to the comedy show while many would like to see them often. We've been on other boats where the comedians had more material than one show, which these guys have been on tours, so I am sure they do and they were so great, it would have been better if you could see them more than once. ACTIVITIES The merry-go-round and Johnny rockets bus and car were great on the boardwalk because they were always open and were free. I would say that the activities were pretty much identical to any other RCL cruise we've been on. There was always the fun "name that tune" and they had some good parties for the kids on the boardwalk. On the negative, there were definitely a few snafus that were annoying. First, there was a wine tasting scheduled that a few of us showed up for and no one ever showed up from the boat to run it. That wasn't a huge deal because it was for us. However, there were two kids activities that they failed on. First, they didn't run face painting on the boardwalk the full time it was scheduled for. Second, there was a kids golf activity scheduled at a certain time and no one from the boat showed up for it. In all of these instances...the guest services people first didn't believe us that they messed up until they checked the schedule and made 3 calls and nothing was ever done to correct their errors. It wasn't like they rescheduled these activities. The worst part is that we got our daughter excited about them and then we would get there and they wouldn't have the activity and we had to break the news...hence a temper tantrum. Yay. Second, on the marketing of the ship they made it seem like there was a dedicated Karaoke bar that you could do Karaoke at any time you wanted to. Well that's not the case. It was half a sports bar and half a karaoke bar. And their times were odd. They had "family karaoke" most nights between varied hours of 6pm and 8pm, sometimes 'til 9. So that really ran the whole dinner time and it was pretty much always nearly empty. Then they didn't do regular karaoke until midnight, which is too late for anyone that doesn't want to feel guilty picking up their kids at the kids club! They make a big deal about having an ice rink...but the times it was open to ship guests was barely existent. Don't count on making it into the ice rink. SHOPPING This was one of the main places where RCL spent a lot of their money on the Oasis. There was a lot more shops. However, they were soooooooo expensive it made us say..."who spends this much money?!" ....I don't know why they don't realize if they had a few shops on board with reasonable prices that they would probably sell a lot more. Most of the shops were nearly empty anytime we were walking around and it was one of those things that people seemed to just fill their time with if they were bored. KIDS CLUB / DAYCARE Overall we were really happy with the kids club staff and activities. Our daughter always had a great time there and often times chose going to the kids club over spending time with us. Also, they charge a reasonable rate to leave your kids there late. On the negatives of kids club, the check-in process took WAAAAAYYYYYY too long...they really need to have an online registration for kids club. Other than that, this billion-dollar boat had a really big leak in the room our daughter was supposed to be in and it was the best room in the place. Unfortunately, the leak forced them into a room for older kids that was less interesting for half the cruise. SPA / SALON The whole spa area was a lot bigger. Their pre-massage relaxation room was really nice. And the gym was great with all new equipment that you could bring your Ipod and watch ship tv and everything...it was good. However, I have to say my spa experience was not as good as past RCL cruises. I don't know if it was because the staff didn't seem too seasoned or what. I know for a fact that the prices were definitely higher than was typical. My daughter and I got a manicure and pedicure and I paid for the higher-level mani/ pedi and I just didn't feel it was up-to-snuff treatment for the price. Also, I got a Swedish massage...the girl I had didn't seem like she totally knew what she was doing. Also, they had a much nicer steam/sauna room than other cruise boats...but don't expect to use it unless you're willing to pay $30 per day! Which is ridiculous when most people want to use the sauna only occasionally for a few minutes. Every other cruise I've been on the sauna has been free. You would think....spending so much more money to go on the Oasis...that something as simple as the sauna would be included. NOPE. Also, don't be surprised if you get double-charged on your seapass card if you pre-book spa services online before your cruise. At the end of the cruise, I had to fight with RCL to refund me $129; which they did end up doing. FOOD Don't expect that because you're paying more money to go on the Oasis you're going to get higher quality or more food options. That's only available to people who are willing to pay even more at all their many paid restaurants. We found that the food in the main dining room....the menu was identical to the offerings we had when we sailed on a low-level RCL cruise boat in January 2009. Literally identical. So that was very disappointing. We were also hoping that a bigger boat and spending more money would mean that they might finally have a dedicated buffet for kids. NOPE. In general, the windjammer food was acceptable, but nothing above or beyond RCL's other ships. They did have a buffet in the adults pool area (solarium bistro) that was a little more healthful eating and that was good....but not outstanding. Otherwise, they had a couple cafes that were the included food on different decks..just sandwiches and those classically fake desserts they always have. Nothing different, just more convenient to snack. The only paid restaurant we did was sushi. But there was a real issue with that. It wasn't ala cart sushi - it was a restaurant. My husband hates sushi and the smell of fish, so I just wanted to pay the extra $$ for it and take it back to my room. Well, the manager said no and there was no convincing him. We just couldn't believe it. We were willing to pay the money, but we had to sit in the restaurant when my husband doesn't like the cuisine or the smell to get the food?! I wasn't about to sit by myself. So, we were obviously dissatisfied and talking quietly to ourselves trying to figure out what to do for dinner when a waitress amazingly took some initiative and convinced the manager to let me get some sushi and take it out with me. Well, when other people saw me with it...they wanted it to...they really should make the menus in the restaurants available to be delivered to or taken back to your stateroom if you're willing to pay for it. The good news is....the Sushi was really good! They had a cupcake place on board that they wanted to charge you $5 per cupcake for...and it was just okay. We only went the one time and it looked like the place was always empty. They had an upscale coffee bar and we're convinced that RCL was trying to get everyone to spend their money at it because the regular coffee on the ship was probably the worst we've ever had on board any ship. I don't know how to describe it except for "disgusting". The coffee was awful. Unless you went to the paid coffee bar, that is. They had a wine bar on board that had a nice atmosphere, but the "tapas" menu being served with it was $$ and sub-par. And have you ever heard of a wine bar that has no simple cheese platter as an option to go with your wine?! Well, we asked an attendant in the wine bar about it and he said that people have been complaining there's no cheese. They don't go above and beyond their standard processed cheese they have everywhere else on the ship. SERVICE Our service in the dining room was only okay where in past cruises it's been great. They did get better as the cruise went on, but just not up-to-snuff compared to past cruises. The bar staff everywhere, however, was excellent. We were very pleased with the Schooner Bar staff most of all; but in general all the bar staff was good and friendly. Guest services was always busy (a bad sign). While the staff was all pretty nice, they obviously had no power and their jobs were obviously just to apologize and calm people down. Problems were not solved and nothing was offered in return for troubles. There was one staff member we talked to so often that she felt so guilty of all the activities the ship failed on that affected our daughter that she ended up buying a bear for our daughter with her own money because RCL does nothing to fix issues. She should not have had to do that, but she wouldn't take no for an answer from us. POOL / SPORTS DECK The pools and spas were a bit nicer than normal, but the kids splash zone kept breaking or being turned off which was really annoying. The golf was the same as some of their lower boats. They had the zip line which was actually pretty short and not that scary. They had the flowrider for some people that are in to that sort of thing. They had a rock climbing wall, but don't expect to be able to do it with your kids if they're under 6 - no matter how big they are. TECHNOLOGY The computer screen ship guides by each elevator were a great addition. They worked well and were really helpful. However, in this day and age of Iphones, they should have wireless service that guests can hook into for free. The boat is too big for walkie talkies, so it would have been great to be able to connect with people in your group by simply texting or IMing them from your phone. Also, RCL would be smart if they developed an iphone app for the ship that had the day's schedule and a ship map, etc. Sure, the wireless is a service they offer if you want to pay hundreds of extra dollars - like I didn't spend hundreds of extra dollars already! THE SHIP So I would say we spent twice as much to go on oasis as compared to a typical RCL cruise we would have gone on. Where do I think they spent most of their money? ON THE SHIP ITSELF - making it flashier and bigger and adding more places to spend even more of your money (restaurants, bars, shops) - like you didn't already spend most of your money just to get on the ship! They did not spend the money on improving included food, services, activities, etc. There was lots of artwork to look at, but then when I heard what they spent on it I was flabbergasted. For instance, they had this bronze tree in the center of the ship that we heard they spent $400,000 on - I would much rather have seen that money go toward an upgraded dining experience or included sauna, for instance. Plus a bigger ship means a lot longer to walk from end to end - you're inevitably always on the wrong end! In general, the only things I thought were worth the extra money we spent that they added to the ship different from others was the merry go round for the kids, the nicer and larger hot tubs, and the extra entertainment areas. There did seem to be a number of ship features that weren't really thought out, however. For instance, I would never book one of those interior balconies because while you would think you could people watch, you can only really see well straight across to the other balconies and not up or down too well. Also, my husband caught quite a few "upskirt" shots from ladies being out on their balconies. Next, while the water theatre was a good idea, it is so easily windy that they cancel the shows at it half the time. Second, while the "Central Park" deck seemed like a good idea and they did a good job with the greenery, every time we walked through there it was too windy to enjoy it. It was like a funnel for wind. There were times it was so windy in that one section you were nearly getting blown over. My husband thinks that the wind will not allow all the trees there to survive. Also, I don't understand why so many areas have to smoking allowed. Why does the entire casino have to smoking - they should divide it or something. I mean there is no where for smoke to go on a ship so it was really nasty. One thing that made no sense was that they had the casino on the same deck as the lower main dining room and there's nothing better than breathing in all sorts of smoke as you're going in to eat. You could still smell it if you were one of the lucky people with a table towards the front of the dining room. Also, there were only two dance clubs and BOTH were smoking! What are they saying? That people who don't smoke don't want to dance? PICTURES While the picture takers were about the same as on any other cruise, the options to take pictures were worse. One photographer told us that RCL was limiting certain copyrighted elements of the ship so you couldn't take your picture in front of certain spots. In addition, don't expect to get any of the photos that are always classic cruise - in front of a ship backdrop! They don't have any of them! That's right you didn't pay enough money to have the "privilege" of taking a picture in front of the ship. COMMUNICATION This is a touchy subject, but it is what it is. This boat was a melting pot - more than any other boat I've ever seen. I mean, every time you stepped on the elevator, you were guaranteed to have 3-4 other languages being spoken next to you; the same at dinner, everywhere, etc. The problem with this is that one of the fun things about boats is making new friends; but that was very very hard because so many didn't speak English. It was an issue in the kids club, too. Our daughter ended up having her best friend be a Spanish girl and it's a good thing play is universal, but they couldn't talk because of it and I am sure communication was really tough for the kids club personnel. There were other issues created from the language barrier in general, too. I would say probably 80% were English-speaking. Also, this is just an observation. We felt like we were among the youngest people on the ship and we're in our early thirties. Perhaps this is because it's a really expensive cruise, so in general, it would be harder for younger people to afford it. DISEMBARKATION This was the absolute worst and I mean WORST disembarkation experience ever. Not only were they WAAAAYYYY behind schedule in letting people off when they scheduled; but when you got off they funneled everyone like cattle into this hallway holding area right off the ship that moved at a rate of 1 inch per 15 mins. It was a riot waiting to happen. They had two port personnel trying to hold the crowd back from going down the escalators to get their bags. Their system was to let 50 people go at once, and when they did that people were about to run each other over to get out of the holding area, splitting up families, pushing over small children, it was ridiculous. The luggage was organized well enough, but then there was this ridiculously long line to leave the customs area (I think this is the first time we had to carry our luggage through the customs line, not sure.) - it was so long that they didn't have line rails long enough to organize everyone, so again pushing and shoving. If RCL doesn't fix this disembarkation problem ASAP, they're going to have a riot on their hands. We talked to a couple port personnel who said it was the worst disembarkation they've seen too. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We just returned home from the first cruise on Oasis of the Seas and, even though the ship is very beautiful and state of the art, we are disappointed and a little angry. The cruise was billed as a "Diamond Celebration"; however, ... Read More
We just returned home from the first cruise on Oasis of the Seas and, even though the ship is very beautiful and state of the art, we are disappointed and a little angry. The cruise was billed as a "Diamond Celebration"; however, unless you were booked into a suite, you were treated like a second-class citizen. We were... told "NO" more times than I can count, and "that is only for suite guests." We are only two cruise credits away from Diamond Plus status, but, after the poor treatment by many of the staff, it will be a long time before we book another cruise with Royal Caribbean. I was a raving fan. Not any longer. What a shame! Getting to Oasis was easy, but parking was not covered. We check in online so we were on the ship in about 15 minutes. We walked on directly into the Promenade. What a wonderful first impression. The ship is incredible. The Diamond lounge is one floor up and has a balcony overlooking the Promenade. It's a great view. And the super-automatic espresso machine did a wonderful latte. Oasis is big, beautiful, and wide open. I never felt crowded throughout the cruise; even the theatre was not the problem that you have on smaller ships. The bars are spread around the ship and cigarette smoke was a problem even in the dining room and many common areas. I was unable to hang in the casino because it was such a problem. Also, the air conditioning was pulled out of many areas because of all the open doors and the ship stayed hot. Strangely enough, Central Park always had a breeze, even though it is in the middle of the ship. The first night in My Time Dining was a bit comical and chaotic, but the second night we had a great team that we were able to reserve for the rest of the cruise. We ate in the Solarium for lunch most days, which is were spend most of our time on all the ships. Giovanni's was good, but they fail to provide the dessert that had been ordered two days earlier. Room service did a great job each morning for breakfast. We had a great wait staff in My Time Dining and the Head Waiter made arrangements to have a Gluten free pizza available in the dining room the last day of the cruise. It arrived quickly but was floating in onions... twice. I really think the second pizza was the first with more cheese... and onions. However, the steak and egg sandwich came hot, was cooked like ordered, and was very good. One of my favorites. All the lifeboats on deck 5 block the view from My Time Dining. The best view is from deck 4 in the dining room. Oasis also moved the track from the top deck down to deck 5, so, during dinner you get an occasional jogger by. Be sure to check out the concierge lounge, unless of course you're just a Diamond member. RCCL took that privilege away in September. Not just on Oasis, but fleet wide. Most of the venues on Oasis no longer have an ocean view. Almost all are interior to the ship. Thanks to our cabin attendant, Head waiter and waiter in My Time, Johnny Rockets staff and the team at Mondo's coffee bar for making my wife great mochas... I used the Diamond lounge super-automatic espresso machine for lattes. New machine. Perfect grind and shot. Just a note: the Cafe Promenade serves StarBucks and the other shops are serving Seattles Best... which is StarBucks, too. We didn't use the Windjammer much because of all the different venues available. The Solarium Bistro was convenient and overall they did a really good job with different salads, and a fair selection of hot items... and they guest to have an extra glass of lemonade. We were unable to get a reservation at Chops (our favorite), but, we did order a filet from Chops and had it delivered to My Time the last night. It was great. Thanks. Giovanni's on Oasis replaced Portofino's. It was good for lunch, but the tiramisu was runny and unappetizing. They did a better job at the coffee shop in the Promenade. There is not much that compares to Portofino's in the evening on the Freedom. Floor to ceiling windows and an incredible view of St. Thomas. The best tiramisu in the fleet. And that seafood skewer... the best of the best. You won't get any of that on Oasis. The headliner the first night was bad (second night was tolerable). We left early and went to the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a great place and hard to believe it's on a cruise ship. You step into a carnival atmosphere complete with photo booths and ice cream shops. We ended most nights on the Boardwalk having a milkshake at Johnny Rockets(two-for-one for diamond members), and then a leisurely walk back to our room through Central Park. This was one of my favorite parts of the ship. It's has a wonderful living atmosphere. The ice show was the best we've seen on the ships. Royal Caribbean really goes all out with their Broadway style of entertainment. Most of their shows run about 50 minutes, but Hair Spray ran an hour and forty minutes including the ten-minute technical break. Theme of the cruise, "blah, blah... technical difficulties." As far as the Aqua-shows, the stunts were good and the tech is high, but it still needs something. We had a balcony room and the captain gave us a great view of a lagoon style beach with wooden cabanas. Turns out it was gated and available to only the suite guests. They did allow us, with an escort, to walk down to the beach and take a picture of the ship. Labadee overall is a great little beach break, complete with roller coasters and zip lines, but the temperature hit 97 degrees and was almost unbearable. We did have a nice afternoon walk down the beach watching the zippers come down off the hill across the water. Much of the technology was having major difficulties, especially the shows. The interactive TV in the stateroom was still not working well by the end of our cruise. Many of the TV feeds had video but no audio. There was only one free movie channel and it didn't work most of the cruise. I gave up on Pay per view altogether. They have added the ability to surf the Internet from the TV in the rooms, but it was not working either. The computer rooms on Oasis are small, crowded and uncomfortable, however, the speed was fast and I didn't even use all the free time I get as a Diamond member. The equipment in the gym is high tech, but the TV feeds were still not working at cruise end. We like to work out everyday of the cruise and the gym is an important part of our cruise experience. On the Oasis, they have moved it down to the sixth floor and separated the wet area from the workout area. The wet area is now part of the spa on the fifth floor. It is now available to suite guests and spa patrons. We spend our afternoons in the Solarium. We love being able to stay through the day with food service just steps away. There are fewer shady spots however, and when I find one, I like to have an extra towel to throw on the chair someone else has been sweating in the for the last couple of hours. On the first day I asked for an extra and the attendant refused. I walked across the deck and got my towels at a different stand. That afternoon, only the first stand was open to turn in the towels. The attendant apologized, as did her supervisor. On the last day of the cruise, the same two staffers refused me an extra towel due to the same suite rule. My wife had to get a customer service manager to contact the pool deck supervisor to get uss extra towels. We ended up with all the towels we wanted, and then some, thanks to the staff in Guest Relations. We did ask GR to give us a room tour and was told nothing was available to see. Too bad we missed the tour organized through CC. We heard it was great. We were booked on Oasis again in March 2010 to celebrate my 50th birthday. It has been cancelled and we will cruise with one of the other lines. We were on the Freedom in March 2009 and they stated the same towel policy as Oasis this past week. When we returned in May 2009, they had changed the policy because of cruiser dissatisfaction. They scanned your seapass card and charged you if you failed to return them. We went back again in September 2009 and had a wonderful time. Oasis was our fifth RCCL this year. I was blindsided this past week on the Oasis with the return of limits and hardnosed staffers, even thought they still scan your seapass card. Doesn't make sense. I expected a no hassle cruise with high tech that worked and a crew with good manners. The hype is that this ship had all the best crew. We've been on twenty-one cruises, and Oasis is our least favorite for customer service. Oh, and the bingo wasn't working either. LOL With all the hype and promises of Paradise and merry-go-rounds, I left very disappointed. "New" is not an excuse to give mediocre service. Big is no reason to cut Diamond benefits. The cruise was only four days long. And I was mad most of the last day, so, I should run out of personal experience tales soon. My wife did find a lady trapped in an eighth floor restroom near Central Park. She had been in there for about thirty minutes locked in one of the stalls. That was kind of funny. The lady and her husband thought it was too. What do you get when you mix a bad old COMPANY policy with two numb minded contract employees and an aggravated Diamond member on the Oasis? Eyes wide open. In September 2009 RCCL stripped Diamond members of many of the perks we were used to. One of which was no longer having access to the concierge lounge. We did slip in the first night to get a look. WOW! Two floors high with windows looking out over the Boardwalk. Because of the number of D members on board, we were stuck using, or not, one of two bars on the Promenade. Not near as nice as the concierge lounge on Oasis or the Diamond lounge on Freedom. The biggest part of the Viking Crown is now for suite guests. It seems to me that bigger is not always better. Freedom has my vote for best, and friendliest ship at Royal Caribbean. I do have to thank a thousand times the Guest Relations staff on Oasis for their help on Saturday morning. At seven am, when it was time to go to breakfast, my wife informed me that I had packed all of her jeans and put them out the night before. Thanks to the team from GR and retail, she was able to disembark in more than her Victoria Secret's. Freedom hit the mark with us three times this year. It's... like they got it right. In May and September, we didn't even get off the ship. She is my favorite RCCL ship. Oasis falls short in service and satisfaction as the biggest ship in the world. I just realized that we used 50,000 Rewards Points on the Oasis cruise. They took $1000 off the final bill. Now I'm feeling a little better. Wish I had used the points toward a junior suite on Grandeur. She's in Tampa through spring. 45 minutes and valet parking. My favorite port. Radiance will be there next fall. The overall Oasis Experiment... poor. Many of the D member benefits were stripped back in September on all the ships, which I am still unhappy about. Oasis is a ship with class... first class and coach class. If you book a ride on, book a suite, or take your own towesl. I walked on the Oasis like a kid on Christmas morning. I walked off realizing there really isn't a Santa Claus. I walked on the Oasis a "Royal Loyal" Diamond member. I walked off a dissatisfied customer. I did get to meet Lisa Bauer, Senior VP of Hotel Operations, in Central Park one night. She was very charming, and made me a little giddy. I did enjoy that. I sure hope she is not the author of the towel policy. We spent over $10,000 with Royal Caribbean on five different cruises this year alone. Next year... we won't. stbrown frequent cruiser 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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