Sail Date: April 2010
From the minute we stepped on board, we had an amazing experience. We loved almost everything about the trip. My twin daughters, 8 yrs old, wanted to know if they could stay on the cruise ship forever. Since most reviews are written ... Read More
From the minute we stepped on board, we had an amazing experience. We loved almost everything about the trip. My twin daughters, 8 yrs old, wanted to know if they could stay on the cruise ship forever. Since most reviews are written from an adult perspective, my daughters Ellie and Jenna are going to review our experiences here from a children's perspective. Their favorite things were (not in order): - Everything - Ice Cream (soft serve at the pool) - All the pools - especially the whirlpool that makes you move in circles, and the H2O zone, but also liked the sports and main pool and kid's area hot tub - Lots of sweets from breakfast through dessert - Rock Wall - Adventure Ocean - Carousel - Pets at Sea - Dolphin Excursion - Fun animal shaped towels every night on the bed - Sorrento's Pizza - St. Martin - picking sea shells on the beach - Aqua theater show - Hairspray - Dining room - ordering whatever they wanted + that the waiter knew what they liked and did not like by the 2nd night... - Donut shop - Cupcake place The only things they did not like... waiting to get on the ship. It was not bad but they were not super patient. waiting to get off the ship - this did take a little while. They loved Adventure Ocean, but when they did the pirate show, the face paint was super hard to get off and it looked like they had black eyes for a day or so. And the thing they liked least (along with their parents) was the bagpipe player. Just not my thing - and to me it was annoying. I know others may like it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
As a cruise virgin, I referred to this board quite a few times as a lurker to help my husband and I decide which cruise to take, which excursions, how to get the most out of our vacation, and so forth. I thought I would return the favor by ... Read More
As a cruise virgin, I referred to this board quite a few times as a lurker to help my husband and I decide which cruise to take, which excursions, how to get the most out of our vacation, and so forth. I thought I would return the favor by posting a review of our trip. Keep in mind this review is through the eyes of a first-time cruiser, so I can't really say how my experience compares to what it may have been like on another ship! I went on the cruise with my 26 year old husband. I am a 28-year old graduate student, and this is shaping up to be my last spring break ever, so that was the occasion. We flew in to Ft. Lauderdale from Portland, OR the day before our cruise, and spent the night in Miami. Both my husband and I have been to Florida before, but not as adults, so we enjoyed the experience and it gave us time to shake off our 9-hours of flying before boarding the ship. [Side note: I live in uber-casual Portland, and I was pretty flabbergasted by the nighttime dress code in South Beach where we stayed. Honestly, I have been to quite a few places that are known for their nightlife and on average I've never been to a place where the average young woman dresses more like a working girl. I include many major cities in North America, Latin America, and Europe. I realize this makes me sound provincial, but I was really taken aback! Even the hostess at our pretty upscale restaurant would have looked totally at home in one of Nevada's brothel lineups!! OK, moving on.] After a quick drive to Ft. Lauderdale the next day, we boarded the ship at the pier. Our boarding time was 2pm and we got to the pier around 2:30, walked to the terminal and got right on. No lines whatsoever; it probably took under ten minutes. We had checked our luggage at the entrance to the terminal and it got to our stateroom before dinner, but it definitely took a couple hours, which was fine. There's a lot to see. The ship, obviously, is very large. Here's where you have to keep in mind that I have nothing to compare this to. We had a 14th-floor stateroom with a balcony overlooking Central Park, and the view was pretty underwhelming. It was pretty, and having a balcony eliminated any claustrophobia from the room, but we could have been overlooking the central atrium of any Embassy Suites (excepting the fact that there are restaurants and a few shops off of the Park, which is actually pretty cool). At the time we booked, which was pretty last-minute, the ocean view balconies were about $200 more than the one we had. In retrospect I probably would've paid extra and gone with that. I was worried that there would be noise considering we were directly below the pool deck and indeed could see it easily from our balcony. This turned out to be not an issue at all. Amazed at how soundproof those balcony doors are!! Does anyone else think it's weird that the TV is almost not visible from the bed? Doesn't everyone watch TV from their bed when they're in a hotel? Is it just me, perhaps? Instead it is opposite the loveseat. Which frankly didn't get a lot of use, being as the room itself is so small. I don't know...maybe it's just my own lifestyle or something. There is plenty to do. We did the flow-rider (extremely fun, I highly recommend this, even if it's not something you can imagine yourself doing), the zip line (meh), and we attended the ice show (Frozen in Time), the aquatic show (Oasis of Dreams), and the acrobatic show (Come Fly with Me). I thought Come Fly With Me was incredible, though my husband preferred Frozen in Time. We both loved Oasis of Dreams. All in all, worth going to. He refused to see Hairspray, but we heard it was quite good as well. Most people were shocked that we had passed that one up, but musical theater is just not remotely his thing. We also got a lot of sun. Actually too much--we got a bit sunburned, and though it didn't really affect us too much, it was a bummer. Oh well, our fault! That's what happens when you live in a place where it rains 9 months out of the year. However it did give us a chance to see why they put one of the coveted formal dinners near the end of the cruise--Lobster Night is People! ;-D We ate in the main dining room once for breakfast and twice for dinner, and spent the rest of our evening meals in specialty restaurants, which apparently is unusual! But honestly, it's still cheaper than a tropical vacation any other way if you just pay for drinks and dinner, and who wants to eat in a restaurant that large all the time when there are so many other restaurants on board? My caveat is that I'm a vegetarian (no meat, including seafood) so perhaps that was why I found the steakhouse underwhelming. We enjoyed all the food we had, but didn't find any of it to be out of this world. Neither would I call any of it bad. It cracks me up to read the way they tout the no-cost pizza joint as being "just like a converted factory" or something. More like just like a Sbarro in your nearest shopping mall. That said, it was convenient to be able to grab a free pizza or little sandwich in the Promenade whenever we wanted to. The shops: I found them pretty underwhelming, so I'm glad I didn't go for the shops. For example, we got sunburned (see above) and no shop on board had aloe. I don't expect to get anything I want--this is a floating city, after all--but seriously, aloe? Isn't that something that they should stock, given the fact that approximately 75% of the people had visible sunburns? The drinks--wow. I put myself in the hands of my bartenders, and just told them what I liked and asked them to make me "something good without tequila." I got different drinks every time and they were incredibly strong every time. Good job, bartenders! Obviously, heavy drinkers will spend a lot on cruises. The omnipresent cocktail servers and the bars every ten feet make sure of that. Luckily I am not a heavy drinker (2 drinks per day on vacation, perhaps?), and my husband doesn't drink at all (alcohol, that is)! My fellow cruisers were fine. Apparently there were 500 teenagers on board (according to a kids' services staffer who we chatted with on the elevator) and a decent number of senior citizens, but I would say it was largely middle-aged people, young families, and people in our age range (20s and 30s). Here's something that may be controversial given my reading audience on this board! Probably the most annoying recurring trait I found in our fellow cruisers were the frequent cruisers who felt the need to start every conversation with, "I've been on 27 cruises, and this is my 14th on Royal Caribbean, and...." and then they would proceed to compare this ship with every other ship in a self-important fashion. Seriously, about half our conversations started this way and went on for about twenty minutes. Generally, we would hear about ways in which the Oasis compared unfavorably to their other cruises, such as "Giovanni's Table is not nearly as good as Portofino's," or "This ship is too big, it takes forever for the elevators." I got really over that type of attitude by the end of the trip. Save it for cruisecritic.com, people! :-) By the way, we did see a guy wearing a Cruise Critic t-shirt on the pool deck one day. Anyone want to own to it? Crowded: yes, it was a bit crowded on the pool deck, but it was easy to find secluded areas to look at the ocean and read, as well. I really spent about ten minutes total waiting in lines on this cruise. Finding our ways around: Seriously I am notorious for getting lost in large office suites, etc so I was sure this would be an issue for me, but I never had a bit of trouble with it. I saw some people consulting the maps on the interactive televisions that were near each elevator lobby and was baffled. If even I could do it, awful as I am, who are these people who couldn't...and what must their lives be like when driving around? :-) The staff were extremely polite, and pretty friendly (some more than others). However, more than one of them told us that their staff quarters were half the size of what they were on other cruise ships, and they are worked to the bone--not a day off. Now, they have two months off for vacations, but it still seems pretty rough to me. When I'm not a graduate student, I'm a therapist, but I don't think it was my active listening techniques that drew this information out. I think the staff is legitimately discontent. That said they were very good to us. I mention the Port and Shopping Guide, "Shopping Shelby," in my review of St. Thomas, below. I had a massage and facial in their spa on the 5th day. WOW--I was very impressed with the size and feel of this spa. Incredible! Can't believe they have a spa like this ON A BOAT! All in all, in keeping with the impressive scale and amenities of everything else on the Oasis. I'm not sure what else to put in this review, being so new, but please see my port reviews below. A final note: we used RC's valet service at the end of the trip. They took our bags the night before and we didn't see them again until we arrived in Portland late that night, and provided a boarding pass. In other words, the day of disembarkation, we simply got off the ship, took a cab to the airport, and walked through security to our gate. No check-in, no messing with luggage, nothing. I'm less conservative with money than my husband (he would fairly say less sensible), so I thought it was great. He thought the $20 per-person charge was a bit pricey, but given that we had four hours to kill between disembarkation and getting to the airport, ultimately worth it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
This was my fifth experience cruising and fourth with Royal Carribbean Lines (RC), and was it DIFFERENT. Please ignore any minor vagrancies since I'll try to stay within catagories. I liked the ship. For the number of passengers you ... Read More
This was my fifth experience cruising and fourth with Royal Carribbean Lines (RC), and was it DIFFERENT. Please ignore any minor vagrancies since I'll try to stay within catagories. I liked the ship. For the number of passengers you really didn't feel nor see these masses, since the ship is compartmentalized into multiple venues and isolated areas. These areas have been well placed and arranged, especially the Central Park theme. The only areas not well planned were the Windjammer (too small for the number of diners - really), and the Promenade (poor ventilation -refer below). The spaces allow solitude and reflection. First, I booked thru my agent and they had to supply me with unprofessional computerized printouts of documents (I could have done better with online booking), blank baggage tags, and a coverfolder from ANOTHER cruise line. RC doesn't provide professional material any more to travel agents!! Also the info I was given by RC to write on the baggage tags was wrong and had to be redone at the pier, after the stevedores made me feel incompetent. Boarding was prompt and impersonal, which was a precursor to the rest of the personal interaction I experienced on the ship, especially in the dining room (Anytime Dining, Chops, and Giovanni's). It seemed as if the crew were being evaluated on expediency vs graciousness. No warmth, just proficiency. Too few wait servers, too many mouths to feed and bodies to move. The captain voiced a real example of this attitude as we crossed the "Bermuda Triangle", "Don't be concerned. We're too large. Nothing can bring us down!" G where were similar attitudes noted in nautical history? Room was satisfactory and comfortable, and the room staff efficient. Great design of shower stalls. I was informed on the 2nd day by an accompanying friend that the TV had personal messages posted. I looked at the TV messages and discovered that my credit card had been denied. Calling the pursor revealed that they only called for this problem after you are over $500.00. I was over $700.00!! No apology and oblivious to the faux pas. Also it is noted that the Pursor computers can not access the Food service charges to correct or view these charges (why?). Do not purchase the Wine Packages since it can only be used in the dining rooms NOT the wine bar (Vintages)nor bars nor Seafood Shack; and is limited to only listed wines NOT premium ? bottles. They need to assign a point system to these packages, so that bottles are awarded certain points and those points are subtracted from your package. I purchased a 12 bottle package ( for a party of 4) and had to give away 2 and over ordered 3 bottles just use it up, because of this limitation. SMOKING IS ALLOWED!!! Reference to poor ventilation above. The bars along the Promenade are hazards and odiferous with ash and burned tobacco smells wafting into the hall. Definitely a BIG TURNOFF to utilize this area. No Sports Bar. They placed the monitors up over a circular bar (smoker area) which obscures by it geometry multiscreen viewing. No snacks at the bars (cheeses, crackers, pretzels, nuts). There was a "trail mix" concoction that was undescribable in taste, and had to be requested NOT offered with your drinks. Best dining room taste, service and atmosphere anywhere on this ship was the Solarium Bistro ($20/person). Second was the Park Cafe with excellent fresh made salads and sandwiches (And BAGS and BAGS of Lay's chips!!!). Giovannis rated at 2/5 (I'm a native New Yorker), with Chops rated 3.5/5. Johnny Rockets hamburger meat has gone down in quality BUT franks (hot dogs) still great. Seafood Shack 2/5, too much breading on fish with fries soft not crispy. The shows were good (Hairspray and the ice show) to spectacular (the water show). TV channels limited and have repetitive programing (2 day cycles on some); scant early-last year movies (The Dark Knight)recycled as above; and edited or ?censored CNN Headline News, no US local or network news. This is the era of satellite transmission with no excuse for the limitations in access to multiple information and stations. And why the editing of CNN? No music channels available (only one MTV like station with contemporary music videos). Crew members kept calling me, "Mr William", my first name!!, though my card had my Surname first, as were the norm. They greeted my travel companions correctly. At sea too long the first 72 hours. And then again another 48 hrs. The above might seem as if I didn't enjoy myself. I did, but would not travel again on this vessel. Impersonal, and expensive extras (unknown reason why they are extras - even cupcakes and good coffee!!!!). Back to Voyager or Freedom of the Seas, unless this is company wide. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
On March 20th, 2010 my family and I took a much anticipated cruise of the Oasis of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. This cruise was planned months in advance and there was so my hype that myself and the rest of my family counted the days ... Read More
On March 20th, 2010 my family and I took a much anticipated cruise of the Oasis of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. This cruise was planned months in advance and there was so my hype that myself and the rest of my family counted the days until we departed. The ship, Oasis of the Seas, was magnificent. It was beautiful from stem to stern. Everything was first class. My question to Royal Caribbean is.."why would you allow people to smoke almost everywhere and not enforce your no smoking rules?" All of the bars were filled with cigarette smokers, no special ventilation to carry the smoke out of that area. It flowed into the public areas "Central Park" and "The Boardwalk". They had a wonderful, creative floating bar which moved from the lower Boardwalk and upward. You could smell the stench of cigarette smoke everywhere. If that wasn't bad enough, I had $ 700.00 stolen from my cabin. I phoned to let Royal Caribbean know and their Customer Service person said if I didn't make a report before leaving the ship, there is nothing they can do about my "alleged accusation of theft". I put my primary purse with Credit Cards, passports, etc. in the Safe provided. I had a secondary purse that I put in the dresser in our Cabin with odds and ends,including $ 700.00 Canadian money. It did not occur to me that the Oasis of the Seas Staff would go through our personal belonging that were out of sight. I did not realize the money was missing until we arrived home and I looked for money to pay our taxi fare here in Canada. On board ship, I only used our room card for any charges that were needed and put on my credit card. When we went off ship, we used US dollars. When I told my husband of the money missing, he said that the couple in the next cabin to us asked him if anything had gone missing from our Cabin. Unfortunately, my husband didn't say anything to me or I would have checked and would have found the money missing. I never in a million years thought that someone would steal Canadian money, however, I now realize that our money is on par with the US dollar. My thoughts now are that I would like to make everyone who is cruising to lock up everything in your safe because there are dishonest people working on those ships. Oasis of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Don't let smokers ruin it for everyone else!!! When a client has a complaint, don't as much call them a liar. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
I have been a fan of this website for years, and have found the cruise member reviews very helpful in deciding what cruise line/ship to book. My husband and I are avid cruisers, and we just got off the Oasis. The ship is just awesome. ... Read More
I have been a fan of this website for years, and have found the cruise member reviews very helpful in deciding what cruise line/ship to book. My husband and I are avid cruisers, and we just got off the Oasis. The ship is just awesome. It's very easy to navigate and we never really felt crowded. We had an interior room on deck 11 at the very front of the ship. We found the room to be very spacious and the closet fit all of the extra clothes I always bring along. We had some pretty rough weather the first night which made my husband sea sick. I was surprised at how much movement we felt that night, but the weather quickly turned better the farther we got from Flordia! After that, you easily forgot that you were on a ship at sea. We really went on this ship for the ship itself and not the ports of call. We have been to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the Bahamas before. The ship delivered and then some. The food was excellent. Last year we sailed on the Freedom of the Seas and found the food so bland that we couldn't eat in the main dining room and had to visit the specialty restaurants. That was not the case on the Oasis. We were very pleased with the food in the main dining room and the only specialty restaurant we went to was Johnny Rockets for lunch. It was great to have so many places to choose from to eat that were free! There's Cafe Promenade, Sorrentos, the dining rooms, the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and the Solarium Bistro during the day. The entertainment is the best at sea. Hairsray was the best - even better then when I saw it on Broadway. There are so many things to do, you really have to pick and choose. If you can't find something to do on this ship, then there's something wrong with you! The service was great as well. The only negatives for us have nothing to do with the ship, but rather with the people that we sailed with. There were something like 2,500 Brazilians, 1,500 Asians and the rest were from Long Island, New York. Never have I felt like such a minority as most of our fellow cruisers did not speak english. The Asians were very polite and fun. The Brazilians left much to be desired. They were very rude. They pushed and shoved in the elevators. Every time my husband and I were eating in Sorrentos, we saw them drop the cheese/pepper shakers on the floor breaking it. Accidents happen, of course, but they would get up and leave the cheese and broken glass on the floor without telling anyone about it. The poor young man who works there was very upset with them and he was from Brazil himself!!! My husband and I love to dance and looked forward to dancing in Boleros nightly. We were disappointed to find that the Brazilians took Boleros over as well. Every night, rather than being treated to the smooth stylings of Sol y Arena (They are just fantastic) we heard from Paolo from Brazil who treated Boleros as his personal Karoke Bar. He would get up, take over the microphone and sing the Brazilian anthem and whatever else he felt like - he was also not a good singer at all. It was very disappointing to us, and the lead singers there looked as frusterated as we felt. At the headliner show, the poor guy (I think his name is Dominic Allen) was giving it all he had on stage. He's very talented and can play many instruments. I have never seen so many get up and leave during the middle of a show. The Brazilians were so rude - many started talking loudly during his show and they even started to boo him loudly. I really felt for this guy. We went to the beach in St. Thomas and were stuck in a cab with the biggest bunch of complainers I have ever met. They were from Long Island, New York. When we first got in the cab they were already complaining about the bad service, food and entertainment on their ship. Thinking they were on the Costa docked next to us I asked them what ship they were on. When they said the Oasis I almost fell out of my seat!! From the moment we left the ship to the time we arrived at Meghan's Bay, all they did was complain about their vacation. "To many people, it's over priced, not enough to do, the food is horrible, the service is horrible, the room is horrible..." Then when they found out via cell phone how crowded Meghan's Bay beach was, they were going to make the taxi driver turn around (we were stuck in traffic en route) and go to Sapphire Beach instead - with no regard to my self or my husband who wanted to see Meghan's Bay. We have never been there before on stops to St. Thomas but had heard it was beautiful. Never in all our cruising have I been so disappointed in people!!! My husband and I are very outgoing and look forward to meeting people and making new friends on cruises, but that did not happen this time. Our cruise would have been outstanding had it not been for the people we were stuck sailing with. It left us with the feeling of, "get me out of here and off this ship!!!" We came home and told family that this ship is truly an experience, but that we had sailed with a bunch of barbarians. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Stepping on the ship after cruising on the Liberty and Freedom the last 2 years, I must say RCCL really out did themselves! What a gorgeous ship, they left no stone unturned. Well, that was until I entered my $12,500 Grand Suite! The cabin ... Read More
Stepping on the ship after cruising on the Liberty and Freedom the last 2 years, I must say RCCL really out did themselves! What a gorgeous ship, they left no stone unturned. Well, that was until I entered my $12,500 Grand Suite! The cabin was as small as the Jr. Suites we had in past cruises but little did I know that would be the least of my worries. This cabin was carefully placed under the "Sports Deck". From the moment we entered our cabin, we heard constant running and jumping overhead. I was woken several times throughout the cruise. It was so bad, I called Guest Services to complain and ask why security or attendants have not stopped whoever was running. 3 days into the cruise, about 1:40 am and I heard running, I ran to the door, flew it open and ran into the hallway in my PJ's only to find an empty hallway. It was then I realized it was coming from the deck above! The food was definitely not the same as past RCCL ships. I feel they did away with a lot of amenities due to the quantity of people. I think quality overrides quantity any day but apparently, RCCL does not. Aside from being unhappy about the cabin size, the constant overhead noise and the food not being what we have received in the past (no omelet station at breakfast), we were now informed the "special seating" for Suite holders at each show "was not necessary for this show". I was told that at EVERY show we attended and we attended every show possible. I was forced to stand for the ice show even though I arrived early, as requested for "Suite seating". I was a bit disappointed about that since we expected to have reserved seating. Entertainment..........AMAZING!! Thank you RCCL. That really made our cruise that much better. We kept busy all week long. Casino........another story. Machines and tables were not hitting. We played a lot and still never hit anything significant to keep us playing. We were also joined by what RCCL announced on our cruise "1,600 Brazilians and 1,200 Asians". Rudest group of travelers I have ever seen in my life. When the elevator stopped, they came rushing in, never giving anyone a chance to get off the elevator. I missed my floor because they absolutely refused to be courteous to their fellow cruiser. There are many positive aspects of this ship. One being many restaurants to choose from. Most charge and after what I paid for this cruise, I refused to pay another dime to eat! I wish I had as the dining room food was nothing to write home about. The shops are creative and enjoyable. The Boardwalk and Central Park are perfect. The Zip Line is a waste of time standing in line all that time, but I guess if u want to say u Zip Lined on The Oasis, then it's worth the wait! They had 2 Flo Riders and I don't recall the Freedom class having 2, but I could be wrong. I would suggest you take the plunge and go on the Oasis but be aware the cabins are not the size you are used to on RCCL ships. Just a note, I mentioned my dislikes to several RCCL employees and nothing was done. I would hope the next RCCL cruise (Allure, Feb 2011) is different because if it is not, I will not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We started our vacation with an overnight in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hilton Garden Inn. It was more than adequate as far as pre-cruise accomodation but breakfast was a bit pricey at $13.00 for a bTuffet that most hotels offer complimentary. ... Read More
We started our vacation with an overnight in Ft. Lauderdale at the Hilton Garden Inn. It was more than adequate as far as pre-cruise accomodation but breakfast was a bit pricey at $13.00 for a bTuffet that most hotels offer complimentary. A short walk to a local diner was worth it. When I was told that RCCL was committed to getting us from curb to ship in 15 minutes, I was skeptical. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it happened. I think booking everything online ahead of time helps this process. We entered the ship right at the Promenade. It was amazing! We've been on the Voyager Class ships and thought those Promenads were large and impressive. Well, this one is HUGE and has so much to offer; Pub, Champagne Bar, Cupcake Cupboard, shops, etc, etc. We arrived at the curb at 12:30 pm and we were in our cabin by 1pm. Our bags arrived at about 2pm. Very impressive. The life boat drill went off without a hitch. Our meeting area was the Aqua Theatre. Life jackets are not kept in your cabin on this ship...you will be given one at your life station if required. I think it's because the ship is so big, if you had to go back to your cabin in an emergency, it would just take too long. The dining room is very large, but not as impressive as the Voyager Class ships as it is not as open, although the ceilings are quite high. The food in the dining room was very tasty and the selection was good. Our only complaint was with the service. It seemed to be very slow. We were travelling with another family and their girls were not offered drinks, we had to request it each evening. I don't know if the kitchen was slow getting the food out or if it was our server. RCCL seems to have done away with wine stewards. Our assistant waiter was responsible for getting our wine. One night it took an hour for it to be brought to the table. Another night, it took 20 minutes for him to come back and tell us that our selection was unavailable...and another 20 minutes for our new selection to arrive. We have never before eaten at any of the "pay" restaurants, but we did this time because of the poor service in the dining room. When you think about it, RCCL still wins because of the extra revenue they made on us. On morning, breakfast at Johnny Rockets took about 45 minutes from the time we ordered until the food came out. I frequently found that there was no hot water for making tea available in the Windjammer and Park Cafe. Had to tell someone that the hot water was out. Shouldn't someone monitor this? We found that the Windjammer was always over crowded. To us it appeared that RCCL didn't increase the size of the Windjammer to accommodate the increased passenger load. Those were our only complaints. Everything else was fabulous! The shows we attended were very good to excellent; Comedy Club = very good, Hairspray = excellent, Aqua Show = excellent. We were so busy, we didn't get to the rest of the shows. I guess we'll have to book another trip. The kids enjoyed the Flow Riders immensely. The zip line is a novelty. If you have never zip lined before, it might be worth it, but we had done this in Whistler, BC and this just paled in comparison. We never really felt crowded on this ship...except the night of the 70's dance party on the Promenade,but it was so good, no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Oasis of the Seas January 16- January 23, 2010 My husband and I are avid cruisers and we made our reservations more than 18 months before actually sailing on the Oasis. We took the 7 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas January 16- January 23, 2010 My husband and I are avid cruisers and we made our reservations more than 18 months before actually sailing on the Oasis. We took the 7 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to St. Thomas, St. Maarten/Martin, Nassau, Bahamas plus 3 days at sea. We traveled with two other family members and two friends. Here is our review. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 11 a.m. and quickly checked-in with no delay and boarded the ship. Our rooms were not available until 1:00 p.m. so we rolled our carry-on with us as we explored the ship. We embarked right into the middle of the Royal Promenade, which resembles the royal promenade on the Voyager class ships. We began at the top deck and worked our way down. The Oasis is made up of "neighborhoods" which I will briefly describe: Solarium/ Sports Deck: There is a huge partially domed Solarium in the front of the ship. This area has multiple levels, is beautifully laid out, and has palm trees and tropical plants. There is a small pool (3-ft. deep) that is warm, plus two hot tubs. Covered verandas are furnished with large, beautiful "Tommy Bahama" style chairs with thick cushions and matching ottomans--perfect for reading a book or taking a nap. There are 10 cabanas along the very front of the Solarium that are like giant "Papasan" chairs with convertible tops. They are highly sought after and, unfortunately, a few selfish people grab them early and "hog" them all day long, leaving their belonging in them while they go about doing other things on board. There is a policy against such obnoxious behavior, but it needs to be better enforced. Also in the Solarium is the Solarium Bistro, which serves breakfast and lunch "healthy" fare but turns into a chic bistro at night for a surcharge. Located in the Sports Deck area is Izumi, the Japanese specialty restaurant available for a surcharge. We did not get a chance to eat at Izumi but our friends did and said it was outstanding. Adjacent to the Solarium on both sides of the ship, in a part of the ship that cantilevers out over the water, (inside the glass area) are two huge "infinity" style hot tubs with big-screen televisions. You can sit in the hot tub and look at the ship as though you were alongside it. Also on the sports deck are several other pools, including a cute kiddie aqua park that features fun slides, water guns and fun things to entertain them for hours and a "beach" pool plus sun decks and plenty of beach chairs. Beach towels are large and thick and have the Royal Caribbean name on them, which makes it feel like you are at a resort. You have to "check out" the towels and return them to the towel kiosk. The rest of the sports deck contains many amenities such as: full-size basketball court; miniature golf, ping pong tables; shuffleboard; rock-climbing wall; zip-line; flow-rider wave machine for surfing or using the boogie board. Everything is well laid out and spacious. Also on the sports deck is a dining venue called Wipeout Cafe plus a small beach shop that sells beach wear, suntan lotion, and other things. A free soft-serve ice cream machine with cones is located near the pools. Although it can get crowded, there were always lounge chairs available. Vitality Spa and Fitness Center: The spa is huge and takes up 2 floors. There are the usual offerings plus additional special treatment rooms. The relaxation room could comfortably seat 16 people but was never that crowded. There is also a nice salon. I had a massage, pedicure, and reflexology as I am a spa junkie - my guilty pleasure on cruises. Located within the spa and fitness area is the Vitality Cafe where you can get a healthy snack, energy drink, or smoothie, and specialty coffee drinks. Some of the items in the cafe are free and some cost extra. The fitness center was huge. I never had a problem using the equipment, much of which is state-of-the-art. There are plenty of classes and lectures to attend, or you can do your own routine, which is what I did. There are some bikes available (for an extra charge) that have simulated interactive biking courses, which looked interesting. The fitness center has a stairwell that takes you down to the promenade deck, which is essentially a jogging track. Along the way are motivational signs and reminders to stop and stretch, and informational markers to let you track your distance. Boardwalk: The Boardwalk is very cute. There are 2 dining options available for an extra charge: Johnny Rockets diner and Seafood Shack. We ate lunch at the Seafood Shack and enjoyed several different appetizers and entrees. The carousel is beautiful and I was dragged aboard by my Mother in Law --- and have to admit --- it was fun to ride it with the kiddies and their grandparents---very authentic. There are some shops on the Boardwalk such as: ice cream parlor; donut shop; old-fashioned candy store with many nostalgic candies; a gift shop with items for the beach; cute children's beach clothes, etc. Along the Boardwalk are decorative items you would find in a real boardwalk, such as pop-corn machines, 'funhouse" mirrors, and so forth. Even "Voltar" is available to tell your fortune. The Boardwalk has about 5-6 stories of "inside" cabins that overlook it. I would imagine those who took rooms overlooking the Boardwalk would be reminded of summers at the shore, as that is what it looked like to me. Those rooms were quite noisy, however, as I was told by fellow cruisers. At the very end (aft of the ship) is the fabulous Aqua Theatre. This theatre has stadium seating (comfy) and a stage with a 17 foot deep pool --- various diving boards and platforms, lighting, and 2 big-screens for movies and other special effects. The evening performance put on by former Olympic swimmers and acrobats was spectacular. The Aqua Theatre was flanked on either side by the Aqua Suites. I was very enthralled with the Aqua Suites for several reasons. First, the suites were stepped such that the lowest one had the largest balcony and the balconies decreased in size as you went higher. The balcony for each suite was a large wrap-around style balcony that appeared to have built-in outdoor bars. I would guess that the view of the Aqua Theatre, as well as the ocean view on the other side, was stunning; however, noise would definitely be an issue. There is also a 30 minute evening water show set to music (like at Bellagio in Las Vegas) that was very dramatic and well done. Those in the Aqua Suites were on their balconies viewing the water show and appeared to enjoy it. Central Park: This venue was my favorite by far, perhaps because I am a native New Yorker. It was so pretty and peaceful and ...absolutely elegant at night. There are so many plants and park benches that you really forget you are on a cruise ship! There is a winding path that allows you to meander along and take it all in. Central Park has the high end shops (including a Coach purse store) and restaurants. Vintages, the on-board wine bar, was huge. We all met there one afternoon for tapas (small plates of tasty food) and wine flights (3 different glasses of wine based on varietals and/or vineyard) and had a great time. Restaurants in Central Park include: Chops Grille, Park Cafe, 150 Central Park, and Giovanni's Table. We ate at 150 Central Park for dinner and we were blown away! I felt like a judge on the TV show Iron Chef. There are two menus that alternate depending upon the day of the week. One of our table mates was afraid that she would not like the food because she is a rather picky eater; however, she loved it. The ambiance is very elegant, the service is outstanding, and the food just took our breath away! While my husband and I ordered a bottle of wine, our friends selected the wine-parings and really enjoyed it. There is a surcharge for the dinner and an extra charge for the wine and alcohol but this place is on my list of one of the most fascinating food experiences I have had. If you are a "foodie" and love wine, you really need to go to 150 Central Park ($35 surcharge applies). We ate lunch at Giovanni's Table (also a surcharge of $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner) but thought it was "just ok." They serve food family style. We like Sabatini's on Princess better. Central Park is also the final destination of the Rising Tides Bar. The bar is a slow-moving elevator that takes you up two stories inside the Royal Promenade and then ends in Central Park under a glass domed ceiling shaped like a wave and reminiscent of Tavern on the Green in NYC. We went to the Rising Tides Bar twice and really enjoyed it, especially at night, with all the twinkle lights in Central Park. Rising above Central Park are several floors of "inside" cabins that have windows overlooking the park and in fact, the cabins across the hall from us were those cabins. We were told by those cabin-dwellers that it was extremely noisy in those rooms. The Park Cafe was open for breakfast and lunch and was packed all the time. The cafe serves excellent fresh salads that you create and delicious panninis as well as sandwiches and desserts. Also available for really serious foodies is Chef's Table which is available for a $75 surcharge, including wines. We did not have time to try this but it sounds really neat! Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe: The Windjammer is very small. We do like the way RCCL organizes the food stations because it minimizes "traffic jams" and makes it easier and quicker to grab a bite. We enjoyed the variety of food, especially the Asian bar. The Opus Dining Room was elegant and we had outstanding service for the 6 pm seating. We sat next to the Captain's Table and behind it was a stage where musicians played the piano and/or violin during dinner. The menu selections were "good" to "great" and everything as well-prepared and delicious. There is also an anytime dining option, which is a nice alternative. Staterooms: We had a balcony cabin as did our travel companions. It was located mid ship on deck 12 and was very quiet and adequate, but considerably smaller than the same type of cabin on the Voyager Class ships. We were very space-challenged but managed to hang or fold all our clothes and get our 3 suitcases under the bed. The bed was extremely comfortable. We had a nice flat screen TV but there were hardly any programs available. RCCL obviously does not want you to hang out in your room! The TV was connected to a keyboard, which you could use to monitor your account, review all menus for each evening, connect to the internet for a fee, and learn all about what the ship has to offer, plus it had many other features. Our balcony was huge, and we were able to get the glass partition moved so that we could double the balcony size with our neighbors (travel companions), which made it even better. The balcony was covered and yet was sunny if you stood by the railing. The railing was higher than usual so that when you are sitting, the railing does not obstruct your view. We had a table and two chairs and were able to host the sail-away party for 6 in our room. The bathroom was really tiny with just a small corner stand-up shower, which was smaller than a coat closet. The sink and toilet were so close together that one could use both simultaneously! We are both tall and had issues banging our elbows in the shower just trying to wash our hair! If you are of large girth, you would probably have a problem with the small showers. I understand the junior suites have a tub-shower, which is much larger. The Royal Suite was a few doors down from us and it looked spacious and magnificent. There were some traditional inside cabins but most of what would be "inside" cabins on other ships has windows overlooking Central Park, the Boardwalk, or the inside of the Royal Promenade. In addition to the Aqua Suites, there were Sky Suites overlooking Central Park, which I would probably really like, except for the noise factor. The2 -story Loft Suites are located near the Viking Crown Lounge, as is the wedding chapel and Concierge Suite. Our stateroom attendant was excellent and she did a great job keeping our room clean and tidy. We gave her a big tip. Entertainment: The entertainment on board was over-the-top excellent. There are so many shows, you really have to manage your time well to see everything in 7 days. In addition to the Aqua Theatre water acrobatic spectacular, we saw the Broadway musical Hairspray; the aerial production Come Fly With Me (like a Cirque du Soleil show); Frozen in Time (a stunning ice show based on the stories of Hans Christian Andersen), the Headliner (an excellent singer-comedian that took us back to Motown and Rock 'N Roll), and two excellent comedians, who performed in the Comedy Club. There are many venues to enjoy in addition to the theatre, including a sports bar, Boleros night club, Dazzles night club, a karaoke bar, and on... and on. The NFL playoffs were taking place during our first 2 days and you could watch from any of the big screens located throughout the ship, or in your stateroom. Getting Around the Ship: You would think a ship this huge would be hard to maneuver but that was not the case. There are only 2 banks of elevators, and located outside each bank, is a simple-to-read board for each floor telling you what is where AND there is a computerized interactive board that you can use to locate your room or any other place by answering a few questions. The info board also had wait times for the various dining venues so you could decide where to eat based on space available. There were numerous elevators and rarely did we wait long. There were two stairwells (Port and Starboard) behind the elevators. Finally, there were ship's models located near the elevators, (like all RCCL ships have) to help you locate various places by deck. The Ports: We have traveled the Caribbean and been to St. Thomas, St. Martin/Maarten and Nassau many times so we did not take any excursions on this trip. We walked around and did some shopping and then got back on board. You could disembark in 4 different places so you never had to wait on line. Getting back on the ship was a cinch, too: no problems, no wait, and no effort. It was a breeze. Overall: The Oasis was not just a cruise ship; it was a resort on water. We were enthralled with the ship for our first two days (both sea days) and had so much fun exploring every nook and cranny. There are some vestiges of a traditional Royal Caribbean cruise experience on the Oasis (i.e., the "newlywed" game show and The Quest) but there was so much more than anything we had ever experienced before on a cruise ship. It really felt as though we were at a resort by the sea. It was a destination in itself! We loved every minute of it and would definitely cruise again on board the Oasis ... or check out the Allure when it debuts. On the negative side, I would say that sometimes we felt like we were being "nickeled- and dimed" with all the surcharges, some of which are unnecessary in our opinion. Still, even if you prefer smaller, more intimate ships, the Oasis experience is unique and unparalleled at this time. I do not know what RCCL has planned for the future but they have certainly outdone themselves this time and have raised the bar quite high, in our opinion. If you are thinking about cruising aboard the Oasis but worried that a big ship would be too crowded or overwhelming, don't worry. RCCL has done a magnificent job of designing the ship to accommodate large crowds. There are so many different interesting and fun public areas on the ship that you never feel too crowded or overwhelmed. It is well presented and well managed. Go ahead and hop on board and experience cruising at a whole new level. Bon Voyage! E & A Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2009
If anyone says to you - "Wow that is a big ship", well they are right. We don;t want to get too wordy as you know there are alot of critic reviews and the last thing you need is an essay! Here are the pointers: It is ok to get to ... Read More
If anyone says to you - "Wow that is a big ship", well they are right. We don;t want to get too wordy as you know there are alot of critic reviews and the last thing you need is an essay! Here are the pointers: It is ok to get to the port at 12noon ish, we did and we were on board in 10 minutes - no joke. It was smooth and organized. Carry on you own luggage and it is there in your cabin when you need it - don't fall for the bell hops at the port who want to take then for you. If you can do it - carry your own. Book your entertainment on line - you want a guaranteed space. BUT if you find yourself wanting to go another time - stand in the standby line - we always got a seat! Hairspray and Frozen in time the ice show are the BEST!! Go to the Aquatheater on off show times and you can watch rehearsals - fun. Bring LONG pants if you want to ice skate. Remember the specialty restaurants are free for breakfast ands dinner. Go to the Solarium restaurant - absolutely wonderful and the best food (free breakfast and lunch and 20 for dinner. The atmosphere is perfect! Ask for Lorraine the Solarium Officer - she is great! Simona has been promoted to Chops :( The coffee cafes are a fee but the deserts and specialty sandwiches are free Shopping Shelby the port shopping expert is a bit over the top. The lectures are long and repetitive. For a chance at a tossed out gift sit on here right in Studio B. Sit high for Come Fly with Me to see the best view of the aerials. A good view of the parade is the Cupcake Shoppe - get their early for the best seat. Another good view id at the Schooner Bar. Instead of the usual photo shoots - as for a personal photographer to do your pictures - this is worth the extra money. There is a LONG line for the Captain's photo. He is there both formal nights. I noticed more formals and tuxes than previous cruises - perhaps the inaugural season or the holidays. Read the daily Compass fully and use a highlighter to stay organized. Over all the ship was very pretty. It was huge but did not seem crowded. However according to the officers - there were only 4700 on board (holds 5400 double occupancy) Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Scheduled to fly Southwest Airlines, Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We were soon surprised to learn that SWA has a new "Early Bird Program"; allowing passengers to obtain their boarding passes much earlier than the previous 24 hour ... Read More
Scheduled to fly Southwest Airlines, Orlando to Fort Lauderdale. We were soon surprised to learn that SWA has a new "Early Bird Program"; allowing passengers to obtain their boarding passes much earlier than the previous 24 hour allowed - at a charge of $10 per person per boarding. Not too bad, especially for people catching flights directly from a cruise. Bussed to a new (at least to us) terminal in Port Everglades from the Ft. Lauderdale airport. We could see the huge ship while flying into Ft. Lauderdale and also while on the ground at the airport. Nice efficient terminal, we were soon aboard in the Promenade. Good planning for embarkation is obvious. Anyone who has been in any RCI ship that has a Promenade would feel instantly at home, but there are differences that need exploring. Forward and aft elevator banks are familiar, but you can't go from one side to the other on odd numbered decks. Thankfully there are very clear interactive directory signs on each deck by the elevators so we couldn't get too lost. Immediately above the Promenade ceiling is Central Park, with trees, shrubs, flowers and I think fountains surrounding skylights. Above Central Park is mostly open sky. Aft of the Promenade is the Boardwalk, with all the usual boardwalk amenities, including a carousel and small shops. Aft of the Boardwalk is the seating for the Aquatheatre. I just realized that I was just repeating what all the literature about the Oasis of the Seas will tell you. Go to http://www.oasisoftheseas.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Oasis_of_the_Seas to see what is what aboard this beautiful ship. In general, I will only write about the things that we didn't like and think need fixing. Obviously, since the cruise we were on was the ship's first, not all the bugs had been worked out and probably what we list, have been mostly corrected. In the dining rooms, large bowls, instead of plates were used for serving meals. The bowls are extremely difficult to eat out of, plus after using a utensil, if you put it on the edge of the bowl, it will soon fall in. This might be acceptable for soups, salads and pastas, definitely not for meats, potatoes and vegetables. We asked the waiter if we could order our meal on a plate, the answer was "I don't believe there are any plates on this ship." The dining menus, particularly the breakfast menus are large and unwieldy. They are too large to hold in the lap and too large to place on the table. The slot machines in the casino mostly would not accept new $100 bills. The casino cashier was only issuing new $100 bills. It was necessary to find a machine that would accept $100 bills, place them in the machine and get a ticket out that was usable in all machines. Alternately, return to the cashier and exchange the $$ for tickets, if they had any preprinted. Obviously the casino cashier always had a long line waiting with people waiting with money problems. If there were no bill reader problems, the cashier might not be overloaded with customers. The air conditioning for the casino did not have enough air exchanges, even though half the casino was no smoking. The cigarette odor was overwhelming at all times. Sewer gas odor existed in many of the aft hallways during the cruise. The odors seemed to move from hallway to hallway. Some of the odors disappeared, only to return a day or so later. I'm sure this is part of the operating personnel learning the systems. The balcony cabins seem to be smaller than the equivalent cabins aboard the other classes of Royal Caribbean ships. Two people cannot pass one another while getting dressed. The circular shower was installed to allow more room than the other classes. A foot rest was included to help the ladies shave their legs. No temperature fluctuations in the shower water is a huge improvement. Another nice detail; the bath towels have a loop to allow hanging up after use. We used the Express Departure at the end of the cruise, carrying our own luggage ashore. There were absolutely no departure slowdowns, including passing through Customs and Immigration. Taxi fare to the airport is between $12.50 and $15.00 depending on the airline. We were at the airport two hours after getting up, including breakfast in the dining room. Not bad at all. Royal Caribbean really did outstanding planning in people movement. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we ... Read More
Oasis of the Seas, Pre Inaugural 4 night cruise December 1st 2009 Terminal very nice and well laid out, check in proved to be a disaster as they had moved our daughters cabin and our friends cabin to another hallway on deck 8, when we were on deck 10, they could not tell us why, and as it is Royals Rules, that childrens cabins are next to or across from parents cabins, they moved them back to the original cabin, this caused much confusion and soda package stickers were not transferred with the move. Sea pass pictures are now taken at check in, although the agent had difficulty using the camera. After check in was taken care of, a 25 min process, which exceeds their goal of 15 mins from door to ship, we went upstairs to await boarding. Once boarding was started it was a very quick process to finally be aboard Oasis. We boarded on the Royal promenade, deck 5, and looked around, very much like the Voyager / Freedom class ships, although bigger and more impressive. We wandered around the RP, waiting for the rest of our party who were late getting to the port, when they boarded, we went to check out the cabins, Our ocean view balcony was basically the same as the Freedom class, although the layout was a little different and the cabin seemed smaller, went across the hallway to check out our daughters interior and our friends interior that was next to theirs, imagine our surprise when our daughters cabin was full of boxes and our friends cabin had a man laying on the bed looking at a laptop!! Time to visit guest services!!, we now know why the cabins had been changed at check in. Guest services could not explain what had happened, and tried to find them alternate cabins, that matched the parent/child rules, they could not. After a lot of checking and trying to move people around the only thing they could come up with was an Aqua Suite, very nice, on the same deck, but all the way aft, when we were all the way forward, while this was very nice for our friends and our daughter and her friend, it meant that our group was now split up, and the guest service supervisor would do nothing for the remaining people in the group to get us closer, when we tried the, "but we booked 11 months ago, to be together", we were told that they guarantee us cabins, but not specific cabins and they could put us where they wanted!! During this time, we had also noted that although the whole party was dining at the same table, half had early dining and half had late dining, when we questioned this, we were told that we all had late dining, it didn't matter what the sea pass cards said! Once again, we all had confirmed early dining and this was not acceptable, we were told it was late dining only, and even if the passengers who had early dining times on their sea passes, went to the dining room at 6.00pm they would be refused service!! They did go as far as to say that they would try and get us early dining and would leave a message on our phone if they were successful. Spent the rest of the afternoon looking around this amazing ship. As there was no message on our cabin phone we decided to have Dinner in the Windjammer, this is laid out pretty much like the Voyager/Freedom class, with different stations, but seemed to have less stations with a much smaller selection of food. Used the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch as well, and found the same thing. One guy cooking eggs to order, but a 20 min wait for 2 sunny side up, fried eggs. Never found any hotdogs or French Fries, the entire cruise. There was a message left on 1 cabin phone when we returned giving us early dining at 2 adjoining tables We did eat in the Dining Room, on the second night, and it was a disaster, we arrived at 6.00, and asked that they hurry service as we wanted to watch the aqua show at 7.30, no problem we were told, bread arrived at 6.20, orders were taken at 6.30, starters arrived at 6.45 and entrees, in stages starting at 7.10, after rushing and finishing dinner by 7.35 we left, without dessert or coffee to catch the end of the show, the table next to us, who arrived just before us and also wanted to see the show, had not even got their entrees. Needless to say that was the last visit to the dining room! Ate the last night in the Sea Food Shack, once again service very slow, drink order messed up, Fish and Chips, was actually Fish and French Fries, and English people will know the difference!, baked beans, served with the baby Back Ribs, which were regular ribs not baby backs, looked like they had been microwaved 3 or 4 times, and were very dried out. Bars and Lounges. I will state here, and wait for the flaming, that we are smokers. On Voyager and Freedom class ships, we spend a lot of time in the English Pub on the RP, listening to the singer, smoking has always been allowed at the bar and down one side of the ship, and the pub is normally packed, and I'm led to believe a major revenue center for the ship, on Oasis, the pub is non smoking and was empty all cruise. The other bars that were smoking, Schooner and Boleros, were packed in the smoking section and empty in the non smoking section. Seems to me that RCI needs to rethink their policies on this one. Rising Tide bar was cool to try, but had very limited drinks available. Labadee. What a change since we were last their in July. Obviously the pier is now used, and that gives the peninsula a totally different feel, tried the Dragons Tail Coaster, which is now priced at $15.00 for 1 ride, $25.00 for 2 riders and $40.00 all day, these prices are per car, so for one or two people, a really good ride, although it can be slow depending on the speed or the person in front of you. No ribs on the BBQ, but did have grilled lobster tail, don't know if this was a special for the first cruise, or if this will be an ongoing thing. Overall a decent cruise, people will say that all new ships will have "teething problems", but it seems to me that the systems are in place on all other ships and therefore should transfer seamlessly, but that is not the case. Oasis, at the moment, is a work in progress, that hopefully be finished soon Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria ... Read More
Background - My wife and I are in our mid-forties with two boys ages 11 and 6. We are RCCL Diamond members and have taken 8 cruises with the line. This was our 16th cruise overall and our second Maiden Voyage (First one was Queen Victoria in Dec. 2007). RCCL has been our favorite line due to the large passenger demographic and their focus on family cruising. We booked this one in May 2009 and received two upgrades from the line. We originally had an inside and wound up with a D2 Superior Ocean View Balcony amidships. This cruise had 4,800 guests which was short of capacity by 1,500 guests. RCCL said this was by design for the first cruise. They are getting a premium cruise rate for this ship, so expectations are high. Embarkation - A breeze. The new ship terminal (Terminal 18) built for Oasis is huge and can easily handle the passenger load. I was suspicious when RCCL announced that this terminal will allow passengers to go from the curb to ship in 15 minutes. We did it in 10 minutes. WOW!! Accommodations - The room was a good size and the storage space was adequate. The bed is too close to the closet and blocks some of the storage space. RCCL needs to address this on Allure of the Seas. The balcony was 40 sq.ft and had a nice view of the ocean. The bathroom was bigger than I expected and met all of our needs. Public Spaces - BIG!! BIG!! BIG!! Every space was elegantly designed and exceeded our expectations. Our favorite space is Central Park. It is so beautiful with the real trees and shrubs. We really enjoyed Vintages Wine Bar in Central Park. We sat outside in the park drinking wine and eating tapas. It was great!! This is the best designed ship I have ever been on in my life. It was easy to navigate, had superior design and was elegantly appointed. RCCL spared no expense. Everything was done first class. We missed not getting to the Solarium. We only walked through it and it is wonderful. The stability of the ship is incredible. It virtually did not move in the water. One little lerch leaving Labadee was all I felt. Dining - We had the main seating at the Opus Dining room at 6pm. The food was average which is expected from RCCL. The service was under stress given the enormity of the passenger load. The line fell down a bit here, but I excused it due to it being the first cruise. Our waiter, Igorce, was very attentive and treated us well. He had too many tables to wait and therefore was running around all night. He had a really tough job. I am not one to spend money on alternative restaurant cover charges. This ship has plenty of complimentary locations other than the main dining room and Windjammer. We really liked Sorrento's Pizza for lunch and the Park Cafe for breakfast. We only went to Windjammer buffet once for breakfast. It was nice with good food, but too crowded. Go to the Park Cafe for breakfast. The food is good and eating in Central Park is wonderful. Activities - Too many to mention. Flow Rider (2), basketball (full court), mini-golf, table tennis, zip-line, sports pool, kids pool (H2O Zone), sand pool, main pool, solarium pool, spa, gym, carousel, rock wall (2), ice skating, jogging track (deck 5), comedy club, jazz club, Theater, Aqua Theater, etc. We saw the ice show, Hairspray in the Opal Theater and the Aqua Theater show Oasis of Dreams. They were all very good. Hairspray was the best. The Comedians were average, but not great. There is also a huge casino on board that rival some Atlantic City Casino Hotels. It is huge with two craps tables. My wife and I don't gamble, but we like to watch others. Ports - Labadee, Haiti is a resort owned by RCCL. It has recently been redone. There is a brand new pier that opened on 12/3/09 that allows all ships to dock including Oasis. There is the Dragon's Breath Zip-Line and the Dragon's Tail Coaster. Both alot of fun. The beach is nice and vendor free!!! The resort is clean and the lunch buffet they serve is good. Adventure Ocean has activities on the resort, so the kids can go there and the adults can enjoy the beach or other activities. I was pleased with the changes on Labadee and would go back there again.  Adventure Ocean - Wonderful!! It is a great space and our 6 year old really loved it. The have their own theater and also A science lab and art studio. It was terrific!! Top of the line and, of course, BIG!! Diamond Club - We are RCCL Diamond members. The Diamond Club is a nice space, but it was never used. The Concierge was there each day from 10am to 12 noon, but breakfast was served at Park Cafe and cocktail hour was at the Blaze Nightclub from 5pm to 8:30pm each night. Good drinks!! Really good drinks!! Debarkation - A breeze. Off the ship, through customs and at the airport in less than 20 minutes. Overall - A really good cruise, but not great. The computer glitches and dining room service knocked the total cruise experience down a little. The ship is the most beautiful I have ever seen and the options for dining and entertainment are virtually limitless. The on-board charges for drinks, apparel and gifts are higher than other RCCL ships, so watch what you spend closely and have a good time. We certainly did. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive ... Read More
Overall, this was a good cruise. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, if the price were reasonable. Some things that I liked: • The ship did not feel crowded at all; it was very easy to get around, thanks to interactive maps located throughout the ship. • The pool deck was nice, there were plenty of pool chairs available, and the pool area was not overly crowded. • Embarkation and debarkation were both easy. • There were more free dining options compared to the Liberty of the Seas, such as the Park Cafe, which I enjoyed. Things that I did not like: • The layout of the room was akward; the room seemed smaller than to comparable rooms on the Liberty. • While there was plenty of storage space available in the room, it was hard to utilize. The closet space was hard to access. • Some of the shows were canceled, and it was very difficult to change reservation times/days once on board due to many shows already being booked up. Embarkation was great. It went very smooth and quickly. We boarded deck 5, Royal Promenade, which was was very impressive. It is similar to Liberty of the Seas' promenade, but larger. The rising tide bar looks very neat, although I did not try it. The ship is beautiful. Public spaces were gorgeous, and I enjoyed the many art pieces. It was very easy to get around with touch screen computers located throughout the ship. The computers provided cruise compass info, maps, and directions to your stateroom, among other things. Muster Drill The muster drill took place in a lounge. It was great. No more wearing life vests. Central Park Central Park is quiet. It really is beautiful, and the plants are lovely. Boardwalk Boardwalk is very lively. There were several family activities that were hosted by Adventure Ocean staff which took place here, such as face painting and games. Cabin We had an inside L cabin. The configuration of the closet was a little weird. The sofa sleeper was right in front of the closet door which made it difficult to access the closet, especially with the sofa bed out. Bathroom I really liked the bar in the shower; it makes shaving legs so much easier. I did not like the soap tray in the shower, shampoos and things kept falling out of it. There are several hooks in the shower; a hanging shower organizer would have been helpful here. Activities- Zip Line I did the zip line. It was very difficult to get a reservation. I had to sign up several days in advance, in order to go the last day of the cruise. I noticed people being turned away at desk as there were no more spaces available. I probably would not do the zip line again. It was a unique experience, but not worth the lengthy time that it takes to get harnessed and ready to go. It lasts maybe only 30 seconds or so. Flowrider I used the flowrider several times during this cruise, and also did private lessons. There were never long wait times when I was at the flowrider. One Flowrider was used for surfing and one for boogie boarding. Private lessons were great. The sports staff was very helpful. Entertainment I had reservations for all of the shows prior to boarding, but wanted to change some of the times. I found it very difficult to change my reservations once on board, as many of shows were sold out for the entire cruise (such as the Aqua Theatre show). I originally had Oasis of Dreams booked for the first night, but it was canceled due to technical difficulties. They offered a show the next night, but I could not attend due to a Flowrider lesson. The show was completely booked for the entire cruise, so I did not get seats. Many people, including me, watched the show from the deck above (in front of rock wall). There were so many different entertainment options that I was not able to see everything that I wanted to see in the 4 days. I did manage to see the Ice Show and Hairspray. Hairspray was good. The ice show was similar to the one of the Liberty of the Seas. Dining Dining Room I had My Time dining, and ate in the dining room every night. There were often lines to make reservations. It would be nice to be able to make reservations before the cruise, similar to how reserbations can be made for the speciality restaurants, but I did not see that option available. With the exception of the last night, I thought that the quality of the food was quite good, it was better than what I expected. I had different waiters each night, and some of them were really good, while others were not so good. Park Cafe was very good. They had made to order sandwiches, salads, and Panini's, all at no additional charge. I did not eat at any of the surcharge restaurants, so I cannot comment on those. Crowds The Oasis did not feel crowded at all. I found that the lines were shorter on the Oasis compared to the Liberty of the Seas, probably due to the many options available on the Oasis. The Windjammer was small but did not feel crowded, and it was easy to find a table. Pool Deck The pool deck was nice. It was not crowded. H2O Zone was nice, again no crowds (although I did not see many kids on board, probably due to the time of the year). The solarium was great. I enjoyed the cantilevered whirlpools, and liked the fact that there were now flat screen TV's above them. Labadee I have been to Labadee before but not after the renovations. It is great. The pier is very nice, no more tendering! It was a breeze to get on and off the ship. Several areas were expanded, and there were additional areas to eat. Debarkation I choose late debarkation, as I had a late flight. I ate breakfast in the Windjammer before leaving at about 8:30. It was not crowded, and debarkation was prett Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
First and foremost we loved the ship. The different neighborhoods are quite amazing and Central Park gave us goosebumps just walking through it. The Royal Promenade is very nice, too, and felt spacious except on the rainy day at sea when ... Read More
First and foremost we loved the ship. The different neighborhoods are quite amazing and Central Park gave us goosebumps just walking through it. The Royal Promenade is very nice, too, and felt spacious except on the rainy day at sea when all 6,500 passengers seemed to congregate there! Overall the ship lacks the flow that we have come to expect from RCCL ships, but apparently this design was intentional since the massive crowds would be a little more compartmentalized. We were on deck 12 with a balcony room that faced the ocean. Good location and the balcony had a taller table with 2 chairs. The beds were very comfortable with improved linens and pillows. Bathroom and amenities were similar to Voyager and Freedom class ships except that there is less storage. The biggest critique of the cabin was the lack of storage space. The closet seemed smaller (but width, depth, and height). Fewer shelves inside the closet for personal items and the safe was smaller, too. The TV was huge but there was relatively no other space for storage in the room - just 3 drawers and 2 small narrow cubbies. The couch was comfortable. It was difficult to keep the room cool enough for our taste. The food was very good and we loved Giovanni's Table; the pappardelle was amazing and the wait staff was attentive and easy on the eyes. Don't waste your time with the Solarium Bistro. It has "healthier choices" but they come at a price (both $20 per visit as well as in taste and texture). Biggest complaints: (1) The spa area is nice but the steam/sauna areas are co-ed and cost $30 a day! Ridiculous!!! & (2) The rooms are SMALL! We had a balcony room but the closet is significantly smaller and with the European design of the furnishings there are fewer drawers and enclosed cubbies to hide the stuff. Compliments: (1) The staff was very friendly. It was great to reconnect with so many staff members we had met on previous cruises. While we had a wonderful time, it will be a while before we go again on the Oasis. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
First off, this was my first cruise ever...keep that in mind when you read my newbie opinions. The Oasis is a huge ship and we spent a LOT of time walking. Our cabin was the last port aft cabin. I actually lost a few pounds and never went ... Read More
First off, this was my first cruise ever...keep that in mind when you read my newbie opinions. The Oasis is a huge ship and we spent a LOT of time walking. Our cabin was the last port aft cabin. I actually lost a few pounds and never went near the fitness center. And that was on a non-revenue cruise where most restaurants and all drinks were free. I definitely walked off all my meals and other indulgences. The service was excellent. The staff was very courteous and accommodating. The cabin was a little tight but adequate. Personally, I was happy to be ocean-side. Great for quiet and privacy. I don't think I would have enjoyed a room with a balcony overlooking Central Park, the Boardwalk or the Promenade. Those are probably great if you're into people-watching, but you can do that with a better view by joining the crowd and watching from the sidelines. That's such a busy and noisy atmosphere that I needed my ocean-side balcony to unwind. The Aqua Theater's structure was interesting...a pool/dance floor/trampoline/diving boards/fountains. The Oasis of Dreams rehearsals were fun to watch ...there was dancing and diving based on a storyline, then tumbling, then a colored fountain show set to music. It was carefully coordinated between the theater morphing and the performers utilizing the components. It reminded me of Cirque de Soleil. The ice skating show was spectacular. Great costumes and props. They even manage to include a few kids from the audience during "The Ugly Duckling" portion. I don't believe our cruise was full to capacity, but it was still difficult to catch an elevator after shows (and there's 24 of them). There were long lines at Johnny Rockets at times and even longer waits at the Seafood Shack. It was not always easy to find seating for our group at the Windjammer Marketplace (buffet). The food at all three of these were good, but nothing to crow about. Dinners in the Opus Dining Room were good, the setting was classy, and the servers were attentive. I was surprised and disappointed by the way people dressed from the first Smart Casual dinner to the final Formal dinner. Maybe I'm old school, but for those who can't or don't want to dress appropriately for the fancy dinner, why not just go to the Windjammer buffet? I heard from seasoned cruisers that they weren't impressed with the food overall. I never even saw an hor d'oeuvre, but neither did I visit any restaurants other than what I've listed. I was impressed with the artwork on the ship (sculptures, statues, etc.) except for the painters who seemed out of place. I wasn't impressed with most of the framed photos in public areas (mostly birds which seemed to be the overall theme, no focal point, etc.) There are two internet rooms that are very cramped. They have about 10 computers each with barely any room to get in and out. Every time I went, there were people standing outside the door waiting for a chance at a computer (no time limits either) and every screen was viewable from the doorway (no privacy). I did bring my laptop, but to use wireless (free on this trip) you had to first go to an internet room to sign up for it and then the wireless was down almost every time I tried to use it. Some suggestions for those planning to cruise on this ship are as soon as you've booked, sign up online for the shows you want to see and as soon as you embark, sign up for the zip line and surf pools. You have to get on the waiting lists early or your cruise could end before you get your turn, especially in the case of bad weather. Again, it was a big, beautiful ship with lots to do, but even as a newbie, there are some things that could use improvement. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
The 18 Hour Cruise It's late November and you know what that means - Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and if it's 2009 the World's hugest ship ever is in Ft. Lauderdale preparing for its Maiden voyage. ... Read More
The 18 Hour Cruise It's late November and you know what that means - Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and if it's 2009 the World's hugest ship ever is in Ft. Lauderdale preparing for its Maiden voyage. We were lucky enough to partake in a combination Naming Ceremony/Make A Wish fund raising overnight cruise to nowhere on the massive new Oasis of the Seas November 30 - December 1. Of course I already know of the ship having read much in cruise magazines and blogs, but really didn't know the details until we knew we were going to be on board for a day. Although we have been on numerous cruises we have never been on any of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's (RCCL) ships before. RCCL has a reputation for building big ships, really big ships, with relatively small cabins compared to some other lines although this has changed greatly in the past few years. Their ships also incorporate very innovative and unique features like rock climbing walls. wave riders for surfing and ice skating rinks. They are also into large indoor shopping/alternative dining/bar areas with lots of neon and regularly scheduled parades and interesting entertainment. Sort of similar but in a larger way to Carnival ships. But it is a ship so when the opportunity presents itself go for it! I knew the Oasis was different from pretty much any ship ever built or even conceived before. It has seven distinct neighborhoods, lots of pools, tons of alternative restaurants, a zip line, 2 wave pools, 2 rock climbing walls, a carousel, and even a Broadway sized stage to perform genusine Broadway musicals on. It also has two huge areas that are open to the sky with cabins looking in on both sides stretching 6-7 decks above - one is the Boardwalk with an Aqua Pool at the stern and the second is an area called Central Park. My thoughts were all this stuff belongs in Vegas not stacked on the hull of a ship - it would never work. Well after our 18 hours on board I am forced to admit that is does in fact work! It's nothing short of amazing! We arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale at about 1:30 PM and were immediately impressed with the newly redone terminal. It is huge with what appears to be enough lines and space to actually check in 5-6,000 passengers (there were only 2300 for this Naming Ceremony/Benefit cruise). We breezed right through in about 15 minutes. We boarded a little before 2 in the afternoon. You enter through one of two gangways into the Royal Promenade which is very impressive. We went directly to our ocean view cabin with balcony on deck 8 to drop off our small rolling bag and headed out to explore the ship. The first stop was the Windjammer Cafe (the buffet dining option). There is tons of food from many different cultural backgrounds. Fortified with our lunch we headed out to continue our exploration the ship. We spent the next three hours seeing as much of the gigantor as we could. I actually think that we saw everything except the ice skating rink and the gym but who needs the gym when you walk several miles in a short afternoon. We walked the Boardwalk and had a donut, explored Central Park, wandered through the pool areas and discovered the self serve frozen custard machines with ice cream cones near the kids pools - very cool. The spa is huge as befits the ship. We even found the computer room - a small room with only 6 computers - so we could check email. I know this doesn't sound like much but nothing is close and everything is big, really big so it takes time. We ended up on deck 16 to watch us sail and celebrated with a champagne toast (on this brief cruise everything that is usually charged extra for was free (alcohol, wine, donuts, ice cream, etc.) - a nice extra. Believe me, trying to compact a week's worth of seeing and doing into a few hours is stressful and exhausting. We finally returned to our cabin a few minutes after 5 so that we could wash up and get down to the Boardwalk for the official naming ceremony. In historical nautical terms the there is no naming ceremony, there is a Christening which both names and blesses the ship (traditionally something to the effect of "I name this ship the xxxxx. May God bless her and all who sail upon her." Is said and then a bottle of champagne is broken across the bow). The person who christens a ship is always a woman, always a well known woman. In the case of the Oasis of the Seas, the naming ceremony would be at sea so no bottle across the bow and a ship so large couldn't have only have one godmother, the Oasis would have 7 - one for each neighborhood onboard. The official ceremony took place at the Aqua Pool at the very back of the ship (the stern). Only invited guests could actually get into the ceremony. Not having been one of the lucky few hundred we watched from our designated area in the Boardwalk (right next to the Aqua Theater). We watched on a big screen for a while and then went back to our cabin about 6;30 to watch the rest of it on the television as we changed for dinner. There were many 'by invitation' dinners at the specialty restaurants for the dignitaries and celebrities who were on board one of whom was Michael Jordan (unfortunately we did not luck out and run into him but then again it's a big ship). We dined in the Opus Dining Room - the ships main dining area. It was a set menu for the Naming Ceremony and all in all it was wonderful. We were at a table for 4 with a very nice couple and had an enjoyable dining experience that included the night's free wine. Following dinner we went to the theater to see the Broadway Musical Hairspray. The theater was great and the performance outstanding - the entire audience including Jane Seymour gave the cast an extended standing ovation. It was one of the best performed musicals we have ever seen and trust me we have seen a lot of musicals. Then we were off to the casino where we played video poker for a while. Finally we headed back to the cabin for a few hours sleep before needing to disembark. We could not believe that it was after 1 AM when we finally got back to the room. We chose to have our early morning breakfast at the full service Opus Dining Room again and it was very good, especially the coffee which was hot and strong. At a few minute before 8 we were off the ship and on our way to the car a little before 8 in the morning - 18 hours after walking onboard. It was to say the least a WONDERFUL experience!!!!!! Thoughts on the Oasis of the Seas Pros • It works - yes it's huge but it does work - you can get around and would easily see everything on the ship in a 7 day cruise - we saw most of it in 18 hours! • There's tons of stuff to do • Yes it's huge, but it's still a ship Cons • It seemed crowded at times to us and there were only 2300 passengers on board - what will it be like there are 5-6,000? • Maybe it's us and the cruise lines we have been on but we are used to not smelling any cigarettes anywhere on board - that was not the case in our short visit to the Oasis - you could smell smoke coming from the bar areas in many places Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
Went on the 1 night naming cruise/Make-A-Wish fundraiser. We have cruised a ton - both with and without the kids. This time it was just us with another couple. The Oasis is HUGE! But of course, you know that! Overall she is a beautiful ... Read More
Went on the 1 night naming cruise/Make-A-Wish fundraiser. We have cruised a ton - both with and without the kids. This time it was just us with another couple. The Oasis is HUGE! But of course, you know that! Overall she is a beautiful ship, with tons to do for all members of the family. Some overall impressions: 1) Loved the Aqua Theater - while it was broken on our night, I am sure that this will be a major attraction. 2) Central Park - very pretty, but not sure it is needed...overall felt like a waist of space. Perhaps on a full week cruise I would not feel that way. 3) The ship is VERY "self-centric". Everything about it makes you center on the ship itself, as opposed to the sea. For example - when you sit by the pools, you face the center of the ship, and the other pools...from the chase lounge, you can not see the water - at all! While I am at sea, I like the nautical nature of cruising - seeing distant islands, watching the boats go by, etc. On the Oasis, you lose that feeling of being "at sea". Instead, you truly feel like you are at a resort - that just so happens to move. 4) In comparison to it's size - very few windows. Yes, you are outside at the Boardwalk and Central Park - but you feel a little "tunnel like". 5) LOVE the casino - big, roomy...and 1/2 of it is SMOKELESS!!!!! YEA! 6) You can't be bored - comedy club, jazz club, ice skating, casino, show room, karaoke bar, English pub, Latin bar, showroom bar (dazzles),piano bar/Schooners, Aqua Theater ... and I don't think I listed 1/2 of the places that you can get a drink and be entertained.... 7) Nickel here, dime here...multiple coffee bars, cupcakes, ice cream, candy, bears, seafood shack, fancy restaurants, Johnny Rockets....I understand that these are all revenue drivers...but wow..... Overall - this is a great experience. But - I am not sure that it makes a great "cruise". It strives very hard to be a great land based vacation - and if that is the case, are you better off (and is it a better value) to go to a great resort - like Atlantis, Vegas, Aruba, etc. 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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