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Just back from our Transatlantic on the Oasis of the Seas (15-27 Oct 2014). This is my first cruise review - Have to say I’m very disappointed. Embarkation – Embarkation at Southampton was an absolute nightmare. As directed by email from RCCI we arrived at 12:00 to embark the ship. This was to find hundreds of people already milling around the doors of the terminal, luckily it was not raining. After much pushing and shoving in the queue (not by my wife or me I will stress) we finally got onboard around 2:30pm. Cabin – We’ve been on the ship before so knew what to expect from a sea view balcony cabin, it’s a decent size and contrary to what some others report we found adequate storage space. Cabin was clean but the couch looked dirty and was stained in several places. There was a constant dusty smell in the cabin, and it probably requires a good deep clean, more than the steward could manage. He attempted to cover the smell up with an air freshener spray. The balcony was not cleaned in the two weeks we were on board. Food – Main Dining Room – We were initially on early seating, but due to show times we changed to ‘my time’ dining. This was quite easy to arrange, but even although we booked for a certain time each night (you do this the day before) we were never able to get the same table or waiter. Even if you did book the day before you still had to stand in a queue with people who had not booked. Disappointingly the food was below standard most days, several times being delivered cold. The menu for some reason had 10 starters and only 5 main courses. I had strip steak twice, once it was good the second time it was tough as an old boot. The ‘Royal Cheese Plate’ was very poor with only two cheese selections on it, both rubbery. Food – Buffet – We had breakfast lunch most days in the Windjammer Café and it was as expected, with a decent selection. The main problem was overcrowding, no matter when you arrived there were not enough seats. After walking around with our meals getting cold looking for seats for the first few days, we resorted to finding a table first, then one of us would go get our meal while the other guarded the table. Not ideal. There were no omelettes in the Windjammer, if you wanted one for breakfast you had to go to the Wifeout Café. This venue is very spartan, with plastic chairs designed for people in wet swim costumes and not really suitable for breakfast. With no waiters to get fresh juice, latte’s etc. The Park Café was open for breakfast and lunch and did a nice ham and egg muffin for breakfast. Lunch was a selection of sandwiches or a salad and bags of crisps (these ran out after about 8 days). You could get latte, espresso etc. but unfortunately there was only one person serving, so it could take up to 10-15 minutes to get your drink. My wife was disappointed there were no speciality teas in the Park Café. Once again quite difficult to find a seat, and for some reason the seats were very low, at least 6” shorter than a normal seat, very off putting when you first sat down. Entertainment – Due to the numbers onboard the main theatre only changed its ‘Headliner’ act every two days, but for the most there was a good variety. There was the same piano player in the ‘Schooner Bar’ every night, the same group in ‘Boleros’ every night and the same group in ‘Dazzles’ every night. For some reason they did not start until 9:30pm. The Jazz Club band on Deck 4 started at 9:00pm I think (they were excellent by the way). So if you were on early sitting at dinner you had a long wait for entertainment. The main entertainment event of the cruise was the preview showing of ‘Cats’. This was excellent and worth the disappointment of standing through the first half (more of that later). I didn’t go to the Ice Show, but my other half tells me it was brilliant, as was the ‘Aqua Show’. Show Bookings – Due to the numbers involved bookings are required for shows in the ‘Opal Theatre’, Studio Four (Ice Show), Aqua Theatre and Comedy Club. You are supposed to be able to book these through your interactive TV, but for some reason this did not work and for the first couple of days they set up a ‘box office’ on the Royal Promenade where people queued for up to an hour or more to book shows. You would think, this being the case that once you got into your venue there would be a seat for you, but no, probably like airlines they over book, so at some shows, especially the Ice Show, Aqua Show and particularly ‘Cats’ there were arguments over seats. The cruise director even mentioned there had been fisticuffs at the Ice Show and security had to be called. We decided to get to the theatre early for ‘Cats’ only to find with over 45 minutes to go before the performance there was already a long queue at each door of the theatre. My wife managed to get a seat but I had to stand at the back of the theatre with at least 50 other people for the first half of the show (the show is two hours long with a 15 minute intermission). For the second half around 10% did not come back so I managed to find a seat. Drinks Package – For some reason, we were unable to book our drinks package before the cruise, so didn’t manage to qualify for the early discount. I had the ultimate package (with alcohol) and the missus had the non-alcoholic package which both of which include speciality teas and coffees, soft drinks (fountain) and freshly squeezed juices. We didn’t manage to break even on this as I’d say at least 30% of the time we went to the two self-service drinks machines on the Royal Promenade they were on some maintenance program ‘blah blah please come back in 15 minutes’. Why both at the same time? The only other machines we found were in the Windjammer Café on the 16th floor. You could get your cup filled at any of the bars but that was limited to cola, lemonade, ginger ale and a few others probably. The drink machine has the option of over 90 drinks. At the café on the Royal Promenade, because of the queues it usually took over 15 minutes to wait for a latte, or cup of tea, they ran out of lids for the cups (the kind with the hole to drink through) and eventually ran out of cardboard sleeves used on the cups to stop you burning your hands. Finally we also found out that the only squeezed juice on offer was orange, which my wife can’t drink. Our last cruise was on Celebrity where fresh juices included orange, tomato, pineapple and cranberry at least. Disembarkation - We had a tour booked supposedly 08:00 - 13:15, we went as instructed to our assembly point at 07:30 and left the ship around 07:40 am, or should I say started to leave the ship at 08:00 am. We finally got on the tour bus at 10:10 am. Over 2.5 hours to clear immigration, we listened to one of the officials on their walkie talkie - there were 7 officers to clear over 5,000 people, work it out for yourself. Customer Service – Luckily we never needed to bother with them, but every time we walked past there were at least three queues of people 6 or 7 deep waiting to be seen. This was at all times of the day, so many people did have problems. The only time I might have spoken to them was on the last morning. We got our final statement delivered to the stateroom and on reviewing it I noticed they had used Royal Caribbean to convert the rates to GBP, which I specifically DID NOT want them to do, and highlighted this in yellow marker on my Set Sail pass at the beginning of the cruise. The queues at customer relations were at least 10 deep, so I couldn’t be bothered. I’m sure they do this on purpose. Conclusion – From morning till night we always seemed to be waiting for something, seats in the dining room, seats in the theatre, seats in the other venues, standing in a queue for dinner, standing in a queue for drinks. Although we have now done 6 cruises on RCCI we will not be returning.  

Sorry - Never Again

Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by ferryhill9

Trip Details
Just back from our Transatlantic on the Oasis of the Seas (15-27 Oct 2014). This is my first cruise review - Have to say I’m very disappointed.
Embarkation – Embarkation at Southampton was an absolute nightmare. As directed by email from RCCI we arrived at 12:00 to embark the ship. This was to find hundreds of people already milling around the doors of the terminal, luckily it was not raining. After much pushing and shoving in the queue (not by my wife or me I will stress) we finally got onboard around 2:30pm.
Cabin – We’ve been on the ship before so knew what to expect from a sea view balcony cabin, it’s a decent size and contrary to what some others report we found adequate storage space. Cabin was clean but the couch looked dirty and was stained in several places. There was a constant dusty smell in the cabin, and it probably requires a good deep clean, more than the steward could manage. He attempted to cover the smell up with an air freshener spray. The balcony was not cleaned in the two weeks we were on board.
Food – Main Dining Room – We were initially on early seating, but due to show times we changed to ‘my time’ dining. This was quite easy to arrange, but even although we booked for a certain time each night (you do this the day before) we were never able to get the same table or waiter. Even if you did book the day before you still had to stand in a queue with people who had not booked. Disappointingly the food was below standard most days, several times being delivered cold. The menu for some reason had 10 starters and only 5 main courses. I had strip steak twice, once it was good the second time it was tough as an old boot. The ‘Royal Cheese Plate’ was very poor with only two cheese selections on it, both rubbery.
Food – Buffet – We had breakfast lunch most days in the Windjammer Café and it was as expected, with a decent selection. The main problem was overcrowding, no matter when you arrived there were not enough seats. After walking around with our meals getting cold looking for seats for the first few days, we resorted to finding a table first, then one of us would go get our meal while the other guarded the table. Not ideal. There were no omelettes in the Windjammer, if you wanted one for breakfast you had to go to the Wifeout Café. This venue is very spartan, with plastic chairs designed for people in wet swim costumes and not really suitable for breakfast. With no waiters to get fresh juice, latte’s etc. The Park Café was open for breakfast and lunch and did a nice ham and egg muffin for breakfast. Lunch was a selection of sandwiches or a salad and bags of crisps (these ran out after about 8 days). You could get latte, espresso etc. but unfortunately there was only one person serving, so it could take up to 10-15 minutes to get your drink. My wife was disappointed there were no speciality teas in the Park Café. Once again quite difficult to find a seat, and for some reason the seats were very low, at least 6” shorter than a normal seat, very off putting when you first sat down.
Entertainment – Due to the numbers onboard the main theatre only changed its ‘Headliner’ act every two days, but for the most there was a good variety. There was the same piano player in the ‘Schooner Bar’ every night, the same group in ‘Boleros’ every night and the same group in ‘Dazzles’ every night. For some reason they did not start until 9:30pm. The Jazz Club band on Deck 4 started at 9:00pm I think (they were excellent by the way). So if you were on early sitting at dinner you had a long wait for entertainment. The main entertainment event of the cruise was the preview showing of ‘Cats’. This was excellent and worth the disappointment of standing through the first half (more of that later). I didn’t go to the Ice Show, but my other half tells me it was brilliant, as was the ‘Aqua Show’.
Show Bookings – Due to the numbers involved bookings are required for shows in the ‘Opal Theatre’, Studio Four (Ice Show), Aqua Theatre and Comedy Club. You are supposed to be able to book these through your interactive TV, but for some reason this did not work and for the first couple of days they set up a ‘box office’ on the Royal Promenade where people queued for up to an hour or more to book shows. You would think, this being the case that once you got into your venue there would be a seat for you, but no, probably like airlines they over book, so at some shows, especially the Ice Show, Aqua Show and particularly ‘Cats’ there were arguments over seats. The cruise director even mentioned there had been fisticuffs at the Ice Show and security had to be called. We decided to get to the theatre early for ‘Cats’ only to find with over 45 minutes to go before the performance there was already a long queue at each door of the theatre. My wife managed to get a seat but I had to stand at the back of the theatre with at least 50 other people for the first half of the show (the show is two hours long with a 15 minute intermission). For the second half around 10% did not come back so I managed to find a seat.
Drinks Package – For some reason, we were unable to book our drinks package before the cruise, so didn’t manage to qualify for the early discount. I had the ultimate package (with alcohol) and the missus had the non-alcoholic package which both of which include speciality teas and coffees, soft drinks (fountain) and freshly squeezed juices. We didn’t manage to break even on this as I’d say at least 30% of the time we went to the two self-service drinks machines on the Royal Promenade they were on some maintenance program ‘blah blah please come back in 15 minutes’. Why both at the same time? The only other machines we found were in the Windjammer Café on the 16th floor. You could get your cup filled at any of the bars but that was limited to cola, lemonade, ginger ale and a few others probably. The drink machine has the option of over 90 drinks. At the café on the Royal Promenade, because of the queues it usually took over 15 minutes to wait for a latte, or cup of tea, they ran out of lids for the cups (the kind with the hole to drink through) and eventually ran out of cardboard sleeves used on the cups to stop you burning your hands. Finally we also found out that the only squeezed juice on offer was orange, which my wife can’t drink. Our last cruise was on Celebrity where fresh juices included orange, tomato, pineapple and cranberry at least.
Disembarkation - We had a tour booked supposedly 08:00 - 13:15, we went as instructed to our assembly point at 07:30 and left the ship around 07:40 am, or should I say started to leave the ship at 08:00 am. We finally got on the tour bus at 10:10 am. Over 2.5 hours to clear immigration, we listened to one of the officials on their walkie talkie - there were 7 officers to clear over 5,000 people, work it out for yourself.
Customer Service – Luckily we never needed to bother with them, but every time we walked past there were at least three queues of people 6 or 7 deep waiting to be seen. This was at all times of the day, so many people did have problems. The only time I might have spoken to them was on the last morning. We got our final statement delivered to the stateroom and on reviewing it I noticed they had used Royal Caribbean to convert the rates to GBP, which I specifically DID NOT want them to do, and highlighted this in yellow marker on my Set Sail pass at the beginning of the cruise. The queues at customer relations were at least 10 deep, so I couldn’t be bothered. I’m sure they do this on purpose.
Conclusion – From morning till night we always seemed to be waiting for something, seats in the dining room, seats in the theatre, seats in the other venues, standing in a queue for dinner, standing in a queue for drinks. Although we have now done 6 cruises on RCCI we will not be returning.
 
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9272
We’ve been on the ship before so knew what to expect from a sea view balcony cabin, it’s a decent size and contrary to what some others report we found adequate storage space. Cabin was clean but the couch looked dirty and was stained in several places. There was a constant dusty smell in the cabin, and it probably requires a good deep clean, more than the steward could manage. He attempted to cover the smell up with an air freshener spray. The balcony was not cleaned in the two weeks we were on board.
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