Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by olmancd
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
The boarding process was the first indication this was going to be a long week. Lots of people, huge facilities, long lines. To RC's credit, the move through people pretty quickly and have the process down. You can tell they are used to herding cattle though and some officials aren't very sensitive to the needs of traveling w/ kids.
Once you are on board, you again feel the magnitude of the number of people. Elevators are jam packed and you often need to skip a car to wait for another one. We packed our suits in our carry-on's and went swimming that first day...so did everyone else. The pools are PACKED!! Unless it's a port day or at night, good luck relaxing at the pool. When I think cruising, I think fun in the sun. The pool scene was anything but.
Our first excursion almost had us packing our bags and trying to go home. Thousands of people looking for their excursion on a hot dock, with little organization. Piled onto a boat, not enough seats for passengers and taken to a beach of shallow lukewarm water. The locals definitely not signed up to the same level of service as the crew members...mainly because they aren't on the same tip "meter" that racks up dollars by the minute. The ports are also largely dirty and tourist traps. Same duty free stores are at each port. St. Maarten's smelled of sewage on and off the boat.
One of my biggest complaints is that there are a lot of things that are broken. Soda machines overworked and largely broken, video games for my boys almost all broken, pools are frequently broken, machines in the gym....broken. When I go to Chuck E Cheese at home, I expect this. When I'm spending thousands of dollars, not so much. Even one of the few show we could take our kids to broke down in the middle. It became a running joke by the end of the cruise. Another big complaint is the expense if you go off the menu. Tipping is over the top. You are charged $14.50 per day per person for tips. They you are tipped on top of every food or alcohol purchase. Then on the last day, you have to tip you waiter cash as well as your room attendant all while everyone on the boat is down on one knee asking you to give them a positive review at the end so they can continue to get paid. Obviously I get one's desire to make money....but it's a lot. In he end we spent over $1000 in tips. There is also limits to what your "limitless" drink programs will give you. There is a "timer" on how quickly you can refill your soda cup. If you are in the gym, they limit bottled water and you can get a shake or a juice, not a shake and a juice. This happens frequently in other places too.
On a positive note, the food is good and the staff is friendly. Service is generally strong unless you have a problem/something out of the box. The attitude isn't necessarily we will think out of the box to serve.
This will be my families first and only cruise. We're pretty much done here. If we want too many people in not enough space, we can take the train into NY.
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