We booked on the Oasis for the Dec 17 through Dec 24 sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the eastern Caribbean. My brother and his family were also aboard.
- The ship is beautiful.
- Seemed fairly clean.
- Lots of interesting art.
- Central Park is a great innovation and completely unique in our experience. The plants there all looked reasonably happy, quite an achievement in the middle of the ocean. It also seemed calm and peaceful at any time we walked through it.
- Our stateroom attendant was very friendly, sincere, and did a great job of keeping our cabin tidy.
- The cabin was nice, roomy enough and I really liked being able to store the suitcases under the bed. Flat screen TV allowed more room on the desk area. I also liked being able to keep up with our account charges – never had to go to Guest Services and stand in those lines! The air conditioning was effective, but kept the air too dry - we were coughing all the time from a dry throat. The closet was big enough but sliding the doors back and forth was a balancing act to keep from falling back on the bed. The room safe worked perfectly and we were able to fit our Nikon D5100 camera as well as wallets, passports, etc without any trouble. The bathroom was good, plenty of room in the circular shower, the hand-held shower was useful. Hair dryer provided. The balcony was good sized, no obstructions. The partition between balconies tended to bang in high winds, easily fixed with a bit of paper wadded up and stuck in the gap. Bed was comfortable. Bring a power strip if you want to plug in more than 1 thing at a time. The location was good, not too far from the elevator lobby or stairs, easy access to library one floor down. Being aft meant that anything happening at the front of the ship was a long walk.
- Tremendous number of options to keep kids busy, no matter what the age. The teenagers all seemed to be having a great time.
- Most of the staff was friendly. A few looked like they were really missing their families at holiday time. The "boys in blue" were uniformly friendly, smiling, and willing to chat a little.
- Oasis of Dreams, Come Fly with Me, and Frozen in Time shows were all excellent and well worth seeing.
- The Captain’s Corner presentation was very interesting and well done. The Captain has a wonderfully dry sense of humor! We appreciated his willingness to answer questions from the crowd for almost 45 minutes, running overtime.
- Very diverse group of cruisers. We heard quite a few different languages. Nice to be in that mix.
- The price. Our price was almost $300/person/day which seems very high.
- The crowds. The ship was probably completely sold out, being a holiday cruise and during school break. LOTS of families, kids of all ages, large groups moving around together. If there was a particular event you wanted to attend, it was crowded and you had to plan ahead. We solved that by only going at unpopular times but it was a bit annoying.
- The food. With a few exceptions, everything we ate was only average in quality and taste. We ate at the Windjammer and the Solarium Bistro; didn’t try the dining room or any of the surcharge restaurants. Solarium Bistro seemed to have better quality breakfast and lunches but the selection was much more limited. We did like the ambiance there. The Windjammer had a decent selection but usually was average in flavor and quality. We liked being able to pick our table and get our own drinks, etc. Sometimes it was very crowded but we usually were able to find a table without trouble, especially if we went aft. We did eat at the Park Café once, just to have the famous roast beef sandwiches. The sandwich is good, but be sure you go at off-peak times, the organization inside the restaurant was confusing and there is really very little space inside.
- The isolation from the sea. It’s actually pretty difficult to find outdoor space near the water. The promenade on deck 5 is the closest, but that was being very well used by runners and walkers, and the track was too narrow. Several times we were almost run over by these folks. We felt like the ship was designed to keep you indoors most of the time.
Nassau, Bahamas – we just walked around in port. Since the Oasis is so big, they docked at the farthest pier, making it quite a hike from the ship to town, so be prepared. Hot. The port was very crowded with 4 other ships docked. The Straw Market had some interesting crafts, would have liked to buy a big floppy straw hat but packing it would have been problematic. Nice wood carvings too.
St. Thomas – our group took a taxi from the cruise port to Coral World. The 45-minute ride there was fun; the driver took us through some back roads to miss traffic in town. $10/person, in a van. Coral World is a small place but the fish seemed healthy. We enjoyed the various exhibits. It was $30 for the two of us; the taxi driver gave us a coupon. You can buy tickets online too, which is what my sister-in-law did. The drive back was also in a van, same price.
St. Martin – we waited a couple hours and then took a taxi to Marigot (about 35 minute drive). $7/person. Walked around the town a bit, shopped in the market (it was Wednesday) and bought some watercolors from a couple local artists. I was antsy to get back to the ship because I had read that the drive can take more than twice as long coming back. It ended up taking about an hour, mostly because there was an accident and traffic was backed up quite a bit. The trip back was $7/person again.
The Oasis of the Seas is too big for us. There are amenities that we just won’t use – lots of surcharge restaurants, lots of kid-friendly venues that are useless to a couple without children, lots of shops with designer goods. There is too much indoor space, not enough outdoor space. We are glad to have sailed on her but we won’t be going back.
Happy to answer questions.