Overall Rating: Excellent
|Destination:||Caribbean - Western|
|Departed From:||Ft. Lauderdale, FL|
|# of Nights:||7 Nights|
|Cabin Type:||Ocean View|
What an amazing ship! This was my second time on the Oasis, and I am just as impressed as I was the first time.
Embarkation was a breeze, since we boarded at 2pm for a 5pm departure (and therefore the crowds had passed and we had the port to ourselves!). I recommend doing this, as there were over 5,800 guests on board this week! Waiting for that many people in a long line would be absolutely overwhelming, and I am thankful we did not have to experience that.
Our beautiful Ocean View cabin was ready when we boarded, so we were able to drop our carryons, lock up our things in the safe, and explore the ship! The muster drill was a bit of a debacle; our station was in the fitness center (??), and the captain announced that the drill would not start for a while because some passengers "decided" not to participate in the mandatory drill. We all waited around and people at my station started complaining. Finally the drill resumed, and then we were on our merry way! The week was absolutely perfect after this!
My favorite place on the ship was Central Park. It never seemed very busy, and the restaurants and cafes were absolutely lovely. If/when it rains, the crew provides umbrellas for passengers to use. Instead of fighting the huge crowds in the Windjammer, my husband, parents, and I opted to eat in the dining room or in Central Park's Park Cafe.
The pros of the Oasis are the many activities that are available on the ship, including 2 rock walls, a zipline, 2 FlowRider surfing simulators, ice skating rink, 6 different neighborhoods, 24 dining venues, and top-notch entertainment. The cons are that the pools were almost always jam packed, the Windjammer was a zoo, sometimes it took ages for an elevator because they were already full when they opened, there are so many passengers that you have to book your shows in advance (more on this later) and finding an area on deck with shade was almost impossible. Whereas the Solarium on other ships is usually at least partially covered, on the Oasis, the entire Solarium is covered with clear glass. There were some very nice shaded areas on Deck 15, but they were designated as smoking areas. This may not be an issue for some people, but as a very fair skinned non-smoker, I had a rough time finding a place to sit on deck.
I have several food allergies, and the chefs and crew accommodated me very well! In particular, my head waiter Guney did an excellent job of taking care of me. Because the 6 pm dining time was absolutely full, my family and I used My Time Dining. This was lovely, and we were able to select dining times based on our excursions and show bookings.
In case you are unaware, you have to book free tickets for your shows in advance either online or on the first day of the cruise. I assume this is true for the Allure of the Seas as well. I booked my shows online several weeks before the cruise, and some of the show times were already full. This was inconvenient, but ultimately we were able to see all the shows (we saw Come Fly With me and Frozen in Time more than once!). If there are seats left for a performance 10 minutes before the show, they will open the doors to guests who did not have a show ticket, so there is still a chance you will be able to see a show even if you are unable to obtain a ticket.
We booked an excursion for the last day, so disembarkation was very simple because our tour group seemed to have preference. We had no issues at the port, and everything ran smoothly. If ever I cruise on a mega ship again, I will book another excursiuon.