The Oasis of the Seas was a ship that had, on this particular voyage, close to 6,000 passengers plus over 2,000 crew… Oh my! One would presume there would be crowds and congestion in the popular areas but this was not at all the case! Right off the bat the boarding process was smooth and expedient, as was every other outing and experience on board. This ship had so many places to go and so many things to do that the passengers are essentially distributed throughout.
Upon boarding I noticed how beautifully the ship was finished and how many amenities there were: pools, surfing pools, a “sports” pool (with a current so you can essentially swim laps while staying in one place), jacuzzis, miniature golf, basketball courts, rock climbing walls and zip-lining, among many others.
Our Crown Loft Suite was amazing! Gone are the days of not having enough storage on a cruise! The cathedral ceiling is one of the first things I noticed when entering the suite. The wall of sliding doors at the rear of the suite was equally impressive, as was the view it offered when opened. This particular suite 1730 overlooked the Boardwalk with a birds eye view of the zip-line, the Aqua theatre and the ocean on either side.
The lower level of the suite was outfitted with a large closet and built-in drawers, a desk, a sitting area (sofa, coffee table and chair), television and coffee/tea mini-bar set-up, and a nice-sized bathroom. The loft upstairs housed our beds and nightstands, a suspended television, a large closet and a vanity area with drawers (including a safe) as well as a huge bathroom. The loft had a somewhat sheer curtain to offer some privacy as it overlooked the sitting area, as well as master controls for the lights and curtains for the sliding patio doors. The suite came with a valet to serve any other particular needs you might have.
Another perk for suite guests was the private service dining room “Coastal Kitchen” which was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (reservations recommended), and was actually the piėce-de-resistance. Not having to stand in buffet lines and look for an available table in the Windjammer Cafe for breakfast or lunch was the icing on the cake. This feature made this cruise experience absolutely superb and seriously put this vacation in a whole other league.
There were several distinct “neighborhoods”, such as “Central Park” which is nestled close to the center of the ship and on a mid-level, with a tree-lined walking path where you’ll find benches and street lamps as well as an unobstructed view of the sky (and at night, of the stars). You actually get the sense that you are on land in a charming park. There are an array of retail stores including Coach, and six dining restaurants/bars located on a path winding through “Central Park”.
We had the pleasure of dining at Giovanni’s Table and at 150 Central Park. They were really fine experiences, from both a culinary point of view and a service point of view. The food was superb and we felt the additional charges were justified and well worth it.
Another “neighborhood” called the Boardwalk I liken to a mini Coney Island. There you can find a carousel, a hot dog place, Johnny Rockets, an ice cream parlor and cupcake place. It was definitely a fun area and a change of scenery which only enhanced this whole cruise experience.
We signed up for a cupcake decorating class which is offered at the cupcake store in the Boardwalk neighborhood. The class is 45 minutes long and they showed us who to decorate a cupcake in a shape of a frog.
After a few days of exploring, I was truly struck by how well designed the ship was. The arenas where the shows took place, as well as other destination areas, were easily accessible and concentrated more closely to the center of the ship, as opposed to being on the peripheries as had been my experience in the past. This translated to significantly less “travel” time to get to a desired location and made each destination much easier to access. Navigating around the entire Oasis was incredibly easy indeed.
The Royal Promenade runs down the center of the ship for most of the length of the ship. It’s like a city street lined with shops like (Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York), as well as some very fine jewelry stores (Regalia Jewelry Store), and several restaurants and bars. The Rising Tide Bar was one of our favorite places on the ship. It is where we meet our new friends from Australia (Gina and John) during our cruise. It travels between the Royal Promenade and the Central Park neighborhood, which is directly above the promenade. When the bar is in the up position a lighted fountain with colorful lights take its place on the Royal Promenade.
Entertainment / Shows
Unsurprisingly, there were a plethora of shows: classic Las Vegas-style performances with awesome sets, singing and dancing, as well as an ice-skating show, an Aqua theatre show which had amazing water theatrics including diving and comedy shows, and Cats, the Broadway musical. It should be noted that it is important to schedule these events prior to boarding as they can book up. The shows that we saw were wonderful. The ice skating performance was delightful and polished, as was the water show, Oasis of Dreams.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the gym, which I found to be extremely well-equipped and appealing to use. In the past, I have found the gyms to be inadequate for the number of passengers, particularly on “sea” days. However, I was thrilled to find the gym thriving, with enough equipment and machinery or weights available on the occasions I went.
Another must-mention is the suite sundeck for suite guests where lounge chairs with deluxe cushions and bar service are available. Again, days “at sea” often equate to scrounging for free lounge chairs as most are often taken by the early morning. The suite sundeck fixed this problem with ease.
There were, of course, many other things I have not elaborated on but which were all highly enjoyable and impressive, such as the “behind-the-scenes” tour. All in all, this was such a wonderful cruise, and we enjoyed our Eastern Caribbean itinerary with stops in the Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. I can’t wait for my next one!