Cruise Summary of Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
Sailing Date – Christmas 2015
The ship is just massive and a full detailed cruise report would span about 20-30 posts, many of which is available elsewhere. Below is just a quick summary of my thoughts about many aspects of the cruise and hopefully this will give you a better understanding of what is offered on board and things to look up before you go on the cruise.
Notable Things to Bring:
- Waterproof camera (great on the beach or at Dunns River Falls)
- HDMI Cable (you can plug in your laptop into the TV in the room)
- Water shoes (you can buy a pair onboard for about $10. Quality isn’t so good but much cheaper than the ones I found in FLL)
- Power Strip – There are 3 US plugs on the table with a few more 2 round prong 220V plugs near the table. Since the 3 plugs were next to each other, one large adapter can hog up two slots.
- There will be lines getting onto the ship. We got there right around noon and it was a giant line for security. It may be a shorter line later in the day but its less time on the boat.
- For checking in, the regular line was fine as I wasn’t sure what my status was. For a repeat customer, the line is much shorter. The top tier line was fairly long.
- We carried our luggage on-board but you can choose to have them bring it up. You won’t get it till later that night (after dinner) so take that into account.
- You don’t necessarily need to print out your boarding documents (we always forget). They have a master list by last name
- Try to remember what your room number is and where your room is, easier to board to know which part of the ship to board (front or back)
- In every room, there is bar soap and a dispenser for shampoo and conditioner. On request, you can get shower gel, body lotion, and better shampoo and conditioner, as pictured below:
- I didn’t even know that they offer scuba lessons on board. By the end of the 7 day cruise, you can get certified in Scuba (not sure when they do the certification dives, but they have a deep pool in the aqua theatre) but you have to sign up on the first night.
- Because of the size of the ship, there is always a pier that they pull into so you wouldn’t be leaving on a boat like some of the smaller ships. This makes leaving the ship a lot easier and much faster, especially for a ship of this size.
- Make sure to look at the reviews of the excursions before you get on the boat. Once the cruise starts, you cannot browse available excursions or their ratings so you don’t know which one is good.
- For Labadee, we didn’t do any excursion but the zipline looked fun, but very expensive
- For Jamaica, we did the Dunes River Falls. It was a lot of fun. Most of the water is only waist deep but you will get completely wet. Bring only a waterproof camera. For Jamaica, you can try to book your own tour and see the real Jamaica.
- For Mexico, we went to see Chichen Itza Ruins, which was pretty cool. Our tour guide was great but you may get a different guide when you are there. This even takes the entire day. We didn’t even have time to stop in any of the shops at the plaza where the ferry takes off. It was off the ship, ferry (can be rocky. Some got seasick), then bus to Chichen Itza, then bus back to ferry, ferry back to the boat. They provide you a sandwich for the tour and makes a stop at a private beach that offers food after the tour. Bring cash in case they do not take credit card at the beach. Picture of the ferry and inside below:
- There are a ton of specialty restaurants on board. There are some that offer lunch and they don’t take reservations for lunch online. It is not cheaper for lunch but if you’re going to pay for something, it may be specialty restaurants
- The hibachi do not take reservations online and you need to book that when you are there. We still managed to get a spot since there are usually some seats open late at night (9pm or later)
- We really liked 150 Central Park and was much better than the Chef’s Table. It was our favorite restaurant. The full mean with the full wine paring was about $140 vs just $100 per person at the chef’s table so you pay more for 150 central park, but the regular no-wine option is very affordable and completely worth it. Best meal on the boat.
- Chef’s table was nice because it takes place in the Diamond Lounge, which suite and Diamond members get access to. It is a group dinner so you will be sitting with 10 or so other people. Sometimes other guests may annoy you and it happens. There will be a more detailed post on this. Summary pictures below:
- We didn’t try the Mexican place but they serve lunch and it was often not busy (none of the specialty restaurants were busy for lunch)
- The wine place serve tapas and has a good menu. We didn’t get a chance to try it.
- Givanni’s (Italian) offers lunch. It is extra but it’s a good option rather than doing this for dinner as there is a more formal seating for dinner, and there isn’t one for lunch. The only main lunch option is Windjammer, so I rather pay for lunch than for dinner since the formal dining room does a good job with dinner, compared to windjammer for dinner.
- Johnny rockets serve breakfast and a good option since breakfast is free. It is a good alternative to lunch but you have to pay for it. They also have dinner as well.
- There was a lobster night for the formal dining room for dinner. Ask the first night (or if there is any other special nights) and make sure to either move your dinner reservations later that night or plan around it. We actually had hibachi after the lobster night since our seating was at 9pm. We “ate” at the lobster night around 6:30 and skipped appetizers and dessert. We thought the lobster was ok but it was free so we can’t complain (much)
Other Food options:
- There is the Windjammer café that is open from breakfast until dinner (10pm). There is pizza and a café on the 5th floor that is open 24 hours.
- There is Starbucks on board and you can charge it to your Seapass (onboard account)
- There is also Ben and Jerry’s and a small shop that sells hot dogs and sausages. Both are located in the boardwalk in the rear of the ship.
- There is free soft serve on the pool deck. There is also one inside the small café right next to the ping pong tables on the pool level.
- The comedy show at the comedy club is the hardest ticket to get so make sure to book that as soon as you get onboard. We got lucky on the last night for the 9pm show. We got there 30 mins early for people who don’t have reservations. If you really want to go , make sure to get there 30 minutes or earlier before the show.
- The aqua diving show was really good as well. Try to get there a few minutes before they open for open seating and you should get a seat. It does book up full so if you can’t get tickets, make sure to get there a bit early. It does get very crowded the first few shows. You can watch the practice around 3pm before the show. You can get a good view while rock climbing or waiting for the rock climbing wall. If you get there early enough, try to get a seat up at the rock climbing wall. (after the first show, everyone else figures it out)
- The aqua comedy show was good and entertaining. Slightly fewer people than the main aqua diving show but still can be difficult to get a seat.
- The acapella group was good and entertaining. They sing old an new songs and should be entertaining to everyone. The songs caters to 30 somethings but the entire show is well done.
- Cats was ok. I didn’t really understand but seemed to be well done. A good number of people left during intermission and the reviews are not very good of the show.
- There is a staff flowrider show at the end of the cruise. Totally worth going to. The show is fairly insane as there are usually 3 or 4 people on the flowrider. These are staff in the show. I am not sure when they practice these tricks as the flowrider is open at 9am every day.
- I’ve never been a huge shopper but there are a few shops on board this boat. There is a Tifanny’s, Hublot, and then the random stuff they sell like cheap watches, bracelets, alcohol and other items in their gift shop
- They offered a good sale on the first day on alcohol, with some high end liquors going for some decent prices. They had sales on every type of liquor so if you didn’t buy the liquor package, it may be worth it to pick up two bottles (sale was often buy 2 for X price)
- They offer the essentials like asprin, toothbrush/paste, shampoo, suntan lotion, and feminine products in the gift shop so I wouldn’t worry about those too much.
- They offer Tortuga Caribbean rum cake. These cakes are also available in the Fort Lauderdale airport as well. I got one in the airport. There were good and comes in different flavors.
Spa, Fitness Center and Running Track
- They offer an array of classes, including flywheel, yoga, bootcamp
- They offer free classes on metabolism and stretching. You will find out that they are trying to sell you on the spa products, like shakes and powders
- They have the “free consultations” on your footprint (pronate, etc), fat composition and other consultations in the Fitness Center. They want you to buy the full body composition analysis and workout plans.
- There is a big raffle and free 10 minute massages on the first day when you board.
- The spa runs specials generally on port days. There could be some specials even for the last sea day if they don’t fill up all their spots.
- The running track is pretty nice but the back portion of the track is only a few feet away from the rear railing. It is pretty safe but something to be careful about. I believe it is 2.5 laps to a mile. There isn’t a lot of residual foot traffic so it is a pretty good track.
- Drinks are on average $10 each so think hard about how much you would be realistically able to drink.
- Towards the end of the cruise, they offer 10 drinks for $80 ($100 once they add in the gratuity and taxes) so it is not a bad deal. You can also share these 10 drinks with whoever you want, unlike the beverage package.
Park West Auctions
- Oasis partnered with Park West to offer art auctions. They offer limited edition lithographs, paintings and sculptures almost everyday of the cruise. The auction turns the Boleros bar on the main floor into an art auction floor.
- What they do well is to create a sense of high value for the paintings they auction off so try not to buy the hype. Don’t be sold on their suggest retail value and more about how much you like it and how much you are willing to pay for it. Am I willing to believe that some guy named Joe Smo created these limited works and now worth a few thousand dollars?
- For me, the price I was willing to pay for anything was very low. I bought a series of New York lithographs for a total of $200, but where they got me was the framing, which was $200 per lithograph. It wasn’t much more than a local framing shop at around $100 per lithograph including the matting, but it is definitely something to watch out for.
- I will be doing a longer post about the Park West Auction I attended.
- It can be a slow process as everyone is trying to leave. The delay can be scanning the cards leaving the boat, waiting for luggage, or delays in immigration. The one great thing about FLL is that there is a Global Entry line you can go into. They don’t really check about your GE status. Even if you have GE, there are no kiosks that you to scan your passport. You still need to see an agent and scan your passport.