of the Seas
The Largest Cruise Ship
January 2012: In the wake of the Costa cruise disaster in Italy and the intestinal
illness on the Princess cruise, we boarded the Oasis of the Seas
with some trepidation. But from the moment we registered, Royal
Caribbean’s professionalism was evident. We were on the cruise to
celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday and our daughter’s 40th. A
veteran cruiser, Amy was amazed at short lines and the speed with
which we were ushered through.
With more than 6,000 passengers, it takes a concerted effort to keep
crowds contained. Until we departed and were in the Customs terminal
did a bit of chaos occur. Part of the secret of this highly
organized line is its huge staff of friendly and efficient
employees. I overheard a passenger comment that he’d been on the
Allure (Oasis’ sister ship) and preferred the Oasis, but didn’t know
Indeed, the Oasis has that special something that is hard to
describe. Is it its depiction of New York City’s Central Park as an
elegant, tree-lined oasis, the merry-go-round on the Boardwalk that
attracts as many older folks as youngsters or the Super Bowl
excitement? My husband was worried that he’d miss the Super Bowl but
it turned out that it was broadcast on three decks, each with a
giant screen and food service.
A woman told me that on other cruise ships she was bored in the
evenings, with nothing to do. The entertainment on the Oasis is
first class and scheduled nightly. The ship’s design is spectacular
and there are hand sanitizers everywhere, but the food is just
passable to good. The good news is that in addition to the dining
room, there are several complimentary eateries where you can get
everything from pizza to health food. Generally speaking, the food
is better in these free restaurants than in the dining room. Another
advantage to this arrangement is that if you don’t care to
participate in formal nights in the dining room, you can eat in
these eateries in your shorts.
As the largest cruise ship on the sea, with 17 decks and 1184 foot
long, there’s lots of walking to and from activities. As active
people, we counted the walking as part of our exercise routine and
really slept well!
The only negative I can report is regarding the excursions—not
the content but the logistics. For example, we didn’t know that in
Labadee, Haiti we would dock at a beach and in Falmouth, Jamaica in
a town. Had our daughter known that the ziplining was over the water
in Labadee, she might not have signed up for it in Jamaica, where
she had to travel to the beach.
Also, we signed up for the Dolphin Experience on the ship and paid
$87 per person for what we thought included swimming with the
dolphins. But when we arrived at the site we were informed that it
would cost another $20 per person to really bond with them. We paid
and It was a wonderful experience and worth every penny.
We just wish there weren’t so many surprises.
Francine Silverman hosts
the Blog Talk Radio show, Ship to Shore with Silverman and you can
listen to her interview Linda Coffman, the Cruise Diva,
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