Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Oasis of the Seas - Photo Review


Recommended Posts

Leaving the States

And the changing fall leaves

We set out for a week

Aboard the Oasis of the Seas


I’ll share our trip

Both the good and okay

Time aboard and ashore

Told day by day


This ship really is amazing

They thought of it all

The Boardwalk, Central Park

And the Promenade Mall


The entertainment was first class

On this you will agree

A Broadway style production

And world class diving at sea


So sit right back

And enjoy the tale

To held tide you over

Until it’s your time to sail!


Hello all. Sorry for the dorky start :D I just kept thinking about the Brady Bunch song "It's a story..." and it just happened.

I thought I let you know a little about me before you read my trip report. I am in my early 40s and I was traveling with my husband and two kids (12 and 15), our friends with their three kids (15, 12 and 10) and my parents (68, 70) and our friends we met aboard our cruise last year (40, 37) traveling sans kids. We are all super fit, gorgeous, life of any party, fun to be around and of superior IQ. What?......anyway....




This was my 13th cruise (12th in the Caribbean and 6th on RCCL). I have also cruised with Disney, Princess, NCL and Carnival. To date, my favorites ships have been RCCLs and my favorite specific ship has been the Freedom of the Seas.

This was an interesting and different cruise for us but still a great one. We were trying to decide why and I will explain as I go along.

According to guest services, the ship was full, but I’m not entirely sure that they don’t say that ever voyage to discourage people trying to get an upgrade. Either way, there was approximately 6000+ people on board this ship with us……everyone of them with a opinions and insights of their own. The following are my impressions.


We flew into Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night, arriving at 11 pm. We grabbed our bags and hopped a cab to the Hilton Marina hotel. The price for the cab was $16.50. This hotel is very close to the cruise port (right on the corner where the ships come in and make a right). In fact, if you get up at 5 am, you can watch your ship (at least the Oasis) come in. There were several ships docked very close to the hotel. The Oasis was on the far end of the port. If you are not familiar with Fort Lauderdale, the airport is really close to the port also. In fact you can see your ship from the terminal.


My parents had checked in the night before (Wednesday) and were very pleased with their room over looking the waterway and the bridge, which they enjoyed watching rise and fall. They had also spent the day on a water taxi tour (?) for $16 pp (hop on hop off with a tour guide) and Loved, Loved, Loved it. If you are looking for something to do while in FLL, they highly recommend it. I digress....

We had gotten a really good deal on our hotel room ($111) (better than my parents $136 because of circumstances) and a room upgrade to boot so we were really excited to see our room (and kind of let down when we saw it). Don’t get me wrong; it was absolutely fine but nothing to write home about (this is only a reflection of where we were in comparison to the rest of our party, not of the hotel itself). If you book here, either request to be in the main building or in the building by the bridge. Also, keep checking back on prices, they change all the time...daily even the closer it got. Our rooms were originally $165 for a lower catagory room. We joked that we were in the steerage section of the hotel, over looking masts of boats and facing the condos across the marina. Poor us right? How spoiled. Quit whining you baby! Beats the parking lot view.


This is looking down on our little piece of paradise from my friends "Deluxe apartment in the Sky"




But you should have seen the other views!



If you follow that side walk down, you can make out the "butt" of the Oasis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next morning we awoke and went to get dressed. It was then that I realized that I had forgotten to pack my husband any shorts. Yep, that’s right, isn’t that great? Yea me! I was anticipating having to forgo my pool day and take a cab to the mall in Fort Lauderdale to rectify the situation. Bummer! DH decided to run down (Don't look Ethel....just kidding, he was in his swim trunks) to the gift shop and low and behold, they had a pair of nice Khaki shorts (for $50). Feeling like “beggars can’t be choosers”, we called and sold some stock (kidding) I mean we smiled at our luck, and headed off to breakfast in the restaurant (cha ching), donned our suits and headed out to the pool with my parents. This is of course after I shopped some more in the gift shop. They had some awesome deals on hats and makeup bags etc. My husband was saying something about how the $50 pair of shorts now cost him $100 but honestly it just sounded like “blah blah blah” to me and I was having trouble making out what he was trying to saying.






Pool bar







We had some friends coming in around noon and were looking forward to their arrival. These are the ones we had met last fall on our cruise and hadn't seen them since then so it was a long time coming. They were making a stop at the liquor store on the way in and we were excited to spend the day and evening around the pool. There is a Walgreen’s about a 5 minute walk away and we thought we would head over and get the kids some pop and me a blush brush, which I also forgot to pack, oh and some more shorts for hubby because weirdly, they had a pretty big selection of shorts, shirts and swimsuits. Who wudda thunk it!

When we got back our friends were checking in. I had brought a refrigerator pack (the kind to put frozen foods in after shopping to keep them cold) with me and we filled it with ice and wine and beer and set out to enjoy the day (at a fraction of the cost). This seriously was a great success! Later that day, my dad headed over to get more wine and beer (you can get it at Walgreen’s (which is a novelty if you live in Colorado). I could never have imagined that all my shopping needs could be met at Walgreen’s. Why go anywhere else? We ordered pizza (which was really good) and watch the sun go down. It was a great day.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow!! After following your Alaska adventure which was the best review and pictures ever...Can't wait to follow this one!!! btw...loved your poem too!!! :D Thanks!


Thanks, no pressure there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was finally time to board the ship. We were so excited. Before we headed to the port, we went up to my friend’s room and you should have seen her view. Amazing! This is the room to book! It was on a high floor on the corner with a rap around balcony and a shower that didn’t double as a tub. Wow, how the high class live.

Soon it was time to go to the port. We went out to grab a cab anticipating a cheap ride as we were right at the entrance of the port. However, they stuck us in a van and said it would be $6 pp. That’s not bad, but I do think you could get a cab cheaper. Maybe not, maybe they stick it to you because they know you are going to the port. I just know that getting from the port to the airport was $12.00 and getting to the port from the hotel (which was next door) was $24. Makes you go, hummmm.

Dant dant da, da dant dant da dun a......time to cruise! (BTW, if you can't read my musical lyrics, that is (was) the theme song to RCCL......come on, sing a long!)



Hello!!!! I can see my room...it's calling....."Come to me Jennifer....." Can you hear it too???






She quickly comes into view...



We arrived at the port at 11:00. This was a great experience.

We gave the porters our bags and went through security. My daughter then stopped and took a picture of herself in the mirror (I told you, we are a dang fine looking bunch and we try to record it whenever possible). While we were telling her that she couldn’t take a picture in the building, here comes security. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad. (She is 12). He called her aside and gave her the 9th degree. Making her erase her picture. She was shaking so bad that I thought she was going to drop her camera. I don’t think she realized that she wasn’t going to get thrown in embarkation jail. Although, I did threaten to call the "scary security guy" again if she didn't behave on the ship. I'm kidding....kind of.


After that, it was smooth as butter. You line up by deck.


You can kind of see it in this picture (you can take pics after you get out of the security section).

There were one or two check-ins ahead of us. They do everything at the desk….have you fill in the medical form (have you been sick in the last 24hours), take your photo for your sea pass card, and do the regular check in. They have really consolidated and it is FAST. Soon you walk and take your embarkation photo (there are about 6 stations), go up the escalators and you are hearing the ding of your sea pass and walking on the ship. We would have probably been on in 15 minutes if we hadn’t stopped right before boarding and waited on our friends who had just entered the terminal.


Can you guess which ones they are?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fabulous photos and a beautiful family! Thank you so much for your review, I'm loving it so far. We're considering the Hilton Marina before our cruise this March, so your photos were really helpful. Can't wait to read more :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice photos!

Fly to Miami on Thursday and will stay at Hilton Marina for 3 nights before boarding the Allure to do my b2b cruise.


Do you remember how long the pool bar was open, in the hotel I mean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a "tip before you leave home" for you.

If you buy any pictures on board usually,you might be interested in this. They now have a package you can buy. We don't normally buy a ton of pictures but we did get suckered into this AFTER we got on the ship. It is basically this. If you purchase ALL the pics they take (on a CD, not printed out) BEFORE you board the ship, it is $199. If you purchase ALL the pics they take on a CD after you board the ship it is $249. To be clear, these pictures on not printed on Richard Spacey....it is not that kind of CD. I don't want you to be disappointed. Can you imagine how many they would sell if they were though. HELLLLO!

This is a great deal because we ended up with 48 pics without even trying or having any desire to buy this package. If we had bought it earlier (saved $50 ) and really milked the photographers (once again, not literal), think of how many pictures we would have received. Just something to think about. After you purchase the CD, you can then buy the prints at a discounted price. 10 for $50, 20 for $75. Why you would want to do this, I have no idea as you can print them cheaply at home. We can ask my husband as he did buy 10 of them. I don't know that they check (or care) to make sure that all the pics are out of your portfolio. There were a couple of my parents in my portfolio by mistake (but had my portfolio number on them) but not on the disc that I purchased and they either didn't catch it or care. The person checking me out did not even give the photos a second glance, just counted them and charged us accordingly.

I will explain a couple things to you about how the Oasis does the pictures. It really is awesome. On your sea pass card you will see a couple of numbers. One looks like this 6-21. The first number is the "circular stand" and the second is the folder in the stand. They put in photos of everyone in your cabin. You can also use one of the computer kiosks to look at the CD version of your photos. These are not always the same. There were several photos in my folder not on the CD. In addition to the ones of my parents there were several of us that weren't on the disc so double check and make sure. They will scan them on if you alert them. There are also photos on the wall. I think this is when they are not sure where to put them. So if you know you took a picture and it is not in your portfolio check the wall. Another way to "work the system" (which I am obviously completely against and would NEVER do ) is if one person/cabin in your party is buying the photo package and someone in their room is in your photos, then those photos go on the CD also.

Another thing about the sea pass card that I thought was interesting and didn't realize they did was put your room number on it. Is this new? Okay, just looked at an old one, it is not new, just new to Jen. Maybe it is new to someone else so I will leave it on here. They do leave off the deck but still....how hard is that process of elimination.


Back to the review.....

I have never, ever been on a ship so fast or so early. I don't know if it got slower later but we were on by 11:15 or so.


We headed to the Park Cafe (per recommendations by prior reviews) for lunch. Love this spot. The seating and surroundings out in Central Park are amazing. I wish it wasn't so hard to find a spot to eat but I can't see that there is anything they can do about it. There are many tables inside, more on the "patio" and even more in the central area. It is just popular.







As I'm sure you are aware, Park Cafe has sandwiches (their most popular being the roast beef sandwich, which apparently is the most popular food on RCCL's fleet (quoted by Ken Taylor, RCCLs "head of food", which, yes, is an official title), a salad bar and quesadillas in addition to soups and deserts.

The salad bar is very fresh with quality ingredients. The roast beef sandwich is great, but I think it is the salted roll and au jus that make it so. I got kind of grossed out by the heavy fat on the meat (what? I am a freak) so I took it off, just eating the juicy, salty roll and I have to say....yum. Plus think of the calories I saved for my Miami Vice(s) before you get all judgy on me.

They also have bags of chips which makes for great snacks when you go onshore, not that I would ever do that because I wouldn't, but just sayin'

The set up in the Park Cafe is interesting (nice way of saying it). There is a line for salad and a line for sandwiches. If you want both, it bottle necks and you have to merge when the sandwich line will let you. I don't have any suggestions for this and I understand the reasoning, it just doesn't always work. But who cares, you are on a cruise!

There is also a drink station with tea and flavored water and a "bar" area with coffees and pops. Very crowded in here but for good reason.

My hubby and a couple friends were itchin' to explore, so they took off for a few and wandered while we finished up.





Here is us taking a picture of them, taking a picture of us. Wow, we are so super cool and not dorky at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow!! After following your Alaska adventure which was the best review and pictures ever...Can't wait to follow this one!!! btw...loved your poem too!!! :D Thanks!


Me too, I thought this section was appropriate as this is why I read most reviews.


To held tide you over

Until it’s your time to sail!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me too, I thought this section was appropriate as this is why I read most reviews.


Yeah....but wouldn't it have been great if I hadn't made a typing error.


Should have read:


To hold you over until

it's your time to cruise.





For those of you staying at the Hilton, I will say again, check the prices. I think that (with a corporate discount that would probably be like AAA), my friends corner balcony penthouse (okay, it wasn't the penthouse) was around $128 a night...chime in if that is wrong, Jen friend.


As far as the pool bar goes, we didn't use it as we were in the alcohol smuggling mode but I know it was open until we went to bed.....I would say at least 10, probably 11 or later.


Here are a couple more pictures of the hotel since so many of you are staying here....









Here is the room (and my daughter....I'm telling you, narcissism runs in the gene pool)





And because, why hang out at the pool when you can sleep......


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fabulous photos and a beautiful family! Thank you so much for your review, I'm loving it so far. We're considering the Hilton Marina before our cruise this March, so your photos were really helpful. Can't wait to read more :)


Her (Jen) pics of Hilton Marina are fab. I stayed there prior to Oasis and didn't get many pictures. We had the corner balcony and it was awesome. Well worth the money. Great to bring back memories. Yes...Cha Ching on the restaurant is right :rolleyes:!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know there are 1000s of photos out there on this ship. I, like many of you, research and read and consume large amounts OF DATA (not food....it's not like I go into "eating training" prior to cruising....although....) before going so it crossed my mind that perhaps this ship couldn't live up to my expectations. Wow, I am happy to say, this was not the case. This seriously was the most incredible ship. I remember pondering (who talks like that?) on the crazy commercials that RCCL has had lately on "Imagine if...." I never liked these commercials. They just didn't bring that visceral feeling that the "dant dant da...." commercials brought....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tpldILSaA&feature=related....... anyway......I totally got it! I could just imagine the marketing room where they said, "throw out your ideas, no matter how crazy they seem" and people were like "We could recruit world champion high divers and build this huge 67 foot platform and have a diving show into the deepest pool at sea", "We could open up all the rooms to the inside, increasing our number of balconies and build a central park complete with trees and plants and out door seating." "We could offer ziplining at sea"

Can you imagine being in that room....scared to say anything because it was so crazy and then watching them make these visions come true. It really was unlike anything I could imagine. It was that good.









The Royal Promenade was huge. I was looking a pictures of the Freedom yesterday and it was at least twice as wide if not wider. I wasn't too enthralled with the idea of this area of the ship because why be indoors when you can be out) but it ended up being one of my many favorite spots.

Let's start the tour there.....





under the Rising Tide Bar

For those of you that aren't aware.....there is a bar that travels from the Royal Prom deck 5 to Central Park on deck 8....it is a 6ish minute ride and departs every 20 minutes ( I am making stuff up now so feel free to correct me). It wasn't running until 6 the first day and was down a couple of times but we did get to ride it once.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in! Love your report, and pictures. Great writing, you crack me up! :D Can't wait to read more.


P.S. Love the shirts!



they turned out really well. I was happy with them and people kept stopping to find out where we got them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I think the cupcakes were around $250 and 250,000 calories....They did have cupcake decorating classes also.

Speaking of classes. One of the best deals on the cruise, according to my mom was the jewelry making class. It was offered everyday at 3:45 and on seas days it was ALSO offered at 1:45. The first time you went was free. You received enough beads to make a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. After that it was $10 a class. I think my mom went around 6 times and my daughter accompanied her once.




Here are some pics of the jewelry she made.....not super high quality beads but really cute.




Sorry, I need to take my A D D medicine. so hard for me to stay on topic.....





In Sorentos you can get premade pizza by the slice or make your own pizza. You can also get pizza from the room service menu. My 15 yr old son tried out all these options to make sure there were no glitches for you. He even double checked....just in case. I do wonder if perhaps, with the amount of pizza he ate, if we owe RCCL more money.





There were several different shops on board. I didn't go into many of them because that would have decreased my frozen drink budget. I did go in a buy a "obligatory" cast of the Oasis ship for a christmas ornament. They now have it so you can your sea pass card, like a credit card and sign the machine (just in case any of you were sitting there wondering "I wonder how you check out in the stores"...there is your answer)


While all this was going on, my friends were going to get the phones you can rent so you can keep in touch on the ship. I have several thoughts on this (noooo, me with an opinion). First of all this ship is BIG and finding someone is really tough. So, this is a great option for them to offer. I think they are around $40 or $50 a phone and you would obviously need at least two. The problem is, if you damage or lose the phone the charge is $1000. That's right, $1000. Seriously, I think this is more than the Gross National Product of several of the islands we were visiting. Are you kidding me? So they returned the phones and we just spent the week walking around the ship yelling....."Jennifer.....where are you?" Several people were staring at us but I think it was just because we were so darn good-looking. Who's to say?


All of the kids and a couple of the adults also purchased a pop card. FYI, you can buy these prior to sailing (at least 5 days). They give you a insulated cup but you don't need it to get your pop. If you have a pop card they will ONLY give you pop out of a hose, not a can. If this bothers you, a couple of the bars (maybe the pub and the rising tide but not sure) will use a 2 liter to fill your mug). If you purchase a pop out right, you get a can. This was an issue with some people so just sharin'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Boleros was smoking...so if you smoke...here you go.

If you don't, this is not the place for you. Even the sitting area outside was permeated with smoke. They did do a good job on this ship, IMHO, of containing the smoke to certain areas. you will find that the port side of the pool deck was also smoking. Nice areas for smokers but not everywhere for nonsmokers. Obviously the casino was smoking also.



It looks dark but it really was quite well lit.






The Globe and Atlas is RCCL's pub. It usually has a singer with a guitar playing sing a long type songs like "Sweet Caroline" This is usually our absolute favorite place on the ship and our venue of choice in the evening. We only went once this cruise and even then, we were sitting outside prior to the music starting. I'm telling you. It was a weird cruise.



Some how in real life, it just doesn't look the same!




The Promenade Cafe, like on other ships, was open 24 hrs a day. It offered sandwiches and deserts and pastries in the morning in addition to free and pay coffee.


Above the Promenade Cafe was the Schooner Bar featuring a piano player. Didn't get up here but could hear him from the mall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




This makes it look narrow, it wasn't

Here is another place to purchase a cuppa joe.



This is the on air club. A VERY popular place on our cruise. There is a bar outside of it and tvs on the outside wall so if there are any sports you want to see then this is a popular place to park it. They also played the game inside on Sunday. The boys were disappointed that there was only one game. Oh how quickly we forget that we are on a ship, in the middle of the sea, watching football......can't have everything so have another beer. I think all the tvs got them very, very excited.


This was also where they did the karaoke in the evenings. Very popular venue.





There was also a Champagne bar on the Promenade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OMG! You are too darn funny. I love it! I think you're my sister from another mister! LOL

We'll be on this ship in Jan '12 with the kids. You guys need to book this cruise agian and come hang with us. I think we'd win the "crazy ladies" award! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are going on Freedom of the Seas for New Years this year there are 16 family members going. After seeing everyone in your party with Oasis shirts when boarding I was thinking maybe I could get everyone a Freedom of the Seas Shirt that says 'New Years on Freedom of the Seas 2011/12 as a Christmas present. But yours are so nice that I thought if you had them made somewhere online that I could order from there also. Thanks.;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rooms were ready at 1pm. Went to drop off carry-ons. This is where I really felt the space crunch! Jimminy!

We decided to book a boardwalk balcony. We have had oceanview balconies and just got off an Alaska cruise where ever time you looked out you saw wild life so we thought this would be a good time to try something different. I wanted to be as close to the end of the ship as possible so we could watch the Aqua shows from the deck and still see the water. This was good and bad.

We were on deck 12 room 12327. Next to the last on the port side.



If you follow the bottom of the "bridge" over and go straight down, that was our room. (The second from the end under the bridge)

In some ways this was awesome. You could sit and watch the shows and movies from your balcony. The view when you arrived in port was beautiful. And then there was the private (public but not used) veranda. I will tell you about it in a second.

Here are some pictures of the room.





When the beds were made for the night, there was NO room. Plus who are all those misfit kids .....get out of my room and quit eating on my bed! Security!


We had my husband and I, my 5'10" son and my 5'4" daughter. While I am especially petite, it still was a lot of adult sized people in that tiny room. Couple that with the fact that the closet was behind the bed and it was a little maddening at times. Every other room is configured opposite, so the rooms on each side of us had the bed by the window and the seating area by the bathroom. I would have MUCH preferred this.


The saving grace was our large "private" (NOT) veranda. You know the balconies you see on each side on the back of the ship?




BTW this was the view from the balcony.

Anyway.....the bottom balcony was the rock climbing wall, then there were 3 private balconies, and then the top three were public. But hardly anyone knew about it. Well the entrance to ours was practically across the hall. We only saw people out there twice the whole trip. We spent a lot of time out there. This sold us on this location.






It was like having a boardwalk balcony, an aft balcony and an ocean view all at the same time. It wrapped around so you could see on 3 sides.

HUGE selling point on this room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explore 5 Unique Destinations With All-inclusive Pricing
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2023
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...