Great First Time Cruise!
Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: April 05, 2014
Ship: Oasis of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 10312
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Oasis of the Seas was my first cruise, and what a way to introduce myself to the world of cruising! The ship is a marvel, it truly feels like you are becoming a part of something special when you step on board. She is the star of every port she sails into, and guests sailing on other ships can frequently be seen staring in awe at our magnificent ride
ON BOARD EXPERIENCE: There is no shortage of things to do on board, and for a pre-planner like myself it provides one with plenty of research and reservation options to occupy the time leading up to sail-away day. While I found the ship very well appointed and stunning in some areas (Central Park, Promenade, Dazzles, Solarium) the over-all decor and feel left the slightest bit to be desired, in my mind. I feel that this comes out of trying to please a mass audience, as opposed to tailoring the decor to a more specific clientele. Sea days (of which there were 3 on my sailing) left the pool areas quite crowded, and we had to go up a deck to the area overlooking the pool to find loungers. That being said, there are so many great areas to spend time on this ship, sea days were quite welcome! One of my favorite spots was all the way aft, between the Flow-Riders (deck 14 I believe?) The railing overlooks the aqua theater at the aft of the ship and gives a stunning panoramic view of the ship's wake. This is a prime spot for sail aways. I will never forget standing in that spot as we steamed away from St. Maarten, frozen cocktail in hand, gazing back at the island as the sun set on the horizon.
DINING: Oasis provides so many options for dining, I barely saw the Main Dining Room or the Windjammer buffet. It is not only the variety that is so appealing, but the way in which the options are presented. Rather than having a specialty "restaurant" just shoved into whatever part of the ship it could fit, Oasis' size allows her to give these restaurants the space they deserve. It truly makes these specialty dining venues different and unique venues. This is best exhibited in Central Park. Restaurants line the stone paths like a city street, and even provide some outdoor seating. You truly feel like you are sitting in a land-based restaurant. Giovanni's Table on the first night of the cruise was especially memorable, we shared delicious Italian wine and food outside, while we watched people walk the tree-lined paths and breathed in the amazing sea breeze.
CABIN: When we booked this trip we went with a Balcony Guarantee, so we had no real choice in our cabin location. That being said, the cabin we were given was great. 10312 is port-side aft, quite near to the aqua theater suite on that deck. The view was spectacular and the location nice and quiet. Were I to book Oasis again, and get my own choice of cabin location, I would most definitely target something closer to a stairwell or elevator bank. Otherwise, everything was perfect. There is nothing like waking up and walking out to your balcony with a cup of coffee to watch the sea slip by quietly beneath you as the sun rises.
PORTS OF CALL: Oasis' Eastern Caribbean run features stops in Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. This being my first cruise it was also my first time in each of these places. We did not book any excursions in Nassau, and the time spent in port is minimal (only until 2pm) so my exposure to Nassau consisted of leaving the port area, walking up and down one street, then returning to port. In St. Thomas, Oasis docks in an area a little ways away from what I think is considered the "main" cruise ship pier. A short cab ride gets you to the charming downtown area of Charlotte Amalie. It is a pleasure to stroll through the streets and window shop there. Afterwards we went snorkeling in Turtle Cove. The ride out there was a little long and wet (get your valuables securely sealed in something water-tight BEFORE leaving shore!) but the crew had a good sense of fun. Snorkeling was good (saw a few sea turtles!) but overall underwhelming once you got past the turtles. The coral and underwater formations were sort of dull. In St. Maarten we rented a car for the day and did our own excursions. Maho Beach (Sunset Bar & Grill if you are trying to Google Maps it) is a MUST! Standing on the beach as an airplane essentially lands on top of your head is quite the rush. After Maho we went over to the French side of the island and had lunch at a charming little restaurant which fronts the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, Grand Case Beach. The water is tranquil and crystal clear. Afterwards we drove up, up, up into the hills, all the way up to Pic Paradis (Paradise Peak). The roads were a little choppy to get up here (I wouldn't recommend driving yourself unless you are comfortable with near-offroading conditions) but the views were SPECTACULAR. You feel like you are on top of the world. You can also see the cruise ships from one or two spots, looking like little toys down below. A relatively obscure place that I did not hear much about while doing research, but I cannot imagine why it doesn't get more buzz, it is unreal.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
If you want to explore the dining options outside of the MDR, go immediately up to Central Park once you get onboard the ship, and stop in at 150 Central Park restaurant. From there you can make reservations for specialty dining venues (often at a discounted price) for the whole week!