Oasis of the Fees
Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: May 28, 2016
Ship: Oasis of the Seas
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: 7648
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 1 year ago
I believe this ship is 7 years old. To the RCB 's credit, they have maintained the Oasis superbly. We had a junior suite and the only thing that was completely unacceptable was the condition of their mattress. They had a mattress cover over the mattress and I would wake up in the morning feeling these sink holes and a horrid pain in my back or shoulders from their aged mattress.
I was not the only person in my group who had this opinion. My daughter-in-law who is in superb condition and weighs exactly what she should for her height and frame complained about how the mattress in their cabin was crucifying her back and waking her up several times per night.
Cabin Steward for 7648 - This guy was wonderful. He was extremely polite, always had a genuine smile on his face and always had a bucket of ice filled to the brim in the early afternoon and right after dinner. He was so exceptional that on two separate days, I gave him additional money as gratuities for above and beyond quality service.
Silk DIning Room - Our waiter was extremely poor at giving impeccable service. He constantly forgot to bring appetizers or a salad or a bowl of soup every evening to someone in our party. He was always the slowest waiter when taking our orders and bringing us the foods. He never caught on and remembered what certain people at our table ordered for beverages each and EVERY night.
The assistant waitress was a gem. She had a beautiful smile and personality to match.
The food in the dining room has gotten progressively worse with each cruise that we have taken on the Oasis (third cruise this time). The choices have become more limited and their fish dishes for the most part are horrid. I ordered a filet of sole one evening and took a bite and could not swallow it as it had the taste of old frozen and fishy tasting fish. The chef has become infatuated with serving mashed potatoes with nearly every meal. While the mashed potatoes were not bad, they became extremely boring when they were offered on 5 out of the 7 evening meals.
It is my opinion that the quality of the dining room food has regressed in taste so that more passengers will make reservations at the specialty restaurants; hence more profit for the company.
The RCB has raised the price of the fees to dine at their specialty restaurants and some of their specialty foods that have an added cost in addition to the fees to dine at their specialty restaurant. For instance, two years ago, you could order a 1-1/4 lb lobster for $19.95. This same lobster now costs $29.95. Talk about inflation.
Windjammers Restaurant (Buffet) - Talk about some nasty left over mystery meat that has had a sauce added to disguise the taste of two day old leftovers. None of the people in my group cared for this restaurant.
Lunch Buffet DIning Room - Again, they have figured out a way to add profitability to their overall bottom line. They had a beef stew that had left over chunks of meat that were doused in a gravy sauce to hide the flavor of two day old meat. Also on the buffet line was a fish fillet that appeared to be Tilapia. This is the cheapest fish available and is farmed in China where there are no guidelines as to the raising and processing of these fish. I wouldn't eat a nibble of these filets as their taste was old, fishy, bitter and scary at best.
Mashed potatoes, AGAIN????
In conclusion, the lunch buffet was better than the Windjammers but after eating there on day two, I refrained from eating there again.
Gratuities - This topic has been hashed over and over for several years now and I will keep it to a minimum. I do not like the fact that they automatically bill your credit card daily for the staffs gratuity. Also, I do not like that they make their customers who pay for junior suites and suites a higher charge for gratuity simply because these people are able to afford expensive cabins. The staff does not do additional work for these guests and should not receive more gratuity simply because the guests can afford to pay for a nicer cabin. Also, I do not like that the RCB automatically charges the daily gratuity to your credit card without your consent. I know you can go to the reception desk and request that the gratuities be removed or reduced if you feel the service does not warrant the requested daily charge. Even though I am not in favor of this method, I do understand why they charge for it in this manner. There are too many cheapskates that used to not show up on the last night of the cruise so that they would not have to hand their waiter and busboy an envelope with tip money enclosed. blink and eyelash while stiffing the service staff simply because they do not want to part with their money. The way to resolve the gratuity issue is for the company to pay their staff a higher wage that compensates for the gratuity. This will not happen but there are a few cruise companies that handle the gratuity in this manner. I believe these companies conduct their cruises in European ports.
Elevators - While nothing can be done about this issue, it is still worth noting. The Oasis of the Seas actually brags about the number of elevator banks they have on the ship. Whatever that number is, it isn't nearly enough. There are too many times during the day and night that the elevators are so crowded that is you are not claustrophobic, you will be after several rides up and down these elevators. The most amazing part to me is that people really show they true colors when having to deal with the overcrowding. Most people would rather jamb their way into a crowded elevator than wait for the next cab. I have exited these elevators when I felt the overcrowded conditions were not safe. Just imagine if the elevator gets stuck and you are standing shoulder to shoulder breathing everyone's germs while waiting for the ever slow maintenance staff to come rescue you. By the way, they now have flashing lights with the words over crowded when the weight exceeds the recommended weight for their specific elevators. This is new and must have been a requirement after several elevators became stuck from being over weight. I guess the answer is to take the stairs when 80% of the time, the elevators are overcrowded. The disabled are out of luck on this issue.
The embarkation on this ship from Fort Lauderdale is better than some of the cruise ports I have been to in the past but the sure fire way to avoid long lines is to wait until the last 45 minutes of the allowable boarding time frame and you will be on the ship in under 10 minutes.
The debarkation process is fairly organized considering there are over 5400 passengers trying to get off the ship. If you are able to carry your own bags from your cabin to the baggage claim;customs area, you can leave the ship at 7:30 am. The lines are super long and the distance from Deck 5 to the baggage area in the port is quite a hefty walk.
I would switch to another cruise company if they offered newer ships. That is the one area that the RCB has over their competitors. It is my understanding that the Oasis will be moved to Port Canaveral next season to make room for their newest ship Harmony of the Seas.
Food and Dining
Cabin / Stateroom
Make sure you order any beverage packages at least 48 hours prior to the sailing date. If you do not, you will wind up paying more money for the exact smae packages. Even their internet package cost less if booked in advance.