Ryan asked me to post this and the pictures. He's having a great time onboard.
Well the Oasis can only be described as being entirely overwhelming upon first encounter. For anyone who feels she is nothing more than a freedom class ship with some added features, you are terribly mistake. Lol This ship is absolutely breathtaking, from the moment you step onboard into the Royal Promenade, to your first meal in one of the 20+ dining venues onboard, this ship will wow you.
When we arrived at the port yesterday, the ship literally almost caused us to crash. Pier 18 is at the very back of the port and is by far the nicest terminal I have ever sailed from. With over 100 check stations divided among the passenger decks and split into regular and vip/diamond boarding, the check in process took 14 minutes from pulling up to walking on the ship. Additionally they have changed the way everything is done. Seapasses are all new and there are no more long lines to get your picture taken getting on, that’s handled right at the check in desk. Once onboard we took in the sights and sounds of the Royal Promenade as we viewed the ship on the inside for the first time.
Without going into too much detail (internet is expensive here), the ship’s public spaces make traveling with 6000 other people SOOO much easier than one might imagine. The Royal Promenade is exceptionally wide and everything is bigger. Sorrentos, Café Promenade and Boleros anchor the promenade with HUGE locations and are mixed amidst a dozen other boutiques and stands. There is lots of room to move and the entire area is anchored by the Rising Tide bar complete with it’s mall-esque fountain show every 10 minutes. Additionally the dual level promenade also links guests to the massive photo gallery, schooner bar and diamond club which overlooks the promenade from a private verandah 2 decks above.
The boardwalk is just downright fun! With the carousel in the center and tons of cool little shops and activities, the boardwalk is surprisingly calm in nature and is a really nice place to spend the dusk period watching the sun set behind the aqua theater. Johnny Rockets and The Seafood Shack offer dining on the boardwalk for a small fee while the donut shop and boardwalk café offer up carnival-like offerings such as fresh donuts, corn dogs, and fresh sandwiches. Pinwheels and the Candy shop are connected and offer candy and a wide selection of toys and clothes for smaller RCI travellers. One cool shop I was excited to see onboard was Star Pier, which is…for all intensive purposes, a small Ron Jons at Sea. They cater to the teens onboard and carry stuff from hurley, rainbow, reef, oneill and a selection of Oakley sunwear and sandals. Additionally they carry tons of accessories for our electronics like ipods and cameras. Among these shops the boardwalk is home to pets at sea (build a bear) and a novelty photo studio where you can dress crazy and take pictures for free.
I’ll post my review of the Oasis of Dreams aqua show later, last nights performances were cancelled due to a problem with the pool requiring welding (eek).
The last major area I’ve hit thus far is Central Park and I swear it is the absolute coolest space I have ever seen onboard a ship. This area alone makes Oasis worth traveling on. The area is sheltered from the burning sun by a massive 8 decks of ship on all sides but has a nice cool breeze that blows through. The greenery, cobble stone paths and calm ambiance of central park make it the calmest, most relaxing place on the ship. Additionally, its home to some cool shops such as a formal onboard photo studio, an art gallery and a Coach store. 150 Central Park, Giovannis Table and Chops grille bring the area alive at night with their dining offerings and the Park Café offers the best food on the ship outside of the restaurants.
With that said I do have a couple pet peeves that this ship brings to mind.
First off, the air conditioning is a bit iffy. Some areas of the ship are friggin freezing, and then other areas (like our cabin) are hotter than dante’s inferno. Im sure that’s a kink they’ll work out eventually.
Next, the ticketing system for everything onboard is extremely aggravating and makes attending shows a royal pain in the ass.
Additionally, the cabins are BEAUTIFULLY designed and have some great new furniture in them….unfortunately that furniture is slightly larger than the RCI standard so therefore the staterooms don’t have a lot of walking room (we have a balcony suite) on the other hand, though, our bathroom is rather spacious and has a lot more room than I’m used to on RCI.
Last but not least, my only other problem is the food. The windjammer and room service were….far less than satisfactory and the dining room food was mediocre and standard fare. The food on Oasis is good in the wrong places. Sorrentos, Café Promenade, Park Café and Boardwalk Bar have AWESOME food, better than anything else I’ve had at sea, and although it makes up for the dining rooms, it’d be nice to see consistency among the quality of food.
One last cool thing I wanted to bring up before I have to head back out and about is the cool GPS system onboard the ship. Oasis is FILLED TO THE BRIM with flat screen snd touch screen Tvs that do everything from give you the time to show you how full to capacity the restaurants are (I know crazy huh). The cool thing Is however that at very elevator and stairwell there is a touch screen with a mapquest-like program where you can type In what ur trying to get to (or select it by browsing through the ships venues) and it will give you directions to the location. (we used it for our stateroom).
*NOTE: I had to cut the last 4 pics out of the post. The whole album is available here: link
If he sends anything else, I'll be sure to keep you all posted.