The boarding procedures used for the Oasis of the Seas was well thought out and designed to accommodate passengers arriving at the same time. We spent no more than twenty minutes from departing our coach to actually walking on board.
Royal Caribbean has organized the check-in process such that each deck is represented by its own counter. We were told they had more than 90 agents on hand doing check-in registration. It was by far the quickest we had ever encountered getting on a cruise ship, let alone the largest cruise ship in the world.
We entered the ship from the 5th deck, the Boardwalk, and made our way through the many shops and restaurants along the way. We found our way to the elevator banks, each located on opposite ends of the ship. Once there, up to the 14th deck to view our exterior balcony cabin.
Our ocean view cabin was nicely appointed with a balcony. Many cabin choices are available including interior views of the Boardwalk, Central Park, and exterior open air Aqua Theater views. We toured several of the interior view balcony rooms and were surprised of the excellent sound reduction glass balcony doors used to keep outside noise to a minimum. The number of different cabin choices with balconies and multiple rooms and levels was amazing. Accommodations for families are excellent.
It took us the better part of two days to get fully acclimated to the layout and size of the ship. There are several interactive displays on each deck that show you where you are and can give directions to where you want to go. Each deck also lists the other decks areas of importance right next to the elevator to get you where you need to go. The elevators are quite fast and you never feel you are waiting or on them for any great length of time.
The "neighborhood" feeling that you get in Central Park or The Boardwalk is special and the many shops and attractions along the way contribute to an overall comfortable and spacious feel while on board. The use of live plants everywhere you look is colorful, and lush. It's all very well designed to make you forget that you are actually on a cruise ship.
The pool deck had several pools for both adults and children and was large enough to accommodate a crowd. The back of the ship had two surfing flow riders for the adventurous that were fun to watch. There was a zip line across the deck several stories above the Boardwalk. A basketball court and miniature golf course completed the outdoor activities up on this deck. There was also an indoor solarium for those wanting to lounge in-doors and Marketplace, a large restaurant for breakfast or lunch. There are several areas on board that serve breakfast or lunch, along with the traditional dining rooms for scheduled seating's for dinner on three different decks.
There are several different dining choices from casual Italian to upscale fine dining at 150 Park. Several specialty restaurants are also available at additional cost like Jonny Rockets. There are donut shops, ice cream shops, and candy stores located on several of the decks. Pubs, nightclubs, and a multitude of gathering spots that keep you engaged. They even turned the entire Boardwalk area into a dance floor one night. Instant party!
The Aqua Theater at the rear of the ship was spectacular. Although there were no scheduled shows, we did see them practicing an act one evening. Part of the performance deck can be submerged to reveal a pool from which actors can swim or emerge from the water. Several of the cabins surrounding the Aqua Theater have large balconies for viewing the activities. Two large wide screens flank either side of the theater making it a great spot to watch the Super Bowl!
The ship has an excellent Spa and exercise facilities to work off all those extra calories.
This ship has it all, and it's done in such grand taste and size so as to appeal to all age groups. Families and groups will feel especially comfortable as great care has been taken to accommodate them.
About the Authors
Sue and Charlie Shimkus are owners of Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise established in 1974. Sue has served on the travel advisory board for Alaska, Hawaii, & Ireland and executive board of the local chapter American Society of Travel Agents. Lake Zurich Travel & Cruise is a member of the Signature Travel Network. Visit Lake Zurich Travel for Expert Travel Advice and resources finding the Right Vacation for you!
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