Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, whose maiden voyage was December 5, 2009, was the first in her class, which at the time were the largest passenger ships in the world.
Although the Oasis has a guest capacity of over 6,600 and over 2,100 crew members, it’s rather easy to navigate your way around the ship. Normally when I cruise it takes me 2-3 days to familiarize myself with the ship’s layout but this one was rather easy. It’s broken out into seven different neighborhoods.
With lush trees, plants, flowers and park benches throughout this area, you really do feel like you’re in Central Park. This area has an uptown feel, with high end shops and restaurants offering fine dining. You can also board the Elevate bar, which slowly moves down two decks before it returns to Central Park.
Stroll back in time to an old-fashioned carnival themed boardwalk which features a working carousel, arcade games, a hot dog shop, a sports bar and of course the famous Johnny Rockets diner. You can also access the rock-climbing wall and the Aquatheater. If you’re a sports fan you’ll want to stop in at Playmakers Sports Bar. You’re sure to catch your favorite team on one of their many television screens. Be sure to order the nachos and wings and tell Ernesto and Igor I said hello! We weren’t exactly sure what the Aquatheater show was about, but we thought we’d make time to see it, and we’re glad we did. High-tempo music from the 80’s mixed with an extremely talented group of synchronized swimmers, divers, dancers and aerialists culminated into one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
This indoor space has shopping, bars and live entertainment. We spent time here each morning drinking our coffee at Cafe Promenade before heading out to breakfast. After our evening entertainment we enjoyed drinks on the patio at the Globe and Atlas English pub. If you like pizza but don’t like all the carbs that go with it, Sorrento’s pizza is very tasty but has a guilt-free thin crust.
Pool & Sports Zone
This area is home to the miniature golf course, zip line, Flow Rider surf simulator and water slides. We played several games of miniature golf and after all these years together my hubby still continues to try to win. We’ve zip-lined in other countries but this is a good option if you’ve never tried it before because the length is short. Beside the zip line is the Portside BBQ restaurant. You can try walking past this restaurant but the aroma from their kitchen will lure you in. During lunch you can enjoy live contemporary country music.
Home to Broadway-inspired shows, comedians, musical entertainment and the casino. We enjoyed the comedians and the ice-skating production based on an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson. The Legends of Rock aren’t just a bunch of musicians playing rock music from the 70’s. They’re all veterans of various bands such as Steppenwolf, White Lion, Great White and even Ozzie Osbourne’s band. If you love 70’s rock music, don’t miss this show.
Vitality Spa & Fitness
You can recharge your batteries at the Vitality Spa and work off all/most/some of the delicious food you ate. The state-of-the-art fitness center has a multitude of treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, weight machines, yoga mats and a spin room. We spent time each day in the fitness center so we wouldn’t feel so guilty about eating dessert every night. The spin classes are a great workout but there is a fee for the extra classes. Don’t forget to stop at the Vitality Cafe for a protein smoothie after your workout.
Children of all ages will enjoy this area designated just for them, which includes a water park and an outdoor teen lounge. You’ll have to trust me when I say your kids won’t be bored on this ship.
Oasis has some of the best food I’ve ever tasted on a cruise ship. We ate in the main dining room most nights and we were never disappointed. They had a varied menu and surprisingly large portions. We also visited a couple of the Specialty dining venues, and we didn’t mind paying the extra fee for the quality and the ambiance. Admittedly, the main dining room is very busy, so it was nice enjoying a quiet dinner for two nights.
I’m not a fan of buffets but the Windjammer Cafe has a surprising variety of food choices that were very tasty.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience on the Oasis of the Seas. For now, she’s sailing out of Bayonne, New Jersey, which is a quick 7 hour drive from northeast Ohio. Between gas, tolls and parking you’ll spend around $200, but overall this is still saves you money versus flying to Florida and paying for two Uber trips, especially if you’re bringing the family.
Contact me for more information about the Oasis of the Seas or any of the Royal Caribbean sailings. I’m happy to find a ship and itinerary to meet your interests.
A river cruise can be a scenic vacation that includes culturally-rich locations, an intimate setting (fewer than 200 passengers), and a variety of activities at each port of call. Although this type of cruise may seem relaxing, choosing a the right one can be both confusing and frustrating. With so many rivers and cruise lines, how do you make a choice?
First let’s take a look at the benefits of a river cruise:
When choosing a river cruise, here are a few things to consider:
1. Choose a River
I always advise clients to first choose a river. Most first-time river cruisers are interested in visiting multiple countries and crossing off several bucket list items in one trip.
2. Choose a Theme
Are you a foodie or a wine lover? Are you fascinated with castles? Or maybe you are interested in Christmas markets. Theme cruises are plentiful these days, so you are sure to find one to your liking.
3. Choose the Time of Year
The river cruise season runs March through December. The Summer months are generally considered the most popular months for European cruises. Spring and Fall months may offer a good alternative for smaller tourist crowds and lower pricing. Christmas market cruises begin at the end of November and continue until just before Christmas.
4. Choose the Cruise Line
Choosing a cruise line may be the most confusing: some cruise lines include gratuities, airport transfers and port charges in their cruise fare and others do not. I will make the comparisons for you, along with any current promotions, so you can make an informed decision.
Finally, below are a few tips to help your vacation run smoothly: