As you may know, I was on the Oasis of the Seas last week with a group of ToaDers. We had a fantastic time, as is usually the case with ToaDers. We created lots of memories that will last forever!
I had always said that I wouldn’t want to cruise on a ship as large as Oasis of the Seas. It’s HUGE! But when I toured the ship in 2011, she didn’t feel like a huge ship. It wasn’t overcrowded and that was on embarkation day. I decided to give it a try.
I don’t think I would have been as happy had we booked this cruise alone without friends. It was great meeting up with people for activities and meals.
If I were to ever sail on the Oasis or Allure of the Seas again, I would definitely select a different room type. I missed the ocean view. I also didn’t like being so far back on a deck. It wasn’t the motion (though surprisingly I did still feel motion even on such a large ship), it was the distance to everything. Just getting to the nearest elevator was a hike. I would likely select a room closer to the forward stairs/elevators.
One of our travelers clocked the distance from our room to the forward beverage machine on the Promenade. Roundtrip it was 1/2 mile. We got into the habit of combining trips and carrying more stuff with us on each trip to avoid the lengthy walks.
I never felt that things were worse at the elevators or getting out of shows or dinner seatings because of the number of people onboard. It was pretty much the same as any other ship. Yes it took time and there was waiting involved, but it wasn’t any worse than other ships with half as many passengers.
The biggest issue I had was with customer service, which indirectly was related to the size of the ship. I did have an officer blame the customer service on the size of the ship itself (fewer crew to handle the ship), but the problem I had was most responses to inquiries was “you need to go there” to take care of anything. It was never a simple phone call.
To set up the internet access in my cabin, I needed to go to the aft elevators, up to deck 14 to the card room and sign up. But I had a discount coupon so I had to go to deck 5 after signing up and turn in the coupon. Then finally I could go to my cabin to use the internet. Only problem was, I couldn’t send emails from Outlook so I called for help. Can’t do that, have to go to Guest Services, who then directed me back to the card room where they gave me a different outgoing server name. I asked about the port number to use and was told that didn’t matter “if it did matter, the IT department would have told me what to tell you”. It did matter. For the duration of the cruise, I had to go to my web client and send all emails, requiring considerably more time on the internet and less time available to post pictures and blogs.
I did enjoy the extra space available though. We never felt crowded in any area or venue, except on formal night or when they were giving away something. The Promenade did tend to fill up then.
Other than these few issues, I didn’t feel that the Oasis of the Seas felt too big. I don’t think you should be intimidated by the size of the ship when selecting a cruise.