Having recently returned from my cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, I am excited to share my trip with everyone. This is for anyone that dreamed of cruising on one of the largest ships at sea, people that are just curious what cruising life is like or people that are currently planning a cruise.
My family decided to book this trip as part of Royal Caribbean’s “kids sail free” promotion. We got a super deal on a GTY inside balcony room. A GTY room is where you do not get to choose your exact stateroom, but are guaranteed a room in a certain category or better. The cruise lines often offer this, last minute rate, to fill the rooms on their ships. We were scheduled to have an inside balcony overlooking the boardwalk or central park, but we got super lucky this time & were upgraded to an ocean view balcony. More on that later…
Due to delays caused by Hurricane Matthew the day before our cruise, our all-aboard time was extended from the normal 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Since we now live in Florid we took our time making the 3.5 drive to Fort Lauderdale and parked in the Park N Go lot. The Ft. Luaderdale port is very near to the airport and so convenient for people flying in for a cruise.
Our assigned port arrival time was 12:30pm – 3:30pm (this is the time that you are scheduled to arrive at the port). We were shuttled to the terminal and left our bags with the porters outside the terminal along with a tip for their service. We checked in around 3:00pm; which would have normally been almost too late. The cruise terminal is HUGE. Plenty of room to accommodate the 6300 passengers that sailed onboard this cruise with us.
At check-in we were given room key cards which we also set up as our onboard credit cards. We decided to purchase lanyards at a kiosk on the 1st floor of the cruise terminal. The lanyards were worth having so we didn’t have to sorry about keeping track of our cards & we
knew hoped our kids wouldn’t lose them when they were hanging around their neck. There are also lanyards available for purchase in gift shops onboard. Note: the Royal Caribbean key cards do not come with holes punched in them for the lanyard clips; places that sell the lanyards will punch the cards for you.
We proceeded up the escalator to the gangway to board the ship and were on our way for our cruise adventure.
Since we boarded late, our stateroom was ready as soon as we arrived and we went straight to our room to check it out. We were thrilled with the oceanview balcony and the beautiful view. This stateroom is what cruising is all about. Waking up to sunrises & going to sleep with amazing sunsets; it never gets old.
Most of our cruise vacations start with the food, but since we boarded later than normal for this cruise, everyone was already preparing for the assembly drill required on all cruise ships. During this drill you go back to your stateroom and then follow where the cast members point you, to your designated evacuation area. Ours happened to be in Studio B. During the assembly drill you will watch a short video on health & safety and be given instructions in case of an emergency. If you have a child with you, they will be given a bracelet to identify which assembly station they belong to.
Once the assembly drill was over, we went directly up to the kid’s club to sign our children up. The kids club has 4 different age ranges: Royal Tots for under 3; Aquanauts ages 3 – 5; Explorers age 6 – 8 and Voyagers 9 – 11. There is a tween program for ages 12 – 14 and a teen program for ages 15 – 17. They will often allow you to move your child down a year or 2 in order to stay in the same program with a sibling. The sign up process requires you to fill out waivers and you can specify if your child will be able to check him or herself out of the club. Since this wasn’t our first cruise, we decided to allow our children to come and go from the club as they wished. The kids club area on the Oasis was very impressive; I will say that this is a very family friendly ship.
Right after signing up for the kids club, we decided to tour the Vitality spa. We figured that maybe we would be able to carve out a little adult relaxation time. They offer everything from facials and messages to hair and cosmetic services. The most tempting area for me personally was the thermal suite. With prices starting at only $30 a person for a one day pass, you could indulge in the tropical, invigorating rainforest showers and then relax on the heated stone loungers. ahhhhhh…
The first show of our cruise was the sail away show in the stunning Aqua Theater on the aft (back) of the ship. This show featured characters from Dreamworks Movies including Alex the lion, Shrek, King Julian, Gloria and Puss in Boots. Each spent some time entertaining us on stage. This show would normally take place at the sail away / port departure of the ship, but the ship did not actually sail at this time because of the delay.
For our evening meals we had chosen ‘My Time’ dining. This plan allows you to make dining reservations for a different time each night. The alternatives are to choose the standard/early or late dining times. This night we had reserved a dining time of 5:30pm. For these dinner meals we made sure to allow 2 hours for the meal. This meal with the appetizer, entree and dessert (more than one of each if you wish) does take almost 2 hours to complete. If you are in the mood for something faster, you can choose to dine in the Windjammer Buffet or at any of the numerous restaurants around the ship. Although, some specialty restaurants do have an additional charge. During our 2 hour eating event, we consumed some delicious food and had a great time as a family. My oldest son loves trying new things & ate both the Calamari and the Escargot for his appetizer & liked them well enough that he ordered them again during future meals.
Soda is not included with meals unless you have purchased a beverage package or are willing to buy them individually $3.00 a can. You can choose from water, tea or lemonade at no additional charge. We typically drank water & didn’t miss the soda with all of the flavorful food.
This evening we were allowed to tour the teen club since the teens were out on a program. The teen club normally has groups for ages 12 – 14 and 15 – 17. On this cruise there were not enough kids to make 2 different groups so they put them both together. Many of the kids looked a lot older so my 12 year old decided to drop down on year & join his brother in the voyagers program. The teen club was extremely nice and made me wish I was just a ‘few’ years younger. I can see how any teen could be entertained for their entire cruise in this bright area filled with different activity choices.
No adults or children allowed in the club.
We had previously made a reservation online for the Oasis of Dreams Show in the Aqua Theater at 9:30. All of the people with reservations are allowed to enter early and get good seats. There is a line for people without reservations. That line is allowed into the theater 10 minutes prior to show time. We arrived late & entered with the general population, but still got great seats. People did not want to sit in the splash zone near the stage so we took seats in the 3rd row from the front & had a wonderful view. I don’t want to post photos of this show because my pictures really do not do it any justice. The show was amazing. This theater would be phenomenal if it were on land, let alone to think that it is on a ship at sea. If you only choose one show to see on your next Oasis cruise, it should definitely be Oasis of Dreams. By far our favorite of the cruise!
After the Oasis of Dreams show we took some time to tour this stunning ship at night. The Boardwalk, Promenade and Central Park areas are breathtaking, especially when seen from the upper decks. You can see the inside balcony rooms in the pictures below.
After walking around this floating palace, we returned to our stateroom for a good night’s rest before our busy day of eating and playing while our ship cruises at sea tomorrow.
Stay tuned, for day 2 of my trip report…
Visit my Pinterest page HERE & follow my ‘Oasis of the Seas’ board. I will be posting all sorts of photos and information a little at a time.
Thank you for reading & following. My name is Melissa, I live with my family in Florida and am also a Travel Agent. Contact me for your next cruise or theme park vacation. Expert planning at No additional cost.