We just returned from cruising on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas and had a wonderful time!
There is so much to say about this boat and our experience that I will break it down into a few posts.
This ship was SO family-friendly! We cruised with Disney two years ago, and I was wondering how RC would stack up when it came to kids. I’d say our experience on Oasis was just as good as Disney, if not BETTER.
First of all, the ship is huge. There are more than 2,000 crew members, 25 dining options (which were delicious!), 16 passenger decks, and seven distinct “neighborhoods.” Our five-night cruise included two days-at-sea but there was always plenty to do.
We checked in early on our embarkation day and were some of the first to board. Since our rooms weren’t ready (this is common when you board early), we put on our swim suits and checked out the pools and the H20 Zone Kids’ water park.
We opted for two adjoining staterooms for this cruise. We were able to have twice the space, storage, and bathrooms! Our two balcony cabins cost the same as one on Disney!
You can read more about the staterooms HERE.
Our kids LOVED the Boardwalk area, which had a carousel, ice cream shop, climbing area, and Johnny Rocket’s. It felt a bit like being at a carnival.
They must have ridden the carousel 20 times during our cruise.
Oasis offers the Dreamworks Experience, where kids (and grown-ups) can meet characters from Dreamworks movies. We met Fiona, Shrek, and Puss in Boots at breakfast one morning.
There were plenty of kid-friendly dining options on board. We only ate in the dining room twice (dinner one night and the Dreamworks breakfast), but there were lots of kid-friendly specialty restaurants and buffet options, as well.
I cannot say enough great things about the Adventure Ocean youth program (FREE for kids 3 and up)! Our kids went four out of five nights. Asked and begged to go, actually!
Both my big kids were grouped together as Aquanauts (3-5 year olds) and they really enjoyed it. Each day included three sessions (9-12, 2-5, 7-10). There were themes each day (pirate, Trolls, dinosaurs, etc) with crafts, games, dancing, prizes, “field trips” around the boat and more. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in their designated room, but it was very clean, had its own bathroom, and the staff members were kind and well-organized. They remembered the kids’ names and made them feel special.
I really credit Adventure Ocean to us all having such a great time. The kids met new friends and tried new activities, and Jason and I had three date nights in a row.
We were able to try three of the specialty dining options on our kid-free evenings.
We had family-style Italian at Giovanni’s Table, awesome steaks at Chops Grill, and eclectic, upscale American at 150 Central Park. We were certainly never hungry.
We ate breakfast at the buffet a few mornings, and even ordered room service on our early port day.
Speaking of ports, we really enjoyed our two stops. Labadee, Haiti is Royal Caribbean’s private beach. The scenery was just breathtaking.
Ahh…take me back!
We found a little family-friendly beach area and the kids enjoyed swimming and finding shells.
There was a kids’ splash area just a few steps away from our spot on the beach. We walked back and forth a few times. There was also a bar nearby that we visited once or twice. 😉
I was a little apprehensive when I saw Haiti on the itinerary, but it was just wonderful. It’s located on the northern coast of Haiti and is only visited by Royal Caribbean ships. You can ride a roller coaster and even zip line over water. There are also excursions and private cabanas available for booking. We just lounged by the water’s edge and had a great time.
That’s one big boat!
Our second port was Nassau, Bahamas. The weather was picture-perfect during our day here.
We booked a dolphin excursion at Blue Lagoon Island. Blue Lagoon provides its own ferry service to the island, and it’s about a 25 minute ride from Nassau. We passed by some mega beachfront mansions and yachts!
We absolutely LOVED Blue Lagoon Island and our dolphin encounter there. I will do a separate post with lots of details.
We didn’t have much time in this port, which was a bit disappointing. After our dolphin encounter we loved hanging out in the shallow lagoon area. We would have stayed all day if the boat wasn’t going to leave us!
I would love to take the kids back there some day.
We really did have the greatest time on our cruise. I’d say five nights was the perfect length of time. We had two days-at-sea and two port days. It was just enough time to relax and get away from it all, but we were ready for our normal routine and beds by the time it was all said and done.
The cruise left out of Port Canaveral, which is about a 40-minute drive east of Orlando. We made the 8-hour drive all the way from Destin, but if you are further away, you could fly into Orlando and drive over.
There is much more to say about our experience, but I tried to hit the highlights. Please let me know any questions you have! I’m working on posts about our stateroom, dining options, Blue Lagoon Island, and general tips.
I really think I prefer Royal Caribbean over Disney. Both are nice and have great service, but I feel like you get so much bang for your buck on RC without sacrificing anything! I’d be interested to hear other opinions from those of you who have done both.