We chose this cruise because of the Kids Sail Free promo. We spent the night before at a hotel close to the airport, so no worries about bad weather or delayed flights--important, coming from New England. This was our first cruise and I definitely think the ship spoiled us! Embarkation was pretty easy, and they let us on even though we arrived earlier than our allotted time due to the limited shuttle service from the hotel. Muster was annoying with many weary travelers crammed into a small lounge. They had tech problems with the video, and there was no live person orienting us. Then there was a health emergency--obviously no fault of the cruise line or staff, and I hope the person was ok (we never heard), but it took a while for that info. to reach us. We were there for a while not knowing what was going on while they dealt with that. We were disappointed there wasn't any sort of "Set Sail Party" as I'd read about on other cruises--just a bunch of passengers gathered on the upper deck, and servers selling drinks (nothing for free, as my mother in law had on other cruises).
The "amplified" Oasis itself is fantastic for families. We LOVED the neighborhoods--very well kept, lots of nooks to explore, etc, and loved that our stateroom was located on the same deck as Central Park. It was nice and quiet at night, and close to the Central Park Cafe which was included in the price (and was the only place I could find a to-go paper cup of coffee). The library there was disappointing--really no selection for my avid readers (ages 12 and 9). The only book that looked appropriate for my daughter was in a foreign language. The ship more than made up for it with the beautifully renovated pools, water slides, Flow Rider, many hot tubs, rock climbing wall, zip line, Foosball/ping pong...all included! They did such a great job with the layout, it was hardly ever crowded. We were always able to find open lounge chairs in the shade, even on "at sea" days.
We were extremely disappointed in the Kids Club, which we had heard so much about. We watched a YouTube video on the newly refurbished ship that used the euphemism "a Montessori-based approach" to the club. Read: no organized activities, no 'camp counselors', no one to watch our kids for an hour here or there, etc. And they split the age groups so that my 12 year old son was lumped in with young kids (one group was ages 6-12, the other was 13+...although I will say he easily snuck in a couple times. But there was nothing to do except veg out with video games, whereas my friends' teens who sailed on another line got to tour the ship behind-the-scenes, do scavenger hunts, have organized sports games, etc). Basically, not a place either of my kids wanted to be, and my husband and I had REALLY been counting on that so we could actually relax.
Beds were more comfortable than expected. When the pullout sofa was made up though, there was almost no room to move, which made mornings rough with 4 people. Luckily we were traveling with 2 family members who had the cabin next door and we could open the door between the rooms, which helped a lot. I knew we'd be able to have the partition removed between our balconies, but that didn't really help because there was still a wall partway in-between, so we couldn't comfortably sit 6 people at the same time as we had planned. The steward was very nice and helpful, though he disappeared on our last night and didn't make up the room while we were out at the show. Probably because it was late, but would have been nice to have the heads-up, esp. with 2 tired kids who were ready to crash! It was a pleasant surprise that my 6'2", 240 lb husband and I fit on the sofa bed just fine, so we had the steward turn the "king" bed into 2 twins so my kids wouldn't fight the whole time. (When we booked the cruise we had been told by the RC agent that our room would have the pull out sofa bed plus a pull-down bed out of the wall; I figured out a day or two before leaving that wasn't the case. My fault for not confirming it as soon as we got our Cruise Summary. One of the disappointing lessons we learned on this vacation was, your answer sometimes depends on who you talk to).
We kind of took an excursion, since this is where we embarked from! It was your basic pier. Exciting when you first arrive to look up at those huge ships!