There is generally great excitement involved when thinking about cruising on the worlds biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas.
Except when thinking about meal times.
Enjoying a meal on this enormous floating city seems out of the question, right? 5,500 hungry cruisers, who haven’t eaten for at least 3 hours… images of long lines of people and waiting in queues for food just didn’t seem like my cup of tea (pardon the pun…).
At 362 metres long, 65 metres wide at it’s widest point and 16 guest decks high, the Oasis is a mini city at sea, carrying anywhere between 5,500 – 6,000 guests and 2,394 staff. The numbers are staggering.
Once onboard I was, in fact, more than pleasantly surprised of how smoothly the meal times were handled. The truth is, with 25 different eating spots around the ship, cruisers have the chance to eat somewhere different for every meal and still not experience them all on a typical 7 night cruise.
The ship itself has an incredibly well thought out design, with restaurants scattered all over the ship so you never feel as if the entire ship has converged on the same spot at the same time. The Oasis offers many restaurants and eating spots included in your cruise price, including the elegant main dining room, Opus Dining Room, which is a beautiful silver service restaurant and the well loved Windjammer Marketplace, Royal Caribbean’s answer to the buffet, serving guests 3 meals a day for the length of the cruise.
Others have a small fee in place. Often on the day of embarkation they offer three dining experiences for a certain price (when we went on, it was US$75 for the 3). We sampled Giovanni’s Table, the authentic Italian restaurant; 150 Central Park, their upmarket and most fine dining experience and Chops Grille, a steak restaurant. Overwhelmingly, we all agreed Giovanni’s Table was the stand out choice. Unfortunately, we didn’t rate at all 150 Central Park, with it’s pretentious and unusual menu and Chops Grille also offered a fine meal, but Giovanni’s Table was exceptional.
We also enjoyed Johnny Rockets, an American style diner, where waiting staff sing and dance every so often, however, there is a small fee here, too. (Approx US$4.95 per person).
Other places well worth checking out are the Park Cafe, Sorrento’s Pizzeria, the Wipeout Cafe, Izumi Asian cuisine and we had good comments regarding the Seafood Shack, however as neither Sacha or I eat seafood we can not confirm or deny that report…!
Overall, eating aboard the Oasis of the Seas was so much more pleasurable than I had anticipated. The well thought out design of the ship and the fact that we rarely had to wait in a que for long meant I could concentrate on the food instead of the frustration of being in a large floating tub with 5,500 other cruisers all fighting for food, as I had imagined.