While I’m fully aware that many people don’t drink while on a cruise, that’s generally not me. Don’t worry – no drinking problem here. Cruising means relaxation and if I happened to pre-purchase a beverage package, well that means I can enjoy myself. C’mon! Could you turn that down? While on my 12 night transatlantic cruise, I tried to visit all of the bars & lounges on Oasis of the Seas for research purposes, of course.
CHAMPAGNE BAR: The demographics for this cruise leaned more toward the older crowd and as such, most bars were filled with people doing everything but drinking. In fact, we started calling the Champagne Bar the “library” because people had their books (hardcovers, paperback, and e-readers) and would sit quietly reading from sun up to sundown. In fact, I caught more than one person sleeping in there. Kind of sucks all the fun out of a bar when it’s dead quiet and people are sleeping. But for Andrei the bartender, I probably would’ve skipped it altogether.
SCHOONER BAR: This bar was always fully packed, but I think it had more to do with the fact that many of the trivia games are held here like on other Royal Caribbean ships.
They have a new menu, but unfortunately they didn’t have all of the ingredients for drinks nor were they trained on how to make them. I decided to let them make whatever they wanted, which was better than choosing a drink on my own. Paola from Peru not only worked as a server here, but as a bartender in the new Sabor Tequila Bar. She was always smiling and happy and of course, that made everything better!
RISING TIDE BAR: If you end up on the Rising Tide Bar, don’t get off after a quick ride up or down between floors. The crew that works here is fantastic, especially Rogelio our server and DJ Philip who operates the bar by moving it from deck 8 to deck 5. At night DJ Philip works as a DJ and he is extremely entertaining.
While onboard, the menu for the Rising Tide Bar was getting printed in Fort Lauderdale so the bar menu here was the ever popular Champagne Bar menu, which seemed to be the menu in almost all the bars. I had many bar menu ideas for drinks that I could make at home too! Strange but true!
BOLEROS: The bars on the Oasis of the Seas don’t all open at the same time and sometimes you have to make do with whatever you can find. Nikoletta in Boleros was so friendly, I actually enjoyed being one of a handful of people in the bar that day. Maybe I should say one of a few people who were ordering drinks and not reading! Boleros has an interesting menu, but be warned. Embarkation day this place was packed and after 5 minutes and a scolding by the bartender for trying to get her attention after she passed me over, I left. On most days the art auctions are held here so I avoided Boleros. This was the first and only time I could get in there. Sad!
SABOR: Drinks at Sabor are made by the in-house bartender. If you’re a patient person, then pull up a chair and expect to wait awhile. Of course, this could be due to the fact that Sabor is a new restaurant on this ship and it’s a new menu so I’ll give them a break. The drinks are good, especially the Avocado Margarita, but I wish they had salted the rims a little better and given out straws with the drinks. Not complaining, but as a former bartender, I might notice these things more than the average person.
MISCELLANEOUS BARS: Some bars I only visited once, but they still deserve a mention. The Mast Bar is a great place to unwind and sit outside in the sun. This is also true for the Wipeout Bar, which is located by the Flowriders. The Pool Bar, while outside, is situated in the middle of what I like to refer to as “Smokey Town” — the area designated for smokers. If you don’t smoke then you probably don’t want to walk through or sit near the Pool Bar.
Dazzles is a two-deck bar and lounge, but I only walked through it, but it did seem nice. The new Diamond Lounge, while coveted by those that aren’t a Diamond member or above with Crown & Anchor, wasn’t enticing enough to visit more than once. Perhaps those that desire exclusivity and free drinks might be all about it, but since I had a drink package, that wasn’t important to me and I only visited during breakfast. An interesting bar onboard is the Globe and Atlas Pub located on the Royal Promenade. They have kick ass Bloody Mary’s! Lastly, the Bloody Mary’s in the Solarium Bar were quite good. Bartenders here know how to make them spicy, just the way I like it.
I really do wish that snacks or bar food was served in the bars and lounges. Perhaps this could reduce the number of bad incidents like a guest yelling at a crew member or even medical issues due to the high alcohol consumption vs. low food intake. Seems obvious and since food is included in your cruise fare, I’m not sure how a bowl of peanuts or popcorn on a table would affect their bottom line. In fact, they could offer food like tapas or entrees for a fee. I know I would order it if it was offered. Just because you’re not driving doesn’t mean the cruise line shouldn’t try to temper all out inebriation onboard their ships.
There is a wide variety of bars and lounges onboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and my experience will not be yours. You have to take into consideration that each cruise you take is unique because of the other passengers, the type of cruise (Caribbean vs. Transatlantic), and the crew. I try not to go with expectations because you never know what may happen. In the end, you have to make your own fun, which is what I always do!
Coming up next is the one venue I didn’t include in this post: Vintages in Central Park.