You have probably seen or heard on the news about the new megaships. They are big and to some, they are too big, both in size and price. But Royal Caribbean‘s Oasis of the Seas is a megaship not to be missed. With her first maiden voyage in December of 2009, this large ship can carry 5400 passengers at double occupancy, but never feels crowded.
With seven unique “neighborhoods,” the Oasis of the Seas is fairly easy to navigate.
- Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center: Full service spa and fitness center including classes like Pilates, yoga, and spinning.
- Pool and Sports Zone: H2O Zone aqua park for kids, 4 pools and 10 whirlpools, Tranquil poolside Solarium area for adults, 2 Flowriders®, sports courts, mini-golf and Zip line
- Entertainment Place: Casino Royale, Studio B – featuring ice shows, Opal Theater – 1,380-seat venue, Blaze Nightclub, Jazz on 4, Comedy Live, Dazzles – featuring musical spectacles ranging from big band to disco
- Youth Zone: Play – open gym and activity area, Adventure Ocean Theater and Science Lab, The Workshop – includes activities such as jewelry making & scrapbooking, Royal Babies & Royal Tots – nursery service, Teen Areas including Fuel disco, The Living Room lounge, the Back Deck and more.
- Central Park: Restaurants, bars (including the Rising Tide Bar), and shops. It has the first living park at sea with over 12,000 plants and 56 trees
- Boardwalk: Featuring the 750-seat AquaTheatre amphitheater, restaurants, bars, shops, and two rock climbing walls.
- Royal Promenade: Restaurants and shops and the main thoroughfare on the ship.
This is a picture looking up from the Royal Promenade. The skylights are an added bonus as they provide natural light during the day. When you are up in Central Park, the skylights are visible, but are sculptural in appearance.
If you want an active vacation like we did, you’ll enjoy the Oasis of the Seas. On a ship this size, the ship is the destination and we enjoyed learning about all of the different activities available. There are two Flow Riders, which prevents long lines from forming and you can also take private lessons to help improve your surfing skills. The rock climbing walls are huge and by having two, we never saw long lines here either. Between the shows, including the ice show, lounges, and activities, we never got bored. Sometimes all we wanted to do was walk and you certainly can on the Oasis. A quick stroll around the ship results in a 3 1/4 mile walk so why not enjoy the view? Here we are looking down on the Boardwalk area from up on the deck where you can zipline from one side of the deck to the other.
Accommodations: With inside, oceanview, balcony, and suites, you might think that these are all the same kinds of staterooms you’ve seen before, but they’re not the same. Why not try one of the twelve different kinds of suites, from the typical Royal Caribbean Junior Suite, Grand Suite, Royal Family Suite, and Owner’s Suite to the brand new AquaTheater Suites and Loft Suites? The Loft Suites, like the Royal Loft Suite, are two deck high stateroom with panoramic views with a master bedroom and bath on second level. Four twin beds (can convert to Queens). Private balcony with whirlpool and dining area with dry bar. Living room sofa converts to double bed. Closets on each level. Stateroom can accomodate up to 6 guests. (1,599.3 sq. ft., balcony 874 sq. ft.) The days of cruising in what might be thought of as closet accommodations are long gone! We weren’t fortunate enough to have one of the Royal Loft Suites and instead stayed in a balcony cabin (182 sq. ft. plus balcony). The new balcony staterooms were reconfigured by Royal Caribbean to have the closet on the same side as the bathroom and it shares the same wall. This means that you need to slide along the bed to get into the closet, but other than that one issue, the cabin was great with a flat screen TV, new bedding, and of course, the balcony that we sat on in the mornings with coffee, after dinner, and pretty much any time we had the chance. If you haven’t tried cruising with a balcony cabin, you definitely should as you won’t ever want to try an oceanview or inside cabin again.
The pool area was absolutely amazing! There’s a regular pool, a zero entry beach area pool, the Solarium pool for adults only, and of course, the kids H2O Zone aqua park. I fully expected pool chair hoggers, you know the ones that come out early in the morning and put towels or other things on the chairs to hold them, but there were plenty of chairs available and the pools were never so crowded that we avoided them. The same holds true for the 10 hot tubs.
The dining options on Oasis of the Seas is what really sets this ship apart from the rest. With plenty of dining options included in your cruise price including a Royal Caribbean staple, the Windjammer for casual buffet fare to the Opus Main Dining Room on decks 3, 4, and 5. But if you are in the mood for a snack, you can always head to Sorrento’s Pizzeria, the Boardwalk Donut Shop, or Park Cafe, which was one of my favorites as they had salads and paninis among other choices. If you don’t mind paying the per person cover charge, there are great choices for lunch including the Seafood Shack ($8.95 per person), Johnny Rockets ($4.95 per person) or Giovanni’s Table ($10 per person). For dinner there’s always the Solarium Bistro ($20 per person for dinner, but free for breakfast and lunch), Chops Grille ($25 per person), 150 Central Park ($35 per person), or you can really splurge at Chef’s Table, a private dining experience hosted by the chef for $75 per person inclusive of wines. Again, I was really blown away by the food choices and the quality of food served. The healthy choices available in both the Park Cafe and the Solarium Bistro made it an easy choice for eating healthy, but was also easy for me as a vegan.
The overall condition of the ship was outstanding because it was a brand new ship when we sailed on her in April 2010. They learned some valuable information from the Oasis of the Seas that they applied to her sister ship, the Allure of the Seas to make both ships the best that they can be.
If you would like to sneak a peek and see what’s happening right now on the Oasis of the Seas, they have four live webcams on the ship that you can watch any time of the day. If you want to see what is happening or what it might be like, click on the this link.
Sample 7-night Western Caribbean Itinerary:
- Day 1 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 5:00 PM
- Day 2 At Sea
- Day 3 Labadee 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Day 4 Falmouth, Jamaica 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Day 5 At Sea
- Day 6 Cozumel 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Day 7 At Sea
- Day 8 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 6:15 AM
Prices start at from only $749 per person plus taxes/fees for an inside cabin; from only $849 per person plus taxes/fees for an oceanview cabin; from only $1049 per person plus taxes/fees for a balcony cabin. Other cabin categories are available including Central Park view, Boardwalk view, and a nice variety of suites. (September 28, 2013 sail date)
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Royal Caribbean‘s Oasis of the Seas to families, be it young children or even teens. In addition, couples can enjoy this ship as well as groups. Even if you have been to the ports of call that the Oasis visits, make your next cruise one to remember on the Oasis of the Seas.