The largest and most innovative cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, debuted last November. This ship, a destination in herself, is the biggest thing to hit the cruising industry in quite some time. My family and I had the opportunity to sail on the Oasis of the Seas over Thanksgiving, allowing us to decide for ourselves if this ship deserves all of the hype surrounding her.
Could the Oasis really offer that much more than what I have experienced on over 40 cruises during my travel career? It wasn’t long after stepping foot onboard that I found the answer was a resounding “yes.” I will try my best to give you a glimpse at the most amazing ship upon which I have ever sailed.
As we drove up to the new, state-of-the-art pier that was built to accommodate this huge vessel, it was astounding to see her dwarf other well-known ships. After filtering through a surprisingly simple and easy boarding process, we stepped onboard, ready to encounter perhaps our greatest cruise experience yet.
Areas on the ship are arranged into seven “neighborhoods,” a brand new concept to the cruising industry. Some of the neighborhoods are in the center of the ship, and it just so happened that our balcony cabin overlooked the Boardwalk neighborhood. As we stood on our balcony, we could watch other passengers zip-lining right past us. We also overlooked a full-size carousel, two rock-climbing walls, an aqua theatre, a candy store, a donut shop and two of the onboard casual dining experiences: Johnny Rockets and the Seafood Shack.
There are two other prominent neighborhoods in the center of the ship. One is Central Park, featuring the first living park at sea with over 12,000 real plants and 56 trees. This is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon amongst the lush greenery and meandering paths, but it is also the perfect evening gathering spot, showcasing some of the specialty dining restaurants, along with the wine bar, Vintages.
The Royal Promenade is the other neighborhood in the heart of the ship. It features shopping, more dining and numerous bars, including the first levitating bar at sea, Rising Tide. At night this area boasts parades and other entertainment. Further entertainment options include authentic Broadway shows, a comedy club and ice shows.
For fun in the sun, you can head to the pool area, including a sloped-entry pool with comfy lounge chairs calling to you and your drink of the day. The children’s pool area is filled with bright and colorful fountains and slides. When you’re ready for a break from swimming, you can putt the afternoon away on the mini golf course.
Onboard you will also find a luxurious spa, casino, many well-appointed lounges, bars and restaurants, and the beautiful main dining room. There are over 30 room categories, including two-story loft suites, ocean view suites and rooms with neighborhood views. All are ready to give the ship’s 5,400 passengers a welcome respite from all the action.
There is so much more to discuss about this amazing ship, but I am out of space. So, you will have to experience it for yourself and see how Royal Caribbean has once again proved that bigger is better! Contact a AAA travel professional for more ship details, itineraries and pricing.