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Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Tour of the World's Largest Cruise Ship

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The Oasis of the Seas was one of the most widely-anticipated cruise ships ever, and the wait was worth it. Oasis is huge, absolutely beautiful, and the innovative neighborhood concept provides a marvelous atmosphere for cruisers.

I originally had some trepidations about this new ship, but my worries vanished when I stepped onto the Royal Promenade from the dock, walked around the ship, and got my first looks at the Boardwalk, Central Park, and pool deck.

One quick observation -- with so much onboard variety, travelers will need a week's cruise (or more) to thoroughly experience the Oasis of the Seas.

Oasis of the Seas - Facts and Stats

Oasis of the Seas entering the port at Nassau, Bahamas in January 2010
Baldwin040/Wikimedia Commons
The 225,000-GRT Oasis of the Seas is the world's largest cruise ship, carrying 5,400 guests in double occupancy, and 6,296 when full. The ship has 2,165 crew from over 70 countries onboard. Oasis of the Seas has a 30-foot draft, towers 213 feet above the water, and is 1,184 feet long and 208 feet wide. She's big!

Other superlatives:
  • Central Park has 12,175 plants, 62 vine plants, 56 trees and some bamboo over 24 feet high.
  • The Carousel on the Boardwalk is handmade.
  • The Rising Tide Bar is the first-ever moving bar at sea, linking the Royal Promenade on deck 5 with Central Park on deck 8.
  • The zipline is 82 feet long and is nine decks above the Boardwalk.
  • The jogging track is 2.4 laps to the mile.
Let's take a tour of the Oasis of the Seas.

Oasis of the Seas - Central Park

Oasis of the Seas Central Park
Oasis of the Seas Central Park Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
The Oasis of the Seas Central Park is an open air park found mid-ship on deck 8. With no sea view and surrounded on all sides by the ship, you could easily be in any city park. The greenery and shade make it a pleasant place to sit outside and have a drink or dine alfresco.

Central Park is mostly geared towards adults. It has six restaurants and bars, including the ship's most upscale restaurant, 150 Central Park, and Royal Caribbean passenger favorite Chops Grille. Award-winning young chef Keriann Von Raesfeld manages 150 Central Park, which features two, eight-course tasting menus.

Other restaurants at the Oasis Central Park are casual Italian trattoria Giovanni's Table and the indoor/outdoor gourmet market Park Cafe.

Central Park Photos

Oasis of the Seas - Boardwalk

Oasis of the Seas - Boardwalk
Oasis of the Seas Boardwalk (c) Linda Garrison
The Oasis of the Seas Boardwalk feels like a traditional seaside pier and is a fun family neighborhood. Found on deck 6, the Boardwalk is flanked on one end by Dazzles Bar and on the other by the AquaTheater, rock climbing walls, and the sea. Cabins line both sides of the Boardwalk, and those near the stern can see both the sea and the fun on the Boardwalk and in the AquaTheater.

Other than the AquaTheater, the most striking feature of the Boardwalk is the large, handmade carousel. The music and menagerie of animals circling the carousel certainly give the Boardwalk an authentic feel.

The eateries reflect the casual seaside atmosphere--Johnny Rockets, the Seafood Shack, donut shop, Boardwalk Bar, and ice cream parlor.

Boardwalk Photos

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Promenade

Oasis of the Seas - Royal Promenade
Oasis of the Seas (c) Linda Garrison
The Oasis of the Seas Royal Promenade is an expanded and enhanced version of the Royal Promenade on Royal Caribbean's Voyager and Freedom-class ships. It's the first area passengers see when boarding the ship since it serves as the entry point for embarkation. Located on deck 5 underneath Central Park, the Royal Promenade is three decks high and features large skylights that allow light into the area from Central Park overhead.

Much like a mall, the Royal Promenade is lined with eight retail shops and nine restaurants and bars. The most innovative bar is appropriately called The Rising Tide Bar. It carries 32 and works as as "elevator bar", moving slowly up and down as it links Central Park and the Royal Promenade.

Royal Promenade Photos

Oasis of the Seas - Pool and Sports Zone

Oasis of the Seas Pool Deck - Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas Pool and Sports Zone Photo Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
The Pool and Sports Zone stretches the length of the Oasis of the Seas on decks 15 and 16. It's a terrific outdoor playground.

Four distinctly different pools and several whirlpools provide plenty of space for water fun. The Beach Pool has a sloped entry allowing guests to wade into the pool. The Main Pool is surrounded by sun lounges and is flanked by two whirlpools. The H2O Zone is a signature Royal Caribbean family water park, and the Sports Pool is restricted to lap swimmers in the morning and team water sports in the afternoon.

My favorite part of this neighborhood is the adults-only, two-deck Solarium, a gorgeous, peaceful area forward.

The Pool and Sports Zone has ten restaurants and bars.

Pool, Sports Zone, and Aerial Photos of Oasis

Oasis of the Seas - Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center

Oasis of the Seas - Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
Oasis of the Seas Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center (c) Linda Garrison
The Vitality Spa and Fitness Center is found forward on deck 6. The spa features a Thermal Suite with heated tile lounges and steam rooms and 29 treatment rooms. It also includes calming relaxation rooms. Teens and kids even have a spa area of their own.

The Fitness Center has 158 fitness machines, including cardio and resistance equipment. Guests can work out alone or join in on one of several classes such as spinning, kickboxing, Pilates or yoga.

The Vitality Cafe offers healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps, fruit and smoothies.

Oasis of the Seas - Entertainment Place

Oasis of the Seas Entertainment Place
Oasis of the Seas Entertainment Place (c) Linda Garrison
Entertainment Place is the hub for Oasis of the Seas nightlife. Occupying all of deck 4, it is easily accessed from the Royal Promenade. Entertainment Place includes the Casino Royale, the Opal Theater, Studio B, Comedy Place, Jazz on 4, and the Blaze Nightclub. That's quite a list!

The Opal Theater currently features a 90-minute version of the hit Broadway play "Hairspray", an aerial and dancing spectacular called "Come Fly with Me", and special headliners. Studio B is home to the Oasis ice rink and ice show called "Frozen in Time". Cruisers can book free tickets for all the shows in advance of their cruise.

Photos of the Lounges and Bars on the Oasis of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas Interior Photos

Oasis of the Seas - Youth Zone

Oasis of the Seas - Adventure Science Lab
Oasis of the Seas Adventure Science Lab (c) Linda Garrison
The Youth Zone covers over 28,000 square feet on the Oasis of the Seas. The Adventure Ocean area for kids ages 6 months to 12 years old is found on deck 14, and the Youth Zone Teen area is on deck 15.

Adventure Ocean features four different age group areas: Royal Babies and Tots (6 months to 3 years), Aquanauts (3 to 5 years), Explorers (6 to 8 years), and Voyagers (9 to 11 years). Each distinct area has counselors and age-appropriate activities.

In addition to the Adventure Ocean age-group areas, the space includes a Workshop for family activities, Imagination Studio, the Adventure Ocean Theater, Play Area, and a Science Lab.

Teens will love the Fuel disco and The Living Room.

Oasis of the Seas - Youth Zone and Adventure Ocean Photos

Oasis of the Seas - Cabins and Suites

Oasis of the Seas - Balcony Cabin
Oasis of the Seas Balcony Cabin (c) Linda Garrison
Oasis of the Seas has 2,706 cabins and suites. Almost 2,000 have balconies that overlook the ocean, Central Park, or the Boardwalk. Oasis has 37 different categories of cabins and suites, so there is certainly an accommodation to suit everyone's tastes and pocketbooks.

The 28 loft suites high on deck 17 are a first for the cruise industry, with two levels and floor-to-ceiling windows. Like all the Oasis staterooms, these suites are contemporary and chic. I loved the AquaTheater Suites, with huge balconies that overlook the Boardwalk, AquaTheater, and the sea.

Families will enjoy the numerous types of family cabins and suites, which sleep up to six.

Oasis of the Seas Cabins

Oasis of the Seas Suites

Oasis of the Seas - Dining Options

Oasis of the Seas - Opus Dining Room
Oasis of the Seas Opus Dining Room (c) Linda Garrison
Oasis of the Seas passengers will not be disappointed by the 24 distinct dining options scattered around the ship, many of which are included in the cruise fare, while others have a surcharge.

Many cuisines are covered, so passengers can eat All-American favorites one day and then enjoy Italian, Asian, or seafood the next. In addition to the various cuisines, the ambiance ranges from casual to chic to elegant. Guests can grab a quick bite at Windjammers, enjoy a traditional restaurant at the Opus Dining Room, or have a special meal at 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, or the Chef's Table.

Much like the shows, cruisers can book a table in any of the specialty restaurants prior to their cruise.

Oasis of the Seas Dining Options Photo Gallery

Oasis of the Seas - First Impressions

Sunset and the Oasis of the Seas Aqua Theater
Oasis of the Seas - Sunset Over the AquaTheater (c) Linda Garrison
As noted earlier, I was originally concerned about the size and number of innovations on the Oasis of the Seas, but my fears were quickly dispelled when I toured the ship on our two-night cruise. Now, I think Oasis will appeal to anyone who loves large ship cruising, but also to those who have never cruised but enjoy resort vacations. The variety of entertainment, food, and accommodations should attract many fun-loving travelers to cruising.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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