Everywhere in the media has been coverage of the largest cruise ship in the world making its maiden trip to the UK and docking earlier this week in Southampton. The Oasis of the Seas from the Royal Caribbean a beautiful and impressive ship, that you can see an aerial shot of below. Yes its huge, and that’s impressive, it really is, but boy this ship is so much more than that.
This time last year I went on a Med cruise with Royal Caribbean on the Independence of the seas. You can read all my posts on that amazing trip HERE. I was a first time cruiser, so I wanted to do it from the perspective of that. When Royal Caribbean contacted me again to ask if I wanted to see the Oasis of the Seas I couldn’t wait to see what it was like in comparison. I still consider myself a complete novice when it comes to cruising, but I really think when it comes to travel, its great seeing things through fresh eyes as well as experienced ones.
Oasis of the Seas : So what makes it different to any of the other cruise liners?
Well this ship is jam-packed with exclusive features. First up, its split into seven themed neighbourhoods, so you can go in the ship where your particular mood takes you!
. Within these neighbourhoods are some one of a kind concepts.
- An 82 foot-long zip line
- A handcrafted carousel
- The Rising Tide elevating bar
- The Aquatheater high-diving performance venue
- Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants.
Oasis of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean International, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others.
Now I was only on ship for a day and evening, so could have in no way see or experience everything, but just wanted to highlight just a few of those amazing things that I did see, the tip of a amazing cruise ship!
This was something that I didn’t want to miss, as I just couldn’t get my head around this concept on a ship. Believe me it really works! The revolutionary design means that Central Park, which is in the centre of the ship, is open to the sky.
- Accommodation include 324 inward facing balcony staterooms with a view of Central Park
- Three retail outlets – Coach, the brand’s largest store at sea; Art Actually @Parkside Gallery; and Picture This – portrait studi
- Six restaurants/bars – 150 Central Park, Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Park Cafe, Vintages and Trellis Bar
Come the evening though, the park’s central piazza is the ship’s “town square” evolves into a gathering space. Alfresco dining and entertainment, including concerts, street performances and strolling musicians.
I’m a real foodie and wine lover, so this area really appealed to me. Vintages has to be one of my favourite places, and we were lucky enough to go wine tasting there during the day.
This was the next neighbourhood, I had promised myself I would just have to visit. perfect for families, it is bright, fun and engaging.
It is inspired by both the seaside piers, nostalgic boardwalks of yesteryear.
The centrepiece of Boardwalk is a one-of-a-kind carousel – the only carousel at sea.
It also hosts the AquaTheater, which is a amphitheatre-style space. It’s the first of its kind, and in use as a pool by day, and a breathtaking ocean front theatre with water and light shows, and professional aquatic acrobatic and synchronised swimming performances by night
- Two signature rock-climbing walls flank the AquaTheater, providing a more unique experience with multiple climbing routes. Each rock wall measures 43 feet tall.
- Accommodations include six AquaTheater Suites, 221 Boardwalk view balcony staterooms, and eight Boardwalk view window staterooms.
- Six shops including Pets at Sea, Smile – a novelty photo shop, Candy Beach offering speciality sweets, Star Pier for teen retail, Pinwheels for children and the Carousel Cart
- Five restaurants/bars – Johnny Rockets, the Ice Cream Parlor, Boardwalk Donut Shop, Seafood Shack and the Boardwalk Bar
This is situated just below Central Park, and there is a slow-moving bar that connects the two together. We unfortunately didn’t mange to go on it, but it was a fantastic feature. Taking the cruisers, enjoying their cocktails from deck five all the way up to deck eight. From underneath it looks as if a jets of water are pushing the bar upwards. I’ve never seen anything like this before, it was such a cool concept.
This is the main area really for shopping, but it also boast bars, pubs, cafes, pizzerias and a dance club. I love the champagne bar on the Royal Promenade, lovely way to wile away an hour or two.
Now the fun really is for everybody with the Royal Caribbean, and this is the dedicated area for children from 6 months plus.
Adventure Ocean youth programme features more space and a wealth of children- and teen-friendly adventures than ever seen on a cruise ship. We sampled the science lab and had a go at making a volcano, the volcano was rather more impressive than my ability to photograph it though, oops! Each of the areas are set into different ages, and have very carefully selected staff at each of them.
Kids Avenue, the central boulevard in Youth Zone, guides children through the dedicated Adventure Ocean spaces and various themed play areas. The Adventure Ocean programme age groups each have its own dedicated space: Royal Babies and Tots, ages six months to two years; Aquanauts, ages 3 to 5; Explorers, ages 6 to 8; and Voyagers, ages 9 to 11. There are also teen only areas a disco and ‘living room’ which gives teens freedom to make friends.
Fun Facts about Oasis of the Seas
- 150 miles (241 km) of piping
- 3,300 miles (5310 km) of electrical cables
- 7,000 works of specially commissioned art
- 5,070,632 lbs. (2,300 tonnes) of water in 21 swimming pools and whirlpools
- 110,231 lbs. (50 tonnes) of ice cubes made every day
- 4,700,000 lbs. (2,350 metric tons) of fresh water consumption every 24 hours
- 181 grand blocks were used to construct Oasis of the Seas, each block weighed approximately 1,200,00 lbs. (600 metric tons)
- Oasis was constructed out of 500,000 steel individual parts
- The AquaTheater pool is 17.9 feet (5.4 metres) deep, making it the deepest pool at sea
- Oasis of the Seas is 75 feet (23 metres) longer than the cruise line’s Freedom-class of ships
- It took 3,200 construction workers 8,000 work years to build Oasis of the Seas
- Diameters of the propellers are 20 feet (6.1 metres)
- Oasis has a deck 4.5 giving AquaTheater entertainers and divers access to the depths of AquaTheater during performances
It was an amazing day and evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I had so many people ask me questions, and I hope I’ve covered everything in this post. The one thing I haven’t was whether the ship was just too big. Well in my opinion no, it just made the experience even more exciting, and I most certainly have the cruising bug now!
Next time: I am going on a short cruise cruise with Tall Dad to experience Quantum of the Seas, its a revolutionary ship and we will be on its inaugraul sail.