Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas Inaugural cruise


Not only has the world introduced us to a brand New Year, but it has also ushered in a whole New Decade. Similarly, not only has Royal Caribbean introduced us to a brand New Ship, but they have also ushered in a whole New Era in mainstream cruising!

I am referring to the innovative, imaginative and spectacular floating resort, the awesomely beautiful Oasis of the Seas. This ship is amazingly unique, and therefore it is crucial to understand why she, and her future sister "Allure of the Seas," are so very different from other contemporary cruise ships sailing today.

From the beginning of the planning stages, the many designers and maritime architects thought not just outside-of-the-box, but entirely outside-of-the-world of standard cruise ships…this design is indeed revolutionary, and they are to by highly commended for it!

Even though this huge ship is over 222, 000 tons of fun and can comfortably accommodate (and very well entertain) over 6,000 passengers, she just doesn't feel that overwhelming when you are aboard …thanks to the designers' new concept of "Neighborhoods". In fact, each of the seven Neighborhoods: Central Park, Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Entertainment Place, Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa, and Youth Zone have their own features, style, attractions and characteristics. For example ,the Boardwalk is actually reminiscent of Coney Island, including a full-sized working Merry-go-Round, with original wood-carved horses.

Getting around and between Neighborhoods is surprisingly simple and easy, thanks to 24 elevators, a couple of escalators and many well-placed and remarkably effective touch-screen computer maps near every elevator!

There is truly something for everyone in any one or all of the Neighborhoods. It has always been crucial that as crusie expets we match-up the right client with the right ship…now it has become equally important to match-up the client to the right Neighborhood on this gigantic vessel. Without good advice, this ship really could be overpowering to the average cruiser.

The predictably good Royal Caribbean food is well-served in over 20 different dining venues, from the opulent Opus Dining Room to Johnny Rockets and the Pizzeria. Then, there are about 35 bars and lounges, including Viking Crown, Schooner Bar, Champagne Bar, plus the Pub and the all-new Rising Tide Bar, etc. Also, the ship boasts about 15 different points of entertainment, including full production shows in the three-level Opal Theater, ice-skating shows in Studio B, and exciting new water shows in the Aqua Theater which overlooks the ocean in the Boardwalk Neighborhood.

There are just so many terrific things to do on Oasis of the Seas, (such as surfing, zip-lining, rock-climbing, ice-skating, golfing, swimming, dancing etc.) that passengers will be challenged to do it all in one 7 night Caribbean cruise. Oasis is operating round trip from Ft. Lauderdale, alternating Eastern (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Nassau) and Western (Labadee, Jamaica, Cozumel) itineraries.

Because of the large number of passengers, this ship will not be tendering, anywhere…and so, out of necessity, Royal Caribbean has built new cruise ship terminals in each of the ports of call…starting with the completion of their vast and surprisingly efficient new purpose-built terminal in Ft. Lauderdale.

Of course this ship might not be ideal for everyone, but if you are planning to be taking your kids and grandkids on a 50th Anniversary cruise, for instance, then this just might be right for all of you…this great new ship would be perfect for Family Cruises!