Oasis of the Seas – 6,000 bed travelling resort

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International, the ‘Oasis of the Seas’ was launched during October 2009. At a little over 225,000 gross tonnes, 361 metres in length, and costing some $1.4 billion to build, the Oasis, along with her sister ship ‘the Allure’ (of the Seas) are a testament to the ‘big is best’ concept of cruise ship design. With the ability to carry over 6,000 passengers across 16 decks the Oasis provides a floating holiday resort of 20 restaurants, ice cream parlours, 37 bars, 10,000 m2 of retail space, amusements, spas, swimming pools, mini-golf, surfing, rock climbing and a whole lot more – there is literally something for everyone. I was fortunate enough to spend a week on-board Oasis of the Seas and look over the facilities in some detail. In Fort Lauderdale the first thing that hits you as you approach the dock is its sheer size – it is truly a massive ship. On board, the ship initially follows the Royal Caribbean standard by having the Royal Promenade running the length of the ship with guest services at one end and a whole range of shops, bars and eateries to access. There is also a mezzanine floor to the Royal Promenade which hosts the Schooner Bar and allows guests to sit with a drink and observe all the parades and events below. On the main top deck the design departs from anything RC have done before as there is an open useable space down the middle of the top deck containing a real tropical garden called Central Park, a Board Walk area with a carousel and amusement activities such as puppet shows and smaller children’s rides. This split superstructure design means there are now more outside staterooms than ever before and one may have a view of the sea or alternatively overlook Central Park and the Boardwalk.

    The ship is actually divided into seven different activity areas which are called ‘neighbourhoods’, each with its own passenger appeal. Many of the themed areas were decorated with murals from Clarissa Parish, an Anglo-Italian muralist.

    Central Park features exclusive boutiques, themed restaurants and intimate bars; one of these is the Rising Tide bar, which is raised or lowered using a unique hydraulic system between three different decks. The park itself, which is the first living park at sea, features over 12,000 plants and 56 trees with a dedicated horticulturalist who is only too pleased to answer any questions.

    The Pool and Sports Zone features a sloped-entry beach pool and two Flow Rider surf simulators. The ship actually has five pools including the largest freshwater pool at sea.

    Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center features a spa for teenagers along with one of the largest gyms on the high seas with more than 160 cardio and resistance machines as well as regular classes, and a range of spa services for pampering yourself during the voyage.

    The Boardwalk is a major area of the ship where ‘it all happens’. Here you find a handcrafted carousel, many themed restaurants including Johnny Rockets diner, bars, shops, two rock-climbing walls and a temporary tattoo parlour. One of the most popular features is the outdoor 750-seat AquaTheatre amphitheatre, which hosts some of the most fabulous water shows featuring high-diving, synchronised swimming and aqua aerobics (the pool floor can move to suit different parts of the performance).

    The Royal Promenade features a huge number of bars, cafes and shops. There are shops producing and selling cupcakes, whoopie pies and macaroons along with chocolatiers and candy makers. Passengers may also take part in courses to learn these baking/culinary arts. The popular English pub, the Globe and Atlas, is also on the Royal Promenade, which features live music and real ale.

    The Youth Zone is obviously out of bounds to older guests but features its own night clubs, amusement and computer game arcades as well as a science lab and basketball court. Teenagers come in all shapes and sizes and most appreciate their own area on-board ship. Other features include a library and quiet area as well as a full service diner and pizza restaurant and a Mocktail bar to provide non-alcoholic drinks (a particularly good area for those with the unlimited soft drinks package and a penchant for sugar).

    The Entertainment Place is spread across a good deal of the ship and features a range of activities for all passengers. There include an 82-foot long zip wire (falls over three deck levels), an ice rink, a full casino (Casino Royale in a French style), a miniature golf course, multiple night clubs, Vintages (a connoisseur wine bar), a champagne bar, a Latin bar, a jazz club, a karaoke club, a comedy club, Dazzles (a 1940’s theme club), volleyball and basketball courts, children’s theme park/clubs and nurseries, two massive enclosed whirlpool spa baths cantilevered over the side of the ship, a 1,400 seat main theatre (currently hosting a production of Cats), a 600 seat secondary theatre and a 700 m jogging track around the ship.

    Daniel Fountain / 01.03.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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