Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families looking for non-stop action
Sails: The Caribbean
At a Glance: The launch of Royal Caribbean’s first Oasis Class vessel in 2009 helped usher in the era of the megaship. Still one of the largest cruise vessels in the world, it has everything an active cruiser could want, including an ice rink, surfing simulators, and more than 20 restaurants.
It’s Divided Into Neighborhoods
When Oasis of the Seas made its debut, it was the biggest cruise ship at sea. To help passengers make sense of it all, the line divided the ship up into “neighborhoods”: Central Park, an outdoor space with 12,000 trees and plants, plus the first Tiffany & Co. boutique at sea; the Pool and Sports Zone, where four pools, 10 whirlpools, and high-energy activities like surfing live; Royal Promenade, home to street parties and parades and lined with bars, pubs, restaurants, and shops; Boardwalk, which has an arcade, a carousel, and an old-school amusement park vibe; Vitality Spa and Fitness, home to the ship’s spa and fitness center; Entertainment Place, where the casino, comedy club, ice shows, and Broadway musical Cats are located; and the Youth Zone, a space dedicated to kids and teens.
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The Activities List Is Mega
Passengers who like to stay active when they travel won’t have any problem keeping busy, not with two FlowRider surf simulators, an ice-skating rink, a zip line, a rock-climbing wall, and a lap pool on board. There’s also ping pong, mini golf, a covered jogging track, and a full-size basketball court. At the fitness center, you’ll find a long list of classes (yoga, Pilates), plus a FlyWheel studio to help you work off that buffet.
The Best Show Is Outside
The deepest pool at sea is also the setting for one of the cruising world’s most spectacular shows. Located on the stern of the Broadway deck and flanked by two 30-foot-high diving platforms, AquaTheater is almost 18 feet deep. Passengers take SCUBA classes there during the day, but by night, the pool deck becomes an arena where synchronized swimmers and aerial artists perform while lit-up water jets dance in time to the music. For those who’d rather not jockey for seats, there are the AquaTheater Suites. These two-bedroom, two-bathroom pads have huge wraparound balconies overlooking the AquaTheater—perfect for throwing your very own version of a pool party.
Kids Have Plenty to Do
As part of Royal Caribbean’s Dreamworks Experience program, characters like Kung Fu Panda appear at character breakfasts, parades, and even at the AquaTheater. Children who aren’t old enough for the FlowRiders can check out the splash pool at the children’s water park, H20 Zone. And when parents need some alone time, they can drop off the kids at the nursery or the Adventure Ocean club, which keeps them busy with drama classes, indoor soccer games, and science-themed activities. Teens congregate in the Living Room, where they can play video games or learn how to spin during a Scratch DJ Class. After dark, they hit Fuel, the teens-only disco.
You Won't Go Hungry
With more than 20 dining options on this ship, trying every one is almost impossible, so prioritizing is key. For lunch, skip the buffet and try one of the other fun, free options: Wipe Out Café serves up hamburgers and soft-serve ice cream that you can eat while watching passengers on the FlowRiders, well, wipe out Sorrento’s Pizzeria has slices and gluten-free pies, and Boardwalk Dog House dishes out chicken sausage, bratwurst, and beef dogs with all the fixings. Passengers with a Grand Suite or higher can sample zucchini paella and caramelized scallops at Coastal Kitchen, a Mediterranean-California restaurant that spotlights fresh, healthy ingredients. For dinner, you can head to one of the three main dining rooms or a for-fee specialty restaurant: Try Izumi Hibachi and Sushi, the Chops Grille steakhouse, or Jamie’s Italian, British chef Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant. The quirkiest spot on the ship is Wonderland, a two-story Alice in Wonderland-inspired eatery that specializes in molecular gastronomy. (Think liquid olives and tempura caviar.) For a treat, splurge on a night at 150 Central Park,created by James Beard award winner Michael Schwartz. The highlight of the artisanal menu? A 28-ounce aged ribeye for two carved tableside.