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Oasis of the Seas (formerly referred to as the "Genesis Project") had its inaugural cruise in December of 2009. At a whopping 222,900-tons and with a never-before-available 5,400 passenger capacity, this massive ship is the largest and most feature-packed cruise ship in the world! This ship is also the most expensive commercial ship ever built, with an approximate cost of $1.2 billion!
Oasis starts a new class of Royal Caribbean cruise ships (called Oasis-class ships). Oasis-class ships are 43% larger in tonnage than the already considered huge Freedom-class ships. They are 69 feet longer, and 29 feet wider than the Freedom-class ships.
This amazing "city at sea" features all of the onboard amenities that the popular Freedom-class Royal Caribbean ships have, such as an ice skating rink, two rock climbing walls (instead of the typical one) and a Royal Promenade. Among the new features onboard Oasis are its seven "neighborhoods." There is a Boardwalk (featuring a carousel and zip line), an open-air Central Park (in the middle of the ship) and an AquaTheater (the first amphitheater at sea). There are also be balcony staterooms that have views of Central Park or Boardwalk (including the innovative AquaTheater). There are two fun-filled FlowRiders (surfing simulators) onboard Oasis of the Seas, rather than the one found on each Freedom-class ship.
Royal Caribbean has actually announced that they will be creating a second Oasis-class ship (Allure of the Seas), which will launch in December of 2010.
Oasis of the Seas will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):
2012 & 2013: Eastern & Western Caribbean
Oasis of the Seas features the most numerous choice of room types ever before offered onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (37 categories, to be exact). From standard interior staterooms all the way up to 1,500+ square foot suites, Oasis is sure to have something for everyone.
Interior Staterooms: The most basic staterooms onboard Oasis of the Seas are its category Q interior staterooms. The interior staterooms are 149 square feet and consist of categories Q, N, M and L (in order of usual price). All of the interior staterooms have two twin beds that can convert into one queen-size bed. There are also Promenade Staterooms (category PR), which are 194 square feet and have Bay view windows overlooking the Royal Promenade. A category FI stateroom (a Family Interior Stateroom) is 260 square feet and has two twin beds that can convert into one queen-size bed, as well as a sofa that converts into a double bed, and two Pullman beds.
Ocean View Staterooms: The standard ocean view staterooms (categories I, H and F) have the same in-room features as the interiors, but are 179 square feet. Central Park View Staterooms (new to the cruising industry; category CV) are located on deck 9 and are 199 square feet in size. Boardwalk View Staterooms (also new to the cruising industry; category BV) on deck 7 and are 191 square feet. Family Ocean View Staterooms (category FO) are 271 square feet and will have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), as well as a sofa that converts into a double bed, and two Pullman beds.
Balcony Staterooms: Oasis of the Seas' classic style balcony staterooms are categories D8 through D1. All of these staterooms are 182 square feet, with a 50 square foot balcony (except for the D1's, which are all mid-ship and have a larger 80 square foot balcony). The Central Park Staterooms with Balcony (categories C1 and C2) have never been available on a cruise ship before and are 182 square feet, with a 52 square foot balcony. The Boardwalk View Staterooms with Balcony (also new to the cruising industry; categories B1 and B2) are 182 square feet, with a 52 square foot balcony. A category FB stateroom is a Family Stateroom with Balcony. Such a stateroom is 271 square feet, with a 82 square foot balcony. These accommodations have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), as well as a sofa that converts into a double bed, and two Pullman beds.
Suites: The most basic suite onboard Oasis of the Seas is a (category JS) Junior Suite with Balcony. Such staterooms are 287 square feet, with a 80 square foot balcony. These rooms have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), a private bathroom with tub, a sitting area with a table and a sofa.
A Grand Suite with Balcony (category GS) is 371 square feet, with a 105 square foot balcony. These suites have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), a private bathroom with tub and two sinks, a marble entry, large closets, a living area with a table and sofa, and concierge service.
The next step up is a Royal Family Suite with Balcony (category FS). Such a suite is 580 square feet, with a 238 square foot balcony. These rooms have two bedrooms with two Pullman beds (that can convert into a queen-size bed), a vanity with a chair in each bedroom, a living area with a double convertible sofa, a marble entry, an entertainment center, two bathrooms, and a master bath with a tub. There is a table and chairs on the balcony, and concierge service is available to guests staying in such accommodations.
An Owner's Suite with Balcony (category OS) is 556 square feet, with a 243 square foot balcony. These rooms have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), a private bathroom with a tub and two sinks, a marble entry, large closets, a living area with a table and sofa, and concierge service.
A Crown Loft Suite with Balcony (category CL) is one of the never-before-featured accommodations onboard a cruise ship before. These suites are two-deck-high staterooms, with a panoramic view. They have a master bedroom and bath of the loft level. The bedroom has two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), as well as a shower for two. There is a bath with a shower on the main level, with a stairway to the loft. There is also a private balcony with chairs, a dining area with dry bar and a table/desk, as well as a living room sofa that converts into a double bed, and concierge service. In total, this suite is 545 square feet, with a 114 square foot balcony).
Also new to the cruising world are Oasis' AquaTheater Suites with Balconies (categories A1, A2 and A3). These staterooms range in size from 673 to 823 square feet, with a whopping 610 to 772 square foot balcony (each dimension depending on the specific category and stateroom). Each stateroom has two bedrooms, each with two Pullman beds (that can be converted into one queen-size bed), as well as a vanity with chair. There is also a living area with a double convertible sofa, a dining room, a marble entry, an entertainment center, two bathrooms (one of them being a master bathroom with a tub), and an expansive balcony with a table and chairs with a wonderful view of the AquaTheater. That's right - in order to view the shows at the AquaTheater all you have to do is go out on your suite's balcony! Concierge service is available to guests staying in such accommodations.
Oasis of the Seas' Sky Loft Suites with Balconies (category SL) are another new type of accommodation offered by Royal Caribbean. These two-deck-high suites are 722 square feet, with a large 410 square foot balcony. Features include a panoramic view, a master bedroom (with two twin beds that can be converted into one queen-size) and bath (with a shower for two) on the loft level, a bath (with a shower for two) on the main level, a private balcony with a dining area, a dining area with a dry bar, a living room sofa that converts into a double bed, closets on each level and concierge service.
The Presidential Suite with Balcony (category PS) can accommodate up to 14 (yes, 14) guests. Please be aware that you must have at least 8 people in your party in order to book this suite. This large suite has two master bedrooms with twin beds (that can convert into a queen-size bed), two master baths with tubs, two bedrooms with convertible twin beds/Pullman beds (one of which contains a bathroom with a shower), a guest bathroom with a shower, as well as a balcony with a whirlpool, a dining area and bar. There is also an interior dining room with a dry bar, and a living room sofa that can convert into a double bed. Concierge service is available to guests in this type of suite. This suite will be 1,142 square feet, with a 476 square foot balcony.
A Royal Suite with Balcony (category RS) has a grand entrance with a doorbell, a master bedroom with a queen-size bed and sitting area, as well as a master bath with a tub, shower, two sinks and bidet. There is also a living room sofa that can convert into a double bed, a guest bathroom with a shower, an entertainment center, a dining room with a dry bar, a piano, and a private balcony with a jacuzzi and dining area. Of course, concierge service is available to the guests in this suite. This type of suite is 1,274 square feet, with a 334 square foot balcony.
The most premium accommodation onboard Oasis of the Seas is its Royal Loft Suite with Balcony (category RL), which has never been featured onboard a cruise ship before. There is only one of these suites onboard, and it is two decks high with an amazing panoramic view (located on decks 17 and 18). It is a massive 1,524 square feet, with a huge 843 square foot balcony. There is a master bedroom and bath (with a tub, shower, two sinks and bidet) located on the loft level. There are also four twin beds that can convert into two queen-size beds, a bath with a shower on the main level, a private balcony with a whirlpool and dining area, a dining area with a dry bar, a living room sofa that can convert into a double bed, closets on each level and concierge service available.
Royal Caribbean offers a choice between traditional dining (with assigned seating times) or My Time Dining (an open-dining setup). You'll have the same menu regardless of which dining format you choose. When making your reservation you must let the booking agent know which dining setup one you'd like to request. The one you want may be unavailable or on a waitlist. If that's the case, you'll have to wait it out and see if you get the one you want.
Traditional dining is where you must choose between a specific seating time: the main seating (at 6:15 pm) or second seating (at 8:30 pm). With this format, on each night of your cruise you'll dine at the same table, with the same people and same wait staff. One of the nice things about having assigned dining tables is that you get to build a rapport with your waiter, rather than having a different one each night.
My Time Dining allows you to select when you dine and who you dine with. With this flexible dining setup you can choose to dine in the main dining room at any time between 6:00 pm and 9:30 pm on each night of your cruise. If you choose this setup you must pre-pay your gratuities prior to your cruise. With My Time Dining you'll be able to request a specific waiter (subject to availability). You'll be seated with the party you arrive with, and you can request to be seated alone or with other guests. If you select My Time Dining, reservations are recommended to avoid a delay in seating (reservations can be made once you're onboard the ship).
• 150 Central Park – The most exclusive dining venue on Oasis of the Seas, 150 Central Park
provides an intimate dining experience that combines leading-edge cuisine with modern design,
creating a trendy upscale ambiance. Signature features include a tasting menu with customized
wine pairings. Open for dinner; $35 cover charge.
Giovanni’s Table – This Tuscan countryside influenced trattoria will be a more-accessible, casual
Italian restaurant featuring both indoor and al fresco seating. Giovanni’s Table offers rustic dishes
with a contemporary flair, including toasted herbal breads, pizzas, salads, pastas, Italian sandwiches,
braised meat dishes and stews, all served family-style. Open for lunch and dinner; $10 lunch and $15
dinner cover charge.
• Park Café – A casual dining choice, providing a high level of variety and flexibility, Park Café is an indoor/outdoor gourmet market with walk-up counters. From freshly prepared salads and made-to-order sandwiches, to paninis, crepes and hearty soups, guests order directly from the chefs
behind food stations. European pastries, sublime chocolates and decadent fudge will round out the
offerings. Open for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and late night treats.
• Vintages – Always a popular hot spot for Royal Caribbean guests on Voyager- and Freedom-class
ships, the Vintages wine bar has evolved into a larger space onboard Oasis of the Seas. Great for a pre-dinner
rendezvous, Vintages provides a selection of cheeses and a broad tapas menu to accompany a
robust selection of fine wines, from a tropical white Riesling to a mocha-inflected Merlot. Open for
lunch and dinner; á la carte pricing.
• Chops Grille – Continuing the tradition, Royal Caribbean’s popular signature steakhouse offers
premium cut, quality meats. Guests can choose to enjoy the upscale, contemporary setting indoors
with views of Central Park or al fresco. Open for dinner; $25 cover charge.
• Seafood Shack – This indoor/outdoor casual family restaurant brings the surf style of beach side
amusement parks to the Boardwalk, serving a variety of seafood, as well an extensive beverage menu
of non-alcoholic cocktails and over-sized desserts. Open for lunch and dinner; $7.95 lunch and
$9.95 dinner cover charge.
• Boardwalk Bar – The main bar in the Boardwalk offers on-the-go snacks and a variety of prepackaged
sandwiches, fruit and salads. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Donut Shop – Guests can stop into the classically styled shop for a casual snack any time of day.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Ice Cream Parlor – The 1950’s styled ice cream venue displays classic sundaes and a variety of
ice cream flavors and toppings to choose from and then mixed-to-order on a frozen slab. Open
throughout the day; á la carte pricing.
• Johnny Rockets – Extending the signature “eat-ertainment” hours, a diner breakfast menu has been
introduced onboard Oasis of the Seas. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; $3.95 breakfast and $4.95 lunch and dinner cover
The Royal Promenade
• Mondo Cafe – This new addition to the Royal Promenade features coffee, sandwiches and
pastries native to countries such as Italy, Spain and Cuba. Steps from Boleros and open around the
clock, it's popular after an evening on the dance floor. Open for breakfast, lunch, snacks,
dinner and late night treats.
• Sorrento’s Pizzeria – The New York style pizzeria features a more extensive menu with made-to-order pizza pies and slices, in addition to the ready-made selections introduced with the Freedom-class
ships. Open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks.
• Café Promenade – Located on the opposite end of the Royal Promenade from the Mondo Cafe,
the popular café serves Seattle’s Best Coffee, fruit shakes, pastries and sandwiches
throughout the day and night. Open 24 hours; á la carte pricing.
The Pool and Sports Zone
• Solarium Bistro – Located in the Solarium, this contemporary bistro offers health-conscious
dining for breakfast and lunch in a casual setting. In the evenings, Solarium Bistro transforms
into a romantic and intimate dining setting for specialty healthy-fare dinner and dancing under the
stars. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; dinner has a $20 cover charge.
• The Wipe Out Café – The casual self-service buffet offers a variety of options from pizza,
hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh salads to quick snacks and desserts, for young cruisers on-the-go.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center
• The Vitality Café – Located at the entrance of the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, the Vitality
Café features healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps and fruit, in addition to refreshing juices and
smoothies from the Vitality spa menu for the calorie conscious guest. Open for breakfast, lunch, and
New Twists on Fleet Fixtures
• Opus Dining Room – The three-level main dining room revives the grandeur of the 1920s and
features French art deco design. Catering to guests’ varying preferences, the newly introduced My
Time Dining and My Family Time Dining, as well as the traditional main and late seating options will
be offered. My Time Dining provides guests with the option to enjoy the dining room ambiance
with Royal Caribbean’s renowned Gold Anchor Service whenever they wish during dining hours.
Guests choosing My Time Dining will not have a pre-assigned table, but will be seated in the ships
main dining room and will order from the same traditional dinner menu. My Time Dining guests can
make daily reservations for specific seating times or choose to walk in. My Family Time Dining
accommodates parents and children by offering an expedited 40-minute dining service for young
cruisers, ages 3-11. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Windjammer Marketplace – Offering the utmost flexibility for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this
next generation of the brand staple features multiple islands, each serving a variety casual buffet
• Izumi – The new Asian cuisine restaurant features a sushi bar and hot rock cooking, as well as
other Asian fare in a more formal setting. Open for lunch and dinner; á la carte pricing.
• In-Stateroom Service – Guests wanting to enjoy a meal in the comfort of their staterooms are
able to choose from the complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as the recently
introduced Dine in Delights menu, which offers name-brand culinary options ranging from the
Original Johnny Rockets hamburger to Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookies. Open 24 hours; á la carte
pricing for Dine In Delights and $3.95 service charge (which is subject to change) for in-room deliveries between 12:00 a.m. and
Oasis of the Seas features seven neighborhoods, each one offering something unique and exciting for the guests onboard. This is a truly innovative concept that has never been done on a cruise ship before.
The Boardwalk neighborhood is geared towards family fun. The main attractions are the AquaTheater (the first amphitheater at sea), a carousel and two rock-climbing walls. Dining and entertainment venues in this neighborhood include Johnny Rockets (a 50's-style burger joint), Seafood Shack (a casual restaurant), the Boardwalk Donut Shop, an ice cream parlor, the Boardwalk Bar and Madame Zamara's (a psychic and tattoo parlor). There is also a few shopping venues in this area, including Candy Beach, a retail store for kids and teen items and Smile (for novelty photos). As far as accommodations go, there are 6 AquaTheater Suites, 221 Boardwalk View Balconies and 8 Boardwalk View Staterooms.
Central Park neighborhood is Oasis of the Seas' town square, located at the center of the ship. This area is actually open to the sky, even though it's within the ship. During the day there is a peaceful and calm atmosphere, but at night it's a lively gathering place for dining and entertainment (including street performances). Over 300 staterooms (254 Central Park View Balconies and 70 Central Park View Staterooms) are inside the Central Park neighborhood, rising six decks up. Among the great dining and entertainment options in Central Park are Chops Grille (Oasis' steakhouse specialty restaurant), 150 Central Park, Antonio's Table, Central Park Cafe (an indoor/outdoor gourmet market), Vintages (a wine bar), Canopy Bar and the Rising Tide Bar (the first-ever levitating bar at sea, traveling three decks). There is also upscale boutique shopping available, as well as an art gallery (The Parkside Gallery) and picture studio (called Picture This).
Oasis of the Seas' Royal Promenade neighborhood is the largest promenade at sea, and is the heart of the ship (as it is already on many of the other Royal Caribbean ships). A new feature to the Royal Promenade of Oasis is a mezzanine that overlooks the area below. During the day this area is relaxed, while at night there are parades, nightlife and various entertainment. Dining and entertainment venues in this neighborhood include Sorrento's Pizzeria, Mondo Coffee Bar, Cafe Promenade, the Rising Tide Bar, Globe and Atlas Pub, the Schooner Bar, Boleros (a Latin-themed bar) and the Champagne Bar. There are quite a few stores in this area as well, including a fine jewelry store, cosmetics store, gift shop, Focus (a photo gallery) and A Close Shave (a men's salon). The Guest Services and Explorations! (shore excursions) desks are also in the Royal Promenade. There are 18 Promenade View Staterooms available in this neighborhood.
Entertainment Place is accessible via stairs from the Royal Promenade. Among the entertainment venues in this area are Studio B (an ice-skating rink), Blaze (a nightclub, which will have a large dance floor), Jazz on 4 (a small jazz and blues lounge), Dazzles (a lounge that features a different style of music on each night, such as big band and disco), Comedy Live (a small comedy club), Casino Royale (a casino with 27 table games, 450 slot machines, a bar and a lounge) and Opal Theater (the main show theater, that seats up to 1,380 guests, and features two original production shows and one headliner each a week).
The Pool & Sports Zone features multiple pools, a couple of large rock-climbing walls, miniature golf, ping pong, two FlowRiders (surfing simulators), zip line, the Wipe Out Cafe (featuring a bar and casual dining) and a basketball court. Among the pools are the H20 Zone (an aqua park for kids and families), a sports pool, a beach pool (with a sloped ocean-like entry) and the main pool (surrounded by private cabanas and many lounge chairs). There are also six whirlpools, four bars (the Sand Bar, Pool Bar, Mast Bar and Sky Bar), a Solarium (an adults-only area with four whirlpools and plush seating), the Solarium Bistro (featuring a healthy breakfast and lunch during the day, that transforms into a specialty restaurant at night).
Oasis of the Seas has a wonderful state-of-the-art spa and fitness center onboard. In fact, there is a Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness neighborhood onboard Oasis! Spa features include massage suites, a thermal suite, a beauty salon, a youth spa (for kids and teens) and the Vitality Cafe (featuring healthy snacks, entrees and drinks). The fitness center has 158 machines, a free weight area, fitness classes, Kinesis and the largest jogging track at sea (that's partially covered in case it rains).
The final neighborhood that is available onboard Oasis of the Seas is the Youth Zone, a section of the ship specifically built for children and teens. This is a huge 28,700 square foot area that features Kids Avenue (a central boulevard connecting children with dedicated Adventure Ocean spaces and various themed play areas), as well as Royal Caribbean's first nursery for infants and toddlers (ages six months or older). There are even special, state-of-the-art, teen areas onboard Oasis of the Seas. Within the teen areas are two FlowRider surf simulators, Fuel Disco, The Living Room (a hangout area), a miniature golf-course (named Oasis Dunes), and a Sports Court (for volleyball and basketball games).
While onboard the ship the following is considered by Royal Caribbean to be typical attire, for indoors or outdoors: shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses, and sundresses. Don't forget to bring bathing suits for the pools and hot tubs. Pretty much, it's casual during the day.
For dinner, there is a certain dress code in place. Depending on the night, there may be a casual, smart casual, or formal dress code recommended. On a Royal Caribbean cruise there will be at least 1 formal night. The number of formal nights on your cruise depends on the length of your cruise. Please be aware that the number of nights are subject to change at the ship's discretion. Formal night clothing is considered to be cocktail dresses for women. For men, suits and ties (or tuxedos) are good. Smart casual is considered dresses or pantsuits for women, and jackets for men.
Here's a general guideline that Royal Caribbean provides for its nightly dining types:
2 or 3
Royal Caribbean offers babysitting in group settings, and on an individual basis in your stateroom (based on the staff's availability). Children must be at least 1 year old for babysitting services. If you want to have in-stateroom babysitting you must reserve that service at least 24 hours in advance (just call the main desk while onboard, as it cannot be arranged for prior to boarding the ship). The current (subject to change) rate is $8 per hour for one or two children of the same family. It is $10 per hour for three children of the same family.
Adventure Ocean® is Royal Caribbean's youth program. Their program is divided into groups, by age: Aquanauts (3-5 Years), Explorers (6-8 Years), Voyagers (9-11 Years), Navigators (12-14 Years), and Guests (15-17 Years). Every member of the Adventure Ocean® staff has a college degree in education, recreation, or related field and has experience working with children ages 3-17. There is a Teen Center that is open from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am.
Royal Caribbean has Fisher-Price programs for younger children as well: Aqua Babies (6-18 months), and Aqua Tots (18-36 months).
There is a ton of kids and teens facilities on deck 12. For example, there is a video arcade, featuring both old and new games. The Teen Disco is also there; it's a great place for teens to meet, dance, and hang out. Adventure Beach is an area with a kids' pool with child-sized furniture.
Royal Caribbean recommends the following gratuity guidelines:
Suite Attendant: $5.75 a day, per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 a day, per guest
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 a day, per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 a day, per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 a day, per guest
These gratuity rates apply to guests of all ages. Please be aware that a 15% gratuity charge will be automatically added to your bar bills. Gratuities for the room service, casino and spa staff is at your discretion.
You can pay for your gratuities by one of the following ways:
- In cash (at the end of your cruise)
- Having the cruise line add them to your SeaPass (onboard) account
- Pre-paying them (by having your travel or booking agent add them to your reservation)
The official minimum drinking age on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships is 21. However, on cruises departing from European and South American countries, where the legal drinking age is typically under 21, a parent that is sailing with their 18 to 20 year old son(s)/daughter(s) may sign a waiver allowing them to consume alcoholic beverages.
Guests are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages onboard. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports of call or from the onboard shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of sailing.
The official minimum gambling age on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships is 18 years old. Guests under 18 are not even allowed to be inside the casino. Proof of age is required. On Alaska cruises you must be at least 21 years of age to gamble. All gaming operations are performed in U.S. currency.