The launch of Oasis of the Seas in 2009 made headlines around the globe — and for good reason. It was the world's largest cruise ship back then (now it’s Harmony of the Seas) and it also introduced a range of innovations never before seen at sea. She is still an amazing ship and Royal Caribbean has kept it in excellent shape with frequent upgrades and renovations with the most recent at the end of 2014. With a plethora of dining venues, interior staterooms with “virtual balconies,” a living garden and a zip line, Oasis is a floating destination unto herself.
Her immense size and her slight Las Vegas accent won't appeal to everyone, but she offers a cruising experience that’s different than others where there's never a dull moment. Arranged in a series of seven neighborhoods, you’ll need to take your time to stroll through them all to determine which is your favorite.
There are 25 dining venues on board, with nearly two-dozen of those offered as complimentary. Some of the most popular specialty restaurants—like Giovanni’s Table (Italian), Chops Grille (steakhouse), Sabor Taqueria and Tequila Bar (Mexican), and Izumi (Japanese)—are in demand so it’s wise to make reservations ahead of time. However, many people stick to the main dining room, Park Café, or the Windjammer Marketplace buffet—all complimentary establishments—because the food options of so diverse.
Things to Do
If you're ever bored on this ship, you are far too hard to please! There are so many attractions and activities there is no way you'll be able to sample them all during one short voyage. Most people make a point to hit the two FlowRider surf simulators, go rock climbing (there are two walls at the aft of the ship), play a round of miniature golf, enjoy the adults-only Solarium with whirlpools cantilevered out above the ocean, meander through the Central Park neighborhood and stop to shop or sip a cocktail at one of the lounges located there. You also can't miss the Promenade Shops where you’ll find high-end brands like Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co.
Oasis of the Seas is huge—and you have a huge number of choices when it comes to where to lay your head. The four basic stateroom categories are suite/deluxe, balcony, outside and interior. But within each category there are many options and something to suit all tastes and budgets. An impressive number—1,956 of 2,706—have balconies.
Interior staterooms are a revolution in ship design, in particular the promenade staterooms that sport a bowed window overlooking the Royal Promenade. Higher up the scale, outside staterooms feature other types of unusual vistas excluding the waves. There are accommodations overlooking the spacious Boardwalk and Central Park neighborhoods, with either a bay window or a private balcony, and there are also roomy family suites, which can sleep up to six comfortably.
If you love to cruise in real style, however, check out Oasis of the Sea’s 28 unique Loft Suites. Think funky city apartment, rather than high-seas cabin; they’re two-level and afford spectacular ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Do these suites come with a balcony whirlpool, wet bar and a baby grand? Of course they do!
What’s Onboard for the kids?
You could cruise on this ship for a week and hardly see your kids! Besides kids clubs, programs, activities and a nursery for babies and tots aged 6 months to 3 years old, junior cruisers have exclusive use of the H2O Zone water park and a teen lounge and disco. There’s also the DreamWorks® Experience, allowing kids to meet and greet a host of characters from popular movies, including Shrek and Po from Kung Fu Panda. Group and individual babysitting is available with advance reservations; children must be at least 1 year old. Rates average $19 per hour for up to three children in the same family.
- Alternative restaurants book up fast, so make reservations online before you cruise.
- While there are tons of things to do on board, a lot of the activities require an extra fee, which adds up.
- The staterooms on Deck 3 tend to be the ones with more noise issues due to the public areas above.
- Oasis can carry 5,400 passengers so areas on the ship can get crowded at times.