Let's go back to 2009 when the entire tourism world was focused on one thing, Oasis of the Seas. The soon to be largest passenger ship ever was setting sail on December 5, 2009. Fast forward almost ten years the Oasis is joined by her sister ships Allure, Harmony, and Symphony of the Seas. These four ships, with more on the way, dwarf every other cruise ship by tens of thousands of tons. Oasis ( 225,282 GRT), Allure (225,282 GRT), Harmony (226,963 GRT), and Symphony (228,081 GRT). Each of these ships has features that are not seen on any other cruise ship, outside their class. These industry chinging vessels are the most sought after ships in the cruise industry and are something you have to experience to believe. Having been lucky enough to sail on the Oasis class of ships many times, I have a few reasons why you need to sail on one.
The Double Structure Design:
This double structure plays a pivotal role in the success of the Oasis class. With a double structure, Royal Caribbean is able to accommodate 6,680 guests comfortably without reducing public spaces. This structure allows for more open-air public areas such as Central Park and the Boardwalk!
Yes, the Oasis class of cruise ships is the only ships to find Aquatheaters at sea! These incredible aquatic amphitheaters allow Royal to produce some of the most heart throbbing entertainment ever seen at sea. This alone is a reason to get on board an Oasis Class ship!
Royal Caribbean debuted the Ultimate Abyss onboard the third Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas in 2016 and again on Symphony in 2018. This ten-story dry slide takes guests from the sports deck on 16 to the Boardwalk on deck six. The Abyss is the largest slide at sea. Due to the popularity of this feature, Royal Caribbean is adding it to the older Oasis sisters Oasis and Allure. Oasis is currently under Amplification and will emerge from dry dock on November 24, 2019, with this feature. Allure will receive this feature in spring 2020! Check out the Abyss!
Building the largest ships in the world allowed Royal Caribbean to create seven distinct areas onboard one ship, this is the "neighborhood concept." The Seven distinct "neighborhoods" are Central Park, The Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Pool and Sports Zone, Entertainment Place, the Youth Zone, and Vitality Spa and Fitness Center. Each of these areas are distinctly different. Royal found a way to please cruisers of all ages from 6 months old to 96 years old, these neighborhoods allow every guest to have the experience of a lifetime.
Central Park puts you in the center of 12,000 live plants, upscale shopping, specialty dining and, my favorite, live string bands at night!
The Boardwalk, designed to resemble the "Atlantic City Boardwalk" brings everyone back to their childhood with Carnival Games, shops, eateries and of course the Aqua theater!
The Royal Promenade brings guests to the hub of the ship with lounges, bars, coffee shops, and shopping. The promenade gives guests access to all areas of the ship as it is nestled between the forward and aft atriums. With direct access to the main dining room, casino, the Boardwalk, main theater, entertainment place, and the upper decks!
Entertainment Place: Where all the entertainment comes together! Here you can find, Jazz on four, the nightclub, Comedy Club (on Allure), the Main Theater, Studio B (ice skating rink), with access to Casino Royal!
Pool and Sports Zone: Spread throughout the top deck of these massive vessels, the Pool and Sports Zone includes activities to keep all ages busy all day! Here find the Perfect Storm waterslides (coming to Allure in 2020), three full-size swimming pools, Splashaway Bay (coming to Allure in 2020), two surf simulators, mini-golf, zip line, sports court, the Ultimate Abyss (coming to Allure in 2020), Adults-only Solarium, bars, eateries and endless lounges to soak up the sun.
Youth Zone: Reserved for the youngest cruisers. The Youth Zone is home to the award-winning, Adventure ocean, Royal Tots nursery, a science lab, art area, a small theater, and activities to keep the youngsters happy all cruise!
Vitality Spa and Fitness Center: As the kids have their own reserved space, the Adults do as well! The Vitality Spa features a thermal suite reserved for those who purchase a spa package or book a spa treatment, many treatment rooms, a salon/ barbershop, and a cafe. The Fitness center is a state of the art gym with personal trainers, a cardio studio, a TRX studio, and so much to keep you fit while at sea!
The size of the Vessels:
The sheer size of these incredible ships is something to witness. Stretching nearly 1,200 FT, 215.5 FT wide, and weighing an astonishing 225,000 + tons these ships dwarf current cruise ships by almost 40,000 tons.
Cruising is no longer about shuttling passengers from one destination to another. Theses ships make you want to stay on board for the length of your journey. With 19 restaurants, three theaters, over 20 bars and lounges, Starbucks, a full size running track, spa, gym, multiple pools, a zip line, surf simulators, ice skating, and so much more why would you want to?
The Oasis of the Seas will continue to be significantly larger than all other cruise ships for the foreseeable future. Oasis, Allure, Harmony, and Symphony will be joined by two more sisters by 2025 so we will all have to impatiently wait for the industry-changing features those ships will bring!