Oasis of the Seas is an amazing ship for many reasons.
She is the world’s biggest passenger ship at 225,000
gross tons - - although the crew of sister ship Allure of
the Seas claim that their ship is the largest albeit by
inches. She can also carry some 6,300 passengers,
which is thousands more than any previous ship.
While Oasis’ size is impressive, focusing on that factor
tends to obscure what is really interesting about this
ship. A cruise on Oasis is not a traditional cruise
experience. Rather, it combines elements of urban
living, land-based resorts, shopping malls, theater, and
ships to make something new. Yes, parts of this
experience are refinements on things Royal Caribbean
has done in the past but others are new and innovative.
Oasis offers passengers numerous choices in
entertainment, dining, shopping and activities.
Moreover, they are designed to be good options. Going
to a show in the AquaTheater is not just something to
do for those guests who could not get into the main
theater or the ice show. If a guest does not want to
change for dinner there are options besides the main
buffet and room service. Indeed, even guests looking
for a more health-conscious meal have a choice
between the Solarium Bistro and the Vitality Café.
As above, this is not a traditional cruise experience.
However, it does have some elements of a traditional
cruise. There are activities such as trivia quizzes where
guests can make new friends. The majority of the
space in the main restaurant is devoted to the traditional
cruise ship dining system. And one can still get ones
photo taken with the captain.
Oasis is not the Normandie but then she was not
intended to be a grand express liner. She does have
some grand spaces, however (e.g. the main dining
room). She also has an extensive collection of serious
contemporary art. She also has some elegant specialty
restaurants with gourmet cooking.
From a marine design standpoint, Royal Caribbean has
not just taken the design from earlier ships and made a
bigger one. Instead, it has developed a more efficient
hull and propulsion system for Oasis.
It should also be noted that the ship’s design was not
intended to create the maximum amount of revenue
producing space. The ship has a split superstructure - -
i.e., there is an open space running down the middle of
the ship with superstructure (mostly staterooms)
towering on either side. The same happens at the aft
end of the ship. If one had wanted to maximize the
revenue producing space, that open space could have
been filled in with staterooms, restaurants or other
revenue producers. However, RCI made the decision
that creating a pleasing space was better business than
piling on cabins etc.
Still, more than 6.000 passengers does sound
intimidating. However, RCI has designed the interior so
that there is good people flow throughout the ship.
Furthermore, they have made extensive use of
computers to manage the passenger flow. For example,
passengers are encouraged to make reservations as soon
as possible for the various shows that are performed
during the cruise. This can be done online before the
cruise, on the interactive television in the passenger’s
stateroom, or at a computerized box office. On the
night of the show, the crew have hand-held devices that
record who has come to the show and that also tell
them how many seats are left for walk-ins. It works
Thought has also been given to how to get so many
people on and off the ship during embarkation,
disembarkation and at the various ports of call. For
example, the doors in the ship’s hull through which
passengers enter and exit in the various ports are much
wider than on previous ships thus enabling more
passengers to pass through at the same time. Along the
same lines, special security facilities have been built at
each of the ports of call on the piers where Oasis docks
so that more passengers can go through at the same
time. As a result, things tend to move faster than on
Oasis of the Seas spent her first five years homeported
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, in 2014, she
ventured across the Atlantic for her legally-required five
year drydock. Royal Caribbean used this time to make
a number of changes to the ship. In addition, she did a
number of cruises in Europe demonstrating that an
Oasis class ship can successfully operate outside of the