Oasis of the Seas is the first of the Oasis Class (formerly the Genesis Class or Project Genesis) luxury cruise ships in the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) fleet. The ship was ordered in February 2006 and the keel was laid in December 2007. It entered service in December 2009.
The ship design began in 2004-05 and included a number of designers and architects such as Atkins Global, NB&D, RTKL, Waterfield Design Group and Wilson Butler Architects.
The ship was built at STX Europe, Turku, Finland and was followed by its sister vessel Allure of the Seas, which entered service in November 2010.
RCI took delivery of Oasis of the Seas from STX Europe in October 2009 in Turku. The official naming ceremony for Oasis of the Seas took place in November 2009. In December 2009, a four-night launch celebration began before leaving Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Finnish Export Credit, a unit of Finnvera, financed 40% of the ship’s cost, while BNP Paribas, Nordea Bank and SEB financed 20% each.
In May 2019, Oasis of the Seas underwent a $165m modernisation to include a Caribbean-inspired pool deck, kids aquapark, signature bar and a water slide, as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernisation effort.
Royal Caribbean ordered the third Oasis-class cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, in December 2012. This new vessel was built at STX France’s St. Nazaire shipyard at a cost of $1.3bn. The steel cutting for the vessel was held in September 2013 and it became the world’s largest cruise ship when it was delivered in May 2016.
Design and features of the cruise ship
The cruise ship has an overall length of 1,187ft (361.7m), a width of 215ft (65.5m) and a draught of 30ft (9m).
Built at a cost of $1.24bn, the 18-deck ship is one of the largest cruise ships afloat, with 226,838gt and a double occupancy capacity of 5,602 passengers in 2,801 staterooms.
The ship features 16 decks for guests and 24 guest elevators. Aside from the normal range of bars and restaurants, the ship has several facilities that are unique on a cruise ship.
Features include a full-size carousel (27 figures), a zip-line cable (nine decks high), Central Park and the AquaTheatre amphitheatre (the largest freshwater pool on any cruise ship), as well as the Rising Tide bar, which moves up and down three decks in Central Park.
The luxury cruise liner is divided into seven neighbourhoods with different themes, including Central Park, Boardwalk (reminiscent of a seaside pier) and the Royal Promenade.
Open-air Central Park ‘neighbourhood’ onboard the cruise
The open-air Central Park occupies the centre of the ship and forms a unique public gathering place, including pathways, flower gardens and a canopy of trees. It features more than 20,000 real plants and rock-climbing walls.
The central piazza is a multipurpose space for alfresco dining, entertainment, concerts and street performances. The Central Park neighbourhood is lined with 334 staterooms (254 with balconies) rising five decks high and offering views of the park. The park also hosts two glass-arched domes called the Crystal Canopies, which provide natural light for the inside decks of the ship. Central Park has a range of boutique shops, a chess garden, a pergola garden and a sculpture garden.
AquaTheatre freshwater pool
The AquaTheatre is an outdoor venue at the stern of the ship near the Boardwalk neighbourhood. The amphitheatre space offers a kidney-shaped pool (swimming and scuba diving) and sun loungers on tiered platforms.
At night, the pool can be used for performances such as acrobatics, synchronised swimming, water ballet, high-diving and fountain shows. The AquaTheatre pool has a dimension of 21.9ft x 51.6ft with a depth of 17.9ft.
There are three-stage machinery devices to raise or lower its depth for different usages and three lifts for multilevel performances. Underwater cameras can film performances and project the images on two giant Barco LED screens around the stage.
There are also two diving towers, two springboards, two ten-metre-high dive platforms and a trampoline between the dive towers.
A trapeze is built on the rear side of the high dive boards. Trapeze artists seem to climb the curtain of water. After modernisation, Aqua80 was added to the AquaTheatre, which features extreme athletes and divers performing various feats. Additionally, Ultimate Abyss, a ten-storey tall water slide at the top deck that was the highest water slide at sea, was introduced in the ship.
Accommodation options on the Oasis
The ship has a wide range of accommodation options, including suites, family suites and staterooms. However, a new concept introduced on Oasis is the loft suite. There are 25 of these two-level accommodation spaces (crown lofts) with private balconies and floor space of approximately 51m² (545ft²).
The lofts feature 52-inch LCD televisions, two bathrooms, fog-free mirrors and limestone tiles.
The Royal Suite class offers three categories of loft suites. Guests can opt between Sea, Sky and Star class bookings for the Royal Suite class. The bookings provide special services and amenities ranging from dedicated check-in, exclusive lounge and club access to concierge services.
The Royal Loft Suite (1,524ft²) can accommodate six people and has its own baby grand piano, inside and outside the dining room, private wet bar, whirlpool, library and an 843ft² (78.3m²) balcony.
The two corner Sky Loft Suites are larger than the standard ones, giving up to 770ft² of floor space, a separate dining room and a spacious balcony.
Two accessible crown lofts are also available, which are slightly larger than the standard ones and with better access for disabled passengers. Royal, Grand and Owner’s suites are also available in the Royal Suite class.
Guests can also choose from a wide variety of luxurious staterooms categorised into Interior, Ocean view, Balcony and Virtual Balcony staterooms.
The cruise’s dining and entertainment facilities
The cruise ship offers several complimentary and speciality dining options such as Boardwalk Dog House, Cafe Promenade, El Loco Fresh, Solarium Bistro, Windjammer, Coastal Kitchen, GioVanni’s Table, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, Starbucks, Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, El Loco Fresh and Sugar Beach. Royal Caribbean International’s first barbeque restaurant, Portside BBQ was also introduced on the ship.
The Central Park neighbourhood is home to a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and bars. The restaurants include 150 Central Park, the Central Park Café (picnic lunches), Antonio’s Table (Italian restaurant), Vintages wine bar, Chops Grille steakhouse, the Canopy Bar and Rising Tide bar.
The entertainment facilities aboard include One Sky, Spotlight Karaoke, Music Hall and family adventures such as All-new Adventure Ocean, Social298 teens lounge with gaming consoles, Glow-in-the-dark laser tag and Royal Escape Room with a replica of the original Apollo Mission Control room which was used to launch Apollo 18.
The ship also features the Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, The Lime & Coconut signature bar, the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides and the Ultimate Abyss for guest entertainment.
The Oasis engine and propulsion systems
The ship is powered by eight Wartsila V12 diesel engines, which generate 7,500hp each and four bow thrusters. The main propulsion system consists of three 20MW azimuthing Asea Brown Boveri Azipods to give the ship a cruising speed of 22kt.