We have just returned from our two day tour on Oasis of the Seas. Instead of a normal review, We thought we would share some secrets we discovered on this cruise. Honestly it is hard to give an honest review on what is essentially a preview, a shakedown cruise. With the various charge dining areas open for free and free drinks, it is hard to tell what flow patterns will be like. Offer something up free and THEY WILL COME!
Things go wrong, misses happen and it is unfair to judge how the ship will be in a revenue operating environment. There are some criticisms, but also we are just putting information out there for you to take away for yourself. Walking in from either gangway into the Royal Promenade is breathtaking. This is not just a stretched Voyager as with the Freedom class…this is a whole new experience.
Adam Goldstein commented that they had agents during these previews telling him “Why didn’t you TELL us?” This was after three years of teasing, blogging, commercialling, blogging and Facebooking. You can be told by everyone you know…but you don’t get it until you experience for yourself. BTW, he is serious when he plays ping pong.
For example, we were moved to crying like schoolgirls watching the woman from the Ukraine who during the transition in the ice show worked with a simple light box, sand and her hands and told a story from a book to a prince and princess to they lived happily ever after. It was THAT powerful, beautiful and moving. The ice show was the best we have seen on an RCI ship or on land.
Our observations come from attending a Q&A with management called “Common Ground” and A Technology seminar with the Captain Wright, Harri Kulovaara, the head of Medical, and Environmental. We did not take full notes so much of this from memory. The rest is observations we had in walking around the ship.
Our first secret happened when we ran into a business development manager just before we dropped our bags in our room. If you ever want to know which way is forward on the ship while in a stateroom corridor. Just take a look at the numbers on the stateroom. There is a little notch in the circles showing the stateroom number that points towards the bow.
The cabin numbering system is set up like this: Deck Number // Section of ship // stateroom number Just like there are seven neighborhoods, there are seven sections for the staterooms. Running down the port side the forward part is ONE, middle is TWO, aft is THREE. Down the starboard side, forward is FIVE, middle is SIX, aft is SEVEN. The middle section of staterooms in the forward part of the ship starts with FOUR.
For instance our stateroom, a D1 Oceanview balcony, was 11602. Deck 11, between the forward and aft lifts and stateroom #02. The door on some staterooms opens into the hallway. Don’t worry there is a “cutout” in the hallway so no one is going to run into a door that is opening.
Though the Aquatheatre shows are meant to be viewed from the chairs facing the pool, the public areas on the aft port and starboard towers above and below the Aquatheatre Suites are really great locations as well. They are located on Decks 7, 11 and 12.
Also the area behind the launch location for the Zip line on deck 15 is another great spot. Just know you may have to stand for the 22 minute show in either area.
If they could pump in the sound from the AQ show into the Windjammer buffet area, that would be another great place to watch the show.
The area above the bridge is accessed by going to Deck 14 forward on the port side. Laura worked on her crochet during one of the sessions and many people in the solarium asked “How do you get there?” Note: no water or bathrooms and it did get warm…but very peaceful. This is also right in front of the Adventure Ocean. You may have kids out there, but I was told by several members of the AO staff that this was opened to the public for more outdoor deck space.
There are very nice chairs on Deck 5 out of the path of the jogging track that can be turned around to overlook the wake.
They had waves of 80 feet during the crossing. The reason they know this is they had a wave radar position right at the tip of the bow looking straight down that they were using for purposes of passenger comfort. The last wave height recorded was 80 feet when a wave hit it and bent the radar out of position. During the crossing, there were people who were working on the Royal Promenade who went out on Deck 5 having no idea how bad the weather was.
The largest part of design of any ship is on areas that the public never sees. Figuring out the mechanicals from air conditioning, to water flows to level of lighting is a huge part of the project.
Oasis of the Seas is the first cruise ship to receive a Green Passport for its reduction in its carbon footprint. It is 40% less than ships built 10 years ago. The solar panels on the bridge and Loft Suites generate enough power to run the lighting on the Royal Promenade. During design and build, they thought ahead to 30-40-50 years to when Oasis would be decommissioned, sold and maybe even scrapped. They had every vendor be responsible to note the materials used in construction and now Royal Caribbean is responsible for keeping up with this information.
Thank Captain William Wright for the policy which did away with requiring you to wear your life jacket to your muster station where they can tell you ‘How to put on your life jacket!’ He is also responsible for that extra space in your stateroom closet because they are now stored in your muster station. If a guest would be more comfortable having them there, they can request them. Scanning your seapass card when you muster shows the captain real time at what percentage the muster station has been filled. They can find people who went to the wrong station, they can match kids with families with this system.
To be certified as seaworthy, they ran countless simulations on evacuations. They know how long it will take to have the lifeboats in the water with the ship clear. In these simulations, they were able to demonstrate as part of the certification process people who were not as mobile as others, people who went to the wrong muster station, people who froze in place. While people complain about the location of the lifeboats, that is primarly for your safety. Without having to wait to lower the lifeboats, they can load people straight from the deck in four access points. They hold 370 people including 16 crew each. They have the ability to have the center aisle clear to allow crew get from the back to the front.
The windows in the dining room of deck four do happen to have an obstructed view which includes the bottom hulls of the lifeboats.
The pool in the Aquatheatre is 40 feet wide, however there is a platform that can descend to the 18 foot depth but does not which creates two 20 foot deep pools for high diving. The reason for this is to serve as a break for waves that will develop in the pool when the ship moves. If it was 40 feet wide, there would be far more motion for the swimmers, divers and much more splashing out of the pool! That nugget came from Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard Fain himself. The flowriders push 35,000 gallons a minute. Imagine filling a swimming pool every minute.
There are several tables for two on deck four of the Main dining room.
They are highly aware of the design issue of the electric plugs as even the VP of Hotel Operations bumped her head plugging in a hairdryer.
That being said, one of my colleagues was in a HC accessible room and there were plenty of plugs available even next to the bed. One for plugging in her scooter and one for plugging in her CPAP machine. I dont have pictures of their room unfortunately.
You may not get the same views in the fitness center as on Freedom Class ships, but you still get a pretty nice view when working on the Treadmills.
Take the time to explore the artwork around the ship. Imagine watching Star Wars without any music on the soundtrack. These special finishing touches (including the lighting at night) around the ship absolutely make Oasis a world of imagination. Take time to stop taking pictures when you sail on her and take a look up and and look closer.
While you can Create your Pizza in Sorrentos, do not expect the fritatas and olives and cheese which were located to the front where you get drinks like on the Freedom Class ships. This was a nice snack that we both happen to miss.
A couple final secrets: Certain Central park View staterooms have have DOUBLE the balcony square footage as the mechanical space next to them does not go into the balcony area. I would not call certain staterooms Oceanview staterooms but more like helicopter pad view staterooms where someone on the pad could actually get pretty close to the window and look in if so included. When you are ready to book Oasis of the Seas, we will share those secrets and more!
We hope you have enjoyed our tour of some of the secrets that Oasis of the Seas revealed to Laura and I during our preview. Ask any questions and we will do the best I can to answer.
Chuck and Laura Flagg own The Flagg Agency in Canton, GA.
We are fee-based cruise consultants and our specialty is the selecting, planning, marketing and administering cruises for groups of all sizes.
We are experts in the art of matching a cruise experience to both our clients’ wants AND their needs.
Contact us because you have been imagining yourself on a cruise, and you want to have a cruise experience now.