The ship that redefined how big cruise ships can be, and how many attractions and amenities can be experienced on a cruise, has spent several weeks in dry-dock being brought up to date with her Oasis-class fleet mates. Here are some of the best changes made to Oasis of the Seas.
Oasis of the Seas has emerged from a major refit and refurbishment to bring the ship up-to-date with the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet in her tenth year of service. It is the largest project of its kind the industry has ever seen, and certainly the biggest refit Royal Caribbean has undertaken.
Oasis of the Seas was the largest cruise ship in the world when she was launched in 2009, and while she remains the class leader in the eponymous Oasis-class, she is now only the fourth-largest cruise ship in the world, with Allure of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and more recently Symphony of the Seas, having each claimed the title when they were launched.
Since 2009, Royal Caribbean has also introduced a whole new class of ship, the Quantum-class, led by Quantum of the Seas in 2014. The new Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships have all brought something new to the industry. Harmony introduced the Ultimate Abyss, while Quantum of the Seas introduced the hugely popular Music Hall venue (among other delights).
So it was time for Oasis of the Seas to be brought up to scratch. And Royal Caribbean have really delivered. Almost every part of the ship is being updated and enhanced, from her 22 acres of carpets to her more than 6,200 mattresses and thousands of other soft furnishings. Below is our run down of some of the biggest changes being made to the ship. For a full detailed report on all the changes, along with photos, check out the Royal Caribbean Blog.
New Ultimate Panoramic Suites
There will be 30 suites located above the Navigation Bridge that are actually one of the only features aboard Oasis of the Seas that are totally new to Royal Caribbean. Everything else is new to Oasis of the Seas, but taken from other ships in the line, notably the newer Oasis ships and the Quantum-class vessels.
While Royal Caribbean has described two of these suites, the Ultimate Panoramic Suites, as an all-new cabin class, they’re actually an enhanced version of the Panoramic Suites already available in the fleet. But the enhancement is intense. Two of these cabins will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views, as well as separate living rooms. For more, see our report here.
This is another new-to-the-line feature being introduced aboard Oasis of the Seas. Spotlight Karaoke occupies a prime spot on the Royal Promenade and is similar to Dubai’s very own Lucky Voice in that it features a main stage where anyone can belt out their safety song of choice, or hire one of the two private karaoke booths (for US $20 per person).
New teens and kids’ spaces
Oasis of the Seas’ kids club, Adventure Ocean, features one of the biggest overhauls on-board. Although the size of the space will remain the same, the entire room has been stripped back to its bare steel and rebuilt.
Sliding doors open up the spaces, enabling different age groups to mingle easier, and there are new stay and play options and more tech, such as tablets and touch-screens for interactive storytelling. The teens club has also been completely refurbished and renamed Social 298, it has a lot more technology including touch screens, and a new private terrace.
A new feature aboard Oasis of the Seas that’s bound to be loved by families and the young at heart is the Escape Room, which looks a bit like the control room in the Chernobyl series, but is actually a 1970s-style Mission Control with participants taking part in the launch of the fictional Apollo 18.
Characters flicker across a square green screen, images appear on the walls and there’s a constant hum of chatter and activity as you work to decode the mysteries of the lunar landing and get Apollo 18 to the moon safely by searching the command center for clues to solve complex puzzles.
Lime & Coconut
Royal Caribbean seems intent on making Lime & Coconut a fixture on the pool decks of all its larger ships. It can only really work on the bigger vessels because of the immense amount of space it takes up in the middle of the deck, across two levels, offering fantastic views.
There’s a bar on each of the levels, with cabanas on the third level or roof of the bar complex. The Caribbean-inspired bar offers a range of local cocktails and poolside-grub, as well as reggae tunes and an all-round super-relaxed vibe.
The Ultimate Abyss
This famous 10-deck set of slides was first featured aboard Harmony of the Seas and ever since then we’ve been wondering when it would be retrofitted aboard Oasis and Allure of the Seas. Lucky for us, the time has finally come.
Passengers can race each other down the twisting slides at hair-raising speeds, with various audio-visual affects thrown in to raise your heart-rate further as you plummet from the pool deck to the Boardwalk on the promenade far below. For more details, see our report here.
This two-deck space with an atrium wrapping around the stage and dancefloor first debuted aboard Quantum of the Seas and became a staple of that eponymous class of ship. Now, it has been introduced aboard Oasis of the Seas, occupying the space of Deck 7 and 8 where Dazzles Nightclub used to be. Music Hall hosts live bands and the hugely popular rock-a-oke, with a bar on each level to keep the bevvies flowing.
Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade
Some spaces, or bar/restaurant concepts aboard big cruise ships like Oasis of the Seas just never really work, for reasons that are nuanced and difficult to pin-point. Sabor Taqueria on the Boardwalk was one such place, making its replacement by Playmakers a great move by Royal Caribbean.
The drinks and casual pub grub venue debuted aboard Symphony of the Seas last year, but has proven so popular that we are likely to see it retrofitted aboard a lot more of the big Royal Caribbean ships. It features a games arcade as well as multiple TV screens showing sports events and is a lively addition to the Boardwalk.
These dueling water slides (named Supercell, Typhoon and Cyclone) hurtle down across several decks and a dozen feet out over the side of the mammoth ship, with clear Perspex in those sections where the height is most terrifying to see. The slides were first introduced aboard Harmony of the Seas and are found on several ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. They have been retrofitted aboard Oasis and Allure of the Seas, as well as Freedom of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas (during their upcoming refits).
It’s not new to Oasis of the Seas, but it’s received a thorough makeover. The children’s waterpark has received new water cannons, mini slides and giant buckets dumping water on children and their parents below. There’ll also be a Splash Pad for toddlers and a shallow wade-pool for younger children to play in.