Family Fun on Oasis of the Seas

Themed Boardwalk area below cabins
Themed Boardwalk area below cabins

Cruising on the Oasis of the Seas was like sailing in a sea of activities. There are three distinct neighborhoods to explore.

Its Central Park neighborhood on deck 8 is a collage of colorful plants and trees and is flanked by restaurants, bars and shops. The Boardwalk on deck 6 is outfitted with a carousel, ice cream parlor, donut shop, stores and restaurants while the Royal Promenade on deck 5, has a floating bar, restaurants, bars and retail stores. Located on the stern of the ship is the Aqua Theater pool featuring high-dive performances. There is simply no ship afloat that has as many activities and places to explore.

Currently the largest cruise ship in the Royal Caribbean line, the Oasis of the Seas, is also the largest cruise ship in the world with a passenger capacity of 6,296. It's also twice as wide as the Voyager and Freedom-class ships.

Founded in 1969, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has a fleet of 21 ships. Oasis of the Seas was completed in November, 2009. It will soon have a sister ship, Allure of the Seas.

H20 Zone pool area for children
H20 Zone pool area for children | Larger

Children's programs are plentiful making it especially appealing to families. There is the H20 zone with its giant octopus, slides, water-spraying creatures, wading pools, infant and toddler pool.

Royal Babies and Tots, a room containing a full-staffed nursery for infants and toddlers, six months or older is staffed and contains plenty of Fisher Price toys. Programs for children, ages 3 to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 11, as well as teens are available. The teen-only lounge called the Living Room has computers and other activities designed for this age group.

Teen lounge
Teen lounge | Larger

With 16 decks, the ship has several swimming pools and whirlpools, including an adults only pool in the Solarium.

Oasis of the Seas will make year round sailings from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to the Eastern and Western Caribbean visiting Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten on the Eastern sailing and Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico on the Western. Shore excursions are plentiful and include diving and snorkeling in the various ports.

On the Boardwalk
On the Boardwalk | Larger

Dining choices are many with nearly two dozen restaurants. Each themed area has restaurants. My husband and I enjoyed eating at the Solarium Bistro, with its vast array of healthy dining options and low calorie desserts. The Boardwalk has the Seafood Shack and Johnny Rockets, a 50's style diner. We enjoyed strolling along the Boardwalk.

Chops Grille on Central Park
Chops Grille on Central Park | Larger

Central Park has 150 Central Park, the most upscale restaurant on the ship which serves a tasting menu with wine pairings; Giovanni's Table, an Italian trattoria; Park Café, serving salads, sandwiches and pastries; Chops Grille, the line's signature steakhouse and Vintages, a wine bar serving tapas and cheeses.

Opus Dining Room
Opus Dining Room | Larger

The Royal Promenade has a make-your-own-pizza restaurant or pizza by the slice at Sorrento's Pizzeria; Monde Café, offering sandwiches, pastries and gourmet coffees and Café promenade featuring shakes, pastries and sandwiches. The three-floor Opus Dining Room with its elegant chandeliers and clothed tables serves international and American cuisine and fine wines.

For those who prefer a more casual atmosphere, there is the Windjammer Marketplace, a buffet eatery with various stations from Asian and American to deli and desserts. Or guests can order in their staterooms from the main dining room menu. The Opus dining room and the Windjammer have open seating. Specialty restaurants have an additional charge from $15 to $30 and require advance reservations. The cuisine is top notch and there is plenty of variety and children's menus are available at most of the restaurants.

Relaxation Room at the spa
Relaxation Room at the spa | Larger

A vast array of exercise equipment is available in the fitness center, along with yoga, pilates, kickboxing and Kinesis classes. A two level spa with a relaxation room, heated tile loungers, saunas and steam rooms including couples massage rooms are available featuring numerous treatments.

There are no shortage of bars on the ship. For wine lovers, there is Vintage, a wine bar with tapas selections. The Globe and Atlas Pub, a 128-seat haven for beer lovers and the 66-seat Champagne Bar offers many sparkling varieties of the bubbly substance. Most popular is Rising Tide, a floating bar on the Royal Promenade which rises and descends above a stream of colored fountains.

Floating Bar on Promenade Deck
Floating Bar on Promenade Deck

Blaze, the ship's nightclub is the disco spot and karaoke is an activity enjoyed at the On Air Club. For late night libations, Bolero's the Schooner Bar and Dazzles fit the bill.

The Opal Theater is the main entertainment venue, seating 2,161 on two decks. Three different shows are performed during each sailing. The shows in the main theater take place twice nightly but do not accommodate all of the passengers on board. Reservations must be made in advance. The best option is to reserve shows in advance of sailing in online to avoid not being able to get a seat for the time and show you want. The Comedy Club with its 120-seats is often full. Dazzling, talented figure skaters from around the world perform in Studio B, 775-seat ice-rink. Also entertaining is the dive show at the Aqua Theater. Nightly street parties also take place on the Royal Promenade in the evening.

A casino offers players many options with gaming tables and slot machines while those that enjoy reading, can check out the library. Onboard shops include: Coach, art gallery, photo shop, candy store, children's retail store, accessories, fine jewelry and logo gift shops.

Miniature Golf Course
Miniature Golf Course | Larger

Internet access is available throughout the ship. A miniature golf course, full-size basketball court and ping pong gaming room give sports enthusiasts plenty of activity along with the rock climbing wall. Kids enjoy riding the carousel. New, on the Oasis is a thrilling zip line ride which takes guests individually on a ride on a wire stretched across an open-air atrium suspended nine decks high above the Boardwalk.

Cabins range in size from 149 sq. ft. for the smallest interior stateroom to the Royal Loft Suite with a balcony at 1,524 sq. ft. The majority of the staterooms are of average size from at about 182 to 199 sq. ft. and have sliding glass doors and balconies.

Cabins that would be considered inside on other ships because they do not face the ocean are outfitted with sliding glass doors and balconies overlooking the Boardwalk or Central Park areas. These cabins are almost as expensive as the ocean view staterooms with balconies, but not as private because balconies face each other from opposite sides of the ship. This ship has many new categories including family staterooms that can accommodate up to six guests. There are also 28 (545 sq. ft.) loft suites that are two-deck staterooms with panoramic views.

Guests booked in the Grand Suite (371 sq. ft.) and higher categories enjoy access to the Concierge Club, offering guests personalized service, pre-dinner cocktail receptions, booking reservations and business services.

Standard guestroom features are: flat screen televisions, phones, safes, under-bed storage, desk and lighted mirror, hair dryers, sofa and ample closet space. All bathrooms have clear glass shower enclosures. Some of the suites have bathtubs.

There are plenty of activities to keep families entertained on the week long cruise. However, reservations should be made for shows, specialty restaurants and excursions in advance of sailing to avoid not being able to get the dinner or see a show because of a lack of space. Many excursions are also limited in size and likewise need to be booked in advance.


Go to the Royal Caribbean website.