Oasis of the seas – A world unto itself

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Oasis of the seas – A world unto itself

When Royal Caribbean International built the 16-deck ship at a cost of US$ 1.5 billion, they did not believe in half measures. The Oasis of the Seas is an embodiment of the big is beautiful philosophy. Weighing in at 220,000 tons (five times the tonnage of the Titanic) and a capacity to host 5,400-passenger, The Oasis retains the romance of the high seas, sailing into the blue yonder like an over-sized swan.

Indeed the ship is the embodiment of Royal Caribbean’s corporate motto: “Why Not? “ Hence, there are signs of excess everywhere on this nautical marvel – 25 restaurants and 37 bars, seven neighbourhoods, each with a different vibe. This includes a replica of New York’s Central Park with 93 different plant varieties, and a hanging garden of ferns and vines. The Vitality at Sea spa has 29 treatment rooms, anti-aging and relaxing therapies as well as wholesome dining options that beckon those with out-of-whack systems. The Fitness Centre, the largest at sea, and a jogging track, the longest on the ocean, are for those seafarers who want to limber up.

Getting bored on a cruise is a thing of the past. By way of entertainment, the ship has something to suit every mood and taste: a foot-tapping Broadway musical at the Opal Theatre; choreographed ice-skating at Studio B; late-night jazz at the Jazz on 4 lounge; stand-up comedy at Comedy Live; wooing Lady Luck at Casino Royale…

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The Pool and Sports Zone has a myriad choices for the perennially hyperactive – two FlowRider surf simulators, mini golf, basket ball, a climbing wall, a zip line nine storeys above the main deck, an ice rink, several pools including two whirlpools cantilevered over the ocean. All the facilities of a land-based resort are in place for the entertainment of the agenda-less and seekers of the good life. Should time hang heavy, there is a bagpiper, a psychic and even a tattoo parlour.

The Oasis prides itself on breaking the mould at every turn. The Boardwalk, for instance is lined with buzzing bars, pubs, candy store, donut shop, curios stores, high fashion boutiques, a hand-carved carousal… It even sports an Aqua Theatre where high divers perform amazing stunts for guests.

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Then there is the Royal Promenade (two football fields long) with crystal canopies that filter light down from Central Park. Kitted out with restaurants and cafes, the piece de resistance is the Rising Tide Bar that travels vertically and slowly between the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 and Central Park on Deck 8 even as guests sip their favourite cocktails.

Accommodation is another ground-breaking offering on the super-sized ship – no more cramped cabins with portholes belonging to a Jules Vernes era. There are 2,700 staterooms across 37 different categories. All are roomy and super comfy with flat-screen TVs and mini fridges plus views of the sea, Boardwalk, Royal Promenade, Central Park and other venues depending on their location.

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The Oasis hoopla also centres on the incredible dining options, each with its own independent galley, staff and production system. Stroll across to your favourite neighbourhood and sample different fare each day… from sushi to steaks, crepes, seafood and pasta. Apart from the swish main Opus Dining Room, one could opt for a bite at the Seafood Shack, Johnny Rockets, Giovanni’s Table, Park Cafe, Chops Grille, Solarium Bistro, The  Wipe Out Cafe, Cafe Promenade, Sorrento’s Pizzeria, Cafe Promenade, Izumi Asian Cuisine, Windjammer Marketplace … And, of course, 150 Central Park, a trendy and upscale restaurant with a tasting menu and customised wine pairing.

Often described as the United Nations of the Seas, The Oasis has a crew of 2,165 from 71 countries. In terms of size and power, the cruise ship is a reflection of the limitless immensity and might of the ocean.

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Gustasp & Jeroo Irani