Oasis of the Seas: The New Shape of Cruising

So, cruise ship patrons are tired of the same old stuff like flat screen TVs in the staterooms, specialty restaurants (that charge extra), rock climbing walls, outdoor theaters. 

What’s a cruise line to do??  Come up with something bigger and better of course!  Which is exactly what Royal Caribbean is planning to launch in December of 2009.  Their new ship, Oasis of the Seas, is described in an article written by Spud Hilton, for the San Francisco Chronicle:

Oasis of the Seas will be larger than any other passenger vessel on the planet: 220,000 gross registered tons and room for 5,400 passengers. (By comparison, 220,000 tons is about the same as the tonnage for the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 combined.)

This ship, however, will be on the other end of the spectrum, for good or bad: filled to the walls with distractions, diversions and a whole new set of seemingly land-based “wow” features from the same folks who equipped previous ships with boxing rings, skating rinks and surfing machines.

What’s new and, well, water-churning, is a ship shape that allows more passengers to connect with the outside. Designers took the interior Royal Promenade from earlier ships — a narrow, four-story corridor down the middle of the ship that is longer than a football field and creates the atmosphere of a city street — and took off the roof.

Oasis will have what can only be described as a 62-foot-wide slot canyon running 328 feet up the middle of the ship, with a main street and gardens at the bottom and high walls made of the inward-facing windows and balconies of more than 300 cabins. Unlike the inward-facing cabins on the old Royal Promenade, these will have sunlight and sea breeze and — because the slot canyon will continue out the stern of the ship — some small slice of an ocean view.

So, there you have it, the up and coming news of ship shapes to come! The Oasis will sail Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, so start planning next years vacation now!

2 thoughts on “Oasis of the Seas: The New Shape of Cruising”

  1. What it looks like is a space ship prototype–as do all the larger new cruise ships. They aren’t meant to explore the world, or even to transport people between point A and point B, they are encapsulated mini-environments intended to supplant the outside world, or at sea, the lack thereof. It sails between one exotic port and the next, yet it has no sense that it is a ship that sails, and wherever it goes, it stands out, a massive town that came to town, or became one if the island is still that remote.

    Sadly, while it’s fairly elegant in spots, like a Lexus compared to a Packard, it’s still not a beautiful space or object. It still looks like a mall with an airport Hyatt attached. Some people like this, a lot of people I suspect, because they don’t know anything else, their expectations are fairly low. I never thought I’d see the return of such massive ships, yet we’ve gone far beyond the simply massive, and now I’m surprise that I could care less, because they don’t look like ships, or anything that sails the sea. Spock, beam me outa here.

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