One of the largest ships in the world, Oasis of the Seas makes an impression even before you board; the mega-ship looms above its counterparts. The this-can't-be-a-ship effect continues as you board; lined with shops like Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Starbucks -- and no outside windows -- the ship's Royal Promenade can feel like a hectic mall, rather than a cruise ship.
And yet, Oasis of the Seas has been enthusiastically embraced as one of Royal Caribbean's most beloved vessels. At 100 percent full (which it regularly is), Oasis sails with 5,400 passengers, but during the busiest seasons there can be nearly 6,500 people onboard. This despite the fact that Oasis of the Seas is one of the more expensive ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Its onboard attractions are so popular that up to a third of the passengers never even get off the ship in port.
So what makes Oasis of the Seas work so well for the families and active cruisers who love it? The secret is its neighborhoods, which carve the ship up into manageable pieces, keep bottlenecks to a minimum and provide a dizzying amount of activities.
The Boardwalk boasts two rock climbing walls, a carousel and the AquaTheater. The aft deck sports and activity neighborhood has two FlowRider surf simulators, a basketball court, a mini-golf course, a table tennis area, the teen club and a short zipline. Add in the sheer amount of shows, restaurants and bars, and you'll see that it's impossible to be bored on this ship.
Cruising on a ship this size comes with compromises. If you want to see all the shows and entertainment on offer, you must book online in advance, as the theaters are simply not big enough to hold everyone. Specialty dining reservations should be made in advance, too. If you don't like planning your cruise activities before you board or hate lines, Oasis is probably not a great choice compared to Royal Caribbean's more intimate ships.
That being said, Oasis of the Seas has plenty of spots that don't feel crowded. Stay on the ship during a port day, and be the only one in the very cool infinity hot tubs. Dine in one of the smaller specialty restaurants, read a book in Central Park, escape to the adults-only Solarium, get a pass to the Thermal Suite -- these are all ways to make your Oasis of the Seas trip feel like it belongs to you instead of the masses.
Included with your cruise fare:
- Four main dining rooms, the buffet and select other eateries
- All theater shows, the ice skating and AquaTheater shows, and the comedy club
- Use of the FlowRiders, rock climbing wall, zipline, water park, mini-golf and other outdoor activities
- Most daily activities unless noted below
- Use of the gym, but not most classes
- Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia or New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars
Not included with your cruise fare:
- Gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day or $17.50 per person, per day for those staying in suites)
- Automatic beverage and spa tips (18 percent for both)
- All drinks beyond water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet
- Specialty restaurants
- Spa treatments
- Shore excursions
- Activities such as arcade games, bingo and Pets at Sea
- Photos and artwork
Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas Dress Code
Daytime: Casual, with shorts and tees most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups on the pool deck.
Evening: Mostly casual, though shorts and tanks are not permissible in the main dining room at dinner. On formal nights, men are asked to wear long pants and collared shirts and women are expected to dress up a bit; suits, sport jackets and cocktail dresses are the norm (although there is a tux rental shop onboard). On formal nights, you can dine everywhere on the ship, except the main dining rooms and the Chef's Table, without dressing up.
Not permitted: Bare feet are not allowed at any time in any venue, and tank tops are not permitted in the main dining room or specialty dining venues for dinner. Shorts are discouraged at dinner.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.