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Oasis of the Seas

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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 eateries, shops selling designer goods and logowear, and Starbucks -- and no outside windows -- the ship's Royal Promenade can feel like a 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, even more than a decade after its launch. A

t double occupancy, Oasis sails with 5,606 passengers, but during the busiest seasons, there can be nearly 6,700 people onboard. Its onboard attractions are so popular that up to one-third of the passengers never even leave the ship in port. So what makes Oasis of the Seas a hit for the families and active cruisers who love it? The secret is not only in the ship's neighbourhoods -- which divide the vessel into manageable pieces, keep bottlenecks to a minimum and provide a dizzying amount of activities -- but also in Royal Caribbean's ability to evolve Oasis over time, sinking $165 million into the ship in 2019 as part of its Royal Amplification initiative to revitalize older ships. The Boardwalk boasts two rock climbing walls, a carousel, the AquaTheater, the Ultimate Abyss dry slide and the impressive Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade. The aft deck Pool and Sports Zone has the Perfect storm trio of other water slides, a kids splash park, two FlowRider surf simulators, a basketball court, a mini-golf course, a table tennis area, a 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 theatres are simply not big enough to hold everyone. Speciality 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.

Daytime: Casual, with shorts and tees most common inside the ship and bathing suits and cover-ups on the pool deck.

Evening: On sailings of fewer than seven nights, dress remains casual, though shorts and tanks are not permissible in the main dining room at dinner. On optional formal nights -- now called "smart casual" -- 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, but there is a tux rental shop onboard.

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 speciality dining venues for dinner. Shorts are discouraged at dinner. 

Theatre

The bulk of Oasis of the Seas' live entertainment takes place in the Entertainment Zone on Deck 4. Keep in mind that none of the ship's venues can accommodate everyone who wants to see a show; if your heart is set on not missing out, you'll have to book before you get onboard. If you didn't plan ahead, try to make reservations with Guest Services, either in person or over the phone, or show up at the venue at least 15 minutes before showtime to see if you can get in. Comedy-lovers will also want to book shows, as it's one of the first venues to fill up in advance. The ship's main theatre features a variety of evening entertainment, including an abridged version of Broadway show "Cats" and original show "One Sky." The latter aims to show that we're all one family, regardless of our differences, but despite the happy message, the show itself is an odd combo of "Rock of Ages" grunge music, unsynchronized dancing and mediocre aerial acrobatics. Absolutely do not miss the AquaTheater. The 30-minute shows feature a team of Olympic-caliber divers, gymnasts and synchronized swimmers who splash down into the deepest diving pool at sea in a routine set to music. The newest show is Aqua80, which sets all of these feats to music from the 1980s.

Daily Fun Oasis of the Seas is on high adrenaline constantly; it's a ship where you can begin your day with exercise classes at dawn and boogie down until way past midnight. This is the cruise to book if you have people in your party who fear downtime, as there is almost always something to see or do. For shops and bars, head to the Royal Promenade, or for a lovely respite from the buoyant energy that otherwise permeates Oasis of the Seas, check out Central Park, with its 12,175 plants and 56 trees. Central Park is open to the sky and, interestingly, through the use of wind-controlling technology, there's a lovely breeze blowing through the area. Restaurants are quieter there, and passengers will find lots of peaceful nooks for simply curling up with a good book. Cruisers interested in more social pursuits can check out a rotating schedule of trivia, pub games, ice skating, dance classes, art auctions and other activities. At various times, the ship's ice rink is converted into a laser tag arena, and anyone looking for a way to exercise the mind can sign up for "Mission Control: Apollo 18," Oasis' onboard escape room, in which passengers solve puzzles from inside a room that's a replica of mission control.

At Night At night, in addition to a plethora of theatre shows, entertainment options include always-booked comedy acts in Blaze, slot machines and table games in the active and expansive Casino Royale, live music and dancing in a number of bars that are open until late, impressive ice-skating performances and game shows in Studio B and standing-room-only singalongs in the Royal Promenade's intimate Spotlight Karaoke.

 


Oasis of the Seas Bars and Lounges

Bars are hopping on Oasis of the Seas, and the ship does a brisk business in drink packages. Bar highlights include:

Blaze (Deck 4): Blaze serves as the ship's club and comedy venue, which focuses on hip-hop and modern dance music, and it's frequently packed with people prepped to par-tay.

Jazz on 4 (Deck 4): This jazz club is a must for live music fans. Despite a prominent position in the ship's Entertainment Zone, the club is usually not crowded, and it's a nice place to listen to music without feeling too overwhelmed.

Diamond Club (Deck 4): The lounge for those "loyal to Royal" is a two-story area on Deck 11 that comes with a view of the Boardwalk. Members can come in for complimentary daily snacks and drinks from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Spotlight Karaoke (Deck 5): Release your inner rock star at this fun bar for karaoke. Choose the main stage if you’re brave or book a private room. Other musical events, like Name that Tune and other musical trivia, are also held here.  

Bionic Bar (Deck 5): This quirky watering hole is manned by two robotic arms that take orders via tablets. Passengers choose their alcohol, mixers, ice and garnishes, as well as how many parts of each, and then watch as the arms craft the concoctions using dozens of bottles of spirits suspended from the ceiling. It's not always perfect, and sometimes there are spills, but a human crew member is always nearby to assist. To claim your drink, simply scan your card at the counter, and your drink will slide over to you. The Bionic Bar is a place you'll visit more for the social media-worthiness than for the drinks themselves.

Boleros (Deck 5): Live Latin music and a location in the heart of the ship mean that this club feels energetic, crowded and fun. Since Oasis draws many international passengers who love to dance, be prepared to be impressed by fancy footwork.

Rising Tide Bar (Deck 5): Sure, it's a gimmick, but who cares? It's fun. Patrons board this hydraulic space on Deck 5 in the busy Royal Promenade to drink and socialize as the platform slowly rises to Deck 8's Central Park and back down again. Do it once for the novelty.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade (Deck 6): This expansive sports bar runs a significant length of the Boardwalk's port side and features a two-room setup with seating, tabletop games like Jenga and foosball, and plenty of TVs so you won't miss the big game. One room is home to a bar with an impressive number of beers and cocktails, while the other offers classic arcade games like Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man

Schooner Bar (Deck 6): Tucked up in a corner of the Royal Promenade, the Schooner Bar does double duty. During the day, it's home to numerous trivia contests. At night, it's a piano bar, where passengers indulge in classic cocktails while singing along.

Music Hall (Decks 8 and 9): This two-story nightclub hosts live cover bands. Dancing usually ends around midnight or 1 a.m.

Lime & Coconut (Decks 15 and 16): Replacing the ship's former Pool Bar and Sand Bar on Deck 15 and the Sky Bar and Mast Bar on Deck 16, Lime & Coconut is a cluster of four nearly identical bars that span two decks. Because of their central location near the main pool and sun deck areas, they're perfect for fruity alfresco drinks surrounded by colourful and comfy seating. Sadly, only one of the four was open after dinner when we went to check it out, and it was on the port side of the ship, which allows smoking, making the experience difficult to enjoy.

 

Oasis of the Seas Outside Recreation

Pools

Oasis of the Seas has 10 hot tubs and three main pools -- the Main Pool, Sports Pool and Beach Pool -- as well as a covered Solarium Pool, which is restricted to passengers older than 16. All four of these are found on Deck 15. Because it's divided in two by the Boardwalk and Central Park neighbourhoods, the top deck pools and outdoor spaces on Oasis of the Seas can seem too cramped in some areas compared to other mega-ships. Shade, in particular, is at a premium. Go early, and target The Beach pool. It's saltwater and the only one with umbrellas. It also offers a gentle "zero-entry" slope that allows swimmers to wade into the water. The Sports Pool is great for more active water babies, as it features lap swimming and in-pool team sports like basketball and water polo. Sun-lovers should seek out the lounge chairs around the pools and the Deck 15 Skywalk that runs between them. Deck 14 also has an extensive sun deck, complete with two observation platforms that stick out over the ocean. Suite passengers have their own keycard-accessible sun deck on Deck 17. The adults-only Solarium complex has been expanded outdoors but still offers a covered pool. Like the rest of the ship, the Solarium can be crowded on sea days, but overall, we found it more pleasant than the main pool areas. Cruisers looking for a side of thrills with their pool deck experience can check out the Perfect Storm trio of water slides, and families will enjoy Splashaway Bay, a water play area that features dump buckets and water sprayers. We saw a steady stream of kids frequenting these areas.

Recreation

Oasis of the Seas has lots of fun features to entice kids of all ages, but you'll want to watch out for age, height and weight requirements to avoid disappointment. Also, make sure you bring the right gear. (Socks are required for rock climbing, for example, and closed-toe shoes are necessary for ziplining.) One-on-one instruction is free, by appointment, for rock climbing but not for surfing. That's available for a fee. Prep your kids (and yourself) for wipeouts on the FlowRider; this is not the place to wear your skimpy bikini. You'll have to sign a waiver to take to the waves, and if you want to surf, you'll be required to "bodyboard" for a minimum of five seconds before you'll be allowed to try it standing up. For kids who aren't old enough to do the more challenging activities, there's always basketball on the sports court, mini-golf and table tennis. The Boardwalk, too, with its Coney Island vibe and merry-go-round music, is a charming alternative for young ones. You don't have to have a child in tow to ride the carousel, however. It's free, fun and has plenty of cool painted horses and animals to delight the young and young at heart. To get quickly from Deck 15 to the Boardwalk, try the Ultimate Abyss, Oasis' 10-deck twin dry slides, which spiral down to Deck 6, facing the carousel. The enclosed slide is a bit dark on the inside, but it's accented with colourful lights that will make it a bit less scary for younger riders. Smoking is permitted in select areas throughout the vessel, including the casino and certain outdoor decks on the port side of the ship. It is not allowed on cabin balconies.

 


Oasis of the Seas Services

Guest Services -- where passengers can go to make reservations, check their onboard bills and ask general questions -- is found on Deck 5 in the Royal Promenade, as are several shops selling everything from toiletries, logowear and duty-free alcohol and cigarettes to designer jewellery and handbags. Deck 6, where cruisers will find the photo gallery and camera shop, is also where they can go to book shore excursions or their next cruise. More shops and the Central Park Library are located in Deck 8's Central Park neighbourhood. Art lovers can check out the art gallery on Deck 4, and ATMs are located on Deck 5, but fees are high. Other services include the Padi Dive Shop on Deck 15, a two-story card room with games on Decks 11 and 12, a medical centre on Deck 2 and a conference centre on Deck 3. The ship does not have an internet cafe or self-service laundry facilities; clothes can be sent out to be laundered or dry-cleaned and/or pressed for a fee.

Spa

At first blush, the two-story Vitality Spa & Fitness neighbourhood on Decks 6 and 7 seems to have it all. There's a cafe with healthy snacks and smoothies, an Elemis product bar, a beauty salon, teeth whitening clinic, acupuncture, a medi-spa and a for-fee thermal suite with sauna/steam facilities and heated ceramic loungers -- all near the gym. And yet, the experience is severely lacking. When you check-in for a spa treatment, for example, you are sent downstairs to a windowless Relaxation Room in your street clothes and brought in for your treatment without being offered a robe, slippers or other spa amenities. (There's nary a lemon in your ice water to be seen, let alone natural light.) Spa treatments themselves include a variety of facials, massages and body wraps. A 50-minute Swedish massage, for example, costs $129 regularly or $116 on a port-day morning.

Fitness

The gym on Oasis of the Seas is cavernous and has been updated with the latest Life Fitness equipment, including row after row of ellipticals, treadmills and bikes (including a separate room full of them for spin classes), as well as a couple of steppers and rowers. The space has windows and lockers (but no locker room) and features a variety of weight machines, free weights, exercise balls, foam rollers and yoga mats. Complimentary fitness classes include stretch, total body conditioning and abs; indoor cycling classes cost extra, as does yoga on the helipad. The jogging track on Deck 5 is covered. Inspirational messages urge walkers and runners to keep going. Once around the track is two-thirds of a kilometre; go 2.4 laps to make a mile. However, the ship is so large that just walking from place to place will ensure most pedometer users meet their step goals.

Oasis of the seas boasts nearly two dozen free and added-fee dining options, representing American, Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisines, as well as multiple free daytime snack options. Vegetarian, gluten-free, low-calorie and lactose-free options are always available in the main dining rooms. Oasis of the Seas is one ship where you will want to allocate some money for speciality dining, as the quality of the complimentary restaurants, especially in the main dining rooms and buffet, is not particularly good. We received mealy shrimp, chicken Marsala without sauce and perhaps the strangest looking preparation of escargot we've had. Foodies will want to look elsewhere on the ship to eat. In terms of crowds, the buffet and main dining rooms can get overwhelmed at peak times, particularly on smart-casual nights and for My Time Dining (where you can enter the dining room any time you'd like between set hours). Interactive Wayfinder signage around the ship tells you which venues have the most room.

 

Free Dining

Main Dining Room (Decks 3, 4 and 5)

Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D): Oasis of the Seas has a sprawling main dining room, which spans three decks. Dinners are served as three courses. Menu items range from French to American to Italian. Meat-lovers can also indulge in premium cuts from the Chops steakhouse for $16.95; add a lobster tail for $34.95. Desserts range from sweets and fruit to ice cream and sorbets. All restaurants are fairly noisy, with friendly wait staff who frequently parade and sing.

Coastal Kitchen (Deck 17)

Meals: B, L, D: Royal Caribbean's dedicated restaurant for suite passengers is spectacular, with several-story windows providing incredible views. Breakfast is similar to the main dining rooms, while lunch items are a bit lighter. Two Mediterranean-inspired menus are available for dinner, which is by reservation only between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Windjammer Marketplace (Deck 16)

:Meals: B, L, D The ship's buffet is perhaps the one place onboard where you really feel that you're sailing with 6,000 people. At breakfast and lunch on sea days, the area is hectic, with lines at popular stations and very few places to sit. It's much more manageable when the ship is in port. Breakfast has typical options, as well as selections for international travellers and an entire gluten-free station. Lunch has cold selections; burgers, fries and hot entrees; and a selection of cakes and desserts. Windjammer becomes calmer at dinner, with a range of American and some international entrees.

Park Cafe (Deck 8)

Meals: B, L, D:  Park Cafe wins accolades for its signature roast beef sandwiches and salads. It's a nice alternative to Windjammer in the mornings.

El Loco Fresh (Deck 15)

Meals: L, D: El Loco Fresh is a complimentary open-air counter-service Mexican eatery on the starboard side of Deck 15. There, passengers will find chicken and beef burritos, chicken and cheese quesadillas, rice, beans and tortilla chips -- all kept under heat lamps. A nearby salsa bar provides salsa, guacamole, sour cream and other toppings and condiments.

Sorrento's (Deck 5)

Meals: Open 24/7: Sorrento's serves several types of slices daily and gives you the option to create your own. Unfortunately, the result is chewy and uninspiring.

Boardwalk Dog House (Deck 6)

Meals: L, D: The Boardwalk Dog House serves -- what else? -- sausages of various types (chicken, all beef, bratwurst) with toppings and potato salad.

Cafe Promenade (Deck 5)

Meals: Open 24/7: Cafe Promenade has speciality coffee drinks for a fee, as well as the regular stuff for free. Free pastries, sandwiches and sweets are available at breakfast and throughout the day; the ham and cheese croissants are good for a nosh.

Solarium Bistro (Deck 15)

Meals: B, L, D: On the lower floor of the two-story space set aside for those older than 16, the Solarium Bistro provides complimentary healthy cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A dessert buffet features low-fat and no-sugar offerings.

Vitality Spa Cafe (Deck 6)

Meals: Juice Bar Essentially a juice counter located inside the spa, this cafe attracts health-conscious passengers with free low-fat pastries and yoghurt parfaits, as well as green and fruit smoothies (which cost extra).

Room Service

Meals: B, L, D: Free Continental breakfast items can be ordered via menus that passengers fill out the night before and hang outside their cabin doors. A 24/7 menu with an expanded list of hot and cold items is available for a fee.

 


 Fee Dining

*Pricing was accurate at time of review, but may have changed since.*

Portside BBQ (Deck 15); $7.99

Meals: L, D Portside BBQ, Royal Caribbean's first barbecue restaurant, serves up an entree, two sides and dessert for a flat per-person fee on the port side of Deck 15, near the ship's zipline and miniature golf course. Mains include a turkey leg, chicken wings or a choice of a turkey, pulled pork or brisket sandwich. Sides like mac 'n' cheese, fries or coleslaw round out the meal, and you'll want to grab a couple of "bookies" for dessert. This is, hands down, the best barbecue we've ever had at sea.

Starbucks (Deck 5); a la carte

Meals: Snacks Royal Caribbean's at-sea Starbucks outlet; note that Starbucks-branded drinks are not included in any drink packages.

Sugar Beach (Deck 6); a la carte

Meals: Snacks This candy store, found along the Boardwalk, offers prepackaged sweets and candy by the pound, as well as ice cream. A walk-up window allows cruisers to order scoops even when the main venue is closed.

Johnny Rockets (Deck 6); $9.95, plus a la carte drinks and shakes

Meals: B, L, D This suburban staple serves up burgers, fries and shakes in the heart of the Boardwalk. Lunch and dinner at Johnny Rockets costs extra, but it's free in the morning for breakfast sandwiches and other morning standards.

Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade (Deck 6); a la carte

Meals: L, D The menu at Playmakers centers on bar-style food like burgers, nachos, wings, potato skins and pulled pork sliders, but there are a few surprises that include a Caesar salad. If you don't want to watch the big game while you eat, the bar's location on the Boardwalk offers plenty of people-watching as an alternative.

Vintages (Deck 8); a la carte, $3 to $10

Meals: L, D In terms of its decor and menu, this Central Park wine bar is a pleasant place for oenophiles. Despite this, the space seemed underused, and the wine tastings were pricy at $40, even for serious sippers. At lunch and dinnertime, tapas are available, or sometimes the bar puts out an all-you-can-eat buffet for a flat fee.

Chops Grille (Deck 8); $21.99 lunch (adults), $10 (kids 6-12); $49.99 dinner

Meals: L (sea days only), D Royal Caribbean's signature steakhouse is the most popular specialty restaurant on Oasis and one of the few places you can get lobster. Reservations are highly recommended. The set price at Chops includes two appetizers, one entree (although you can order another for an extra charge), sides for sharing and multiple desserts if you're still hungry. Extra-fee choices include 16-ounce dry-aged strip steaks and 20-ounce porterhouse. The server also brought out a monster Tomahawk chop that could have fed the entire table.

Izumi (Deck 4); a la carte for sushi; $49.99 for pan-Asian; $45 for hibachi

Meals: L, D You've got three choices at Izumi: hibachi, complete with knife-juggling chefs and your food cooked on the grill in front of you; pan-Asian, with a variety of dishes to choose from; or the sushi bar, where the fish is good quality, and you can order rolls, sashimi, seaweed salad and other favorites like gyoza dumplings.

Giovanni's Table (Deck 8); $19 lunch, $39.99 dinner

Meals: L, D This Italian trattoria, offers quality food and no upselling. The set price at Giovanni's includes family-style appetizers and entrees. Pasta dishes come as a side or entree. A dessert cart comes around at the end; if you're too full, take the tiramisu to go for a late-night snack.

150 Central Park (Deck 8); $49.99

*Meals: D The most upscale specialty restaurant on Oasis of the Seas has a six-course dinner menu developed by Michael Schwartz, with wine pairings available for an extra $75. On a seven-night cruise, the 150 Central Park menu changes twice. The restaurant will substitute a course if you don't like an ingredient or have dietary restrictions.

Chef's Table (Deck 17); $94.99

*Meals: D This special six-course dinner, complete with wine pairings and limited to just 14 diners, is held twice per cruise. Participants meet in the Champagne Bar for a drink first and then head to a special table set up in the Suite Lounge. You'll receive a copy of your menu to take home. We recommend Chef's Table over 150 Central Park for wine-lovers, as we found the pairings there to be a better value. Keep in mind that Chef's Table forces you to be social, while 150 Central Park has tables for couples and groups. The Chef's Table can also last a long time, up to three or four hours. Reservations are essential.

Oasis of the Seas features a breathtaking array of cabins, for all configurations of people travelling together at multiple price points, with many rooms accommodating up to six passengers. Start by asking yourself what's important to you. Like to be in the middle of things? Choose a cabin overlooking the Boardwalk or the Promenade. Want to be treated like royalty? The suite experience on Oasis of the Seas comes with a multitude of perks -- including Royal Genie butlers -- and a dedicated restaurant, making it one of the best suite offerings at sea. Keep in mind that even the most desirable suites and cabins aren't necessarily private. Many of the Crown Loft Suites directly overlook one of the busiest outdoor spots onboard -- the basketball court and FlowRider areas -- so passengers there can see onto the Crown Loft balconies. Rock climbers pass right by the balconies of the AquaTheater suites. People in Central Park and Boardwalk cabins can see into the rooms across the way.

All standard cabins have two twin beds that convert to a queen, small sitting areas and interactive flat-screen TVs. Outlets are U.S.-style, situated under the vanities (not particularly close to the beds). Even interior cabins have enough shelves and hanger space, although in some cabins it's

Oasis of the Seas features a breathtaking array of cabins, for all configurations of people travelling together at multiple price points, with many rooms accommodating up to six passengers. Start by asking yourself what's important to you. Like to be in the middle of things? Choose a cabin overlooking the Boardwalk or the Promenade. Want to be treated like royalty? The suite experience on Oasis of the Seas comes with a multitude of perks -- including Royal Genie butlers -- and a dedicated restaurant, making it one of the best suite offerings at sea. Keep in mind that even the most desirable suites and cabins aren't necessarily private. Many of the Crown Loft Suites directly overlook one of the busiest outdoor spots onboard -- the basketball court and FlowRider areas -- so passengers there can see onto the Crown Loft balconies. Rock climbers pass right by the balconies of the AquaTheater suites. People in Central Park and Boardwalk cabins can see into the rooms across the way.

All standard cabins have two twin beds that convert to a queen, small sitting areas and interactive flat-screen TVs. Outlets are U.S.-style, situated under the vanities (not particularly close to the beds). Even interior cabins have enough shelves and hanger space, although in some cabins it's a tight squeeze between the bed and the closet. Suitcases fit under the beds. Bathrooms feature glass showers with shampoo dispensers and foot rests for leg shaving; there is no conditioner or lotion, so bring your own. Hair dryers are provided.

Interior: The majority of Oasis' inside cabins are 172 square feet, which feels spacious enough, but there are also smaller interior cabins with just 150 square feet of space. The Promenade-facing interiors are bigger, at 193 square feet, and have large bay windows overlooking the indoor thoroughfare. Accessible interior cabins are larger.

Ocean View: Windowed cabins vary in size. The largest, aside from accessible ocean views, are those that overlook Central Park at 194 square feet. Cabins with windows overlooking the Boardwalk are 187 square feet, while those with ocean views are 174 square feet.

Balcony: Standard balcony cabins in every category -- Central Park, Boardwalk, traditional ocean views -- are typically 182 square feet each, with 47- to 53-square-foot verandas. Regardless of size, each outdoor space is furnished with a table and pair of chairs made of metal and mesh. Accessible balcony rooms are larger.

Mini-Suite: Junior Suites are 287 square feet; the additional space in each is taken up by a sitting area with a table and sofa, while bathrooms have tubs, along with showers. These rooms come with 78-square-foot balconies. Accessible Junior Suites are larger both inside and in terms of balcony size. Junior Suites are designated Sea Class, and passengers in family-connected Junior Suites, Family Junior Suites and Junior Suites receive perks, such as speciality bottled water; Hermes, Ferragamo and L'Occitane bath products; and pillow-top mattresses.

Suites: There are several suite categories (not including Junior Suites), all of which have access to the Suite Lounge and Coastal Kitchen restaurant. In addition to a concierge, suite passengers receive a number of perks, including a nightly cocktail "hour" with free drinks from 5 to 8:30 p.m.; priority check-in; reserved prime seating in the main theatre; access to full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for in-cabin dining; luxury bathrobes and complimentary pressing for formal nights; access to a private sun deck with loungers and cabanas; and an exclusive reception with senior officers. Suite-class passengers in AquaTheater, Crown Loft, Owner's, Royal Family and Grand suites are considered Sky Class. Benefits include premium bath products, pillow-top mattresses, free spa thermal room access, free high-speed internet, speciality bottled water and in-suite dining options, among other perks. The Star Class includes the most comprehensive collection of benefits: all of the above, as well as 24/7 Royal Genie service. Royal Genies help passengers with restaurant and show reservations, in-room dining requests, laundry, pressing, luggage handling and unpacking. Royal Genies also can assist with creating and reserving customized shore excursions. Additionally, Star Class passengers receive a free fitness class, free in-suite movies, free mini-bar, daily gratuities included, access to speciality restaurants for free and a gratis Ultimate Beverage package. Star Class is reserved for passengers in the two-deck Royal Loft, Owner's Loft, Grand Loft, Sky Loft and Two-Bedroom AquaTheater suites.

Grand Suites: At 371 square feet, with 114-square-foot balconies, these are the smallest suites onboard. They feature large bathrooms with tubs and two sinks, and a living area with tables and sofas.

AquaTheater Suites: These two-bedroom suites (on Decks 8, 9 and 10) are large (820, 720 and 659 square feet, respectively), with two separate rooms, a vanity with a chair in each bedroom, living area with a double convertible sofa, dining room, entertainment centre and two bathrooms, one with a tub. But what really stand out are the location and dimensions of the enormous balconies, which are almost as large as the cabins themselves and allow for 180-degree vistas of the Boardwalk, the AquaTheater, rock climbing wall and open ocean, with space for stools, tables, chairs and loungers.

Owner's Suites: The 569-square-foot Owner's Suites each feature large bathrooms with tubs and two sinks, as well as living areas with tables and sofas. The balconies are 246 square feet each.

Crown Loft Suites: These highly praised suites measure 540 square feet with 98-square-foot balconies and feature living spaces downstairs with pull-out sofas and bathrooms, as well as master bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, each with a shower large enough for two (his-and-hers shower heads) and fog-free mirrors. Accessible versions of these suites are also available.

Sky Loft Suites: These are slightly larger than Crown Loft suites, clocking in at 724 square feet with 376-square-foot dine-on balconies and extra showers in the downstairs bathrooms.

Ultimate Panoramic Suites: These two suites mirror one another, offering sweeping vistas via floor-to-ceiling windows on either wing, just above the bridge. That means passengers booked in these 914-square-foot rooms have the same view as the captain and officers below. They can also take advantage of suite perks, such as a Nespresso machine, a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a tub, separate bedroom and living room areas, the services of a Royal Genie and access to Coastal Kitchen dining. Up to four passengers can stay in an Ultimate Panoramic Suite.

Grand Loft Suite: This loft suite option sleeps four and has a 163-square-foot balcony with a Jacuzzi. Inside, the cabin is 972 square feet. Owner's Loft Suite: Similar in layout and amenities to the Grand Loft Suite, this version is larger, at 1,250 square feet with a 172-square-foot balcony.

Royal Loft Suite: The most opulent accommodations onboard, at 1,599 square feet with an 875-square-foot balcony, the Royal Loft Suite is the size of a modest home and features such luxuries as a baby grand piano and a dining area with a dry bar for entertaining on the bottom level. On that same level are a bath with a shower, a living room with sofa that converts into a double bed and a wraparound balcony with a dining area and private whirlpool. Upstairs, there's a master bedroom and a massive bathroom with a tub, shower, two sinks and a bidet.

Royal Suites: Two Royal Suites overlook the main pool deck, and while they are only on one level they have a double-height ceiling. The suites have everything you would expect to find in a five-star hotel suite: huge dining/living room with L-shaped sofa, entertainment centre with large flat-screen TV, wet bar, special wine fridge and a master bedroom with a vast king bed and a couple of chaise lounges in the corners. The bathroom is accessed via a flight of steps and is completely open -- no separate door. There is a stand-alone shower room, toilet and wardrobe. Suite 1701 (on the left-hand side) is bigger, at 1,250 square feet with a 172-square-foot balcony; Suite 1758 is 972 square feet with a 163-square-foot balcony.

Family: Oasis also has several categories of family-friendly cabins, including insides (274 square feet), ocean views (272 square feet) and balconies (290 square feet with 81-square-foot balconies). Each offers sleeping for up to six via two pull-down beds, a convertible sofa bed and two twins that can be turned into a queen. There are no tubs in the bathrooms. A number of these rooms also feature bunk beds, tucked away in what can't really be classified as a room. It's more of a space that's divided from the main room by a curtain and just has room for the bed. It's a neat arrangement -- ideal for smaller kids -- and adds a degree of privacy for adults. Book well ahead if you're looking to rope a family balcony.

Royal Family Suites: There are six of these 575-square-foot rooms, which get all the suite perks detailed above. Each has two bedrooms and can accommodate up to eight people. Other features include a vanity with a chair in each bedroom, two pull-down beds, living area with double convertible sofa, entertainment centre and two bathrooms, including a master bathroom with a bathtub. The balcony is 246 square feet and comes with a table and chairs.

 

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