The keel has been laid for the as yet unnamed fourth Oasis class ship to be launched by Royal Caribbean Cruises. The vessel, being constructed at STX Shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, is scheduled for completion in 2017.
An enormous crane lifted the the keel in place, signalling the commencement of the next phase of construction. Newly minted ‘lucky coins’ were placed under the keel, where they will remain until construction is complete. Oasis class vessels owned by Royal Caribbean are the worlds largest cruise ships and have become the benchmark for excellence of mega-cruise ships.
In fact, Oasis class cruise ships are so big that they feature distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ each with their own style and activities to suit passenger tastes. The partnership with STX Shipyard has been forged with the best of European ship building traditions along with the addition of cutting-edge technologies gleaned from around the globe.
The three Oasis class ships presently plying our waters are Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. For the past six years, Oasis class ships have created a cruising revolution, and further promoted Royal Caribbean to the top of every cruisers bucket list. The ‘neighbourhood’ innovation has helped define the nature of these mega-ships, enabling passengers to explore a different world of cruising every day.
The newest ship will be even larger than the other Oasis vessels, with length increased by 2.51 metres and width by 5.5 metres, but who’s counting. With a capacity of 6,360 passengers housed in 2,744 luxurious staterooms, this new ship is a floating city, fun park and world explorer all in one. Here are just some highlights of the seven neighbourhoods on Oasis ships.
Located in the centre of the ship, Central Park is a lush tropical wonderland larger than a football field. Here you can relax among canopy trees and flower gardens, or browse entertainment and dining venues. Central Park is a great place to unwind, relax and literally watch the world go by. Features include the exclusive 150 Central Park dining venue, an art gallery and the ‘town square’ that comes alive with concerts, performances and wandering musicians. Nearby is Dazzles, a mind-blowing dance and lounge venue spanning three decks, with great views of the Boardwalk below.
Inspired by America’s Coney Island and England’s famous boardwalks, this neighbourhood is festive and fun for all the family. Classic boardwalk novelties include carnival games, retail outlets, eateries, and even a traditional carousel appointed with all the trappings, including ornamental horses for the youngsters to ride. At the stern is the Aqua Theatre – a pool by day and theatre at night. It’s a sensory experience that has to be seen to be believed. The nearby rock-climbing walls are an additional challenge for those with energy to burn.
The all-new design on Oasis class ships features natural light streaming down from Central Park, creating a unique ambience. The Royal Promenade features the Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea, where you slowly descend from Central Park on deck eight all the way to the Royal Promenade on deck five, all without spilling a drop of your delicious cocktail. Traditional promenade features remain on Oasis ships, including convenient guest services, exclusive retail outlets, and a hugely diverse range of restaurants and cafes.
Pool and Sports Zone
Cruising immediately conjures up images of pool-time fun in the sun, and Royal Caribbean Oasis class vessels don’t disappoint. The Pool and Sports Zone spans the entire length of the ship with four stylish pools, FlowRider surf simulators, and amazing views. Splash with the family or head to the adults-only Solarium for intimate time with your partner. Then head up and away on the zip line high above the boardwalk. Kids love the H2O Zone, ornamented with water-spouting creatures of the deep. The Sports Pool is the place for those with a competitive streak to exhibit their water polo skills or just exercise by swimming a few laps. Basketball, badminton and other team sports are also popular in the Sports Zone.
Vitality At Sea Spa And Fitness Centre
Health, wellness and happiness – three goals easily achieved on Royal Caribbean. This neighbourhood is the place for body and mind, where fitness activities are complimented by thermal suites, therapies, treatment rooms, massage, and overall pampering or relaxing. There are more than 150 exercise machines and classes are available for yoga, pilates, kickboxing and much more.
Nothing beats a sundown at sea, and then night time entertainment really takes things to another level. The Entertainment Place is the Oasis life of the party, where evening experiences can be customised to suit everything from intimate occasions to social spectaculars. A typical night could begin with a 3-D movie at the Amber Theatre, or possibly a jazz or comedy show. If it’s time to hit the dance floor, Blaze is the place to mingle and show off your moves. This hip and trendy nightclub is the perfect place to dance the night away. The Casino Royale is an essential stopover for high rollers, and a great introduction to the allurement of gambling, even if you only want to watch and learn, without spending a cent.
Cruising has changed over the decades, becoming an experience for all the family to enjoy. Onboard kids clubs have evolved to meet the market, with programs for everyone, from tots to teens. Age-specific clubs provide entertainment and socialising experiences that keep kids happy, and provide time for parents and guardians to have a little time out. From toys, to games and treasure hunts, arcade game adventure, a teens disco and coffee house style meeting place for older teens, everyone will feel that Oasis cruise ships have been specially designed just for them.
The STX Shipyard in Saint Nazaire has a proud history dating back to the mid 1800s, and the partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises has ensured that the finest ship building methods continue now and into the future. The newest and largest cruise ship in the world is underway and eagerly awaited by cruise buffs around the globe.